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A Rock-Solid Chess

Opening Repertoire
for Black

Viacheslav Ei ngorn
First published in the UK by Gambit Publications Ltd 20 1 2

Copyright © Viacheslav Eingom 20 1 2

The right o f Viacheslav Eingom to b e identified as the author of this work has
been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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ISBN- 1 3 : 978- 1 -906454-3 1 -9


ISBN- 10: 1 -906454-3 1 -0

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Contents

Symbols 4
Bibliography 4
Introduction 5

Part 1: 1 e4 e6 7
1 French Satellites 9
2 King's Indian Attack 16
3 Exchange Variation 27
4 Advance Variation 33
5 Tarrasch Variation 50
6 Steinitz Variation 66
7 Classical French 80

Part 2: 1 d4 e6 90
8 The Nimzo-like 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 tiJc3 93
9 The Bogo-like 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 tiJd2 109
10 The Bogo-like 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 .li.d2 118
11 Transposition to the Sicilian 133
12 Transposition to the English 144
13 2 tiJf3 c5 3 e3 155
14 Rare 2nd and 3rd Moves after 1 d4 e6 164

Part 3
15 Should Black Play l...e6 vs Flank Openings? 173
16 The X-Files 177

lndex of Variations 189


Symbols
" cupture
+ check
++ double check
• checkmate
I! brilliant move
I good move
I? interesting move
'll dubious move
., bad move
'l? blunder
Ch championship
(n) nth match game
1-0 the game ends in a win for White
lf2.1f2 the game ends in a draw
0- I the game ends in a win for Black
(1-0, 63) White went on to win on move 63 (etc.)

Bibliography
Nikita Vitiugov: The French Defence: A Complete Black Repertoire;
Chess Stars 20 10
Neil McDonald: How to Play Against 1 e4; Everyman 2008
John Watson: Dangerous Weapons: The French, Everyman 2007
Oleg Stetsko: Frantsuzskaya zashchita: Klassicheskaya sistema;
Moskva Astrel - AST 2004
Boris Avrukh: Grandmaster Repertoire 1 d4 Volume Two; Quality Chess 20 10
Ilia Odessky: Nevozmozhnoe nachalo ( 1 d4 e6 2 c4 b6!?);
Russian Chess House 2005
Sverre Johnsen and Vlatko Kovacevic: Win with the London System;
Gambit 2005
I ntroduction

The appeal of a 'universal' defence is easy to understand. By playing the same


move against both 1 e4 and 1 d4, Black reduces his workload and can use some
move-order subtleties to make it harder for White to reach his preferred systems.
Our focus here is on 1 e4 e6 and 1 d4 e6, but we also briefly discuss how best to
answer White's other options on move 1.
The French Defence, I e4 e6, is clearly the backbone of the repertoire. It is a
popular opening with a long history, and a list of adherents that includes several
of the all-time greats. After 1 d4, the reply l . . .e6 is less common, and normally
used as a way to transpose to standard opening lines. If White replies 2 e4, then
obviously we have a French Defence, but if White refrains from this central ad­
vance, he must take into account that Black might follow up with 2 . . . f5, 2 . . d5, .

2 ... b6, 2 ... c5 or 2 . . lbf6. If White has a highly rigid repertoire (as many club-level
.

players do), then this might give him an immediate problem, and lead to a rash
decision. In this book, we shall only investigate transpositional ideas when they
are particularly attractive, and focus more on independent lines, where Black
tries to takes full advantage of the unique possibilities presented by the move
l ... e6. We shall examine a wide variety of ideas and variations, and in some cases
little-investigated opening positions arise after the first few moves.

I would like the make the following general points about the repertoire:

• The repertoire based on l .. .e6 lays the foundation for multi-opening prepara­
tion. Chess-players often consider the initial order of moves exclusively as a
way to restrict the opponent's possibilities, forgetting that thereby they them­
selves become a stationary target. In the era of computers and free exchange of
theoretical information, such a view of opening strategy looks like an anachro­
nism. If we are willing to play a variety of structures and variations, and even
wholly different openings, then our opponent's choices will be more difficult,
and in this repertoire we shall make extensive use of this.

• The variations recommended (the French Defence as well as lines arising after
1 d4 e6) are rather stable and allow a variety of interpretations, and this en­
hances the reliability of the opening repertoire as a w hole for Black. In a ma­
jority of potential 'problem lines' , two or more options are discussed. Some
6 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

additional options remain off-screen, so they can be considered as a strategic


reserve- for example, Dutch formations, although possible, are almost absent
from this book. Most readers will no doubt have experience with other open­
ings, and may well be able to put this knowledge to use when they see an op­
portunity to transpose to lines of, e.g., the Nimzo-Indian, Dutch or Queen' s
Gambit that appeal to them.

• The modem study of the opening is a serious matter. One should not get car­
ried away with trying to make an idea work and lose one's objectivity. Assess­
ments must, with only rare exceptions, be based on concrete proofs or
examples. In the book we discuss some opening variations in considerable de­
tail and, where it is both possible and expedient, give preference to less well­
known continuations.

• Since I am presenting a repertoire for Black, I only recommend lines if I con­


sider them playable for Black, and the reader can consider all quoted varia­
tions to be quite satisfactory by default - if this is not the case, then I make this
very clear in the text. In some cases the assessment 'unclear' is given; this sug­
gests that I suspect the position is also acceptable for Black, but that more de­
tailed investigation i s needed before this can be stated with certainly or a more
precise assessment given.
Part 1: 1 e4 e6

The French Defence, whose main sys­ repertoire should not be made need­
tems arise after 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 (D), is lessly elaborate, and rather than play­
one of the most complex chess open­ ing every line and tackling every
ings, with an extreme wealth of strate­ structure, a player has to make some
gic content. choices. In this book I present my rec­
ommendations according to the fol­
lowing structure:

• In Chapter 1 we discuss all continu­


ations (with the exception of the
King's Indian Attack) in which
White avoids the move 2 d4. We
also cover the rare variation 2 d4 d5
3 ..td3. These sidelines are not dan­
gerous for Black, but they occur in
practice every now and then, and it
makes sense to be ready for them.
• Chapter 2 is devoted to the popular
set-up known as the King's Indian
The position in the diagram serves Attack, which in the French can be
as jumping-off point for several dif­ introduced by 2 'ii'e2 or 2 d3.
ferent continuations (the clarifying 3 • The Exchange Variation, 3 exd5
exd5, the blocking 3 e5, and the two exd5, is considered in Chapter 3.
main lines, 3 liJd2 and 3 l2Jc3), but it One cannot hide the fact that this
represents only the visible tip of an can lead to drawish and rather te­
enormous opening iceberg. The ques­ dious positions. However, both play­
tion of how to construct an opening ers have ways to spice up the game,
repertoire is sometimes answered by and I shall be looking closely at
Black in the simplest way: meeting ways for Black to create winning
both 3 l2Jc3 and 3 liJd2 with 3 . . . dxe4. chances against an opponent who
This saves a good deal of effort, but plays 'resolutely' for a draw.
also deprives Black of much of the • The move 3 e5 (Chapter 4) defines
variety of French Defence possibili­ the Advance Variation. This is the
ties and ideas. On the other hand, a first chapter in the book where Black
II A HOC'K·S0/.11> Cm:ss OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

hMII hi .. . l�f llfl'illllll uponlng pn,b- This overview of our French De­
11111"; th•• llnat l .. �·� 4 �·.l hl11 my fence repertoire sounds straightforward
•·huh·ll h11111. enough, but within these variations
• I h11 htll'llll�·h, ·' �\d2 (Chupter 5), lies a great variety of pawn and piece
111� ... Uhwk " chul�e bet wee n two battles in the centre, and strategies
11111111 �·unllmulllunN, cuch represent­ ranging from long positional manoeuv­
lUll II IIIIIIIIIIIICillully ditTerent ap­ res to sharp attacks on the kings. I also
ltNII",•h: .Lc� und 3 ...lt:Jf6. In this offer a choice of lines for Black where
h.Ktk pral'arence is given to 3 ... c5, this is practical. It is worth noting that
whon ad,er 4 exd5, the pawn recap­ White does not have a simple task
lura 4 ... exd5 is my main recommen­ fighting against the French Defence
d�tllun, though we also take a brief since it is literally woven of contradic­
luuk ul 4 .. .'ii'xd5 . tions: for example, the space seized by
• The muin lines of the French De­ White often comes at the cost of a vul­
fence following 3 lt:Jc3 lead to the nerability on his first two ranks, and
most problematic situations of the the 'bad' c8-bishop can quickly be­
whole opening, with both players come a strong and active participant in
facing major pitfalls. Black's princi­ the battle. Therefore, if White has to
pal choice is between the Winawer study the French Defence simply be­
Variation (3 ... -*.b4) and the classical cause of necessity, this opening is
3 .. .lt:Jf6. In this book we focus on the rather attractive for Black for several
latter. The Steinitz Variation, 3 tt:lc3 reasons:
lt:Jf6 4 e5 tt:lfd7, is considered in From the early stages of the game
Chapte�6. he has ways to seek counterplay, of­
• We conclude Part 1 with the Classi­ ten by violent sacrificial means.
cal System, 3 tt:lc3 tt:lf6 4 .i.g5 -*.e7 He can also adopt slower manoeuv­
(Chapter 7). This is one of the old­ ring approaches; Black's wide choice
est main lines of the French De­ of options in the main variations no­
fence, but recent fashion has seen a ticeably complicates White's open­
swing towards the Burn (4 ... dxe4) ing preparation.
and MacCutcheon (4 ... .i.b4) varia­ Last but not least: having the French
tions. So our choice of line may, Defence in his arsenal, Black can
paradoxically, even carry a small el­ freely play 1 ...e6 also after 1 d4, and
ement of surprise against players this move-order brings some practi­
who spend most of their time pre­ cal benefits, as we shall see in Part 2
paring for the most topical lines. of the book.
1 French Satel l ites

l e4 e6 (D) d3 (5 lt:Jxe4 .i.c6; 5 .i.xe4 ! ? main­


tains an equal position) 5 ... i.c6 6
dxe4 'ii'xd l + 7 lt:Jxd l li:Jf6 8 f3
li:Jbd7.
• 2 lt:Jc3 d5 3 f4 dxe4 4 lt:Jxe4 li:Jf6 5
lt:Jxf6+ (5 d3 li:Jxe4 6 dxe4 'ii'xd 1 + 7
<t>xd 1 li:Jd7; 5 li:Jf2 .i.c5 6 li:Jf3
.i.xf2+ 7 �xf2 li:Jg4+ 8 �g 1 ? lt:Je3)
5 . . . 'iixf6 6 d4 (6 g3 e5) 6 ... c5 7 li:Jf3
lt:Jc6.
• 2 d4 d5 3 .i.e3 ? is a poorly moti­
vated gambit, most often played by
Blackmar-Diemer Gambit enthusi­
asts (with the game starting 1 d4 e6
2 e4 d5 3 i.e3). After 3 ... dxe4 4 f3
In this chapter we examine a variety (4 lt:Jc3 li:Jf6 5 f3 .i.b4; 4 li:Jd2 li:Jf6 5
of lines in which White sidesteps stan­ f3 li:Jd5 6 'ii'e2 lt:Jc6 7 c3 exf3)
dard French Defence positions, in most 4 . . . li:Jf6 (4 . . . li:Jh6 ! ? is also viable) 5
cases by avoiding 2 d4 altogether. Be­ fxe4 lt:Jxe4 6 li:Jf3 (6 i.d3 ? ! c5 7
fore moving on to the most significant li:Jf3 cxd4 is even less convincing)
of these sidelines, we should first take 6 . . . lt:Jc6 White does not have suffi­
a brief look at a few miscellaneous re­ cient compensation for the sacri­
plies. These have nothing strategically ficed pawn.
in common with the French Defence In the above cases White's opening
apart from the fact that the game be­ play lacks a solid positional basis and
gins with 1 e4 e6. They can be ade­ therefore these continuations are not
quately dealt with using just a few of any real theoretical value. However,
lines of text, and minimal verbal com­ other sidelines are more interesting
mentary: and worthy of serious attention. The
• 2 e5 d6 3 exd6 i.xd6 4 d4 (4 li:Jf3 e5) King's Indian Attack, in which White
4 ...li:Jf6 5 lt:Jf3 0-0 (5 ... b6; 5 ... li:Jbd7) plays 2 d3 or 2 'ii'e2 and follows up
6 .i.d3 lt:Jc6 7 0-0 e5. with a fianchetto of his king's bishop,
• 2 g3 d5 3 .i.g2 dxe4 4 lt:Jc3 (4 .i.xe4 is considered separately in the next
li:Jf6 5 .i.g2 e5) 4 . . . .i.d7 (4 ... f5 ! ?) 5 chapter. That leaves us with:
10 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

1.1: 2 c4 10 a) 5 d4?! ttJxd5 6 tlJc3 (6 tDf3


1.2: 2 b3 11 .i.b4+ 7 .i.d2 'ii'e7+) 6....i.b4 7 il.d2
1.3: 2 f4 12 0-0 8 il.d3 (8 ttJf3 can be met by
1.4: 2 ttJf3 d5 3 e5 13 8...c5 !? or 8....:te8+ 9 .i.e2 .i.xc3 10
1.5: 2 d4 d5 3 il.d3 14 bxc3 'ii'e7 11 c4 .i.f5, when Black
takes over the initiative) 8...c5 gave
1.1 Black the initiative in Kuijf-Korchnoi,
2 c4 (D) Tilburg 1992.
b) 5 tDf3 ttJxd5 6 ttJc3 ttJc6 7 d4
.i.b4 8 .i.d2 0-0 9 .i.e2 ttJde7 (9...h6
10 0-0 .i.e6 is also equal) 10 a3 .i.a5
11 .i.e3 and now both ll...ttJd5 and
ll...tlJf5 12 0-0 .i.b6 are equal.
Therefore White must act more vig­
orously and the bishop check is proba­
bly the best move at his disposal. The
attempt to create pressure along the
a2-g8 diagonal by 5 .i.c4 is unpromis­
ing: 5...ttJxd5 6 ttJc3 (6 'ifb3?! 'ii'e7+ 7
ttJe2 ttJb6) 6...ttJb6 (this is simpler
than 6...ttJb4 7 d3 .i.e6 8 'ii'e2 .i.e?) 7
.i.b3 ttJc6 8 ttJge2 (8 ttJf3 'ii'e7+)
This is a rather inoffensive continu­ 8....i.d6 (8 .i.c5!?) 9 d4 0-0 10 0-0
...

ation, but gives White an acceptable 'ii'h4 with good play for Black, Mas­
game. serey-Kindermann, Horgen 1995.
2 ... d5 3 cxd5 5 ttJbd7 6 ttJc3
...

Only the variation with the double 6 ttJf3 a6 (6... ttJxd5?! 7 ttJc3 grants
pawn exchange on d5 has independent White the initiative) 7 .i.e2 (7 .i.xd7+
significance. After 3 exd5 exd5 4 d4 'ii'xd7 also gives White no advantage)
we reach a line of the Exchange Varia­ and now both 7....i.d6 and 7...ttJxd5 8
tion (see Section 3.4). ttJc3 tlJ7f6 9 0-0 .i.d6 lead to approxi­
3 ...exd5 4 exd5 mate equality.
The gambit 4 'ifb3?! makes no sense 6 a6! ?
•••

if only because of the reply 4...'ii'e7. I t i s a good idea to clarify the inten­
4...ttJf6 tions of the white bishop straight away.
Now White needs to show what he 6....i.e7 7 ttJf3 0-0 is also quite reli­
has gained by avoiding the move 2 d4. able, though after 8 d4 (8 .i.xd7?!
5 .i.b5+! ? .i.xd7 leaves the initiative to Black)
Simple developing continuations 8...ttJb6 9 0-0 .i.f5!? (9...ttJbxd5 10
cannot cause any inconvenience for .:tel c6 11 .i.d3) 10 .:tel ttJfxd5 11
Black; for example: ttJe4 .i.b4 12 .i.d2 .i.xd2 13 'ii' xd2
FRENCH SATELliTES 11

White's pieces are more active and the and chances for both sides, while the
initiative remains on his side, Spassky­ waiting move 3...a6!? (Atalik) is an in­
Korchnoi, Elista (2) 2009. teresting way to interfere with White's
7 .lta4 deployment. White then has nothing
7 .ltxd7+?! is not even enough to more logical than 4 'ii'e2 (4 �c3 is met
equalize in view of 7 ...'ii' xd7 8 �f3 by 4...d4, while 4 exd5 exd5 gives
'ii'e7+!. Black full equality) with the following
7 b5 8 .ltb3 .ltb7 9 �f3 b4 10
••• pleasant choice for Black:
�e2 .ltd6 a) 4...dxe4 5 �c3 (5 'ii' xe4?! �f6)
Both sides have chances. 5...f5 (the point!) 6 0-0-0 �f6 7 f3 (7
d3 exd3 8 l:.xd3 .ltd6) 7 ... exf3 8 �xf3
1 .2 .ltd6 and it is hard to say whether
2 b3 (D) White has real compensation for the
sacrificed pawn.
b) 4...�f6 5 e5 (5 exd5 can be met
by 5....ltc5!? or the unclear 5...'ii' xd5!?
B 6 �f3 �6 7 �c3 'ii' f5) 5...�fd7 6
'ii' g4 c5 leaves Black a move up com­
pared to the 3...�f6 line that we saw
above.
4 �c3 �f6 5 'ii'e2
Premature aggression with 5 g4?!
promises White nothing but hardship;
for example, 5...�c6 6 g5 �d5 7
�xe4 e5 (7 ...h6!?) or 5....ltd7 6 .ltg2
.ltc6 7 'ii'e2 h5 8 g5 �d5 9 �h3 �xc3
10 .ltxc3 'ii'd5, Gelashvili-B.Socko,
This move, which we shall call the European Clubs Cup, Panormo 200 I.
Reti Variation, has some quite novel 5 .lte7
•••

ideas, notably of castling queenside. If Black aspires only to equalize,


Black should not underestimate this then the line 5...�c6 6 �xe4 (6 0-0-0
odd-looking move. �d4 7 'ii'el .ltd7 8 �xe4 .ltc6 is also
2 d5 3 .ltb2 dxe4
•.• equal) 6...�xe4 7 'ii' xe4 'ii'd5 8 'ii' xd5
Taking the central pawn is abso­ exd5 9 0-0-0 f6 10 �e2 (10 g3 .ltf5!
lutely logical, although it allows White 11 l:.e1+ �d7) 10....ltf5, as· in the
to develop as planned. Black has a cou­ game Ge1ashvili-Ramon Perez, Bala­
ple of ways to direct the game in other guer 2007, is worth noting.
directions. Firstly, 3...�f6 4 e5 (4 exd5 6 0-0-0
exd5 5 'ii'e2+ .lte7! 6 .ltxf6 gxf6 is OK 6 g4?! is still inappropriate in view
for Black) 4...�fd7 5 'ii'g4 c5 6 f4 �c6 of 6...�c6 7 �xe4 (7 g5?! �d4)
7 �f3 leads to a complicated position 7 ...�xe4 (7 ...�b4!?) 8 'ii' xe4 'ii'd5.
12 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

Also after 6 lt:\xe4 0-0 7 lt:lf3 a5 the suggests, chess-players in the 1 9th
most judicious policy for White is to century often reacted to the French
sound the retreat and play 8 g3 fol­ and Sicilian Defences with this f­
lowed by il.g2 and 0-0, trying to keep pawn thrust.
approximate equality. 2 d5 3 e5 c5 4 lt:lf3 lt:\c6 5 c3
...

6 0-0 7 g4!
... The d4 advance needs to be pre­
Now this move comes just at the pared. White should avoid 5 d4? ! 'ii'b6
right time, since 7 lt:\xe4?! a5 favours with the possible continuation 6 .id3
Black. il.d7 7 0-0 lt:\h6.
After the text-move (7 g4), a very 5 lt:lh6 6lt:\a3 ii.d7
•••

unclear position has arisen: Black has other satisfactory moves


a) 7 . . . lt:\c6 8 g5 lt:ld5 (8 . . . lt:\d4 9 too, such as 6 . . .f6 7 lt:\c2 (weaker are 7
'i�Ve l lt:ld5 10 1i'xe4) 9 h4 f5 ( weaker is d4 cxd4 8 cxd4 fxe5 9 fxe5 i.xa3 and
9 ... lt:ldb4?! 10 'ii'xe4, Milovic-Kosic, 7 exf6 'ii'xf6 8 d4 cxd4 9 cxd4 il.b4+
Montenegrin Team Ch, Herceg Novi 1 0 �f2 0-0 1 1 lt:lc2 il.a5) 7 . . .fxe5 8
2008) 10 gxf6 il.xf6 is unclear. fxe5 lt:lf5 (White can benefit from
b) 7 ... a5 8 g5 (8 a4 lt:\c6 gives complications like 8 . . . lt:\xe5 ? ! 9 lt:lxe5
Black the initiative, while 8 i.g2 is met 'ii'h4+ 10 g3 'ii'e4+ 1 1 'ii'e2 'ii'xh 1 1 2
by 8 . . . a4) 8 . . . lt:\d5 9 h4 a4 (9 ... i.d7 ! ?) d4 - Bangiev) 9 d4 .ie7 1 0 i.d3 0-0,
10 lt:\xa4 ( 10 'ii'xe4 axb3 1 1 axb3 with equality. With the text-move,
i.a3) 1 0 . . . b5 1 1 lt:\c3 b4 ( l l . . .f5 1 2 Black strives for more.
gxf6 i.xf6) 1 2 lt:lxe4 l:.xa2 i s unclear. 7 lt:\c2 'ii'b6 8 d4
White may be well-advised to opt
1 .3 for Chigorin's more cautious move 8
2 f4 (D) i.e2 !?. After 8 . . . .ie7 9 0-0 (9 d4? !
l:tc8 gives Black the initiative) 9 . . . 0-0
10 'it>h l ( 1 0 lt:le3 f6) 10 . . .f6 and only
now 1 1 d4, White maintains the equi­
librium. The restrained 8 d3 is also
worthy of some attention; for exam­
ple, 8 . . . i.e7 9 i.e2 lt:lf5 10 0-0 h5 1 1
l:.bl - Bangiev. However, we should
note that the final position of this vari­
ation is also reached in another open­
ing with reversed colours, viz. 1 d4 d6
2 c4 e5 3 lt:lf3 e4 4 lt:\g 1 (or 4 lt:\g5 f5 5
lt:lc3 c6 6 lt:lh3 lt:la6 7 e3 lt:lf6) 4 . . . f5 5
lt:lc3 c6 6 lt:lh3 lt:la6 7 e3 lt:lf6 8 .ie2
lt:\c7 9 'ii'b 3 .l:r.b8 1 0 lt:lf4 il.e7 1 1 h4
This is called the McDonnell & La­ 0-0. One can hardly complain as Black
bourdonnais Attack, and as the name about getting a position that strong
FRENCH SATELLITES 13

players have been happy to play as 3 ltJc3 ltJf6 4 e5 ltJfd7 5 d4 trans­


White. It remains to add that 8 ltJe3? ! poses to a line of the Steinitz Variation
i s not a good choice: 8 . . . f6 9 exf6 (9 (see Section 6. 1 ).
d4? cxd4 10 cxd4 Jtb4+ occurred
twice in the match McDonnell-de La­
bourdonnais, London 1 834) 9 . . . gxf6
1 0 d3 0-0-0 1 1 Jte2 i.d6 gave Black
the initiative in Kornliakov-Rustemov,
Russia Cup, Moscow 1 998.
8 cxd4! ?
••.

White's position is like an Advance


Variation ( 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3)
but with the seemingly inappropriate
move f4. However, it is difficult for
Black to exploit this circumstance in
clear-cut fashion. Another active pos­
sibility is 8 . . . ltc8 9 Jtd3 (9 Jtd2 Jte7
10 Jtd3 ? ! c4 1 1 Jte2 'ii'xb2) 9 . . . cxd4, This sequence can transpose to the
when 10 ltJcxd4 ?! ltJxd4 1 1 ltJxd4 Advance Variation, but this precise
i.c5 gives Black the initiative, but 1 0 move-order normally indicates that
cxd4 makes i t harder for him to pursue White intends to play the French Wing
aggressive plans; both 10 . . . ltJf5 1 1 Gambit, which is quite popular nowa­
..txf5 exf5 1 2 0-0 ..te7 1 3 ltJe3 ..te6 14 days at club level.
'ii'd 3 0-0 1 5 ..td2 and 1 0 . . . ltJb4 ! ? 1 1 3 c5 4 b4
•••

ltJxb4 i.xb4+ 1 2 ..td2 i.b5 1 3 ..txb5+ By distracting the c5-pawn away


'ii'xb5 14 it.xb4 'ii'xb4+ 15 'ii'd2 l:tc4 from the d4-square, White hopes to set
16 'ii'xb4 l:txb4 17 b3 ltJf5 18 �f2 h5 up a strong and stable centre that will
19 l:thc 1 'it>d7 20 l:tab 1 are equal. enable him to attack unhindered on the
9 ltJcxd4 kingside.
After 9 cxd4 ltJf5 1 0 g4 ltJfe7 1 1 4 cxb4
.••

..td3 ( 1 1 h3 h5 1 2 .:th2 l:lc8 gives Accepting the gambit is not obliga­


Black the initiative) 1 l . . .h5 1 2 g5 ltJf5 tory. 4 . . . d4 is good enough, when 5
( 1 2 . . . a5 and 1 2 . . . g6 can also be con­ bxc5 (5 ltJa3 a6 6 bxc5 ..txc5 7 ltJc4
sidered) White's position may turn out b5 and 5 b5 ltJe7 6 ..lii.d 3 ltJg6 are un­
to be even worse. clear) 5 . . . i.xc5 6 Jta3 'ii'a5 7 'iVe2 (7
9 i. c5 10 b4 ltJxd4 11 ltJxd4
••• ..txc5 'ii'xc5 8 c3 ltJc6 9 cxd4 ltJxd4 10
it.xd4 12 'ii'xd4 'ii'xd4 13 cxd4 .:tc8 'ii'a4+ ..td7 ! 1 1 'ii'xd4 'ifc l + 1 2 �e2
Black has a minimal advantage. ..tb5+ 1 3 d3 .:td8 1 4 ltJbd2 'iVa3)
7 . . . ..td7 8 i.xc5 'iVxc5 9 'iVc4 'ii'xc4 1 0
1 .4 ..txc4 ltJc6 leads to an approximately
2 ltJf3 d5 3 e5 (D) equal ending. More complicated play
14 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

arises if Black declines the pawn by simply play 8...a6 or provoke an im­
4...c4 5 c3 (5 a3!?) 5 ... a5 6 b5 ltJd7 7 mediate crisis by 8...b5!?. Then:
d3 cxd3 8 .i.xd3 f6!? 9 'ife2 fxe5 10 a) 9ltJg5? is no good due to 9...b4.
ltJxe5 ltJxe5 l l 'ifxe5 liJf6, as in Zaka­ b) After 9 .i.xb5 ltJxe5 10 ltJxe5
rian-Antic, Kalamaria 2009. .i.xb5 11 ltJxa3 (11 .i.xa3 .i.xa3 12
S a3 ltJxa3 .i.d7 13 'ii'g4 g6) 11....i.xa3 12
5 d4 ltJc6 6 a3 bxa3 leads to the .i.xa3 ltJe7 Black parries the threats
same position. and retains the extra pawn.
s bxa3
... c) 9 ltJxa3!? b4 10 cxb4 (10 ltJb5
The line 5 ...ltJc6 6 axb4 .i.xb4 7 c3 a6 11 ttJd6+ .i.xd6 12 exd6 liJf6)
.i.e? 8 d4 occurs more often. The point 10 .i.xb4+ ( 1 0...ltJxb4 11 0-0 ltJe7 is
..

of the text-move is to leave the e7- unclear) 1 1 i.d2 a6 12 i.xb4 (12 0-0
square vacant for the g8-knight. can be met by 12...ltJge7 13 ltJc2 a5,
6 d4 ltJc6 7 c3 .i.d7 (D) as in Rahls-Junge, Bundesliga 1987/8)
12...ltJxb4 13 i.xh7 ltJe7 with equal­
ity.
9 0-0
White's king has no reason to re­
main in the centre. After 9 h4 a6
(9...b5 !?) 10 ltJxa3 .:.c8 11 h5 ltJa5 12
liJb1 (the return of the piece to its
home square is a bad sign) 12.. .'ii'b6
13 i.c2 ltJc4 14 ltJh4?! ltJe7 Black
had the advantage in Lerch-Naumkin,
Cappelle Ia Grande 2007.
9 a6 10 ltJxa3 .:.cs
•••

In this comparatively calm situa­


tion, White has yet to find real com­
8 .i.d3 pensation for the sacrificed pawn. For
White does not hurry to liquidate example, 11 c4 ltJb4 12 c5 b6 13 cxb6
the a3-pawn, although sooner or later 'ii'xb6 proved unsuccessful in the game
he will have to do so. The immediate Emodi-G.Portisch, Hungarian Team
attack by 8 ltJg5?! h6 9 ltJxf7?! �xf7 Ch 1998/9.
l 0 'iif3 + liJf6 looks clearly premature,
but it is possible to play 8 ltJxa3 a6 9 1 .5
.i.d3 h6 (or 9....:.c8) right away. 2 d4 dS 3 i.d3 (D)
8 h6
•.• It is clear enough that this is not the
Preventive measures: Black estab­ best way to defend the e4-pawn. Nev­
lishes control over the g5-square, rul­ ertheless, this bishop move crops up
ing out any attempt by White to start a from time to time in modem tourna­
quick assault by ltJg5. Instead he can ment practice.
FRENCH SATELLITES 15

Another position with an isolated


d-pawn can arise after 7 c3 cxd4 8
cxd4 (8 lLlxd4 is met by 8...lLle5).
Black has no problems here: 8...�d6!?
(this is preferable to 8...�e7, as the
e7-square will prove useful to the c6-
knight) 9 0-0 0-0 10 lLlbc3 h6 11 �e3
tLle7 (11... �d7!?) with equality, Bluv­
shtein-Barsov, Montreal 2002.
7 cxd4 8 lLlxd4 lLle5
...

Now the other knight attacks the


white bishop. But note how Black de­
lays actually making the exchange on
3 dxe4
.•• f3, as he has no wish to help White
The most natural reaction, although smoothly activate his queen.
3...c5 4 exd5 (4 c3 dxe4 5 �xe4lLlf6) 9M
4...exd5 is also good, transposing to a Keeping the possibility of castling
line of the Exchange Variation that is queenside. The calm continuation 9
satisfactory for Black (see Section 0-0 a6 (or 9...�e7!? 10 h2 0-0 with
3.1). equality) 10 lLlc3 (10 �e2 and 10 c4
4 �xe4 lLlf6 5 �f3 are both met by 1 0. .'ifc7) 1 0...�d6!
.

The bishop stays on the long diago­ ( 10...1i'c7?! is highly careless in view
nal. Otherwise White's bishop moves of 1 1 �f4, as in Hector-Short, World
have simply cost him time with noth­ Junior Ch, Be1fort 1983) 11 �e2 0-0
ing to show for it; for example, after 5 does not allow White to count on the
�d3 (5 �g5 c5) 5...c5 6 c3 (6 dxc5 initiative.
�xc5 7 lLlf3 0-0 8 0-0 b6) 6...lLlc6 7 9 a6 10 'ife2 lLlxf3+ l l lLlxf3
...

lLlf3 cxd4 8 cxd4 �e7 9 lLlc3 0-0 11 'ifxf3 e5 is good for Black; he
Black gets a standard IQP position will answer 12lLlf5 with 12...'ii'a5.
with at least one extra tempo. l l �e7
...

5 cS
... Black prepares to castle and has
The simplest path to equality is rather good prospects. "The future be­
5...�d6 6lLle2lLlbd7 7lLlbc3 e5, as in longs to he who has the bishops"- this
Fernandez Romero-de Ia Villa, Bur­ statement by Dr Tarrasch is highly
guillos 2007. The text-move leads to a pertinent to this position, but at pres­
more complicated game. ent the chances of the two sides are ap­
6 lLle2 lLlc6 7 �e3 proximately equal.
2 Ki ng's Ind ia n Attack

A popular way for White to avoid 2.1


standard lines of the French is to de­ 1 e4 e6 2 'ii'e2 (D)
velop in a similar style to the King's
Indian, with the moves tl:Jf3, g3 and
.tg2, supporting the e-pawn with the
modest pawn move d3. In principle,
the King's Indian Attack set-up should
not promise White an advantage, as it
is more suited to counterpunching than
generating an initiative. However, in
the case of the French Defence the sit­
uation seems more complicated, since
Black has already played . . . e6, and a
further advance with . . . e6-e5 would
involve a loss of time. White can ex­
pect further action in the centre (usu­
ally by playing e5, preparing an attack This is known as the Chigorin Vari­
on the black king) and tends to keep ation. The original idea of this move
some opening initiative. Not that Black was simply to hinder Black's intended
must worry too much though, because 2 . . . d5 advance. After 2 . . . .te7 Chigo­
White has laid out his plans, whereas rin himself played 3 b3 d5 4 .tb2, and
Black can still choose from a vast ar­ then the line 4 . . .tl:Jf6 5 e5 (as we al­
ray of set-ups, including options about ready know from Section 1 .2, 5 exd5
where to put his king. Our general exd5 6 .txf6 gxf6 is not advanta­
counterstrategy is as follows: geous for White) 5 . . .tl:Jfd7 gives Black
• In the lines 2 'ii'e2 (Section 2. 1 ) and a convenient game. Therefore modem
2 d3 d5 3 'ii'e 2 (Section 2.2) Black chess-players use the move 2 'ii'e2 al­
in one way or another targets the most exclusively in a King's Indian
white queen. Attack context: 2 . . . .te7 3 tl:Jf3 d5 4 d3
• In the main continuation, 2 d3 d5 3 tl:Jf6 5 g3. This thematic variation is
tl:Jd2 (Section 2.3), Black hinders discussed in Section 2.2. 1 , and here
White's general plan of develop­ we shall consider another continua­
ment or attempts to adapt it for his tion as an alternative.
own use. 2 tl:Jc6
...
KING'S INDIAN AITACK 17

Black proposes a wholly different 4 lt::lf6 5 d4 (D)


•••

opening structure - a method which Now 5 g3 is comfortably answered


we will often use in Part 2 of this book. by 5 . . . d5 6 d3 dxe4 7 dxe4 a5, because
Instead of a French or Sicilian forma­ the queen's position on e2 does not
tion (2 . . . c5) Black is going to play prove effective with this structure. Af­
3 ... e5 and switch to some kind of Open ter 8 iLg2 ..tc5 9 0-0 0-0 1 0 lDbd2 ( 1 0
Game where the additional move 'ii'e2 lt::lh4 b6 1 1 l:ld l ..tg4 1 2 iLf3 'ii'c 8)
will have its pros and cons. The imme­ 10 . . . b6 we have by roundabout means
diate 2 . . . e5 is less accurate as 3 f4 ! ? is reached a well-known theoretical po­
a form of King's Gambit where White sition, in which the initiative is already
has some useful extra possibilities. on Black's side.
3 lDf3
Other moves are not very attractive
for White:
a) 3 f4 d5 (3 . . . lbd4 4 'ii'd3 c5 is
equal) 4 exd5 (4 d3 dxe4 5 dxe4 ..tc5)
4 . . .'it'xd5 (4 . . .lbd4 5 'it'd3 is unclear) 5
lt::lc 3 'ii'f5 gave Black the initiative in
Dimov-Dokuchaev, Varna 20 10.
b) 3 c3 e5 (3 . . . d5 ! ? 4 d3 e5) 4 f4
(an odd kind of King's Gambit) 4 . . . d6
(4 . . . exf4 ! ? 5 d4 'ji'h4+ is more reso­
lute) 5 d3 (5 lt::lf3 exf4 6 d4 g5) and
now 5 . . . lt::lf6 or 5 . . . f5 ! ? looks favour­
able for Black.
c) 3 lt::lc 3 ..tc5 (3 . . . iLe7 ! ? 4 lDf3 d5 We have a Ponziani Opening ( 1 e4
is also possible) 4 lDf3 (4 f4 can be e5 2 lDf3 lDc6 3 c3 lDf6 4 d4) with the
met by 4 . . . a6 5 lt::lf3 lt::lge7) 4 . . . e5 5 d3 extra move 'ii'e2 for White. This means
(5 g3) 5 ... lt::lf6, and the irrelevance of the e4-pawn is protected, but White's
the queen's position on e2 becomes queen's location also has some signifi­
evident. cant drawbacks.
3 e5
.•. 5 d6
...

White is presented with a choice: 5 . . . exd4 ! ? is less solid, but interest-


only play in the centre gives him any ing. Then:
chance of an advantage, but that means a) After 6 cxd4 ..tb4+ the unfortu­
renouncing his original plan. nate position of White's royal couple
4 c3 will tell. 7 Wd l ? would be highly in­
Black has no problems after 4 g3 cautious, while 7 lDc3 0-0 8 e5 lDd5 9
..tc5 5 ..tg2 d6 6 c3 (6 d3 lt::lge7) 6 . . . a6 Ji.d2 iLxc3 1 0 bxc3 d6 gave Black the
7 O-O lDge7 (or 7 . . . lt::lf6), as his game is initiative in the game Girinath-Kamble,
flexible and strong. Visakhapatnam 2006. The precise 7
18 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

i.d2 ! ? i.xd2+ 8 ti:Jbxd2 0-0 9 d5 (9 i.g4 1 3 i.e3 i.xf3 14 gxf3 ti:Jg5, with
'ii'd3 can be met by 9 . . . lle8 10 i.e2 d6 unclear play in both cases.
11 0-0 tbxe4 12 tbxe4 i.f5) 9 . . .ti:Je7 7 0-0!?
•••

10 'ii'd3 d6 1 1 i.e2 c6 12 dxc6 ti:Jxc6 Black plays in Chigorin's style, fa­


13 0-0 d5 leads to equality. vouring activity at the cost of struc­
b) 6 e5 ti:Jd5 (better than 6 . . . d3 7 ture. A slightly passive continuation is
'ii'xd3 ti:Jg4 8 'ii'e2 ! ) 7 'ii'e4 ti:Jde7 8 7 . . . i.d7 8 d5 (there is nothing better)
i.f4 ! ? (8 cxd4 d5 is unclear, while 8 8 . . . ti:Jb8 9 i.xd7+ ti:Jbxd7 1 0 c4 c6 1 1
ti:Jxd4 ti:Jxd4 9 cxd4 d5 1 0 'ii'f4 ti:Jf5 is dxc6 bxc6, with a more agreeable po­
equal) looks stronger, but after 8 ... ti:Jg6 sition for White.
there is still no clear path to an advan­ 8 i.xc6
tage for White. Both 9 i.g3 i.e? After 8 0-0 i.d7 the tactical threats
(9 . . . 'ii'e7 ! ?) 10 h4 d5 1 1 exd6 cxd6 and . . . ti:Jxd4 and ... ti:Jb4 appear.
9 cxd4 i.b4+ 1 0 ti:Jc3 ( 1 0 ti:Jbd2 0-0 8 bxc6 9 dxe5 dxe5 10 0-0
•••

1 1 d5 f5) 10 . . . 0-0 1 1 i.g5 ( 1 1 d5 Accepting the gift brings White no


i.xc3+ 12 bxc3 tbcxe5) 1 l . ..d5 1 2 advantage: 10 tbxe5 i.d6 1 1 tbxc6
'ii'd3 i.e? are unclear, while 9 i.c4 'ife8 12 ti:Jd4 c5 1 3 tbe2 tbxe4.
i.e? 10 i.g3 ( 1 0 cxd4 ti:Ja5 1 1 i.e2 d5 10 i.d6
...

1 2 exd6 cxd6 1 3 ti:Jc3 d5 ! ) 10 ... 0-0 1 1 Both sides have chances here. The
cxd4 d5 ! ? 1 2 i.xd5 ( 1 2 'ii'xd5 i.e6) black bishop-pair counterbalances the
12 . . .i.f5 1 3 'ifxf5 'ii'x d5 14 tDc3 ( 14 weakness of his pawns.
'ii'd3 l:tad8 1 5 ti:Jc3 tbcxe5) 14 ... ti:Jxd4
1 5 ti:Jxd4 'ii'xd4 1 6 0-0 l:tad8 leads to 2.2
equality. 1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 'ii'e2 (D)
6 'ii'c2
Exchanging by 6 dxe5 ti:Jxe5 gives
Black easy equality. By moving aside
his queen, White makes way for the
bishop - with the queen on d 1 (i.e. af­
ter 1 e4 e5 2 ti:Jf3 ti:Jc6 3 c3 ti:Jf6 4 d4
d6) he would immediately play i.b5,
but here this is impossible.
6 i.e7 7 i.b5
••.

After 7 i.e2, Black can choose


7 . . . 0-0 8 0-0 l:te8 9 ti:Jbd2 (9 l:td 1 i.f8)
9 . . . i.f8, with a Ruy Lopez where the
white pieces are unusually placed. If
desired, Black could complicate the
game by 7 . . . exd4 8 cxd4 d5 9 e5 ti:Jb4 We shall call this the Barcza Varia­
10 'ii'd 1 i.f5 or 7 . . . 0-0 8 0-0 exd4 9 tion. White blunts Black's threat of
cxd4 d5 10 e5 tbe4 1 1 a3 i.f5 12 i.d3 . . . dxe4 by sidestepping the exchange
KING'S INDIAN AITA CK 19

of queens. By avoiding the more obvi­ reaction) 7 0-0 (7 e5 ! ? lDd7 8 c4 is also


ous move 3 lDd2 (which we see in Sec­ possible) 7 . . . 0-0 8 e5 lDd7 9 c4 ! gives
tion 2.3), he retains the possibility of White the initiative. This discussion
tDc3 and keeps the c l -h6 diagonal helps explain Black's next move.
open for the bishop. These factors may s ... bS! ?
prove useful in some variations, al­ Black rules out any c4 ideas, such
though the queen' s early entry into the as the one we saw in the last note, while
game is still a disadvantage. Black can making a useful move that forms part
try to expl,oit this circumstance right of a queenside pawn advance - Black's
away by 3 ... tDc6, but we shall first in­ thematic source of counterplay. It is
vestigate the classical line of defence: also possible to play 5 . . .0-0 6 .i.g2 b5,
2.2.1 : 3 ...lDf6 19 but there is no need to hurry with cas­
2.2.2: 3...tDc6 21 tling.
6 .i.g2 (D)
2.2. 1 For the time being White should
3 ...lDf6 4 ltjf3 maintain the tension in the centre and
4 f4? ! dxe4 5 dxe4 .i.c5 is dubious continue development. Opening the
for White. The simple advance of the e-file by 6 exd5 exd5 is not in his fa­
f-pawn does not in itself contribute to vour here, while the immediate 6 e5
the idea of an attack on the kingside. lDfd7 7 .i.g2 c5 8 h4 lDc6 looks pre­
4 ...i.e7 5 g3
. mature since there is still no one to at­
White's standard plan in the King's tack on the kingside.
Indian Attack is as follows:
o In the near future he will advance
the pawn to e5 .
o After the moves .:te l and h4, the
manoeuvre lDbd2-fl -h2-g4 can fol­
low, when a large part of White's
army will be concentrated on the
kingside.
o If the black king is also on the
kingside, White can seek to launch
a direct attack.
You may have noticed that the move
'ii'e2 is not a fundamental part of this
scheme - it is usually played only in
case the e5-pawn requires defence. On 6...c5 7 0-0 0-0
the other hand, the delay in developing It would be uncomfortable for the
the queen's knight allows White to black king to remain in the centre any
employ another strategic idea if appro­ longer. After 7 ... tDc6, in addition to 8
priate: 5 ... c5 6 i.g2 lDc6 (a stereotyped lle l or 8 .i.f4, Black must also reckon
20 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

with the opening of the centre by 8


exd5 ! ? exd5 9 d4 c4 (9 ... cxd4 10 'it'xb5
i.d7 1 1 'it'd3 'it'b6 1 2 c3) 10 ttle5,
which is by no means easy for Black
to meet.
8 e5
By crossing into Black's territory,
White takes on a serious liability, al­
though after 8 l:.el (8 ttle5 i.b7 is also
equal) 8 . . . ttlc6 9 ttlbd2 a5 he can delay
this decision no longer: 1 0 exd5 exd5
leads to a balanced game, while 10 e5
ttld7 will transpose to the main line.
Tarrying by 10 ttlfl ?! allows Black Badalona 2005) 1 3 ttlfl ( 1 3 'ii'e 3 ! ?)
the initiative after 10 ... dxe4 1 1 dxe4 1 3 . . . c4 14 dxc4 ( 1 4 'it'e3 can be met by
i.a6. 14 . . . cxd3 or 14 . . . b3 ! ?) 14 . . . i.xc4 gave
8 ttlfd7 9 h4
.•• Black the better prospects in Glek­
The moves 9 l:.e1 and 9 ttlbd2 are Chernushevich, Swiss Team Ch 2009.
of approximately equal value, in as In any case, it turns out that the
much as they represent links of the tempo White spent on playing 'ii'e2
same chain. Here the attempt to dis­ has been in vain, and his attack is now
rupt Black's counterplay by 9 c4? ! behind schedule, as it were. For com­
turns out only to promote hi s initia­ parison one can quote the textbook
tive: 9 . . . bxc4 10 dxc4 i.a6 (10 ... ttlc6 game Fischer-Mjagmasuren, Sousse
1 1 cxd5 exd5 1 2 e6 ttlb6) 1 1 b3 tLlc6. Interzonal 1 967 : 1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3
9...ttlc6 10 l:.el ttld2 ttlf6 4 g3 c5 5 i.g2 ttlc6 6 ttlgf3
White's attempt to set up a pawn­ J..e7 7 0-0 0-0 8 e5 ttld7 9 l:.e 1 b5. Al­
barrier by 1 0 c3 l:.b8 1 1 i.f4 c4 1 2 d4 though in this position the move 10
b4 proved unsuccessfUl in the game 1i'e2? ! has been seen in practice, it is
Glek-Korchnoi, Linz 1 997 as Black's better for White to play 10 ttlfl b4 1 1
queenside counterplay develops rap­ h4 a5 1 2 i.f4 a4 1 3 a3 bxa3 14 bxa3,
idly when it has more to bite upon. as Fischer did.
White should as far as possible avoid a l l . b4
. .

confrontation on the queenside, since Black is going to continue with


that is where Black has the initiative. 1 2 . . . i.a6 followed by . . . c4, making
lO. .aS (D)
. contact with White's structure. This
11 ttlbd2 creates tension that makes it hard for
1 1 i.f4 is another option for White, White to focus on his kingside play.
but 1 l . . .i.a6 ( l l . . .a4 ! ?) 1 2 ttlbd2 b4 l l . . .a4 ! ? has similar ideas, though af­
( 1 2 ...c4 ! ? 1 3 d4 c3 { 1 3 ... a4 ! ? } 14 bxc3 ter 1 2 a3 ( 1 2 ttlfl a3 1 3 b3? ttldxe5)
b4 is unclear, Beletsky-Moskalenko, 12 . . . b4 1 3 ttlfl bxa3 14 l:.xa3! ( 1 4
KING'S INDIAN ATTA CK 21

bxa3? lt::ldxe5) 14 . . . c4 15 �g5 the sit­ 4 lt::lf3


uation remains unclear. The same reply will also follow af­
12 ltlfi �a6 13 �g5 ter 4 c3.
After 1 3 ltl 1 h2 (or 1 3 h5) 1 3 . . . c4 4 e5 5 c3
•••

Black threatens to detonate White's The attempt to open the game by 5


queenside by 14 ...b3, while 1 3 c4 bxc3 exd5 ! ? is interesting: 5 . . . 'ii'xd5 6 lt::lc 3
14 bxc3 l:tb8 is not much more palat­ .i.b4 7 �d2 .i.xc3 8 �xc3 (better than
able since 1 5ltl 1 h2 a4 gives Black the 8 bxc3? ! lt::lf6 9 g3 0-0 10 �g2 e4 1 1
initiative. dxe4 lt::lxe4 1 2 c4 'ii'f5, Strikovic-Sto­
13 c4 14 'ii'e3
••• janovic, Belgrade 2009) 8 ... �g4 9 'ii'e4
Or 14 dxc4 �xc4. We can already (9 d4? ! 0-0-0 1 0 dxe5 lt::lf6) 9 . . . �xf3
state that White's opening strategy has 10 'ii'xf3 'ii'xf3 1 1 gxf3 f6. However, it
been a failure. is then difficult for White to develop
14 cxd3 15 cxd3 b3
.•• his initiative; for example, 1 2 �d2
It is simpler to play 1 5 . . . 'ii'b6 1 6 d4 lt::ld4 13 0-0-0 lt::lxf3 14 �g2 lt::lxd2 1 5
llfc8. �xb7 l:td8 gives both sides chances in
16 a3 �xg5 17 hxg5 l:tc8 a complicated ending, while the pawn
Black has somewhat the better po­ sacrifice 12 f4 exf4 or 1 2 l:tg1 clif7 1 3
sition, Smirin-I.Popov, European Ch, 0-0-0 l:td8 14 f4 exf4 offers White no
Plovdiv 2008. advantage.
5 g3lt::lf6 6 �g2 is another possibil­
2.2.2 ity, but Black obtains a pleasant game
3 lt::lc6! ? (D)
.•• by 6 ... dxe4 (a typical method: the pawn
exchange on e4 gains in appeal after
the white bishop moves to g2) 7 dxe4
.i.c5 8 c3 a5 followed by . . . b6 and
. . . �a6.
5 lt::lf6 (D)
•••

We already know this motif: Black


makes use of the queen's odd location
on e2 to change the nature of the open­
ing struggle.
22 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

6 b4 His chances in this position are prefer­


An adventurous move: White grabs able.
space, but delays his development and
gives Black chances of a counterattack 2.3
by ... d4 or . . . a5 . Positionally it is more 1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 ltJd2 (D)
appropriate to play 6 "ii'c2 a5 7 .te2,
with a reversed Philidor. Then the ad­
vance b4 will demand additional prep­
aration and although the extra tempo
will undoubtedly prove valuable to
White, he cannot pose Black any sig­
nificant opening problems.
6 .tg4
••.

