Winning_with_the_Trompowsky

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					Winning with the Trompowsky




Peter Wells




B.T. Batsford Ltd, London   @
First published in 2003
© Peter Wells 2003

ISBN 0 7 1 34 8795 X

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available from the British Library.

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To Melanie

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A BATSFORD CHESS BOOK
                           Contents


     Annotated Bibliography                                 4

     Introduction                                           5

1    2...lLle4 Introduction and Minor Lines                13


2    2 ...lLle4 3 i.f4 c5 4 f3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 lLlf6           23
     The Attacking Repertoire with 6d5!?


3    2... lLle4 3 .tf4 c5 4 f3 �a5+ 5 c3 lLlf6
     The Solid Repertoire with 6lLld2                      50


4    2...lLle4 3 i.f4 d5                                   74
     Introduction and the Attacking Repertoire with 4 f3


5    2...lLle4 3 .tf4 d5                                   91
     The Solid Repertoire with 4 e3!?


6    2...c5                                                120
     Introduction and the Solid Repertoire with 3 j,xf6


7    2...c5                                                141
     The Attacking Repertoire with 3 d5!?


8    2...e63 e4!?                                          173


9    2...d5 Introduction and 3 i.xf6                       209


10   2...g6and Other Minor 2nd Moves                       232


     Index of Main Variations                              239


     Index of Games                                        240
                Annotated Bibliography

  I have made considerable use of       book only covers 2 . . .'=tJe4 . It is a
the customary general sources:          shame that Volume 2 never
                                        appeared.
   ChessBase's MegaBase 2003 with
                                          3.      Joe         Gallagher.  The
its more than 2,300,000 games,
                                        Trompowsky            The Chess Press,
including ChessBase Magazines up
                                                         -


                                        1 99 8 .
to CBM 91.
                                           Trying t o cover the whole
                                        opening in around 1 40 pages, the
  Informators 1 -84
                                        result is inevitably a little thin in
                                        places, but Joe is one of my
  The Week in Chess 1 -428.             favourite chess authors and always a
                                        good read.
  In addition I have used 5 principal
specialised Trompowsky sources:           4.      Rainer         Knaak.   The
                                        Trompowsky           Attack  (CD)
                                        ChessBase 1 99 8 .
  1.   Wolfgang       Gerstner.  Der
Trompowsky-AngrifJ im         Damen­      Also contains several thoughtful
bauernspiel -Schach-Profi-Verlag        contributions from another strong
Dreier, 1 99 5 .                        Grandmaster practitioner.
  This i s now a little dated, but an       5. Jesus De la Villa. EI Ataque
immensely detailed and painstaking      Trompowsky      EvaAjedrez 200 1 .
                                                        -

piece of work based on the huge
                                           My reservation about this is that it
practical experience of the author.
                                        is a repertoire book with at times, a
There were some lines, relatively
                                        strangely restrictive repertoire. The
neglected by the other books for
                                        ' attacking repertoire ' in Chapter 2
which this was invaluable.
                                        of my book is omitted, and the
                                        slightly    obscure     3   tZJc3         is
  2 . Julian Hodgson. Secrets of the    recommended         against      2 . . . c5
Trompovsky - Hodgson Enterprises,       (fortunately this can transpose to the
1 997.                                  Vaganian Gambit of which his
   This is of course also an            coverage is helpful) . However, this
invaluable source. Talk about the       is a relatively recent book, also
practical experience of the author!     written by a long-time Trompowsky
He is honest and entertaining,          player - indeed one of those who
although at times his practical         inspired Julian ' s interest in the
approach, guiding rather than           opening         and is in places
risking too much detail, goes           impressively generous with original
slightly too far. Also of course, the   analysis .
                             Introduction

                                             hardly compete, for sheer volume,
                                             with the wealth of modem day
                                             practice.       Statistics     are    not
                                             guaranteed to ensure everybody ' s
                                             trust these days, and I will
                                             endeavour to use them sparingly,
                                             but my database alone reveals
                                             around 7,500 new games played in
                                             the Tromp since 1 998, the date of
                                             the latest publication on the subj ect
                                             in the English language. That is a lot
                                             of chess, and it can reasonably be
      'Knights before Bishops '              argued (at least, I might attempt to
                                             argue it) that the author is
         -   Emanuel Lasker.                 performing a valuable service,
                                             providing a means for normal
  1. Why another book on the                 balanced human beings to do
'non-theoretical' Trompowsky?                continued battle with the database
                                             fanatics      in     this    increasingly
  Without wanting to put words into          technological age.
the mouths of my readers, I can
                                                So, is it time for the hunters after
imagine a possible reaction along
                                             originality to look elsewhere? The
the lines of:
                                             Tromp was fun, but has it now had
  "Why do we need a third book on            its day, killed by the chess
the Tromp in the space of six years?         equivalent of ' commercialisation' ?
After all, isn 't the whole idea of the      T o m y mind, this i s categorically
thing that it is supposed to be              not the case. In any case, I think this
'non-theoretical?"                           'avoiding theory ' thing needs a bit
  Part of the reason is in recognition       of clarification. I would say without
of a few realities. Success breeds           hesitation that Julian Hodgson ' s
success and one consequence of a             long-time espousal o f and success
successful chess opening, like it or         with the Trompovsky has not just
not, is that it generates imitators .        been a very valuable (and often
They in tum generate lots of games,          wonderfully entertaining) creative
and ipso jacto, a body of that               exercise in itself, but also part of a
dreaded impostor              ' theory ' .   fine      English         tradition    of
Admittedly books can generate a bit          experimentation in the opening. The
of theory too, but even the most             desire to seek new paths, and even
diligent and original authors can            on occasions to make a little tasteful
6 Introduction


gesture of defiance against fashion            1) Aim for pOSItIons in which
and the ' theory establishment' has        understanding and an awareness of
also been evident in the efforts of        typical plans take precedence over
such well-rounded English talents as       knowledge of specific moves and
Jonathan Speelman, Mark Hebden,            variations. The latter can change by
Nigel Short and above all the late,        the week, but in fact the number of
great and deeply missed Tony               positions in which ignorance of the
Miles. I may myself be positioned          very latest wrinkles will spell
clearly in many peopl e ' s mind as in     disaster is probably rather smaller
the ' theoretical camp ' , but I still     than the purveyors of theoretical
hugely appreciate the positive             journals would (for reasons of
influence of these players (and there      obvious economics ! ) have us
are many others I could mention            believe.
too) and I take my hat off to them            2) Be the one who dictates the
and their daring approach.                 play. Put your personal stamp on
  However, having said that, I do          proceedings at the earliest possible
also believe that theory has its place.    moment and do not permit your
Although we do not all understand          opponent the luxury of playing on
chess to the highest peak of               ' his territory ' . It is here that the
perfection, and furthermore in many        Trompowsky really comes into its
spheres of art and culture I reckon        own. You cannot ask for much more
popularity is a pretty poor proxy for      than an opening that, after the initial
anything much, I do also believe           move 1 d4, can be played against
that in general the popularity of          Black' s clearly most popular
chess openings does, over time, bear       response, and in addition is defined
a reasonable relationship to their         as early as move two . First of all,
obj ective merits. Of course, it is not    the mass of theory of the Nimzol
difficult to point to counter­             Queen ' s Indian, King ' s Indian,
examples and some aberrations in           Grunfeld, Benoni and so on is
which ' chess fashion' goes mad and        avoided. Secondly even in these
objective merit is propelled from the      times where the Tromp is finally
window with great force, but I do          treated with something approx­
not think it is really in doubt that the   imating to the respect it deserves
attempt to side-step theory on a           and the 'underestimation dividend '
permanent basis does require some          which certainly was available to the
sacrifice in terms of the obj ective       pioneers of the opening (at least at
merit of the openings we play.             higher levels) is therefore no longer
There is simply so much chess              really in evidence, it is rare indeed
played these days that even                to find someone playing Black who
openings which are not ' the very          will have srudied the intricacies of
best' are difficult to play without a      the Tromp with the same intensity
certain level of knowledge.                that he has devoted to the mastery
                                           of his pet Indian defence. So in this
  For this reason the ' avoidance of        sense, the opening, while inevitably
theory' argument nowadays should           more ' theoretical ' than it used to be,
really focus on two main areas,             still has great value to the player
boiling down to the following               seeking to avoid a heavy theoretical
advice:                                    tussle. Statistics suggest that a
                                                                 Introduction 7


full-time ' Tromper' will get the          feeling stranded either. As regards
opening in little short of 60% of his      its      relationship    with     other
White games, and it will not               mainstream         openings    it    is
normally take a vast amount of             interesting that the Trompowsky
work (I would heartily and                 from time to time comes to bear a
dispassionately recommend reading          strong structural and thematic
this book as the best way ! ) to be        resemblance - French and Benoni
generally better prepared than your        style positions in particular seem to
opponents in these games.                  arise, often in quite unexpected
                                           contexts - but there are very few
  2. Some more good reasons                actual transpositions . This opening
                                           is a fiercely independent beast!
     for playing the Tromp
                                               One little caveat on ' surprise
     hope I have shown that the            value ' . Nationality might be a
avoidance of excessive theory, at          problem, as I discovered when I
least in the sense outlined above          tried to ascertain from Hichem
remains a powerful incentive t �           Hamdouchi whether my second
consider playing this opening.             move had scored in this department.
However, there are others :                "Of course not" he replied. "The
                                           English are always playing the
  Of course, some ' occasional '           Trompowsky against me" !
exponents simply play the Tromp
largely with surprise value in mind.           Another advantage also relates to
This is a very valuable element in         my comments above. Whilst it is
any armoury in the computer age.           true that the Trompowsky can be
Playing the same systems again and         regarded as notable for the
again, as some very strong players         extraordinary range of positions to
such as the esteemed German                which it can give rise (Joe Gallagher
Grandmaster Wolfgang Uhlmann               effectively makes this point in the
basically have managed to do               introduction to his book, presenting
throughout there careers, used to be       a series of positions bearing striking
a viable option but these days it is       resemblance to respectively the
asking for trouble. In principle, I         Sicilian, the French, the Benoni, the
think the Tromp is ideal for such           English and the Blackmar-Diemer
surprise use. The levels of punch           gambit which in fact all come from
and required theoretical knowledge         the Tromp) there are not only a very
are both about right. Incidentally          small number of direct trans­
   .                                       positions to worry about, there is
Ra!ner Knaak makes the interesting
pomt that the Trompowsky might              also a good deal of choice in the
even be more suited to 1 e4 players        type of positions reached. See '3 '
seeking an alternative weapon than          below, for more on this point.
to main line 1 d4 players. I think             I suppose there must be some bad
this is perhaps rather overstated. It is    reasons for playing the Tromp too.
an advantage of the Tromp that 1 e4         ' Don 't like bishops very much' is
players will feel the comfort of            probably one of the worst, although
familiarity in many of the structures       I would say that a healthy respect
that arise, but I don't think there is      for the merits of knights and an
too much danger of 1 d4 players             aptitude for handling them IS
8 Introduction


probably actually rather a good one .     the context of a collection of
The willingness of Trompowsky             annotated complete games.
players to cede the bishop pair is           I have been in practice rather an
even more sharply into focus since        agnostic on the second issue, but
2 . . . ctJe4 3 .l1.f4 dS 4 e3 ! ?        this is my first stab at a repertoire
                                          book. On both dimensions, each
                                          system seems to have plusses and
                                          minuses . Complete games can be
                                          very useful for seeing plans and
                                          strategies through to their logical
                                          conclusion, but not all games fit this
                                          ideal, and it is incumbent on the
                                          author to employ ruthless brevity
                                          when their relevance is up.
                                          Repertoire books can be efficient in
                                          weeding out unnecessary clutter, but
                                          advocacy of an opening is a task
                                          which demands a measure of
with the intention in many cases to       responsibility. It is necessary to be
play �d3 and .l1.xe4 has come to the      reasonably objective in one ' s bias,
fore.                                     so to speak. There are certainly
                                          some openings where I simply
  Should I summarise then by              wouldn 't feel comfortable with the
saying in good old hackneyed style        task of promotion. Especially when
that      ' The   Trompowsky       has    the tag 'Winning with' is added on
something to offer to players of all      in conjunction with some lousy
styles ' ? Quite aside from the cliche    variation the author has an
element, I have some mixed feelings       unenviable task indeed. However,
about this one. Read on . . .             while I certainly don 't have such
                                          problems here, I think there are still
 3 . A Flexible Repertoire Book           serious issues and it is these I have
                                          attempted to address by seeking to
   Despite the considerable output of     take the best from each model .
literature on the opening these days
                                             I am fortunate here to have a large
the different types of books on offer
                                          amount of space with which to put
seem basically to be the product of
                                          together a repertoire book. This I
two decisions by the author:
                                          hope will enable me to avoid the
   Firstly, whether to aim for            following familiar scenario: The
comprehensive coverage or on the          author, having scored his cliche
other hand, to look at the opening        points by declaring the opening ' s
specifically from one side ' s point of    appeal t o players o f all styles then
view, to select a repertoire and to       proceeds to construct a repertoire
provide      only     the      required    which so well reflects this admirable
knowledge for adopting this (the           diversity, it pretty much ensures that
latter    describing    the     Classic   players with anything other than the
Repertoire book) .                         most well-rounded versatility will
    Secondly, whether to present just      feel distinctly tentative about parts
 'theory' per se, or to place this in      of it. In short, I hope to circumvent
                                                                    Introduction 9


these difficulties by offering             may sometimes be no way out.
choices, and clearly labelled choices      Hence, for example, still with 2 . . c5,
                                                                                 .


at that. In each of the main lines    -    the following position
2 . tDe4 and 2 . . . c5 - I will offer a
 .   .


selection of lines deliberately
earmarked to cater for those seeking
either a ' solid' or an ' attacking '
repertoire respectively. How else
could I really hope with a clear
conscience to include positions
(both arising from 2 . . c5) such as:
                      .




                                           finds itself somewhat incongru­
                                           ously      placed         in   the   ' solid
                                           repertoire ' ! What can I say? If the
                                           possibility of excitement is to be
                                           ruled out altogether maybe try 2
                                           c3 ! ?
                                              Equally, people' s styles are not
                                           really quite so easy to pigeonhole
and                                        either, as many who have sought to
                                           bamboozle the likes of Karpov or
                                           Andersson in a tactical melee have
                                           found to their cost. Some might
                                           criticise the whole concept, but I
                                           think the practical advantages
                                           definitely outweigh the blurred
                                           edges and definitional grey areas. It
                                           goes without saying that the reader
                                           may opt to mix and match a
                                           repertoire from the various options,
                                           or switch back and forth within a
                                           section according to mood, and they
                                           can probably pat themselves on the
                                           back that their style will broaden as
m the   same repertoire book. Of           a consequence. Again Julian
course, life is in reality not             Hodgson provides a model . The
susceptible of quite such neat             lines which I will offer as ' solid'
compartmentalisation. Firstly, even        and ' attacking ' respectively against
having dictated the play at move           2 . . tDe4 and 3 . . . c5 for example have
                                             .


two we cannot always entirely              both been enthusiastically employed
control the way it develops. If the        by the world's leading Trompowsky
opponent wants to complicate, there        player. It is true he has a well-
10   Introduction


rounded style, but it is also              the greatest importance that the
undeniable that this flexibility has       basic techniques of playing with the
made him much tougher to prepare           knight pair against Black' s bishops
for, and generally a much more             and compromised structure be
difficult opponent.                        learned. They are in any case
    There are also instances where I       instructive in general chess terms,
will not offer a choice. The final         not exclusively applicable within
three Chapters seem less susceptible       the Trompowsky setting.
to this stylistic dichotomy and since         Again I want to stress that
there is a lot of ground to cover, I       flexibility is the hallmark of what I
have compromised at this level .           am trying to do . In the interesting
This has little cost in Chapter 1 0 for    case of 2 . . . e6 while I will briefly
example. After 2 . . . g6 I simply think   consider alternatives, my treatment
there is little doubt about White ' s      of the main line position arising
'best' course o f action:- implement       after 3 e4 h6 4 ..txf6 �xf6
the ' Trompowsky threat' with 3
..txf6, occupy the centre with 4 c4
and then play on the queenside
combining the fiancheUoed king' s
bishop with an advance of the
b-pawn. This is tried and tested, and
above all logical, and the choice of
most leading Trompowsky players.
In a sense it is a 'positional '
solution, but those who play the
Trompowsky to feed their passion
for wild, irrational positions may
just have to grin and bear it. The
position is by no means dull either.
In any case this highlights an             will again be rather different. In this
important point worth making in            fascinating          variation,         itself
this regard. Almost no-one disputes        distinctive in that White cedes the
the fun and games which can                bishop          pair     for     dynamic
confidently be anticipated in the          (development/occupation of the
case of 2 . . . lLle4 and 2 . . . c5.      centre) rather than             structural
However, after various other moves,        compensation, the problem is quite
whilst there is no obligation              the opposite of that with 2 . . . g6 . If I
whatever to follow through the             knew what was the best course, I
 ' threat' of inflicting damage on         might try to lay down the law, but
Black's structure by capturing on f6       while I have a pretty good idea of
(I don't think you should exactly be       how White would like to proceed in
accused of 'bluffing' if you opt for a     principle, there are a number of
less critical course ! ) it is quite       specific inconveniences (notably
important to the bite of the               5 . . . d5 in reply to 5 c3 ; and 5 . . . ..th4
Trompowsky that we are not                 in reply to 5 lLlc3) which have
bluffing collectively. The repertoire      thrown White ' s best course up for
will be based upon eschewing any           grabs. My treatment of this will still
such 'bluff' and it is in my view of       be in a repertoire book style, but it
                                                                      Introduction 1 1


will be much more experimental,            4. Some Preliminary Strategic
hopefully drawing the reader into              Issues to Bear in Mind
the process of trying to sort out the
way forward.                                   One consequence of the genuinely
  One more note on the 'flexibility '      diverse nature of the Trompowsky
in the repertoire. I will in places        is that attempts to generalise into a
give some coverage of lines which I        ' strategic introduction' would be
do not recommend, generally                rather problematic. Rather I would
because I think that they are useful       like to raise very briefly a few
aides to a wider understanding of          questions, and invite the reader to
more important lines . However, I          have these in mind and consider
will also label clearly where I do not     them as and when they arise
feel the variation is honestly             throughout the book. The various
recommendable.                             Section/Chapter Introductions will
                                           discuss them in more detail, but for
  I have introduced one further            the moment, just reflect on the
device which I hope will assist with       following:
the     efficient    presentation    of
material . Since my target audience
is not primarily grandmasters              1.       Compensation for the bishop pair
(although I hope they will find               Consider in each case when this is
material of value here too), I intend      structural in nature or dynamic.
to put a primary emphasis on               How the knights can be enhanced,
explanation, the description of plans      and especially the vexed question of
and ideas etc . It is to this end that I   how far to open or close the position
have opted primarily for the               to optimise such compensation. See
approach of including complete             especially the Strategic Introduction
games. However, again I do not             to 3 . . . h6 4 Sl.xf6 in Chapter 8 on this
want to be too dogmatic. I am less         question.
convinced of the merits of this
approach where heavy theoretical
                                                    2.   Compensation for the b-pawn
sections,       particularly      those
including extensive original analysis        Bear in mind that b2 is the central
are concerned. These will be the           weakness for White in the
exception here, but there will be a        Trompowsky. Try to assess the basis
few, and for this reason I will            on which some b-pawn sacrifices
include three ' Theoretical Articles '     (notably the Vaganian Gambit in
in amidst the games, mainly for            Chapter 7) form an intrinsic part of
highly critical lines (primarily           the repertoire, while others (notably
White ' s sharpest gambit lines,           3 . .lbe4 4 Sl.f4 �6 5 liJd2?! also in
                                                .


where the b2 pawn is sacrificed for        Chapter 7) just do not make the
attacking chances, and general             grade. Above all, always keep the
pri nciples cease to be of any great       implications of a quick . . . 'i'b6 in
use) .                                     mind.
J2    Introduction


     3.Missing the Tromp bishop           is fun. If reading this book helps
      - dark square weaknesses            you to add to the collection of
                                          entertaining, original Trompowsky
  It is not just b2. Chapters 6 and 8     games then it will have been
will help to get a feel of the            worthwhile.
potential dark-squared weaknesses
that arise in the event that the            Thanks are due to a few people.
Trompowsky bishop meets with the          On the technical chess side, I am
exchange which is already implicit        grateful to Luke McShane, who
in its early sortie. Do not become        generously provided me with notes
paranoid about this danger, but try       to his game with Wojtaszek in
to develop warning antennae which         Chapter 2, and with whom I had the
militate against creating any further     pleasure of analysing some other
weakness of the dark squares              variations when I was his second for
without very good cause.                  the recent World Junior Champion­
                                          ship in India. As usual it was
                                          supposed to be me introducing him
             A   Final Note               to new material, but his sharp
   No book can include everything,        insightful chess brain meant that a
and despite something of a                number of interesting ideas and
predilection for history in general, I    assessments were immediately fired
will no doubt be accused of neglect       back my way.
in this area, perhaps with good              Thanks are also due to the
cause. There have been probably           Batsford team, and Roger Huggins
two major periods crucial to the          in particular, who got the balance
development of this opening. The          between laissezjaire encourage­
1 930s when the Brazilian Octavio         ment and necessary cajoling just
Trompowsky fashioned the basic            about right. Also to Malcolm Pein
system (a large number of his             who initially discussed the idea of
opponents answered with 2 . . . d5, and   the book with me, and who in a
the idea of 3 ..txf6 exf6 with a later    recent Daily Telegraph column
c2-c4 dates from this time) ; and the     when discussing the Trompowsky
period after 1 98 5 when Julian           wondered "is there any defence to
Hodgson was inspired by the efforts       it" which (although there obviously
of Spanish Trompowsky players,            is not ! ) can only be good publicity.
Illescas, De la Villa and Romero
Holmes, and thereafter made                  On a more personal note, I would
innumerable contributions which           like to thank my parents whose
will be felt on almost every page.        support and on many occasions
The number of very strong players         hospitality during the preparation of
who will also appear here is a            this book went well beyond the call
testimony to the fact that we are         of duty. Last, but certainly not least,
now dealing with a major opening          I would like to thank Melanie
system with an ever growing               Buckley who helps in so many ways
reputation. Playing the Trompowsky        and to whom this book is dedicated.
                       Chapter 1               -   2   . . .   tiJe4
            Introduction and Minor Lines

    2 .tbe4!?
     ..           -   Introduction               As I discussed briefly in the
                                               introduction, and we shall see more
                                               of it, especially in Chapter 2, this all
                                               presages a 'balance of lost tempi'
                                               which can become quite a complex
                                               and radical business. Extraordinary
                                               variations ensue in which the
                                               players continue to trade ' time loss '
                                               apparently with reckless abandon.
                                               These would not only have shocked
                                               the classicists, but still raise a few
                                               eyebrows even in today ' s more
                                               pragmatic and broad-minded times .
                                                 As for White ' s reply, I strongly
                                               believe that 3 i.f4( ! ) is the best
   It is not too difficult to account          move, and to be honest this view is
for the popularity of 2 . . . l'Lle4. Black    not very controversial these days.
avoids the damage to his structure             This will be the main repertoire
which his opponent has the option              recommendation in both its ' solid '
of inflicting after most other second          and ' attacking ' incarnations. It will
move choices . Neither does he                 also be the subject of chapters 2 to
suffer the loss of time characteristic         5, as well as the remainder of this
of the 2 . . . e6 3 e4 h6 of Chapter 8 .       chapter. Here, my job is really to
  I n reality, of course, there i s a loss     explain why this is the best move.
of time element to 2 . . . l'Lle4 . Black         Well, the best place to start is with
breaks the classical ' rules ' of              3 iLh4? ! , once the main line, but
opening play and moves his knight a            now rather discredited.
second          time     before       either
developing or even preparing to
develop any other piece. However,
by answering arguable ' attack' with
quite indisputable ' counter-attack ' ,
B lack virtually ensures that his
adversary will have to mirror that
tempo loss, usually with a bishop
move, or more eccentrically with 3
h4 ! ?, which, whatever its merits,
can hardly boast the enhancement of
development near the top of its list.
1 4 2 ..tiJe4 Introduction and Minor Lines
      .




    The intentions behind the move
are laudable - not least the fact that
keeping the e-pawn pinned rather
restricts Black's options. I think
though that the drawback to the
move is quite simple to understand
too. 3 .th4 is in essence a poor
preparation for combating Black's
dark square strategy. The bishop ' s
desertion of the queens ide, a charge
which purists might indeed level at
the Trompowsky as a whole, is here
greatly reinforced. That this is a real
rather than a merely academic issue           This account might seem at first a
will become clear later in chapter 2 .     little inconsistent. Surely Black
There, with the bishop preferring          initially embarked on 2 . . . ttJe4
the f4 square, we shall become             precisely to avoid a trade-off
acquainted with quite the range of         between gaining the bishop pair and
cases in which the weakness of b2 is       suffering pawn weaknesses? Don 't
covered by retreat from f4 to c l .        the doubled isolated h-pawns
That may be one of the develop­            represent      more        momentous
mental outrages which so shocks the        structural harm than the doubled
traditionalists, but as I shall hope to    f-pawns which Black went to such
explain there are often very good          trouble to prevent? Well, in
grounds for this retreat. Of the           isolation maybe, and it was this
alternative defences of b2, 'ic l          belief I suppose that Black' s
often smacks of passivity and may          kings ide damage was every bit as
trouble the d-pawn, while the              important     as     his   opponent' s
weakening of the dark squares              weaknesses i n the centre that
which the move b3 implies may              resulted in this being an important
often be more than White ' s position      line for many years. Gradually
can comfortably stand.                     though,     that    assessment    has
   However, it is not just on the          changed. White ' s weakened dark
queenside that the dark squares may        squares in the centre, notably the e3
fall under a cloud of suspicion. To        square which is done no favours at
an extent dark square problems are         all by the move 4 f3 , have in fact
also from White' s standpoint an           been shown to be a serious problem.
almost Trompowsky-wide Achilles            The fact that after the further moves
heel. Even after 3 .tf4, the move          6 e3 .th6 ! White increasingly
3 . . . c5 ! ? targets these squares and   turned to 7 'itr>f2 ! ?, a developing
makes a reasonable shot at it.             move only in the very broadest
However, after 3 .th4 ? ! this             sense of the word, served to
problem is magnified many times            highlight these problems. With
over because, very concretely after        apologies to 3 .th4 specialists, I
the logical and once-popular               have decided that since this is a
sequence 3 . . . c5 4 f3 g5 ! 5 fxe4       repertoire book, and since there is a
gxh4, Black has also succeeded in          great deal of material now in the
exchanging            the   Trompowsky     main lines crying out for detailed
bishop.                                    coverage, a further exposition of
                                      2   . . .   lZJe4 Introduction and Minor Lines 1 5


why I believe this variation t o be                   It is because this outcome is none
inferior for White would be a bit                   too satisfactory for Black that his
superfluous . I am confident that a                 basic choice here is between 3 . . . c5
majority of readers will see the logic              (The remainder of this chapter and
of this, and hopefully even some 3                  the next two) and 3 . . . d5 (Chapters 4
.Jth4 players will be persuaded of                  and 5). It is often (rightly) said that
the merits of the ' other' bishop                   the Trompowsky has the virtue of
move.                                               forcing Black to face unusual
                                                    problems from the very start.
      3 .tf4   -   Introduction                     However, when we look at the
                                                    nature of these moves it is striking
                                                    that what Black really faces here is
   So, after 3 .Jtf4 we can usefully                quite a familiar decision. He should
ask ourselves 'How is the battle of                 decide between a dark-square
tempi unfolding ' ? To recap, Black                 strategy aimed in particular at the
has made a second move with his                     square d4, and a light square
knight and virtually forced (with                   strategy contesting the e4 square.
due apologies to the small but                      Sound familiar? Well, consider his
committed 3 h4 ! ? crew) White in                   defensive choices after the much
tum to make a second bishop move.                   more ' theoretical ' 2 c4, and you will
That though, is not the end of the                  see that they generally reduce to
story. Now Black needs to tum his                   pretty much these two !
attention to White's intention to
establish a classical pawn centre,                     The rest of this Chapter will now
with gain of time by playing f3 and                 deal with introducing 3 . . . c5 by way
e4.                                                 of the positions which occur when
                                                    Black simply retreats his knight on
   If Black simply ignores this and                 move 4 rather than throwing in the
proceeds for example in 'Pirc style'                more highly regarded 4 . . . 'ia5+( ! ) .
with 3 . . . g6 4 f3 lZJf6 5 e4, he may
derive some measure of solace from
the fact that f4 might not be the                                Game 1
absolute square of choice for                                 Adams Leko -



White ' s bishop in such a structure                      Cap d'Agde, Rapid 1 996.
(e3 feels more natural, although
some of that feeling might just be                      1 d4 lZJf6 2 .Jig5 lZJe4 3 .Jtf4 c5
prejudice and           crude    'pattern               Every author seems to have a
recognition'), but this will certainly              brief       word     for    the     rather
not compensate for what is in                       undeserving 3 . . . lZJc6?! so I shall
essence a loss of tempo. Basically                  maintain the tradition. The idea is
White has expended two moves to                     that 4 d5 can be answered with
get his bishop to f4, but Black has                 4 . . . e5, as so often when White' s
taken a full three moves to reach f6                bishop i s o n f4 . Again I think White
with his knight. Some compensation                  has a pleasant choice between
I suppose for those who will miss                   ' taking Black on' with 4 f3 ! ? e5 5
 the role customarily played by                     dxe5 g5 when 6 .Jic l looks
reams of theory in bringing them                    eminently reasonable - why not
towards the time-control !                          invite the opponent to weaken
1 6 2 ..ciJe4 Introduction and Minor Lines
      .




himself in this way; alternatively 4
e3 and either 5 t!Dd2 or 5 i.d3 look
fine. I am not convinced the knight
really wants to be on c6 in this case.
   Hodgson also mentions 3 . . . e6
with the intention of answering 4 f3
with 4 . . . i.d6 5 i.xd6 t!Dxd6 "with a
playable position". Well, I suppose
it is, although that is the most
generous I would go with my
assessment. Black would like to
follow up with . . . 0-0 and . . . f5 , but
normal development with 6 t!Dc3                    5 dxc5 !
and preparing to advance the                       Clearly best in my view. White
e-pawn in reply to . . . f5 looks quite         aims in most cases for a
OK for White too . Of course, if this           quasi-Sicilian position in which he
does not appeal, 4 e3 is very solid,            is invariably about a tempo to the
and quite likely to transpose into              good compared with standard lines.
Chapter 5 after a later . . . d5 by             The reason for this is partly the
Black. It is often worth bearing in             customary equation : - the knight has
mind that, 3 . . . c5 apart, the move f3        taken three moves to reach f6, the
can be weakening and is rarely                  bishop only two to reach f4 .
compulsory.                                     Collectively,    of course,        this
    4 f3(!)                                     represents       quite        shocking
                                                inefficiency ! What an argument for
   4 d5 is also a serious possibility
                                                ' cooperative chess ' !
for those intending to reach the
' attacking' repertoire. It leads to               5 . . JWa5+
play with much similarity to the                   Here is the second manifestation
main lines of the next chapter, but             of Black's problem. The queen
there are arguments for both sides              wastes a further tempo to recover
relating to lines avoided / lines               the c5 pawn, while White can cover
encouraged and so on. My own                    this check in a fashion which
view is that 4 f3 is preferable here,           promotes his further development
but in fact I will also cover the               without the slightest inconvenience.
position after 4 d5 later in Games              No wonder Black has looked
3 6-37 and TA3 . In the case of the             elsewhere - alternatives here are
2 . . . c5 move order White, if he              considered in Game 2 .
wants to play the sharp 2 . . . c5 3               6 ltJc3 ? !
d5 ! ? has more limited choice since
after 3 . . . ltJe4 it is difficult but to be      Strictly speaking this i s less
sceptical as to the merits of                   accurate than 6 1i'd2 ! 'i!xc5 7 e4 etc
alternatives such as 4 i.c 1 (? ! ) . More      although many games have also
of that in Chapter 7 .                          reached the same position in this
                                                way. The reason is given in the next
    4 ltJf6
    •..
                                                note. Another point of possible
    More popular, probably for good             interest is that with the superior
reason, is 4 . . . 'iWa5+, the subject of       move order after say 7 . . . d6, White
Chapters 2 and 3 .                              can also consider a ' Mar6czy Bind'
                                     2 tDe4 Introduction and Minor Lines 1 7
                                       . . .




approach. For example in Kishnev­              positional compensation for the
Konietzka, Recklinghausen (op)                 pawn, as in V.Kovacevic-Ftacnik,
1 999 he tried 8 c4 ! ? tDc6 9 tDc3            Hastings 1 982-3 .
.ltd7 1 0 l:c 1 'iWa5 1 1 tDd5 �xd2+             7 e4
 12 'it'xd2 l:tc8 1 3 tDe2 with a
reasonable      endgame,       although
personally I think I would have kept
queens on - perhaps the immediate
 10 tDd5 ! ? in particular was worthy
of consideration. However, since the
main lines are quite rosy versions of
the Sicilian for White, there is no
need for this - it is just a question of
taste.




                                                 7 •••g6
                                                   Black has tried a large number of
                                               set-ups here, of which the ' Dragon'
                                               is probably the most popular, not
                                               least because with White playing a
                                               quick 'iVd2           and 0-0-0,         the
                                               ' Scheveningen' approach with . . . e6
                                               is quite problematic to arrange.
                                                   What can be said                  fairly
                                               categorically is that an early .. . e5
  6    'iVxc5? !
      .. .
                                               has a poor track record, frequently
    Neglecting t o question White' s           landing Black in difficulties. A case
move order. I t speaks volumes for             in point was the spectacular
the       relative    disregard    for         Landenbergue-Walther, Swiss (ch)
Trompowsky theory which I                      1 993 which continued 7 . . . d6 8 'iWd2
discussed in the introduction that a           (interestingly also with 6 tDc3)
quality player and theoretical                 8 . . . a6 9 0-0-0 e5?! 10 .lte3 'iVc7 1 1
monster like Peter Leko would be               g4 h6 1 2 h4 i.e6 1 3 .lth3 tDc6 The
unaware of such an important                   game bears some resemblance to a
nuance as early as move 6. This                Richter-Rauzer, but despite playing
would be almost unthinkable in his             . . . e5 ' in one go ' Black is still tempi
mainstream         repertoire.    Two          behind - the standard tempi
apparently forgotten games from the            trade-off between White ' s dark­
early 1 980s suggest that after 6 tDc3         square bishop and Black' s king ' s
e6 ! ? Black has much better chances           knight i s a tie, but Black's queen
to equalise e.g. 7 i.d6 tDd5 8 e4              also has some history. Time tends to
tDxc3 9 'iVd2 b6 1 0 i.xfS I:xfS 1 1           increase in importance in sharp
cxb6 axb6 1 2 'iVxc3 'iVxc3+ 1 3 bxc3          Sicilian        structures,    and       the
i.a6 14 i.d3 tDc6 15 tDe2 tDe5 1 6             following breakthrough is, partly in
'it>d2 tDc4+ 1 7 .ltxc4 i.xc4 with full        consequence, very powerful.
1 8 2 .tlJ e4 Introduction and Minor Lines
      . .




    1 4 g5 ! hxg5 ? ! 1 5 hxg5 �d7 1 6           nowhere special, although instead
g6 ! liJf6 (if 1 6 . . . fxg6 1 7 Sl.xe6         1 1 Sl.e3 ! iVe5 12 Sl.f4 forces a draw)
I;Ixh l 1 8 �d5 followed by 1 9 iVg2             1 0 . . .'iVa5 1 1 i.c4 d6 1 2 Sl.h6 (I
is a massacre) 1 7 Sl.xe6 ! l:txh l 1 8          mention this game mainly because I
gxf7+ 'it>d8 1 9 Sl.b6 ! a very pleasing         found this moment instructive.
finish! 19 . . . iVxb6 20 'iWxd6+ Sl.xd6         During the game I was pleased to
2 1 f8='iV+ �e8 22 1:txd6+ ric7 23               see this, because I felt that the
�d5+ rib8 24 �xb6 I;Ixg 1 + 25 z:rd 1            essence of Black's difficulties was
 1 -0 A very crisp attack indeed !               development and both of the
    The blame, however, does not lie             forthcoming exchanges actually win
at the door of 8 . . . a6 per se. For            Black an element of valuable time. I
example 9 0-0-0 (9 �ge2 ! ? �bd7                 was much more concerned about 1 2
                                                 �ge2 ! This i s a very good square in
 1 0 Sl.e3 'iVc7 1 1 �d5 �xd5 1 2 exd5
                                                 the Dragon when the bishop is
�f6 1 3 0-0-0 b5 14 h4 Sl.b7 1 5
                                                 occupying the b3-g8 diagonal and I
�f4 ':'c8 1 6 'itb 1 g6 1 7 g4 gave
                                                 think that White is again simply a
White an excellent position where
                                                 tempo or more ahead on standard
Black lacks any focus for her
                                                 positions, with very good play)
counter-play in the game S .Ionov­
Umanskaya, St Petersburg (op)
 1 994) 9 . . . �bd7 ! ? (not 9 . . . g6? here
since 1 0 e5 ! is very powerful) 1 0
�h3 ! ? ( 1 0 g4 ! ?) 1 0 . . . b 5 (in this
case with White ' s knight heading to
f2 there might have been more of a
case for 1 0 . . . e5 ! ?) 1 1 �f2 Sl.b7 1 2
�d3 'iVc7 1 3 g4 .uc8 1 4 h4 e 5 1 5
Sl.h2 �b6 1 6 g5 �c4 1 7 'iVe l �d7
 1 8 Sl.h3 �cb6 was Hodgson­
Vyzmanavin, Zaragoza (op) 1 99 3 .
You get a certain feeling from
Julian' s notes here that he was justly
proud of his quite original handling                12 . . . .txh6 ! 1 3 iVxh6 i.e6 ! 1 4
 of the position with �h3-f2-d3 , and            i.xe6 fxe6 1 5 �ge2 ? ! (The
hence all the more annoyed that he               plausible looking development 1 5
rushed things with 1 9 f4? ! when the            �h3 can be met with 1 5 . . . .l:i.c8 ! and
patient 1 9 rib 1! and 20 Sl.g 1 would           the customary Dragon exchange
 have consolidated his plus. Again               sacrifice on c3 is already in the air.
White ' s set-up is instructive for the          Best is probably 1 5 rib l ! ?) 1 5 . . . b5 !
way it almost effortlessly restrains             1 6 'i'g5 �e5 ! 1 7 f4 b4 1 8 fxe5 bxc3
 the opponent' s counterplay.                     19 �xc3 I;Ib8 ? ! (Letting White off.
    8 'ilVd2 d6                                  Instead 1 9 . . . �d7 ! would be very
    I once (and it will be only once ! )         fine for Black) 20 J:[d3 (Missing
 tried to handle the Black pieces in             Black ' s idea. Defending the queen
 this line. For some reason I                    with 20 h4 ! would have forced
 preferred 8 . . . Sl.g7 9 0-0-0 �c6 1 0         Black to recapture on e5 with the
 .te3 ( 1 0 �b5? ! 0-0 1 1 �c7 1:1b8 1 2         pawn when he again has some
 �d5 �xd5 1 3 exd5 �e5 leads                     problems) 20 . . . �d7 ! 2 1 .l:i.fl �xe5
                                          2 liJe4 Introduction and Minor Lines 1 9
                                            . . .




22 J:i.g3 h6 ! 2 3 'iVf4 �d7 (and the               follow-up)               1 3 . . . 'tWa4 !  II

initiative           has     swung       very       Landenbergue-Maksimenko, Bern
dramatically to Black) 24 liJd l                    (op) 1 994.
l:thc8 25 'iHd2 'ifa6 ! 26 .uf2 liJc4 27               I would prefer 10 liJge2 ! ? when
'tWxh6?! 'iY'xa2 0- 1 Povah-Wells,                   10 . . . liJc6 1 1 Sl.e3 'iYa5 1 2 liJd4 (the
Portsmouth (op) 2002.                               knight would be very good on e2
   9 0-O-0 .ig7                                     with the f1 bishop on b3 , but here
   9 . . . liJbd7 ? ! 10 Sl.e3 'ifa5 1 1 �b l       the knight is probably better off
.ig7 1 2 g4 liJe5 1 3 g5 liJfd7 1 4                 centralised) reaches a position
Sl.d4 ! all but forces 1 4 . . . 'if8 since         which could arise if Black essays
 14 . . . O-O? loses to 1 5 liJd5 , and             the unlikely 8 . . . 'tWa5 ? ! in the
White ' s advantage is obvious in                   Dragon. Such a move may have its
Dzindzichashvili-Tukmakov, USSR                     validity in lines in which White has
(ch) Leningrad 1 97 1 . In any case                 played Sl.c4-b 3 , but here it looks
though, I assume that 9 . . . llJbd7 is             very suspicious indeed. Oddly this
based on the probably false                         logical approach remains untested.
assumption that 9 . . . i.g7 10 e5 is a                 1 0 . . . 0-0?
big problem for Black (see
                                                        Sorry, but this really seems to be
following note) . Interestingly Julian
                                                    on the level of ' castling into it'
Hodgson also suggested this to be
                                                    made most famous from the classic
the case, but I don 't think he is right
                                                    game Fischer-Robatsch in the
on this occasion as the note below
                                                    Scandinavian Defence. Here, as
indicates.
                                                    there, Black would be much better
                                                    off exchanging on h6 and then
                                                    developing his queenside with a
                                                    view to scrambling his king over
                                                    there with all possible haste. In this
                                                    case his position seems quite
                                                    playable.
                                                        A poor move even for a rapid
                                                    game, and a rare occurrence indeed
                                                    from such a class act as Peter Leko,
                                                    but again the marketer of the Tromp
                                                    would have to point out that the
                                                     opening does have a tendency to put
                                                    opponents, even top quality ones,
   10 i.h6                                          into unfamiliar territory !
   Spectacularly successful though                      1 1 h4 i.e6 1 2 h5! liJxh5 13 Sl.xg7
this was on the day, I am not                       'ixg7 14 g4 liJf6 1 5 'tWh6+ �g8 1 6
entirely convinced by it - when
                                                    liJge2 !
Black has castled, then by all
means, but what is the rush?                            White ' s attack almost plays itself.
                                                     The text is much stronger than the
   As I suggested above, 1 0 e5?!
                                                    rather over-direct 1 6 liJh3 ? since
liJh5 ! only brought White trouble
after 1 1 liJe4 'iY'c6 12 exd6 f5 1 3                1 6 . . . .uc8 1 7 liJg5 'tWe3+ would not
                                                     be so clear.
liJf2 ( 1 3 dxe7 fxe4 1 4 'iYd8+ cJ;f7
leaves White struggling for a                           1 6...'tWf2?
20 2. J?Je4 Introduction and Minor Lines


   A serious mistake, which loses            offers a pawn (which is hardly ever
immediately to a standard motif, but         accepted) in order to recapture on c5
in fact the situation appears to be          and obtain a central majority, form a
surprisingly hopeless anyway. De la          clear thematic family, and are
Villa suggests 1 6 . . .'�Jbd7, but 1 7 g5   simplest to treat together.
ttJh5 1 8 ttJg3 �e3+ 1 9 'it>b l leaves
Black with little choice but to cling
on by his             fingernails with
1 9 . . . ttJdf6, and a more elegant
version of the standard break 20 e5 !
dxe5 2 1 ttJxh5 ttJxh5 22 l:l:xh5 gxh5
23 �d3 will see him off.




                                                    Position before 5 b6!?
                                                                        . . .




                                                  Alternatives here include:
                                                  a) 5 . . . ttJc6 as we have seen, does
                                             not yet fully reveal Black' s
                                             intentions. The move can b e
                                             employed t o transpose back into the
                                             main game as Socko used it here, or
    17 eS!                                   can instead be followed up with
    Clearing the e4 square. Further          . . . �a5+ anyway to reach some
resistance is symbolic only.                 positions from Game 1 . However,
    17 . .. l:l:c8 18 exf6 exf6 19 ttJdS     after 6 e4, Black has also tried
�xdS 20 �xh7+ 'it>f8 2 1 �h8+                6 . . . e5?! although I am a bit
'it>e7 22 �xc8 �xf3 23 l:l:h8 �e3+           sceptical about this. After 7 �e3 b6
24 Wbl l-0                                   8 cxb6 d5 9 exd5 ttJxd5 1 0 �f2
                                             axb6 1 1 �b5 �b7 12 ttJc3 �b4 1 3
              Game 2                         ttJge2 0-0 1 4 0-0 ttJxc3 1 5 ttJxc3
       Akopian - B.Socko                     Black's compensation is decidedly
  Cappelle la Grande (open) 1 999            suspect. Beshukov-Kochetkov, St
                                             Petersburg (op) 1 994 .
     1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS ttJe4 3 �f4 cS 4            b) 5 . . . ttJa6 actually seems to
f3 ttJf6 5 dxcS b6 ! ?                       score quite well for Black, but a
     I hope I will b e forgiven for a        small to medium-sized investigation
slight messing with historical               is all that is required to see that this
accuracy in the interests of clarity.        should not be the case. The knight is
The actual move order of the game            frequently vulnerable on either c5 or
was 5 . . . ttJc6 6 e4 b6 7 ttJc3 bxc5       its regular destination e6, as the
etc reaching the critical position at        better handled examples show: 6 e4
move 7. The point though is that the         ttJxc5 7 ttJc3 g6? ! (7 . . . d6 8 �d2
. . . b6 based systems, in which Black       ttJe6 9 �e3 g6 1 0 g4 �g7 was
                                       2 lbe4 Introduction and Minor Lines 21
                                         . . .




M.Gurevich-Yap, Jurmala 1 9 85,                  by 9 4JbS ! while the attempt to
wh en I agree with De la Villa that              simplify with 8 . . . ..Ilxd6 9 'ixd6
1 1 lbge2 followed by lbg3/h4                    'tlVb6 similarly runs into a 1 0 lbbS !
seems the best way to proceed with               snag.
the attack, while the knight on e6                   7 lbc3 lbc6
looks quite strange here) 8 ..Ile3 !
lbe6 9 eS lbhS 1 0 �d2 �aS 1 1 g4
lbhg7 1 2 0-0-0 'iUxeS 1 3 .i.bS �c7
1 4 lbdS �d8 IS �c3 f6 16 h4 <3;fl
1 7 hS gxhS 18 lbe2 d6 19 ..Ilc4 and
Black is in really desperate straits.
Beshukov-Shulman, Gausdal 1 994.




                                                     8 4Jb5 ! ?
                                                     Once regarded a s a slightly
                                                 problematic position, it begins to
                                                 look as if White just has a fairly
                                                 pleasant choice here. Only 8 eS?! is
                                                 clearly inferior due to 8 . . . 'iVc7 . The
                                                 original theory focussed on 8 ..Ilc4
  6 e4
                                                 with the game Hodgson-Shirov,
  6 cxb6 'ixb6 7 'ic 1 is possible,              Groningen 1 996 taking, unsurpris­
and De la Villa makes a reasonable               ingly, a very sharp course with
case for it, but my instincts are that           8 . . . g6 9 4JbS ! d6 1 0 eS dxeS 1 1
after 7 . . . dS Black should have               �xd8+ 'ixd8 when according to
healthy compensation, and since the              Julian himself, 1 2 O-O-O+? lbd7 !
main line looks promising, I do not
                                                 was a mistake, and he should have
want to go there.
                                                 preferred his original intention to
  6 bxc5
    . . .
                                                 play 1 2 ..IlgS threatening 4Jd6, when
    The alternative 6 . . . e6 looks             1 2 . . . h6 1 3 ..Ilxf6 exf6 1 4 0-0-0+
strange and has only been tried once             gives "great compensation for the
to my knowledge. White got in                    pawn". White is certainly doing OK,
rather a pickle after 7 cxb6 �xb6 8              but 14 . . . ..Iid7 I S ..Ilxfl 4Jd4 ! ? looks
lbd2 dS         9     exdS      ..IlcS  in       playable enough for Black, which
Knaak-Kempinski,               Bundesliga        could be why Akopian decided to
 1 998, which might be theoretically             look elsewhere. Incidentally, Julian
unclear, but is tricky to handle in              was worried about 8 . . . d6, believing
pra ctice. It must be right to play 7            that White had nothing much, but
..Ild6 ! instead (just as S . . . e6? ! is       the game Kasparov-Reinderman,
well met by 6 ..Ild6 ! ) 7 . . . bxcS 8          Hoogovens            (blitz)     1 999 will
lbc3 and I don 't see the point for              probably have eased concern on this
Black since 8 . . . lbdS ! ? is countered        point. The solution comes in the
22 2. J i Je4 Introduction and Minor Lines


form of a familiar breakthrough 9                    1 6 1Ihei f6 17 f4 ! lLlc7?
e5 ! dxe5 1 0 'iVxd8+ 'It>xd8 1 1                    After this White recovers his
0-0-0+ JLd7 1 2 JLbS ! exf4 l 3                  material with a clear positional plus.
JLxc6 l:tc8 1 4 JLxd7 lLlxd7 1 5 lLlh3           It must have been better to try
'It>e8 ( 1 S . . . g6? 16 lLlg5 ! ) 1 6 lLlxf4   1 7 . . . exf4 ! 1 8 lLlxf4 lLlxf4 1 9 i.xf4
g6 1 7 'it>b 1 with a very pleasant              eS, when White still clearly has
position for White since the                     pressure, but it is not clear to me
embarrassment of his opponent' s                 after 20 i.a6+ 'ic7 (20 . . . 'id8? 2 1
king will be a n enduring source of              i.b7 ! ) 2 1 lLlbS+ 'It>b6 22 l:i.xd7 J:.d8 !
initiative.                                      23 l:tf7 ! ? 'It>xa6 24 lLlc7+ 'It>b6 2S
    There is even a positional option            i.e3 that this does more than
in the shape of 8 lLld5, since                   provide adequate compensation in a
8 . . . lLlxdS 9 exdS is a bit awkward,          tense struggle.
although the 8 . . . d6 9 lLlxf6+ gxf6               18 fxe5 f5 1 9 lLlf4 lLle7 20 i.f2
 1 0 'iVd2 'iVb6 1 1 b3 fS 1 2 c3 i.g7 of        g5 2 1 lLld3 lLled5 22 i.xc5
Pomes Marcet - Oms Pallise, Spain                    The most indefensible of Black's
(ch), Linares 1 99 8 does not look too           weaknesses drops off, and the
bad for Black here, and has                      remainder does not place too many
probably been judged harshly on                  difficulties in White ' s path.
account of Black blundering and
losing a few moves later.                            22. . .i.c6 23 i.xfS l:txfS 24 lLlc5
                                                 l:i.e8 25 i.b3 lLlb6 26 g3 f4 27 gxf4
    8 . . . d6 9 e5 !                                       28 l:i.f1 lLlcd5 29 l:td4 a5 30 c4
    Yet another incarnation of this                         31 �fxf4 a4 32 i.dl J:.a5 33
now very familiar breakthrough.                  lLle4 J:te7 34 lLld6+ 'It>c7 35 lLlab5+
One advantage of this treatment as               i.xb5 36 lLlxb5+ 'It>b7 37 i.f3+
we shall see, is that the c4 square is           'It>a6 38 J:.d6 1-0
left clear, and this can be very
useful when White ' s knight must
reposition itself.                                    Chapter 1      -   Conclusion
    9 . . . dxe5 10 'i!Vxd8+ 'It>xd8 1 1
 0-0-0+ i.d7 1 2 i.g3 e 6 1 3 lLlh3                The main purpose of this Chapter
                                                 was to set out the main contours of
    White' s treatment is rather
                                                 the impending rather weightier
patient. He retains the usual arsenal
                                                 material, and to explain why 3 i.f4
 of shots such as lLlg5 (which Black
                                                 and 4 . . . 'iVaS+ both have a strong
now wisely takes steps to prevent),
                                                 claim to be regarded as 'best play ' . I
but also keeps in reserve the
                                                 hope this will have been convincing.
 manoeuvre lLla3-c4 . This initiative
                                                 The efficacy of the Sicilian-type
 seems particularly durable.
                                                 positions for White should to an
     1 3 . . . h6 14 lLla3 lLld5 1 5 i.c4 ! ?    extent be clear from just counting
 'ic8                                            tempi, but the S . . . b6 ! ? of Game 2
     I S . . . lLle3 does not help matters       does lead to rather more distinctive
 since 1 6 l:td3 lLlxc4 1 7 lLlxc4               positions. The key idea is the eS
 threatens l:thd 1 and therefore leaves          break, and though I am rather
 no time to defend the e-pawn, and if            agnostic between 8 lLlbS and 8 i.c4,
  17 . . . lLlh4 then 1 8 l:ta3 ! with the       it is clear that Black is under
 threat of lLlb6 opens a new front.              pressure in these positions .
         Chapter 2 - 2 ttJe4 3 �f4 c5   . . .




              4 f3 "if a5+ 5 c3 ttJf6
      The Attacking Repertoire with 6 d5 ! ?
                Game 3                      with 6 . . . 'ib6, not least by virtually
         Rowson - Hadzimanolis              ruling out any sacrifice of the
         4NCL, Birmingham 200 1             b-pawn since the loss of the c-pawn
                                            would generally follow.
      1 d4 liJf6 2 i.g5 liJe4 3 i.f4 c5 4        5 c3 liJf6 6 d5 d6
1'3   'i a5+ ! ?                                 Since it is easy to get lost in the
                                            tense theoretical battles which take
                                            place after 6 . . ."iWb6 7 i.c 1 e6, I will
                                            endeavour at all stages of this
                                            chapter to give full coverage to
                                            Black' s attempts to just 'play the
                                            position' . Why in other words
                                            should he get involved in a
                                            theoretical tussle at all? What has
                                            White achieved if his opponent just
                                            reverts back to simple chess with
                                            . . . d6/g6 and so on?



   The most frequently encountered
and most respectable move here.
The point is partly revealed by
comparison with Games 1 -2 . White
is all but forced to block the check
with his c-pawn, removing the most
natural developing square from his
knight, and thus rendering at best
harmless any attempt to simplify the
play with a subsequent dxc 5 . In the
bulk of this chapter where White
proceeds after 5 c3 liJf6 with 6 d5               This is a position which cries out
the impact of the move c3 is also               for explanation in comparative
significant. In the Schmid Benoni               terms, but is at the same time not so
structure under consideration in this           easily susceptible to it. The structure
game it is by no means all bad (see             (once White follows up with e4) is
the lengthy note to Black's 6th                 faintly suggestive of a Schmid
move), but it creates complications             Benoni ( 1 d4 liJf6 2 liJf3 c5 3 d5 d6
in lines where Black follows up                 4 liJc3 g6 5 e4 i.g7 and so on) but
24 2 tbe4 3 1;.f4 c5 4 j3 �a 5 + 5 c3 tbf6 6 d5 !?
     . . .




there are significant differences too      4 . . JIVa5+? ! 5 c3 significantly in
- the f3 pawn weakens White ' s            White ' s favour, there is another key
attempts t o break i n the centre with     difference between the diagram and
e4-e5 , but perhaps encourages other       this         rather    peculiar   fictional
kingside enterprises; the bishop on        sequence. It is White 's move!
f4 is therefore not always ideally             A final interesting twist on this
placed, but may be en route for h6.        position. I quote below Jonathan
Also the position of pawn on c3 is         Speelman ' s game with this line
very significant. In the Schmid            from the recent Bled Olympiad.
Benoni case, White makes in effect         Despite the existence of around 1 00
a clear decision that the pawn             games with either 6 . . . d6 or 6 . . . g6
belongs on c2 rather than c4 (which        which would seem to suggest a
would lead to other more familiar          degree of intent, he seemed to
Benoni structures), but in the             assume that his opponent had
present case that choice is no longer      simply neglected or even forgotten
present. The remaining options are         to flick in the move 6 . . .'tWb6.
still to organise its advance to c4, or    Ignoring the possibility 7 b3 for a
to make a virtue of its position on        moment, Jonathan was convinced
c3 . Anybody who has ever played           that to play with . . . g6/d6 after the
the White side of a Schmid Benoni          inclusion of the moves 6 . . . �6 7
which has gone wrong, will well            1;.c l (see Game 6) was an
appreciate why the pawn on c3,             unambiguous            improvement for
blocking the potentially malevolent        Black and he may very well be
dark square influence of the g7            right, although I invite the readers to
bishop might be a very welcome             make their own judgement on this
player indeed. Furthermore, the            point too.
effect of this pawn on Black's
                                               As a postscript to the complexity
traditional queenside counterplay
                                            of the Tromp ' tempo count' , I just
 with . . . b5 is complex. In essence I
would say it makes it more difficult       want to throw in a cheeky and
to hold up, but considerably less           controversial thought. The queen
potent when it arrives !                   might in many cases be better on d8
                                           than either a5 or b6. It might
    White himself often has to switch       ironically be precisely because
 from the standard plan of effecting        6 . . . 'i'a5-b6 is not a developing
 an e4-e5 break, but has additional         move that it was worth throwing in!
 options on both wings which
 Jonathan Rowson 's game well                   More seriously a note is due on
 illustrates. Finally, there is the         the differences between the text and
 traditional Trompowsky ' tempo             the         similarly    motivated     but
 count' in all its splendour and            significantly          less    frequently
 complexity. If we were to kick off         encountered 6 . . . g6.
 with the moves 1 d4 c5 2 d5 tbf6 3             The two will often transpose, but
 f3 ? ! d6 4 1;.f4? ! there would be the    Black should in general take note of
 distinct feeling that White ' s play       the merits of White's most favoured
 was much stranger than his                 kings ide development with tbh3-f2
 opponent's. However, not only is           and consider whether it is worth
 the        additional     balance    of    hindering this. The current moment
                               2 ..ti�e4 3 iLf4 c5 4 j3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 d5! ? 25
                                 .




is interesting since the merits of the       impeding the coordination of his
. . . iVb6 debate above come into            forces.
play. If White seizes the moment,              7 e4 g6
meeting 6 . . . g6 with 7 'Dh3 ! ? he
must reckon with the possibility that
Black will try 7 . . . d6 8 'Df2 'iVb6 ! ?
anyway. Julian once had one o f his
most drastic reversals with the
Tromp by answering this too
optimistically. After 9 'iWd2? Black
was able to play 9 . . . 'Dxd5 ! 1 0
�xd5 �xb2 1 1 iVb3 ..wxa l 1 2 e4
i.g7 1 3 iLc4 0-0 1 4 �d2 b5 ! 1 5
i.d5 iLe6 1 6 lIc 1 iLxd5 1 7 exd5 b4
 1 8 'it'd 1 c4 0- 1 in Hodgson­
D.Gurevich, Europe v Americas,
Mermaid Beach 1 99 8 . The queen
emerges with the booty. Note that,              S ..wd2
however ghastly this experience                 It is the set-up and plans which
may have been, Julian is quite               are important here rather than
consistent in effecting this 'D-h3-f2        precise move order. Jonathan
manoeuvre as            soon as the          Speelman preferred 8 'Dd2 iLg7 9
opportunity presents itself.                 'Dc4 iVd8 1 0 a4 0-0 1 1 iVd2
      So perhaps 9 iLc 1 ( ! ) anyway? To    transposing to the game position.
my mind this is a rather pleasant            Putting the knight on c4 is clearly
version of the material from Game            the logical and thematic way to
6, and compares quite acceptably             make a virtue out of the pawn on c3,
                                             and to win a tempo by hitting the
with what is available here. In other
                                             queen on a5 . In addition d2 looks
words 7 'Dh3 ! ? is a perfectly viable
                                             sensible for the queen, still eyeing
 choice if followed up judiciously.
                                             d6 in the event of . . . e6 breaks, and
   Incidentally, if White proceeds in        preparing iLh6 on the right
' standard' fashion, Black should not        occasion. Incidentally, in all of these
delay . . . d6 for too long. Black got       cases there remains a suspicion that
into some difficulties after 6 . . . g6 7    c7 might be a better square than d8
e4 iLg7 8 'Da3 (8 'Dh3 ! ? is to my          for Black's queen. For this reason
mind still the optimal development)          Gerstner      advocates        8 . . . 'Dbd7
8 . . . 0-0?! 9 'Dc4 'iWd8 1 0 d6 ! e6 1 1   against either 8 'Dd2 or 8 'Da3
a4 'Dc6 1 2 iLg5 'iWe8 1 3 �d2 b6 1 4        because he is afraid of 8 . . . iLg7 9
'Dh3 iLa6 1 5 ltd 1 'iWc 8 1 6 'Df2           'Dc4 ..wc7 1 0 e5. In fact though, I
i.xc4 17 iLxc4 when she was much              think this releases the tension too
more passive than White was over­            early and after 1 0 . . . dxe5 1 1 iLxe5
extended. K. Georgiev-P. Cramling,           ( 1 1 'Dxe5 �d8 likewise) 1 1 . . .�d8
Tarrassa 1 990. There is always a            White lacks a convincing follow-up.
danger that a wedge like the white            This gives us an interesting general
pawn on d6 will simply slice                  point. Yes, the e4-e5 break is an
Blac k's position in two, massively           important plan for White, but as a
26 2 tbe4 3 �f4 c5 4 13 �a5+ 5 c3 tbf6 6 d5! ?
        . . .




long-tenn goal rather than a                 impeding or crowding out White ' s
short-tenn threat. If it is rushed then      other pieces.
the pawn on f3 suddenly looks very              Black can therefore try to avoid
silly, and the central dark squares          this scenario. One recent example:
rather unsightly too.                        1 1 . . . b6 12 tbe2 tba6 13 tbg3 tbc7
   8 �g7 9 tba3 0-0 1 0 tbc4 �d8
    . . .                                    14 �e2 hS IS 0-0 .a:b8 16 .a:fd 1 a6
   Though rarely played there must           17 .a:a3 h4 1 8 tbhl !
be some case for 1 0 . . . �c7 ! ? - see
for example the Joel Benj amin game
in the note to move 1 2 where the
queen rapidly redeploys here in any
case.
   1 1 a4




                                               White has been building slowly,
                                             ensuring that his pieces are
                                             optimally placed to respond to any
                                             attempt by the opponent to recover
                                             some space, rather than forcing the
                                             issue. So the knight turns out to be
                                             en route to f2 in any case. Those
   A rather basic posItIon for this
                                             who know Jonathan Speelman will
variation. I prefer White, since
                                             be aware in any case that knights in
Black will not find it easy to make
                                             the comer seem to give him
either of the thematic Schmid
                                             particular satisfaction - preferably
Benoni breaks . . . bS or . . . e6.
                                             the opponent' s comer, but his own
   Right now, Black needs to make            will do !
some fundamental choices about
                                                1 8 . . . b S . Thematic, but as so often
how to develop his queenside.
                                             the relinquishing of the c6 square
   1 1 tbbd7
       . . .
                                             which this involves is a good deal
   In many ways this looks the               more than just academic . 1 9 axbS
natural development, but it has the          axbS 20 tbaS �d7 2 1 b4 ! A
drawback that it pennits White to            common response to . . . bS, it is
put his knight on h3 - from where it         notable             that   this     involves
is     headed       to    f2,       widely   considerably less preparative effort
acknowledged (as I discussed in the          than in similar Schmid Benoni
note to 6 . . . g6) to be the optimal        positions, a major plus point to
post in these kind of f3 Benoni              having the pawn on c3 . As well as
positions. From there it can bolster         preventing further queenside strides
the e4 and g4 squares, perhaps               by Black, White gains control of the
enabling White to play aggressively          d4 square virtually by force. 2 1 . . . c4
with f4, while at the same time not          22 tbf2 and White has a very
                                    2 ..tiJe4 3 .i.f4 c5 4 j3 'iWa5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 d5! ? 2 7
                                      .




pleasant           posItIon.          Speelman-    when           White ' s chances     seem
Bratovic, Bled (01) 2002 .                         excellent.
    1 2 'Dh3 b6? !                                     2 1 . . . cxb4 22 cxb4 llc7 23 �d4
    Heading for an inferior version of             'it>h7 24 g5 ctJg8 25 �d2 ? !
the above note. It seems more                          This really seems t o b e pushing it
consistent to exchange some of                     a bit. It is not the king in the centre
White 's           good         pieces      with   which is the problem so much as
 12 . . . 'Db6 ! ? (or 1 2 . . . 'De5) 1 3 'Df2    that after Black's reply it is difficult
'Dxc4 14 .i.xc4 �c7 (but why not                   to reclaim control of the f4 square.
play here immediately?) 1 5 0-0                    Why not 25 f4 ! ?
�d7 1 6 l:tfe l �fe8 1 7 h3 a6 1 8 a5                  2 5 ...e 5 2 6 dxe6 fxe6 2 7 :lac1 e5
�b5 1 9 .i.b3 although White ' s                   28 "ilt'd5 ctJe7 29 �a8! 'i'xa8 30
patient           build-up         still   looks   'Dxa8
promising. What Black did next in
Benjamin - MChess Pro, Harvard                         It seems that Jonathan Speelman
Cup, Boston 1 99 5 was untenable:                  is not alone in liking knights in the
                                                   comer!
 1 9 . . . 'Dh5 20 .i.e3 .i.e5 2 1 g4 'Dg3 ?
22 c4 .i.d7 23 �g2 and the knight is                   30 . . Jbcl 3 1 .l:Ixc1 .i.c6 32 ctJb6
not coming out again alive.                        'Dg7 33 ctJd3 'De6 34 'iSi>e3
    13 'Df2 a6 1 4 .i.e2 ctJe8 1 5 h4 ! ?              As the smoke clears the balance
h 5 1 6 g4 'Ddf6 1 7 .i.h6 .i.d7 1 8               of weaknesses is still very much in
�xg7 �xg7 1 9 a 5 b 5 2 0 'Db6 l:ta7               White ' s favour. The plan is slowly
                                                   to prepare to play f4.
                                                       34 . . . 'Dd4 35 .i.dl 'De6 36 lIc2
                                                   �g7 37 J:d2 ctJc8 38 ctJxc8 l:i.xc8 39
                                                   f4 exf4+ 40 'Dxf4 ctJxf4 41 'it>xf4
                                                       Should be winning for White. The
                                                   d6 pawn can scarcely be covered as
                                                   4 1 . . . l:i.d8 42 e5 wins all the dark
                                                    squares.
                                                       4 1 . . JH8+ 42 �e3 lIe8 43 l:i.xd6!
                                                    .i.xe4 44 �d4 .i.f5 45 .i.f3 l:tc8 46
                                                   .i.d5 �c2 47 l:i.xa6 lIh2 48 .l:Ia7+
                                                    �f8 49 a6 :'xh4+ 50 �e5 J:xb4 5 1
                                                    llf7+ �e8 52 a 7 l:!.a4 5 3 l:lh7 1-0
   21 b4? !                                            An interesting game, even if
   Jonathan i s trying to play on the               White was sometimes guilty of the
grand scale, emphasising that his                   potentially deadly sin of courting
space advantage in the centre                       excessive complexity !
enables him to play on both wings
simultaneously. Well, maybe, but it                               Game 4
seems to me that there is a time to                         Wells - Hamdouchi
recognise that a preponderance on                           Pulvermuehle 2000
one of the wings is such that
attention should be focussed there.                  1 d4 ctJf6 2 .i.g5 'De4 3 .i.f4 c5 4
2 1 O- O-O ! looks a good alternative,             f3 �a5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 d5 e6 ! ?
28 2. J i Je4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 �a5+ 5 c3 ti:Jf6 6 d5! ?


                                             shocked to see that on my database,
                                             of the five games in which Black
                                             went for this dubious line, in only
                                             one did White know to punish him
                                             in      the     appropriate     manner.
                                             Congratulations Mr Djurhuus . The
                                             others, don't worry, I will not
                                             mention any names !
                                                8 dxe6 !
                                                I think Black 's 7th is a slip which
                                             is worth trying to exploit. Black 's
                                             d6 is a genuine weakness, albeit one
   The main line i s 6 . . .'iVb6 (Games     that he is not about to lose. More to
6 and 7). The text passes up the gain        the point, the surrounding light
of time available there, in order to         squares are liable to suffer as we
aim for a different structure - an           shall see.
open e-file, and perhaps the hope of            8 i.xe6 9 ti:Ja3 !
                                                . . .


some exploitation of White 's weak              The point. White has a n eye on
e3 square - rather than the                  either c4 or b5 according to Black's
Benoni-type structure of Games 6             response.
and 7. In fact we have to wait for
the next game to check this out,                9 ti:Jc6
                                                . . .




since Hamdouchi 's unusual 7th                  Since 9 . . d5 1 0 i.xb8 l:i:xb8 1 1
                                                         .


move allows White to test yet                i.b5+ looks very good for White.
another structure.                              1 0 ti:Jc4 i.xc4 1 1 i.xc4 i.e7 ! ?
   7 e4 d6? !
   The slightly harsh marking is at
least in part for the motivation
behind the move. Black is hoping to
avoid both 7 . . . exd5 8 e 5 ? ! or 8
exd5 d6 9 �e2+? ! , neither of which
should hold any terrors for him,
while doing nothing to hinder the
line from the next game which he
might feel genuinely nervous about !
   Incidentally, anyone intending to
venture this line with either colour
simply must know that it is too late
for Black now to switch to 7 . . . �6.
The days when hitting the b-pawn               I am sure that White stands better
forced concessions are over. White           here. Black doesn 't have so much to
has 8 ti:Ja3 ! intending to meet             offer by way of compensation for
8 'i'xb2
 . . .         with         the     rather   the bishop pair, suspect light
devastating 9 ti:Jb5 . I was a little        squares and a d6 pawn that might
                                2 0,e4 3 i.f4 c5 413 'iVa5+ 5 c3 0,f6 6 d5! ? 29
                                 . . .




still prove problematic. O f course,
since he has some lead in
development it is possible to
imagine a scenario in which White
will have to exchange the f4 bishop
for a knight on e5, but his
oppo nent's embarrassment on the
light-squares will outlive this.
    12 'ib3 ! ?
    Trying to punish B lack, going for
high stakes at increased risk. In fact
I calculated as far as move 1 7 here.           The only square, but in fact
Firstly I was convinced that to get          calculation rather than luck. Only
compensation Black must sacrifice a          now though did I see what was to
piece - for the pawn he will not get         come. I had been fixated on the
much. Secondly, it was necessary to          unsophisticated trick 1 7 . . . 0,xe4? to
see that the queen will not actually         which 1 8 'if5 is an ample response.
get trapped ! Still, I might have            Of course, it is rather more
underestimated the difficulties that         grown-up to open some files !
it would encounter even then. If I              1 7 . . . d5! 1 8 exd5 �a4 ! 1 9 �xe5
write that I think that obj ectively the     l:!e8+
move comes close to 'winning ' but
that had I foreseen what was to                 I admit it - I did enjoy a little luck
come I might not have played it,             here ! I had failed to foresee that
then I will disgust any computers             19 . . . 0,d7 20 iVd4 i.f6 is met with
reading, but might find empathy              2 1 i.b3 ! without which White
from those who understand our                would suffer some embarrassment.
human frailties.                                20 �f1
    1 2 ltJe2 ! ? would indeed likely be        Guaranteeing a life-sentence in
the choice of a more positionally­           the centre in this way was not
minded individual, when White has            undertaken lightly. I just found 20
some safe advantage based upon his           0,e2 J:xb2 2 1 i.g3 i.b6 22 �c6
light-square superiority.                    iVa3 ! rather scary. Whatever the
                                             obj ective merits of this, the king 's
    12 0-0 13 'ixb7 .l:i.ab8 !
                                             escape from the line of fire is not
        . . .



    I was, and remain amazed that            imminent here either!
Hichem seriously contemplated
 1 3 . JIfc8?! 14 0-0-0 i:'i.ab8 1 5 'i'a6      20 . . . 0,d7 2 1 �d4 ktb2 22 i.b3
                                             �a3 23 0,h3 i.b6 24 'iWb4 ? !
    .


'fic7 . It seems to me that White has
far too many positional trumps to be            White i s still better after this but
seriously troubled by Black's                24 iVd l ! is much cleaner after
initiative. However, I am in no              which the only real problem is
doubt        that     my      opponent' s    unravelling - his opponent's threats
tremendous optimism when h e has             are        coming      close to being
dynamic           compensation       later   exhausted.
benefited him greatly.                          24 . . :iVa6+ 25 e4
    14 'iWxe6 l:!.xb2 15 .:tel ktb6 1 6         Of course, with time-trouble fast
'iWe7 i.d8 1 7 iVe8                          setting in, I had missed that 25 i.c4
30 2. J i Je4 3 �f4 c5 4 13 �a5+ 5 c3 CDf6 6 d5! ?


�c8 ! keeps Black very much i n the                         Game 5
game.                                                   Hodgson - Wells
   25 . . . CDc5 26 J:e1 ?                             Vikings, York 2000
  After this it is no long clear that                                CDe4 3 �f4 c5 4
                                               1 d4 CDf6 2
White is winning. I managed to see           f3 �a5+ 5 c3              6 d5 e6 7 e4
that 26 z:rd l CDxb3 27 axb3 iVa2
                                             exd5
could cause acute embarrassment,
but I missed that 26 �c3 ! was a
much better defence.
   26 . . . �c8 !
   A fine switch - not just defending
the rook, but re-activating the
queen. Both . . . CDd3 and . . . �f5 , and
(if the rook leaves e l ) even �xh3 in
some variations are added to
Black's considerable armoury.
   27 �g3 CDd3 28 �c3 CDxe1 29
�xb2 CDxf3 ! 30 d6? !
   Easily         recognisable    as     a
time-trouble reaction. In fact 3 0              8 exd5
gxf3 'iVxh3+ 3 1 'iVg 2 �f5 3 2 �c2             It turns out that 8 e5?! could be a
�f6 3 3 �d l 'iVf5 34 �e l (a far            bit of a paper tiger. The position
from obvious move to find when               after 8 . . . CDh5 9 �c 1 looks
short of time) might preserve some           ridiculous indeed. White ' s pieces
advantage but even then Black has            are all at home, Black has two
34 . . . �d3+ 35 �e2 �a3 . He will           developed but they might well wish
amass some pawns, but even more              they hadn't ventured into the wide
to the point White has the tricky            world either. In fact returning home
task of developing and making                with 9 . . . �d8 ! seems to be the key . I
progress. This position was far from         don 't then see an advantage for
easy to play even in the post­               White after e.g. 1 0 CDe2 ! ? ( 1 0 �e3
mortem!                                      CDc6 1 1 g4? ! d4 ! 12 cxd4 cxd4 1 3
   30 . . . �f5 ! 3 1 gxf3 ! �xf3+ 32        �xf4 CDf4 could well be very
CDf2 �xf2 33 �xf2 �xh1 + 34 �g1              unpleasant for White, while 1 0 g3
�f3+ 35 �f2 �h1 + 36 �g1 �f3+                d6 ! 1 1 f4 g6 1 2 �xd5 CDc6
YZ-YZ                                        intending to meet 1 3 �b5 with
                                             1 3 . . . �6!         also       leaves White
   Avoiding the draw is no longer a          looking distinctly over-extended)
realistic option for either side. A          1 0 . . . d4 ! ? ( 1 0 . . . d6 1 1 �xd5 g6 is
fine example of what an attacker             probably playable too) 1 1 cxd4 ! ( 1 1
can achieve in practical play with           g4 �h4+ 1 2 �d2 �f2 ! 1 3 gxh5 f3 !
theoretically inadequate compens­            is far too risky) 1 1 . . . cxd4 1 2 �xd4
ation, but the psychological plusses         CDc6 1 3 �d5 �b4+ and again Black
of sustained pressure, impressive            looks fine.
self-confidence and the aura that he            I am not saying that there is no
is very much e� oying himself!               scope for further investigation here.
                                2 ..tLJe4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 CfJf6 6 d5 ! ? 3 1
                                 .




Most o f this was my own analysis                a l ) 1 1 i.xb8 l1xb8 12 �e5 'ib6 !
(largely based on what I had                  (the key move - that b2 spot again ! )
prepared for Julian at the time ! ) and       1 3 �xd5 (or the somewhat more
comes with the customary caveats.             resilient 1 3 �xb8 0-0 1 4 �e5 J:Ie8 !
Still at present I fundamentally              when 1 5 'ixd5 i.h4+ 1 6 �d l
b elieve Black 's position here.              'ixb2 ! is crushing as Hodgson says,
   8 d6
   . . .
                                              and even the tougher 1 5 g3 CfJc7 ! ?
                                              favours Black. White will get two
                                              rooks for the queen, but his
                                              development, weak squares and
                                              Black' s active bishop pair all add up
                                              to a serious initiative) 1 3 . . .'�xb2 1 4
                                              �e5 0-0 1 5 'Wixe7 i.f5 1 6 'Wig5
                                              i.g6 1 7 CfJd2 'Wixa 1 + and Black had
                                              an overwhelming position in
                                              V.Popov-Novik,         St      Petersburg
                                              (op-ch) 1 992.
                                                 a2) 1 1 'Wie5 CfJc6 12 'Wixd5 i.e6
                                               13 'Wixc5 �xc5 14 iLxc5 iLxc5 1 5
                                              i.b5 0-0-0 with tremendous play
                                              for a pawn in Neihs - Cvitan,
  9 �d2!                                      Oberwart (op) 1 99 3 . Note how the
                                              moves c3 and f3 spell trouble for
  An important novelty which I just           White ' s king wherever it ends up.
wished had been revealed at a                 Whilst fighting for the initiative
different moment! In a sense the              these moves are all very well, but
move is a great tribute to 4 . . .'it'a5+ !   they can be a strong argument
A considerable body of practice               against indulging in such bouts of
revealed that without the availability        materialism.
of the move c4, White' s space
advantage had a definite downside,               b) 9 CfJe2 CfJbd7 10 CfJd2 CfJb6 1 1
and the ever pragmatic Hodgson sat            b4 cxb4 1 2 c4 i.e7 1 3 CfJd4 iLd7, is
down and solved this problem.                 interesting      not    least because
Some early annotators awarded a ! ?           Hodgson claims "It is now apparent
marking, but I have no hesitation in          that Black has won the opening
being a bit more generous. I believe          battle; not only is he a pawn up, but
this to be the best move, and                 he has also a lead in development",
although some of my successors                while Gallagher believes White has
have handled the Black position               "excellent play". Such radically
with rather more tenacity than I did,         contrasting assessments are relative­
I am in no doubt that White should            ly rare, especially from strong
be content to enter this variation.           players with distinct stylistic
                                              similarities, and are probably a
   For comparative purposes, a brief          tribute to the rich originality of the
survey of the alternatives :                  position. While I rather more incline
   a) The tempting 9 'Wie2+? ! looks          towards Gallagher' s view, I am
sup erficially strong, but is simply          going to be a cowardly fence-sitter
too treacherous . After 9 . . . i.e7 1 0      and claim that White has ' reason­
i.x d6 CfJxd5                                 able compensation ' based on the f5
32 2 ..ei:e4 3 jJ4 c5 4 j3 �a5+ 5 c3 ttJf6 6 d5! ?
        .




square, the chances o f causing            fairly comfortably on f2 and of
embarrassment on the e-file, and the       course the task of preserving
feel ing that Black lacks certain          White ' s space advantage is also best
squares to try and reorganise his          served by the knight landing on c3 .
forces. Certainly after 1 4 ttJ2b3 'iVa4   Indeed this was a serious motivation
1 5 jLd3 lic8 1 6 0-0 0-0 1 7 l:.c 1       behind White 's 'iVd2 + c4 plan.
ttJh5 1 8 jLd2 jLf6 1 9 g4 it was clear    Having said all this, there are
that White was doing fine in               moments where the king can feel a
Gulko-Browne, USA (ch) 1 992.              little uneasy in the next note after
   c) 9 ttJa3 jLe7 10 ttJc4 WIc7 1 1 a4    1 1 . . .b5( ! ) . This further goes to
0-0 12 g4 ttJbd7 1 3 ttJe2 :re8 1 4        show that I think that is the best
jLg2 jLf8 Pixton-Benjamin, World           course, but I still feel that 1 1 ttJxd2
Open, Philadelphia 200 1 is fairly         would be a serious concession, and I
typical of White' s mainstream             have seen nothing that persuades me
handling of this line. The move g4         that White needs seriously to
is fine, and the best way to organise      investigate that road.
the pieces, but I still basically              1 1 ttJh5 ? !
                                                . . .

believe in Black' s chances on the
central dark squares. In this case             I did realise during the game that I
after 1 5 O-O? ! ttJb6 16 ttJxb6 'iVxb6    was in danger of becoming
White faces a dual embarrassment           cramped, and this does herald an
to his b2 and d5 pawns.                    attempt to win back some territory
                                           on the kingside, but the full extent
   9 jLe7 1 0 c4 'iVxd2+ 1 1 �xd2
                                           of my problems only really clarified
    . . .




                                           in my mind around move 1 5 .
                                           Otherwise I might have been more
                                           tempted by looking to the other
                                           wing for space with 1 1 . . .b5( ! ) . This
                                           I rejected because I felt that after 1 2
                                           ttJc3 (not 1 2 b3? because 1 2 . . . ttJh5
                                           followed by . . . .ltf6 would cause
                                           major embarrassment) 1 2 . . . bxc4 1 3
                                           jLxc4 White ' s extra mobilisation
                                           would be as important as the
                                           long-term queenside chances Black
                                           might obtain. However, having
                                           analysed this in the light of a
                                           practical test the picture seems a
  I am always wary of a too                good deal more complex. In fact
mechanistic assumption that since          after 12 . . . bxc4 White is well
queens are exchanged the king must          advised to throw in 13 l':te 1 �d8 and
belong in the centre. There is such a      then faces a tricky but very
thing as the ' queen-less middle­           important choice:
game ' and king safety is often by no          a) 14 ttJe4 ? ! ttJxe4 15 fxe4 iLa6
means guaranteed.        With this           16 ttJf3 ttJd7 17 e5 looks very
structure though, even with queens         plausible for White, but after
on the board the king often nestles         1 7 . . . ttJb6 ! there is no totally
                                    2. Ji'Je4 3 i.f4 c5 4 13 �a5+ 5 c3 l:i'Jf6 6 d5!? 33


convmcmg continuation. Pixton­
Browne, USA (ch) Seattle 2002
continued 1 8 exd6 i.f6 19 i.g5
�d7 20 g3 (20 i.xf6 gxf6 2 1 1:i'Jh4
looks a better try to me, but here too
I have the feeling that it is already
White on the defensive) 20 . . . l:i'Jxd5
2 1 l:i'Je5+ i.xe5 22 l:!xe5 �xd6 23
l:!xd5+ �xd5 24 i.g2+ �e6 25
.ltxa8 l:!xa8 and it is clear that
White is fighting hard for a draw.
    It seems to me that 1 8 I:i'Jg5 ! ?
would have created a lot more                        13 0-O ? !
                                                       ...


complexity, but I suspect this is not                I n view o f the really depressing
a reliable route                either e.g.        passivity in which Black found
 18 . . . i.xg5 ( 1 8 . . . CDxd5 ? ! is also      himself just a couple of moves later,
possible but 19 I:i'Jxf7+ �d7 20                   every move here is subject to
exd6 ! [though not 20 e6+? ! 'it>c6 2 1            question, and since castling is by no
CDxh8 l:!xh8 when Black's bishop                   means essential this is another
pair and pressure against b2 promise               obvious place to try and prioritise
him ample counter-play] 20 . . J:thfS              other goals. In K.Berg-Tischbierek,
21 CDe5+! 'it>xd6 22 I:i'Jxc4+ 'it>c6 23           Bundesliga II 2002, Black tried
g3 offers White chances of a safe                  immediately to stake a claim to the
positional edge) 1 9 .ltxg5+ 'it>d7 20             dark squares with 1 3 . . . f4 1 4 .in
e6+ 'it>e8 ! 21 exf7+ (otherwise . . . f6          CDd7 1 5 l:te 1 �d8 16 g4 CDhf6.
 is annoying) 2 1 . . . 'it>xf7 22 l:te6 and
White has some compensation for
the pawn, but not enough to be
really threatening.
    b) 1 4 i.xc4 ! ? I:i'Jbd7 1 5 b3 I:i'Jb6
 1 6 I:i'Jge2 ! i.b7 1 7 CDe4 ( 1 7 CDg3
i.xd5 ! ) 1 7 . . . CDxe4+ ( 1 7 . . . .ixd5 1 8
.ixd5 I:i'Jfxd5 1 9 .ltxd6 should be
worth an edge for White) 1 8 fxe4
f5 ! ?       (otherwise        White        will
consolidate and enjoy a distinct
spatial pull) 1 9 exf5 (also 1 9 h4 ! ? to
stop . . . g5, and then 1 9 . . . fxe4 20
CDc3 can be considered). 19 . . . l:i'Jxd5             From the diagram he is a tempo
20 .l:i.hfl ! and I somewhat prefer                ( 1 7 . . . l:i'Je5) away from  the
White who is well placed to contest                culmination of his blockading
the          key       central          squares.   strategy, but for the moment the f4
Nonetheless, this is far from clear                pawn is vulnerable and White has to
and to my mind clearly represents                  use this moment well. 1 7 CDh3 ?
Bl ack ' s best against 9 �d2 .                    certainly misses the mark. The
    1 2 i.e3 f5 13 CDc3                            problem is that the respective
34 2 ..ti'Je4 3 !JLf4 c5 4 j3 �a 5 + 5 c3 Ci'Jf6 6 d5! ?
       .




h-pawns will play a key role in                    !JLe3 ' reliable ' but I would say it is
determining the kings ide initiative               simply ' depressing ' .
and after 1 7 . . . Ci'Je5 1 8 !JLe2 h5 ! 1 9
Ci'Jxf4 hxg4 20 fxg4 !JLxg4 2 1 b3
�d7 Black has no difficulties to say
the least.
    Since Black' s strategy is very
thematic and critical it merits a bit
of sorting out. Best in my opinion is
 1 7 Ci'Jce2 ! g5 1 8 h4 ! Ci'Je5 1 9 Ci'Jc3 .
Forcing the move . . . g5 at a moment
when White can undermine his
opponent on the kings ide is well
worth the loss of tempo involved in
the manoeuvre Ci'Jc3-e2-c3 . After
 1 9 . . . gxh4 20 !JLxh4                             1 7 h3 !
    a) 20 . . . h5 ? ! allows the little              Of course, 1 7 fxg5 Ci'Jg4 at least
combination 2 1 Mxe5 ! dxe5 22 d6                  offers the chance to make some
with clear advantage.                              mess. Julian' s rock solid reply
    b) 20 . . . Ci'Jg6 2 1 !JLxf6 !JLxf6 2 1       reveals the folly of my last move,
Ci'Je4 !JLe7 2 2 !JLd3 also favours                and I simply go into hari-kiri mode.
White, as 22 . . . Ci'Je5 can be well met             1 7 . . . gxf4 1 8 Ci'Jxf4 !JLd7 1 9 Ci'Je6!
with 23 Ci'Jxc5 !
                                                      Strong, although Black' s position
    The altogether simpler 1 3 . . . Ci'Jd7        is a terrible eye sore anyway.
also          represents       a     distinct
improvement on the main game.                         1 9 . . . !JLxe6 20 dxe6 !JLd8 ? ! 2 1
Hodgson-Schandorff,              Bundesliga        !JLh6 Me8 2 2 g4 !
200 1 continued 14 J:e 1 rJi;f7 1 5 Ci'Jh3            Blasting open the king ' s position
Ci'Je5 16 Ci'Jg5+? ! !JLxg5 1 7 !JLxg5 h6          as well. With so many positional
 1 8 !JLe3 !JLd7 19 !JLe2 g5 20 g3 f4              weaknesses, it is almost a relief to
Y V2
 2                                                 be getting mated too .
    Instead I would suggest maybe 1 6                 22 . . . fxg4 23 hxg4 Ci'Jg7 24 !JLxg7
!JLe2 ! ? e.g. 1 6 . . . M fS 1 7 f4 Ci'Jg4 1 8    �xg7 25 g5 Ci'Jg4 26 Mxh7+ rJi;g8 27
!JLxg4 fxg4 1 9 Ci'Jg5+ ! which looks              nh5 ! Ci'Je5 28 Mahl Ci'Jxd3 29 rJi;xd3
potentially a bit awkward. Perhaps                 Mxe6 30 :h8+ rJilg7 31 J: l h7+ �g6
1 6 . . . h6 ! ? is better in view of this.        32 Md7 Me3+! ?
    14 !JLd3 Ci'Jd7 1 5 f4 ! Ci'Jdf6 1 6              The first o f two horrible losses to
Ci'Jge2 g5?                                        Julian mentioned in the book.
    A poor move born of desperation,               Somehow in both I managed to
but I am in little doubt that from the             show some warped humour at the
theoretical point of view the damage               end. There was a time when he
has already been done. If White                    never           seemed      to     play      the
reaches this structure and consolid­               Trompowsky against me. His results
ates in this way, he has won the                   have improved since he got over
opening battle. Tsesarsky calls                    that !
 16 . . . Ci'Jg4 17 !JLg 1 a6 1 8 h3 Ci'Jhf6 1 9      33 rJi;c2 1-0
                                2 ..tiJe4 3 �f4 c5 4.f3 l'Ua5+ 5 c3 ClJf6 6 d5! ? 35
                                 .




             Game 6                           apparently perverse attitude to
     McShane - Wojtaszek                      development and king safety, and so
    World Junior (ch), Goa 2002               on. I think to an extent a little
                                              mystique          surrounding        these
  1 d4 ClJf6 2 �g5 ClJe4 3 �f4 c5 4           fascinating lines might do the
f3 l'U a5+ 5 c3 ClJf6 6 d5 �b6                opening no harm at all, but my
                                              priority is of course to shed some
                                              light on them, so here goes.
                                                  I did once toy (thinking in
                                              particular of the large number of 1
                                              e4        openings    in     which     the
                                              light-squared bishop nestles happily
                                              back on the square fl after 0-0 and
                                              J:;te 1 have occurred) with writing an
                                              article advocating that, perhaps by
                                              divine intervention, minor pieces so
                                              often seem to be best placed on their
                                              starting squares. However, I think it
                                              would have been at least partly
   7 �c1 ! ?                                  tongue-in-cheek! Neither do I go as
                                              far as Rainer Knaak who in effect
  O f course         this   outrageous        says that f4 is a far from ideal
un-developing move rarely passes              square for the bishop and that
without comment. The respected                6 . . . �6 might be questionable
player and annotator Igor Stohl               since the queen is often poorly
describes it as "An unbelievable              placed here, whereas the white
line. White makes 3 moves out of 7            bishop is really just as well off on
to return his bishop to its initial           c 1 . Of course in reality such a move
square, and doesn' t have a single            as 7 �c l ! ? can only be fully
developed piece." However, he adds            explained        in    terms      of the
"Despite this the position is unclear,        deficiencies of the alternatives.
as the misplaced queen on b6 will
also cost Black time". At the risk of              So what of them? One is easily
repetition, it is the failure of the          dismissed, whereas my obj ection to
moves . . . ClJf6-e4-f6 and . . . l'Ub6 in    the other is more complex but still
tum to promote harmony in the                 quite specific:
Black position which lie at the heart              a) If 7 �d2? Black plays
of White ' s conception.                       7 . . ClJxd5 ! 8 l'Uxd5 l'Uxb2 and,
                                                .