After pinning the knight, Black's


gaze rests firmly on the d4-square.
7 ltJbd2
White can try to reinforce his queen­
side by 7 a3, but some holes will ap­
pear in his structure in any case: 7 ... d4
8 c4 (8 b5 ltJa5) 8 ... a5 9 b5 ltJb8 10 This is the standard way to imple­
ltJbd2 (or 1 0 h3 .i.xf3 1 1 9xf3 ltJbd7 ment the King's Indian Attack and is
1 2 ltJd2 g6) 1 0 ...ltJfd7. the strongest and most logical contin­
7 .td6
.•• uation for White.
Now the line 7 ... d4 8 b5 dxc3 9 3 ltJf6 4 ltJgf3
•••

bxc6 cxd2+ 10 9xd2 (weaker is 1 0 We have already noted the exchange


.i.xd2?! bxc6 1 1 h 3 .txf3 1 2 9xf3 on e4 as a useful general method ver­
l1b8, as shown by Strikovic-Ulybin, sus a premature fianchetto. So it will
Santa Cruz de Ia Palma 2005) leads to come as little surprise that the imme­
unclear complications. diate 4 g3 is inaccurate in view of
8 h3 .te6 4 ... dxe4 5 dxe4 b6 6 .i.g2 (6 ltJgf3 will
8 ... .td7 is also not bad. be considered in note 'a' to White's
9 .tb2 0-0 10 g3 aS 11 b5 5th move in Section 2.3. 1 ) 6 ... .tb7 7
The careless 1 1 exd5? ! .i.xd5 1 2 b5 ltJgf3? (7 'ii'e2 ltJc6 8 ltJgf3 is better)
(Strikovic-Rodshtein, Benasque 2008) 7 ... ltJxe4 8 ltJe5 ltJc3 ! with an advan­
leads to serious hardships for White tage for Black. Therefore White prefers
after 1 2 . . . lle8 1 3 ltJe4 ltJb4 ! . And the to develop his knight before playing
line 1 1 a3 axb4 1 2 cxb4 ltJd7 has its g3.
own defects. Here our opening roads fork. We
ll dxe4 12 dxe4 ltJb8
... shall dwell on two of Black's possibil­
The weakness of White's queenside ities, though in both cases the move
pawns provides Black with good play. ... b6 is in our plans:
KING'S INDIAN AITACK 23

2.3. 1 : 4 b6
.•• 23 ( 6 g3 dxe4 7 dxe4 transposes to line
2.3.2: 4 .te7
.•• 24 'a' ) 6 . . . tLlfd7 7 g3 c5 8 .tg2 tL.lc6 9 0-0
g5 ! ? and again Black takes over the
2 .3 . 1 initiative.
4 b6
••• 5 tLlfd7 6 d4
•••

Black wants to prevent the fianchetto After 6 g3 c5, the pawn sacrifice 7
of White's king's bishop. .tg2 tLlc6 8 0-0 tLldxe5 9 tL.lxe5 tL.lxe5
5 e5 10 .l:.e l tL.lc6 1 1 c4 is only enough for
With this move, White changes stra­ equality at best, and unwarranted stub­
tegic course and keep chances of re­ bornness like 7 tLlb3? ! tL.lc6 8 .tf4
taining an advantage. If White persists .te7 9 h4 a5 1 0 a4 ( 1 0 .tg2 a4 1 1
with the idea of a kingside fianchetto, tLlbd2 a3) 1 0 . . . .ta6 brings White to an
Black has nothing to complain about, even worse position.
as the following variations demon­ 6 cS 7 c3 (D)
•••

strate: 7 c4? ! is dubious because of the


a) 5 g3 dxe4 (the standard reply) 6 simple 7 . . . .te7 8 cxd5 exd5 .
dxe4 .tb7 7 'it'e2 (7 .td3 can be met
by 7 . . . tLlbd7, while 7 .tb5+?! tLlbd7 8
tL.le5 a6 9 .tc6 .txc6 10 tL.lxc6 'it'c8
gives Black the initiative) 7 ...tL.lc6.
Now 8 .tg2 tLlb4 9 0-0 (9 'ii'c4? tL.lxe4
10 tL.lxe4 'ii'd 5) 9 ..tL.lxc2 10 e5 tLld5
.

(Yuldachev-Girinath, Hyderabad 2005)


is dubious for White, and after 8 c3 (8
a3 a5) 8. . . .te7 9 .tg2 tLld7 Black has a
pleasant game.
b) The inclusion of the moves 5 c3
c5 somewhat changes the situation,
but in any case White does not achieve
his desired set-up: 6 g3 (it makes no
sense to play 6 'ii'a4+ .td7 7 1Wc2 For the first time in this book, we
1Wc7 ! 8 g3 tL.lc6 9 .tg2 .td6) 6 . . . .te7 7 see a natural-looking French Defence
.tg2 .ta6 8 e5 (both 8 exd5 exd5 and 8 position ! Black has managed to per­
c4 dxe4 9 dxe4 tL.lc6 1 0 0-0 0-0 are suade White to abandon his original
equal) 8 . . tLlfd7 9 'ii'e2 tLlc6 10 0-0
. opening plan and has even obtained a
'ii'c 7 1 1 .l:.e 1 g5 ! ? 1 2 c4 0-0-0 with small bonus in the form of an extra
good counterplay for Black. tempo in comparison with the line 1 e4
c) The uninspiring 5 1We2 gives e6 2 d4 d5 3 tLld2 tLlf6 4 e5 tLlfd7 5
Black a pleasant choice: 5 . . .dxe4 6 tLlgf3 c5 6 c3 b6. But is it enough to
'
dxe4 .ta6 7 tL.lc4 (7 c4? ! tLlc6) 7 . . . .tb7 equalize?
8 e5 tLle4 with equality or 5 . . . .tb7 6 e5 7....te7
24 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Black does not hurry with the stra­ a) 9 . . . iLb7 seeks to complicate the
tegically important exchange of the struggle, and after 1 0 0-0 lbc6 1 1 l:.e l
light-squared bishops, hoping to gain a6 1 2 iLd3 g5 Black had good coun­
one more tempo by waiting for White terplay in the game Vega-Elissalt Car­
to move his bishop from fl . denas, Guines 1 998. However, after
8 �b5 the precise 10 li:Jfl White stands some­
Other continuations are not effec­ what better.
tive: b) 9 . . . 'ii'c 8 1 0 'ii'e2 (10 0-0 cxd4
a) 8 iLd3 allows Black to demon­ 1 1 cxd4 li:Jc6) 10 . . . 'ii'b 7 1 1 c4 ( 1 1 0-0
strate the idea mentioned in the previ­ iLxb5 1 2 axb5 a6) l l . . .li:Jc6 ! 1 2 dxc5
ous note: after 8 . . . �a6, both 9 li:Jfl li:Jxc5 13 0-0 ( 1 3 �xc6+ 'iixc6 14 b4
�xd3 10 �xd3 li:Jc6 l l li:Jg3 cxd4 1 2 iLxc4) 1 3 . . . 0-0 maintains the bal­
cxd4 li:Jb4 1 3 'ii'd l �c7 14 0-0 'ii'c2 ance.
and 9 �xa6 li:Jxa6 10 'iie2 'iic 8 1 1 0-0 c) 9 . . . cxd4 (Black fixes the central
0-0 are equal. pawn-structure right away) 10 cxd4
b) 8 h4 flc7 (8 ... �a6 9 �xa6 li:Jxa6 'ikc8 11 'iie2 ( 1 1 0-0 li:Jc6) l l . ..fib7
10 h5 h6 maintains equality, while 1 2 0-0 �xb5 1 3 axb5 a6. Little by lit­
Black can also try 8 . . . 0-0 ! ? 9 �d3 tle, Black frees his game, and White's
�a6) 9 h5 (9 �d3 is again met by attempt to create threats on the king­
9 ... �a6) 9 . . . h6 and now 10 llh3?! side by 14 lbel axb5 15 l:txa8 'ii'xa8
li:Jc6 already gives Black the better 16 'ifg4 0-0 17li:Jdf3 (Andriasian-Hou
chances. Yifan, Moscow 2010) can be parried
c) 8 a3 'ii'c 7 9 b4 (9 �d3 �a6 1 0 by 17 . . . llc8. Although in these varia­
iLxa6 li:Jxa6 i s equal) 9 . . . li:Jc6 10 �e2 tions White retains the initiative, in the
( 1 0 flc2 is also answered with 10 . . . f6, final analysis Black can nevertheless
while 10 iLd3?! cxd4 1 1 cxd4 a5 1 2 count on equality.
b5? li:Jxd4 shows a way for White to
land in trouble) 10 . . . f6 1 1 exf6 �xf6 2.3.2
( l l . . .li:Jxf6 is also viable), and White 4 �e7 (D)
•••

again risks finding himself in the worse This continuation is in principle


position. different from the previous one: Black
8...�a6 9 a4! is happy for White to develop in the
White agrees to exchange the bish­ style of the King's Indian Attack,
ops, but only on his terms. Now an planning to disrupt the smooth prog­
exchange of bishops on b5 will be an­ ress of his play once the bishop has
swered with axb5, blocking Black's reached g2.
queenside play. It will require some 5 g3 b6
effort and accuracy from Black to It is also acceptable to make the
keep the queenside fluid and maintain preliminary pawn exchange 5 . . . dxe4 6
sufficient counterchances; for exam­ dxe4 before playing 6 . . . b6. After 7 e5
ple: li:Jfd7 8 fle2 (8 iLg2 iLa6 transposes
KING'S INDIAN ArrACK 25

c) 10 h4 'fie? 1 1 'ii'e2 h6 (it is sim­


pler to play 1 l . . .b5 ! ?, calmly making
queenside progress) 1 2 lDfl ( 1 2 h5 b5
1 3 ltJfl ltJb6) 1 2 . . . g5 ! ? 1 3 hxg5 ( 1 3 h5
ltg8) 1 3 . . . hxg5 14 lD1h2 0-0-0 1 5
ltJg4 l:th5 1 6 c 3 d4 leads to a double­
edged game. The careless 1 7 cxd4?
ltJxd4 1 8 ltJxd4 cxd4 19 .id2 .:tdh8
led to major hardship s for White in
Movsesian-Delchev, Sibenik 2006.
6 dxe4 7 dxe4
•••

After 7 ltJg5 .ib7 8 0-0 (or 8 ltJgxe4


right away) 8 ... 0-0 9 ltJgxe4 ltJxe4 10
to the main line) 8 . . . ltJc6 9 .ig2 ltJc5 ltJxe4 both 10 ...'ii'c 8 and 10... ltJc6 lead
10 0-0 .lta6 1 1 ltJc4 0-0 chances are to equality.
approximately equal - Black's pieces 7 .ta6!? (D)
•••

are active enough and White' s spatial Black's idea resides precisely in
preponderance is not of vital impor­ this risky-looking move. 7 . . . .ib7 is
tance. Nevertheless, the text-move is safer but passive, and after 8 0-0 0-0
more critical. (the e4-pawn is taboo: 8 . . . ltJxe4? 9
6 .ig2 ltJe5) 9 e5 ltJfd7 1 0 'ii'e2 ltJc6 White
As already noted in Section 2.2. 1 , it has good control of the game.
is not very logical to advance the
white pawn to e5 before Black has cas­
tled, and the variation 6 e5 (6 'ife2?!
can be met by 6 . . . dxe4 7 dxe4 ii.a6 8
ltJc4 ltJc6) 6 . . . ltJfd7 7 .ig2 .ltb7 8 0-0
c5 9 .:te l ltJc6 does not represent a
danger to Black:
a) 1 0 c4 0-0 1 1 cxd5 ( 1 1 'ii'e2 is
met by l l . . .l:te8, while 1 1 h4 'ii'c 7 1 2
'ii'e2 dxc4 1 3 dxc4 l:tfd8 gives Black
the initiative) 1 l . . .exd5 1 2 lDbl ! ? ( 1 2
ltJfl l:te8) 1 2. . .l:te8 1 3 ltJc3 ltJf8 is
equal.
b) 10 lDfl g5 ! ? 1 1 h3 h5 12 c3 ( 1 2
lD 1 h2 l:tg8 ! 1 3 g4 'ii'c 7 and now 1 4 Rather than fight for equality in a
'ii'e 2? i s poor in view of 14. . .ltJdxe5) cramped position, Black prefers to en­
12 . . . g4 1 3 hxg4 hxg4 14 lD3h2 ltJdxe5 gage in a dispute about which of the
1 5 ltJxg4 ltJxg4 16 'ii'xg4 .if6 is un­ light-squared bishops occupies a more
clear. effective diagonal.
26 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

8 e5 .ltf6 12 'ii'h6 J.xh4 ( 1 2 . . . 'ii'd4 ! ?) 1 3


White accepts the challenge. The 'it'xh4 ( 1 3 gxh4 .l:.g8 gives Black the
alternative is 8 c4 .!iJc6 9 0-0 (9 a3 is initiative) 1 3 . . . 'ii'xh4 14 gxh4 J:g8 1 5
met by 9 . . . .!iJd7 10 b4 J.f6 and 9 e5 by J:g l .!iJbd7 1 6 f4 .!iJg6 i s equal.
9 . . . .!iJd7) 9 . . . 0-0 10 e5 .!iJd7. Then I I b) 9 .!iJb3 .!iJc6 10 J.f4 ( 1 0 .!iJbd4?
'ii'e2 .!iJc5 or 1 1 'ii'c2 .:tb8 offers White .!iJdxe5) 10 ... 0-0 1 1 .!iJbd4 ( 1 1 'iVd2
no prospects, while after 1 1 a3 Black 'iii'e 8) l l . . ..!iJa5 ( l l . ...!iJdb8 ! ?) 1 2 a4
can decide between the calm 1 1 . . . .:tb8 .!iJc5 (Black can also choose 1 2 . . . c6 ! ?)
(but only not l l . . ..!iJcxe5? 1 2 .!tJxe5 13 .!iJb5 c6 14 'ii'xd8 ( 1 4 .!iJd6 f6 15 b4
.!tJxe5 1 3 'ii'a4) 1 2 .:tel J.b7 1 3 'ii'c 2 fxe5 1 6 .ixe5 .!iJd7) 14 . . . .l:.axd8 1 5
( 1 3 'iVe2 'ii'c 8) 13 . . . a5, with equality, .!tJxa7 .:td7 i s equal.
and the sharp l l . . . b5 . Then: c) 9 .!iJe4 ! ? .!iJc6 10 .if4 h6 (the
a) 1 2 'ifc2 ! ? .!tJdxe5 1 3 .!tJxe5 .!tJxe5 immediate 10 ... 0-0 ! ? is an interesting
1 4 .:td l 'ifd4 ( 1 4 . . .'ife8 and 1 4 . . .'ifd3 alternative) 1 1 h4 ( 1 1 c3 g5 is unclear)
are also possible) 1 5 cxb5 J.xb5 leads 1 1 . . .0-0 1 2 'iVd2 .!iJc5 1 3 .!tJxc5 bxc5 !
to unclear play. 1 4 'ifxd8 ( 1 4 0-0-0 'iVb8) 14 . . . .:tfxd8
b) 1 2 .:tel bxc4 1 3 'ii'a4 .!tJc5 ! ? (or 1 5 .!iJd2 .!iJd4 1 6 .ixa8 .!iJxc2+ 1 7 �d 1
1 3 . . . .!iJcb8 1 4 .!iJxc4 .!iJc5 15 'ii'c2 'ii'd 3 .!tJxa1 1 8 .ie4 c4 1 9 <l;c 1 c3 with equal
with equality) 14 'ii'xc6 J:b8 15 .!iJe4 play.
J.b7 16 'ifxc5 J.xc5 17 .!iJxc5 .idS is d) 9 .!iJd4 c6 1 0 .!iJ2f3 ( 1 0 'ii'h5 g6
again unclear. 1 1 'ii'f3 'ii'c7) 1 0...0-0 1 1 .if4 ( 1 1 a4 is
c) 1 2 b4 gives Black a choice be­ answered by 1 1 .. ..!iJc5 1 2 .ie3 'ii'd5)
tween 1 2 . . . .!iJdxe5 1 3 .!tJxe5 .!tJxe5 14 l l . . .c5 1 2 .!tJxe6 ( 1 2 a4 cxd4 1 3 .!iJxd4
.ib2 .!iJd3 1 5 .ixg7 <l;xg7 an d the .!iJxe5 14 .ixe5 .!iJd7 1 5 .!iJc6 .!tJxe5 ! )
more unbalancing 1 2 . . . bxc4 ! ? 1 3 'ii'a4 1 2 . . . fxe6 1 3 .!iJgl 'iVc7 1 4 .ixa8 .!iJc6
J.b7 1 4 .!tJxc4 .!iJb6 1 5 'ii'c 2 .!tJd4 1 6 1 5 .ixc6 'ii'xc6 is unclear.
.!iJxd4 J.xg2, although the game is e) 9 .!iJg5 c6 10 .!iJde4 h6 1 1 .!iJf3
roughly equal in both cases. 0-0 1 2 .ltf4 .!iJc5 1 3 .!iJd6 ( 1 3 'iii'xd8
8 .!iJfd7!
••• :xd8 14 .!iJfd2 .!tJxe4 15 .!iJxe4 .!iJd7)
Precisely so. All is well in White's 1 3 . . . .!iJbd7 ! 14 h4 ( 1 4 .!iJd4 is met by
position except for one factor: any 14 ... .!tJxe5 ! 1 5 .ixe5 .ixd6 1 6 .!iJxc6
check could tum out to be very painful .ixe5 !) 14 ....!tJxe5 ! ? 1 5 .!iJxe5 ( 1 5 .ixe5
for his king, and Black constructs his f6) 1 5 . . . 'ii'xd6 is unclear.
counterplay on this small but vital de­ In all these rather unusual varia­
tail. Now besides 9 c4 .!iJc6 1 0 0-0 0-0 tions I did not succeed in finding any
(which transposes to the previous note), advantage for White. I can therefore
practically all admissible moves by the recommend this line to Black as it
white knights need to be considered: leads to concrete play of a type that
a) 9 .!iJh4 c6 10 'ii'g4 ( 1 0 .!iJe4 White can hardly have intended when
.!tJxe5 1 1 'ifxd8+ J.xd8 leads to an un­ he decided to play the King's Indian
clear position) IO . . . .!tJxe5 1 1 'ifxg7 Attack.
3 Excha nge Variation

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 exd5 (D) has is psychological - White may feel


obliged to play actively to avoid squan­
dering his first-move advantage. Or if
White is seeking a draw, he may play
inaccurately in an attempt to force his
desired result. We shall examine the
following lines:
• After 4 .i.d3 (Section 3 . 1 ) Black
keeps some hopes of enlivening the
game.
• 4 ltlf3 (Section 3 .2) gives Black
ways to tease White into breaking
the symmetry, but he must be care­
ful.
• 4 ltlc3 ltlf6 (Section 3.3) is very
The Exchange Variation of the French sound for Black, but his possibili­
Defence continues to attract followers, ties for counterplay are minimal.
in spite of its obvious drawish tenden­ Note that after 4 ltlc3, Black can
cies, unfavourable statistics (strangely also play 4 . . . .i.b4, but given that our
enough, Black wins more often than repertoire choice after 3 ltlc3 is
White) and its strategic poverty. With 3 . . . ltlf6, we will need to be ready to
Black free of weaknesses and the struc­ tackle this position in any case.
ture static and symmetrical, White has • The line 4 c4 (Section 3.4) is the
no real reference points from which to most welcome choice from a practi­
develop an initiative. Occasionally he cal viewpoint, as White creates a
succeeds in creating an advanced post major imbalance. Black gets a fight­
on the e5-square or starting an attack ing position and chances to seize
on the black king, but most often the the initiative.
open e-file merely leads to exchanges.
As Black, one must not be overconfi­ 3.1
dent of course, as all the negative fea­ 4 .i.d3 (D)
tures of White's position apply equally Generally speaking, it is more logi­
to Black's game, and he is a tempo be­ cal for White to develop one of his
hind to boot. The one advantage Black knights first as committing his bishop
18 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

at this early stage gives Black more Note that the play after 4 .i.d3 c5
possibilities. However, White's choice has some parallels with positions we
is comprehensible if he wants to play see after 4 c4 in Section 3.4.
c3 and lt:Je2. In the case of the immedi­ 5 c3
ate 4 c3, Black can reply 4 . . . ..td6 5 5 lLlf3 (or 6 lt:lf3 on the next move)
.i.d3 lt:lc6 (transposing to the main is considered in Section 3.2.
line) or 4 . . .lt:lf6 5 .i.d3 c5 (see line 'c' In the case of 5 lt:le2, Black can
in the next note). simply play 5 . . .lt:lb4 6 0-0 (or 6 .i.b5+
c6 7 ..ta4 lt:lf6 with equality) 6 . . . lt:Jxd3
7 'ii'xd3 .i.d6 8 ..tf4 lt:le7, levelling the
game.
5.....td6 6 'ii'f3
Here after 6 lLle2 the line 6 . . .'ili'f6 7
lt:Jg3 (7 lt:Ja3 is met by 7 . . . a6, while 7
0-0 lt:lge7 8 lt:ld2 ..tf5 was equal in
A.Femandes-Matamoros, Ayamonte
2006) 7 . . .lt:Jge7 8 0-0 (or 8 lLlh5 'ji'e6+
9 .i.e3 0-0 with equality) 8 . . . h5 is pos­
sible. By moving his own queen, White
seeks to beat Black to the punch and
hinder the development of the c8-
bishop.
4 lt:Jc6
••• 6 ltJf6
•••

4 . . . c5 leads to more lively play: Black takes his chance. This contin­
a) 5 'ii'e 2+?! is a waste of time. Af­ uation is more interesting than 6 . . . ..te6
ter 5 . . . ..te7 6 dxc5 lLlf6 7 lt:Jf3 0-0 8 7 lt:le2 (7 ..tf4 lt:lf6) 7 . . .ild7 8 h3 (8
0-0 l:te8 9 .i.g5 h6 Black takes over the ..tf4 ..te7 ! ? 9 h3 0-0-0 is unclear,
initiative. J.Vidarsson-M.Gurevich, Amsterdam
b) 5 dxc5 .i.xc5 6 lt:lf3 lt:lf6 7 0-0 2002) 8 . . . lt:Jge7 9 ..tf4 ..tf5 10 ..txd6
(7 'i¥e2+ ..te6 8 lt:Jg5 'ili'd7 and now 9 ..txd3 with equality, V.Georgiev-Mit­
.i.f5 ? ! is calmly met by 9 . . . 0-0) 7 . . . 0-0 kov, Barbera del Valles 1 999.
leads to equality. 7 h3
c) 5 c3 offers Black a choice be­ If White is striving for no more than
tween 5 . . . cxd4 ! ? 6 cxd4 lt:lc6 7 lt:lf3 a draw, he can choose 7 ..tg5 ..tg4 8
i.d6 8 0-0 lt:lge7 and 5 . . .lt:lf6 6 lt:lf3 'i¥xg4 (8 We3+? ! �d7 gives Black the
.i.d6 7 0-0 0-0 8 dxc5 ..txc5 - he can initiative) 8 . . . lt:Jxg4 9 ..txd8 l:txd8 .
count on equal chances in both lines. 7 0-0 8 lt:le2
..•

d) 5 lt:lf3 ! ? c4 6 .i.e2 (an unpleas­ 8 ..tg5 offers Black a pleasant choice


ant loss of time, but there is nothing to between 8 . . . ike8+ 9 lt:le2 lt:Je4 and
be done) 6 . . . lt:lc6 7 0-0 .i.d6 8 b3 cxb3 8 . . . ..te7 followed by 9 . . . lt:Je4. The po­
9 axb3 lt:lge7 gives equal chances. sition is no longer quite so boring !
EXCHANGE VARIATION 29

8 tt'le4!? 9 0-0
.•• 'ili'xd7 Black has the initiative) 1 1 . ...:.e8
Accepting the pawn sacrifice by 9 gives Black equal play.
i.xe4 dxe4 1 0 'ifxe4 l:.e8 1 1 'ili'f3 c) 7 i.g5 h6 8 .ih4 c6 9 tt'lbd2 (9
(weaker is 1 1 'ifd3? ! 'iff6) 1 l ....ie6 12 h3 is met by 9 . . . .ie6, while 9 c3 .ig4
.ie3 tt'le7 provides Black with plenty 10 h3 .ixf3 1 1 'ili'xf3 tt'lbd7 leads to
of compensation, Balin-Cech, Czech equality) 9 . . . .tg4 10 c4 ( 1 0 h3 .ixf3
Team Ch 2009/1 0. 1 1 tt'lxf3 tt'lbd7 is equal) 10 . . . tt'lbd7 1 1
9 f5 10 .:.et .ie6
.•• cxd5 ( 1 1 h3 is met by 1 l . . ..ie6 and 1 1
Black has a good game. c5 by 1 l . . .i.f4) 1 l .. .cxd5 1 2 'ikb3 .:.b8
leads to an equal game.
3.2 Playing carefully for equality in
4 ti'l f3 (D) lines like these is not a great deal of
fun. The text-move invites a sharper
struggle, but it is still up to White
whether he wishes to play ball.
5 .ib5
5 c4 .ib4+ 6 tt'lc3 tt'lf6 transposes
to Section 3.4, while Black stands well
in the variation 5 tt'lc3 .ib4 6 .id3
(both 6 h3 tt'lge7 7 .id3 .if5 8 0-0 0-0
and 6 .ib5 tt'lge7 7 0-0 0-0 8 h3 .if5
lead to equality) 6 . . . tt'lge7 7 0-0 .ig4.
Also after 5 .id3 i.d6 6 0-0 (6 h3
tt'lb4 7 .ib5+ c6 8 .ia4 'ike7+ and 6
tt'lc3 tt'lge7 7 0-0 0-0 8 h3 tt'lb4 show
further ideas for Black) 6 ...tt'lge7 Black
4 tt'lc6
••• has no difficulties. White then does
Black can maintain the symmetry a best to play 7 c4 dxc4 8 .ixc4, trans­
while longer by playing 4 . . . tt'lf6 5 posing to the main line below.
.id3 .id6 6 0-0 (6 11i'e2+ .ie6 7 tt'lg5 5 i.d6 6 0-0
•••

'ike7 is equal) 6 . . . 0-0, and then: Forcing play arises after 6 c4 ! ?


a) 7 h3 .:.e8 8 .ig5 (8 .:.el .:.xe1 + 9 dxc4 7 d5 a6 8 .ia4 b 5 9 dxc6 bxa4 1 0
'ifxe 1 tt'lc6 and 8 c3 tt'lc6 both give 0-0 ( 1 0 'ili'xa4 .ig4) 1 0 . . . tt'le7. Then:
Black comfortable equality) 8 . . . h6 9 a) 1 1 'ii'xa4 0-0 12 tt'lbd2 ( 1 2 11i'xc4
.ih4 tt'lc6 1 0 c3 ( 1 0 tt'lc3 g5 1 1 .ig3 .ie6 gives Black the initiative) 12 ....:.b8
tt'le4) 1 0 . . . g5 1 1 i.g3 .ixg3 1 2 fxg3 1 3 a3 ( 1 3 tt'lxc4 .:.b4 14 'ifc2 .if5)
g4 is unclear. 1 3 ... .ie6 ( 1 3 ... .:.b5 ! ?) 14 tt'lxc4 .idS
b) 7 l:.e 1 .ig4 8 h3 (8 .ig5 h6 9 1 5 tt'ld4 .ic5 was equal in Luther­
i.h4 tt'lbd7 10 tt'lbd2 c6 is equal) G.Meier, Austrian Team Ch 2009/10.
8 . . . .th5 9 .tg5 h6 10 .th4 tt'lbd7 1 1 b) 1 1 tt'lbd2 0-0 ( 1 1 . . . .ie6 ! ? 1 2
tt'lbd2 (after 1 1 .if5 c6 1 2 .ixd7 ? ! 'ili'xa4 c 3 1 3 bxc3 i.d5 is an interesting
30 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

alternative) 12 lDxc4 lDxc6 13 'ii'xa4 position is especially important for us


.i.b7 14 .i.g5 and now 14 . . . 'ii'b8? ! 1 5 because it can also arise via 1 e4 e6 2
llac l allowed White the initiative in d4 d5 3 tL\c3 lDf6 4 exd5 exd5 .
Gonzalez Perez-Moskalenko, Sitges
20 1 0. 14 . . . ltJe7 should be preferred,
when White has slightly the more
pleasant position - but Black has no
real problems.
6 ltJge7 7 c4 dxc4
•.•

This capture is forced due to the


threat of 8 c5.
8 .txc4 0-0
8 . . . .tg4? is a blunder in view of 9
..ixf7+.
9 h3
Preventing . . . .tg4. In case of 9 lDc3
.i.g4 10 h3 ( 1 0 .i.e3 lDf5) 1 0 ... .i.xf3
1 1 'ii'xf3 lDxd4 1 2 'ii'xb7 lDec6 1 3 5 .i.g5
'ii'a6 ( 1 3 .i.d5 .:tb8 14 'ii'a6 lDb4) Now the black bishop must occupy
13 . . . 'ii'h4 Black stands no worse. Note the e7-square. Other continuations
that 14 .:tel is met by 1 4 ... lDf3+. promise White nothing:
9 tDf5
••• a) 5 .i.d3 c5 (an interesting alterna­
Neutralizing the active white bishop tive to the routine lines 5 . . . .i.d6 and
by 9 . . . .i.e6 is also quite good. Then the 5 . . . tL\c6 6 tL\ge2 tDb4, though these
exchange 10 .i.xe6 fxe6 leads to an ap­ yield equality too) 6 dxc5 (Black can
proximately equal position because also be happy with 6 tL\f3 c4 7 .i.e2
the pawns on e6 and d4 are equally .i.b4 and 6 .i.g5 cxd4 7 .i.xf6 'ii'xf6 8
weak. 'ii'e2+ 'ili'e6) 6 . . . .i.xc5 7 lDf3 0-0 8 0-0
10 .te3 h6 with equality.
Or 1 0 d5 tDe5 1 1 tL'Ixe5 .i.xe5 1 2 b) 5 lDf3 .i.d6 6 .i.d3 0-0 7 0-0
.:te l 'ii'd 6. ..ig4 8 h3 i.h5 9 .i.g5 c6 keeps the
10 h6 11 tDc3 .:te8 12 .:tel a6
••. game level. Then 1 0 g4? ! .i.g6 1 1
Both sides have chances, Bologan­ lDe5 is inappropriate aggression, be­
Aleksandrov, European Ch, Plovdiv cause after l l . . . .:te8 it is liable to re­
2008. bound on White. Note that this line
can be reached via the move-order 1
3.3 e4 e6 2 lDf3 d5 3 tL'Ic3 lDf6 4 exd5
4 lDc3 lDf6 (D) exd5 5 d4.
Here we see the Exchange Varia­ c) 5 .i.f4 can be met by 5 . . . .i.d6 6
tion in its Classical form - without 'ii'd2 0-0 7 0-0-0 .:te8 8 .i.d3 tDc6 or
'extravagances' like the move c4. This 5 . . . .tb4 ! ? 6 .i.d3 0-0 (6 . . . c5) 7 tDe2 c5
EXCHANGE VARIATION 31

8 dxc5 .i.xc5 9 0-0 lbc6, with equality 9 0-0


in both cases. In the case of 9 i.e2 h6 10 .i.e3 (or
5 .te7 6 .i.d3
••• 10 i.f4) 10 . . . c5 White finds himself in
This is yet another variation where somewhat the worse position. Nor is it
White can try a set-up with i.d3 and advantageous for him to play 9 lbf5
lbge2. Other moves: i.xf5 10 .i.xf5 g6 1 1 a3 lbc6 1 2 .i.h3
a) 6 lbf3 0-0 7 .i.d3 (the move 7 lbe4, when Black had the initiative in
.i.e2 is entirely passive) 7 . . . h6 8 .i.e3 W.Richter-Glek, Bundesliga 1 992/3 .
(8 .i.f4 lDc6 9 h3 .i.d6 is equal, while 8 9 h6 10 .tf4 .i.d6
•••

i.h4 can be met by 8 . . . lbc6 9 h3 lDh5) The game is equal.


8 . . . i.d6 (or 8 . . . lDc6) leads to a level
game. 3.4
b) After 6 'iid2 0-0, the plan with 7 4 c4 (D)
0-0-0 brings some welcome diversity
to the position, but does not represent
a serious danger for Black. The sim­
plest reply is 7 . . . lle8, when the at­
tempt to launch a pawn-storm by 8 f3
lbbd7 9 g4 (9 .i.d3 c5 ! ?) 9 .. . c6 1 0 .i.d3
b5 looks highly dubious for White. In
the variations 7 lDf3 h6 8 .th4 (8 .i.f4
.i.b4) 8 . . . lbe4 (8 . . . .i.e6 ! ? is unclear) 9
.i.xe7 'ikxe7 1 0 lbxe4 dxe4 and 7 .i.d3
lbc6 8 lbf3 (8 lbge2 lbb4) 8 . . . lle8 9
0-0-0 h6 10 .i.h4 lbe4 1 1 .i.xe7 llxe7
12 .i.xe4 dxe4 1 3 lbe5 lbxe5 14 dxe5
'iixd2+ 15 llxd2 .i.f5 Black stands at
least no worse. Known as the Monte Carlo Varia­
6 lbc6
••• tion, this is a modem opening weapon:
The more flexible 6 . . . 0-0 deserves White takes on a position with an iso­
attention. After 7 lbge2 h6 8 .i.h4 (8 lated queen's pawn, relying on the ac­
i.e3 keeps the game equal) 8 ... .:te8 tivity of his pieces to provide dynamic
Black has some chances to take over compensation for this static weakness.
the initiative. We have already seen this type of
7 lbge2 lbb4 8 lbg3 strategy used by Black (with colours
8 .i.b5+ c6 9 a3 (9 .ta4?! a5 10 a3 reversed) in Section 3 . 1 (in the note
lba6 concedes Black the initiative) about 4 .i.d3 c5), and we shall meet it
9 . . . lbxc2+ 10 'ii'xc2 cxb5 is equal. again in Chapter 5, when we examine
8 0-0
•.. the Tarrasch line 3 lDd2 c5 4 exd5
Black has no need to hurry with the exd5 .
exchange 8 . . . lbxd3+. 4 lDf6
•••
32 A Hm 'K·SCJI./1) CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

lthu.:k rcl'rulnN fro m i mmediately 7 . . . dxc4 is likely to lead to the same


taklnJ& nn c4, Necking to gain a tempo position.
by wulting for White to move his 8 o�o i.g4 9 i.e3 dxc4 10 i.xc4
biNhop from fl . Instead, 4 . . . dxc4 5 (D)
.1xc4 transposes to a variation of the
Queen's Gambit Accepted: 1 d4 d5 2
c4 dxc4 3 e3 e5 4 i.xc4 exd4 5 exd4.
S liJc3
In the case of 5 liJf3 i.b4+ 6 i.d2?!
( 6 lDc3 leads to the main continuation)
6 ... lDc6 Black's position becomes pref­
erable.
5 i.b4 6 liJf3
••.

6 i.d3 has the idea of developing


the king's knight to e2, but such a set­
up is more suited to defending than at­
tacking. Black replies 6 . . . dxc4 7 i.xc4
0-0 8 lDe2 ltJc6 9 0-0 i.d6 and, as a
matter of fact, exchanges opening roles This is the basic position of the
with his opponent. whole variation, which can arise via a
6 ltJc6 7 i.d3
••• wide variety of sequences. The white
Any further delay in developing the bishop has reached c4 in two moves
fl -bishop is not of any benefit to (unlike in the QGA line mentioned
White: above), but now Black needs to decide
a) 7 a3 i.xc3+ 8 bxc3 0-0 9 i.e2 on a plan of action.
dxc4 1 0 i.xc4 ( 1 0 0-0 i.e6) 10 ... l:.e8+ It is not advantageous for Black to
1 1 i.e3 lDa5 12 i.d3 'ii'd5 1 3 0-0 i.f5 play 1 o . . . i.xf3 1 1 'ji'xf3 ltJxd4 1 2
and Black intends a blockade on the 'ii'xb7. In order to create the threat of
light squares, Siebrecht-I.Farago, Arco taking on d4, the move 10 ... l:.b8 has of­
di Trento 20 1 0. ten been played, but 1 0 . . . 'ii'd6 ! ? looks
b) 7 i.g5 i.e6 (7 ...0-0 8 cxd5 'ii'e 8+ more natural. White does not succeed
9 i.e2 ltJxd5 10 i.d2 i.e6 1 1 0-0 i.e7 in deriving any benefit from the open­
is equal) 8 i.e2 (8 c5 h6) 8 . . . h6 9 exd5 ing after 1 1 h3? ! i.xf3 1 2 'it'xf3 ltJxd4
i.xd5 leaves Black comfortable. 1 3 'it'xb7 i.xc3 14 bxc3 l:.fb8 1 5 'it'a6
The move 7 i.d3 is more accurate 'ii'xa6 1 6 i.xa6 lDc2, 1 1 liJb5 'ii'd7 1 2
than 7 i.e2, as then besides 7 . . . dxc4 a3 i.a5 (Weissenbach-A.Graf, Berlin
the reply 7 ... i.e6 is worthy of attention. 2008) or 1 1 a3 i.xc3 12 bxc3 llae8 -
7 0-0
... Black has good play in all cases.
4 Adva nce Va riation

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 (D) is obvious (3 . . . c5), later he must act


deliberately and purposefully; other­
wise White's spatial plus can become
the dominant strategic factor.
After dealing with the minor op­
tions 4 dxc5 ? ! , 4 'it'g4?! and 4 ttJf3 in
Sections 4. 1 , 4.2 and 4.3 respectively,
we tum to the normal 4 c3. I recom­
mend a standard set-up but using the
move-order 4 ...'ifb6 5 ttJf3 ttJc6. Then:
• 6 ttJa3 (Section 4.4) is an interesting
sideline, but is not very promising
for White.
• The same may be said about 6 �d3,
the famous Milner-Barry Gambit
We have now reached the first of (Section 4.5). There is insufficient
the main lines of the French in which justification for White to give up his
White has realistic prospects of main­ d-pawn.
taining his opening advantage. In the • In Section 4.6 we examine 6 i..e 2,
French, one of Black's main priorities which may result in either equality
from the outset is to define the central or interesting complications.
pawn-structure, since this makes it • Finally, Section 4.7 is devoted to
possible for him to decide how best to White's main continuation, 6 a3, by
develop his pieces while generating which he aims to stabilize the queen­
counterplay. So in one sense the Ad­ side by b4 and so minimize Black's
vance Variation is highly obliging, as counterplay. We examine 6 ... �d7
White grants his opponent his wish (an attempt to play for equality),
without further ado. Nevertheless, this 6 . . . c4 (which tends to lead to a long
straightforward strategy also poses positional struggle) and the uncon­
problems for Black, as White seizes a ventional 6 . . . f6.
space advantage and takes squares
away from Black's minor pieces - in 4. 1
many lines, there is a 'traffic jam' over In this and the next two sections we
the e7-square. While Black's first move briefly consider variations in which

34 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

White refuses to support the d4-pawn 7 'it'e2


with the natural move 4 c3. White's 7 �f4? fxe5 8 .ixe5 lt:Jxe5 9 lt:Jxe5
main idea in these lines is to establish 'it'g5 is entirely bad for White, while
piece control of the centre, but this after 7 exf6 lt:Jxf6 8 0-0 0-0 9 c4 (9
Nimzowitschian concept does not bear 'it'e2 e5) 9 . . . dxc4 10 .ixc4 'it'xd l 1 1
fruit here. In the best case (4 lt:Jf3) %:txd l lt:Jg4 1 2 ::tfl lt:Jd4 White's posi­
White can expect at most an unclear tion is worse, Becker-Eliskases, Vi­
position, so one can wonder why these enna 1 935.
old ideas still enjoy some popularity in 7 fxeS 8 lt:Jxe5 lt:Jxe5 9 'it'xe5 lt:Jf6
.••

our time. Here any blockade of the squares


4 dxc5?! d4 and e5 is out of the question, since
This is the most illogical of these White is clearly behind in develop­
oddball continuations: White not only ment. The urgent priority for White is
takes away the defence of the e5- simply to emerge from his opening
pawn, but in addition promotes the op­ mess without too great a disadvantage.
ponent's development. 10 � b5+
4 lt:Jc6 5 lt:Jf3
••• Or 1 0 0-0 0-0 1 1 c4 (played too op­
White should avoid 5 �b5 ? ! �xc5 timistically) 1 1 ...lt:Jg4 ! 1 2 'it'h5 l:r.xf2
6 'it'g4 lt:Je7 (Berezovsky-Glek, Bun­ 1 3 l:r.xf2 �xf2+ 1 4 'iPh 1 lLif6 with an
desliga 2003/4). It is not much better extra pawn for Black.
for him to play 5 lt:Jc3 �xc5 6 'iVg4 lO 'iPC7 11 0-0 l:r.f8 12 �d3 'it>g8
•••

lt:Jxe5 7 'ii'xg7 'iff6, when Black has We have the same position as in the
the initiative. last note, but with two extra moves on
s ...�xc5 6 �d3 the scoresheets. Black stands better.
6 �f4 is not good in view of 6 ...'iVb6
7 �g3 'iVxb2, while 6 lt:Jc3 a6 7 �d3 4.2
f6 resembles the main line. 4 'ii'g4?!
6 f6 (D)
••• This has ideas in common with
Section 4.3 (4 lt:Jf3) but is markedly
worse, since White simply lacks time
for such queen walks at the beginning
of the game.
4...lt:Jc6 5 lt:Jf3 cxd4 6 �d3 'ilc7
(D)
White now has an awkward choice:
a) 7 0-0 (giving up the last central
pawn) 7 . . . lt:Jxe5 8 lt:Jxe5 'ilxe5 9 �f4
lt:Jf6 1 0 'ii'g3 ( 1 0 �b5+ is met by
1 0 . . . �d7 1 1 �xd7+ �xd7 1 2 'ii'g 3
'iVf5, while White should avoid play­
ing 10 'it'xg7? 'it'xf4 1 1 'it'xh8 �e7, as
ADVANCE VARIATION 35

Remlinger indicated) 10 ... 'ii'h5 1 1 h3 4 ... cxd4 5 .id3


( 1 1 .ib5+ .id7 12 .ixd7+ lLlxd7 ; 1 1 White can choose 5 'ii'xd4 lLle7
.ie5 .id7) l l .. .lLle4 with an advan­ (5 . . . lLlc6 ! ? 6 'ii'f4 'ii'c 7 7 lLlc3 a6 is un­
tage for Black. clear) 6 .id3 (6 'ii'f4 lLlg6 7 'ii'g 3 lLlc6
b) 7 .if4 lLlb4 8 0-0 (after 8 lLlxd4 8 .id3 'ii'c 7) 6 ... lLlg6 (6 ... lLlec6 ! ?) 7
lLlxd3+ 9 cxd3 '6'b6 1 0 lLlb3 '6'b4+ ! .ixg6 hxg6 8 0-0 lLlc6 9 'ii'f4, which
White is driven into an unpleasant po­ leads to equality (Short), but those
sition since he must play 1 1 �e2 as in­ who choose 4 lLlf3 are not generally
terposing fails to ... g5 - Belavenets) looking to bail out at such an early
8 ... lLlxd3 9 cxd3 'ii'c 2 10 lLlxd4 ( 1 0 stage.
lLlbd2 'ii'x d3) 10. . .'ii'xb2 l l lLlb3 .id7 5 lLle7 6 0-0
•••

does not give White enough compen­ White's best plan is to advance his
sation for the pawn. queenside pawns with a3 and b4, fol­
c) Impartially speaking, the line 7 lowed by .ib2. After 6 .if4 lLlec6 7
'ii'g 3 f6 8 exf6 (8 .ixh7 is answered 0-0 lLld7 8 lLlbd2 .ie7 9 .ig3 (not 9
by 8 ... lLlxe5 and 8 .if4 with 8 ... g5) .l:.e 1 ? g5, while 9 lLlb3 g5 ! ? 10 .ig3 h5
8 . 'ii'x g3 9 hxg3 (9 f7+ 'it>xf7 10 hxg3
.. 1 1 h3 g4 gives Black the initiative)
lLlf6) 9 ...gxf6 may be called the stron­ 9 ... f5 (9 ... g5 ! ?) 10 exf6 .ixf6 Black's
gest for White, but for the sake of this chances are preferable, Spraggett-Gof­
it was evidently not worth playing 4 shtein, Seville 200 1 .
'ii'g4. 6...lLlec6
This line is more interesting than
4.3 6 . . . lLlg6 7 l:.e l lLlc6 8 lLlbd2 (8 a3 ? !
4 lLlf3 (D) .ie7 9 b4 'fic7 1 0 1i'e2 f6, Dolezal­
White's main idea is to establish a Rivas, Albacete 2009) 8 ... 'ii'c 7 9 .ixg6
strongpoint on e5, and to achieve this fxg6 (or 9� .. hxg6) with approximate
he is ready to sacrifice the d4-pawn, at equality.
least temporarily. � 7 :et lLld7 8 a3
36 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

8 liJbd2 is weaker due to 8 ... 'ii'c 7 or White's main possibilities (6 .i.d3,


8 ... .tb4. 6 .te2 and 6 a3) are considered in later
8 'ii'c7
•.. sections. One can also mention that 6
Black can also play 8 . . . a5 ! ? (radi­ dxc5? ! tears apart White's pawn-chain
cally preventing b4 but weakening the for no especially good reason, and
point b5) 9 a4 i.b4 with an unclear 6 ... .txc5 7 'ii'c 2 (7 'ii'e2 f6 8 b4 i.e7)
game. 7 ... "fkc7 8 i.f4 ltJge7 gives Black the
9 'ii'e2 ltJc5 10 b4 ltJxd3 11 'it'xd3 initiative .
.td7 The knight move to a3 is an inter­
White will soon re-establish the ma­ esting idea: the knight is ready to bol­
terial equilibrium, but he has no rea­ ster the d4-pawn by ltJc2, which can
son to expect any advantage. be a useful way to counter Black's
. .. ltJge7-f5 manoeuvre, but Black is
4.4 not committed to this, and can seek to
4 c3 'ifb6 (D) throw a spanner in White's plans.
Black creates pressure upon both the 6 cxd4 7 cxd4 i.b4+
•••

central point d4 and the b2-pawn. The The simplest rejoinder: after the
more customary move-order 4 . . . ltJc6 bishop check, the knight can come to
(intending to meet 5 ltJf3 by 5 . . .'ii'b6) e7 and Black thereby solves the often
allows the side-variation 5 h3, which irksome problem of kingside develop­
we can now exclude from consider­ ment. 7 . . . .td7 8 fDc2 l:.c8 is also quite
ation. good; for example:
a) 9 a3 ? ! ltJa5 10 b4 ltJb3 1 1 l:.bl
ltJxc1 1 2 l:.xc l a5 (Kupreichik-V.Alek­
seev, Minsk 2003), and now it is best
for White to give up the pawn by 1 3
.td3 .
b) 9 .i.d3 ltJb4 1 0 ltJxb4 .txb4+ 1 1
.i.d2 ( 1 1 Wfl .i.b5) 1 1 . . .i.xd2+ 1 2
"fkxd2 .i.b5 .
c) 9 i.e2 i.b4+ ! ? (or 9 ... ltJb4 10
ltJe3 .i.b5 with equality) 1 0 i.d2 ( 1 0
�fl i s met b y 1 o ... .te7 while 1 0
'
ltJxb4 ! ? ltJxb4 1 1 0-0 ltJc2 1 2 l:. b1
ltJe7 is unclear) 1 0 ... .txd2+ 1 1 'ii'xd2
'ii'xb2 1 2 0-0 liJd8 1 3 l:.fc 1 ltJe7 with
5 ltJf3 unclear play.
White can also play 5 a3, which af­ 8 .td2 ltJge7 9 ltJb5
ter 5 . . . ltJc6 6 lDf3 leads to Section White's knight strays from its in­
4.7. tended route, but 9 ltJc2 is a pawn sac­
5 ltJc6 6 ltJa3
.•• rifice that is not altogether convincing
ADVANCE VARIATION 37

after 9 . . . i.. xd2+ 10 'ii'xd2 'it'xb2 1 1 on its best square, but he will pay a
i..d3 'ii'b6 1 2 0-0 0-0. However, 9 price for this pleasure, as the d4-pawn
i..c 3 ! ? i.. d7 10 'iid2 ( 1 0 tbc2 i.xc3+ is left unprotected. To avoid an infe­
1 1 bxc3 'iib2) 10 . . .0-0 1 1 i.e2 f6 rior game, Black must accept the chal­
leads to a position with chances for lenge.
both sides. 6 cxd4
•••

9 i.xd2+ 10 'iixd2 0-0 1 1 i.e2


... Fixing the future booty in its place.
1 1 i.d3 ? ! is inappropriate in view 7 cxd4 i.d7
of l l . . .f6 1 2 exf6 l:.xf6, when the ex­ Now the threat to capture on d4 is
change sacrifice . . . l:.xf3 is in the air. real.
l l f6
... 8 0-0
l l . . .i.d7 1 2 tbc3 tbf5 1 3 l:.d l f6 14 Backing down by 8 i.c2 tZ:lb4 9 0-0
exf6 (14 g4? ! tbfxd4 1 5 tbxd4 fxe5 tbxc2 10 'iixc2 .:tc8 1 1 tbc3 tbe7
gives Black the initiative) 1 4 . . . l:txf6 makes no sense for White, while 8
transposes. tbc3 tbxd4 9 tbxd4 'it'xd4 10 0-0 (or
12 exf6 l:txf6 13 tbc3 10 'iie 2 a6 1 1 0-0) is merely a transpo­
White should avoid 13 0-0?! .:txf3 sition of moves.
14 gxf3 a6 1 5 tbc3 tbxd4. 8 tbxd4 9 tbxd4
•••

13 tbf5 14 .:td1 i.d7


••. This is the standard continuation.
The game is approximately level. The aggressive 9 tbg5 ? ! is objectively
Black's activity fully compensates for a poor idea: 9 . . . tbc6 1 0 .:tel i.c5 1 1
the defects of his pawn-structure. 'ii'f3 tbh6 ( 1 1 . . .0-0-0 ! ? 1 2 tbc3 f6 1 3
exf6 tbxf6 gives Black the initiative)
4.5 1 2 tbc3 tbd4 1 3 'iif4 tbhf5. However,
4 c3 'fi'b6 5 tbf3 tbc6 6 i..d3 (D) given that his prospects are not too im­
pressive in the main line, White may
be advised to play 9 tZ:lbd2. After
9 . . . i.c5, the sharp line 1 0 b4? ! tbxf3+
( 1 0 . . . 'ii'xb4 ! ? 1 1 tbxd4 i.xd4 12 .:tbl
'it'c3 1 3 tbf3 i.b6) 1 1 tbxf3 'ii'xb4 1 2
tbg5 'ii'a4 1 3 'ii'h5 tbh6 (Smerdon­
Zhao Zong, Queenstown 2006) leaves
Black in charge, but the more reason­
able 10 tbxd4 i.xd4 1 1 tbf3 tbe7 of­
fers White some compensation for the
missing pawn.
9 'ii'xd4 10 tbc3 (D)
•••

Slower lines such as 10 .:tel tbe7


1 1 tbc3 a6 or 10 'ii'e2 tbe7 1 1 tbc3
This move introduces the Milner­ tbc6 12 .:te l ( 1 2 tLlb5 'ii'xe5 ; 12 i.e3
Barry Gambit. White puts the bishop 'ii'xe5 1 3 f4 it'd6 14 f5 'ii'e 5) 12 . . . a6
38 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

only give Black extra defensive possi­ alternative - Black has a reliable game
bilities. and retains his material plus.
12 �h1
After 12 l:.d 1 .!t:lc6 1 3 ..txa6 'ii'xe5
14 ..txb7 ( 1 4 'ii'xe5 .!t:lxe5 1 5 ..txb7
.:ta7) 14 ... 'ii'xe2 15 .!t:lxe2 l:.b8 the ma­
terial is equal, but White's position has
evidently worsened.
12 .!t:lc6 13 f4 .!t:lb4 14 ltd1
•.•

14 ..tb1 'ii'c4 1 5 'ii'f3 (or 1 5 'ii'd 1 )


1 5 . . . d4 i s bad for White.
14 ..tc5 15 ..txa6 'ii'f2
•••

The game moves into an ending in


which White will have to struggle for
equality.

10 a6
••• 4.6
Black contents himself with just 4 c3 'ii'b6 5 .!i::lf3 .!t:lc6 6 ..te2 (D)
one extra pawn and a sound position -
a highly practical decision. But tak­
ing the second pawn by 1 0...'it'xe5 is
clearly a critical test of White's gambit
strategy. He obtains open lines and a
large development advantage - all he
lacks is the means to land any sort of
decisive blow: 1 1 l:.e1 'it'b8 1 2 .!i::lxd5
( 1 2 'ii'f3 can be met by 1 2 ... .!i::lf6 ! ? or
1 2 . . . ..td6 1 3 'ii'xd5 ..txh2+ 14 �h 1
..tc7) 1 2 ... ..td6 1 3 'ii'g4 ( 1 3 'ii'h.S ! ? �
14 .!t:lc3 .!i::lf6 1 5 'ii'h4 h6) 1 3 . . . �f8 1 4
.ll d2 h 5 1 5 'ii'h 3 .!t:lh6 and White's
initiative is exhausted. Nevertheless,
Black does not have to expose himself With this modest bishop develop­
to such danger, because the text-move ment, White keeps the d4-pawn under
keeps the closed nature of the play, the protection of his queen. Black
and minimizes the risk of coming un­ needs to strengthen the siege, and for
der attack. that his second knight must get to the
11 'fi'e2 .!t:le7 f5-square.
1 1 ...l:.c8 ! ? 1 2 �h 1 .1lc5 ( 1 2 ...'ii'h4 !?) 6 cxd4
•••

1 3 ..tg5 ( 1 3 f4? .!t:lh6 gives Black the In this case the exchange serves as
initiative) 1 3 ... h6 1 4 ..td2 .!t:le7 is an useful preparation for the next move.
ADVANCE VARIATION 39

7 cxd4 lt:Jh6 (D) he prefers a more careful defence of


The knight uses this route so as not the d4-pawn. There are several ways
to allow the variation 7 . . . lt:Jge7 8 lt:Ja3 he can do so:
lt:Jf5 9 lt:Jc2. 4.6. 1 : 8 b3?! 39
4.6.2: 8 lt:Jc3 40
4.6.3: 8 �d3!? 40

4.6. 1
8 b3?!
A very dubious continuation. White
loses his castling rights, and the initia­
tive remains in Black's hands.
8 lt:Jf5
•••

Black can play even more vigor­


ously by the immediate 8 . . . �b4+ 9
Wfl 0-0 ! ?, not spending a tempo mov­
ing the knight.
9 �b2 �b4+ 10 �n o-o
Now 8 lt:Ja3 is not advantageous in Black logically prepares to open the
view of 8 . . . �xa3 9 bxa3 lt:Jf5 10 �e3 f-file by . . . f6.
'iii'aS+ 1 1 'ii'd2 'ii'xa3 (or I l . . ..i.d7). 1 1 g4
The obvious argument against put­ Other possibilities are no better.
ting the knight on h6 is 8 �xh6, but Black keeps the initiative after 1 1 lt:Jc3
Black's idea is to answer this with f6 12 g4 lt:Jfe7 1 3 lt:Ja4 'ii'd8 14 a3 �a5,
8 . . . 'ii'xb2 ! . Then: 1 1 �d3 f6 1 2 �xf5 exf5 ( 1 2 . . . fxe5 ! ?)
a) 9 �e3? is bad due to 9 . . . 'ii'x al . 1 3 lt:Jc3 �e6 or 1 1 lt:Ja3 f6 1 2 lt:Jc2
b) After 9 lt:Jbd2 gxh6 1 0 llb1 ( 1 0 �e7 1 3 g4 lt:Jh6 1 4 exf6 llxf6 1 5 h3
0-0 lt:Jxd4) 1 0 . . . 'ii'xa2 it i s unlikely ( 1 5 g5 is met by 1 5 . . . llxf3) 1 5 . . . �d7,
that White's initiative is worth two as in Dirnitrov-Rusev, Bulgarian Ch,
pawns. Borovets 2008.
c) 9 lt:Jc3 ! ? and now 9 . . . 'ii'x c3+ 1 0 l l ... lt:Jh6 12 llg1
�d2 'ii'a3 ( 1 0 . . . 'ii'b 2 ! ?) I I 0-0 �e7 In comparison with 1 2 h3 f6, White
1 2 'ii'c 2 gave White compensation in at least activates his rook.
Mantovani-Emelin, European Clubs 12 f6 13 exf6 llxf6 14 gS .:txf3 15
•••

Cup, Kallithea 2008. It is safer to play �xf3


9 . . . lt:Jxd4 ! ? 10 'ii'xd4 ! 'ifxa1 + 1 1 �d 1 It is better for White to take the ex­
gxh6 1 2 0-0 'ii'b 2 1 3 �a4+ �d8 1 4 change than to suffer for nothing after
l:.b1 'ii'a3 1 5 lt:Jxd5 ! with a draw, as 1 5 gxh6 llf7 1 6 llxg7+ llxg7 1 7 hxg7
Vitiugov analysed. 'ii'c 7, as in Inkiov-Justo, French Team
Overall, these complications are not Ch 2009/10.
so attractive for White, and normally 15 lt:Jf5
•••
40 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Black has the better chances due to 4.6.3


White's numerous weaknesses, Savic­ 8 .id3!? (D)
Reutsky, European Ch, Budva 2009.

4.6.2
8 ltlc3 (D)

A non-standard decision. It looks


odd to move the bishop again so soon
after it came to e2, but the knight's
move to h6 has changed the situation
This initiates forcing play. significantly.
S lLlfS 9 ltla4
••• 8 .i.d7
•••

Distracting the black queen from its Black creates a threat to take the
attack on the d4-pawn. 9 �fl ? ! ltlfxd4 d4-pawn.
10 lt:la4 ( 1 0 .i.e3 'ji'xb2 1 1 lt:lxd5 Instead, 8 . . .ltlf5 9 .i.xf5 exf5 leads
'iixe2+ ! ) 10 ... � 1 1 .i.d2 'ji'e7 1 2 to a known theoretical position that
.i.g5 f6 promises nothing good for usually arises from the line 4 ... ltlc6 5
White. lLlf3 lLlge7 6 .id3 cxd4 7 cxd4 ltlf5 8
9 .'ii'a5+ 10 .i.d2
•• .i.c2 ! ? (inviting the black queen to oc­
Again 10 �fl ? ! b5 1 1 ltlc3 ( 1 1 cupy b6) 8 ... 'iib6 9 .i.xf5 exf5. Such a
ltlc5 .i.xc5 1 2 dxc5 b4) 1 l ...b4 1 2 pawn-structure is not to everybody's
ltlb1 'iib6 1 3 .i.e3 .i.e7 looks a little taste, but the chances are approxi­
absurd. Now, however, simplifications mately equal. For example, 10 lt:lc3
are inevitable. .ie6 and now:
10 .i.b4 11 i.c3 .i.xc3+ 12 ltlxc3
•.• a) l l lt:le2 .ie7 1 2 h4 h6 1 3 �fl (an
'ii'b6 13 .i.bS .id7 14 .i.xc6 .i.xc6 15 attempt to attack) 1 3 ... 0-0 ( 1 3 ...0-0-0 ! ?
l:r.bl 14 h 5 �b8, Benjarnin-F.Levin, Co­
Or 1 5 'iid2 .i.b5 . logne rapid 1 997) 14 lLlf4 llac8 1 5
1S 'iia6
•.• l:lh3 ltlb4 1 6 llg3 'it>h8.
The position is approximately equal. b) 1 1 0-0 llc8 1 2 a3 (or 12 llb1
Black will meet 16 'iie2 by 16 .. .'ii'c4 . .ie7 1 3 ltle2 h6, not allowing the
ADVANCE VARIATION 41

exchange of bishops) 12 . . . h6 1 3 b4 ! ? By castling, White intends a piece


a5 i s unclear, since 14 b 5 will be met sacrifice. Here are his other options:
by 14 . . . ltJxd4. a) 12 .ltxg5 'it'xb2 1 3 liJbd2 'ifb5 ! ?
9 .ltc2 14 a3 l:tg8 gives Black the initiative.
The pawn sacrifice in the spirit of b) 1 2 lDxg5 'it'xd4 1 3 0-0 'fi'xd l 14
the Milner-Barry Gambit, 9 ltJc3, is .:l.xd 1 ltJxe5 1 5 ltJc3 i.c6 is equal.
unconvincing after 9 . . . ltJxd4 1 0 0-0 c) 12 ltJc3 h6 ! ? ( l 2 . . . g4 1 3 hxg4
( 1 0 ltJxd4 1i'xd4 1 1 0-0 a6) 10 . . . a6 (or fxg4 14 ltJg5 'ii'xd4 is equal) 1 3 ltJxd5
10 . . . .1tc5). ( 1 3 0-0 .lte6 14 ltJa4 'it'b5) 1 3 . . .'ii'a 5+
With the text-move, White again 14 ltJc3 .lte6 15 .ltd2 0-0-0 with the
offers his opponent the chance to initiative for Black.
reach the structure discussed in the 12...g4 13 hxg4
previous note by 9 . . . ltJf5 10 .ltxf5 Perhaps White should do without
exf5 . It is also acceptable to play 9 . . . g6 the preliminary pawn exchange and
10 0-0 lDf5 1 1 .ltxf5 gxf5 1 2 ltJc3 play the immediate 1 3 ltJc3 gxf3 14
l:tg8, as in Sandipan-Batchuluun, Cebu ltJxd5 fxg2 1 5 l:te1 'fi'a5 ! ? (15 . . . 'ikxd4
2007, but Black has a more interesting 1 6 lDf6+ �d8 is equal) 1 6 lDf6+ <Ji>d8
possibility. . . 1 7 d5 liJd4 1 8 l:te3 .ltc5 1 9 l:tc3, with a
9 g5! ?
••• very unbalanced game.
This sharp move, which has s o far 13...fxg4 14 ltJc3 gxf3 15 ltJxd5
only been tested in one blitz game( ! ), fxg2 16 l:tel 'it'xd4
deserves additional study. Black finds Black should avoid 1 6 . . . 1Wa5 ? 1 7
an original way to continue the attack ltJf6+ �d8 1 8 d 5 ltJd4 1 9 l:te4 ! , but
on the d4-pawn and creates complica­ taking on d4 now somewhat gains in
tions. strength.
10 h3 ltJf5 1 1 .ltxf5 exf5 (D) 17 ltJf6+
1 7 .ltg5 ? ! , as played in Movsesian­
Caruana, Moscow blitz 20 1 0, is infe­
rior because 1 7 . . . .lte7 ! gives Black the
advantage.
17 ...<Ji>d8!
Not 17 ... c:J;;e7? 1 8 1i'h5 ! , when Black
is in trouble. The text-move lets White
regain the piece, but 1 8 1Wxd4 ltJxd4
19 l:td l lDf3+ (or 1 9 . . . .1tc5) leaves
White fighting for equality.

4.7
4 c3 1i'b6 5 ltJf3 ltJc6 6 a3 (D)
This is the main line of the Advance
12 0-0 Variation. White prepares the move
42 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

development and (given the opportu­


nity) the b4-pawn can be attacked by
... a5 .
8.. .llc8 (D)

b4, which will solve the problem of


defending the d4-pawn, as .1Lb2 or
.1Le3 will be possible. Black has sev­
eral viable replies, and we discuss the
following three, between which read­
ers can choose depending on their For the time being, Black hinders
preferences and mood: the move 9 0Jc3 in view of the obvious
4.7.1 : 6....1Ld7 42 reply 9 . 0Jxd4. Also the line 9 lla2
..

4.7.2: 6. ..c4 44 a5 ! 1 0 b5 0Jxd4 1 1 0Jxd4 llxc 1 1 2


4.7.3: 6...f6 48 'ii'xc 1 Wxd4 gives Black more than
sufficient compensation for the ex­
4.7. 1 change, but this tactical idea is inef­
6... .1Ld7 fective after 9 .1Le2, as 9 . . . a5? ! 10 0-0 !
This is a slightly passive, but quite axb4 1 1 axb4 .1Lxb4 1 2 0Ja3 leaves
reliable strategy. Black ignores his op­ White with the initiative. In this case it
ponent's intentions and calmly contin­ is better for Black to continue 9 ... 0Jge7
ues developing. 10 0-0 ( 1 0 .1Lb2?! 0Ja5 gives Black a
7 b4 good game, while 10 .1Le3 0Jf5 1 1
It makes no sense for White to de­ i.d3? ! is well met by 1 l .. .a5) 1 0... 0Jf5,
lay this move. After 7 .1Le2 0Jge7 he solving his development problem on
will in any case have to play 8 b4 (al­ the kingside. Meanwhile, the white
ready not at the most advantageous knight must remain on b 1 , and White's
moment) or 8 dxc5 'fkc7 9 0-0 0Jxe5 prospects of achieving an advantage
10 0Jxe5 'fixeS, which does not pres­ are remote:
ent any problems for Black. a) 1 1 .1Le3 .1Le7 ( 1 l . . .g6 1 2 'ii'd2
7...cxd4 8 cxd4 0Jxe3 1 3 fxe3 .1Lh6 1 4 0Jc3 0Je7 is
Now White has occupied even more also good, while 1 1 . . .g5 ! ? is interest­
space, but he continues to fall behind in ing) 1 2 .1Ld3 ( 1 2 'fid2 and 1 2 'ifd3 are
ADVANCE VARIATION 43

both met by 1 2 ... f6 ! 1 3 lt:Jc3 fxe5) is unclear) I O . . . lt:Ja5 1 1 lt:Ja4 'iic 6 1 2


12 ... lt:Jxe3 1 3 fxe3 gives Black an ex­ lt:Jc5 lt:Jc4. Now White must accept
tra tempo in comparison with the main the presence of the hostile knight on
line below. c4 and try not to allow the other black
b) 1 1 .tb2 h5 1 2 c;i;>h 1 ( 1 2 'iid2 is pieces to become active too. After 1 3
answered by 12 ... g6 and 12 'iid3 with 'iib 3 ( 1 3 .tc 1 lt:Jf5 1 4 .td3 .txc5 1 5
l 2 . . . g5 ! ?) 1 2 ... .te7 1 3 lt:Jc3 ( 1 3 'iid2 dxc5 b6 is unclear) 1 3 . . .b6 1 4 lt:Jxd7
g5) 1 3 . . . lt:Ja5 14 lt:Ja4 'ii'c 6 1 5 lt:Jc5 (or 'iixd7 1 5 b5 ! ? ( 1 5 .td3 lt:Jc6 16 .tc3
1 5 l:r.c 1 lt:Jc4 1 6 .txc4 dxc4 1 7 lt:Jc3 b5) 15 . . . g6 there are chances for both
0-0) 15 ...lt:Jc4 16 'ii'b3 (D.Kononenko­ sides.
Mankeev, Alushta 2006) 16 ... 0-0 is 9 4Jh6!
...

unclear. This time the knight is heading for


The conclusion is that after 8 ... l:r.c8, g4, when it can await the best moment
White has to strengthen his defence of to exchange on e3, rather than being
the d4-pawn right away so as to place forced into it prematurely.
his king's bishop on the better square 10 .td3 lt:Jg4 11 0-0
d3 . 1 1 lt:Jbd2 is met by 1 1 . . .a5 1 2 b5
9 .te3 lt:Je7.
This is the most unpleasant contin­ l l .te7 12 lt:Jbd2
...

uation for Black. The other bishop The cunning 1 2 l:r.a2 (with the idea
move, 9 .tb2, is also possible: of placing the rook on f2 straight
a) 9 ... 4Jh6 1 0 lt:Jc3 ( 1 0 .td3 lt:Ja5 away after 1 2 . . . lt:Jxe3? ! 1 3 fxe3) al­
l l .tc3 lt:Jc4 1 2 0-0 .te7 with an equal lows Black to play 1 2 ...f6 or 1 2 . . . 0-0
position) I O ... tt:Ja5 1 1 lt:Ja4 'ii'c6 1 2 1 3 .tf4 ( 1 3 .te l f6 ! 14 b5 lt:Jcxe5)
l:r.c l ( 1 2 lt:Jc5 ! ? lt:Jc4 1 3 'ii'b 3 i s un­ 1 3 ...f6 14 exf6 l:r.xf6. But after the
clear) 12 ... lt:Jc4 1 3 .txc4 dxc4 14 lt:Jc3 text-move, the e3-bishop should be
.te7. In contrast to line 'b' above, taken without further delay.
White has taken on c4 without delay, 12 tt:Jxe3 13 fxe3 (D)
•••

but Black still maintains the equilib­


rium: 1 5 0-0 lt:Jf5 (another path to
equality is 15 ... 0-0 ! ? 16 d5 exd5 1 7
lt:Jd4 'iig6 1 8 lt:Jxd5 .tg5, as i n Dtir­
Damjanovic, Graz 1 979) 1 6 d5 exd5
17 lt:Jxd5 .td8 with equal play (Vitiu­
gov).
b) 9 . . .lt:Jge7 (this sortie rules out a
later central break on d5 , but at the
cost of slowing Black's development)
lO lt:Jc3 ( 1 0 lt:Jbd2 ? ! lt:Jf5 1 1 lt:Jb3 a5
1 2 b5 a4 is pleasant for Black, while
1 0 .td3 ! ? lt:Ja5 1 1 .tc3 lt:Jc4 12 0-0 g6
44 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Let us sum up: the main defect of A little piece of subtlety: after 1 6
Black's position is the inactivity of his �c2 a5 the position becomes level
pieces, and he must take measures to right away.
improve this situation. He doesn't yet 16 .'ili'a6 17 ..txb5+ 'ii'xb5
•.

have time to castle, since White is The exchanges have favoured Black.
threatening the unpleasant manoeuvre White's advantage is minimal, as his
liJb3-c5. pawns in the centre and on the queen­
13 liJd8
••• side represent a convenient target for
Opening the file for the rook and Black's future counterplay.
the diagonal for the bishop, while pre­
paring the possible undermining move 4.7.2
. . . aS. The line 1 3 . . . liJb8 14 liJb3 ( 1 4 6 c4 (D)
•••

'ii'e2 ..ta4) 14 . . . ..ta4 1 5 �b1 ..txb3


(worse is 1 5 . . .:Z.c3? ! 1 6 liJc5 ..txc5 1 7
dxc5, when White has the initiative)
16 'ifxb3 0-0 17 :Z.ac 1 g6 is approxi­
mately equal in value: White still has
some initiative, but Black is close to
equality.
14 :Z.cl
In this case 14 liJb3 ..ta4 1 5 'ii'b 1
llc3 1 6 liJc5 ( 1 6 liJc l ..tb5) 1 6 ... ..txc5
17 dxc5 'iic 7 1 8 l:.c l :Z.xc l + 1 9 'iixc 1
ltJc6 20 'iic 3 a6 only leads to an un­
clear game, as does 1 4 'iie2 aS ! ?.
14 l:.xc1 15 �xcl ..tb5 (D)
•••

Black prevents the b4 advance and


radically changes the direction of the
strategic struggle. The advance of the
black c-pawn mirrors the ideas behind
White's move 3 e5, and is justified by
the weakening of the b3-square. A
long and complex middlegame usu­
ally follows.
7 liJbd2
The move 7 ..te2 is of equal value,
but if White wants to play g3, then it is
better for him to develop the queen's
knight first. The immediate 7 g3 is less
accurate - then besides 7 . . . ..td7 or
16 �c3 7 . . . ltJa5 Black may try 7 . . . f6 ! ? 8 exf6
ADVANCE VARIATION
45

(8 .i.h3 fxe5 9 li:Jxe5 li:Jxe5 10 dxe5 l:tb l i.d7 10 c4 li:Je7 ) 9 .. . -ll


d? 1 0 c4
li:Je7) 8 . . . li:Jxf6 9 .i.h3 (or 9 .i.g2 .i.d6 dxc4 (or 10 . . . li:Je7) .
10 0-0 0-0 1 1 ii'e2 li:Ja5 1 2 li:Jbd2 .i.d7 8 .lle2
with equality) 9 . . . .i.d6 10 'ii'e2 0-0 1 1 O �ing to the advanced po
sition of
.i.xe6+ �h8 with good compensation Black s c�-pawn, White also has
prob­
for the pawn. It is even weaker for lems findmg a convenient w
ay to d
;:
_
White to play 7 h4? ! f6. In short, there velop his pieces . On the e2-squ
are e
is no reason to delay the move li:Jbd2. bishop has more prospects
than it
It is also worth noting that after 7 would on g2, but now the white
queen
li:Jbd2, the natural-looking 7 . . . li:Jge7? has less freedom to .t. move. T .
.
. he mrun
is a serious mistake in view of 8 a1ternatiVe ts 8 g3 .a.d7 (D) .
.ll xc4 ! .
7 li:Ja5
•••

The possibility of attacking the front


of the pawn-chain by b3/b4 or . . . f6/f5
must constantly be taken into account
by both sides. The position represents
a curious puzzle, since looking at its
separate fragments it is very difficult
to imagine a whole picture. As a rough
analogy, one can cite the King's In­
dian line 1 d4 li:Jf6 2 c4 g6 3 li:Jc3 .ll g7
4 e4 d6 5 f3 0-0 6 .lle 3 e5 7 d5 li:Jh5 8
'ii'd2 f5 9 0-0-0 f4 1 0 .i.f2 .i.f6 1 1
li:Jge2: this situation looks clearly fa­
vourable for White, but even in this Now the bishop can decide
between
case his advantage demands proof. the squares h3 and g2. The
_ , but former
The immediate 7 . . . f6? ! is not so ef­ looks mo!e active is hard to im­
fective in view of 8 .i.e2 fxe5 9 li:Jxe5 plement m a way that doesn
't have
(we shall see the position after 9 dxe5?! some sort of drawback :
.i.c5 1 0 0-0 in note 'c' to White's 7th a) The straightforward 9 .

. . i.h3 m _
move in Section 4.7.3) 9 . . . li:Jxe5 10 v!tes a vigorous response on
the king-
dxe5 .ll c5 1 1 0-0 li:Je7 1 2 b4 cxb3 13 Side: 9 . . . .lle7 10 0-0 ?! ( 1 0 .ll
g2 l ?)
li:Jxb3 with some advantage for White. 1 0 . . . h5 ( l O . . . g5 ! is even more
ac��­
But if Black can't attack the white rate) l l li:Je l ( 1 1 .llg2 is answ
ered b
1 :bl � .Y
e5-pawn immediately, then he needs l l . . .g5 1 2 h3 li:Jh6, while 1
a1 so answered With .
to take precautions against the analo­ l l ... g5) l l .. .gS 1
2
gous action by his opponent. And that's .ll g 2 0-0-0 (or l 2 . .. h4! ?) with
an ini­
one reason why he places his knight tiative for Black.
on a5 : now there is nothing good for b) Another version of this ide
a 9 h4
White in the line 8 b4? ! cxb3 9 .llb2 (9 0-0-0 (or 9 ... li:Jh6 10 i.h3 f5)
10 :th3.
46 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

is not very successful either. Black has appears open for the f2-pawn, but the
the interesting reply 1 o . . . f5 ! ? 1 1 exf6 line 1 3 f4? ! g6 is advantageous for
( 1 1 0-0? ! is weaker in view of 1 1 ... lLlh6 Black. White has no natural way to
followed by . . . lLlf7 and . . . g5) 1 l . ..gxf6 push forward with his pawns, so a
1 2 0-0 lbh6, when it become s clear manoeuvring struggle usually fol­
that the main impact of the move h4 lows; e.g., 1 3 lLlg2 (or 1 3 'ii'f3 i.e8
has been to weaken White's own king­ 14 lLlg2 h5) 13 . . . �a8 ( 1 3 . . . g6 ! ? 1 4
side. Since the sluggish 1 3 .l:!.e1 .l:tg8 lLle3 lLlf5 1 5 lLlg4 i.e? is another ap­
(taking aim at the g3-pawn) delivers proach) 14 lLle3 i.e8 with approxi­
the initiative to Black, White must take mate equality .
emergency measures: 1 3 .l:tb1 ! lLlf5 14 d) Since in the final analysis White
b3 cxb3 1 5 lLlxb3 i.a4 1 6 lLlfd2 with does not succeed in deriving any real
chances for both sides. benefit from the bishop's position on
c) 9 llb 1 ! ? (the best preparation for h3, it is simpler for him to play 9 i.g2.
i.h3) 9 . . . lLle7 (D) (9 ... 0-0-0? ! 10 b3) After 9 . . .0-0-0 10 0-0 ( 1 0 lLlg5 lLlh6
and now: 1 1 0-0 i.e7) it is in any case better for
Black to refrain from the move 1 0 . . . f5
and to continue, for example, 1 0 . . . h6
1 1 l:.e 1 (here 1 1 lLle1 is less logical
since the g2-square is taken, and it is
difficult to transfer the knight to e3)
1 1 . . .lLle7 12 llb1 'it>b8 ( 1 2 . . . lLlf5 1 3
b4 ! ? cxb3 14 lLlxb3 i s unclear) 1 3 h4
�a8 ( 1 3 ... llc8 ! ?) with chances for both
sides, Motylev-Berelowitsch, Bucha­
rest 1 998.
Let's return to 8 i.e2.
8 i.d7 (D)
.•.

c 1 ) 1 0 h4? ! is again of question­


able value. After 10 . . . h6 1 1 i.h3 ( 1 1
h5 0-0-0 1 2 i.h3 �b8 1 3 0-0 g6 ! ?)
1 1 . . .0-0-0 ( l l . . .lLlf5 is also possible)
12 0-0 �b8 13 lLle1 (White could try
1 3 l:.e 1 ) 1 3 . . . lLlf5 ( 1 3 . . . g5 ! ?) 14 lLlg2
( 1 4 'ii'f3 is met by 14 . . . i.e7) 14 . . . i.e7
1 5 'ii'f3 g5 Black has the initiative.
c2) After 10 i.h3 h6 1 1 0-0 0-0-0
1 2 lLle 1 (less logical is 1 2 l:.e 1 �b8 1 3
lLlfl l:.c8) 1 2 . . . �b8, the path forward
ADVANCE VARIATION 47

The play now becomes more con­ .i.e7 it is by no means clear who has
crete. gained from this. The simple 13 ti'Jg3
9 0-0 (or even 13 'ii'd2 right away) 1 3 . . . .i.a4
9 :b 1 lt'Je7 10 ti'Jfl is of independent 14 'ii'd2 deserves attention, but then
importance. White wants to regroup his White will have to play .i.d 1 , offering
pieces without delay and is willing to an exchange of light-squared bishops
play a complex queenless middlegame that it is principle in Black' s favour.
after 10 .. .'iib3 ! ? 1 1 .i.f4 (or 1 1 'ii'xb3
lt'Jxb3 1 2 .i.f4 b5) 1 l .. ..i.a4 12 'ii'xb3
i.xb3 1 3 lt'Je3 lt'Jg6 14 .i.g3 h5 ! 15 h4
( 1 5 h3 h4 16 .i.h2 ..te7 is equal) 1 5 ... f6.
9 tt'Je7 10 :b1
•••

Removing the rook from the line of


fire. After 10 :e l 'ii'c7 ( 1 0 . . .ti'Jf5 ! ? is
also possible), 1 1 lt'Jg5 is answered by
l l . . .h6 12 ti'Jh3 . 0-0-0 13 ti'Jf4 g6,
while 1 1 .l:tb1 transposes to the main
line.
10 'ii'c7
•••

Black gradually prepares the ma­


noeuvre ... ti'Jc8-b6 followed by ... .i.a4.
1 1 :e1 13 f5! ?
•••

White needs to unravel his tangled Black takes the opportunity to alter
pieces. He intends ti'Jfl , and then to the pawn-structure and gain some
bring out the c 1-bishop. He can also try space on the kingside. He can also
various moves by the f3-knight, with­ preserve the status quo by 1 3 . . . .i.a4 14
out achieving any particular gains: 1 1 'ifc 1 h6, when White appears to have
ti'Jh4 ti'Jc8 !? 1 2 f4 g6 1 3 ti'Jdf3 h6 14 nothing better than 1 5 .i.d 1 , releasing
i.e3 ti'Jb6, 1 1 tt'Je 1 ti'Jf5 1 2 .i.g4 ( 1 2 g4 the white queen from the necessity to
is met by 1 2 ... ti'Jh4 and 1 2 ti'Jdf3 by guard the c2-square.
12 ... ti'Jb3) 1 2 ... .i.e7, or 1 1 lt'Jg5 h6 1 2 14 h4 h6
ti'Jh3 lt'Jc8 (simpler i s 1 2 ... 0-0-0 1 3 ti'Jf4 The immediate 14 ... 0-0-0 is of equal
g6) 1 3 ti'Jf4 ( 1 3 ti'Jf3 ! ? ti'Jb6 14 .i.e3 value, given that 1 5 lt'Jg5 ? ! h6 1 6
..ta4 15 'ii'c 1 ti'Jb3 16 'ii'e l is unclear) ti'Jf7? .i.a4 i s evidently not advanta­
1 3 ... ti'Jb6 14 ti'Jf3 .i.a4 1 5 'ii'd2 g6, as in geous for White.
Zude-Vaganian, Bundesliga 2004/5. 15 h5 .i.e7 16 'ii'c l 0-0-0
n tt'Jcs 12 tt:Jn ti'Jb6 13 .i.f4 (D)
... Black enjoys at least his full share
1 3 .i.g5 provokes the black pawns of the play: his minor pieces control
forward, but after 1 3 . . . h6 14 .i.h4 .i.a4 the queenside, and after a subsequent
15 'ili'c 1 ( 1 5 'ii'd2 g5 16 ..tg3 g4 ! ? 1 7 . . . g5 his rooks will find productive
ti'Jh4 h5) 1 5 . . . g5 1 6 .i.g3 0-0-0 1 7 h3 work on the kingside.
4.7.3 b) 7 i.d3 fxe5 and now:
6...f6 (D) b 1 ) 8 l2Jxe5 tiJf6 9 0-0 i.d6 and
here 10 l2Jf3 transposes to line 'a' ,
while 1 0 liJxc6?! bxc6 gave Black the
initiative in Yilmaz-Sutovsky, World
Team Ch, Bursa 20 10.
b2) 8 dxe5 is more principled, al­
though Black's chances look no worse:
8 . . . c4 ! 9 i.c2 tiJh6 10 0-0 g6 ( 1 0 . . . tiJf7
1 1 tiJbd2 g6 1 2 b3 is unclear) 1 1 b3
cxb3 12 i.xb3 tiJg4 1 3 h3 liJgxe5
( 1 3 . . . tiJxf2 ! ?) 14 liJxe5 liJxe5 15 l:r.e1
i.g7 with equality, Panarin-Timofeev,
Sarajevo 20 10.
c) 7 i.e2 (a very modest move, but
the bishop is not too well placed on
The moves we examined in the last e2) 7 . . . fxe5 8 dxe5 c4 ! (better than the
two sections, 6 . . . i.d7 and 6 . . . c4, are unclear lines 8 . . . tiJh6 9 c4 d4 10 i.xh6
theoretically well-established and have 'ii'xb2 1 1 tiJbd2 gxh6 1 2 0-0 and
undergone extensive practical testing. 8 . . . liJge7 9 c4 d4 10 i.d3 g6 1 1 'ii'e2
The same cannot be said of this little­ i.g7 1 2 0-0 'ii'c 7 13 i.f4 0-0, as in Li
known pawn move. However, it is Shilong-Zhang Pengxiang, Singapore
quite possible that in this way Black 2006) 9 0-0 i.c5 (9 . . . tiJh6 is also pos­
can solve his defensive problems: by sible) 10 tiJbd2 tiJh6 1 1 b4 ( 1 1 b3?
immediately attacking the centre, he liJg4) 1 1 ...i.e7 ! ? ( 1 1 . . .i.xf2+) with
wishes to distract his opponent from good prospects for Black.
his plans of pawn-expansion on the In all these lines Black is fighting
queenside. hard for the initiative. It is worth draw­
7 b4 ing attention to the characteristic move
This move is consistent, and clearly . . . tiJh6, which occurs in many lines.
a critical test of Black's idea. Of course, 7...fxe5 (D)
other moves are possible too: This exchange is more resolute than
a) 7 exf6 liJxf6 (normally Black 7 . . . c4, which is also acceptable. Then
needs to spend two more tempi to get 8 i.f4 a5 9 tiJbd2 g5 10 i.e3 ( 1 0 i.g3)
positions of this type) 8 i.d3 (8 b4? ! 10 . . . axb4 1 1 axb4 l:hal 12 'ii'x al g4
c4) 8 . . . i.d6 9 0-0 0-0 ( 9. . . c4 10 i.c2 gives Black the initiative, while 8 i.e3
0-0 is equal, while Black can also try fxe5 (8 . . . 'ii'c 7 ! ? 9 i.f4 fxe5) 9 liJxe5
9 . . . 'ili'c7 ! ?) 1 0 dxc5 (White should l2Jxe5 10 dxe5 'ii'c 7 1 1 f4 tiJh6 and 8
avoid 10 b4 ?! cxd4 1 1 cxd4 e5 and 10 a4 ! ? fxe5 9 b5 e4 (9 . . . tiJa5 10 liJxe5
l:r.e1 ?! �h8) 10... i.xc5 1 1 b4 i.xf2+ ! ? tiJb3 1 1 i.. xc4 ! ) 10 bxc6 exf3 1 1 cxb7
1 2 l:r.xf2 liJg4 i s unclear. i.xb7 are both unclear.
ADVANCE VARIATION 49

1 4 .i.f4 lt:Jf5 1 5 .i.xf5 gxf5 1 6 lt:Jd2


l:r.g8 is quite convenient for Black.
9 .txc5 10 .i.d3 lt:Jge7 11 0-0 0-0
•••

(D)

8 bxc5
It is not advantageous for White to
play 8 dxc5 'ilc7 9 c4 lt:Jf6, but 8
lt:Jxe5 ! ? lt:Jxe5 9 dxe5 a5 1 0 .i.d3 ! axb4
1 1 'ifh5+ 'it>d8 1 2 c4 b3 leads to abso­
lutely irrational play. 8 dxe5 c4 also Black stands well. The standard sac­
leads to an unclear position. rifice 1 2 .txh7+ 'it>xh7 1 3 lt:Jg5+ 'it>g6
8 .'ili'a5 9 dxe5
•. 1 4 'ild3+ ( 1 4 'ilg4 can be answered by
9 lt:Jxe5 lt:Jxe5 1 0 dxe5 .i.xc5 1 1 14 . . . l:r.f5) 14 . . . lt:Jf5 is not dangerous
.i.d3 lt:Je7 1 2 'ilh5+ g6 1 3 'ii'h6 'ilc7 for him.
5 Tarrasch Variation

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lL'ld2 c5 (D) or the lines with 4 . . . 'ii'xd5, where he


keeps an undamaged structure but
must be careful not to fall too far be­
hind in development. In this book, I
shall mostly cover the 4 . . . exd5 lines,
but shall also briefly present a reper­
toire with 4 ... 'ii'xd5 (in Section 5 .2), as
some readers may prefer this, and in
any case it is good to be able to sur­
prise our opponents once in a while.
4 . . . exd5 demonstrates a classical
treatment of this position in the spirit
of Tarrasch's principles of 'free piece­
play' . After 5 .i.b5+ (Section 5.3)
White cannot expect an opening ad­
The Tarrasch Variation is one of the vantage, and 5 lL'lgf3 is more critical.
main lines of the French Defence. Then the line 5 . . .lL'lf6 (Section 5 .4) is a
White supports his e-pawn with a use­ pure test of the pros and cons of the
ful developing move, and seeks to steer isolated pawn and by playing 5 . . . a6
the game into more rational channels (Section 5 .5) Black seeks even more
than those that can occur after the piece activity.
more combative knight move 3 lL'lc3.
Striking at White's centre by 3 ... c5 is 5.1
one of Black's main rejoinders - and a 4 tL'lgf3 (D)
very logical one, since with White is This move, maintaining the central
not in a position to generate rapid pawn-tension at least for a little while,
pressure against d5. Most lines feature is the only serious alternative to 4
the pawn exchange exd5, although exd5, which is considered in the fol­
there are some exceptions, as we see lowing sections. Often the lines trans­
in Section 5 . 1 , where the line 4 lL'lgf3 pose, but there are some subtleties that
lL'lf6 5 e5 lL'lfd7 leads to more typical need to be noted.
French structures. After 4 exd5, Black Other moves are seldom played, as
has a major choice between taking on they fail to keep White's opening ini­
an isolated queen's pawn by 4 . . . exd5, tiative:
TARRASCH VARIATION 51

a) 4 .i.b5+ .i.d7 5 .i.xd7+ 'ii'xd7 6 If Black prefers to meet 4 exd5


dxc5 (Black can also be happy with 6 with 4 . . . 'ii'xd5 (as in Section 5.2),
tt::lgf3 cxd4 7 tt::lxd4 dxe4 8 tt::lxe4 e5 then it is logical for him to continue
and 6 exd5 'ii'x d5) 6 . . . .i.xc5 7 tt::lgf3 4 . . . cxd4 here. Besides 5 exd5 'ii'xd5
tt::lf6 8 'ii'e2 tt::lc6 with an equal game. (transposing to Section 5 .2) it is also
b) 4 c3 (White chooses to take on necessary to consider 5 tbxd4 tt::lf6.
the IQP, but this is not an effective ver­ Then:
sion) 4 . . . cxd4 5 cxd4 dxe4 6 tt::lxe4 a) 6 .i.b5+ .i.d7 7 exd5 (7 .i.xd7+
tt::lf6 7 tt::lc 3 (7 tt::l xf6+ 'ii'xf6 8 a3 .i.d6 tt::lbxd7 is also equal) 7 ....i.xb5 8 tbxb5
9 tt::lf3 can be met by 9 . . . h6 1 0 .i.d3 a6 9 tt::lc 3 tt::lxd5 with equality.
.i.d7 ! ?, while 7 .i.d3 tt::l xe4 8 .i.xe4 b) 6 e5 tt::lfd7 7 tlJ2f3 (7 f4? is
.i.b4+ 9 .i.d2 .i.xd2+ 10 'ii'xd2 tt::ld7 is strongly answered by 7 . . .tt:Jxe5 8 tt::lxe6
equal) 7 . . . .i.e7 8 tt::lf3 a6 9 .i.d3 b5 is .i.xe6 9 fxe5 tt::lc6 1 0 tt::lf3 .i.c5, while
the same as a variation of the Queen's 7 .i.b5 'ii'b6 8 tt::l2f3 tbc6 is satisfac­
Gambit Accepted, but with an extra tory for Black) 7 . . . tt::lc 6 8 .i.f4 'ii'h6 9
move for Black. l:.b1 (9 c3 tbxd4 10 tt::lxd4 'ii'xb2 1 1
c) 4 dxc5 .i.xc5 5 .i.d3 (after 5 tt::lb5 .i.c5 with a level game) 9 . . . g6 1 0
exd5 exd5 6 tt::lb 3 .i.b6 7 tt::lf3 tbc6 tt::lxc6 bxc6 led to unclear play in
Black is a tempo up in comparison D.Howell-A.Grigorian, World Junior
with Section 5.5) 5 . . . tbc6 6 tbgf3 tbf6 Ch, Erevan 2007.
7 0-0 'ii'c7 8 'ii'e2 (8 exd5 tbxd5 is c) 6 exd5 tt::lxd5 7 tlJ2f3 .i.b4+ ! ?
equal) 8 . . .0-0 and now 9 c3 is an odd (gaining time for development) 8 .i.d2
transposition to the Colle System - see (8 c3? tbxc3) 8 ...0-0 9 .i.xb4 (9 .i.c4
Section 1 3.2. Instead, 9 e5? ! can be can be met by 9 . . . e5 ! ? 10 tbb5 e4, as in
met by 9 ... tt::ld7 10 .i.xh7+ �xh7 1 1 the game Fedorchuk-Martinovic, Aix­
tt::lg 5+ �g6 or 9 . . . tt::lg4 ! ?. les-Bains 201 1 ) 9 ... tt::lxb4 gives Black a
satisfactory position. Interesting com­
plications are possible; for example, 1 0
c 3 e5 ! ? ( 1 0 ...tlJ4c 6 proved sufficient
for equality in Dgebuadze-Eingom,
Metz 20 1 1 ) 1 1 tt::lxe5 ( 1 1 tbb5 tt::ld5 1 2
.i.c4 .i.e6 1 3 tbxe5 tbc6 14 tt::lxc6 bxc6
15 tbd4 tbxc3 ! ) l l .. .'ii'e7 ( l l . ..l:.e8 is
also possible) 12 f4 ( 1 2 'ilfe2 can be an­
swered with 12 . . .l:.e8) 12 ... tt::l8c6 1 3
.i.c4 tt::lxe5 1 4 fxe5 .i.e6 ! i s unclear.
S eS
After 5 exd5, 5 . . . exd5 leads to Sec­
tion 5 .4. 5 . . . tt:Jxd5 is an alternative,
when 6 tt::le4 cxd4 7 tt::lxd4 .i.e7 leaves
4 tt::lf6
•.• Black safe. and 6 tbb3 cxd4 7 tt::lbxd4
52 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

transposes to line 'c' in the previous i..e7 10 l:.e l tt::lc 5 I I tt::lb 3 tt::lxd3 1 2
note. However, 6 dxc5 ! ? is already 'ii'xd3 tt::lb4 1 3 'ii'd 1 d 3 14 tt::lfd4 'ii'b 6.
less inoffensive. After both 6 . . . �xc5 7 White also achieves very little by 6
tt::le4 i..e7 8 c4 tt::lb4 9 1i'xd8+ 'iii>xd8 1 0 �b5 tt::lc 6, 6 tt::lb 3 cxd4 7 tt::lbxd4 tt::lc6
�d 1 tt::l4c6 and 6 . . . tt::ld7 7 g3 ( 7 tt::lb 3 or 6 dxc5 tt::lc6 7 tt::lb3 tt::ldxe5 .
tt::lxc5 8 'ii'd4 'ii'b6 9 i..c4 tt::lxb3 and 7 6 tt::lc6 7 i..d3
•••

c4 tt::l5f6 8 tt::lb 3 'ii'c 7 lead to equal Less logical continuations are 7


play) 7 . . . �xc5 8 i.. g 2 b5 ! ?, Black i..e2 'ii'b6 (7 . . . f6 ! ?) 8 tt::lb 3 cxd4 9
doesn't have serious problems, but cxd4 a5 1 0 a4 i..b4+ and 7 tt::lb 3 cxd4
White has a preferable game. 8 cxd4 'ii'b6 9 i..d2 (9 �e3 a5) 9 . . . f6,
5 ... tt::lfd7 (D) with chances for both sides.
With the text-move, White shows
his willingness to play a gambit in or­
der to keep the initiative. However,
Black is by no means obliged to accept
·
the pawn, or to do so on white's
terms:
5.1.1 : 7 1i'b6
••• 52
5.1.2: 7 h6••• 53

5. 1 . 1
7 Wb6 8 0-0 cxd4
•••

It is useful to fix the pawn in its


place, whether Black plans to take the
pawn next move or not.
This is quite a well-known theoreti­ 9 cxd4 (D)
cal position that arises more often via
the move-order 3 . . . tt::lf6 4 e5 tt::lfd7 5
tt::lgf3 c5. The strategic struggle moves
in a very different direction from the
standard 3 . . . c5 lines. Throughout this
1 . . . e6 repertoire we shall see many
such metamorphoses; if we are pre­
pared for them, then it is most likely
our opponents who will find them­
selves on unfamiliar ground.
6 c3
Additional pawn-tension in the cen­
tre will rather suit Black: 6 c4 tt::lc6 7
cxd5 exd5 8 i.. d3 (8 i..b5 can be met
by 8 . . . 1i'b6 or 8 . . . i..e 7) 8 . . . cxd4 9 0-0 9 a5! ?
.••
TARRASCH VARIATION 53

For the time being, Black keeps his Ch, Guingamp 20 1 0) 1 6 ... g4 ! ? is un­
options open, while making it hard for clear.
White to secure his hold on d4 ( 1 0 10 lL!bl
lL!b3 ? ! can be met by 10 ... a4). IO 'ilfa4?! offers White nothing good
The straightforward 9 ... lL!xd4 1 0 after 10 .....te7 (or 10 ... g5) I I a3 0-0 1 2
lL!xd4 'ilfxd4 I I lL!f3 'ilfb6 permits lL!b1 (Stojanovic-N.Ristic, Bar 2007)
White's pieces to assume an aggressive I 2 . . . f6, when Black has the initiative.
posture right away. Although Black's However, these two variations de­
defensive resources appear adequate, serve serious attention: 10 a4 lL!xd4
rather accurate play is demanded of I l lLlxd4 'i!fxd4 1 2 lLlf3 'ii'b6 1 3 i.b5
Black in this case. Here are some criti­ i.c5 ( 1 3 . . . i.e7 was tried in Alonso­
cal lines showing the typical cut and L.Bronstein, Villa Martelli 20 1 0) 1 4
thrust: lL!g5 ( 1 4 i.f4 0-0 1 5 l:tc 1 f6) 14 . . . h6
a) 1 2 a3 i.e? ( l 2 . . . lL!c5 ! ? 1 3 i.c2 15 'ii'h5 0-0 16 lLlf3 f6 and 10 l:.e 1 h6
i.d7 is another idea) 1 3 1i'a4 ( 1 3 ( 1 0 . . . a4 ! ?) 1 1 'ilfa4 ( 1 1 lLlb1 lL!xd4 1 2
i.e3 ! ? is unclear) 1 3 ... 0-0 1 4 i.g5 ( 1 4 lL!xd4 Wxd4 1 3 lL!c3 i.c5) l l . . .'ii'b4
'ii'c 2 ! ?) l4. . .i.xg5 ( 1 4 . . . f6 i s possible 1 2 'ii'c 2 lL!xd4 1 3 lL!xd4 'ii'xd4 1 4 lLlf3
too) I 5 i.xh7+ (better than 1 5 lL!xg5? ! 'ilfc5 .
h6, Fehlhammer-Badestein, Germany lO lbxd4 1 1 lL!xd4 Wxd4 12 lL!c3
•••

(team event) 1 992/3) 1 5 . . . �xh7 1 6 Now 1 2 . . . i.b4 ! ? leads to unclear


lL!xg5+ 'it>g8. play, while 1 2 ... i.e7 1 3 l:.el 'ii'b6 is
b) 12 'ilfe2 h6 13 l:.b1 ( 1 3 i.e3 also acceptable.
i.c5) 13 ... lL!c5 (Black can also try
1 3 . . . a5) 14 i.e3 1i'd8 I 5 i.b5+ i.d7 5. 1 . 2
I 6 l:.fc 1 a6 I 7 i.xd7+ lLlxd7, Gopal­ 1 h6 (D)
•••

Wang Hao, Sarajevo 20 1 0. The position after 7 . . . i.e7 8 0-0 g5


c) 1 2 'ii'a4 'ii'b4 (not letting the has occurred more often, but this little
white queen transfer to the kingside) pawn move has its advantages.
I 3 'it'c2 lL!c5 14 i.d2 ( 1 4 i.xh7 i.d7
I5 i.d2 'i!fg4) 14 . . . 'ilfa4 15 b3 'it'd?
( 1 5 . . . 'ilfa3 ! ?) 1 6 lL!d4 ( 1 6 i.b4 can be
answered by 1 6 . . . b6, and I 6 i.e2 by
I 6 . . . b6 1 7 b4 i.a6) 1 6 . . . 'i!fd8 1 7 l:.ac l
i.d7 1 8 i.e2 lL!e4 I 9 lLlb5 i.c5, Ehl­
vest-Akobian, USA Ch, Saint Louis
2009.
d) 12 'ilfc2 ! ? h6 13 i.d2 ( 1 3 a4
lL!c5 ! ? or 1 3 i.e3 i.c5 14 i.d2 a5)
1 3 ... i.b4 (or 13 ... lL!c5 ! ? 14 i.e3 i.d7)
I4 i.f4 g5 I 5 i.e3 i.c5 1 6 l:.fe 1
(A.Sokolov-Housieaux, French Team
54 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