   One of the most prevalent                  whatever the mess along the way,
reactions to the Trompowsky these             the queen eventually should emerge
days seems to be a good deal of               unharmed, trumpeting a decisive
general sympathy, combined with               material plus.
an      unease     that these         lines       b) 7 b3 ! ? is of course much more
commencing after 6 . . . l'Ub6 are just        interesting, and a major line in its
a bit too strange - tempi apparently           own right. I do not feel that I can
squandered, pawns grabbed or                  recommend it though for the very
sacri ficed with a worrying lack of            concrete reason that after 7 . . e6 !
                                                                                 .


stylistic     consistency    and         an    (Of course 7 . . . g6 ! ? is also a valid
3 6 2 ..'De4 3 .i.f4 c5 4 j3 'iVa 5 + 5 c3 t'fjf6 6 d5! ?
      .




reaction to the weakening o f the c3             just miserable f-pawns but also a
square) 8 e4 (8 c4? ! is bad due to              backward d-pawn I suspect that it is
8 . . . exdS 9 cxdS c4 ! 10 t'fjc3 [ 1 0 e3      just about sufficient but I would be
'iVaS+ ! ] 10 . . . .i.cs 1 1 t'fjh3 d6 1 2      very surprised if the defender will
t'fja4 "iVaS+ 1 3 i.d2 i.b4 1 4 .i.xb4           be unduly troubled.
"iVxb4+ I S 'iVd2 'iVxd2+ 1 6 �xd2                    b2) 1 1 t'fja3 ( ! ?) is suggested by
.i.xh3 1 7 gxh3 cxb3 =+ and White ' s            Gallagher as 'probably best' but
structure i s not for public display -           remains untested to my knowledge.
Dunworth-G.Buckley, 4NCL 200 1 )                 The critical reply should be
8 . . . exdS 9 exdS .i.d6 ! 1 0 i.gS ! ? ( 1 0    1 1 . . .'iVaS ! ? when 12 t'fjc4 �xc3+
t'fjh3 0-0 1 1 �d2 l:te8+ 1 2 i.e2                13 .i.d2 "iVd4 does not look quite
c4 ! ? 13 .i.xd6 �xd6 14 bxc4 bS I S             enough for White.
cxbS a6 1 6 c4 axbS 1 7 cxbS �eS 1 8
                                                      b3) 1 1 t'fje2 ! ? O-O? ! 1 2 c4 l:te8 1 3
t'fjc3 t'fjxdS 1 9 'ixdS 'ixc3+ 2 0 �f2
                                                 t'fjbc3 d6 1 4 "iVd2 a6 I S .i.e3 t'fjbd7
.i.b7 ! 21 �c4 ! �e3+ 22 �g3 hS
was fine for Black in I. Sokolov­                 16 t'fjg3 "iVb4 1 7 ..te2 bS 1 8 0-0
Smirin, Wijk aan Zee (op), 1 993)                bxc4 1 9 bxc4 t'fjeS 20 a3 "iVaS 2 1
 10 . . . .i.e7 !                                �c2 Hodgson-Shaked, Las Vegas
                                                  1 998 is pleasant for White, and an
                                                 excellent example of the sort of
                                                 position where he obtains the kind
                                                 of pleasant trouble-free spatial plus
                                                 to which I referred above. But what
                                                 did Julian intend against 1 1 . . . �d6 ! ?
                                                 This i s s o often White ' s dilemma.
                                                 The dS pawn is weak, but the move
                                                 c3 -c4 is weakening in the short
                                                 term. Here White can try 1 2 t'fja3 ! ?
                                                 "iVxdS 1 3 .i.xf6 �xd 1 + 1 4 ':'xd l
                                                 .i.xf6 I S t'fjbS �d8, but again the
                                                 nuisance to Black is relatively
                                                 minor. It feels like the kind of
while I accept that White ' s space              sacrifice in which White gives up a
advantage can offer him rather                   pawn with not much greater
pleasant prospects if he can mobilise            perspective than to try and win it
and reach a ' normal position ' I do             back again.
not see how he can do this without                    b4) 1 1 c4 ! ? is the main line. What
quite tangible inconvenience. Some               is interesting is that White is often
examples :                                       allowed to settle to the task of
   b l ) 1 1 d6? ! is unusual and                building his desired structure -
interesting in the sense that after              utilising his extra space and
1 1 . . .�xd6 1 2 �xd6 .i.xd6 1 3 .i.xf6         eventually withdrawing his bishop
gxf6 while Black's structure is far              from gS to prevent its exchange. My
from pretty, this is basically all                feeling though is that here too
White has for the pawn. It is quite              Black's ' disruption options ' are
rare to have an opening gambit                    quite tempting. 1 1 . . . "iVc7 1 2 �e2
which involves so little dynamic                  0-0 1 3 t'fjc3 d6 1 4 0-0-0 a6 I S �c2
compensation. Since Black has not                 t'fjbd7 1 6 ':'e l i.d8 1 7 i.d3 bS !
                                 2. J i Je4 3 iLf4 c5 4 j3 Wlia5 + 5 c3 tiJf6 6 d5! ? 3 7


gave Black quite decent counterplay           perhaps just the exchange on d5) in
in Tumer-Nunn, Golombek (mem),                reserve?      This     raises   several
Paignton 2000, but I am still more            interesting questions, and I shall
intrigued          by       the    slightly   draw on various examples in a bid
crude-looking 1 1 . . .�d6 ! ? since 1 2      to answer them.
�e2 tiJc6 ! 1 3 tiJh3 tiJd4 looks               First of all, what does the 'pure
awkward for White. Specifically               Modem Benoni ' case look like?
after 14 Wlid2 �e5+ 1 5 Wfl              -
                                              Hodgson-Gallagher,           Bundesliga
Orr-Gillen, Belfast 200 1 , I doubt           2002, is a fairly typical move order.
that White has full compensation              Black played 7 . . . d6 and after S e4
after 15 . . . tiJxb3 ! 16 axb3 'ixal .       g6 9 c4 iLg7 1 0 tiJc3 0-0 1 1 tiJge2
                                              e6 1 2 tiJg3 exd5 1 3 cxd5




   7 . . .e6                                  we arrive almost exactly at a
   This, of course, is the main line          position which can be reached from
here and can be a prelude to                  a Modem Benoni, with the single
entering the heavy theoretical                difference that the black queen is, in
battleground covered in the last two          that case, still on dS. I have seen all
items of this chapter. However, for           possible views expressed regarding
the moment I want to assume that              that difference. The queen can
Black          aims,    as   Wojtaszek        certainly cause some irritation down
presumably does here, to reach                the b6-g 1 diagonal, but it also
some Modem Benoni type of                     blocks . . . b5, and is likely to be
position. As I mentioned in my                targeted either by an advancing
notes to Game 3 , it seems                    a-pawn, or by the g3 knight
reasonable to assume that such a              manoeuvring itself to c4 . I am a bit
strategy of 'just playing chess '             of an agnostic, but the Trompowsky
would be more sensible now after              version has certainly scored quite
forcing 7 iLc 1 than on move 6.               well for White in practice.
However, there is still an important          Gallagher himself tried a radical
question of move order. Should                approach here with 13 . . . tiJh5(? ! )
Black, as here, first clarify the             but after 1 4 tiJxh5 gxh5 1 5 iLe2 f5
position in the centre, or would he           1 6 f4 ! ? fxe4 1 7 0-0 h4 I S tiJxe4
be         better    off   immediately        iLf5 1 9 tiJg5 c4+ 20 �hl c3 2 1
developing, and holding . . . e6 (or          bxc3 iLxc3 2 2 iLd2 iLxa l 2 3 �xa l
38 2. J I Je4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 d5 ! ?


his weakened kings ide ensured that                   a4, I think that my idea of 9 . . . i.g7
White would get good value for his                    10 i.bS+ might have been
material investment. The more                         somewhat validated by answering
standard approach is 1 3 . . . hS ! ?                 1 0 . . . 'Dbd7 with 1 1 'Dh3 ! ?
S .Agdestein-Djurhuus, Norwegian                          Nonetheless, i f White really feels
(ch) play-off 2000. Black wants to                    uncomfortable with the ' pure
bother the knight on g3 and create                    Benoni ' then I think he can
critical play in which White will be                  nonetheless play 8 c4 and follow
inconvenienced by his bishop being                    Luke 's example against an early
tied to the defence of b2 . However,                  . . . exdS, while perhaps try to arrange
the knight can also head for e3 , and                 to recapture with the e-pawn if
b6 is in other respects not the                       Black delays this . After 7 . . . d6 8 e4
natural square               for furthering           g6 9 c4 i.g7 1 0 'Dc3 0-0 1 1 'Dge2
ambitions on the kingside. After 1 4                  e6 either of these are worthy of
i.e2 'Dbd7 ( 1 4 . . . h4 ! ?) I S 'iVc2 h4           attention:
1 6 'Dfl h3 ! ? ( 1 6 . . . 'DhS ? ! 1 7 g4 ! ) 1 7
gxh3 'DhS 1 8 'Dg3 'Ddf6 1 9 h4 i.h3
20 'Dd l ! l:tfe8 2 1 'Df2 i.d7 22 0--0
l:lac8 23 a4 c4 24 'it'g2 the play is
very complex, but White seems to
be faring quite well in the battle for
squares. Another radical departure
from standard patterns is worth a
mention. In Knaak - Bekker Jensen,
European Club Cup, Panormo 200 1
Black departed from the above with
 I S . . . 'Dh7 ! ? and we were treated to
the notable phenomenon of White
castling queens ide in a Benoni
structure, and in the sharp battle                        a) 12 'Df4 ! ? exdS and now 1 3
which arose after 1 6 i.d2 a6 1 7 f4                  'DfxdS ! ? 'DxdS 1 4 'DxdS 'it' as+ I S
"ilic7 1 8 0--0-0 bS 1 9 eS ! ? - a                   i.d2 'it'd8 1 6 ':'b 1 fS 1 7 i.d3 is also
standard             ' anti-Benoni'        pawn       a bit better for White according to
sacrifice to gain control of e4 -                     Finkel, although there is a suspicion
 1 9 . . . b4 20 'Dce4 dxeS 2 1 fS                    that the check on as may have been
White 's kingside chances look the                    a bit counter-productive.
more promising to me.                                     b) 1 2 g4 ! ? exdS 1 3 exdS J:te8 1 4
     Still, another question raised by                � f2 i s also a n interesting set-up,
7 . . . d6. Should White necessarily                  although it is obviously very
handle the position with c4, rather                   double-edged. I am suspicious that
than in the style of Game 3? I think                  White ' s play in Alburt-Browne,
the answer here is probably yes                       Santiago 1 98 1 , needs a little
 since otherwise the gain for Black in                refining, since after 1 4 . . . 'Dbd7
 6 . . :i'b6 7 i.c 1 seems the most                   ( 1 4 . . . 'Dfd7 is also interesting) I S
 ambiguous. As usual, 8 'Dh3 ! is a                   'Dg3 hS 1 6 gxhS 'DxhS 1 7 'DxhS
 good reply to 7 . . . g6 though, and                 i.d4+ 1 8 'ifi1g2 gxhS 1 9 'it'd2 'De5
while I once received a good deal of                  20 'it'g5+ 'Dg6 2 1 f4 Black has the
 criticism for trying 7 . . . d6 8 e4 g6 9            interesting possibility of 2 1 . . . i.f5 ! ?
                              2. Jbe4 3 i.f4 c5 4 13 'iN a5+ 5 c3 CiJf6 6 d5! ? 3 9


when White 's position looks a bit          game make a very generous use of
loose. Food for thought here                hindsight. After 1 1 . . . CiJbd7 1 2 CiJc4
nonetheless.                                'fIc7 1 3 a4 CiJb6 ! 1 4 CiJa3 i.d7 1 5 a5
    It is also just worth noting that       CiJc8 1 6 CiJb5 �8 1 7 i.g5 i.g7 1 8
after 7 . . . e6 8 c4 d6 9 e4 g6,           e5?! (Consistent, and perhaps that is
Levitina once played 1 0 CiJe2 ! ? and      precisely the problem ! Of course
tZ'lec3, attempting to handle the           White can return to normal
position as Luke did, when Black            developing moves, but then it is
still has to decide what to do if not       clear that the whole concept was
take on d5. This might be yet               flawed. At the time Nunn was also
another workable route to avoid the         far from certain as to the merits of
'pure Benoni' .                             the text) 1 8 . . . dxe5 19 d6 0-0 20
                                            CiJc7 CiJe8 2 1 CiJxa8 CiJexd6 it
    8 c4 exd5 9 cxd5 d6 ! ? 10 e4 g6        becomes clear that White has
1 1 tZ'le2 !                                overstretched, facing considerable
                                            active compensation for the material
                                            he has gained. The various
                                            insightful              commentators          who
                                            pointed this out have not been
                                            imparting any great revelation !
                                                  1 1 ... i.g7 1 2 CiJec3 0-0 13 i.e2
                                            CiJbd7 14 0-0 a6 15 a4 l:tb8 1 6
                                            �hl ? !
                                                  Luke criticises this and suggests
                                             1 6 CiJa3 instead intending to meet
                                             1 6 . . . 'fld8 for example with 1 7 i.e3
                                            lIe8 1 8 'iNd2 ! and the simple plan of
                                            :tab 1 and b4. In terms of a
  I like this very much since I am           theoretical assessment, this seems to
sure that White should in some way          be an important vindication of
react to the position of Black' s            White' s opening play. However,
queen o n b 6 , and try for more than        although he may have missed the
the routine 1 1 CiJc3 . The queen ' s        moment in a sense, it was his
knight ideally belongs o n c 4 a t some      restraint hitherto in precisely not
stage. The issue though is timing.           rushing towards the c4 square with
   My 1 1 CiJa3 ? ! by contrast was just     this knight that seems to have been a
a bit too impetuous, a symptom               significant improvement on several
perhaps of going into 'punishment            previous handlings of the position.
mode ' as a reaction to Black' s                   It is also instructive that later, as
modest 9 . . . d6 ! ? Having said this, I    he points out, his king might have
also think that the search for a very        been more comfortable still on gl -
ambitious and concrete solution in           its new position merely encourages
Wells-Nunn, 4NCL, Birmingham                 counterplay with . . . CiJh5 and
2002 was not so far wide of the               . . . iVh4.
mark, since any move which
effectively rules out 1 1 . . . i.g7 here          1 6 .. :ili'd8 1 7 i.e3 l:te8 ! 18 CiJa3
is worthy of consideration. Some of                Anyway. The semi-waiting move
the descriptions I have seen of this         on move 1 6 had been partly about
40 2 ctJe4 3 �f4 c5 413 iVa5+ 5 c3 ctJf6 6 d5!?
     . . .




wanting t o play 1 8 ctJd2 ? ! here, but    more of a problem. 2S . . . ctJg6 ! ?
this is well met with the trick             might b e a better try, but it seems
1 8 . . . bS ! 1 9 axbS axbS 20 ..txbS      sensible to avoid the wild tactics of
ctJxdS 21 ctJxdS l:i.xbS 22 ctJc4 ctJeS     26 ctJc4 ktxe4 ! ? and settle for the
when Black is fine.                         sane and sober 26 ..tg3 ctJxe4
   18 ... h6 19 iVd2 'it'h7 20 l:i.abl      (26 . . . ktxe4 27 ..td3 );Ie7 28 ktafl ! )
ctJh5 !                                     2 7 ctJxe4 l:i.xe4 2 8 �d3 :te7 2 9 ctJc4
                                            which looks rather nice for White
   Both offensive and defensive, at         (rather than            29 ..th4 ? ! when I
least in the sense that the threat of       would suspect Black can give the
21 . . . iVh4 diverts White from his        exchange for reasonable play) .
intended b4 break to make play on
the other side.                                 26 axb5 axb5 27 ctJaxb5 ..ta6 28
                                            ctJa3 �xe2 29 iVxe2
                                                'Black has some compensation,
                                            and practical chances given the
                                            impact of the new time control, but
                                            it should not really be enough '
                                            should be a fair summary of Luke 's
                                            thoughts at this point.
                                                29 ... ctJfd7 30 ctJc2 ? ! c4 ! 31 ..td2 !
                                            'it'g8?
                                                3 1 . . . ctJcS ! was a much better try .
                                            The text merely enhances the power
                                            of White ' s coming g4-gS resource.
                                                32 l:i.f5 ! ctJc5 33 g5 hxg5 34
                                            l:i.xg5 ? !
    21 g4 ! ? ctJhf6 22 h3 ctJe5 23             34 ..txgS i s better, although after
l:i.f2 ! ?                                  34 . . . iVd7 3 S l:g 1 ctJg6 it is still a
    Now Black gets t o play . . . g S and   fight.
put in a claim on the dark squares,             34 ... ctJg6 35 );Ig4 ctJd3 ? ! 36 ctJe3
although this of course creates             ctJde5 37 :tg3 ..tf6 38 ctJf5
weaknesses at the same time. It is
                                                At last! A couple of rather passive
interesting that Luke regards
                                            decisions from Black and the long
Black's compensation after 23 f4
                                            awaited fS square is reached.
ctJexg4 ! 24 hxg4 ctJxg4 2S �xg4
�xg4 as not merely rather scary at              38 . . . );Ib7 39 iVh5 :tee7 40 h4 ! ?
the board, but as quite possibly                Practical grounds i f nothing else
theoretically adequate too, and the         suggest that in such positions
more I consider it, the more I              keeping the initiative scores over
applaud his judgement.                      cashing in.
    23 ... g5 24 f4 gxf4 25 ..txf4 b5           40 ... ctJd3 41 iVf3 ..txc3 42 ..txc3
    A fairly standard pawn sac in the       l:i.xe4 43 h5 :th4+ 44 ctJxh4 iVxh4+
 Benoni, but the coming exchange of         45 �gl ctJdf4 46 :tel l-0
 light-squared bishops also has the             Stopping the tricks on e2 and at
effect of rendering the fS square still     the same time preparing a decisive
                                2. Ji:Je4 3 jJ4 c5 4 j3 �a 5+ 5 c3 C{jf6 6 d5!? 41


penetration on eS is sufficient to see         14 'i'c2 liJbd7 1 5 f4 exd5 16 exd5
Black      off.    Despite       some         'i'a5 1 7 0-0 a6 I S a4 C{jb6 1 9 liJg3
inaccuracies, an entertaining game,           ..td7 20 ..td2 liJxa4 ! ? which was
and something of a model for                  Knaak-Wells, Bundesliga               1 99 5
handling the White side of the                when I just had t o grit m y teeth and
opening.                                      hope that he wouldn 't find 2 1 jU5 !
                                              b 5 2 2 C{jh5 ! C{jxh5 2 3 ..txd7 l:.e7 24
                                              ..tc6 .l:tbS 25 cxb5 axb5 26 c4 which
               Game 7
                                              would have been immensely
         Hodgson - Turner                     unpleasant. Rainer Knaak was very
   British (ch), Scarborough 200 1            generous in his notes about my
                                              original opening play, but it still
  1 d4 C{jf6 2 ..tg5 ltJe4 3 ..tf4 c5 4       looks to me just like a bad
f3 'i' a5+ 5 c3 ltJf6 6 d5 �b6 7 ..tel        Nimzo-Indian, and it was probably
e6 8 c4                                       original because others have had
                                              more sense !
                                                 Rather the play after 9 . . . 0-0 1 0 e4
                                              l:.eS ! ? looks rather intricate. It is
                                              even possible that 1 1 f4 ! ? works
                                              here, but it is clearly not without
                                              risk. It is not clear that this is worth
                                              the effort with a good alternative
                                              available . . .
                                                 b) 9 e4 ! ? looks quite appropriate
                                              to dealing with each of the various
                                              Black strategies here.


    8 . . . exd5
   This and S . . . �b4+, the subject of
the theoretical article that follows
are clearly the most critical moves.
In addition Black can also try to
develop around White ' s centre and
possibly even exploit the bS-h2
diagonal on which his opponent is
momentarily           vulnerable       with
S . . . ii.d6, although I am sceptical as
to the merits of this. A couple of
examples:                                       9 . . . 1te5 1 0 liJd2 ..td4 1 1 liJe2 e5
    a) 9 liJc3 might just complicate          12 liJxd4 cxd4 13 liJb3 d6 1 4 ..td2
matters a bit, although this is               a5 1 5 c5 dxc5 1 6 liJxc5 0-0 1 7 C{ja4
certainly not due to 9 . . . 0-0 10 e4        �d6 I S 'ib3 was definitely a
..teS ? ! 1 1 ..td3 ..txc3+ 1 2 bxc3 d6       success for White 's opening concept
 13 liJe2 l:!eS ( 1 3 . . . liJbd7 1 4 dxe6   in Summerscale-McShane, British
fxe6 1 5 f4 ! also looks unpalatable)         (ch), Nottingham 1 996, while
42 2 . ..te4 3 �f4 c5 4 13 'i a 5 + 5 c3 0,f6 6 d5! ?


9 . . . 'ic 7 1 0 0,e2 ! exd5 1 1 exd5 ( 1 1   based upon the undefended bishop
cxd5 ! ? also looks good) 1 1 . . .0-0 1 2     on c8) 1 2 WVd4 �b4 1 3 'Yi'e5+ 'it>f8
0,bc3 a6 1 3 �g5 1Ie8 1 4 �xf6 gxf6            ( 1 3 . . . 'it>d8? ! looks worse, since
1 5 WVd3 was awful for Black in                although it is obviously attractive
Kanep-Jobava, World U- 1 8 (ch)                that the rook on h8 can play, the
2000. 1 0 . . . �xh2 (and indeed on            undefended g7 pawn will imply an
almost any other move) is                      extra tempo for White. Hodgson
successfully met with 1 1 f4 0,g4 1 2          gives 14 �d2 :'e8 1 5 'i g5 ! which
'i'd3 , and hence Black' s whole               looks good) 14 a3 and now :
concept looks distinctly ropey.
    9 cxd5 c4 ! ?




                                                   b l ) 1 4 . . . �b7 ? ! 1 5 axb4 ! 'i!Vxa l
                                                1 6 0,ge2 'ia6 1 7 0,d4 d6 1 8 'i!Vf4
                                               'Yi'b6 was Hodgson-Stohl, Isle of
    1 0 e3 !                                   Man (op) 1 995, when the simplest
    The first effect of 9 . . . c4 is to       according to Julian is 1 9 0,dxb5
encourage this modest advance .                0,xd5 20 'i'xd6+ WVxd6 2 1 0,xd6
Practice confirms what the naked               0,xc3 22 bxc3 which does indeed
eye suggests, that 1 0 e4? ! �c5 is            look like tremendous value for an
just too risky for White.                      exchange, pawns and a potentially
    1 0 . . . �c5 ! ?                          dominating dark-squared bishop.
    T o my mind this pawn sacrifice is             b2) 1 4 . . . �c5 ! is a much more
the best way to make sense of                  testing line. White should continue
9 . . . c4 ! ?                                 to play aggressively with 1 5 d6 0,a6
    Alternatives d o not look entirely          1 6 �d2 �b7 1 7 0,e4 ! ? (Julian
trustworthy:                                   considers 1 7 0,d5 instead, but
                                                1 7 . . . 'Yi'd8 1 8 0,c7 l:rc8 does not
    a) 1 0 . . :iVc5 ? ! seems simply          look very special for White)
inferior. There is no reason to                 1 7 . . . �b4 ! 1 8 'i'e7+ 'ifi>g8 1 9 0,xf6+
commit the knight to c 3 , and no              gxf6 20 �xb4 ! (20 l:!.d l ? ! �xd2+
consistent follow-up for Black after           2 1 .l:txd2 0,c5 gives strong
the logical 1 1 e4 !                           counterplay) 20 . . . 00xb4 2 1 0-0-0
    b) 1 O . . :Yi'a5+ 1 1 0,c3 b5 (but not    0,d5 (2 1 . . .0,a2+? 22 'it'b l 0,c3+ 23
 1 1 . . . �b4 12 �xc4 ! ? [Hodgson            bxc3 'it'xc3 24 l:td4 is good for
points out that 12 �d2 is a good               White) 22 'i'xd7 'iWb6 ! ? (22 . . . 0,xe3
option too] a strong tactical solution         23 'Yi'xb7 lId8 24 �e2 0,xd l 25
                              2 'be4 3 il.f4 c5 4 13 �a5+ 5 c3 'bf6 6 d5! ? 43
                               . . .




�c 7?! �e l ! is problematic but the          a) 13 . . . �d6 looks unnatural, but
simple 25 il.xd l ! 1:xd6 26 'be2          does force White to keep an eye on
lo oks sufficient) 23 l:Id4 'bxe3 24       h2 as well. V.Milov-Landenbergue,
'be2 and White has good chances to         Swiss (cht) 2002 was an almighty
c onsolidate his advantage.                mess that became quite uncomfort­
   1 1 �f2 0-0 12 il.xc4                   able for White after 1 4 'be2 'ba6 1 5
                                           'bbc3 'bc7 1 6 J:d l b 5 1 7 'bxb5
                                           'bxb5 1 8 il.xb5 1:b8 1 9 �d3 �xh2 !
                                           with good attacking prospects.
                                           However,             against      such      an
                                           artificial-looking set-up it is hard to
                                           believe that White cannot find a
                                           way to emphasise his positional
                                           plusses . What about 1 6 'ba4 ! ? and if
                                           16 . . . b5 then 1 7 'bxc5 �xc5 1 8
                                           .td3 'bfxd5 1 9 il.e4 and there are
                                           still some solid                        about
                                           White ' s          game      which       must
                                           compensate             for    his     slightly
                                           uncomfortable king.
                                               b) 1 3 . . .'iVd8 to my mind looks the
   Rather a critical position for the
                                           most likely to prove a durable
variation. Black's compensation
                                           threat.
hardly needs describing. He can
intensify pressure against e3 by               In Mamedyarov-Sulskis, Euro­
means of Ii:e8, and his queens ide         pean (ch), Batumi 2002 Black
will normally enter the fray by            generated quite dangerous play after
means of . . . 'bd7-e5 when White           14 'be2 d6 1 5 lid l a6 1 6 a4 'bbd7
needs to beware of ' " 'bg4+ motifs         17 'bd4 'bb6 1 8 'bc3 'bxc4 1 9
too. However, aside from his               �xc4 b 5 2 0 �d3 b4 2 1 'bc6 �c7
slightly over-active king, White ' s       22 'be2 'bxd5 ! 23 �xd5 .te6
development i s not that bad. I t is       winning back the pawn and
very useful that he can make some          retaining a light initiative. I have a
mobilising moves with tempo -              feeling that White should look to
�3 often threatens a queen                 improve on move 1 5 . Maybe 1 5
exchange, and after 'bc3 Black must        'bbc3 a 6 1 6 a4 'bbd7 1 7 'bg3 'be5
reckon with 'ba4 and the exchange           1 8 .te2 offers White a more stable
of one of his best pieces.                 coordination of his forces. However,
   1 2 . . . d6                            this is not clear, and the cleverness
                                           of Black ' s strategy is reflected in
   12 . . . 1:e8 ! ? is the alternative,   the slight awkwardness of White' s
which used to be near enough               queen o n b3 .
dismissed on the grounds of 1 3
�b3 , but has now been somewhat                 13 'be2 'bbd7 14 'bbc3 'be5 ? !
rehabilitated by Black' s queen                 1 4 . . . �c7 i s well motivated b y a
simply fleeing the exchange and            desire to avoid the forthcoming
regrouping. In practice some                exchange, but it is a bit passive and
SUccess has been enjoyed with two          White consolidated quite easily in
queen moves:                               Ward-Gormally,               British      (ch),
44 2 tDe4 3 iLf4 c5 4 13 �a5+ 5 c3 tDf6 6 d5! ?
      . . .




Millfield 2000 by 1 5 tDd4 iLb4 1 6              20 tDd3 �xd5 2 1 e4 �a5 22
iLe2 a6 1 7 e4 iLxc3 1 8 bxc3 tDc5             iLd2 �b5 23 �e2 l:!.e8 24 a4 �b6+
19 l:!.e l iLd7 20 iLfl with a clear           25 iLe3 �a5 26 h4 !
advantage.
  15 tDa4! �b4 1 6 b3 !




                                                   Black is so weak on the dark
                                               squares around his king that White
    A strong move which to my mind             has a range of options as to how to
pretty much refutes this line for              exploit it. How bad is Black' s
Black. The point is that as the                position? I would say enough that
position simplifies White will find            the coming desperate piece sacrifice
himself in possession of a number              might have been the best practical
of major positional trumps : an                chance.
excellent square on d4 and above all               26 . . . ii.g4 27 �b2 ! tDxe4+ 28
the long black diagonal, on which              fxe4 l:!.xe4 29 �b5 �xb5 30 axb5
Black is in no position to conduct             gxh4 31 l:!.xh4 h5 32 l:!.hhl l:!.ae8 33
much of a contest.                             l:!.hel ii.d7 34 tDf4 iLxb5 35 tDxh5
    16 . . . tDxc4 17 bxc4 �xc4 1 8                White is left with only one pawn,
tDxc5 �xc5 1 9 tDf4 g5                         and I think Turner did well to reach
    Amazingly this was the novelty( ! )        this non-trivial ending. However I
and even here it was a familiar idea           also know for a fact that Julian can
adapted.          In   Hodgson-Wells,          mate with bishop and knight v the
Copenhagen 1 996                     also      lone king !
suffered, but achieved a modicum of                35 ... l:!.4e6 36 iLxa7 l:!.xel 37
counterplay after 19 . . . l:!.e8 20 l:!.e l   l:!.xel l:!.xe l 38 '\t>xel �f8
g5 2 1 tDd3 �6 22 l\Vb3 �xb3 23
axb3 tDxd5 24 l:!.a5 iLe6 25 e4 tDe7               The long ending which follows is
26 l:!.xg5+ tDg6 27 f4 f6 28 l:!.b5            beyond our scope. I suspect it is
l:!.ac 8 ! and somehow survived. I             winning, albeit requiring both
remember being very surprised by               technique and patience.
22 �3 . To me 22 ii.b2 ! tDxd5 23                  39 tDf4 �e7 40 ii.d4 iLc6 41
iLd4 looked and still looks very               '\t>d2 �d7 42 �c3 ii.e4 43 �c4
scary indeed. If Black eschews . . . g5        '\t>c6 44 iLe3 ii.bl 45 tDe2 ii.a2+ 46
altogether, he simply has no                   �b4 iLbl 47 g3 iLd3 48 tDd4+
compensation for the state of his              '\t>d5 49 �c3             50 ii.f4 �c5 5 1
position !                                     tDb3+ '\t>d5 5 2            b6 53 tDb7 f6
                                2 ..tDe4 3 �4 c5 4 j3 �a5+ 5 c3 0,/6 6 d5! ? 45
                                 .




54 �b4 �f5 55 0,xd6 �d3 56 0,e8            extreme condemnation "8 c4?
b5 57 0,a7 �e4 58 0,xb5 i.d3 59            Losing or sacrificing a pawn - it' s
0, e7 + �d4 60 0,e8 f5 6 1 0,d6 �d 5       not important. I n any case White
62 �e3 i.bl 63 0,e4 1-0                    hasn 't compensation . . . Better are all
                                           other continuations without material
                                           loss". Recently he seems to have
      Analytical Article 1
                                           recovered his composure a bit, and
  The Pawn Grab 8     . . .   'iVb4+!?     practical examples have also done
                                           their bit to re-emphasise that White
  1 d4 0,f6 2 �g5 0,e4 3 �f4 e5 4          has rich compensation for the pawn.
f3 �a5+ 5 e3 0,f6 6 d5 'iVb6 7 �el         Gradually there seems to be
e6 8 e4 'ib4+! ?                           clarification that the most convinc­
                                           ing is to try to interest Black in the
                                           b-pawn rather than the c-pawn, with
                                           positions analogous to the Vaganian
                                           gambit (see chapter 7) except that
                                           White ' s pawn is on c4 rather than
                                           c2. This can restrict the scope of his
                                           bishop, but is j ust as likely to
                                           promote his ambitions in the centre
                                           by facilitating the e5 breakthrough.
                                             a) 9 0,c3 'ixc4




  For a long time this acceptance of
White ' s gambit was barely taken
seriously despite receiving a first
outing as long ago as 1 982, ancient
history in Trompowsky terms. It
took a full 1 5 years for a
reappearance,     in     the    game
Speelman-Kazhgaleyev, from the
Luzem World Team Championship,
and even this failed to ignite real
enthusiasm, despite the fact that not         1 0 e4 (It is possibly unwise to
much reading between the lines was         mention this, because I may have
required to understand that the notes      completely got the wrong end of the
of the victor betrayed a certain           stick, but I recently had a rather
respect for Black' s bold greed.           random conversation with Jonathan
More recently there has been a             Speelman about this gambit and I
resurgence of interest, perhaps aided      think he said he thought the general
by the rather shocking degree of           view was that White should play 1 0
scepticism    displayed      by   the      �d2 here. It i s certainly true that
Ches sBas e     commentator        on      1 0 . . exd5 ? 1 1 e4 would be terrific
                                                .


Trompowsky affairs lIya Tsesarsky          for White, but the problem is that
who at one moment plunged to the           after 1 0 . . 'i' a6 ! I cannot see any
                                                       .
46 2 . ..tDe4 3 i.j4 c5 4 f3 'i a 5 + 5 c3 liJj6 6 d5! ?


independent significance since 1 1                 the position blocked and prevent
e4 'ib6 leads back to the main line.               e4-eS ( 1 2 . . . g6? 1 3 eS ! is strong,
apologies to Jonathan if I mis­                    since if 1 3 . . . liJxdS 1 4 SLxdS ! there
understood ! )      1 0 . . . 'ib4 ! (10. . .      is a crushing attack in the offing) 1 3
'iYd4?! 1 1 i.d2 ! would transpose to              liJge2 ( 1 3 f4 might be playable, but
' b 1 ' below) 1 1 i.d2 'ib6 1 2 i.c4              1 3 . . . SLe7 cannot yet be met with
                                                   any convincing e4-eS breakthrough
                                                   and Black will follow with a
                                                   well-timed . . . exdS) 1 3 liJge2 eS 1 4
                                                   f4 liJbd7 I S 0-0 a 6 1 6 liJg3 and
                                                   now:




and now Black has a choice :
      a 1 ) 1 2 . . . exdS 1 3 liJxdS liJxdS 1 4
i.xdS liJc6 was Black's choice in
the above mentioned Speelman­
Kazhgaleyev, World Team (ch),                          a2 1 ) 1 6 . . . exf4? ! 1 7 i.xf4 g6
Luzem 1 997, when Jonathan points                  permitted White a rather elegant
out that I S SLc3 ! was the most                   breakthrough with 1 8 eS ! dxeS 1 9
promising continuation. B lack ' s                 i.gS ! i.g7 2 0 d6 0-0 2 1 liJdS liJxdS
development here looks quite                       22 .l:xf7 ! 'ixb2? (22 . . . liJSf6 was
problematic, and he proposes to                    compulsory but also pretty grim) 23
solve it in fairly dramatic style with             'ixdS 'id4+ 24 'ixd4 exd4 2S
 l S . . . liJb4 16 SLc4 dS ! 1 7 exdS i.fS .      l:xd7+ and wins . Wells-Borriss,
This is indeed quite complicated,                  Austria League 200 1 .
but I still like White after 1 8 g4 ! ?                a22) 1 6 . . . g6 was discussed in the
i.g6 (White' s idea i s in fact to rule            post-mortem, but I think that with
out an irritating check on h6.                     1 7 fxeS fxeS 1 8 i.gS ! 'id6
 1 8 . . . liJc2+ 19 'iti>f2 'iVh6 ! ? 20 'iYe2+   ( 1 8 . . . i.g7 1 9 d6 ! ) 1 9 'ia4 ! i.g7 20
is worse) 1 9 'iYa4+ ! ? ( 1 9 'ie2+               liJbS 'ib8 ! (20 . . . 'ib6? 21 SLxf6
'iti>d7 ! 20 0-0-0 SLd6 is less clear)             i.xf6 22 z:.xf6 ! 'ixf6 23 liJc7+) 2 1
 1 9 . . . 'id8 20 a3 liJc2+ 2 1 'it>f2 'id6       SLxf6 i.xf6 22 ::txf6 axbS 23 'ixbS
22 ::tc 1 liJd4 23 liJe2 with a rather             0-0 24 J:1f2 White retains a
obscure position in which both sides               reasonable initiative, a line which I
face unusual problems, but Black's                 hope justifies its place for some
seem rather more intractable.                      instructive hacking ideas.
     a2) 12 . . . d6( ! ) is maybe indicated,          a23 ) 1 6 . . . 'id8 ! is a much tougher
and it certainly makes sense to keep               move with which Borriss improved
                                 2 . . . CD e4   3 �f4 c5       'iWa5+ 5 c3 CDf6 6 d5! ? 4 7


his defence for the game Dunworth­                  After 1 5 . . . CDc6 1 6 'i'd2 CDd8 1 7
Borriss, European Club Cup,                         0-0-0 h6 White won quickly with
Panormo 200 1 in which White                        1 8 CDd5 in Pixton- Efimenko, World
prosecuted his initiative much too                  U- 1 6 (ch) 200 1 , but 1 8 iLe5 ! ? looks
slowly and had insufficent play after               still more convincing as after
 1 7 a4 g6 1 8 l:Ia3 �h6 1 9 f5 �xd2                1 8 . . . CDe6 1 9 iLxf6 gxf6 20 CDd5
20 �xd2 Itg8 2 1 fxg6 fxg6 22 CDd l                 �d8 2 1 'i'c3 i.g7 22 CD2f4 Black
�f8 23 �aD CDg8 24 h3 .i:txD 25                     must be all but lost.
1:i.xD CDdf6. My instinct was to look                  The        fast improving young
at 1 7 �a4 ! ? sacrifices and all, but              American Aaron Pixton gives the
after some analysis I have to say                   impression of having a very well
that I am pretty sure that 1 7 . . J�tb8 !          thought         through    Trompowsky
 1 8 fxe5 b5 1 9 CDxb5 axb5 20 �xb5                 repertoire, and it is probably worth
�6! falls short for White. It is still              keeping an eye on his evolving
possible to handle the position more                choices.
positionally by 1 8 .te2, provoking
                                                       b2) 9 . . . 'i'xb2( ! ) is therefore
 . . . b5 and then launching a second
                                                    critical. After 1 0 CDc3 'i'b6 practice
front with a later a2-a4 and so on,
                                                    has witnessed two plausible tries :
but I am now sceptical about all
this.
      b) 9 i.d2 ( ! ) offers B lack a choice
 of pawns, but the key point is that
the aggravation suffered by the
 Black queen if she opts for the
 c-pawn is that much more
 unpleasant.
      I shall consider
      b 1 ) 9 . . :�xc4 now looks very
 risky. After 1 0 e4 'i'd4 1 1 CDc3
 exd5 12 CDge2 �e5 13 �f4 'i'e6 1 4
 exd5 'i'b6
                                                          b2 1 ) 1 1 1:r.b l �d8 1 2 e4 d6 1 3 f4
                                                    e5 ( 1 3 . . .te7 ? ! 1 4 e5 ! ) 1 4 CDD
                                                    CDbd7 1 5 .td3 iLe7 16 0-0 ( 1 6 f5
                                                    ideas are also possible here as in
                                                    'b2 1 ' below, but I am not sure why
                                                    the insertion of 1:r.b l and 'ifd8
                                                    should be beneficial in this case) 1 6
                                                    . . . exf4 (After 1 6 . . 0-0 White has a
                                                    choice between the closed treatment
                                                    with 1 7 f5 ! ? or exchanging with 1 7
                                                    fxe5 CDxe5 1 8 CDxe5 dxe5 1 9 'i'D
                                                    b6 20 'ili'g3 ! ? when he has
                                                    reasonable play, but should beware
  1 5 d6 ! gives back the c6 square,                of Black returning the e-pawn at a
but prevents any ideas of . . . iLd6 .              moment when he can construct a
48 2 ..'i'Je4 3 iJ.f4 c5 4 f3 'ika5 + 5 c3 CDf6 6 d5!?
      .




useful         dark   square   blockade       the possibility of d6 basically rules
thereafter) 1 7 iJ.xf4 CDg4 1 8 CDb5          out the only normal retreat for the
CDge5 1 9 iJ.xe5 CDxe5 20 CDxe5               black queen) 14 f5 ! ? It is strangely
dxe5 2 1 �h5 (The rather bizarre              difficult to find a good attacking
alternative 2 1 d6? ! iJ.xd6 22 iJ.c2         alternative, but this does leave
(22 iJ.e2 iJ.e7 23 �xd8+ iJ.xd8 24            Black extremely short of air.
CDd6+ <3;e7 25 CDf5+ �f8 26 CDd6               14 . . . g6 1 5 iJ.d3 'ikd8 1 6 0-0 gxf5 ? !
�e7 seems only good for a draw)               (This i s rather ugly, but 1 6 . . . iJ.g7
2 1 . . .0-0 22 'iYxe5 a6 23 d6 ! (23         might even be answered with the
CDa3 i.f6 is not in White ' s favour          very simple 1 7 fxg6 hxg6 1 8 CDg5
positionally - again the dark squares         and Black will have huge difficulty
are the issue) 23 . . . iJ.f6 24 ':'xf6 !     unravelling) 1 7 exf5 h6 ( 1 7 . . . iJ.g7? !
axb5 (A pragmatic decision as                 1 8 CDg5 ! h6 1 9 CDe6 i s a good
24 . . . 'ikxf6 25 'ikxf6 gxf6 26 CDc7        illustration of what Black is up
:'a7 27 CDd5 <j;g7 28 l:tfl looks to          against here) 1 8 �h l iJ.e7 1 9 �c l
offer quite promising compensation            b5 ! ? 20 CDxb5 ! A fine sacrifice,
for the exchange) 25 lIfl l:la6 26            without which Black's last move
cxb5 'ikxd6 27 �c3 1;2-1;2 Hall­              would have been rather a decent bid
Berndt, Bundesliga, 200 1 .                   for some freedom 20 . . . e4 2 1 iJ.f4 !
   b22) 1 1 e4 ! ? d6                         'ikb6 (2 1 . . . CDb6 ! ? at least demands a
                                              very picturesque refutation by 22
                                              iJ.xe4 ! CDxe4 23 f6 ! iJ.xf6 [or
                                              23 . . . CDxf6 24 �e l 0-0 25 iJ.xh6
                                              with a raging attack] 24 l:f.e l 0-0 25
                                              l:lxe4 iJ.xa 1 26 'iYxa 1 and again
                                              White has tremendous attacking
                                              chances for a small material
                                              investment) 22 l:f.b l exf3 23 lie! !
                                              fxg2+ 24 <j;g 1 <j;d8




has curiously enough twice arisen
from the move order 3 . . . c5 4 d5
'ikb6 5 iJ.c 1 e6 6 f3 'ika5+ 7 c3 CDf6
8 e4 d6 9 iJ.d2 'ikb6 1 0 c4 �xb2 1 1
CDc3 �6 - see also Chapter 7 for
more on the intervening mischief.
 1 1 e4 ! ? makes better sense to me,
particularly in the context of the
'blocking' strategy since the queen
is certainly not performing great               25 lIxe7 ! Vyzmanavin ' s conduct
duties on b6. 1 2 f4 CDbd7 1 3 CDf3 e5        of the attack is both vigorous and
( 1 3 . . . iJ.e7? ! is well met by 14 e5 !   artistic. 25 . . . <j;xe7 26 CDxd6 'ia5
dxe5 1 5 fxe5 CDg4 1 6 l:tb I ! when          27 'iYe3+ <j;f8 28 l:te l <j;g7 29
                                     2 . ..tije4 3 J.f4 c5 4 13 �a 5+ 5 c3 t'iJf6 6 d5!? 49


'tlt'g3+ 'it>h7 3 0 l:te7 ! J:!.g8 3 1 ltxt7+               Chapter Conclusion
'it>h8 32 'ih4 l:tg4 33 J:rf8+ ! (but not
                                                       This was always going to be one
33 'ixh6+?? 'It>g8 and with no direct
follow-up attention switches by                     of the toughest and most difficult
magic to the white                       33 . . .   chapters, although I tried to
t'iJxf8 34 �xf6+ 'it>h7 3 5               1 -0      emphasise ways to play ' normal '
Vyzmanavin- Ehlvest, USSR (ch),                     positions rather than just fixate on
Lvov 1 984.                                         the latest theory. Of those, I think
                                                    that the Schmid Benoni-style set-up
     One of the real Trompowsky                     of Game 3 can never hold out real
attacking classics which cried out                  hope of equality, but of course the
for inclusion in full .                             Modem Benoni style of Game 6
                                                    will always have its supporters,
                                                    even      though          from          White ' s
                                                    standpoint            Luke          McShane ' s
      8 . . . 'iVb4+   -   Conclusion               handling was very heartening. It
                                                    seems White can avoid the 'pure
    Black has sufficient resources in               Benoni ' if he wants.
this 'pawn grab ' line that it is hardly               Of        the        more           typically
surprising that its long period of                  Trompowsky material, both Games
neglect eventually came to an end.                  5 and 7 contain some tense and
Indeed, although White has some                     critical moments . Black would do
interesting attacking ideas after 9                 best to look at the note to 1 1 . . . b5 ! if
t'iJc3 which are worth studying for                 he wishes to rehabilitate the Black
their own sake, in the specific line                position in the former, while the
' a23 ' with 1 6 . . . �d8 ! he is at               pawn sacrifice 1 0 . . . .lic5 ! ? in the
present struggling for a convincing                 latter retains some vitality. The line
continuation. Therefore I think                     with 12 . . . l:te8 ! and 1 3 . . . 'id8 ! could
White should tum to 9 .i.d2( ! ) when               well be the focus of future attention.
he seems to get excellent attacking                 I am also not entirely convinced that
prospects whichever pawn Black                      the strange 1 0 . . .'i'a5+ of Hodgson­
decides to take, although I would be                Stohl would not justify an even
less surprised to see a strengthening               closer look - Julian' s own notes
of the defence after 9 . . . 1i'xb2 ! ?             drop hints that it might !
        Chapter 3 2 .tiJe4 3 �f4 c5
                                -      . .




             4 f3 "if a5+ 5 c3 l2Jf6
       The Solid Repertoire with 6 l2Jd2
                                             negative considerations. It seems
                                             intrinsically unlikely that d8 could
                                             be as effective a square as b6 for
                                             Black' s queen given the pawn
                                             structure with the open c-file and
                                             White ' s knight on b3 . Fear of the
                                             type of endings to be examined in
                                             Games 1 1 - 1 4 looks like the primary
                                             motivation. However, this move has
                                             recently been quite popular, and
                                             Black ' s ' achievement' of ensuring a
                                             middle-game, is bolstered by the
  As w e have seen, the lines with 6         fact that in the main line (8 . . . d5)
d5 lead to enormously complex,               White indeed needs to proceed quite
challenging and sharp positions              adroitly not to be irritated to some
which can be great fun to play.              degree by the dual possibilities of
However, the objection of some to 6          . . . j.b4+ and . . . tDh5 - the latter
d5 is not hard to fathom. Moves like         revealing a plus side to . . . 'i'd8,
the retreat 7 j.c 1 are not to every­        namely coverage of the d8-h4
body ' s taste. It may be desirable to       diagonal.
maintain a spatial plus, but in the            So on to the main line 7 . . . 'iWb6.
context of such ' un-development' it         Game 10 with 8 cxd4 does not form
carries palpable risks.                      part of the recommended repertoire,
   Hence the importance of a safe,           but is usefully illustrative of why it
structurally   sound,     developing         is circumspect for White to prefer
alternative in the form of 6 tDd2 .          the exchange of queens here. Julian
The first point is that 7 tDb3 is            used to play this way, but Boris
threatened, and therefore 6 . . . cxd4 7     Gelfand' s novelty 8 . . . tDc6 ! has
tDb3 is a virtually forced sequence.         finally put him off a line which, in
Then, however, Black has a serious           my opinion, was creaking a bit in
choice of squares for his queen              any case.
available.                                      Game 1 1 , the final game with the
  Game 8 examines 7 . . . 'iVf5 , by         ' c-file clearance ' structure shows
which Black secures the bishop pair          quite how favourable this can be to
but must cede an undeniable                  White in the absence of queens.
initiative to do so.                            Games 1 2- 1 4 cover 8 ... tDc6,
 At first sight the 7 . . . 'i'd8 of         leading to the ending which will
Game 9 would appear to be                    likely   determine   the ultimate
motivated  almost  entirely       by         efficacy of 6 tDd2 .
                              2 0:,e4 3 iLf4 c5 4]3 'ia5+ 5 c3 0:,f6 6 0:,d2 51
                                . . .




             Game 8                         bishop is not blocked, and access to
    Lomineishvili - Gruenberg               the g5 square can be important, as
    Bundesliga II (South), 200 l .          we shall see. Trying to manoeuvre
                                            this knight via e2 to c3 has also
  1 d 4 0:,f6 2 iLg5 0:,e4 3 iLf4 c5 4      been tried, but is at best a bit
f3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 0:,f6 6 0:,d2 cxd4 7         ' fussy ' . White should aim to strike
0:,b3 'iVf5                                 before Black can bring his forces
                                            out.
                                               1 1 . . . 'i'c7 1 2 e5! 0:,g8




   This is ' critical ' in the sense that
any answer to a ' zwischenzug'
which itself contains a threat will
tend to be. The tactical justification          This is the key pOSItIon for an
of White' s play is that 8 iLxb8            assessment of 7 . . .'ti'f5 . As I
maintains material parity, and the          suggested above, White ' s lead in
attacking potential which he is             development looks quite awesome,
subsequently able to generate to            and Black's attempt to get his own
compensate for the bishop pair              pieces out will entail playing . . . e6
looks to the naked eye far in excess        after which the d6 square also gives
of the value obtained for this              some cause for concern. For all that,
investment in many other lines of           practice suggests that the defender
the Trompowsky. However since               has resources. Perhaps it is the sheer
                                            flexibility of his kings ide pawns.
White' s trumps are almost entirely
dynamic, and his opponent can               Nothing achieved, everything still
claim some longer-term plusses,             possible !
there are still those willing to                 13 0-0-0
champion the Black cause as this                Natural and good, of course, but
interesting game illustrates. Since 8       1 3 0:,f2 ! ? might also be worth a
'i'xd4 0:,c6 is distinctly unpromising      closer look, trying to discourage
for White, the next few moves have          . . . e6 by waving the prospect of an
a fairly forcing character.                 immediate 0:,e4 at Black. In this
   8 iLxb8! �xb8 9 'i'xd4 b6 10 e4          case 1 3 . . . g6? ! 1 4 e6 seems to run
'if4 1 1 0:,h3 !                            into trouble. Perhaps there is a case
   There is now a fair consensus that       therefore for resorting to the
this is the right way to gain further       immediate 1 3 . . . f5 ! ?
time on Black ' s queen. The fl                  1 3 . . . e6
52 2. J i Je4 3 iLf4 c5 4 f3 jVa5+ 5 c3 CiJf6 6 CiJd2


                                                     the axe will fall) 20 . . . CiJf5 2 1 iLe4
                                                     b5 22 ..ixf5 exf5 (22 . . . 1:xf5 ? ! 23
                                                     CiJd4 1:f8 24 CiJg5 ! ) and again we
                                                     have the knight pair doing battle
                                                     with Black's bishops. V. Salov­
                                                     Nunn, Amsterdam, 1 99 5 . In this
                                                     case given a mixture of good
                                                     outposts and concrete attacking
                                                     threats I fancy their chances. I must
                                                     say I find this stylistically a strange
                                                     opening choice for the Doctor!
                                                        14 . . . CiJe7 15 iLb5 ! ?
    14 CiJg5 ! ?                                        This seems to b e a novelty and I
    I n a sense more ambitious,                      like White ' s idea, even though its
although also more committal than                    ultimate worth rests upon some
either:                                              quite intricate and unverified detail.
    a) 14 iLd3 ! ? CiJe7 1 5 iLe4 CiJc6 1 6             Note for starters that if 15 . . . CiJc6
i.xc6 jVxc6 1 7 CiJg5 iLe7 1 8 CiJe4                  16 ..ixc6 jVxc6 she would find
..ib7 1 9 1:!.he l 1:d8 20 jVe3 White ' s            herself a full tempo up on
play looks logical and methodical                    Moiseenko-Svidler (note ' a ' above) .
and Black's task rather toilsome.                       1 5 . . . a6 16 jVf4 ! CiJf5 1 7 g4
Nonetheless, it is also not obvious
where White can improve, and it
seems that a well timed . . . f6 will
give Black just sufficient breathing
space. It seems that with the knight
pair against the bishops a good deal
of compensation is                      required.
20 . . . 0-0 2 1 CiJd6 iLa8 22 'it'b l f6 !
23 1:e2 fxe5 24 jVxe5 1:f6 2 5 1:!.ed2
l:i.g6 26 jVe2 jVc7 and Black is close
to equalising, although even now
this position would of course not be
everybody ' s cup of tea. Moiseenko­
Svidler, Russia (chT) 2002.
    b) 14 f4 f5 ! ? 15 ..ie2 Salov also                 1 7 . . . CiJh6
marvels at Black ' s resilience given                   Rather a critical moment. It is
his developmental                  woes,      but    definitely a concession to be driven
identifies the key point that the well               back to this square, therefore
protected d7 is his only weakness.                   1 7 . . . axb5 ! ? 1 8 gxf5 f6 is highly
So he opens the kingside, but this is                critical to the assessment of White' s
also not crystal clear. 1 5 . . . CiJh6 1 6          conception. Then 1 9 jVh4?! fxg5 20
kIhg 1 iLe7 1 7 g4 fxg4 1 8 ..ixg4 0-0               jVh5+ 'it'e7 2 1 jVxg5+ <t>f7! seems a
 1 9 jVd3 ! 'it'h8? ! ( 1 9 . . . b5 ! ?) 20 ..if]   good deal too speculative from
(Salov prefers 20 CiJd4, which                       White ' s standpoint as the king
indeed looks reasonable although it                  nestles happily enough on g8.
is not yet transparent to me where                   Consequently the more positional
                             2 ..te4 3 .i.f4 c5 413 'iWa5+ 5 c3 t:"tJf6 6 t:"tJd2 53
                              .




1 9 fxe6 ! dxe6 20 t:"tJe4 "ixe5 2 1           26 . . JlVxb7 27 g5 t:"tJf7? !
'i'xe5 fxe5 22 l:f.hg l - or maybe             Failing      to    seize       the last
even 22 a3 ! ? to prioritise the boxing   half-chance. 27 . . . t:"tJf5 28 gxf6 (28
in of the black bishops - is              t:"tJe4? t:"tJh4 ! ) �h6 ! staves off
preferable, with perfectly fair           immediate disaster, although the
compensation, but not, I would say,       defence is still very unpleasant.
a clear advantage.
                                               28 t:"tJe4 f5 29 "YWxe6 .l:[xdl + 30
   18 .i.d3 d6!                           �xd l fxe4 31 l:f.d7 1-0
   There is not much to be done                Even if White ' s system does not
about h7, and the window of               get the ultimate vote on the
opportunity to effect this break          theoretical level, it was a very
could easily be slammed shut if           briskly conducted attack and a good
Black delays.                             demonstration of the development
   19 t:"tJxh7 dxe5 20 �g5 .i.b7 2 1      deficit         characteristic       of this
liJd2 Itd8 ? !                            variation really counting.
   Trying        to   muster      some                   Game 9
counterplay with 2 1 . . . b5 ! ? looks              Grigore - Jianu
more precise based upon the idea                   Bucharest (open ) 200 1
that 22 �b l ? ! �d8 ! rather frees
Black 's       game.  White      should         1 d4 t:"tJf6 2 .tg5 t:"tJe4 3 .i.f4 c5 4
probably settle for 22 t:"tJxfS �xfS       f3 � a5+ 5 c3 t:"tJf6 6 t:"tJd2 cxd4 7
23 �b 1 but with this releasing of         t:"tJb3 'iWd8 ! ?
the kings ide tension I think she
would enjoy only a slight edge.
   22 .i.c2 �d5 ? !
   This also does not help, although
e5 is a genuine problem and Black
has no obvious means to free
himself from White ' s rather novel
and very effective bind on the
kingside.
   23 t:"tJxf8 !
   A correct transformation of
advantages . To save his e-pawn
Black will be forced to throw in the
move . . . f6 and this creates a new         A t first glance this makes a rather
and decisive target in front of his        negative impression, at least in the
king.                                      sense that the preference for this
                                           square over b6 is liable to be made
  23 . . . �xf8 24 .te4 f6 25 "ig6         on the basis of fear of the ending
�d7 26 .i.xb7 ? !                          which arises in Games 1 1 - 1 4 rather
  A        slight  inaccuracy.     The     than for the positive virtues of the
immediate 26 g5 ! would have               queen ' s initial square. Having said
precluded the following note, while        this, both Gallagher and Hodgson
op ening the f-file is hardly an option    seem a little too dismissive of a
for the defender.                          move which has recently enjoyed a
54 2 . . . 4:Je4 3 �f4 c5 4 j3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 4:Jf6 6 4:Jd2


surprising resurgence of interest.
The square dS does have one
positive virtue - White has to be
aware of potential embarrassment
arising from the harassment of his
bishop by . . . 4:Jf6-h5 , and the game
chosen is notable for a particularly
radical response to this resource.
    8 cxd4 !
    This must be right now. Oddly,
the Trompowsky specialist Igor
Miladinovic tends still to proceed in
'7 . . . 'iVf5 mode ' here with S �xbS?!         Definitely the most reliable choice
l:!xbS 9 'iWxd4 . However, the                here.          However,       there     are
justification for this in Game 9 was          alternatives, two of them rather
the gain of further tempi against             dubious, but two others sharp,
both the black queen and remaining            ambitious and worthy of attention:
knight, whereas here Black has                   a) S . . . g6? ! Joe Gallagher quotes a
neither of these headaches to                 game with this move with a view to
contend with and is well-placed to            suggesting that 7 . . . "fidS "does not
answer e4 with . . . d6 further               challenge the centre at all", but
emphasising            his     dark-square    recent practice having revealed
ascendancy in the centre.                     resources in the main line, it is
    For example, 9 . . . a6 1 0 e4 (The       rather against this lifeless fianchetto
attempt to grab a pawn with 1 0 'iVa7         that the charge sticks. Strange that
"fic7 1 1 e4 e6 1 2 �xa6 -                    this too still crops up at a high level.
Miladinovic-K.Georgiev,             Skopj e   De La Villa - lPolgar, Pamplona
(op) 2002 also backfires. Black               2000 continued 9 e4 i.g7 1 0 4:Je2
recovers his material with ease and           0--0 1 1 4:Jc3 d6 12 �e2 a6 1 3 0-0
secures a position with the two               b5 1 4 a3 4:Jbd7 1 5 "fid2 i.b7 1 6
bishops and an unbalanced pawn                �e3 e6 1 7 4:Ja2 l:!bS I S 4:Ja5 �aS
structure which gives him good                 19 .l:r.ac 1 'iVb6 when as Alterman
prospects after 1 2 . . . �d6 1 3 �b5         points out, 20 b4 ! would have fixed
�xh2 14 4:Je2 b6 1 5 "fixc7 �xc7 1 6          the queenside pawn structure to
4:Jbd4 'it>e7) 1 0 . . . d6 1 1 f4 g 6 1 2    White' s advantage e.g. 20 . . . l:f.fcS 2 1
4:J f3 �g7 1 3 e 5 4:Jd7 1 4 0-0--0 dxe5      4:Jc3 d5 2 2 e5 4:JeS 2 3 4:Jb3±.
 1 5 fxe5 "fic7 1 6 i.c4 e6 1 7 l:the l b5       b) S . . . e6? ! was a misguided
 I S i.d3 0-0 1 9 �b l a5 20 i.c2 b4          attempt at improvisation which I
2 1 cxb4 ':xb4 and Black, since               wheeled out some months ago in an
move ten, has consistently opted for          Open tournament in Germany when
the most ambitious deployment of              caught, I am ashamed to say,
 his forces available, and he has got         somewhat unprepared for the
away with it and enjoys a great               Tromp ! My idea was that after 9 e4
position. That was Miladinovic­               d5 I would hope to get a French in
Kolev, Skopje (op), 2002.                     which the bishop on f4 was rather
    8 . . . d5                                misplaced and my chances to
                                              undermine White ' s pawn centre
                                 2 .te4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 'ilVa5+ 5 c3 t'tJf6 6 t'tJd2 55
                                  . .




thus enhanced. The move 10 i.xb8 !             1 2 . . .'i 6 with 1 3 .l:tb l 'ilVxd4 1 4
was a rude awakening. After                    t'tJe2 'iVa7 1 5 t'tJc4 and a strong
1 0 . . Jhb8 1 1 e5 liJd7 12 f4 White          attack, and otherwise to proceed
has an impressive centre against               systematically with 1 3 t'tJe21 1 4 0-0
which it is unusually difficult to             and so on. It is not totally clear to
generate play - Black profoundly               me what Black's opening of files on
misses the pressure his b8 knight              the queenside has really achieved in
customarily exerts when it arrives             this case.
on c6. This should more than                       9 e3 e6
compensate for the bishop pair.
    c) 8 . . . t'tJc6 was recently tested by
Nenad Sulava, a player whose
careful opening preparation has a
sufficient reputation that his choices
demand                almost      automatic
examination. This however looks a
tad too provocative. As so often
with the move . . . t'tJc6 in the i.f4
Tromp, Black has in mind to answer
9 d5 with 9 . . . e5, and in reply to 9
e4 is also intending the related
counterblow 9 . . . e5 1 0 dxe5 t'tJh5 .
The latter does indeed grant Black
some active play after 1 1 i.e3
                                                   10 g4 ! ?
WUh4+ 12 i.f2 �g5 when White
should probably get on with                        A n unusual and radical, but t o my
development with 1 3 t'tJe2, perhaps           mind rather attractive if risky
with a slight edge. However, I am              solution to the problems associated
more tempted by 9 d5 ! ? e5 1 0 i.g3           with an early . . . t'tJh5 by Black.
i.b4+ 1 1 �f2 and if now                       There are of course others :
1 1 . . .'ib6+ 1 2 e3 t'tJe7 1 3 i.xe5             a) 1 0 i.d3 is perfectly reasonable,
t'tJfxd5 14 i.d4 White 's terrific             but in common with the other
square on d4 compensates, as we                moves            can      result    in    very
have seen in other lines in the                complicated positions. 1 0 . . . t'tJc6 1 1
previous chapter, for the slight               t'tJe2 i.b4+ 1 2 �f2 and now:
inconvenience to his king.                         a l ) 1 2 . . . 0-0 1 3 g4 t'tJd7 1 4 'iVc2
    d) 8 . . . a5 ! ? Another attempt to       g6 1 5 h4 e5 1 6 dxe5 �dxe5 1 7 a3
Sulava to create speedy counterplay            i.d6 (Kosi6 seems to suggest that
in this line. However after 9 e4 a4             17 . . . i.e7 ! ? heading for the f6
 1 0 t'tJd2 a3 1 1 bxa3 e6 Gonzalez De         square might have been more
la Nava-Sulava, Lisbon (op) 200 1 I            prudent) 1 8 h5 .l:e8 was D.Kosi6-
would be very comfortable with                 I.Sokolov, Bosnia 200 1 and now
White ' s position provided he                 Kosi6 believes that simply 1 9 hxg6
ensures against future development­            followed by doubling on the h-file
al log-jams by organising his forces           would have given quite a powerful
with 12 i.b5 ! ? intending to meet             attack, although I think he would
56 2. J { je4 3 Jif4 c5 4 j3 �a5+ 5 c3 4:f6 6 4:d2


agree that after 1 9 . . . fxg6 throwing              1 1 . . . .tb4+ 12 'if2 0-0 13 .Jlb5
in 20 'ig2 is for tactical reasons a               .Jld7 14 4:e2 'iVb6 15 .Jld3
wise precaution. It is a tense
position, but full of potential for
White.
     a2) 1 2 . . . 4:hS 1 3 .Jlg3 0-0 1 4 l:tc l
fS I S 4:cS eS 1 6 dxeS 4:xg3 1 7
hxg3 4:xe5 1 8 a 3 .JlxcS 1 9 l:txcs
with every promise of a solid albeit
not immense positional plus . Zhao
Zong Yuan - Lloyd, Australia (ch),
Melbourne 200 1 . White ' s king
looks so secure here, that I cannot
help wondering if . . . .Jlb4+ is really
worth throwing in at all.
     b) 10 l:tc 1 ! ? Hodgson seems to                 15 . . JIfe8? !
have a fondness for this move.                         This variation does seem to have
 10 . . . 4:c6 1 1 .JlbS ( 1 1 .td3 4:hS !         the habit of throwing up extremely
looks OK for Black) 1 1 . . . .Jld7 1 2            double-edged positions, and every
4:e2 .tb4+ 1 3 � f2 'ilVb6 ( I suppose             prospect of a good old kingside
Black didn't care too much for                     hack.
 1 3 . . . 4:hS 1 4 4:cS) 1 4 .td3 0-0 I S
                                                       The strength of White ' s coming
g4 ! ? was the move order of
                                                   concentration there suggests to me
Hodgson-Babula which transposes
                                                   that a counter-punch in the centre is
to the main game and is considered
                                                   more likely to yield a dividend, and
below. I mention it here because it                to this end I prefer Babula's
might be quite a viable and less                    IS . . . .u.fe8 ! ? In the aforementioned
risky route than 10 g4 . It might also             Hodgson-Babula, Bundesliga 2000
be that at move I S there are other                play continued 16 a3 ( 1 6 .teS ! ?)
viable plans too. What about I S                   .tf8 1 7 .tgS 'iVd8 1 8 h4 e5 1 9 4:c3
a3 ! ? .Jle7 1 6 �c2 with 4:cS to                  .Jle6 ( 1 9 . . .           20 dxeS 4:xe5
follow. It will not set the world                  21 .tbS 4:c6 22                l:tc8 23 'iVa4
alight, but if the main game seems a               h6 24 .tf4 'iVb6 2S 4:ce2 .td7 26
little too ' tense ' then it might be a            b4 a6 27 .txc6 bxc6 and White' s
reasonable risk-free alternative. In               decision to play o n both sides o f the
general, the idea of provoking                     board has               led to       immense
 . . . 4:c6 in order to put the bishop on          complications . Perhaps he should
bS rather than d3 makes quite good                 have tried 28 gS ! ? here since
sense to me.                                       28 . . . c5 can be met with 29 bxc5
      1 0 . . . 4:e6 11 !:tel ! ?                  i.xcs 30 'iVb3 ! ? but the whole
  I quite like this, especially a s 1 1            business is very tough to assess.
.td3 4:d7 ! ? intending a quick . . . e5               16 h4 a5 1 7 a3 .JlfS 18 h5 ! ? a4
might    offer     quite   promising                1 9 4:e5 .txe5 20 .l:!xe5 'iVxb2 21 g5
counterplay. This is of course, one                4:e8 22 1lb5 ! ?
of the consequences of 1 0 g4 which                    White           continues     to    show
demands special care from White.                   admirable faith in the efficacy of his
                               2 . ..tije4 3 iLf4 c5 4 13 �a 5 + 5 c3 ti'Jf6 6 ti'Jd2 5 7


kings ide play, given which his              sharp. The notes at move 1 0 should
queens ide pawns are viewed as               be carefully scoured by those
expendable if time I S gained                seeking a quieter life.
thereby. This makes for great
entertainment, and if with the aid of
computer analysis it is possible to                  (Non-Repertoire -
point to question marks over its                   For Illustration Only!)
1 00% soundness, I am not sure how
tragic that really is.                                     Game 1 0
   22 . . .'iVxa3 23 'iVb l QJa5 ? !                   Hodgson - Gelfand
                                                        Groningen 1 996
   I t i s here that I have had trouble
re ally knocking 23 . . . QJd6 ! ? on the      1 d4 QJf6 2 iLg5 QJe4 3 iLf4 c5 4
head.                                        f3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 QJf6 6 QJd2 cxd4 7
   The point is that 24 iLxh7+ 'it;>h8       QJb3 'iVb6 8 cxd4 ? !
25 �b6 gives some counterplay
after 25 . . . ti'Jc4 26 �xb7 e5 ! while
25 iLxd6 'iVxd6 26 h6 g6 27 iLxg6
hxg6 28 'iVxg6 'iVe7 is not quite
convincing either. 29 QJf4 ! ? iLe8 3 0
�xb7 ! for example leads t o a very
picturesque draw, but no more. Best
is probably the simple retreat 26
iLd3 in this last line, but though
White still has serious attacking
prospects, there is all to play for.
   24 iLxh7+ WfS 25 �b6 ! iLc6 26
iLd3 QJc4 ? ! 27 iLxc4 dxc4 28 h6!
   Now it clarifies nicely (from the             For a long time Julian' s main
Trompowsky player' s standpoint)             preference here, the text is now
into a rout.                                 rather out of favour. Black has
   28 . . . gxh6                             tended to switch from the rather
   There is nowhere to run.                  static centre which arises from
28 . . . 'it;>g8 29 hxg7 'iVd3 30 �h8+       8 . . . d5 towards more dynamic
Wg7 3 1 �h l is even more                    approaches which better serve to
devastating.                                 utilise the active position of the
                                             queen on b6. Gelfand' s novelty is
   29 gxh6 'it;>e7 30 �xb7+!                 the latest and most effective of these
   No respite in the centre either.          and bolsters my view that this
The rest is fun, but quite                   certainly cannot be included in the
self-explanatory!                            recommended repertoire.
   30 . . . iLxb7 3 1 'iVxb7+ QJc7 32            8 . . . QJc6 !
iLxc7 'iVb3 33 iLb6+ Wf6 34 d5 e5                Julian describes this is "one of the
35 f4 l:Iab8 36 fxe5+ �xe5 37                most vicious novelties I have ever
'iVe7+ �xd5 38 'iVd7+ 1-0                    had to face in my chess career".
   A very entertaining attacking             Boris Gelfand sets out to show that
game. This line is clearly very              the . . . ti'Jh5 theme can have a place
58 2. J i Je4 3 �f4 c5 4 13 'iVa5+ 5 c3 etJf6 6 etJd2


with the queen on b6 too. Since this                   11 �e2 ! ?
seems to be ' the latest word ' I will                Once or twice since, White has
mention just one other move. Black               felt moved to repeat this line and try
needs to play sharply to make a                  1 1 .td2, but Black has very easy
virtue out of the queen ' s position,            equality with 1 1 . . . etJxeS 12 �xb4
and therefore 8 . . . d5 is essentially          'iVxb4+ 1 3 'iVd2 when either
too static. Therefore, prior to                  1 3 . . . 'iVxd2+ 1 4 etJxd2 dS ! I S f4
Gelfand ' s inspiration, 8 . . . e6 ! ? had      etJc6 1 6 eS etJg4 1 7 etJgf3 f6 with
looked the best e.g. 9 �d2 (9 e3 is              the idea to meet 1 8 exf6?! with
met with 9 . . etJdS ! whilst I suspect
                .
                                                 1 8 . . O-O !
                                                      .                   D .Muse-Jurkovic,
that 9 e4 as ! does not guarantee                Croatia (chT) 1 998, or keeping
White a quiet life either) 9 . . . etJc6 1 0     middlegame tensions with the
e 3 as ! 1 1 a4 �b4 1 2 �b5 etJdS 1 3            untested 1 3 . . . �e7 ! ? both look very
'iVe2 0-0 1 4 etJh3 d6 1 5 etJg5 e S 1 6         viable .
.txb4 etJdxb4 1 7 dxeS and now in
Hodgson-Suetin, Bern (op) 1 99 5                       1 1 . . . etJxeS !
Black simply recaptured with                          Cleaner in my opinion than the
 1 7 . . . dxeS with a pleasant enough           complex 1 1 . . . etJhS 1 2 ii.e3 .
position. Hodgson gives instead                        1 2 �d4 etJg6! 13 �e3
 1 7 . . . etJc2+ ! ? 1 8 'ti'xc2 'ti'xe3+ 1 9         1 3 �xb6? fails to 1 3 . . . etJxf4+ 1 4
'iti>f1 �xgS as leading to severe                �e3 and a knight fork on d5 .
problems for White, but after 20
exd6 .tfS 2 1 'iVcS ! I am not                         13 dS! 14 exdS 0-0
                                                          •. •



convinced it is so terrible.                          Black pursues his initiative with
      9 e4                                       great vigour, and indeed he should,
                                                 because if he loses his momentum it
      As so often in similar positions, 9
                                                 is still not impossible to arrive at an
d5? ! is well met with 9 . . . e5 ! when         endgame with certain weaknesses.
the weaknesses created by the pawn               Now however, White should play
on f3 are brought into brutally sharp             I S 'iti>f2 when there seems nothing
focus . Also 9 e3 d6 ! followed by               better than 1 5 . . J Wxd4 1 6 �xd4
 . . . e5 looks very dynamic for Black.          etJxd5 and there is really nothing
      9 . . . eS! 10 dxeS �b4+                   between the two sides . That is a
                                                 familiar problem with chess. You
                                                 can play very well indeed with
                                                 Black, but it does not always suffice
                                                 for a plus. I S a3 ? ! though, causes a
                                                 slight weakness to the b3 square and
                                                 grants Black some time to regroup.
                                                 How often does the move preceding
                                                 a draw offer betray a player' s slight
                                                 uneasiness?
                                                       IS a3? ! �xd4 16 �xd4 �e7 1 7
                                                 'iti> f2 etJxdS 1 8 etJe2 �e6 1 9 etJcS
                               2 .tiJe4 3 i.f4 c5 413 'tIka5+ 5 c3 'tJf6 6 'tJd2 5 9
                                 . .




    This feels like the wrong                            Game 1 1
ex ch ange in terms of the initiative.              Lputian - Mirumian
 1 9 i.c5 ! ? would lose less time.                 Ankara (zonal) 1 995
    19 . . . i.xc5 20 i.xc5 .l:f.fc8 2 1
.:te l ? ! 'tJe5 22 'tJ d 4 b6 2 3 'tJxe6       1 d4 'tJf6 2 .tg5 'tJe4 3 i.f4 c5 4
fx e6 24 .:tel 'tJxf3 ! 25 gxf3 .:txc5       f3 �a5+ 5 c3 'tJf6 6 'tJd2 cxd4 7
2 6 .:txe6 Itf8!                             'tJb3 'i'b6 8 'i¥xd4 'i'xd4? ! 9 cxd4
    It is impressive how a few rather
weak squares, plus the presence of a
bishop of the wrong colour squares
to defend them can add up to
something significant even with
reduced material.
    27 .l:f.e4 .l:f.c2+ 28 Wg3 'tJf6 29
l:le2 'tJh5+ 30 �f2 lifc8 3 1 b3 Wf8
32 .l:Igl .l:I8c3 33 .l:g5 g6 34 l:.b5
ctJf4 35 .l:xc2 .l:xc2+ 36 We3 'tJe6
    and White has a very difficult task
ahead. To annotate the rest seriously
would not be an efficient use of                  This exchange leads to the same
limited space. Black commits an              old structure with which we are
inaccuracy on move 48 which gave             becoming quite well acquainted.
several drawing chances, but in the          Nonetheless, there is a difference,
' second round' , the queen ending,          and from Black' s point of view, I
Gelfand ' s technique was faultless.         don 't like it at all. In essence it
    37 i.c4 'tJc7 3 8 .l:e5 .l:f.xh2 39 a4   concerns the effect of simplification
lihl 40 �f4 1Ih4+ 41 We3 l:thl 42            on White' s two key developed
'itf4 as 43 Wg4 l:.gl + 44 �h3 l:.dl         minor pieces-the bishop on f4 and
45 f4 �d7 46 1,!e4 �g7 47 �g4 Wf6            the knight on b3 .
48 Wf3 l:i.d6? 49 i.g8! h5 50 b4                  The point is this. In a
lid3+ 5 1 Wf2 Itd8 52 lic4 'tJa6 53          middle-game setting, both of these
J:tc6+ rJig7 54 lhb6 'tJxb4 55 .te6          squares seem to carry some
'tJd5 56 .txd5 i.:txd5 57 �e3 h4 58          down-side. As Gelfand demon­
J:b5 J:xb5 59 axb5 a4 60 b6 a3 61            strated most graphically, the bishop
b7 a2 62 b8='iW al =iV 63 'it>f3             on f4 can easily be vulnerable to a
�c3+ 64 Wg2 Wh6 65 'tIkd6 'tIkg3+            central break with . . . e5, and it
66 Whl 'tIkh3+ 67 Wgl �h5 68                 might also be a target for the simple
�d4 'tIkf5 69 Wg2 'itg4 70 'tIkdl +          . . . 'tJh5 familiar from so many
�xf4 7 1 'tIkd2+ Wg4 72 'iWdl + Wg5          queen' s pawn openings. The knight
73 iVd8+ Wh5 74 �h8+ Wg5 75                  on the quite unusual b3 square can
'tIkd8+ �f6 76 'tIkd2+ Wh5 77 'tIke2+        also suffer if Black can organise
�h6 78 �h3 �f4 79 Wg2 'i'g3+ 80              counter-play based on a quick
�h l 'iVh3+ 81 Wgl 'i'f5 82 �h2 g5           . . . a5-a4, perhaps in conjunction
83 'tIke8 'iVf6 84 'tIkc8 'i'f4+ 85 �hl      with a queen on b6. Without queens
�h5 86 'tIke8+ Wg4 87 �e6+ 'i'f5             on the board, on the other hand,
88 'i'c4+ 'itg3 89 �c7+ 'i¥f4 0-1            both squares start to look a lot
60 2. J i Je4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 'Dd2


rosier. Assuming Black wants to                    'Dxa5 'Dxb5 1 6 axb5 but after
contest the centre with the move                   1 6 . . . 'Db6 1 7 i.d2 Black had little to
. . . d5 the knight suddenly has access            show for the pawn. However with
to the c5 square for which in similar              either 1 6 . . . 'Dc5 ! ? 1 7 dxc5 l:Ixa5 1 8
structures (the Exchange Slav for                  b4 l:txb5 1 9 i.d2 b6 ! 20 cxb6 i.a6
example) it is often worth                         which Hertneck was generous
manoeuvring at some length. The                    enough to attribute to his Fritz or
bishop on f4 also looks very good                  maybe even 1 6 . . . f6 Black would
here and further impedes Black's                   have secured a share of the dynamic
attempts to defend his vulnerable                  chances .
queenside. Lastly, White is simply                    1 0 e3 e6 1 1 g4 !
free to pursue his space advantage
with much less regard to king
safety. First to the c-file on the
queenside, he can also have realistic
and promising expansionary aspirat­
ions on the other wing.
     9 . d5
    . .



     In a sense it seems a shame to
grant White the c5 square so lightly,
but if Black does not contest the
centre in this way he can expect a
further range of difficulties . Again it
is the c-file which is so significant,
forcing Black to address the
question of how to develop his                         1 1 ... i.b4+
queenside sooner than he might                         This was suggested as a possible
have preferred e.g. 9 . . . d6 1 0 e4              improvement for B lack following
'Dc6 ( 1 0 . . . g6 1 1 lIc U ) 1 1 d5 'De5        another beautifully thematic White
 12 i.b5+ 'id8 ( 1 2 . . . i.d7 looks like         win in this line. However, I suspect
a lesser evil) 1 3 i.d2 i.d7 14 i.xd7              that it doesn 't really change the
'Dfxd7 was Degraeve-Lane, Capelle                  fundamentals. The oft-quoted game
La Grande 1 994, and now the                       V.Salov-Akopian, Wijk aan Zee
 simple 1 5 i.c3 ! ? should suffice to              1 993 is well worth re-visiting
persuade Black not to repeat this                  though,            for    White ' s   patient
approach.                                          treatment of his spatial plus . After
      However, the attempt to reach a               1 1 . . .'Dc6 1 2 i.b5 i.d7 1 3 a3 ! �d8
French-style position with the                     ( 1 3 . . . 'De7 ! ? - De la Villa looks like
bishop sitting a little strangely on f4            a better try although the basic
was perhaps relatively better. In                  assessment             remains      unaltered.
Lputian-Shipov, Belgrade 1 999                     White should play 14 i.d3 still
Black played for counterplay with                  enjoying a healthy spatial plus) 1 4
9 . . . e6 ! ? 10 l:!.c 1 ( 1 0 e4 d5              l:tc 1 'De8 1 5 ttJc5 i.xc5 (A trade of
 [ 1 0 . . . 'Dc6 ! ?] 1 1 i.xb8 ! ? l':txb8 1 2   advantages . In exchange for his fine
e 5 'Dd7 1 3 f4 i s an interesting                 knight on c5 White wins not just the
 alternative) 1 0 . . . 'Dc6 1 1 e4 d5 1 2         bishop pair, but the better half of
e 5 'Dd7 1 3 i.b5 a 5 1 4 a4 ! 'Da7 1 5            Black' s pair) 1 6 �xc5 �e7 17 ttJe2
                                2. J i je4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 �a5+ 5 c3 0,f6 6 0,d2 61


0,d6 18 i.d3 l:.tac8 1 9 b4 b6 20 lIc3          1 2 'it>n rJi;e7 13 lIc1 .i.d6 14
a5 ? ! 2 1 b5 0,a7 22 a4 .l:txc3 23          .i.xd6+ rJi;xd6
0,xc3 l:tc8 24 'it'd2 0,c4+ 25 'ic2 f6




                                                Black has successfully organised
                                             a different exchange of pieces from
26 e4 ! (Encouraged by Black's               that of dark-squared bishop for
threat of . . . g5 this is in any case a     knight which left Akopian in such
well-timed         central    break     in   an unpleasant predicament in the
principle. Note that in his attempts         last note. However, as we shall see
to promote queenside play Black              White still enjoys a powerful pull,
has landed himself with a truly              not just on the dark squares. Black' s
awful knight on a7, while White ' s          king position i s also a serious issue,
control o f key squares o n the c-file       and this, along with the passivity of
ensures that he will never face more         his pieces, prevents him from
than minor inconvenience in this             convincingly contesting White ' s
sphere) 26 . . . dxe4 27 fxe4 0,d6           expansion (see the note to Black' s
(Still on the theme of trading               1 9th i n particular o n this point) .
advantages, White is ready to                   1 5 0,e2 b6 1 6 g5 0,fd7 1 7 0,c3
 answer 27 . . . e5 with 28 �b3 ! which      a6? !
would in all likelihood return the
bishop pair in exchange for a total             Of course this is not a decision
domination of the light squares) 28          that Black makes lightly, (the
'i£tb3 0,fl 29 e5 ! (now though it is        weakness created on b6 is much
on the dark squares that White will          more than academic ! ) but his desire
appropriately enough emphasise his           to put a stop to 0,b5+ once and for
as cendancy) 29 . . . l:th8 3 0 0,e4 h5      all is understandable. However, in
3 1 g5 fxg5 32 0,xg5 0,h6 33 i.c l !         view of the developmental log-j am
0,c8 34 l:tfl h4 3 5 h3 lIg8 3 6 i.h7        which we are to witness shortly
l:th8 3 7 i.g6 i. e 8 3 8 i.a3+ 'it>d7 3 9   there was a case for 1 7 . . . i.a6 ! ? 1 8
i.e4 0,e7 40 i.xe7 'i£txe7 4 1 J:t c 1       e4 ( 1 8 i.b5 ! ? l:tc8 1 9 a4 ! ? is
i.d7 42 l:lc7 'it'd8 43 J:tb7 1 -0 A         another valid approach) 1 8 . . . i.xfl
sup erb technical display by White, a        1 9 llhxfl a6 and although Black's
model handling of the bishop pair            king still looks quite uncomfortable,
whic h reduced the defender to utter         the range of the attacker' s tactical
pas sivity.                                  options      has     been      somewhat
62 2 ..tl:Je4 3 iLf4 c5 4 j3 'iVa 5 + 5 c3 t/jf6 6 t/jd2
      .




diminished by the reduction of                         2 2 iLxd7! <t£txd7 23 t/ja4 ! t/je8 24
material . 20 e5+ ! ? is nonetheless an           .l:i.xe8 lIaxe8 25 t/jxb6+ �d6 26
interesting way to again pose the                 t/jxe8+ iLxe8 27 lIel iLd7 28 t/je5
key question as to how Black ' s                       With a rather simple technical
forces will emerge.                               task, since White has won a pawn
    18 iLd3 iLb7                                  and kept a number of his positional
    At first sight 1 8 . . . t/jc6 100ks more     trumps .
natural and 1 9 t/je4+ ! ? �c7 is more                 28 . . . h6 29 t/jb7+ �e6 30 l:te7
attractive than decisive - 20                     iLe8 31 g6 fxg6 32 t/je5+ <t£tf6 33
1:.xc6+ ! ? �xc6 2 1 .l:i.c 1 + <t£tb7 22         t/jxa6 1-0
t/jd6+ <t£tb8 23 t/jxfl for example
gives pleasant compensation, but                                Game 1 2
why offer material when ' normal                            Torre - Svidler
means ' can also increase the                              Bad Homburg 1 99 8
pressure? However, 1 9 e4 is again
strong, when if B lack avoids                        1 d 4 t/jf6 2 iL g 5 t/je4 3 iLf4 e5 4
transposing back into the game with               f3 � a5+ 5 c3 t/jf6 6 t/jd2 exd4 7
 1 9 . . . iLb7      and       instead    tries   t/jb3 'iVb6 8 'iVxd4 t/je6! 9 'iVxb6
 19 . . . dxe4 White can show another             axb6
dimension of his initiative with 20
iLxe4 iLb7 2 1 d5 ! t/jb4 22 dxe6
iLxe4 23 exd7 with a clear
advantage. When the centre files are
blasted open, Black' s king position
clearly becomes untenable.
    1 9 e4 t/je6
    Again 19 . . . dxe4 20 fxe4 e5 which
looks positionally plausible in terms
of the contest for centre squares
fails on the level of common sense
to the simple 2 1 d5 ! The blocked
centre hardly helps Black. His
 knights can barely move, let alone                 This is still the critical position for
 aspire to reach the blockading                   the assessment of 6 t/jd2 . As so
 square. Note again how the g5 pawn               often in the Trompowsky we have
plays a valuable cramping role.                   arrived at fascinating clash between
 White' s ability to advance on both              static and dynamic elements. On
 wings really is the crux of his                  this occasion though, it is Black
 advantage here.                                  who is looking to prove his dynamic
    20 exd5 exd5 2 1 iLf5 !                       credentials,       having      accepted
    Simple chess. White turns his                 structural weaknesses in exchange
 attention to the weak b6 square.                 for free development, the half-open
                                                  a-file and mobile centre pawns. So
    2 1 . . . t/je7?                              just how weak are the doubled
    Losing without a struggle. He had             isolated b-pawns? I think it would
 to try 2 1 . . . t/jf8.                          be fair to say that theory is replete
                              2 . . . !De4 3 iLf4 c5 4 13 'ilVa5+ 5 c3 !Df6 6 !Dd2 63


with examples of White coming to a         might look like an odd way forward.
sticky end when he tries to attack         However, the move improves a
and remove them too quickly - on           knight which can otherwise start to
which level Julian Hodgson' s              look rather misplaced in the new
p es simistic remark that "Black i s far   structural setting (vulnerable even,
too active for White to exploit this       as some of the notes that follow will
factor" clearly makes some sense.          suggest) and in addition forces
However, if White concentrates on          Black to reckon with the possibility
trying to catch up with his                of !Db5 . It again invites a full
development and succeeds in                opening of the c-file, an invitation
mobilising his kings ide forces, then      which once more it seems wise to
I think Black has to be really quite       politely decline, but in this case the
careful not to end up in a position        move also scores in terms of
where his initiative is exhausted and      restraining the b-pawn.
the b-pawns prove to be a static              I will cover alternatives in brief,
long-term       embarrassment.       Of    but only to the extent that they
course, he is also interested in trying    throw interesting light on the nature
to make a virtue out of these pawns,       of this complex position.
to advance the front b-pawn in a
                                              a) 1 0 e4 has a rather dubious
strange kind of minority attack for
                                           reputation, and there is obviously
which the pawn on c3 can prove to
                                           the danger that after 10 . . . d5 ! the
be a target. White' s 1 0th moves will
                                           opening of the position will only
also be judged according to their
                                           emphasise Black' s greater activity.
ability to take the sting out of this
intention. I do not know how much
of an impact Julian ' s book had on
the popularity of this line, but he
was clearly feeling exceptionally
bleak about it when he concluded "a
computer program might feel
comfortable playing White after
8 . .'� c6! but I doubt that too many
 .


humans would enjoy playing the
White side". I note only that a year
later he himself, that most
non-computer like of chess-players,
gave us the superb demonstration of
White ' s resources that is Game 1 3
b elow !                                       Bad for example is 1 1 exd5 !Dxd5
                                            1 2 iLd2 e5 ! 1 3 a3 (not 1 3 iLb5 iLe6
   1 0 !Dd4 ! ?                             14 !De2 as 14 . . . !Dc7 ! forces 1 5
   In my opinion this i s clearly the       iLxc6+ when Black has a glorious
most promising for White, and for           position) 1 3 . . . iLe6 14 c4 !Df6 1 5
this reason it is the focus of              iLe3 !Dd7 1 6 lIc 1 !Dc5 1 7 !Dxc5
attention for the remaining games of        i.xc5 1 8 iLxc5 bxc5 1 9 !De2 rJ;e7
the chapter. Given what I said above        20 !Dc3 lthd8 and Black has
about White ' s need to begin               superiority in terms of both piece
catching up in the development              placement and structure - Rausis­
stakes, moving the same piece twice         Muhutdinov, Moscow, 1 992.
64 2 . . . 'De4 3 .t.j'4 c5 4 13 'i'a5+ 5 c3 'Df6 6 'Dd2


   However, White could at least try           also clearly represented an utter
1 1 i.e3 ! ? dxe4 1 2 i.xb6 when I do          failure of White ' s strategy. He has
not see a better move than 1 2 . . . e5        no compensation for his weak dark
transposing to a line to be                    squares and the fact that his pieces
considered under c), which, though             have hardly ventured out beyond the
not to my taste for White, is at least         front door. V.Kovacevic-Smirin,
theoretically respectable.                     Zagreb (zt) 1 999) 14 . . . 'Dxd5 1 5
   b) 10 a3 ? !                                i.c5 which was Lesiege-Shaked,
                                               Bermuda 1 997 and now Black
                                               obtained very decent compensation
                                               after 1 5 . . . i.e7 1 6 c;i;>f2 f5 etc, but
                                               Julian seems to be              to point out
                                               that 1 5 . . . 'Da5 ! 1 6          i.xc5 1 7
                                               'Dxb7 i.e3 1 8 'Dd6+ cj;e7 1 9 'Dc4
                                               l:hb8 giving a second pawn for a
                                               much tighter control of the dark
                                               squares leaves White desperately
                                               tied up.
                                                  c) 1 0 i.e3 attempts to cause the
                                               b6-pawn immediate embarrassment,
                                               and is without much doubt the
                                               second most significant choice. Its
     I think Jonathan Rowson would             drawback is of course that it further
refer to this move as 'uni­                    blocks the development of the
dimensional ' .     Black has two              White kingside. My view is that
principal sources of counterplay -             Black has a choice of very
the advance of his b6-pawn and his             reasonable ideas here, the second of
lead in development. This addresses            which is again the advance of the
the one, but palpably ignores the              centre pawns, sacrificing the b6
other. Black can mobilise his centre           pawn to emphasise his active forces:
and obtain good play with 1 0 . . . e5 ! ?
( l O. . .d5 1 1 i.xc7 e 5 1 2 i.xb6
amounts to the same thing. In this
case White has the additional option
of 1 1 'Dd4 ! ? but after 1 1 . . . e5 1 2
'Dxc6 exf4 1 3 'Dd4 w e reach the
structure which is critical to the
assessment of Games 1 3 and 1 4 .
Black should b e quite happy t o have
. . . d5 on the board [in my opinion
his play in Game 14 is in principle
' tougher'       than    the      . . . 'Dd5
approaches] and therefore the
question arises as to quite what 1 0
a3 has achieved here) 1 1 i.e3 d5 1 2             c l ) 10 . . . b5 ! ? 1 1 'Dd4   ( 1 1 i.d2 e5
i.xb6 d4 ! 1 3 cxd4 i.e6 1 4 d5 ( 1 4          1 2 a3 [ 1 2 e4 b4 is                 also quite
'Dc5 'Dd5 1 5 'Dxe6 fxe6 1 6 i.c5              comfortable for Black,              who easily
'Dxd4 17 i.xd4 exd4 1 8 %:te l i.d6            liquidates his only                   weakness]
                                   2 . . . lDe4 3 iLf4 c5 4 J3 '1Wa5+ 5 c3 lDf6 6 lDd2 65


1 2 . . . d6 1 3 e4 iLe6 and the poor            lDxc3 I S i.xfS l:!xfS 1 6 lDcs lDd4 ! )
knight on b3 will cost White further             1 3 . . . dxe4 ( I am also quite in
time - another argument for 1 0                  sympathy with 1 3 . . . lDd7 ! ? 1 4 iLf2
lDd4 ! ) 1 1 . . . lDdS ( I I . . . lDxd4 1 2    dxe4 ! I S lDd2 exf3 1 6 lDgxf3 iLe7,
iLxd4 e6 1 3 e4 b4 1 4 iLbS is                   when I am not sure what headway
sli ghtly better for White according             White can make if Black follows up
to Vadim Milov) 1 2 iLf2 lDxd4 ! ?               with . . . f6, while even the more
( 1 2 . . . lDc7 has always been played          ambitious . . . fS and . . . e4 might be
here, but it looks a little passive) 1 3         possible too) 1 4 lDcs ( 1 4 lDaS iLd7 !
iLxd4 eS ! ? is a radical attempt I              I S lDc4 l:rc8 leaves White ' s forces
dreamt up some time ago to solve                 looking a little tangled) 14 . . . iLxcs
Black's problems by means of a                   I S i.xcs :'xa2 16 ':xa2 iLxa2 and
different pawn offer. This is based              now if 1 7 .i.d6 �d8 ! ? 1 8 iLxc6
upon the very direct threats posed               bxc6 1 9 iLxeS lDd7 20 iLd4 cS
after 14 iLxeS (It seems the offer               looks fine for Black, while after the
pretty much has to be accepted since             1 7 lDh3 of Berend-Polzin, European
if 14 iLf2 b4 ! I S c4 lDc7 followed             Club Cup, Panormo 200 1 1 7 . . . lDd7
by . . . lDe6 and . . . iLcs is an optimal       was sufficient, but I am also not
formation for Black) 1 4 . . . lDe3 I S          sure what White has after simply
'It>f2 ( 1 S llc 1 lDc4 wins back the             17 . . . exf3 1 8 gxf3 iLdS 1 9 �f2 lDd7
pawn with active play) I S . . . lDc2 1 6        20 .I:.a l lDd8 2 1 .i.d6 f6 when there
l:rc 1 ( 1 6 l:td l .i.cS+ 1 7 iLd4              are a lot of good things about the
iLxd4+ ! ? 1 8 cxd4 l:txa2 might be a            Black position once he succeeds in
safer option, but it does not put                freeing himself.
Black           under     any        pressure)
 16 . . . iLcS+ 1 7 c;t>g3 lDe3 and
White ' s        king    position        looks
decidedly awkward. So far as I can
see, this well deserves a practical
test from Black.
    c2) 1 0 . . . dS 1 1 i.xb6 eS 1 2 e4 ! ?
(There is quite a widespread feeling
that if White does not thus return the
pawn, there is a very real risk that
his pieces might be murdered in
their beds. Some Canadian players
seem to have started to look at 1 2                 l O l:!a5 ? !
                                                      . . .