Black wishes to advance on the b3) 1 0 liJb1 ? ! g4 1 1 hxg4 hxg4 1 2


kingside, but the real target is the d4- lDg5 cxd4 1 3 cxd4 liJxd4 14 'ii'xg4
pawn. He is waiting for White to castle lDc6 1 5 lDxf7 lDdxe5 gives Black the
before playing 8 . . . g5 . initiative.
8 0-0 b4) 10 liJb3 ! (best) 10 . . . g4 ( 1 0 . . . c4
White can sidestep Black's main 1 1 i.. xg5 'it'c7 1 2 i..e2 is unclear) 1 1
idea, although without particular suc- lDg5 ( 1 1 hxg4 c4 1 2 i..b 1 cxb3) and
cess: 8 a3 (8 liJfl ?! is met by 8 . . .cxd4 now both 1 1 . . .i.. h6 1 2 lDxe6 fxe6 1 3
9 cxd4 'ii'b6 and 8 h4? ! with 8 . . . 'ii'b6) i.. xh6 llxh6 1 4 'ii'd2 llh8 1 5 i.. g6+
8 . . . 'ii'b6 9 0-0 a5 10 dxc5 (Black can �f8 16 'ii'f4+ �g7 1 7 'it'f7+ �h6 1 8
be content with 10 'it'a4 i..e7 1 1 lle 1 i.. xh5 'ii'g 8 and 1 1 . . .i..e7 1 2 lDxe6
0-0 1 2 lDfl cxd4 1 3 cxd4 f6, while 1 0 fxe6 1 3 i.. g6+ c.ti>f8 14 hxg4 hxg4 1 5
c4 cxd4 1 1 cxd5 exd5 i s unclear) 'it'xg4 .l:.h4 1 6 1i'f3+ <3i;g7 1 7 g 3 (or 1 7
10 . . . liJxc5 1 1 i..c 2 a4 1 2 c4 i..e 7, with 'ii'f7 + �h8 1 8 g3 lDdxe5) 1 7 . . . 'ii'f8 1 8
approximately equal chances. i..f4 i.. g 5 lead to very interesting com­
8 g5 9 dxc5
... plications, but White cannot rely on
This capture is considered strongest emerging with an advantage.
in the analogous line with 7 . . . i..e 7, but After the text-move, White will
here it turns out to be less effective. most likely lose a pawn, but in return
However, it is by no means simple for he can expect to gain a significant ini­
White to cast doubt on his opponent's tiative.
risky-looking play. For example: 9 i..xc5 10 liJb3
••.

a) 9 c4 i.. g7 ! ? (9 ... g4 1 0 cxd5 exd5 Now:


1 1 e6 fxe6 1 2 i.. g6+ <tre7 leads to an a) 10 ... i..b6 1 1 lle 1 g4 12 liJfd4
unclear position, Grtittner-Kummerow, lDcxe5 1 3 i..b5 ( 1 3 i.. f4? ! is weaker,
Bad Wiessee 2009) 1 0 cxd5 exd5 1 1 since White loses time after 1 3 . . . 'it'f6
e6 fxe6 1 2 i.. g6+ �f8, and Black's 14 i.. g 3 h5, Handke-P.Meister, Bun­
central pawn-majority fully compen­ desliga 2008/9) 13 . . . 'ii'f6 gives White
sates for his awkwardly placed king. enough compensation for the pawn.
b) The inclusion of the moves 9 h3 b) The line 10 . . . i.. f8 (Watson) 1 1
h5 sharpens the position even further. liJbd4 ( 1 1 lle 1 i.. g7 1 2 i..b5 0-0 is un­
Then: clear) 1 1 . . .liJdxe5 12 lDxe5 liJxe5 1 3
b 1 ) 10 g4? ! hxg4 1 1 hxg4 'ii'b6 1 2 i..c2 i.. g7 also deserves attention. In
lle1 ? ! ( 1 2 'it'b3 i s relatively better) comparison with line 'a' , Black's king­
1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3 cxd4 liJxd4 14 liJxd4 side is better defended.
'ii'xd4 1 5 liJb3 'ii'a4 1 6 i.. xg5 .l:.g8 1 7
f4 .l:.xg5 ! 1 8 fxg5 'ii'f4 with the initia­ 5.2
tive for Black (Watson). 4 exd5 'ii'xd5 (D)
b2) 10 c4? ! g4 1 1 cxd5 exd5 12 e6 This variation is rather popular in
fxe6 13 i.. g6+ �e7 and again Black is modern practice. The pawn-centre will
to be preferred. soon be totally liquidated, so White's
TARRASCH VARIATION 55

preferable game for Black, Shaw­


Dizdarevic, Khanty-Mansiisk Olym­
piad 20I O.
a2) 7 �c4 gains time by attacking
the queen, and is more promising. Af­
ter 7 . . . 'ii'c6 8 'iVe2 0-0 9 0-0, if Black
continues with conventional develop­
ment by 9 . . . lt:Jbd7 I 0 lt:Jb3 b6 1 1 lt:Jxc5
'ifxc5 I 2 b3 �b7 I 3 �b2, then White
keeps a small advantage, as in the
game Adams-Lemos, Gibraltar 201 1 .
Black can obtain satisfactory play by
9 . . . �e7 ! ? 10 lt:Jb3 'iic 7, not allowing
hopes of preserving an advantage are the exchange of the bishop for the
pinned firmly on his piece activity knight.
and lead in development. Black ' s Returning to the very beginning of
long-term prospects ar e quite pleas­ the variation 5 dxc5, let us note that
ant, with his central majority likely to the reply 5 . . . �xc5 is not obligatory:
be an asset in many middlegame sce­ b) 5 . . . lt:Jf6 ! ? leads to unclear play
narios. after 6 lt:Jgf3 'Wxc5 or 6 lt:Jb3 'iixd 1 + 7
S lt:Jgf3 'iti>xd 1 �e7.
This is the main line. The uncon­ c) 5 . . ...xc5 6 lt:Jgf3 (6 lt:Je4 'iVM+
ventional continuation 5 tt'lb3 cxd4 6 7 lt:Jc3 lt:Jf6 8 �d3 lt:Jbd7 9 a3 'ii'd6 is
lt:Jxd4 (6 'iixd4 lt:Jf6) 6 . . . tt'lc6 7 �e3 unclear, Timofeev-Morozevich, Rus­
(or 7 lt:Jgf3) 7 ... �d7 ! ? is safe for Black, sian Ch, Taganrog 201 1 ) 6 . . .lt:Jf6 7
but by playing 5 dxc5 ! ? White can �d3 �e7 8 0-0 (8 -.e2 lt:Jbd7) 8 . . . 0-0
also hope to keep the initiative: also deserves attention, immediately
a) After 5 . . . �xc5 6 lt:Jgf3 lt:Jf6 the achieving the scheme of development
following lines are possible: from line 'a2' .
a I ) 7 �d3 0-0 8 'iie2 (8 0-0 b6 9 s cxd4 6 �c4 'ifd6
...

lt:Jb3 �a6 ! ?) 8 . . . lt:Jbd7. This develop­ For the time being, Black hinders 7
ment is considered optimal for Black. lt:Jb3 or 7 lt:Je4, which will be met by
Now 9 0-0 b6 leads to approximate 7 . . . 'iVM+. White will need to spend
equality, while attempts by White to some time winning back the d4-pawn,
sharpen the situation are unsuccessful; and Black intends to use this respite to
e.g., 9 lt:Je4 b6 10 lt:Jxc5 _.xc5 I I �e3 develop his pieces.
'iia 5+ ! ? or 9 b3 b6 10 �b2 �b7 I I 7 0-0 (D)
0-0-0 (the more cautious I I 0-0 leads The plan with queenside castling, 7
to a level game) I I . . .:ad8 ( l l . . .�e7 'ii'e2 lt:Jf6 8 lt:Jb3 lt:Jc6 9 .i.g5, sharpens
and I l . . .a5 are also possible) I 2 g4? ! the play, but does not promise White
( 1 2 �b1 i s unclear) 1 2 . . .'iid6 with a the adva�tage - partly because at
56 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

some point he will need to take time same) 9 . . . lbxe4 10 l:txe4 is interesting.
out to play ..tb l . Black has two satis­ Now Black must carefully negotiate
factory continuations: some complications: 10 ... .te7 1 1 lbxd4
a) 9 ... 'ii'b4+ 1 0 .td2 'ii'b6 1 1 0-0-0 (Psakhis gave the line 1 1 ..tf4 'ii'c5 1 2
..td7 and now both 12 ..tg5 h6 1 3 .th4 ..td3 ..tf6 1 3 a3 a5) l l . . .e5 ! 1 2 .tf4
(or 1 3 .txf6 gxf6 14 lbbxd4 0-0-0 exf4 1 3 lbxc6 'ii'xd l + 14 l:txd l bxc6
with equality) 13 . . . .te7 and 12 .tf4 15 l:.de l ..tf8 16 .l:txe7 .te6 1 7 l:t l xe6
.tc5 1 3 lbe5 0-0 14 g4 l:tad8 (not fxe6 1 8 l:tc7 ( 1 8 l:txe6? ! l:te8 19 l:txc6
14 . . . l:tfd8 ? ! 15 lbxf7 ! ..txf7 16 g5, l:te l + 20 .tn �f7) 1 8 . . . h5 ! 19 l:txc6
with a strong attack) are unclear. l:th6, with a complicated position and
b) 9 . . . a6 1 0 0-0-0 b5 1 1 ..td3 .te7 unbalanced material.
12 l:the 1 ( 1 2 lbfxd4 lbxd4 1 3 lbxd4 8...lbc6 9 lbbxd4
'ii'd5 ! 14 .txf6 .txf6 1 5 �b1 .tb7 ! 16 The rook move 9 l:te 1 is again wor­
lbxb5 ..te7 ! 1 7 lbc7 'ii'c5 1 8 lbxa8 thy of attention, this time in connec­
.txg2 gives Black the initiative - Vitiu­ tion with the continuation 9 . . . ..te7 10
gov; 1 2 �bl .tb7 1 3 lbfxd4 lbxd4 14 lbbxd4 lbxd4 11 'ii'xd4 ( 1 1 lbxd4
lbxd4 .td5 15 l:the 1 ? ! .txa2+ ! 16 leads to our main line) 1 l . . .'ii'xd4 12
'iti>xa2 'ii'xd4, Dovliatov-Mai akhatko, lbxd4 .td7 1 3 .tf4 l:tc8 14 .tb3 0-0.
Baku 2008) 12 . . . h6 ! 13 .th4 0-0 14 However, White's advantage in this
.tg3 'ii'd5 15 �bl .tb7 with equal ending is minimal; e.g., 15 lbf5 .tc5
play (Vitiugov) . 1 6 lbd6 l:tb8, Meszaros-A.Graf, Neu­
stadt an der Weinstrasse 2009.
9 lbxd4 10 lbxd4
•••

The queen exchange by 1 0 'ii'xd4


'ii'xd4 1 1 lbxd4 does not create diffi­
culties for Black here: l l . . . ..td7 1 2
.te2 ( 1 2 .tf4 l:tc8 1 3 .tb3 .tc5 1 4
l:tad l 0-0 1 5 lbf3 l:.fd8 1 6 lbe5 .tb5
led to equality in the game Pavasovic­
Roiz, Valjevo 2007) 1 2 . . . .tc5 13 lbb3
.tb6 14 a4 a5 ! 15 .tf3 l:tc8 16 c3 .tc6
with equal play, Lobzhanidze-Luther,
Cappelle Ia Grande 2002.
10 .te7 (D)
•••

Opening theory mostly focuses on


7...lbf6 10 . . . a6 and 1 0 . . . .td7.
Still not letting the d2-knight move With the text-move, Black prepares
to the centre. to castle kingside right away in order
8 lbb3 to provide safety for his king first and
8 l:.el lbc6 9 lbe4 ! ? (the white only then to occupy himself with the
knight occupies this square all the development of the queenside.
TARRASCH VARIATION 57

11 0-0 12 i.b2 (D)


•.•

1 1 b3
White has plenty of alternatives, of
which this is just a sample: 12 'ii'f4
•••

a) 1 1 .ie3 0-0 1 2 'ii'f3 can be met 1 2 ... i.d7 is reliable but passive; for
by 1 2 . . . 'ii'c7 1 3 .ib3 .id7. example, 1 3 'ii'e2 l:.fe8 14 l:tad 1 'ii'b6
b) 1 1 tlJb5 'ii'c6 1 2 'ii'e2 0-0 1 3 1 5 tlJf3 l:tad8 1 6 tlJe5 i.c8, Khalif­
i.f4 b6 (or 1 3 . . .a6 ! ? 1 4 tlJd4 'ii'c 5) 1 4 man-Kholmov, Minsk 1 985. As a mat­
lt::ld4 'ii'c5 ( 14 . . .'ii'e4 ! ?) 1 5 c 3 .ib7 1 6 ter of principle, Black wants to place
:tfe 1 l:.ad8, Radulski-Dizdarevic, Bel­ his queen's bishop on the long diago­
grade 20 10. nal, but then he has to watch out for
c) 1 1 c3 0-0 ( l l . ..iLd7 ! ?) 12 'ii'f3 piece sacrifices on e6. 1 2 . . . 'ii'c7 ! ? also
"flc7 1 3 .ib3 i.d7 14 i.g5 ( 1 4 i.f4 e5 deserves attention: 1 3 'ii'f3 ( 1 3 'ii'e2
1 5 i.g3 i.d6 1 6 tlJf5 i.xf5 1 7 "flxf5 can be answered by 1 3 . . . b6 and 1 3
e4 1 8 i.xd6 "flxd6 1 9 l:tad 1 'ifh6) lt::lb5 by 1 3 . . . 'ii'c6) 1 3 . . .a6 14 l:tfe 1
14 . . . lt::ld5 ( 14 ... a5 ! ?) 1 5 i.xe7 lt::lxe7 i.b4 ! ? (or 14 ... b5) with a complicated
1 6 l:tfe 1 l:tad8, Mista-Gdanski, Polish game.
Ch, Warsaw 20 10. 13 'ii'e2
d) 1 1 :tel 0-0 1 2 c3 i.d7 1 3 i.b3 After 1 3 lt::lf3 b6 14 i.e5 'ii'g4 1 5
( 1 3 i.g5 ?! is poor due to 1 3 ...'ii'c 5, tlJd4 i.b7 White gets nothing, while
while 13 'ii'f3 'ii'b6 ! ? 14 i.b3 a5 gave he should not allow himself to be pro­
Black the initiative in Topalov-Kam­ voked into playing 1 3 g3 ? ! , because
sky, Sofia (7) 2009) and Black can after 1 3 . . . 'ii'c7 14 'it'f3 a6 ! 1 5 a4 ( 1 5
choose 1 3 ... 'ifb6 ! ?, 1 3 ...'ii'c7 or 1 3 ...e5 l:tad 1 can be met by 1 5 . . .i.c5 ! ? or
14 tlJf3 e4 1 5 'ii'xd6 i.xd6 1 6 lt::ld4 h6. 1 5 ... b5 1 6 tlJc6 i.b7 1 7 tlJxe7+ 'ii'xe7
Obviously, these variations are not with equality) 14 ... i.c5 15 l:tad l ( 1 5
of a forcing nature. White keeps some l:tfe1 b6 ! ?) 1 5 . . .e5 1 6 tlJf5 b5 ! Black
pressure, but Black retains a satisfac­ takes over the initiati�e.
tory position without any weaknesses. 13 ..tc5 14 :tad1
••.
58 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Or 14 tbf3 b6 1 5 'ife5 ( 1 5 .i.e5 'ife4 This check is unlikely to pose real


is also equal) 1 5 ... 'ifxe5 16 tbxe5 .i.b7 problems for Black. We examine 5
with equality, Berbatov-Dizdarevic, tbgf3 in the next two sections.
Khanty-Mansiisk Olympiad 20 10. 5 .i.d7 6 'ii'e2+
•••

14 b6
••• This is the logical follow-up to the
The game is roughly equal; for ex­ bishop check. The attempt to secure a
ample, 1 5 a3 ( 1 5 tbf3 can be answered minimal advantage by 6 .i.xd7+ 'ii'xd7
by 1 5 . . . .i.b7, while 1 5 g3 'ife4 is 7 tbe2 (7 'ii'e2+ is met by 7 . . . 'ii'e6 and
equal) 1 5 . . . a5 ( 1 5 . . . .i.b7 16 tbxe6 fxe6 7 tbgf3 by 7 . . .'ili'e6+ 8 'ii'e2 tbc6)
1 7 b4 allows White the initiative) 1 6 7 . . .tbf6 8 0-0 .i.d6 9 dxc5 .i.xc5 1 0
b4 ! ? axb4 1 7 axb4 .i.xb4 1 8 tbxe6 tbb3 .i.b6 1 1 a4 0-0 1 2 a5 .i.c7 has lit­
.i.xe6 19 .i.xe6 l:tae8 20 'ii'c4 'ii'xc4 2 1 tle chance of success .
.i.xc4 tbe4, with a likely draw i n the 6 .i.e7 7 dxc5 tbf6 8 tbb3
•••

ending. After 8 tbgf3 0-0 9 tbb3 l:te8, 1 0


.i.e3 amounts to a mere transposition
5.3 of moves. If White does not even tem­
4 exd5 exd5 (D) porarily defend the c5-pawn and plays
simply 10 0-0, then 10 . . . .i.xc5 1 1 'ili'd3
.i.b6 ( l l . . .a6 ! ?) 12 .i.g5 (or 12 .i.xd7
tbbxd7 1 3 .i.f4 l:te4) 12 . . . .i.xb5 1 3
'ifxb5 tbbd7 gives Black a pleasant
game.
8 0-0 9 .i.e3 l:te8 10 ttJf3
•••

If White plans to castle queenside,


then it is best to do so right away: 1 0
0-0-0 a6 1 1 .i.xd7 (after 1 1 i.d3 ? ! a5
1 2 'ifd2 a4 1 3 tbd4 .i.xc5 problems
appear for White) 1 l .. .tbbxd7 1 2 'ili'd3
( 1 2 'ifd2 a5 1 3 a4 can be met by the
equalizing 1 3 . . .'ii'c 7 14 tbe2 tbxc5 1 5
tbxc5 .i.xc5 1 6 .i.xc5 'ili'xc5 or the
We saw a similar position with re­ more adventurous 1 3 . . . b6 ! ?) 1 2 . . . 'ifc7
versed colours in Section 3 .4, and 1 3 tbe2 ( 1 3 tbf3 aS ! ?) 1 3 . . . tbxc5 14
there White even tried to seize the ini­ tbxc5 .i.xc5 1 5 .i.xc5 (15 tbd4 tbg4)
tiative. Here Black will be content 15 . . . 'ifxc5 leads to a standard type of
with equality, as he is playing with a situation. Both sides have chances,
tempo less. The move tbd2 may not be since with his king on the queenside, it
the most active development for the is hard for White to create real play
knight, but it is of course quite a useful against the isolated d-pawn.
move. 10 a6 1 1 .i.d3 .i.a4 12 ttJfd4
•••

5 i.b5+ tbbd7
TARRASCH VARIATION 59

Now: 8 0-0 lbe7 (screening the king from a


a) As mentioned above, 1 3 0-0-0? ! check on the e-file) 9 lbb3 .i.d6 he
is by now rather risky. Black stands only partially succeeds: the g8-knight
well after 1 3 . . . .txb3 14 lbxb3 lbxc5, could not move to its most active
but he can already count on more: square, f6, and the bishop was unable
1 3 . . . lbxc5 14 lDf5 lbxd3+ 15 'ifxd3 to stay on the a7-g 1 diagonal because
.i.f8 gives Black the initiative. The of the threat of a strategically disad­
prophylactic move 1 6 �b1 would now vantageous exchange. This explains in
be wise, since the inappropriately ac­ brief the motivation behind my two
tive 1 6 .i.g5 ? ! h6 17 .th4 g5 1 8 .i.g3 recommendations for Black in this po­
.tb5 19 'ii'd2 l:r.e2 20 'ii'd4 (as in sition, namely that Black aspires to
B.Vuckovic-Baklan, Paris Ch 2004) develop his minor pieces to their best
leads to hardships for White after squares.
20 . . . l:r.c8. 5 lbf6
•••

b) 13 0-0 ! ? lbxc5 1 4 lbxc5 .i.xc5 Immediately solving the knight's


15 c3 (after 1 5 'iff3? ! 'ii'b6 Black development problem. The attempt to
gains the initiative) maintains approxi­ bring both the knight and the bishop to
mate equality. their optimal squares by 5 . . . a6 is con­
sidered in Section 5.5.
5.4 6 .i.b5+
4 exd5 exd5 5 lbgf3 (D) If White aspires to an opening ad­
vantage, then actually he has no other
choice. 6 .i.d3 is met by 6 . . . c4 and in
the case of 6 .te2 lbc6 7 0-0 .te7 (or
7 . . . .td6) 8 dxc5 .txc5 9 lbb3 .i.b6
Black has no difficulties - this posi­
tion (with the unimportant addition of
the move . . . a6) will be found in the
next section.
6 .td7 7 .i.xd7+
•••

The artificial 7 .i.e2 changes little:


7 . . . lbc6 8 0-0 .i.e7 9 dxc5 .i.xc5 10 c4
( 1 0 lbb3 .i.b6 1 1 .tg5 0-0) 1 0 . . . dxc4
with an equal position. Black also had
quite a satisfactory game after 7 . . . cxd4
This is White's strongest continua­ 8 lbxd4 .i.d6 9 0-0 0-0 10 lD2f3 h6 in
tion. The d5-pawn will soon become Dvoirys-Bareev, USSR Ch, Leningrad
isolated, and to compensate for this 1 990.
weakness, Black needs to generate ac­ 7 lbbxd7 8 0-0 .te7 9 dxc5
•••

tive piece-play. In the main theoretical White does not have to hurry with
line 5 . . . lbc6 6 .i.b5 .i.d6 7 dxc5 .i.xc5 the exchange of pawns. After 9 l:r.e 1
60 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

0-0 1 0 ti:lfl (or 10 c3 .i.d6) it is logical (or 1 2 ti:l2b3 tt:lce4 1 3 'iif5 'iic7 with
for Black to relieve the tension in the equality), then 12 ... .i.d8 1 3 ti:lb3 tt:lce4
centre by playing 10 ... cxd4 ! ? 1 1 ti:lxd4 14 .i.e3 g6 follows, with chances for
.ic5, with a good position, though both sides. Also in the variation 1 1
10 . . . l:te8 1 1 c3 'ifb6 is not bad either. ti:l2f3 0-0 1 2 tt:le5 ( 1 2 .i.f4 l:He8 1 3
9 tt:lxc5 (D)
•.• tt:le5 'iic 8) 1 2 . . . 'ii'c 8 Black stands no
worse and in the case of 1 3 'iif3 .:te8
14 ti:lf5 tt:lce4 15 c3 .i.c5 16 ti:ld3 .ib6
or 1 3 .i.f4 ( 1 3 .i.g5 tt:lce4 14 .i.h4?!
.i.c5) 13 ... .:te8 14 1Vf3 (14 .:te l is
equal) 14 ... tt:le6 he can even try to
seize the initiative himself.
b) 1 0 ti:lb3 tt:lce4 is another line
where Black has active piece-play.
After 1 1 .i.e3 0-0 12 'ii'd 3 ( 1 2 .i.d4
.:te8) 12 . . . l:.e8 1 3 .:tad l 'iic 7 Black
calmly finishes his development, while
the d5-pawn remains only a nominal
weakness. 1 1 ti:lfd4 promises White
little more: l l . . .ti:ld6 ! ? (a compara­
The structure has now become more tively rare move: the knight volun­
defined. The d4-square is at White's tarily retreats from the centre, but is
disposal, but the d5-pawn is unlikely ready to occupy a useful post at c4 and
to come under any real threat for some at the same time hinders White's in­
time to come. Nevertheless, its long­ tended ti:lf5) 12 .i.f4 0-0 1 3 .:te l .:te8,
term vulnerability remains White's with a satisfactory game for Black.
main hope. Black also has support­ 10 0-0 11 tt:ln l:r.e8 12 .i.e3
•••

squares for his knights, and for the White plans .i.d4, freeing the e3-
next few moves both players will seek square for the knight.
to manoeuvre their pieces into better 12 tt:le6
•••

positions. Black prevents his opponent's in­


10 .:tel tentions. After 12 . . . 'ii'c 7, the variation
The d2-knight will head for fl , with 1 3 .i.d4 tt:le6 14 .i.e5 ( 14 tt:le3 is an­
an eye to moving to e3 at a later point. swered by 14 . . . ti:lxd4 15 ti:lxd4 .i.c5 -
This is probably the plan that poses the exchange of the white bishop for
Black the most difficulties. Other ideas the knight is in principle advantageous
are less fruitful, as they fail to threaten for Black since his own bishop will
the safety of the d5-pawn: have good prospects) 14 . . . 'ii'b6 1 5
a) After 1 0 ti:ld4 1Vd7 Black takes tt:le3 .:tad8 i s also acceptable for Black
control of the f5-square. If White per­ However, 1 3 c3 tt:le6 transposes to our
sists and continues 1 1 'iif3 0-0 1 2 ti:lf5 main line in any case.
TARRASCH VARIATION 61

13 c3 illustration of Black' s ideas. He has


Or 1 3 lLld4 file? 14 lLlxe6 ( 1 4 c3 achieved his goal, and experiences no
..tc5) 14 .. .fxe6 1 5 i.d4 i.c5 with an difficulties whatsoever after 1 1 h3? !
equal position since 1 6 ..txf6 is met by lLle4, 1 1 i.g5 h6 ( 1 l . . .i.g4 ! ?) 1 2 i.h4
1 6 . . .filf4. g5 1 3 ..tg3 lLle4 14 lLlfd4 l::te 8 or 1 1
13 JWc7 14 fild3 a6
•• l::te 1 i.g4 1 2 h3 i.h5 1 3 i.f4 ( 1 3 ii.g5
White has not succeeded in putting 'ii'd 6; 13 i.e3 l::te 8 14 i.xb6 'ii'xb6)
real pressure on the d5-pawn. An ap­ 13 . . . l:te8. These lines illustrate an al­
proximate equilibrium has been cre­ most ideal outcome for Black.
ated. Both sides have plenty to play So, if White wishes to fight for an
for, although a draw seems the most advantage, he needs to hinder his op­
probable result. ponent's intentions. We discuss:
5.5.1 : 6 c4! ? 61
5.5 5.5.2: 6 dxc5 62
4 exd5 exd5 5 lLlgf3 a 6 (D) 5.5.3: 6 i.e2 64

5.5. 1
6 c4!?
This rare move is rather venomous.
Abandoning the idea of methodical
play against an isolated queen's pawn,
White relies on his lead in develop­
ment. Although the inactive d2-knight
is an obstacle to White's central initia­
tive, Black faces some distinct chal­
lenges in the lines that follow.
6 ...lLlf6 7 cxd5
Less accurate is 7 i.e2 cxd4 8 cxd5
(8 0-0 lLlc6 9 cxd5 'it'xd5 ! ? 10 i.c4
Behind this modest-looking move 'ifc5 1 1 b4 'ii'h5 is equal), since then
lies the ambitious idea of placing the besides 8 . . . lLlxd5, which transposes to
g8-knight and f8-bishop on their best the note to White's 8th move, 8 ...'ifxd5
possible squares: the knight on f6 and is also possible. In that case after 9
the bishop on the a7-gl diagonal. The i.c4 ! 'ii'h5 (9 . . 'iic 5 ! ? 10 'ii'e2+ i.e7)
.

variation 6 c3 lLlc6 7 dxc5 (7 i.d3 al­ 10 0-0 lLlc6 1 1 lLlb3 i.e7 (the risky
lows Black to equalize by 7 . . . c4 8 1 l . . .i.g4 ! ? 1 2 l::te l + i.e7 1 3 lLlbxd4
file2+ file? or 7 ... cxd4 ! ? 8 lLlxd4 lLlxd4 0-0-0 leads to unclear play) 1 2 lLlfxd4
9 cxd4 'iVe7+) 7 . . . i.xc5 8 lLlb3 i.b6 9 'ii'xd l 1 3 l::txd 1 lLlxd4 14 lLlxd4 0-0
i.d3 lLlf6 10 0-0 ( 1 0 'ii'e2+ i.e6) White keeps no more than a minimal
10 . . . 0-0 (Wang Yu-Roiz, World Team advantage.
Ch, Beersheba 2005) can serve as an 7...lLlxd5 (D)
62 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

7 . . . cxd4 8 .i.c4 (8 .i.e2 ! ?) 8 . . . b5 9 ttlxg2+ 1 2 �fl .i.h3 1 3 �g l ( 1 3 ttlg5


.i.b3 'ii'e 7+ 10 �fl d3 is unclear and can be met by 1 3 ... ttle3++ ! ? 14 �e l
leads to a sharper fight. ttlc2+) 1 3 . . . f5, with equality.
9 cxd4 10 ttlb3 ttlb6 1 l .i.d3 .i.e7
...

12 ttlfxd4 ttlxd4 13 ttlxd4 0-0


White's game deserves preference,
but Black is close to equality; for ex­
ample, 14 l:.el .i.f6 15 ttlb3 ttla4 or 14
ttlf5 .i.f6 1 5 'ii'f3 l:.e8.

5.5.2
6 dxc5 (D)

8 .i.c4
8 .i.e2 cxd4 9 0-0 ttlc6 1 0 ttlb3 .i.e7
( 1 0 . . . .i.d6 ! ?) 1 1 ttlbxd4 ( 1 1 ttlfxd4
0-0) 1 1 .. .0-0 1 2 ttlxc6 bxc6 remains an
alternative. White's position is prefer­
able, but the activity of Black's pieces
compensates for the defects of his
pawn-structure.
8 ttlc6
•••

8 . . . b5 9 .i.xd5 (9 .i.e2 can be met by Black receives a little present from


9 . . . c4) 9 . . 'ii'xd5 10 0-0 ttlc6 1 1 dxc5
. his opponent: now the f8-bishop gets
.i.xc5 12 ttle4 (or 1 2 ttlb3 'ii'xd l 1 3 to c5 in one move. Of course, White
l:.xd l .i.e7 1 4 .i.e3 0-0 1 5 l:.ac l l:.d8) does have a specific idea in mind; oth­
1 2 . . . 'it'xd l 1 3 l:.xd l .i.e7 14 ttld6+ erwise this move would be relegated
( 1 4 .i.f4 0-0 15 l:.ac l l:.d8 16 l:.xd8+ to a small footnote.
ttlxd8 17 .i.d6 .i.b7 is another possi­ 6 .i.xc5 7 ttlb3
•••

bility) 14 . . . .i.xd6 1 5 l:.xd6 (Navara­ 7 .i.d3 'ii'e7+ 8 'ii'e2 ttlc6 9 ttlb3


Volkov, Russian Team Ch, Dagomys .i.b6 is considered in line 'c2' of the
2008) also deserves attention. Black next note.
should then play 1 5 . . . ttle7, little by lit­ 7 .i.b6 8 .i.g5!?
•••

tle achieving equality. White must act vigorously. Other


9 0-0 moves:
White achieves nothing by 9 'ii'e2+ a) The indifferent 8 .i.e2?! ttlf6 9
due to 9 . . . .i.e7 ! 10 dxc5 ttlf4 1 1 'ii'e4 0-0 0-0 10 .i.g5 ttlc6 1 1 c3 l:.e8 gave
TARRASCH VARIATION 63

Black the initiative in Pavasovic-Diz­


dar, Murska Sobota 2006.
b) The fanciful 8 'ii'e2+ also does
not pose any particular problems for
Black: 8 ... tt:le7 9 i.e3 tt:lbc6. Now
White can spend a further tempo pre­
paring to castle kingside, but 10 'ii'd2
0-0 1 1 i.e2 i.xe3 12 'ii'xe3 .l:te8 1 3 0-0
tt:lg6 14 'ii'd2 'ii'f6 15 c3 tt:lf4 allowed
Black the initiative in Emelin-Erdos,
Berlin 2009. Castling queenside allows
Black good counterplay: 10 0-0-0 0-0
1 1 i.xb6 'ii'xb6 1 2 <ii'b l (or 1 2 tt:lfd4
.l:te8) 1 2 . . . i.f5 . A more careful choice The plan with queenside castling is
is 10 i.xb6 'ii'xb6 I I 'ii'd2 0-0 1 2 i.e2 better than it was on the previous
i.g4 1 3 0-0, with equality. move, but still only leads to unclear
c) 8 i.d3 is more natural. Now play: 9 'ifd2 0-0 10 0-0-0 ( 1 0 i.d3 can
8 . . . tt:lf6?! is unpleasantly met by 9 be met by 10 . . . tt:lbc6 or 10 . . . h6 ! ? 1 1
'ii'e 2+, so Black should give a queen i.f4 tt:lbc6 1 2 0-0-0 a5 with the initia­
check himself: 8 . . . 'ii'e 7+. Then: tive) 10 . . . tt:lbc6; for example, 1 1 h3
c I ) The feeble continuation 9 i.e2 ( 1 1 Wbl ! ?) 1 1 . . . l:.e8 1 2 i.e3 ( 1 2 g4
lt:lf6 10 0-0 0-0 1 1 l:.el (not I I i.g5 ? ! aS) 1 2 . . . i.f5 1 3 tt:lfd4 i.g6 14 h4 l:.c8
tt:lc6, when Black has the initiative) 1 5 h5 i.e4 and Black leads in the race
l l . . . tt:lc6 leaves Black comfortable. to attack, de la Villa-Topalov, Palma
c2) After 9 'ii'e2 Black can enter an de Mallorca 1 992.
ending by 9 . . . i.g4 10 0-0 ( 1 0 'it'xe7+ 9 tt:lbc6 10 0-0 h6 11 i.h4
•••

tt:lxe7 I I tt:lfd4 tt:lbc6 1 2 i.e3 tt:le5 1 1 i.. xe7 'ii'xe7 1 2 l:te l i.e6 is
leads to an equal position) 10 . . . 'ii'xe2 equal, while I I i.f4 0-0 ( l l . ..i.g4 ! ?)
I I i.xe2 tt:lf6 12 h3 i.h5 or 9 . . . tt:lc6 1 2 .l:te 1 ( 1 2 h3 tt:lg6) deserves atten­
10 i.g5 ( 1 0 0-0 'ifxe2 I I i.xe2 tt:lf6 is tion. Then 1 2 . . . i.g4 1 3 h3 i.h5 14 c3
equal) 10 ...'ii'xe2+ (or 10 .. .f6 1 1 i.e3 ! ? l:.e8 1 5 i.e3 i.c7 1 6 tt:lc5 l:.b8 is quite
i.xe3 1 2 fxe3 with unclear play) I I good, and 1 2 . . . tt:lg6 1 3 i.g3 ( 1 3 i.e3
Wxe2, when I I . ..i.g4, I I . . .tt:lge7 and is met by 1 3 . . . d4 and 1 3 i.xg6 fxg6 14
1 1 ...lt:lf6 ! ? all give Black good chances i.e3 with 14 . . . i.g4) 1 3 . . . i.g4 14 h3
of equalizing. i.h5 can lead to interesting complica­
8 ... tt:le7 (D) tions: 15 i.e2 i.xf3 1 6 i.xf3 'ili'g5 is
A small achievement for White. equal, while 15 c3 f5 ! ? gives Black
Black should avoid 8 . . .tt:lf6 9 'ili'e2+ good counterplay.
i.e6, as he may then experience some 1 1 0-0 12 :tel
•••

difficulties. In the case of 1 2 c3 White needs to


9 i. d3 consider 12 . . . g5 ! ? 1 3 i.g3 f5 .
64 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

12 Ji.e6 13 c3 'ii'd7
••• . . . i.f8xc5), but on the other hand,
Black frees himself from the pin White' s bishop is inactively placed on
and obtains a satisfactory game thanks e2, and may even get in the way of
to his active b6-bishop. White's other pieces.
In the variation 6 dxc5 ii.xc5 7
5.5.3 lt:lb3, the retreat of the bishop to the
6 .i.e2 (D) b6-square looked best, but in this case
This modest placement of the white 9 . . . i.a7 is equally deserving of atten­
bishop is better than 6 Ji.d3 c4 7 .i.e2, tion, and we shall bear both moves in
when White can expect no advantage mind as we discuss the main continua­
after 7. Ji:Jc6 8 0-0 Ji.d6 or 7 .. .'�Jf6 ! ? 8 tions below.
0-0 Ji.d6 9 b3 (9 lt:le5 0-0) 9 . . . b5 . 10 i.g5
10 i.d3 returns the tempo that Black
has lost with his bishop. Then 10 . . . 0-0
1 1 h3 ! ? ( 1 1 Ji.g5 can be answered by
l l . . .lt:lc6, while 1 1 c3 leads to a posi­
tion from the game Wang Yu-Roiz that
I described as an "almost ideal out­
come" at the start of Section 5 .5)
l l . . .lt:le4 ( l l . ..'i!i'c7 ! ? 1 2 lt:lbd4 lt:lc6)
12 lt:lbd4 lle8 leads to chances for
both sides.
10 'ii'd 3 0-0 1 1 .i.e3 is too slow to
give Black problems. After l l . . .i.xe3
( l l . . .lle8 ! ? is also possible) 12 'i!i'xe3
lle8 1 3 'ii'd2 ( 1 3 'it'd3 .i.g4) he can
6 lt:lf6 7 0-0 .i.e7
••• choose between 1 3 . . . lt:le4 (equalizing)
7 . . . lt:lbd7 ! ? is very rare but interest­ and 1 3 . . . .i.g4. More vigorous action is
ing. Then 8 lt:le5 ? ! is well met by required of White.
8 . . . i.d6, while 8 .:te l .i.e7 9 lt:lfl 0-0 After 10 c4 0-0 (or 10 . . . lt:lc6 1 1
10 lt:lg3 lle8 looks quite acceptable .i.g5 0-0, if the bishop is on a7) 1 1
for Black. It is hard to say if White can i.g5 ( 1 1 cxd5 can be answered by
derive any real benefit from his devel­ 1 l . . .'ii'xd5, and 1 1 c5 ii.c7 1 2 i.g5 by
opment advantage after 8 c4 .i.e7 9 1 2 ... h6 1 3 .i.h4 lt:lc6) 1 l . . .h6 1 2 .i.xf6
cxd5 0-0 1 0 l:.e l ( 1 0 d6 .i.xd6 1 1 lt:lc4 'ii'xf6 1 3 cxd5 lld8 little by little Black
i.c7) 1 0 . . . lt:lxd5 1 1 lt:le4 lt:l5f6. achieves equality.
8 dxcS .i.xcS 9 lt:lb3 .i.b6 10 0-0 11 c3 lieS
•••

Black has accomplished his idea of To counter the threat of .i.xf6, Black
placing his kingside minor pieces on sets his sights on the e2-bishop. This is
their best locations, albeit with some the most natural reaction, but it is
loss of time ( . . . Ji.f8-e7xc5 rather than worth examining the pawn sacrifice
TARRASCH VARIATION 65

l l . ..liJc6 12 �xf6 'ili'xf6 1 3 'ii'xd5 �f5, after 1 6 �xa6 �e6 1 7 'ili'b5 bxa6 1 8
when the activity of Black's pieces 'ii'xc6 'ii'xb2 1 9 liJbd4 �xd4 20 cxd4
provides compensation: 14 liJbd4 l:.fe8 'ii'b5 or 1 6 �d3 �g4 1 7 l:r.fl �xf3 1 8
1 5 lDxf5 l:.xe2 1 6 'ili'b3 'ili'xf5 1 7 'ili'xb6 'ili'xf3 'ii'xf3 1 9 gxf3 ( 1 9 l:.xf3 l2Je5 20
'ii'b5 1 8 'ii'xb5 axb5 is equal, while 14 l:.g3+ l2Jg6) 19 . . . l:.ad8 20 �e4 f5 .
l:.ad 1 �c2 1 5 l:.d2 l:.ad8 1 6 'ii'c4 l:.xd2 13 �xf2 l2Je4+ 14 �g1 ltJxgS 15
17 l2Jbxd2 l:.e8 and 14 liJfd4 l:.ae8 1 5 ltJxgS 'ii'xgS 16 �f3
.i.f3 �d3 1 6 l:.fe 1 l2Je5 1 7 liJd2 (not Black's defence is simpler after 1 6
1 7 'iixb7? l:.e7) 17 . . . 'ii'f4 1 8 l:.ad l ( 1 8 �xa6 l:.e6 1 7 �b5 l:.xe 1 + 1 8 'ii'xe 1
l::te 3 l2Jg4) 1 8 . . .l:.e7 are both unclear. �d7 . Now he needs to play very ac­
12 l:.el !? (D) curately to retain approximate equal­
ity.
16 :xe1+ 17 'ii'xe1 �e6 18 l2Jd4
•.•

Black also holds his ground in the


case of 1 8 lDc5 'ii'e7 1 9 lDxe6 fxe6 20
�g4 e5 2 1 l:.d 1 'ii'd6 22 'ii'd2 d4 23
'ii'c 2 (23 cxd4 l2Jc6 24 dxe5 'ii'xe5)
23 ...�h8 24 cxd4 ltJc6 25 dxe5 'ii'xe5 .
18 �d7 19 b4 'ii'f6 20 �xdS l2Jc6
•••

21 'ii'f2 (D)
After 2 1 l:.d 1 liJxd4 22 l:.xd4 �c6
or 2 1 'ii'f l 'ii'g6 22 l:r.e1 l:.f8 it is diffi­
cult for White to strengthen the pres­
sure.

This move looks at first like an


oversight, but it is in fact the strongest
continuation for White.
12 �xf2+
•••

After 1 2 . . . �e6 or 12 . . . l2Jbd7 White


stands better. However, if the bishop is
on a7, Black has an extra possibility to
complicate the play by 1 2 . . . 'ii'b6 ! ?.
Then 1 3 liJbd4 ltJe4 and 1 3 �e3 l:.xe3
work out well for Black, while 1 3
tL!fd4 liJbd7 14 .i.e3 ( 1 4 �f3 l2Je4)
14 . . . 'ili'c7 1 5 l2Jc2 �b8 1 6 g3 l2Je5 is
unclear. The critical 1 3 �xf6 'ii'xf2+
14 �h 1 gxf6 1 5 'ii'xd5 (or 1 5 liJbd4 21 'ii'xf2+ 22 �xf2 l:.d8
•••

tLlc6 1 6 :n 'ii'e 3 1 7 �xa6 l2Jxd4 1 8 White has just a small advantage in


cxd4 'ii'h6) 1 5 . . .l2Jc6 leads to equality the ending.
6 Stei n itz Variation

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 tLlc3 tLlf6 (D) We should also note that the pawn


By playing 3 . . .tLlf6 Black again at­ exchange 4 exd5 exd5 transposes to
tacks the e4-pawn, forcing its advance Section 3.3.
or exchange. The Winawer Variation, 4 e 5 tLlfd7
3 . . . .Jib4, is the main alternative, and White can now decide among sev-
has the same initial goal. eral schemes of development:
5 tLlf3 (Section 6. 1 ) is an idea of a
type we have seen before: White
seeks to establish piece control over
the central squares. Although this
variation enjoys some popularity,
Black has no real trouble.
In the line 5 tLlce2 (Section 6.2)
White demonstrates diametrically
opposite intentions - he is going to
support his pawn-centre with the
moves c3 and f4. This leads to a
very complicated opening battle
with chances for both sides.
• 5 f4 c5 6 tLlf3 tLlc6 7 i.e3 (Section
In this chapter we shall examine 4 6.3) is the most dangerous continu­
e5, but White can also maintain the ation for Black. He has quite a wide
status quo in the centre by 4 .JigS choice of possibilities, of which I
(Chapter 7). have elected to focus on 7 . . . cxd4 8
Besides these two main possibili­ tLlxd4 .i.c5 (usually very sharp),
ties, the rarely played 4 .Jid3 should be 7 . . . cxd4 8 tLlxd4 'ii'b6 (the most
briefly mentioned. However, in this forcing) and the calmer 7 . . . .i.e7.
case Black easily secures a comfort­
able game: 4 . . . c5 5 exd5 (5 tLlf3 cxd4 6. 1
6 tLlxd4 e5 7 tLlf3 i.b4) 5 . . . cxd4 6 5 tLlf3 (D)
tLlb5 (6 .i.b5+ i.d7 and now 7 .i.xd7+ 5 'ii'h5?! is a speculative move with­
ifxd7 8 'ii'xd4 tLlc6 9 'ii'd l exd5 or 7 out any real substance. 5 . . . c5 6 tLlf3
ifxd4 .i.xb5 8 tLlxb5 tLlxd5) 6 . . . tLlxd5 cxd4 (6 . . . tLlc6? allows White to dem­
7 tLlf3 .i.b4+. onstrate the one idea behind his queen
STEIN/1Z VARIATION 67

move: 7 tLlg5 g6 8 'i!Vf3 f5 9 tLlxe6 i.f6 i.e? ( 1 l . . .h6 ! ?) 1 2 i.xe7 tLlxe7


tLldxe5 10 'i!Vxd5 gives White the ad­ led to equality in Zdebskaya-E.Daniel­
vantage) 7 tLlxd4 (7 tLlb5 is met by ian, Romanian Women' s Team Ch,
7 ... tLlc6) 7 ...'i!Vb6 (7 ... g6 plans 8 'i!Vg4?! Eforie Nord 2009.
tLlxe5 9 'iiVg3 tLlbc6, but 8 'iiVg5 ! ? is a 6 tLlc6
.•.

better try) 8 tLlb3 tLlc6 leaves Black Before taking on c5, Black wants to
with the initiative. provoke 7 i.f4, although 6 . . . i.xc5 and
6 . . . tLlxc5 are viable too.
7 i.f4 (D)
Approximate equality arises after 7
i.g5 ! ? i.e? (7 . . . 'i!Va5 ? ! 8 a3 'i!Vxc5 9
tLlb5 allows White the initiative) 8
i.xe7 'fixe? 9 i.b5 'flxc5 10 0-0 0-0
1 1 :e 1 a6, as in Hai"k-Eingorn, Metz
1997.

White is willing to allow the ex­


change of his pawns on d4 and e5 .
5 c5 6 dxc5
•••

Black has no difficulty after 6 i.b5


tLlc6; e.g., 7 dxc5 i.xc5 8 0-0 0-0, 7
i.xc6 bxc6 8 0-0 i.e? (or 8 . . . cxd4) or
7 0-0 cxd4 8 tLle2 (8 tLlxd4 is well met
by 8 . . . tLldxe5 ! 9 .:e 1 i.d6) 8 . . . a6 9
i.xc6 bxc6 10 'i!Vxd4 c5 ! ? ( 10 . . .'ii'c7 is We have reached the basic position
unclear, Barle-Pcola, London 2009) of this line. The standard variation
1 1 'i!Vf4 and now Black can choose now runs 7 . . . i.xc5 8 i.d3 f6 9 exf6,
1 1 ... i.b7 or 1 1 . . . h6. with Black choosing between 9 ... lLlxf6
The active development of the other and 9 .. .'it'xf6. However, other methods
white bishop by 6 i.g5 also has little of seeking counterplay are also possi­
impact: 6 . . . 'i!Vb6 (6 . . . 'i!Va5 ! ?) 7 dxc5 ble, in which Black is in no hurry to
i.xc5 8 'i!Vd2 tLlc6 (Black can also try liquidate the e5-pawn by playing . . . f6,
8 . . h6 ! ? 9 i.h4 g5 1 0 i.g3 'i!Vxb2) 9
. or even avoids it altogether. These al­
0-0-0 (9 tLla4 is met by 9 . . . i.xf2+ 10 ternative plans feature activity on the
'i'xf2 'i!Vb4+, and 9 i.b5 by 9 . . . d4 1 0 queenside or (given the opportunity) on
i.xc6 'i!Vxb2) 9 . . . 'i!Va5 1 0 a 3 0-0 1 1 the kingside with ... g5 . The e5-pawn
68 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

can prove a useful target; not only can


the white pieces become tied to its de­
fence, but it also blocks lines that they
would like to use. Thus we shall ex­
amine the following moves:
6.1.1: 7 a6••• 68
6.1.2: 7 tLlxc5 68
•••

6.1.3: 7 i..xc5 69
•.•

6. 1 . 1
7 a6
••.

This preliminary move is useful for


Black in practically all cases, and keeps
the possibility of taking on c5 with ei­ Now White faces a major decision.
ther knight or bishop. Then: 8 h4
a) 8 i.. d 3 lLlxc5 9 0-0 i..e7 is con­ Making use of the fact that he has
sidered in note 'b' to White's 8th move not yet castled, White makes an ag­
in Section 6. 1 .2. gressive advance on the kingside. This
b) After 8 a3 i.. xc5 9 i.. d 3 f6 is a risky plan that can easily rebound
(9 ... h6 ! ?) 1 0 exf6 lLlxf6, the inclusion on White. Other moves:
of the moves a3 and ... a6 turns out not a) 8 ..ie2 is too meek. After 8 .....ie7
to be in White's favour. 9 0-0 Black can choose 9 ... a6 or 9 ... 0-0.
c) 8 'ifd2 i.. xc5 9 i.. d3 (9 a3 0-0) b) The standard continuation is 8
9 ... b5 (9 . . . h6 ! ? 10 h4 i..b4 1 1 a3 i.. a5 ..id3 ..ie7 9 0-0, but it does not prom­
1 2 b4 i.. c 7, Zakharov-V.Gaprindash­ ise White an advantage. One move is
vili, Moscow 1 997) 1 0 h4 ( 1 0 0-0 h6 is 9 ... a6, when 10 l:tel g5 11 ..ig3 h5 1 2
unclear) 10 . . . 'ii'b6 1 1 �fl f6 1 2 exf6 h 3 'ii'b6 gives Black the initiative,
lLlxf6 gave Black the initiative in the while 10 'ii'd2 0-0 1 1 a3 f5 12 exf6
game Nepornn iashchy-Volkov, Novo­ i.xf6 was satisfactory for Black in
kuznetsk 2008. I.Schneider-Ivanchuk, European Clubs
d) 8 tLla4 ! ? is more of a challenge to Cup, Ohrid 2009. The simple 9 . . 0-0 .

Black's idea. After 8 . . . tLlxc5 9 tLlxc5 10 :te l tLlxd3 1 1 1i'xd3 ..id7 is fine for
i.. xc5 10 'ifd2 (or 10 c3 0-0 1 1 'ii'd 2, Black too, while 9 . . . g5 ! ? is interest­
but 10 ..id3 ? ! is weaker in view of ing; then 1 0 ..ie3 ( 1 0 ..ig3 h5 1 1 h3
10 ... 'ii'b6 1 1 0-0 'it'xb2) the game is 'it'b6 gives Black the initiative, Huerga
approximately equal, but the exchange Leache-Jerez Perez, Barcelona 2006)
of the passive c3-knight is neverthe­ 10 ... tLlxd3 1 1 'it'xd3 is unclear.
less to White's benefit. c) 8 'ii'd2 a6 (8 ... ..ie7 ! ?) 9 0-0-0 b5
10 'it'e3 is similar to our main line be­
6. 1 .2 low, and indeed White should proba­
7 lLlxcS (D)
••• bly prefer precisely this move-order.
STEINITZ VARIATION 69

d) Attacking the c5-knight by 8 a3 l l b4 12 tt:'le2 0-0 13 tt:'led4 .i.d7


•••

i..e7 (8 . . . a6 ! ?) 9 'ii'd2 (after 9 b4? ! 14 h5


tt:'ld7, 1 0 b 5 tt:'la5 1 1 .i.d3 'ii'c7 1 2 tt:'le2 Or 14 .tg5 tt:'lxd4 1 5 tt:'lxd4 a5 1 6
tt:'lc4 gives Black the initiative, while cltbl a4, as i n de Firmian-Raicevic,
I 0 tt:'lb5 0-0 1 1 c4? ! a5 is also pleas­ Lone Pine 1 980.
ant for him, Aronian-Lputian, Erevan 14 tt:'lxd4 15 tt:'lxd4 a5 16 �b1 a4
•••

200 1 ) 9 ... a6 1 0 b4 tt:'ld7 does not pro­ Black's chances are preferable in
vide any benefit for White and only this double-edged position, G.Gusei­
weakens his position. nov-Monin, St Petersburg 2000 .
8 .te7
•••

Black brings the idea of liquidating 6. 1 .3


White's e-pawn by ...f6 back into the 7 .txc5 (D)
•••

picture. He can also be quite happy af­


ter 8 ... a6, which practically rules out
queenside castling by White. 9 h5 ? !
and 9 'ii'd 2? ! are both well met by
9 ... d4, but 9 a3 is more natural. After
9 ... b5 1 0 h5 h6 1 1 b4 (White should
avoid 1 1 .:th4? d4 and 1 1 .:th3 ? ! 'ii'c 7,
while I l l2Jd4 ! ? .i.b7 leads to unclear
play) 1 l . . .tt:'ld7 1 2 .i.d3 Black can
choose 1 2 ... .te7 or 1 2 . . . 'ii'c 7. Black
can also combine the two ideas by
9 . . . .te7 ! ?, meeting 10 b4 by 10 . . . tt:'ld7
and 10 .:th3 with 10 . . . 0-0.
9 'ii'd2
Whether he likes it or not, it is best 8 .td3 h6! ? 9 h3
to evacuate the king from the centre. White must take Black's . . . g5 idea
After 9 h5 (or 9 .:th3 ? ! 'ii'b6) 9 .. .f5 seriously; for example, 9 0-0 g5 ! ? 10
(9 ... 0-0 ! ? and 9 ... 'ii'b6 ! ? are also inter­ .i.g3 h5 1 1 h4 g4 1 2 tt:'lg5 tt:'ldxe5 13
esting) 10 h6 g6 Black takes the initia­ .:te l ? ! ( 1 3 .i.b5 is unclear) 1 3 ... f6 14
tive. .i.xe5 tt:'lxe5 1 5 .:txe5 fxe5 1 6 .i.g6+
9 a6
... c;tf8 17 ltJce4 (Faizrakhmanov-Yuzha­
The beginning of a pawn advance. kov, Belgorod 2008) 1 7 . . . .tb6 with an
Piece-play by 9 ... 0-0 1 0 0-0-0 'ii'b6 (or advantage for Black. The prophylactic
10 . . . f5 ! ? 1 1 exf6 .i.xf6) may even be retreat 9 i.. g 3 does not completely
more effective. solve this problem: 9 . . . a6 10 0-0 ( 1 0
10 0-0-0 bS 1 1 1i'e3 a3 .ta7 1 1 b4 ? ! tt:'ld4) 1 0... g5 ! ? ( 1 0... b5
The careless 1 1 .i.d3? ! b4 1 2 tt:'le2 is also possible) 1 1 .:te l g4 1 2 l2Jd2
b3 1 3 cxb3 tt:'lb4 leads to hardship for 'ii'g 5 is unclear. The attempt to castle
White. queenside by 9 'ii'e 2 a6 1 0 0-0-0 ( 10
70 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

0-0 is still met by 10 . . . g5) 1 0 . . . ..tb4 ! ?


1 1 .i.d2 ..te7 does not look too attrac­
tive. Finally, the radical rejoinder 9 h4
weakens the kingside and strengthens
the effect of the undermining . . . f6: af­
ter 9 ... 0-0 ! ?, Black can meet 1 0 0-0 by
1 0 . . . f6 1 1 exf6 'ii'xf6, and need not
fear complications such as 1 0 llh3 f6
1 1 .:tg3 lbdxe5 1 2 ..txh6 llf7 or 1 0
'ii'd2 f6 1 1 ..txh6 lbdxe5 .
9...0-0
Queenside play with 9 . . . a6 10 0-0
b5 remains an alternative for Black.
10 0-0 f6 11 exf6 'ii'xf6 7 lbf3 is weaker in view of 7 . . . 'ii'b6 8
We now see a reason for the modest a3 f6. A more critical reply is 6 . . . cxd4
advance of White's h-pawn: on h3 it is 7 cxd4 f6. Then:
far less of a target than it would be on a) The consistent line is 8 f4 fxe5,
h4. Nevertheless, White cannot count when after 9 fxe5 .i.b4+ 10 �f2 (1 0
on an advantage. ..td2 'ii'h4+) 1 0 . . . 0-0+ ( 1 0 . . . 'ii'h4+? !
12 ..te3 can be met by 1 1 g3) 1 1 lbf3 'ii'h4+
12 ..tg3 is similar to a standard theo­ ( l l . . .lbc6 ! ? has the ideas 1 2 a3 ..taS
retical line, which arises after 7 ... ..txc5 and 1 2 lbf4 lbxd4) 1 2 lbg3 ( 1 2 ..ti>g l
8 ..td3 f6 9 exf6 'ii'xf6 10 ..tg3 0-0 1 1 llxf3 1 3 gxf3 lbxe5) 1 2 . . . lbc6 1 3 ..te3
0-0. In that case, Black needs to avoid lbb6 14 ..te2 ( 1 4 ..ti>gl 'ii'g4) 1 4 . . . lbc4
l l .. .lbde5? 1 2 lbxe5 lbxe5 1 3 ..txh7+, Black stands well. 9 dxe5 has also
but in our slightly different position been tried, without particular success:
Black plays 12 ... lbde5 ! and takes over 9 ... 'ii'b6 ( 9 . . .lbc6 ! ?) 1 0 lbf3 lbc6 1 1
the initiative. lbc3 lbc5 also offers Black a good
12 b6! ?
••• game.
Both sides have chances. White can of course abandon the
idea of supporting his spearhead with
6.2 his f-pawn:
S lbce2 (D) b) 8 lbf4 ..tb4+ 9 ..td2 ..txd2+ (or
White prepares c3. Another move­ 9 . . . 'ii'h6 10 ..txb4 'ii'xb4+ 1 1 'ii'd2
order, 5 f4 c5 6 lLlf3 lbc6 7 lbe2, has 'ii'xd2+ 1 2 ..ti>xd2 �e7 with equality)
the same idea. 10 'ii'xd2 'ii'b6 ( 1 0 ...'ii'e7 !?) and now
s ...cS 6 f4 both 1 1 lbf3 fxe5 and 1 1 exf6 lbxf6
6 c3 looks more logical at first give Black equal play.
glance, but this is probably not so. c) 8 exf6 !? lbx f6 9 lbf3 ..td6 1 0
Black can simply play 6 . . . lbc6, when lbc3 0-0 1 1 ..td3 �6 transposes to a
7 f4 transposes to our main line, while line of the Tarrasch normally reached
STEINITZ VARIATION 71

via 3 li:Jd2 li:Jf6 4 e5 li:Jfd7 5 .td3 c5 6


c3 lbc6 7 lbe2 cxd4 8 cxd4 f6 9 exf6
li:Jxf6 1 0 li:Jf3 .td6, where White has
played the somewhat premature 1 1
lDc3.
One can draw the conclusion that af­
ter 6 c3 cxd4 7 cxd4 f6 White does not
achieve an advantage. That's why he
often starts with the move 6 f4 instead.
6 lt:Jc6
•••

We should consider whether it is


an opportune moment for Black to
tear apart White's pawn-chain by play­
ing 6 . . . cxd4. This exchange promotes White has now shown his cards. He
White's development, but after 7 li:Jxd4 has constructed a large pawn-centre at
lDc6 Black has every right to count on the cost of a delay in his development
equality. 8 .te3 is met by 8 ... 'ifb6, and internal weaknesses left in the
while 8 c3 lDxd4 9 cxd4 'ifb6 10 li:Jf3 pawns' wake. This gives Black grounds
lDb8 1 1 .te2 lDc6 1 2 0-0 .td7 is to seek active counterplay, often by
equal. A more principled line is 8 drastic tactical means: a piece sacri­
lDgf3 lDxd4 9 lDxd4 'ifb6 10 c3 .tc5 . fice with ... lDdxe5 or an exchange of­
Then 1 1 b4 .txd4 1 2 'ii'xd4 'ii'xd4 1 3 fer on f3. In the spirit of this strategy,
cxd4 lDb6 1 4 b5 .td7 and 1 1 b3 f6 1 2 . . . 'iVb6, ... .te7 and ... f6 are all natural
exf6 lDxf6 are equal, while 1 1 .te2 moves. However, not all of them seem
can be met by 1 1 . . . 0-0 1 2 0-0 li:Jb8, obligatory, and in any case one needs
also with equality, and 1 1 a4 with to start with something. We examine:
l l . . .a5 , intending . . .f6 soon (but not 6.2. 1 : 7...1i'b6 71
l l .. .f6?? 12 a5). 6.2.2: 7....te7 72
Overall, 6 ... cxd4 is an adequate re­
ply to White's tDce2 plan whether he 6. 2. 1
opts for 6 c3 or 6 f4. However, the 7 'ii'b6 8 lDf3 f6
•••

main line with 6 f4 lDc6 is more inter­ For the time being Black refrains
esting and leads to a richer game. from ... .te7, planning to play . . . .tb4+
7 c3 (D) should the opportunity arise.
White can wait a little while with 9 a3!?
this move, but the attempt to avoid it 9 g3 is an attempt to develop the
completely makes no sense. For ex­ fl -bishop. 9 . . . cxd4 and now:
ample, 7 lDf3 .te7 (7 . . . 'ifb6 8 g3 cxd4 a) Black's . . . .tb4+ idea is demon­
9 lt:Jexd4 lDc5) 8 g3 0-0 9 .th3 cxd4 strated in the variation 10 cxd4 fxe5
10 lt:Jexd4 lDc5 1 1 0-0 'ii'b6 gives 1 1 fxe5 .tb4+ 1 2 lDc3 ( 1 2 .td2? ! 0-0
Black the initiative. 1 3 .tg2 invites 1 3 ... lDdxe5 ! 14 dxe5
71 A ROCK·SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

IJ'\xe.5 with an attack) 1 2 ... 0-0 1 3 .i.f4 10 .i.e7 11 tL!c3


•••

( 1 3 ..th3? is met by 1 3 . . . l:.xf3) and Other continuations are less logi­


now Black can choose between main­ cal:
taining the tension by 1 3 ... .i.e7 ! ? and a) 1 1 g3 0-0 12 .i.g2 (after 1 2
equality with 1 3 . . . tL!dxe5 14 .i.xe5 ( 1 4 .i.h3? ! fxe5, White has reason to re­
dxe5 .i.a5) 14 ... tL!xe5 1 5 tL!xe5 .i.xc3+ gret the tempo spent on 9 a3) 1 2 . . . aS ! ?
16 bxc3 'ifh2 17 'ii'c 1 'ii'f2+ 1 8 �d 1 1 3 b 3 'ii'a7 gives Black the initiative.
'ii'x fl +. b) 1 1 h4 0-0 1 2 llh3 tLla5 ! ? 1 3 b4
b) 1 0 tL!exd4 is more reliable, but tL!c4 14 tLlc3 'ii'c 7 is unclear.
after 1 0 . . . fxe5 (or 10 . . . tL!xd4 1 1 cxd4 c) 1 1 b4 (still delaying piece devel­
fxe5 1 2 fxe5 .i.b4+ 1 3 �f2 .i.e7 14 opment) 1 1 .. .0-0 1 2 llb1 ( 1 2 'ii'd3 'ikc7
�g2 tLlb8 1 5 .i.d3 tLlc6 with equality, gives Black the initiative; 1 2 tLlc3? ! or
N.Kosintseva-Edouard, Cap d' Agde 1 2 tLlg3 may run into 1 2 ...fxe5 1 3 dxe5
rapid 20 1 0) 1 1 fxe5 ( 1 1 tL!xe6 tL!c5 ! tL!dxe5 ! ) 1 2 .. .fxe5 1 3 fxe5 (Black takes
1 2 tL!xf8 .i.g4) 1 l .. .tL!c5 1 2 .i.h3 .i.e7 the initiative after 1 3 dxe5 a5 14 b5 a4)
1 3 0-0 0-0 Black nonetheless stands 1 3 ... a5 14 tL!f4 ( 1 4 b5 ! ? llxf3 1 5 gxf3
well, Atlas-Luther, Austrian Team Ch .i.h4+ 1 6 tLlg3 tL!xd4 1 7 f4) 14 ... axb4
200 1/2. 1 5 tL!xe6 llxf3 1 6 'ii'xf3 tL!dxe5 1 7
9 cxd4 (D)
•.• 'ii'xd5 �h8 ! and Black can again be
happy.
l l fxeS 12 tL!a4
...

Or 1 2 fxe5 ( 1 2 dxe5 tL!c5) 12 ... 0-0


1 3 tL!a4 'ikc7.
12 'ii'c7 13 fxeS 0-0 14 .i.e2 tL!b6
•••

The game is double-edged.

6.2.2
7 .i.e7 (D)
.••

10 cxd4
1 0 tL!exd4 fxe5 1 1 fxe5 ( 1 1 tL!xe6
tL!c5) 1 1 ... tL!c5 ( 1 1 . . . tL!dxe5 ? 1 2 tL!xe5
tL!xe5 1 3 'ii'h 5+) 1 2 .i.e3 ! ? ( 1 2 .i.b5
.i.e7 is equal) 1 2 . . . 'ii'xb2 1 3 tLib5 de­
serves attention - it is possible that
the assessment of 7 ... 'ii'b6 as a whole
hinges on this line.
STEIN/1Z VARIATION 73

Black is in no hurry with the queen 9 . . . f5 ! ? or 9 . . . b5 ! ? 1 0 a3 ( 1 0 .i.h3 b4)


sortie . . .'ifb6. 10 . . . a5, seeking the initiative.
8 ll:lf3 0-0 d) 9 a3 f6 (9 . . . a5 is more common,
8 . . .f6 is also possible, but after 9 g3, although it is not in the least obliga­
9 a3, 9 h4 or 9 .i.e3 the reply 9 ... 0-0 tory to impede the advance b4) 1 0 b4
seems best in all cases; therefore it is cxd4 ( 1 o. . . fxe5 ! ?) l l ll:lexd4 ( 1 1 cxd4
logical to castle right away. can be met by l l . . .b5 ! ? 1 2 lLlc3 a6 or
9 .i.e3!? l l . . .'ii'b6, as considered in note 'c' to
White reacts to the change of the White's 1 1 th move in Section 6.2. 1 )
situation: he makes use of the absence l l . . .ll:lxd4 1 2 cxd4 ( 1 2 ll:lxd4 'ii'b6 )
of the black queen from b6 to plant his 12 . . .f5 with good prospects for Black
bishop on the vulnerable gl -a7 diago­ on the queenside.
nal, also strengthening his piece con­ 9 f6
..•

trol of the d4-square. The traditional approach. 9 . . . f5 1 0


Other standard moves offer Black .l:. g 1 b 5 1 1 a3 ll:lb6 1 2 .i.f2 c 4 deserves
additional possibilities: attention, as it leads to double-edged
a) 9 ll:lg3? ! f6 (9 . . .'iib6 is an alter­ wing play, Negi-Nguyen Ngoc, World
native) 1 0 .i.d3 cxd4 1 1 cxd4 fxe5 (or Junior Ch, Gaziantep 2008.
l l . . .'ii' b6 ! ? 1 2 a3 g6) 1 2 dxe5 .i.b4+ 10 g3
gave Black strong play in the game After 1 0 exf6 ll:lxf6 1 1 dxc5 ll:lg4
Musakaev-Hou Yifan, Khanty-Man­ 1 2 .i.gl ( 1 2 .i.d4 b6 1 3 cxb6 ll:lxd4)
siisk 2009. 1 2 . . . e5 Black seizes the initiative.
b) 9 h4 f6 10 llh3 ( 1 0 ll:lg3 can be 10 'ii'b6
...

met by 10 . . . 'ilb6; 10 a3 is also possi­ Nevertheless ! It is also quite good


ble) 10 . . . cxd4 (or 10 . . . b6) I I cxd4 ( 1 1 (and in the spirit of the ideas behind
ll:lexd4 ll:lc5) l l . . .b5 ! ?. 7 . . . .te7) to play 1 0 . . . fxe5 1 1 dxe5 b5,
c) 9 g3 and now 9 . . .'iWb6 10 .i.h3 advancing the pawn-mass.
cxd4 1 1 cxd4 f6 I 2 .i.xe6+ �h8 1 3 11 'ii'd2 fxe5
exf6 (not 1 3 .i.xd5 ? fxe5 I4 fxe5 l l . . .cxd4 1 2 ll:lexd4 fxe5 1 3 ll:lxe6
ll:ldxe5 ! ) 1 3 . . . ll:lxf6 14 .i.xc8 .i.b4+ · d4 14 .i.f2 lle8 (Negi) leads to com­
and 1 5 . . . .l:.axc8 gives Black enough plications.
compensation for the pawn. This rather 12 dxe5 lld8! ?
well-known variation can arise from Black intends the pawn-break . . . d4.
several move-orders. The other stan­ Kamsky-Ding Liren, Moscow 20 1 1
dard reaction, 9 . . . cxd4 10 ll:lexd4 ( 1 0 went 1 3 .i.h3 d4 14 .i.f2 ( 14 cxd4 cxd4
cxd4 can b e answered with 1 O . . . f6, in­ 1 5 ll:lfxd4 ll:ldxe5) 14 . . . d3 ( 1 4 . . . dxc3
tending 1 1 .i.g2 'ilb6, while 1 1 .i.h3? ! 1 5 'ii'xc3 ll:lf8) 1 5 ll:lc l with unclear
fxe5 1 2 .i.xe6+ �h8 gives Black the play. 1 3 .i.g2 d4. 1 4 cxd4 cxd4 1 5
initiative) 1 0 . . . ll:lc5 (or 1 0 . . .'.1>6) is ll:lfxd4 .i.b4 ! 1 6 lLlc3 ll:ldxe5 1 7 ll:lxc6
enough for approximate equality, but .l:.xd2, with equality, is also interest­
it appears more interesting to play ing.
74 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

6.3 6 lt:Jc6 7 i.e3 (D)


••.

5 f4 (D)

White's piece deployment was pro­


This is the most popular and prom­ posed by Boleslavsky: the e5-point
ising move. receives pawn support, while d4 is
S cS 6 lt:Jf3
••• protected by pieces. Black has several
The pawn exchange 6 dxc5 assists possibilities to seek counterplay. We
Black's development: 6 ... lt:Jc6 7 a3 (7 consider the following:
lt:Jf3 does not allow White to play 6.3.1: 7 cxd4 8 lt:Jxd4 i.cS
••• 74
'ii'g4, and 7 i.d3 is met by 7 ... lt:Jxc5) 6.3.2: 7 cxd4 8 lt:Jxd4 'iib6
••• 76
7 ... i.xc5 8 'it'g4 0-0 9 i.d3 (9 lt:Jf3 can 6.3.3: 7 i.e7
••• 78
be met by the solid 9 . . .f5 10 'ii'h3 i.e7
or 9 . . . 'it'b6 ! ? 1 0 lt:Jd 1 a5, with the ini­ 6.3 . 1
tiative) and now 9 . . . 'it'e7 ! ? 10 i.d2 f6 7 cxd4 8 lt:Jxd4 i.cS
•••

1 1 'ili'h4 h6 1 2 exf6 lt:Jxf6 1 3 0-0-0 e5 Now the pieces come into close
14 fxe5 lt:Jxe5 1 5 lt:Jf3 lt:Jxd3+ 1 6 contact, and pawn-play takes a back
cxd3 b5 (an improvement over the seat.
century older Spielmann-Alapin, Mu­ 9 'it'd2
nich 1 909) 1 7 l:.he1 'it'b7 gave Black Other moves give White little hope
the initiative in Short-Morozevich, of an advantage:
Reggio Emilia 20 10. 9 . . . i.xgl ! ? 10 a) 9 i.b5 can be met by 9 . . . 'it'c7 1 0
'ili'h3 h6 1 1 l:.xg1 lt:Jc5 is worth consid­ 1i'd2 ( 1 0 0-0 a6) 1 0 ... a6 or 9 . . . 0-0 ! ? 1 0
ering too, while there is another good 'ili'd2 lt:Jxd4 1 1 i.xd4 a6.
historical example: 9 . . .f5 10 'ii'h 3 i.b6 b) 9 i.e2 'iib6 10 lt:Ja4 'ili'a5+ 1 1 c3
( 1 0 . . . i.e7 ! ?) 1 1 g4? ! lt:Jc5 1 2 gxf5 ( l l lt:Jc3 invites a repetition) 1 l . ..lt:Jxd4
lt:Jxd3+ 1 3 'it'xd3 :txf5 and Black had 12 i.xd4 ( 1 2 lt:Jxc5 lt:Jxe2 1 3 'ili'xe2
the advantage in the game Tartakower­ lt:Jxc5 14 b4 'ii'a4) 1 2 . . . i.xd4 1 3 'it'xd4
P.Johner, Nuremberg 1 906. b6 with equal chances.
STEINITZ VARIATION 75

c) 9 a3 'ii'b 6 1 0 lt:Ja4 (after 1 0 d) 1 0 'ii'f2 ! ? a6 1 1 .i.e2 ( 1 1 0-0-0


lt:Jcb5 lt:Jxd4 1 1 .i.xd4 0-0, 1 2 b4 .i.xd4 transposes to note 'd' to White's 1 1 th
1 3 'ii'xd4 a5 leads to equality, while in move; 1 1 .i.d3? ! is poor in view of
the case of 1 2 .i.xc5 'ii'x c5 ! ? 1 3 .i.e2 1 1 . . . 'iih 6, while 1 1 lt:Jxc6 .i.xe3 1 2
f6 Black takes over the initiative) lt:Jxd8 .i.xf2+ 1 3 ..t.>xf2 l:.xd8 leads to
10 . . .'ii'a5+ 1 1 c3 (or 1 1 b4 'ii'xa4 1 2 a level position) l l . . .lt:Jxd4 1 2 .i.xd4
.i.b5 .i.xd4 1 3 .i.xa4 .i.xe3) l l .. ..i.xd4 'ii'c 7 1 3 0-0 b 5 .
1 2 .i.xd4 lt:Jxd4 1 3 'ii'xd4 ( 1 3 b4 lt:Jf3+) After the text-move ( 1 0 0-0-0), an
1 3 . . . 0-0 ! ? ( 1 3 . . .b6 is possible too) 1 4 interesting battle lies ahead: White re­
.i.d3 b 6 leads to equality. tains control of the centre, and both
9 0-0 (D)
... players will attack the enemy king.
10 a6
...

This is the standard way to seek


counterplay: Black plans to exchange
on d4 and then advance his b-pawn.
Zviagintsev's lO . . . .i.xd4 1 1 .i.xd4
'ii'a5 ! ? is well worth considering: Black
avoids spending a tempo on ... a6, seek­
ing to act in a more economical way.
Then:
a) After 12 .i.e3 l:.b8 13 ..t.>bl b5
14 lt:Je2 b4 ! (exchanging queens with
14 . . .'ii'xd2? ! 1 5 l:.xd2 is not in Black's
interest) 15 lt:Jd4 lt:Jxd4 1 6 'ii'xd4 .i.a6
1 7 f5 l:.fc8 1 8 fxe6 fxe6 an unclear po­
Now White's decision about where sition arose in Svidler-Zviagintsev,
to castle will define the nature of the Moscow 20 1 0.
middlegame struggle. b) 1 2 h4 l:.b8 1 3 l:.h3 b5 led to an
10 0-0-0 even sharper battle in Shirov-Grachev,
This is the usual choice. After other Lublin 20 1 1 : 14 f5 ! (White is willing
moves, Black doesn't run into particu­ to make major sacrifices to break
lar difficulties: through to the black king, but it is only
a) 10 h2 a6 1 1 0-0 lt:Jxd4 1 2 i.xd4 enough to draw) 14 . . . lt:Jxd4 ( 1 4 . . . b4 1 5
'iib6 1 3 .i.xc5 lt:Jxc5 ( 1 3 . . .'ii'xc5+ ! ?) f6 lt:Jxd4 may be more accurate) 1 5 f6
14 'ii'd4 .i.d7. b4 1 6 'ii' g5 lt:Jf5 1 7 .i.d3 h6 1 8 .i.xf5 !
b) The immediate 1 0 lt:Jce2 is pre­ hxg5 1 9 hxg5 bxc3 ! and the game
mature due to 1 0 . . . 'ii'e7 and l l . . .f6. ended with perpetual check.
c) 1 0 g3 ! ? (reserving the e2-square c) 1 2 �bl l:.b8 1 3 lt:Jb5 ! ? appears
for the c3-knight) 1 0 . . . a6 1 1 .i.g2 ( 1 1 tame by comparison with the lines we
lt:Jce2 'iih6) l l .. .lt:Jxd4 1 2 .i.xd4 .i.xd4 have just seen, but might promise a lit­
1 3 'ii'xd4 b5 1 4 0-0 l:.b8. tle more. 1 3 . . . 'ii'xd2 14 l:.xd2 a6 1 5
7'6 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Q:)d6 lLlxd4 16 :xd4 f6 1 7 exf6 lbxf6 1 3 llhfl ltJa5 is also unclear, Hou
I K .td3 ! ( 1 8 lbxc8 .l:.fxc8 permits Yifan-Nepomniashchy, Wijk aan Zee
B l uck easier equality, Zelcic-Zviagin­ 2008.
tsev, Rijeka 20 1 0) 1 8 . . . b5 ( 1 8 . . . .ltd7 13 .t b7 14 .l:. hgl :c8 15 .l:.g3 :es
•••

1 9 c4) 1 9 lbxc8 .l:.fxc8 20 a4 looks like Both sides have chances, Nijboer­
tedious prose, in which Black must Glek, French Team Ch 2003 .
(alas ! ) defend himself in a slightly
worse ending. 6.3.2
l l lbb3 7 cxd4 8 ltJxd4 'ii'b6 (D)
•••

This move leads to the most compli­


cated struggle. However, other moves
also have their points of interest:
a) 1 1 ..ti>bl lbxd4 1 2 .ltxd4 b5 1 3
'ii'e 3 'ilc7 1 4 .td3 .txd4 1 5 'ii'xd4 .l:.b8
gives Black counterplay.
b) 1 1 lbce2 lDa5 ! ? ( l l . . .'ii'e7 1 2
tiJb3 .txe3 1 3 'ii'xe3 f6 i s another pos­
sibility) 12 ltJg3 ( 1 2 b3 'ii'b6) 1 2 . . . b5
1 3 b3 .l:.b8 and Black holds the initia­
tive.
c) 1 1 h4 ltJxd4 1 2 .txd4 b5 1 3 :h3
( 1 3 h5 b4 14 ltJa4 .txd4 1 5 'ifxd4
'ii'a5) 1 3 . . . b4 14 ltJa4 .txd4 1 5 'ii'xd4
a5 1 6 .tb5 ( 1 6 h5 .ta6 and 1 6 c4 .tb7 Black is willing to complicate the
are also OK for Black) 1 6 . . . :b8 1 7 game immediately.
.td3 tiJb6 ( l 7 . . . .tb7 ! ?) 1 8 ltJc5 ltJd7 9 1i'd2
is equal. To keep the initiative, White needs
d) 1 1 'iff2 (planning an advanta­ to sacrifice the pawn. We already know
geous regrouping by .td3 and ltJce2) from Section 6.3 . 1 that 9 .te2 .tc5 and
l l . . ..txd4 ( l l . . .tiJxd4 12 .txd4 b6 ! ?, 9 a3 .tc5 are safe for Black, which
with the idea 1 3 .td3 ? ! f6 ! , also de­ leaves us with just a few other continu­
serves attention) 1 2 .txd4 b5 1 3 .te3 ations that we need to know about:
(or 1 3 .td3 b4 14 ltJe2 a5) 1 3 . . . 'ii'a5 ! ? a) 9 lba4 'ii'a5+ and now 1 0 ltJc3
14 '1t>bl b4 1 5 ltJe2 'ii'c 7 1 6 ltJd4 ltJxd4 maintains equality, while White should
17 .txd4 a5 is unclear, Szelag-Lamp­ avoid 1 0 c3? ltJxd4.
recht, Germany (team event) 2007/8. b) 9 .l:.bl ? ! .tc5 10 ltJa4 1i'a5+ 1 1
ll .tb4 12 .td3
••• c3 .txd4 ! 1 2 .txd4 ltJxd4 1 3 'it'xd4
After 1 2 a3 .te7 1 3 .td3 b5 the a3- ( 1 3 b4 tiJf3+) 1 3 . . . b6 gives Black the
pawn is a target for Black's counterat­ initiative.
tack. c) 9 ltJcb5 a6 (9 ... .tc5 ! ? can also be
12 b5 13 g4
••• tried) 10 ltJf5 .tc5 1 1 tiJbd6+ 'iftf8 12
STEIN/1Z VARIATION 77

'ii'h5 lt::ld8 13 lt::lxg7 �xe3 14 lt::lxe6+


(or 14 'ii'h6 rj;e7 15 lt::lgf5+) 14 .. .fxe6
15 'ii'h6+ with a draw.
9.. .'ii'xb2 10 l:.b1 'ii'a3 11 �b5
This more attractive than 1 1 lt::ldb5
'iia5 1 2 lt::lxd5 'ii'xd2+ 1 3 �xd2 exd5
14 lt::lc 7+ �d8 1 5 lt::lxa8 b6 or 1 1 l:.b3
'ii'a5 12 �b5 "ikc7. White has also
tried 1 1 lt::lcb5 'ii'xa2 12 l:.b3, but after
1 2 . . . 'ii'a l+ 1 3 rj;e2 l:.b8 ( 1 3 . . . rj;d8 ! ?)
14 lt::lc 7+ rj;d8 1 5 lt::ldxe6+ fxe6 1 6
lt::lxe6+ his attack i s only enough for a
draw, Reyhan-Bakr Jwan, Izmir 2007.
ll ... lt::lxd4 12 �xd4 a6! ? Black has no choice as 14 . . . 'ii'a5??
This i s an interesting alternative to fails to 15 �b6.
1 2 . . . �b4 1 3 l:.b3 'iia5 , which has been 15 l:.xb7 'ii'h4+!?
more extensively examined in prac­ It is useful to divert the white bishop
tice. from the centre.
13 �xd7+ 16 �f2
After the immediate 1 3 l:.b3 'fie7, 1 6 g3 'ii'h 3 is unclear, and 1 6 'fif2 is
White can offer a piece sacrifice by 14 answered by 1 6 . . . �e7, when 1 7 'ii'xh4
�a4 ( 14 �xd7+ can now l>e answered �xh4+ 1 8 �d2 �d8 1 9 l:.hb1 �c6 20
by 14 . . . 'ii'xd7, while 14 �d3 permits l:.b8 l:.xb8 2 1 l:.xb8 0-0 was level in
14 . . . 'ifh4+, and White should defi­ Shirov-Morozevich, Biel 20 1 1 .
nitely avoid 14 0-0? axb5 1 5 lt::lxb5 16 'ii'd8 17 �b6
•••

'iid 8 1 6 'iic 3 'ii'a5 1 7 lt::lc 7+ �d8 1 8 White cannot make progress after
lt::lxa8 'ii'xa8 1 9 f5 b6, as in Chepa­ 1 7 0-0 'it'c8 1 8 l:.b3 ( 1 8 l:.fb1 �c5)
rinov-Vallejo Pons, Dresden Olym­ 1 8 . . . 'ii'c4.
piad 2008), when the obliging 14 ... b5? ! 17 "ikc8 18 l:.c7 'ii'd 8!
•••

1 5 �xb5 axb5 1 6 lt::l xb5 'ii'd8 1 7 'ii'c 3 Black is perilously close to the
'ii'a5 1 8 lt::lc 7+ �d8 1 9 lt::l xa8 'ii'xa8 20 abyss, but his resources appear suffi­
0-0 'ii'a4 was unclear in Topalov-Naka­ cient. Now:
mura, Amber Rapid, Monte Carlo 201 1 . a) The careless 1 9 0-0? l:.a7 20
Black should consider declining the �xa7 'ii'xc7 21 �d4 �c5 leads to
sacrifice with the calm 14 ...'it'd8, which hardship for White.
looks good for him. b) 19 "ikd4 and here:
13 �xd7 (D)
••• b 1 ) 1 9 . . . �a3 is an interesting idea,
14 l:.b3 although in the variation 20 lt::lb 1 �e7
The weaker 14 l:txb7 can be met by 21 c4 ! l:.c8 22 l:.b7 �b4+ 23 'iii>f2
14 . . . �b4. "ikxb6 24 l:.xb6 �c5 25 l:.d l ! Black
14 'ii'e7
••• stands slightly worse.
78 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

b2) After 19 . . . .:tc8 it is more diffi­ tlJe2 'ilb6 look even less attractive for
cult for White to prove an advantage: White.
20 .:tc6 'ili'h4+ 2 1 g3 'iie7 and 20 .:ta7 8...0-0 9 i..e2
'ii'e7 ! ? both yield unclear prospects. The plan with queenside castling is
less effective:
6.3 .3 a) The immediate 9 0-0-0? ! allows
7...i..e7 (D) Black to begin a very promising attack
on the white king by 9 . . . c4 ! 1 0 �bl (or
10 f5 b5 1 1 fxe6 fxe6 1 2 tlJxb5 .:tb8
1 3 tlJd6 i.. xd6 14 exd6 tlJf6, Szelag­
M.Gurevich, Warsaw 2007) 10 . . . b5
( 1 0 . . . .:tb8 ! ?) 1 1 tlJxb5 .:tb8 12 tlJd6
i..xd6 1 3 exd6 tlJf6 14 'ii'e l 'ii'xd6 1 5
i.e 1 i..d7 1 6 tlJe5 tlJb4 1 7 a3 tlJxc2 ! ,
as i n M.Petrov-A.David, Kavala 2008.
b) After 9 dxc5 i.. xc5 (9 ... tlJxc5 ! ?
1 0 0-0-0 b6) 1 0 0-0-0 'iia5, White
should avoid I I tlJd4?! i..xd4 12 i..xd4
.l:.b8 as it leaves Black a tempo up in
comparison with Zviagintsev's line in
Section 6.3 . 1 (note to Black's l Oth
This somewhat nonchalant-looking move), but 1 1 i..xc5 ! tlJxc5 leads to
move has recently become rather fash­ sharp play with chances for both sides.
ionable. Black has no objection to the For example: 12 h4 ( 1 2 �bl i..d7)
bishop reaching c5 in two moves (after 1 2 . . . .:tb8 ! 1 3 'ii'e 3 ( 1 3 h5 b5) 1 3 . . . i..d7
8 dxc5 i..x c5), given that the white 14 h5 .:tfc8 1 5 h6 g6 16 �bl tlJb4 ! 1 7
knight remains on f3 rather than being a3 tlJxc2 1 8 �xc2 b5 1 9 .:td4 tlJe4
centralized on d4. gives Black the initiative, Kurnosov­
8 'ii'd2 Kotsur, Moscow 20 1 1 .
The attempt to economize on the c) With the text-move, White pre­
queen move by 8 i..e2 0-0 9 0-0 gives pares to castle kingside. A more active
Black a good game after 9 . . . f6 ! ? 1 0 bishop development by 9 i.. d 3 again
exf6 tlJxf6 1 1 � h 1 ( 1 1 tlJe5 tlJxd4 1 2 allows an immediate assault upon the
i..xd4 cxd4 1 3 'ii'xd4 tlJd7 led to equal­ centre: 9 . . . f6 (9 . . . a6 ! ? 1 0 0-0 f6) 1 0
ity in Pacher-Prusikin, Chur 20 1 0) exf6 i..xf6 1 1 i..e2 cxd4 1 2 tlJxd4
l l . . .i..d6 ! ? ( l l . . .tlJe4 is equal) 1 2 g3 i.. xd4 1 3 i.. xd4 e5 with an equal posi­
( 1 2 dxc5 tlJg4) 12 . . . cxd4 1 3 i.. xd4 ( 1 3 tion, Efimenko-Goloshchapov, Bun­
tlJxd4 e5) 1 3 . . . tlJxd4 1 4 'ii'xd4 a6, as desliga 200617.
in Kokarev-Maslak, Serpukhov 2008. d) It remains to add that the tempo­
The variations 8 g3 0-0 9 i.. g 2? ! (9 rizing move 9 a3 makes no particular
'iid2 .:tb8 ! ?) 9 . . . b5, 8 i.. d3 'ii'b6 and 8 sense: 9 . . . a6 10 i..e2 ( 1 0 dxc5 can be
STEINITZ VARIATION 79

answered by 1 0 . . . .txc5 or 1 0 . . . ll:lxc5) b) 10 . . . f5 ! ? 1 1 exf6 ( 1 1 ll:ld 1 cxd4


10 . . . b5 1 1 0-0 .i.b7 is unclear, while 1 2 ll:lxd4 ll:lxd4 1 3 .i.xd4 ll:lc5 is un­
Black can also play by analogy with clear) 1 1 . . .ll:lxf6 12 .i.b5 ( 1 2 �h 1
our main line: 9 . . . b6 ! ? 1 0 .i.d3 f6 1 1 .i.b7) 1 2 . . . 'ii'c7 with chances for both
exf6 ll:lxf6 with equality, Macieja­ sides, who each have their trumps in
Morozevich, St Petersburg 1 997. the forthcoming battle.
9 b6!? (D)
... c) 10 ... .tb7 1 1 ll:ld1 ( 1 1 l:.ad1 f5 ! ?)
It is this move that gives 7 . . . .te7 in­ 1 1 . . .cxd4 1 2 ll:lxd4 transposes to the
dependent importance. Instead 9 . . . a6 main line below.
1 0 0-0 b5 leads to a more standard for­ The immediate knight retreat to d 1
mation. somewhat restricts Black's possibili­
ties - but that is all.
10 cxd4
...

Otherwise White will play 1 1 c3.


1 1 ll:lxd4 .i.b7 (D)

10 ll:ldl -

It is still not safe for White to play


10 0-0-0? ! c4, while 10 0-0 gives
Black a wider choice:
a) 1 0 . . .f6 1 1 dxc5 (or 1 1 ll:ld 1 ? ! 12 0-0
cxd4 1 2 ll:lxd4 ll:lxd4 1 3 .i.xd4 fxe5) Now 1 2 . . . ll:lc5 1 3 ll:lf2 'it'd7 led to
1 1 . . .ll:lxc5 (not 1 1 . . .bxc5? 12 ll:lxd5, approximate equality in Koepke-Diz­
while 1 1 . . .fxe5 1 2 ll:lxd5 .i.xc5 1 3 dar, Austrian Team Ch 20 1 0/ 1 1 , while
l:.ad 1 offers White the initiative) 1 2 Black could also consider 12 ...ll:lxd4 !?
.i.b5 .i.b7 1 3 exf6 .i.xf6 14 .i.xc6 1 3 .i.xd4 ll:lb8 14 ll:le3 ll:lc6 1 5 c3 l:.c8
.i.xc6 1 5 .i.d4 leaves White's position 16 .i.b5 ll:lxd4, as in Zherebukh-Sethu­
preferable (T.Kosintseva). raman, Kirishi 20 10.
7 Classica l French

1 e4 e6 2 d4 dS 3 liJc3 liJf6 4 i.gS i.e7


Black unpins his knight, giving
White little choice but to advance the
e-pawn, since 5 i.d3? fails to 5 . . . dxe4
6 liJxe4 liJxe4 7 i.xe7 liJxf2.
5 e5
There are two minor alternatives.
Firstly, 5 exd5 exd5 (5 ... liJxd5 ! ? is pos­
sible too) transposes to the Exchange
Variation (Section 3.3). Anderssen's 5
i.xf6 i.xf6 6 liJf3 promises nothing.
After 6 ... c5 7 i.b5+ (7 exd5 0-0! ?)
7 ... i.d7 ! ? 8 exd5 (8 i.xd7+ liJxd7 9
exd5 cxd4 1 0 liJxd4 liJb6) 8 ... i.xb5 9 and to carry out the freeing move
liJxb5 0-0 White cannot hope for an . . . f6.
advantage, while 6 ... 0-0! ? looks even • In Section 7. 1 we discuss alterna­
more promising for Black; he meets 7 tives to 7 f4. None of them poses
'ii'd2 with 7 ... c5, while after 7 e5 i.e7 8 any real danger to Black.
i.d3 c5 9 h4 cxd4 ! 10 i.xh7+ �xh7 1 1 • Section 7.2 is devoted to the main
liJg5+ �h6 he parries White's threats continuation, 7 f4. While White can
without great difficulty. choose to castle on either wing, the
5 liJfd7 (D)
••• kingside offers him better chances
Now 6 i.e3 makes no sense, while of maintaining a slight edge.
the gambit 6 h4 ! ? is discussed at the
end of the chapter in Section 7.3. 7.1
The main line is 6 i.xe7 'ii'xe7. 6 i.xe7 'ii'xe7 (D)
This leads to a position that is some­ This is the basic position for the
what similar to the Steinitz Variation Classical French. The first point to
(Chapter 6), but the exchange of the note is that Black will not be able to
dark-squared bishops changes mat­ play 7 ... c5 next move in view of the un­
ters significantly. From a good vs bad pleasant reply 8 liJb5 (a consequence
bishop perspective, it appears to ben­ of the exchange of dark-squared bish­
efit White, but on the other hand ops). So, for one move at least, White
Black is immediately ready to castle does not have to worry about an attack
ClASSICAL FRENCH 81

10 'ii'e2 is less accurate because af­


ter 1 0 . . . ltJxc5 he has little choice but to
play 1 1 0-0 in any case, as 1 1 0-0-0? !
a6 gives Black the initiative. Black can
also play the unclear 10 . . . f6 ! ? 1 1 exf6
ltJxf6 1 2 0-0-0 'ii'xc5 .
10 ltJxc5 11 l:te1 a6
.••

Black takes control of the important


b5-square and is ready for further ac­
tion with . . . b5 and/or . . . f6. The game is
approximately level.

7 . 1 .2
on his pawn-centre, and so has a wide 7 'ii'd2 (D)
choice of moves at this point. We ex­
amine the main line, 7 f4, in Section
7 .2. Here we discuss the following:
7.1. 1 : 7 ltJf3 81
7.1.2: 7 'ii'd2 81
7.1.3: 7 ltJbS 82
7.1.4: 7 'ii'hS 83

7. 1 . 1
7 ltJf3
White simply develops his pieces,
intending �d3 and an exchange of
pawns wlien Black eventually plays
. . . c5. 7 �d3 is a less accurate move­
order because Black can then con­ This move can transpose to Section
sider playing 7 .. .'ii' b4 8 ltJe2 'ikxb2 9 7.2.2 after 7 . . . 0-0 8 f4 c5 9 ltJf3 (or 9
0-0 a6. dxc5). Here we shall discuss it in con­
7 0-0 8 �d3 c5 9 dxc5
.•. nection with another idea.
9 ltJbS ? is bad in view of 9 . . . c4, 7 0-0 8 ltJd1 ? !
.•.

while after 9 0-0 cxd4 ! ? (9 . . . ltJc6 is This attempt to maintain the pawn­
also possible) 10 ltJb5 ( 1 0 ltJxd4 ltJc6) centre is artificial and unsuccessful.
10 . . . ltJc6 1 1 l:te l f6 12 exf6 ltJxf6 1 3 8 ...f6! ?
'ii'e2 (or 1 3 ltJbxd4 ltJxd4 14 ltJxd4 e5) Black's position is already slightly
13 . . . l:te8 White does not succeed in preferable; the only question is which
keeping a grip on the e5-square, since sequence of moves is most profitable
14 ltJe5 is met by 14 . . . a6. for him.
9 ... ltJc6 10 0-0 9 f4
82 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

It is entirely illogical to play 9 exf6 The queenside skirmish 8 a4 a6 9


tt::lxf6 1 0 tt::lf3 (or 1 0 i.d3 ttlc6), when a5 axb5 1 0 axb6 .l:.xa l 1 1 'ifxa1 c6 !
both 10 ... c5 and 10 . . . tt::lc6 are promis­ 1 2 'WaS 'ii'b4+ 1 3 c3 'ii'xb2 ( 1 3 . . .'ili'a4
ing. also leads to equality) 14 ttle2 b4 1 5
9 c5 10 c3 cxd4 11 cxd4 fxeS 12
••• 'ifxb8 0-0 must in the long run end in
fxeS a draw.
1 2 dxe5 can be answered by 1 2 ... g5, Other moves fail to derive much
continuing to dismantle White's cen­ benefit from the knight manoeuvre: 8
tre. i.d3 a6 9 tt::lc 3 tt::lc 6 1 0 tt::lf3 'il'b4 and
12 tt::lc6 13 h4
••• 8 'it'g4 'il'b4+ 9 c3 (9 c;t>d 1 ? ! 0-0)
Black threatened 1 3 . . . 'ifh4+, and 9 . . . 'it'xb2 1 0 .l:.d 1 0-0 1 l i.d3 ( 1 1 .:d2
White should not allow the obvious can lead to a repetition) 1 l . . .a6 are
exchange sacrifice 1 3 tt::lf3 ? ! .l:.xf3 14 unclear, while 8 ttlf3 a6 9 tt::lc 3 tt::lc6
gxf3 'ifh4+, as in Von Gottschall-Tar­ (9 . . . ttl6d7 ! ? 10 i.d3 c5) 10 'il'd2 f6
rasch, Frankfurt 1 887. leads to equal chances.
13 tt::lb6 14 tt::lf3 i.d7
••• 8 a6 9 ttla3
.•.

Black has the initiative. White has reached his goal, but the
knight moves have also cost him time.
7. 1 .3 9 f6! ?
...

7 tt::lbS (D) This attack o n the spearhead of


White's pawn-centre looks more ef­
fective here than the standard 9 . . . c5, as
White has already invested consider­
able resources in supporting his d4-
pawn.
10 i.d3
The exchange 10 exf6 gxf6 (or
10 .. .'ii'xf6) suits Black fine, and 1 0
tt::lf3 i s rather well met b y 1 0 . . . tt::lc 6.
After 10 f4, besides transposing to our
main line by 10 . . . 0-0 1 1 ttlf3 fxe5 1 2
fxe5 c5 1 3 i.d3, Black can also initi-
ate complications with 1 0 . . .fxe5 1 1
'ii'h 5+ ( 1 1 fxe5 ? ! 'ii'h4+) 1 1 . . . �d8 fol-
This is known as the Alapin Varia­ lowed by 1 2 . . . ttla4.
tion. By threatening to invade on c7, 10...0-0
White gains a tempo for the move c3. Here the gambit line 10 . . .fxe5 1 1
Several other forms of this idea are 'ii'h 5+ <iti>d8 1 2 dxe5 tt::la4 1 3 .:b1
possible, as we shall see in Section tt::lxb2 14 .:xb2 'iixa3 (Thomas-Spiel­
7.2. mann, Marienbad 1 925) is riskier for
7 tt::lb6 8 c3
•.• Black.
CLASSICAL FRENCH 83

1 1 f4 fxe5 12 fxe5 c5 13 lt:Jf3 lt:Jc6 14 lt:Jgxe6 llf7) 1 2 . . . f6 1 3 exf6 lt:Jxf6


14 0-0 led to an opening catastrophe for White
1 4 lt:Jc2 cxd4 ( 1 4 ... i.d7 ! ? 1 5 0-0 in Duras-Spielmann, San Sebastian
i.e8) 1 5 cxd4 lt:Jb4 1 6 lt:Jxb4 'ii'xb4+ 1 9 1 1 . His attack must be built on a
17 'ii'd2 1i'xd2+ 1 8 �xd2 lt:Jc4+ leads more reliable foundation.
to an equal ending.
14 cxd4 15 cxd4 lt:Jb4
•••

The game is approximately level.

7 . 1 .4
7 'ii'h5
White places his queen aggressively,
but greatly weakens his control of the
centre. After the analogous move 7
'ii'g4 ! ?, the play can take on an almost
forced character: 7 ... 0-0 8 lt:Jf3 (8 i.d3
may be met by 8 ... c5 9 lt:Jf3 or 8 . . . f5 ! ?
9 exf6 lt:Jxf6 1 0 'li'h4 h6) 8 . . .c 5 9 i.d3
and now 9 . . . cxd4 10 i.xh7+ ( 1 0 lt:Jb5
gives Black a choice between 10 .. .f5 8 c5 9 lt:Jf3
•.•

I I 'ii'g 5 Wc5 and 10 . . . f6 1 1 Wh4 h6 1 2 9 i.d3 g6 10 'ii'h 6 cxd4 ( 1 0 . . . f6 ! ?