.i.f2 but after 1 2 . . . d4 1 3 e4 .i.e6 1 4
lDd2 .i.cs ( 1 4 . . . dxc3 I S bxc3 l:txa2         The best move is almost certainly
is less ambitious, but also looks                 10 . . . eS (see Games 14 and I S) .
sufficient) I S a4 0-0-0 1 6 lDc4                Still, this does involve a further
i.a7 White has trouble putting any               compromising of Black's pawn
more pressure on d4 to challenge                 structure and the search for
B lack' s dark square bind. E.Lawson             alternatives is understandable. The
- Gormally, Hastings Challengers                 text move aims at stopping lDbS and
2003 . 1 2 . . . i.e6 (if 1 2 . . . dxe4 then    threatening a more ' aesthetic'
 1 3 iLc4 is supposed to be good) 1 3            version of . . . eS.
i.bS ( 1 3 exdS? ! lDxdS 1 4 iLcs                   Other tries in brief:
66 2 . ..tiJe4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 fia 5 + 5 c3 t"iJf6 6 t"iJd2


    a) If 1 0 . . . t"iJdS ? ! then 1 1 t"iJbS ! is   fronts. Timman-Rochev, Kilkenny
strong. There can hardly be any                       1 999.
plausible exchange sacrifices since                       11 t"iJb3 .!:ta8 1 2 t"iJd4 J:a5 13 b4 !
the doubled pawns ensure an easy
route back out from the comer.                            After a little orientating repetition,
Rausis-l.Ivanov, Riga 1 993 was                       White hits on the right plan. Again
striking as after 1 1 . . . J:f.a4 (If                the move t"iJbS will be strong
1 1 . . . eS? 12 e4 ! is very strong, while           enough to outweigh any queenside
1 1 . . .J:f.aS ? ! 1 2 t"iJc7+ t"iJxc7 1 3           weakness this creates.
i.xc7 eS 1 4 e3 is a case where the                       1 3 .. J!a4
b-pawn grab comes with no real                            If 1 3 . . . t"iJxd4 1 4 cxd4 .!:ta8
drawbacks) 1 2 .i.d2 t"iJaS White                     (forced, since otherwise the c-file
played the very calm and very                         and the bishop on c8 become an
strong 1 3 O-O-O ! and had a                          issue) then simply I S e4 e6 16 .i.d2
wonderful position very quickly                       results in a very pleasant position
after 1 3 . . . d6 14 e4 t"iJf6 I S �b 1              for White.
t"iJc4 1 6 i.c l t"iJeS 1 7 .i.e3 . Of                    1 4 t"iJb5 g6 1 5 e4 .i.g7 1 6 t"iJe7+!
course it is 1 3 . . . ::'xa2 which is                WfS
critical to the assessment, but 1 4
�b l I:ta4 I S e4 d6 1 6 b4 ! t"iJb3 ! ? 1 7              Neither does 16 . . . 'id8 17 t"iJbS
i.gS ! just wins since the tricks are                 t"iJhS ! ? 1 8 .i.c7+ 'ie8 suffice for
exhausted and the b3 knight remains                   Black. The simplest is probably 1 9
trapped.                                              l:rd l ! ?     intending       to    answer
                                                      1 9 . . . 'uxa2 with 20 g4 t"iJf6 2 1 .i.c4
   b) 1 0 . . . t"iJxd4 1 1 cxd4 leads to a           with tremendous play. White has a
similar open c-file structure to those                lot of leeway as a result of his
of which we have already seen a                       knight' s almost untouchable status
good deal. This, although the                         on b S .
doubled b-pawns are in themselves                         1 7 i.b5 .l:.a3 1 8 t"iJe2 t"iJ h 5 1 9
no great target, looks like another                   i.el ! ':'xe3
fairly good version for White.
1 1 . . . dS 1 2 e3 ! (I think Gallagher is               Even if Black foresees the fate of
right to claim that White should not                  his rook he really has to try this
get involved in the greedy 1 2 i.c7?!                 otherwise White simply has a tight
e6 13 i.xb6 �d7 ! e.g. 1 4 .i.cs                      structure and much the better pieces.
i.xcs I S dxcS �c6 ! 16 b4 d4 ! ? and                     20 i.b2 ':'e2 21 i.xg7+ �xg7 22
there are good prospects that                         t"iJd5 e6 23 t"iJe3 .l:.b2 24 a3 !
White ' s pieces are going to continue
to get familiar with their starting
squares for a while yet) 1 2 . . . i.d7
1 3 i.d3 i.c6 1 4 t"iJe2 e6 I S �d2
�d7 1 6 a3 i.d6 1 7 b4 .i.xf4 1 8 exf4
�d6 1 9 t"iJc3 l:thc8 20 a4 t"iJe8 2 1 h4
h6 22 g4 .i.d7 23 hS �e7 24 .!:the l
�f8 2S fS and whilst I would not
deny that the defence could have
been improved, we again have the
welcome sight in this line of White
prosecuting his initiative on all
                              2. J i Je4 3 iLf4 c5 413 iVa 5+ 5 c3 CiJf6 6 CiJd2 6 7


   How the mighty are fallen. After         clear breakthrough plan for White in
m aking more than a third of his            any case.
mo ves so far, it becomes clear that              40 .l:.de1 Wf6 4 1 �e3 �e7 42
the active rook has been lured into         �fe1 fxe4 43 CiJxe4 iLxe4 44 lIxe4
an elaborate trap, and that White has       �d6 45 �e3 �d5 46 �d3 CiJf5 47
cle verly exchanged off the only            J:!.c1 b6 48 'u'e8 CiJxg3 49 �d8+ We6
piece which either supported the            50 �e1 e4+ 51 �e3 CiJf5+ 52 �f4
counterplay, or could have come to          e3 53 lIel + Wb7 54 �d7+ �b8 55
its assistance. Of course Black can         .l:.d8+
extract some concessions as a price
for the exchange, and his knights                 The draw is now inevitable.
find some squares, but the                  Black' s e-pawn is too dangerous for
                                            White to play for a win, while any
remainder of his forces and his
weakened structure strongly suggest          . . . �a6?? begets instant punishment
                                            with mate along the 7th rank.
that this will not be enough.
   24 . . . d5!                                   55 ... �b7 56 lId7+ Wb8 57 �g5
                                            e2 58 lId8+ �b7 59 �d7+ Wb8 60
   A better try than 24 . . . CiJe5 25      lId8+ �b7 YZ-YZ
0-0-0 lIb3 26 CiJc2 ! and the rook is
not long for this world.
   25 CiJd1                                              Game 1 3
                                                    Hodgson - Sutovsky
   De la Villa suggests 25 exd5 ! ?                 Vikings, York 1 999
exd5 first and only then 2 6 CiJd 1 . I
think he is probably right, although           1 d4 CiJf6 2 iLg5 CiJe4 3 iLf4 e5 4
it is not so trivial a task to neutralise   f3 iVa5+ 5 e3 CiJf6 6 CiJd2 exd4 7
the extra initiative this grants Black      CiJb3 iVb6 8 iVxd4 CiJe6! 9 iVxb6
after 26 . . . lIxe2+ 27 iLxe2 CiJf4 28     axb6 10 CiJd4 e5! 1 1 CiJxe6
i.fl .l:.e8+ 29 �f2 (29 �d2 ! )
2 9 . . . d4 when White, although he
must stand better, still has to show
how the rest of his pieces will come
into play.
   25 .. .lbe2+ 26 iLxe2 CiJd4 27
tLJe3 CiJf4 28 iLfl dxe4 29 fxe4 e5
30 g3 CiJfe6 3 1 0-0-0 b5
   Black has done a good job of
minimising his difficulties . His
knights are well placed, and his
b-pawns now look less of a problem
than the White e-pawn.
   32 Wb2 iLd7 33 i.h3 iLe6 34                 1 1 ... exf4
i.xe6 CiJxe6 35 CiJd5 CiJd4 36 lIhel          It is clear that the further
h5 37 h4 .l:.e8 38 CiJe3 lIe6 39 lIn        structural concessions that Black is
f5
                                            making are far from trivial either.
  Is it now Black playing for more          Still, the prize of the dark squares,
than the draw? I do not really see a        and the apparently gaping hole on
68 2 ..tiJe4 3 �f4 c5 4 f3 �a5 + 5 c3 tiJf6 6 tiJd2
      .




e3 in particular, look at first sight to     White has nothing. Marzolo-Pujos,
represent substantial compensation.          French (ch), Marseilles 200 1 .
However,            there     is   another       b) 1 3 a3 b 5 1 4 e4 b4 1 5 cxb4
possibility here, the pawn sacrifice         �xb4+ 1 6 'it'f2 �c5+ 1 7 'ie l
1 1 . . . dxc6 ! ? which hit prominence at   �b4+ 1 8 'ie2 �a5 ! ? 1 9 tiJh3 .Jib3
home when Mark Hebden used it to             20 tiJf4 0-0-0 2 1 �c3 �b6 22 'it'e 1
defeat Tony Miles in the British             l:!.he8 23 .Jie2 tiJxe4 24 fxe4 l:!.xe4
Championship in 2000. When I first           25 g3 g5 26 �f6 l:!.g8 ! was
saw this, I found it scarcely credible       Miles-Hebden,           British     (ch),
that Black's extra development               Millfield, 2000 when Black is
could provide sufficient play, but           winning back his material with a
White does need to take the                  tremendous initiative. There are
inconvenience to his king seriously,         various places where possible
and the extra punch with which               improvements suggest themselves.
Black's 'minority attack' tends to           De la Villa has his eye on
arrive. After 1 2 �xe5 �e6 ( 1 2 . . . b5    king-safety and wonders about 1 4
gave White more respite and the              e3 ! ? but h e admits that flicking in
opportunity to return the pawn with           14 . . . tiJd7 here is irritating since
interest after 1 3 e4 .Jie6 14 �d3 ! ?       there is no safe retreat to d4 in
tiJd7 1 5 .Jid4 �xa2 1 6 �xa2 �xa2           answer. Later on 1 9 J:Ic I ! ? and 20
1 7 'it'f2 .Jic4 1 8 �c2 �c5 1 9 b3           �c3 or if 1 9 . . . 0-0-0 then perhaps
�e6 20 tiJe2 when he will be first to        20 b4 might be possible. Also, what
the a-file and has rather the better         of 1 9 b4 �b6 20 'it'd2 ! ? 0-0-0 2 1
chances Collier-Ahn, European                We I followed by 2 2 tiJe2 . In all of
Club Cup, Halkidiki 2002)                    these cases I realise that Black has
                                              some play for the pawn, but while
                                             the compensation can prove a l ittle
                                              insidious, it is at this stage not
                                              obvious that it suffices.
                                                 c) 13 �d4 ! ? another suggestion
                                              from De la Villa. His intention is
                                             that after 13 . . . b5 14 a3 b4 1 5 cxb4
                                              �xb4+ 1 6 'if2 White ' s king should
                                             be shielded from danger in
                                              comparison with 'b' below . The
                                              only practical test so far did not
                                              work out so well after 16 . . . 0-0 1 7
                                              e4 .l:tfd8 1 8 �e3 ? ! �d2 1 9 tiJe2
White has:                                    lId3 20 �xd2 .l:txd2 2 1 b4 �c4
     a) 13 e4 a less effective attempt to     when Black was very active in
return the pawn since after                   Elguezabal Varela - Fernandez
1 3 . . ..lha2 1 4 l:!.xa2 �xa2 1 5 tiJh3     Garcia, Spain 200 1 , but 1 8 ltJe2 ! ?
tiJd7 16 �d4 f6 1 7 �e2 �d6 1 8               looks better. White ' s development is
'id2 �e6 1 9 tiJf2 'ie7 20 tiJd3 J:Ia8        still an issue, but the idea certainly
Black has gained time by omitting             looks worth further consideration.
. . . b5, is first to the key file and            12 tiJd4
                             2 . . .ciJ e4 3 iLf4 c5 4 j3 'it'a5+ 5 c3 CiJf6 6 CiJd2 69


                                           entire strategy in need of some
                                           repair given the very elegant
                                           treatment that we are about to
                                           witness. Only in line ' b ' below to
                                           my mind is White ' s advantage still
                                           to any degree in question:
                                              The other is 12 . . . CiJdS which is
                                           probably best met with 13 g3 ! ( 1 3
                                           e4 ! ? i s also interesting, but perhaps
                                           less effective in the case of
                                            13 . . . CiJe3 ! ? with the bishop not yet
                                           committed to cS) and now:
   Quite possibly the critical position
for the assessment of 1 0 CiJd4, and
perhaps therefore for the entire
chapter. The players have done
wonderfully well at producing
imbalance. Black has only two
pawns which are neither doubled
nor isolated. The b-pawns have been
effectively immobilised for the
moment, and the isolated d-pawn
can prove a very serious liability in
the context of these other structural
defects . However, the advanced
f-pawn is quite another matter. It             a) 1 3 . . . gS ? ! is too ambitious .
spearheads Black' s compensation           White has too many options for
which consists primarily in the            trying to break the bind over e3 for
restraint    of    White ' s    natural    such a direct approach to succeed. It
development, the distinctly shaky e3       was powerfully met by 14 e4 ! CiJe3
square and chances to utilise the          ( 1 4 . . . fxe3 I S iLc4 is worse than in
bishop pair to emphasise more              the main game to approximately the
general potential difficulties on the      degree that . . . gS is an ugly
dark squares. The position carries a       weakness) I S iLbS ! ? iLg7 16 CiJge2
few nuances too. As a warning to           �f8           17 �d2 and to have
Black I would say that the evidence        compensation for such structural
suggests subtlety is the order of the      difiiculties Black would need
day. An excessively direct approach        dangerous and direct threats, which
backfires. Indeed I am rather              he has clearly failed to generate.
persuaded that 1 2 . . . dS ! ? - the      Soffer-Mikhalevski, Israel (ch), Tel
subject of Game 14 - might be              Aviv, 1 994 and an important
Black' s best move here.                   forerunner of Julian' s play in the
   1 2 iLc5
     . . .                                 main game.
   This I would classify as one of the         b) 1 3 . . . iLcS ! ? 1 4 gxf4 CiJe3 I S
two moves which are quite brazen           �d2 CiJxfl + 1 6 nxfl ':'xa2 1 7 �c2
in their desire to exploit the e3          d6 1 8 e3 ! ? (I once played 1 8 e4
s quare, and which represent an            here, but the text keeps an even
70 2. J i Je4 3 iLf4 c5 413 'iVa5+ 5 c3 tDf6 6 tDd2


more solid           on the key d4                   It might seem tempting to try to
square) 1 8 . . .   1 9 tDge2 r:3;e7 20          disturb White ' s pawns a little too
�a l Itha8 2 1 ':xa2 �xa2 22 llg l               with 1 6 . . . iLxd4 1 7 cxd4, but after
and although it is still a tough fight,          for example 1 7 . . . g5 ! ? (otherwise
I rather prefer the knight pair here.            just 1 8 'ie2 and :thc 1 will be very
Berkes-Sevo, Paks 1 99 8 .                       awkward) 1 8 tDd5 tDxd5 1 9 iLxd5
                                                 f5 20 f4 ! Black' s position remains a
                                                 grand collection of weaknesses.
                                                     1 7 0-0-0 bS!
                                                     The best try. Black ensures the
                                                 exchange of some of his less healthy
                                                 pawns, although the resulting
                                                 ending is still clearly in White' s
                                                 favour.
                                                     18 tDxbS tDxbS 19 iLxbS .l:!.xa2
                                                 20 r:3;b l l:ta7 21 iLxd7 bS 22 iLxc8
                                                 .l:txc8
                                                     Black will experience problems
    14 e4 !                                      with his e3 and b5 pawns even with
                                                 the reduced material. It is interesting
    A fine extension of the ' Soffer              to watch how the lack of any real
idea ' above. Not even the weakness               contest on the light squares enables
caused by the move . . . g5 is required
                                                  White to go about exploiting this in
to justify the idea, so long as White
                                                  a very unhurried manner.
is in time to control the d5 square.
                                                     23 ':dS llb7 24 .l:!.hdl g6 2S
    1 4 . . . fxe3 I S iLc4 tDc7
                                                  Itd8+ �xd8 26 ':xd8+ r:3;g7 27 .l:!.dS
    It looks at first sight tougher to try        iLa7 28 'ic2 'if6 29 'id3 gS? ! 30
1 5 . . . tDb4 ! ? still looking to tactics to    tDe2 h6 31 tDd4 b4 32 c4 iLb8 33
mask            his     various    positional     g3
difficulties . However, after 1 6 cxb4 !
iLxd4 1 7 0-0-0 iLf6 ! (not 1 7 . . . b 5 ? !         It is effectively all over. The e3
 1 8 �xd4 bxc4 1 9 a3 0 - 0 20 tDf4 and           pawn is dropping and Black has
2 1 .l:!.he 1 with tremendous control of          next to no counterplay whatsoever.
key squares) 1 8 tDf4 ! (otherwise a              From Julian, both a notable opening
well timed . . . d5 really confuses the           idea and a ruthless technical
issue) 1 8 . . . iLg5 1 9 �d4 ! (note on          conversion.
how many squares White' s pieces                      33 . . Jle7 34 r:3;e2 .l:.c7 3S l:td6+
enjoy virtually untouchable status                'ieS 36 �dS+ 'itf6 37 b3 1:[a7 38
by virtue of Black's many damaged                 tDc6 .l:.a2+ 39 r:3;xe3 iLc7 40 .l:!.d2
pawns) 1 9 . . . 0-0 20 h4 iLh6 2 1 g4 !          iLb6+ 41 'it>e2 1:1.a3 42 tDxb4 i.gl
White should recover his pawn with                43 r:3;n i.cs 44 tDdS+ r:3;eS 4S b4
an excellent position.                            iLf8 46 �e2+ 'ifS 47 r:3;g2 lld3 48
     16 tDf4 ! 0-0                                h4 Itd4 49 hS g4 SO f4 1-0
                                 2 . . . CD e4 3 i.f4 c5 4 j3 li'a5+ 5 c3 CDf6 6 CDd2 71


              Game 1 4                          after . . . fxe3 , this pawn is almost
          Rogers Ftacnik
                     -                          bound to need to be recovered by
     (rapid match) Znojmo 1 999                 the king, not necessarily a safe task
                                                given open diagonals, the e-file and
  1 d4 CDf6 2 i.g5 CDe4 3 i.f4 c5 4             other dangers. There is also a
13 li'a5+ 5 c3 CDf6 6 CDd2 cxd4 7               concern that the time spent safely
CDb3 �6 8 �xd4 CDc6 9 �xb6                      regaining the pawn might afford
axb6 10 CDd4 e5 1 1 CDxc6 exf4 1 2              Black the chance to initiate some
CDd4 d5 ! ?                                     counterplay, the b-pawn advance
                                                again being one of the most
                                                plausible.
                                                    Incidentally De la Villa suggests
                                                that there might be a case for
                                                preparation of the e3 idea by first
                                                playing 1 3 'itf2 ! ? One point would
                                                be in response to 1 3 . . . i.cS , to keep
                                                the option open of playing 14 g3 ! ?
                                                This has not been tested, but I am
                                                inclined to wonder whether Black
                                                should not seize the moment to play
                                                1 4 . . . bS ! ? since 1 5 gxf4 b4 1 6 e3
                                                bxc3 1 7 bxc3 i.d7 might be decent
   The more modest and realistic of             compensation for a pawn. Again
Black' s 1 2th move options. He                 this serves to reintroduce into the
prevents CDh3 and keeps his options             discussion the importance of this
open as to the best square for his              . . . b5-b4 idea.
dark-squared bishop. Note for                        The main alternative is to head for
example that the option . . . i.d6 is           a more obscure structure by
more likely to raise questions about            exchanging the g-pawn for B lack's
the strength of the freeing move g3             front f-pawn. This also deserves
which emerged rather unscathed                  attention, for example 1 3 g3 ! ? i.d6
from Game 1 3 .                                  14 CDb5 (or 1 4 'it'f2 ! ? h5 ! ? 1 5 gxf4
   One alternative which can lead to            i.xf4 when 1 6 h4 0-0 1 7 e3 i.h6
related play is 1 2 . . . g6? ! 1 3 g3 ! i.d6   seemed to be OK for Black, since
 14 CDbS i.eS I S gxf4 i.xf4 1 6 e3             the bishop sits fairly happily on h6,
similar to Turner-Ftacnik below,                preparing to embarrass the e3 pawn
except for a suspicion that . . . g6 has        - Liang Chong-Stellwagen, Wijk
been revealed as little more than a             aan Zee (op) 200 1 . However, why
tempo loss.                                     not immediately 1 6 e3 ! ? and if
                                                 16 . . . i.h6 1 7 i.b5+ White has
    1 3 e3 ! ?                                  gained time over the game in the
   This i s a moment o f fundamental            event of 1 7 . . . 'it'd8, while against
decision for White. The text move                1 7 . . . i.d7, exchanging bishops and
aims at the cleanest structural                 occupying f5 looks a reasonable
contrast - 3v3 on the kingside, and             plan) 14 . . . i.eS 15 gxf4 i.xf4 1 6 e3
White' s sound queenside pawns                  i.e5 1 7 i.h3 i.e6 ! It is important to
pitted against Black's various                  encourage the dragging of pawn
weaknesses. The drawback is that                support to the d-pawn in this way,
72 2 Ci'Je4 3 iLf4 c5
      . . .                  'ifa5+ 5 c3 Ci'Jf6 6 Ci'Jd2


otheIWise the reduction in material          more impact on c5, where the pin
will favour White, and the exchange          can gain time to pursue other plans.
of light-squared bishops highlights            14 . . . iLc5 ! ? 15 �xe3 and now :
further weakened squares. 1 8 iLxe6
fxe6 19 f4 ! ? iLb8 20 Ci'Jf] �d7 ? ! 2 1
Mg l g6 2 2 a 3 Me8 2 3 0-0-0 e 5 24
fxe5 iLxe5 . We have been following
Tumer-Ftacnik, Hastings Premier
2000 in which I think White could
now have created some quite testing
problems with 25 Mgfl ! iLd6 and
now 26 Ci'Jd2 is solid, perhaps
meeting 26 . . . iLe7 with 27 Ci'Jc4 .
However, it may already be possible
to strike with 26 e4 ! ? iLf4+
(26 . . . Mxe4 27 Ci'Jxd6 �xd6 28 Ci'Jg5
also favours White) 27 �b l Mxe4
28 Ci'Jd2 iLxd2 29 Mxf6 with                     a) 1 5 . . . 0-0 is perhaps best
enduring pressure.                           answered by 1 6 iLd3 ! ? iLd7 (or
  However, I also do not much like           1 6 . . . Ci'Jd7 1 7 Ci'Jge2 Ci'Je5 1 8 b3 and
20 . . . �d7? ! . lt seems more logical      the presence of light-squared
to me to play 20 . . . O-O ! ?, which        bishops clearly favours White) 1 7
gains a tempo, and maybe more, by            �d2 ! when I prefer White. D e la
keeping an eye on the g7 pawn.               Villa draws attention to the
White probably has to switch plans           instructive game BOIWell-Glaser,
in this case since 2 1 a3 Ci'Je4 ! ? 22      corr. 1 994, which went instead 1 6
Mg l ? ! e5 ! would give Black active        iLb5 iLd7 1 7 iLxd7 Ci'Jxd7 1 8 Ci'Jge2
counterchances. In general pros­             Ci'Je5 1 9 b3 but this seems to merely
pects seem well balanced in this             encourage Black's counterplay as
case.                                         1 9 . . . Ma3 ! 20 Ci'Jf4 Me8 2 1 �f2 Ci'Jc6
                                             22 Mhd 1 g5 ! ? 23 Ci'Jh5 Me6 resulted
   1 3 . . . fxe3 14 �e2
                                             in an early draw. lt is increasingly
                                             clear that the question of who
                                             benefits from an exchange of
                                             light-squared bishops is both
                                             significant,             and      far     from
                                             straightfoIWard. Whilst often the
                                             effect is to free up squares for the
                                             white knights, here it was Black's
                                             which            benefited,        and      this
                                             encouraged the creation of a
                                             weakness sufficient to hold the
                                             balance.
                                               b) 1 5 . . . iLd7 ! therefore looks to be
                                             a more consistent execution of the
   14 ... iLd6                               'minority attack' idea. Although
   This looks slightly strange to me.        White got an edge in the game
lt feels like the bishop should make         Chakov-Kir. Georgiev, Bulgaria (ch)
                                  2 . ..ti:Je4 3 �f4 c5 4 J3 'iVa5+ 5 c3 ctJf6 6 ctJd2 73


1 995 after 1 6 �d3 b5 ! 1 7 ctJge2 b4          l:.e2+ 27 �h3 f5 28 f4 h6 29 g4
 I S cxb4 iLxb4 1 9 l:f.hc 1 0-0 20 �c7         fxg4+ 30 �xg4 gxf4 3 1 ctJxf4 l:te4
l:tfe S+ 2 1 'it'f2 l':.abS 22 l:td 1 iLa5 23   32 'itJg3 'itJh7 33 J:.f3 l:i.xd4 34 ctJd3
l:tc2 �b6 24 Wfl l:taS 25 a3 .l:tedS            l:tg8+ 35 �f2 .l:!.dg4 36 l:i.g3 d4 37
26 �b5 ! iLcs 27 ctJc3 it feels that            l1hgl .l:tf8+ 38 �e2 .l:te8+ 39 �d2
Black should have been quite OK                 l:.xg3 40 .l:!.xg3 f!e4 4 1 tbf2 l:tf4 42
somewhere in there, perhaps with                tbg4 h5 43 tbe5 .l:tf2+ 44 �d3
2 1 . . . b6 ! ? and . . . iLc5 . In any case   l:.xh2 45 'it'xd4 l:i.xb2 46 ctJg6 l:[f2
though, from a certain perspective it           47 ctJe5 .l:tf4+ 48 Wc3 h4 49 .l:tg5
 is encouraging that Black can                  �h6 50 .l:tg6+ �h5 51 J:tg7 1:I.f5 52
dissolve one of his key weaknesses,             l:i.h7+ 'it'g5 53 tbc4 .l:tf3+ 54 �d2
thereby further activating his                  h3 55 ctJe5 J:.g3 56 .l:tg7+ Wf4 57
bishops, but the White position is              ctJd3+ .l:txd3+ 58 �xd3 h2 Yz-Yz
still quite playable.
    1 5 �xe3 0-0 1 6 'itJf2                          Chapter 3     -   Conclusion
   I find this a bit passive. 16 iLb5 ! ?
 i.d7 1 7 ctJge2 looks worth a try.                 As a practitioner (hitherto ! ) of the
                                                ' attacking ' repertoire in the case of
    16 . . . iLd7 17 iLd3 iLc6 18 ctJge2
                                                3 . . . c5, I have to say that I am
tbd7 19 a3 ctJe5 20 l:.adl .l:tfe8 2 1
                                                pleasantly surprised about how
 g3 g6
                                                attractive much of the material of
                                                this chapter actually looks. The
                                                early deviations for Black 7 . . . 'iVf5
                                                and 7 . . . 'tlV dS are both quite
                                                interesting, but neither look likely to
                                                suffice for real equality. The former
                                                in particular gives White a broad
                                                and pleasant choice. 1 3 ctJf2 ! ? for
                                                example, slightly hidden in the
                                                notes certainly might repay a visit.
                                                Game 10 fully deserves to be
                                                'non-repertoire ' - S cxd4 seems to
                                                be effectively dead - but I am
                                                giving the S 'tlVxd4 ! endings a much
                                                cleaner bill of health than Julian
  An useful moment to take stock,               afforded them in his book. Of
if only because both sides have                 course S . . ctJc6 is critical, and
                                                              .

made a series of very plausible                 alternatives to 1 0 ctJd4 ! seem to be
moves, and Black has shown a                    asking for trouble, but sticking to
willingness to simply 'play the                 the main lines of the repertoire
position ' rather than trying to force          looks promising. Black's best set-up
some early freeing manoeuvre.                   is to be found in Game 1 4 . Pay
Also, White needs to find a plan                especial attention to his attempts to
here, but in the game the move                  play a quick . . . b5. However, this is
chosen lost control and ceded Black             a part of the book where the
far too much counterplay.                       theoretical status of the ' solid
  22 ctJf4 iLc5 23 �g2 iLxd4 24                 repertoire '       is   overall      quite
cxd4 ctJxd3 25 .l:txd3 g5 26 tbh5                encouragmg.
          Chapter 4   2 'De4 3 �f4 d5
                                 -         . . .



         Introduction and the Attacking
              Repertoire with 4 f3
Throughout much of the book, I                   In keeping with this solid image,
have tried so far as possible to guide        it seems likely that the play will be
the reader by offering sets of                less forcing than that seen in the
alternatives categorised according to         previous chapter. The key question
their ' sharpness ' . Out there in the        is: How can White best exploit the
hurly-burly of over-the-board chess,          position of Black's knight on e4?
of course, the opponent gets to                  There are broadly three possible
make a few choices too. This 3rd              approaches:
move decision is a significant one.
                                                  a) 4 liJd2, seeking to exchange the
If we were in tum to categorise
                                              piece off, aims at rather modest
Black's responses into ' solid' and
                                              gains in terms of development and
' attacking ' then there would be little
                                              possible queenside play. This was
doubt here. 3 . . . d5 is the safe move,
                                              once considered a main line, but
aimed primarily at frustrating
                                              was none too exciting at the best of
White ' s rather classical intention of
                                              times and is now under something
occupying the centre with pawns.
                                              of a cloud due to the sharp reply
This is the light-square approach,
                                              4 . . . c 5 . I will give one game in this
and with his knight already
                                              line for illustrative purposes, but it
occupying e4 there is really no time
                                              will not form part of the
to control this square with pieces.
                                              recommended repertoire.
Therefore if Black wants to control
e4 it must be with pawns. In other                b) 4 f3 ! ? declares that White still
words, there is no reasonable                 regards the direct battle for the e4
 ' Queens-Indian-style '       approach,      square very much alive. After the
hence the ' Queen ' s Gambit-style '          standard 4 . . . liJf6 White can proceed
text.                                         with two approaches 5 liJc3 and 5
                                              e4 ! ? The latter is the ultra-sharp
                                               gambit treatment, which can result,
                                              if Black accepts, in positions similar
                                              to the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit
                                              with the difference that White
                                              enjoys the extra tempo i.f4 . This is
                                              perhaps not the ideal square (the
                                              bishop would normally prefer g5 in
                                               a perfect world) and probably not
                                              the ideal gambit either ( ! ), but with
                                              this extra move the positions are
                                               very interesting and unclear, and for
                                               the attacking-minded I certainly
                                    2 CDe4 3 ..if4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3 75
                                     . . .




intend to give a detailed enough             a public service ! Perhaps it is not
treatment of this possibility. On one        just the obj ective merits of the thing,
p oint I am in no doubt. 5 e4 ! ? is the     but the feeling that if even such a
crit ical attacking choice, not just         solid move does not guarantee
because it might be fun if Black             White a quiet life there must be
takes up the challenge, but for the          something wrong. My lack of
concrete theoretical reason that the         enthusiasm for 4 CDd2 goes
kind of French positions which tend          somewhat            deeper   though.     I
to ensue when Black declines are             understand that some players of the
hugely more promising for White if           White pieces like to use the
his knight is not yet committed to           advantage of the first move not to
c3 . This view is not entirely               achieve anything concrete, but just
universal perhaps, but with the              to ease the task of reaching some
evidence from Game 1 9 the                   sort of a playable position, and I am
argument seems a very powerful               not         intrinsically  unsympathetic
one indeed.                                  towards this. However the kind of
   c) 4 e3 ! ? is the move I will be         positions which White is aiming for,
recommending for less reckless               which most typically materialise
souls and the one I have played              against the main alternative 4 . . . ..if5
myself in practice. As a move, it             (4 . . . CDxd2 is similar) strike me as
looks far from startling of course,          just a bit too sterile e.g. 5 e3 CDxd2 6
but as part of a wider plan to               Wixd2 e6 7 CDf3 CDd7 8 c4 dxc4 ! 9
' attack' the e4 knight with pieces it        ..ixc4        CDb6 (this simplifiying
packs a surprising amount of punch.          manouevre is worth remembering.
This is really the discovery of the           The liquidation counts against the
last 5 years or so, and has in my             d4/f4 formation serving to keep
view played one of the most                   Black cramped) 1 0 ..id3 CDd5 1 1
significant contributions in re­              0-0 ..ixd3 1 2 �xd3 CDxf4 1 3 exf4
energising the entire Trompowsky.             Wid5 1 4 �fe l ..id6 1 5 f5 0-0 with
 This is the subject of Chapter 5 .           full equality in V.Salov-Van der
                                              Sterren, Biel (izt) 1 993 .


  4 ttJd2 (Non-Repertoire ­
           -


      For illustration only)

           Game 1 5
   Mikhalevski - Mark Tseitlin
        Beersheba 1 996

  1 d4 CDf6 2 ..ig5 CDe4 3 ..if4 d5 4
CDd2 c5 ! ?
  This interesting reply to White 's
unpretentious 4th move seems to be
a major influence in turning White
away from this course, and I have to           5 CDxe4 ? !
admit that if is the case then to my           This leads White into difficulties
mind it is performing something of           remarkably    quickly.   Therefore
76 2 ttJe4 3 j.,f4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3
      . . .




Julian Hodgson suggests that S e3 is            a) 8 j.,xb8 l:Ixb8 9 �a4+ bS 1 0
better, but the line he gives                "iVxe4 b4 ! (Gallagher) gives Black
commences with S . . . ttJxd2 ? ! which      excellent play. It is one thing for the
looks a bit too sluggish. S . . . �6 ! is    bishop to be missed from the dark
more to the point when if White              squares, but quite another when
wants to avoid slipping into                 Black has such an automatic
passivity 6 dxcS looks indicated.            initiative there.
Then V.Milov-Avrukh, Israel (Tch)               b) 8 �a4+ �c6 9 "iWxc6+ ttJxc6
2000 continued fairly sedately with           10 f3 eS 1 1 j.,e3 j.,fS and Black' s
6 . . . ttJxcS 7 ttJb3 e6 8 ttJf3 ttJc6 9    doubled e-pawns have represented
.te2 j.,e7 1 0 0-0 0-0 1 1 c3 ttJe4 1 2      not a weakness, but a ready-made
�c2 j.,d7 1 3 j.,d3 ttJf6 1 4 l:tfd l        space advantage and the chance for
when White certainly has nothing             free development. Tunik-Avrukh,
special. However, it is Black who            Beersheba 1 996( ! ) .
could choose to play much more
sharply with 6 . . :iVxb2 ! ? 7 ttJxe4 (If      8 . . . �xd4 9 cxd4 ttJc6 1 0 0-0-0
7 l:f.b l �c3 ! ? 8 j.,xb8 �xb8 9 j.,bS+        Since 1 0 e3?! eS ! is far worse
'id8 I also feel that Black has              with the king stuck in the centre.
gained a lot in positional terms to             1 0 . . . e5 !
make up for the inconvenience)
7 . . . dxe4 8 �d4 �a3 ! 9 j.,xb8
�aS+ 1 0 c3 l:txb8 1 1 l:Id l (threaten­
ing a very nasty 1 2 j.,bS+) 1 2 . . . a6
and again Black has to soak up
some pressure, but I don' t see
anything very concrete for White,
and the long-term prognosis is good
for the defender especially on the
dark squares.
    5 . . . dxe4 6 dxc5
    6 c3 can hardly be an
improvement. 6 . . :�'b6 7 j.,c 1 (not
the move which is sometimes was in
Chapter 2) 7 . . . cxd4 8 �xd4 (8 cxd4         Again it is very striking that in
eS ! 9 dxeS .tb4+ 1 0 j.,d2 e3 ! ? gives     what is supposed to be a safe, solid
Black good play according to                 variation for White, his opponent is
Gallagher) 8 . . :iVxd4 9 cxd4 ttJc6 1 0     continually able to sharpen the play
e 3 eS ! 1 1 j.,bS exd4 1 2 exd4 j.,d7       and deny his opponent any rest.
1 3 ttJe2 ttJb4 14 j.,xd7+ 'it>xd7 and       White probably thought that castling
Black          has    a   straightforward    has taken the sting out of this break,
positional plus based on both pawn           but his king is revealed to be pretty
structure and superior minor pieces          vulnerable in his new home too .
in Landenbergue-Vaganian, Biel                 1 1 dxe5
1 994.
                                               It looks tempting to try and
    6 . . .�a5+ 7 c3 �xc5 8 "iVd4            exchange some material instead
    Again alternatives inspire still less    with 1 1 j.,xeS? ! but it turns out that
confidence e.g. :                            Black ' s attack after 1 1 . . . ttJxeS 1 2
                                        2 ttJe4 3 .if4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3 77
                                          . . .




 dxe5 e3 ! 1 3 fxe3 .lif5 i s vastly                  18 g3 b6 19 .lih3 .lic5 20 .lixc5
 stronger even than in the game.                  bxc5 21 llf! 'ie7 22 ttJd2 .lid5 23
     1l . . . .ie6 12 c,t>b l ? !                 �bl 1!hd8 24 �c2 ? a5?
    This, however, i s a serious error                Repaying         the     compliment.
 as Avrukh points out. Perhaps as a               24 . . . .lixa2 ! was very strong in view
 result of his opponent' s bishop                 of 25 b3 a5 26 .!:ta l a4 27 l:f.xa2
 apparently settling for the e6 square,           axb3+ with decisive simplification.
White 'takes his eye off the ball ' for               25 ':'al l:.ab8 26 e4 i.c6 27 f3
 a moment and forgets the potency of              .!:tb4?
 the . . . e3 and . . . .if5 motif. It was            Another important opportunity
 necessary to cover the b4 square,                missed. Returning the exchange
with 12 a3 ! when Avrukh gives                    with 27 . . . .l:xb2+ ! 28 'ixb2 I:rxd2+
  12 . . . .lib3 1 3 1!d2 l:f.c8 14 c,t>b l       29 'ic3 l:.xh2 would have resulted
i.c5 ! 1 5 e3 �e7 ! ( 1 5 . . 0-0 1 6 .lib5 !
                            .
                                                  in a decisive rounding up of White ' s
 is worse) with compensation. In fact             kingside pawns. After the text move
it seems to me that with best play                it is scarcely even clear who stands
the position is liable to clarity into            better any more.
early equality after 1 6 ttJe2 .l:.fd8 1 7
l:f.xd8 k'lxd8 1 8 ttJc3 l:!d2 1 9 .ie2               28 .if! .l:.bd4 29 ttJc4 .lib5 30
i.b6!                                             ttJd6 .lid7 3 1 'ic3 .l:.b8 32 ttJc4 a4
                                                  33 ttJe3 .lie6 34 .ic4 .lixc4 35
    1 2 . . . e3 ! 13 .ixe3                       ttJxc4 'ie6 36 1:.el l:f.bd8 37 ttJd6 f6
    Criticised by A vrukh, but I do not           38 ttJb7 Itd3+ 39 'ic2 l:.d2+ 40
find the choice between the text and              �cl 1!8d4 4 1 ttJxc5+ 'ixe5 42 f4+
the profoundly un-aesthetic 1 3 fxe3              �d6 43 e5+ �xc5 44 e6 a3 45 b4+
i.f5+ 1 4 'ia 1 ttJb4 15 a3 ttJc2+ 1 6            �xb4 46 e7 1!b2 47 e8=" Itc4+ 48
�a2 .lic5 a simple one by any                     �dl I:!.d4+ VI-VI
means .
     13 ttJb4 14 .l:.c l .lif5+
     . . •
                                                  Attacking Repertoire         -   4 f3!?
    Avrukh gives 1 4 . . . ttJxa2 ! ? 1 5                     Game 1 6
.!:td l ttJb4 as stronger, but 1 5 :r.c7 ! ?               Jansa - Sosonko
looks trickier since then the c 1                        IBM, Amsterdam 1 975
square is then not necessarily out of
bounds for White ' s king.                          1 d4 ttJf6 2 .lig5 ttJe4 3 .if4 d5 4
    1 5 'ia l ttJc2+ 1 6 ':'xc2 .lixc2 1 7        f3 ttJf6 5 e4 ! ?
ttJ f3 .lie4
    Black's advantage has clarified -
his           opponent' s         compromised
structure ensures that the two pawns
do not provide full compensation.
However, the task of conversion is
far from simple. I will give only
very light notes from here. There
are several errors to come, but the
play has limited relevance for the
opening phase.
78 2 tiJe4 3 j.,f4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3
         . . .




   5 dxe4 6 tiJc3 exf3
   . . .                                 pawn breaks, and on this level it has
   Clearly in one sense the acid test    to be said that Black' s strategy fails
of any gambit is its acceptance. In      rather           spectacularly       on     this
effect Black is putting in the claim     occasion.
here that the Blackmar-Diemer                Of the alternatives, Game 1 7 will
Gambit is bad enough that an extra       consider 7 . . . g6, but there is a third
developing tempo Ji.f4 is not            major possibility in 7 . . . Ji.g4 ! ? still
sufficient to justify White ' s play.    intending an . . . e6/c6 formation but
There is no definitive theoretical       with the bishop outside the pawn
verdict on this, but I think the         chain e.g. 8 h3 and now:
evidence of this and the next game           a) 8 . . . Ji.h5 ? ! is perhaps asking too
is that White' s initiative is
                                         much. White gains time for moves
considerable and that the defence
                                         which fit in well with his attacking
requires extremely careful handling.
                                         aspirations with 9 g4 Ji.g6 1 0 Ji.g2
This kind of material grab is of
                                         c6 1 1 tiJe5 tiJbd7 1 2 'i'e2 tiJxe5? !
course very much to some players '
                                         ( 1 2 . . . e6! should b e preferable. The
taste, but I would at the very least
say that in Game 1 9 we shall see        imperative to keep such a position
some other options which give            as closed as possible is a powerful
Black prospects of a rather easier       one. Still I like White) 1 3 dxe5 tiJd7
life.                                     14 e6 ! fxe6 1 5 0-0-0 e5 1 6 j.,xe5
                                         'tWa5 1 7 j.,g3 0-0-0 1 8 lli'e6 lli'g5+
   7 tiJxf3                               1 9 'i¥tb 1 'iWf6 20 tiJb5 ! (attractive
                                         and strong, although the prosaic 20
                                         'iWe3 would also be tough to meet)
                                         20 . . . cxb5 2 1 i.xb7+ �xb7 22
                                         l:.xd7+ l:.xd7 23 lli'xd7+ 'i¥ta6 24
                                         'iVc8+ 'iti>a5             25    i.c7+ 'i¥ta4
                                         G.Meszaros-F.Lengyel,                 Hungary
                                         (Tch) 1 998, when 26 i.d8 ! clearing
                                         the c-file for White 's queen would
                                         have won immediately.
                                             b) 8 . . . j.,xf3 ! ? 9 lli'xf3 led to a
                                         crushing and sweetly conducted
                                         attack in the game S-B .Hansen­
                                         H.Olafsson, Reykj avik (zt) 1 995
   7 e6
   ...
                                         after 9 . . . c6 10 0-0-0 e6 1 1 j.,c4
   Passive, but not without logic. I     Ji.e7 12 'i¥tb l ! O-O? ! 1 3 h4 tiJd5 1 4
like Joe Gallagher ' s description of    tiJe4 b5 1 5 Ji.d3 tiJd7 ? ! 1 6 tiJg5
Black's set-up in this game as           tiJ7f6 1 7 Ji.e5 a5 1 8 ladfl a4? 1 9
"curling up like a ball," and clearly    Ji.xh7+ tiJxh7 2 0 lli'h5 1 -0 All good
the defender is willing to accept a      entertaining stuff, but it seems to me
fair degree of passivity if he can       to raise quite a few questions . Why
thereby avoid making tangible            does Black feel the need to castle
positional concessions. Unfortunate­     into it? Baburin proposes instead
ly, in endeavouring to thus blunt         12 . . . tiJd7 ! ? and this makes a good
White ' s initiative there is a strong   deal of sense. There is also
implicit priority given to preventing     1 5 . . . tiJxf4 ! ? 1 6 'iVxf4 tiJd7 . I don 't
                                        2 liJe4 3 .tf4 d5 Introduction and 413 79
                                          . . .




deny that White can still get a lot of            strange.            White ' s     intention to
mileage out of pushing 17 g4 ! and                sacrifice on f7 is clear enough, but
continuing the pawn storm, but I do               Black parries this without undue
think that the exchange of the                    difficulty. Perhaps 20 .te3 ! ? is a
dark-squared          bishop         must         better version of the same idea since
significantly assist Black's efforts at           if Black answers in the same
survival. One more thought. Having                manner 20 . . . fS 2 1 .tc4 .tgS 22
examined a number of games in                     l:td6 the fact that White ' s queen will
which White plays an early .tc4 and               recapture on e3 leaves his major
later switches it back to the d3 -h7              pieces looking distinctly more
diagonal, I wonder if there is not a              harmonious than in the game.
case for delaying the development                 Whether this really adds up to any
of this piece. The problem will                   advantage is another question)
relate to a quick . . . liJdS . Perhaps 1 1       20 . . . f5 2 1 i.c4 .tgS 22 l:tfe l .txc 1
�b l .te7 1 2 g4 ! ? deserves                     23 l:.xe6 'it>g7 24 l:.xe8 'i'xe8 2S
consideration.                                    ::'xc 1 'ili'eS and the price for
   S .tc4 c6
                                                  regaining his pawn has been that
                                                  White ' s serious attacking chances
                                                  are a thing of the past. There is
                                                  already a feeling in the air that in
                                                  terms of the centralisation of his
                                                  forces Black's prospects are slightly
                                                  preferable.
                                                       9 liJbd7
                                                      . . .



                                                       Sosonko ' s idea of putting a knight
                                                  on dS looks the sensible way to
                                                  handle the position, but his method
                                                  allows White quite a serious tactical
                                                  shot. Perhaps 9 . . . i.e7 and if 1 0
                                                  0-0-0            then        the      immediate
    9 'iWe2 !                                      1 0 . . . liJdS ! ? ( 1 0 . . . 0-0   is also
                                                  possible) should be preferred. 1 1
    Playing through a number of                   i.d2 is playable, but doesn 't look
examples from this gambit, I am                   especially incisive, while the critical
gaining a clear impression that                    1 1 i£.xdS cxdS 1 2 i£.xb8 ! ? lIxb8 l 3
White ' s       chances       look      more      'iWeS can be met with l 3 . . . 1i'd6 ! 1 4
convincing with long castling pretty              'ili'xg7 'iWf4+ I S <it>b 1 .tf6 when 1 6
much regardless of the set-up which               liJe2 .txg7 1 7 liJxf4 looks about
Black adopts. Still, 9 0-0 still has a            equal. White has some decent
certain following and the game                    squares for his knights while the
Barbero-Magerramov,                Cattolica      enemy bishops slightly lack targets,
1 994         offers     an      interesting      but I would be surprised if Black is
illustration of the possibilities after           seriously in trouble.
9 . . . .te7 1 0 liJeS 0-0 1 1 'it>h l liJbd7
12 .td3 cS ! ? l 3 liJxd7 .txd7 1 4                    1 0 0-0-0 liJb6 ? !
dxcS .txcS I S .tgS .te7 1 6 'i'f3                     This move inevitably stands or
i.c6 1 7 'i'h3          1 8 %lad l liJd7 1 9      falls entirely according to its
i.h6 l:.e8 20          1 (This looks a bit        capacity to effect a blockade on the
80 2 ..tiJe4 3 i.f4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3
      .




d5 square. Since it appears that the          turns out surprisingly that 17 'Yi'h5+!
following fine breakthrough works             'it'd7 18 'iVxe5 is a good deal more
quite effectively, it must be judged          so, as 1 8 . . . 'it'c6 1 9 �c3+ �xb5 20
harshly.                                      a4+ results in much more substantial
   De la Villa considers 1 0 . . . i.b4       gains . It is also true that 1 5 . . . i.d7
but this still allows 1 1 d5 ! liJxd5          1 6 liJc7+ 'it'f7 1 7 liJe5+ ! 'it'g8 1 8
when 12 i.xd5 i.xc3 is messy, but             liJxd7 'Yi'xd7 1 9 liJxa8 is one
12 .I:txd5 ! looks quite strong as            occasion on which taking the
neither 1 2 . . . cxd5 1 3 liJxd5 nor         material does look very promising
1 2 . . . i.xc3 1 3 .I:txd7 i.xb2+ 1 4        indeed. However, strangely, moving
�xb2 i.xd7 really solve Black' s              the king onto the newly occupied
difficulties.                                 file with 1 5 . . . 'it'f7 ! does not seem to
                                              leave White with any better than 1 6
   Therefore I feel that 1 0 . . . i.e7 ! ?   liJc7 ! transposing into the next note.
and only then . . . liJb6 must be
better, when of course White has                  l S . . �t7
                                                    .




compensation but Black keeps his
solid structure intact.




                                                 1 6 liJxa8(? ! )
                                                 This however does, technically
    1 1 dS!                                   speaking, j ettison most of White' s
                                              advantage. However, while i t i s true
    A brilliant breakthrough, based on
                                              that the annotator unlike the player
the weakness of c7 - a great
                                              has always had the luxury of
triumph for the benefits of the extra
                                              criticising with the j oint benefits of
i.f4 tempo.
                                              time and hindsight there used to be
    11 . . . liJbxdS 1 2 i.xdS liJxdS 13      a sense in which we could at least
':'xdS ! cxdS 1 4 liJbS f6 l S liJc7+! ?      say most of the time that the player
    This does not spoil anything yet,         ' ought to have' ; or 'might have'
although it could be interpreted as           seen the proposed line. Computers
psychologically a step in the wrong           occasionally bring us to a new
direction. Julian criticises the move         dimension of analysis where I think
and proposes instead 1 5 lUI ! ?              any sort of criticism is rather
giving for example the variation              misplaced. The truth on occasion
 1 5 . . . e5 16 liJxe5 fxe5 1 7 �xe5+ as     may be simply ' beyond human
crushing, which it almost is,                 calculation' , and I think this is a
although with mechanical help it              good case in point. I would also
                                         2 tiJe4 3 ..tf4 d5 Introduction and 413 81
                                           . . .




l o ok first at the best move 1 6 .l:[fl !             There is nothing better, but this
h ere since the urge is deeply rooted              does not prevent the knight from
to intensify the attack rather than                being trapped. Instead it sells itself
snaffle the material. The problem is               at the price of entry into the position
to foresee that 1 6 . . . ..td6 1 7                for the White rook which secures
'it>g8 1 8 tiJgxe6+ ! ..txf4+ ( 1 8 . .            the draw.
 1 9 ..txd6 �xd6 20 tiJf4 ! ! ':'b8 2 1                22 . . :iVd6 23 tiJc7 "iVxg3 24 hxg3
tiJfxd5 is an incredible ' twin line '             a6 25 l:i.el �d6 26 l:i.xe6+ �xc7 27
and also seems very good for                       l:i.e7+ Yz-Yz
White) 1 9 tiJxf4 ! !
                                                       A fascinating battle, and one
                                                   where I think that all but the most
                                                   hardened Luddite would have to
                                                   concede that the computer can
                                                   enhance rather than detract from our
                                                   enjoyment and appreciation.


                                                                 Game 1 7
                                                            Hodgson - Panchenko
                                                                 Bern 1 994

                                                        1 d4 tiJf6 2 ..tg5 tiJe4 3 ..tf4 d5 4
                                                   f3
   1 9 . . . l:i.b8 20 tiJfxd5 and the
knights dominate the position,
covering key squares and making a
slightly rude gesture to those who
say that knights are not well
employed defending each other!
White threatens 2 1 "iVc4 followed by
deadly discovered checks. Black can
try 20 . . . b5, but 2 1 'i'd3 seems
strong meeting 2 1 . . . f5 with 22 g4 !
and the attack rages on. To my mind
a fascinating line, but one which I
would suspect that hardly any
human player would expect to find
                                                        4 ... tiJf6
and correctly judge.
                                                        4 . . . tiJd6 ! ? is a relatively rare
   16 . . . .td6 17 ..txd6
                                                   alternative, which looks strange but
   De la Villa gives ' 1 7 'i'e3 ! '               definitely merits a look. Black' s
instead, but if Black replies                      idea is t o answer a quick e5 with
accurately with 1 7 . . . e5 1 8 tiJxe5+           . . . tiJf5 and a timelier one with
fxe5 1 9 ..txe5 l:tf8 ! White ' s chances          . . . tiJc4 . I think White should castle
do not seem better than in the game.               short and avoid the frequently
   1 7 . . . 'i'xd6 1 8 l:i.f1 ..td7 19 tiJe5+     tempo losing "iVd2 (two precautions
�e7 20 "iVg4 :g8 21 tiJxd7 'i'xd7                  which would already place him in a
22 "iVg3                                           small minority of the prudent
82 2. J i Je4 3 iif4 d5 Introduction and 413


among players            handling this         opening          the    long     diagonal).
position ! ) e.g. S ct:Jc3 e6 6 e4 c6!         Gavrikov was concerned about 1 1
(only keeping the centre solid in this         0-0 0-0 1 2 d6 ! and indeed Black 's
way makes any sense) 7 .\td3 .\te7 8           task seems pretty tough here. The
ct:Jge2 0-0 9 0-0 bS ! ? and now 1 0           knight on a6 is very unfortunately
eS ! ? ct:Jc4 I I �c 1 followed by 1 2 a4      placed for competing for the dark
is one way when I slightly prefer              squares in the centre.
White. Still this is an interesting line           Perhaps 8 . . a6 ! ? is a better bet. I
                                                                .

- it is not a trivial task to translate        am sure White should try 9 �e2 !
White ' s        numerical    lead     II
                                               and after, for example 9 . . . g6 1 0
development into something more                0-0-0 .\tg7 1 1 d6 e6, either 1 2
concrete.                                      ct:JeS ! ? ct:JhS 1 3 �d2 0-0 ( l 3 . . . �xd6
    S e4 dxe4 6 ct:Jc3                          14 �gS ! ) 14 g4 or simply 1 2 �gS
                                               should offer good play for the pawn.
                                                   7 ct:Jxf3 g6 ! ? 8 �c4 �g7




     6 ... exf3
     One alternative which does not
really fall into the category of
' gambit declined ' and which fits our            9 �e2 !
. . . g6 theme here is 6 . . . cS ! ? This        In his notes to the Hertneck game
seems a bit strange since after 7 dS           above Julian Hodgson makes the
(7 dxcS ! ? also looks interesting)            intriguing observation "in principle
7 . . . exf3 8 ct:Jxf3 while it is true that   I prefer to castle kings ide when the
Black can argue that he has ensured            opponent has a bishop on g7". Well,
that the c4-f7 diagonal will not               here I think he is right to break his
cause its customary problems, in               principles although of course since
other ways White ' s space advantage           his breakthrough still involved the
seems merely to have been                      move dS, the consequences for the
enhanced.              Hertneck-Gavrikov,      king on b 1 do need to be taken
Bundesliga 1 994 continued 8 . . . g6 9        seriously. The more cautious 9 0-0
ct:JbS ! ct:Ja6 1 0 .\tc4 .\tg7 and now in     0-0 10 �d2 cS 1 1 dS ct:Jbd7 was
contrast with most of the lines we             played in I. Sokolov-Hellers, Malmo
are seeing in this gambit it seems             1 997. However, after 1 2 1:Iae l ct:Jb6
White should castle short (logical             l 3 b3 White ' s compensation is
perhaps with the d-pawn' s advance             already looking pretty tenuous .
guaranteeing          space,    but     also   Maybe 1 2 d6 ! ? should be tried. If
                                           2 'LJe4 3 Jif4 d5 Introduction and 4 f3 83
                                             . . .




then 1 2 . . . e6 1 3 Jih6 ! ? looks decent             1 1 ... cxd5
enough, but 1 2                    i s more             1 l . . .'WIb6 is well met by 12 d6 !
promising for Black. If 1 3 dxe7                     when 1 2 . . . exd6 1 3 Jixd6 J:e8 1 4
'WIxe7 1 4 Jid6 'LJxc4 1 5 Jixe7                     J.xf7+ 'ixf7 1 5 'LJg5+ 'ig8 1 6
'LJxd2 1 6 'LJxd2 J.f5 ! ? 17 J.xf8                  'WIc4+ 'LJd5 1 7 J:he l ! , (but not 1 7
'ixf8, White is probably not                         J:xd5 ? cxd5 1 8 �xd5+ J.e6 ! 1 9
' theoretically' worse, but it is hardly             'LJxe6 'WIe3+ -+) gives White a
the sort of position for which one                   decisive onslaught.
gambits a pawn on move 5. In short,
long castling looks the right way                       12 'LJxd5 'LJxd5 13 J:xd5!
here !
   9 . . . 0-0 1 0 0-0-0 c6!
    Stohl suggests instead              10 . . .
J.g4(? ! ) when Hodgson proposes 1 1
d5 ! targeting e7 before Black can
even dream of some kind of
light-square blockade. Neither is it
easy to set up something on the dark
squares. 1 l . . . 'LJh5 looks critical, but
 12 J.g5 ! works well, while the
routine 1 l . . . 'LJbd7 1 2 J:e l 'LJb6 1 3
Jib3 J:e8 1 4 h3 is just very pleasant
for White. It is instructive quite how
enduring is the cramp which Black                       13 ... 'WIb6? !
suffers here.                                           I n my view this i s perhaps the
                                                     critical mistake. Black simply had to
                                                     try the developing 1 3 . . . 'LJd7 ! 1 4
                                                     J:!hd 1 and now instead o f the
                                                     1 4 . . . 'WIb6 1 5 c3 'LJf6 1 6 J:b5 'WIc6
                                                     1 7 'LJe5 �e8 1 8 g4 ! given by
                                                     Hodgson, I think 14 . . . e6 ! 1 5 J:d6
                                                     'WIf6 ! poses more questions. The
                                                     strange 1 6 i:t6d4 ! ? �d8 1 7 'LJe5
                                                     'WIf6 ! 1 8 'LJg4 ! ? might represent
                                                     White ' s best try (rather than 1 8
                                                     'LJf3=), since 1 8 . . . 'WIxd4 1 9 'LJh6+
                                                     'ih8 20 J:xd4 Jixd4 2 1 Jid6 looks
                                                     promising, but after 1 8 . . . 'WId8 ! ?
  1 1 d5!                                            although          White     has     enough
                                                     compensation, Black is very much
  That breakthrough again. Black ' s
                                                     fighting.
development is too slow for the
White king to be in serious danger,                      14 J:b5! 'WIc6 15 'LJe5 'WIe8 16 h4 !
while White ' s superior pieces crave                   Black is so passive now that he
open lines. Easy to explain thus, but                has little to offer against opening a
to make such practical decisions                     new front. As we shall see, g6 is
takes excellent powers of judge­                     chronically weak and will be the
ment.                                                focus of numerous tactics .
84 2 lDe4 3 i.f4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3
      . . .




  1 6 . . . lDc6 1 7 h5! g5?                  One of the classic attacking
  This loses by force, albeit very          Hodgson games in the Trompowsky
elegantly. Black should probably            which demands inclusion in any
have tried 1 7 . . . e6 ! ? with some       collection.
chances to cling on.
                                                       Game 1 8
  18 lDxc6 'ixc6 19 .l:r.xg5 �f6 20            Moiseenko - Romanishin
'ie5 !                                      Ukraine Team Championship 2002

                                               Generally speaking I may have
                                            felt moved to jot down a few words
                                            to justify my choice of games, but
                                            only to explain why I find them
                                            important or instructive. Here
                                            though, I must admit I feel a little
                                            bit guilty about this one . I would
                                            have preferred not to show a hugely
                                            talented           and       personable
                                            Grandmaster, whose career has
                                            made a tremendous and very
                                            original contribution to chess,
    An elegant solution after which         having such a miserable off day. My
Black has a choice of broadly               excuse is that while Black ' s move 6
disastrous ways to pick up the              alternatives to acceptance of the
exchange,          but no      acceptable   gambit are both important and
defence.                                    interesting, they do seem to have
                                            thrown up a curious paucity of
    20 . . . h6                             quality games, and in particular the
    Julian was hoping for the more          encounters between strong players
natural 20 . . . 'it>h8 against which he    have tended to result in a spineless
had prepared 2 1 h6 ! 'ixe5 22              and premature sharing of the
bxg7+ 'ixg7 23 l'.Ixg7 'ixg7 24             honours. So, with apologies, this
i.h6+ 'ig8 with the very sweet 25           game, which at least is instructive in
l'.Ih5 ! ! to finish off. Black will be     terms of the methodical way White
mated after for example 25 . . J ld8        builds up his attack.
26 l'.Ig5+ �h8 27 i.xf7. Vintage
                                               1 d4 lDf6 2 ..tg5 lDe4 3 ..tf4 d5 4
Hodgson!
                                            f3 lDf6 5 e4 dxe4 6 lDc3 e3 ! ?
    21          'ixg6 22 hxg6 ..txe5 23
                                               Having seen that acceptance of
i.xe5
                                            the gambit is really a much more
    This leads to a desperately uneven      treacherous course of action than in
contest between White ' s two               the     related        Blackmar-Diemer
awesome bishops and a hapless               Gambit, it is natural to tum attention
black rook. Still, the only argument        to ways of declining the challenge.
for 23 . . . e6 24 g7 ! would be brevity.   The idea of bypassing the f3 pawn
    24 ::'xh6 f6 25 ..txe6+ 'it>g7 26       with 6 . . . e3 is known from various
i.f4 l'.Ih8 27 l'.Ixh8 .u.xh8 28 c4         related openings. Black is really
�xg6 29 g4 l'.Ih3 30 'it>d2 a5 31 c5        saying that while f3 makes perfect
a4 32 b4 axb3 33 axb3 1-0                   sense if he cooperatively takes and
                                     2. " c De4 3 iJ.j'4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3 85


invites White 's king' s knight to          attack. After 7 . . .         White must be
develop to its optimal square, the          precise. 8 ..tg2?!               and 8 h4? !
move is a bit thin on secondary             h5 ! (Gerstner) 9 g 5 ttJd5 both look
ideas. Indeed it can be argued that         distinctly ropey. However, that still
not only does it contribute little to       leaves Julian Hodgson ' s suggestion
getting White ' s pieces out, it even       of 8 fxe4 ! ? ttJxe4 9 ..tg2 ttJxc3 1 0
slightly weakens the dark squares           bxc3 after which he assesses
and blocks development to f3 . In the       White ' s development and queenside
present case there is an additional         pressure as "well worth a pawn". I
justification for 6 . . . e3 - since        am not quite so sure, since I think
White ' s bishop is already on f4, the      White should pay serious attention
capture of the pawn will not be a           to the possibility of Black
developing move either.                     attempting to drum up counterplay
   However this is not the only             with a quick . . . e5 (perhaps
option for Black which merits               1 0 . . . ttJd7 ! ? returning the pawn even
serious attention here. I shall             comes into consideration) . The
consider          two    other    moves .   expansion with g4 has both a plus
Particularly interesting is ' b ' which     and a minus side, but there is clearly
both Hodgson and Gallagher                  food for thought here. Incidentally, I
curiously neglect to consider.              think it is this position which is
Although theory is at a rather early        critical to the assessment. De la
stage of development, the initial           Villa rejects Julian' s line due to
impression it makes is not at all bad:      9 . . e5 ' ! -+ ' but I think that after the
                                              .


                                            clever 1 0 �e2 ! exf4 ( l 0 . . . 'iVh4+ 1 1
   a) 6 . . . ..tf5 is interesting, since   'it'f1 does not necessarily help Black
Black will still by and large net a         since the queen will be out of play)
pawn, and he develops a piece into          1 1 ..txe4 ..txe4 1 2 O-O-O! we reach a
the bargain. The merit of the move          position in which the type of players
will be determined by whether the           to opt for 4 f3 and 5 e4 would be
bishop and/or the b7 pawn can be            quite in their element.
shown to be vulnerable. White has
three consistent approaches:                     a2) 7 ..tc4 is suggested by De la
                                            Villa who, if I understand him
                                            correctly, points out that the
                                            analogous approach scores well in
                                            the Blackmar Diemer gambit. He
                                            gives 7 . . . e6 8 fxe4 ttJxe4 9 ttJxe4
                                            ..txe4 10 �e2 . White ' s develop­
                                            ment is certainly harmonious here,
                                            and 1 0 . . . '1Wxd4? does indeed lose a
                                            piece to 1 1 c3 . This could be worth
                                            testing.
                                                a3) 7 fxe4 ! ? ttJxe4 (if 7 . . . ..txe4 ? !
                                            8 ttJxe4 ttJxe4 Hodgson suggests
                                            that either 9 'iVd3 or 9 c3 ( ! ) offer
                                            good play. I would prefer the latter
  a l ) 7 g4 ! ? is a radical attempt to    which keeps the centre solid and
demonstrate that 6 . . . ..tf5 merely       forces Black to reckon with 1 0 '1Wb3
renders this player the target of           too) 8 �f3 ttJxc3 9 bxc3 'iVc8
86 2 tDe4 3 .§if4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3
      . . .




(9 . . . c6?? 1 0 iLxb8 ! ) 1 0 l:tb l c6 1 1       8 c4(? ! ) wga5+ 9 iLd2 WUf5 1 0 f4? !
i.d3 ! ? is Hodgson ' s recipe here,            based o n a n old Hungarian game
although in practice players have               where           White          succeeded       in
tended to prefer 1 0 i.c4 and so on. I          generating very decent compens­
like the idea of exchanging bishops             ation after 1 0 . . . e6. However, it all
on d3 . It forces Black to address the          looks rather unlikely. I rather like
problem of fl, and indeed Julian' s             Black' s treatment in Barnard-Vigus,
variation l 1 . . .iLxd3 1 2 cxd3 e 6 1 3       British          (ch),      Swansea        1 995,
tDh3 ! iLe7 1 4 WUg3 looks quite                blockading on the light-squares with
tricky to meet. One possible                    1 0 . . . wgg6 ! ? 1 1 i.e3 tDd7 1 2 WUa4 c6
complication though is that Black               1 3 0-0-0 tDf6 1 4 h3 h5 1 5 tDe2 and
can try 10 . . . wge6+ ! ) 1 1 �f1 iLe4 .       then returning the pawn for
Now 1 2 iLc4 for example 1 2 . . .              excellent positional compensation
i.xf3 1 3 iLxe6 iLc6 is not very                with 1 5 . . . b5 ! 16 cxb5 tDd5 17 �3
convincing for White. So perhaps                iLd7 1 8 bxc6 i.xc6 and a lovely
we have to do without the rook                  position.
move at this stage and opt straight                 Sensing that White ' s 1 0th move
for 1 0 i.d3 ! ? This should be fine,           makes a very strange impression,
but it is true that after for example           both De la Villa and Gerstner
 10 . . . i.xd3 1 1 cxd3 e6 Black will          consider            instead         10    wg e2 ! ?
often have the option of . . . tDc6 in          However, while it is quite
reply to a leter l:tb l . Still, I do not       believable that White ' s development
think this invalidates Julian' s                after 1 0 . . . exf3 1 1 tDxf3 might
interesting plan, even though the               constitute sufficient compensation,
detailed execution seems to require             1 0 . . . tDc6 ! ? complicates matters e.g.
some finesse.                                   1 1 fxe4 ( 1 1 iLc3 e5 ! looks fine for
   b) 6 . . . tDd5 ! ? looks logical and        Black since if 1 2 fxe4, Wif4 !
has the appeal that it seeks to make            pressures White o n the dark
White' s extra iLf4 tempo over the              squares) 1 1 . . .wgf6 1 2 tDf3 ( 1 2 e5
Blackmar-Diemer look like a                     wgh4+ 13 g3 wgxd4 1 4 iLc3 WUg4 !
liability rather than an asset. To the          does not really convince either)
extent that theory has a recipe for              1 2 . . . i.g4 ! ( or 1 2 . . . tDxd4 1 3 tDxd4
White here, after 7 tDxd5 wgxd5                 wgxd4 1 4 iLc3 Wid6 ! ? (it could be
there seems to have been a bit too              worth a tempo to prevent long­
much credence given to the                      castling) 1 5 l:Id l WUg6 1 6 wgd3 but
continuation . . .                              here White ' s attack looks more
                                                plausible) 1 3 iLc3 tDxd4 1 4 iLxd4
                                                i.xf3 1 5 gxf3 ( 1 5 �f2? e5)
                                                 15 . . . WUxd4 16 l:[d l wgf6 17 Wid2
                                                WUc6 and White clearly has some
                                                pressure for the pawn but Black will
                                                play . . . e6 next and it is unclear how
                                                tangible trouble can be caused.
                                                    Maybe White should check his
                                                play          a      little      further    back.
                                                Notwithstanding that it might go
                                                against the grain a little to permit
                                                the exchange of queens in such a
                                       2 lL'le4 3 .if4 d5 Introduction and 4 j3 8 7
                                         . . .




po sition, 9 'iVd2 ! ? 'iVxd2+ 1 0 'it>d2        be very surprised if our gambiteers
m ight generate serious play if Black            would          feel      temperamentally
were to react passively. However                 comfortable on the White side of
1 0 . . . lL'lc6 ! is interesting, intending     this kind of a tussle.
to meet 1 1 d5 ? ! with 1 1 . . . e5 ! 1 2          7 i.xe3
.i g3 e3+! when 1 3 'it>xe3 lL'ld4 1 4
.i d3 i.c5 i s very pleasant for Black,             With this move, the regular
while even 1 3 'it>c 1 lL'le7 14 .ixe3           Trompowsky tempo battle so
c6 ! 1 5 ':'d l cxd5 1 6 cxd5 .id7               familiar throughout the 2 . . . lL'le4
                    him     very                 variation ends here, for the moment,
sec ures                              decent
counterplay.                                     in a tie. This bishop and the knight
                                                 on f6 have both expended three
    The other alternative is to settle           tempi to reach their rather
for 8 .ixc7 ! ? This is definitely the           unexceptional locations and the
safe move, and it is not entirely                result is a direct transposition to the
without perspective since this                   Blackmar-Diemer Gambit declined.
structure can prove rather pleasant              However, White is not absolutely
for White if he can proceed                      forced to acquiesce in this outcome.
undisturbed. Berkes-Buzas, Szeks­                Joel Benjamin did once try to
zard (op) 1 998 was a good example               preserve his bishop ' s active posting
of the kind of pleasant position                 on f4 by capturing e3 with his
White can aspire to against                      queen, commencing 7 'iVd3 ! ? e6 8
cooperative play after 8 . . . lL'lc6 9 c3       'iVxe3 .ie7 9 0-0-0 0-0 1 0 'it>b l
exf3 ? ! 1 0 lL'lxf3 .ig4 1 1 i.e2 �d7           (Hodgson suggests the more direct
 12 .ig3 e6 1 3 0-0 and I prefer                  10 .id3 . In this case Black should
White, although the further careless             probably            1 0 . . . c6 and . . . lL'ld7
 13 . . . i.d6? 14 .ixd6 'iVxd6 1 5 lL'lg5 !     etc) 1 0 . . .      11         lL'lb4 1 2 .ig3
invited a completely unnecessary                 b6 1 3 a3 lL'lbd5 14                lL'lxd5 but
catastrophe. However, Black can                  the queen is not ideal here either,
erect far greater obstacles with                 and White had nothing special.
9 . . . i.f5 for example, keeping the            Benjamin-Yermolinsky, USA (ch)
tension, and as usual somewhat                   Modesto 1 99 5 .
stymieing White ' s development.
                                                    7 e6
After 1 0 i.e2 Black then played the
                                                     ...




rather interesting 1 0 . . . e5 ! ? in
Djurhuus-Elsness, Gausdal 1 99 5 .
H e clearly obtains some positional
compensation in the form of the
bishop pair and the weakness of
White ' s extra pawn following 1 1
.ixe5 ( 1 1 dxe5 �c5 ! ) lL'lxe5 1 2
dxe5 �xe5 1 3 'iVa4+ i.d7 1 4 �xe4
"i'xe4 1 5 fxe4 0-0-0 1 6 0-0-0 and
this was duly converted by a
mini-combination 1 6 . . . i.c5 1 7 lL'lf3
i.c6 1 8 i.d3 ':'xd3 ! 1 9 l:Ixd3 i.xe4
into a dead equal ending. This all
looks like a very tempting approach
for Black, not least because I would                8 �d2
88 2. Ji'Je4 3 iLf4 d5 Introduction and 413


    Alternatively White can take                   pretty much automatic here, and he
matters on the kings ide at a more                 even passes up along the way an
leisurely pace, concentrating first on             exchange sacrifice which has
development. Still, putting the g l                dejection written all over it.
knight o n e4, as in the following                    18 . . . 'I'aS 1 9 e3 Iia6 ? ! 20 'iVe2
example, takes 3 tempi, and I am                   :tb6 21 'it>al J:tb3 22 i.el 'ih8 23
not quite convinced that it is worth               iLxh7 i.xa3 24 bxa3 l:lxe3 2 S 'iVbl
it 8 ltJge2 ltJbd7 9 ltJg3 iLe7 1 0                l:lb3 26 iLh2 bS 27 iLe2 l:1xf3 28
'l'd3 0-0 1 1 0-0-0 a 6 1 2 ltJge4                 l:1df1 1-O
ltJd5 1 3 h4 b6 1 4 ltJxd5 exd5 1 5
ltJg5 ltJf6 1 6 i.f4 c 5 1 7 dxc5 Y2-Y2
was V.Milov-Gelfand, Biel 1 99 5 .
Hodgson says that h e likes White                               Game 1 9
here at the end after 1 7 . . . bxc5 1 8                 Benj amin - Malisauskas
iLe5, but I ' m not sure why since                       Olympiad, Moscow 1 994
 1 8 . . . c4 ! 19 'ilVc3 'i!Vb6 leaves Black
in my view with play on the b-file to
                                                      1 d4 ltJf6 2 i.gS ltJe4 3 iLf4 dS 4
match anything that his opponent
                                                   f3 ltJf6 S e4 e6
can hit him with on the kings ide.
                                                      This attempt to reach a kind of
    8 ... i.e7 9 0-0-0 0-0 1 0 g4 ltJe6 ? !
                                                   French Defence is not bad in itself,
    I think that I would have                      but it seems to me to vindicate
considered either . . . c6 or . . . ltJbd7         massively White ' s 5th move choice.
during any of the last few moves,                  Although the most             common
and here too that would be my                      motivation for preferring 5 e4 over
preference.            There      is    nothing    5 ltJc3 is almost certainly the love of
intrinsically wrong about the c6-b4                a good gambit and its hacking
route to d5, but here it does seem to              potential, I am convinced that the
presage a rather ambitious and                     contrast between the two sets of
misplaced plan of action on the                    French-type positions - those with
queenside.                                         ltJc3 , and those without - is so
     11 'it>bl ltJb4 12 h4 as? ! 13 ltJge2         strong in favour of the latter that all
a4 14 a3 ltJbdS I S gS!                            efforts should be made to make 5 e4
    Perhaps this is what Black                     work for precisely this reason -
underestimated. The e3 bishop                      hence the repertoire ! To be able to
 simply is not integral to White ' s               put the bishop on e3, and defend the
plans i n lines like 1 5 . . . ltJxe3 1 6          d4 pawn with c2-c3 is quite
'i'xe3 ltJd5 1 7 ltJxd5 exd5 1 8 ltJf4             luxurious for White.
 followed by lIe 1 and a pleasant bind                6 eS ltJfd7 7 i.e3 !
 on the kings ide and a superiority on                Of course the moves f3 and i.f4
 the only open file into the bargain.              appear far from optimal in a French
     IS . . . ltJxe3+? ! 16 ltJxe3 ltJdS 1 7       Defence           setting, but     this
 ltJxdS 'ilVxdS 1 8 i.d3 !                         reorganisation is strong, and in
    Without            knights       Black    is   terms of tempi, justified as so often
 strangely impotent to offer any sort              by the wanderings of Black's king' s
 of counterplay on the queens ide.                 knight.
 White ' s victory on the kings ide is                7 . . . eS 8 e3 ltJe6
                                        2 CLle4 3 jif4 d5 Introduction and 413 89
                                         . . .




   The alternative plan 8 0 0 .b6 is also        a straightforward task (especially
known from the Tarrasch French,                  given the nice circumstance that 1 8
but White ' s development feels too              J:.c2 ! ? J:.c8 1 9 J:.fc l CLle7? ! can be
flowing here to pennit such                      well met by 20 CLlbS ! ) and
p o sitional niceties. In Hodgson­               elsewhere White still seems to hold
Benj amin, Las Vegas (op) 1 995                  the ascendancy.
White got a clear advantage after 9                  1 0 cxd4 'iVa5+
f4 ii.a6 1 0 ii.xa6 CLlxa6 1 1 CLlf3 ii.e7
 12 0-0 0-0 (De la Villa suggests                    I am sure Malisauskas also felt the
1 2 0 0 . 'iVc8, but 1 3 fS ! ? - anyway ! -     need to disrupt the flow of White ' s
1 3 0 0 . exfS 1 4 ..tgS ! should                game, but the impact o f having to
dangerous play) 1 3 fS ! exfS 14                 move the king seems quite
CiJc 7 I S 'iVxfS and White has a                containable.           However,      another
spatial plus and fair prospects on the           game of Joel Benjamin ' s from the
kingside. It is curious indeed that              same event seems to confinn that
the master of the White side in this             there is no easy way to make
line should want to have a go at the             trouble.         In      Benj amin-Popovic,
defence !                                        Moscow (01) 1 994 Black tried
                                                  1 0 0 0 . CLlb6 but after 1 1 CLld2 ( 1 1
   9 f4                                          b3 ! ?) 1 1 . . . as 1 2 a3 a4 1 3 ii.d3
                                                 ii.d7 14 CLle2 CLlaS I S 0-0 g6 16 g4
                                                 ii.c6 1 7 CLlg3 CLlbc4 1 8 CLlxc4 CLlxc4
                                                  1 9 'iVe2 bS 20 fS ! White had
                                                 achieved the key breakthrough
                                                 without undue difficulty. Later
                                                 Black' s king was able to escape to
                                                 the queenside, but the domination of
                                                 the open f-file still gave White a
                                                 considerable advantage.
                                                     1 1 'it>f2! CLlb6 12 b3 ! ii.d7 13 CLlf3
                                                 .l:Ic8 1 4 a3 CLla8
                                                     A recognition of her maj esty ' s
                                                 discomfort o n the 'wrong side ' of
   9 . . . cxd4
                                                 the other Black pieces.
   My feeling is that Black ' s only
                                                      15 J:.a2 CLle7 1 6 ii.d2 'ib'b6 1 7
hopes of equalising must involve
                                                 CLlc3 CLlf5 1 8 b4 !
ruffling his opponent ' s feathers a
little here, and that after the text                 A strong move. Covering cS
move White ' s build-up seems a                   indirectly          defends     d4    since
little too smooth.                                1 8 0 0 . CLlxd4 1 9 ..te3 wins material.
   Perhaps 9 . . . 'iVb6 is a better shot.            1 8 . . JWd8 1 9 g4 CLlh4 20 CLlxh4
De la Villa commends Black's play                'iVxh4+ 21 'it>g2 CLlb6 22 ii.el 'iVd8
in Moreno Ruiz-Mitkov, Mondariz,                  23 ..td3 CLlc4 24 'iVf3
1 999 1 0 'iVd2 as ! ? 1 1 CLlf3 a4 1 2              I do not think it would be too
ii.d3 cxd4 1 3 cxd4 ii.b4 1 4 CLlc3 a3           unfair a caricature of this variation
I S b3 'iVas 16 J:.c l CLlf8 17 0-0 ii.d7         to say that Black often manages to
but although the pin against c3 is a              find a strong square or two, but it is
bit annoying, strengthening it is not             much easier for White to find a
90 2 ..'i:e4 3 i.f4 d5 Introduction and 413
      .




plan. Again the advance of the                        Chapter Conclusion
f-pawn when it comes, will carry
some force.                                       I will probably not be revealing a
    24 . . . iLe7 25 �f1 ? !                   huge secret if I confess that my
    25 t2Je2 ! was more precise. I n the       personal sympathies are on this
next few moves Black is able to                occasion more with the ' Solid'
make some exchanges to arrive at               Repertoire of Chapter 5 than they
an ending in which White clearly               are with the Pseudo-Blackmar
holds the initiative, but there are            approach covered here.
chances to defend.                                However, I certainly have not
    25 . . . iLh4 ! 26 t2Je2 i.xel 27 !bel     found anything that looks like a
a5 28 f5 axb4 29 axb4 h5! 30 gxh5              refutation of White ' s gambit and
'it'h4 31 �g3 �xh5 32 'it'xh4 ':'xh4           given White ' s possibilities in Game
33 'is;g3 .l:th6 34 fxe6 i.xe6 35 t2Jf4        1 9 I am confident that I selected the
t2Jb6 36 l:[c2 l:[xc2 37 iLxc2 g5 38           right ' attacking repertoire ' . It is in
t2Jxe6 fxe6 39 i.d l �h7 40 i.g4               addition undoubtedly a lot of fun,
%lc7 !                                         no small element in the equation.
    The start of a very active defence             The gambit accepted in particular
which comes very close to saving               would be very effective against the
the game.                                      right opponent. It also gives terrific
                                               opportunities for creative play.
    4 1 i.xe6 �c4 42 l:i.dl rJite7 43
i.f5 t2Ja4 44 ..tg4 t2Jc3 45 l:i.d3                On specifics, I suspect that a few
t2Je4 !                                        bad results have led commentators
                                               to relatively neglect the 7 . . . iLg4 ! ?
    Superb.         After     the   routine
                                               and 8 . . . i.xf3 covered i n the Notes
45 . . . t2Jb5 46 l:[h3 ! Black's king
                                               to Game 1 6. That game itself also
finds himself in some trouble. The
text, however, should hold in view             raises questions as to exactly how to
of the variation 46 i.xe4 dxe4 47              play White ' s attack if Black avoids
l:i.d 1 ..te6 48 d5+ ..txe5 49 d6 .l:tc8       the quick d5 break that gave White
50 d7 .ud8 (close to ' mutual                  all his fun. There is always
zugzwang ') 5 1 b5 b6! 52 h3 e3 53             ' compensation ' but exploiting it
..tf3 ..te6 54 ..te3 ':'xd7 and the            requires some attacking virtuosity .
pawn ending is drawn - Benj amin.                  However, if I was playing Black I
    46 'itf3 t2Jc3 47 rJitg4 t2Je4 48          think I would probably decline
..th5 ! ? .u.xb4 49 rJitg6 l:i.b6+ 50 e6       �hite ' s generous offer. My analysis
l:i.b2 51 ':'h3 l:i.f2?                        II      Game 1 8 is quite important.
                                               6 . . . e3 I find quite hard to judge, but
    Rather sad after such a dogged
                                               6 . . . t2Jd5 ! ? really deserves much
defence. 5 1 . . . t2Jf6 52 ':'c3 ttJe8 !
                                               more recognition than it has
would have kept White out.
                                               received hitherto, and if I were
    52 lIh7+ ..te8 53 l:i.h8+ rJite7 54        going to venture the gambit with
'uh7+ rJite8 55 i.xe4 ! dxe4 56 d5             White I would put considerable
%ld2 57 rJitf6 1-0                             effort in trying to kick this into
    A tough struggle, but sufficient           touch.
evidence           that    this   particular
French-like position leaves White
rather in the driving seat.
             Chapter 5          -   2   . . .   l2Je4 3 .tf4 d5
            The Solid Repertoire with 4 e3 ! ?

           Game 20                                 It is also possible to play the
    Win ants - Wiedenkeller                     slightly odd-looking 4 . . . lLld7 to
 European Club Cup, Neum 2000                   ' defend' the knight, or perhaps
                                                more precisely to defend the pawn
     1 d4 lLlf6 2 i.g5 lLle4 3 i.f4 d5 4        structure from the i.xe4 idea which
e3                                              will dominate much of this chapter.
                                                However, there is a distinct
                                                suspicion that the knights, to say the
                                                least rather tread on each others '
                                                toes after 5 i.d3 lLldf6 6 f3 ! lLld6 7
                                                lLlc3 e6 8 e4 lLlh5 9 i.e3 i.e7 1 0
                                                g4 ! dxe4 1 1 fxe4 i.h4+ 1 2 'it>fl f5
                                                1 3 e5        14 'iYxg4 0-0+ 1 5 'it>e2
                                                lLlf5 16        and Black is losing a
                                                piece for very little. Hodgson­
                                                Paunovic, C acak 1 996.
                                                    5 f3
                                                    Best. Since I will be advocating a
                                                plan involving the inherently risky
  4 i.f5
      .•.
                                                business of expansion on both
  This was once the most popular,               wings, I think it is important to
but provided that White takes a                 stress getting the order right!
broad view in his attempts to show              Absolutely not 5 c4? first (although
that the piece is a target. (see the            the Tromp expert Romero Holmes
note to 6 c4), I am sceptical about it          was among those to once go down
as, incidentally, is Julian Hodgson.            this road, and get away with it! ) due
  First    though,         two     other        to the strength of 5 . . . e5 ! . This
developing      moves       deserve    a        reveals rather drastically a plus side
mention here. 4 . . . lLlc6 looks rather        to the knight' s presence on e4. With
suspicious, but should probably be              due apologies to White, the game
met either in the customary manner              Karhanek-Bartos, Ostrava (op) 2002
with 5 i.d3 or perhaps even the                 ended rather abruptly with 6 dxe5
simple 5 lLld2, rather than 5 f3 ? ! g5 !       i.b4+ 7 cJi>e2 �4 8 g3 'i'h5+ 9 f3
when its main point is revealed. As              dxc4 1 0 g4 'i'h4 1 1 lLlh3 i.xg4 1 2
usual, the move f3 has a detrimental            'iYa4+ lLlc6 1 3 i.g3 'ili'h5 1 4 fxg4
effect if White is likely to have to            'il¥xg4 mate, which does at least
give up his dark-squared bishop for             provide a most graphic warning on
a knight in any case.                            this point!
92 2 tUe4 3 �4 d5 4 e3
         . . .




    Other moves like 5 i.d3 and 5
tUd2 are not of course so fatally
flawed, but if play proceeds quietly
then the logical development of the
bishop to f5 eases Black's play,
whereas the move should really
herald a possibility for active
expansion.
    5 . tUf6
   . .



    The obvious retreat, and the most
common one. For 5 . . . tUd6 see
Game 2 1 .                                  6 . . . c6
    6 c4 !                                  This, or 6 . . . e6 which usually
    I like this. White confidently       amounts to the same thing after 7
looks at gaining space on both           tUc3 c6, seem modest, but are
wings. Why? Because he can! Of           probably best. Two others merit a
course there might be a danger of        mention:
overstretching resources, but prac­         a) 6 . . . c5?! once became rather
tice suggests that if, alternatively,    high profile due to a game in which
White merely concentrates on the         Mickey Adams, usually merciless in
kings ide then Black' s chances of       the technical phase, won a piece but
developing really significant play on    failed to convert. The ' tactical
the queenside are not at all bad here.   refutation' is 7 cxd5 tUxd5 8 i.xb8 !
It is by no means unique in opening      ':xb8 (8 . . . tUxe3 9 i.b5+ i.d7 1 0
theory for the king to be safer          i.xd7+ �xd7 1 1 �e2 tUxg2+ 1 2
castled on a wing where the player       �xg2 ':xb8 1 3 dxc5 + - was the
is himself expanding rather than         course of Adams-Van Wely, Tilburg
waiting for the opponent to seize the    1 996. Black can generate some
initiative there. The King ' s Indian    practical 'mess ' for the piece, but
Defence is riddled with such             not          too    much      theoretical
examples, and I am impressed by          compensation; while 8 . . . �a5+ ! -
the logic here too.                      Adams - also falls short after 9 �d2
                                         tUb4 when Hodgson 's 1 0 e4 ! ? is
    By     way    of contrast,      in   interesting, but 1 0 tUc3 tUc2+ [or
Hodgson-Nunn, Bundesliga 1 995,           10 . . J:lb8 1 1 i.b5+ tUc6 12 d5 a6 1 3
(and many others) White immed­           dxc6 axb5 1 4 �d5 ! ] 1 1 'it> f2 tUxa l
iately committed wholesale to the        12         i.b5+     looks   the    most
kingside with 6 g4 i.g6 7 h4 h5 8        straightforward.        White    has    a
g5 tUfd7 9 tUc3 c6 1 0 i.d3 i.xd3        tremendous attack) 9 e4 tUe3 1 0
 1 1 �xd3 g6 ! ? 1 2 e4 e6 1 3 0-0-0     exf5 ! (That good old b5-e8 diagonal
i.e7 1 4 !:te l tUa6 1 5 a3 tUb6 1 6     again) 10 . . . �a5+ ! 1 1 �d2 tUc2+
i.e5 0-0 and interestingly without       which was played in Bombek­
the option of a pawn-stonn (he has       E.Pinter, Slovak (ch) 2000 . Now
in a sense already exhausted this        instead of 12 �d l �xd2+ 1 3 tUxd2
resource) it is relatively harder for    tUxa l 14 i.b5+ �d8 1 5 tUe2 g6 1 6
him to make any impression against       �c l i.h6 1 7 ':d l gxf5 1 8 'it>b l
the black king.                          cxd4 1 9 'it>xa 1 e6 when the rook and
                                                           2. . . lLle4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 93


p awns have a reasonable shot                  importance will depend upon where
a gainst White ' s two minor pieces,           White chooses to press his initiative.
White should have played 12 c;t>f2 !           But alternatives are no bed of roses
'i'xd2 1 3 lLlxd2 lLlxa l 1 4 i.b5+            either:
�d8 1 5 i.d3 ! followed by lLlh3                    a) 8 . . . 'ilid7 9 g4 i.g6 10 h4 h6 1 1
with a clear advantage. In the                 c5 i.e7 1 2 lLlb5 ! (a notable trick,
second case White ' s position                 based upon the iLxb8 motif which is
coordinates          beautifully,     while    a regular visitor in the Tromp,
Black's is frankly rather a mess!              particularly indeed later in this
   b) 6 . . . i.xb l is relatively safe, but   chapter) 1 2 . . . cxb5 1 3 i.xb8 a6 1 4
rather pliant. I prefer White ' s              i.g3 0-0 (I notice with some
position i n Adams-Emms, British               incredulity that Slobodan Kovacevic
(ch) Hove 1 997 after 7 lIxb 1 c6 8            recently decided to play this
i.d3 e6 9 lLle2 i.b4+ 1 0 c;t>f2 i.e7          position a second time as Black. He
1 1 g4 dxc4 12 i.xc4 0-0 1 3 e4 .              is by no means lost, but I do find the
Note that as so often in the                   judgement implicit in this decision
Trompowsky, especially where                   rather curious. It seems to me that
White is expanding on the kings ide,           White can claim an obvious spatial
his king settles fairly comfortably            plus and a promising kingside
on f2 .                                        attack. ) 1 5 lLlh3 ( 1 5 lLle2 was also
   7 lLlc3 e 6 8 iVb3                          good) 1 5 . . . iVc6 16 lLlf4 i.h7 1 7
                                               i.d3 iLxd3 1 8 lLlxd3 += Miles­
                                               Kovacevic, Benasque (op) 1 997.
                                                    b) Neither does 8 . . . 'itb6 look
                                               especially appetising. White has 9
                                               c5 iVxb3 1 0 axb3 with a structure
                                               well-known from other d-pawn
                                                openings in which the open a-file
                                               helps White secure further benefits
                                               from the b4-b5 break which, owing
                                               to the pinned a-pawn will not be
                                               hindered should Black opt to play
                                                . . . a6. This should secure White a
                                               definite initiative.
                                                     9 g4 i.g6 10 h4 h6 n lLlh3 iLe7
   Good to see it is White giving the
b-pawn some hassle for a change !                    An attempt to improve upon
Again we are concerned with plans               1 1 . . . dxc4 which cedes the centre
more than move order. 8 g4 is also              still further in return for a shade
                                               more space for the Black pieces.
quite valid. White ' s 8th, 9th and
1 0th are fairly interchangeable with
                                               This led to one of the               J.  reat
the important structural proviso that          Trompowsky classics after 1 2 xc4     •




g4 should precede h4 !                         lLld5 1 3 0-0-0 i.d6 ( 1 3 . . . lLlxf4
                                               would remove the e6 pawn ' s shield,
   8 b6
    . . .
                                               and leave it hugely vulnerable to
   This is something of a positional           either a sacrifice or a d4-d5
concession of course, although its             breakthrough) 1 4 iLxd6 iVxd6 1 5 e4
94 2 ..tiJe4 3 .i.f4 d5 4 e3
      .




lDxc3 1 6 'ixc3 lDd7 1 7 h5 ! .i.h7 1 8                  1 2 0-0-0 as 13 cxdS exdS 14
c;to>b l 0-0-0 1 9 c;to>a l ! (As we have          .i.d3
seen, issues of where to press home                     This is OK, but I would prefer 1 4
the initiative in this line are                    lDf2 in order to recapture on d3 with
inextricably linked with the question              the knight.
of king placement and king safety.
Here Stuart wisely invests time in                       14 . . . i.xd3 IS .l:.xd3 lDbd7 1 6
                                                   Ilddl lDh7
tucking the king into the comer, as
he has his own sights on the                            I suppose Black is trying to
queenside now that Black's king                    predict a menacing g5-g6 advance.
nestles there) 1 9 . . . 'ib8 20 lDf2 f6           The problem is that White has a
2 1 .i.a6                                          very flexible formation in the centre
                                                   anyway, and this gives grounds for
                                                   extra optimism regarding any
                                                   coming central breakthrough.
                                                         17 e4 dxe4 1 8 lDxe4 !
                                                         Eyeing both the d6 square and the
                                                   g5 break, as well as ensuring that
                                                    . . . .i.xh4 will not confuse the issue.
                                                         1 8 . . . lDdf6 19 gS lDdS
                                                         Opening the h-file would provide
                                                   no respite. After 1 9 . . . hxg5 20 hxg5
                                                   lDd5 , Luc Winants himself gives 2 1
                                                   i.e5, but 2 1 g6 fxg6 22 lDhg5 !
                                                   looks considerably more incisive.
  A strong move in itself, this
                                                         20 gxh6 gxh6 21 .i.xh6 i.xh4 22
bishop sortie also embodies a
                                                   lDf4
strategic lesson in itself. White
emphasises how the black bishop is
shut out, biting only on the
supremely well-guarded e-pawn,
while his own bishop can adopt a
threatening posture on the other
wing. To cap it all, its own influence
is a direct consequence of its
adversary' s difficulties.
   2 1 . . . c 5 ? ! (2 1 . . . r;£j>a8 += keeps
White' s advantage within bounds)
22 'i'a3 'ig3 23 Ithfl cxd4 24 lDd3
lDe5 25 .l:.c 1 Ilhe8 26 'ia4 ! (still
infiltrating the deserted light
squares) 26 . . . l:!.e7 27 'i'xd4 ! ned7             This game is a model for the kind
28 'i'c3 and mate on c8 cannot be                  of momentum which plays a maj or
prevented at acceptable cost,                      role in the concept of the
therefore 1 -0 . Conquest-Xie Jun,                 ' initiative ' . Black is given no pause
Hastings 1 996, a model of patient                 for thought before facing a further
attacking build-up from Stuart.                    barrage - his best pieces are
                                                        2 lLle4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 95
                                                         . . .




likewise given no time to settle.           encouraged to check out this
Since d5 is a good square, pester           alternative. There may be an almost
th at knight !                              automatic suspicion of a certain
    22 . . . a4                             artificiality attached to such a
                                            retreat. However, it has some solid
    With the next couple of moves           qualities. Aside from preventing the
Black loses the exchange and the
                                            move c2-c4 for the moment, c4 is an
remaining difficulties can be
                                            important square to keep an eye on
classified in the traditional manner
                                            anyway, and the knight is also
as ' technical ' . It is a tribute to the
                                            spared being a target for White ' s
power of White ' s play that Fritz          g4-g5 aspirations. Here I a m much
seems           to  suggest    that this    more agnostic than in the last game
unfortunate scenario was Black
                                            about whether White should still
coping as best he could!                    play for c2-c4, or just play in the
    23 llVc4 1:!.c8 24 l'Llxd5! cxd5 25     centre and on the kings ide.
l'Lld6+ 'it>d7 26 'ixc8+ 'i'xc8+ 2 7        However, I still have a sneaking
l'Llxc8 .uxc8+ 28 'it> b 1 i.f6 29 i.g7!    respect for the quiet approach which
    Further exchanges ensure an easy        White adopts in the game, backed
win.                                        by an enormous respect for 5mbat
                                            Lputian' s chess understanding in
    29 l:1.g8 30 l:Ixh7 l:.xg7 31 l:txg7
                                            general.
     . . .


..txg7 32 'it>c2 �e6 33 �d3 �f5 34
l:tcl ..tfS 35 .l:i.c8 i.b4 36 ktc6 .lta5      6 l'Lld2 ! ?
37 .l:i.d6 f6 38 l:xd5+ 'it>f4 39 l:1.b5       This of course signals White ' s
 1-0                                        determination t o press o n in
                                            ' Queen' s Gambit' mode with c4 . In
                 Game 2 1                   this position though it is quite
             Lputian - Z.Ilincic            reasonable that the knight' s position
             Yerevan (zt) 2000              on d6 rather than f6 should
                                            encourage White to hit in the centre
  1 d4 l'Llf6 2 .ltg5 l'Lle4 3 .ltf4 d5 4   with e2-e4, which will put greater
e3 .ltf5 5 n l'Lld6 ! ?                     than usual pressure on d5 . In my
                                            view though, Black has reasonable
                                            compensation for this. If White
                                            castles long for example, the knight
                                            on d6, keeping contact with the
                                            important c4 square, can be rather a
                                            potent attacking piece.               Some
                                            examples:
                                               6 lLlc3 e6 and now:
                                               a) 7 g4 ! ? (anyway! ) 7 . . . ..tg6 8
                                            i.d3 ! ? (8 iVd2 ! ?) 8 . . . lLlc6 9 lLlge2
                                            .lte7 1 0 llVd2 a6 1 1 i.g3 b5?! To my
                                            mind this is a rather instructive
                                            moment. It is not such a bad move,
  Having witnessed above the force          but there is a question of timing that
of the c2-c4 plan, it is under­             deserves a mention. The problem is
standable that some players felt            that White, for all his kings ide
96 2 ..tiJe4 3 Jif4 d5 4 e3
       .




commitment is still reasonably                      respective attacks in which I think
flexible. Such a move is more                       Black        should    have      adequate
appropriate when White has really                   resources. Leko-Krasenkow, Polan­
no more possibility to switch back                  ica Zdroj , 1 99 8 . Clearly it' s not just
and start examining the undeniable                  English 2700 players who play the
weaknesses on the c-file that such a                Tromp from time to time !
pawn break entails. The next few                      6 . . . e6 7 c4
moves demonstrate that this is not
the case here. 12 h4 b4? ! 1 3 liJa4
liJb 7 14 h5 .lixd3 1 5 cxd3 ! both
covering the c4 square (I think this
recapture has been in White ' s mind
for some moves here) and opening
the c-file for operations. What about
White ' s king? It went to d2 and
looked reasonably comfortable with
the fact. Moreno Camero - Cao,
Collado Villalba (op) 2000.
    b) 7 'ife2 .lig6 ! (Better I think
than 7 . . . .lie7 8 e4 when Black is
forced to capture. Despite the fact
that after 8 . . . dxe4 he has a neat                  7 ... liJxc4
trick         which            avoids      being       To my mind it is slightly strange
immediately flattened in the centre                 to capture in this way. Is Black
(9 fxe4? liJxe4 ! 1 0 liJxe4 �xd4                   afraid of 7 . . . dxc4 8 e4 ! ? I doubt if it
with a spot of embarrassment on                     is too scary since after 8 . . . .lig6
White ' s 4th rank) after 9 0-0-0 exD               White has nothing better than 9
 1 0 liJxD 0-0 1 1 h3 h6 1 2 g4 .lih7               liJxc4 in any case.
 1 3 h4 White had oodles of
compensation in Efimov-Olivier,                        In fact, the resulting positions are
Monaco Masters 2000) 8 0-0-0                        all fairly similar anyway (as coaches
(Now          on      the         other    hand,    like to say, learn the structure not
 ' exploiting ' the pin on the                      the moves, and there is something in
by 8 e4 c6 9 exd5? ! cxd5 1 0                       this advice ! ) but it is worth
liJc6 1 1 0-0-0 ':'c8 ! invites serious             mentioning that the possibility of
counterplay) 8 . . . .lie7 9 e4 c6 1 0              which Lputian decided to avail
'ilVe l ( 1 0 h4 ! ?) 1 0 . . . 0-0 1 1 h4 h6 1 2   himself in the game is created by
.lid3 ( 1 2 g4 b 5 1 3 g5 h5 ! also gives           Black ' s move order.
Black decent counter-chances, as                       In order to get a feel for the
Avrukh shows.                    The knight' s      positions, here is the Julian himself
absence from f6 has the up-side o f                 behind the wheels. 7 . . . dxc4 8 liJxc4
complicating the process o f opening                liJd7 9 l:tc 1 liJxc4 1 0 .lixc4 .lid6 1 1
files against the black king) 1 2 . . . b5          liJe2 0-0 1 2 e4 .lig6 1 3 0-0 e5 1 4
 1 3 .lixd6 ! ? .lixd6 14 e5 .lixd3 1 5             dxe5 i.xe5 1 5 'i!Vb3 .lixf4 1 6 liJxf4
Zlxd3 .lie7 1 6 f4 �a5 1 7 'it'b l c5 !             liJb6 1 7 'i!V e3 It is interesting that
 1 8 dxc5 liJc6 with a hugely                       White does not fear the coming
 complicated race between the                       exchange. 1 7 . . . liJxc4 1 8 l:lxc4 c6
                                                              2 tiJe4 3 ..ltf4 d5 4 e3 97
                                                               . . .




1 9 J:.d4 �6 20 'lif2 was Hodgson­                nibble. The problem? Basically
He rtneck, Bundesliga 2000. It may                Black' s bishop was allowed time to
not look that much, but the contrast              rejoin the action in contrast with the
in the respective minor pieces is                 other games in this section. The
actually quite serious . It is very hard          reason for this? I think 1 2 �3
to bring the bishop back from the                 makes limited sense if he is
doldrums of g6 without granting the               unwilling to follow through by
knight and rooks key squares. Julian              snaffling the b-pawn. White could
was duly able to convert this                     have considered 1 2 e4 ! ? Sl.h7 1 3
advantage.                                        J:.c 1 for example when I still prefer
   8 tiJxc4 dxc4                                  his chances.
                                                        9 . . . ..ltb4+ 1 0 ..ltd2 Sl.xd2+ 1 1
                                                  'lixd2 Sl.g6 1 2 Sl.xc4 0-0 1 3 tiJe2
                                                  'lie7 14 0-0 tiJd7 15 l:.ac1 c6 1 6
                                                  :!:i.fd l <;t>h8
                                                       Hugely exciting it is not, but the
                                                  examples already given in the notes
                                                  do assist in our understanding of the
                                                  basic point. The bishop on g6 is
                                                  passive, and Black has precious
                                                  little by way of compensation for
                                                  this. Note that either attempt to
                                                  strike back in the centre ( . . . c6-c5 or
                                                   . . . e6-e5) can be forcefully met with
                                                  d4-d5 . In most cases an opening of
                                                  the centre which still leaves the e4
    9 e4 ! ?                                      pawn as a rock-like presence will
    This i s the additional option                only serve to highlight the absence
which I explained above. It enables               of the g6 bishop from the main
White to play with his king on g l                action. I mentioned earlier that
rather than f2 , and whatever the                 White is sticking to ' Queen ' s
relative merits, it is understandable             Gambit' mode and the position to
that some might feel more                         me greatly resembles a Slav defence
comfortable with this option. In                  which Black has rather mishandled.
Winants-Van Haastert, Netherlands
                                                         17 tiJf4 J:.fd8 1 8 l:.c3 tiJb6 1 9
(tch) 200 1 , White preferred 9 Sl.xc4            Sl.b3 l:.d7
..ltb4+ 1 0 <;t>f2 . This is important
since in the event of 7 . . . dxc4 he                   Perhaps 1 9 . . . e5 now, if ever, but
would be obliged to go down this                   after 20 tiJxg6+ hxg6 any ensuing
route anyway. After 1 0 . . . Sl.d6 1 1            freedom would come at the price of
tiJe2 h6 1 2 'lib3 Sl.xf4 1 3 tiJxf4               a weak f7 pawn. These are typical
tiJd7 ! 1 4 :!:i.ac 1 0-0 1 5 J:.hd 1 tiJb6 1 6   dilemmas. When playing against
Sl.f1 �d6 1 7 <;t>g l e 5 1 8 dxe5 'lixe5          such a bishop re-capturing space
 1 9 'Iic3 'lixc3 20 l:.xc3 g5 White               often involves enhancing the
was unable to win, although he did                 opponent' s minor piece.
make some serious headway with                          20 l:.d3 l:.ad8 21 'liaS ! tiJc8 22 g3
what at this stage is just a miniscule             l:.d6 23 <;t>g2 f6? !
98 2 ..tiJe4 3 �f4 d5 4 e3
      .




                                               52 <s;xg6 1:Ig3+ 53 <S;h7 :a3 54
                                               <S;g8 1-0
                                                  Not a pleasant experience for the
                                               defender, although towards the end
                                               one which he could have shortened
                                               with a clear conscience !
                                                              Game 22
                                                        Akopian - Mohandesi
                                                          Elista (01) 1 998

                                                    1 d4 ltJf6 2 �g5 ltJe4 3 �f4 d5 4
                                               e3 e6
   Definitely an impatient move, but
                                                    At first sight a little passive, there
doing nothing is one of the hardest
                                               is actually a certain amount of
things in chess, and finding
                                               respect knocking around for this
intelligent moves over a period of
                                               unpretentious move. The main point
time when there is no real plan has
                                               is that Black can rapidly aim to
been the speciality of only a select
                                               question the Tromp bishop with the
band of defenders . The temptation is
                                               move . . . i.d6. As we shall see, it is
always to make the position
                                               also a choice that can work in
' critical ' again, in the sense that
                                               conjunction with an early . . . c5 .
White must adjust to finding
accurate moves rather than building                 This seems like a reasonable
at his own pace. Black ' threatens ' to        moment to consider another simple
use his g6 bishop once again. Here             developing move. 4 . . . g6 5 �d3
the weak e6 pawn and the increased             ltJd6 (looks a bit passive. 5 . . . i.g7
vulnerability of Black's king are too          looks better, but after 6 �xe4 dxe4,
high a price to pay.                           whether White plays 7 ltJc3 or tries
                                               to keep his centre tighter with 7
   24 e5! fxe5 25                  hxg6 26
                                               ltJd2 and c3, Black will need the
'iYxe5 ltJb6 27 lie3               28 ll+'a5
                                               . . . c5 break and we will be highly
ltJb6 29 l:te4 !
                                               likely to transpose to Game 26 note
   Lputian denies his opponent any             to Black's 7th) 6 h4 ! ? An enterpris­
respite. Black I guess hoped for 29            ing effort to punish Black ' s caution
W1ixa7 c5 when he could at least play          which works a treat here 6 . . . �g7 7
some chess again.                              ltJc3 c6 8 h5 W/ib6 9 �e5 ! �xe5 1 0
   29 . . . ltJd5 30 W1ixa7 'i/Vg5 31 l:tdel   dxe5 ltJc4 1 1 hxg6 fxg6 1 2 �xg6+
b6 32 W1if7 W1if6 33 'iYxf6 gxf6 34            <S;d8 1 3 ii'd4 with clear advantage
1:Ixe6                                         in Lputian-Ashley, Las Vegas (op)
   The rest is easy.                           200 1 .
   34 . . . ltJb4 35 l:txd6 lixd6 36 a3             5 i.d3
ltJd5 37 �xd5 l:txd5 38 1:Ie6 l:txd4                As usual there are also playable
39 l:txf6 <s;g7 40 lhc6 l:i.d2+ 4 1            quiet moves, but I can only reiterate
<S;h3 l:i.xb2 4 2 a 4 �h6 4 3 f4 �g7           that I think the �d3xe4 idea has
44 �g4 1:Ixh2 45 l:txb6 l:i.hl 46 a5           added hugely to the punch of the
:al 47 a6 �a3 48 l:tb7+ <S;f6 49 a7            Trompowsky, and poses Black
<s;e6 50 <s;g5 lIxg3+ 5 1 <S;h6 l:ta3          tricky and un-stereotyped problems.
                                                           2 ctJe4 3 .tf4 d5 4 e3 99
                                                               . . .




                                             .txc3+ ! 1 0 bxc3 ctJc6 1 1 ctJh3 ( 1 1
                                             ..Itxc7? ! �d5 1 2 �d6 �c4 l 3 ctJe2
                                             .tb7 leaves White desperately weak
                                             on the light squares) 1 1 . . ...Ita6 !
                                                 The key question revolves around
                                             the attempt to win material with the
                                             superior 9 .te5 ! f6 1 0 �xe4 fxe5 1 1
                                             �xa8 exd4 1 2 0-0-0 when Julian
                                             does not trust Black' s compen­
                                             sation, and indeed 12 . . . .txc3 1 3
                                             bxc3 �d6 1 4 Mxd4 �a3+ 1 5 �b l
                                             looks safe enough for White, but
                                              1 2 . . . .td7 ! ? is interesting since l 3
   5 . .td6
                                             1:.xd4 .txc3 1 4 bxc3 'Yi'e7 ! 1 5 �xa7
    . .



   This makes the most sense. The            ( 1 5 'Yi'e4 .tc6 also carries dangers)
simplicity of White ' s ' capture on e4       1 5 . . . ctJc6 wins back the exchange
and then harass the e-pawn' plan             and matters seem far from clear. For
comes under fire. The possibility of         this reason, I think White would be
capture on f4 in tum forces White to         better off opting for one of the early
reckon with some new structures.             deviations.
   Of the others, aside from 5 . . . c5          6 ctJe2 !
which I will touch upon in the notes
                                                 I like this. There are a number of
to Game 26, one other possibility
                                             games in which White plays 6 ..Itxe4
deserves a            mention,     if not
                                             .txf4 ! 7 exf4 dxe4 but this structure
necessarily          intrinsically    then
                                             does not inspire confidence. After 8
because of the significant outing
                                             ctJc3 ctJc6 ! 9 ctJge2 f5 for example,
that was its debut. In Hodgson­
                                             it might seem superficially attractive
Yermolinsky, Hastings, 1 995 Black
                                             to possess the knight pair given the
chose 5 . . . b6 ! ? 6 .txe4 (Of course 6
                                             weak dark squares, but in fact they
ctJd2 is also legitimate here if White
                                             lack access to any convincing posts.
wants a quiet and safe life. I am
trying on the whole to avoid the                 Neither is 6 .txd6 the answer -
quiet and frankly slightly dull Torre        either 6 . . . �xd6 or 6 . . . ctJxd6 look
Attack!3 .tf4 type positions, but it         quite adequate.
might be an encouragement to some
that B lack' s development pattern is
already determined. Also I would
consider 6 ctJe2 ! ? with a quick c4 to
follow) 6 . . . dxe4 7 ctJc3 .tb4 ! ?
(7 . . . .tb7 8 �g4 �d7 ! ? 9 0-0-0 ctJa6
was Hauchard-A. Sokolov, France
(Tch) 1 998, when I would suggest
1 0 f3 exf3 1 1 ctJxf3 with good
development to compensate for the
bishop pair) 8 �g4 ! ? (8 ctJge2 looks
a sensible ' safe option' ) 8 . . 0-0 and
                               .


now Julian went badly wrong and
was quickly worse with 9 �g3 ?                 6 . . . ctJd7
1 00 2 ..'i:Je4 3 kf4 d5 4 e3
        .




    The more I look at the diagram               1 1 lLlxf4 0-0 12 0-0-0 lLlf6 13 h 4
position the trickier it looks for               The immediate 1 3 lLle5 ! ? woul d
Black. White has two familiar                  also be possible, since . . . gS is
enough strategies - to capture on e4           hardly a threat.
and try to round up the e-pawn, or
to play with c4 which is liable to                13 . . . b5 14 lLle5 kb7 15 h5 kd5
lead to either a good Queen ' s                16 l:h3 �d6 17 g4 ! lLlxg4 18 lLlxg4
Gambit, o r a very healthy Dutch,              fxg4 1 9 .l:.g3 �a6 20 a3 l:tab8 2 1
depending on Black' s attitude to his          �b4 �d6 22 ':'xg4
e4 knight. One example of this latter
White plan:
    6 . . . 0-0 7 0-0 (7 c4 ! ? immediately
might be still more to the point)
7 . . .'iJ d7 8 c4 .l:.e8 ? ! (Already we
see how Black ' s pieces might feel a
little awkward. 8 . . . c6? would be the
' nonnal ' move, other things being
equal, but they are not, since it can
be met with 9 kxe4 kxf4 1 0
kxh7+ winning a pawn) 9 1i'c2
lLldf6 10 cS kxf4 1 1 exf4 !
(revealing further embarrassment
for Black's knights) 1 1 . . . lLld7 1 2          This moment should be the
i.xe4 dxe4 1 3 �xe4 lLlf6 1 4 1i'c2            culmination of White ' s strategy. He
and Black should not have enough               seems to have everything: Chances
for a pawn in                    Szymanski­    on the g-file; a solid position and
Jakubowski, Poland (U- 1 8ch) 200 1 .          control of key squares on the
    7 i.xe4 ! ?                                queen ' s wing; as well as the better
                                               minor piece (although it is fair to
    Again 7 c4 ! ? i s an interesting
                                               say that Black has made the best of
option.
                                               his     once     rather questionable
    7 . . . dxe4 8 lLld2 ! f5 9 lLlc4 'ilie7   bishop) . It seems surprising that a
10 1i'd2 i.xf4                                 player of Akopian' s considerable
    Positionally, this very much               class did not put Black away here.
clarifies things in White' s favour.           Still,    al l  is    not  quite   as
White is better on the dark squares,           straightforward as it might appear.
and has tremendous knights. Black ' s          The main difficulty is that the
difficulties are compounded b y the            knight, for all its undoubted
fact that 1 0 . . . O-O? fails to 1 1 kxd6 !   qualities, is also charged with
cxd6 1 2 'Vib4, but he might have              ' shielding ' the weak f2 pawn. This
better seized the moment to play               job it perfonns well, but only if it
1 0 . . . bS ! since 1 1 lLlaS?? loses to      stays put. Black's next two moves
1 1 . . . i.b4, while if 1 1 lLlxd6+ cxd6      also herald a good makeshift
he can reclaim control of eS,                  solution to the problems on the
although after 12 'iWb4 e5 13 kg3 I            queenside. In fact, the position
still somewhat prefer White ' s tidier         might be no more than slightly
structure.                                     favourable for White.
                                                  2 ctJe4 3 iif4 d5 4 e3 1 01
                                                   . . .




  22 . . JlVxb4! 23 axb4 1:.a8! 24
l:dgl kIn 25 Wd2
  Neither is 25 b3 a5 26 bxa5 l:xa5
27 'it>b2 b4 ! an automatic route to
success. If White can penetrate to b4
and c5 it all looks much more
promising (his rook is happy
enough moving to c 1 to keep Black
out) but it is hard to organise.
  25 . . . a5 26 bxa5 J:xa5 27 kIg5 c6
28 'it>c3 kIa4 ! 29 b3 b4+! 30 'it>b2
J:a8 31 kIal
  Probably necessary to prevent             5 ...�6
counterplay along the a-file, but the       The first of a series of related but
main danger has clearly passed. An       subtly different attempts to grab the
undoubted achievement for Black ' s      b-pawn which will provide this
defence.                                 chapter with some of its top notch
  3 1 . . . l:xal 32 'it>xal J:a7+ 33    entertainment. Sometimes looking
�b2 'it>n 34 ctJe2 'it>f6 35 kIg4 e5     at all this consumption of poisoned
36 dxe5+ 'it>xe5 37 ctJf4 'it>f5 38      wares, it is tempting to wonder "will
kIgl 'it>e5 39 kIg5+ 'it>f6 40 kIgl      Black never learn"? In fact though,
�e5 41 c3 bxc3+ 42 'it>xc3 kIb7 43       while White tends to win the most
b4 �f5 44 kIdl iLn 45 kIgl 'it>f6 46     publishable games in such positions,
J:al 'it>g5 47 kIa5+ 'it>g4 48 �e5       the theoretical status of these
Wf3 49 l:tf5 Wg4 YZ-YZ                   gambits is often ' interesting but
                                         unclear' or as Julian likes to put it
  An instructive example of the
                                         "well worth a punt", but not
dangers of ' assessment at first
                                         necessarily more. Don 't forget
glance ' .
                                         either, in the earlier chapters we
                                         have seen key positions where I was
                                         unable to recommend a gambit, and
           Game 23                       White was forced to go passive in
 Romero Holmes - Garcia Luque            defence of his brittle b-pawn. Not
   Spanish (ch), Linares 1 998           here. In this particular case I am no
                                         great fan of Black's approach. The
                                         reason? I guess because 4 . . . c6 does
   1 d4 ctJf6 2 iLg5 ctJe4 3 iLf4 d5 4   little more than prepare this sortie.
e3 c6                                    Of course, it might be argued that
   "This move does not look a            the move has the advantage over
particularly      inspired     choice"   4 . . . c5 that it keeps the position
declares Hodgson, and I must say I       closed, surely a more logical
see where he is coming from. Still,      prelude         to     pawn-grabbing.
it has been played at a high level       Moreover it denies the squares b5
and virtually obliges White to play      and d5 to White ' s knights -
quite critically to demonstrate an       potentially        a     source      of
advantage.                               embarrassment when the queen is
  5 iLd3                                 away from home. Well, maybe, but
1 02 2 .,tiJe4 3 �f4 d5 4 e3
        .




there is also an issue of ' active v.              i.xc4 ttJb6 1 2 �b3 a5 1 3 l:tc l ttJfd5
passive' . My feeling is that the                  1 4 ttJxd5 ttJxd5 1 5 �g3 += was Tu
positions in which Black revels in                 Hoang Thong-Juswanto, Sea Chess
his greed and just sits back to take               (chT), Kuala Lumpur 200 1 . Of
the punishment work in general less                course in this type of Grunfeld-Slav
well than those in which some                      position White has some extra space
pressure is applied to White ' s                   and the easier position to handle,
centre, even i f this means opening                and here he also enj oys the
some lines for the White pieces. In                customary tempo gain which
this specific case, White is not even              . . . ttJf6-e4-f6 tends to imply. It is
gambling too much, since part of his               clearly often worth forcing this
compensation comes in the form of                  without playing f3 if the option is
a black e-pawn which is very hard                  available.
to defend !                                             We shall see various instances of
     So, can Black eschew the b-pawn               the retreat 5 . . . ttJf6. To my mind, it
and handle the position more                       seems to represent some sort of
quietly? Well, he can, but I believe               moral victory for White ' s opening.
he cannot ultimately escape the lack               White ' attacks ' the knight on f6 - it
of counterpunch otherwise inherent                 runs. He ' attacks ' it on e4, it runs
in his fourth move. Two examples :                 again. Black seems to hold the
     a) 5 . . . ttJd7 6 �xe4 ! dxe4 7 ttJc3        bishop pair in about as much regard
ttJf6 8 ttJge2 i.f5 9 ttJg3 e6 1 0 �g5             as his opponent does !
( 1 0 0-0 i.b4 1 1 ttJxf5 exf5 12 ttJe2
also looks worth considering)
 1 0 . . . �b4 1 1 0-0 i.xc3 1 2 bxc3 h6
 1 3 �xf6 'ixf6 14 f3 gave White
some initiative in Zaichik-Anand,
Coimbatore 1 987 (a strange line to
choose against Zaichik who at that
time was regularly wheeling out the
very indifferent 5 f3 ?! against the
more             active    c-pawn     move ! ) .
Incidentally              Julian     Hodgson
suggests 7 ttJd2 ! ? which would
usually be much more to the point,
targeting Black' s weak e-pawn
without allowing the resource of the                   6 i.xe4 !
 . . . �b4 pin, but in this odd case, it               To my mind a fully justified
seems that another pin 7 . . . 'ia5 ! ? is         gambit. I mention the alternative 6
rather better than it looks. Lines                 'it'c 1 ? ! (which at least really
 such as 8 c3 e5 9 ttJc4 'it'b5 1 0                threatens i.xe4 now) only because I
ttJxe5 ttJxe5 1 1 �xe5 'ixb2 1 2 ttJe2             find Black ' s retort 6 . . . 'it'a5+! rather
�g4 might offer a degree of                        instructive. Black forces c3 to
 attacking chances but are by no                   weaken the d3 bishop . After 7 c3
means clear.                                       i.f5 8 f3 ttJd6 (of course 8 . . . ttJf2?
      b) 5 . . . ttJf6 6 h3 g6 7 ttJf3 �g7 8       would send the knight to its doom,
 0-0 0-0 9 c4 ttJbd7 1 0 ttJc3 dxc4 1 1            whatever your Fritz tells you) 9
                                                        2 ctJe4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 1 03
                                                         . . .




i.xf5 ctJxf5 1 0 e4 ctJh4 1 1 i.g3          As usual his opinIOn should
ctJg6 12 ctJe2 e6 1 3 ctJd2 i.e7 1 4        command at least prima facie
0-0 0-0 1 5 �c2 ctJd7 1 6 ltae l l:tac8     respect. After 9 a-a ! ? ctJf6 10 c4 !
with a position in which White has          �a3 1 1 ctJg3 g6 1 2 i.e5 ! i.g7 1 3
succeeded in the goal of creating an        ctJgxe4 ctJxe4 1 4 i.xg7 ctJxd2 1 5
unusual and original position, but          �xd2 I:tg8 1 6 i.e5 f6 1 7 i.g3 b6 1 8
not really in obtaining an opening          e4 c5 1 9 d5 Black's position makes
advantage          in       Adams-Leko,     a terrible impression although he
Groningen 1 99 5 .                          went on to hold the draw in
   6 dxe4
   . . .
                                            Hodgson-Hjartarson, Politiken Cup
                                            Copenhagen 1 996. There is nothing
   In this case it makes little             wrong           with      the      immediate
di fference whether Black plays the         re-cooping of material on move 9,
' zwischenzug' 6 . . . �xb2 or not, as      but it would appear that exercising a
White ' s knight is going to d2             little extra patience might enable
anyway.                                     White to extract still more positional
   7 ctJd2 ctJd7 ? !                        concessions.
   Again 7 . . �xb2 ! ? i s more usual.
            .                                  9 ctJf6
                                                . . .


In his notes to his game with Leko             An interesting attempt to improve
quoted above, Mickey Adams then             on the 9 . . . g6 of Hodgson- Smejkal,
gives the line 8 ctJxe4 1Itb4+ 9 c3         Bundesliga 1 996. One of Julian' s
�a5 1 0 ctJf3 ctJd7 1 1 0-0 g6 as           specialities - which goes a fair way
unclear, which is what presumably           to explaining his prowess as a
put him off the gambit. More recent         Trompowsky player - is the deft
experience seems to confirm that e2         handling of a space advantage in
is probably a superior square for           combat against the bishop pair. This
White ' s king ' s knight.                  was a true model .
   Perhaps we can assume that                  1 0 0-0 i.g7 1 1 �d3 �b6 1 2 a4 !
Black, in playing the text move,            0-0 1 3 a5 �d8                     1 4 'iYc3 !
would have welcomed a passive               (prophylaxis of course against . . . e5,
response such as 8 .l:Ib l or 8 �c l ! ?    but also containing ideas of a6 to
Theoretically,        I    think   these    undermine            Black's       queens ide)
(probably the latter) should have           1 4 . . . a6 1 5 1:tfd l h6? ! 1 6 l:tab l ctJf6
been considered. Black ' s e-pawn is        1 7 ctJxf6+ exf6 1 8 �a3 .
very fragile, and his compensation
for this far from clear.
   8 ctJe2 �xb2 !
   At last!
   9 ctJxe4
   I am not quite sure about the order
of Julian ' s 1 996 games in this line. I
believe that he played this first, but
then graduated later to the more
ambitious 9 a-a ! ? which he then
discussed in his book saying that
"White ' s lead in development easily
compensates for the pawn deficit".
1 04 2 t'i:,e4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3
        . . .




     A quite masterful demonstration              Of course not the immediate
of how to make the bishop pair look             14 . . .'ihe2? as 1 5 .l:f.b8+ ':'xb8 1 6
at best irrelevant,               at worst      �xb8+ 'it'd7 1 7 .l:tb 1 wins outright.
ridiculous, achieved against a player             15 J:b8 .l:f.xb8 16 'iVxb8 i.e7 1 7
whose own chess understanding is                i.d6 !
of the highest calibre.
     1 8 . . . Ite8 1 9 c4 i.f8 20 c5 g5 2 1
i.g3 f5 22 t'i:,c3 'ili'f6 2 3 i.e5 Ihe5
(What else? Other things being
equal such a sacrifice might greatly
ease Black' s problems, but as it is
he has the back rank weakness and a
huge square to contend with on b6
which together finish him off. ) 24
dxe5 'iVxe5 25 l:.d8 <J;g7 26 t'i:,a4
i.e7 27 l:te8 'iVc7 28 t'i:,b6 l:[b8 29
t'i:,xc8 J:xc8 3 0 'ilib2+ i.f6 3 1 l:txc8
'ili'xc8 32 'ili'xb7 'ilt'e6 3 3 'ilt'xa6 �a2
34 �d3 1 -0
                                                  This second incarnation of the
     Another Trompowsky classic                 sacrifice on the other hand, is both
from Julian.                                    much more subtle and instructive. I
     10 t'i:,xf6+ exf6 1 1 0-0 i.e6 ? !         would have loved to have known
     The motivation for this serious            this example when I recently wrote
error of judgement is not so hard to            an article on ' the initiative ' since
fathom. Inviting White ' s rook to b7           such a move all but exemplifies the
when your development is suffering              concept in one go .
always involves risks, but the                    The main point from the
precise way in which this can be                attacker' s point of view is the
exploited was quite easy to                     priority afforded to preventing
overlook. 1 1 . . . i.e7 would have             castling. Positionally it is important
been much safer, when De la Villa               that the exchange of bishops is such
gives 12 'iWd2 (since 1 2 �d3 is met            a boon to the White cause that the
with 12 . . .'iVa3 ! ) 1 2 . . . �6 1 3 a4      piece offer can scarcely be
+=, although I think I might prefer             satisfactorily declined. Relevant
to kick off with 1 2 a4 ! ? and still put       from the practical standpoint is that
the queen on d3 . In either case,               White ' s ' gamble' is kept within
White has chances on the queenside              bounds as it is not hard to calculate
and space in the centre, while                  that his control of the black squares
Black ' s bishops still lack real scope.        is sufficient to secure perpetual
     12 l:tbl 'ilt'xa2 13 ':'xb7 'ilt'a6 14     check if Black accepts the offer. It is
�1                                              possible, in other words to play this
                                                with nothing more firm than the
     This idea of leaving the e2 knight
                                                'probability' that there will tum out
unguarded could well be what Black
                                                to be more. Lastly, but crucial from
 underestimated when embarking on
                                                the standpoint of ' initiative ' White
 his incautious 1 1 th move.
                                                keeps the momentum. Dealing with
     14 . . . i.c8                              the threat to the knight would lose
                                                         2 t{je4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 1 05
                                                           . . .




time.         Preventing Black from                2 1 c4 ! iVa2 22 iVc7 j.a6?
attending to king safety wins it,                  The final and decisive mistake
heap s of it.                                   which scarcely challenges White ' s
   1 7 . . . i.xd6 18 iVxd6 WiVxe2 1 9          intention t o weave a mating net.
iVxc6+                                          After the more gritty 22 . . . j.d7 23
                                                d5+ �e7 White has a choice. He
                                                can go all in with 24 d6+ �e6 25
                                                f4 ! f5 26 iVc5 iVb2 27 g4 ! Wf6 28
                                                WiVc7 which wins back the piece and
                                                retains an attack, although after
                                                28 . . . iVc3 29 iVxd7 iVxe3+ Black
                                                can at least slightly disturb the white
                                                king in tum. Alternatively assuming
                                                he trusts the kind of initiative
                                                outlined in previous notes, he can
                                                opt for a still better version with the
                                                more solid 24 iVc5+ �e8 25 d6 (De
                                                la Villa) 25 . . . Wf8 ! 26 iVc7 iVa4 27
                                                iVd8+ j.e8 28 �b 1 and it is difficult
   1 9 ... We7                                  to see Black escaping from his cage.
  It would be safer to stay closer to              23 e4 ! j.xc4 24 f4 ! f5 25 d5+
home. 1 9 . . . �d8 ! would have put            j.xd5 26 exf5 ! + 1-0 as mate in two
greater pressure on White to prove              follows after 26 . . . Wxf5 27 iVe5+
more than the draw which 20 iVd6+               Wg6 28 iVg5 mate.
would secure. Since trying to bring
in the rook generally requires                               Game 24
expending a tempo to prevent back                         Adams - Xie Jun
rank embarrassment, it seems that                          Hastings 1 996
pushing the two passed pawns is
rather the key. Therefore I like 20               1 d4 t{jf6 2 j.g5 Cbe4 3 j.f4 d5 4
iVd5 ! + (20 iVd6+ �e8 2 1 iVc7 iVg4            e3 c5 ! ?
22 l:tb 1 iVd7 is not fully
convincing) 20 . . . �e8 2 1 c4 iVb2 !
(to try to exclude White ' s rook from
the action) 22 iVc6+ Wd8 23 iVd6+
We8 24 c5 and I am reasonably
optimistic about White ' s compens­
ation given Black ' s problems either
developing or competing for the
dark squares. However, this would
still have meant a tougher fight.
   20 iVc5+ �e6 ? !
   Really too risky . 20 . . . � d 8 2 1 c4 !
is an improved version for White of
the above note, but should still have             Since Black gets whipped in this
been tried.                                     game, it is worth reminding
1 06 2 0,e4 3 iLf4 d5 4 e3
       . . .




ourselves that this is a very                     Can White sacrifice the exchange
respectable move, arguably the best.         here? If not, is it clearly the better
   5 iLd3 !                                  move (as De la Villa implies it
                                             would be) or might White ' s knight
   We are becoming used to this              actually be just as happy to head for
move increasingly replacing the              d2 as c3?
alternatives. The older move 5 f3 ? !
'1Wa5+! 6 c 3 0,f6 7 0,d2 cxd4 8 exd4            In fact I am not certain about the
looks distinctly unattractive for            soundness of the 7 iLxd5 'ixal 8
White. The move f3 makes a very              0,f3        which        was     originally
poor impression in an Exchange               mentioned by Mickey in his notes
Caro-Kann structure.                         and which just about everyone
                                             quotes without elaboration. It would
   5 . . ,'iY'b6? !                          give good prospects for creating
   The evidence suggests that this           mess of course and scenarios like
ambitious queen sortie is probably           8 . . . e6 9 iLc4 'ifVb2 1 0 0-0 iLe7 1 1
asking just a bit too much. I have           d5 ! ? exd5 1 2 iLe5 'iVb6 1 3 0,c3 ! ?
already had occasion to refer to the         would b e enough to scare off
scepticism of 1M Ilya Tsesarsky              opponents against the right kind of
who writes on Trompowsky topics              attacking player. But pause for
for ChessBase Magazine, and seems            thought and try to assess the
to have particularly little sympathy         superior 1 1 . . . O- O ! 1 2 iLxb8 (what
with a number of those cases where           else) 1 2 . . ..lhb8 1 3 d6 iLf6 ! 14 d7
the White cause has to take on a             b5 1 5 dxc8='i .l:!.fxc8 and it is
gambit element. This is a case II            difficult to avoid feeling that
point as (admittedly in 1 997) he            Black ' s problems have been turned
attached the highly optimistic               into assets at a rather acceptable
marking '5 . . .'iY'b6=+ ' .                 material price.
  6 .txe4                                         I suspect that the sacrifice is what
                                             puts Black off in practice, but the
                                             real theoretical point might be that 7
                                             0,d2( ! ) dxe4 8 0,e2 is similarly
                                             promising compensation to that
                                             found in the main line. Black has
                                             better chances of surviving the
                                             quick knockout, but every chance of
                                             emerging without an e-pawn and
                                             with less space, much as in the notes
                                             to game 23 . Replacing . . . c6 with
                                             . . . c5 gives Black's pieces a bit more
                                             breathing space, but still no very
                                             good squares to settle on.
                                                  7 0,c3 'ixb2
  6 ... dxe4
                                                It is at this juncture that Tsesarsky
  No ambitious soul has felt moved           gets excited about Black's prospects
to check out the immediate capture           after 7 . . . cxd4 ! ? which he hails as a
on b2 here. 6 . . . '1Wxb2 ! ? is far from   major improvement. I am sceptical
ridiculous and raises two questions :        if only because White can now play
                                                       2 CLJe4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 1 0 7
                                                         . . .




8 �xd4 ! �xd4 9 exd4 i.f5 (9 . . . f5? !    of course, i s not. I suggest 9 CLJge2
1 0 f3 CLJc6 1 1 0-0-0 exf3 1 2 CLJxf3 ±    i.g4 1 0 O-O ! ? �xc3 1 1 CLJxc3 i.xd l
was Hodgson-A.Jackson, Southend             1 2 1:tfxd l CLJd7 1 3 J!ab l b6 1 4 CLJxe4
( op) 1 998 and is worth a mention          when White ' s active play seems to
because if you are interested in the        outweigh his slight structural
'dream position' for White in this          defects on the queens ide. One clear
opening, here it is ! ) 1 0 CLJge2 e6 1 1   illustration of this is that 1 4 . . . 1:tc8
0-0-0 CLJc6 and now the tempting 1 2        can probably be answered with 1 5
d5 exd5 1 3 CLJxd5 0-0-0 looks              c4 ! ? relying on the fact that opening
tolerable for Black but the equally         a file with all the other boys at home
direct 12 CLJg3 i.g4 1 3 1:td2 looks        by 1 5 . . . lIxc4 16 l:!.dc I ! is asking for
hard to meet satisfactorily. If we          trouble. Still, this is an unexplored
compare the note to 7 �xd4 in               and far from stupid approach for
Game 26, even though White might            Black, provided he comes from the
have preferred d2 to c3 for his             5 . . . cxd4 move order.
knight so that he can securely                  b) 8 . . . CLJc6 ! though looks like the
bolster his d-pawn with c3, it is           more critical move. Now White has
hardly surprising that the tempo            to decide how to deal with the threat
Black has wasted playing . . . �b6          to his e-pawn.
before exchanging on d4 counts for
much more.
   However, we should also discuss
8 cxd4 here, because the position
can also arise from the more
sensible move order 5 . . . cxd4 6
i.xe4 dxe4 7 cxd4 �b6 ! ? 8 CLJc3 .




                                               b 1 ) Twice in practice White has
                                            opted for the calm, purposeful but
                                            not perhaps entirely watertight 9
                                            �d2 ! ? but the offer has both times
                                            been declined. Black should really
                                            test the soundness of this. Best is
                                            9 . . . �xd4 ! (9 . . . i.g4 1 0 h3 i.h5 1 1
                                            g4 .tg6 1 2 d5 looks promising for
  Now Black has a choice:
                                            White) 1 0 'iWxd4 CLJxd4 1 1 0-0-0
   a) 8 . . . �xb2 has never been           CLJe6 ! 12 i.d2 ! ( 1 2 i.e3 f5)
te sted, but does look like some            1 2 . . . b6 ! ? (now the risky 1 2 . . . f5 1 3
i mprovement on Xie Jun ' s play. As        f3 exf3 1 4 CLJxf3 ought to give
we shall see, when she eventually           White enough play since his
did take on d4, White had a strong          development is so smooth while his
zwischenzug available, which here,          opponent' s is distinctly awkward)
J 08 2. J i Je4 3 .i.f4 d5 4 e3


1 3 4:Jxe4 .i.b7 1 4 Me l and White            solid when Black ' normalises ' the
may have just enough piece play to             play by recognising that all of
compensate for the bishop pair, but            White ' s offers come at a price. 1 1
I think the defender' s game is at the         'i'e l also seems to work very well if
same time fundamentally sound,                 Black gets greedy. For example
and he has long-term trumps if he              1 1 . . .'i'xb2? ! 12 d5 ! seems really
can develop satisfactorily.                    awkward as the superficially
   b2) 9 4:Jge2 ! ? (9 d5 ? ! e5 ! ) is        plausible 12 . . . iLxe2 13 dxc6 ! .i.xfl
therefore perhaps more plausible,              1 4 'sb 1 just wins for White;
e.g. 9 . . .i.g4 10 0-0 1 ( 1 0 4:Jxe4 ? !
       .
                                               1 1 . . . 4:Jxd4 1 2 4:Jxd4 'i'xd4 1 3 4:Jb5
'sd8 ! [but not 1 0 . . . .i.xe2 1 1 �xe2      is as usual too dangerous as well.
4:Jxd4 1 2 �d3 which looks grim for            1 1 . . . iLxe2 has an added twist this
Black. Compare the Hodgson-Wells               time since after 12 'i'xe2 4:Jxd4 1 3
note to move 9 of Game 26.] 1 1                'i'xe4 White has to reckon with
.i.e3 e5 and White ' s position is              13 . . . 'i'xb2. Still, 14 4:Jd5 Mxd5 ! ? 1 5
starting to creak) with a further              'i'xd5 4:Je2+ 1 6 �h l 4:Jxf4 1 7 'i'c4
subdivision:                                   e5 1 8 Mad l also offers a very
                                               dangerous initiative for the material
                                               while it is nice in addition that
                                               White again has a ' safe option' in
                                               1 2 4:Jxe2 . However after the modest
                                               and sensible 1 1 . . . e6 ! 1 2 ,Sb l (The
                                               sacrifices are no longer convincing)
                                               1 2 . . . iLxe2 1 3 'i'xe2 4:Jxd4 14 'i'xe4
                                               'i'c6 I think Black can just about
                                               claim equality) 1 1 . . . e6 ! (Again
                                               sol idity is the order of the day.
                                                1 1 . . . .i.xe2 1 2 4:Jxe2 4:Jxd4 is
                                               possible, but 1 3 4:Jxd4 'i'xd4 1 4
                                               iLe3 'i'e5 1 5 'sd l ! draws attention
                                               to the possibility that the d-file
    b2 1 ) 1O . . . 0-0-0? ! looks risky for   might become an important factor
example 1 1 .i.e3 ! ? ( 1 1 �c 1 is a          while Black's pieces are not yet up
viable and solid option too) 1 1 . . . e5      and running)              1 2 .i.e3     (The
( 1 1 . . .�xb2 1 2 ,Sb l .i.xe2 1 3 �d2 ! )   advantage of the queen on c l . When
1 2 d 5 �xb2 1 3 ,Sb l 'i'xc3 1 4 4:Jxc3       Black plays safe, White does not
.i.xd l 15 dxc6! iLxc2 1 6 1hb7 with           have to expend a tempo worrying
a dangerous initiative.                        about the b-pawn) 1 2 . . . 'i'a5 1 3
    b22) 10 . . . 'sd8 ! is the way to         4:Jg3 This looks worth an edge for
pressure the d-pawn and retain                 White, since as the position quietens
greater solidity. However, having              down we return to old questions
once been a bit sceptical about                about the e-pawn' s viability.
White 's position I am now some­                 All in all, this line, which I once
thing of a convert. He seems to get            held to be rather problematic, now
very acceptable play, and even has a           looks decidedly promising for the
choice of ways of going about it,              attacker.
e.g. 1 1 'i' c I ! ? (This looks the most
                                                       2 tLle4 3 �f4 d5 4 e3 1 09
                                                        . . .




                                            immediate 1 3 :tab 1 with continuing
                                            p ressure.
                                               1 1 'iYd3 !
                                               This seems to be what Black
                                            overlooked, or at least under­
                                            estimated. By denying Black' s
                                            queen the b5 square, White a t a
                                            stroke creates huge embarrassment
                                            in the opposition camp . I don 't
                                            know if Xie Jun simply assumed
                                            that Adams would recapture, but if
                                            her calculations fell down for this
                                            reason she would find herself part of
    8 tLl ge2 !                             a very long illustrious tradition !
    8 tLld5 tLla6 is, as Mickey Adams          Assumptions of recaptures have
points out, not so convincing.              been           responsible       for    some
    8 ... J.g4? !                           memorable mistakes at absolutely
    Mickey gives this a ' ? ' and it is     all levels.
true that it doesn 't really succeed in        1 1 . . . fS ? ! 1 2 tLlgS tLle6 1 3 tLle6!
its main goal. However, I find it           :te8 14 l:l.hb l 'iYe3 1 5 'iYxe3 dxe3
more evident how Black can                  16 l:l.xb7 Wf7 1 7 tLld4 Wf6
improve both before and after,
rather than at this moment.
    9 tLlxe4
    9 0-0 again allows 9 . . . 'iYxc3 .
This should be quite playable here
too for White, but Mickey ' s route is
much nastier for the defender. With
Black' s rather modest development
the desirability of playing with
queens on the board hardly needs to
be explained. The fact that Black
can force his opponent' s king to e2
hardly impacts on this assessment at
all.                                           1 8 J.e7!
    9 ... J.xe2 10 Wxe2 exd4? !                As usual it is the sheer simplicity
    Black should have insisted on a         of Adams ' solutions which is so
queen exchange before it was too            striking. It is easy to understand that
late with 1O . . . 'iYb5+ ! 1 1 'iYd3       if White has the e5 square on which
'iYxd3+ and now I rather like the           to nestle his bishop then the ' stay-at
idea of playing with open b and             home ' Black kingside will render
c- files by 1 2 cxd3 cxd4 and now           him quite lost. However, to move
instead of 1 3 :tfc 1 tLlc6 1 4 :tab 1 e5   from this realisation to this move
when White would like to have 1 5           which ' attacks ' the c6 knight in a
:txb7? but has to consider                  most unusual way seems to be, for
 1 5 . . tLld8 ! , I would suggest the
   .                                        many, not quite so automatic.
1 1 0 2. Ji:Je4 3 j.f4 d5 4 e3


  18 . . . lbxd4+ 19 exd4 a6 20 .:I'.a7   albeit at the expense of further time.
e6 21 .:I'.bl j.e7 22 j.e5+ 1-0           In K.Berg-Navara, Morso 2002
  White wins the bishop by                White began appropriately combat­
doubling on the 7th in conjunction        ive counter-measures with 1 0 'i'hS+
with .i.d6.                               lbg6 ( 1 0 . . . g6 ! ? looks a little
                                          anti-positional, but this may be a bit
              Game 2S                     of an illusion. It loses a pawn after
        Speelman - Y.Wang                 1 1 'i'h4 but 1 1 . . .lbfS 1 2 'i'xe4 lbd6
         Beij ing (op) 1 997              does offer Black some positional
                                          compensation. Still I suspect White,
    1 d4 lbf6 2 j.g5 lbe4 3 j.f4 d5 4     who can look to break out with e4
e3 c5 5 .i.d3 lbc6                        and f4 must stand somewhat better)
                                          1 1 0-0-0 'i'aS (how else to defend
   This looks logical enough, and if
                                          the e-pawn even indirectly?) 1 2 f4 !
White' s very critical response in the
                                          ( 1 2 'ib 1 ! ? 'ib4 1 3 a3 would also be
game was to be found wanting it
                                          worth investigating were it not for
would probably be declared the best
                                          the strength of the text move)
move by a broad consensus. As it is,
                                           12 . . . exf3 1 3 lbxf3 'iIc7 (to meet the
White can push forward ambitiously
                                          threat of lbh4 amongst others)
in the centre, and the current
theoretical view seems to be that
Black's hyper-modernism, intent­
ional or otherwise, is just a shade
too provocative.
    6 j.xe4 ! dxe4 7 d5
    White is basically committed to
this very aggressive approach. 7 c3
would be rather passive, and
7 . . .'i'b6 8 'ib3 j.e6 ! would punish
this quite efficiently.
    7 . . . lbb4
    This seems the most logical .
Black would like to show that the              and now White tried 1 4 lbbS 'i'd7
space which the d-pawn' s advance         I S lbh4 when the young Czech
has forged comes at a price - the         talent showed his considerable
weakness of that pawn. At this stage      under- standing by giving a piece
of historical development we can          temporarily to reach a comfortable
say           ' classic hypermodernism'   ending with I S . . . 'ilg4 ! 1 6 lbc7+
without being accused I hope, of a        'if7 17 'i'xg4 j.xg4 1 8 lbxa8 j.xd l
contradiction.                            1 9 .:I'.xd l lbxh4 20 j.xh4 j.d6 2 1 e4
    However, there is another equally     .:I'.xa8 22 .:I'.fl bS 23 g4 h6 24 j.g3
ambitious method of handling the          as 2S 'id2 c4 26 a3 a4 27 c3 .:I'.h8
Black position. By playing 7 . . . eS 8   28 h4 gS Yz-Yl
j.g3 lbe7 9 lbc3 f6 Black                      I would prefer the apparently
endeavours to render White ' s            rather more subtle 14 .:I'.hfl ! to
remaining bishop - the Tromp              check out just how Black intends to
bishop no less - a problem piece,         strengthen (or even stabilise) his
                                                         2 lDe4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 1 1 1
                                                           . . .




position.            choose the words          fails, White needs a whole new
 ' app arently subtle' because the             strategy.
move has some pretty brutal sting to               9 . . . lDc 6
it to o. For example the plausible
                                                   Black can also take pains to try
 1 4 . . a6 is very strongly met with the
                                               and preserve his e4 pawn ' s
immediate sacrifice 1 5 i.xe5 ! fxe5
                                               existence. A s is s o often the case
 1 6 lDh4 with a huge attack.
Attempting to duplicate Navara ' s             when the white knight is on g 1 ,
                                               9 . . . f5 ? ! 1 0 f3 looks rather grim for
app roach with 1 4 . . :i'd7 also falls
                                               Black, but 9 . . :1' a5 ! ? 1 0 lDge2 i.d7
victim to a similar assault as this
time 15 i.xe5 ! fxe5 1 6 lDxe5 �d6             1 1 0-0 f5 makes much more sense.
                                               White           enjoys     the   temporary
 1 7 lDfl is very powerful. I think us
hackers always enj oy a little                 advantage of better development,
  'schadenfreude ' when a sophistic­           but is faced with potential long-term
ated idea which trades time for                problems if he loses the initiative.
structure suffers at the hands of              His d-pawn can be weak, and the
caveman tactics which indeed blow              bishop pair is not without prospects.
that very structure apart. Black' s            In Hodgson - Ma. Tseitlin, Ischia
                                               1 996 Julian showed his customary
idea i s i n need of repair.
                                               virtuosity for handling the initiative
    S lDc3 e6!                                 by playing 1 2 a3 lDc6 1 3 b4 ! but
    Continuing to lure the d-pawn              after 1 3 . . . cxb4 1 4 axb4 'i'b6 he
forward is a much more thematic                slightly lost his way and had to
test of White ' s play than 8 . . . i.f5 ? !   resort to highly speculative means to
9 a3 lDa6 1 0 f3 ! exf3 1 1 lDxf3 g6           keep the momentum. As Greenfeld
 12 e4 i.d7 1 3 �d2 h6 14 e5 g5 1 5            points out, with 1 5 'iVd2 ! lDd8 (or
e6 ! gxf4 1 6 'i'xf4 fxe6 1 7 lDe5 ( 1 7       1 5 . . . g5 1 6 i.xg5 lDxb4 1 7 i.e7 ! ?)
'ilYe5 ! ?) 1 7 . . :,c7 1 8 d6 exd6 1 9       1 6 lDa4 White ' s advantage would
'ilYfl+ 'i1td8 2 0 'i'f6+ 'i1tc8 2 1 'iVxh8    be incontestable.
with         decisive     advantage      in        10 lD xe4 f5
Komev-Prokopchuk, Russia Cup
                                                   Speelman criticises this, but has
Nefteyugansk 2002 .
                                               little to offer by way of advice for
    9 d6!                                      his adversary. His variation 1 0 . . . e5
                                               1 1 i.g5 �6 12 �d5 ! answering
                                               1 2 . . . 'ixb2 with 1 3 l:Id l and, much
                                               more spectacularly, 1 2 . . . i.e6 with
                                               the crushing blow 1 3 lDxc5 ! scores
                                               on aesthetics but will not generate
                                               adherents of the Black position in
                                               their droves. It is somewhat better
                                               after 1 0 . . . e5 to answer 1 1 i.g5 with
                                               the time-gaining 1 1 . . .'i'a5+ 1 2 c3
                                               i.e6. However, 1 3 i.h4 ! followed
                                               by 1 4 lDf3 and so on, still leaves
                                               Black            a     definite   headache
                                               concerning how to recover his
  The only way to keep the black               pawn.
bis hop pair under wraps . If this               1 1 i.g5 'i'b6
112   2    .   ..tiJe4 3 iLf4   d5   4 e3


                                              19 ... l:c7 20 'ibl i.d6 2 1 :dl
                                            i.e5 22 ttlxe5+ ttlxe5 23 iLf4 1-0


                                                         Game 26
                                                  Gallagher - Rytshagov
                                                      Elista (01) 1998

                                              1 d4 lLJf6 2 iLg5 ttle4 3 i.f4 d5 4
                                            e3 c5 5 i.d3




  12 ttlf6+!
    If White wants to prioritise the
initiative over material he can play
12 d7+ i.xd7 13 ttlxd6+ i.xd6 14
'ixd6 as        Speelman mentions.
However after 14...'ib4+ 15 c3
'ti'xb2 it is not clear that he has full
compensation. The text must be
stronger.
  12 .'�f7
      ••



                                              5 ...cxd4!?
  Of course 12 ...gxf6 13 'ih5+
�d7 14 'iWf7+ doesn't bear thinking           Almost      by    a    process    of
about.                                      elimination Black came by the idea
                                            of first trying to clarify the centre.
  13 ttlxh7 l:xh7 14 d7 iLe7?
                                            In my opinion this is his best.
    This, however, certainly does           Whether he wants to play in a
deserve criticism. When faced with          manner analogous with the last two
such a position Black must look to          games (with ...'iWb6 or ...ttlc6
cause whatever disruption he can.           respectively) or attack the centre in
This rather irrelevant developing           other ways such as ... g6, the
move really invites White's smooth          exchange on d4 helps him. Of
development, whereas 14 .. :iVb4+!          course White also has the option
15 c3 'ixb2 16 llb1 'if'xc3+ 17 �f1         (after first exchanging on e4) of
'if'c4+ ISlLJe2 'if'd5 (18...�g8!?) 19      recapturing on d4 with the queen,
'if'xd5 exd5 20 dxcS="iW :xc8 21            but there are some question marks
l:[xb7+ is given as better for White        over the efficacy of this strategy too
by Speelman, but he acknowledges            at present. I am in some doubt as to
that there is still a good deal of fight    exactly White's best course, but I do
here.                                       not wish to paint too bleak a picture.
  15 ttlf3! 'ixb2 16 0-0 'i\Vb6 17          I am still quite happy to play this
dxc8='ik l:xc8 18 .l:tbl 'i\Va5 19          position with White.
ztxb7                                         I should first just mention 5...e6
   White is a pawn up and retains a         although it appears both more
strong attack. Black survives just a        passive and less flexible. If Black is
few more depressing moves.                  embarking on a strategy of ...cxd4
                                                     2 lDe4 3 .tf4 d5 4 e3 1 1 3
                                                       . . .




and . . . lDc6 there may be some           to the note that follows on
superficial attraction to holding up       6 . . . 1Ii'a5+ ! ? I am now less sure, but
White' s coming d4-d5 advance, but         would like to remain vaguely
it would seem to be more important         agnostic between 7 exd4 and 7
to keep options for the c8 bishop. 6       'ixd4 and hence I have kept in
i.xe4 ! dxe4 7 lDc3 cxd4 8 'ixd4 (8        much of my analysis in both this
exd4 ! ? also looks tempting. The          note and the next.
plausible S . . . lDc6 9 lDge2 .tb4 1 0        What might be less controversial I
0-0 .txc3 1 1 lDxc3 'ixd4 feels very       think is the claim that if White
dangerous for Black although I             intends to keep queens on in any
can't really find a knockout.              case then there is at the very least an
However, 1 2 lDb5 ! ? 'ixd l 1 3 lDc7+     ' economy of effort' argument for
ctie7 1 4 l:taxd l l:!bS 1 5 .td6+ would   the immediate 6 exd4 ! ? In this case
probably suffice to make me                after 6 . . . lDc6 he would do well to
unenthusiastic for the Black cause)        have the transpositional 7 .txe4 ( !)
8 . . . 'iVxd4 9 exd4 .tb4 10 lDge2 f5     in mind, since 7 c3 .tf5 was
1 1 0-0-0 lDc6 was K.Berg­                 comfortable for Black in Timman­
Prusikhin, Morso 2002. White ' s           Van Wely, Breda (m) play-off 1 99 5 .
plan o f 1 2 l:lhfl and f3 was             However, i t i s not inconceivable
positionally quite reasonable, but         that White might have extra ideas
did afford Black some respite to           against other 6th moves? For
catch up in development. The               example the position reached after
immediate 1 2 d5 ! ? looks more to         6 . . . g6 (thinking a little off the top
the point, and retains a serious           of my head, I also wonder whether
initiative.                                he could consider the unusual idea
                                           of meeting 6 . . . 1\i'b6 with 7 lDc3 ! ?) 7
                                           .te5 ! ? f6 8 .txbS lhbS 9 lDe2
                                           .th6 ! (denying f4 to White ' s knight
                                           is an important indirect defence of
                                           the key d5 point) 1 0 c4 0-0 1 1 0-0
                                           .te6 is quite strategically rich
                                           enough to be of interest. In the game
                                           Akopian-Herrera, Linares (op) 200 1
                                            after 1 2 .txe4 dxe4 l 3 d5 .tV 1 4
                                           lDbc3 f5 1 5 b4 "fIc7 1 6 c 5 'ie5 1 7
                                           1\i'b3 f4 play had degenerated a little
                                           into a race in which Black has quite
                                           potent counter-chances against the
  6 .txe4 ! ?                              white king, but White ' s pressure
                                           against the centre could be exerted
  This interesting zwischenzug has         with greater delicacy by 1 2 l:le l ! ?
been the most popular move, but it         after which I think Black must tread
only really has something concrete         with real care.
to add to White ' s case if he intends
to follow up by capturing on d4               6 ... dxe4
with the queen. It was initially my           A simple automatic recapture. Or
intention to recommend that and            is it? I am often struck by how many
this would have added significance         important novelties are simply
1 1 4 2 ..tiJe4 3 .i.f4 d5 4 e3
        .




overlooked unless they are played in             in development with 1 1 O-O ! is
really top flight events. Even now               White ' s best course.
that databases routinely include
even tournaments of a very modest
level it is still possible to strike gold
with a little careful research. Do we
have a case in point here? I was
surprised to stumble across an
encounter which, for all its brevity
is extremely rich in implications . In
Lomineishvili-Jobava,                Staufer
(open) 200 1 Black flicked in the
check 6 . . :iWa5+ ! ? here, and play
ended abruptly after 7 'iVd2 'iVxd2+
8 tUxd2 dxe3 9 .i.xd5 exd2+ 1 0
.i.xd2 tUc6 and a draw was agreed.
                                                    The problem of course, is that
Interestingly, when I showed                     White tends to be really quite a lot
6 . . . 'iVa5+ to Luke McShane, his              of material to the bad - a couple of
reaction to this final position                  pawns in addition to the exchange
differed markedly from my own. I                 on average. Black has no real
found it rather lifeless for White, but          structural weaknesses (as tends to be
he wanted to put the bishop on c3                the case when he has hardly moved
and the knight on e2, with options to            anything ! ) , but the lack of
hassle the bishop when it comes to               mobilisation would be a serious
f5, and also with the lever £2 -f4 to            source of worry for many. Black
dissuade Black from putting his                  faces a pretty fundamental choice -
e-pawn on e5 . I think he was                    to attempt to catch up in
basically right. This is certainly               development with all haste, or to
enough to keep the discussion here               concentrate first on getting his
very much alive.                                 queen out             safely.   A much
   However, by this stage I had                  summarised version of my analysis
already set my caveman-like                      follows :
instincts to work, with their                       a) 1 1 . . :iVxa2 looks risky,        12
tendency, when faced with some                   tUbxc3 'iVa5 1 3 tUb5 ! tUa6 1 4
kind of resource such as a                       'iVd8 1 5 1fVe4 f5 1 6 .i.a4 ! ! <j;f7 1 7
zwischenzug           which      is     itself   J.b3+ and I would not happily take
inherently tactical, to examine the              on Black's defensive task.
very sharpest ideas. I was attracted
                                                    b) 1 1 . . . 'iVb2 1 2 tUbxc3 e6 1 3 e4 !
by the idea 7 c3 ! ? dxc3 8 b4 ! (if 8
                                                 and Black will face serious threats
tUxc3 dxe4 then White ' s attempts to
                                                 in the centre.
generate compensation for the pawn
always seem to show quite how                       c) 1 1 . . . tUc6 1 2 tUexc3 ! e5 1 3
badly he misses the light-squared                tUb5 ! .u.b8 1 4 J.g3 and I believe the
bishop ) 8 . . . 'iVxb4 9 .i.c2 suggests         coming tUc7+ will give the attacker
itself. Black should then go for the             dangerous compensation.
                material with 9 . . 'iVb2 1 0
                                 .                  d) 1 1 . . . e6 12 e4 ! and now
           'iVxa l when I believe that            12 . . . dxe4 1 3 tUexc3 a6 14 J.a4+
further emphasising the imbalance                J.d7 1 5 J.xb8 ! b5 1 6 J.e5 ! is
                                                         2 lLle4 3 .tf4 d5 4 e3 1 1 5
                                                           . . .




awkward for Black, as is 1 2 . . . �e7        better for White after 1 6 lLlf6+.
 13 exd5 O-O? ! 14 �xh7+ ! 'it>xh7 1 5        Perhaps the immediate 9 . . . f5 is
�c2+ 'it>gS 1 6 lLlbxc3 and after             more to the point) 1 0 tLJd2 .tb7 1 1
 16 . . :�Wxf1 + White will retain the        lLle2 0-0-0 1 2 lLlg3 h6 1 3 h4 !
initiative for the tiniest of material        Simple. Of course not 1 3 lLlgxe4?
deficits.                                     g5 1 4 .te3 f5) 1 3 . . . g6 1 4 lLldxe4
   Of course these lines are by no            .tg7 1 5 0-0-0 f5 1 6 lLld2 e5 1 7
means exhaustive. It may very well            dxe5 lLlxe5 I S .txe5 �xe5 1 9 lLlf3
be that Black can improve. My aim             �f6 and Black has enough
was to illustrate with maximum                compensation      to       considerably
economy that White has a fair                 complicate the technical task, but he
arsenal of attacking ideas here               is clearly on the defensive.
which may well add up to full                 Lputian-Rytshagov, Istanbul (01)
compensation.                                 2000.
                                                  The problem is that Black can
                                              simply play 7 . . . lLlc6 ! an important
                                              novelty from Swiss 1M Claude
                                              Landenbergue who we are more
                                              accustomed to seeing on the White
                                              side of a Trompowsky. The game
                                              Gilles-Landenbergue, Bern (op)
                                              2000 continued S WkxdS+ 'it>xdS 9
                                              lLlc3 e5 1 0 0-0-0+ 'it>eS 1 1 �g3
                                              �f5 12 lLlb5 .l:!.cs 13 lLle2 �g4
                                              ( 1 3 . . . f6 ! ?) 14 .l:!.he l f6 1 5 h3 .th5
                                              1 6 a3 a6 1 7 lLlbc3 .tg6 and Black is
                                              very comfortable. The doubled
     7 exd4                                   pawn on e4 is tremendously assisted
                                              by the presence of a white pawn on
     As I mentioned above I had been
                                              e3 rather than d4, both in the
intending      to    recommend the
                                              absence of frontal assault on the
alternative recapture 7 Wkxd4 ! ? as I
                                              e-file, and because after 9 . . . e5 the
felt that the exploitation of Black ' s
weak e-pawn i s likely t o be cleaner         bishop is very badly placed on g3,
in the endgame after e.g. 7 . . :�'xd4        hindering White ' s attempts to
S exd4 lLlc6 9 c3 b6 (Or 9 . . . e6           organise any attack against e4 .
when Romero Holmes - Gulbas,                     There have been many 7 Wkxd4
European Club (ch) Halkidiki 2002             games since then and I am
went 10 lLld2 f5 1 1 f3! e5?! 1 2             enthusiastic indeed to know quite
�xe5 lLlxe5 1 3 dxe5 .te6 1 4 lLle2           what White has in mind. Taking the
exf3 1 5 lLlxf3 g6 1 6 lLlfd4 with            pawn seems to be fraught with risk
clear advantage. I had been                   - S �xe4 can be answered variously
intrigued by the idea of making use           either s . . :iVa5+ 9 c3 (9 lLlc3 seems
of the undefended g2 pawn to                  to run into a later . . . .ta3 in too
recover a little space with a timely          many lines) 9 . . . e5 (or 9 . . . .tf5 ! ?) 1 0
. . . g5. However l l . . .g5 ! ? 1 2 .txg5   .tg3 and now maybe simply
Iig8 1 3 .tf4 .l:!.xg2 14 fxe4 fxe4 1 5       1 0 . . . f6. when White ' s structure is
tLJxe4 J:txb2 in this case also looks         rather lifeless; or just 8 . . .'iVb6 ! ?
1 I 6 2. Ji'Je4 3 iLf4 d5 4 e3


    It is cl ear that for the moment           position at move I S White has
7 . . .'�Jc6( ! ) is chief prosecutor in the   played with admirable actively
                                                             .
case against 7 'iVxd4.                         p:eventmg Black from exploiting
                                               hIS long-term promise, and stands
                                               clearly         better.      Pixton-Kudrin
                                               Philadelphia 200 1 .                       '
                                                   8 0,e2 iLg4 9 0,bc3 'iVa5 ! ?
                                                   Preparing to add further pressure
                                               to the d-pawn with . . . 0-0-0, as
                                               indeed does 9 . . . 'iVb6 which was
                                               analysed in some detail in the note
                                               to Black ' s 7th in Game 24. The
                                               modest 9 . . . e6 is also possible. In
                                               view of what happened later in the
                                               game, it is a bit confusing to recall
                                               that I was probably doing OK in
    7 0,c6
    . . .                                      Hodgson-Wells, Oxford GM 'A'
    7 . . . g6 is also interesting here.       Oxford 1 998 after 1 0 h3 iLhS ! (A
Again White has in principle a                 nice point. If 1 0 . . . iLxe2 1 1 'iVxe2
choice between keeping his centre              0,xd4 12 'ife4 ! White has a nice
super-solid and playing c3/0,d2, or            position. This e4 square needs to be
playing 0,c3 and endeavouring to               occupied before Black can embark
cover d4 just with his pieces. In              on this exchange, hence the game
practice he has always opted for the           continuation). 1 1 0,xe4 iLxe2 1 2
latter e.g. 8 0,c3 iLg7 9 0,ge2 iLfS           'iVxe2 0,xd4 1 3 'ifd3 0,c6 1 4 0-0-0
(If 9 . . . 0-0 ! ? 1 0 0-0 fS as in           'iVxd3 I S J:xd3 0,b4 ! 1 6 J:b3 0,dS
Atea-Visser, Cairo 2002, I would be            and this fine knight should give
tempted to keep very principled and            Black a stable enough position.
tight on the dark squares with 1 1             Unfortunately after 1 7 iLg3 b6 1 8
Wic 1 ! ? 0,c6 1 2 J:d l with iLh6 to          J:d l J:c8 1 9 Wb l I ruined
follow if possible) 1 0 0-0 0-0                everything with the ridiculous
( 1 0 . . . 0,c6 1 1 dS 0,eS 12 0,g3 0,c4       1 9 . . . J:c6? (Losing critical time.
was Hodgson-Leitao, Europe v                   Development was called for - such
Americas, 1 99 8 when simply 1 3               a tricky concept! Simply 1 9 . . . iLe7
0,cxe4 ! ? looks sensible, since now           20 J:d4 0-0 is fine) 20 J:d4 ! iLe7
                                               (20 . . . fS 21 c4 ! ) 2 1 c4 0,f6 22 0,d6+
the threat to capture on fS becomes
a much weightier one, and if                   iLxd6 23 iLxd6 0,d7 24 J:g3 !
                                               (Rather rubbing in Black's plight on
1 3 . . . iLxe4 14 0,xe4 0,xb2 I S 'iVf3
                                               the dark squares) 24 . . . g6 2S J:gd3
White enjoys a handy space
                                               f6 26 iLe7 ! (An artistic touch and
advantage)            11   0,g3    0,c6 ! ?
                                               the best move to boot ! ) 26 . . . 0,eS 27
( 1 1 . . .'ifxd4 1 2 0,xfS gxfS 1 3 'ifhS
                                               J:a3 ! 0,xc4 28 J:xa7 eS (Retaining a
looks promising for White, who also
                                               sense of humour?) 29 J:d8+ Wf7 30
threatens 14 0,bS) 12 dS eS t ? 1 3
                                               iLb4+ 1-0
0,xfS gxfS 1 4 dxc6 exf4 I S cxb7
J:b8 16 'ifhS ! 'iVf6 1 7 0,dS 'ifeS 1 8         A superb example of Julian ' s flair
'ifxfS 'ifxfS 1 9 0,e7+ Wh8 2 0 0,xfS          once he establishes the initiative
iLxb2 2 1 J:ae 1 and since the critical        but one I would have preferred t�
                                                         2 lLIe4 3 .if4 d5 4 e3 1 1 7
                                                           . . .




have read about in a book. As for             indeed looks like a moment where
9 e6, it is not such a bad move.
 . . .                                        Black could seek to improve. It is
     10 h3 .ih5 1 1 0-0 0-0-0                 tempting to think that Black might
                                              wait for the g4 move and try to
    Given that the king is not always
                                              exploit he weakness of White ' s
so happy on the queens ide, it is
                                              kings ide, but faced with a fierce
natural to consider 1 1 . . . .l:.dS ! ? as
                                              initiative it does not seem to work
well. Then 12 �e l lLIxd4 l 3 lLIxd4
                                              like that. Therefore maybe better to
l:i.xd4 1 4 lLIxe4 �xe l 1 5 l:tfxe l
                                              commence with 1 5 . . . .ixe2 1 6
..\ig6 looks barely more than equal,
                                              lLIxe2 e 5 1 7 .ie3 and now:
while 1 2 g4 .ig6 l 3 d5 e6 1 4 lLId4 !
could be a lot more fun, but of                   a) 1 7 . . . �c7 I S lLIc3 ..Itc5 1 9
course carries some risks too .               ..Itxc5 �xc5 2 0 .l:f.d5 'iVc6 2 1 :ad l
                                              and it is hard to assess whether
   12 d5 e6                                   White actually stands better, but I
                                              am confident he has full value for
                                              the queen.
                                                  b) 1 7 . . . ..Itc5 ! ? I S b4 ! ? .ixb4 1 9
                                              J:.d7+ \itlaS 2 0 l:txa7+ �xa7 2 1
                                              .ixa7 \itlxa7 2 2 �d l ! when White
                                              might retain slight winning chances,
                                              but Black's queen has certainly sold
                                              her life a good deal more dearly
                                              than in the game.
                                                  1 6 g4 ! ..Itg6 1 7 :d7+ �a8 1 8
                                              ..Ite3 .ic5
                                                  IS . . . a6 19 J:.a7+ 'ibS 20 lLId4 !
                                              :cS 2 1 lLIb3 ! ? �e5 22 l:lxa6 does
    13 dxc6 !
                                              little to stem the flow.
   In a sense this is a matter of
                                                  1 9 lL1d4 ! .ixd4 20 ..Itxd4 .l:tb8 ? !
already having said ' a ' . In any case
in the critical position at move 1 5 ,            Black i s already i n trouble.
White seems to have a good deal of            20 . . . a6 21 b4 ! would give White a
initiative, and the whole thing seems         fierce attack. A quick glance at the
quite promising.                              relative prospects of the knight on
                                              c3 and the bishop on g6 should help
    13 . . . .u.xd l 14 cxb7+ c;itxb7 1 5
                                              to explain why I concentrated on
ki.fxd l .ib4
                                              their exchange at move 1 5 !
   White has only a rook and two
knights v. queen and bishop, but                  2 1 l:lxa7+ 'iVxa7 2 2 ..Itxa7 \itlxa7
nonetheless his chances look quite            23 b3 e3 24 fxe3 ..Itxc2 25 l:tc1 ..Itg6
reasonable. The concrete task of              26 'if2
preventing a rook invasion which                  Although          Joe     Gallagher' s
will harass the a-pawn and cause              reputation tends to b e built first and
Black's king further anxiety is not            foremost around his attacking play,
an easy one. However, since in 7               I have often been impressed with his
moves time White is able to                    clinical finishing in the technical
liquidate to a terrific ending, this           phase. For obvious reasons, what
1 1 8 2 ..tLJe4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3
       .




follows has limited relevance to our          not even the slightly weakening
theme. Suffice to say that I would            move f3 is required to induce this.
normally have expected him to                    6 dxe5 !
convert this advantage.
                                                 I am convinced this is the critical
     26 . . . h5 27 'it>O hxg4+ 28 hxg4       move, as I wrote back in 1 999 for
.l:!.h8 29 'it>g3 .l:.d8 30 .l:[d l ? !       ChessBase, and while De la Villa
     Was this really necessary?               agrees, it has found only a limited
Pushing White ' s queenside looks             following in practice. Of course
simpler with rooks on.                        White can instead continue with
     30 .. Jhdl 3 1 lLlxd i 'ib6 32 'it>f4    ' normal ' chess with lLlf3/c3 and so
f6 33 e4 'ie5 34 'ie3 e5 35 lLlb2             on. My feeling is simply that this
'it>b4 36 lLle4 ..te8 37 lLld6 ..td7 38       leads to the kind of position in
lLlf5 'ita3 39 'ito g6 40 lLle7 'it>xa2       which time is not the critical factor,
41 lLlxg6 'itxb3 42 lLlrs i.e8 43             and that Black should rather be
lLlh 7 'it>e4 44 lLlxf6                       punished for his loss of tempo. I
                                              think Aaron had done his homework
     I expect Joe assumed this would          rather well !
be winning, but in fact it may be
impossible to make any progress.
     44 . . .      45 'ite3 'ite5 46 'itd3
'itd6 47             'it>e6 48 'ie3 i.h7 49
'ito i.g6 50 lLlb6 i.e8 5 1 g5 i.h5+
52 'it>g3 i.g6 53 lLla4 'id6 54 'io
i.h5+ 55 'ie3 'ite6 56 'it>f2 'it>f7 57
'it>g3 'ig6 58 'ith4 i.d l 59 lLle5
i.e2 60 lLld7 i.xe4 6 1 lLlxe5+ 'it>g7
62 'ig4 i.e2 63 g6 '/z-'/z
     A bit sad, but a very instructive
queen sacrifice and an impressively
forceful handling of the opening
from White.                                       6 . . :iVa5+
                                                  I had reached this position just a
            Game 27
                                              couple of days before and had
    Summerseale - Hermansson
                                              wanted to capture on c5, but was
       Oxford GM ' B ' 1 99 8
                                              concerned about 6 . . . lLlc6. The
                                              problem is that 7 lLlf3 i.g4 is
   1 d 4 lLlf6 2 i. g 5 lLle4 3 i.f4 d5 4     awkward,            since      White      has
e3 e5 5 i.d3 lLlf6                            insufficient to offer against the
  In general I have been quite harsh          freeing move . . . e5. In my original
on the various attempts to avoid a            notes I              the variation 8 i.b5
fight by this retreat which have              'i'a5+ 9             e6 1 0 'ilVd4 (or 1 0 a3
cropped up every so often                     lLle4 1 1 i.xc6+ bxc6 1 2 b4 lLlxc3
throughout the chapter. Not because            13 �d3 'iVb5 14 �xc3 i.xf3 ! 1 5
I think Black is somehow morally              gxf3 a 5 with serious counterplay)
obliged to engage in a good scrap,             1 O . . . i.xf3 1 1 gxf3 lLld7 1 2 i.xc6
but rather because I feel that White          bxc6 13 b4 'ilVa3 14 0-0 i.e7 with
should generally be doing well if             good compensation, and this looks
                                                              2 lLle4 3 i.f4 d5 4 e3 1 1 9
                                                                . . .




equally problematic now as it did                      Netting a piece and the game.
th en.                                                 1 7 . . . 'iYa4 18 i.xa6 b5 1 9 i.b7
    Rather I think 7 i.b5 ! is the key.             l:tab8 20 i.e6 i.xe6 2 1 lLlxe6 i.xal
White avoids the irritating pin on                  22 lLlxb8 i.e3 23 lLle6 a6 24 e4
his f3 knight. All similar positions                dxe4 25 'iVxe4 h6 26 lLlfe5 f5 27
are hugely more favourable for                      'iVd3 'iVxa3 28 'iVd6 'iVa2 29 h4 1-0
White with the knight and Black ' s
light-squared bishop still o n the
board since the contest is really                     I am very surprised that the take
about the dark squares. After                       up rate on 6 dxc5( ! ) has been so
                                                    low, since so far as I can see it
7 . . 'iVa5+? ! 8 lLlc3 a6 (8 . . . e6 9 a3 ! ) 9
  .


i.xc6+ bxc6 1 0 'iVd4 iLf5 l l lLlf3 ! ?            should come close to winding up the
i.xc2 1 2 0-0 with a fantastic dark                 debate on the passive 5 . . . lLlf6.
square bind.
   Perhaps Black would be better off                       Chapter Conclusion
with 7 . . . a6 8 i.xc6+ bxc6 9 b4 a5
1 0 c3 lLld7, but full compensation it                 This chapter has been quite a long
is not.                                             haul, in part for the good obj ective
    7 lLle3 e6 8 a3 !                               reason that Black' s multifarious
                                                    replies result in a rich variety of
   Forcing recapture by the queen                   positions, but perhaps also because I
rather than the bishop.                             have a thinly disguised affection for
    8 . . :iVxe5 9 lLlb5!                           White' s plan of e3 and i.d3 . It was
   The queen is afforded no peace.                  preparing to face Julian in this
This expansion is known from                        variation which rekindled my
another English                              the    interest in the whole opening back
so-called ' Barry Attack' (3                  d5    in 1 99 8 .
4 i.f4) against the King' s Indian.                    A s for the detail, Black seems to
Black' s knight is ' dragged' to a6,                be really struggling in the ' old main
which markedly reduces Black ' s                    line ' 4 . . . i.f5 - White ' s plan in
control o f the key centre squares.                 Game 20 is so automatic that I think
    9 . . . lLla6 1 0 b4 'iVb6 11 lLlf3 i.d7        the 5 . . . lLld6 ! ? of Game 2 1 might be
12 'iVe2 i.e7 13 i.e5!                              a better bet just to mix it up a bit.
  A very powerful redeployment of                      None of Black' s other 4th move
the Trompowsky bishop. The                          alternatives to 4 . . . c5( ! ) really look
respective levels of activity of the                scary either. The really critical
two side ' s pieces pretty much tells               material of the Chapter can be found
the full story.                                     in Game 24 (the note to the line
   13 . . . 0-0 14 i.d4 'tWe6?                      with . . . cxd4 and . . :iVb6) and Game
                                                    26 which is quite unclear. The
   Whether or not White can capture                 common denominator is 5 . . . cxd4( ! )
on a7 and emerge in tact after                      and I am absolutely convinced that
1 4 . . . 'iVd8 , it had to be tried. The           it is here Black must look if he is to
only raison d 'etre of the text move                reach fully satisfactory play. In
is to ' prepare' a terrible blunder!                short, this is one of the Chapters that
   1 5 0-0 b6?? 1 6 i.xf6! i.xf6 1 7                leaves the Trompowsky looking like
lLlbd4                                              a very good opening !
          Chapter 6                 -   2 . . . c5 Introduction
   and the Solid Repertoire with 3 iLxf6

          2 . . . c5 Introduction                  with which Black has selected his
                                                   response. However, it may simply
                                                   tum out to be the material of this
                                                   chapter, the thematic reply 3 J.xf6
                                                   which is the most feared. I am
                                                   convinced at least               that     the
                                                   popularity of 2 . . . lLIe4 and 2 . . . e6 is
                                                   no coincidence. These are the only
                                                   two moves which avoid the
                                                   possibility of White inflicting the
                                                   dreaded doubled f-pawns, and,
                                                   whatever the specific verdict of
                                                   theory in a given case, I think many
                                                   players are just not comfortable
                                                   handling these.
   2 . . . c5 is a challenging dark­
square based response, which in my                     I described 2 . . . c5 as a ' dark­
opinion leads to some of the most                  square ' response, and as I have
challenging           and        strategically     stressed throughout, it is on these
complex positions in the entire                    squares that White is potentially
Trompowsky. It is interesting that it              vulnerable in the Trompowsky. This
has not enjoyed quite the popularity               is most evidently true once the g5
of either 2 . . . lLIe4 or 2 . . . e6. Perhaps     bishop has been traded for a black
the contrast between the types of                  knight, but there is in any case a
position arrived at after White' s two             weakness on b2, and it is this that
main responses is just too great,                   2 . . . c5 seeks to highlight, with a
complicating            from           Black ' s    limited emphasis on disguise. This
standpoint the task of learning the                 directness also rather limits White' s
system. As I have hinted at before I                options. H e has in fact only three
still have the impression that ma�y                 main approaches, one of which I
1 . . . lLIf6 defenders find the notion of          view with great scepticism and will
preparing the Trompowsky an                         not be covering in the book and the
irritating encumbrance, very much                   other two which divide with some
an addendum to the main task of                     neatness if a little approximation
honing their pet defence to 2 c4.                   into the solid and attacking options :
From the perspective of the Tromp                        1 ) 3 lLIc3(? ! ) is an astonishingly
player this has the not insignificant               aggressive invitation to a Sicilian
advantage that obj ective merit might               structure. White will meet 3 . . . cxd4
tum out to be not the only criterion                with 4 'iVxd4, then send the queen to
                                           2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 1 2 1
                                             . . .




h4 and follow-up with e4 and 0-0-0         his defence to this considerably
and a good old hack. It has enj oyed       since the 1 970s when Vaganian
a certain following among the              verily        stonned       through          the
Sp anish anny of Trompowsky                opposition with a series of sparkling
devotees, and is consequently given        attacking games, but of the various
a thorough treatment in De la              b2 pawn grabs to which the Tromp
Villa ' s book. According to one           gives rise, this one still has rather a
example there, even Julian Hodgson         sound reputation. The other serious
entered into the spirit when playing       option for Black is 3 . . . etJe4 meeting
in Matalascanas in 1 990. I have no        4 ..tf4 with either 4 . . . e6 or 4 . . . 'i¥b6,
evidence that he repeated the              the latter of which all but forces 5
experience and I suspect there are         i.c 1 . It is interesting that Hodgson,
solid reasons for this. The Sicilian       a long-time devotee of 3 i.xf6, has
type set-up is quite fun, but I think      switched back to this line, perhaps
its potency is greatly reduced if          as he became more sympathetic to
Black gives due consideration to           the virtues of the i.c 1 retreat
king-safety by refusing to commit it       elsewhere too . All these complex
to the kingside too early. There is        questions will receive full coverage
also the issue of 3 . . . d5 transposing   in Chapter 7.
to the Veresov, and while I would
                                                 3) 3 ..txf6, the subject of the
be the first to admit that 3 . . . c5
                                           remainder of this chapter to which I
might be one of the Veresov lines
                                           shall tum in just a moment.
which holds out the best promise of
general entertainment, I personally             First a word on one other minor
would not view this variation as a         idea 3 dxc5 . Joe Gallagher suggests
plus point either. Finally, Black can      that this has "more bite than one
also choose 3 . . . 'ib6 which after 4     would suspect", which is certainly
d5 transposes to the Vaganian              tme if Black tries to get too clever,
Gambit which I cover in the next           but the unpretentious 3 . . . e6 ! looks
chapter. All in all though, I cannot       quite satisfactory often reaching the
recommend 3 etJc3 and since the            sort of rather bland positions I tend
two main lines give more than              to associate with the generic
enough food for thought, I have            description          ' Queen ' s          Pawn
decided to dismiss it without further      Opening ' e.g. 4 etJd2 ..txc5 5 e3
ado.                                       ..te7 6 etJgf3 0-0 7 i.d3 etJa6
   2) 3 d5 makes one dark-square           (setting up a more standard
concession (in general these squares       Hedgehog with the s imple . . . d6 and
would be tighter if White could             . . . etJbd7 is of course a very viable
strong-point his d4 pawn, or perhaps       approach too) 8 c4 b6 9 0-0 ..tb7 1 0
even capture on c5 rather than             ktc 1 l:l.c8 1 1 etJd4 d5 1 2 ..te2 etJc5
advance it) but of course at the same        13 b4 etJce4 14 etJxe4 etJxe4 1 5
time White does retain the bishop          ..txe7 'ixe7 with rather sterile
pair. As I suggested above the main        equality in Miladinovic-Tzoumbas,
bone of contention in this line is the     Ano Liosia (op) 1 99 5 .
b2 pawn. The most graphic                        Incomparably more entertain­
illustration of this is the Vaganian        ingly, but not necessarily with more
Gambit 3 . . . 'ib6 4 etJc3 'ixb2 5         convincing logic, the amazing
i.d2 and so on. Black has refined           Hector-De Finnian, Copenhagen
122 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
        . . .




2002 continued instead 4 e4 ! ? i.xc5           weaknesses) . On the other hand,
5 i.d3 �6 6 lZ'lh3 d5 (6 . . .'iWxb2 ! ?)       White still has the threat to d4 and
7 exd5 'iWxb2 8 lZ'ld2 'it'e5+ 9 �f1            the issue of b2 to consider. It is the
exd5 1 0 lZ'lf3 'it'd6 1 1 'it'e2 + �f8 1 2     need for White to make further
l:!.e l i.xh3 ( 1 2 . . . i.g4 ! ?) 1 3 i.xf6   concessions       on      his    already
i.xg2+ 1 4 �xg2 gxf6 1 5 'it'e8+                compromised dark squares which
�g7 16 lZ'lh4 ! J:Ixe8 17 J:Ixe8 'iWf8          gives     this     version     of      the
 1 8 lZ'lf5+ 'itg8 1 9 lZ'lh6+ �h8 20           ' Trompowsky exchange ' its special
lZ'lxf7+ 'itg7 2 1 l:!.xf8 i.xf8 22 lZ'ld8      and double-edged flavour. In effect,
lZ'lc6 23 lZ'le6+ 12-12                         both sides make larger concessions
    I don 't think my failure to                than usual . Still, given the wild
recommend this approach will be                 hacking of much of Chapter 7, and
widely regarded as irresponsible !              the essentially positional and
O n t o the main business.                      heavily ' structure dependent' nature
                                                of much of the play here, the choice
                                                of this for the ' solid repertoire ' , was
                                                largely automatic.
          2 c5 3 iLxf6
                . . .



      - The Solid Repertoire                                 Game 28
                                                        Hodgson - Kotronias
                                                          Belgrade 1 993

                                                  1 d4 lZ'lf6 2 i.g5 c5 3 i.xf6 gxf6
                                                  This is the almost universal
                                                choice, at the higher levels. In
                                                contrast with many lines of the
                                                Trompowsky in which capturing
                                                with the e-pawn is to my mind often
                                                the sounder option 3 . . . exf6? ! makes
                                                a rather ugly impression in
                                                conjunction with 2 . . . c5, weakening
                                                the square d5, and in all probability
   3 i.xf6 is the consistent attempt            the d-pawn too.
to 'punish ' 2 . . . c5 by executing the
Trompowsky 'threat' to Black's
structure. The resulting positions are
really very rich and complex
strategically - Black in most cases
recaptures for good reason with the
g-pawn, which, for all that it
admirably follows the very familiar
'towards the centre ' rule, does have
implications for both king safety
and general kings ide structure (the
h-pawn and/or the h5 square, might,
for example also tum out to be
                                                   2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 123
                                                     . . .