0-0 lt:Jc6 1 3 exf6 Wxf6, with equal 1 1 lt:Jb5 lt:Jc6 i s possible too) 1 1 lt:Jb5
play) 1 0 ... �xh7 1 1 •h5+ �g8 1 2 f6 (or 1 l . . .lt:Jc6 1 2 lt:Jf3 f6) again
lt:Jg5 'ii'xg5 1 3 'ii'xg5 dxc3 14 bxc3 promises White nothing good. The
lt:Jc6 15 f4 f6 leads to a double-edged line 9 0-0-0 ! ? cxd4 (9 . . . lt:Jc6 1 0 dxc5)
position with unbalanced material. If 1 0 lt:Jb5 lt:Jc6 might appear to offer
he wishes, Black can avoid these com­ White more prospects, although in
plications by continuing 9 ... h6 10 0-0 this case too Black stands somewhat
( 1 0 0-0-0? ! lt:Jc6 1 1 llhe1 c4 12 i.fl better.
b5 gives Black the initiative) 10 ... lt:Jc6 9 cxd4 10 lt:Jxd4 lt:Jc6 1 1 0-0-0 f6
•••

or 9 ... f6 10 exf6 ( 1 0 'ifh4 h6) 10 ... lt:Jxf6 Now it becomes obvious that the
1 1 'ifh4 lt:Jc6 with a level game. journey of White's queen to h5 was
7 0-0 8 f4 (D)
... simply a waste of time.
The same position may be achieved 12 exf6 'ii'xf6 13 lt:Jde2 lt:Jb6
via the move-order 7 f4 0-0 8 Wh5 . Black has the initiative, Vasvari­
The adventurous 8 lt:Jf3? ! (8 i.d3? ! Suez Panama, Gibraltar 2008.
g6 9 'ii'h6 c 5 1 0 lt:Jf3 i s the same) 8 ... c5
9 i.d3 (9 dxc5 is more circumspect, 7.2
but inconsistent with White's last few 6 i.xe7 'ii'xe7 7 f4 (D)
moves) 9 ... g6 1 0 'ii'h6 cxd4 1 1 lt:Jb5 This is the main continuation. First
lt:Jc6 1 2 lt:Jg5 ( 1 2 lt:Jc7 llb8 1 3 lt:Jg5 f6 of all White fortifies his centre.
84 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

c) The Alapin-type 9 liJb5 is a more


serious attempt here, although it only
leads to unclear play after 9 . . . lbc6 1 0
c3 f6 l l h4 ! ? ( l l .i.d3 a6 1 2 liJd6 cxd4
1 3 cxd4 g5 ! ? - Stetsko) l l . . .liJb6 or
9 . . . cxd4 ! ? (Bronstein) 1 0 lbc7 lbxe5
1 1 lbxa8 lbxf3+ 1 2 'ii'x f3 .i.d7.

7.2. 1
9 .i.d3 (D)

7 0-0 8 liJf3
.•.

An idea akin to Alapin's from Sec­


tion 7 . 1 .3 is unsuccessful here: 8 'ii'd2
c5 9 lbb5 ? a6 10 liJd6 cxd4 1 1 liJf3
lbc6 1 2 0-0-0 ( 1 2 .i.d3 is met by
l 2 . . .f6 and l 2 liJxd4 with 1 2 . . . liJdxe5
1 3 fxe5 'ii'h4+) l 2 . . . f6, with an advan­
tage for Black.
8. .c5
.

Now the play splits into two main


directions, depending on where White
wishes to castle: 9 .i.d3 followed by 9 f6
.•.

0-0 or 9 'ii'd 2, preparing to castle The most logical move: Black par­
queenside: ries the threat of .i.xh7+ and attacks
7.2.1: 9 .td3 84 White's pawn-centre.
7.2.2: 9 1i'd2 85 9 . . . cxd4 is condemned by opening
theory due to 10 .ixh7+, but is not so
Other moves: bad as it seems at first glance; e.g.,
a) The preliminary pawn exchange I O . . .<�h8 l l liJg5 g6 1 2 'ii'xd4 �g7 1 3
9 dxc5 lbc6 changes nothing: 10 'ii'd2 h4 lbc6 1 4 'ii'd2 f6 1 5 'ii'd 3 liJdxe5 .
or 10 .i.d3 f6 (or 10 . . . lbxc5 1 1 0-0 h6) Nevertheless it is better to refrain from
will lead to our main lines. it. On the other hand, 9 . . . h6 1 0 0-0 ( 1 0
b) 9 g3 lbc6 10 'ii'd2 ( 1 0 .tg2?! dxc5 lbc6 1 1 'ii'd2 liJxc5) I O . . . lbc6 1 1
cxd4 I I lbxd4 'ii'b4 ) I O . . .a6 I I .tg2 dxc5 lbxc5 1 2 Wd2 l:r.d8 looks like an
b5 ( l l . . .cxd4 I 2 liJe2 d3 13 cxd3 'ii'b4 acceptable alternative.
is equal) 1 2 0-0 .i.b7 (or l 2 . . . liJb6) is 10 exf6 'ii'xf6 11 g3
of independent importance, but Black's I I lbg5 Wxf4 1 2 .i.xh7+ �h8 1 3
position is no worse. Wh5 liJf6 does not end well for White,
CLASSICAL FRENCH 85

so he must defend the f4-pawn. How­ 1 6 f5 may be parried by 1 6 . . . lbxd3


ever, the move g3 seriously weakens 1 7 "ikxd3 lbb4 1 8 "ikd2 exf5.
the light squares and this helps Black 16 :cs
•••

create counterplay. Black succeeds in maintaining the


l l lbc6 12 dxc5 lbxc5
.•. dynamic equilibrium as White's con­
The activity of Black's pieces com­ trol of the centre is not solid enough.
pensates for the defects of his pawn­ In order to secure an advantage, White
structure. His light-squared bishop needs to make his c3-knight more ac­
can be brought into play via the ma­ tive, but it is not simple to do so.
noeuvre ... .i.d7-e8 or after the central
pawn-break . . . e5 . 7.2.2
13 0-0 9 _.d2 (D)
1 3 lbg5 amounts to a loss of time,
since there is no good reason to move
the knight away from the e5-square:
1 3 . . . g6 14 0-0 ( 14 h4? ! h6 1 5 lbf3 e5
gives Black the initiative, while 1 4
lbf3 can be met b y 1 4 . . . e5 ! ? 1 5 lbxd5
"ikg7 1 6 .i.c4 �h8) 14 ... lbd4 1 5 'ifd2
.i.d7 with equal chances.
1 3 'ii'd2 can also be answered with
13 . . . e5 ! ? ( 1 3 . . . .i.d7 maintains the ten­
sion) 14 lbxd5 ( 1 4 0-0-0 lbxd3+ 1 5
'ifxd3 d4 1 6 lbe4 'fi'h6) 14 . . . lbxd3+
15 'it'xd3 'ii'f5, although here Black is
only seeking equality: both 16 lbxe5
lbxe5 17 'ii'xf5 .i.xf5 1 8 lbe7+ �h8 As in many other lines of the French
19 fxe5 .i.xc2 and 1 6 0-0 "ikxd3 1 7 Defence, White's plan of queenside
cxd3 exf4 1 8 lbxf4 .i.g4 1 9 lbg5 ( 1 9 castling sharpens the battle and pushes
�g2 l:tae8) 1 9 . . .h 6 2 0 lbge6 .i.xe6 2 1 purely positional factors into the back­
lbxe6 llxfl + 2 2 �xfl (22 l:txfl lle8) ground.
22 . . . l:te8 give him enough compensa­ 9 lbc6 10 dxc5
•••

tion for the pawn. This is not an obligatory exchange,


Finally, 1 3 'ii'e2 .i.d7 14 0-0-0 ( 1 4 but there is little reason to avoid it. Af­
lbg5 lbxd3+ 1 5 'W'xd3 'ii'f5 1 6 'ii'xf5 ter 1 0 0-0-0 Black can simply play
l:txf5 1 7 0-0-0 d4 1 8 lbce4 h6 1 9 lDf3 10 . . . a6, when White has nothing better
e5 is equal) 14 . . . .i.e8 1 5 libe l ( 1 5 than 1 1 dxc5. But he can also reply
lbg5?! lbxd3+ 16 'ifxd3 .i.g6) 1 5. . ..i.h5 10 ... c4 ! ?, which gives him rather seri­
is quite satisfactory for Black. ous counterplay; for example:
13 a6 14 'ii'd2 .i.d7 15 l:tae1 .i.e8
••• a) 1 1 h4 a6 1 2 h5 b5 1 3 h6 g6, and
16 lbe5 Black's threats come first.
86 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

b) 1 1 tt::lb5 tt::lb6 1 2 tt::ld6 .l:r.b8 fol­ equality in Dolmatov-Bareev, Sochi


lowed by 1 3 . . . i.d7 and 14 . . . tt::lc 8. 1 988) 1 3 . . . tt::lx d3+ 14 cxd3 ( 1 4 'ifxd3
c) 1 1 g4 ! ? a6 12 f5 b5 13 �b1 ( 1 3 h6 is unclear) 14 . . .f6 15 �b 1 ( 1 5 tt::le2
'iff4 f6 and 1 3 i.g2 b4 14 tt::la4 c 3 also fxe5 1 6 tt::lxe5 tt::lxe5 1 7 fixeS 'ii'c 5+
illustrate Black's ideas) 1 3 ...b4 14 tt::la4 18 �b 1 .l:r.f5) 15 . . . fxe5 16 tt::lxe5 d4
a5 1 5 'iff4 f6 with a double-edged with unclear play.
game. The text-move is more cunning, as
d) 1 1 f5 .l:r.b8 1 2 fxe6 (White should it avoids for the time being counter­
avoid both 1 2 'ii'g 5? ! f6 and 1 2 h4? ! play of the type we have just seen in
b5 , when Black has the initiative) line 'b' .
12 ...fxe6 13 tt::lb5 ( 1 3 'ii'g5 b5) 13 ...tt::lb6 12 b5
•.•

14 i.e2 i.d7 with equal chances. 1 2 . . . .l:r.d8 1 3 tt::le2 (not 1 3 i.d3? d4,
10 tt::lxc5 11 0-0-0 a6 (D)
••. but the knight exchange 1 3 tt::ld4 ! ?
tt::lxd4 14 .l:r.xd4 i s unclear) 1 3 . . .i.d7
14 tt::led4 .l:r.ac8 deserves attention, as
tried in the game Aseev-Bareev, Lvov
Zonal 1 990.
13 �bl
Again White has a choice, but he al­
ready runs the risk of finding himself
on the defending side:
a) 1 3 f5? ! (premature) 1 3 . . . �a7 !
1 4 tt::ld4 ( 1 4 'ii'g 5 h6 and 1 4 'iVf4 exf5
1 5 tt::lxd5 i.e6 are also pleasant for
Black) 1 4 . . . tt::lxd4 1 5 l:lxd4 (or 1 5
'ii'xd4 tt::ld7 1 6 'ii'f4 'it'b8 1 7 .l:r.e1 f6)
1 5 . . . exf5 1 6 tt::lxd5 tt::le6 ( 1 6 . . . .l:r.e8 ! ?)
12 �e3 1 7 .l:r.d2 �xe3 1 8 tt::lxe3 tt::lc 5, Wang
1 2 i.d3 is more straightforward: Hao-Riazantsev, Dubai 2005.
a) 1 2 . . . b5 1 3 'iVf2 (threatening to b) 1 3 i.d3 tt::l x d3+ 1 4 cxd3 ? ! (this
play i.xh7+; 1 3 'ife3 transposes to is dubious so White should try 1 4
note 'b' to White's 1 3th move) 1 3 . . . f6 .l:r.xd3 ! ? o r the unclear 1 4 'ii'xd3 b 4 1 5
(both 1 3 . . . tt::lx d3+ and 1 3 . . . h6 are pos­ tt::l a4 .l:r.b8) 14 . . . i.b7 1 5 tt::le 2 (not 1 5
sible) 14 exf6 .l:r.xf6 1 5 'ii'e 3 (after 1 5 tt::ld4?? 'ii'c 5, while 1 5 d4 tt::l a5 1 6
.l:r.he1 'ii'f8 ! ? 1 6 g3 b4 Black seizes the 'ii'd 3 i.c6 gives Black the initiative)
initiative) 1 5 . . . b4 (or 1 5 . . . tt::lx d3+ ! ? 1 6 15 . . . d4 ! 1 6 tt::lexd4 tt::lb4, Almasi-Glei­
.l:r.xd3 'fic7 1 7 g 3 i.d7) 1 6 tt::le2 a5 1 7 zerov, Geneva 2004.
i.b5 i.d7 1 8 .l:r.he 1 a4 i s unclear, c) 1 3 tt::le2 b4 14 tt::led4 tt::lxd4 1 5
Motylev-Ulybin, Tomsk 2004. tt::lxd4 'flc7 and Black can be happy,
b) 1 2 . . . i.d7 ! ? 1 3 'ife3 ( 1 3 tt::le2 Goloshchapov-Govedarica, Yugoslav
.l:r.ac8 14 �b1 tt::lxd3 1 5 cxd3 f6 led to Team Ch 2000.
ClASSICAL FRENCH 87

1 3 b 4 1 4 tt:Je2 a S 1 5 tt:Jed4
••• practical choice, and fruitful ground
The pawn-break 1 5 f5 is still not ef­ for serious investigation. White can
fective: 1 5 . . . exf5 (or 1 5 . . . ti:Je4 ! ? 1 6 f6 reply:
gxf6 1 7 exf6 1Wxf6 1 8 ti:Jg3 a4) 1 6 7.3.1 : 7 .ie3 87
l:.xd5 tt:Je4, Martin Gonza1ez-F1uvia 7.3.2: 7 .i.xe7 88
Poyatos, Benasque 1 999.
15 tt:Jxd4 16 tt:Jxd4 'iic7
••• Another retreat, 7 .i.f4, is very
Black is no worse. rarely seen in practice; then 7 . . . c5 8
'iig4 (8 dxc5 tt:Jc6 9 'ii'g4 ti:Jdxe5 1 0
7.3 1Wxg7 ti:Jg6) 8 . . .g 6 9 ti:Jf3 ti:Jc6 1 0 dxc5
6 h4 a6 1 1 0-0-0 tt:Jxc5 leads to unclear
Known as the Alekhine-Chatard play.
Attack, this gambit continuation pres­ 7 'it'h5 is much too artificial, and
ents Black with an awkward choice: if after 7 . . . a6 8 0-0-0 (Stetsko gives 8
he accepts the gift by 6 . . . .i.xg5 7 hxg5 .i.d3 c5 9 tt:Jxd5 ? ! exd5 1 0 e6 tt:Je5,
'iixg5, he will be forced on the defen­ while 8 ti:Jf3 can be met by 8 . . . c5 9
sive, and unable to generate active dxc5 ti:Jc6) 8 . . . c5 9 dxc5 ti:Jc6 1 0 f4
counterplay in the true spirit of the tt:Jxc5 White's pieces interact badly
French Defence. In practice; Black has with each other.
tried several ways to decline the pawn,
and the one on which I shall focus is 7 .3 . 1
the simplest. 7 .i.e3
6 h6 (D)
••• Now Black has time to attack the
centre.
7 c5 8 'ii"g4 g6 (D)
•••

For the time being Black retains his


castling rights, although the variation
8 . . .f�f8 ! ? 9 ti:Jf3 (9 f4 cxd4 10 .i.xd4
tt:Jc6 1 1 ti:Jf3 h5) 9 . . . cxd4 10 .i.xd4
ti:Jc6 1 1 0-0-0 ti:Jxd4 1 2 l:.xd4 ( 1 2
'ii'xd4 a6) 1 2 . . . .i.c5 1 3 l:.f4 .i.xf2 1 4
ti:Jd 1 (Em.Lasker-Kipke, Berlin simul
1 920) 14 . . . .ib6 ! ? 15 .i.d3 .i.c7 is also
rather interesting for him.
9 ti:Jf3
9 .i.d3 ? ! is well met by 9 . . . cxd4,
while an immediate kingside assault
Opening theory disapproves of this by 9 h5 does not represent a danger to
move, but more due to general consid­ Black in view of 9 . . . cxd4 1 0 .i.xd4 g5
erations than specific analysis. This 1 1 f4 ti:Jc6. White also achieves noth­
fact makes it an especially interesting ing by 9 f4 cxd4 (9 . . . h5 ! ? 10 'it'g3 ti:Jc6
88 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

1 1 tt:lf3 'ii'a5 is unclear) 10 ..txd4 tt:lc6 lead to some significant differences in


1 1 tt:lf3 'ii'a5 . the variations and introduce new pos­
9 dxc5 ! ? tt:lxe5 10 'ii'g 3 appears sibilities for both players.
strongest, as White opens lines in the 8 f4
centre. A sample line is 10 . . . tt:lbc6 1 1 It is much too optimistic for White
..tf4 ( 1 1 0-0-0 h5 1 2 tt:lb5 0-0 1 3 .i.e2 to play 8 tt:lf3 0-0 9 g4 (trying to make
'ii'a5 is unclear) l l .. ...tf6 1 2 tt:lb5 �f8. direct use of the move h4) 9 . . . c5 10 g5
when White keeps some initiative in h5, as nothing comes of White's attack.
an unclear position. 8 'ii'g4 0-0 9 f4 (or 9 tt:lf3 c5 10
9 ...cxd4 10 .i.xd4 tt:lc6 11 .i.d3 dxc5 tt:lc6 1 1 'ii'g 3 tt:lxc5, as in Sandu­
Or 1 1 0-0-0 tt:lxd4 ( l l . . .a6 ! ?) 1 2 Gleizerov, Bucharest 2008) 9 . . . c5 10
l:f.xd4 .i.c5 1 3 l:.d2 'ii'a5, with good tt:lf3 ( 1 0 0-0-0 cxd4 1 1 tt:lb5 tt:lc6 12
counterplay for Black. tt:lf3 tt:lc5) 1 0 ... tt:lc6 1 1 0-0-0 a6 leads
ll ...tt:lxd4 to a complicated game where it is not
l l . . .a6 is also possible, since ..txg6 completely clear what the queen is do­
is not yet a threat. ing on g4.
12 'i'xd4 'ii'b6 13 tt:lb5 The variation 8 tt:lb5 tt:lb6 deserves
Now there is no need for Black to attention:
get involved in complications like a) 9 a4 a6 10 a5 axb5 1 1 axb6 l:.xal
1 3 . . . .i.c5 14 'ii'f4 .i.xf2+ 15 �e2 .i.c5 , 12 'ii'x al c6 13 'ii'a8 'ii'M+ 14 c3 'ii'a4
since in the ending after 1 3 . . . 1i'xd4 14 is equal, just as it is with the h-pawns
tt:lfxd4 0-0 he stands at least no worse. unmoved.
b) 9 c3 a6 10 tt:la3 c5 1 1 tt:lc2 ( 1 1
7.3.2 f4 tt:lc6 1 2 tt:lf3 0-0 1 3 ..td3 cxd4 14
7 .i.xe7 'ii'xe7 (D) cxd4 'ii'b4+ 1 5 'ii'd2 tt:la4) 1 1 . . .tt:lc6 12
We now have the standard main line tt:lf3 0-0 13 .i.d3 tt:ld7 ! ? and Black in­
of the Classical French, but with the tends to attack White's centre with
addition of h4 and ... h6. These moves ... f6.
CLASSICAL FRENCH 89

c) 9 'ili'g4 0-0 (9 . . . 'ili'b4+ 1 0 c3 and 1 1 tt:'lb5 with 1 1 ...a6 1 2 tt:'ld6 cxd4)


'ili'xb2 is equal) 10 0-0-0 ( 10 l:h3 f6 1 1 l l . . .cxd4 1 2 tt:'lxd4 fxe5 1 3 fxe5 tt:'lc6
tt:'lf3 tt:'lc6) 1 0. . . a6 1 1 tt:'lc3 c5 1 2 dxc5 ( 1 3 . . . tt:'lxe5 ! ?) 14 I:e l tt:'lxd4 15 'ili'xd4
(Mammadov-R.Bagirov, Azerbaijan 'ili'c5 with a good game for Black,
Ch, Baku 20 1 1 ) and now Black should Abasov-Bajarani, Baku 20 1 1 .
play 1 2 . . . tt:'l6d7 1 3 f4 tt:'lc6. 10 tt:'lc6 (D)
•••

8 0-0 9 tt:'lf3 c5 (D)


••• This allows White to fortify his
centre, but 10 . . .cxd4 1 1 tt:'lc7 tt:'lxe5 1 2
tt:'lxa8 tt:'lxf3+ offers White the new
possibility of 1 3 gxf3 ! ? (the line 1 3
'ili'xf3 'ilb4+ 14 �f2 .i.d7 i s still rather
safe; for example, 1 5 'ilb3 'ii'd2+ 1 6
� g 1 d3).

10 tt:'lb5!?
Here this knight move is somewhat
stronger than in the standard Classi­
cal. On the other hand, the following
continuations do not provide any ben­
efit for White: ·
a) 10 dxc5 tt:'lc6 1 1 'ili'd2 f6 1 2 exf6 1 1 c3 cxd4 12 cxd4 tt:'lb6 13 tt:'ld6
gives Black a choice between the White does not have to hurry with
lines 1 2 . . . tt:'lxf6 1 3 0-0-0 'ii'xc5 and this incursion; the line 1 3 'ili'd2 .i.d7 14
1 2 ...'ili'xf6 ! ? 1 3 g3 tt:'lxc5 14 0-0-0 tt:'le4, .i.e2 a6 1 5 tt:'ld6 l:ab8 is of approxi­
with equality. mately equal value.
b) 10 'ili'd2 f6 ! ? (without delay ; 13 l:b8 14 'ii'd2 .i.d7 15 b4 a6
•••

Stetsko's 10 . . . tt:'lc6 1 1 0-0-0 f6 1 2 exf6 By playing . . . tt:'lc8, Black will evict


tt:'lxf6 is not bad either) 1 1 0-0-0 ( 1 1 the intruder from its advanced post on
exf6 can be answered by 1 l . . .tt:'lxf6 d6, with good chances of equality.
Part 2 : 1 d4· e6

1 d4 e6 (D) tt:lf3 f5 without needing to worry about


these troublesome sidelines. Those
who play the Queen' s/Nimzo-Indian
complex will find similar advantages,
also provided of course that they are
willing to play the French Defence.
However, our aim here is to provide
an independent repertoire based on
l . . .e6, while noting that some readers
may prefer to use only parts of this
repertoire, woven together with other
openings that they are happy to play.
The best-known independent line
after 1 d4 e6 2 c4 is the English De­
fence, 2 . . .b6. However, we shall bor­
The first part of the book discussed row only one variation from it and
a rather well-explored area of opening follow other directions, with the fol­
theory - the French Defence. While lowing two positions as our founda­
some of the individual lines that we tion stones :
examined may have had a somewhat
innovative character, this was within 2 c 4 ..tb4+ (D)
the framework of a very sound and
popular opening.
In Part 2, the task of constructing an
opening repertoire moves onto a more
experimental plane. On a simple level,
some practical advantages for Black
of 1 d4 e6 are immediately clear. Such
lines as 1 d4 tt:lf6 2 ..tg5 (Trompowsky
Attack) and 1 d4 f5 2 ..tg5 (or 2 tt:lc3)
are immediately avoided, so, e.g., ad­
herents of the Dutch Defence may use
this move-order as a way to reach their
favourite opening after 2 c4 f5 or 2
PART 2: 1 d4 e6 91

The aim of the bishop check is to 2 c4 and 2 lbf3 (not counting 2 e4, of
lure White into little-explored terri­ course) do not create serious opening
tory. The play can either return to nor­ problems for Black.
mal theoretical variations (normally of
the Nimzo-lndian or Bogo-Indian), or Let us summarize our coverage of 1
take an original direction. White needs d4 e6:
to reckon with both possibilities, mak­ • 2 c4 ..i.b4+ 3 lbc3 (Chapter 8) is
ing his decisions more difficult, both likely to be chosen by those who en­
practically and objectively. joy playing the white side of the
Nimzo-Indian Defence. However,
2 lDf3 c5 (D) he gets not a Nirnzo-lndian, but a
significantly modified version, in
which some standard ideas are un­
available to him. He must also be
wary of Black transposing to a fa­
vourable form of Dutch Defence.
• 2 c4 ..i.b4+ 3 lDd2 (Chapter 9) has
much in common with the Bogo­
Indian line 1 d4 lDf6 2 c4 e6 3 lDf3
..i.b4+ 4 lDbd2.
• Chapter 1 0 deals with the most
problematic variation for Black af­
ter 2 c4 ..i.b4+, namely 3 .i.d2. He
can choose to complete the transpo­
sition to a respectable branch of the
Black strikes at the d4-pawn before Bogo-Indian Defence, or continue
its neighbour has arrived on c4 to sup­ to pursue an independent path -
port an advance to d5 . The game can which is strategically riskier, but
now move in a very different strategic also more interesting.
direction from normal queen's pawn • The transposition to the Sicilian
openings. White's best chance of ad­ Defence by 1 d4 e6 2 lDf3 c5 3 e4
vantage lies in 3 e4 or 3 c4, transpos­ cxd4 is covered in Chapter 1 1 . How­
ing to lines of the Sicilian Defence or ever unlikely this sequence is to oc­
the English Opening respectively. We cur, it is obviously very important
will be ready for these transpositions ­ that we are fully ready for it. I pres­
but how many of our opponents will be, ent a simplified repertoire based on
given that they have already avoided the Sicilian Four Knights - a line
e4 and c4 on moves 1 and 2? in which there is intricate piece­
play, making it difficult for White
It remains only to add that after 1 d4 to find the right moves if he is un­
e6 White's other continuations besides prepared.
92 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

• The line 2 lbf3 c5 3 c4 (Chapter 1 2) to Black, but it needs to be taken se­


3 ... cxd4 4 lbxd4 transposes to one riously. We shall reply with 3 ... d5,
of the varieties of the Symmetrical reaching positions of the Queen' s
English with an early d4 advance by Gambit type, happy that White can­
White. After 4 . . . lbf6 5 lbc3, we ex- not actively develop his queen' s
amine both 5 ... �b4 (usually trans- bishop.
posing to a g3 Nimzo-Indian) and • Finally, in Chapter 14 we study
5 ... lbc6. some of the more interesting side­
• Chapter 13 is devoted to the move­ lines that arise when White chooses
order 2 lbf3 c5 3 e3. This modest a rarer option on move 2 or 3, such
and rather old-fashioned continua­ as the currently rather popular Lon­
tion should not present a great threat don System, with an early .i.f4.
8 The N i mzo- l i ke 2 c4
..tb4 + 3 ttJc3

1 d4 e 6 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 tt::lc3 (D) without saying that White also has


some additional possibilities, so both
players need to be willing to enter in­
teresting and little-explored positions.
Here is an overview of the lines in this
chapter:

3 c5 is covered as follows:
•••

o In the case of 4 dxc5 i.xc3+ (Sec­


tion 8. 1 ) the game immediately
takes an unusual direction.
o 4 a3 i.xc3+ 5 bxc3 (Section 8.2) is
analogous to the Samisch Nimzo­
Indian, but here Black can solve his
opening problems more easily.
In the standard Nimzo-Indian, af­ o 4 d5 (Section 8.3) gives us a choice:
ter 1 d4 tt::lf6 2 c4 e6 3 tt::lc 3 i.b4, play for blockade by 4 . . . i.xc3+ or
White has a very wide choice of con­ simply switch back to Nimzo the­
tinuations, some of them with enor­ ory after 4 . . . tt::lf6 as Black need not
mous bodies of complex theory. fear 5 i.g5 or 5 f3 .
Naturally, from our move-order, you o 4 e 3 (Section 8.4) i s similar to the
may opt to play the Nimzo by contin­ Rubinstein Nimzo-Indian, but Black
uing 3 . . . tt::lf6, secure in the knowledge has additional options here to re­
that you are entering a very highly re­ strict White's expansion plans in
spected opening. Likewise, fans of the centre, and the game may very
the Dutch can certainly consider play­ soon enter unexplored territory.
ing 3 . . . f5 . o 4 tt::lf3 cxd4 5 tt::l xd4 tt::lf6 brings us
In the current chapter, we shall fo­ to a position we consider via a dif­
cus on two more independent paths: ferent move-order in Section 1 2.2.
3 . . . c5 and 3 . . . b6. While Black seeks to o We need not consider 4 'ii'c 2? (a
benefit from the new possibilities af­ main line in the Nimzo) since the
forded by his move-order, it goes d4-pawn is already attacked, while
94 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

4 'ifb3 cxd4 ! ? (4 . . . lt:'Jc6 5 dxc5 lt:'Jf6 4....i.xc3+ 5 bxc3 'ii'a5 6 lt:'Jf3


is a comfortable Nimzo line for The lines 6 e4 lt:'lf6 7 f3 lt:'lc6, 6 'ii'c 2
Black) 5 'ii'xb4 lt:'Jc6 6 'ii'a3 dxc3 7 lt:'la6 and 6 'ii'b 3 lt:'Ja6 7 .i.e3 (7 .i.f4
'ii'xc3 lt:'lf6 followed by . . . d5 gives lt:'lf6 8 f3 'ii'xc5) 7 . . . lt:'Je7 8 lt:'Jf3 lt:'lc6
Black active play. followed by 9 ... lt:'Jxc5 are insufficiently
vigorous and permit Black a good po­
3 b6 has different consequences:
•.• sition.
• Section 8.5 covers 4 'ifc2, when we 6 lt:'Jf6 7 'ii'b3
•••

do enter Nimzo-lndian territory, but 7 lt:'ld2 also deserves attention, al­


in a form that is quite comfortable though after 7 . . . lt:'Ja6 or 7 . . . b6 ! ? Black
for Black. has no serious problems.
• 4 e4 (Section 8.6) transposes to a 7 lt:'Ja6 8 lt:'Jd4!
•••

sharp line of the English Defence. The knight is heading for b5, where
Black has ready-made counterplay it will occupy a menacing position.
and scores well in practice. White achieves nothing in the varia­
tion 8 i.f4 (8 .i.e3 'ii'c 7 is equal)
8. 1 8 ... lt:'Jxc5 9 'iVb4 b6 10 lt:'Jd4 (or 1 0
3 c5 4 dxc5 (D)
.•• 'ii'xa5 bxa5) 1 0 . . . .i.a6 1 1 'iixa5 bxa5
1 2 lt:'lb5 ( 1 2 lt:'lb3 lt:'lb7) 1 2 . . . .i.xb5 1 3
cxb5 lt:'ld5.
8 0-0 9 lt:'lb5 b6!?
•••

Black should avoid 9 . . . lt:'Jxc5 1 0


'iib4 or 9 . . . lt:'Je4 1 0 'ii'a 3, but one way
or another the hostile c5-pawn must be
eliminated. An interesting situation has
arisen, since White (in his turn) also
does not hurry with the capture cxb6.
10 .i.f4
Chasing the black queen by 1 0 a4
lt:'Jxc5 1 1 'ii'c2 ( 1 1 'ii'b4 'iixb4 1 2 cxb4
lt:'lb3) l l .. ..i.b7 1 2 .i.a3 l:fc8 looks
like a waste of time. And after 10 cxb6
This line is seldom encountered, axb6 the activity of the black pieces
though rather interesting. At the cost must be sufficient for him to achieve
of allowing severe damage to his pawn­ equality; for example, 1 1 'ii'a3 lt:'lc5 1 2
structure, White hopes to make use of 'ii'xa5 lha5 1 3 .i.f4 .i.b7 14 .i.e? l:a6
the weakness of the dark squares in his (or 14 . . . .l:.fa8), 1 1 .i.a3 lt:'Jc5 1 2 'ii'd l
opponent's camp. If Black turns down 'ii'a4 1 3 e 3 ( 1 3 'ii'xa4 l:xa4 14 .i.b4
the proposal by 4 ... lt:'Jf6, then 5 'ii'c2 .i.a6) 1 3 . . . 'ii'xd 1 + 14 l:xd l .i.b7 or 1 1
and 5 'ifb3 lead to well-known theoret­ f3 lt:'Jc5 1 2 'ii'b4 'iixb4 ( 1 2 . . . d5 ! ?) 1 3
ical variations of the Nimzo-lndian. cxb4 lt:'lb3 14 l:b1 lt:'lxc 1 1 5 .:r.xc i d5.
THE NIMZO-LIKE 2 c4 il.. b4+ 3 tiJc3 95

10 .tb7 11 f3 .ic6
... from delaying or avoiding altogether
The final preparations are made. the move . . . lbf6. The corollary though
White lacks time to secure an advan­ is that White can play the e4 advance
tage; the following variations are all without additional preparation. Let' s
roughly equal: see how these factors work out in
a) 1 2 cxb6 axb6 1 3 e4 ( 1 3 i.d6 is practice.
answered by 1 3 . . . lbc5 14 'iVb4 l:.fc8) s ...lbc6
and now Black can choose 13 . . . d5 or The blockading continuation 5 . . . d6,
13 . . ..ixb5 14 cxb5 lbc5 15 'iVb4 d5 . intending . . . e5, is also quite accept­
b) 1 2 .id6 .ixb5 1 3 cxb5 lbxc5 14 able. Then 6 dxc5 dxc5 7 'ii'xd8+
'ii'b4 l:.fc8 1 5 'ii'xa5 bxa5 1 6 e4 lbb7 'it>xd8 8 .if4 lbd7 is not dangerous -
17 .ie5 d6. White's initiative will gradually be­
c) 12 e4 .ixb5 13 cxb5 lbxc5 14 come exhausted, but his pawn weak­
'ii'b4 lbb7. nesses will remain.
We should note that 5 . . . f5 ? ! fails to
8.2 prevent 6 e4, since 6 . . . fxe4 7 'ii'h 5+ g6
3. .c5 4 a3 .ixc3+ 5 bxc3 (D)
. 8 'ii'xc5 gives White the initiative.
6 e4
It is not logical for White to play 6
lbf3 lbf6, because it runs counter to
his opening strategy declared by the
move 4 a3 . Instead, 6 d5 enters unex­
plored territory: 6 . . . lbe5 ! ? (6 . . . lba5
and 6 . . . lbce7 are also possible) 7 lbf3
(7 e4 'iih4 ! ?) 7 . . . lbxc4 (or 7 . . . 'il'f6) 8
e4 'ii'a5, with chances for both sides.
6...cxd4
6 . . . d6 7 d5 (7 lbe2 ! ?) 7 . . . lba5 is an
alternative plan:
a) The careless 8 f4? exd5 9 exd5
(9 cxd5 lbf6) 9 . . . lbf6 1 0 .id3 0-0 led
White shows he is prepared to play rapidly to serious hardship for White
a Samisch Nimzo-Indian, to which in Moskalenko-Goossens, Barcelona
5 . . . lbf6 would now transpose. The 2005 .
Sfunisch is a highly double-edged line, b) 8 .id3 can be met by 8 . . . e5 9 f4
where White hopes his strong centre f6 ! ? (a slightly risky experiment; sim­
and kingside attacking chances will pler is 9 . . .exf4 1 0 i:xf4 lbe7 with
compensate for his pawn weaknesses. equality) 10 'iih 5+ ( 1 0 f5 'it'd?; 10
One of the main themes is an attack or lbe2 lbe7) 1 0 . . . �f8 1 1 fxe5 dxe5 12
pin on the f6-knight by e4-e5 or .ig5 . l:.a2 'ii'e 8 1 3 'iid l lbe7 with an unclear
This suggests that Black might profit game, Kacheishvili-Eingorn, Berlin
96 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

1 995. A more flexible approach is bxc3 gives the play an original feel.
8 . . . lbe7, when 9 f4 exd5 10 cxd5 f5 is Then:
unclear, or 8 . . . lDf6 ! ?, intending . . . b6 a) The blockading strategy 5 . . . d6
and . . . ..ta6 with an attack on the weak has a natural appeal, as it uses Nimzo
c4-pawn. themes while avoiding a direct trans­
The text-move, 6 . . . cxd4, represents position to well-worn lines. Then 6 e4
a more concrete approach: instead of (6 dxe6?! .i.xe6 7 e4 'ii'a5 8 'ii'b 3
blockading the white pawn-centre, lDf6) 6 . . . e5 7 .i.d3 (7 f4 exf4 8 .i.xf4
Black immediately attacks it. 'ii'h4+ ! ? 9 g3 'ii'e 7, Natsidis-Stein-
7 cxd4 d5 bacher, Leutersdorf 2005) 7 . . . lbe7 8
Simple and good. 7 . . .lDf6 8 e5 (8 lDe2 lDg6 9 0-0 (9 lDg3 lDf4) 9 . . . lbd7,
d5? is met by 8 . . . lbxe4, and 8 f3 with intending . . . h6, . . .lDf6-h7 etc., leads
8 . . . d5 9 cxd5 exd5 10 e5 lbg8 ! ?) to a long manoeuvring struggle with a
8 . . . lbe4 9 .i.d3 'ii'a5+ 1 0 �fl f5 (or very solid but slightly passive posi­
1 0 . . . d5) 1 1 exf6 lDxf6 looks slightly tion for Black.
extravagant, but it is also interesting. b) 5 . . . 'ii'a5 6 e4 lDf6 has been ex­
8 cxd5 exd5 9 e5 amined, intending piece-play after 7
As we see in this variation, the ab­ .i.d2 (7 'ii'c 2 lbxe4 is unclear) 7 . . . d6 8
sence of the knight from f6 has turned .i.d3 0-0 9 lbe2 l:r.e8 (Flear-Dorfman,
out to be useful for Black. Polanica Zdroj 1 992). However, if
9...lbge7 10 lbf3 0-0 White continues 7 f3 ! ?, the variation
The game is approximately level. 7 . . . 'iix c3+ 8 .i.d2 'ii'e 5 9 lDe2 exd5 1 0
cxd5 d 6 1 1 .i.c3 'ii'e7 looks dubious
8.3 for Black.
3...c5 4 d5 (D) Overall, in this case it makes sense
for Black to transpose to the Nimzo­
Indian:
4.. lDf6
.

The good news for Black is that this


is a line without a great deal of com­
plex theory, and where he has good
counterplay.
Now the lines 5 .i.d2 0-0, 5 lbf3 d6
and 5 g3 lbe4 do not leave White any
chance of an advantage. He has only
two continuations that demand de­
tailed coverage, but by the highest
standards neither gives Black opening
difficulties:
The advance of the d-pawn presents 8.3.1 : 5 ..t g5 97
Black with a choice. 4 . . . ..txc3+ ! ? 5 8.3.2: 5 f3 97
THE NIMZO-UKE 2 c4 j_b4+ 3 ltJc3 97

8.3 . 1 l l ... c4
5 i.g5 d6 (D) Again using the same motif: now
} 2 j_xc4? is bad in view of 1 2 . . . lb5b6.
12 i.c2
The evidently weaker 12 i.f5 0-0 1 3
e4 ( 1 3 'ji'd2? ! lbxc3 14 lbg3 lbb6)
1 3 ... lbxc3 14 lbxc3 "iixc3 1 5 ltc l "iie5
16 ltxc4 lbb6 gave Black the advan­
tage in Jacob-Luther, Austrian Team
Ch 2004/5.
12 ... 0-0 13 i.b4
Black repulses attempts to attack
his king without particular difficulty:
1 3 lbg3 lbxc3 1 4 "iih 5 g6 ( 1 4 . . . f5 ! ?)
or 1 3 lbd4 lbxc3 1 4 "iih 5 lbf6 1 5
'it'h4 lbce4 1 6 i.xe4 lbxe4 1 7 i.e7
6 e3 lte8 1 8 'ifxe4 We5, keeping the extra
We have reached a line of the Lenin­ material.
grad Nimzo-lndian. This and White's 13...lbxc3 14 lbxc3
next few moves are sensible, as it is After 14 i.xh7+ �xh7 1 5 'it'c2+
risky for him to remain behind in de­ �g8 1 6 lbxc3 lbe5 1 7 i.e7 lte8 1 8
velopment in lines such as 6 f3? ! h6 7 i.xd6 i.d7 the number of pawns be­
i.h4 0-0 8 e4 lte8 9 lbe2 (not 9 i.d3? comes equal, but White has to switch
exd5 1 0 cxd5 lbxe4 !) 9 . . . exd5 10 cxd5 to defence.
lbbd7. 14..."ilxc3 15 ltcl WaS 16 "iixd6
6 exd5 7 cxd5 lbbd7 8 i.d3
••• :es 17 ltfd1 lbf8
After 8 i.b5 h6 9 i.h4 a6 (or Both sides have chances, as White
9 . i.xc3+ ! ? 10 bxc3 0-0) 10 i.xd7+
. . has sufficient compensation for the
( 1 0 i.d3 ! ?) 10 . . . i.xd7 1 1 lbe2 g5 1 2 pawn.
i.g3 lbe4 (or 1 2 . . . 'it'e7 ! ?, when 1 3 a3
i.a5 14 0-0 0-0 is unclear, and White 8.3 . 2
should avoid 1 3 0-0?! h5 14 h4 lbh7, 5 f3
Bouwmeester-Momo, Moscow Olym­ Now we have a position more often
piad 1 956) 1 3 0-0 i.xc3 14 lbxc3 reached via the move-order 1 d4 lbf6 2
lbxg3 15 hxg3 "iie7 Black is no worse, c4 e6 3 lbc3 i.b4 4 f3 c5 5 d5.
Moiseenko-Landa, Russian Team Ch, 5 ... 0-0 6 e4 b5! ?
Dagomys 20 1 0. White's delay in development gives
8.. Ji'a5 9 lbe2 lbxd5 10 0-0 i.xc3 Black reason to sharpen the struggle. If
11 bxc3 Black is not so bellicose, then the
1 1 lbxc3? lbxc3 12 bxc3 c4 is of no somewhat calmer 6 . . . d6 (D) can be
use to White. recommended:
98 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

initiative) 9 . . . exd5 1 0 cxd5 �bd7 1 1


�e2 .ta5 ! ? I 2 0-0 b5 .
7 e5
7 i.d2 is unattractive in view of
7 . . . bxc4 8 �xc4 �a6 ! ? (8 . . . �b7 is
equal) 9 �xa6 �xa6 10 �ge2 exd5 1 1
e5 �e8 I 2 �xd5 d6, as in Vokac­
S tocek, Havlickuv Brod 2008.
After 7 �h3 the game becomes
highly tactical: 7 ... bxc4 8 �xc4 �xd5
9 i.xd5 exd5 10 'it'xd5 i.a6 ! 1 1 �g5
(not I I 'ii'xa8? 'ii'h4+ I 2 <iti>d i �c6)
I I . . . 'ii'b6 I 2 �f2 �c6 gave Black the
a) The dubious line 7 �g5? ! h6 8 initiative in Hammer-R.Hess, Mos­
i.h4?! has been already covered in the cow 20 1 1 .
note to White's 6th move in Section 7 �g5 exd5 (it looks more logical
8.3. 1 . to insert 7 . . . h6 ! ? 8 �h4 before playing
b) 7 �d2?! exd5 8 cxd5 �h5 9 8 ... exd5 9 cxd5 .:.e8) 8 cxd5 l:.e8 9
g4? ! (9 g3 f5) 9 ... 1i'h4+ 1 0 �e2 �g3+ 1i'd2 a6 10 �ge2 d6 1 1 �g3 �bd7
1 1 hxg3 'ii'xh 1 12 �f2 (Aronian-Efi­ ( l l ...c4 ! ?) 1 2 �e2 c4 1 3 0-0 �c5+ 14
menko, European Ch, Warsaw 2005) �h 1 h6 also does not promise White
1 2 ... c4 1 3 �e3 �d7 gives Black an the advantage, Mamedyarov-Fressinet,
advantage. European Clubs Cup, Ohrid 2009.
c) 7 �d3 b5 ! ? (after 7 . . . �bd7 8 7 ...�e8 (D)
�e2 �e5 9 0-0 Black can choose be­
tween 9 . . . .:.e8 and 9 . . . exd5 1 0 cxd5 c4
1 1 i.c2 �c5+ 1 2 <ifi>h 1 �d7, with un­
clear play) 8 �e2 bxc4 9 �xc4 exd5
10 �xd5 �xd5 1 1 'ii'xd5 'ii'b6 1 2 0-0
( 1 2 'iti>f2 i.b7 gives Black the initia­
tive) 12 . . . �c6 is equal.
d) 7 �e2 ! ? .:.e8 offers Black good
play after both 8 �g3 b5 ! ? 9 �f4
(Black takes over the initiative in the
event of 9 dxe6 �xe6 1 0 cxb5 d5 1 1
�d2 a6 1 2 bxa6 d4 or 9 �e2 bxc4 1 0
�xc4 �xc3+ 1 1 bxc3 'ii'a 5) 9 . . . 'ii'b6
10 dxe6 �xe6 1 1 'ii'xd6 bxc4 1 2
'ii'xb6 axb6 and 8 �d2 a6 ! ? 9 �g3 (9 8 f4
a4? ! exd5 10 cxd5 �h5 1 1 g3 �d7 1 2 White supports his far-advanced e­
i.g2 �e5 1 3 0-0 �f6 gives Black the pawn. Black seizes the initiative after
THE NIMZO-LIKE 2 c4 iJ..b4+ 3 0Jc3 99

8 cxb5 a6 (8 . . . d6 ! ?) or 8 dxe6 fxe6 9 4 0Jc6


•••

cxb5 a6 10 f4 axb5 I I i.d3 ( I I i.xb5 Those familiar with the Hubner


d5 gives Black the initiative) l l . . .c4 Variation of the Nimzo-Indian will
I2 .i.c2 d5, as in Radjabov-Istratescu, immediate understand Black's poten­
European Ch, Antalya 2004. tial blockading ideas. But by using
8 exd5 9 cxd5 d6 10 0Jf3
..• this move-order, Black puts pressure
After 10 .i.xb5 dxe5 Black's posi­ on d4 that limits White's options to a
tion deserves preference; for example, much smaller set than in the regular
1 1 fxe5 ? ! 0Jc7. Nimzo-lndian.
1 0 0Jc7 1 1 a4!?
••• Note that the immediate 4 . . . .i.xc3+
It's a fine balancing act between at­ 5 bxc3 d6 is less reliable. Before
tack and development. If White delays adopting a blockade strategy, it is use­
active play, then Black can be happy, ful for Black to wait until White has
as the lines I I .i.e2 .i.b7 I 2 0-0 c4 played 0Jf3, hindering the advance of
and I I .i.d3 c4 I 2 .i.c2 ( 1 2 .i.e4 f5) the f-pawn.
I 2 . . . dxe5 demonstrate. 5 0Jf3
l l .i.b7 12 .i.d3 g6
... White has no time to develop by
Blunting the threat of 1 3 .i.xh7+. .i.d3 and 0Je2, since 5 .i.d3? would
13 0-0 c4 14 .i.e4 0Jd7!? leave the d4-pawn undefended for a
In this rather unusual and sharp po­ moment. The other popular set-up in
sition, Black has enough counterplay. the Nimzo, 5 0Je2, promises little here
due to 5 ... cxd4 6 exd4 d5, and now:
8.4 a) 7 c5 ? ! 0Jge7 gave Black the ini­
3 c5 4 e3 (D)
... tiative in Sadler-Davies, London I 992.
b) 7 a3 .i.xc3+ 8 0Jxc3 dxc4 (after
8 . . . 0Jge7 ! ? the position is also equal)
9 .i.e3 (9 .i.xc4 'it'xd4) 9 . . . 0Jge7 I O
.i.xc4 0Jf5 I I 0-0 0-0 with equality.
c) 7 cxd5 exd5 (the more dynamic
7 ...'ii'xd5 ! ? 8 .i.e3 ltJf6 9 a3 .i.xc3+ 1 0
ltJxc3 'ii'd7 also leads to a level game) 8
a3 (8 g3 .i.g4 9 .i.g2 ltJge7 with equal­
ity, Durnitrache-B.Kovaeevic, Zagreb
I 997) 8 . . .i.xc3+ 9 ltJxc3 ltJge7 10
.

.i.d3 .i.f5 yields equal chances.