   However, the move should not be                 .1i.b4       8     ctJge2  really   looks
completely ignored, and the lack of                satisfactory for Black. The critical
guidance from ' theory' may account                line is probably S . . . cxd4 6 �xd4
for some pretty ad hoc solutions                   �xb2 ! ? 7 l:.b l �a3 . Now perhaps 8
having been adopted over the board.                ctJdS ! ? �xa2 ! ? (a kind of gambling
The weakness of the square dS leads                mentality. White has excellent play
me to believe that to continue as in               for own pawn, so Black should
th e main lines with 4 dS ? ! lets Black           justify his bad ways by carrying
off the hook to say the least. He can              on ! ) 9 �e4+ 'ltd8 1 0 c3 is critical. I
organise his forces logically with                 would not say that White has cast
d6/ . . . g6/ . . . .1i.g7/and . . . fS (with or   iron assurance of sufficient play, but
without . . . �6) and his position                 I don ' t think players will arrive to
looks quite tidy, while White will                 defend Black's cause in their droves
rather miss the light-square kings ide             either.
weaknesses (such as hS) which are                      c) 4 ctJc3 ! ?
customary targets after 3 . . . gxf6. It
                                                       and Black can choose between:
is curious to say the least that a
number of quite strong players have                    ci) 4 . . . cxd4 S �xd4 ctJc6 6 �e4+
elected to go down that road. I                    .1i.e7 7 e3 0-0 8 .1i.c4 a6 9 ctJge2 bS
would like to mention three other,                  10 .1i.b3 .1i.b7 1 1 0-0 g6 12 l:.ad 1 fS
more attractive ideas :                             1 3 �dS d6 1 4 ctJf4 ctJaS I S �d3
   a) 4 c3 is plausible. The kind of               ctJxb3 1 6 axb3 .l:Ie8 1 7 ctJcdS .1i.f8
positions which typically arise after               1 8 !Ife 1 .1i.g7 1 9 c3 Chandler-Knott,
4 . dS S e3 ctJc6, for example 6
 . .
                                                   British ch, Millfield 2000. Black ' s
tiJd2 .1i.e7 7 dxcS .1i.xcs 8 ctJb3 .1i.b6         pawn weaknesses are not only
9 ctJe2 0-0 1 0 ctJf4 .1i.e6 1 1 .1i.e2            problematic in themselves, they also
�d7 12 0-0 l:.ad8 13 �d2 ctJeS 1 4                 provide the knights with excellent
l:.fd l a 6 I S ctJd4 Grigore-Gheng,                squares which in tum adversely
Bucharest Juventus 2002 I would                     affects the efficacy of the bishop
assess as, at the very least, easier for           pair.
White to play. Black's pawn                            cii) 4 . . . dS ! ? reaches a Veresov
formation is static, and White ' s                 theoretically somewhat favourable
knights have n o trouble finding                   to White (since after 1 d4 dS 2 ctJc3
good squares. However 4 . . . �6 ! is              ctJf6 3 .1i.gS cS 4 .1i.xf6 Black is
rather disruptive. After S �d2 dS 6                again advised by the experts to play
e3 .1i.e6 7 ctJf3 ctJc6 8 .1i.e2 .1i.e7 9          4 . . . gxf6 ! ) . Still, this looks a better
0-0 0-0 the queen on d2 blocks                     chance for Black. One, rather old
further development, and the time                  but still instructive example is S e3
which White will consume in                        ctJc6 6 ctJge2 .1i.e6 7 g3 cxd4 8 exd4
unravelling will clearly ease Black's              .1i.d6 (8 . . . �b6 ! ? is critical, but after
task.                                              9 .tg2 �xb2 1 0 .l:Ib l �a3 1 1 lhb7 !
   b) 4 e3 �b6 S ctJc3 ! ? is tempting             .1i.b4 1 2 0-0 .1i.xc3 1 3 l:.b3 �xa2 -
(certainly S b3 ? ! constitutes a                  De la Villa - I like White' s
weakness of the dark squares which                 compensation after either 1 4 ctJxc3
would render 4 e3 unappealing) .                   �aS I S f4 fS 1 6 g4 ! ?, or even 1 4
Neither S . . . �xb2 6 ctJdS ! .1i.d6 7            l:.xc3 ! ? e.g. 1 4 . . . l:tc8 I S J:Ics ctJe7
dxcS .1i.eS 8 l:.b 1 followed by 9 f4,              16 J:Ixc8+ ctJxc8 1 7 ctJf4 0-0 1 8 l:.e 1
nor S . . . cxd4 6 �xd4 �xd4 7 exd4                with enduring pressure for the
124 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
       . . .




pawn) 9 i.g2 0,e7 1 0 0-0 a6 1 1         Take for example Teske-Gallagher,
0,c 1 h5 1 2 Ite 1 �f8 1 3 0,d3 Itc8     Bundesliga 2002. After 4 . . . 0,a6
14 0,e2 g5 15 0,c5 :'c7 Smyslov­         which seems best, 5 0,d2 0,xc5 6
Bobotsov, Sochi 1 963 , and now 1 6      g3 f5 7 c3 i.g7 8 i.g2 d5 9 0,gf3
0,c3 'iVc8 1 7 0,3a4 ! ? looks a         e6 10 0-0 0-0 1 1 0,d4 i.d7 1 2 e3
promising intensification of White ' s   l:tc8 White has achieved the
pressure.                                appropriate structure for blunting
                                         Black' s dark-squared bishop, and
  To my mind ' b ' is fun, but ' c '     his pieces look reasonably well
alone should provide a sufficient        placed. The question is, What to do
argument against Black' s un­            next? I have seen several examples
aesthetic recapture.                     of this kind of structure, and the
                                         dominant impression is that White ' s
                                         set-up i s essentially designed to
                                         contain Black, and it is very difficult
                                         to find a constructive plan. Pawn
                                         breaks risk reactivating Black' s
                                         forces. The next few moves confirm
                                         this : 1 3 �e2 �6 1 4 0,2b3 0,e4 1 5
                                         l:tfd l a5 1 6 Ii.ab l l:tfd8 1 7 i.fl 0,d6
                                          1 8 0,d2 and now it was already
                                         Black who felt justified in
                                         modifying the structure in an
                                         attempt to seize the initiative. My
                                         feeling after the further 1 8 . . . e5 ! ? 1 9
                                         0,c2 i.e6 2 0 0,f3 i.f6 2 1 0,a3 �h8
   4 d5                                  22 l:tbc 1 :'g8 23 i.g2 'ilVc5 24 0, e l
   I firmly believe the advance 4 d5     b5 i s that his optimism i s justified.
(the subject of Games 28-32) to be           4 i.g7
the best move. However, at the
                                             . . .




same time I do also regard it as             As Gallagher writes it is a
something       of     a    positional   "relatively small school of thought"
concession, and therefore felt it        which doesn't find the inclusion of
would be useful background to            4 . . . �6 5 'ilVc l in Black's interest.
mention briefly why attempts to          Presumably the idea is to keep the
construct a structure more obviously     b-pawn unblocked, but White ' s
suited to the possession of only a       queen i s undeniably better placed on
light-squared bishop appear to fall       dl than c l , and the general view is
short.                                   that this factor is of greater
                                          relevance. See the note to White ' s
   For I time I toyed with 4 dxc5         6th i n Game 30 for an attempt at
since it is easier to place pawns on      direct comparison. The conclusion
c3 and e3 with a view to 'blunting '      is that the attack on White ' s b-pawn
Black' s dark-squared bishop if there     remains the more respectable choice
is no d5 pawn to worry about.            and will be the subj ect of Games
However, I have had to concede that       29-3 2 .
Black' s solid centre majority and
bishop pair give          him very           5 c3
reasonable chances. After all, his           In common with the main line
weaknesses are not that severe.           White faces a principled choice
                                               2 . . . c5 Introduction and 3 hf6 125


be twe en thus seeking to contain the          immediately to cover the threat of
d ark- squared bishop and playing 5            liJf4-h5 .
c4 ! ?       which        looks    seriously      7 . . . liJd7
co nc essionary on the dark squares,
but on the other hand gives much                  Stohl suggests an alternative
firmer support to the d5 pawn, and             development 7 . . . liJa6 ! ? 8 liJf4 liJc7
                                               with the intention to play . . . e6.
p ermits White a more natural
development of his knight to c3 . I            Laudable enough in itself, but I
will not give this alternative                 cannot help feeling that Black will
in dependent coverage here since the           suffer for not covering h5 . The
c4 lines which I cover in the notes            tempting 9 'iVh5 .i.e5 ! is not too
to Game 29 are fairly similar. I have          convincing, but 9 liJh5 .i.h6 and
a suspicion that 5 c4 may be a less            now maybe even 1 0 c4 ! ? looks quite
impressive               of exploiting the     promising.
absence of . . .            but this I must       8 liJf4 liJf6 9 .5tc4
admit I have not checked out in                   Not just strong-pointing the
detail.                                        crucial d5 pawn, but also hindering
   5 . . . d6                                  a potential . . . e6 break which always
   If now 5 . . . 'Y!IYb6 then 6 Wkc2 looks    needs to be borne in mind in this
like the right square.                         variation.
   6 e3 f5 7 liJe2                                9 . 0-0 10 a4 b6 1 1 liJd2 a6 1 2
                                                   .   .


                                               liJf1 ! ?
                                                  I like this move, which gives
                                               priority         to  probing        Black ' s
                                               weaknesses, both the f5 pawn and in
                                               particular the h5 square, over
                                               automatic mobilisation of the forces.
                                               Interestingly, Kotronias must have
                                               been reasonably content at this stage
                                               because he was willing to repeat
                                               these moves two years later.
                                               Although I prefer Julian ' s treatment,
                                               the continuation of that game was
                                               quite instructive too. White chose
                                               simple, perhaps overly routine
   It is interesting that when . . . 'Y!IYb6   development with 1 2 'iVe2 .l:l.e8 1 3
is omitted White almost invariably             0-0 e5 ! ? (rather than 1 3 . . . e6? ! , after
adopts this formation rather than the          which no exchange on d5 is
fianchetto of his king ' s bishop . I          threatened, and since the bishop is
assume that this has to do with a              needed on c8 to protect the e-pawn,
consensus that White should attempt            no pressure can really be added to
to keep the lid on Black ' s queenside         d5 either) 1 4 liJh5 liJxh5 1 5 Wkxh5
expansionary aspirations and that              �f6 1 6 f4 exf4 1 7 exf4 .i.d7 (Black
the bishop is therefore needed to              is probably OK here because his
cover b5. At this moment White is              counterplay with . . . b5-b4 needs to
safe enough on this front, since               be addressed, while his own
Black needs to bring his knight over           weaknesses are not especially easy
126 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
         . . .




to access) 1 8 .1I.d3 ( 1 8 .l:i.fe 1 .l:i.xe 1          I don't like this for precisely the
1 9 .l:i.xe 1 bS ! is similar, and more              reason outlined in the last note. The
convincing than 1 9 . . . .1I.xa4 ? ! 20             queen deserts the kings ide and
.1I.d3 .i.d7 2 1 ct:Jc4 with some real               thereby makes the building of
pressure to compensate for the                       White ' s attack that much more
pawn. This reminds us that although                  straightforward. My hunch is that it
the bishop has performed useful                      was probably here that Kotronias
work on c4, it has also occupied a                   was          subsequently looking           to
square on which the knight could                     improve. However, this is not so
have been a potent force) 1 8 . . . bS 1 9           easy since 1 4 . . . c4? ! I S .1I.c2 e6 1 6
l:t f3 c4 20 .1l.fl WUh6 2 1 WUxh6 .1I.xh6           dxe6 fxe6 1 7 WUxd6 leaves Black
22 �f2 .i.g7 23 l:ta2 .i.f6 24 l:te3                 short on compensation. The best bet
l:tec8 2S .1I.e2 .1I.d8 and Black has                would seem to be 14 . . . b4 ! ? I S cxb4
manoeuvred               his    bishop        pair   l:tb8 ! since 1 6 bxcS WUaS+ looks
intelligently and is certainly not                   very risky. Still, the move . . . b4 has
worse. Minasian-Kotronias, Ankara                    general drawbacks too. Firstly it
(zt) 1 995.                                          enables the bishop to remain on the
      1 2 . . .1I.d7 13 ct:Jg3 b5 1 4 .1I.b3 !
        •
                                                     a2-e6 diagonal, and secondly, since
      Stohl also mentions the more                   there is no . . . c4 resource any more
                                                     White has the additional possibility
obvious 14 .i.d3 e6 I S ct:JghS but if
 I S . . . ct:JxhS 1 6 WUxhS Black will get          of harassing the fS pawn with WUd3 .
                                                      I S c4 comes into consideration, but
quite decent play with 1 6 . . . c4 1 7
.1I.c2 b4, while the more natural 1 6                best of all might be to permit Black
                                                     a measure of counterplay while
ct:JxhS .1I.eS also looks playable for
Black. The point is precisely that                   putting faith in his own attacking
                                                     chances with I S O-O ! ? bxc3 1 6 bxc3
from a defensive perspective the
 black queen stands well on d8 since                 �aS 1 7 WUd3 when the play is very
                                                     sharp but I would prefer White .
 . . . �h4 will be such a valuable
resource in many positions - not                          15 as WUc7 1 6 .1I.c2 e6 1 7 ct:Jgh5
least as an answer to the otherwise                  ct:Jxh5 18 ct:Jxh5 !
interesting 17 f4 .1h8 1 8 WUf3 . For                    Clearly better than 1 8 WUxhS when
this reason White should probably                     1 8 . . . b4 ! is irritating. In any case, as
 settle here for the more restrained                 I discussed above, with Black ' s
 1 8 0-0 with a very sharp and unclear               queen o n c 7 the plan of g 4 to
position, but there is no denying                    support a knight hS is in general
Black's share of the chances.                        quite potent.
Julian's move has the concrete
purpose of preventing . . . e6 for the
time being, and of forcing Black to
 consider the possible vulnerability
 of his d6 pawn when White attacks
fS from c2 rather than d3, as well as
 the practical advantage that Black ' s
 moves are less forced, and he h a s to
 make tricky decisions about how to
further his counterplay.
       14 . . . �6? !
                                               2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 1 2 7
                                                . . .




   18 . . . .l:tae8 1 9 g4 ! 'it>h8 20 gxf5                    Game 29
exf5 2 1 lLlxg7                                         Hodgson - Van der Wiel
   This was criticised by Stohl and it                  Netherlands (op ch) 1 994
does indeed seem a rather strange
exchange to hurry, especially from a            1 d4 lLlf6 2 Sl.g5 c5 3 Sl.xf6 gxf6
player who has such a flair for               4 d5 'tlVb6 ! 5 'iVcl Ji.h6?!
maintaining the tension. Nonethe­
less if followed up correctly, the text
appears to be by no means inferior
to the more natural 2 1 'iVf3 J:tg8 ! 22
.i.xf5 iLxf5 23 'iVxf5 J:te5 24 �f3
J:tg5 ! when although I prefer White,
Black ' s occupation of the g-file
complicates the task of his further
developing an attack. White has also
received a timely reminder that
there are safety issues regarding his
own king too.
   21. 'it>xg7 22 �f3 ? !
      •.



   This seems to b e the more clearly
questionable decision. It was better              Of course it is known that the
to give a second dimension to the             bishop is immune since 6 'iYxh6?
attack with 22 'iVh5 ! which forces           �xb2 leaves White with no
Black to address not just the                 reasonable follow-up, but still it
removal of the f5 pawn, but the               strikes me as a little odd to play this
possibility of invasion on the h6             here. The reason is that after 6 e3 f5
square too. After 22 . . . 'i¥i>h8 23 �6      if White chooses to clamp down on
f6 24 llg l Sl.c8 25 0-0-0 Black' s           the f4 square then, the bishop ' s role
defensive            task    looks     very   on h6 looks a bit of a mystery.
problematic.                                      Having said this, Julian had
   22 . . . 'i¥i>h8! 23 Ji.xf5 Sl.xf5 24      previously followed this logic in the
'iVxf5 f6!                                    game Hodgson-Peelen, Leeuwarden
                                              1 993, choosing 7 g3 ! ? but he found
   Suddenly, with his king still in the
                                              that Black' s play in this case is not
centre, White looks a little over­
                                              entirely without point. Gallagher
extended.
                                              explains that after 7 . . . iLg7 8 c3,
   25 :!gl J:e5 26 'iVf3 f5 27 J:tg5 b4       White ' s extra tempo (the pawn is
28 c4 'ike7 29 h4 'iVf6 30 0-0-0              usually on e2 in this position) does
Yz-Yz                                         not benefit him too much. Indeed in
   A fair decision. The moment                the event of the rather direct
when the initiative has switched              8 . . . lLla6 ! ? 9 lLld2 lLlc7 1 0 Sl.g2 'iVd6
hands, even in exchange for a slight          there is even a case for claiming that
material gain, is a good one for calm         the lack of e3 square for the knight
realistic appraisal . After 30 . . . .l:e4    hinders White. The analogous
3 1 'iVe2 f4 Black' s compensation,           position with the pawn on e2 has
which could well include a                    indeed been reached and in that case
psychological element by now,                 White continued with 1 1 (or in
looks very reasonable.                        reality 1 0) lLlc4 'iVa6 1 2 'iVf4 ! with
128 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
       . . .




tDe3 to come and a pleasant                  and that the entire . . . i.h6 project
position. With a pawn on e3 his              might be open to severe question.
course of action is less clear. Julian           Since        Games         30-32      wil l
chose 1 1 e4 ! ? fXe4 1 2 tDxe4 �g6          concentrate on the c3/g3 approach,
when 13 d6? ! f5 ! brought him               this seems like an opportune
nothing special. However, what               moment to examine the c4 based
about the ' materialistic ' 1 3 liJxc5 ! ?   system in general terms as the very
d6 1 4 tDb3 .Jli.f5 instead? Gallagher       sharp, exciting but rather specific
notes that Black' s bishop pair has          events of the main game throw but
come to life, which is true so far as        limited light on these. This is most
it goes, but after 1 5 �e3 ! (it is          normally introduced by the moves
important to stop . . . i.e4) followed       5 . . . f5 6 c4 ! ? iLg7 (6 . . . iLh6 7 e3 f4
by 16 liJe2 he should be able to             is the normal, and in my view more
weather the storm, indeed it is not to       logical route to Hodgson-van der
clear to me that there will be much          Wiel) 7 liJc3 d6 (or 7 . . . �b4 8 e3 d6
of a storm to cope with . For those a        9 f4 ! [This I find rather instructive.
bit squeamish about pawn grabbing            White fixes the f5 weakness and
element to 1 3 liJxc5 ! ?, winning the       tries to capture back control of at
d4 square also offers a positional           least one important central dark
justification ! If this is all just a bit    square.] 9 . . . liJd7 1 0 liJf3 tDb6 1 1
too complicated, I would suspect in          liJd2 i.d7 1 2 iLd3 iLxc3 1 3 bxc3
addition that 9 .Jli.g2 liJc7 1 0 liJh3      �a5 14 a4 ! tDxa4 1 5 �c2 �xc3 1 6
might also be a valid move order for         l:lxa4 �xc2 1 7 i.xc2 i.xa4 1 8
White.                                       i.xa4+ with some advantage for
   For the perfectionist, it still seems     White         in Hodgson-P .Schlosser,
a shame not to find a 7th move               Horgen 1 994) 8 e3 tDd7 (8 . . . e6 ! ? 9
which prevents 7 . . . f4, but has no        liJge2 liJd7 1 0 tDf4 tDf6 1 1 i.e2
concomitant drawback. Whilst I               i.d7 12 0-0 0-0-0 13 dxe6 fXe6 1 4
make no claims for the quality of            l:. d 1 l:!he8 1 5 l:t b 1 i.c6 1 6 a 3 liJe4
Black's defence in the following              1 7 liJxe4 i.xe4 1 8 i.d3 i.c6 1 9 b4
example, I do find White ' s set-up          gave White chances on the
quite appealing. 7 tDe2 ! ? d6 8 c4          queenside in Kharitonov-Rozentalis,
liJd7 9 liJbc3 liJe5 1 0 liJf4 i.d7 1 1      Sverdlovsk, 1 984 although I must
�c2 a6 1 2 tDh5 �a5 1 3 f4 tDg6 1 4          admit I do not really understand
i.d3 from Vigus - De Vreugt,                 Black ' s 1 4th move)
Glomey Cup, 1 996 looks quite
harmonious and certainly offers
food for further thought.
  All in all, I wouldn't be surprised
if logically Black should really wait
for c4 before venturing . . . i.h6 (see
the note to 5 . . . f5) although
undeniably with all those tempting
dark squares on the long diagonal,
this also has its element of paradox.
Of course, it may simply be that the
main game is very strong for White
                                               2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 129
                                                 . . .




and now White has quite an                     the c-pawns are scarcely a problem
interesting choice:                            at all, indeed they control very vital
    a) 9 ctJge2 ? ! ctJf6 ! 10 ctJg3 (This     squares.
gets nowhere fast, but White was                    I suspect Black should prefer
prob ably afraid of 10 ctJf4 ctJe4 ! 1 1       9 . . . ctJeS . There is little practical
..t d3 'it'xb2 ! when I don 't see full        experience with this, but I would
co mpensation for a pawn) 10 . . . hS          like to kick this beast away, and
1 1 i.d3 e6 12 'it'c2 i.d7 13 ctJge2           wonder whether 10 h3 ! ? is asking
0-0-0 14 z:tb I ctJg4 ! ? when Black           too much. Lines like 1 0 . . . l:t.g8 1 1 f4
looks very active in M.Gurevich­               ctJg6 1 2 ctJf3 ! eS ! ? 1 3 dxe6 fxe6 1 4
Alterman, Haifa 1 99 5 . White ' s             i.d3 followed possibly b y I S g4
knight simply lost tempi here. This            look quite interesting. 1 0 . . :iVa6 ! ? is
suggests either that it headed for the         an interesting try to disrupt White ' s
wrong square, or that it would be a            plans, but 1 1 'iVb3 i s quite playable.
better idea to develop his kingside            Food for thought here.
p ieces 'the other way round ' .                    Incidentally, Black can also
   b) 9 ctJ f3 ctJf6 ! 1 0 .Jid3 ctJe4 1 1     choose to put a distinctive stamp on
..txe4 (It is interesting that Kanstler        the play by means of the immediate
gives 1 1 'ilVc2?! ctJxc3 as unclear,          S . . . e6 ! ? If White plays 6 c4 we are
but when Lputian tried this Black              highly likely to reach the note to
revealed the 1 1 . . :iVxb2 ! trick, and       8 . . . e6 ! ? given in the discussion
to my mind White again does not                above. Also interesting is 6 e4 ! ? (6
get full value) 1 1 . . . fxe4 1 2 ctJd2 fS    ctJc3 and g3 is also quite playable)
1 3 0-0 .Jid7 was Faerman- Kanstler,           6 . . . .Jig7 (6 . . . i.h6 ? ! 7 'it'xh6 ! 'iWxb2
Beer Sheva 1 998 and now instead of            8 ctJe2 'ilVxa l 9 ctJec3 'ilVb2 1 0 i.e2 !
 14 l:tb I ? ! hS I S a3 h4 1 6 b4 h3 1 7      Casagrande-Banas, Mitropa Cup
g3 'ilVa6 when if forced to choose I           I 99S gives White a terrific attack;
would probably take Black, I would             while 6 . . . fS ! ? 7 exfS exdS is more
suggest 14 f3 ! ? exf3 I S l:hf3 with a        interesting, but White still has
very       interesting      and      unusual   decent prospects with 8 ctJc3 ! ?) and
struggle ahead. Black's main                   now maybe 7 ctJc3 ! ? 0-0 8 ctJge2
weakness - the fS pawn - is not                followed by g3 , again with a good
really vulnerable exactly, but it does         deal of appeal for those seeking an
at least tie his pieces down to its            unusual struggle.
defence to a degree.
                                                    6 e3 f5 7 c4 ! ?
   c) 9 'ilVc2 ! ? followed by i.d3
looks the most logical, and it is                  Accepting the challenge. As
rather curious that it has not been            discussed in the note to Black' s Sth,
played more often. Romero Holmes               7 g3 ! ? or perhaps even better 7
- Reinaldo Castineira, Spain (ch)              ctJe2 ! ? might have come into
1 997, for example was very quickly            consideration. However, the game is
favourable for White after 9 . . . ctJf6       still critical for anyone who wishes
1 0 i.d3 ctJe4 1 1               ctJxc3 1 2    to play an early c4 since Black can
bxc3 ! ? e6 1 3 0-0               1 4 dxe6 !   then approach this position by
fxe6 I S e4 0-0 ( I S . . . 'ilVgS ! ? might   means of S . . . fS . Others could
be a bit                1 6 exfS exfS 1 7      minimise their learning at this point,
ctJf4 'ilVgS 1 8             with serious      but what is to come is a lot of fun !
positional trumps. In such a position             7      . . .   f4 ! ?
1 3 0 2 c5 Introduction and 3 bf6
        . . .




  Having said ' a ' , Black really must              17 0-0 lLlb4 1 8 lLla3 'iNxfl + 1 9
say ' b ' . There is little other positive          i.xfl ':xa3 is insufficient in view of
idea attached to . . . i.h6.                        20 'iNb2 ! ) White has two plausible
  8 exf4 i.xf4                                      tries :




                                                         a) 1 3 g3 ? ! is the only move to
    9 �xf4 !
                                                    have been seen in practice. The
    Taking up the challenge, and                    problem is that 1 3 . . . a6 ! is now
indeed, if this fails White must                    much            stronger.    Aleksandrov­
reconsider his strategy at an earlier               Zhelnin, St.Petersburg (op) 1 994
stage, since 9 'ili'c2 i.e5 is certainly            was good for Black after 14 'iVc2 ? !
not acceptable given Black' s                       'it' f8 1 5 l\Vb3 lLld7 1 6 i.e2 b5 1 7
command o f the central dark                        cxb5 axb5 1 8 i.xb5 lLl e 5 1 9 i.e2 c4
squares.                                            20 l\Vb6 i.f5 2 1 0-0 lIxa2 22 lLlxa2
    9 . . .'ili'xb2 10 lLle2 'ili'xa l l l lLlec3   'ili'xa2 since there is only one major
'ili'b2 ? !                                         dimension to the position, and the
    Until now the play has been quite               queen is out! However even the
forcing. However, understandable                    apparently more promising 14 i.d3
though John Van der Wiel ' s desire                 b5 1 5 cxb5 axb5 1 6 i.xb5+ i.d7 1 7
was to release his ensnared queen                   i.d3 ! ( 1 7 i.xd7+? ! lLlxd7 1 8 0-0
without delay, it is here that other                lLle5 looks fine for Black) meets
players wishing to venture down                     with the interesting manoeuvre
this risky road have chosen to                       1 7 . . . i.h3 ! ? 1 8 'ih6 i.g2 1 9 :g l
deviate. In the game White gets a                   i.f3 ! when it is difficult for White
very powerful attack. After the                     to strengthen his encirclement of his
alternative 1 1 . . . d6 ! ? the focus is           opponent' s queen. 20 'ixh7 'if8 2 1
much more back to the usually more                  'ili'h6+ �e8 2 2 'iVh7 forced a draw,
mobile of Black's monarchs, and                     but I do not see better here.
the question is simple enough. Can                       b) Joe Gallagher' s 1 3 i.e2 !
she escape? After 1 2 'iNd2 ! J:tg8 ! ?             therefore looks a far more
( 1 2 . . . a6 does not seem sufficient             promising choice. White sacrifices
either. The point is that after 1 3                 the g-pawn, banking on the idea that
i.e2 b 5 1 4 cxb5 axb5 1 5 i.xb5+                    �e2 and kIc 1 is to all intents and
i.d7 16 i.d3 ! White still has time to              purposes as efficient as castling.
round up the queen and 16 . . . lLla6               The critical line seems to be
                                                      2 c5 Introduction and 3 iLxf6 1 3 1
                                                        . . .




1 3 . . J ohg2 1 4 i.f3 J:tg6 ( 1 4 . . . i.h3           1 2 . . . llJc6 1 3 i.d3 exd6
1 5 iVh6 "iVb2 1 6 i.xg2 ! .txg2 1 7                     1 3 . . . e6 1 4 0-0 f5 1 5 1i'h6 ! �f7 1 6
,Ug l is very awkward for Black) 1 5                  i.e2 ! is also crushing. The detail of
�e2 ! and now:                                        analysis which was required in the
    b l ) 1 5 . . . b5 1 6 cxb5 a6 1 7 b6 !           case of 1 1 . . . d6 would be super­
llJd7 1 8 �c 1 llJxb6 1 9 llJa3 -                     fluous here. It is clear that Black ' s
Gallagher - is good for White.                        pieces are i n n o state t o come to the
There is not too much compensation                    king ' s assistance. Once White safely
in this case.                                         castles it is a matter of time.
    b2)          1 5 . . . .tg4 ! ?    16  J:tc l !      1 4 0-0 llJe5 1 5 iVf6! 0-0 1 6 llJd5
( Strangely, Joe Gallagher whose                      l:.e8 17 iVg5+ llJg6
analysis was otherwise excellent,                         17 . . . �h8 1 8 llJf6 ! llJxd3 19 'iWh6
gives 1 6 i.xg4? ::txg4 1 7 'uc 1 here                is also hopeless. White ' s attack has
which allows 1 7 . . . l:td4 ! 1 8 Wi'c2              been nicely conducted, but it is no
�xc4             wmnmg              for   Black)      surprise that 1 1 . . . d6 has not been
 1 6 . . . llJc6 ! ? 1 7 dxc6 'ue6+ 1 8 c;f;f1        repeated .
.i.xf3 1 9 cxb7 %:.b8 20 llJa3 'ilixc 1 +
                                                         1 8 llJf6+ 'ifS 19 �h6+ 'ie7 20
2 1 iVxc 1 %:.xb7 and while I prefer
                                                      ttJd5+ �d8 2 1 i.xg6 hxg6 22
White here too on material grounds
                                                      ttJbc3 1-0
(queen and two knights v. two
rooks, a bishop and two pawns)
Black does have rather more                                             Game 30
counterplay this time. The white                                   Adams - Lautier
king is not entirely happy and if                               PCNIntel Rapid, Paris 1 995
Black can activate the rook on b7,
he has reasonable chances to                            1 d4 ttJf6 2 i.g5 c5 3 i.xf6 gxf6
generate annoying threats.                            4 d5 'iWb6 5 "iVcl f5




  1 2 d6!                                               6 c3
  This is the problem of course. The                    Quite aside from the c4-based
queen' s escape has been secured at                   systems which I briefly examined in
the price of terrible threats around                  the previous game, White has quite
the black king, and pretty grim                       a bewildering array of set-ups
development perspectives to boot.                     available in this complex position. I
1 32 2 c5 Introduction and 3 hf6
       . . .




have decided to be quite selective in         . . .'iWb6   has       assisted        Black' s
my coverage, and while I shall                development and a 1 2 lDd2 l:tae8 1 3
make passing reference to others              lDfl ? e5 ! would b e very satisfactory
where I believe this will contribute          from Black's standpoint) 1 2 . . J:tae8 !
to a general understanding of what            (I reckon this is rather more to the
is going on, I have decided to                point than the slower 1 2 . . .';ih8 .
concentrate on a detailed survey of           However, some record seems vital
the lines where White plays in some           of James Vigus ' admirable bravery
order g3/c3 lDd2 and lDh3 . To my             in becoming, so far as I can see, the
mind this gets the balance between            first player ever to venture a
solidity and a bit of punch about             Trompowsky              against         Julian
right, and has the endorsement of             Hodgson in a serious game. Of
several of the Trompowsky ' s                 course, the maestro ' s choice of
leading exponents . The next three            variation is not without interest
games will examine this set-up in             either, but my feeling was at the
some detail . As we shall see, there is       time that after 1 3 l:f.e l J:.g8 14 'iWc2
no very clear consensus on the best           �ae8 1 5 a5 'it'd8 1 6 �3 'it'c8 1 7
move-order to reach the basic                 'it'd l iLh6 1 8 lDa3 ! J:.g4 1 9 g3 z:i.eg8
position, nor I suspect on whether            White had shown a pretty good feel
this really even matters very much.           for the position and that the
Certainly this is more a position for         exchange sacrifice that ensued with
concentrating on understanding                20 iLe2 iLxf4 ! ? 2 1 iLxg4 i.xg3 22
ideas than learning moves, but I              hxg3 z:i.xg4 should not have fully
shall make some observations on               sufficed, although Julian did later
move order as we come across                  carry home the full point and indeed
them. For the moment, I think I               the title. Vigus-Hodgson, British
would just observe that 6 g3 seems            Championship, Millfield 2000) 1 3
to be perfectly valid here too, and           a5 'it'c7 1 4 'iWd l 'it>h8 1 5 tbd2 �g8
might even be preferable depending             16 lDh5 e6 ! 17 lDxf6 i.xf6 1 8 g3
on the evaluation of the note that            J:!g6 19 .l:Ie l 'it>g7 20 f4 b5 2 1 axb6
follows to Black's 6th.                        axb6 22 e4 e5 23 exf5 iLxf5 24 fxe5
                                              :'xe5 25 l:txe5 i.xe5 and Black has
    Before getting stuck into this            perfectly respectable counterplay. In
main discussion, I would like first,           fact it seems to me that this is a
partly by way of analogy to take a             good illustration of how much
look at one possible approach with 6           Black gains from 4 . . . �6 if White
e3 which aims at reaching the                  adopts 6 e3 . Bellon Lopez actually
formation of Hodgson-Kotronias                 handled the position rather deftly
(Game 28) only with the inter­                 but still achieved nothing concrete.
polation of the moves 4 . . . 1Wb6 5
'it'd . A good example of this was                 6 iLg7
                                                   . . .



seen in Bellon Lopez- G.Hemandez,                  There might be a case for playing
Las Palmas (op) 1 995 which                    the       immediate        6 . . . e6    here.
continued 6 e3 iLg7 7 c3 d6 8                  However, capturing on d5 is but
lDh3 ! ? lDd7 9 tbf4 lDf6 1 0 iLc4 ( 1 0       rarely acceptable positionally, and
 lDd2 ? ! e5 ! i s fine for Black)             this affords White time and some
 1 0 . . . iLd7 1 1 a4 0-0 1 2 0-0 (Clearly    choices. I quite like his set-up in
 there is no time for Hodgson ' s              Tchemyi-Sakaev, Pardubice (op)
 lDfl -g3 manoeuvre in this version -           1 997. 7 g3 lDa6 8 iLg2 lDc7 9
                                               2 c 5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 1 3 3
                                                 . . .




ttJh3 ! ? ttJxd5 (If 9 . . . 'ifd6 then        ttJe3        with        a      harmonious
maybe 1 0 ttJd2 ! ? to meet 1 0 . . . ttJxd5   organisation of White 's pieces.
with 1 1 ttJc4) 1 0 .Jtxd5 exd5 1 1            Dumitrescu-Shishkov,              European
ttJf4 .Jth6 led to a position which I          (ch), Tallinn 1 997.
think has considerable attacking                    8 .Jtg2 ttJd7 9 ttJh3
potential for White. Why not 1 2
                                                    It cannot really be over­
'ife3+ 'it> f8 1 3 ttJd2 ! ? I f Black does
nothing special then I think his               emphasised that f4 is absolutely the
weaknesses will be problematic in              optimal square for the knight in this
the long term. However, 1 3 . . . d4 1 4       line. It provides helpful back-up in
cxd4 'i'xb2 looks very risky too.              the ongoing bolstering of the d5
One possible line 15 ttJb3 ! c4 16             pawn, it plays a role in trying to
�e5 ! �g8 17 O-O ! cxb3 18 ttJh5               restrain Black's centre pawns,
threatening 19 'i'f6 and a very                whether Black has his sights set on
powerful onslaught against Black ' s           . . . e6 or . . . e5, and last but not least
king.                                          keeps an eye on the h5 square, a key
                                               Black weakness as we have
   7 g3                                        discussed. It is also a useful post
   Having rejected c2-c4, White is             from which to harass Black's dark­
obliged to set his mind to providing           squared bishop and try to drum up
the d5 pawn with the requisite                 some kingside play.
protection, and the text is the most              9 ttJf6
respectable way of doing this.
                                                         . . .



                                                  Covering h5 and preparing to
                                               develop his queens ide too. Also
                                               interesting was the attempt to cut
                                               across White ' s intended deployment
                                               with the radical 9 . . . e5 ! ? the price of
                                               which, of course, is a still weaker f5
                                               pawn.         V.Popov-Yemelin,            St
                                               Petersburg (op), 1 994 continued
                                               with the very committal 1 0 f4
                                               (Instead, I think White could
                                               consider 1 0 ttJd2 �a6 1 1 �c2 ! ?
                                               'ifa6 1 2 ttJfl and if now 1 2 . . . .Jth6
                                               then 1 3 f4 ! ? e4 14 ttJe3 would in my
                                               view be a much improved version of
    7 d6
    ...
                                               Popov ' s idea)         10 . . . ttJf6 (The
    Best in my view. There are good            decision to ' exchange ' squares in
sound reasons for Black' s knight to           such a position requires consider­
head for the kingside. It is also              able positional acumen. My hunch
possible to put it on c7, but I prefer         though is that 10 . . . e4 ! ? was
White after e.g. 7 . . . ttJa6 8 .Jtg2 ttJc7   possible here e.g. 1 1 ttJa3 ttJf6 1 2
9 ttJd2 (9 ttJh3 ! ? also looks logical,       ttJc4 'iVa6 1 3 ttJe3 h5 ! 1 4 ttJf2 .Jtd7
trying to reach something like                 and B lack is ready to meet 1 5 .Jth3
Tschemyi-Sakaev from the note to               with 1 5 . . . ttJg4 ! when Black' s
6 . . . e6. If 9 . . . �d6 ! ? White could     position looks very healthy. In
even consider 1 0 ttJa3 ! ? b5 1 1 � g5)       essence, my objection to 1 0 f4 is
9 . . . e6 10 ttJc4 �a6 1 1 'i'f4 0-0 1 2      that it actually makes Black' s most
134 2 c5 Introduction and 3 iLxf6
        . . .




significant weak spot - the fS pawn             simple 1 8 b4 ! intending to meet
- easier to cover! ) 1 1 CDd2 CDg4 1 2          1 8 . . . cxb4 1 9 axb4 .ltxd2 with 20
CDc4 �a6 1 3 CDe3 .ltd7 1 4 �d2                 cS. Strange things happen in these
0-0-0 I S 0-0 hS 1 6 CDgS lIdf8 1 7             leagues on the Sunday morning -
fxeS CDxe3 1 8 �xe3 .ltxeS 1 9 .lth3            unfamiliar territory for many a
and Black's pawn weaknesses have                chess-player. The rationale for my
become a more pressing issue than               1 2th move? I seem to recall fondly
White ' s slightly vulnerable king.             imagining that after 1 2 . . . fxe6 ! 1 3
   9 . . . hS ! ? is dealt with in Game 32.     e4 fxe4 1 4 CDxe4 Black' s centre
                                                pawns would be fairly static and I
   1 0 CDd2 0-0                                 could set about attacking them, and
   Natural enough. 1 0 . . . .ltd7 ! ? is the   also making some gestures against
subject of Game 3 1 .                           the h7 pawn into the bargain.
   1 1 0-0 e6                                   However, I failed to reckon in this
                                                case with 1 3 . . . eS ! ? which could
   The standard way to create
                                                create          a    situation  of acute
maximum tension in the centre. It is
                                                embarrassment for the knight on h3 .
far from obvious, but part of
                                                1 4 �c2 for example could be met
Black' s motivation for this is
                                                with 1 4 . . . fxe4 I S CDxe4 h6 ! ? while,
prophylactic. It may be useful to be
                                                whatever the theoretical verdict,
ready to counter White attempts at
                                                 14 . . . f4 ! ? I S gxf4 .ltxh3 1 6 .ltxh3
breaking in the centre with e4, with
                                                CDhS would be quite scary to meet in
the move . . . eS when capturing ' en
                                                practice. However, it is not as bad as
passant' is no longer an option ! An
                                                all that. After 1 2 . . . fxe6 White has to
example where Black focuses on the
                                                settle for the more modest 1 3 CDf4 !
queens ide will illustrate this point.
                                                d S 1 4 c4 and I think the position is
Hernandez - Martin Gonzalez,
                                                still quite playable. If 14 . . . d4 I S
Benasque (op) 1 997 reached (by
                                                CDd3 there is every chance that the
transposition) 1 1 . . . .ltd7 1 2 �c2
                                                e-pawn can be blockaded.
�c7 1 3 lIad l bS 14 CDf4 :tab8 I S
e4 �c8? ! ( 1 S . . . .lth6 ! ? would still
be interesting. I suspect 1 6 lIfe 1
.ltxf4 1 7 gxf4 CDhS 1 8 exfS favours
White, but the position is very
complex indeed) 1 6 1:He l lIe8 1 7
.lth3 fxe4 1 8 .ltxd7 'ilkxd7 1 9 CDxe4
with good play in the centre.
   1 2 CDf4
   Best I think. I was guilty of an
instructive misconception here in
Wells-Popovic, Austrian League
2002 with the somewhat premature
release of the tension 1 2 dxe6 and
was rather let off by the                         1 2 .lth6
                                                     ...



continuation 1 2 . . . .ltxe6 ? ! 1 3 CDf4        The real difficulty in trying to
dS 1 4 c4 ! �ad8 I S 'ilkc2 d4 1 6 a3           discuss this variation lies in
.lth6 1 7 CDd3 'ih8 and could have              confronting the question: 'What are
consolidated a tidy plus with the               the respective sides ' plans?' This is
                                             2" . c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 135


very hard to answer. It is easier to            Probably sooner o r later this
speak in terms of moves which                ought to come anyway. The
represent some improvement of the            alternative here would be 14 . . . 'iVc7
pieces, since early breaks in the            and now for example 1 5 iVc2 J:Iae8
c entre with e4 (still a possible             16 a4 ! ? and again, the way forward
long-term option) do not look very           without . . . e5 is unclear. I suspect
likely here. Any of the moves                that White need not feel too fearful
Md l la4/ttJc4 with arguably 'iVc2 as        of his opponent turning greedy here.
well, are, in some order likely to           1 6 . . . .i.xf4 1 7 exf4 ttJxd5 1 8 .i.xd5
feature. At some point Black will be         exd5 1 9 ttJfl ! I like for White,
forced to confront the issue of his          despite the potential danger on the
d-pawn, and this is likely to lead to        light squares around his king. The
a clarification of the central pawn          positional prize on offer is pretty
structure, at which point it becomes         substantial.
easier to talk in terms of plans. The
                                                15 ttJe2 MaeS 16 iVc2 iVdS 1 7
timing of the move . . . e5 is               ttJc4 iVe7 I S a 4 b6 1 9 M e l 'it'hS 20
immensely difficult. We have                 Ilad1 J:IgS 21 ttJc1 !
already considered it when the
knight was still on h3 . Black could            Typical Adams. Rather than rush
consider it here too, although d3 is         with his queenside aspirations, he
not a bad square for White ' s knight.       takes a prophylactic time-out to
Eventually Black opts for . . . e5 as a      reduce Black ' s potential. This takes
reply to 1 4 i:[d l , and of course this     the sting out of . . , f4 based ideas in
makes some sense as the rook                 particular. The knight is also better
would not choose this square with            placed on d3 from the offensive
an already closed centre. 12 . . . .i.h6     standpoint. If instead 2 1 b4 Black
itself also invites comment. Is Black        could even consider 2 l . . . cxb4 22
keen to provoke e3 because he is             cxb4 .uc8 ! ?
also concerned that the white queen             2 1 . . . l:i.g6 2 2 ttJd3 IlegS 2 3 b4 !
could also find a role on the c I -g5        ttJhS 24 bxcS bxcS 25 I:tb 1 .i.cs 26
diagonal?                                    iVd1 I:tg4 2 7 ttJaS f4 2S exf4 !
   As for an assessment, I think it             White ' s queens ide position is
would be optimistic to speak of a            strong enough that he should
White advantage as such, but I               concentrate his efforts there and stay
would        personally     feel      more   solid on the other wing. 28 h3 ? !
comfortable playing on this side. 'A         Ilh4 ! i s the kind o f complication to
matter of taste ' seems a very fair          avoid especially in a rapid game. It
comment here. I am for example not           would result in Black suddenly
at all surprised to see Mickey               getting quite a fierce attack.
Adams handling the position so
consummately.          The       kind   of      2S . . . ttJxf4 29 ttJxf4 .i.xf4 30 ttJc6
manoeuvring required is absolutely           'YWf6 31 I!.bS!
his forte, the ability to sense good            Threatening 32 I!.xc8. Black' s
squares without the aid of very              kings ide initiative has entirely
concrete planning. It is my hope that        evaporated.
players attracted to the ' solid'               3 1 . . . .i.fS 32 .uxgS+ l:i.xgS 33
repertoire will feel at home here too .      ttJxa7 iVg6 34 ttJc6 iVgS 35 as hS
   13 e 3 .i. d 7 1 4 Md1 eS ! ?             36 h4 !
1 3 6 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
          . . .




   The final blow. It is pennitted to         For example if 1 1 . . . O-O ! ? 1 2 liJc4
weaken the kings ide structure when           'YWa6 1 3 liJe3 e6 14 0-0 l:tfe8 1 5
the       result   is  such  decisive         ]:tfd l there could be a feeling that
simplification !                              the knight on e3 helps to
   36 . . .'VWf6 37 'YWxh5+ �h6 38            compromise Black ' s flexibility.
liJe7! 1-0                                    Nonetheless, as so often White still
                                              has to reckon with 1 5 . . . �h6 ! and
            Game 3 1                          the position remains very complex
      Akopian - G.Hernandez                   since 1 6 f4 would again leave the h3
           Merida 2000                        knight a little uncomfortable.
                                                  1 2 0-O ! ?
   1 d4 liJf6 2 � g5 c5 3 �xf6 gxf6
                                                 This game i s fascinating for the
4 d5 'li'b6 5 'iVcl f5 6          �g7 7 c3
                                              degree          to  which        intricate
d6 8 liJd2 liJ d7 9 liJh3           10 � g2
                                              manoeuvring suddenly gives way to
� d7
                                              a fierce tactical exchange despite
   A sensible developing move with            Black ' s apparent desire to decline
a little hint of poison. It is of course      this initial challenge.
far from exceptional that the timing
of tucking away the king should be
significant, and Black is hoping to
punish an over-casual 1 1 0-0 with
1 1 . . . h5 ! and fair attacking chances.
   11 'iWc2 ! ?
   None o f the pieces are susceptible
of particularly easy handling in this
complex position. It is not out of the
question for example that if Black
takes premature action the queen
could find a role on the c 1 -g5
diagonal. However, I think there is a
case for saying that the queen is
generally better placed trying to                1 2 ... 0-0
bolster light-square activity and that
nonnally c2 is the appropriate                   Black, probably rightly, decides
square for this. This move is also            against the pawn grab . White ' s
often linked to the idea of                   possibilities after 1 2 . . :i'xe2 ! ? are
improving the queen' s knight by the          quite instructive. When White ' s
manoeuvre liJc4-e3. Black' s reply            pieces         spring into         life,      his
would seem to indicate that he                opponent' s weakened kingside can
regarded this as worth avoiding -             become quite a serious factor e.g. 1 3
especially since the other possible           :tfe l 'i'a6 1 4 �fl ! ? - Wells -
rationale for his next move would             1 4 . . . 'i'b6 1 5 liJc4 'iVc7 1 6 liJe3 0-0
have been trying to grab the e-pawn           1 7 liJxf5 liJxd5 1 8 liJxe7+ ( 1 8 liJg5
and this he in fact abstains from.            is nothing special in view of
                                              1 8 . . . �xf5 19 'i'xf5 liJf6) 1 8 . . . liJxe7
   1 1 :i*'a6
     ••
                                              1 9 lhe7 lUe8 ( 1 9 . . . .l:.ae8?? 20
   It is interesting to speculate on          liJg5 ! ) and now violent solutions fall
whether this was really necessary.            short, but the simple retreat 20
                                                2 c5 Introduction and 3 .\txf6 1 3 7
                                                  . . .




l:!ee l ! ? followed by ttJf4 looks very           a) Against 1 6, . .ttJc7, Finkel
pleasant for White.                             indicates that White can build a
    13 e4 ! ?                                   formidable attack with 1 7 g4 ! i.g6
                                                1 8 f4 f5 (maybe 1 8 , . . d5 ! ? is better
    White ' s          determination      to
                                                since after 1 9 f5 dxe4 20 fxg6 'iVxg6
complicate matters makes for a lot
                                                2 1 h4 White again with good play,
of fun, but is at the same time a little
                                                although 2 1 . . .'if h6 ! ? may offer
curious since Black seems thereafter
                                                chances to defend) 1 9 ttJg3 ! fxg4 20
to be able to ensure that the
                                                f5 .lte8 2 1 f6 .ltg6 22 i.e4 ! ':'xf6 23
conclusion of the tit-for-tat is that
                                                llxf6 i.xf6 (23 , . . exf6 24 .ltxg6
White is obliged to take a perpetual
check. In view of this, for most                hxg6 25 'iVxg6 ! fxg5 26 ttJf5 -
occasions the more patient 1 3 ttJf4 ! ?        Finkel) 24 ttJxh7 i.xh7 25 .ltxh7+
suggests           itself   with    definite    'ith8 26 'ig6 with very strong
similarities to Adams-Lautier. As               threats.
usual 1 3 , . . e5 loses some of its               b) 1 6, . .'iWxa2 ! ? 1 7 �al 'ic4 and
appeal when White can retreat to d3 .           now White should probably settle
      13 ... fxe4 14 ttJxe4 ttJxd5!             for 1 8 l:!fc 1 ! ? ttJb6 ! 1 9 ttJxd6 .ltxc2
                                                20 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 2 1 llxc2 when
    This time boldness is called for.
                                                White has light-square based
 1 4 , . .ttJxe4? ! 1 5 'iVxe4 is just not
                                                compensation for the pawn, but can
very comfortable for Black since
                                                hardly claim to stand better. The
 1 5 , . . e5? fails of course to 16 dxe6
                                                problem is that White is really
fxe6 1 7 ttJg5 .
                                                courting danger after either 1 8 b3 ? !
    1 5 ttJhg5 ! i.f5                           'ixc3 ! 1 9 ttJxc3 .ltxc2 2 0 ttJxd5
    Pretty well forced, as 1 5 , . .f5? fails   i.xa l 2 1 l:.xa l e6 ! when White is
to 16 ttJxc5 dxc5 17 .ltxd5+ e6 in              really facing a fearful mass of
view of the pleasing follow-up 1 8              pawns, or 1 8 l:.a4 'iWb5 ! 19 c4 'ixb2
'iWb3 !                                         20 'it'xb2 .ltxb2 2 1 cxd5 b5 ! when
    1 6 l:.adl                                  likewise, Black's queenside runners
                                                look quite a menacing prospect.
                                                   So while White gets excellent
                                                play after the passive 1 6 , . . ttJc7? !
                                                the apparently risky 1 6 , . . 'ifxa2 ! ? is
                                                probably actually a simpler route to
                                                an acceptable position.
                                                    1 7 llxd5! exd5 18 ttJf6+ .ltxf6 1 9
                                                'it'xf5 .ltxg5 20 'it'xg5+
                                                    So far so forced. It seems almost
                                                inconceivable that White could try
                                                20 i.xd5 , but in fact although
                                                20, . . .ltf6 ! 2 1 'ixf6 'id3 leaves
                                                White short of full compensation, it
   16 . . . e6                                  is at the same time striking that he
  This is OK, but there are                     must try this as 20, . . i.d2 2 1 .lte4 is
alternatives which need to be                   really quite dangerous .
checked out.                                        20 ... 'it;>h8 2 1 'it'f6+ �g8 22 �dl ! ?
138 2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6
       . . .




  White teases a little before                6 . . . .i.g7 7 c3 d6 8 .i.g2
acquiescing in the inevitable draw.           So what of the validity of . . . h5 in
    22 . . JIae8 23 .i.f1 'iVc6 24 'iVg5+   response to the ' Akopian move
'it'h8 25 'iVf6+ 'it'g8 26 .i.h3 'iV a4     order' S lbd2? On the face of it this
    This will do fine, but the task of      would seem to prevent any such
finding a move which obliges White          complications since S . . . h5 could be
to force the issue was not so               neatly countered with 9 lbf3 .
difficult. 26 . . J:te6 27 f4 Me2 ! or      However, an interesting question
even 26 . . . d4 27 .i.f5? d5 ! would       then arises as to quite how
also have sufficed.                         inappropriate this square might be
                                            with the bishop still on f1 , since
    27 'iVg5+ '/z-'/z                       Black has 9 . . lbf6 1 0 lbf4 e5 !
                                                           .


    Some imperfection, but as so              8 . . . lbd7 9 lbd2(! ?)
often the errors made for an
especially entertaining struggle.             For a time I thought that this was
                                            the preferable move order in terms
                                            of the opportunities it afforded for
                                            dealing with a quick . . . h5 . I
               Game 32                      somehow            felt   that  White ' s
         Sargissian - Frohlich              opportunities were expanded by
          Linares Open 200 1                luring the black knight to f6 before
                                            venturing lbh3 . Now though I
  1 d4 lbf6 2 .i.g5 c5 3 .i.xf6 gxf6        suspect that White is pretty much
4 d5 'iVb6 5 'iV c1 f5 6 g3                 able to react ' Sargissian-style ' in
                                            any case. In fact it is against 9 lbh3
                                            (the order of Adams-Lautier) that
                                            9 . h5 ! ? has been most often tested.
                                             . .


                                            A few typical examples after 1 0
                                            lbd2 h4 :




  As I indicated above, my aim in
adding in a brief coverage of this
game is to discuss the efficacy of
Black' s plan of a quick h-pawn
advance in response to lbh3 in
various positions. As I indicated              a) 1 1 lbf3 ? ! hxg3 1 2 hxg3 lbf6
above, I am sympathetic with                (better than 1 2 . . . lbe5 1 3 lbf4
White ' s move order. I can find no         lbxf3+ 1 4 .i.xf3 Mxh l + 1 5 .i.xh l
argument against this approach of           .i.h6 1 6 'iV c2 .i.xf4 1 7 gxf4 .i.d7 I S
commencing with the fianchetto and          0--0--0 0--0-0 1 9 .l:Ig 1 i:IhS 20 ..Itf3
adding c3 only according to need.           which though clearly draw ish,
                                              2 c5 Introduction and 3 Lf6 1 3 9
                                                . . .




might still offer White chances for           looks rather unappealing for Black.
an edge Amura-Paunovic, ' Super­              If 1 8 . . . .lieS White has the idea to
stars' Benidorm 2002) 1 3 lDh4 .lid7          break in the centre with 1 9 e4) 1 7
 1 4 'ic2 lDe4 ! (The key move. It is         O-O-O ! when neither 1 7 . . . 'iWxa2? ! 1 8
going to be difficult for White to get        lDxfS ! or 1 7 . . . dS 1 8 .lixdS ! exdS 1 9
organised without ceding another              lDxdS ! 'iaS 2 0 1lt'xfS lDeS 2 1 'iVh7
'bishop for knight') I S lDf4 0-0-0           �f8 22 f4 +- look especially
 1 6 .lixe4 fxe4 1 7 0-0-0 'iYa6 1 8          unappetising for the defence.
'I1tb l 'iVa4 1 9 'iVd2 .lif6 and the            16 . . . .lih6! 1 7 .l:r.gl .lixe3 1 8 fxe3
position is customarily complex, but          eS
if I had to choose I would be
inclined to put my money on                      Still giving priority to positional
                                              over           material        considerations.
Black' s      bishops.        K.Georgiev­
                                              However, in this case there might
Marinkovic, Cacak 1 996.
                                              have been a case for 1 8 . . . exfS ! ? 1 9
    b) 1 1 lDc4( ! ) 'iVa6 12 lDe3 lDf6 1 3   lDf4 .lid7 2 0 'id3 ! ? (20 0-0-0 'ixa2
'iVc2 and White has successfully              2 1 .lixb7 l:.txg l 22 lIxg l l:.tb8 23
transposed back into the main game,           .lidS is also positionally complex,
which I find considerably more                but I could not claim an advantage
interesting and promising for White.          for White) 20 . . . O-O-O! (but not
    9 lDf6 1 0 lDh3 hS 1 1 'ic2 'it'a6
   . • .                                      20 . . . 'ixd3 2 1 exd3 0-0-0 22 �d2
12 lDf1 h4 13 lDe3 e6 14 dxe6 fxe6            when White has a clear plus in
I S g4 l:.tg8                                 terms of both structure and excellent
                                              minor pieces) 2 1 'iWxa6 bxa6 22
                                              0-0-0 �c7 when again both sides
                                              have a liberal sprinkling of
                                              weaknesses, but White' s e-pawns
                                              look scarcely less vulnerable than
                                              anything he can point to on the
                                              other side.
                                                 1 9 O-O-O ! �xa2 ! ?




    16 gxfS
    The text leads to an interesting
version of the typical heavy
positional battles associated with
this variation, with both sides forced
to nurse a number of vulnerable
weak spots. I just wonder whether
there might have been some mileage              At worst understandable and very
here in very direct assault with the          probably even the correct decision.
pieces instead. 16 gS ! ? lDd7                If White can thus castle with
( 1 6 . . . lDhS 17 .lin lIh8 1 8 lDg2        impunity then his extra pawn and
1 40 2 c5 Introduction and 3 iLxf6
        . . .




dynamic possibilities must give him                  26 'it>e8 27 ct:Jg5 'it'd8 28 �xb7
                                                      . . .


the advantage, certain less than                 .l:tc8 29 ct:Jf7+ 'it>e8 30 ct:Jxd6+ 1-0
beauteous           positional      features
notwithstanding. The text again
leads to forcing play which very
radically changes the nature of the
position.                                                 Chapter Conclusion
    20 .ltd5 ! �a1 + 21 'it>d2 .l:!.xgl 22
l:lxal khal 23 �b3 ct:Jxd5?                         This turns out to be another ' solid
    A very serious but instructive               repertoire ' chapter where it is
                                                 difficult not to feel sympathetic to
mistake. Black probably became too
wrapped up in his whole concept of               White ' s cause. In effect, despite the
                                                 heavy emphasis on the system
returning some material in order to
                                                 covered in Games 30-32, two
stem White ' s initiative. However,
                                                 approaches are considered here. I
realising that White is not obliged to
                                                 had expected to be sceptical towards
accept the coming sacrifice he
                                                 systems involving a quick c4, but
should have stepped back and seen
                                                 very specifically, 9 �c2 ! ? consider­
that in terms of the dynamic values
                                                 ed in the notes to move 5 in Game
of the pieces this exchange must be
wrong. It doesn't take many more                 3 1 looks a very valid option and
                                                 means that not all hangs upon
moves to show that this knight was
Black' s best piece and that it is also          sympathy with the c3/g3/ct:Jh3
                                                 set-up. The latter is admittedly very
White ' s knight which is the pride
and joy in tum of his attack. Black              diffi.cult, alth �ugh I find the play
                                                 partIcularly nch and instructive.
had to try 23 . . . l:lb8 ! instead when
                                                 Special emphasis should be given to
24 .ltc6+ 'it>e7 (24 . . . 'it>f8 25 ct:Jg5 is
                                                 Adams-Lautier (Game 30). Most
not too healthy, while the fact that
                                                 sources suggest that White is
24 . . . 'it>d8 25 "iVf7 ! ? bxc6 26 �xf6+
                                                 slightly better, which I believe he is
'it>c7 27 �e7+ .ltd7 2 8 ct:Jg5 .l:!.xb2+
29 <itd3 seems to favour White only              but it is an advantage whic h
                                                 demands a lot of patience, and to
goes to strongly reinforce the point
about the superiority of White ' s               understand this game would place a
                                                 player at a great advantage over the
knight over his adversary' s bishop.
Of course even this is incomparably              board. Specific problems? I am
                                                 concerned that there is something
better for Black than the game
continuation) 25 ct:Jg5 d5 26 .ltxd5             rather tactical and specific about
.ltxf5 27 e4 retains some initiative             White ' s success in Game 32, and
for White, but it is still a hard                furthermore would have been
struggle ahead.                                  pleased to find a more generic
                                                 ans,w er to the advance of the h-pawn
    24 �xd5 .ltxf5 25 "iVg8+ cJ;e7 26            WhICh retains its vitality. Also, take
�g7+!                                            another look at 9 . . e5 ! ? in the notes
                                                                    .


    Naturally ! Black may well have              to � ame 30. I am not saying that
been right in his belief that 26 �xa8            WhIte has problems, but this does
.ltxh3 was not so bad for him, but               introduce a whole new set of
n?w the white queen and knight                   strategic problems and a careful
sImply cause devastation to the                  study would be advisable before
Black defences.                                  tackling this from either side.
                            Chapter 7            -   2 . . . c5
   The Attacking Repertoire with 3 d5 ! ?
                                                   This could of course presage a
                                               simple fianchetto, but Simon Knott
                                               has his own pet idea in mind. Aside
                                               from the main lines of Games
                                               34-37, a couple of others merit
                                               attention here too :
                                                   a ) 3 . . . g 6 4 lb c 3 i. g 7 5 e 4 and
                                               now:
                                                   a l ) 5 . . . h6 6 i.f4 d6 7 h3 'ib6 8
                                               i.b5+ lbfd7 9 .l:.b l 'i'a5 1 0 i.d2
                                               0-0 1 1 lbf3 a6 1 2 i.e2 lbf6 1 3 0-0
                                               �d8 14 a4 e6 1 5 dxe6 jLxe6 1 6
    As I explained in the introduction         i.e3 lbc6 1 7 'i'd2 �h7 1 8 .l:.fd l
to 2 . . . c5, this is the really sharp way    gave White a pleasant positional
to tackle Black's challenging second           edge in Hodgson-P.Cramling, Bern
move. The dark squares are to some             Cup 1 996.
extent weakened, but at the same                   a2) 5 . . . d6 ! ? looks much more
time the Trompowsky bishop lives               sensible. White can try many
to fight another day. Black has two            approaches. 6 lbf3 0-0 7 lbd2 is
main options : 3 . . . 'iWb6, which            reasonable, as is 6 'iVd2 ! ? although
virtually obliges a pawn sacrifice             White has to take account of the
(Games 34-35 and TA 2) and                     possibility 6 . . . a6 7 a4 'iVa5 8 f3 b5,
3 . . . lbe4     which      bears     strong   when I think 9 lbd 1 !? is worth
similarities with Chapter 2, and               investigation. Not to be recom­
which could usefully be considered             mended though is the previously
in conjunction with it (Games                  highly regarded 6 f4? ! for the quite
(36-37 and TA 3). The sharpness of             concrete reason that 6 . . JlVa5 7 'i'd2
the play is reflected in the                   �b4 is very hard to meet.
theoretical articles, which seemed a           Thorhallsson-Hardarson,               Iceland
useful vehicle for dealing with some           (ch), Arborg 1 998 continued 8
of the material where more than                i.b5+ jLd7 9 i.d3 c4 ! 1 0 i.e2
usually precise and intricate theory           �xb2 1 1 .l:.b l lbxe4 ! 1 2 l:txb2
is called for. First though some               i.xc3 13 'iVxc3 lbxc3 14 l:txb7 f6
minor moves, which are also not to              1 5 i.h6 lbxd5 and White had
be underestimated.                             nothing for the two pawn deficit.
                                                   b) 3 . . . �a5+ 4 jLd2 (4 c3 �6 5
              Game 3 3
                                               jLxf6 ! ? �xf6 6 e4 is also possible)
         Gallagher Knott
                                               4 . . . 'i'c7 (4 . . . 'i'b6 5 lbc3 has
                        -


   British (ch), Scarborough 200 1
                                               similarity with note ' a ' to Black' s
  1 d4 lbf6 2 i.g5 c5 3 d5 d6                  4th i n Game 34) 5 lbc3 g 6 6 e 4 d 6 7
1 42 2 c5 3 d5
       . . .




liJf3 i.g4 8 h3 ! ? i.xf3 9 'iVxf3 i.g7    White can no longer try and blunt
1 0 i.e2 0-0 1 1 0-0 liJbd7 12 'iVg3       this piece by playing a pawn to c3 .
a6 13 a4 l:Iab8 14 as l:Ife8 I S l:tfe l       So, what are the objections? To
b S 1 6 axb6 l:Ixb6 1 7 b 3 and White      some extent I think Joe Gallagher's
enjoys the bishop pair and the better      excellent handling speaks for itself,
structure      in    Gelpke-Bosboom,       but my general feeling is that if
Netherlands (chT) 1 994.                   White sets about trying to extract a
   4 liJc3 h6! ? 5 i.xf6 exf6              reasonable         price     for Black ' s
                                           execution of h i s essential freeing
                                           move . . . fS , then he has good
                                           prospects of looking every bit as
                                           healthy on the light squares as his
                                           opponent does on the dark squares.
                                           Incidentally, I think our purist might
                                           have a word or two to say about
                                           4 . . . h6 too. It is just a little bit more
                                           than a tempo loss, and there are
                                           some positions in which the
                                           weakening of the g6 square which
                                           this move entails seems to be of
                                           more than academic interest.
                                               6 e4
    Black's play looks very strange at
first glance, but in fact by                   For the reasons outlined above
expending just one tempo on 4 . . . h6     this must be correct. By contrast if
he has succeeded in arriving at a          Black is allowed to play . . . fS
structure which is otherwise very          unchallenged, for example with 6 g3
difficult to attain without undue          g6 7 i.g2 i.g7 8 e3 fS 9 liJge2 bS ! ?
cooperation. As I pointed out in the        1 0 liJxbS i.xb2 1 1 J:b l i.g7 1 2 0-0
notes to Game 28 in the previous           0-0 Povah-Knott, 4NCL 2000, it all
chapter, Black would very much             looks a little too easy to create play.
like to recapture with the e-pawn              6 . . . g6
after 1 d4 liJf6 2 i.gS cS 3 i.xf6 if          The immediate 6 . . . fS ? ! is no
he thought White was going to              panacea either. Indeed it is possible
block the centre with 4 dS? ! , but the
                                           that 7 i.b5+ ! ? is very awkward.
risks to the health of his d-pawn if
                                           Still, it is useful that there is a
White replies more appropriately
                                           solution also applicable after for
are generally deemed unacceptable.
                                           example 6 . . . a6 7 a4 f5 . White can
Knott ' s idea is clever - once the
                                           simply play 8 exfS i.xf5 9 i.d3 !
committal 3 dS is on the board he
reasons, the potential play on the         which forces either an exchange
dark squares and the gains in terms        rendering the fS square an obvious
of structure and kings ide safety          target, or a very awkward retreat. In
which . . . exf6 represents over           the latter case Black can hardly even
. . . gxf6 should justify a lost tempo.    fianchetto his bishop without
He might even want to make a               complications on the e-file.
purist case against 4 liJc3 which             7 i.d3 i.g7 8 liJf3 0-0 9 0-0
might be seen as further enhancing         liJd7 10 liJd2 a6 1 1 a4 liJe5 12 .i.e2
the scope of the g7 bishop, since          f5
                                                                2 c5 3 d5 1 43
                                                                 . . .




                                          characteristic         of   the    worst
                                          textbooks.
                                             18 . . . lbg4 1 9 .ixg4 fxg4 20 lbce4
                                          f5
                                             It would appear to be worth
                                          Black ' s while to try and force the
                                          move c2-c4 to take this square away
                                          from White ' s knight, even if this
                                          cost a tempo or two. Therefore
                                          20 . . . .ib7 ! ? came into consider­
                                          ation. If White does acquiesce in 2 1
                                          c4 f5 22 lbg3 �d7 2 3 �c2 .ic8
     13 exf5 !                            then although Black is rather tied
     So Black has achieved his freeing    down to the defence of his f-pawn,
break, but it is now clear that it will   it is significantly more difficult for
come at the cost of definite pawn         White to activate his queen ' s knight.
weaknesses. l 3 . . . .ixf5? is imposs­   Neither does 2 1 �xg4 .ixd5 22
ible due to 14 f4 lbd7 1 5 g4 netting     lbg3 �f6 ! look very promising as
a piece. Having said that, it is true     the position becomes open to an
that the weak f5-pawn does perform        unacceptable degree. However, it
a valuable role in controlling both       seems that White has direct
e4 and g4 . The latter of course has      attacking chances by way of 2 1
the value of obliging White to take       �xg4 .ixd5 22 f5 ! ? although
. . . lbg4 into account after the move    22 . . . h5 ! 23 �g3 .ixe4 24 f6 .ig6 is
f4. Indeed, this happens in the           not so clear either. All in all, this
game.                                     looks like a tangible improvement
                                          for the defence.
      13 . . . gxf5 14 as! b5 15 axb6
�xb6 16 l:!a2 l:e8 17 �hl �d8 1 8            2 1 lbg3 l:a7 22 lbc4 l:f7 23 �d3
f4 !                                      .if8 24 l:!aal �f6 25 c3 �g6 26
                                          l:!fel l:!xe 1+ 27 l:xel h5
     Well judged. After the coming
exchange White ' s knights will have
good targets in the f5 pawn and the
b6 square, while it is precisely
something concrete to aim at which
the Black bishop pair seems to miss.
Even for an opening in which White
implicitly expresses a willingness to
part with the bishop pair, I am
surprised both by the number of
examples in the book in which
White ends up with just a pair of
knights battling against the Black
bishop pair, and by quite what a
good account they              give  of     An instructive case in which the
themselves, always in return for          two knights utterly dominates the
some compensation, but frequently         bishop pair. Black is tied to
not of the self-evident type              weaknesses on d6, e6, and f5 , but is
1 44 2 c5 3 d5
       . . .




also vulnerable on b6, the entry                 4 'hc3 ! �xb2
point            will break the camel ' s        The most principled of course,
back. With reference t o the note on        although taking the pawn is not
the possibility of 20 . . . �b7 ! ? the     compulsory.              There       are   two
importance of the knight on c4 and          reasonable ways to decline:
of the c-pawn restricting Black' s
                                                 a) After 4 . . . h6 Gallagher points
dark-squared bishop and denying
                                            out that while many moves have
access to the d4 square hardly need
                                            been tested, the most logical is 5
further elaboration.
                                            ..td2 ! when the b-pawn will clearly
    28 'hb6 ..tb7 29 S:e6 �h7 30            be immune. However, Black's move
'it'gl h4 31 'hn �h5 32 'he3 ..th6          retains some validity since d2 is
33 g3                                       perhaps not the ideal square for the
    Joe ' s handling of the remainder of    bishop. It is interesting to see how
the game rather bears out this              in Hodgson-T.Piihtz, Bundesliga
decision, but it was also possible to       2002, faced with a ' Czech Benoni'
play 33 �fl and conduct the matter          structure, White manoeuvred his
without permitting any weaknesses           knight to e3 despite the standard
at all.                                     route via d2 being blocked off. Of
                                            course this is only one of several
    33 . . . hxg3 34 hxg3 �f8 35 'hg2 !
                                            valid treatments : 5 ..td2 e5 ! ? (or
..te7 36 �e3 �h7 37 'it'f2 �g7 38
                                            5 . . . d6 6 e4 g6 7 f4 'hbd7 S lL'lfJ
�d3 �h7 39 �e3 �g7 40 �d3
                                            ..tg7 9 �d3 0-0 1 0 'ha4 ! �c7 1 1 c4
�h7 41 �dl 'it'g7 42 �a4 !
                                            when White has a very promising
    A nice change of direction. Now         Four Pawns Attack. Chepukaitis­
the bishop on b7 can itself be              Ignatiev, St.Petersburg (op) 1 995) 6
categorised as a weakness too !             e4 d6 7 lL'lge2 ! ? a6 S a4 �c7 9 a5
    42 . . . �h8 43 �d7 �d8 44 �xb7         'hbd7 1 0 'hg3 g6 1 1 ..te2 h5 1 2
�f8 45 �c6 1:i.c7 46 �e8 1-0                'hfl ! �h6 1 3 �xh6 J:i.xh6 1 4 �d2
                                            J:i.hS 1 5 'he3 �f8 1 6 0-0 �g7 1 7
                                            'hc4 b 5 I S axb6 'hxb6 1 9 'ha5 and
            Game 34                         with f4 to come, White enjoys good
     Vaganian - Kupreichik                  play.
    USSR (ch), Leningrad, 1 974                  b) 4 . . . d6 5 e4 g6 (5 . . . a6 ! ?
                                            reintroduces the possibility of
  1 d4 'hf6 2 ..tg5 c5 3 d5 �b6              . . . �xb2. White should probably
                                            either settle for 6 J:i.b 1 or try the
                                            ambitious 6 a4 �xb2 7 ..td2 �6 S
                                            f4, although the insertion of the
                                            a-pawn              moves          may     have
                                             implications after S . . . e6 ! ?) 6 �b5+
                                            ..td7 (6 . . . lL'lbd7 ! ?) 7 a4 ..tg7 S lL'lfJ
                                            0-0 9 lL'ld2 h6 10 ..th4 a6 1 1 a5
                                            �dS 1 2 ..te2 �b5 1 3 0-0 'heS
                                             ( 1 3 . . . ..txe2 ! ?) 14 J:i.e l 'hc7 1 5 f4
                                             'hd7 1 6 �g4 ! lL'lf6 1 7 �fJ S:eS I S
                                             e5 ! with an excellent active position
                                             for White in Kashtanov-Bratchenko,
                                             St. Petersburg, 1 999.
                                                               2 c5 3 d5 1 45
                                                                 . . .




  5 .i.d2                               through in the centre with e4-e5 and
                                        his opponent' s queens ide aspirations
                                        are a typical 'Benoni ' theme, but
                                        here, while White ' s preparations are
                                        already at quite an advanced stage
                                        by the time we reach the next
                                        diagram position, the open b-file
                                        can often be gainfully employed to
                                        ensure that the majority of damage
                                        to White ' s queenside has already
                                        been inflicted. In other words Black
                                        can have real problems creating
                                        counterplay.      In     any     case,
                                        Vaganian' s convincing play has put
                                        the attempt to mirror 'routine '
  I have already discussed how one      Benoni development under a fairly
possible     obj ection    to     the   thick cloud. First things first. The
Trompowsky lies in the bishop ' s       queen should not ' hang around' on
desertion of the b 2 pawn. This, as     b2 !
we have seen, has the consequence
of introducing a plethora of possible      5 "iVb6 6 e4 d6
                                            . . .




gambits. In the context of a              The two e-pawn moves are the
repertoire book I have been fairly      subj ect of the Theoretical Article 2
ruthless in excluding several of the    below.
more suspect of these. This,              7 f4
however, the Vaganian Gambit,
named after the highly respected
Armenian Grandmaster who strung
together a series of convincing wins
with the line as early as the 1 970s,
unquestionably earns its place. I
think the appeal is largely that
White' s development, for all that
the Tromp bishop is obliged to
make a tactical retreat, remains so
harmonious. This tends to bring into
sharp focus the tempi expended on
tracking down the b-pawn. In
addition, while the loss of the
b-pawn does of course engender              7 g6? !
                                            . . .



some weaknesses - the d2 bishop             As I said above, I am sceptical
needs to take care that its future      that Black can enter Benoni territory
wanderings will not leave the knight    quite so nonchalantly. Aside from
on c3 too vulnerable - the central      striking back in the centre with
pawn structure fixed as early as        7 . . . e6, the subj ect of Game 3 5 , the
move three is in some ways quite        only other moves which seem to
beneficial to White. The contest        make much sense are the queen
between White' s attempts to push       retreats :
146 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




    a) 7 . . . eS is an uneconomic move           ltJf3 e6 1 4 0-0 exdS? ! I S e6 fxe6 1 6
order for Black in terms of learning              "ilxe6+ i.e7 1 7 ltJxdS 'ilVd6 1 8 ltJgS
time since in addition to a                       ltJc6 19 ltJc7+ "ilxc7 20 "ilf7+ 'itd8
transposition into the Theoretical                21 ltJe6+ 'itc8 22 ltJxc7 'itxc7 23
Article 2 below, White has the                    i.f4+ 1-0 Hodgson-R.Pert, British
option of capturing en passant 8                  (ch Rapid) Bradford, 200 1 .
dxe6 ! ? leading to note ' b ' to                     d) 7 . . . "ild8 at least holds White
White ' s 8th in Game 3 S . However,              up a bit, and like ' e ' below has
if it turns out that 8 . . . .i.xe6 renders       scored well in practice. 8 i.c4
the latter questionable, there can be             (logical as Black is targeting dS
no objection to Black giving his                  rather than eS in his efforts to
opponent a chance to play a less                  prevent White ' s central expansion. 8
than optimal line.                                ltJf3 i.g4 ! ?) 8 . . . a6 (8 . . . ltJbd7 9
    b) 7 . . . a6? ! fails to address the eS      a4 ! ? ltJb6 1 0 i.bS+ .i.d7 1 1 "ile2 !
break which in most cases,                        looks good for White) 9 a4 g6
including this one, Black would do                (9 . . . i.g4 ? ! 1 0 'iVb 1 ! - De la Villa ­
well to regard as a threat.                       is strong. As we have seen in note
Vaganian-Passerotti, Rome 1 977                   ' b ' above, there is little to be said
was a typically crisp attack                      for . . . i.g4 unless it pins a knight)
following 8 eS ! dxeS 9 fxeS ltJg4? !              1 0 eS ltJfd7 1 1 "ile2 dxeS ? ! (de la
 1 0 e6 ltJf6 1 1 exf7+ �xf7 1 2 ltJf3            Villa prefers 1 1 . . . ltJb6 ! ?, but after
g6 13 i.c4 'iVd6 14 0-0 bS I S ltJe4               1 2 i.a2 White threatens 1 3 as and it
ltJxe4 (A nice variation could run                is still far from clear how Black
 l S . . . 'iVd8 1 6 ltJfgS+ �g8 1 7 .l:[xf6 !    solves his considerable development
            1 8 d6+ ! bxc4 1 9 i.aS �xaS 20       problems) 1 2 fxeS .i.g7 1 3 ltJf3 0-0
                but it must be said all            14 0-0 ltJb6 I S i.a2 i.g4 was
White ' s opening goals were attained             Fink-Formanek, Philadelphia (op)
with such ease that combinations are              2000, when I would probably
highly likely to flow in this way) 1 6            choose 1 6 i.f4 ! ? and White has a
ltJgS+ �g8 1 7 ltJxe4 'ilVe S 1 8 � f3            good deal of initiative for the pawn .
.i.fS 1 9 i.d3 c4 20 .i.c3 �c7 2 1 g4
                                                    e) 7 . . . "ilc7 ! ? might be the most
cxd3 22 gxfS ltJd7 23 fxg6 1-0.
                                                  testing of the minor moves.
Devastating stuff, and little wonder
that the gambit started to be taken
very seriously indeed.
    c) The logic behind 7 . . . i.g4 ? !
does not impress either. White can
play 8 i.e2 (8 'iVc 1 ! ? also has the
virtue of leaving the bishop
stranded, while even 8 � 1 ! ? - De
la Villa - is interesting, not least the
fact that Black ' s best might be
8 . . . i.c8 ! ?) 8 . . . i.xe2 9 'ilVxe2 when
the exchange seems merely to have
enhanced White ' s chances of
breaking through in the centre e.g.
9 . . . a6 (9 . . :i'd8 10 ktb I ! ) 10 .l:tb l     Black prevents eS while waiting
"ilc7 1 1 eS dxeS 1 2 fxeS ltJfd7 1 3             for . . . i.g4 to pin a knight which, of
                                                                        2 c5 3 d5 1 4 7
                                                                          . . .




course has much more impact upon               kingside after a typical transfer of
the battle for key centre squares. I           the queen to h4 in conjunction with
astonishingly have only 5 games on             a well-timed f5-but the position is
my database with this move of                  by no means clear.
                                       '
which two went 8 ttJf3 it.g4 and
quickly looked pretty lifeless for
White.
    More promising alternatives are:
    e l ) 8 it.b5+ ttJbd7 ! ? (I like
8 . . it.d7 9 'ie2 ! ? for White as a
 .


quick e5 looks pretty hard to fend
off, including after 9 . . . it.xb5 1 0
ttJxb5 'i'd8 1 1 c4 ! ?; also 8 . . . ttJfd7
seems to offer White a wider range
of choices. Perhaps 9 it.e2 a6 1 0 a4,
although I admit it is not ideal to
block the e-file in this way) 9 ttJf3
a6 1 0 it.xd7+ ttJxd7 1 1 0-0 was                  8 e5 !
reached in Palos-Bachler, Graz (op)                90% o f the time White should
 1 996 when 1 l . . .b5 was reasonable         make this break if Black has failed
but 1 l . . . g6 ! ? also looks natural :      to take steps to prevent it.
when White' s best might be 1 2 ttJe2
                                                   8 . . . dxe5
it.g7 1 3 �c3 , but while practical
chances there surely are, I would                  Opening up lines in this way
not claim full compensation in                 looks like it should make matters
theory.                                        worse, but 8 . . . ttJfd7 9 ttJf3 �g7 1 0
                                               .l:tb 1 'i'd8 1 1 e6 fxe6 1 2 ttJg5 ! ttJf8
    e2) 8 �c4 ! ? is suggested by De la
                                               ( 1 2 . . . ttJf6 ! ? 13 it.b5+ 'it>f8 14 dxe6
Villa, and I think it is probably best.
                                               "fIc7 1 5 it.c4 ! ? also looks very
He gives the line 8 . . . a6 9 a4 g6 1 0
                                               strong) 1 3 it.b5+ it.d7 1 4 dxe6
'i'e2 ! it.g7 1 1 e 5 (once this is
                                               it.xb5 1 5 ttJxb5 'i'c8 1 6 O-O ! was
achieved at no special cost I am
                                               equally devastating in Vaganian­
rarely fearful for the value of
                                               Jansa, Kragujevac 1 974. The game
White ' s compensation) 1 1 . . . ttJfd7
                                               continued 1 6 . . . a6 1 7 it.c3 ! axb5 (If
 1 2 exd6 'i'xd6 1 3 ttJe4 �6 1 4 a5
                                                1 7 . . . it.xc3 , then 1 8 ttJxc3 h6 1 9
'ikb2 when in fact 15 .:ta2 ! 'ib l + 1 6
                                               ttJfl Ith7 20 f5 ! is crushing) 1 8
<it;f2 is even stronger than his 1 5
                                               �xg7 lIg8 1 9 �xf8 lIxf8 2 0 ttJxh7
:'c 1 . The winning threat o f ttJc3 is
                                               ng8 2 1 f5 gxf5 22 "fIh5+ <it;d8 23
virtually impossible to meet.
                                               'i'fl .l:[e8 24 .l:[xf5 'iVc6 (to defend
However while it is true that
                                               against the threat of 25 'i'xe8+ ! ) 25
 1O . . . �g4 1 1 'ie3 does not help
                                               ne l nxa2 26 ttJf6 ! lIxc2 (26 . . . exf6
much, the precautionary retreat
                                                27 e7+ �c7 28 'i'xa2) 27 'iVxe8+
 1 0 . . . ttJfd7 ! does hold up e5 and
                                               'i'xe8 2 8 ttJxe8 �xe8 29 h4 J:c4 30
must therefore be an improvement.
                                               h5 ttJc6 3 1 .l:[efl �d8 32 .l:[5f4 ! and
After 1 1 ttJf3 it.g7 1 2 0-0 0-0 there
                                               the h-pawn decides.
 is no doubt that White has
 compensation - after all, the knight               9 fxe5 ttJfd7 10 ttJf3 it.g7 n lIbl
 on d7 can easily be missed from the           "fId8 12 e6! fxe6 13 ttJg5 ttJf6
1 48 2 c5 3 d5
       . . .




   1 3 . . . liJe5 1 4 .ib5+ �f8 1 5 0-0+    has produced a series of fine and
<ig8 at least discourages White              rather spectacular games and looks
from capturing on e6 with the pawn.          immensely dangerous for Black, but
However, either 1 6 liJxe6 and 1 6           the very logical alternative 8 . . . 'iIi'c7
.le3 ! ? look very strong.                   has generally produced little
   14 .ib5+ Wf8 15 dxe6 a6 1 6               analysis from the commentators,
.ie3 ! �a5 1 7 O-O !                         and a good deal of muddle from the
                                             practitioners .
   One case where the white bishop
can abandon defence of c3 with a
very clear conscience indeed.
   17 . . . h6? !
   It is easy after this, but the fierce
attack          launched    by   White ' s
excellent 1 6th move i s very tough to
restrain. Both 1 7 . . . axb5 1 8 J:txb5
�c7 19 liJd5 'ilVe5 20 .lxc5 liJc6 2 1
liJxe7 ! and 1 7 . . . 'it>g8 1 8 liJd5 !
liJxd5 1 9 �xd5 axb5 20 l:Ixb5 ! are
also hopeless.
   1 8 'ilVd3 ! 'it> g8 19 �xg6 .lxe6 20
liJxe6 l:Ih7 2 1 l:Ixf6 liJd7 22 .lxd7          8 l:rbl (! )
1-0
                                                This is very much the main line. It
   A superb demonstration of                 is not so much about driving the
White' s attacking potential if Black        queen back, as prefacing a check on
fails to deal with the e5                    b5, preparing to answer . . . ..td7 with
breakthrough.                                dxe6 . There are other moves, but the
                                             merits of variation ' b ' are closely
              Game 3 5                       intertwined with those of the main
       Chepukaitis - Yemelin                 line, but in general I find the
        St. Petersburg 1 996                 immediate exchange on e6 less
                                             flexible:
   1 d4 liJf6 2 .ig5 c5 3 d5 'ili'b6 4          a) 8 liJf3 , played here recently by
liJc3 'ilVxb2 5 .ld2 'i!Vb6 6 e4 d6 7 f4     England' s top young talent Luke
e6                                           McShane looks a little strange. Of
   Compared with some of the less            course Luke often very effectively
combative lines from the previous            goes his own way, but here after his
game this has the advantage that             opponent' s very thematic antidote it
White ' s centre is challenged before        is already not easy to suggest any
he can organise the potent e4-e5             improvements. I did not much care
break. On the other hand there is an         for the compensation after 8 . . . exd5
obvious danger that such a fluid             9 e5 (9 liJxd5 liJxd5 1 0 exd5 .le7
centre can still be blasted open to          1 1 l:.b l �d8 12 .ld3 liJd7 should
the detriment of the side whose              not be quite sufficient either)
development lags behind. This is a           9 . . . dxe5 1 0 fxe5 liJe4 1 1 liJxd5
rather confusing variation to write          'iVd8 12 c4 .lg4 (I don't know what
about, since the main line 8 . . . 'iVd8     Luke intended after the simple
                                                                          2 c5 3 d5 1 49
                                                                            . . .




1 2 . . . llJxd2 1 3 �xd2 llJc6 . It doesn 't    holds back the move . . . llJc6,
look especially promising to me) 1 3             preparing to answer any subsequent
1ltb l ! llJxd2 1 4 1lt'xb7 llJxf3+ 1 5          push of the f-pawn with the
gxf3 Sl.xf3 1 6 llJc7+ cJi;e7 1 7 llJd5+         manoeuvre . . . Sl.-d7-c6. For ex­
WeS I S llJc7+ 'i;e7 19 llJd5+ �eS               ample Black has problems after 9
20 llJc7+ liz-liz McShane - Ni Hua,              llJf3 llJc6? ! 1 0 i:tb l 'tic7 1 1 f5 Sl.d7
Bled (01) 2002.                                   12 Sl.c4 a6 13 llJd5 ! llJxd5 14 Sl.xd5
    b) S dxe6 ! ? is also a respectable          Sl.e7 1 5 Sl.c3 with strong pressure.
option, closely related to the main              However, I am less sure about
line, and one which of course can                9 . Sl.e7 ! 1 0 .i:i.b 1 WIc7 1 1 f5 Sl.d7 1 2
                                                  .    .




also arises if Black chooses 7 . . . e5.         Sl.c4 ( 1 2 Sl.f4 should not distract
The assessment of Black's two                    Black from his plan either:
possible            replies     IS    already    1 2 . . . Sl.c6 ! 1 3 e5 dxe5 1 4 llJxe5
complicated by some strange                      llJbd7 looks fine for Black since the
choices in practical play, again                 queen is heading for a5 in most
linked to the issue of the relative              sharp lines) 12 . . . Sl.c6 13 0-0 llJbd7
merits of the dS and c7 squares for               14 Sl.f4 a6 1 5 a4 0-0 16 'tie2 .l:r.aeS
Black' s queen. I consider:                      M.Piket-Blees, Netherlands (chT),
                                                  1 996 and White has more space, but
    b l ) S . . . fxe6 has generally been        it does not really look worth a pawn.
answered with 9 �b 1 , when
9 . . . 'tidS           transposes          to       S . . . WldS
Golubenko-Sepp (see the note to                      This is the big decision. It boils
White' s 9th below) . To my mind,                down to this. The text move
given the potency of the whole                   prioritises placing the queen on the
e4-e5 break there is a strong prima              least vulnerable square, but on the
facie case for 9 . . . 'ilVc7 ! ? This is also   other hand it neither deals with the
transpositional, leading to the note             prevention of the e5 break, nor the
to Black's Sth. If this prevention of            defence of b7. As we shall see later
e5 does tum out to be annoying then              in the game, both of these are of
the question naturally arises, why               very great significance.
not try 9 e5 ! ? immediately? In
                                                      S . . : �c7 ! ?
Arduman-Gombac, Nova Gorica
(op) 200 1 White quickly gained a
strong initiative after 9 . . . dxe5 1 0
fxe5 llJd5 1 1 Sl.d3 g 6 1 2 'tig4 Sl.d7
 1 3 .l:i.b l WIc7 1 4 llJf3 llJxc3 1 5 Sl.xc3
Sl.e7 1 6 0-0 llJc6 which was quickly
converted into a material advantage
that should prove decisive by 1 7
llJg5 0-0-0 I S llJxe6 llJxe5 1 9 'tie4
Sl.xe6 20 Sl.xe5 'tid7 2 1 Sl.xh S .
    b 2 ) S . . . Sl.xe6 ! ? seems more
problematic. Now I am not
convinced that White has full
compensation whether with or
without throwing in ktb 1 . The                  on the other hand better serves both
problem is what to do when Black                 of these goals, but leaves the queen
1 50 2 . . . c5 3 d5


potentially vulnerable to tLlb5 ideas,
and in addition - although the
significance of this is far from
self-evident - fails to cover the d5
square. My strong hunch is that this
is the better move. However,
enough generalities, on to some
(albeit rather tentative) analysis. As
in the main line, White can try:
     a) 9 dxe6 fxe6 (9 . . . i.xe6 ! ? was
dealt with in the note to 8 dxe6, and
seems eminently reasonable. I
would recommend it here too) 1 0                 1 3 .uxb6 ! ? A hugely thought­
tLl f3 a6 (I think that 1 0 . . . tLlc6          provoking sacrifice, and actually
would be possible if 1 1 e5 turned               quite critical to the assessment of
out to be a problem, but if White is             8 . . . 'ikc7 . It is at least easy to see that
pursuing the plan we witness in this             retreating the c4 bishop does not
example then it makes little                     look very promising. 1 3 . . . "fixb6 1 4
difference) 1 1 a4 tLlc6 1 2 i.c4 ! and          e 5 and now
one of the slight drawbacks of                       b l ) 14 . . . dxe5 is critical since the
 . . . "fic7 is revealed - Black cannot          conduct of White ' s attack requires
play . . . d5, and White has a                   some precision. However, the
reasonably potent plan of playing                position still looks very dangerous
f4-f5) 1 2 . . . tLld4 1 3 0-0 i.e7 14 f5        for Black after 1 5 fxe5 tLld7 1 6 O-O !
exf5 1 5 tLld5 tLlxd5 1 6 i.xd5 f4 1 7           and now both:
tLlxd4 cxd4 1 8 �xf4 i.f6 1 9 "fih5+
g6 20 "fie2 i.e5 21 nf2 i.d7                         b 1 1 ) 16 . . . i.e7 1 7 i.g5 i.xg5 1 8
Puschmann-Adzic, Hungary (chT2)                  tLlxg5 tLlxe5 1 9 'i'h5+ g6 20 'i'h6
 1 994 and the black king has no safe            'i'd8 2 1 fig7 'i'd4+ 22 �h l tLlxc4
place to go.                                     23 'i'f7+ 'itd8 24 �d l when White
                                                 recoups most of his material and
      b) 9 i.b5+ tLlbd7 ! ? (9 . . . i.d7 also   keeps a dangerous initiative.
has some logic since the plan of
dxe6 and i.c4 from the main game                     b 1 2) and 16 . . . "fic6 1 7 tLlh4 ! g6
 makes little sense with b7 defended.            ( 1 7 . . . b5 1 8 'i'h5+ 'itd8 1 9 i.d3 ! ) 1 8
 Therefore I suggest 10 'i' e2 ! ? since         i.g5 ! leave Black with a serious
 the position of the queen on c7                 defensive task.
 renders 10 . . . exd5 ? ! a very risky              b2) 14 . . . d5 1 5 exf6 gxf6 was
 business in view of 1 1 e5. Therefore           Mamedyarov-Aroshidze, European
 in Palos-H.Nagel, Vienna (op),                  U-20, Baku 2002. White, not liking
  1 994 Black preferred 1 0 . . . a6 [If         the look of the imposing pawn
  1 0 . . . i.e7 1 1 dxe6 fxe6 12 e5 still       phalanx which his opponent would
 looks quite dangerous] 1 1 i.xd7+               enjoy if he retreats his bishop,
 'i'xd7 12 dxe6 fxe6 1 3 e5 dxe5 1 4             decided to sacrifice it instead with
 fxe5 tLld5 1 5 tLlh3 ! ? tLlc6 1 6 0-0           16 i.xd5 ? ! but after 1 6 . . . exd5 1 7
 but White retains a good deal of                tLlxd5 'i'e6+ 1 8 i.e3 'i'd6 he was
 activity for the pawn) 1 1 tLlf3 a6 1 2         clearly struggling to prove anything.
  i.c4 tLlb6                                     However, I think another sacrifice
                                                                        2 c5 3 d5 1 5 1
                                                                         . . .




offers much better prospects. White            this only becomes really
has 1 6 lbeS ! ! when 1 6 . . . fxeS 1 7       after the far from obvious 20
"ihS+ �d7 1 8 "ixeS J:g8 1 9 lbxdS !           [20 'if4? ! "ikhS 2 1 g4 11f8 ! ; and 20
exdS 20 "ixdS+ .i.d6 2 1 "ikxg8                .i.fS+ �f7 ! ! are not so good]
yields a decisive advantage since              20 . . . �f7 2 1 0-0 �g8 22 lbd4 ! i.f8
2 1 . . ."ikb l + 22 �t2 "ixh l 23 'ie6+       [22 . . . i.gS 23 'ixgS cxd4 24 e6
�c6 24 .i.dS+ �c7 2S �aS+ b6 26                followed by l:[f7 is very strong for
�xb6 ! + �xb6 27 'ixd6+ is a                   White] 23 i.fS hS 24 .i.e6+ 'lith7 2S
mating attack. This long and                   'Y/NgS i.e7 26 l';H6 ! ! �xf6 27 exf6 g6
complex line could be of great                 28 .i.d2 'if8 29 lbfS with a winning
theoretical value, and strongly                attack)           IS    lbf3     lbc6     was
suggests that 9 �bS+ is the way to             Golubenko-Sepp, Eesti 1 996 when
press forward White 's attack.                  1 6 fxe6 gave reasonable chances,
                                               but Golubenko now prefers 16 f6 !
                                               intending to meet 1 6 . . . d4 with 1 7
                                               i.d2 gxf6 1 8 exf6 �xf6 1 9 0-0 and
                                               an enduring initiative.
                                                   b) 10 . . . dxeS ! ? might be better 1 1
                                               fxeS lbdS 1 2 i.d3 lbxc3 1 3 i.xc3
                                               'Y/NgS (If 1 3 . . . g6 14 lbf3 i.e7 I S h4
                                               0-0 1 6 hS gS 17 �e2 I agree with
                                               Golubenko that White has good
                                               compensation) 14 'ilVe2 lbc6 I S lbf3
                                               "ikhS 1 6 i.e4 ! ? and now if
                                                16 . . . lbd8? 1 7 .i.xb7 ! .:r.b8 1 8 i.c6+
                                               lbxc6 1 9 l:txb8 lbxb8 20 'ibS+
                                               lbd7 21 'ilVc6 �d8 22 0-0 lbb6 23
  9 �b5+! ?                                    i.aS i.d7 24 i.xb6+ axb6 2S l:[d l
  As we shall see, this leads to very           and lbgS is devastating, but De la
interesting complications, but with            Villa seems right to point out
the queen already committed to d8,              1 6 . . . .i.e7 ! is critical when 1 7
the case for 9 dxe6 is enhanced                 i.xc6+ bxc6 1 8 1i'e4 0-0 1 9 1i'xc6?
since recapture with the bishop is              allows Black a strong counterpunch
effectively ruled out. Moreover,                in 1 9 . . . �h4+ ! , but just 1 7 0-0 0-0
after 9 . . . fxe6 1 0 eS ! White seems to     and now either 1 8 a3 ! ? or 1 8 i.xc6
get dangerous play e.g. :                      bxc6 19 'ilVe4 i.a6 20 l:tfd l maintain
                                                sufficient pressure for the pawn.
    a) 1 0 . . . lbdS 1 1 i.d3 ! lbxc3 1 2
.i.xc3 dS 1 3 'ihS+ �d7 1 4 fS ! �c7              9 ... i. d7 1 0 dxe6 fxe6 1 1 �c4
( 1 4 . . . "ike8 leads to a glorious            The more direct alternative is 1 1
variation given by Golubenko. After            eS ! ? dxeS 1 2 fxeS lbdS 1 3 �g4
I S fxe6+ �d8 1 6 lhb7 ! ! .i.xb7              lbxc3 when 1 4 'ilVxe6+?! Wie7 I S
[ 1 6 . . . 'ili'xhS 1 7 i.aS+ �e8 1 8 i.bS+   i.xd7+ lbxd7 1 6 �xe7+ i.xe7
lbd7 19 exd7+ wins trivially] 1 7              threw away White ' s initiative in
i.aS+ �e7 1 8 "ikh4+ �xe6 1 9 lbf3             Kolev-Dochev, Bulgaria (ch) 1 994,
he gives simply ' clear advantage ' ,          but simply 1 4 i.xc3 ! looks quite
but in fact in the event o f 1 9 . . . i.e7    dangerous for Black.
1 52 2 . . . c5 3 d5




   1 1 . . . ltJc6 ? !                              IS eS! dxeS 16 ltJ f3 ! 0-0-0 1 7
   A very understandable mistake,               'ile2 ! ?
but probably a mistake nonetheless.                 A n admirably ambitious move
However, Black' s other options are             maintaining the momentum of
not entirely convincing either. De la           White ' s initiative. It was possible to
Villa gives 1 1 . . . ..tc6' ! ? ' 1 2 ..txe6   cash in with 1 7 ltJe5 'ilxd2+ 1 8
ltJxe4 1 3 ltJxe4 'ile7 as unclear, but         'ilxd2 l:!.xd2 1 9 Wxd2 ltJxe5 20 fxe5
it seems that in the battle for the             ltJg4 2 1 ..tc4 ! �d7 22 l:!.e 1 but this
e-file White can neatly tum the                 leads to only a small advantage,
tables with 14 ltJxd6+ 'ilxd6 1 5               although certainly enough to offer a
�e2 ! ..te7 1 6 f5 with good                    default vindication to White ' s entire
attacking chances. That may only                approach.
really leave 1 1 . . . ..tc8 ! ? when De la         17 . . . 'ilc7 1 8 0-0 ltJdS
Villa gives 12 e5 dxe5 1 3 fxe5 ltJd5               Again White retains good chances
 14 ..td3 ! ? again giving the                  after 1 8 . . . ltJd4 19 ltJxd4 cxd4 20
assessment ' unclear' . There are two           ..ta6+ Wb8 21 l:!.b 1 + Was 22 'ilf3+
interesting things about this. One is           ltJd5 23 ltJxd5 l:!.xd5 24 fxe5 . The
that the retreat 14 ..td3 looks a bit           whole concept is both very original
strange but I think he is probably              and highly effective.
right that there is no real way to use
this piece more effectively on c4.                  19 l:!.b l ltJb6 20 ..txc6 'ilxc6 2 1
The other is that we have in fact               ltJxeS 'ilc7 ? !
transposed into note ' b ' to 9 dxe6                I t was better t o try 2 1 . . . 'ilb7 but
which I think is somewhat                       22 a4 ! still guarantees a strong
favourable for White, but indeed                attack.
one of Black ' s toughest defences.                 22 ltJbS 'ilb7 23 ..taS c4 24 ltJxc4
   1 2 l:!.xb7! ltJaS 1 3 l:!.xd7! 'ilxd7           24 ltJc6 ! was even stronger.
   Neither does 1 3 . . . ltJxd7 14 ..txe6          24 . . . ..tcS+ 2S Whl l:!.d7 26 'ilxe6
look tenable. The loss of this pawn             ltJxc4 27 'ilxc4 'ilc6 28 h3 .i:.b7 29
spells light-square catastrophe.                l:!.b3
   14 ..tbS ltJc6                                   Again White could have wrapped
                                                things up more clinically with 29
                                                ltJxa7+! .i:.xa7 3 0 l:!.b5 and there is
                                                no defence.
                                                                        2 c5 3 d5 1 53
                                                                         . . .




   29 �b8 30 .i.e3 I:te8
     . . .                                         One point to note, I have headed
   and now the database (as well as             the article 6 . . . e5, but in practice the
Joe Gallagher' s book) gives the                key position after 7 f4 d6 also often
game continuation as 3 1 JLxg7??                arises from a 6 . . . d6 move order.
but since this loses immediately to             The difference of course is that in
3 1 . . . 1:te l +, while 3 1 .i.e5+! instead   this case White can capture en
seems to decide matters fairly                  passant, returning to material
convincingly, I shall put simply 1-0.           covered in Game 3 5 .
There seems little purpose to                     I have included 6 . . . e 6 too, which
struggling           on      with    dubious    also, thanks to De la Villa' s
historical record. White ' s excellent          analysis, i s at a far more advanced
play in the early stages of the game            stage in its theory than in practice.
makes             a   lasting     impression    This is a relatively recent addition to
nonetheless.                                    Black' s repertoire, and on the basis
                                                of what I can see, its career could
         Analytical Article 2                   prove to be rather a short-lived one.
                                                  A) 6 . . . e6? ! 7 f4 ! has, so far as I
        Vaganian Gambit                         can see, only occurred once in
       with 6 . . . e5 (or 6 . . . e6)          practical play.
                                                  However I think De la Villa is
                                                correct to identify it as the most
                                                promising course. After 7 . . . exd5
                                                (7 . . . d6 returns to Game 3 5 ) 8 e5
                                                there are three plausible moves :




  Fascinating and critical though the
diagram position is, I am going to
come clean right away. A part of the
motivation for treating this as an
analytical article, quite aside from a
fair degree of original analysis, is               A I ) 8 . . d4? ! 9 exf6 dxc3 1 0
                                                           .


the complete lack of games which                .i.xc3 'ie6+ (after either 1 0 . . . g6 or
could really be described as                     10 . . . gxf6, White ' s compensation
'models ' ! Even though the position            following 1 1 i.c4 looks very
has, according to my database, been             considerable) or 1 1 'it>f2 gxf6 1 2
known for virtually three decades,              'i'h5 ! ? ( 1 2 �d2 - D e l a Villa - is
one or other of the players with a              also rather hard to meet, but the text
few        honourable       exceptions          seems quite sufficient) 12 . . . i.e7 1 3
generally appear to be very much at             Ire l � 6 (or 1 3 . . . �6 1 4 tiJh3
sixes and sevens here.                          followed by i.c4 . It is under-
154 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




standable that Black wants the                   and now De la Villa gives 10 iLe3
possibility of moving the d-pawn)                (If 10 liJf3 liJc6 ! 1 1 .lie3 [Perhaps
 14 .lic4 d5 1 5 'fi'xd5 ? ! (Presumably         1 1 'ie2 ! ? liJxd2 12 liJxd2 is more
White was concerned by 1 5 .lixd5 !              interesting] 1 1 . . . Wia5+ is incon­
c4+, but 1 6 J:te3 followed by                   venient) 1 0 . . . d6 1 1 �d3 f5 1 2 liJf3
liJf3/�d4 and 'uhe l just looks                  but I am not fully convinced that
devastating) 1 5 . . . �e6 1 6 �e4 �c6           White has enough after 1 2 . . . liJc6.
1 7 'ie2 'id6 1 8 �xe6 fxe6 1 9                       The main problems that Black
'fWh5+ � f8 2 0 iih6+ � f7 2 1 liJf3             faces in the diagram position after
liJc6 22 liJg5+! with a winning                  move 9 are the rather stranded
attack which White duly converted                knight on e4 and the fact that the
in Navarro Cia-Vehi Bach, Andorra                necessity of defending it with . . . f5
(op) 2002. A pretty convincing                   can lead to problems on the e-file.
demonstration of the deficiencies of             This leads us to the paradoxical 1 0
8 . . . d4? !                                    �c 1 ! ? which, odd though it may
    A2) 8 . . . 'Y!IVe 6 9 liJ f3 liJe4 ! (The   seem in the context of sacrificing a
only serious move, as White can                  pawn for better development,
otherwise deploy a rather varied                 promises, I think, much more
battery of liJb5/liJg5 and even f5) 1 0          concrete compensation e.g. 10 . . . d6
liJxe4 dxe4 1 1 liJg5 'i'd5 ! 1 2 .lic3 ! ?      ( 1 O . . . 'Y!IVa5+ 1 1 c3 liJc6 1 2 .lib2 ! still
(De l a Villa gives either this or 1 2           leaves the knight on e4 in trouble)
�e3 a s similar. This i s basically               1 1 iLd3 ! (Better than 1 1 'iVe2 ? !
true, although the text gets my vote.            .lif5 ! when a t last the possibility of
It seems a more purposeful square                 . . . iih4+ actually counts for some­
as the variation comes to a close)               thing in the position) 1 1 . . . f5 1 2
 12 . . . 'iWxd 1 + 1 3 �xd l �e7 1 4 liJxe4     exf6 liJxf6 1 3 .lib2 ! Another
b6 1 5 iLe2 ! ? (de la Villa prefers 1 5         significant advantage of �c 1 is
liJd6+ [admittedly after 1 2 �e3]                revealed - this diagonal is optimal
which is also good for an edge, but I            for reinforcing White ' s hold on d5
find it easier to foresee an effective           and consequent kingside play
plan for White in this way)                       1 3 . . . �e7 ( 1 3 . . . liJxd5? 1 4 �h5+)
 1 5 . . . �b7 1 6 iLf3 liJc6 1 7 f5 with a       14 �c4 �e6 1 5 liJf3 and Black has
very workable initiative.                        no obvious way to challenge
    A3) 8 . . . liJe4 9 liJxd5 �d8               White's coming reinforcement of
                                                 his play on the e-file and the long
                                                 black diagonal. This quite neatly
                                                 seems to complete the impression
                                                 that Black is struggling after 6 . . . e6.
                                                       B) 6 . . . e5 ! ? is a much more
                                                 serious proposition. In essence
                                                 White has two possible strategies
                                                 after 7 f4 d6:
                                                       Either to try to keep the position
                                                 open and rely on                         superior
                                                 development and piece play, or to
                                                 block the centre and attempt a pawn
                                                  storm on the kings ide, claiming that
                                                                    2 c5 3 d5 1 55
                                                                      . . .




B lack' s extra pawn in this case is        after the simple 1 3 . . . tLlb6 ! 1 4 .te2
less relevant than his lack of              i.xfS I S ':'xfS tLleS ! , Black already
counterplay. The first of these can         had his eyes on a firm blockade of
take various forms, but practice            the d-pawn, while the exchange on
provides       little more      than        fS is quite destructive to White ' s
fragmentary evidence as to which            attacking potential.
approach is the most effective.                 I will start the more positive
                                            search for solutions from here. Two
                                            questions spring to mind. Could
                                            White have saved a tempo by
                                            delaying castling? Is c4 the best
                                            square for the bishop anyway?
                                                After S fxeS dxeS 9 tLlf3 tLlbd7 1 0
                                            i.c4 .td6 the immediate 1 1 tLlh4 ! ?
                                            seems rather more to the point.
                                            However, the essence of Black' s
                                            defence i s still valid I think since
                                            after 1 1 . . . 0-0 1 2 tLlfS tLleS 13 0-0
                                            �dS, although White has a lot more
                                            choices than in Soos-Leko, it is still
   I think the best way to get a feel       not clear what action should be
for the position is to take a quick         taken against the 'threat' of . . . tLlb6
look first at two scenarios which           and . . . i.xfS .
White should definitely steer clear             B 1 ) So what about putting the
of. The first arises from delaying          bishop on bS . I started with the
too long the exchange on eS. The            notion that there might be some
possibility of a timely . . . exf4 should   perspective in the idea S tLlf3 tLlbd7
be taken very seriously indeed e.g. S        9 i.bS ! ? and indeed Marcelin­
tLlf3 tLlbd7 9 a4? ! exf4 ! 1 0 as 'i¥dS     Hartereau, Creon (op), 1 999 was
1 1 i.xf4 i.e7 1 2 tLld2 ? ! 0-0 1 3         very encouraging 9 . . . �c7 1 0 0-0
tLlc4 tLleS 1 4 tLlbS ? a6 I S tLlbxd6       i.e7 1 1 fxeS dxeS 1 2 tLlh4 a6 1 3
.ixd6 1 6 tLlxd6 tLlxd6 1 7 i.xd6            tLlfS :gS ? ! ( 1 3 . . . i.fS is relatively
'i¥h4+ I S i.g3 'i'xe4+ 1 9 'i'e2            better) 1 4 d6 was great for White
�xdS with a winning advantage.               and after 14 . . . i.xd6 I S .tgS axbS
Sahovic-Ribli, Vrbas (7), 1 977.             1 6 tLlxbS 1lVc6 1 7 tLlfxd6+ 'it>fS I S
Advancing the a-pawn to take away            'ins already 1 -0 . However, maybe
the b6 square from the knight is too         9 . . . a6 is better, and if then 1 0
great a luxury.                              i.xd7+ tLlxd7 1 1 0-0 i.e7 1 2 J:b l I
   The second relates to a set of            would be happy if I could somehow
exchanges which should clearly be            reach the position after 1 2 . . :iWdS 1 3
avoided. Soos-Leko, Budapest First           fxeS fxeS 1 4 d6 ! i.xd6 I S i.h6 !
Saturday 1 993, gave an indication           which seems to give terrific play
of the complexity of the position            since I S . . . i.fS 1 6 tLlgS ! is very
arising after S fxeS dxeS 9 tLlf3            strong, but in general, regardless of
tLlbd7. White proceeded thematic­            move order, either . . :ilic7 instead of
 ally enough with 1 0 i.c4 .td6 1 1          the retreat to dS, or . . . tLlxeS instead
 0-0 0-0 1 2 tLlh4 'i'dS ! 1 3 tLlfS but     of the pawn recapture scuppers
1 5 6 2 . . . c5 3 d5


these plans. I am therefore still            kingside. De la Villa considers the
intrigued by i.bS ideas, but                 defensive plan 8 . . . i.e7 9 g4 h6 1 0
sceptical as to whether they really          h4 �d8 1 1 �f3 lZ'lh7 but simply 1 2
provide the answer.                          �g3 followed by lZ'l f3 obliges . . . f6
    B2) I may therefore have to              after which the passivity of Black' s
conclude that 8 fS( ! ) looks like the       game just looks ridiculous .
best practical bet. The plan is simply         I think it is fair to say that the
the advance of the kings ide pawns,          onus is very much on Black to show
and the extra justification is that          a viable defensive set-up after 8
White ' s extra space on the queen­          fS( ! )
side additionally serves critically to
hold up Black ' s counterplay there.             Conclusion to Vaganian
Astonishingly         limited    practical
                                                  Gambit 6 . . . e6/6 . . . e5
experience is nevertheless quite
suggestive of real problems for                The conclusion of the Theoretical
Black here. One fine example of the          Article has to be that the Vaganian
plan is Emms-C.Franklin, British             Gambit is still alive and well, at
(ch) Swansea, 1 987, when after              least in the case of the main lines.
8 . . . lZ'lbd7 9 g4 h6 1 0 h4 a6 1 1 �f3    De la Villa ' s analysis of 6 . . . e6 was
Wlic7 12 a4 l:tb8 1 3 i.c4 lZ'lb6 1 4        a very useful starting point, and in
i.e2 i.e7 I S gS lZ'lg8 1 6 lZ'lh3           the critical line B3, the strange­
                                             looking 1 0 i.c ! ! ? may deal it a
                                             further hefty blow. I strongly
                                             suspect that after 7 f4 ! the 'best
                                             move' is really 7 . . . d6 leading back
                                             to Game 3 S .
                                               6 . . . e S holds up much better when
                                             White attempts to rely on piece
                                             play, but as yet Black has failed
                                             even to give a clue as to what a
                                             viable set-up against 8 fS( ! ) would
                                             look like. I think it is quite possible
                                             that the only barrier to White
                                             scoring very heavily here is the
  White clearly has a dream                  gambiteer' s         psychological      or
pOSItIon with excellent attacking            stylistic aversion to this type of
prospects.                                   blocked position !
  The question is what can Black
do? All the ' counter-examples ' until
now have somehow featured White                             3   • • •   l2Je4
failing to follow through his plan
consistently. Radically preventing                        Game 3 6
g4 by means of 8 . . . hS looks                      Savchenko - Golubev
unlikely - this h-pawn will still be                   Luzem (op) 1 994
targeted with i.e2/lZ'lh3/0-0 and so
on, and Black will still have troubles         1 d4 lZ'lf6 2 i.g5 c5 3 d5 lZ'le4 4
with committing his king to the              i.f4
                                                                     2 c5 3 d5 1 5 7
                                                                       . . .




    (The actual move order in the           question i s why h e would want to -
game was 2 . . . t2Je4 3 ..tf4 c5 4 f3      to cut down on learning I suppose
t2Jf6 5 d5 e6, but for clarity ' s sake I   would be the best reason. I am not
have taken a slight liberty with this)      sure why this fact is so little
    4 e6! ?
   . . .
                                            appreciated, but not least because
                                            Gallagher and Hodgson were both
    This i s both potentially highly
                                            so seduced by the charms of
transpositional        and     relatively   5 . . . ..td6 ! ? it is true that theory has
infrequently encountered. Perhaps
                                            been a bit neglectful.
this is in part because the view I
expressed in Chapter 1 that 4 f3 ! ? is
a more reliable handling of the
2 . . . t2Je4 Trompowsky than 4 d5 is
quite widespread, and therefore a
move, one rationale for which could
be to force White into the more
highly regarded version, has limited
appeal.
    Still, quite aside from the fact that
Black has a very interesting
independent system here in 5 f3
..td6 ! ? the existence of this move is
important. Firstly, unless they are
hugely impressed by 5 dxe6 below
(which I am not) advocates of 4 d5              5 f3
really do have a tough job                      This still looks like the most
explaining their preference. The            logical continuation to me, although
usual argument runs something               clearly the verdict of theory will be
along the lines of OK 4 d5 allows
                     '
                                            based upon quite specific analysis
Black the extra option of 4 . . . 'iVb6 5   rather than visual impression .
..te l g6 ! ? (see the Theoretical
                                                White 's most serious alternative is
Article at the end of the chapter) but      5 dxe6, and while I do not intend to
at least it cuts out the line 4 f3 'VWa5+   advocate it for all, I recognise that it
5 c3 t2Jf6 6 d5 e6 (4-5). ' I was never     has to be considered by two groups :
terribly impressed by this, since I         Those who wish t o play 4 d5 after
did not see the latter as a maj or          2 . . . t2Je4 3 ..tf4 c5 and who are
problem at all, but until I worked on       determined to avoid transposition
this book I at least thought the            back into the 4 f3 of Chapters 1 -2,
argument to be interually consistent.       as well as those who, like Hodgson
It may seem strange but some quite          and Gallagher back in 1 99 8 , are
illustrious Trompowsky practition­
                                            impressed by 5 . . . ..td6 ! ? (Note ' c ' to
ers have put it to me in these terms.       Black' s 5th below).
They are simply mistaken. Note ' b '
t o Black' s 5th move below (on                 The two key variations after 5
5 . . . 'VWa5+) shows that after 5 f3       dxe6 fxe6 6 e3 are :
there is nothing to stop Black                  a) 6 . . . 'VWf6 sharp and creative, but
heading to the material of Games            probably rather questionable too. 7
4-5 at all and the only remaining           c3 ..td6 8 t2Jd2 t2Jxd2 9 ..txd6 t2Jxfl
1 58 2 c5 3 d5
       . . .




and now 1 0 c,t>xfl b6 1 1 ttJf3 .tb7
 12 h4 ttJc6 1 3 .i:th3 ttJe7 14 ttJeS
ttJfS I S ttJg4 'fifl 1 6 .tf4 worked
out well for White in Adams­
Adorjan, Manila (01) 1 992, but
1 6 . . . 0-0-0 would have been quite
unclear, a very sharp position in
which neither king can feel too
relaxed about his security. In view
of this, the safer option 1 0 'ihS+( ! )
has understandably been suggested,
the first point being that 1 0 . . . g6 is
well met with 1 1 'ixcs, while                  5 ttJf6
                                                 . . .

 10 . . .'iWg6 1 1 'ixg6+ hxg6 1 2 c,t>xfl
b6 is assessed as being a better                This retreat is by no means
ending for White. Unfortunately, in          automatic here. Alternatives have
the only recent example of this,             already been touched upon at the
Rey-Kriventsov, USA (ch), Seattle            conceptual level, but it is time for
2002, White showed that he was               some detail :
taking the ' safety first' angle a step          a) S . . :iWf6? ! should not be sound.
too far by immediately agreeing to a         After 6 i.xb8 ! 'ixb2 7 fxe4 'ixa l 8
draw here ! In fact I think White is         .tg3 'ixa2 White must be doing
significantly for preference. This is        very well so long as he can get his
not so much because the d6 bishop            pieces making threats before
might prove a thorn in Black' s side,        Black' s queenside pawns can start
but even more because there is the           motoring. In Nikolaev-Kopasov, St
possibility of clamping down in the          Petersburg 2002, White achieved
centre with e4 and f3, before turning        this fairly effortlessly up to a point
to harassing the g-pawns with his            with 9 e3 bS 1 0 ttJf3 .tb7 1 1 .te2
knight from the vantage point of             "iaS+ 1 2 ttJbd2 exdS 1 3 O-O ! f6 1 4
well-covered black squares.                  exdS 'ib6 but then spoiled his
    b) 6 . . . dS ! ? looks more solid 7     excellent build-up to some extent
.td3 ttJf6 8 ttJf3 ttJc6 9 0-0 .td6 !        with I S e4? ! which I do not like at
(There is a certain variety of move          all, mainly because e4 is such a
order available to both sides here -         great square for the pieces to attack
an earlier c4 by White for example,          from. I S c4 ! looks much better,
or 6 . . . ttJc6 first by Black), but I      keeping maximum dynamism in the
think the key point is that this             White position, and ensuring an
exchange eases Black' s position and         advantage.
gives him reasonable counter­                    b) S ... "iaS+ ! ? was discussed at
chances 1 0 .txd6 'ixd6 1 1 c4 0-0           length above. It is significant
 1 2 ttJc3 T.Schwarz-Mik.Tseitlin,           because it virtually obliges 6 c3 and
Werther Schloss (op) 200 1 and now           with it a direct transposition back
I think Black would best emphasise           into Chapter 2. 6 ttJd2 ? ! is not a
his active pieces by 12 . . . ttJeS ! ?      serious          option.     Summerscale­
after which he has quite acceptable          Wojtkiewicz, Oz. com (qual) blitz,
play.                                        2000 was very good for Black after
                                             6 . . . ttJf6 7 dxe6 fxe6 8 e4 dS 9 exdS
                                                                    2 c5 3 d5 1 5 9
                                                                      . . .




exd5 1 0 tLJe2 tLJc6 1 1 tLJc3 i.e7 1 2      the move 9 . . . tLJb5 ! when Black
tLJb3 'iVd8 1 3 i.b5 0-0 1 4 0-0 d4 as       transforms his potentially problem
he is considerably the more active. I        piece into really rather an irritating
feel a little guilty including such a        one. Stuart Conquest played 1 0 'i!Vb l
blitz game, especially when Aaron            here, which cannot really be
had demonstrated in previous slow            enough, and which I take to be a
games that he was someone who                sign of discontent with the
appreciated that 6 c3 was the right          alternatives, although 1 0 tLJxb5
response, but the game nonetheless           'ixb5 1 1 'id2 does look a
illustrates fairly efficiently quite         somewhat better try. However,
why Black's position is so good if           Winants is probably right to suggest
his opponent gets it wrong.                  that 8 b3 is the right move here. A
   c) 5 . . . i.d6 ! ? as I mentioned        lot revolves around the position of
above, is given by both Gallagher            the knight on d6. It can prove to be
and Hodgson as an argument                   awkward but it might equally be
against 5 D .                                able to support pressure on the
                                             centre with . . . 0-0 and . . . f5 .
                                             However, this also needs careful
                                             execution as the very direct 8 . . . 0-0
                                             9 tLJc3 f5 1 0 e5 tLJf7 1 1 f4 d6 1 2
                                             tLJD looks fine for White who has
                                             an ambitious centre to sustain, but
                                             pretty active development with
                                             which to do it.
                                                 c) 7 'id2 ! ? though rather strange
                                             looking, also has its appeal.
                                             However, it can become rather
                                             complex. White got a really
                                             fantastic position in Stefanova-Van
                                             Elst, Montpellier ( op ) 2000 after
   After 6 i.xd6 tLJxd6 there i s an         7 . . . 0-0? ! 8 e4 exd5 9 'ixd5 'iVb6 1 0
important choice:                            'iWb3 'iVa5+ 1 1 tLJc3 tLJc6 1 2 0-0-0
   a) 7 dxe6? ! dxe6 8 c3 0-0 9 e4           tLJd4 1 3 'iVd5 'ic7 14 tLJge2 tLJxe2
tLJc6 1 0 tLJa3 �e7 was very pleasant         1 5 i.xe2 tLJe8 16 e5. In fact the
for Black in Weindl-Gutrnan, B iel           European Women' s Champion has
1 994. I mention it only because it is       twice reached the position after
given by both Gallagher and                  move ten, and 1 0 . . . 'ixb3 1 1 axb3
Hodgson as their basis for rej ecting        f5 1 2 tLJc3 tLJc6 1 3 0-0-0 tLJe8 1 4
5 D, and if this was really the main         exf5 l:hf5 1 5 i.c4+ Stefanova­
line White would indeed have a               Hagarova, European (chT) Batumi
problem.                                      1 999 re-emphasised quite how grim
   b) 7 e4 ! ? is a better try (as Julian    the defence ' s cause is here.
does admit it might be). However, I          However, Black has two more
still find 7 . . . 'iVb6 ! quite annoying.   disruptive options:
White could probably feel quite                  c 1 ) 7 . . . 'iWh4+ 8 g3 'iWd4 is an
happy answering this in classic               interesting bid to cause trouble, but
Trompowsky gambit style with 8               White ' s position seems strangely
tLJc3 'ixb2 9 tLJge2 were it not for         promising after 9 'ixd4 cxd4 10 c3 !
1 60 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




e.g. 1 0 . . . liJfS 1 1 cxd4 ( 1 1 'itf2 is    1 3 l:a3 exdS 14 exdS liJbd7 I S Sl.e2
also interesting) 1 1 . . . liJxd4 1 2 liJa3    liJb6 16 �fl c4 17 Sl.xb6 'iVxb6 1 8
exdS 13 lId I or i O . . . liJa6 1 1 'itf2      Sl.xc4 liJd7 1 9 .i.e2 liJcS gave Black
and now 1 1 . . . exdS 1 2 cxd4 leaves          reasonable play for the pawn in
Black          with       relevant    pawn      Lputian-Kharitonov, USSR (ch),
weaknesses, while 1 1 . . . dxc3 1 2            1 984) 8 . . . Sl.e7 9 .lif2 0-0 1 0 e3
liJxc3 emphasises that the knight on            liJf6 1 1 .i.c4 [ 1 1 e4 exdS 12 exdS
d6 is not so happy.                             liJa6 12 liJge2 liJc7 1 3 e4 exdS 1 4
   c2) 7 . . . liJc4 ! ? looks like a more      exdS a6 I S a4 b 6 1 6 liJf4 .lid7 1 7
refined version of this idea. After 8           h4 b S and Black has staked his
'iVc3 'ikh4+! 9 g3 'ikd4 1 0 e4 liJe3           territorial claim and has no real
Black probably has sufficient play              problems           in    lPiket-Shaked,
to hold the balance for example 1 1             Hoogovens, Merrillville 1 997.
.lid3 exdS 1 2 'ikxd4 cxd4 1 3 exdS                6 . . . exd5 7 exd5 d6
liJxdS 1 4 liJa3 liJc6 I S liJbS a6+ ! 1 6         7 . . . liJhS now makes little sense. 8
liJd6+ rj;e7 1 7 liJfS+ �f6 1 8 liJe2           "iVe2+ "iVe7 9 .ligS ! looks a
liJdb4 with approximate equality.               convincing answer.
   Still, I see S . . . .lid6 as another           S liJc3
interesting move, rather than an
especial problem.                                  It is a bit strange how rarely
                                                White has handled this position so
                                                simply. If we compare this to the
                                                related structure which arose with
                                                Black' s queen on as and White ' s
                                                pawn o n c3 (Game S) i t should be
                                                remembered that the difficulty
                                                which White encountered in playing
                                                his queen ' s knight to its natural
                                                square was his Achilles Heel .
                                                   S . . . .i.e7
                                                   Quite aside from the fact that the
                                                open          e-file militates against
                                                fianchettoing this piece, it is
   6 e4                                         probably better anyway both to
   I see no real reason to avoid the            protect the d-pawn, and to avoid
structure that occurs in the game,              running into a quick 'iVd2/.lih6.
and although 6 liJc3 looks a                      9 'iVd2 0-0 10 O-O-O ! ?
perfectly reasonable alternative, it               Inevitably this involves a serious
affords Black the opportunity to                sharpening of the position, opening
give an original twist to the play              up the prospect of serious
with 6 . . . liJhS ! ? (6 . . . exdS 7 liJxdS   counterplay too. It might be
liJxdS 8 'iVxdS 'iVf6 9 .lieS �e6 1 0           tempting to try 1 0 g4 ! ? perhaps
0-0-0 Rogers-Miezis, Japfa (op)                 subsequently putting the king on f2 .
2000 looks structurally worth an
edge for White) 7 .lie3 d6 8 'iWd2 ! ?             1 0 . . . a 6 l l liJge2 b 5 1 2 liJg3 c4 !
(The less restrained 8 Sl. f2 Sl.e7 9 g4           White had prepared to answer
liJf6 1 0 e4 0-0 1 1 h4 a6 1 2 a4 'ikaS         1 2 . . . b4 with 1 3 liJce4, but this
                                                                      2 . . . c5 3 d5 1 61


keeps Black' s aggressive pawn mass           exchange off key defenders for a
nice and flexible.                            small material gain and indeed
   13 .i.e2 lbbd7                              1 9 . . ':'xe7 20 1:lxe7 bxc4 is much
                                                   .


                                              too risky as 2 1 'iWf4 ! will give White
   Golubev marks this ' only move '
                                              a decisive attack. Also, White ' s
without further explanation, and it is
                                              compensation for the exchange after
not totally clear to me how he
                                               1 9 . . . lbe5 20 ':'xe5 ! dxe5 2 1 d6
means this. In the sense that it is
                                              compares well with that in the main
hard to develop further without this
                                              line.
move at some point, I understand,
but the timing is not so clear.                   20 .i.b3 f6 21 .l:te6! lbxe6 22 dxe6
Perhaps he is concerned that                  lbe5 23 .i.xd6 lbxb3+ 24 axb3
1 3 . . . :re8 14 l:the l does not help the       The smoke clears and White not
cause          because      of    potential   only has two pawns for the
embarrassment on the e-file. In any           exchange, but one of them is a
case, Black undeniably misses his             healthy, protected passed pawn deep
dark-squared bishop in what is to             in the Black camp which guarantees
come.                                         a big advantage.
   14 lbf5 lbe5 1 5 lbxe7+ 'fixe7 1 6             24 .. :iYe8 25 e7 'fie6 26 �bl
:hel Wic7 1 7 .i.g5 lbfd7                     .l:tae8 27 b4 'iWe4 28 lbe2 l:te6 29
   Perhaps, in view of what is to             lbf4 'iWf7 30 b3
come, Black might have considered                 When measuring compensation
1 7 . . . lbbd7 ! ?                           for an exchange, it is always a good
   1 8 .i.e7! l:te8                           idea to check out the mobility and
                                              effectiveness of the rooks of the side
                                              that enjoys an ' extra' one. Black' s
                                              queen ' s rook occupies a half-open
                                              file, but it has absolutely no back-up
                                              as the remaining major pieces are
                                              coping with the e7 pawn. It is
                                              understandable that Black lashes
                                              out, even though his next move
                                              really just serves to create more
                                              weaknesses.
                                                  30 . . . g5 31 lbe2 'fie6 32 lbg3
                                              }:tee8 33 .i.e5 a5 34 l:tel 'iWa6 35
                                              'iWd6
    1 9 .i.xc4 !                                  White already had the luxury of
                                              choosing whether to win in the
    A nice tactic, not so much for the        middle-game or the endgame. 3 5
basic point (that 1 9 . . . bxc4 20 .i.xd6    lbh5 was also very effective, but the
'fid8 is met with 2 1 .i.c7) as for the       text         also   affords     Black no
exchange sacrifices implicit within           counterplay.
it.
                                                  35 . . . 'iWxd6 36 .i.xd6 l:tc6 37 .i.e5
    1 9 . . . .i.b7                           .lie8 3 8 lbe4 axb4 39 lbd6 :xd6 40
    Probably the best reaction.               .lixd6 .i.f5 41 .i.xb4 �f7 42 .l:tdl
Clearly it cannot be right to                  1-0
1 62 2 c5 3 d5
       . . .




  A fine display of controlled               I have to admit that 8 . . 'iWb6 ! 9
                                                                              .


aggression from White.                       'ifxe4+ 'ie6 does limit White ' s
                                             edge. H e should exchange queens
              Game 3 7                       and play 1 1 e4, but how much
       Stefanova - Panchenko                 theoretical plus that is worth is
          Barbera (op) 1 999                 unclear.
                                                 5 Sl.cl
  1 d4 liJf6 2 Sl.g5 liJe4 3 Sl.f4 c5 4          To those who have read the
d5 'iWb6                                     Introduction and/or Chapter 2 this
                                             retreat will hopefully no longer
                                             appear          so    shocking.     Similar
                                             arguments apply here - White loses
                                             time, but so will Black ' s knight, and
                                             the placing of his queen on b6 is by
                                             no means invariably a happy one.
                                             Here it is again the main move. Two
                                             others are worth a mention. The first
                                             is probably weaker, but the second
                                             merits a qualified commendation:
                                                 a) 5 liJd2 ? ! is a sacrifice towards
                                             which I share Julian Hodgson' s
                                             scepticism. O f course 5 . . . liJxd2 ? ! 6
    The main line. A word is due             Sl.xd2 'ifxb2 7 e4 could be expected
though on the ' other queen move '           for sure to compete well along-side
4 . . . 'iWa5+ which is quite interesting,   the standard fare of Trompowsky
particularly given that according to         b-pawn offers . The problem is the
Julian Hodgson, the stem game                already well-known tactical solution
against Mickey Adams arose from              5 . . . 'iWxb2 ! The compensation after 6
Black confusing it with the 4 f3             liJxe4 'ib4+ 7 'iWd2 'iWxe4 is
lines of Chapter 2 ! In fact it is           questionable especially in those
perfectly viable to play 5 c3 here (as       lines for example 8 e3 'ib4 ! , where
in practice White generally does)            the queen scrambles back to the
when Black has the customary range           queenside. For this reason I have
of choices for transposing into parts        decided to exclude it from the
of that chapter, only 5 . . . 'iWb6? ! is    repertoire.
highly illogical since 6 liJd2 covers           b) 5 'ifc l ( ! ?) is fairly consistently
everything. However, while I have            castigated by all authors on the
suggested already that White should          Trompowsky.              Nonetheless,      I
feel little reticence in general in          decided that a slightly closer look
permitting a transposition from here         was justified when I noticed that in
to Chapter 2, it still might be fun to       a recent game Joe Gallagher elected
try 5 liJd2 ! ? in order to challenge        not to follow his own prescription.
Black's idea. I do not want to give          In fact, though I do by any means
this too much coverage. Suffice to           advocate this slightly passive queen
say that of the ideas mentioned by           move, I do not think it has been
Hodgson, 5 . . . e6 6 c3 ! ? exd5 7          rather unfairly dismissed. As usual,
liJxe4 dxe4 8 'iWd5 appeals, although        if advocating that the Trompowsky
                                                                        2 c5 3 d5 1 63
                                                                          . . .




bishop should expend another                   natural 6 . . . i.g7 7 ctJf3 ! ? 0-0 8
tempo to return home, I am keen to             ctJbd2 ctJxd2 9 �xd2 could be one
ensure    that   alternatives  are             idea, when White can follow up
genuinely inferior! Black has a                with e4, and, having controlled e5
choice:                                        enough times, he is unlikely to be
                                               hit with . . . f5) 7 ctJa3 ctJf6 8 e4 ! and
                                               finally         f3      proves     altogether
                                               unnecessary. White had a pleasant
                                               edge after 8 . . .           9 i.d3 'VlHd8 1 0
                                               ctJe2 0-0 1 1 0-0             1 2 h3 i.d7 1 3
                                               ctJg3 kIb8 1 4 ctJc2 b5 1 5 b4 ctJe8 1 6
                                               'VlHa3 ! ? and even managed to make a
                                               virtue out of the move 'VlHc l . Of
                                               course 8 . . . ctJxe4(? ! ) 9 ctJc4 'VlHc7 1 0
                                               'VlHe3 looks pretty risky for Black,
                                               although a little part of me is
                                               intrigued to know what cold­
                                               blooded contemporary chess might
                                               make of 1 0 . . . g5 here. Still,
   b l ) 5 . . . e6 ! ? might tum out to be    obj ectively White must enj oy some
very sensible, as the 6 f3 ctJf6 7 e4          advantage.
exd5 8 e5 ctJh5 9 ctJe2 d6 10 ctJbc3
i.e6 1 1 g4 dxe5 12 i.xe5 ctJc6 of                 b3) 5 . . . c4 ! ? is generally given as
Hodgson-B.Lalic, St Helliers (op),             the 'refutation ' , but there are a few
1 997 looks at best terribly random. I         points in the story that arouse my
think Julian was rather lucky to               suspicion. After 6 e3 'VlHa5+
come away with a swift half.
   White should probably settle for 6
c4 e.g. 6 . . . i.e7 7 ctJd2 ctJxd2 8
i.xd2 exd5 9 cxd5 i.f6 1 0 i.c3 0-0
1 1 e3 i.xc3+ 1 2 �xc3 d6 with
some sort of a playable Nimzo­
Indian type position in which Black
successfully got his bits out in
Casagrande-Titz, Austria (chT)
200 1 .
   b2) Also 5 . . . g6 is as usual
playable, though not perhaps so
critical . Again I mention it with a
specific           purpose      in     mind.   White has a choice:
Eschewing some less convincing                    b3 1 ) 7 ctJc3 ! ? ctJxc3 8 'VlHd2 'VlHxd5
recent treatments, and delving back            (What of the widely touted 8 . . . e6 ! ?
a little into history, I very much l ike       9 bxc3 exd5 which both Gallagher
White 's idea in Timman-Torre, IBM             and Gerstner give as '=+'? Well, it
Amsterdam 1 977 of not rushing to              may be that 1 0 e4 dxe4 1 1 i.xc4
play f3 (indeed maybe even                     ctJc6 1 2 ctJe2 offers just enough play
avoiding           it    altogether) .  Play   to be off-putting. What about
continued 6 c3 d6 (I guess that the            9 . . . �xd5 ! ? though? 1 0 'VlHxd5 exd5
1 64 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




1 1 l:td l b5 ! 1 2 l:txd5 a6 looks at            foothold in the centre with . . . d6 and
least equal to me) 9 'ixc3 ttJc6 1 0              e5. However, I think that concretely
..txc4 'ia5 ( I O . . . 'ihg2 1 1 0-0-0 e6         10 . . . d6 1 1 i.d3 'iVc6 1 2 'ib2 ! ?
( l l . . .'ixh I 12 ..td5 ! ) 12 ttJe2 d5 1 3    ttJd7 1 3 0-0 should offer sufficient
l:thg I 'ixf2 I 4 l:txg7 ! ? d4 1 5 ttJxd4 !      dynamic chances to compensate .
..txg7 1 6 ttJxc6 0-0 1 7 ..te5 f6 is far            After this long, but I hope rather
from clear but a fun line which                   interesting diversion, back to the
looks like the sort of thing that Joe             main line 5 ..tc l .
would enjoy more with White than
Black ! ) 1 1 'ixa5 ttJxa5 1 2 i.e2 d6
was           Sarthou-Gallagher,       France
(chT) 2002 when 1 3 e4 ! ? looks
logical, and perhaps slightly more
pleasant for White.
    b32) 7 c3 ! ? 'ixd5 8 f3 ttJc5 9 e4
has the nice point that 9 . . ttJd3+ 1 0
                                .


..txd3 'ixd3 1 1 ttJh3 ! is shockingly
strong. Black's queen is suddenly in
very hot water. 9 . . . 'iVc6 is much
better, when 1 0 i.xc4 ttJe6 ! indeed
wins the bishop pair, 1 1 i.d5 not
withstanding, due to the resource
 1 1 . . . ttJxf4 ! when 1 2 'iVxf4 'ig6
looks quite nice for Black. He will                   5 . . . f5
follow-up with . . . e6 and . . . i.c5 to             A rarely played but not
emphasise his healthiness on the                  uninteresting attempt to restrain
dark squares.                                     White in the centre. Important
    b33) 7 ttJd2 c3 8 bxc3 and now                alternatives:
theory tends to endorse 8 . . . ttJxc3,               a) 5 . . . e6 is the main line, 6 f3 and
although after 9 d6 ! ? ttJe4 10 ttJgf3 !         now :
ttJxd6 1 1 i.xd6 exd6 1 2 'i¥b2 ! ? I
rather like White ' s compensation.                   ai) 6 . . . ttJf6 7 c4 which directly
Hodgson suggests that instead                     transposes to Chapter 2, Game 7 and
8 . . . 'ixd5 ! ? is stronger, remarking          TA 1 .
"it is clear that White does not have                 aii) 6 . . . 'ia5+ ! ? 7 c3 ttJf6 8 e4 is a
enough compensation for his                       strange ' cousin ' line of that
ruptured queenside". I must say I ' m             examined in Games 4 and 5 of
rather surprised b y this. After 9                Chapter 2. The tirst point is that
 ttJxe4 'ixe4 1 0 ttJf3 it really is quite        throwing in the extra moves . . . 'iVb6
a lead in development, and I think                .te l might look an unambiguous
many of Julian' s fans would expect               gain for Black, but he immediately
the White cause to quite appeal to                finds that in contrast with the
him. I have definitely seen him                   analysis of 7 . . . exd5 8 e5?! at the
conjure something out of less                     beginning of Game 5, the bishop is
promising             compensation!           I   considerably better positioned in the
understand what he is getting at -                current case since 8 . . . exd5 ? ! 9 e5 !
White' s initiative is in some danger             ttJg8 - what else? - 1 0 'iVxd5 ttJe7
of drying up when Black gains a                    1 1 'ie4 is very pleasant for White.
                                                                           2 c5 3 d5 1 65
                                                                             . . .




Therefore it is necessary to play                     7 tiJc3 e6 8 e4 fxe4 9 fxe4 exd5
8 . . . d6 (or 8 . . . 'iVc7 9 c4 i.d6 which       10 tiJxd5 tiJxd5 11 'iVxd5 �e6 1 2
was also covered in Game 7, but is                 i.c4
not especially good) when I think                     There is also a case for 1 2 i.f4 ! ?
that 9 i.d2 ! preparing to support the             after which recapturing on d S with
centre with the move c3-c4 is                      the d-pawn becomes a more
clearly White ' s best move, and                   enticing option. However, the
9 . . . exdS 1 0 c4 ! ( 1 0 exd5 tiJxdS 1 1        potential weakness of White ' s
c4         tiJb4       courts      unnecessary     e-pawn notwithstanding, her desire
complication) looks quite promising                to keep the strong bishop on dS is
as, while queen retreats to the safety             very understandable.
of c7 or d8 are not disastrous, any                   1 2 . . .'iVxd5 13 i.xd5 tiJc6 14 c3
subsequent attempt to reach a                      tiJe5 15 i.e3 tiJg4 16 i.f4 tiJf6 1 7
Benoni-style formation must reckon                 i.b3 ! ? tiJxe4
with the move i.d2-c3, while
grabbing the pawn here is partic­
ularly treacherous ; also 9 . . . �6 1 0
c4 ! 'it'xb2 1 1 tiJc3 was the actual
move order of the fierce attack
covered in note 'b22 ' in TA l (see
Chapter 2).
    b) S . . . g6 6 f3 and now 6 . . . tiJd6 ! ?
i s considered i n some detail in the
Theoretical Article at the end of this
chapter, and is in my view clearly
Black ' s most important alternative
to S . . . e6, and therefore his most
important independent idea after
3 . . . tiJe4 .                                       1 8 0-0-0 ! ?
    6 f3 tiJf6                                        This has the obvious emotional
     Another of Stefanova' s opponents             appeal of the sacrifice, and does
tried 6 . . . tiJd6 with rather similar            lead to an ending in which White
ideas to those we shall see more of                enjoys a slight edge. However,
 in TA3 , except that with . . . fS                when we stop to consider quite how
already played rather than merely an               difficult life could be made for the
 available lever, the case for                     knight on e4 and Black's king, the
 avoiding/delaying e4 seems to be                  move seems guilty in effect of
 strengthened.             White ' s   strategy    initiating exchanges. The problem
 seems admirable in Stefanova­                     of the knight on e4 is solved by the
 laksland, Dos Hermanas (op) 2002.                 capture of a rook! I assume that
After 7 a4 g6 8 as 'it'b4+ 9 c3 'it'h4+            White miscalculated how comfort­
 1 0 g3 'it'f6 1 1 tiJh3 tiJa6 1 2 i.g2            ably the advanced Black knight will
 i.g7 1 3 0-0 tiJI! 14 e4 d6 I S f4                re-emerge, otherwise she might
 i.d7 1 6 i.e3 0-0 1 7 tiJd2 l!fe8 1 8             have preferred 1 8 tiJf3 ! i.e7 1 9 0-0
 �3 l:tab8 1 9 tiJc4 she has much                  l:tf8 20 i.eS tiJf6 (20 . . . i.f6? 2 1
 greater piece activity and at the                 .:tfe 1 ) 2 1 l:tae 1 'it>d8 22 tiJgS ! dS 23
 same time there is little in the                  i.c7+ 'it>xc7 24 l:1xe7+ which looks
 position for Black to aim at.                     very promising.
1 66 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




     19 . . . lL'lf2 1 9 lL'l0 lL'lxh1 20 �el+   Hodgson was confronted with it and
'it>d8 2 1 lL'lg5 d6 22 lL'lf7+ cj;e7 23         managed to emerge with only two
lL'lxh8                                          short (albeit       highly     thought­
     There is no particular mileage in           provoking) draws. I note though
23 1:[xh l g5 24 i.g3 l:.g8 25 lL'lxd6           that the earliest known example on
i.xd6 26 i.xd6+ 'it>xd6 27 i.xg8                 my database was from 1 987 when
i.f5 with equality.                              the Peruvian Grandmaster Julio
                                                 Granda Zuniga, better known for his
     23 . . . lL'lf2 24 i.e2 i.d7 25 h3          rich natural talent than his
     It might have been better to try 25         contributions to opening theory,
.i.xh7 lL'lg4 26 JLd3 JLc6 27 lL'lg6             tried it with success. Since 1 99 8 the
when the bishop pair will ensure                 Black cause has had many imitators,
White an edge.                                   and although White has wheeled out
     25 . . . e4 26 .i.xh7 JLe6 27 i.g3          quite a variety of ideas, there is little
 lL'ld3+ 28 i.xd3 exd3 29 lL'lg6 JLxg2           consensus as to the best approach.
30 h4 'it>d7 31 cj;d2 i.d5 32 b3 i.f7            Indeed      despite    the     potential
33 lL'lxfB+ IixfB                                awkwardness which the knight on
                                                 d6      might    involve     for         the
     With opposite coloured bishops,
                                                 development of Black ' s queenside,
White cannot even claim a nominal
                                                 the evidence suggests that the power
advantage, and inevitably the game
winds down.                                      of the bishop on the long diagonal
                                                 combined with the possibility of
     34 J:tfl 'it>e6 35 liO d5 36 lhd3           creating      play    with       . . . f7-f5
 i.g6 37 .l:Id4 i.e4 38 e4 :to 39                (especially in reply to White
 exd5+ i.xd5 40 lig4 cj;f7 VI-VI                 occupying the centre with e4) offer
                                                 Black very reasonable counter­
       Theoretical Article 3 :                   chances. The . . . f5 plan, targetting
                                                 the f2 square, useful given that
                5           g6 6 f3 ttJd6!?
                                                 White is some way from the safety
                    . . .




  1 d4 lL'lf6 2 i.g5 e5 3 d5 lL'le4 4            of castling, gains further credit for
i.f4 �b6 5 .i.cl g6 6 0 lL'ld6 ! ?               trying to make a virtue out of the
                                                 often ambivalent position of the
                                                 queen on b6.
                                                    I think we can best categorise
                                                 White ' s options as follows :
                                                     1 ) Going for the ' Full Monty' -
                                                  White plays both lL'lc3 and e4 as he
                                                  normally would and soaks up the
                                                  extra play which both the . . . f5
                                                 break and the strong bishop afford
                                                  his opponent. This is the most
                                                  ambitious and will be examined
                                                  under 'A' .
                                                    2) White compromises in one way
  This rather striking knight retreat             or another: either by settling for a
burst into the limelight in the 1 98 8            more modest advance of his e-pawn
Oxford G M tournament when Julian                 (from e3 it will not be attacked by
                                                                          2 c5 3 d5 1 67
                                                                            . . .




·. . f5 , and also a certain claim is
again laid to some of the vulnerable
c entral dark squares) - this is
examined under ' B ' ; or by still
playing e4, but avoiding lLlc3 thus
retaining the option of putting a
pawn on this square, which may
help to contest the key d4 square
and also to blunt the influence of the
sweeping g7 bishop. This IS
considered as ' C ' .
    A) 7 lLlc3 .i.g7 8 e4 ! ? i s the
uncompromising               and     fearless
reaction. Black can now choose                   and now:
between the immediate strike at                      A l l ) 1 0 . . . lLlh6 1 1 d6 ! e6
White ' s centre, or waiting to see              ( 1 1 . . . lLlf7 1 2 dxe7 �e6+ 1 3 �e2
first how White intends to bring his             .i.xc3+ 14 bxc3 �xe7 1 5 .i.f4 is
kingside pieces into play. I shall               also quite a mess but again White ' s
consider:                                        active pieces will always guarantee
    A I ) 8 . . . f5 . The best place to start   a share of the chances) 1 2 lLlb5 lLla6
consideration of this combative                  1 3 .i.e3 ( 1 3 h4 ! ? looks more to the
move is with the game which did so               point - perhaps White wanted to
much to bring 6 . . . lLld6 ! ? to general       stop any 1 3 . . . c4 nonsense, but this
attention. Of course, short draws fall           is not so urgent - then even 1 4
into many categories, including all              .i.xh6 .i.xh6 1 5 �d4 looks quite
too frequently the simply dull and               promising) and the players agreed a
lifeless, but Hodgson-Nunn, Oxford               draw. White must reckon with one
(GM) 1 99 8 is one of those in which             or two irritating resources - after
the players seem almost deliberately             1 3 . . 0-0 he is often threatening
                                                     .




to tease the crowd with a series of              . . . lLlxg4 followed by either . . . �c6
bold imaginative decisions followed              or even J:xfl +. This is why I prefer
by a peace settlement just as the                the very direct 1 3 h4 . It would be
battle is really hotting up. Play                fair to say that the positions in this
continued 9 exf5 lLlxf5 1 0 g4 !                 line bear only a passing resemblance
(Described by Hertneck as ' typical              to normal chess, and are hence that
Hodgson' and of course it is easy to             much harder to assess. As the whole
see what he means. However, it is                thing was new to both players it is
also useful to appreciate that there is          not surprising that they felt rather
probably not much choice. It is not              cautious.
just that the knight on f5 is a good                  A 1 2) So, what of 1 0 . . . lLld4?! The
piece but that if White waits, it is             problem is that White can play 1 1
difficult to imagine even vaguely                lLle4 ! threatening to hassle the poor
constructive moves which would                   beast further with 12 c3 lLlb5 and
not assist it in later settling on d4,           maybe 1 3 �3 . The knight on e4 is
whereas             immediately      heading     itself very well posted and 1 1 . . . e6
forwards is somewhat problematic­                can be well met by 1 2 .i.c4 ! ? This
see below)                                       looks good for White.
1 68 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




   A 1 3) 1 0 . . . liJd6 is possible, on the   seriously vulnerable ! ) 13 bxc3 'iVf6
other hand, but the best perspective            1 4 'iVd3 'iVf2+ I S 'it'd i d6 1 6 h3
is probably f7 for this piece anyway.           liJd7 17 'i e3 'iVxe3 1 8 .i.xe3 liJf6
One example 1 1 h4 ! ? liJf7 (If                1 9 .i.d3 c4 20 .i.xc4 liJxe4 =+.
1 1 . . . 0-0 12 hS gS 1 3 h6 ! ( 1 3 liJh3        Allowing the full opening of the
h6 14 f4 gxf4 I S gS f3 is rather too           f-file looks decidedly risky and
double-edged) 1 3 . . . .i.eS 14 'iVe2 !        therefore 1 1 liJcxe4 ! is the obvious
.i.g3+ I S 'it'd i a very sharp position        place to improve (since in my view
arises, in which king security is of            against 1 1 liJfxe4 Bogdan could
overwhelming importance and I                   have considered other moves such
prefer White 's) 1 2 liJe4 ( 1 2 hS ! ?)        as 1 1 . . .liJfS ! ?) . The first point to
1 2 . . . d6    13       c3     liJa6    was    note is that captures on b2 fail
Orzechowski-Wismont,                  Poland    miserably.
(Tch) 1 998 when 14 hS ! looks quite
                                                  Still, Black can also look to
promising for White.
                                                improve.    There     was         nothing
  A2) 8 . . . 0-0 ! ?                           compulsory about 1 0 . . . fxe4 .
                                                    1 0 . . . .i.d4    is     plausible     and
                                                consistent with the whole . . . liJd6
                                                and . . . fS schema, but after 1 1 exfS
                                                liJxf5 ( 1 1 . . JhfS 1 2 liJg4 ! looks a
                                                bit awkward to meet) 1 2 liJce4 ! ?
                                                liJe3 (Again 1 2 . . . .i.xb2 runs into
                                                problems 1 3 �b l 'iVaS+ 1 4 .i.d2 and
                                                 I S c3 ! will be very strong against
                                                either 14 . . . 'iVxa2 or 14 . . . 'iVa3) 1 3
                                                .i.xe3 .i.xe3 1 4 d6 ! (a useful motif
                                                throughout this section. The pawn
                                                can prove a very useful wedge, and
                                                ensure that Black' s development
i s a flexible alternative. Black               difficulties will not be so short term)
would       like    to    exploit     the        14 . . . liJc6 ( 1 4 . . . e6 I S liJg4 ! ) I S
circumstance (touched upon in the               dxe7 liJxe7 1 6 'iVd6 ! White has
note to 1 0 g4 in A l above) that his           promising play.
opponent has no good developing                     Maybe 10 . . . c4, but this pawn can
move which retains the option of                of course become quite weak, and
answering a subsequent . . . fS with            Black needs to generate some quite
the Hodgson formula of exfS and                 tangible trouble to compensate for
g4 . Therefore White is forced to set           this . White can try 1 1 'iVe2 ! ? ( 1 1
about trying to bolster his e4 pawn             exfS lIxfS 1 2 liJg4 liJa6 1 3 .i.e2
 instead. First, an example of what I           liJb4 seems to give Black reasonable
believe        he      should       avoid.      play against White' s d-pawn)
 S.Kovacevic-B .Lalic,       Navalmoral          1 1 . . . .i.d4 (If 1 1 . . . liJa6 12 eS ! ? liJf7
( op) 1 999 saw Black quickly attain             1 3 f4 then although White might
 a promising position after 9 liJh3 fS          appear a bit overextended, Black
 1 0 liJf2 fxe4 1 1 liJfxe4? ! liJxe4 1 2       cannot really open the centre and his
 fxe4? .i.xc3+ ( 1 2 . . . .i.d4 ! ? also       c-pawn is still an issue; and
 looks pretty tempting - f2 is                   1 1 . . . fxe4 1 2 liJfxe4 liJxe4 1 3 'iVxe4
                                                                      2 c5 3 d5 1 6 9
                                                                        . . .




also favours White as c4 will drop             The main problem seems to be that
off for minimal compensation) 1 2              the dS pawn can become rather
exfS (also 1 2 'bcd 1 ! ?, though a bit        vulnerable to attack (with the
passive, initiates a regrouping which          manoeuvre . . . 'ba6-c 7     suggesting
is worth remembering. Playing c3               itself as the way to exploit this) and
after the move of the queen' s knight          further counterplay based on . . . 'bfS
is an important instrument for                 and . . . c4 is not implausible either.
limiting           Black' s      temporary     In a way this is logical. White may
initiative) 1 2 . . . 'bxfS 1 3 'bfe4 and      be wary of putting a pawn on e4 in
again I like White.                            view of the . . . fS pawn lever, but
    I suspect therefore Black should           somehow, from the point of view of
go still further back in re-examining          restricting the knight on d6 it looks
his play. Strangely, perhaps even              a bit strange to refrain too !
9 . . . fS should be shelved in favour            8 . . 0-0 9 'bh3
                                                    .


of 9 . . . c4 ! ? The position arising after
for example 1 0 ..te2 'ba6 1 1 'bf2 is
typical of the whole section in that
neither side can exactly develop
freely. The position is unusual, and
deserves practical tests.
    B) 7 'bc3 ..tg7 8 e3 ! ?




                                               and now Black has quite a wide
                                               choice:
                                                   B 1) 9 . . . 'bfS contains more than a
                                               drop of poison, and in Helbig-Thiel,
                                               Bundesliga 1 997 White drank most
                                               of the glass with 1 0 g4? allowing
                                               1 0 . . . 'bxe3 1 1 ..txe3 �xb2 1 2 'bbS
  This unassuming move was the                 a6 1 3 1:.b l 'i!VeS 14 �f2 axbS I S
natural try once Black's . . . fS based        ':xbS d6 and he is in a terrible mess
counter-attack was found to pack a             on all fronts . However, White
certain punch. It is interesting that in       should fare better with 10 e4 'bd4
practice Julian turned to this only            ( 1 0 . . . 'be3 ? 1 1 ..txe3 �xb2 1 2 'bbS
after the hyper-tension of the Nunn            is now a very different story with
game, whereas he had already                   the e-pawn on the board) 1 1 'ba4 !
recommended this course of action              (Again that strategy of playing for
in his book a year before. However,            c3 . It makes one wonder about the
I am far from convinced that 8 e3 is           e4+c3 system examined under ' C ' ! )
any panacea, and recently it is                1 l . . .�aS+ 1 2 c 3 d6 1 3 i.d2 'bxf3 + !
White who has been experiencing                1 4 gxf3 bS I S b4 ! ? cxb4 1 6 axb4
some difficulties from the diagram.            �xa4 1 7 'iWxa4 bxa4 1 8 l1c 1 and
1 70 2 c5 3 d5
        . . .




White has some compensation for                  suspect, the most testing of all.
sure, I would suspect probably                   After 1 0 iLe2 c4 1 1 'it'f2 'iY c5 1 2 a4
enough.                                          b6 1 3 'i'd2 iLb7 1 4 l:i.d l tbb4 1 5
    B2) 9 . . . c4 1 0 tbf2 e6 (I think I        �fl l:tad8 1 6 tbf2 fS 1 7 e4 as ! 1 8
am not crazy about the move . . . e6             l:f.a3 fXe4 1 9 tbfXe4 tbxe4 2 0 tbxe4
in general for Black in this                     'iYxdS 2 1 'i'xdS+ iLxd5 White has
variation, since . . . exdS is rarely a          no tangible compensation for the
good idea, and the knight on d6 can              pawn. Real improvements are
be weakened somewhat. However I                  needed for ' B ' to remain viable.
would be the first to admit that the             Ward-Chandler,        Redbus        (KO)
positions are so idiosyncratic that it           Southend, 2002 .
is quite doubtful how much we                        C) After 7 e4 iLg7, alternatives to
should speak of "in general" at all ! )          8 tbc3 come in a variety of forms. I
 1 1 iLe2 tbfS 1 2 'iYd2 tbxe3 1 3               will just give a brief survey:
'iYxe3 iLd4 1 4 �d2 ! (A brave
decision, and a better try than 1 4
tba4 iLxe3 I S tbxb6 iLxb6 1 6
iLxc4 exdS 1 7 iLxdS tbc6 1 8 c3
tbe7 19 iLb3 dS when Black has
good pieces, and the isolated
queen' s pawn will not mean too
much) 14 . . . iLxf2+ I S 'it'fl d6 1 6
iLxc4 iLh4 1 7 tbe4 exdS 1 8 iLxdS
iLe6 19 b3 (Or 1 9 iLxe6 fXe6 20
lWxd6, but White has nothing
special in view of 20 . . . 'iYxd6 2 1
tbxd6 .l:d8 22 iLf4 ? ! gS ! ) 1 9 . . . J:.e8
20 iLxe6 �xe6 2 1 g3 iLf6 22                          C l ) 8 c3 ! ? 0-0 9 tba3 f5 1 0 exf5
tbxf6+ l:lxf6 23 �g2 'i' c6 24 l:tfl             ( 1 0 tbc4 ! ? is worth a look. If
tbd7 2S iLb2 tbeS 26 iLxeS Yl-1Iz                1 0 . . . tbxc4 1 1 iLxc4 the threat of
Rowson-Lalic, Glasgow (op) 1 999.                d6+ wins a useful tempo, while
    B3) 9 . . . 'i1Ic7 ! ? 10 a4 b6 1 1 tbf2      10 . . . 'iYa6 1 1 iVb3 fXe4 12 iLe3 ! is
fS 12 iLe2 e5 13 e4 f4 1 4 a5 iLa6 1 5           an         unusual     temporary     pawn
0-0 �7 liz-liz Hodgson-Turner,                   sacrifice, which sets some slightly
Oxford (GM) 1 99 8 . I have to say               awkward questions. 1 2 . . . b5 1 3
 that having been at the post-mortem             tbxd6 'i'xd6 1 4 'i'xb5 looks a shade
to this game didn't really help me to            better for White) 1 0 . . . tbxf5 1 1 iVb3
understand it. I am not sure why                 'i'f6 1 2 tbh3 'ih8 1 3 iLg5 �f7 1 4
 blocking the position with 1 2 . . . eS         tbbS tba6 I S 0-0-0 d6 is
 should really be necessary, but the             Miltner-Lanka, Bundesliga 1 996,
 feeling at the end was certainly that           routinely given as favourable for
 Black has found a way to develop                Black, but in fact after a sensible,
 and that it is not easy for White to            neutral sort of move like 16 l:te l ! ? I
 undertake too much.                             find his position rather harmonious.
    B4) 9 . . . tba6 ! ? makes little                C2) 8 tbd2 is another move
 attempt to disguise the coming                  played with similar aims in mind.
 attack on the d-pawn, and is, I                 White retains the option of closing
                                                                       2 c5 3 d5 1 71
                                                                         . . .




the diagonal while developing a                 to settle for 8 e3 instead. In my
piece. This has worked out quite                opinion this is probably the worst of
well in practice after e.g. 8 . . . 0-0 9       the three systems outlined, since the
f4 ! ? Julian suggests that this "looks         dS pawn simply becomes too much
far too ambitious with White so                 of a target. I would prefer either
underdeveloped", but the results                sticking with 'A' (my analysis of
command attention.             Stefanova­       8 . . . 0-0 in particular became
Roder, Barbera (op) 1 999 continued             increasingly encouraging as I went
9 . . . e6 1 0 eS tbfS 1 1 tbc4 'iVd8 1 2       along - initially sceptical I was
tbf3 ! b S ? ! (Rotstein prefers 1 2 . . . d6   quite converted by the end) or
 1 3 dxe6 Jt.xe6 14 tbxd6 tbxd6 I S             switching to ' C ' , since . . . fS really
'iVxd6 �xd6 1 6 exd6 .:re8 1 7 'if2             does not seem such a challenge
tbd7 which does indeed look quite               when White competes for the long
active) 1 3 tbe3 Jt.b7?! 14 tbxfS               diagonal and the d4 square in
exfS I S d6 Jt.xf3 1 6 'i¥xf3 tbc6 1 7          particular. All in all, another
c3 'iVb6 1 8 Jt.e3 l:Iae8 1 9 Jt.e2 gS 20       interesting battle-ground rather than
g3 with a total bind. However, to be            a serious problem for White.
honest I cannot see a convincing
answer to 8 . . . e6 ! ? The knight on d2
means that for once Black really                       Chapter Conclusion
means business with . . . exdS and if
9 c4 0-0 followed by . . . fS the g7              3 d5 seems very much alive ! I
bishop is a fine piece.                         began with two major concerns:
    C3) White can also go back to                  1) That the Vaganian Gambit
move 7 and examine 7 a4 c4? !                   might be a great deal of fun if Black
(7 . . . Jt.g7 8 as �c7 9 e4 0-0 1 0 c3 fS      reacts too passively, but that the
looks OK for Black) 8 e4 Jt.g7 9 c3             systems with a quick . . . e5 could
0-0 10 tba3 fS 1 1 exfS tbxfS 1 2               cast doubt on its ultimate soundness.
tbxc4 �cS 1 3 g4 tbd6 1 4 Jt.e3 �c7             I am now fairly satisfied that,
 I S tbxd6 �xd6 1 6 tbh3 b6 1 7 tbf2            whatever the truth about the ' piece
Jt.b7 1 8 Jt.c4 �f6 was Rabinovich­             play' approaches, the blocking 8
Sax, European (ch) Saint Vincent                fS( ! ) followed by a kingside pawn
2000 and now 1 9 0-0 was a bit too              storm is sufficient to deny Black an
modest. The more ambitious 1 9 f4               easy life in this case. I was glad
eS 20 tbe4 �h4+ 2 1 i.f2 is simply              when I saw that De la Villa ' s book
very strong.                                    broadly        concurs      with      that
                                                conclusion. Indeed, 7 . . . e6 also
                                                retains great complexity which is
       6 . . . ttJd6!? Conclusion               not all one way traffic, and Black
                                                may decide             in  addition to
  Though certainly one of Black' s              investigate the logical 7 . . . fkc7 ! ?
richest options against 3 d S , I               which, whatever the ultimate
cannot help feeling that practice so            verdict, does seem to have been
far and the score which Black has               strangely neglected.
achieved flatters a little. It is                  2) That the impressive results
interesting that White moved swiftly            recently put together by the 3 . . . tbe4
from     the     ambitious  tbc3/e4             and 6 . . . tbd6 ! ? system might reflect
approach, and chose in many cases               some fundamental vulnerability in
1 72 2 c5 3 d5
      . . .




the White position. As I concluded       these posItIons too. On White ' s
above, I now think that White            behalf too, I have t o say that while 5
probably even has a choice of viable     'iVc l ! ? in Game 37 does not feel
set-ups here. The line is appealing      quite in the spirit of the attacking
for its rich strategic content, but it   repertoire, and I am a long way
represents no refutation of White ' s    from advocating it, it does seem to
play.                                    have been rather unfairly maligned.
   As in previous chapters, some of         More importantly, while I am
the minor lines also raise interesting   reasonably happy that my analysis
questions. As usual, early . . . g6/d6   of 4 . e6 5 f3 i.d6 ! ? commends
                                              .   .


lines tend to have a basic               White a playable enough system I
playability. Again as in Chapter 2, a    make no grand claims for its
certain understanding of the Schmid      exhaustive nature, and Gallagher
Benoni is useful. In this case, the      was probably right to identify this as
bishop development on g5 may not         an area which Black could fruitfully
be entirely typical, but of course       investigate further.
White can be quite comfortable with
                 Chapter 8              -   2   . . .   e6 3 e4 ! ?

            Introduction                       Of course, such an unpretentious
                                            move as 2 . . . e6 cannot in itself be a
                                            special problem for White, and does
                                            not oblige such critical play. White
                                            clearly has the option of playing
                                            conservatively with such moves as 3
                                            e3, 3 c3 or even 3 lbf3 which
                                            transposes directly to the Torre
                                            Attack. However, with apologies to
                                            devotees of such a quiet approach, I
                                            find it both rather insipid, and of
                                            limited theoretical interest. For the
                                            most part, to be honest, those who
                                            wish to play such positions can
                                            probably do so without the
                                            assistance of a book. Joe Gallagher
    The apparently modest 2 . . . e6 can    also     makes       the     interesting
be seen as the move by which Black          observation here that precisely the
seeks both to maintain his structure        kind of players against whom
intact      and    to     ensure     that   such a deliberately uncomplicated
complications are kept within               approach might be effective (the
manageable limits. An under­                lovers of a sharp scrap) are unlikely
standable caution about entering            to be found playing 2 . . . e6 in the
complications on the attacker' s            first place. Of course if you find
'territory ' inevitably ensures that        known King ' s Indian fanatics
2 . . . lbe4 and 2 . . . c5 are not         wheeling out 2 . . . e6 on a regular
everybody ' s cup of tea. When we           basis then it might be worth just
take into account that accepting            checking out the breadth of their
structural weaknesses might not             understanding, but I suspect this
make for an easy life either, then it       will be a pretty rare event.
is not hard to account for the                 All in all, I therefore hope the
popularity      of    2 . . . e6  which     reader will agree that in a repertoire
according to my database is the 2nd         book there is a strong case for
most frequent response to the               restricting my attention to the much
Trompowsky. Moreover, I think it            more interesting 3 e4 ! ? which is in
would be fair to say that the               any case very clearly the move in
reputation of Black' s resources in         the spirit of the Trompowsky. I
the main line which arises after 3 e4       firmly believe that if 3 e4 ceases to
h6 4 .ltxf6 'iVxf6 are on something         be regarded as a viable approach
of a high at the time of writing.           then the Trompowsky would be
1 74 2 . . . e6 3 e4


widely viewed as just that little bit                    Game 3 8
less scary. I am also reasonably                    Tregubov - Shulman
confident that this will not happen !                  Gausdal 1 994
   The most critical lines of this
chapter (and certainly far and away            1 d4 tLlf6 2 .tg5 e6 3 e4 d5
the most popular) arise when Black            Black attempts to steer the game
forces the gain of the bishop pair          directly into French Defence
with 3 . . . h6 4 .txf6 'it'xf6 (Games      channels.
3 9-45). In my opinion this results in
                                               I would like to deal with three
one of the most fascinating
                                            other alternatives here. The first two
conceptual battlegrounds in the
                                            might aspire to claim the virtue of
entire Trompowsky and is worthy of
                                            flexibility, but can equally easily
study not just by those intending to
                                            come across as merely passive,
play the position, but by anyone
                                            whereas the third can be an
interested in such key strategic
                                            introduction to great complications,
issues as the importance of the
                                            although I think White is not
bishop pair, how best to handle it
                                            necessarily obliged to ' play along '
and how to play against it. As I
                                            with that intention:
mentioned right back in the
Introduction, I will in the remaining          a) 3 . . . .te7 is solid and enjoys a
chapters        dispense     with     the   considerable following among those
customary division into ' stylistic         seeking a simple unpretentious
repertoires ' . Despite a lot of study, I   defence to the Tromp. Black keeps
am myself still trying to work out          the option of entering French
the approach to this position which         structures after first asking how his
best suits me personally, and I             opponent intends to support the
would like to encourage the reader          e-pawn:
to join me in exploring a number of
possibilities and to draw his own
conclusions . I am in any case
confident that while there is
inevitably a 'dynamic' feel to
White' s play in a position where he
has space and development as
compensation for the bishop pair,
there is enough flexibility in the
position to be able to appeal too to
those seeking a more solid flavour
(for     example       Adams ' s     very
thought-provoking strategy with 7
g3 ! ? [see the note to game 4 1 ] as a        a 1 ) The first point is that 4 tLlc3 ! ?
 case in point) .                           in addition to inviting a direct
   I will return later to a detailed        transposition to the Classical
strategic introduction to 3 . . . h6. For   French, also offers a pawn by
the moment there is other pressing          allowing 4 . . . tLlxe4, and although
business. Black has viable third            after 5 .txe7 tLlxc3 6 i.xd8 tLlxd l 7
 move alternatives too, and it is to        .txc7 tLlxb2 8 .td6 tDa4 9 c4 tLlc6
 these that we should now tum.               10 tDf3 White has compensation
                                                                          2 e6 3 e4 1 75
                                                                            . . .




based upon his excellent bishop on                tiJe4 is just bad for Black) S eS
d6 and the considerable awkward­                  tiJfd7 6 ..txe7 'it'xe7 7 f4 ! ? cS 8
ness that it causes, De la Villa ' s              tiJgf3 tiJc6 9 .lid3 is an interesting
suggestion o f 1 0 . . . b6 ! ? looks             treatment known from the Tarrasch
sensible since the natural 1 1 .lid3              French, albeit with dark-squared
.lia6 12 .i:c 1 will now be irritated by          bishops still on the board. If
 12 . . . tiJb2 1 3 .lie2 tiJaS . I considered    9 . . . cxd4 1 0 0-0 White has time to
instead 1 1 lIc 1 ..ta6 1 2 lIc2 lIc8 1 3         round up the d4 pawn, and chances
.lid3 tiJaS 1 4 tiJd2 but this also               on the kingside. Still, this is better
gives Black time for 14 . . . bS ! It             than 9 . . . tiJb4 1 0 ..te2 f6 1 1 c3 tiJc6
seems that this excellent plan is                 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 a3 llb8 14 b4 b6 I S
sufficient to take the edge off                   .lid3 with a lot of extra space in
White ' s initiative.                             Kasparov-Centea, Deurne (simul),
    a2) I am unenthusiastic about 4 eS            2000.
tiJdS S ..txe7 �xe7 6 c4 tiJb6 7 tiJc3                b) 3 . . . d6 is more committal in
d6 8 tiJf3 tiJc6 which seems to me                terms of the centre pawns and
to be quite playable for Black.                   therefore perhaps still more subj ect
    a3) 4 .lid3 ! ? is a natural                  to the charge of negativity.
development, but Black can try
4 . . . cS ! ? (4 . . . dS S eS tiJfd7 6 ..txe7
�xe7 7 c3 cS 8 tiJe2 looks like a
pleasant French) S dxcS (or S eS ! ?
tiJdS 6 ..txe7 �xe7 7 dxcS although
then 7 . . . tiJf4 must be reckoned
with) S . . :it'aS+ (S . . . tiJa6 ! ? feels as
if it should be interesting, since
..td3xa6 is a tempo loss. However
Black needs to improve his
follow-up after 6 .lixa6 bxa6 7 tiJd2
..tb7 8 �e2 lIc8 9 tiJgf3 l:txcS 1 0 c4
�aS           of Aleksandrov-I.Zaitsev,
Moscow 1 996 since White missed
the brutal shot 1 1 b4 ! winning                     After 4 tiJc3 .lie7 (4 . . . h6 gives
significant amounts of material ! ) 6             White a pleasant enough choice. He
�c3 tiJxe4 7 ..txe7 tiJxc3 8 �d2                  can exchange on f6, returning the
�xe7 9 tiJe2 'it'xcs 10 tiJxc3 �eS+               play to Games 3 9-4 1 , without the
 1 1 ..te2 tiJc6 12 0-0-0 dS 13 f4                headache of the . . . i.b4 lines.
'ilc7 1 4 .l:the l although White has             However retreating also looks quite
quite dangerous compensation for                  viable. In Gil Gonzales-Gonzalez
the pawn. Rossetto-Migliavacca,                   Velez, Spain (ch) 1 997 White
Buenos Aires, 1 977.                              played S ..te3 tiJbd7 6 h3 a6 7 a4 cS
    a4) 4 tiJd2 ! ? has both flexibility          8 dS exdS 9 exdS g6 1 0 tiJf3 ..tg7
and Garry Kasparov on its side,                   1 1 'it'd2 hS 1 2 ..te2 0-0 1 3 0-0 b6
although White has to be a little                  14 i.h6 which must be worth at
wary of early . . . 'ib6 sorties if he            least an edge) S f4 ! ? h6 6 ..txf6
handles the consequent French                     ..txf6 7 'it'd2 a6 8 0-0-0 bS 9 tiJf3
structure too routinely. 4 . . . dS               ..tb7 1 0 �d3 b4 1 1 tiJe2 as 1 2 'it'b l
(4 . . . cS?! S eS tiJdS 6 .lixe7 'ilxe7 7        tiJd7 1 3 eS ..te7 1 4 fS exfS I S ..txfS
1 76 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




(Keeping a sufficient hold on the                .lib5+ (6 tDf3 is also possible, but
dark squares while seeking to                    nothing special) 6 . . . .lid7 ! (6 . . .
generate attacking chances on the                tDbd7? 7 .lixf6 ! is great for White)
more promising territory of the light            7 dxe6 fxe6 8 e5 !? (otherwise
squares will constitute a pretty                  . . . tDc6 follows with reasonable play
text-book strategy for White                     for Black) 8 . . dxe5 9 'iVe2 and now
                                                                 .


throughout the chapter. This is an               even 9 . . . .lixb5 1 0 Wixb5+ Wid7 1 1
excellent exposition from Grand­                 .l:[d l tDd5 1 2 tDxd5 exd5 1 3 'iWxd7
master Tolnai) 1 5 . . . tDf8 1 6 'iVe3          tDxd7 14 .lixe7 <:J;xe7 1 5 l:txd5 does
.lig5 1 7 'iWf2 g6 1 8 h4 ! .lie7 1 9 .lih3      not look like a real advantage for
d5 20 �hf1 �h7 2 1 tDf4 with a                   White.
strong attack in Tolnai-Fogarasi,                      c2) 4 e5 ! ? was described by
Hungary (ch) 1 99 5 . I am a bit                 Gerstner in his 1 995 book as
sceptical in general about White 's              unambitious, but a year later,
ability to generate as much play                 perhaps through discovering 8
when the bishop recaptures on f6                 'iVg4 ! ? he had apparently revised his
rather than the queen, but I wouldn 't           view. At the time of writing I think
want to be too dogmatic on this                  this would be my preference. After
point. Here with the f4 advance in               4 . . . h6 5 .lic 1 ! Black can try:
place, and Black expending a tempo
on h6, it seems well justified.
   c) 3 . . . c5 ! ? is a much more
ambitious approach.




                                                    c2 I ) 5 . . . tDd5 6 c4 tDb6 (or 6 . . .
                                                 tDe7 7 dxc5 tDbc6 when 8 tDf3 ! ?
                                                 tDg6 9 .lie3 tDgxe5 1 0 tDxe5 tDxe5
                                                 1 1 tDc3 which looks more
  c 1 ) 4 d5 d6 ! (4 . . . h6 5 .lixf6 'it'xf6   comfortable for White to me) 7
6 tDc3 looks good for White to me.               dxc5 i.xc5 8 'iWg4 ! ? (I like this . It is
Black will have problems getting                 significantly more energetic than 8
mobilised which will count for                   tDf3 d5 9 exd6 'iYxd6 1 0 'ixd6
much more than White ' s slightly                .lixd6 1 1 tDc3 tDc6 1 2 i.d2 tDd7 1 3
suspect dark squares; 4 . . . 'iWb6 5            0-0-0 We7 1 4 tDb5 which does not
tDc3 [or 5 .lixf6 gxf6 6 'it'c 1 which           seem to give White much. Indeed
was covered in Chapter 6] 5 . . . Wixb2          Soffer-Yudasin, Israel (ch) 1 994
6 .lid2 Wib6 7 f4 leads to either                was agreed drawn right here)
Game 35 or Analytical Article 2                  8 . . <:J;f8 (8 . . . .lif8 is playable, but
                                                    .


from Chapter 7) 5 tDc3 .lie7 6                   passive) 9 a3 tDc6 (9 . . . f5 ? ! 1 0 Wid l
                                                                     2 e6 3 e4 1 77
                                                                      . . .




'iWh4 1 1 'iVc2 a5 1 2 tDf3 'iVe4+ 1 3        good answer since 5 ii.xf6 'iVxf6 6
'iWxe4 fxe4 1 4 tDh4 r:Ji; f7 1 5 tDc3        e5 is likely to be similar to Game 45
i.d4 16 tDxe4 ii.xe5 17 tDf3 ii.f6 1 8        and satisfactory for Black.
tDxf6 gxf6 1 9 ii.e3 led to a fantastic           4 . . . h6 5 ii.e3 tDfd7 6 f4
position for White in Gerstner­
Ksieski, Bundesliga II 1 996) 1 0                 As with the pseudo-French
tDf3 filc7 1 1 'iVe4 d 5 1 2 exd6 ii.xd6      positions which arose when Black
1 3 tDc3 a6 14 b4 tDe5 1 5 c5 tDxf3+          declined White ' s gambit in Chapter
 16 'iVxf3 ii.e5 17 ii.b2 tDd5 1 8 l:l:dl     4 (see Game 1 9) I think this is a
tDxc3 19 ii.xc3 ii.d7 20 'iVe3                formation, a kind of Tarrasch with
i.xc3+ 2 1 �xc3 and Black still has           the . bishop already developed to e3 ,
a number of problems to solve in              WhICh does not arise normally in the
getting his forces coordinated.               French not because White does not
Povah-Wu, 4NCL Birmingham,                    want it, but because he cannot attain
2002.                                         it.
     c22) 5 . . . tDh7 ! ? was proudly            6 . . . cS 7 c3 tDc6 8 tDf3
awarded an ' ! ' by its originator
B .Certic in Informator 69, and De la
Villa seems broadly persuaded that
this is a problem for 4 e5. I am still
sceptical. If White can get the
handling right and render the idea
. . . tDg5 irrelevant, then the move
can look quite odd. 6 d5 ! ? (6 dxc5
tDc6 7 tDc3 ! ? is also interesting, but
7 . . . i.xc5 8 tDf3 d5 ! 9 exd6 'ilUxd6 is
a rational and safe response) 6 . . . d6
(6 . . . exd5 7 'ikxd5 tDc6 8 tDf3 'iVe7
9 i.e3 ! The key move. The e-pawn
needs to be unpinned. 9 . . . tDb4 1 0             8 . cxd4
                                                  . .


'iVb3 tDg5 1 1 tDbd2 tDxf3+ 1 2 tDxf3
                                                   The plan of . . . cxd4/ . . . tDb6/
b6 1 3 0-0-0 and I like White ' s
                                              . . . ii.d7 is known from the Tarrasch
position i n M.Muse-Zeicic, Croatia
                                              French too, but I think that i.e3 is a
(chT) 1 997) 7 i.b5+ ! ? i.d7 and
                                              useful development for speeding up
now what about the untested 8
                                              White ' s play, the only possible
ii.c4 ! ? I do not see a simple
                                              drawback of which is its weakening
defence here as both 8 . . . exd5 9
                                              of b2. For this reason I would first
'ikxd5 and 8 . . . dxe5 9 tDf3 'ilUf6 1 0
                                              look        at   8 . . JWb6,  when     in
tDc3 ! look quite dangerous for
                                              G.Grigore-N .Grigore,          Bucharest
Black. If White can open the
                                              Juventus 2002 White countered with
position quickly it is quite easy for
the knight on h7 to look somewhat             9 'iVc l ! ? in a sense the most
                                              ambitious move (9 'iVd2 is perhaps
ridiculous.
                                              more modest), intending to continue
     4 eS                                     with smooth development by tDd2
     Of course 4 tDc3 is a direct             and so on. Play then took a very
transposition into main lines of the          sharp tum with 9 . . . g5 ! ? 10 'iVd2 g4
French, while if 4 tDd2 h6 ! is a             1 1 tDg 1 f5 1 2 h3 gxh3 1 3 :xh3
1 78 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




cxd4 1 4 cxd4 'i¥b4 1 5 lDc3 a6 1 6 a3       24 l:lxg7+!
'i!Va5 and White presumably stands           Not a difficult combination, but a
well. I would want to look at 1 7          pleasing one. The wayward Black
Wid 1 ! ? lDd8 and now 1 8 .lte2 ! ?       pieces cannot even dream of
having ruled out for the moment the        covering the two key squares h6 and
manoeuvre . . . lDd7-b6 and therefore      g7.
freeing this bishop to cause damage
                                             24 . . . 'ihg7 25 f6+ 'ith7 26 �d3+
on the kingside.
                                           �h8 27 �h3 'i.t>h7 28 i.e3 1-0
    9 cxd4 lDb6 1 0 lDbd2 i.d7 1 1
                                             White mates in a couple more
i.e2 a5 1 2 0-0 a4 13 lDel !
                                           moves.
    Eyeing both kingside expansion,
and the c5 square. Already there is a
suspicion that in the forthcoming                3 h6 4 i.xf6 'i¥xf6
                                                    . . .


race White ' s aspirations are the              Strategic Introduction
more focused. In analogous lines in
the French, one of White ' s
headaches i s usually how t o develop
his queen' s bishop, but here that
began to be solved on move two !
    13 . . . i.e7 1 4 lDd3 0-0 1 5 l:!c1
lDa5 1 6 lDc5 i.xc5 17 dxc5 lDbc4
1 8 lDxc4 lDxc4 1 9 i.d4 !
    Not the usual destination for the
Trompowsky bishop, but a very
satisfactory one. The solid defence
it provides the e5 pawn is an
excellent basis for the action on the
kings ide that follows.                       As I mentioned above, the
    19 . . . i.b5                          diagram posItIon is the key
    In the context of the coming           battleground for the remainder of
storm on the other side, the               this chapter and one of the most
exchange of light-squared bishops is       important         positions         for
something of a positional nicety.          Trompowsky theory. Before getting
                                           stItck into too many specifics it cries
    20 J:[fJ �d7 21 l:tg3 lDa5 22 f5       out for some strategic overview.
i.xe2 23 'ir'xe2 �h7
                                              The trade-off between the bishop
                                           pair and some compensating
                                           advantage is of course one of the
                                           dominant imbalances which enrich
                                           modem opening play. We are
                                           especially accustomed from the
                                           classics to seeing the compensation
                                           in terms of structItral weakness
                                           (doubled pawns in particular), or the
                                           setting up of a fixed pawn structItre
                                           which enhances the scope of the
                                           remaining bishop, and at the same
                                                              2 e6 3 e4 1 79
                                                                . . .




time seeks to restrict the opponent' s      However here that is White in the
bishop pair (e.g. some lines o f the     first case and Black in the second,
Nimzo-Indian where Black puts his        so we are denied the luxury of an
centre pawns on c5/d6/e5). Another       automatic answer. In fact modem
common idea is the creation of a         theory abounds with situations in
dominant outpost for a knight - I        which the player opposing the
expect the nurturing of the d5           bishop pair opens the position both
square in the Sveshnikov and other       to create good squares for his
Sicilians is generally hardly even       knights and to feed his initiative -
perceived in terms of ' compensation     so much so that the highly respected
for the bishop pair' .                   positional thinker John Watson even
   However, there is another whole       coined a ' rule ' that "time favours
range of positions in which the          the bishops". However, the position
compensation is in terms of better       should be opened keeping in mind a
development, a space advantage,          healthy respect for key squares and
occupation of the centre and so on.      colour complexes . In the current
These need not of necessity be           case, White should think long and
' intangible' compared with those        hard, ensuring that the counter­
already discussed, but they are          vailing    advantages     are    very
generally factors which need careful     significant before he considers
cultivation - with reckless handling     enhancing his opponent' s dark­
they can be easily dissipated, and       squared bishop by advancing his
for this reason they tend to be          d-pawn. The central advance of
classified as ' temporary' - in need     preference will tend to be e4-e5 of
of transformation into something         course, and in several cases we shall
more permanent. White ' s compens­       see White trying to give his own
ation in the diagram is rather of this   pieces more space while at the same
kind. He is occupying the centre         time restricting his opponent' s in
with pawns which give him a good         precisely this way. Game 44 for
deal of space, and since the position    example is very much about a
of the queen on f6 is rarely ideal in    successful case of this, and the most
the longer run, Black usually feels      basic choice that shapes this chapter
the need to            conduct some      is that while I have considered 5
re-organisation which will cost          ltJc3 , 5 'iVd2 and 5 c3 , I have
further time. One of the fascinating     rejected 5 ltJf3 since I cannot
conundrums which such cases throw        conceive that the solution to White ' s
up (especially as here when the          problems will l i e i n blocking the
structure is still very fluid - basic    very f-pawn which is so pivotal to
decisions remain for both sides as to    effecting the sought after e5
how to handle their centre pawns) is     advance.
the question of opening the position.       In short, while White will often
To whose advantage will it be if the     try to drum up play on the light
position blasts open? The traditional    squares (see especially game 3 9
answers would be:                        where this i s even a necessary
    i) The player with the advantage     response to Black's ability to dictate
in terms of space and time;              the pace on the dark squares), there
    ii) The player with the bishop        is generally speaking a ferocious
pair.                                    battle for the dark squares
180 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




throughout. I would like to finish           With the battle for colour
this preamble with one classic             complexes in the centre very much
example       in     which     White ' s   in mind, we move on to the main
premature e4-eS advance comes              course.
unstuck in the face of Black' s
ability t o undermine its pawn
support.      Adams-Karpov,         Las                Game 39
Palmas 1 994 went:                              Hodgson - Magem Badals
   1 d4 tLif6 2 i.gS e6 3 e4 h6 4                  Linares (zt) 1 995
..txf6 'iVxf6 S tLic3 d6 6 Wid2 gS ! ? 7
0-0-0 i.g7 8 eS ? ! - this is now            1 d4 lLlf6 2 ..tg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
believed to be premature. If the           i.xf6 �xf6 5 lLlc3
supporting f4 pawn can itself be
bolstered by the g-pawn then this
pawn wedge has a valuable
space-gaining role to play, but here
it proves vulnerable 8 . . . dxeS 9
dxeS 'iVe7 1 0 f4 tLic6 1 1 ctJf3 ..td7
 12 h4 gxf4 l 3 �xf4 0-0-0 14 ctJe4




                                              5 d6
                                              ...