The line 5 d5 ! ? ltJe5 (5 . . . ltJce7 6 e4
can be met by 6 . . . d6 or 6 . . . .i.xc3+ 7
bxc3 d6, with unclear play) 6 .i.d2 (6
Now instead of 4 . . . 0Jf6 (transpos­ f4 is answered with 6 . . . ltJg6 and 6 e4
ing to a normal Rubinstein Nimzo-In­ by 6 . . . 'ii'h4) 6 . . . ltJf6 leads to a dou­
dian) Black develops the other knight: ble-edged game.
100 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

5 �xc3+
.•• but normally follows an exchange of
Black borrows ideas from the Hub­ knights.
ner Variation, the standard form of We should of course consider what
which could arise after 5 . . . 4Jf6 6 .i.d3 happens if White sticks to more stan­
.i.xc3+ 7 bxc3 d6, when a typical line dard patterns of development. 8 e4
runs 8 e4 e5 9 d5 ltJe7. exd4 (or 8 . . . cxd4) 9 cxd4 .i.g4 leads to
6 bxc3 d6 7 .i.d3 equality, and after 8 0-0 we can side­
In our case it is less accurate for step the standard Nimzo lines in two
White to play 7 e4 e5 8 d5 ltJce7, ways:
when Black has excellent play, but a a) 8 ... f5 looks like it ought to be
more interesting line is 7 d5 ltJce7 slightly questionable, although there
(7 . . . 4Ja5 8 e4 e5 9 i.d3 h6 is unclear) is no obvious refutation. 9 e4 f4 1 0 d5
8 dxe6 .i.xe6 9 ltJg5 ltJf6 10 ltJxe6 ltJce7 ( 1 0 ... 4Ja5? 1 1 ltJxe5) 1 1 g3 fxg3
fxe6 1 1 .i.d3 0-0 1 2 e4 ltJc6, reaching 12 fxg3 ltJf6 1 3 .i.g5 0-0 ( 1 3 . . . ltJg6
a non-standard position where the could be tried) 14 ltJh4 ltJg6 15 ltJf5
black knights are well-placed to coun­ h6 1 6 .i.e3 ( 1 6 .i.d2 is also possible)
ter the enemy bishops; e.g., 1 3 f4? ! e5 16 . . . .i.xf5 17 exf5 ltJh8 is unclear.
14 f5 ltJxe4. b) 8 . . . ltJge7 9 d5 (9 .i.e4 0-0 is un-
7.. e5 (D)
. clear) 9 . . . 4Ja5 (9 . . . 4Jb8 ! ?) 10 e4 and
Black continues to refrain from now 1 0 . . . ltJg6 or 1 0 . . . h6 ! ? with the
7 . . . 4Jf6. idea 1 1 ltJh4 g5. The remoteness of
the aS-knight from the kingside here is
of no vital importance, since White
cannot start an attack immediately
(see the note to Black's 4th move).
8 'it'e7! ?
•••

Black should avoid 8 . . . ltJge7? ! 9


dxc5 dxc5 1 0 'it'xd8+ �xd8 1 1 .i.a3,
but 8 . . . 'it'c7 9 dxc5 dxc5 1 0 .i.d5 ( 1 0
.i.xc6+ bxc6 i s unclear) 1 0. . .4Jf6 looks
acceptable, as White's advantage is in­
significant.
9 i.d5
9 dxc5 dxc5 10 i.xc6+ bxc6 1 1
'it'a4 ( 1 1 e4 ltJf6) 1 1 . . ..i.d7 leads to in­
8 .i.e4!? teresting complications:
In his turn, White takes advantage a) White achieves nothing after 12
of a difference from standard Nimzo e4 ltJf6 1 3 .i.g5 h6 14 .i.xf6 'it'xf6 15
lines: Black is not controlling the e4- 'it'a5 (15 0-0 0-0 1 6 'it'a5 .i.g4 1 7 ltJd2
square. The bishop manoeuvre itself is 'it'g5) 1 5 . . . .i.h3 1 6 0-0 .i.xg2 1 7 'ifi>xg2
not totally unknown in this structure, 'it'g6+ 1 8 'ifi>h3 'it'h5+.
THE NIMZO-UKE 2 c4 i.b4 + 3 ti:Jc3 101

b) 1 2 l:lbl can be met by 1 2 . . .ti:Jf6 freedom, but the other one is for the
1 3 l:lb7 e4 14 ti:Jd2 'ii'e5 . time being imprisoned by its own
c) 1 2 i.a3 begins a queenside at­ pawns.
tack. After 1 2 . . . ti:Jf6 1 3 ti:Jd2 ( 1 3 'ii'a5 10 ti:Jd2 ti:Jf6 1 1 'ii'c2
lt:Je4) 1 3 . . . a5 ! 14 0-0 ( 1 4 l:ld l 0-0 1 5 The attempt to exert pressure on the
ti:Jb3 lt:Je4 1 6 lt:Jxc5 lt:Jxc5 1 7 i.xc5 queenside by 1 1 l:lb1 0-0 1 2 'ii'a4 is
'ifxc5 1 8 l:lxd7 l:lad8 is equal) 14 ...0-0, parried with 12 . . . ti:Jd8.
the move 15 f3 is useless in view of The text-move immediately attacks
15 . . . i.e6 or 1 5 . . . e4 ! ?, and after 1 5 the e4-pawn, restricting Black's op­
ti:Jb3 lt:Je4 the lack of defenders on tions. After 1 1 0-0 0-0 he enjoys a
White's kingside becomes a problem wider choice of plans:
for him: a) 1 2 a4?! is well met by 12 ... cxd4.
c 1 ) 16 i.xc5 'it'g5 17 i.xf8 lt:Jxc3 b) After 1 2 l:lb1 i.g4 ! ?, two possi­
and now 18 'ii'a3 ? i.h3 19 g3 'ii'h5 20 ble lines are 1 3 'ii'a4 i.e2 14 l:.e 1 i.d3
ti:Jd2 lt:Je4 leads to a crushing defeat 15 l:lxb7 'ii'xb7 16 i.xc6 'ii'c 7 1 7
for White, but the following variation i.xa8 l:lxa8 and 1 3 'ii'c 2 i.e2 14 lt:Jxe4
saves him: 1 8 f4 ! _.h4 1 9 'ii'a3 ti:Je2+ lbxd5 1 5 cxd5 i.xfl 1 6 �xfl lba5 1 7
20 �h l lt:Jg3+, etc. dxc5 dxc5.
c2) 1 6 l:lac l 'ii'g 5 1 7 ..th l i.h3 ! 1 8 c) 12 'it'c2 l:le8 ! ? ( 1 2 ... i.f5 trans­
gxh3 'ii'f5 1 9 f3 l:lfd8 ! ? (the immediate poses to our main line below) 1 3 l:lb1
19 . . . lt:Jg3+ is also viable) and White's lba5 1 4 'it'a4 and here Black should
most prudent option is to accept a avoid 14 . . . 'ii'c 7? 1 5 lbxe4 and choose
draw by perpetual check. the equalizing 14 . . . lbxd5 1 5 cxd5 b6
9 e4 (D)
..• or the more adventurous continuation
14 . . . 'ii'd 8 ! ?.
d) 1 2 'ii'h 3 l:le8 1 3 a4 ( 1 3 i.a3
i.d7) 1 3 . . . tt:Ja5 14 'ii'h5 'ii'd 8.
e) 1 2 f3 ! ? exf3 13 lt:Jxf3 ( 1 3 'ii'xf3
i.e6) 1 3 . . . lt:Ja5 14 'it'd3 i.e6 1 5 lbg5
h6 1 6 l:lxf6 hxg5 .
In none of these lines is any advan­
tage for White apparent.
l l i.fS 12 0-0 0-0 13 f3 l:lac8
...

Black has to give up the e4-pawn,


but he obtains enough counterplay be­
cause of his active pieces.

8.5
This blockading move is possible 3 b6 (D)
...

thanks to the queen's position on e7. This flexible continuation is offered


One of the white bishops has gained as an alternative to 3 . . . c5 .
101 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

keeps the game level, while 7 ... ttlc6 is


more ambitious, targeting the weak
c4-pawn.
c) After 4 e3 .txc3+ ! ? 5 bxc3 .tb7
6 ttlf3 (6 f3 'ifh4+ ! ? 7 g3 'ifh5 8 e4
ttle7 is unclear, while 6 ttle2 is simi­
larly met by 6 ... 'ifh4 ! ? 7 ttlg3 ttle7)
Black has a choice between the com­
paratively simple Nimzo-line 6 . . . ttlf6
7 .td3 0-0 8 0-0 d6 9 ttld2 (9 l:te 1 ttle4
1 0 ttld2 f5 ; 9 'ii'e2 .te4) 9 ... e5 1 0 e4
ttlc6, planning ... ttle7-g6, and the more
ambitious 6 ... f5 7 .ta3 (7 .td3 ttlf6 8
Black does not immediately attack 0-0 c5 is unclear) 7 ... ttlf6 8 .te2 (8
White's centre, giving him a brief re­ .td3 c5 ! ? 9 dxc5 'ifc7 is also unclear)
spite to set up a broad pawn-front by 8 ... ttle4.
playing 4 e4; we examine in Section 4 .t b7 5 a3
•••

8.6 how Black then uses all his re­ After 5 e3 ttlf6 6 ttlf3 0-0 7 .td3 (7
sources to blow that centre apart. If .te2 fails to control e4 and can be met
White does not take up the challenge, by 7 . . .ttle4 8 0-0 f5 or 7 . . . .te4) 7 . . . c5
then the play tends to resemble the White achieves nothing because he
Queen's Indian or the Nimzo-Indian, has mixed two different development
with direct transpositions possible, schemes.
though Black has some important ideas Much the same can be said of 5 ttlf3
with . . . f5 and/or ... 'ifh4(+). In the cur­ ttlf6 6 .tg5 h6 7 .th4 c5 (7 ... .te4 ! ? 8
rent section we examine how best for 'ifb3 ttlc6 9 0-0-0 .txc3 1 0 'ii'xc3 a5
Black to steer his way through these 1 1 a3 a4 is unclear, Dreev-Markos,
variations. Montcada 2009) 8 a3 (8 0-0-0 cxd4)
4 'ifc2 8 . . . .txc3+ 9 'ifxc3 g5 1 0 .tg3 ttle4
White prevents the doubling of his 1 1 'ii'd 3 ( 1 1 'ii'c 2 ttlxg3 1 2 hxg3 .txf3
queenside pawns. He also has the fol­ 1 3 gxf3 cxd4) 1 l . . .d6 with chances
lowing possibilities: for both sides, I.Sokolov-Stefansson,
a) 4 'ifh3 a5 5 a3 (5 e3 .tb7 6 ttlf3 Reykjavik 2003.
f5 is equal) 5 ... a4 6 'ifc2 (6 'ifxb4? 5 .txc3+ 6 'ifxc3 d6 7 ttlf3
•••

ttlc6 7 'ifb5 l:ta5) 6 ... .txc3+ 7 bxc3 (7 Other continuations allow Black
'ii'xc3 ttlf6 8 'ii'g 3 ttlc6 ! ? 9 ttlf3 ttla5) more rapid counterplay:
7 ... f5 is unclear. a) After 7 'ii'g3 ttlf6 8 ttlf3 0-0
b) 4 g3 (the fianchetto offers White (8 ...l:tg8 ! ?) 9 .th6 ttle8 Black parries
little here; 4 ttlf3 .tb7 5 g3 comes to White's superficial threats without dif­
the same thing) 4 . . . .tb7 5 ttlf3 .txc3+ ficulty; e.g., 1 0 e3 �h8 1 1 .tg5 f6 1 2
6 bxc3 ttlf6 7 .tg2 and now 7 ... d6 .td3 e5 .
THE NIMZO-LIKE 2 c4 �b4+ 3 l£Jc3 103

b) 7 f3 ! ? 'ifh4+ (7 . . . l£Je7 ! ? 8 e4 0-0 8 g3 a5 (Black can also try 8 ... c5 ! ? 9


9 l£Jh3 l£Jg6) 8 g3 'iie7 9 e4 l£Jf6 1 0 dxc5 bxc5 10 i.g2 a5 1 1 0-0 0-0) 9 b3
l£Je2 ( 1 0 �d3 c 5 l l l£Je2 l£Jc6) 1 0 ... c5 lbbd7 (9 ...lbc6 ! ? 10 i.g2 l£Je7 1 1 0-0
1 1 �g2 0-0 12 0-0 l£Jc6 13 d5 ( 1 3 �e3 0-0 looks more interesting) 10 �g2 0-0
e5) 13 ...exd5 14 cxd5 �a6 ! ? 15 dxc6 1 1 0-0 "iie7 leads to a long manoeuv­
i.xe2 16 :f2 �b5 is unclear. ring game with approximately equal
c) 7 b4 l£Jd7 8 �b2 a5 ! ? 9 f3 (9 b5 chances.
can be met with 9 . . .l£Jgf6 10 f3 e5 or 8 0-0 9 �e2
•••

9 ... f5) 9 ... l£Je7 10 e4 f5 ( 1 0 . . . 0-0 1 1 White's plan includes the moves b4
l£Jh3 e5) 1 1 d5 e5 1 2 l£Jh3 fxe4 1 3 fxe4 and �b2, but the immediate 9 b4 is
0-0 is again unclear. somewhat premature in view of 9 ... a5 .
7 l£Jf6 (D)
••• Then 1 0 �b2 lbe4 1 1 'ifc2 ( 1 1 Wb3
axb4 1 2 axb4 :xal + 1 3 �xal 'ii'f6
gives Black the initiative) l l . . .axb4 1 2
axb4 :xal + 1 3 i.xal lba6 leaves
White with problems on the queen­
side, and the advance 1 0 b5 is not de­
sirable for him since after 10 . . . lbbd7
1 1 �e2 ( 1 1 �d3 e5) l l . . .l£Je4 1 2 'ji'c2
f5 1 3 0-0 :f6 the thematic pawn­
break 14 d5 decreases in value.
Another nuance relates to the de­
velopment of the fl -bishop: after 9
i.d3 l£Jbd7 (9 ... c5 ! ?) 1 0 0-0 ( 1 0 b4 a5
1 1 b5 e5) 1 0 ... c5 1 1 b4 ( 1 1 b3 :c8 1 2
i.b2 cxd4 1 3 lbxd4 lbc5, Yudasin­
Only now, with control of e4 se­ Psakhis, Ramat Aviv 1 999) 1 l . . .cxd4
cured, does Black develop his knight 1 2 lbxd4 l£Je5 Black obtained good
to f6. This position is far better known counterplay in Kozul-Jukic, Yugoslav
via move-orders such as 1 d4 l£Jf6 2 c4 Team Ch, Cetinje 1 990.
e6 3 l£Jc3 �b4 4 l£Jf3 b6 5 'ii'c2 i.b7 6 9 lL'lbd7 10 0-0
•••

a3 �xc3+ 7 'ii'x c3 d6, and modern Again the line 10 b4 lbe4 1 1 'ii'c 2
theory regards it as rather comfortable ( 1 1 'ii'b 3 lbg5 ! ?) l l . ..a5 is not advan­
for Black. tageous for White.
8 e3 10 lbe4 11 'iVc2
•••

8 �g5 is rather dubious as Black 1 1 'ji'd3 f5 12 b4 ( 1 2 lbd2 'ji'b4)


can reply actively with 8 . . . h6 9 �h4 1 2 ...:f6 1 3 d5 :g6 is also possible,
g5 10 �g3 l£Je4 1 1 'ji'c2 ( 1 1 'ji'd3 f5) and similar to our main line below.
l l . . .h5 1 2 d5 ( 1 2 h4 l£Jxg3 1 3 fxg3 l l f5 (D)
...

gxh4) 1 2 . . . exd5 1 3 cxd5 �xd5 1 4 This is the critical position for the
lbd2 'iie7. whole variation.
104 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Savina-Demina, Russian Women' s Ch,


Voronezh 2009.

8.6
3 b6 4 e4
•••

This principled rejoinder transposes


to a line of the English Defence ( 1 d4
e6 2 c4 b6 3 e4 .i.b7 4 lt:Jc3 .i.b4), so
we now need to make a small excur­
sion into its theory. In comparison
with the main lines of that risky open­
ing (which arise after 1 d4 e6 2 c4 b6 3
e4 .i.b7 4 .i.d3 ), Black has fewer prob­
12 b4 lems in our case, although he must be
1 2 lt:Je l ! ? �h4 1 3 f3 lt:Jg5 14 .i.d l ready for sharp and even irrational
( 1 4 f4? ! lt:Je4 1 5 lt:Jf3 �h6 gave Black play.
the initiative in Karpov-Yusupov, Can­ 4 .i.b7 (D)
••.

didates (2), London 1 989; 14 c5 ! ?)


and now both 14 . . . e5 and 14 . . . .l:.f6 1 5
�f2 'ifxf2+ 1 6 �xf2 e5 lead to a posi­
tion with chances for both sides.
12 l:.f6 13 d5
•••

The line 1 3 .i.b2 l:.g6 ( 1 3 . . .l:.h6 ! ?)


14 d5 fie? 1 5 l:.ad l c5 1 6 dxc6 .i.xc6,
as in Van Wely-S.Zhigalko, Sestao
20 1 0, is of approximately equal value.
13 l:.g6 14 lt:Jd4!?
•••

White fails to achieve an advantage


after 14 .i.b2 c5 ! 1 5 dxc6 ( 1 5 dxe6
lt:Jf8) 1 5 . . . .i.xc6 1 6 l:.fd l 'fie?. Then
the careless 1 7 lt:Je l ? 'ii'h4 left him in a
difficult situation in Ki.Georgiev-Gri­ The e4-pawn can be defended in
shchuk, European Team Ch, Kher­ several ways:
sonissos 2007. 8.6. 1 : 5 �c2 1 05
14 �g5 15 g3 lt:Je5!
••• 8.6.2: 5 .i.d3 1 05
Black's attacking threats are more 8.6.3: 5 f3 1 07
important than White's material gains.
After 16 lt:Jxe6 l:.xe6 17 dxe6 'iig 6 1 8 5 d5 ? ! also guards the pawn, but
.l:.d l ! ( 1 8 �b3? ! h5 ! ) 1 8 . . .lt:Jg5 1 9 l:.d5 5 . . . 'ife7 disrupts White's game: 6 .i.e3
( 1 9 �fl lt:Jgf3) 19 . . . lt:Jef3+ White re­ lt:Jf6 7 .i.d3 exd5 8 exd5 c6 gives
tains equality, but no more than that, Black counterplay, while 6 .te2 lt:Jf6 7
THE NIMZO-LIKE 2 c4 Ji.b4+ 3 lL:Jc3 105

i.g5 h6 8 �h4?! �xc3+ 9 bxc3 'ili'a3 The queen retreats precisely here in
1 0 �xf6 gxf6 and 6 lL:Je2 exd5 7 exd5 order to cover the e-file.
tbf6 also leave Black with a pleasant 9 bxc3 fxe4 10 i.xe4 �xe4 1 1
position. Vxe4 lL:Jc6 12 �g5
The point of this bishop move is to
8.6. 1 force Black to castle queenside. If he
5 'ili'c2 'ili'h4 can calmly finish his development,
White's centre must be attacked be­ then White's pawn weaknesses will
fore he fortifies it. tell.
6 �d3 12...tbf6 13 �xf6 gxf6 14 g3
6 d5 is also interesting here. Black's Or 14 l:te l 0-0-0 1 5 d5 f5 1 6 'ili'd3
best reply is 6 . . . �xc3+ ! ; for example, tba5 .
7 bxc3 (7 'ili'xc3 'it'xe4+ 8 �e3 and 14 ... 0-0-0 15 �g2 'ii'a3
now 8 . . . f6 or 8 . . . tbe7) 7 . . . 'ii'e7 (7 . . . f5 8 Both sides have chances.
exf5 exd5 is unclear) 8 �d3 (8 �e2
d6) 8 . . . tba6 (8 . . . exd5 ! ? 9 cxd5 f5) 9 8.6.2
tbf3 e5, as in Flores-A.Kovalyov, Bo­ 5 �d3 (D)
gota 20 1 0.
6 ...f5 7 tbf3
7 g3 ? ! is clearly weaker: 7 . . . 1Wh5 8
tbe2 (8 �e2? ! 'ilf7; 8 f3? fxe4 9 fxe4
tbf6 1 0 lL:Je2 tbc6 1 1 a3 0-0 with an at­
tack) 8 . . .'ii'f3 9 0-0 �xc3 1 0 tbxc3
tbc6 1 1 �e3 tbb4 12 'ii'e2 fxe4.
7...�xc3+ 8 �n
Otherwise White will have to give
up the e4-pawn. White should avoid
playing 8 bxc3? 'it'g4 9 0-0?? fxe4 1 0
tbe5 'it'xg2+, but 8 'it'xc3 'it'g4 9 0-0
fxe4 10 tbe5 is an interesting alterna­
tive. Then 10 . . . 'it'h4 1 1 �e2 (not 1 1
�c2? d6 1 2 �a4+ c6 1 3 d5 dxe5) An uncompromising plan: White
1 l . . .d6 ( l l . . .tbh6 ! ?) 12 tbg4 tbf6 1 3 supports his pawn-centre with an ac­
g3 'ii'h 3 14 tbxf6+ gxf6 1 5 c5 0-0 and tive developing move. Black has no
10 . . . 'ii'f5 ! ? 1 1 �c2 d6 1 2 �a4+ ( 1 2 choice but to strike back vigorously.
'ii'g 3 tbe7 1 3 tbf3 tbd7) 1 2 . . .c 6 1 3 5 ...r5 6 f3!
'ii'g 3 tbe7 1 4 tbg4 'it'g6 both give Nothing else gives Black any diffi­
White enough of an initiative to com­ culties:
pensate for the pawn, but he has no ad­ a) 6 exf5? is completely unsound
vantage. because after 6 . . . �xg2 7 'ii'h 5+, Black
8...'it'e7 can simply reply 7 . . . <.tf8.
106 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

b) 6 d5 fxe4 7 �xe4 'ikh4 8 'ii'e2 unclear play) 1 l ...�xc3 ( 1 1 . ..0-0-0 ! ?)


lbf6 9 �f3 0-0 leaves Black with the 1 2 lbxc3 0-0-0. So far this line has not
initiative. been tested in tournament practice.
c) 6 'ii'c2 lbf6 (6 ... 'ii'h4 transposes 7 g3 'ifhS (D)
to Section 8.6. 1 ) 7 f3 lbc6 8 lbe2
(Odessky points out that White should
avoid 8 �e3? ! fxe4 and 8 e5 ? lbxd4 9
'ii'a4 { 9 'ii'f2 lbh5 ! } 9 ... l2Jg4 ! ) 8 .. .fxe4
9 fxe4 e5 10 d5 lbd4 1 1 lbxd4 (not 1 1
'ii'd 1 ? ! 0-0, when 1 2 0-0? lbg4 is en­
tirely bad for White) 1 l ...exd4 12 e5
dxc3 1 3 bxc3 �c5 14 exf6 1i'xf6 and
again Black is in charge of events.
d) 6 1i'e2 lbf6 7 �g5 (7 f3 l2Jc6 !
and now 8 �e3 fxe4 9 fxe4 e5 is pleas­
ant for Black, while White should defi­
nitely avoid 8 e5? lbxd4 9 'ikf2 lbh5 ! )
offers Black a choice between the equal
7 ... fxe4 8 �xe4 �xe4 9 �xf6 'ii'xf6 10 8 exf5
'ii'xe4 0-0 and the more adventurous A highly complex situation arises
7 ... 0-0! ?, pursuing the initiative. after 8 �d2 lbc6 (8 ... lbe7 is possible
e) 6 1i'h5+ g6 7 'ii'e2 lbf6 8 �g5 (8 too) 9 d5 (9 a3 �d6 10 e5 �e7; 9 lbb5
f3 lbc6 9 �e3) 8 ... fxe4 (8 . 0-0! ?) 9
. . �xd2+ 10 'ii'xd2 0-0-0) 9 ... l2Je5 ; for
�xe4 (9 �xf6? exd3) 9 ... �xe4 1 0 example, 1 0 h2 lbf6 ( 1 0 ... 0-0-0 ! ?)
�xf6 1i'xf6 1 1 'ifxe4 0-0 1 2 lbf3 lbc6 1 1 f4 lbeg4 1 2 h3 �xc3 1 3 �xc3
with an equal game, Uribe-Buhmann, 1i'h6.
Bridgetown 2009. 8 lbc6!? 9 fxe6
...

6 ft4+
••• 9 lbe2 'ifxf3 1 0 .:tfl 1i'h5 1 1 fxe6
The queen check is a standard idea dxe6 leaves the game unclear.
in positions such as this - by provok­ 9 dxe6 10 a3
...

ing a weakening of the h 1 -a8 diagonal, The reason for provoking the ex­
Black noticeably increases the strength change on c3 is to fortify the d4-pawn.
of his b7-bishop. 10 d5 is more forcing. Then 10 ...exd5
6 ...l2Jc6 ! ? is another interesting pos­ 1 1 cxd5 lbe5 1 2 �b5+ (or 1 2 'ii'a4+
sibility: 7 lbe2 (7 a3 �xc3+ 8 bxc3 �f7 1 3 �e2 �xc3+ 14 bxc3 �xd5)
'ii'h4+ 9 g3 'ii'h 5) 7 ... fxe4 8 �xe4 (8 1 2 ... c6 ( 1 2 .. .'�>f7 is another idea) 1 3
fxe4 'ii'h4+ 9 g3 'ii'h 5 10 0-0 lbf6) �e2 ( 1 3 dxc6 lbxc6 14 'ifa4 �xc3+
8 ... 'ii'h4+ 9 g3 'ii'e7 1 0 0-0 ( 1 0 d5 is 15 bxc3 lbe7 is unclear, Tremblay­
met by 1 0 ... l2Ja5 and 10 a3 �xc3+ 1 1 Noritsyn, Canadian Ch, Guelph 20 1 1 )
lbxc3 with 1 l ...lbf6 1 2 �g5 0-0-0) 1 3 ... lbf6 14 f4 lbeg4 1 5 h3 'ii'xd5
10 ...lbf6 1 1 �g5 ( 1 1 lbb5 0-0 leads to leads to equality.
THE NIMZO-LIKE 2 c4 j_b4+ 3 ltJc3 107

10....i.xc3+ 1 1 bxc3 follow rather than 7 'ii'a4+? lbc6 8 d5


Now Black can choose between exd5 9 cxd5 'ii'h4+.
1 1 .. .0-0-0 and 1 1 . . .lDf6, intending to 6 lbh6 7 fxe6
•••

castle kingside. Black has quite good More relaxed play does not promise
attacking prospects in return for the White any advantage: 7 a3 .i.xc3+
sacrificed pawn. (7 . . . .i.d6 ! ? 8 .i.xh6 'ii'h4+ 9 g3 'ii'xh6)
8 bxc3 lDxf5 9 lDh3 0-0 10 .i.g5 'ii'e 8
8.6.3 1 1 .i.d3 h6, Simantsev-Khamitsky,
5 f3 (D) Saratov 2008. It is even worse for him
to choose 7 .i.e3? ! lbxf5 8 .i.f2 0-0 or
7 .i.xh6 'ii'h4+ 8 g3 'ii'xh6 9 'it'd2
'ii'xd2+ 10 'it>xd2 lbc6 with an un­
pleasant initiative for Black in both
cases.
7 lDf5 (D)
•••

The main continuation: White im­


mediately cements the vulnerable point
e4.
5 f5
•••

This move is fully in the spirit of the


English Defence, though there are
other viable moves, e.g., 5 . . . 'ii'h4+ 6 8 .i.f4
g3 .i.xc3+ 7 bxc3 'ii'e7 and 5 . . . lbe7 6 If White grabs more material, the
lbe2 ( 6 .i.d3 lDg6 7 lbe2 'ii'h4+) 6 . . . f5 exposure of his king and Black's lead
7 a3 .i.xc3+ 8 lbxc3 0-0 9 .i.e3 (9 in development may become critical
.i.d3 ? ! fxe4) 9 . . .fxe4 10 fxe4 d5 1 1 factors:
'ii'g4 dxe4, which led to an unclear po­ a) 8 exd7+ lbxd7 9 .i.f4 (9 lbe2 0-0
sition in Moberg-Langrock, Gothen­ is unclear) 9 ...'ii'h4+ (9 ... 0-0 10 'ii'd2
burg 2006. l::r.e 8+) 10 g3 'ii'e7+ 1 1 'ii'e2 ! ( 1 1 i.e2?!
6 exf5 g5 1 2 'ii'd3 l::r.f8, Hager-Lempert, Wer­
6 e5? ! is dubious in view of 6 . . . c5 7 fen 1 992) 1 1 .. .1i'xe2+ 1 2 'it>xe2 lDxd4+
a3 .i.xc3+ 8 bxc3 lDc6. 6 . . . d6 ! ? is also 1 3 �f2 .i.xc3 ( 1 3 ... 0-0-0) 14 bxc3
possible, when 7 exd6 .i.xd6 should lbe6 15 l::r.e 1 lDdc5 16 .i.xc7 0-0 1 7
1 08 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

.id6 l:.fd8, with approximate equality


despite White's two extra pawns.
b) 8 ..td3 'il'h4+ 9 'it>fl 0-0 10
.ixf5 ( 1 0 lDb5 ! ? is more consistent;
then 10 . . . lDc6 1 1 a3 ..te7 1 2 ..txf5
.:txf5 1 3 exd7 .:td8 leads to unclear
play) 10 . . Jhf5 1 1 ..te3 dxe6 12 .if2
.,f6 1 3 .,a4 (after 1 3 lDge2 ..txc3 ! ?
White should avoid 14 lDxc3? .:txf3 in
favour of 14 bxc3 'fi'f8) 1 3 . . . ..tf8 14
.:td l lDc6, Krizsany-Mihalko, Hun­
garian Team Ch 1 995/6.
With the text-move, White aspires
to castle queenside as quickly as pos­ c) 1 1 lDb5 0-0 12 ..txc7 (or 1 2
sible. 8 lDe2 leads to unclear play after lDxd4 lDxd4 1 3 'it'xb4 .:txf4 14 lDe2
8 . . . dxe6 or 8 . . . 0-0. c5) 12 .. .'ii'g 5+ 1 3 f4 'ikh6 ! 14 lDxd4
8 dxe6 9 'ii'a4+
••• .:txf4 1 5 .ixf4 'ikxf4+ 1 6 'it>bl lDxd4
Slower play with 9 lDe2 0-0 1 0 'fi'd2 17 lDf3 ( 1 7 lDh3 'ii'e 3) 1 7 . . . lDxf3 1 8
allows Black enough counterchances 'it'xb4 ..te4+ 1 9 '�tal lDd4 20 'it'd2
after 10 . . .�4+ 1 1 g3 ( l l lDg3 ..te7 ! ) lDc2+ with a draw (Odessky).
l l . . .'ikh5 1 2 ..tg2 ..t xf3 1 3 ..t xf3 'fi'xf3 d) l l lDge2 ..txc3 1 2 bxc3 lDxe2+
14 0-0-0 lDa6, but returning the pawn 1 3 ..txe2 'ii'f6 14 ..txc7 'ikxc3+ 1 5
straight away by 9 'fi'd2 ! ? is inter­ �bl 0-0 and Black i s OK.
esting: 9 . . . lDxd4 10 0-0-0 lDbc6 1 1 e) l l lbce2! ? lDxe2+ 1 2 lDxe2 'it'f6
lDge2 lDf5 ! ? ( l l .. .lDxe2+ 1 2 ..txe2 1 3 ..txc7 0-0 14 lDd4 lDxd4 1 5 'ii'xb4
.,e7 is slightly weaker, D.Pedersen­ .:tac8 again leaves Black with a satis­
S.Williams, Arhus 1 998) 1 2 'ti'xd8+ factory game.
.:txd8 leads to a small advantage for 10 ..txc3+ 11 bxc3 exd5 12 cxd5
•••

White in the ending. The alternative 12 0-0-0 'ii'f6 1 3


9 lDc6 (D)
... cxd5 'ii'x c3+ (Odessky) leads to equal
10 d5 play.
In the case of 1 0 0-0-0 lDxd4, Black 12 'ii'xd5 13 .:td1 'ii'cS 14 'ike4+
•••

defends successfully: lDfe7


a) Not l l lDh3? a6. The initiative has passed to White,
b) 1 1 ..te5 ? ! is dubious in view of but Black can maintain the equilib­
l l . . . ..tc5, as Kengis indicated. rium.
9 The Bogo- l i ke 2 c4
�b4 + 3 ttJd 2

1 d4 e6 2 c4 �b4+ 3 lDd2 (D) • In Section 9. 1 we study 3 . . . c5 4 a3


.i.xd2+. Compared to the regular
Bogo-Indian, Black has derived
some benefit from his initial move­
order as now White must take on d2
with his queen, since the d4-pawn is
under attack.
• With 3 . . .lbf6 (Section 9.2) Black is
willing to transpose to a line of the
Bogo-Indian Defence (viz. 1 d4
lbf6 2 c4 e6 3 lbf3 .i.b4+ 4 lbbd2,
having avoided the 4 .i.d2 main
lines). We shall focus on lines where
he prepares to retreat his bishop to
e7, and provokes White to occupy
With this modest-looking knight the centre. The central pawn-struc­
move, White wants to gain the bishop­ ture can take many forms resem­
pair without weakening his pawn­ bling the French Defence, Czech
structure or spending more than one Benoni or even the Steinitz Defence
tempo on the process (compare Sec­ to the Ruy Lopez !
tion 8.5). Black can either acquiesce,
relying on his rapid development, or 9. 1
prepare to retreat his dark-squared 3...c5 (D)
bishop when it becomes necessary. In The immediate attack upon the cen­
the latter case he usually wastes a tre is a logical but weighty decision
tempo himself, although the tempo since White can force the exchange of
granted to White may not prove too the b4-bishop, leaving Black's dark
valuable, as the knight is not very ef­ squares glaringly weak.
fectively placed on d2. We examine 4 a3
these two fundamentally different ap­ If White has serious hopes of an ad­
proaches in the following sections of vantage, then he has no real choice. 4
this chapter: lbf3 cxd4 5 lbxd4 lbf6 6 a3 .te7 is
110 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

inoffensive, while 4 e3 cxd4 5 exd4 some degree loosened, since the move
d5 !? 6 c5 (6 a3 i.e?) 6 . . . ltlc6 7 ltlf3 e5 a3 has weakened the b3-square, mak­
leads to unclear play. After 4 dxc5 ing the c4-pawn vulnerable. Now:
ltlf6 Black also has no difficulties: 9.1.1: 6 'ii'xd4!? 1 1 0
a) 5 ltlf3 i.xc5 6 e3 b6 (6 . . . ltlc6 ! ? 9.1.2: 6 ltlf3 111
7 a3 a5) 7 i.e2 i.b7 8 b 3 0-0 9 i.b2
i.e? is equal, Dziuba-Riff, Cappelle Ia 9. 1 . 1
Grande 20 1 0. 6 'ii'xd4!?
b) 5 g3 i.xc5 6 i.g2 0-0 7 ltlgf3 The white queen will soon have to
ltlc6 8 0-0 d5 9 cxd5 (9 a3 a5 10 'ii'c 2 move again, but the relocation is no
d4 1 1 ltlb3 i.e? 12 i.g5 e5 gave Black bad thing, as it was poorly placed on
the initiative in the game Papaioan­ d2.
nou-Elianov, Novi Sad 2009; 9 e3 ! ? is 6 ltlf6 7 ltlf3
•••

equal) 9 . . . exd5 10 ltlb3 i.b6 1 1 ltlbd4 This developing move is the main
.l:.e8 1 2 b3 i.g4 1 3 i.b2 ltle4. The ini­ continuation.
tiative already belongs to Black and The game Kozul-Leventic, Croatia
White must be careful to avoid serious Cup, Pula 2002 serves as a curious ex­
trouble; e.g., 14 h3? i.xf3 15 i.xf3 ample of underestimating the oppo­
'ii'f6 16 e3 ltlxg3, G.Kuzmin-Eingorn, nent's possibilities: 7 b4 ltlc6 8 'ii'c 3
Berlin 1 997, or 14 ltlxc6 bxc6 1 5 (8 'ii'h4 can be met by 8 . . . d6 9 i.g5 a5
ltle5 ? ltlxf2, as i n Hanisch-M.Mtiller, 10 b5 ltle5 or 8 . . . a5 9 b5 ltle7 10 i.b2
Germany (team event) 2005/6. ltlf5 1 1 i.xf6 { 1 1 'ii'f4 d6 } 1 1 . . . 'it'c7
4 i.xd2+ 5 'ii'xd2 cxd4 (D)
••• with highly unclear play) 8 . . . d5 (Black
An unbalanced position has arisen: could also consider 8 . . . 0-0 ! ? or 8 . . . d6,
White hopes to use his obvious advan­ with unclear play) 9 e3 (9 ltlf3 is an al­
tage on the dark squares but for the ternative) 9 . . . e5 10 cxd5 ( 1 0 ltlf3 ! ? d4
time being he is behind in develop­ 1 1 'ii'b2 0-0 is unclear) 1 0 . . . ltlxd5 1 1
ment. Besides, his queenside is to 'ii'c5 ? (White should play 1 1 'ii'd 3)
THE BOGO-UKE 2 c4 �b4+ 3 tiJd2 111

l l . . ...lte6 1 2 ..ltb2 :c8 13 'iWb5 ? and d) 8 'ii'd 1 0-0 (8 ... d5 9 cxd5 exd5 ! ?)
here Black could have won with the 9 e3 e5 10 b4 d6 1 1 ..lte2 (or 1 1 ..ltb2
tactical shot 1 3 . . . tbxe3 ! . b6 1 2 ..lte2 a5) 1 1 . . .a5 1 2 b5 tbe7 1 3 a4
7 tbc6 (D)
••• 'flc7 with counterplay, I.Sokolov-Dorf­
man, Burgas 1 992.
e) 8 'ifd6 has the idea of luring the
black knight to e4 so as to attack it
later. After 8 . . . tbe4 9 'ii'd3 d5 1 0 e3
( 1 0 b4? 'ii'f6 1 1 J:ta2 tbe5) 1 0 . . . 0-0 1 1
'ii'c 2 ( 1 1 b4 'ii'f6 1 2 J:ta2 J:td8 is un­
clear) 1 1 . . .'ii'a5 + 1 2 tiJd2 tbd6 there
are chances for both sides (M.Gure­
vich).
8 d5
...

Since the move . . . d6 re-establishes


some control over the dark squares, it
is an idea to bear in mind in many vari­
ations. For instance, 8 . . . d6 9 b4 0-0 1 0
Almost all the possible moves by ..ltb2 e 5 is worth examining here.
the white queen have been examined 9 cxd5 exd5 10 g3 0-0 11 ..tg2 J:te8
in practice. 12 0-0 ..ltg4
8 'ii'd3!? Black's position is acceptable, al­
This move looks like the strongest though he may be a little worse.
one but these other variations also de­
serve attention: 9. 1 . 2
a) 8 'ii'f4? ! e5 (8 . . . 0-0 is possible 6 tiJf3
too) 9 Wg3 e4 10 tbd2 0-0 1 1 e3 d5 1 2 White is going to take on d4 with
..lte2 d4 gave Black the initiative in the knight, but now the advance of
Quinn-Miezis, Cork 2005 . Black's e-pawn is a way to generate
b) 8 'ifh4 d6 ! ? 9 ..ltg5 (9 g4 'iia5+ activity.
10 ..ltd2 'iib6 is unclear) 9 .. .'ii'a5 + 10 6 tiJf6 7 tiJxd4
•••

tiJd2 ( 1 0 ..ltd2 .,f5) 1 0 . . . tiJe4 1 1 'ifxe4 7 'ifxd4 transposes to Section 9 . 1 . 1 .


(or 1 1 ..lte3 d5) 1 1 .. .'ii'xg5 with equal White must not delay taking on d4 any
play. longer: 7 g3? ! tbc6 8 tbxd4 'fib6 9
c) 8 'ii'c 3 0-0 (8 . . . d6 ! ?) 9 ..ltg5 d6 lbb5 d5 ! is advantageous for Black,
(9 . . . h6 10 ..ltxf6 'ii'xf6 1 1 'ii'xf6 gxf6 Kuzubov-Zubarev, Kharkov 2007.
1 2 0-0-0) 1 0 c5 ( 1 0 ..ltxf6 'ii'xf6 1 1 7 0-0 8 e3
.•.

'ili'xf6 gxf6 is equal, while 1 0 b4 is met This calm developing move is the
by 1 0 . e5 and 1 0 J:td 1 by 10 . . . tbe4)
.. most common, but 8 f3 ! ? is very in­
10 ... dxc5 1 1 'ii'xc5 tDe4 12 ..ltxd8 tbxc5 teresting. Then 8 . . . d5 9 cxd5 exd5 1 0
1 3 ..ltc7 b6 leads to equality. e 3 appears to give Black insufficient
112 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

counterplay, but 8 ... e5 9 li:Jc2 (9 li:Jb5 b) 10 li:Jb5 ! ? is more dangerous.


li:Jc6 is unclear) 9 . . . d6 10 e4 .ie6 I I After 1 0 ... li:Jc6 11 'i!ixd5, Black should
.ie2 'ilic7 (or 1 1 . . .a5) leads to a com­ avoid 1 1 .. .li:Jxd5 ? 1 2 e4 li:Jf6 1 3 f3 a6
plicated struggle. On the other hand, 8 14 li:Jc7 ! , when White's dark-squared
g3 d5 9 cxd5 (9 .ig2?! dxc4 1 0 0-0 e5 bishop is master of the board. Black
1 1 li:Jb5 li:Jc6) 9 . . .'ilixd5 10 li:Jf3 'ilif5 can defend by 1 l . . .exd5 , but it is better
( 1 0 . . . 'i!ie4 is possible too) 1 1 �g2 for him to resort to tactical methods
li:Jc6 1 2 'ili'f4 'ii'c2 1 3 li:Jd4 li:Jxd4 1 4 even earlier: 1 0 . . . 'ii'b 3 ! ? 1 1 'ii'c 3 ( 1 1
'i!ixd4 e 5 1 5 'ii'd2 'ii'c7 produces a li:Jc7 is met by 1 1 . . .li:Jc6 1 2 li:Jxa8?
rather simple and roughly level game. l:!.d8, while 1 1 'ii'd3 'ii'xd3 1 2 i.. xd3
8 d5 (D)
... li:Jc6 1 3 0-0 l:!.d8 14 l:!.d 1 e5 leads to
equality) 1 1 . . . 'i'xc3+ 1 2 li:Jxc3 l:!.d8 1 3
i..e2 ( 1 3 b4 a5 14 �b2 axb4 1 5 axb4
l:!.xa1 + 1 6 i.. x a1 li:Ja6 1 7 b5 li:Jb4 is
equal) 1 3 . . . li:Jc6 1 4 b4 ( 1 4 0-0 can be
met by 14 ... e5 or 14 . . . li:Ja5) 14 . . . li:Je5
and Black will gradually equalize.
Therefore White usually advances
his b-pawn, preparing to develop his
queenside pieces.
9 b3!?
The more aggressive 9 b4 allows
Black to engage in close combat with
unclear consequences: 9 . . . a5 10 b5
( 1 0 i..b2 axb4 1 1 axb4 li:Je4 12 'ilic2
We have another critical decision­ l:!.xa1+ 13 i.xa1 'ii'e7 14 'i'b2 e5 1 5
point. It is desirable for White to ex­ li:Jf3 li:Jc6 i s unclear, while 1 0 cxd5 ! ?
change queens, but the attempt to do can b e met b y 1 0 . . . 'ii'xd5 1 1 b5 li:Jbd7)
so simply after 9 cxd5 'i!ixd5 does not 10 . . . e5 1 1 li:Jf3 li:Jbd7 12 cxd5 (or 1 2
promise any significant advantage: i..b2 e4) 1 2. . . e4 1 3 li:Jd4 li:Je5, Flear­
a) After 1 0 li:Jf3 b6 1 1 'ii'xd5 ( 1 1 b4 Eingom, Berne 1 993.
is met by 1 1 . . . i.a6) 1 1 . . . li:Jxd5 1 2 li:Jd4 The prudent advance of the white
(or 1 2 b4 i.a6 1 3 b5 i.b7 14 i.b2 pawn by only one square forces Black
li:Jd7 1 5 .:te l li:Jc5) 1 2 . . . l:td8 Black either to seek complications in another
succeeds in neutralizing White's posi­ way or else to settle for a slightly
tional trumps in timely fashion. After worse position. Naturally, we shall fa­
1 3 .ic4 ( 1 3 b4 a5 14 b5 �b7 1 5 .ib2 vour the active approach.
li:Jd7 1 6 e4 li:Jf4) 1 3 . . . .ia6 14 .ixa6 9 li:Je4!?
.••

li:Jxa6 it is already time for White to 9 ... b6 1 0 i..b2 i.b7 1 1 l:!.d 1 is an ex­
worry about maintaining an equal po­ ample of Black settling for a slight dis­
sition, Miles-Eingom, Ostend 1 992. advantage;
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 .i.. b4+ 3 ti:Jd2 113

10 'iic2 e5 11 cxd5
1 1 ti:Jf3 is met by l l . . ..i.. f5 1 2 .i..d3
ti:Jd7.
l l ...ti:Jd6
Black must gambit a pawn, since
l l . . .ti:Jxf2?! 12 'iixf2 is not in his fa­
vour.
12 .!Df3
1 2 .!bb5 ?? .!bxb5 1 3 .i.. xb5 'ifa5+
costs White a piece, while after 1 2
.!be2 .i..f5 1 3 'ifd l ( 1 3 'ifb2 .!bd7 14
.i.. d2 l:tc8 1 5 l:tc 1 l:txc l + 1 6 'ifxc 1
'iff6) 1 3 . . . .!bd7 14 .i.. b2 l:tc8 15 l:.c l
'ii'b6 1 6 .!bc3 a5 Black is targeting the a3, he drives back the b4-bishop and
weak b3-pawn. can then occupy the centre with his
12... .i..f5 13 'ifd1 pawns right away. We divide our cov­
13 'ifb2 .!bd7 14 .!bxe5 ( 1 4 .i.. d2 erage as follows:
l:tc8 1 5 .:c l nxc l + 1 6 'ifxc l 'ifb6) 9.2.1 : 4 a3 1 13
14 . . . .!bxe5 15 'ifxe5 l:te8 16 'ii'd4 .i..e4 9.2.2: 4 .!bf3 0-0 misc. 1 14
also affords Black enough compensa­ 9.2.3: 4 .!bf3 0-0 5 a3 .i..e7 6 e4 1 1 6
tion.
13....!bd7 14 .i..b2 l:tc8 9.2. 1
The calmer 14 . . . 'iie7 1 5 .!bd2 l:tfc8 4 a3 .i..e7 5 e4
is also good enough. 5 .!bgf3 0-0 is considered in Sec­
15 .!bxe5 .i.. c2 tions 9.2.2 and 9.2.3.
Black's initiative is worth the sacri­ 5 ...d5
ficed pawns. 5 . . . d6 6 .!bgf3 0-0 transposes to the
note to Black's 6th move in Section
9.2 9.2.3.
3 ....!bf6 (D) 6 e5 .!Dfd7
Black wishes to preserve his bishop. We see a similar sequence in Sec­
Another line with this aim, 3 ... d5, al­ tion 9.2.3, to which 7 .!bgf3 0-0 would
lows the unpleasant 4 'ifa4+ .!bc6 5 e3, now transpose. Here we shall examine
which has scored well for White in other variations, and see what differ­
practice. ences there are.
After the text-move (3 . . . Nf6), let's 7 cxd5
note that 4 g3 is ineffective due to White achieves nothing by 7 'ifh5
4 . . . c5 ! . Therefore, we consider two c5 (7 . . . 0-0 ! ?) 8 cxd5 g6 9 'iih6 .i.. f8 1 0
main moves for White. With 4 .!Df3 he 'ii'f4 exd5 1 1 b4 ! ? ( 1 1 .i..b5 .i..g7 gives
transposes directly to a line of the Black the initiative) l l . ..cxd4 1 2 'it'xd4
Bogo-lndian Defence, while with 4 .i.. g7 1 3 f4 .!bf8.
114 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Besides exchanging on d5, the other answered with 8 . . . c5 (8 . . . 0-0 trans­


thematic continuation is 7 b4 a5 8 b5 poses to note 'b' to White ' s 8th move
c5 : in Section 9.2.3) 9 dxc5 lDc6 10 b4 a5
a) 9 f4 (this move is more logical ( 1 o . . l2Jdxe5 ! ? 1 1 lDxe5 l2Jxe5 1 2 i.b2
.

after the preliminary exchange cxd5) i.f6 1 3 i.b5+ i.d7) 1 1 'ifa4 0-0 1 2
9 . . . l2Jb6 1 0 l2Jgf3 ( 1 0 cxd5 l2Jxd5) ..tb2 11i'c7, which was equal i n Glady­
10 . . . lD8d7 with good play for Black. szev-Kogan, Tarragona 2007 .
b) 9 cxd5 exd5 10 'it'f3 ( 1 0 f4 cxd4 With the text-move, White makes
1 1 l2Jgf3 l2Jc5 12 l2Jxd4 f6 13 lD2f3 use of the absence of his knight from
fxe5 is also equal) 1 0 . . . cxd4 1 1 'ii'xd5 f3, but it does not provide any real
0-0 12 ..tb2 ( 1 2 l2Jc4 is answered by benefit for him.
1 2 . . . l2Jc5 1 3 11i'xd8 l:txd8 14 lDb6 l:l.a7) 8 c5 9 lDdf3
.••

and now Black can choose between 9 dxc5 is answered by 9 . . . a5, while
1 2 . . . l:te8, 1 2 . . . i.g5 and 1 2 ... l2Jc5, with after 9 l2Jgf3 l2Jc6 1 0 i.d3 ( 1 0 dxc5
equality in all cases. a5) 10 . . . 1!i'b6 1 1 0-0 a5 ( l l . . .c4 1 2
c) 9 lDgf3 cxd4 (9 . . .0-0 transposes l2Jxc4 i s unclear), the mistaken 1 2 f5 ?
to Section 9.2.3) 10 cxd5 (or 10 ..tb2 c4 1 3 f6 gxf6 14 exf6 lDxf6 left White
0-0) 10 . . . exd5 1 1 lDb3 l2Jc5 1 2 lDxc5 with a bad position in S.Mohr-King,
i.xc5 1 3 i.d3 ..tg4 14 0-0 l2Jd7 is Dortmund 1 989.
again equal. 9 l2Jc6 10 i.d3 cxd4 11 b4
.••

7 exd5 (D)
•.• White is starting to overreach. 1 1
l2Je2 l2Jc5 1 2 b4 l2Jxd3+ 1 3 'ii'xd3 0-0
14 0-0 f6 is approximately equal.
ll l2Jb6 12 bS lDaS
...

The game is complicated, but fa­


vourable for Black. After 1 3 f5, instead
of 1 3 . . . l2Jbc4 (as played in Erdos­
Kosic, Hungarian Team Ch 20 1 0/ 1 1 )
the line 1 3 . . . l2Jac4 1 4 l2Je2 l2Jd7 de­
serves attention.

9.2.2
4 l2Jf3 0-0 (D)
S a3
White frequently decides to do with­
8 f4 out this pawn move. Without delving
After 8 b4 a5 9 b5 c5 1 0 bxc6 deeply into details, let us quote two
(other moves are discussed in line 'b' continuations that are acceptable for
of the previous note) 1 0 ... l2Jxc6 1 1 Black:
l2Jgf3 (or 1 1 lDdf3) 1 1 . ..f6 Black se­ a) 5 e3 d5 6 ..td3 c5 7 a3 ! ? (7 0-0
cures counterplay, and 8 lDgf3 is well l2Jc6 8 dxc5 ..txc5 9 a3 a5) 7 . . . i.xd2+
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 t?:Jd2 115

b5 c5 8 bxc6 (8 e3 d5 transposes to the


main line below) 8 . . . bxc6 9 c5 d6 1 0
cxd6 11i'xd6 1 1 e4 'ikc7 1 2 .i.b2 c5, as in
Moiseenko-Vitiugov, Hangzhou 201 1 .
6 d5 (D)
...