                                              The other main line S . . . i.b4, is
                                           the subject of Games 42-43 . In
                                           addition, the apparently rather
                                           passive retreat S . . . �d8 ! ? is also
                                           worth mentioning here. Black' s
                                           thinking i s that since h e i s likely to
 14 . . . tLib8 ! The    move     which    have to lose some more time with
justifiably gets so much attention.        his queen at some juncture he can
Adams probably felt that for all its       gain a measure of flexibility by an
formal isolated status, his e-pawn is      immediate retreat which will keep
difficult to get at. This super            White guessing whether he intends
reorganisation gains space for the         to head for a . . . d6/eS structure or
currently passive d7 bishop, and           for a . . . dS French-type structure.
indeed soon enables it to be               The latter can be a strangely
exchanged for a knight which is the        effective way of fighting for the
lynchpin of the e-pawn' s defence.         dark squares. For example after 6
 I S tLif6 i.c6 1 6 ..te2 ctJd7 17 ctJhS   'iVd2 dS ! ? 7 0-0-0 i.e7 (7 . . . c6
..txf3 1 8 ..txf3 ..txeS and Black has     intending      . . . ..tb4 might      be
won the battle for the dark squares        interesting too) 8 �b 1 I became
in the centre, and along with it a         intrigued by quite how White would
critical pawn and later the game.          build up his attack in the event of
                                                                           2" . e6 3 e4 1 81


Black keeping the centre very tight                 'YWg5 , White might do well to
with 8 . . c6 ! ? and then later
            .                                       consider 1 3 bxc3 ! ? since this is
expanding with . . . b5/ . . . liJd7/ . . . 'iWa5   more likely to result in a useful c4
(of course watching out for liJxd5                  lever with which to attack Black' s
tricks if he has castled) . It is                   centre than i n a weakness.
annoying for White that he can but                     For this reason 6 . . . .i.e7 looks
rarely consider advancing his                       preferable, when adventures such as
e-pawn      to   e5      because              the   7 'ig4? ! 0-0 8 e5 should be avoided
undermining . . . c5 break which                    since Black is happy to play 8 . . . d5,
follows packs a certain punch - as                  keeping the defensive resource . . . f5
we shall see in Game 45, even                       in reserve for whenever the going
without the slightly clumsy knight                  gets tough. However, White can still
on c3 , the Advance French structure                plausibly castle on either side, and
is not great for White in the absence               elect to play f4 or not. I would say
of a dark-squared bishop.                           only       that   against      restrained
   Therefore,      when             recently        development such as 7 liJf3 Black is
confronted with this idea, I decided                well advised not to play for the
to settle for an apparently more                    French type positions as White ' s
modest development with 6 .i.d3 ! ?                 space/development advantage is
                                                    generally too great if he sub­
                                                    sequently captures on e4 . Better
                                                    7 . . .d6! 8 0-0 0-0 9 'tWd2 liJd7 and
                                                    now 1 0 liJe2 ! is important, to be
                                                    ready to support the centre with c3
                                                    in the event of 1 0 . . . e5, and maybe
                                                    in response to . . . c5 ideas too. In this
                                                    case White keeps hold of his extra
                                                    space, contains the bishop pair, and
                                                    still poses the question as to how
                                                    Black       proposes      to    complete
                                                    development.
                                                        6 'id2

    This was primarily a prophylaxis
against 6 . . . d5 which I planned to
answer with the slightly inelegant
but fairly effective 7 exd5 exd5 8
'iVe2+ ! iLe7 (8 . iLe6? ! 9 .i.f5 ! ) 9
                     .   .


'iVe5 . Then after, for example,
9 . . c6 10 'iVxg7 iLf6 1 1 'ig3 iLxd4
   .


1 2 liJge2 I definitely prefer White,
since the damage done to Black's
kings ide structure can be quite
significant, with or without queens .
It is worth noting that if Black tries
 1 2 . . . iLxc3+ intending 13 liJxc3                 6 ... c6 ! ?
1 82 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




    An important and critical idea.                'ifg6 1 6 'iff3 bS and Black had very
Black wants to cover the dS square                 reasonable        play.    Hall-Glek,
as preparation for playing . . . eS,               Bundesliga II 1 997.
fighting very directly for the central
dark squares. Having chosen this
approach, it is important to set about
it immediately, before White can
either castle, or establish a wedge in
the centre with the moves f4 and eS.
6 . . . ctJd7 ? ! 7 f4 c6 8 eS for example
favours White as his opponent
enjoys            limited    potential       for
undermining him on these key
squares.
    7 f4(!)
    Playing like this before castling
carries a certain risk (see the note to                7 e5
                                                      ...


Black's next move, and also Game                       Consistent, but Black has an
40) However, in this particular case               interesting alternative in 7 . . . gS ! ?
I think it is almost certainly best, as            here, a closely related idea to that in
whilst 7 0-0-0 should be playable,                 Game 40, indeed on the face of it
and has been tested by some strong                 likely to be somewhat more
players, my instinct is that after                 promising since the move 6 . . . c6
7 . . . eS ! Black has already staked his          puts paid to most ctJdS-based
claim to key squares, has no                       nonsense, whereas the contribution
immediate problems on the d-file,                  of 6 . . . a6 in the analogous game is
and therefore must be OK. One                      less clear. It is important to establish
example: 8 ctJf3 (8 dS? ! carries the              whether ' theory ' , in adopting a
nice point that 8 . . . Sl.e7 ? ! 9 dxc6           sceptical tone towards this sharp
bxc6 1 0 ctJdS ! favours White.                    move has really been guilty of
However, 8 . . . ctJd7 ! looks logical              'judgement by results ' or whether
and the positional foundation of                   the pawn sacrifice 8 fS ! ? is
White' s play looks less secure than               genuinely strong here. The 'result'
the tactical tricks) 8 . . . Sl.e7 9 h3 (9         in question was David-Daly, Linares
'litb l is possible since 9 . . . Sl.g4 ! ? 1 0    (zt) 1 99 5 in which an almighty
dxeS             dxeS     11    Sl.e2     Sl.e6    attack ensued after 8 . . . exfS 9 0-0-0
 [ 1 1 . . . ctJd7 ? ! 12 ctJxeS ! ] 12 l:r.hg l   fxe4?! 1 0 ctJxe4 'iVg6 1 1 Sl.d3 fS 1 2
ctJd7 1 3 Sl.c4 ! ltd8 1 4 Sl.xe6 �xe6             .l:re l ! fxe4 1 3 Sl.xe4 �f6 1 4 Sl.xc6+
looks about equal. I rather get the                'litd8 I S 'iWaS+ b6 1 6 'iWc3 and White
feeling that 1 3 Sl.c4 ! was an                    is already winning. Improvements
 ' equalising resource' though which               are clearly required at move 9 .
 is not a ringing endorsement of                   Gallagher mentions 9 . . . f4, but 1 0
White' s opening) 9 . . . ctJd7 1 0 'litb l        eS ! ? �d8 1 1 exd6 Sl.xd6 1 2 Sl.c4
 0-0 1 1 'iVe3 :Le8 1 2 dS Sl.d8 1 3 Sl.c4         looks like a pretty good King' s
 cS - looks like a concession, but                 Gambit. Again i n keeping with
 closing the centre enables Black to               Game 40, 9 . . . Sl.g7 seems best,
tum more purposefully to the                       when I think White does best to
 queens ide - 14 ctJh2 a6 I S ctJg4                 handle the position in line with my
                                                                         2 e6 3 e4 1 83
                                                                           . . .




recommendation there, and play 1 0              the threshold, but after 1 0 "i!Vxd8+
exf5 Ji.xf5 1 1 .i.d3 ! Ji.e6 ! 1 2 tDge2       �xd8 1 1 .i.c4 �e8 12 tDf3 tDd7 1 3
with undeniable compensation for                0-0-0 Ji.c5 1 4 �b 1 b5 1 5 Ji.b3 clte7
the pawn.                                        16 g4 Rabinovich-Belichev, Euro­
  S dxe5 dxe5 9 f5                              pean (ch u-20) Tallinn 1 997 I think
                                                Black should ' go active ' on the
                                                queens ide with 1 6 . . . a5 1 7 a4 i.b4 !
                                                when White has the edge, but at
                                                least he cannot cultivate it gently
                                                without distractions.
                                                    b) 9 . . . 'i' g5 ! ? is suggested by
                                                Hedman, but after 1 0 'i'xg5 hxg5 1 1
                                                tDf3 ! f6 1 2 0-0-0 the light squares
                                                look more likely to be the big issue,
                                                and these are clearly White ' s
                                                domain.
                                                     c) 9 . . . tDd7 1 0 tDf3 tDb6 ! ? was an
                                                unusual attempt to organise the
   In this particular position it might         pieces to predict White ' s potential
be quite hard to suggest an                     for kingside expansion and facilitate
alternative, but as part of a general           an early evacuation of the king to
plan of campaign, White 's play is              the other wing. It worked out well in
noteworthy. Rather than trying to               Povah-Ansell, 4 NCL, 1 997 but I
compete on the dark squares (a                  think that after 1 1 0--0--0 i.d7 a
battle which would not look very                chance was missed to embarrass
promising given Black's fairly                  Black with 1 2 tDa4 ! ? (Freeing up a
single-minded opening strategy to               lot of squares for the queen,
control these) the text move sort of            including c3 itself) 12 . . . 0--0-0 1 3
concedes control of them in                     tDxb6+ axb6 1 4 'i'c3 i.c5 ! ? 1 5 .i.c4
exchange for further enhancing                  (but not 1 5 'i'xe5 'i'xe5 16 tDxe5
White' s          prospects       on      the   i.xf5 ! ) 1 5 . . . �he8 1 6 g4 and I feel
light-squares, not least by trying to           that the exchange of knights has
shut the c8 bishop out of the game.             somehow clarified the position in
The question is How much can                    White ' s favour.
Black make the dark squares count?                   d) 9 . . . g6 ! ? is clearly very
                                                combative. White should answer
   9 :iVd6
    . .

                                                with 1 0 Ji.d3 (tactically defending
   This very reasonable attempt to              the f-pawn since 1 0 . . . gxf5 ? ! 1 1
improve the position of the queen               exf5 Ji.xf5?? 1 2 'iYt'l wins a piece)
may well be best, but others also               and now after 1 0 . . . tDd7, Gallagher
merit attention:                                gives the straightforward 1 1 0-0-0
   a) 9 . . . 'i'd8 is instructive for trying   h5 1 2 �b 1 as better for White and
to measure              the    amount      of   this looks credible since the move
concessions which the defender has              . . . Ji.h6 has lost its chief irritation
to make for White to become                     value. However, White can also
interested in exchanging queens.                consider settling for short castling.
This is reckoned to just about cross            In Gabriel-P. Schlosser, Bundesliga
1 84 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




 1 997 he quickly attained the upper              whether he himself can undertake
hand after 1 1 ttJf3 h5 1 2 fxg6 fxg6             anything positive is not so clear. In
 1 3 0-0 .th6 14 �e l 0-0 1 5 .tc4+               short, an interesting pawn offer
-J;>g7 ? ! 16 ttJd4 ! although 1 5 . . .'.ih7 !   which White would do well to have
 1 6 lId l ttJb6 looks less clear. This           covered.
might be significant as Igor Glek                     1 1 ttJf3 ttJd7 1 2 a4 !
recently refined Black's play with
the immediate 1 0 . . . h5 ! ? which of               It is not difficult to see that . . . b5
                                                  is worth stopping, or that c4 might
course cuts out the Gallagher recipe.
                                                  be a good square to preserve for the
    1 0 .td3                                      bishop. However, the fact that
                                                  1 2 . . . ttJc5 for example can be
                                                  answered by 1 3 .tc4 ! and White has
                                                  no reason to fear the exchange of
                                                  queens, this is something of a key
                                                  insight. Note that in comparison
                                                  with the endgame considered in
                                                  note ' a ' to Black's 9th above (with
                                                  9 . . . 'iVd8) White has time to play a4
                                                  here because in order to arrive at the
                                                  ending Black has to block his f8
                                                  bishop, thus ruling out the
                                                  possibility of . . . .i.h4 . It is this detail
                                                  which really renders the ending
     1 0 ... .te7                                 viable for White, and 1 2 . . . CtJc5 ? !
                                                  something o f a clumsy move.
    In Engqvist-Hedman, Stockholm,
1 996 Black played                a very              12 . . . a5 13 g4 'iWc5 14 'iVf2
interesting pawn sacrifice which
certainly merits a mention. At first
sight 10 . . . b5 ! ? looks distinctly rash
since after 1 1 a4 (not compulsory,
but very thematic) 1 1 . . . b4 1 2 ttJd 1
ttJd7 1 3 ttJe3 it appears that Black
has still further compromised
himself on the light squares for not
much in return. However, the well
motivated offer 13 . . . b3 ! puts all this
in a different light. After 14 cxb3
llb8 1 5 .tc2 'iff6? ! 1 6 0-0-0 .th4
1 7 'iff2 .ta6 1 8 ttJf3 Wie7 1 9 ttJg4 !
White consolidated and started to
build his own threats based upon a
similar ' clearance ' pawn sacrifice                 14 . . . 'iVxf2+? !
with f5-f6, but Engqvist believed                   By general            agreement this
 1 5 . . . 'ifxd2+ 1 6 -J;>xd2 .th4+ 1 7          understandable liquidation was a
\t>e2 .ta6+ 1 8 � f2 f6 followed by               step in the wrong direction. By
. . . ttJc5 to be much tougher. I am              playing 1 4 . . . Wib4 ! 1 5 0-0-0 .i.c5
sure White is OK here too, but                    Black would have maintained his
                                                                      2 e6 3 e 4 1 85
                                                                       . . .




share of the chances in a very                   1 7 ... �c7
complicated middlegame. It is easy               It is not clear to me that it was
to see his reservation - Black 's king        entirely necessary for White to
is not entirely happy, and on the             present his opponent with this
kingside there is a ready made pawn           opportunity to complicate the
roller. Still, 16 'iWe l �d4 gives a          struggle over again, but since he
fair share of the chances, while 1 6          did, I feel Black should probably
'iWg3 �e3 + ! ? 1 7 �b l �f4 i s also         have tried 1 7 . . . CLlxg4+ ! ? 1 8 c;t>e2
none too clear, although in the               .ltc5 1 9 l:.d2 (otherwise . . . CLle3)
former case, 1 6 . . . .id4 1 7 CLlxd4        19 . . . 0-0 20 h3 CLlf6 21 CLlxe5 .ltxf5 !
exd4 1 8 CLlb l ! ? 'ili'xa4 1 9 e5 ! might   (De la Villa) 22 CLlxf7 .ltg6 with
rather illustrate the dangers Black           approximate equality since White
still faces.                                  lacks a really juicy discovered
    On a more general note, I recently        check. Admittedly this is not so easy
wrote        an    article     on     space   to spot, but I nonetheless sometimes
advantages,        and       during     the   get the feeling there is a kind of
preparation of it I was struck by             'Hodgson           dividend'     whereby
quite how often the exploitation of a         Julian' s fearsome reputation in
spatial plus is in fact facilitated by a      complex          positions     encourages
queen exchange. This is especially            opponents to try and keep things
noteworthy because it goes against            simple when in fact the more
the basic rule of thumb about the             double-edged path offers better
player with the advantage keeping             chances of survival.
material on the board in such                    18 g5 ! ?
situations. The key point seems to               A striking decision. Rather than
be that the kind of spatial plus              trying to arrange a traditional pawn
which White has here, requiring an            storm with h4 and g5 etc, White
expansion of the kingside pawns is            advances immediately to obtain a
greatly hampered if there are                 quite superb knight on g5 .
outstanding issues of king safety.
The queen exchange can assist in                 1 8 . . . hxg5 19 CLlxg5 1:[fB 20 CLle2
                                              .ltd7?
this, no matter on which wing the
king is residing.                                This is the most important missed
                                              opportunity on the strategic front.
    15 �xf2 .id6 16 .ic4 CLlf6 1 7
                                              Black simply had to try to challenge
l:f.ad l ! ?
                                              White ' s cramping f5 pawn with
                                              20 . . . �e7 2 1 CZSg3 g6 ! when after 22
                                              h4, White still has a nice position,
                                              but not the easy, uncontested
                                              domination he enjoys in the game.
                                              After the passive text, Hodgson is
                                              able to fix the Black g-pawn too,
                                              and create another target for his
                                              operations.
                                                 2 1 h4 c;t>e7 22 h5! .lte8 23 1:[d3
                                              1:[h8 24 CLlg3 1:td8 25 l:f.b3 l:.b8 26
                                              J:[d l 1:th6 27 �f3 CLlh7 28 c;t>g4
                                              CLlxg5 29 �xg5 f6+ 30 �g4
1 86 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




    Black's rather passive play has           5 . . . d6
left us with a model restriction of           Consideration of the special
the bishop pair. Moreover both             implications of White ' s unusual
knight' s pawns still look like serious    move order might seem to be
targets. Shortly Black hastens the         jumping ahead a bit, but it is not
end by accepting a thematic pawn           hard to imagine that it is all about
sacrifice which illustrates yet            avoiding 5 lbc3 .tb4 ! ?, the subject
another technique for combating the        of Games 42 and 4 3 . Here, Black
bishop pair - the exchange of              acquiesces in the transposition back
bishops leaving the knight dominat­        to main lines, but 5 �d2 does suffer
ing the remaining bad bishop.              from a certain undeniable in­
    30 . . . .td7 3 1 .tn �hh8 32 �bd3     flexibility, and therefore raises
.l:.bd8 33 .te6! .txe6 ? ! 34 fxe6         special issues too. Black has various
�xd3 35 l:xd3 �xe6 36 lbf5 �g8             ways to try to inject an independent
37 .l:tb3 b6 38 .l:tc3 �d7 39 �h4 !        flavour into the proceedings :
    Black no longer has             the      a ) 5 . . . e5 6 dxe5 (or 6 lb c 3 .tb4 7
appropriate forces to mount a              dxe5 which comes to the same
defence of his various weaknesses.         thing) 7 . . :i'xe5 7 lbc3 .tb4 8
It is a nice irony that as soon as he is   lbge2 ! and now:
able to advance his backward
g-pawn he resigns, for although a            a l ) 8 . . . c6 is too risky. 9 0-0-0
weakness, this pawn was also               0-0 1 0 �b l �d8 1 1 f4 Wile7 1 2 a3
performing the crucial task of             .ta5 1 3 lbg3 d6 1 4 .li.e2 .tc7 1 5
holding his opponent' s passed             �hfl b5? A blunder, but Black' s
h-pawn !                                   position i s already very susceptible
                                           to attack. 16 .li.xb5 ! cxb5 17 lbd5
    39 ... g6 40 �g3 g5+ 4 1 �g4 �e6       �d7 1 8 Wilc3 .tb6 19 lbf5 f6 20
42 lld3 1-0                                lbxb6 axb6 21 �xd6 1 -0 OIl-De
                                           long, Wijk aan Zee (op) 1 997.
               Game 40
           Wells Britton
                  -                           a2) 8 . . . d6 ! is much sounder. 9 f4
       British Rapidplay 2002              'iYf6 1 0 O-O-O ! ? 0-0 ( 1 0 . . . .tg4 - is
                                           given by De la Villa, but I like 1 1 e5
  1 d4 lbf6 2 .tg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4            dxe5 12 fxe5 'Wie7 1 3 'iWf4 ! and if
.txf6 'iYxf6 5 �d2 ! ?                     1 3 . . . .txe2 then 14 lbd5 ! ) 1 1 �b l ! ?
                                           (threatening lbd5) 1 1 . . . lbd7 1 2 a3
                                           .ta5 13 'Wid3 offers fairly balanced
                                           chances, but I quite like this
                                           treatment for White who has
                                           reasonable hopes to create play on
                                           the kingside.
                                             b) 5 . . . c5 ! ? is a good candidate for
                                           the move most likely to cause
                                           trouble.
                                             Such a direct attack on the centre
                                           severely curtails White ' s options.
                                                                      2 . . . e6 3 e4 1 8 7


                                             he felt moved to sacrifice a piece
                                             with 1 3 . . . i.xd6 which should
                                             certainly not be sufficient. The
                                             critical try would seem to be
                                             8 . . . 'i'b6 ! ? since if 9 lbd2 'iYxb2 1 0
                                             .!:Ib l 'i'd4 I would b e sceptical as to
                                             whether White has full value for the
                                             pawn. This awaits further tests.
                                                 c) 5 . . . d5 ! ? is also well worth
                                             considering, the rationale being that
                                             against other attempts by Black to
                                             reach French structures (e.g. 5 lbc3
   b l ) 6 c 3 ? ! makes little sense.       �d8 ! ? and . . . d5) I have argued that
After 6 . . . d5 ! Black achieves the        d2 is not always the optimal square
French structure which we shall see          for the white queen. (See the note to
is perhaps the most effective                S . . .'i'd8 in Game 39 above) .
antidote to the 5 c3 system (see                 6 lbc3 a6
Games 44 and 45) only with the                   This has rather the appearance of
addition of what here is a frankly           a waiting move, although Black can
absurd position for the white queen.         sometimes have . . . b5 in mind.
   b2) 6 e5 is therefore all but forced      Having said this, the by no means
when Black again has a choice:               minor list of victims of a quick lbbS
   b2 1 ) 6 . . J Wh4 ! ? is recommended     in these lines, along with those who
by De la Villa as a virtual refutation       have found the i.bS pin an irritation
of White ' s play on the basis of the        will well understand the motivation.
game Condie-Grant, Scottish (ch)                 7 f4
1 995. It is true that the move                  As usual this and long castling is
effectively        obliges     White   to    the plan, the main issue is timing. In
sacrifice a pawn. However, after 7           contrast with the previous game,
lbf3 1IVe4+ 8 i.e2 cxd4 9 0-0 (9 c3          6 . . . a6 carries no immediate ' threat' ,
d3 ! offers no advantage) 9 . . . lbc6 1 0   and therefore White has a little more
i.d3 1IVg4 instead of 1 1 h3 ? ! White       time. Thus a case can be made for 7
could try 1 1 c3 ! ? dxc3 1 2 lbxc3          O-O-O ! ? A few illustrations :
with quite promising play.
                                                a) 7 . . . g5 in contrast with Game
   b22) After 6 . . .'i'd8, it would         4 1 , allows White time to get in 8 g3
seem slightly surprising if 7 d5 (7          and f4 . Of course this is playable
dxc5 i.xc5 8 lbc3 d5 ! ? ) 7 . . . exd5
                            =
                                             too, but I like White in such cases.
8 'i'xd5 were good for White, since
the queen has required 3 moves to               b) 7 . . . bS 8 e5 ! 'iWd8 9 i.d3 b4 1 0
get to d5. Still Froehlich-Delchev,          lbe4 lbc6?! 1 1 lbf3 dS 1 2 lbg3 g6
Metz (op) 2002 showed that Black's           1 3 lbe2 h5 14 h4 led to an unusually
task should not be underestimated.           pleasant looking French for White
He got in quite a mess after 8 . . . lbc6    in Romero Holmes - Zlotnik, Ceuta,
9 lbc3 d6 10 i.b5 lib6 ( 1 O .. :tic7        1 993 .
1 1 0-0-0 i.e6 12 i.xc6 ! + bxc6 1 3            c) 7 . . . 'ie7 8 f4 g6 9 lbf3 i.g7 1 0
lbb5 ! also looks dangerous) 1 1 exd6        i.d3 lbd7 i s one of several plausible
i.e6 1 2 i.xc6+ bxc6 1 3 'iVe5 when          move orders to reach a position that
1 88 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




has occurred in a surprising number            diagonal, but I suppose 1 1 fS ! ? is
of high level games.                           not the choice for a solid mood. In
                                               any case, the speed and force of
                                               White ' s no holds barred build-up in
                                               the game is the feature of this that I
                                               found instructive) 1 2 . . . bS 1 3 h4 cS
                                               1 4 gS cxd4 IS CDe2 exfS 16 exfS
                                               .ib7 1 7 f6 (the more restrained 1 7
                                               llh3 ! ?       looks   reasonable too)
                                               1 7 . . . CDxf6 1 8 gxf6 'ilfxf6 1 9 lldfl
                                               llae8 and now sadly White
                                               blundered with 20 CDfxd4 allowing
                                               20 . . . llxe2 ! Instead with the rather
                                               passive-looking 20 CDeg l followed
                                               by llh2-f2 . White might have had
                                               hopes of a successful reorganisation,
    All the discussion so far would            although I would not try to argue
lead us to think that White should             that his advantage is easy to handle.
have good chances by setting up the
dark square pawn wedge with 1 1 eS                 7 g5 ! ?
                                                   . . .



(De la Villa describes this as the                 Striking back on the dark squares
' ideal formation ' ) 1 1 . . . dS and now     before White can consolidate. While
de la Villa suggests 1 2 h4 ! when             it may look as if 6 . . . a6 is going to
 12 . . . cS 1 3 dxcS CDxcS 14 hS gS I S       find limited relevance in the ensuing
fS ! indeed looks very grim for                kings ide and centre dominated
Black. He must rather play 1 2 . . . hS,       contest (this is certainly how I
when White can either set about                viewed it during the game) in fact
organising a timely g4, or even try            there is a lot to be said for thus
to create play with the pieces e.g. 1 3        ' striking while the iron is hot ' . This
CDgS ! ? c S 1 4 llde l ! ? when               is not least because in general once
 14 . . . cxd4?! is probably already too       the White king is safely tucked
risky with the sacrifice I S CDxdS ! in        away, g3 might be a very decent,
the air. Interestingly, a couple of            solid reply, bolstering the f-pawn,
strong players have rather been                but here 8 g3 ? would of course fail
enticed by the murkier pleasures of            to the disruptive 8 . . . gxf4 9 gxf4
 1 1 fS ! ? As a move in this position I       'ilfh4+.
do not really think it can compete,
but to illustrate White ' s possibilities
in the position I think it is worth a
look. Pomes Marcet - B .Lali6,
Manresa, 1 995 continued 1 l . . . 0-0
( 1 1 . . . eS ? was ripped apart by 1 2
CDdS 'ilfd8 1 3 dxeS CDxeS 1 4 llhfl
c6 I S CDe3 0-0 1 6 CDxeS jtxeS 1 7
CDg4 1-0 i n Benjamin-Yermo linsky,
USA (ch) playoff 1 994. Ouch ! ) 1 2
g4 ! ? ( 1 2 lldfl looks more solid
since           the  text    has     serious
implications for the long white
                                                                      2 e6 3 e4 189
                                                                       . . .




   8 f5 ! ?                                       However, I think White, with a
   An interesting pawn sacrifice, and          little more restraint, can still get
a noteworthy and instructive idea,             very decent play. I would prefer 1 0
which we have already encountered              exf5 ! (Of course 1 0 e5 ! ? �d8 1 1
in Game 3 9 . I have to take issue             exd6 �xd6 1 2 J:e l + �fS offers
though with those commentators                 some sort of compensation too, but I
who give the impression that from              am sceptical if it suffices since it
here on Black is in very hot water.            will also be necessary to keep an
With correct play White has                    eye on the d4 pawn) intending to
undeniable compensation, but the               meet 1 0 . . . .txf5 with the positional
precise assessment is very much up             1 1 .td3 ! (threatening J:fl ) and now
for grabs. What I would say,                   for example after 1 1 . . . .te6 ! 1 2
however, is that if this sacrifice             'Dge2 0-0 1 3 J:hfl �e7 1 4 d5 ! ?
should be found wanting, White                 .ic8 1 5 'Dg3 White clearly has
might have to go back and                      development and attacking chances
re-consider 7 O-O-O ! ?, as other              for the pawn, but I could not claim a
moves here do not really impress               'clear advantage' here.
e.g. 8 'Dh3 gxf4 9 'Dxf4 h5 ! ? 1 0               There is of course a very close
.ic4 'Dc6 1 1 'Dce2 .ih6 where                 parallel with this in my analysis of
White ' s position should be just OK           Alberto David' s pawn offer (see the
dynamically,        but       Black      has
                                               note to move 7 of Game 39). I
sufficient counter-chances on the
                                               strongly suggest analysing these two
dark squares.
                                               in conjunction.
   8 . . . exf5? !
                                                  9 'Dd5!
   Simply too dangerous. It is
understandable that Black is afraid               Now this is best. It is all about the
of the consequences of his opponent            f6 square !
being         able  to       support     his      9 . . . �d8 1 0 exf5 c6!
light-squared pawn wedge, and it is               The         best    fighting   chance.
far from obvious over the board that           1 0 . . . .txf5 1 1 �f2 ! is awful for
acceptance of the gambit is better             Black.          In     Akopian-Iljushkin,
timed once White has castled but in            Novgorod (op) 1 999, only another
fact 8 . . . .tg7 ! first is a great           ten moves were required to see him
improvement. The point is that after           off after 1 1 . . . c6 12 �xf5 cxd5 1 3
9 0-0-0 (releasing the tension with 9          0-0-0 'Dc6 1 4 .td3 .te7 1 5 'De2
fxe6 fxe6 1 0 'Dge2 0-0 1 1 0-0-0              �d7 1 6 �f2 'Dd8 1 7 'Dc3 �c6 1 8
'Dc6 looks fine for Black)                     J:de l 'De6 1 9 �f5 J:d8 20 'Dxd5
acceptance of the pawn sacrifice
                                               �a4 2 1 J:xe6 ! 1 -0.
becomes a rather different ball game
since f6 square is covered, and the               1 l 'De3 !
black king has a flight square on fS .            The queen does not belong on the
Therefore 9 . . . exf5 ! ? 1 0 'Dd5 ? ! �d8    e-file, and I rightly decided that 1 1
1 1 exf5 .ixf5 ! no longer looks like          �e2+?! �d7 would only hinder my
full compensation although the 1 2             own development.
�e3+ .te6 1 3 'Dxc7+?? �xc7 1 4                   1 1 . . . .tg7 12 0-0-0 'Dd7 13 h4 ! ?
d 5 .te5 ! 0- 1 o f P .Huber-Ksieski,
Schwaebisch Gmuend (op) 1 99 8                    I t i s important to ensure that the
was hardly necessary either !                  kingside remains an uncongenial
1 90 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




territory In which to shelter the                  A fierce demonstration of White ' s
king.           If Black        could   play    attacking possibilities if Black
. ' . liJf6/ . . . dS and 0-0 without special   somewhat mis-timed his compet­
difficulty his position would be very           ition for the dark squares.
comfortable.
     13 . . . gxh4 ? ! 14 liJf3 i.f6 15 Wbl                  Game 4 1
                                                       Shereshevsky - Kolev
J:tg8?
                                                           Elenite 1 994
    Even though I realise that it was
more on the grounds of keeping                    1 d4 liJf6 2 i.g5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
files closed than out of misguided              i.xf6 1i'xf6 5 liJc3 d6 6 1i'd2 g5
materialism, I was a bit surprised by
my opponent' s pawn grab, since it
is difficult thereafter to develop his
remaining pieces. The text move
however, is a serious mistake.
Preventing liJg4 is a nice bonus, but
it should be well down Black ' s
check-list o f priorities.
     1 6 liJc4 d5 17 �e1+ �f8 18
'ixh6+ J:.g7 1 9 liJd6 i.e7 20 .l:.xh4 !
     A nice solution, although not too
difficult to spot. Black is completely
tied up.
     20 . . . liJf6                                Perhaps the move with the most
     Missing White ' s little combin­           pedigree in this position, the choice
ation, but it is too late to offer much         of amongst others Karpov, Leko,
constructive advice.                            and Topalov. Whatever fun we may
                                                have seen emanating from the
                                                strategy of provoking the move f4
                                                and then attacking it with . . . gS, a
                                                decent proportion of the enjoyment
                                                has always been White ' s and simply
                                                preventing the advance of White' s
                                                f-pawn       with     this   ' extended
                                                fianchetto ' bears the mark of
                                                common sense. Of course, it is not
                                                all roses. Here too competing for
                                                dark squares involves weakening
                                                some light ones - White can hope to
                                                exploit the ' hole' on hS, and of
                                                course, more often than not the
                                                advance . . . e6-eS is now ruled out if
  2 1 liJxf7 ! <j;xf7 22 liJe5+ 1-0             only      on     aesthetic     grounds.
  If 22 . . <j;g8 23 1i'h8 is mate,
                .                               Moreover, White can try to target
while 22 . . <j;f8 23 liJg6+ is also
                    .                           gS itself, as his next move
quite brutal.                                   illustrates.
                                                                           2 e6 3 e4 1 91
                                                                             . . .




    Nonetheless, in my view this is              nail on the head by targeting d4 and
clearly the right way to fianchetto.             now:
6 . . . g6? ! holds out little better
prospect than the kind of thankless
task for Black which we saw in
Note ' c ' to White' s 7th move in
Game 40 above.
    7 h4 ! ?
    An interesting addition t o White ' s
arsenal . The idea o f 0-0-0 and h4
has long been familiar, but the
immediate pressuring of g5 does
contain some independent features.
White has a number of quite
contrasting strategies at this juncture
though and I shall try to deal
                                                     a2 1 ) 9 t2Jb5 'iUd8 (After 9 . . . 0-0 ! ?
thoroughly with the more promising
                                                 Julian          understandably        decided
of them:
                                                 against 1 0 t2Jxc7 Mb8 when 1 1 t2Jb5
    a) 7 0-0-0 has long been the main            a6 1 2 t2Jxd6 t2Jxd4 would give
line but White' s strategy only really           Black some serious play on the dark
becomes defined with the further                 squares. However, his 1 0 f4 ! ? in
parting of the ways after 7 . . . �g7 :          Hodgson-Vukadinov,                 Winnipeg
    a 1 ) 8 e5 has already been                  (op)          1 997    revealed        another
considered         in     the         chapter    dimension of White ' s strategy. The
introduction. The problem of course              sensible 1 0 . . . a6 1 1 e5 "fiIe7 1 2 t2Jc3
is the difficulty of supporting this             would give White fair attacking
pawn with f4 such a contested                    chances - castling short is a mixed
square. In addition to Karpov ' s                blessing with such a structure) 1 0
sophisticated recipe, Black can even             d5 ! ? (This always involves a degree
try 8 . . . dxe5 9 dxe5 'iUf4 ! ? 1 0 �xf4       of risk given White ' s vulnerability
gxf4 1 1 t2Jf3 �d7 1 2 �b5 a6 1 3                on the dark squares in general, and
�xd7+ t2Jxd7 1 4 l:the 1 l:i.g8 1 5 lId4         his king sitting at the end of the long
�h8 1 6 g3 fxg3 1 7 hxg3 rj;e7 with              diagonal. It is possible of course to
full equality in Mamedyarov­                     play 1 0 c3 ! ? in the style of Adams '
Jobava, European (ch) Batumi 2002.               idea in note ' c ' ) 1 0 . . . exd5 ! 1 1 exd5
Further evidence that this is a little           t2Je7         12    �g2        was      Garcia
too committal for White. The e4-e5               Paolicchi-David, Linares (zt) 1 995
advance remains an aspiration, but               when I quite like simply 1 2 . . . .ltd7 ! ?
requires more careful preparation.               for Black.
   a2) 8 g3 ! ? This is as much                      a22) 9 .ltb5 ! ? I prefer this.
designed to support the advance of               9 . . . .ltd7 (De la Villa has praise for
the f-pawn as it is to prepare a                 9 . . . 0-0 ! ? 1 0 �xc6 bxc6 1 1 f4 c5 ! ?
fianchetto. This might well be the               and Black could well be first with
other critical line, and has been                the serious hits in the battle of
Hodgson' s choice both times that he             opposite side castling, although 1 2
was confronted by this position.                 dxc5 ! ? i s not clear at all. However, I
Still, Black' s reply 8 . . . t2Jc6 ! hits the   do not really see an objection to 1 0
1 92 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




liJge2 ! ? and 1 1 f4) 1 0 liJge2 a6             It is actually a precursor of rather
( 1 0 . . . �xf2? is asking for trouble.         sharp play, since in all probability
1 1 lldfl 'YWg2 12 h4 ! takes away the           the players will castle on opposite
queen ' s last flight square and                 sides .
threatens for example 'YWe3/�fg l , or
�e l lJ:i.f2) 1 1 iLxc6 .ixc6 12 f4
0-0-0




                                                     In the game White got fair
                                                 attacking prospects after 7 . . . liJc6 8
                                                 liJge2 i.g7 9 J:i.d l i.d7 1 0 0-0
1 3 �e3 ! ? ( 1 3 .l:!hfl �e7 ! ?)               0-0-0 1 1 liJbS a6 1 2 liJa3 g4 1 3 f4
1 3 . . . �b8 1 4 J:i.hfl ( 1 4 �b l ! ? looks   gxf3 1 4 J:i.xf3 'iWe7 I S c3 hS 1 6
worth considering as leaving the                 l1dfl lIdfS 1 7 b4 liJ a7 1 8 liJc2 .
rook on the h-file brings h-pawn                 However, the manoeuvre liJbS-a3 ,
moves into consideration. If White               which we shall revisit in ' c ' below,
wants to encourage Black to capture              while necessary here to provoke a
on f4, then h2-h4 can be a useful                target for White ' s              queenside
lever) 14 . . . 'iWg6 (again I suspect           operations feels somehow more
that 14 . . . �e7 ! is stronger, with a          suited to a slower positional struggle
tense equilibrium. Either side will              rather than the kind of attacking
be punished here for premature                   contest that has an element of a race
action - Black risks weakening                   about it. Indeed the view now is that
squares for his opponent' s knights,             Black can strike back a little more
while White must weigh the                       directly with 1 2 . . . 'YWg6 1 3 J.d3 fS ! ?
consequences of any advance in the               ( 1 3 . . . liJxd4 ? ! 1 4 liJxd4 J.xd4 I S
centre for opening either the g7-b2              J.xa6 ! ) 1 4 exfS exfS I S c 3 d S 1 6 b4
diagonal, or the d-file) and now                 'iWd6 as in Sarthou-Marciano,
maybe I S g4 ! ? intending to meet               Montpellier (op), 200 1 . White
 I S . . . hS with 1 6 fS and I slightly         should try 1 7 bS ! ? liJa7 1 8 'iVb2 as !
prefer White in this very finely                 which looks like a sharp position
balanced contest.                                with well balanced chances.
    b) 7 .ic4 ! ? was a quite original               c) 7 g3 ! ? J.g7 8 liJbS 1i'd8 9 c3 a6
take on the position which was                    1 0 liJa3 is a much more positionally
essayed in Anand-Karpov, World                   motivated idea, and rather typical of
(ch final k.o) Lausanne, 1 998 and               the very pragmatic Michael Adams.
which Anand attributes to Yusupov                I suppose the argument would be in
who was on his team for the match.               effect that S liJc3 has done its job by
                                                                          2 e6 3 e4 1 93
                                                                           . . .




provoking the weakening 6 . . . g5,             shocking 1 0 liJD ! ? does indeed look
and that this justifies expending               by far the most interesting of
some time to bolster up the dark                various bids for a quick knockout.
squares. The idea worked rather                 The point is to answer 1 0 . . . g4 with
well in its debut Adams-Leko,                   1 1 e5 ! after which White won a
European (ch) Rapid, Cap d'Agde,                super game in Schlenker-Pfrommer,
1 996 when after 10 . . . b6 1 1 i.g2           Waldshut 2002 following 1 1 . . . 'fig7
i.b7 12 lDc2 lDd7 13 lDe3 'fie7 1 4             1 2 liJg5 dxe5 1 3 d5 ! f6? ! (Weak,
lDe2 0-0-0 1 5 0-0-0 'it'b8 1 6 'it'b l         but nothing else looks much good
lDf6 1 7 �c2 h5 1 8 e5 liJd5 1 9                either for example 1 3 . . . 'iWh6 1 4
i.xd5 i.xd5 2 0 liJxd5 exd5 2 1 f4              dxe6 i.xe6 1 5 liJd5 with strong
White had the much pleasanter                   threats. From time to time it is
position. However, not only does                handy not yet to have castled
the whole thing suit Mickey' s style            queenside in this line ! ) 14 i.b5+ ! ?
perfectly, I also have the feeling that         c 6 1 5 liJxe6 i.xe6 1 6 dxe6 cxb5 1 7
Leko ' s reaction did not take the play         liJxb5 liJc6 1 8 'ikd6 .l:tc8 1 9 lId l
onto the right kind of battle ground            liJd4 20 liJxd4 exd4 2 1 .l:txd4 :a8
either. Maybe it was possible to play           22 l:hg4 ! although I think it is true
instead 8 . . . �e7 9 c3 and now either         that the more prosaic 1 4 liJxe6 was
9 . . . c6 1 0 liJa3 d5 1 1 e5 f6 ! ? or even   also strong. It was 1 1 . . . 'ile7 which I
9 . . . a6 1 0 liJa3 f5 ! ? Whatever the        had expected to leave White rather
answer, White' s position remains               loose, but after 1 2 liJb5 ! , I cannot
solid, and it seems Adams '                     now see any way to prove this for
sophisticated solution is here to stay          example 1 2 . . . gxD 1 3 'iWh6 i.xe5 !
as a reliable option.                           1 4 dxe5 d5 1 5 0-0-0 (but not 1 5
                                                �h8+ �d7 since the resource
    7 . . . i.g7 8 hxg5 hxg5
                                                . . . �g5        is    likely    to     prove
    If 8 . . . �xd4, simply 9 'fixd4            embarrassing at some level) 1 5 . . . a6
i.xd4 1 0 liJb5 ! is embarrassing.               1 6 liJd4 ( 1 6 liJc3 liJc6 looks about
    9 lhh8+ i.xh8                               equal) 1 6 . . . fxg2 1 7 i.xg2 and
                                                White           has      quite     dangerous
                                                compensation, indeed if 1 7 . . . c5
                                                White already has the option to
                                                force a draw with 1 8 liJf5 ! ? exf5 1 9
                                                i.xd5 lDd7 2 0 i.xf7+, but may well
                                                play for more with 1 8 liJf3 ! ?
                                                     Black can of course try to avoid
                                                these complications, but both
                                                 1 0 . . . a6 1 1 e5 dxe5 1 2 liJxe5 ! ? and
                                                perhaps more surprisingly 1 0 . . . liJc6
                                                 1 1 liJb5 �e7 12 'fixg5 'fixg5 1 3
                                                liJxg5 liJxd4 1 4 liJxc7+ �d7 1 5 c3 !
                                                look quite promising for White.
                                                      1 0 liJc6
                                                      . . .


  10 0-0-0                                           As usual Black can alternatively
  Clearly the main line. However,               take precautions against the pin, but
whilst I started out deeply sceptical,           1 0 . . . i.d7 1 1 liJf3 liJc6 1 2 d5 ! liJb4
I have to admit that the rather                  1 3 i.c4 b5 1 4 e5 ! (An unusual
1 94 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




example of the dual advance of the             'Dh2 ? ! a6 1 4 �h6? iLf6 1 5 'Dxc7+
centre pawns) 1 4 . . . �f4 1 5 �xf4           when I hardly see a way to even
gxf4 1 6 lLlxb5 iLxb5 1 7 iLxb5+               struggle on after the simple
�e7 18 dxe6 fXe6 19 exd6+ cxd6                 15 . . . 'it>d8 ! ) 13 . . . i.f6 when I think
20 c3 was very good for White in               he should bail out with a draw by
Lputian-Tukmakov, Tilburg (blitz)              means of 14 e5 dxe5 1 5 dxe5 'Dxe5
1 994.                                          16 'Dxc7+ ! "V/ixc7 17 �xf6 gxf3 1 8
                                               iLb5+ i.d7 1 9 "V/ih8+ �e7 20 �h4+
                                               etc. and Black cannot escape the
                                               checks at an acceptable price.
                                                  1 1 . . .i.d7 1 2 'Dge2 0-0-0 13 "iHe3
                                               �b8 14 f3
                                                  The rather forcing nature of the
                                               further course of the game
                                               encourages the thought that maybe
                                               the immediate 1 4 g4 ! ? could have
                                               been considered here.
                                                  1 4 . . . iLg7 1 5 g4 ! ?
                                                  An interesting twist. Rather than
                                               the g3/f4 formation which we saw
   11 i.b5 ! ?
                                               in note ' a ' to White ' s move 7, in
   This looks more dependable than             which the aim was to time
1 1 lLlf3, another attempt to blast            appropriately an opening of the
Black from the board, but one                  position, here White hopes to pursue
which wobbles a little on closer               a traditional, thematic light-square
examination. Tsesarsky in his notes            strategy by keeping the position
for ChessBase Magazine was                     rather closed, and trying to direct a
understandably unhappy with the                knight to the weakened square h5 .
position he obtained as Black after            The idea demands an energetic
1 1 . . .�f4 1 2 �xf4 gxf4 1 3 i.b5            response to maintain the balance,
iLd7 14 lLle2 e5 1 5 l:!.h l 0-0-0 1 6         and is an important addition to
d5 'De7 1 7 iLxd7+ �xd7 in                     White' s armoury.
Tyomkin-Tsesarsky,                Chemiak
                                                  15 . . . l:!.h8 16 'Dg3 "iHf4 ! 17 "V/ixf4
(mem), Ramat Aviv 2000, when I
                                               gxf4 1 8 iLxc6
agree with him that 1 8 g3 ! (and if
1 8 . . . f5 19 c4 ! fxe4 20 'Dg5 with
advantage) would have been the
most convincing route to emphasise
White ' s superiority on the light
squares. However, he says that he
could not make the more natural
1 1 . . . g4( ! ) work, but in contrast with
the analogous note to move 1 0
above, I am less convinced by
White ' s attack here after 1 2 lLlb5
�e7 !         1 3 �h6 ! (Better than
Tsesarsky ' s         recommended         13
                                                                        2 e6 3 e4 1 95
                                                                          . . .




   1 8 fxg3 !
     . . .                                        However the more modest
   An important tactical resource.            6 . . . d6 ! ? is not without point either.
Permitting White to fulfil his plan           Examples of White trying to blast
with 1 8 . . . .1i.xc6 1 9 ttJh5 would be     this away (for example with 7 a3
rather unpleasant to defend since the         .1i.a5 8 f4? ! which allows 8 . . . .1i.xc3 !
bishops really lack perspective.              9 bxc3 e5 ! and an early dose of
                                              embarrassment for the attacker, and
   1 9 .1i.xd7 .1i.h6+ 20 'ioti>bl .te3 2 1
                                              one of several such motifs where the
ttJe2 g 2 2 2 .1i.a4 ? !
                                              possibility of . . . 'i¥h4+ plays a maj or
   This leads t o a forced draw, a s the      role) lead me towards the belief that
g-pawn costs White precisely his              a more modest approach is in order.
extra piece. It was possible at least         After 7 a3 .1i.a5 ! ? (7 . . . .1i.xc3 8 'iDxc3
to try 22 c3 ! ? preparing 'ioti>c2, since    ttJc6 9 ttJf3 0-0 1 0 .1i.d3 'iDe7 1 1 e5 !
22 . . . c6 can be answered by 23 d5          f6 1 2 exd6 cxd6 1 3 0-0 f5 1 4 Itae 1
and the bishop lives to fight another         'iVf6 1 5 b4 a6 1 6 a4 l:.d8 1 7 b5 axb5
day. However, whether this would               1 8 axb5 ttJe7 1 9 l:Ia l ttJd5 20 'iVb3
be enough to seriously trouble                gave White a pleasant initiative in
Black is doubtful.                            Gelfand-Rozentalis, Tilburg (rapid),
   22 . . . .1i.xd4 23 c3 .1i.e3 24 'ic2       1 992. This should generally be the
YZ-YZ                                         case after the exchange as long as
                                              White           successfully        anticipates
      (Non-Repertoire -                       Black's intention to find a painless
                                              moment to play . . . e5 himself)
    Mainly For Illustration)
                                              White should probably settle for
                  Game 42                     either:
             Hodgson - Rowson
             Vikings, York 2000

    1 d4 ttJf6 2 .1i.g5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
.txf6 'iVxf6 5 ttJc3 .1i.b4 ! ?
   A s far a s I can see i t i s this pin
which has caused a certain crisis of
confidence in 5 ttJc3 in recent times.
This game I am discussing is by no
means for imitation by White. Quite
the contrary, it is a fairly clean
example of Black' s model strategy
in action. Rather it can be seen as a
starting point for deciding whether
                                                  a) 8 ttJge2 c6 ! ? (I prefer this to
5 . . . .1i.b4 can be tackled, or whether
it must be somehow avoided.                   8 . . . e5 9 b4 .1i.b6 1 0 ttJd5 'iDd8 1 1
                                              lId 1 exd4 1 2 ttJxd4 0-0 1 3 .1i.e2
    6 'i¥d2 c5!                               l:Ie8 when although sceptical of the
    This is the real challenge. White         pawn offer played in the game with
must react at once to the threat to            14 0-0 lIxe4 1 5 ttJb5 Romero
take on d4.                                   Holmes - Van Beek, Sonnevanck
1 96 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




 1 998, I quite like White ' s spatial             7 a3
pull after simply 14 'i!Vf4 ! ?) 9 b4              Securing the return of the bishop
�c7 ? ! (9 . . . �b6 ! looks more active,       pair, but only at the cost of some
and 1 0 e5 dxe5 1 1 �e4 'i!Ve7 1 2              structural damage. It is difficult to
dxe5 0-0 should b e nothing to fear             avoid the recognition that this must
particularly) 1 0 a4 O-O?! ( 1 0 . . . a5 ! ?   rather go against the grain for a
looks better, to win some dark                  Trompowsky player. Still, the
squares in exchange for White ' s               doubled c-pawns are not in
coming light-square superiority in              themselves disastrous news. If
the centre) 1 1 a5 e5 1 2 d5 �d7 1 3            White could organise a central break
�g3 'i!Vg5 1 4 �xg5 hxg5 1 5 dxc6               with f4/�f3 and e5 then his
bxc6 16 b5 with another model                   light-squared bishop would have
demonstration of containing the                 promising scope and his kings ide
bishop pair by ensuring that the                prospects would represent very
light squares are the crucial battle            reasonable compensation. It is rather
ground. Knaak-Enders, Bundesliga                the fact that Black appears to be
 1 99 8 .                                       able to set up a blockade on the
    b ) 8 �f3 ! ? a modest development          central       dark       squares      in
which I have not tended to endorse              'Nimzo-Indian-like ' fashion which
elsewhere, but which with the                   is really off-putting from the White
bishop on a5 gains considerably in              side.
force. 8 . . . �d7 9 �e2 0-0 1 0 0-0               Alternatives? Well I shall briefly
c6 1 1 b4 �c7 (Nothing is gained by             consider two, but the first though
 1 1 . . . �b6 here as 12 �a4 �c7 1 3           not       clearly     refuted     looks
c4 fits in fine with White ' s plans) 1 2       intrinsically a little unlikely, while
.:Ife l e 5 1 3 d5 c 5 1 4 �a4 g 5 1 5          the second seems to have such a
'it'd3 ! ? �b6 1 6 �b2 �g6 1 7 bxc5             clearly definable flaw, that the
dxc5 1 8 'ie3 f5 Soffer-Rapoport,               attempt to overcome this has been
Rishon Le Zion 1 997, and now 1 9               the inspiration for the refinement in
�c4 ! ? looks promising for White.              White ' s set-up which I shall
This could well be White ' s best, and          examine in Game 4 3 .
also seems to be broadly applicable
in the analogous case after 6 'ilVd3 ! ?           a ) 7 dxc5 ! ? might actually b e the
                                                best move in the position.




            Position after 6 c5
                            . . .
                                                                                  2 e6 3 e4 1 9 7
                                                                                   . . .




    Black         has         two          reasonable    games and Black has in general
approaches - to try and show that                        been rather compliant. De la Villa
the ' opening up ' of the dark squares                   also examines the move, but
is to his advantage, or to give up a                     suggests 7 . . . 'Yi'd8 ? ! which to me
pawn to shatter White ' s structure.                     seems quite OK for White. The
The evidence to some extent                              problem rather is very concrete. If
sanctions the latter course:                             Black finds the slightly awkward­
    al) 7 . Ji'Jc6 8 f4 g5 ! ? 9 ctJge2                  looking, but very effective 7 . . . 'iWf5 !
gxf4 10 ctJxf4 1I.xc5 1 1 1I.e2 was
Kurajica-Razuvaev, Zaragoza (op)
1 996, and a very unbalanced
position which is hard to assess, not
aided either by the fact that the
record of the game seems to be
faulty. I think White ' s attacking
chances should probably compen­
sate for Black' s superiority on the
dark squares. It is not too clear what
Black should play either. He would
like to keep . . . 11.b4 in reserve as an
answer to 0-0-0, but would fear
short castling if he plays it                            there seems to be no way for White
immediately.                   1 1 . . . i.d4       IS   to prevent serious damage to his
interesting, intending to meet 1 2                       centre e.g. 8 ctJf3 (Insipid, but
:If! with 1 2 . . . i.xc3 ! ( 1 2 . . . 'Yi'h4+? !       probably less harmful than 8 a3
 J 3 g3 'Yi'xh2 1 4 ctJh5 ! ) 1 3 bxc3                   cxd4 9 axb4 dxc3 10 'Yi'xc3 ctJc6 1 1
'Yi'g5 !        with          good          defensive    ctJf3 'Yi'e4+ 1 2 i.e2 'Yi'xb4 l 3 'Yi'xb4
prospects . However, 12 ctJb5 ! ?                        ctJxb4 when there is very little to
i.xb2 l 3 :Id l i.e5 1 4 0-0 looks a                     show for the pawn. By the way,
better bet to keep maxImum                               Fritz 7 finds the White position here
dynamic chances .                                        satisfactory, final proof for me that
    a2) 7 . . . 0-0 ! ? 8 f4 i.xc3 9 bxc3 b6             caution         should    be     exercised
(9 . . . e5 ! ? might be worth consider­                 regarding his judgement of pawn
ing too) 1 0 cxb6 axb6 1 1 ctJf3 ( 1 1                   sacrifices. He tends to let his
i.d3 1I.b7 1 2 ctJe2 ! ?) 1 1 . . . i.b7 1 2             optimism run away with him ! ; or 8
1I.d3 :Ia4 1 3 0--0 1I.xe4 1 4 ctJe5                     1I.d3 'Yi' g4 ! ; or 8 f4? cxd4 9 'Yi'xd4
'Yi'e7 1 5 c4 and now perhaps the                        ctJc6 1 0 'Yi'd2 g5 ! and in all cases
simple           1 5 . . . 1I.b7 ! ?        was    an    Black is clearly better) 8 . . . cxd4 9
                                                         'Yi'xd4 ctJc6 1 0 'Yi'd3 'Yi'xd3 1 1 i.xd3
interesting alternative to 1 5 . . . d6 1 6
                                                         and Black can choose between
ctJg4 d5 although in any case I think
                                                          1 1 . . . i.xc3+ or even 1 1 . . . f6 as
Black is doing fine. Schlindwein­
                                                         routes to a slight plus.
Lutz, Bundesliga 2000.
                                                             Awareness of this irritating hitch
    b) 7 e5?! is to my mind the way
                                                         will help to explain the otherwise
White would wish to play, and looks
                                                         rather perverse-looking 6 'Yi'd3 ! ? of
promising if (but sadly only if)
                                                         Game 4 3 .
Black answers too routinely. Indeed
 it has been tried in a handful of                          7   . . .   i.xc3 !
1 98 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




  This is the structure which best             had reached this unpromlsmg
hinders         White ' s            dynamic   position. 13 . . . b6 14 Ji.c4 Ji.g4 Yl-Yl
possibilities . 7 . . . cxd4 ? ! 8 axb4 dxc3   Hodgson - De Firmian, Donner
9 bxc3 0-0 10 ttJf3 ttJc6 1 1 b5 ttJe5         (mem) Amsterdam 1 996 also sums
12 ttJxe5 'i¥xe5 1 3 'i¥d4 ! was good          up quite well the potential in
for White in Hodgson-Pritchett,                White ' s game. I suspect Jonathan
European Club Cup, London 1 996.               was already playing for more.
  8 bxe3 d6                                      14 'iVxe5 };tfe8!




     9 ttJf3
     Given the ease with which Black              1 5 'iVe3 'iVf4 ! ?
is able to block his opponent' s play            A good solution for ensuring that
in the centre after this, it is no             Black can still press with minimum
surprise that 9 f4 has also been tried.        risk. Black adds the e5 square to his
As usual White would be fine if he             assets, and ensures that he will make
could advance his e-pawn to e5, but            the ' right' exchange, leaving his
as again seems customary in this               promising knight against a rather
variation, he does not get the                 restricted bishop.
chance. Indeed 9 . . . e5 1 0 Ji.b5+
                                                  1 6 'i'xf4 exf4 1 7 .l:tabl Ji.xf3 1 8
Ji.d7 1 1 Ji.xd7+ ttJxd7 12 ttJe2
                                               gxf3 b 6 1 9 ltb5 ttJe7 ? !
'ili'h4+ 13 g3 'i¥e7 14 fxe5 dxe5 1 5
d5 ttJb6 1 6 a4 0-0 1 7 0-0 c4 1 8                I d o not fully understand this.
'ig2 'i¥d7 1 9 a5 ttJc8 2 0 ttJg l ttJd6       Jonathan must have had his reasons
Schirbel-Rowson, Bundesliga 200 1              for rej ecting the natural 1 9 . . . ttJa5 ! ?,
was pretty much a model for                    but I cannot work out what they
everything White should avoid                  were. In any case, from our
positionally. It is true that 1 1 l:tb l !     standpoint the message is clear.
is a considerable improvement, but             White is on the defensive, and the
still 1 1 . . . exd4 ! 1 2 cxd4 cxd4 1 3       variation from 7 a3 onwards at least
ttJ f3 ttJc6 1 4 0-0 0-0 does not look         has no place in the repertoire.
very exciting for White.                          20 e4 l:te7 2 1 l:d l .l:i.ae8 22 a4
     9 . . . 0-0 1 0 Ji.e2 ttJe6 1 1 0-0 e5    'ifS 23 'it;g2 g6 24 ktd6 Yl-Yl
 1 2 dxe5 dxe5 13 'i¥e3 Ji.g4 ! ?                 White has covered his key
     Perhaps surprisingly, this was            weaknesses, and his rooks are active
actually the second time that Julian           enough to hold the balance.
                                                                   2 e6 3 e4 1 99
                                                                    . . .




             Game 43                           iii) The claim the queen may head
           Wells - Seel                   for g3 on occasion is rather l ess
    Hastings Challengers 2003             proven, but not totally implausible.
                                               6 ... c5
 1 d4 tLif6 2 �g5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
�xf6 jyxf6 5 tLic3 �b4 6 jyd3 ! ?              Continuing in the same vein as he
                                          would have against 6 jyd2 .
                                          However, whilst the jury is still very
                                          much out in what follows, there is a
                                          prima facie case for suggesting
                                          with ' normal play' d3 might be a
                                          less convenient square than d2, and
                                          therefore that alternative moves
                                          might come into their own here.
                                          6 . . . d6 is the most obvious of these.
                                          However, I suggest that White
                                          should play quietly with 7 a3 ..lia5 8
                                          tLif3 as in note ' b ' to Black' s 6th
                                          move in Game 42, and in this case,
                                          it is even possible that d3 has
  W e are s o used t o employing the      advantages (Indeed, White actually
queen to wield whatever influence         played jyd2-d3 on move 1 5 there ! ) .
she can manage over the dark
squares that this move makes a very            7 e5 !
odd impression. Concretely, it also            Good or bad, the fact that having
blocks the fl bishop and fails to         the f5 square covered enables this
defend       £2 ,     the     customary   move is one half of what 6 jyd3 is
preparation for castling long here.       all about.
To make a case for it, there certainly         7 . . . jye7
need to be major plus points ! I am
                                               Looks natural, but since Black has
coming to believe more and more
                                          to reckon with a quick a2-a3 , there
strongly that there are. The two
main ideas are:                           might be a case for d8 as a square,
                                          preparing to meet such a challenge
   i) Covering the f5 square in           to the bishop with the irritating pin
readiness for playing 7 e5 ! in           . . . jya5 . In the case of 7 . . . jyd8 ! ?
response to 6 . . . c5 . This is a very   however, White has an extra option
specific argument, and I refer you to     too in 8 dxc5 ! which is almost
7th move notes in this and the            certainly best. There is no practical
previous game for details.                experience here, but I would be
  ii) Leaving the knight ' less           happy to play White after for
pinned ' ! Yes, a strange concept         example 8 . . . jya5 9 tLige2 tLic6 ! 1 0
maybe, but White now only needs           f4 ..lixc5 1 1 0-0-0 and now
to play 0-0-0 and the knight can be        1 1 . . . tLib4 is simply met with 1 2
on its way again. Again, this will be     JYc4 while against others, there are
seen to play a key role in the game.      tLie4 and �g3 to come with a
   In addition another point:             promising attacking position.
200 2 e6 3 e4
       . . .




                                               winning a piece for clearly
                                               insufficient compensation.
                                                  9 iVxc3 ltJc6! 10 dxc5
                                                  It is no longer really an option to
                                               play 10 dS in view of 10 . . . exdS 1 1
                                               IhdS ltJb4 !
                                                  1 0 . . . iVg5+ 1 1 �bl 'ifxe5 1 2
                                               ltJe2 ! ?
                                                  Making the best o f it, but already
                                               I felt that any endgame advantage
                                               would be minimal .
                                                  1 2 . . . b6! 13 cxb6 axb6 1 4 f4
    8 0-0-0 ? !
    Not very well thought through. I
had got as far as realising that the
pin must be broken, and that Black
probably should capture on c3
' uninvited ' after the text, and
therefore it seemed like it must be
the right move, gaining the better
part of a tempo over 8 a3 ! ? What I
had failed to appreciate is that
useful though 8 0-0-0 is in general
terms, the specifics of having the
king on c l will work to Black' s
favour i n a moment, and that this                14 ... 'i'a5 ? !
probably overrides the tempo gain.
In other words, 8 a3 ! ? �xc3+                    Quite a momentous decision
(8 . . . .taS ? ! 9 0-0-0 �xc3 [9 . . cxd4
                                    .
                                               which my opponent made very
 1 0 ltJe4 0-0 1 1 'ifg3 ! ? ltJc6 1 2 ltJf3   quickly. Of course, the actual
�b6 1 3 �d3 also looks quite                   theoretical assessment of the hugely
promising for White] 1 0 iVxc3 ltJc6           double-edged text move would
 1 1 dS ! - enabled by the coverage            probably lie somewhere deep in the
which a3 affords the b4 square - is            notes to Black's 1 8th. What is not in
                                               question is that such moments when
better for White too) 9 'ifxc3 seems
rather more awkward for Black,                 the character of the play can swing
                                               from dullish ending to extremely
who is all but forced to play 9 . . . b6.
                                               sharp tense middle game occur just
    8 ... .txc3                                once or twice at the most in the
    It is quite striking that the threat       game and usually merit careful
of ltJbS is strong enough to induce            consideration. I must say I was
this exchange, and quite a feather in          delighted        by my          opponent' s
6 'iYd3 ' s cap in general terms.              bravery.
    The point is that 8 . . . cxd4 is very        An analysis of 1 4 . . . 'iVxc3 ! largely
dubious in view of 9 ltJbS 'iV gS+ 1 0         bears out this emotion. After I S
'otb 1 'iVxeS 1 1 ltJf3 'iVcs 1 2 a3           ltJxc3 �e7 1 6 .tb5 .ta6 ! 1 7 �xa6
                                                                        2 . . . e6 3 e 4 201


Iha6 1 8 'uhe 1 l:i.d8 1 9 f5 I think                This makes it easy, since by
there is enough pressure on the                   returning material White in tum gets
Black position to prevent him even                a decisive attack. Still, any
really considering the exploitation               improvement would already be at
his slight structural plus (the extra             best in the realm of seeking
centre pawn). However, I think it is              practical swindling prospects.
very hard to increase this from                      3 1 l:i.xal 'iWxa1+ 32 �d2 'iWxhl
irritation into something more                    33 fxe6 dxe6
tangible.
                                                     Or 33 . . . f5 34 i.b5 . Black ' s
    1 5 'iWxg7! 'iWxa2+ 16 <;t;?c1 %:tf8 17       decision t o play o n here should be
ttJc3 ! 'iWa1+ 1 8 'it>d2 'iWxb2?                 something of an embarrassment to
    Black continues to underestimate              the Hastings Tourist Board.
his opponent' s attacking resources.                 34 .i.b5+ 'it>d8 35 'iWxf8+ 'it>c7 36
It was necessary to play 18 . . . 'iWa5 !         'iVe7+ 'it>b8 37 'iWd6+ 'it>a8 38 i.c6+
1 9 .i.d3 and now maybe 1 9 . . . 'i!¥b4          i.b7 39 'iWd8+ 'it>a7 40 'iWc7 'iVxg2+
(directed against 20 l:i.a l , since              41 �c3 1-O
' winning' two rooks for the queen
could entail serious risks for the
defence) 20 g3 i.b7 and Black                                  Game 44
seems to be OK.                                            Hodgson - Rowson
    1 9 l:i.bl 'iWa3 20 ttJb5 'iWa5+ 2 1                     Oxford 1 998
'it>dl 'iIa2 2 2 <;t;?c1 l:i.a4 2 3 f5 !
    It is not so much that White had                 1 d4 ttJf6 2 ..tg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
some great array of attacking ideas,              ..txf6 'iIxf6 5 c3 ! ?
so much as that this one main idea is
very hard to meet. Opening the
e-file is out of the question, and
otherwise the arrival of the pawn on
f6 portends serious danger. Black
decides to sacrifice a piece,
probably a wise practical decision,
especially with my clock starting to
play an unwelcome role.
    23 ttJd4 ! ?
      . •.



    Not 23 . . . ttJb4 2 4 l:i.xb4 ! .l:xb4 2 5
ttJd6+ rtle7 26 f6+ �xd6 2 7 'iIxf8+
and wins.
                                                      I suppose i t was just a logical
    24 ttJxd4 'iVa3+ 25 'it>d2 'iWd6 26
                                                  matter of evolution. As White
'it>e3 ! f6 27 ttJf3!
                                                  became disillusioned with the pin
    The advanced White king is                    5 . . . i.b4 against 5 ttJc3 (for I am
strangely safe after this, and Black              sure it was this rather than Games
could find nothing better than to                 3 9-4 1 which was the area of
drive it back again.                              discontent) and as the lack of punch
    27 . . . 'iWc5+ 28 'it>d2 'iWa5+ 29 'it>cl    inherent in 5 ttJf3 became more
.l:a l 30 ..td3 'iWa2 ? !                         overt, so White sought a system
202 2 e6 3 e4
            . . .




which kept both his c and f-pawns
flexible. Keep those knights at home
- they only block your pawns up !
With the move S c3, which made its
very first appearance as late as
1 994, White seeks to bolster the
d-pawn (at times a vulnerable spot
in the systems with S lbc3 as we
have seen) and prepare to develop
with i.d3/lbe2/0-0/f4 etc. In this
game White is able to implement
that full plan, and though there was
no unanimous verdict that this                   a) 7 g3 represents to my mind a
necessarily         suffices    for    an    moderately serious concession. In
advantage, I am increasingly of the          Karttunen-Relange, European Club
view that I would play White every           Cup, Halkidiki 2002 after 7 . . . eS 8
time here if I thought I would be            lbd2 g6 9 lbe2 i.g7 1 0 f4 'WIe7 1 1
allowed this set-up.                         0-0 i.h3 1 2 1:.£2 lbd7 a position
    S d6
    . . .                                    was reached comparable with those
    Once the almost automatic reply,         seen in the discussion of 6 . . . eS
there is now a clear and probably            below, with the exception that the
justified movement towards S . . . dS ! ?    inclusion of . . . i.h3 and .l:t£2 seems
- see Game 4 S . Another alternative         to create difficulties for White' s
is S . . . cS but White is solid enough      smooth organisation.
on the dark squares to be able to                b) 7 lbf3 ! ? is the move I would
make a slight concession there in            like to make work, the only one
the interests of trying to hamper            which could cast real doubt upon
Black's free development. With 6             Black's idea. The problem is that
lbf3 lbc6 7 dS ! lbeS 8 i.e2 lbxf3+          after 7 . . . 'it'xg2 8 �g 1 'it'h3 for all
9 i.xf3 White should be a little             White 's development advantage,
better although Black' s eccentric­          Black has no real weaknesses, and it
looking strategy in V.Milov­                 is not a trivial task trying to make an
Macieja, European (ch), Batumi               impression. The best chance seems
2002, 9 . . . eS 1 0 a4 g6 I 1 lba3 d6 1 2   to be to play against the still rather
i.e2 h S 1 3 i.bS+ rj;e7 1 4 a s 'it'h4      exposed queen. Perhaps 9 lbbd2
 I S 'it'e2 fS is worthy of attention,       'it'hS 1 0 lLlfl ! ? is best, when B lack
since it is not so easy for White to         should probably lose more time
find targets to attack.                      with 10 . . . 'it'aS ! ? ( 1 0 . . . lbd7 1 1 eS !
                                             dxeS 1 2 lbg3 'it'h3 1 3 'iWe2 ! ? looks
    6 i.d3 g6                                dangerous to me. Black's king will
    An indication that Black is not          have trouble finding peace either in
afraid of White 's planned build-up.         the centre or on the kings ide) 1 1
However, there is an interesting             lbe3 ! ? and now perhaps 1 1 . . . c6 is
alternative which seeks to disrupt           prudent. Attitudes to such a position
White' s plans in 6 . . . 'iWgS ! ? White    will always be heavily determined
has two plausible tries :                    by style - it is I think, genuinely a
                                                                         2 e6 3 e4 203
                                                                          . . .




matter of taste. Black is still very             e5 dxe5 1 4 fxe5 worked well for
challenged in the developmental                  White after 1 4 . . :ikg5? ! 1 5 t2Jf4 in
stakes, and White can consider                   Wells-Fish, Bundesliga 11, 2002, but
either central break, d4-d5 or e4-e5             1 4 . . . 'iWd8 ! ? eyeing tactics against
in a bid to make trouble. I am aware             the bishop on d3 , and intending a
that many players would not feel                 quick . . . c5 is still very complex and
entirely comfortable with White ' s              unclear) 1 1 e5 'iWd8 1 2 t2Jbc3 0-0
compensation here, but I can                     1 3 J:c l dxe5 1 4 dxe5 g5? ! (If my
imagine many more would be put                   obj ection to . . . exd4 and . . . t2Jc6 is
off by the prospect of defending                 that they permit White to establish
Black.                                           the d4/e5/f4 pawn wedge already
    Another major idea is to stake a             discussed at several points through
claim to some dark squares with                  the chapter, the charge here is even
6 . . . e5 ! ? which might well be the           more serious. Well motivated
most promising option after 5 . . . d6.          positionally, asking for trouble with
                                                 the king on g8 ! 1 4 . . . i.e6 is more
                                                 circumspect) 1 5 t2Jd5 gxf4 1 6
                                                 t2Jexf4 t2Jxe5 1 7 J:xc7 �g4 1 8 �e2
                                                 'iYg5 19 �xg4 t2Jxg4 20 h3 t2Je5 2 1
                                                 t2Jh5 J:ad8 22 t2Jxg7 'iWxg7 2 3 t2Je7+
                                                 'it>h8 24 'iWc2 and even after some
                                                 simplification the f5 square repres­
                                                 ents a gash in Black's kingside
                                                 which is likely to have very adverse
                                                 consequences.               Hodgson-Ward,
                                                 British (ch), Millfield 2000.
                                                     b) 9 . . . 'iWe7( ! ) looks calm and
                                                 quite sound. It is not clear how
    The problem is that White 's c3              White should intensify the pressure,
move gives him sufficient hold of                while simply switching to the direct
the dark squares that he can calmly              light square attack with 1 0 dxe5
apply further pressure to Black's                dxe5 1 1 f5 0-0 1 2 t2Jg3 t2Jd7 1 3
e-pawn by proceeding with his                    t2Jd2 t2Jf6 1 4 'iWe2 h5 1 5 t2Jf3 �h6
original plan. However, just how                  16 h3 �d7 was not especially
dangerous this should be is open to              impressive             for    White      in
doubt too. Problems seem to ensue                Summerscale-Levitt, Redbus (KO)
when the defender feels the need to              200 1 . Bringing the queen' s knight
clarify the centre, but if he too sits           to f3 instead of rushing with 1 0
tight he may have few worries.                   dxe5 would keep the tension, and
Examples:                                        force Black to address the
    7 t2Je2 g6 8 0-0 �g7 9 f4 and                development of his queenside pieces
now:                                             in that context, but still I have a
                                                 feeling this is one of the best lines
    a) 9 . . . exd4 1 0 cxd4 t2Jc6               for the defence.
( 1 0 . . . �g4 ! ? is tougher. 1 1 'iVa4+ ! ?
( 1 1 e 5 i s not the desired route to a             7 t2Je2 �g7 8 0-0 0-0
bind in view of 1 2 . . . dxe5 1 2 dxe5              To some extent this is another
'iVb6+) 1 1 . . . t2Jd7 1 2 t2Jbc3 0-0 1 3       variation in which the general plan
204 2 . . . e6 3 e4


is of far greater importance than             much as soon as Black retreats his
precise move order, but nonetheless,          queen to e7. I assume this reflects
play took a series of very instructive        the prevalent respect for the system
and notable turns in Hodgson­                 discussed above in note ' b ' to
Ivanov, World (op), Philadelphia              Black' s 6th, which after the text
2000, after 8 . . . CDd7 9 f4 'V/ie7 l O eS   move Black could still reach a
b6 1 1 ..ie4 ! ? A very interesting           respectable version of with 1 1 . . . eS .
idea, modifYing the structure. For              1 1 . . .b6 1 2 'V/ig3 .ib7 13 e5!
the follow-up it is important that
White ' s knight has not yet been
committed to d2 . 1 1 . . . dS 1 2 ..id3
hS. With a closed centre, Black
clearly felt uneasy about the
possibility of a quick g4) 1 3 c4 ! ? A
nice twist to the light square
strategy. I have seen games in this
line in which surprisingly strong
players sought as Black to exchange
light-squared bishops, presumably
to take the sting out of White ' s
kings ide attack, but positionally this
should suit White down to the
ground.                                          13 . . . l:!.ad8
                                                 Another game from Julian
                                              featured an instructive positional
                                              error here. In Hodgson-Saint
                                              Amand, World (op) Philadelphia
                                              2000, Black played 13 . . . dxeS?! but
                                              after 1 4 fxeS 'V/igS?! I S 'V/ixgS hxgS
                                              1 6 .ie4 .ixe4 1 7 CDxe4 ..ih6 1 8 g4
                                              it is again revealed that this whole
                                              line is as much about light-square
                                              based initiative as it is about trying
                                              to mate Black. White has a distinct
                                              positional advantage here too.
                                                 14 CDe4 b5 ! ? 1 5 l:!.ael b4 1 6 h4 !
   1 3 . . . .ib7 14 cxdS ..ixdS I S CDbc3    bxc3 1 7 bxc3 �h8 18 h5 ! ?
.ib7 16 .ie4 ! .ixe4 17 CDxe4 0-0
1 8 lIc 1 l:Iac8 1 9 CD2c3 a6 20 'V/i a4         I t i s not strictly necessary t o play
ltJb8 2 1 dS ! with a real positional         this position with anything like the
triumph on the light-squares. The             flamboyant aggression that Julian
ideas in this game would repay                shows over the next few moves, but
study, and greatly enrich White ' s           when he is in the mood there is
strategic arsenal .                           really no stopping him. It is
                                              probably true, as De la Villa
   9 f4 CDd7 1 0 CDd2 'V/ie7 1 1 'V/iel       suggests, that the modest 1 8 l:!.b 1 is
   More recently Julian has switched          worth an edge. Still, in the game
to advancing his e-pawn pretty                extremely precise defence is also
                                                                        2 e6 3 e4 205
                                                                          . . .




required - as so often there is a                  30 . . . l:te6 3 1 l:tf7 lIxe3 32 .l:rxg7
strong practical element to Julian ' s         .l:rxf3 33 l:th7 mate.
j udgement.                                        An interesting game, despite
    18 . . . gxh5 19 �h3 h4 20 exd6            errors from both attack and defence.
exd6 21 f5 ! ?                                 However, the positional treatments
    Right or wrong there i s an elegant        to be found in the notes might throw
consistency to White' s blasting               a greater light upon the 'theoretical
through on the White squares. For              truth ' of the position.
that reason I am sceptical about the
claim that 2 1 . . . ..txe4 next would                        Game 45
have improved Black's defence.                            Dishman - Ward
The opposite coloured bishops                               4NCL 200 1
might only serve to magnify
White' s           light-square     control.
Black' s mistakes definitely come                 1 d4 'Llf6 2 ..tg5 e6 3 e4 h6 4
later.                                         ..txf6 �xf6 5 e3 d5 ! ?
                                                  Black radically alters the flow of
    2 1 . . .d5 22 f6 'Llxf6 23 'Llxf6 ? !
                                               the play with a move which at first
    This feels wrong, since drawing            severely dampened my enthusiasm
out the bishop in this case makes it           for 5 c3 . I was sceptical about this
 easier to defend key squares on the           French structure for White in the
kingside. 23 'Llc5 ! was better, when          absence of a dark-squared bishop,
23 . . . 'Lle4 ! 24 ..txe4 dxe4 25 'Llxb7      but now I have to say the situation is
�xb7 26 �xh4 �d5 27 'Llg3 f5 2 8               still very unclear.
'Llh5 should muster sufficient
threats to hold the balance, but I
would be surprised is Black is really
at risk.
    23 . . . ..txf6 24 'Llf4 l:td6
    If 24 . . . ..tg5 White has 25 l:txe6 !
�d7 26 l:te5 �xh3 27 'Llxh3 with
reasonable activity, but 24 . . . 'it>g8 !
leaves no obvious attacking follow­
up.
    25 ..te2 l:tg8 26 'Llh5 ..tg5 27
�d3 f6 28 'Llxf6 ..txf6 ?
    Only now does Black really spoil
his defensive efforts. 28 . . . l:tg7 ! was       6 e5
 still quite playable, as 29 'Llh5 ..ta6
 is certainly not worse for Black.                Perhaps due to my initial
                                               scepticism regarding the pseudo
    29 l:txf6 �g7 30 �f3                       ' Advance French ' it took me a
    In the absence of the excellent            while to realise that 6 'Lld2, the
defensive bishop, White ' s maj or             ' Tarrasch without the dark-squared
pieces flood in, and there is no               bishop ' is most likely more feeble.
 defence.                                      Perhaps not surprisingly, it is the
206 2 . . . e6 3 e4


. . . c5 lines with their consequent               S . . i.xc5
                                                      .


Isolated Queen Pawn positions in                   A more ambitious plan involves
which the bishop pair enhances the             trying to recapture this with the
dynamic qualities in Black' s                  knight, but in this case White has
compensation. Therefore after 6 . . .          chances to retain the pawn when the
c5 ! (6 . . . dxe4 7 ct:Jxe4 does seem         compensation             is    not entirely
promising for White - opening the              uncontroversial. Epishin has tried
position brings his superior develop­          this twice, but on neither occasion
ment to the fore) 7 exd5 (or 7 ct:Jgf3         was it so convincing: 8 . . . ct:Jd7 9 b4
ct:Jc6 [7 . . . cxd4 is also quite play­       and now
able] 8 i.b5 cxd4 9 ct:Jxd4 ..\td7 1 0
0-0 ..\te7 1 1 l:e l [ 1 1 exd5 ! ? exd5           a) 9 . . . g6 10 ct:Jbd2 ..\tg7 1 1 ..\tb5
 1 2 'ib3 might be slightly better,            0-0 12 ..\txd7 ..\txd7 1 3 0-0 'Vi'c7 1 4
although after 1 2 . . . 'iVd6 Black is        &te l b 6 1 5 ct:Jb3 ..\ta4 1 6 'iVd4 &tfc8
                                                1 7 .l:Iac 1 'iYb7 1 8 ct:Jfd2 and Black is
still very solid] 1 1 . . . 0-0 1 2 ct:J4f3
                                               some way from the clean return of
a6 1 3 i.f1 &tfd8 1 4 e5 'iVg6 1 5 ct:Jb3
                                               his pawn in V.Milov-Epishin, Lost
f6 1 6 exf6 'Vi'xf6 was fine for Black
                                               Boys (op), Amsterdam 2000.
in McDonald-S .Buckley, British
(ch) 2002) 7 . . . exd5 8 ..\tb5+ ..\td7 9         b) 9 . . . ..\te7 10 ..\td3 'Vi'c7 1 1 'Vi'e2
..\txd7+ ct:Jxd7 1 0 ct:Je2 ( 1 0 ct:Jgf3      a5 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 ct:Jbd2 b6 14 cxb6
looks more natural, but 1 0 . . . 'Vi'e6+ !    ct:Jxb6 1 5 l:Ifc 1 ..\td7 1 6 c4 dxc4 1 7
 1 1 'ie2 ..\td6 is very annoying)             ct:Jxc4 ct:Jxc4 1 8 .l:Ixc4 'iVb7 1 9 ct:Jd4
 1 0 . . . 0-0-0 1 1 ct:Jf1 cxd4 1 2 ct:Jxd4   &ta7 20 b5 ..\txb5 2 1 ct:Jxb5 'Vi'xb5 22
..\tc5 1 3 ct:Je3 i.xd4 1 4 cxd4 i¥a6 1 5      &tg4 'Vi'd5 23 i¥e3 ! and there is a
b4 ct:Jf6 1 6 'iVe2 Y2-Y2 Wells-Ward,          distinct feeling that the ' improve­
Redbus (KO) 2002 . White has                   ment' has been even worse.
absolutely nothing here.                       I.Rogers-Epishin, Bundesliga 200 1 .
     6 . . . i¥dS 7 ct:Jf3 c5 S dxc5 !         That a player of Epishin ' s class
                                               should appear to be so determined
                                               to avoid 8 . . . ..\txc5 is interesting and
                                               rather encouraging to White ' s cause.
                                                   9 ..\td3 ct:Jc6
                                                   Sensible, but there is a case for
                                               throwing in 9 . . . 'ib6 just to check
                                               out White ' s plans for bringing his
                                               queen' s knight into the play.
                                               Hodgson-Rowson, Redbus (KO)
                                               Southend 200 1 , continued 1 0 'Vi'e2
                                               ct:Jc6 1 1 0-0 ..\td7 1 2 b4 i.e7
                                               ( 1 2 . . . i.f8 ! ?    could        also      be
                                               considered if . . . g5 is coming) 1 3
  White has effectively conceded               ct:Jbd2 :rc8 1 4 a3 (preparing c4)
the bishop pair for some time, and              14 . . . g5 1 5 ct:Jb3 a5 16 &tac 1 ( 1 6
this is the best way to try and keep a         i.b5 ! ?) 1 6 . . . a4 1 7 ct:Ja l g4 1 8 ct:Jd2
degree of momentum. Attempts to                i.g5 1 9 J:tc2 .l:!.g8 and Black looks
merely defend d4 will leave b2 a               very active, but 20 b5 ! ? ct:Je7 2 1 c4
serious issue.                                  still offers White counterplay.
                                                                       2 e6 3 e4 207
                                                                         . . .




   1 0 0-0                                         Another consequence o f . . . g4,
  It is interesting just to make some          this positionally almost painless
moves such as 1 0 'iY'e2 .ltd7 1 1             opening of the f-file implies further
tDbd2 O-O ! ? 1 2 tDb3 ii.b6 when we           woe for Black' s king in the centre.
reach by transposition the game De                 24 . . . gxf3 25 tDxf3 l:!.g4 26 h3
La Villa Garcia-Garcia Ilundain,               �f4 27 tDh2
Pamplona 1 992. This is significant,               27 b4 ! ? might have been worth a
not for the precise move order, but            look too, trying ultimately to
because elsewhere there seems to be            embarrass the bold black rook.
an assumption that Black should
avoid castling short, but here with                27 . . . �xfl+ 28 l:!.xfl l:tc7 29 tDg4
after 1 3 0-0 playing a quick 1 3 . . . f6 !   .ltg7 30 tDf6+
he seems to be OK, even though the                 I wonder whether 30 'iY'd2 ! ? might
continuation 1 4 c4 fxe5 1;2-1;2 was           have been better. It is just that every
not in itself very enlightening.               exchange offers solace to the black
   10 . . :i!Vc7 1 1 'i!Ve2 a6 1 2 tDbd2 g5    king, until eventually when the
                                               queens are traded it appears to be
13 �fel g4 14 tDd4 ! .l:[g8 15 tDxc6
bxc6 1 6 c4 !                                  Black in the driving seat.
                                                   30 . . . Sl.xf6 31 exf6 'iY'd4 32
                                               ii.xa6? ii.xa6 33 'iY'xa6 �c4 34
                                               'iVxc4 l:txc4 35 :If2 �d7 36 g4 e5
                                                   Black' s rook, king and mobile
                                               centre pawns combine to give more
                                               than sufficient compensation for the
                                               pawn minus. I suspect White' s
                                               defence can be strengthened, but the
                                               rest has no bearing upon our theme.
                                                   37 �g2 �e6 38 �g3 d4 39 h4
                                               .l:.c8 40 g5 hxg5 41 hxg5 .l:.g8 42
                                               �g4 e4 43 �f4 e3 44 �g2 �d5 45
                                               �f3 lIe8 46 �e2 �c4 47 �g4 �h8
   As usual this break is a legitimate         48 g6 1:i.h2+ 49 'ifl 1:i.f2+ 50 �gl
source of play for White, and the              fxg6 5 1 l:lxg6 l:lf5 52 f7 l:lxf7 0-1
structure with . . . bxc6 seems to
increase its force. The whole plan                 Chapter 10      -   Conclusion
with         . . . g5 requires delicate
handling, and here I have the                    From the start of the chapter I
suspicion that Black rushed at the             made no efforts to disguise that this
further advance to g4 . White ' s              is positionally quite complex,
tDd4xc6 effectively ruled out the              difficult material with few clear
queenside as a haven for Black' s              answers to come at the end of it. I
king and finding cover is now a                began fairly agnostic between 5
very tricky business.                          lbc3 and 5 c3, and both moves have
   1 6 . . . �g5 17 cxd5 cxd5 1 8 �ac1         survived close examination pretty
�b6 19 tDb3 ii.b4 20 J:fl ii.b7 2 1            much in tact, but the j ourney has
�hl :Id8 2 2 a3 ii. f8 2 3 tDd2 .l:[d7         challenged a few of my initial
24 f4 !                                        assumptions.
208 2 e6 3 e4
        . . .




    On 5 lDc3 I think I was probably               is noteworthy - take a look at 1 4
right to be most concerned about                   g4 ! ? All in all, I like 7 h4 ! ? in
5 . . . ..tb4 . Game       42     remains          preference to the g3/f4 approach
unsatisfactory for White (probably                 which has been hitherto popular.
including 7 dxc5 which is a shame,                    What of 5 c3? Well, I had
although aesthetes might celebrate) .              assumed that 5 . . . d5 was the
However, I am now persuaded that                   problem (indeed as a player rather
the apparent artificiality of 5 'id2               than an author, it was this that led to
matters (either 5 . . . c5 ! ? or 5 . . . d5 ! ?   my re-examination of 5 lDc3).
could b e a problem) but 6 'id3 ! ?                However, I now have to say that I
seems to hold up better. The survey                find Game 45 and the notes
though has increased my respect for                surprisingly acceptable for White -
the old main line with 5 . . . d6. I               not a clear advantage, but positions
found Game 3 9 of particular interest              that can be played with perspective.
positionally - Black ' s ambitious                 The other area of concern is now the
dark-square strategy should be                     6th move options for Black in game
treated with respect - and 6 . . . g5 is           44. I do not really anticipate that
of enduring merit. Unless I have                   6 . . . �g5 will be an enduring
miscalculated and severely over­                   problem (even if my recommend­
estimated the idea, I expect practice              ation is a bit controversial), but it is
will soon reveal a lot more about 1 0              the good old dark squares again that
lDf3 ! ? to be found i n the notes to              will decide. If you are happy against
Game 4 1 . This is new, original and               6 . . . e5 ! ? with 9 . . . 'fiIe7 then by all
fascinatingly          sharp .           Also      means give 5 c3 a try !
Shereshevsky ' s positional treatment
                  Chapter 9 2 d5           -      . . .



               Introduction and 3 i.xf6

                                           necessarily get the advance c4
                                           unchallenged. On occasions Black
                                           can keep a foothold in the centre,
                                           but more often, and of considerable
                                           strategic note is that Black can
                                           sometimes get a reasonable position
                                           by exchanging on c4 at some point,
                                           playing in fact with no centre
                                           pawns. Much more on this later on
                                           though.
                                              I feel that I am in danger of
                                           falling into a common trap and
                                           talking about the positions after 3
    The move 2 . . . dS ! ? has managed    it.xf6 as if the re-capture away from
to acquire a very solid reputation         the centre is the only option. In fact
despite permitting White to see            the     alternative     3 . . . gxf6 ! ?   is
through his intention of exchanging        double-edged, ambitious and its
on f6 and inflicting doubled pawns.        relative neglect does not really seem
Indeed I come into contact every           to be founded on any sound
now and again with an apparent             theoretical basis. It is also a pretty
school of thought among Russian            good practical weapon especially at
players that this is simply "the           lower levels. My database indicates
equalising      line"       against the    that White is well over 3 times as
Trompowsky. In my opinion the              likely to follow-up with 4 e3 as with
respect afforded to this move is well      the more critical 4 c4 . This at least
deserved, but at the same time the         facilitates the task of equalising
idea that White can scarcely hope to       even      with     relatively        limited
play for the advantage is a                knowledge.
considerable overstatement.                   Before getting into the main body
    In comparison with the minor           of 3 it.xf6 theory, a word on
lines to be examined in the next and       alternatives. There is no denying
final chapter (2 . . . g6 in particular)   that several of the leading
2 . . . dS has the advantage that it       Trompowsky players have recently
prevents an automatic execution of         shown an inclination to settle for the
a White plan involving the                 unpretentious 3 e3 ! ? - a flick
exchange on f6 followed by for             through the database will reveal
example c4, g3 , it.g2 and a queen­        quite an illustrious group taking the
side advance. In other words in the        White side here: Lputian, Stefanova,
3 it.xf6 exf6 lines White does not         Kasparov in his many simultaneous
2 1 0 2 d5 3 Lf6
       . . .




outings, Speelman, Adams, Knaak             always having the option of playing
and of course Hodgson himself have          in 3 i.xf6 style against everything
all favoured 3 e3 at some time in the       except 3 . . . l2Je4 and 3 . . . l2Jbd7 . The
last couple of years . The question         point is that after 3 . . . c5 4 i.xf6
for the author is how much valuable         gxf6 ! we find ourselves in the note
time to devote to this. Throughout          to 4 e3 from Game 47 and a position
the book I have tried to treat the          which        Julian     describes          as
Trompowsky               in    its   most   ' extremely dynamic for Black ' . In
characteristic and critical form, and       fact I think that 5 c4 is still playable,
while I am much more inclined to            but that is not the main point. It
the modest approach after 2 . . d5  .       already feels a bit like Black is
than after for example 2 . . . e6, I have   dictating the play.
decided that there is still enough             iv) The real point is much the
bite in the White position after 3          same as that I made at the beginning
i.xf6 ! ? and sufficient stylistic          of Chapter 8. If you think you have
variety that I would like to                an opponent who is in a sense
concentrate on that.                        bluffing - who is attracted to the
   Just a few thoughts on 3 e3 which        dynamic          unbalanced         positions
hopefully will be of interest, not          which arise after the exchange on
only        for       those   who    have   f6, but who would be utterly turned
reservations about the material in          off by, and out to sea in the rather
the main body of this chapter:              amorphous manoeuvrings of a Torre
   i) No worries on 3 . . . ltJe4 which     Attack style position then by all
transposes to Chapter 5 and was             means head for 3 e3 . However, for
dealt with in particular detail there. I    everyday use, I hope the reader will
think it was the vitality of White' s       agree with me that 3 i.xf6 still has a
position i n this case which played a       lot to offer.
key role in rendering 3 e3 a fully
viable option.                                          3 i.xf6 gxf6!?
   ii) 3 . . . e6 is a solid if none too
exciting move. White can of course              In Chapter 6 I already discussed a
continue in Torre Attack mode, or           similar choice of whether to capture
can try to set up a kind of Stonewall       with e- or the g-pawn after 2 . . c5 3
                                                                                .

with the bishop outside the pawn            i.xf6. Some (but only some ! ) of the
chain on g5. However, I suspect that        same points apply here. With
the theoretically best course might         3 . . . gxf6 Black accepts further
be 4 c4 ! ? with which it seems White       weaknesses, a certain looseness on
has every chance of turning play            the kings ide - the h5 square in
back into an Orthodox Queen' s              particular - and does not gain the
Gambit. But i s this why we play the        easy development which flows from
Tromp?                                      the 'tempo-gain' which 3 . . . exf6
   iii) 3 . . . c5 ! ? is the reply which   effectively is. Here 3 . . . exf6 (Games
would          cause      me    the  most   49 and 50) is much stronger than in
headaches . This to me highlights my        Chapter 6 - since Black is not
main reservation about 3 e3 . It is not     obliged to follow up with . . . c5 and
just about finding a flexible move,         hence it does not involve an
awaiting Black's response and then          automatic weakening of his d-pawn.
                                                                   2 . . . d5 3 hf6 2 1 1


However, there are still key . . . cS      choice o f ways to build up an
issues at work. The point of               initiative. Better the 4 . . . dxc4 ! of
3 . . . gxf6 ! ? is precisely to keep a    Games 47 and 4 8 .
tight pawn mass in the centre and to           5 e 3 i.f5
follow up with . . . cS attacking
White ' s centre and trying to create          The most popular way to develop
play on the dark squares. As I said        here. One alternative is to set-up a
before, I think this line has a good       kind of Pseudo-Stonewall, but while
deal of potential and should be on a       the doubled f-pawns have one clear
short-list of Black' s best answers to     advantage in this regard - it is
the Trompowsky.                            possible to play . . . fS without
                                           weakening the castled king 's
               Game 46                     position in general and e6 in
          Plaskett J.Cooper
                   -                       particular - they do afford White a
          Hastings (op) 1 993              plan of attack too - using the g4
                                           lever. This is well illustrated by
  1 d4 ct'lf6 2 ii.g5 d5 3 ii.xf6
                                           S . . . e6 6 ct'lc3 f5 7 ct'lf3 ii.g7 8 �c2
gxf6 ! ?
                                           ct'ld7 9 h3 ! ? (Positionally, the
                                           exchange on dS would also be
                                           reasonable, but Julian has a more
                                           aggressive plan in mind for which
                                           the queenside is better left closed)
                                           9 . . . dxc4 ? ! (9 . . . ct'lf6 allows 1 0 ct'leS,
                                           but the text is still rather too
                                           accommodating) 1 0 i.xc4 �c7?! 1 1
                                           0-0-0 b S ? ! 1 2 i.b3 ii.a6 1 3 g4 ! f4
                                           and now despite having made very
                                           substantial positional gains, White
                                           opted for a very effective and
                                           elegant tactical solution with 1 4
                                           ct'lgS ! ? ct'l f8 I S ct'lce4 h 6 1 6 ct'lxfl
    4 c4                                   �xfl 1 7 dS ! ii.eS (To defend eS.
    The best in my opinion. After the       17 . . . ii.xb2+ ! ? looks a plausible try ,
natural 4 e3 Black has a good reply         18 'it>xb2 'ifeS+ 19 �b l cxdS but
in 4 . . . cS ! but due to its strong      again there is a very aesthetic
thematic links with the play in            solution in 20 llxdS ! exdS 2 1 exf4
Game 47 I would prefer to deal with        �xf4 22 i.xdS+ and the attack
it there. Incidentally I have had to       rages on) 1 8 dxe6+ 'it>g7 1 9 'ifcs
fiddle the actual move order here -        ii.c8 ? ! ( 1 9 . . . .l:f.h7 is better, but also
not for the first time. Plaskett in fact   fails to the spectacular 20 lld6 ! ! ) 20
did play 4 e3, and only after              .:td7+! 1 -0 in Hodgson-A.Martin,
4 . . . ii.fS did he continue with S c4    British (ch) Plymouth,                      1 992.
c6 and so on.                              Another for the collection of
    4 . . . c6                             Julian' s attacking classics in the
    To my mind this is too passive,        Trompowsky.
and allows White quite a wide                 6 ct'lc3 e6
212 2 d5 3 1Lxf6
       . . .




                                                 7 . . . Sl.e7
                                                Again 7 . . . 'iVb6 ! ? might be
                                             considered,           while    somehow
                                             7 . . . ltJd7 first also looks more
                                             natural.
                                                 8 c5 ! ?
                                                 Committal, but not without merit.
                                             Plaskett has found a very rational
                                             plan, and though his execution at
                                             this point arguably gives the
                                             impression more of resolution than
                                             finesse, it is not easy to counter. 8
    7 ltJf3 ! ?                              Sl.d3 looks more flexible, and if
    Not the most critical move, but          8 Sl.g6 then 9 c5. Of course he
                                              . . .


one which,            if followed up         would also have to reckon with
judiciously certainly limits Black' s        8 . . . Sl.xd3 9 �xd3 dxc4 1 0 �xc4,
counterplay.           However,        the   but I would prefer White ' s space
alternative 7 ltJge2 ! ? is quite            and knights in that case too.
attractive and now:                              8 . . . b6
    a) 7 . . Sl.d6 8 ltJg3 Sl.g6 9 'iVb3
               .
                                                Logical enough. Usually such a c5
�6? ! (Better 9 . . . b6 ! ? lO cxd5 cxd5    advance is countered either in this
 1 1 �c 1 a6 which should be                 way, or by an advance of the
somewhat favourable for White,               e-pawn in the centre, and here the
although the 12 ltJa4 Miladinovi6-           effect on the f-pawns and the f5
Grund, Cappelle la Grande 1 995              square militates against the latter
does not impress after 12 . . . ltJd7 !      course.
Instead 1 2 �a4+ ! ? for instance
looks promising) 1 0 c5 �xb3 1 1                 9 b4 bxc5
axb3 Sl.c7 1 2 b4 e5 1 3 b5 gave                 9 . . . a5 lO ltJa4 ! works well for
White terrific play on the queenside         White.
in Zlochevskij-Leoncini, Forrnia                 1 0 bxc5 �a5 1 1 �d2 ltJd7 1 2
(op) 1 994. The position is typical -        Sl.d3 Sl.xd3 13 �xd3 �b8 1 4 0-0 f5
albeit very pleasant - of many               1 5 h3 0-0 1 6 'Othl ! ?
similar queen' s pawn openings
except that here the doubled
e-pawns          substantially     hamper
Black' s hopes of counterplay in the
centre.
    b) 7 . . 'iVb6 ! ? therefore looks
               .


worth throwing in. After 8 �d2
dxc4 ! ? 9 ltJg3 Sl.d3 ! ? l O Sl.xd3 cxd3
 1 1 0-0-0 ltJd7 12 �xd3 0-0-0 1 3
�c2 White had only a slight edge in
Polovnikova-Kovalevskaya, Russia
(women ' s wch) Moscow 1 999.
                                                                  2 d5 3 Lf6 2 1 3
                                                                    . . .




    In a sense a declaration that Black       there i s n o clear way to strengthen
has done enough by getting first to           White' s position.
the b-file to render problematic                  32...'i'e6 33 e4! CLlg6 34 CLlxg6
White ' s task of pressing home his
advantage on the queens ide alone.                The immediate 34 exd5 ! ? was
The advance of the g-pawn again, as           also strong since 34 . . . CLlxe5 35 dxe5
in the note to move 5 , an instructive        'i'xe5 36 .l:.e2 looks embarrassing,
                                              e.g. 36 . . . 'i'f6 37 .l:.e8+ �f7 3 8
method of play against the doubled
                                              'i'xf6+ �xf6 3 9 .l:.f1 + �g6 4 0 .l:.e6+
f-pawns, but of course less
                                              �h5 4 1 ktxc6 with very dangerous
' clean-cut' in front of a castled
                                              united passed pawns. Still, again
king !
                                              Plaskett' s move should suffice.
    16 . . . �h8 1 7 .l:.gl ..\tf6
                                                  34 . . .'i'xg6 35 exd5 ..\ta5 36 CLle4
    1 7 . . . .l:.b2 ! ? was well worth       .l:.fS 37 'i'e2 exd5 38 CLlxg5 h6 39
considering.                                  CLlf3 'i'e4 40 .l:.xg7+ �xg7 41 'i'g2+
    18 .l:.ael .l:.g8 1 9 .l:.e2 'i'a3 20     �f7 42 ktxh6?
CLld2 ..\td8 2 1 g4 fxg4 22 CLldbl                Sometimes time trouble can be
'i'a5 23 hxg4 'i'e7                           sensed even when the moves are not
    It looks more sensible to be first        especially bad. I suspect as much
to the h-file. However, after                 here. Otherwise White would surely
23 . . . .l:.g6 ! ? 24 f4 .l:.h6+ 25 .l:.h2   have headed for 42 CLle5+ �e6 (
.l:.xh2+ 26 �xh2 it is equally true           42 . . . \t>e8 43 'i'xe4 dxe4 44 .l:.xh6
that the exchange of a pair of rooks          and the resource .l:.e6+ will ensure
is no panacea.                                that the e-pawn does not embark on
                                              a major new career) 43 .l:.xh6+ .l:.f6
    24 f4 CLlfS 25 CLld2 f6 26 CLlf3 .l:.g6
                                              44 .l:.xf6+ \t>xf6 45 'i'xe4 dxe4 46
27 .l:.h2 �g8 28 g5 !
                                              CLlc4 ! ensuring the survival of his
    White seems to have reached               strong pawns, and with it victory.
pretty much his optimum formation
                                                  42 . . . \t>e8 43 .l:.h3 ..\te7 44 a3
and effects the breakthrough.
                                              ';2-';2
    28 . . . fxg5 29 CLle5
                                                Black has a strange bind here
    Perhaps 29 fxg5 ! ? was also worth        which renders any further progress
considering. After 29 . . . 'i'g7 it is       highly problematic.
possible to play 30 e4 to meet
 30 . . . ..\tc7 with e5 and then try to                   Game 47
manoeuvre a knight to f4 . However,                     Galyas - R.Ruek
to advance the e-pawn in this way is              Elekes (mem), Budapest 2000
positionally hugely committal, and
Plaskett ' s            approach   is very      1 d4 CLlf6 2 .\tg5 d5 3 ..\txf6
understandable, and also strong.              gxf6 ! ? 4 e4
    29 . . . .l:.g7 30 f5 exf5 3 1 'i'xf5       In keeping with the battle for the
'i'e8 32 'i'f3                                initiative, White gets his strike in
    A wise retreat. The immediate 3 2         the centre in first. As I mentioned
e 4 'i'xf5 3 3 exf5 ..\tf6 34 CLlxc6 l:1c8    above the alternative 4 e3 risks
 35 CLlxd5 ! ? Ihc6 36 .l:.h6 CLld7           yielding the initiative when Black
leaves Black rather tired up, but             counters with 4 . . . c5 !
2 1 4 2 d5 3 Lf6
       . . .




                                                1 1 cS ( 1 1 lbe3 ! ?) 1 1 . . . i.h6 1 2 lbe3
                                               lbc7 1 3 i.c4 i.e4 14 lbe2 was
                                               Anastasian-Leko,             FIDE        (Wch)
                                               Moscow 200 1 and now 14 . . . e6
                                               would have been about equal.
                                                    bii) 6 . . . lbc6 ! ? 7 lbc3 ! (7 cxdS
                                               'ili'xd5 8 lbf3 i.g4 9 i.e2 i.xf3 1 0
                                               i.xf3 'it'e6+ ! was good for Black in
                                               Winants - Glavina Rossi, France
                                               (Tch) 200 1 ) 7 . . . dxc4 (7 . . . i.e6 is
                                               also playable) 8 d5 lbe5 9 i.xc4
                                               lbxc4 10 'ia4+ i.d7 1 1 'ili'xc4 ':'c8
    Then White has a choice, but even          was        Bigg-Summerscale,               Ron
the best line offers Black at the very         Banwell (mem) 2002 when after the
least a transposition back into the            correct 12 'iVb3 ! White ' s space
game, and probably more:                       might just about compensate the
    a) S dxcS is very insipid. It was          bishop pair, but not more.
already established, nearly 30 years
ago in Lombardy-Ivkov, Amster­
dam, 1 974 that by simple means
5 . . . e6 6 c4 dxc4 7 'ixd8+ 'it>xd8 8
i.xc4 i.xc5 9 lbc3 'it>e7 Black
would reach a very comfortable
position. In that case after 10 :c 1
i.d7 1 1 i.b5 ! ? (some apprehension
regarding the bishop pair seems
reasonable here) 1 1 . . . .l:tc8 1 2 i.xd7
lbxd7 1 3 lbge2 lbeS 14 0-0 a6 1 5
lba4 i.d6 1 6 l:txc 8 ? ! :xc8 1 7 :c l
:d8 ! it was already White trying to
fully equalise.                                     4 . . . dxc4
    b) S c4, though a little late, still            The best move in my view, more
looks best, but after S . . . cxd4             active than 4 . . . c6, since saddling
(S . . . dxc4 6 i.xc4 lets White off the       White with an isolated d-pawn
hook a little, returning to the main           always holds the promise of some
game. Useful though for proving                counterplay, even if there is a
that even if he is able to clean up the        certain soaking up of pressure
next couple of notes there are no              required first. Black has also
grounds for actually preferring 4 e3           sometimes tried the rather audacious
and 5 c4) 6 exd4 (6 'ixd4 dxc4 7               4 . . . c5 with similar ideas. He would
�xd8+ 'it>xd8 8 i.xc4 e6 is safer,             like after 5 e3 ? ! to transpose back
but offers no advantage) and now:              into the notes above to 4 e3 c5. It is
    bi) 6 . . . 'iVb6 7 lbc3 'it'xb2 8 lbxd5    important therefore that 5 cxd5
i.f5 9 'it'c 1 (If 9 lbc7+? 'it>d8 1 0         'ili'xd5 6 lbf3 cxd4 7 lbc3 achieve
lbxa8 'ic3+ 1 1 'it>e2 i.h6 ! the threat        something.             Fortunately, after
of . . . i.c2 just seems to win                 7 . . . 'id8 (7 . . :iWa5 8 lbxd4 i.d7 9
outright) 9 . . . 'ixc 1+ 1 0 :xc 1 lba6       'iVb3 ! ?) 8 lbxd4 e6 9 e3 a6 1 0
                                                                  2 d5 3 Lf6 2 1 5
                                                                    . . .




iVh5 ! ? i.b4 1 1 �c 1 iVa5 as played           Adventures initiated by Black
in Hodgson-Lukacs, Kesckemet                again fail to impress. 7 . . . J:.g8 8
 1 988, the simple 1 2 iVxa5 ..txa5 1 3     'ilkh5 e6 9 t'Lle2 �xg2 1 0 t'Llbc3 l:!g5
t'Llb3 is pleasant for White, indeed I      1 1 'iWxh7 'iWc7 was lanse-Van Delft,
even suspect that 1 3 . . . i.xc3+ is       Utrecht (op) 2000 when I think
advisable, otherwise 1 4 t'Lle4 will        White should continue 1 2 h4 ! ? l';Ig7
create more problems.                       1 3 iVd3 when his opponent' s
    5 e3 c5                                 development looks very ungainly
                                            for such an open position.
    White ' s 5th move looks to me too
solid to justify 5 . . . �g8 (in contrast       8 t'Lle2
with Game 48 where the analogous                The standard way to develop here.
idea has much more bite). I find            Is it just me though, or could White
plans involving the fianchetto              consider something a little more
attractive here. Either 6 t'Llc3 c6 7       aggressive at this stage? I feel
g3 ! ? b5 8 i.g2 or even 6 g3 ! ? - De      drawn to at least check out 8 'iWh5 ! ?
la Villa - look worth a try.                Black' s kings ide after castling
    6 i.xc4 cxd4 7 exd4                     doesn't look that secure, and that
                                            would seem to offer good
                                            compensation for the weakening of
                                            d4 and b2 which such a sortie
                                            clearly entails. At the very least, I
                                            am surprised that nobody even
                                            mentions the possibility. A few
                                            sample lines:




    7 ... i.g7
    Black has also tried 7 . . . t'Llc6 a
few times here when play has
usually continued as in the main
game. I am also tempted to look at 8
d5 ! ? t'Lle5 9 i.b5+ since the
exchange of light-squared bishops
feels like definite progress in                 8 . . . 0-0 (After 8 . . . e6 even 9
positional terms. However, there is         t'Llf3 ! ? comes into the reckoning.
an element of assisting Black to            Pawn grabbing with 9 . . . 'ilfb6 1 0 0-0
develop quickly about this, and             'ilkxb2 1 1 t'Llbd2 then looks a
9 . . . i.d7 1 0 i.xd7+ 'iWxd7 1 1 t'Llc3   distinctly risky business, and
:g8 ! ? 12 f4 t'Llc4 1 3 iVe2 iVc7 does     9 . . . t'Llc6 1 0 t'Llc3 t'Llxd4? 1 1 O-O-O !
indeed lead to a very complex               still more so) 9 t'Llge2 (I am less
position. Nonetheless I am a little         inclined to venture 9 t'Llf3 t'Llc6 here
surprised no one has thought fit to         as 1 0 t'Llc3 t'Llxd4 could well work
venture this.                               for Black) 9 . . . t'Llc6 (after 9 . . . 'ilfb6
2 1 6 2 d5 3 iLxf6
            . . .




1 0 tZ:\bc3 'ixb2 1 1 0-0 'ic2 ! is                but the threat of . . . f3, with the
unclear, but 10 O-O ! ? �xb2 1 1 SLd3 !            menace of . . . .ltg4 to consider, is not
h6 1 2 tZ:\bc3 makes a good                        to be underestimated) 14 tZ:\f3 SLd7
impression) 10 tZ:\bc3 tZ:\xd4 1 1 l:td l           1 5 h3 tZ:\e5 16 l:te l tZ:\g6 17 'id2 b5
e5 1 2 tZ:\xd4 ! ? exd4 1 3 0-0 f5 1 4              1 8 tZ:\e2 a5 1 9 11ad l a4 20 .ltc2 .l:i.fc8
tZ:\e2 looks well worth investigating              2 1 tZ:\g3 .ltxb2 22 .ltxf5 .ltc3 23
since the positional rewards for                   �6 SLxf5 24 tZ:\xf5 �f6 25 g4
success would be quite high.                       .ltxe 1 26 l:txe 1 l:ta 7 27 tZ:\g5 'ih8 28
    8 0-0 9 tZ:\bc3
    . . .
                                                   �h5 when White actually had very
                                                   good         compensation         for      the
                                                   exchange. However, my feeling is
                                                   that Black was doing OK earlier - it
                                                   is hard to believe with attacking f5
                                                   almost the exclusive string to
                                                   White ' s bow that he should be able
                                                   to pose really serious difficulties.
                                                       1 0 �d2 tZ:\c6 11 Itdl




    9 f5
    ...



    This complicated and strategically
rich position is much more about
ideas than precise theory and move
orders. I will consider at this point a
game in which 9 . . . tZ:\c6 was played,
but in fact the Black set-up is fairly
clear - it is White who has a major
                                                      11 :V/Vd6
decision to be made whether to try
                                                             ..




and keep his d-pawn covered on d4                     Similar play can result from
- under fire, but at least staking                 1 1 . a6. Again the really decisive
                                                       . .



some sort of claim to the dark                     choices are White 's. The problem is
squares in the centre - or to advance              how to construct a plan without
it, a riskier option, but one                      pushing in the centre. The evidence
promising still more spatial gains .               from Romero Holmes - I.Farago,
Anastasian-Tiviakov,               European        Rome 1 986 was not particularly
(chT) Batumi 1 999 was an                          encouraging on this point although
interesting test of the latter course              White ' s build-up with:
after 9 . . . tZ:\c6 1 0 d5 ! ? ( 1 0 'id2             12 a3 'iVd6 1 3 0-0 .ltd7 14 .lta2
should transpose to the main line)                 Itac8 1 5 'ili'e3 ? ! tZ:\a5 16 'ili'd3 b5 was
 10 . . . tZ:\e5 1 1 SLb3 f5 1 2 0-0 'ili'd6 1 3   rather ponderous . I mention it
tZ:\d4 tZ:\g4 (I wonder whether Black              largely as a reminder of the
can consider 1 3 . . . f4 ! ? in such a            importance of the c4 square, here
position. Of course it renounces                   without White even having played
control of the important e4 square,                d4-d5 . However the main game
                                                                  2 d5 3 Lf6 2 1 7
                                                                    . . .




makes a rather better shot at this as          Black' s queen is rather guilty of
perhaps did Romero Holmes­                     deserting       the     kingside,    but
A.Rodriguez, Medina del Campo,                 unfortunately 1 6 �g5 ! ? il.a6 1 7
1 986, although after 12 �f4 il.d7 1 3         tLJg3 h6 ! 1 8 �e 3 l:Ixd4 1 9 tLJh5
0-0 �b8 1 4 �h4 �d6 it is still not            l:Ixd l 20 �xd l f4 ! 2 1 �f3 il.e5
entirely clear where White is going.           does not look quite sound.
    So what of advancing in the                   16 . . . �e7 17 �e3 il.a6 18 tLJf4
centre? Another example was 1 2                �g5 1 9 tLJd3?
0-0 �d6 1 3 d5 ! ? tLJe5 1 4 il.b3 tLJg4          I do not like this move at all . It
( 1 4 . . . il.d7 ! ?)    15   tLJg3   il.d7   seems very negative, at a time when
( 1 5 . . . f4? ! 1 6 tLJge4 �h6 17 h3 tLJe5   I still think there is a good deal of
1 8 f3 ! now looks secure enough for           life in White' s position. 1 9 tLJa4 !
White, whereas his opponent has to             looks indicated, when White ' s
be constantly watchful of a d5-d6              blockade o n the dark squares offers
break) 16 h3 il.h6 ! ? ( 1 6 . . . tLJf6 1 7   him perfectly satisfactory play.
�d3 might b e an edge for White) 1 7
�e2 tLJe3 1 8 fxe3 �xg3 1 9 l:If3                  19 . . .�xe3 20 fxe3 il.xd3 2 1
�e5            Galyas-Naiditsch,     Elekes    l:Ixd3 f4 ! 22 exf4 l:Ixd4 2 3 l:Ixd4
(mem) Budapest, 2000, and now 20               il.xd4+ 24 �f1 l:Ib8 25 l:Ie4 c5
il.c2 and 2 1 �f2 looks the best way              Once White ' s d-pawn was
to pester the f5 pawn, when I                  undermined it was clear that the
slightly prefer White.                         dark-squared bishop would become
    1 2 0-0 �d8 13 �fe1 �b4 ! ? 1 4            an impressive sight. The contrast
il. d 5 e6 1 5 il.xc6 bxc6                     between the respective minor pieces
                                               tells the full story. White wisely
                                               gives up a pawn and enjoys some
                                               drawing chances based upon his
                                               more active rook.
                                                  26 tLJd 1 ! il.xb2 27 tLJxb2 l:Ixb2
                                               28 l:Ic4 l:Ib5 29 �e2 �f8 30 a4 l:Ia5
                                               31 l:Ie4 �e7 32 f5 �f6 33 fxe6 fxe6
                                               34 l:Ih4 �g6 35 l:Ig4+ �f5 36 l:Ih4
                                               �g6 37 IIg4+ �f5 38 l:Ih4 �e5 39
                                               l:Ixh7 l:ha4 40 �c7 c4
                                                  Maybe 40 . . . �d5 ! ? here. After the
                                               text I do not see a win, and although
                                                far from our main focus of interest,
  16 a3                                        White ' s defence in the rook ending
                                               has been impressively active and
  Black's very aggressive and
                                               resilient.
forcing 1 3 th move sought to in
effect punish White for his                         41 h4 �e4 42 h5 l:Ia2+ 43 �f1
determination to keep his d-pawn on             �d3 44 h6 l:Ial + 45 �f2 l:Ihl 46
d4. The result is yet again further             h7 c3 47 l:Id7+ �e4 48 l1xa7 c2 49
pawn weaknesses and a pure clash               l1c7 �d3 50 l:Id7+ �c3 51 �c7+
knights against bishops. White                  �d2 52 .i;Id7+ �c1 53 .i;Ic7 �d2
would like to explore whether                  YZ-YZ
2 1 8 2 d5 3 Lf6
      . . .




               Game 4 8                  other bishop too. However, this
          Hodgson - Sonntag              concedes further space and in the
          Benidorm (op) 1 98 9           resulting position the knight pair has
                                         quite acceptable squares and
  1 d 4 lLlf6 2 i. g 5 d5 3 i.xf6 gxf6   therefore reasonable potential, while
4 c4 dxc4 5 e4 ! ?                       the bishops can easily find
                                         themselves shut out. I think some
                                         alternatives could cause more
                                         worry:
                                             a) 5 . . . b5 led to an absolute
                                         catastrophe for White after 6 a4
                                         iLb7 7 f3? c6 8 axb5 cxb5 9 b3 e5 !
                                         1 0 bxc4 i.b4+ 1 1 'i£;>f2 i.c5 ! and the
                                         rest has been censored in the public
                                         interest, Gerstner-Voekler, Germany
                                         (ch) Binz, 1 99 5 . Sorry to present a
                                         normally highly competent Tromp­
                                         owsky practitioner and the author of
                                         a good book on the subject in this
                                         uncharacteristic light, but the lesson
   This i s a radical departure from     of quite how awful the move 7 f3 ?
the game above, a move which             can be i s a n important one. There
gives a slightly anti-positional         are just some things which the
impression, further gambling with        overall distribution of force on the
the dark squares for the sake of         dark squares should rule out
rapid development and dynamic
                                         absolutely, and this is one of them!
chances. In particular I suppose the
                                         However, from the theoretical angle
hope is that the highly desirable
                                         5 . . . b5 does not cause great distress.
move . . . f5 will not be effected so
                                         After 6 a4 i.b7, 7 axb5 ! is a
effortlessly.
                                         considerable            improvement      7. . .
    I am not sure that I quite believe   i.xe4 8 lLlc3 i.d5 (If 8 . . . i.b7 9
it, but it is relatively unexplored      i.xc4 ! is strong, intending to
(perhaps in part because several of      answer 8 . . . i.xg2? with 1 0 i.xf7 !
the existing examples feature            �xf7 1 1 'ih5+ picking up the
players of the White pieces merrily      bishop on g2 - De la Villa) 9 'iVa4 !
motoring in self-destruct mode).         - De la Villa - and now the most
Since it might offer more promising      testing 9 . . . i.b7 ! ? results in a right
territory for those who find the plan    old mess after 1 0 b6+ ! lLlc6 1 1 bxc7
of action in Game 47 rather              'ixd4 1 2 i.xc4 'iVe5+ 1 3 lLlge2
intangible, I thought it merited brief   'iVxc7 14 lLld5 when I rather fancy
coverage. Inevitably for such            White ' s attacking prospects.
unexplored terrain, I will be giving
pointers to further research rather          b) 5 . . . f5 ! ? is interesting. White
than trying to unearth ' the truth' .    can consider 6 i.xc4 (6 e5?! i.e6 7
                                         lLlc3 c6 8 lLlh3 i.d5 does not look
   5 . . . lLlc6                         sufficient) 6 . . . fxe4 7 'iVh5 e6 8
   The attack on d4 is easily parried    lLlge2 (Though not 8 'iV e5 :g8 9
but Black has his sights set on the      'iVxe4 'ig5 ! ) 8 . . . lLlc6 9 lLlc3 lLlxd4
                                                                   2 d5 3 i.f6 2 1 9
                                                                     . . .




1 0 0-0-0 lLlxe2+ 1 1 �xe2 �g5+ 1 2            unlikely to find a secure haven
�b 1 , although o f course the                 without a real struggle. However,
resulting attack comes with no                 this line is interesting, and the level
guarantees. Perhaps better is the              of irritation caused by Black' s
fractionally more subtle 7 ttJc3 ! ?           occupation o f the g-file may prove
i.g7 8 �h5 0-0 9 ttJge2 when                   to be the biggest single question
White doesn 't get to force . . . e6, but      mark over 5 e4 ! ?
has better chances of holding the                6 d 5 ttJe5 7 f4
d-pawn. This looks more sensible.
After all, . . . e6 is not such a bad
defensive move here anyway.
   c) 5 . . . :tg8 ! ? also poses unusual
problems.




                                                   7 lLld3+
                                                  ...



                                                   I think I prefer De la Villa ' s
                                               suggestion o f 7 . . . ttJg6 ! ? 8 g 3 b5 !
                                               and up to a point I cannot fault his
                                               analysis either. He continues 9 a4
    Simply fianchettoing the king ' s          f5 ! 1 0 axb5 fxe4 but now his 1 1
bishop n o longer looks s o tempting           �d4 seems counterproductive after
with the pawn on e4 . 6 11Va4+ c6 7            1 1 . . . f5 ! ? when 1 2 i.xc4?! is met
�xc4 is                     especially since   with the embarrassing 1 2 . . . e5 ! 1 3
7 . . . �6 8               should generate     fxe5 i.g7 when Black's play on the
reasonable compensation for a                  long diagonal has been enhanced
pawn. More ambitious is 6 lLlc3 c6             rather than held back. The more
7 i.xc4 ! ? �xg2 8 ttJge2 (8 �h5 is            modest 1 1 i.xc4 i.g7 12 ttJc3 looks
met with 8 . . .1.1g7 and the irritating       safer, although here too the position
threat of . . . i.g4) with compen­             is immensely unusual and unclear.
sation, although I am not certain              Scope for future tests here as well !
how much. In Ennsberger-Troyke,
Passau (op) 1 998 Black played                     8 i.xd3 cxd3 9 �xd3 'i'd6
8 . . . b5(? ! ) , but I do not really see a       This looks a little strange. Despite
convincing answer to 9 lLlxb5 ! cxb5           the risks of opening the position
1 0 i.d5 as 1 O . . . e5 1 1 �d3 ! seems       when behind in development, there
to secure White' s king, with good             would seem to be a case for 9 . . . c6 ! ?
prospects. In all of these positions           to stake some sort of a claim to the
after 5 . . J �g8 White does enjoy the         centre. However, after 1 0 lLlc3 cxd5
long-term solace that Black's king is           1 1 exd5 ! ? the weak squares on f5
220 2 d5 3 LJ6
       . . .




and h5 in conjunction with White ' s             1 8 . . . l:tc8??
space advantage still suggest no                 Which Black somehow manages
easy time for the defender.                  to overlook! I think that if Black
   10 liJe2 f5 ? !                           had found 1 8 . . . '�c6 ! he would have
   Hoping t o lure the centre pawns          achieved his best position since
forward to prove them vulnerable,            about move 1 0. White needs to
but somehow Sonntag ' s moves                break the pin and defend g2, hence
seem to mix rather strangely here.            1 9 l:td2 is indicated, but 1 9 . . . �xc3
                                             20 bxc3 'i'e4+ 2 1 liJe3 'i'xd4 22
   1 1 e5 �b6 1 2 liJd2 ! e6
                                             l:.xd4 keeps White ' s advantage
   Of course 1 2 . . . �xb2 would be         within acceptable bounds.
ridiculously risky, although the line
                                                 19 �f6 !
1 3 l:.b l 'i'xa2 14 liJc3 'i'a6 1 5 liJb5
is a nice illustration of how well               If 1 9 . . 'it> f8 2 0 liJe5 confinns the
                                                      .



White ' s knights cooperate here.            misery. A shocking denouement one
                                             move away from a playable
   13 liJc3 �b4 1 4 liJc4 'i'a6              position.
                                                 1-0

                                                           3 i.xf6 exf6




    15 d6! ?
    This looks fairly fonnidable, but
Black has chances to blockade the
centre, when his bishops can ' l ive
around ' the big d-pawn. There                  The more solid move, keeping a
would seem to be a strong case for           tighter structure on the kings ide and
keeping greater fluidity, perhaps            also gaining time for development.
even with 1 5 0-0-0 �xc3 1 6 'i'xc3          Here      this       recapture      makes
iVxa2 (If 1 6 . . . exd5 1 7 liJe3 �e6 1 8   considerably more sense than in the
�xd5 ! looks strong) 1 7 d6 c5 1 8           case of 2 . . . c5 as there are no special
'it>c2 ! 'i'a4+ 1 9 b3 'i'c6 20 'i'g3 !      implications for the weakness of the
with an enduring bind.                       d-pawn either. Black will sometimes
                                             follow up with . . . c5 here, but this is
    15 . . . cxd6 16 exd6 �d7 17 'i'd4       very much the exception. White has
J:tg8 18 .i:f.dl                             several plans from the diagram, but
    With a very powerful threat . . . .      most of them involve either quickly
                                                             2 d5 3 Lf6 221
                                                               . . .




playing or slowly preparing the                     Game 49
move c4 to challenge Black ' s                McDonald - Lukacs
d-pawn. Again, the logic o f a             Budapest First Saturday, 1 995
repertoire book, and the desire to
treat in some depth dictates that I        1 d4 tiJf6 2 iLg5 d5 3 iLxf6 exf6
should be quite selective and in this   4 e3
chapter I have decided to be rather
more ruthless than usual . This is in      This is virtually the only move
part    because      I   am    rather   played here. It is of course quite
unconvinced as to the chances of        consistent with the intention to
obtaining an advantage in some of       fianchetto because the e2 square is
the more traditional variations, and    needed to develop the knight.
also due to the appeal of a system
which      is    almost   universally
applicable against Black ' s various
4th moves. Its endorsement by a
number of very strong players does
no harm either. I would like to
restrict coverage to those lines in
which White fianchettoes his bishop
- in general following up with
c2-c4, and ultimately some kind of
minority attack on the queenside. In
essence, this is the same plan which
we shall see in the final chapter
against 2 . . . g6 too,     but the
                                             4 c6
opponent' s pawn presence in the
                                            • • •




centre of course has an impact on            This together with 4 . . . iLd6 is far
proceedings. Again it is not just the   and away the most popular move,
familiar trainer' s mantra to declare   but there are others.
plans and ideas more important than          a) 4 . . . iLe6, interestingly, was
precise move orders. This is true to    once apparently described by
an unusual degree here, as Black ' s    Hodgson as the most accurate since
choices i n the next few moves have     it holds up 5 c4 . However, this was
a relatively limited impact upon the    presumably at a time when he
execution of 'the plan ' . The main     regarded that as White ' s most
decision White has to make is           dangerous line. More recently he
whether he is content to recapture      tended to graduate towards g3
on c4 with a piece and can thus         systems anyway. After 5 g3 the
make this advance without further       independent            significance       is
ado, or whether he would like to be     determined by the degree to which
able to take back with a pawn and       . . . iLe6 features in Black's optimal
must therefore play b3 . This is        set-up. Two thoughts : The first is
roughly the division of material        that Black should probably not
between Games 49 and 50. In the         delay        . . . iLd6 too     long.    In
latter White prepares c2-c4, but here   Banikas-Veingold, Dos Hermanas
he just gets on with it.                (op) 2000 he seemed to suffer a
222 2 d5 3 i.f6
        . . .




little for this after 5 g3 c6 6 �g2               diagonal. Otherwise White can
ltJd7 7 ltJd2 f5 8 ltJe2 ltJf6 ? ! 9 ltJf4        reach the Ward-Akesson formation
.Jtd6 1 0 ltJh5 ! ? 0-0 1 1 ltJxf6+ 'ili'xf6      (see the note to Black's 1 0th) which
1 2 0-0 %:tac8 1 3 �e2 b6 1 4 Itfd l              I will tend to regard as a kind of
and there i s a distinct suspicion that           generic success for White in this
the exchange of knights is helpful to             line.
the White cause. I think the fact that                b) There is little doubt that d6 is
Black's knight often has good                     the right square for the bishop.
squares on either e4 or d5 , and that             4 . . . �e7 ? ! leaves the bishop more
White ' s two knights can on                      passive, and takes a natural square
occasion give the impression that                 away from the major pieces too.
they are struggling not to impede his
major pieces accounts for this.
Banikas here chose a very ambitious
version of the plan from the next
game, by arranging most intricately
for c4, with b3 and ltJb 1 , so much
so that Black got impatient and
himself played . . . c5. I suspect that
 1 5 c4 ! ? immediately would have
been           good   enough        for      an
unpretentious plus.
    The second is that if Black
routinely castles, I quite like White,
either with, for example 5 g3 c6 6
ltJd2 �d6 7 ltJe2 0-0 8 .Jtg2 f5 9                   It was found wanting in
0-0 lle8? ! 1 0 c4 ( 1 0 b3 ! ?) 1 0 . . . dxc4   Hodgson-Upton, Moscow (01) 1 994
 1 1 �c2 ltJd7 ( l 1 . . .b5? ! 1 2 b3 gives      which continued 5 g3 0-0 6 �g2 c6
White strong positional compen­                   7 ltJd2 �e6 8 ltJe2 ltJd7 9 0-0 f5 1 0
sation) 1 2 ltJxc4 .Jtf8 1 3 ltJf4 g6 1 4         c4 ltJf6 1 1 ltJf4 �d7 1 2 ':c l g5 (a
ltJxe6 fxe6 1 5 b4 ! .l:[b8 ( 1 5 . . . �xb4?     rather reckless weakening when
allows 1 6 kIth l Wie7 1 7 a3 .Jtd6 1 8           there are few causes for optimism,
.l:[xb7) 1 6 'i!i'b3 'it'h8 1 7 l:.fd l 'ili'e7   but it is difficult to play with the
 1 8 a3 and an agreeable pull in                  white knight ensconced on f4.
Benj amin-Shapiro, Long Island,                   Hence . . . .Jtd6 ! ) 1 3 ltJd3 ltJe4 1 4
 1 995; or perhaps after 9 . . . ltJd7 ! ?        ltJe5 �d6 1 5 f3 ! ltJxd2 1 6 �xd2
then 1 0 b3 ! ? Again the key test is             �f6 1 7 f4 with a tremendous knight
 ' Can Black answer the coming                    on e5 the standard bearer of an
c2-c4 break with . . . dxc4, and after            excellent position.
bxc4 play . . . c5T The position of                  Another example with 4 . . . .Jte7 is
the bishop on e6 pretty much                      worth      mentioning,         since    it
guarantees that this will be                      introduces us to an early and well
answered in the negative, and also                conducted version of the plan of
  10 . . . ltJf6 1 1 c4 c5 Little-Stone,          including b3, which we shall
Canada (ch) 1 995 can be met with                 examine more closely in Game 50.
 1 2 dxc5 .Jtxc5 1 3 ltJf4 with some              After 5 g3 0-0 6 �g2 c6 7 ltJd2
 advantage based on the light squares             .Jte6 8 ltJe2 ltJd7 9 0-0 l:le8 White
 and every chance of a great long                 opted for 1 0 b3 ! ? in Shereshevsky-
                                                                 2 . . . d5 3 Lf6 223


Ilinsky, Spartakiad US SR, 1 979.            quite helpful for White             and
Play continued 10 . . . f5 1 1 c4 ctJf6      therefore 5 �d3 ! is indicated.
1 2 a3 ! ? dxc4 (In general I think this
exchange is more permissible for
Black when the White queen' s
knight i s n o longer coming t o c 3 -
see the note on 1 0 b3 ! ? below.
However, this is not a hard and fast
rule. Black's piece formation
hinders the organisation of any
quick . . . c5 move, and it is primarily
when that is available that this
argument comes into force) 1 3 bxc4
�a5 ? ! 14 �c2 .l:!.ad8 1 5 l:tfb l �c8
16 c5 !

                                                 De la Villa quotes the game
                                             Shereshevsky-Barkovsky,           Minsk,
                                              1 98 1 in his strategic introduction
                                             and it does indeed illustrate some
                                             key ideas rather nicely. However, I
                                             am not sure he is right to criticise
                                             5 . . . �g6 ! ? since the immediate
                                             exchange looks quite cooperative
                                             too. It is rather after 6 ctJe2 iLd6 7
                                             0-0, that 7 . . . ttJc6?! looks a bit odd
                                             and 8 �b5 ! ? is a principled
                                             response placing a serious premium
                                             upon pawn structure. White was
   (A model set-up for White takes           clearly better after 8 . . . 0-0 9 �xc6
shape. Further weaknesses will be            bxc6 1 0 ctJbc3 J:b8 1 1 b3 �c8 1 2
forced on the Black queens ide, and          ctJf4 l:i.d8 1 3 ctJa4 ! '¥Wf5 1 4 ctJxg6
it scarcely matters that the c6 pawn         hxg6 1 5 �d3 since his plan of
blocks the g2 bishop - White has             playing c4 will highlight Black' s
enough alternative fire power in this        weaknesses, while there is little to
zone) 1 6 . . . �c7 1 7 ttJc4 g6 1 8 �a4 !   face in the way of counterplay.
a6 1 9 .l:!.b2 ctJd5 20 .l:!.ab l �g5 2 1    Shereshevsky, the writer of fine
�xd5 ! cxd5 22 ctJd6 with a winning          works on endgame strategy, gave a
advantage         already.      A     nice   serious insight into the quality of his
illustration of the strategy of this         strategic planning in these two
line, in spite of Black' s sup-optimal       examples .
formation.                                       The move which really places a
   Another move which is played              distinctive stamp on the play is of
surprisingly often, albeit not at the        course 4 . . . c5. The general feeling is
highest levels, is 4 . . . �f5 . This is     that Black should not have full
sufficient to encourage White to             compensation for the isolated
change plans, since the exchange of          queen' s pawn in the . . . exf6
light-squared bishops is likely to be        formation, but White should beware
224 2 d5 3 iLxf6
        . . .




of reacting too passively and                  �xb5 ! 1 -0 in
assuming that the pawn weaknesses              Palma de Mallorca (GMA) 1 989
will   somehow      do  the job                was at least partly of Black' s
automatically.                                 making !




   5 dxc5 (5 4:Jc3 ! ? was covered in            5 4:Jd2
Chapter 6 and was also quite good
                                                    This is a common reaction to
for White, but the text looks more
                                               4 . . . c6, among those wishing to
natural here 5 . . . i.xc5 6 4:Jc3 ! ? (I
rather like this, although 6 c3 is of          enter the g3 systems. However,
course legitimate too. Mikhail                 while there are virtually no games
Gurevich gives 6 . . . 4:Jc6 7 4:Jf3 0-0       with 5 g3 ! ?, my general enthusiasm
8 i.e2 i.f5 as ' unclear' presumably           for b3 systems makes me at least
with the idea of popping the bishop            curious as to whether 5 . . . �6 6 b3
to e4) 6 . . . i.e6 (6 . . . ..Itb4 would be   is really so bad for White. The only
well met by 7 i.b5+ 4:Jc6 8 4:Jge2) 7          move I can see to make trouble
i.b5+ 4:Jc6 8 4:Jge2 0-0 9 0-0 4:Je5           would be perhaps 6 . . . ..Itf5 (6 . . . a5? !
(attempting to leave the b5 bishop             7 a3 ! ) trying t o answer a casual 7
looking rather ' stranded ' Black              ..Itg2 ? ! with 7 . . . ..Itb4+. In this case
merely encourages it to a good                 though, I would be willing to switch
square. 9 . . . a6 ! looks better) 10 4:Jf4    back with 7 i.d3 ! ? forcing Black to
a6 1 1 ..Ita4 ! 4:Jc4 (The knight on f4        expend another tempo with his
serves to discourage Black from                bishop . In this case g3 does not
playing l l . . .d4 which would leave          seem a fatal weakening, while
him weak on the light squares,                 . . . �6 looks a little ill-directed.
specifically 12 4:Je4 ..Itb6 13 4:Jxe6         Similarly in the position after 5 g3
fxe6 14 exd4 �xd4 1 5 �xd4 ..Itxd4             5 . . . ..Itd6 De la Villa is concerned by
 16 c3 i.b6 1 7 ..Itb3 with clear              6 i.g2 �6' ! ' but again the logic
advantage) 1 2 i.b3 ! 4:Jxb2 1 3 �e2           escapes me, and again I would
l:rc8 1 4 4:Jcxd5 i.xd5 [ 1 4 . . . b5 1 5     respond happily enough with 7 b 3 .
4:Jxe6 fxe6 1 6 4:Jf4±] 1 5 4:Jxd5 b5
16 c3 i.a3 17 l:tab 1 4:Jc4 18 l:tfd 1              5 ..Itd6 6 g 3 0-0
                                                   . . .




and White has a clear plus in the                   Game 50 will examine the whole
centre, although the abrupt finish             question of Black delaying castling,
with 1 8 . . . �d6? 1 9 ..Itxc4 ! l:rxc4 20    which is in my view one of the most
4:Jb6 ! �xb6 21 �xc4 �xe3 22                   significant in the position.
                                                               2 d5 3 Lf6 225
                                                                 . . .




  7 i.g2 f5 8 ttJe2 ttJd7                  is fru � trating in that he wants to put
  The plan of . . . fS and the             a kmght on c3, and this risks
manoeuvre of this knight to f6             counterplay based on . . . cxd4 and
seems the most reliable to me.             . . . f4 . Again this should be
White has to ensure that the knight        compared with various notes to
will not simply nestle down                Game SO, Ziegler-Akesson II
comfortably on e4 . Also, as we shall      particular.
see, this move order leaves Black               1 0 . . . dxc4 !
well-placed to face the b3 idea, once           I feel sure this is right in principle
the white knight is committed to d2 .      here. There is no clear consensus
   9 0-0 ttJf6 1 0 c4                      about the blocked positions which
                                           can arise from 1 0 . . . i.e6 1 1 cS ! ? ,
                                           but I am rather optimistic about
                                           them even though stylistically such
                                           things do not always appeal. A
                                           typical example is W ard-Akesson,
                                           Isle of Man (op) 2000 in which
                                           White did not finally succeed in
                                           breaking through, but I am sure
                                           Black had some rather
                                           moments after 1 1 . . . i.e7 1 2 b4 as
                                           1 3 a3 axb4 14 axb4 bS IS 'i¥'b3 'i¥'c7
                                            16 'ua3 'ua7 17 :rfa 1 'ufa8 1 8 'uxa7
                                           J:txa7 1 9 J:Ia3 �7 20 'iVa2 J:txa3 2 1
                                           'iVxa3 i.d8 22 ttJf3 i.c8 2 3 ttJeS
   The standard break. The problem         ttJd7 24 ttJxd7 i.xd7 2S ttJf4 i.c8
is that Black gains reasonable piece       and there is still a good deal of
play after the clearance of his            passive defence to undertake. My
remaining centre pawn, mainly due          game with Jonathan Parker also has
to the possibility of utilising the dS     similarities, although there the issue
square. There is quite a tricky            of counterplay against the white
balance to all this. As we have seen       king complicated the equation. I am
White is often quite pleased to se�        not surprised that on the whole
the exchange of light-squared              Black tends to avoid this structure.
bishops, but he does have to feed               1 1 ttJxc4 i.c7
into the equation the potential
vulnerability of his kings ide. Black
will tend to respond to his
opponent' s minority attack by
hurling his own h-pawn down the
board to create kings ide weak­
nesses. Incidentally De la Villa
gives the insightful note 10 b3 'iVe7 !
1 1 c4 dxc4 1 2 bxc4 cS ! which
although not so bad for White - he
can still play for example 1 3 'ub I ! ?
causing some irritation to Black ' s
plans for queens ide development -
226 2 d5 3 Lf6
        . . .




     12 �c2 ! ?                                   look a bit more questionable. In
     A nice refinement to White ' s play          Hennig-Kveinys, Bundesliga 2000
from Neil McDonald. White ' s                     Black chose 12 . . . 'iVe7 ! ? 13 a3 .ie6
formation looks more purposeful                    14 1:rac 1 Mad8 I S ctJd2 ? ! g6 1 6
than that of the extraordinary                    .l:!.fd 1 .l:i.fe8 1 7 ctJb3 hS 1 8 ctJc5 .ic8
England-Hungary match duo, where                   19 b4 h4 20 ctJd3 hxg3 2 1 hxg3
two boards of the same match                      .id6 and the position starts to look
proceeded in tandem right up to 1 2               rather similar to those reached by
ctJc3 .ie6 1 3 'iVe2 'iVe7 1 4 a 3 .l:i.ad8       Hodgson and Adams in the last
 1 5 b4 a6 ! 1 6 l:rab 1 l:rfe8 but in both       note, and which fail to impress
Black looked very comfortable. In                 particularly. However, it seems to
Adams-Z.Almasi, Moscow (01)                       me that White could still find
 1 994 Black even enjoyed a light                 mileage in the 14 ctJeS ! ? idea here.
 initiative after 1 7 l:i.fc 1 h5 ! ? 1 8 ctJd2    1 4 . . . .ixeS I S dxeS ctJg4 1 6 �c3
h4 1 9 ctJf3 hxg3 20 hxg3 ctJd5 ! 2 1             does not seem to be a problem, and
.l:i.b2 a5 ! 22 ctJxd5 .ixd5 2 3 'iVd2            again the threat to f5 prevents
axb4 24 axb4 when 24 . . . .ie4 ! ?                . . . .idS and gives White the time to
looks interesting. Since 2 5 b 5 .id6 !           follow up with f4. In view of all
only serves to embarrass White ' s                this, perhaps Black should look at
rooks, Black's kings ide efforts look              1 3 . . . g6 ! ?
the more likely to cause problems.                      13 ctJe5 ! ctJd5 ? ! 1 4 ctJd3 g 6 1 5
Hodgson-Leko, Moscow (01) 1 994                   ctJc5
went instead 17 a4 ctJd5 1 8 ctJxd5                    An           excellent     and    notable
.ixdS 1 9 'iVc2 .ixg2 20 �xg2 I;1dS               manoeuvre which really gives
with rather easy equality, although               White' s coming minority attack an
again Black could have looked at                  extra dimension.
 1 7 . . . hS ! ?
                                                         15 . . . .ic8 16 ctJc3 ctJf6 17 b4 !
     The queen on c 2 keeps a n eye on
                                                        Compared with the 1 2 ctJc3
f5, and reserves the possibility to
                                                  couplet discussed above, White' s
put the knight into eS.
                                                  plan i s much more clear-cut, and his
                                                  opponent has not even begun to
                                                  address the question of what he
                                                  might be able to achieve on the
                                                  other wing.




  1 2 . . . .ie6
  Natural enough, but once White ' s
plan is revealed the move starts to
                                                                   2 d5 3 Lf6 22 7
                                                                    . . .




    1 7 . . . a6 1 8 a4 .Jtd6 1 9 b5 axb5 20                Game 50
axb5 ':xal 2 1 !hal "iJic7 22 bxc6                        Wells - Parker
bxc6 23 �a4 ctJd7 24 ctJa6 .Jtxa6                       4NCL, Telford 2003
25 "iJixa6 ctJb8 26 "iJic4 h5?!
                                                 1 d4 ctJf6 2 .Jtg5 d5 3 .Jtxf6 exf6
    Maybe not bad as a move per se,            4 e3 .Jtd6 5 g3
but as part of a plan it merely draws
attention to Black ' s passivity. If you
take a step back and look at the two
sides ' pieces, the fact that ultimately
it is White who will benefit from the
opening the h-file is scarcely a
surprise.
    2 7 ctJa4 h4 28 ctJc5 hxg3 29 hxg3
�c8 30 l:tbl "iJie7 31 �b7 "iJie8 32
e4 ! ? .Jtxc5 33 dxc5 ? !
    I t i s not clear that White was
obliged to open a ' second front' but
it is only here that I really have to
take issue with his method. He was                5 ... c6
probably afraid of 33 "iJixc5 fxe4 34
l:te7 "iJif8, when 35 .Jtxe4 l:te8 !             Whilst the primary focus of this
looks a shade too drawish. However             game is to explore whether the
by first playing 35 "iJie5 ! I think he        refinement      of     adding         the
would maintain the bulk his                    preparatory move b2-b3 really
considerable initiative.                       represents a major strengthening of
                                               the whole plan, there is an important
    33 . . . fxe4 34 .Jtxe4 ctJd7 35 J:a7      sub-plot too. This is the question of
ctJe5 36 "iJic3 J:d8 37 l:tc7 "iJie6 38
                                               when and how Black should commit
<Jtg2 �d7? ?
                                               his king. I was faintly aware before
    White ' s last few moves have the          the game that the idea of holding
slightly directionless feel which is           back . . . 0-0 was not completely
often an indicator of some                     innocent, but the very real
time-trouble, but this is an outright          complexity of the play if Black is
blunder just as Black's disadvantage           persistent in his readiness to answer
was             becoming         manageable.   castling by White by launching a
38 . . . J:e8 ! ? for example looks fairly     kings ide attack with a quick . . . h5
playable.                                      was something of a revelation. At
    39 �c8+ <Jth7 40 �al ! �dl 41              this moment I think I would almost
"iJixdl "iJixc8 42 "iJih5+! 1-0                go as far as to depict an early . . . 0-0
    A slightly messy finish, but               by B lack as something of an
White ' s plan was important and               inaccuracy.
represents the state of the art for               As we shall see, some . , . h5 by
handling this variation without the            B lack even comes into consider­
double-edged refinement to which               ation before White is committed to
we now turn.                                   the kingside. However 5 . . . h5 I find
228 2 d5 3 .Lf6
        . . .




rather over-exuberant. White is                    i) A concern about (for which
probably well justified in playing 6           read ' fear of' ! ) 8 0-0 h5 ! ? The only
h4 and seeing what else Black wants            example I have of this is rather
to throw at him. In Nataf-Rigo,                curious . After 9 c4 dxc4 1 0 ttJd2
Paris (op), 1 995 Black tried to bash          ttJb6 1 1 ttJc3 i.b4 1 2 l:te l 'ifS 1 3
away at a rather wide front with               a3 ..ie7 1 4 ':c l h4 1 5 ttJe2 hxg3 1 6
6 . . . c6 7 ttJd2 'ifb6 8 !Ib l ..if5 but I   hxg3 ..ie6 1 7 ttJf4 i.d5 1 8 ttJxd5
quite like 9 ..ih3 ! ? ..ig6 1 0 ttJe2         cxd5 White has insufficient comp­
'iVa6 1 1 ttJf4 ttJd7 12 a3 ttJfS 1 3          ensation for a pawn in Karttunen­
ttJxg6 fxg6 1 4 c4 ! dxc4 1 5 'iVc2 b5         Sammalvuo,           Helsinki        2002,
 16 0-0 f5 17 e4 ! and White clearly           although this is a world away from
has a dangerous initiative now. Of             the ' getting mated' scenarios which
course this is only one example, but           were occupying my mind. I guess
the down-side of 5 . . . h5 is certainly       that the pawn sacrifice was a desire
there for all to see.                          to act fast before 9 ttJd2 h4 kicks in,
                                               but I now think that, sitting at the
    6 ..i g2 f5 7 ttJe2 ttJd7 !
                                               board, I probably exaggerated the
                                               danger of this. 1 0 c4 hxg3 1 1 hxg3
                                               ttJf6 (adventures with the queen
                                               leave the centre too vulnerable, as
                                               White can play !Ie 1 often with ttJf4
                                               to follow) 1 2 ttJc3 ! dxc4 1 3 ttJxc4
                                               and now I like 1 3 . . . ..ic7 14 d5 ! for
                                               White, although 1 3 . . . ..ie6 ! ? is still
                                               quite unclear.
                                                   S.Buckley-Krupenski, European
                                               Junior (Ch) Baku, 2002, was also
                                               relevant in this regard. This actually
                                               began 8 ttJd2 ttJf6 9 0-0 (It is
                                               interesting that the Hodgson-Leko
                                               game discussed in the notes to
  I think this could well be Black ' s
                                               Game 49 took this move order, and
optimal move order, and hence the
                                               Black decided not to check out the
critical position, interesting if true
                                               sharp option) 9 . . . h5 ! ? 1 0 c4 dxc4
for the fact that I have only three
                                                1 1 ttJxc4 ..ic7 12 'iWc2 h4 1 3 lIfd l
games with it on my database !
                                               hxg3 1 4 hxg3 g6? ! 1 5 ttJe5 'ifS 1 6
White is kept guessing as to whether
                                               ttJf4 'ig7 1 7 b4 'Wie7 1 8 'ifb2 when
a decision to castle will be placidly
                                               White enjoyed both acceptable
responded to in kind or will be met
                                               safety levels on the kingside, and an
with some serious aggression on the
                                               initiative elsewhere, but 14 . . . ..ie6 ! ?
h-file. My feeling is that the latter
                                               might have been more testing.
should be treated with some respect.
                                                   This    whole       idea     adds      a
  8 b3 ! ?
                                               challenging dimension to the play,
  A difficult and unfortunately                rather, I think than the major
rather time-consuming decision                 problem which I perceived when
based upon two factors :                       facing it for the first time.
                                                                      2 d5 3 L[6 229
                                                                        . . .




   ii) A desire to retain the option of         Black, but 9 . . . i.b4+ ! ? is a much
playing CLlc3 rather than settling for          more complicated business after 1 0
the more ' convenient' 8 CLld2 ! ?              CLlbc3 WIa5 when 1 1 l:tc 1 i s probably
   The reason for this i s probably             best ( 1 1 WIc2 CLle4 1 2 l:tc 1 i.e6 ! ? 1 3
best explained by the example                   c 5 i.a3 gives Black at least the
which was in my mind at the time,               option to force an immediate draw)
namely Ziegler-Akesson, Excelsior               1 1 . . . �xa2 ! ( 1 1 . . . dxc4 ? ! 1 2 bxc4
Cup       Gothenburg           1 99 8    By     i.e6 1 3 Wlib3 CLle4 14 i.xe4 fxe4 1 5
transposition it would have been                0-0 0-0 1 6 CLlxe4 b5 1 7 d5 bxc4 1 8
possible, for example, to reach this            l:txc4 cxd5 1 9 CLlf6+ ! ) 1 2 0-0 � a5
by 8 b3 O-O? ! 9 0-0 l:te8 1 0 c4 !             1 3 cxd5 cxd5 14 WId3 0-0 1 5 Ita l
when the usual recipe 1 0 . . . dxc4 1 1        WId8 1 6 �b5 ! ? i.xc3 1 7 CLlxc3
bxc4 c5 1 2 CLlbc3 ! looks much                 offers White just about decent
healthier than usual for White. This            compensation, but more than that I
is the ideal square for the queen ' s           could not claim.
knight here. 1 2 . . . CLlf6 1 3 l:tb l WIe7       10 CLld2
 14 WIc2 CLle4 ? ! 1 5 CLld5 WIe6 1 6              The concession arrives anyway !
dxc5 CLlxc5 1 7 CLld4 WIg 6 1 8 CLlb5           Since White settles for advancing
gave White very fluid play in the               the c-pawn anyway in a few moves,
centre and on the queenside.                    it is at least arguable that 10 c5 ! ?
   8 CLlf6! 9 c4 ! ?
    ...                                         would have represented a very
                                                rational economy of effort!




   Another      consciously          risky
decision, but I really think that 9 0-0            10 h5 ! ?
                                                      . . .


might be a bit suspect now, as 8 b3                Black's aggressive intentions are
can be quite unhelpful if Black                 clarified, although without castling
attacks hard with 9 . . . h5 . 9 CLld2 ! ? is   by White, this is primarily
possible again, but as explained I              positional . White ' s advance of the
regarded it as a concession !                   h-pawn in tum, renders the black
   9 �e6 ! ?
    . . .                                       knight much more secure when it
   Naturally enough I had devoted               arrives on e4 .
most attention to various checks . I               Interestingly, we had transposed
was fairly happy that 9 . . . Wla5+ 1 0         to Hodgson-Tiviakov, Groningen,
CLld2 i.b4 1 1 a3 i.xa3? 1 2 0-0                1 994, but Jonathan declined to go
would be suitably awkward for                   down the very critical road which
230 2 . . . d5 3 Lf6


Black selected there with 1 0 . . .               At last, the shadow boxing draws
..tb4 ! ? (Tiviakov also mentions              to a close. White ' s problem
1 0 . . . lLle4 ! ? 1 1 cxd5 cxd5 as being     throughout has been that Black' s
unclear. The claim that the good               admirable single-mindedness in
knight on e4 compensates for the               fixing the kings ide and then keeping
further pawn weaknesses is an                  his rook permanently fixed on h8,
interesting one, rich in implications,         has ensured that castling has never
but I think I would have been happy            been a risk-free option for White.
with this. Anyone who disagrees                Still, the text is a bit impatient, and
could consider 1 1 c5 ! ?) 1 1 O-O ! ?         arguably involves excessive risk
(Typical Hodgson! 1 1 cxd5 ..txd5              too. The impact of timetrouble on
does not look especially promising             both sides in what is to follow could
as Black' s possible resources                 scarcely be overemphasised !
include . . . ..txd2 and . . . lLle4-g5)          22 . . .i.a5+ 23 lLlb4 g5?
 1 1 . . . i.xd2 ( 1 1 . . . dxc4 was also
possible, as White is obliged to                  Weakens squares and allows
recapture with the knight, although            White to consolidate. I had seen that
the bishop is a bit strange on b4              23 . . . b6 ! ? was a problem, but I have
here) 1 2 'ixd2 ! ? dxc4 1 3 lLlf4 ! cxb3      to confess that I did not see much of
 14 lLlxe6 fxe6 1 5 l:i.fb I ! 0-0 1 6         what could follow. In fact White
1:Ixb3 llVd7 1 7 'iVb4 and White has           might be doing OK after 24 0-0
reasonable compensation for a                  axb5 25 lLla6 ! b4 26 Itb3 and now
pawn, but the Black knight on d5               26 . . . l:i.a8 can be met with 27 lLlc7,
will be a very solid influence, and I          or even 27 lLlxb4 bxc5 2 8 lLlxd5 !
would be surprised if he were                  cxd5 29 �b7 ..td7 30 ..txe4 fxe4 3 1
worse.                                         dxc5 and it is strangely difficult to
     11 b4 lLle4 1 2 e5 ! ?                    meet White ' s threats. 26 . . . bxc5 ! ? is
                                               better, but 27 lLlxb8 c4 28 l:Ic 1 !
     Anyway. I t i s not obvious how           llVd6 29 lLla6 is hugely unclear.
 else to push forward.
                                                   24 lLld3 ..tg6 25 0-0 llVd7 ? ! 26
     12 . . . i.e7 13 b4 g6 14 a4 �f8 1 5       hxg5 lLlxg5 27 J:i.b3 axb5 28 axb5
'iVe2 rJ;g7 1 6 iVb2 ..td7 1 7 lLlf4            h4 29 J:i.al ..txb4 30 l:i.xb4 hxg3 3 1
 l:i.b8 1 8 l:i.a3 ! ? llVe7 1 9 lLlf3 a6 20    fxg3
lLle5 i.e8 2 1 lLled3 f6
                                                   Black's counterplay should have
                                                run its course. Without the factor of
                                                time the exploitation of White ' s
                                                various positional plusses should
                                                not be too problematic.
                                                   3 1 . . . 'iVe7 32 lLlf4 llVe7 33 llVb3
                                                ..te8 34 bxe6 i.xe6 35 l:i.a7! l:i.he8
                                                36 Irb6 'iVe7 37 lLlxd5??
                                                   I think I can get away with using
                                                the word 'tragedy' here. Just as
                                                White ' s          advantage      becomes
                                                decisive, his hanging flag leads him
                                                to throw everything away.
   22 b5? !                                       37 . . :�xg3 38 lIxe6 lLlf3+ 0-1
                                                             2 d5 3 hf6 231
                                                               . . .




      Chapter Conclusion                  immensely entertaining, but a
                                          convincing answer is needed to
  The solid reputation of 2 . . d5.
                                          5 . . . l:.g8 ! ? especially.
unsurprisingly        survives      the       3 . . . exf6 is also not easy to play
microsope in this chapter. I have         although I am rather enthusiastic for
given rather more coverage than is        the g3 approach I have advocated.
customary to 3 . . . gxf6 ! ? because I   The key questions remain:
think that Black ' s dynamic idea             Should White add b3 to his plan,
(with 4 c4 dxc4 ! ) represents a          and how should White react if Black
serious challenge. Game 47 is             delays castling? My inclination is to
clearly playable for White, and           answer yes to the first question, but
highly complex, but some strong           White probably needs to improve on
Trompowsky players have come              the move order I played against
unstuck here, and I do have the           Jonathan Parker' s rather precise
feeling that the level of accuracy        opening play. One further issue
required renders this main line           arises . How important is it to retain
problematic. Hence my enthusiasm          the option of tLlbc3 which I was so
for early deviations in particular my     fixated on? If the answer to this is
idea of 8 �h5 ! ? which I hope will       ' not crucial ' then the building
get an outing soon. 5 e4 ! ? is of        blocks for an optimal solution might
course another matter. It is              be in place.
   Chapter 1 0                -   2 . . . g6 and Other Minor
                                  2nd Moves
              Game 5 1                          ttJc3 , while 4 . . . 'iWb6 5 'id2 seems
        Aleksandrov - Janev                     to involve no real inconvenience.
        European (ch) U-20,                        The most challenging could be
         Sas van Gent 1 992                     4. . . ..tb4+ 5 ttJd2 d5 but in
                                                                               Bundesliga
   1 d4 ttJf6 2 ..tg5 g6                        1 999 with 6 e3            7 cxd5 ..txd5 8
   Whether in all cases by design, or           a3 ..td6 9 e4 ! ..te6 1 0 ..tc4 ! ..txc4
whether in some cases by a failure              1 1 ttJxc4 0--0 1 2 ttJe2 l:te8 1 3 'iVc2
on the part of King ' s Indian players          ..tc7 14 0--0 ttJd7 15 l:tad l ttJb6 1 6
to take on board the full strategic             ttJe3 'iVe7 1 7 ttJc3 l:tad8 1 8 f4 White
                                                got a nice position by simple, direct
implications of 2 ..tg5 ! this appears
                                                means.
relatively often. From our point of
view         it   has    the    additional         It is all possible to play 3 . . . gxf6,
importance that it enables White to             but after 4 c4 ! there seems to be no
carry out a particularly methodical             better move than 4 . . . d5 5 e3
and logical plan to which I have                directly transposing to Game 46.
alluded at various junctures already.              b) 2 . . . b6 ! ? poses some slightly
This game I hope will be instructive            unusual problems, especially for a
as a very ' clean ' example of this.            repertoire in which systems with g3
   Of the other moves which Black               play a significant role.
can try here, I think it is fair to say
that several are quite analogous with
those covered elsewhere in the book
(2 . . . d6 for example is very likely to
be similar to 2 . . . g6, while 2 . . . h6? !
will lead to familiar positions just
with Black suffering by about a
tempo) and can be negotiated on the
basis of what we have already seen.
Two others though merit particular
mention:
   a) 2 . . . c6 might pose questions for
some Trompowsky players, but for
those who follow the repertoire here               Unusually, I am none too
which shows a good deal of faith in             impressed by 3 ..txf6 here since
the main ' threat' 3 ..txf6, this holds         after 3 . . . exf6 (3 . . . gxf6 is much
no difficulties. After 3 . . . exf6 4 c4 ! ?    easier - 4 e4 ! ..tb7 5 ttJc3 e6 6
I would b e happy with the structure            ttJge2 ! d6 7 ttJg3 was Zlochevskij ' s
 arising after 4 . . . d5 5 cxd5 cxd5 6         tidy solution) I am not quite sure
                                            2 g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves 233
                                                . . .




how to                   The system with
e3/CDD/              for example seems
rather insipid when Black plays with
. . . g6.
     3 c4 ! ? might be quite appropriate
for those with a more general
d-pawn background. Black should
probably play 3 . . . .lib7 4 CDc3 e6,
when 5 CDD transposes to main­
stream things. Also 5 e4 h6 6 .lixf6
'iYxf6 is interesting, but White ' s
dark squares are potentially a little
more vulnerable than in Chapter 8                           4 . . . i.g7 5 .lig2 f5 6 c4 c6
due to the inclusion of c4, and I can                       As I said I want to postpone a
understand this might not be to                         serious consideration of early detail.
everybody' s taste.                                     Just to note that 6 . . . c5 ! ? looks a bit
     3 CDd2 is of course solid, and after               problematic and might lead to the
3 . . . i.b7 4 CDgD e6 White can                        endorsement of a different move
reasonably venture 5 e4 ! ? since                       order for White !
5 . . . h6 6 i.xf6 'iYxf6 7 .lid3 with a                     7 e3 d6 8 CDc3 CDd7 9 b4 0-0 1 0
perfectly decent version of the                         CDge2 CDf6
Chapter 8 type, since it is not clear                        Instead 1 0 . . . a5? ! is a very strange
to me that . . . b6 systems (although                   idea, designed to force the b-pawn
they have been played enough it is                      forward at a moment when the
true) fit so well here.                                 c-pawn can still be harangued by
     However, for those seeking                         . . . CDb6. Black held a draw in
something a little different I am                       Lputian-Kveinys, European Club
            tempted by 3 CDc3 ! ? .lib7 4               Cup, Budapest 1 996 but the pawn
           still intending to meet 4 . . . e6           sacrifice 1 1 b5 CDb6 ( 1 1 . . .c5 1 2
with yet another version of this                        l:!.c 1 CDb6 1 3 dxc5 dxc5 1 4 'ixd8
familiar 5 e4 h6 6 i.xf6 'iVxf6                         l:txd8 1 5 CDd5 also looked nice for
routine, but one which looks quite                      White in Wang Yue-Pashikian,
pleasant to me. Of course, Black can                    World U- 1 6 Heraklion 2002) 1 2
try other 4th moves. The most                           bxc6 bxc6 1 3 .lixc6 l:!.b8 1 4 i.b5
notable was 4 . . . g6 5 d5 ! ? Reinaldo                ( 1 4 kIb l ! ?) 14 . . . .lib7 1 5 0-0 i.D 1 6
Castine ira-Castaldo, European U20                      'i'd3 h 5 1 7 h4 i.f6 1 8 e4 certainly
(ch) Aviles 2000 which after                            does not look full value.
5 . . . iJ.g7 6 e4 d6 7 'iVd2 0-0 8 .lih6                    1 1 0-0
:le8 9 .lixg7 <j;xg7 1 0 0-0-0
rapidly reached an original and                              A certain similarity between
rather appealing position.                              White ' s set-up and that examined in
                                                        Games 49-50 is evident, but it
     3 i.xf6 ! exf6 4 g3                                makes a significant and in my
     Roughly I would like to use this                   opinion favourable difference that
game to consider White ' s overall                      Black has not occupied the centre
scheme, and the following game to                       with a pawn and must now address
consider move-order issues and                          the question of how to tackle the
early complications.                                    increase in the scope of the
234 2 g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves
        . . .




fianchettoed bishop which the                  treatment of the light-squared
queenside pawn stonn has every                 fianchetto against Black's dS pawn.
hope of engineering.                              1 1 . . J le8 has also been tried.
                                               Hodgson-Strikovic, C acak, 1 996
                                               was not entirely convincing for
                                               White after 1 2 a4 ( 1 2 'id3 ! ? is also
                                               sensible trying to keep the knight
                                               back from e4) 1 2 . . . lbe4 1 3 'ilid3
                                               i.e6 14 as .l:.c8 I S .l:.fc l dS 1 6 cxdS
                                               cxdS 1 7 a6 b6 1 8 lbf4 'id7 and the
                                               game was drawn a few moves later.
                                               Even though it might look to the
                                               naked eye as if White has made
                                               some inroads on the light squares it
                                               is not so clear where to go from
                                               here. The obvious question is why
                                               not 14 bS ! ? instead? If 14 . . . cxbS I S
   1 l .. :i¥e7                                axbS 'ic7 ! ?, then 1 6 lbdS ! ? i.xdS
   Other moves:                                 17 cxdS looks like a safe route to a
   Azmaiparashvili recently tried              small plus, while 1 6 l:ta4 l:tec8 1 7
1 1 . . . i.e6 here and was successful in      i.xe4 fxe4 1 8 lbxe4 dS ! ? could be
provoking 12 dS? ! which looks to              risky try for more. Perhaps
me like an instructive error - the             1 4 . . . cS ! ? was a concern, although
right way to make some waves on                after I S lbxe4 ! ? fxe4 1 6 i.xe4
the light squares here is only with            i.xc4 1 7 'iVxc4 �xe4 1 8 'iVdS ! ? I
b4-bS , not to concede a load of dark          still prefer White.
squares in tum. In I.Rogers­                      1 2 b5 lbe4 13 'iVd3 l:te8 14 l:[ab l
Azmaiparashvili,              Europe-Asia      i.e6 1 5 bxc6 bxc6 1 6 lbxe4 fxe4
Rapid, Batumi 200 1 , after 1 2 dS
cxdS 13 cxdS i.d7 14 'i!i'b3 'i!i'b6 I S
1:tac l lbg4 ! I already prefer Black.
The right way must be simply 1 2
'i¥d3 , when Black has tended to
reply 1 2 . . . dS, but either 1 3 cxdS , or
perhaps better 1 3 cS ! ? lbe4 14 bS
gS IS .:tab 1 hS 16 1:Lb3 h4 17 f3
lbxc3 1 8 'ifxc3 hxg3 1 9 hxg3 'if6
20 f4 Kozul-Bukic, Slovenia (chT),
Bled 2000, with a position still more
reminiscent of the last chapter, but a
version in which White has already
achieved quite a lot. It is also none
too clear what the bishop is                     1 7 i.xe4 !
expecting from life on g7 . It is                A powerful and well judged
really helpful here that the                   exchange sacrifice. White will get
repertoire         already     gave       us   two pawns for the exchange and his
considerable insights into the                 bishop will be a monster on the light
                                         2 g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves 235
                                             . . .




squares, whereas Black will have                     �f1 lib1 37 �g2 lib2 38 �f1 .l:tb1
trouble, as so often in this line,                   39 .i.d3 l:ra1 40 'It>g2 I;Ia2 4 1 h5
finding a convincing role for his.                       The           then     rather    young
Incidentally 17 'iVxe4 .i.xc4 1 8                    Aleksandrov' s entire handling of
Vixe7 lixe7 1 9 .i.xc6 lic8 20 .i.O                  this ending shows an admirably
.i.xa2 is certainly comfortable for                  mature patience. Now though he is
White as the bishop on g7 is in no                   ready for the direct assault which
fit state to support the a-pawn, but it              proves decisive.
is difficult to make real inroads.
                                                         4 1 . . . .i.d2 42 'iVe4 .i.e1 43 .i.c4
    1 7 . . . d5                                     .l:tb2 44 d5 'iVc5 45 'iVf4 �b4 46 e6
   Or 17 . . . .i.xc4 1 8 Vixc4 'iVxe4 1 9           f5 47 'iVe5+ �h6 48 4Jd4! l:rxc4 49
Ii.b7 when Black really i s obliged to               4Jxf5+ gxf5 50 'iVf6+ 'It>xh5 5 1
play 1 9 . . . lif8 to defend f7 which               'iVxf5+ �h6 5 2 'iVf6+ �h5 5 3 'iVf5+
hardly inspires confidence.                          'It>h6 54 'iVf6+ �h5 55 'iVf7+ 'It>h6
   1 8 cxd5 cxd5 19 .i.f3 .i.f5 20                   56 e7 l:re4 57 'iVf6+ �h5 58 'iVf5+
'iVd2 .i.xb1 21 lixb1 .l:!:ab8                       'It>h6 59 'iVf8+ �g5 60 f4+ �g4 6 1
                                                     'iVg8+ �f5 62 'iVg5 mate
   A recognition that attempting to
defend the d-pawn would be futile -                      White' s conduct of the final
White has two minor pieces which                     attack was both forcing and
can hit it, his opponent has none for                faultless.
the defence.
   22 .l:txb8 .l:xb8 23 .i.xd5 .i.h6 24                            Game 52
'iVd3 lib2                                                   I.Sokolov Har Zvi
                                                                          -


   When judging any exchange                                Wijk aan Zee (op) 1 993
sacrifice, the quality of the minor
piece usually gets a lot of attention,                 1 d4 4Jf6 2 .i.g5 g6 3 .i.xf6 exf6
but sometimes the scope of the
major pieces rather less so. Here
Black' s rook looks superficially
healthy enough, the problem is
rather in the sphere of cooperation
with the other pieces. There are
scarcely any entry points into the
White position, and he can
moreover mobilise his extra pawns
at leisure without creating any.
   25 .i.b3 'iVf6 26 �g2 a5 27 h4 a4
 28 .i.xa4 lixa2 2 9 .i.b3 lib2 30
.i.c4 'iVe7 ? !
   3 0 . . .'�c6+ ! ? looks a slightly                 4 e3
better attempt to provoke some                         In addition to a clear outline of
chink in White ' s armour since 3 1 e4               White' s plan and where he should
I;Id2 offers a morsel of hope.                       put his pieces there is the additional
   3 1 e4 'iVb4 32 .i.d5 �g7 33 e5                   question of move order which, if
.i.d2 34 'iVf3 'iVe7 35 .i.c4 .i.e1 36               botched, might reveal itself to be
236 2 . . . g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves


not quite so subsidiary. There are             interesting move           order  from
two possible issues - whether to               Knaak-Tabatt,           Germany    (ch)
permit Black a foothold in the                 Bremen 1 998, which went 4 e3 i.g7
centre with . . . d5, and in which             5 g3 0-0 6 i.g2 d6 7 lbe2 c5 8 0-0
positions it is necessary to worry             f5 and now the point of delaying c4
about a strike back with . . . c5 (this        was revealed as having provoked
game being an illustration of just             . . . c5 White preferred 9 lbbc3 ! ?
such a ' disruption strategy ' by              lbd7 1 0 'iWd3 lbf6 1 1 �fd l 'iWe7 1 2
Black) .                                       a4 i.e6 1 3 lbf4 with a very
     I began with the idea that it would       harmonious position.
be nice to prevent 4 . . . d5, although I           4 . . . f5 5 lbe2 i.g7 6 g3 0-0 7
think that this is in a sense the              i.g2 d6 8 c4 c5 ! ?
' luxury ' side of the question.
Having examined the material in
Chapter 9, I have to say I would be
quite happy to play those positions
with Black committed to the move
. . . g6, the relevance of which is
going to be questionable, and is
certainly never optimal. Having said
that, a part of me does want to
'punish' Black for playing 2 . . . g6,
and since 4 c4 is Hodgson ' s regular
choice, it is fair to assume that there
is some way to neutralise the ' . . . c5
problem' . I think there probably is,
but it requires some accuracy. I am               Despite the apparently convincing
unsure for example about 4 c4 i.g7             and undeniably swift nature of
5 lbc3 f5 6 g3 0-0 7 i.g2 c5 ! ? since         White ' s success in this game, this is
I suspect that Black' s play in                one of the more thematic . . . c5
Kosten-Rozentalis, Belfort, 1 997              based attempts to gain counterplay,
could be improved. After 8 dxc5                which deserves serious attention.
lba6 9 l:.c 1 lbxc5 10 e3 what about              9 lbbc3 cxd4
the immediate pawn sacrifice
1 O . . . d5 ! ? since 1 1 cxd5 'iVb6 1 2 b3      9 . . . lbc6 ! ? is an   interesting
f4 looks dangerous, and even 1 1               alternative.
i.xd5 ! ? f4 ! 1 2 b4 ! ? lba6 1 3 a3 fxe3
 14 fxe3 lbc7 looks like a fair degree
of unnecessary hassle.
     Therefore, I like the look of 4 c4
i.g7 5 lbc3 f5 6 e3 0-0 7 lbge2 and
only then 8 g3 which gets my final
vote. Alternatively, as I suggested
above, permitting . . . d5 is also
legitimate. One final thought. For
those who are unconcerned about
. . . d5 ideas, but are unenthusiastic
about the current game there is the
                                                     2 g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves 23 7
                                                      . . .




     Its relative popularity increases                        the note below) I have to wonder
my suspicion as to whether Black                              whether White should give the
really gets to create enough 'mess '                          alternative 1 0 ctJxd4 ! ? a little more
in the main game continuation .                               consideration. This will if anything
White can try:                                                heighten still further the contest
     a) 1 0 dxcS ( 1 0 .I1i.xc6? ! cxd4 ! )                   between             Black' s         'dynamic '
 1 0 . . . .I1i.e6 ! ? ( l O . . . dxcS results in            aspirations on the dark squares in
really quite severe structural defects,                       general          (especially        the    long
and White also gets to simplify;                              diagonal), and White ' s hopes to
 10 . . . llJeS seems to have been rather                     exploit his opponent' s weakened
pragmatically met in Pixton­                                  structure and suspicious light
Kriventsov, USA (ch), Seattle 2003                            squares (most obviously dS) .
by I I .I1i.dS ! ? dxcS 12 llJf4 gS?! 1 3                        Black has limited options to try
ctJd3 'iV as 1 4 0-0 .I1i.e6 I S ctJxeS                       and mix it, as the key retreat ctJde2
.I1i.xeS 1 6 'iVhS with advantage) I I                        seems to me broadly to hold the
cxd6 ! ? (De la Villa claims that after                       position together, in which case
 I I .I1i.xc6 bxc6 1 2 'iVxd6 'iVaS 1 3 0-0                   keeping the d-file half-open has
.I1i.xc4            Black           enj oys   good            useful ' positive ' virtues, as well as
compensation for the pawn, and I                              the ' negative ' virtue of avoiding
am inclined to believe him)                                   Black' s pawn sacrifice. Neither
 1 1 . . . .I1i.xc4 1 2 0-0 'iVb8 ! ? 1 3 'iVa4               1 0 . . . llJc6 I I llJde2 ! .I1i.e6 1 2 b3, nor
i.xe2 14 llJxe2 'iVxd6 I S gfd l and                          1 0 . . . 'iVb6 1 1 b3 ctJc6 1 2 llJde2
Black still cannot claim full                                 make much impact. This deserves a
equality. Of course Black has other                           practical test.
possibilities on move 1 2 , but                                  10 llJc6 1 1 'iVd2 f4 !
                                                                    . . .



nothing obviously stronger.
     b) 1 0 O-O ! ? avoids this early
clarification of the position, while
also averting the complexity of Har
Zvi ' s pawn sacrifice to which 1 0
'iVd2 can lead. In Speelman-Poldauf,
European Club Cup, Slough 1 997
Black reacted much too passively
with 1 0 . . . Sl.d7 and quickly stood
somewhat worse after I I 'iVd2 gb8
1 2 gad l cxd4 13 llJxd4 llJxd4 1 4
exd4 .I1i.c6 I S llJdS . Perhaps
1 0 . . . cxd4 1 1 cxd4 f4 ! ? makes more
sense, although the bishop pair does                            Without this resource, Black' s
not fully compensate for Black's                              position i s really lacking i n dynamic
weaknesses after the simple 12                                possibility, but I actually find this
ctJxf4 ctJxd4 13 ge l (De la Villa).                          sacrifice quite promising.
     10 exd4                                                     12 gxf4
     Ivan has opted for this recapture                           Taking up the challenge. 1 2
twice, but on the basis of the                                'iVxf4 ? ! is well countered by
improvement to Black' s play which                             12 . . . 'iVb6 but I suppose 12 0-0 is
has been suggested at move 1 2 (see                           legal, although it would also be an
238 2 g6 and Other Minor 2nd Moves
       . . .




admission that            1 1 . . . f4 is a      After this Black is lost. 20 . . . 'i!i'h4
considerable achievement for Black.           still puts up a fight.
   12 . . . 'it'h4 13 dS tDe7 14 0-0 tDfS        21 �g3 !
15 tDg3 tDh6?                                    It is quite a rare treat to see a king
   A mistake which seems to reflect           emerge to help trap a queen. Black
an overestimation of Black' s                 is quite helpless. A dramatic turn of
attacking chances. The simple                 events indeed !
pursuit of his development and                   2 1 . . . f6 22 .tf3 1-0
influence on the centre with
1 5 . . . 'it'f6 1 6 tDxf5 .txf5 would
have yielded quite reasonable
compensation as Ivan Sokolov
himself acknowledged.
   16 tDce4 tDg4 17 h3 tDf6                       Chapter 10       -   Conclusion

                                                  Of Black ' s minor second moves,
                                              only 2 . . b6 ! ? has the independent
                                                       .


                                              merit possibly to distract White
                                              from the customary Trompowsky
                                              plan commencing 3 .txf6.
                                                   2 . . . g6 retains a considerable
                                              following, but in fact the conduct of
                                              White' s plan here is arguably in its
                                              purest form. There are interesting
                                              questions of move order, although if
                                              White is happy to permit 4 . . . d5 then
                                              there is a lot of leeway. An early
                                              . . . c5 by Black certainly creates the
  1 8 tDgS!
                                              most critical positions, but if my
  Oops ! Suddenly it becomes clear            suggestion of 1 0 tDxd4 ! ? holds up
that the main issue is not the white          in Game 50 then the most celebrated
king at all, but the black queen !            of these fails to dent the general
  1 8 . . . tDhS 1 9 tDxhS 'ixhS 20           optimism which pervades the whole
�h2 .th6?                                     chapter.
                Index of Main Variations

    Chapter 1: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS ttJe4 3 �f4 cS 1 5 4 f3 ttJf6 S dxcS 1 6
S .. :1WaS+ 1 6 5 . . .b6 ; 5 . . . ttJc6; 5 . . . ttJa6 2 0
     Chapter 2: 1 d 4 ttJf6 2 �gS ttJ e 4 3 �f4 c S 1 5 4 f3 �aS+ S c 3 ttJf6 6 d S
�b6 6 . . . d 6 23; 6 . . . g 6 25; 6 . . . e 6 28-3 0 7 �cl 7 b3 35 7 . . . e6 7 . . . d 6 3 7 8 c 4 3 9
8 . . :�·b4+ 4 5 8 . . . exd5 3 9; 8 . . �d6 41
                                     .




    Chapter 3: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS ttJe4 3 �f4 cS 4 f3 'iWaS+ 5 1 S c3 ttJf6 6 ttJd2
cxd4 7 ttJb3 'ti'b6 7 . . :�f5 51; 7 ... 'ti'd8 53 8 'ti'xd4 8 cxd4 57 8 ... ttJc6
8 .. :�·xd4 59 9 'ti'xb6 axb6 10 ttJd4 63 10 e4 63 ; 10 a3 64; 10 �e3 64
10 ... e5 10 .. Jb5 6 7 1 1 ttJxc6 67-71
   Chapter 4 : 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS ttJe4 3 �f4 dS 4 f3 4 ttJd2 75 4 ... ttJf6 81 S e4
7 7 5 ... dxe4 5 ... e6 88 6 ttJc3 e3 6 ... exf3 82 ; 6 ... .i.f5 85; 6 ... ttJd5 86 7 .i.xe3
87
   Chapter 5 : 1 d 4 ttJf6 2 �g5 ttJe4 3 �f4 d S 4 e3 9 1
   4 . . .�f5 5 f3 ttJ d 6 5 . . . ttJf6 9 2 6 ttJd2 6 ttJc3 95
   4 e6 S �d3 99;
     •..


   4 ... c6 S .i.d3 �b6 1 01 ; 5 . . . ttJd7, 5 . . . ttJf6 1 02 6 .i.xe4 1 03
   4 ... c5 1 06 S �d3 ttJf6 5 . . . �6 1 06; 5 . . . ttJc6 1 1 0; 5 . . . cxd4 1 1 2 6 dxcS 1 1 8
   Chapter 6: 1 d 4 ttJf6 2 i.gS c S 3 .i.xf6 3 ttJc3 1 20; 3 d 5 1 2 1 ; 3 �xf6 1 2 1
3 ... gxf6 122 3 . . . exf6 122 4 d S 'ti'b6 4 . . �g7 124; 4 . . . i.h6 1 2 7 5 �c1 fS 6 c3
                                                   .


1 3 1 6 g3 1 3 6 6 ... .i.g7 7 g3 1 3 3 - 1 38
    Chapter 7: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 .i.gS cS 3 dS
    3 .. :tlVb6 3 . . . d6 4 ttJc3 h6 5 .i.xf6 exf6 1 42 4 ttJc3 'iVxb2 5 i.d2 1 45- 1 58
    3 ... ttJe4 4 �f4 156 4 .. J1Vb6 4 . . . e6 1 5 7 S .i.c1 5 ttJd2 1 62; 5 'ti'c 1 1 62 S ... fS
5 . . . g6 6 f3 ttJd6 1 66 6 f3 ttJf6 1 65
     Chapter 8: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �g5 e6 3 e4 1 73 3 ... h6 3 . . . d5 1 74; 3 . . . i.e7 1 74;
3 . . . d6 1 75; 3 . . . c5 1 76 4 �xf6 'ti'xf6 1 78
    S ttJc3 5 �d2 186- 1 90 5 ... �b4 5 . . . d6 1 80 6 'ti'd3 1 99 6 'iVd2 1 95
    S c3 201 5 ... dS 2 05 5 . . . d6 202
   Chapter 9: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS dS 3 �xf6
   3 ... gxf6 2 1 0 4 c4 2 1 1 4 ... dxc4 2 1 4 4 . . . c6 2 1 1 ; 4 . . . c5 2 1 4 5 e3 2 1 5 / S e4
218
   3 . . . exf6 2 2 0 4 e 3 c 6 22 1 ; 4 . . . �e6 22 1 ; 4 . . . i.e7 222 ; 4 . . . �f5 223 ; 4 . . . c 5
2 2 3 4 . . . �d6 22 7 5 ttJd2 224
   Chapter 1 0: 1 d4 ttJf6 2 �gS g6 2 . . . c6; 2 . . . b 6 232 3 .i.xf6 exf6 4 g3 233 /
4 e3 235
                   Index of Games
                       (numbers refer to pages)


Adams-Lautier                  131    Lputian-Z.Ilincic            95
Adams-Leko                       15   Lputian-Mirumian             59
Adams-Xie Jun                  1 06   McDonald-Lukacs           22 1
Akopian-Hernandez              136    McShane-Woj aszek            35
Akopian-Mohandesi                98   Mikhalevski-Mark Tseitlin    75
Akopian-B. Socko                 20   Moiseenko-Romanishin         84
Aleksandrov-Janev              232    Plaskett-J.Cooper         21 1
Benjamin-Malisauskas             88   Rogers-Ft<icnik              71
Chepukaitis-Y emelin           148    Romero Holmes-Garcia Luque 1 0 1
Dishman-Ward                   205    Rowson-Hadzimanolis          23
Gallagher-Knott                141    Sargissian-Frohlich       138
Gallagher-Rytshagov            1 12   Savchenko-Golubev         1 56
Galyas-R.Ruck                  213    Shereshevsky-Kolev        1 90
C'
 rrigore-Jianu                   53   I . Sokolov-Har Zvi       235
Hodgson-Gelfand                  57   Spee!man-Y.Wang           1 10
Hodgson-Kotronias              1 22   Stefanova-Panchenko       1 62
Hodgson-Magem B adals          1 80   Summerscale-Hermansson    1 18
Hodgson-Panchenko                81   Torre-Svidler                62
Hodgson-Rowson          195,   20 1   Tregubov-Shulman           1 74
Hodgson-Sonntag                218    Vaganian-Kupreichik        1 44
Hodgson-Sutovsky                 67   Wells-Britton              1 86
Hodgson-Turner                   41   Wells-Hamdouchi              27
Hodgson-Van der Wie!           1 27   Wells-Parker              227
Hodgson-Wells                    30   Wells-See!                 1 99
Jansa-Sosonko                    77   Winants-Wiedenkeller         91
Lomineishvili-Gruenberg          51

				
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