8 i.xd2 cxd4 9 exd4 dxc4 1 0 i.xc4


t?Jc6 1 1 0-0 ( 1 1 i.g5 can be met by
1 l . . .b6 or 1 l . . .h6 ! ?) 1 l . . .b6 1 2 i.g5
i.b7 1 3 l:.c 1 t?Je7 14 t?Je5 (Dreev­
Rashkovsky, Palma de Mallorca 1 989)
14 . . . .l:.c8 is equal.
b) 5 g3 b6 6 .ltg2 .ltb7 7 0-0 i.e7. 7 b4
The black bishop voluntarily retreats, This advance is a logical follow-up
rather than waiting to be forced. to the move 5 a3. It is also possible to
White's 'free' move, t?Jbd2 hinders his play 7 'ili'c2 t?Jbd7 8 b4 a5 9 b5 (9 .l:.bl
control of the centre, and after both 8 is met by 9 . . . axb4 1 0 axb4 b6 1 1 .td3
b3 c5 9 i.b2 (9 dxc5 bxc5 is equal) .ltb7 1 2 0-0 dxc4, while 9 cxd5 ! ? exd5
9 ... d6 (or 9 . . . a6) and 8 .l:te 1 d5 9 cxd5 10 b5 i.d6 1 1 a4 'ii'e7 1 2 i.d3 b6 is
exd5 Black gets a pleasant game, al­ unclear) 9 . . . c5 1 0 bxc6 bxc6.
beit with widely differing strategic If White does not make the b4 ad­
themes. Only 8 11i'c2 poses some prob­ vance, then the tempo he has gained
lems for Black; after 8 . . . c5 (8 . . . d5 plays little role. For instance, 7 b3 b6 8
leads to a more complicated struggle) .tb2 .tb7 9 i.d3 t?Jbd7 (or 9 . . . c5) 1 0
9 e4 d5 10 exd5 (Black equalizes more 0-0 c 5 can lead to a standard type of
easily after 10 cxd5 exd5 1 1 e5 t?Jfd7) position with hanging pawns. 7 i.d3 is
10 . . . exd5 1 1 dxc5 .txc5 1 2 t?Jb3 t?Ja6 the most common move in practice,
(or 1 2 . . . i.e7) accurate defence is re­ but after 7 . . . c5 8 dxc5 (8 b3 can be met
quired for him to equalize. by 8 . . . b6 or the unclear 8 . . . cxd4 ! ? 9
5 .te7 6 e3
... exd4 dxc4 1 0 bxc4 e5 1 1 d5 b5) 8 . . . a5
Now the line 6 g3 b6 7 .tg2 .tb7 8 9 b3 (after 9 cxd5 both 9 . . . exd5 1 0 b3
b4 (8 0-0 c5) 8 . . . c5 9 dxc5 bxc5 offers t?Jbd7 1 1 i.b2 t?Jxc5 and 9 . . . 11i'xd5
White no prospects for an advantage. give Black equal play) 9 . . . t?Jbd7 1 0
He also achieves little after 6 b4 a5 7 0-0 ( 1 0 .ltb2 i s weaker i n view of
116 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

10 ... lbxc5 1 1 .i.c2 dxc4) 10 . . . lbxc5


Black has nothing to worry about.
7 a5 8 b5 c5 9 bxc6
•••

Black safely defends himself after 9


dxc5 lbbd7 ! ? 10 cxd5 ( 1 0 c6 bxc6 1 1
bxc6 lbc5) 1 0 . . . lbxd5 ( 1 0 ... lbxc5 ! ? 1 1
dxe6 .i.xe6 1 2 lbd4 .i.d5 is unclear) or
9 .i.b2 lbbd7 1 0 .i.e2 ( 1 0 ..id3 b6 1 1
lbe5 .i.b7) 1 0. . . b6 1 1 0-0 .i.b7 1 2 lbe5
(too ambitious) 1 2 . . . cxd4 ! (freeing c5)
13 exd4 lbxe5 14 dxe5 lbd7 15 .i.f3
lbc5 with good play for Black.
9 bxc6 10 c5 lbfd7 1 1 i.e2 (D)
•••

Or 1 1 .i.b2 e5 12 lbxe5 lbxe5 1 3 6...d5


dxe5 lDd7. It i s of dubious value for 6 ... d6 ! ? is an experimental but inter-
White to play 1 1 'i!fa4 e5 1 2 lDb3 e4 1 3 esting idea. Black intends a subsequent
lbg1 'ilfe8 1 4 i.d2 ..id8 1 5 l:tbl i.c7, ... e5 and argues that the d2-knight is
Jankovic-Palac, Rijeka 2009. poorly placed in the types of structure
that arise:
a) 7 .i.d3 e5 ! ? 8 0-0 (8 dxe5 dxe5 9
lbxe5 l:te8 is unclear; 8 d5 aS) 8 . . . exd4
9 lbxd4 lbfd7 (or 9 ... lbc6) is in the
spirit of the Steinitz Defence to the
Ruy Lopez.
b) 7 i.e2 c5 (7 . . . lbbd7 8 0-0 e5 is
similar to a standard position of the
Old Indian Defence, where the knight
would normally be on c3) 8 d5 e5
(8 ... lbbd7 and 8 ... lbe8 ! ? are also pos­
sible) 9 b4 lbbd7 10 0-0 (Christian­
sen-Vidarsson, Reykjavik 1 988) and
now 10 . . . a5 ! ? is a useful move, forcing
l l ... e5 12 0-0 e4 White to stabilize the position on the
White is playing a kind of French queenside.
Defence. Both sides have prospects. 7 e5
7 cxd5 exd5 8 e5 lDfd7 transposes
9.2.3 to note 'b' to White's 8th move, but
4 lDf3 0-0 5 a3 .i.e7 6 e4 (D) some other moves are of independent
This is White's most aggressive con­ importance:
tinuation, although here Black can get a) 7 ..id3 dxe4 8 lbxe4 lbxe4 9
counterplay more easily. .i.xe4 c5 10 dxc5 (other lines are 10
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 i.. b4+ 3 tiJd2 11 7

i..e3 f5, 10 0-0 f5 1 1 i..c2 cxd4 and 1 0 find a good way to release it) 10 . . . a5
d5 exd5 1 1 i.xd5 tiJd7) 10 ... 'ii'xd l + 1 1 1 1 lDb3 dxc4 12 i.xc4 a4 13 lDxc5
'itxd l i.. xc5 ( l l ...f5 ! ? 1 2 i..c2 i..xc5, lDxc5 14 dxc5 'ii'xd l 1 5 :xd l lDa5 1 6
Shankland-Fodor, Budapest 2009) 1 2 i..b5 lDb3 1 7 l:t b 1 i.. xc5 and Black
b4 ( 1 2 'ite2 can be met by 1 2 .. .f5, while will have a slightly worse, but quite
12 i.e3 i.xe3 is equal) 12 ... i.. xf2 1 3 c5 defensible ending.
f5 14 i..b l ( 1 4 i..c2 lDc6 15 i..b2 b) Making the pawn exchange 8
lld8+) 14 ... tDc6 1 5 l:.a2 l:r.d8+ and it is cxd5 exd5 before playing 9 b4 (here the
not clear to what extent White's initia­ line 9 i..d3 c5 10 0-0 lDc6 1 1 :el a5
tive compensates for the pawn, I.Khen­ leads to equality and in the case of 1 2
kin-Ulybin, Borzhorni (junior event) lDfl ? ! cxd4 Black's position even be­
1 988. comes preferable) 9 ... a5 1 0 b5 is the
b) 7 'ifc2 dxe4 8 lDxe4 lDxe4 9 main alternative to our main line. In­
'ii'xe4 f5 10 'ifc2 (or 10 'ii'e 3 c5 1 1 stead of the standard 1 0 ...c5, Black has
dxc5 i.. f6 1 2 i.e2 e5) 1 0 . . . c5 1 1 dxc5 an interesting alternative in 10 ... f6 ! ? 1 1
tDc6 12 i.f4 i.f6 (or 12 . . . 'ii'a5+) gives 'ii'b3 'ith8 1 2 'ii'xd5 (Miljkovic-Badev,
Black counterplay. Nis 2008), when 1 2 ... tDxe5 1 3 'ii'xd8
7 tiJfd7 (D)
••• lDxf3+ 14 tDxf3 l:.xd8 leads to equal­
ity.
8 ... a5 9 b5 c5 10 cxd5
10 i.. d3 cxd4 1 1 cxd5 ( 1 1 'ii'c2 h6
1 2 lDb3 a4 1 3 lDbxd4 ltJc5) 1 l . . .exd5
is of equal value. After 10 i..b2 cxd4
1 1 i.xd4 ( 1 1 cxd5 exd5 and 1 1 ..ie2
tDc5 12 ltJxd4 tiJbd7 are also possible)
1 1 . . .lDc5 1 2 i.e2 liJbd7 1 3 0-0 b6 the
black pieces take up useful squares.
10 exd5 11 i.d3 cxd4 12 lDb3
•.•

'ii'c7! ? 13 0-0
Weaker is 1 3 'ii'c 2? ! 'ii'c 3+ 14 i..d2
'ii'xc2 1 5 i..xc2 f6 ( 1 5 ... lDb6 ! ?) 1 6 exf6
i.xf6, as in Bartels-Kahlert, Hamburg
8 b4 1 992.
Or: 13 tDxe5 14 lDxe5 'ii'xe5 15 .:tel
•..

a) 8 i.. d3 ! ? c5 9 0-0 lDc6 10 :e l 'ii'd6 16 a4 'ii'd8


(White maintains the central tension, Little by little Black neutralizes his
reckoning that it is hard for Black to opponent's initiative.
1 0 The Bogo- l i ke 2 c4
jLb4 + 3 Ji.d 2

1 d4 e6 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 i.d2 (D) advantage. He can continue with


either liJf3 and g3 or liJc3 and e4
(or e3). Black may respond with
two wholly different development
schemes.
3 ... a5 is somewhat riskier, but leads
to more original play, with a transposi­
tion to standard theory less likely.
Black seeks to complicate the game
and obtain counterplay. Then:
• 4 e4 and 4 a3 are the subject of Sec­
tion 1 0.3.
• Section 1 0.4 covers 4 liJf3 . We fo­
cus on a standard Bogo-lndian plan,
but where Black starts with 4 . . . d6
This is White's most common re­ instead of 4 ... liJf6. This brings some
sponse to the bishop check. We shall interesting new ideas and nuances
investigate two natural continuations into the play.
for Black (3 ... i.xd2+ and 3...a5), which • 4 liJc3 (Section 1 0.5) is an immedi­
can lead to sharply differing strategies. ate switch to Nimzo-lndian chan­
The immediate exchange 3 ... i.xd2+ nels. Whose extra move (i.d2 vs
often transposes to lines of the Bogo­ ... a5) will prove more useful?
lndian, though both sides have some
independent options. Our coverage is 10. 1
divided up as follows: 3 i.xd2+ (D)
...

• Section 1 0. 1 covers 4 liJxd2, which The bishop exchange gives Black


creates no difficulties for Black as freedom to develop and manoeuvre,
long as he adopts the most appropri­ while the slight loss of tempo is not of
ate central structure. vital importance, as neither the queen
• The recapture with the queen, 4 nor the knight will be very effectively
�xd2 (Section 1 0.2), gives White placed on d2. On the other hand,
better chances of establishing an White will connect his rooks more
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 i.. b4+ 3 i..d2 119

6 e5 7 ii.d3 tiJf6 8 0-0 0-0 9 .l:.el


...

9 h3 is weaker, since 9 ... tiJh5 seizes


the initiative.
9 ...i. g4 10 'i!Vb3 c5 1 1 d5
Otherwise Black's queen's knight
will reach d4.
l l ...tiJa6
Both sides have chances. Given the
opportunity, Black will create play on
the queenside by . . . tiJc7 and . . . b5 .

1 0.2
3 i.xd2+ 4 'i!Vxd2 tiJf6 (D)
•.•

rapidly, and this may play a role in the After the exchange of dark-squared
battle for the centre. bishops, adopting a Dutch formation
4 tiJxd2 with 4 . . . f5 seems less well-founded
4 'i!Vxd2, which we examine in Sec­ than in lines like 2 . . . ii.b4+ 3 tiJc3.
tion 1 0.2, definitely offers White more Having said that, it appears to be an
prospects. As a rule, taking with the interesting option for Black in Sec­
knight is effective in this type of posi­ tion 1 0.3.2, where the position is only
tion only if Black plays, or has already slightly different.
played, . . . d5 . In the current situation
he should therefore make full use of
his flexible position and prepare the
. . . e5 advance.
4 d6 5 tiJgf3
•.•

5 g3 e5 6 e3 exd4 7 exd4 tiJf6


(7 ...'i!Ve7+ ! ?) 8 i.. g2 0-0 does not create
any problems for Black, I.Sokolov­
Short, London 2008.
5 'i!Ve7
•••

A balanced position arises after


5 . . . tiJf6 6 e4 (6 g3 0-0 7 i.g2 'ili'e7 8
0-0 e5) 6 . . . 0-0 7 i.d3 (7 e5 dxe5 8
dxe5 tiJfd7 9 'ili'c2 tiJc6 1 0 'ili'c3 f6)
7 . . . e5 . After placing his knight on f6, Black
6 e4 has two fundamentally different plans
After 6 g3 e5 (threatening to attack in the centre: either . . . d5, or else . . . d6
by . . . e4-e3) 7 dxe5 dxe5 8 e3? tiJf6 9 followed by . . . e5 . Since we shall be re­
ii.g2 0-0 Black's position is prefera­ ferring to this choice of plans on many
ble, To Nhat-Kosic, Budapest 2009. occasions, for convenience we shall
120 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

designate them as Plan D ( . . . d5) and a) 7 g3 is considered in the note to


Plan E ( . . . d6 and . . . e5). Black's 5th move in Section 1 0.2.2.
Of course, first White must choose b) 7 e3 'ii'e7 8 .te2 (8 h3 ! ? e5 9 g4
how to develop his pieces: either 5 lbc6 is unclear, while 8 .l:!.d l e5 9 dxe5
lbc3 (with possible e4 ideas) or 5 lbf3 dxe5 1 0 lbd5 lbxd5 1 1 cxd5 e4 led to
(followed by g3, .tg2, etc.) and thus an equal position in Tregubov-Asrian,
one of four different opening configu­ French Team Ch 2007) 8 . . . e5 (8 ... b6 ! ?
rations can arise on the board. 9 0-0 .tb7 1 0 'ii'c 2 c5) 9 'ii'c2 ! ? ( 9 0-0
10.2.1 : 5 lbc3 1 20 e4 10 lbe 1 .l:!.e8, Koziak-Liogky, Sau­
10.2.2: 5 lbf3 121 tron 2002) 9 . . . .l:!.e8 10 0-0 lbbd7 is un­
clear (and like a King's Indian Attack
1 0. 2 . 1 with colours reversed).
5 lbc3 0-0 c) 7 e4 lbc6 8 l:.d1 (8 .te2 e5 equal­
Challenging White to occupy the izes; castling queenside by 8 0-0-0 'ii'e7
centre. This move is more flexible sharpens the situation, but that is all)
than the immediate 5 . . . d5, and in case 8 ... 'ii'e7 9 ..i.e2 (9 e5 dxe5 and now 1 0
of 5 . . . d6 6 e4 0-0 (Plan E) Black needs lbxe5 .l:!.d8 i s equal, while 10 dxe5
to take the reply 7 f4 into consider­ lbd7 ! ? 1 1 'ii'e 3 'ii'b4 leads to unclear
ation. play) 9 ... e5 10 dxe5 (or 10 0-0 �g4)
6 lbf3 (D) 10 ... dxe5 l l lbd5 'ii'd6 ( l l . . .'ii'd8 ! ?) 1 2
If White is tempted by 6 e4, Black 'ii'e3 lbb4 1 3 0-0 lbbxd5 14 cxd5 ..i.d7
creates double-edged play after 6 . . . d5 ! 15 lbd2 'iih6 with a satisfactory posi­
7 e5 lbe4 8 'ii'e3 (or 8 lbxe4 dxe4) tion for Black.
8 . . . c5 . 7 e3
This position is highly reminiscent
of the Queen's Gambit Declined.
7...'ii'e7 8 cxd5
By determining the pawn-structure,
White rules out the liquidation of the
centre with . . . dxc4 followed by . . . c5.
Other moves offer White little; in the
following lines Black should gradu­
ally achieve equality:
a) 8 �d3 dxc4 9 ..i.xc4 c5 (9 ... b6 ! ?)
1 0 0-0 l:.d8 1 1 'ii'e2 lbc6 1 2 .l:.ad 1 (or
12 .l:.fd 1 ) 12 ... ..i.d7 (the pawn exchange
1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3 exd4 increases the danger
of the break d5) 1 3 a3 ..i.e8, Almeida­
6...d5 Fedorchuk, Madrid 20 1 0.
Black makes his choice. The alter­ b) 8 a3 .l:!.d8 (8 . . . lbbd7 ! ?) 9 ltd l (9
native is Plan E, viz. 6 ... d6. Then: cxd5 ! ?) 9 . . . a6 10 'ii'c 2 dxc4 1 1 �xc4
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 it..b4+ 3 it..d2 121

c5 12 dxc5 .l:txd 1 + 13 'ii'xd 1 'ifxc5 14 while 1 0 0-0 is met by 1 O . . . i.g4 or


'i!Vd8+ 'iVf8 1 5 'ii'c7 lbbd7. 1 0 . . . .l:td8.
c) 8 'ii'c2 .l:td8 9 .l:td 1 (9 a3 c5 1 0 10 .l:td8 11 a3! ?
•••

cxd5 exd5 1 1 i.e2 lbc6 1 2 dxc5 'fixeS Again White adopts a useful pro­
13 0-0 d4) 9 . . . a6 10 e4 dxe4 1 1 lbxe4 phylactic measure. He can also play
and now Black can choose between 1 1 0-0 ltJe4 12 �d 1 i.f5 1 3 'ii'b 3 ltJa5
1 I ...liJbd7 and the unclear continua­ 14 �c2 lbc6 1 5 a3 l:f.d6, as in Riazan­
tion 1 1 . . . lbc6. tsev-Kulicov, Dubai 2005 .
d) 8 .l:tc 1 .l:td8 (8 . . . lbbd7 ! ?) 9 a3 (or l l ltJe4 12 �c2 i.rs
•••

9 cxd5 exd5 10 i.d3 ltJc6) 9 . . . dxc4 1 0 White's position is preferable, but


i.xc4 c 5 1 1 0-0 lbc6 1 2 .l:tfd 1 b6. Black retains counterplay because his
8 exd5 9 i.d3 (D)
••• pieces are active, Granda-Fedorchuk,
Pamplona 20 10.

10.2.2
5 ltJf3 (D)
White can instead start with 5 g3
(which also prevents a transposition
to a Queen's Indian line by 5 . . . b6).
Then if Black wishes to adopt Plan E,
he needs to be on the alert: after
5 . . . 0-0 6 i.g2, the line 6 . . . d6 7 e4 e5 8
lbe2 (Avrukh) 8 . . . c5 9 d5 gives him a
solid but passive position without real
chances of counterplay. To avoid this
scenario he should prefer 6 . . . ltJc6 ! ? 7
9 ltJc6
••. lbf3 (7 e4 is met by 7 . . . d5 8 e5 lbe4,
This is a rather adventurous con­ while 7 lbc3 d5 is equal) 7 . . . d6, etc.
tinuation: Black will rapidly develop
his queen's bishop, but the poorly­
placed knight can become a problem.
The standard 9 . . . c6 10 0-0 lbbd7 1 1
�c2 .l:te8 is quite acceptable; for ex­
ample, 12 .l:tab1 ltJe4 (Black should
refrain from weakening the queen­
side by 1 2 . . . a5 ? ! ) 1 3 b4 liJdf6 14 b5
( 1 4 ltJe5 ltJxc3 1 5 'ii'x c3 lbe4) 14 . . . c5
1 5 dxc5 lbxc5 .
10 h3
10 i.b5 i.g4 1 1 i.xc6 i.xf3 1 2
gxf3 bxc6 1 3 l:f.c l �e6 i s unclear,
122 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Black must soon choose between . . . i.b7. For the time being, Black' s
Plan D and Plan E. In the latter case he king is safe in the centre.
can wait a little (i.e. 5 . . . 0-0 6 g3 d6), 7 i.g2 c6 (D)
but . . . d5 is most effective if played
right away.
5 ...d5
Let us briefly consider 5 . . . d6 6 g3
0-0 7 lt'lc3 lt'lc6:
a) 8 .l:td 1 a6 (White has hindered
. . . e5, so Black turns his attention to
flank play; 8 . . .'ii'e7 ?! is weaker due to
9 �g2 e5 1 0 lt'ld5) 9 i.g2 .:tb8. Now
10 0-0 b5 (Tregubov-G.Meier, Merida
2007) leads to equality, and after 10 d5
(Avrukh) 10 . . . lt'le7 1 1 lt'ld4 e5 1 2 lt'lc2
lt'lg4 there are chances for both sides;
it is not entirely clear what the knight's
journey from f3 to c2 has achieved. 8 0-0
b) 8 i.g2 e5 9 0-0 (9 h3 .:l.e8 10 0-0 Black's delay in castling proves
e4 1 1 lt'lg5 i.f5 is unclear) 9 . . . i.g4 useful in the case of 8 'ii'c 2 b6 ! ? 9
(putting pressure on the d4-pawn to lt'lbd2 (or 9 lt'lc3 i.b7 10 e4) 9 . . . i.b7
provoke its advance or exchange) 1 0 1 0 e4 lt'lxe4 1 1 lt'lxe4 dxe4 1 2 'ii'xe4
d 5 ( 1 0 e 3 .l:te8 and 10 dxe5 ! ? lt'lxe5 are 'ii'c7 (now everything is ready for the
also possible) 10 ... lt'le7 1 1 lt'le 1 'ii'd7 ... c5 advance; it is less accurate to play
12 e4 �h3 1 3 lt'ld3 (the hasty 1 3 f4? 1 2 ... 0-0 1 3 0-0 'iic 7 1 4 lt'le5) 1 3 lt'le5
exf4 14 gxf4 lt'lg6 unexpectedly led to lt'lxe5 1 4 dxe5 0-0-0 ! with equality.
problems for White in S.Ernst-Van 8 lt'lc3 is also of independent im­
den Doel, Dutch Team Ch 20 1 011 1 ) portance, as this is the most opportune
1 3 . . . i.xg2 14 'it>xg2 c6 with satisfac­ moment for White to offer this gambit.
tory play for Black, Kharitonov-Lo­ 8 . . . dxc4 9 e4 affords White enough
ginov, Russian Team Ch, Kazan 1 995 . compensation for the pawn, so it is
Although in these variations White simpler to play 8 . . . 0-0 ! ? 9 lt'le5 lt'lxe5
does not achieve any real advantage, 10 dxe5 lt'ld7 1 1 f4 lt'lb6 1 2 cxd5 exd5,
Black's margin of strategic safety is with equality.
small. Therefore Plan D ( . . . d5) looks 8 0-0
•••

more reliable in this particular situa­ There is nothing to be gained from


tion. delaying castling any further. So far
6 g3 lt'lbd7 White has played very natural and
Black prioritizes queenside devel­ even obvious moves, but now he must
opment. . . . c6 will come next, and if clarify his intentions and decide how
circumstances allow, then . . . b6 and to develop his queen's knight.
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 if..b4+ 3 if..d2 123

9 'ii'c2 both yield equal chances) 1 2 . . .f6 1 3


White has plenty of other possibili­ fid2 tt:'l5b6 and 1 4. . .e5, Black obtains
ties: satisfactory play.
a) The 9 tt:'lc3 gambit is less effec­ 9 b6 (D)
...

tive now since Black can reply 9 ... dxc4


10 e4 e5 .
b) 9 b3 actually means a loss of
time: 9 ...b6 (the more vigorous 9 ... b5 ! ?
leads to unclear play) I 0 tt:'le5 ( 1 0 tt:'lc3
il.. a6) IO . . . lt:Jxe5 1 1 dxe5 tt:'ld7 12 f4 b5
1 3 cxd5 cxd5 14 e4 ( 1 4 tt:'la3 'ii'b6+ 1 5
'iti>h 1 il.. b7 was equal i n Ki.Georgiev­
Parligras, Athens 2007) 14 . . . dxe4 1 5
.l:!.d 1 ( 1 5 il..xe4 il..b 7) 1 5 . . . 'i¥h6+ 1 6
1i'd4 il.. b7 with equal play.
c) The flank sortie 9 tt:'la3 is not ac­
tive enough. By playing 9 ... b6 10 .l:!.ac 1
il..b7 1 1 .l:!.fd 1 fle7, Black calmly con­
tinues to prepare . . . c5. Then 1 2 tt:'le5 Step by step Black makes progress
.l:!.ac8 1 3 f4 .l:!.fd8 led to equal chances with his plan. Now in the case of 1 0
in the game IlinCic-Andersson, Bel­ cxd5 cxd5 1 1 .l:!.c 1 il..b 7 White cannot
grade 2000. derive any benefit from his temporary
d) Avrukh suggested 9 tt:'le5 , which possession of the c-file.
leads to approximate equality after 10 tt:'lbd2
9 . . . tt:'lxe5 1 0 dxe5 tt:'ld7 1 1 f4 f6 1 2 The more active 1 0 tt:'lc3 ! ? i.b7 is
exf6 lt:Jxf6, a s i n Delchev-Riff, Pamp­ an interesting alternative. Black must
lona 20 1 0. defend carefully: 1 1 :fd 1 (the 'other
e) 9 .l:!.c 1 ! ? is a strong rejoinder to rook' , 1 1 .l:!.ad l ! ?, can be considered;
Black's standard plan. Although 9 . . . b6 instead, 1 1 tt:'ld2 c5 is unclear, while
has been tested with some success at 1 1 e4 dxc4 ! ? 12 e5 tt:'ld5 1 3 tt:'le4 c5 14
high level, it nevertheless makes sense tt:'ld6 tt:'lb4 is equal) 1 1 . . .fie7 1 2 tt:'ld2
for Black to change the subject and ( 1 2 e4 should be met by 1 2 . . . dxc4,
free his game with central play. Should with an unclear position, since the
the centre become open, it may appear weaker 12 ...dxe4 1 3 tt:'le5 allows White
that the wrong rook has occupied c 1 . the initiative) 1 2 . . . c5 1 3 cxd5 tt:'lxd5
After 9 . . . fle7 ! ? 1 0 fle3 ( 1 0 fif4 is an­ (not 1 3 . . . exd5 ? ! 14 tt:'lc4 and again
other idea, while 10 tt:'la3 .l:!.e8 1 1 fif4 White has the initiative) 14 tt:'lxd5 exd5
e5 1 2 dxe5 tt:'lxe5 1 3 tt:'lxe5 flxe5 is ( 1 4 . . . i.xd5 1 5 e4) 1 5 dxc5 .:tfc8 ! ? 1 6
equal) 10 . . .dxc4 1 1 .l:!.xc4 ( 1 1 a4 e5 ! ?) tt:'lfl .l:!.xc5 with an acceptable position
1 1 . . .tt:'ld5 1 2 fig5 ( 1 2 fle4 lt:J5f6 1 3 for Black.
flc2 e 5 and 1 2 fid2 tt:'l5b6 1 3 l:lc 1 e5 10 i.b7 11 b4
•••
124 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

White seizes space on the queen­ 16...tbxe4 17 tbxe4 dxe4 18 'ii'xe4


side. He can also play in the centre but tiJf6
with the knight on d2, it is hard for him Black has enough counterplay for
to make progress: equality, Delorme-Stupak, Chotowa
a) 1 1 .l:!.ad 1 can be met by 1 1 . . .c5 ! ?. 20 10.
b) 1 1 .l:!.fd 1 'ike7 1 2 e4 dxe4 1 3
tbxe4 c 5 leads to equality after 1 4 1 0.3
tbe5 tbxe5 1 5 dxe5 tbxe4 1 6 i.xe4 3 ...a5 (D)
i.xe4 1 7 'ikxe4 .l:!.ad8 or 14 tbxf6+
tbxf6.
c) 1 1 e4 c5 ! ? 1 2 cxd5 (although
White's position is more pleasant after
1 2 exd5 exd5, in the long run every­
thing must end with exchanges and a
likely draw) 1 2 ... exd5 1 3 e5 tbe4 1 4
tbxe4 ( 1 4 'ii'a4 cxd4 1 5 'ii'xd4 'ii'e7 is
also equal) 14 . . .dxe4 15 tbh4 cxd4 1 6
i.xe4 i.xe4 1 7 'ii'xe4 tbc5 1 8 'ii'g4 (Ju
Wenjun-Ding Yixin, Olongapo City
(women) 20 1 0) 1 8 . . . g6 with equality.
ll ... aS 12 a3 'fie7 13 cS
After 1 3 'ilih2 .l:!.fb8 1 4 .l:!.fc l ( 1 4
cxd5 can be answered with the equal­ The advance of the rook's pawn is
izing 14 . . . cxd5 or the more dynamic risky, since White has an extra tempo
14 ... exd5 ! ?) 14 . . . c5 15 bxc5 bxc5 the to fight for the centre. At some later
game is balanced, Psakhis-Andersson, point, the weakening of the b5-square
Polanica Zdroj 1 997. may prove a further defect of the pawn
13...i.a6 14 l:.fe1 axb4 15 axb4 move. However, it is not so simple for
i.bS White to make use of these shortcom­
Black has finished his development ings, while Black's plan also has some
and does not object to the exchange of major positive points, as we shall see.
rooks. The main moves are 4 tbf3 (Section
16 e4 1 0.4) and 4 tbc3 (Section 10.5). Here
The c6-pawn is the only weakness we look at the following pawn moves:
in Black's position, so White tries to 10.3.1 : 4 e4 1 24
blast open lines towards it. The at­ 10.3.2: 4 a3!? 1 26
tempt to seize the a-file with 1 6 e3
l:lfb8 1 7 'ii'c 3 h6 1 8 .l:!.a3 is parried by 1 0 .3 . 1
1 8 ... 'ii'd 8 1 9 .l:!.ea1 l:lxa3 20 .l:!.xa3 tbe8, 4 e4
as in Evdokimov-Fedorchuk, Marra­ This is the most natural reaction, but
kesh 20 10. it does not give any Black particular
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 Ji.b4+ 3 Ji.d2 125

trouble. He has even fewer problems ..ltxe6 with chances for both sides, Van
in the case of the extravagant 4 'ifa4 Beek-M.de Jong, Groningen 2004 .
..ltxd2+ (4 ... 'ii'e7 ! ?) 5 ltJxd2 ltJe7 6
tt'lgf3 0-0 7 c5 (or 7 e3 d6) 7 . . . d6 8
cxd6 cxd6 9 e3 ii.d7 10 ..ltb5 'ii'e 8 with
equality, Vaganian-Eingorn, Moscow
1 990. Of course, 4 ..ltxb4?! axb4 is not
to be feared, as Black has useful a-file
pressure while the c3-square is denied
to the white pieces.
4 d6 (D)
•••

4 . . . d5 is an alternative:
a) 5 e5 tt'le7 6 liJf3 (6 tt'lc3 dxc4 7
a3 .ltxc3 8 bxc3 b5 is unclear, Mar­
zolo-Apicella, French Team Ch 2007)
6 . . . tt'lbc6 7 ..ltc3 (7 ltJc3 dxc4 8 liJb5
tt'la7 is equal) 7 . . .tt'lf5 offers Black sat­ 5 tt'lc3
isfactory prospects. 5 a3 .ixd2+ 6 'ii'xd2 e5 leads to
b) 5 cxd5 exd5 6 e5 tt'le7 (or equality. White achieves little with the
6 . . . tt'lc6 ! ? 7 tt'lf3 ..ltg4 8 .ib5 ltJge7 9 modest 5 tt'lf3 tt'lf6 6 'ii'c2 (or 6 .id3)
0-0 0-0 1 0 .ie3 f6, Cousigne-Murey, 6 . . . e5 , while after 5 .id3 tt'lc6 ! ? (5 . . . e5
French Team Ch 200617) 7 tt'lc3 (7 is equal) 6 tt'lf3 'ii'f6 White unexpect­
liJf3 can be met by 7 . . . c5, while 7 a3 edly faces problems with the defence
..ltxd2+ 8 'ii'xd2 0-0 9 tt'lc3 c5 is equal) of his d4-pawn.
7 . . . c5 8 ..ltb5+ (8 a3 ..ltxc3 9 bxc3 s es 6 a3 ..ltxc3 7 ..ltxc3
•••

tt'lbc6 and now 10 tt'lf3 is unclear, 7 bxc3 f5 (or 7 . . . tt'lc6 8 .ie3 tt'lf6 ! ?
while 1 0 ..ltb5 'ii'b6 1 1 'ii'a4 ..ltd7 1 2 9 f3, when 9 . . . a4 and 9 . . . tt'lh5 are both
l:tb1 0-0 1 3 tt'le2? tt'la7 turned bad for possible) 8 exf5 .ixf5 9 ii.e3 ltJc6 also
White in Aleksandrov-Roiz, European deserves attention, Zayats-I.Vasilevich,
Ch, Warsaw 2005) 8 ... tt'lbc6 9 a3 ..ltxc3 Russian Women's Team Ch, Dagomys
10 .ixc3 'ii'b6 1 1 a4 0-0, Brunner­ 2009.
Edouard, French Team Ch, Guingamp 7 tt'lf6 8 f3 exd4 9 'ii'xd4 tt'lc6
•••

20 1 0. White has the advantage of the


c) 5 a3 ..ltxd2+ 6 tt'lxd2 tt'le7 7 bishop-pair, but lags behind in devel­
tt'lgf3 tt'lbc6 8 'ii'c 2 (8 .i.e2 0-0 9 0-0 opment and his queenside is weak­
dxe4 1 0 ltJxe4 liJf5 1 1 d5 exd5 1 2 ened. The question is who can make
cxd5 tt'lce7 1 3 tt'lc3 c 6 was equal in more of his trumps.
Bagirov-Eingorn, Minsk 1 983, while 10 'iff2
8 'ii'a4 0-0 9 0-0-0 dxe4 10 ltJxe4 tt'lf5 1 0 'ii'd2 is less accurate, as 1 0 ... 0-0
gives Black enough chances) 8 . . . dxe4 1 1 tt'le2 liJd7 1 2 tt'lg3 tt'lc5 shows.
9 'ii'xe4 tt'lf5 1 0 d5 tt'lce7 1 1 dxe6 White must lose a tempo by 1 3 'it'c2,
126 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

when 1 3 . . . 1Wg5 ! ? could be tried in­ pressure, but the addition of the moves
stead of 13 . . .11Vh4, as played in Tis­ a3 and . . . a5 renders the situation un-
dall-Korchnoi, European Team Ch, clear. Play can continue 8 . . . 1We7 9
Haifa 1 989. lbf3 (9 lbh3 is unclear) 9 . . . 0-0 (the
10 .i.e6 1 1 lDh3 lDe5
.•• sharper 9 . . . e5 is in the style of the
The game is unclear. Classical Dutch) l O 0-0 c6, setting up
a Stonewall structure after l l l:tfe 1 d5 .
1 0. 3 . 2 6 lDc3 d6 7 lDf3
4 a3!? Before playing e4, White should
A subtle positional idea: White in­ hinder the counter-advance ... e5 as
tends to play the 3 . . . .i.xd2+ line with much as possible. 7 e4 is inaccurate
the additional moves a3 and . . . a5 , because after 7 . . . e5 ! ? (7 . . . 0-0 8 lDf3
which can be to his advantage. A transposes to the main line below) 8
slight variation on this theme is also dxe5 (8 lDf3 exd4 is equal) 8 . . . dxe5 9
possible: 4 lbf3 d6 5 a3 ! ? �xd2+ 6 'iVxd8+ 'it>xd8 White's initiative is of a
'iVxd2. temporary nature.
4 .il.xd2+ 5 'iVxd2 (D)
••• 7 0-0 8 e4
••.

Playing by analogy with standard


Bogo-lndian lines with 8 g3 leaves the
c4-pawn without proper protection
and makes Black's counterplay easier.
8 . . . lbbd7 9 .i.g2 (9 l:td 1 'iVe7 lO �g2
lbb6 1 1 'iVd3 e5 12 c5 dxc5 is unclear)
9 . . . e5 l O 0-0 ( 1 0 dxe5 lbxe5 is equal)
lO . . . exd4 1 1 lbxd4 ( 1 1 'iVxd4 is met
by 1 1 .. .lDc5) 1 1 . . .lbb6 ( 1 1 . . .a4 ! ?) 1 2
b3 a4 led to a level game in Borovi­
kov-Kosten, Sautron 2005 .
8 lbc6 9 l:td l !
•••

9 ..lte2?! is evidently weaker be­


cause Black may continue 9 . . . e5 10 d5
Now Black's only reasonable op­ ( 1 0 0-0? ! �g4) l O . . . lbe7 1 1 0-0 (or 1 1
tions are a Dutch formation and Plan E c5 lbg6) 1 1 . . .lbg6.
( . . . d6 and . . . e5). 9 1We7 10 �e2
•••

•••5 lbf6 After l O e5 dxe5 1 1 dxe5 lbd7


5 . . . f5 ! ? is an acceptable alternative, Black finishes his development by
even if one may have some doubts . . . lbc5, . . . b6, ... .i.b7 and . . . l:td8, with a
about this plan in general. Then 6 lDc3 satisfactory position; for example, 1 2
lbf6 7 e3 b6 and 6 lbf3 lbf6 7 g3 b6 'iVe3 lDc5 1 3 lbe4 b6 ! 1 4 lbxc5 'iVxc5
should be OK for Black. 6 g3 lDf6 7 15 'iVe4 �b7 1 6 �d3 g6 .
.i.g2 d6 8 lbc3 keeps him under more 10 e5 11 dxe5 (D)
•••
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 iL.b4+ 3 Ji.d2 12 7

Black is not endangered by I I d5 of the white queenside, Black keeps


ltlb8 1 2 b4 ltla6 or especially 1 1 ltld5 possibilities of counterplay.
ltlxd5 1 2 cxd5 ltlxd4 1 3 ltlxd4 exd4
14 'ifxd4 f5 . 1 0.4
3 a5 4 ltlf3 (D)
•..

4 g3 has no particular advantages


compared to playing 4 ltlf3 followed
by g3. Black can reply 4 ... ltlc6, meet­
ing 5 ..tg2 with 5 . . . d5 ! ?, and 5 ltlf3
with 5 . . . d6, transposing to Section
1 0.4. 1 . He can also choose 4 . . . ltlf6 or
4 . . . f5, which transpose to other open­
ings.

l l ltlxe5
...

Here is where the a-pawn moves


hurt Black. We saw the same moves up
to this point in note 'c' to Black's 5th
move in Section 1 0.2. 1 , but continu­
ing the analogy by 1 1 . . .dxe5 1 2 ltld5
leads to a difficult game for Black,
who is deprived of ... ltlb4 ideas. There­
fore he acquiesces to White having a
greater share of the centre. This flexible continuation allows
12 ltld4 both sides plenty of choice in their
Or 1 2 0-0 ltlg6, attacking the e4- scheme of development. For instance,
pawn. And in the case of 1 2 ltlxe5 Black could now switch to standard
'ifxe5 ! ? ( 1 2 . . . dxe5 1 3 ltld5 is still theoretical lines by 4 . . . ltlf6 (Bogo­
preferable for White) 1 3 f4 ( 1 3 'ii'd4 Indian Defence) or even 4 . . .f5 with a
iL.e6) 1 3 . . . 'ii'e7 1 4 iL.f3 ( 1 4 'ii'd4 l:.e8) form of Dutch Defence.
14 . . . ltlxe4 ! 15 iL.xe4 ( 1 5 ltlxe4 f5) 4...d6
15 . . .iLf5 Black is just in time to sim- But this reply is the next link in the
plify the game painlessly. chain that constitutes Black's plan,
12 ltlg6 13 f3 iL.d7 14 0-0 'ife5! ?
.•. and enables him to create original po­
This useful manoeuvre activates the sitions with their own subtleties.
queen. White's position is slightly 10.4.1 : 5 g3 1 28
better, but because of the vulnerability 10.4.2: 5 ltlc3 1 29
128 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

For the alternative 5 a3 ! ?, see Sec­ 1 S llc6 �d7 1 9 lla6 llb2 20 e3 lieS 2 1
tion 1 0.3.2. lie 1 lla2 22 l:.xa5 .l:l.bS 2 3 a4 .:lbb2 24
llfl g6 25 .l:l.aS (25 g4 llb4 26 liaS
1 0.4. 1 llbxa4 27 llhS c5) 25 . . . h5 the game
5 g3 must end in a draw.
This is White's standard reaction in 6 e5! (D)
•••

the Bogo-Indian Defence. 5 e3 is too


meek since 5 . ..lbf6 6 Ji.d3 ..ixd2+ 7
'ifxd2 1i'e7 equalizes without any par­
ticular difficulty.
5 tbc6 6 Ji.g2
•••

The routine bishop development is


often played automatically, but more
problems for Black arise in the varia­
tion 6 tbc3 ! ? tbf6:
a) 7 a3 ..ixc3 S ..ixc3 tbe4 9 'ifc2
tbxc3 1 0 'il'xc3 0-0 1 1 .i.g2 'iff6
( 1 1 . . .1i'e7 ! ? 1 2 0-0 e5) 1 2 0-0 lieS and
the coming 1 3 . . . e5 will leave the game
level.
b) 7 'ilVc2 0-0 S .i.g2 (S a3 ! ? .i.xc3 Here in a nutshell is the whole point
9 ..ixc3 d5 ! ? 10 Ji.g2 dxc4 1 1 0-0 tbd5 of the 3 . . . a5 variation: Black attacks
is unclear) S ... e5 9 dxe5 (9 d5 ? ! tbe7) d4 before White has had time to castle.
9 . . . dxe5 10 a3 (or 10 l:.d 1 'i/ie7 1 1 tbd5 In the standard Bogo-Indian line ( 1 d4
tbxd5 1 2 cxd5 tbbS with equality) tbf6 2 c4 e6 3 tbf3 .i.b4+ 4 Ji.d2 a5 5
1 0 . . . e4 ! ? ( 1 0 . . . Ji.c5 and 1 0 . . . 1Lxc3 1 1 g3 d6 6 .i.g2 tbc6 7 0-0 e5) White
..ixc3 1i'e7 are also possible) 1 1 tbg5 would continue S ..ig5, but now he
Ji.f5 1 2 0-0 ( 1 2 e3 lieS) 1 2 . . . tbd4 1 3 needs to decide what to do with the
1i'd 1 ..ixc3 ( 1 3 . . .e3) 14 .i.xc3 c5, with d4-pawn, as 7 dxe5 dxe5 S 0-0 tbf6 9
chances for both sides. tbc3 0-0 1 0 a3 .i.xc3 1 1 .i.xc3 'ilie7
c) 7 .i.g2 e5 (7 . . . 0-0 ! ? S 0-0 e5 is only leads to equality.
safer) S a3 (S 0-0 tbxd4 9 tbxd4 exd4 7 0-0
10 tbb5 .i.c5 1 1 .i.g5 Ji.b6) S . . . ..ixc3 9 The pawn sacrifice is temporary,
..ixc3 tbe4 10 tbxe5 ! (this remarkable but White will have to take on b4 in or­
combination enables White to keep der to re-establish the material equi­
up the pressure) 1 0 . . . tbxc3 1 1 tbxc6 librium. Besides castling, 7 d5 ! ? is of
tbxd 1 1 2 tbxdS tbxb2 1 3 tbxb7 lla7 major importance. While seizing space
14 0-0 ! tbxc4 1 5 llfc 1 .i.xb7 1 6 llxc4 with gain of tempo, White releases the
..ixg2 1 7 �xg2. This four-rook end­ central tension and this is in accor­
game does not look too pleasant for dance with his opponent's wishes.
Black, but after the accurate 1 7 . . . llb7 ! The white position remains slightly
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 Ji..b4+ 3 Ji..d2 129

preferable, but Black obtains counter­ 1 1 dxc6 lt::lxc6 12 lt::lbd2 0-0, Vein­
play: gold-Osnos, Sverdlovsk 1 984.
a) 7 . J £jce7 ! ? 8 0-0 lt::lf6 9 lt::le l (9 7 exd4 8 lt::lxd4
...

lt::lc 3 0-0 10 lt::le 1 and now 1 0 . . . i.c5 The less accurate 8 i.xb4 axb4 9
was unclear in Benjamin-Eingom, lt::lxd4 lt::lge7 ! allows Black immediate
Reykjavik (team event) 1 990; instead equality, while 8 i.g5? ! is met by
1 0 . . . i.f5 is equal) 9 . . . 0-0 (9 . . . ..1txd2 ! ? 8 . . . f6.
10 'ii'xd2 h5) 10 lt::ld3 i.xd2 1 1 lt::lxd2 8 lt::lxd4 9 i.xb4 axb4
•••

(L.Jakobsen-Antonsen, Danish League On the b4-square, the black pawn


1 998/9) 1 1 . . . h5, with chances for both blocks White's queenside play, but it
sides. can also become a target.
b) 7 . . . ..1txd2+ and here: 10 'ii'xd4 lt::lf6 1 1 l:.dl
b1) 8 lt::lbxd2 lt::lb 8 (8 . . . lt::lce7 ! ? 9 White creates the threat of 1 2 'ii'd 2.
0-0 f5 1 0 e4 lt::lf6 is unclear, Parker­ The forcing variation 11 c5 dxc5 I 2
Arkell, Hastings 1 994/5) 9 0-0 (9 c5 'ii'xc5 'ii'e 7 1 3 .l:tcl ( 1 3 'ii'b 5+ �d7 )
lt::lf6 1 0 0-0 0-0 1 1 lt::lc4 and now both 1 3 . . . 'ii'xc5 14 .l:txc5 c 6 1 5 l:.c4 ! ( I 5
1 l . . .b5, as played in Fedder-Ward, .l:txc6?! is highly dubious in view of
Copenhagen 1 992, and 1 1 . . .lt::la6 are 1 5 . . . bxc6 1 6 i.xc6+ �e7 1 7 .tXIlK
equal) 9 ... lt::lf6 (9 ...lt::lh6 is another idea) .:.d8 1 8 f3 i.a6 19 i.c6 l:.c8 ! 20 .ta4
1 0 e4 0-0 1 1 lt::le 1 lt::la6 1 2 lt::ld3 c6 is l:f.c l + 21 'it>f2 l:.h 1 ) 15 . . . b3 16 �c3 !
equal. ( 1 6 a3 is weaker: 1 6 . . . i.e6 17 :d4
b2) 8 lt::lfxd2 lt::lb8 (8 . . . lt::lce7 9 lt::lc 3 .l:.d8, Magerramov-Eingom, Uzhgorod
lt::lf6 is another possibility) 9 lt::lc 3 (9 1 988) 16 ...'it>e7 ( 1 6 ... i.e6!?) 17 a3 .te6
c5 lt::lf6 1 0 cxd6 cxd6 1 1 lt::lc 3 0-0 1 2 leads to a roughly equal ending. The
lt::lc4 lt::la6) 9 . . .lt::ld7 1 0 a3 f5 1 1 b4 game is also level after 1 1 lt::ld2 0-0 1 2
lt::lh6 ( l l . . .lt::lgf6 ! ?) 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 .l:tc l .l:tfe 1 (or 1 2 lt::le4 lt::lxe4 1 3 i.xe4 l:.e8
(or 1 3 lt::lb 3 b6) 1 3 . . . b6 leads to un­ 14 ..tf3 'ii'g 5) 1 2 . . . c6 (or 1 2 . . . 'ii'e7 1 3
clear play, Sadler-Conquest, Hastings lt::lf l 'ii'e 5, as Marin suggests).
1 995/6. ll ....l:.a6
b3) 8 'ii'xd2 lt::lb 8 9 lt::lc 3 (9 0-0 can Now 1 2 'ii'd2 c5 leads to chances
be met by 9 . . . lt::lh6 1 0 lt::le 1 0-0 1 1 lt::ld3 for both sides, while 1 2 c5 We7 is
'ike7 or 9 ... lt::lf6) 9 . . . lt::la6 1 0 0-0 lt::lh6 equal. However, 12 lt::ld2 retains a min­
( 1 0 . . . lt::lf6 ! ?) 1 1 lt::le l 0-0 1 2 lt::ld 3 ( 1 2 imal advantage for White.
e4 .ltd? 1 3 lt::ld 3 'ii'b 8) 1 2. . . ..1td7 1 3 b3
f5 with equal play, Petran-King, Bu­ 1 0.4.2
dapest 1 989. 5 lt::lc3 (D)
It should be added that the prelimi­ This is more dangerous for Black
nary exchange 7 i.xb4 axb4 and only than 5 g3.
then 8 d5 does not promise White any 5 lt::lf6 6 'ii'c2
•••

advantage: 8 . . . lt::lce7 9 0-0 lt::lf6 1 0 Intending e4, when the e5 advance


'ikb3 ( 1 0 lt::lbd2 0-0 1 1 lt::le 1 c6) 1 0 . . . c5 may become a threat.
130 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

0-0 b6 ( l l . . .a4?! is well met by 1 2 c5)


12 b4 axb4 13 axb4 .ib7 leaves Black
with a passive defensive task.
9 e4
9 d5 lDb8 10 dxe6 .ixe6 offers
White only a minimal advantage.
9 ...e5 10 d5
White has to close the centre, since
10 .id3 is met by 10 . . . l2Jxe4 ! 1 1 .ixe4
exd4 with equality.
10...lDb8 11 .ie2
After 1 1 ..td3 0-0 1 2 0-0 Black can
play 1 2 . . . lDh5 . As White has a space
6 .ig5 offers White less: 6 . . . h6 7 advantage, he has a wide choice of
..th4 b6 8 e3 .ib7 9 l2Jd2 (9 ..td3 g5 10 possible plans, but it is not so easy to
.ig3 h5 is unclear) 9 . . . l2Jbd7 1 0 f3 0-0 implement some of the more natural
( 1 0 . . . g5 is an alternative) 1 1 a3 ( 1 1 e4 ones. The f4 advance would enhance
e5 1 2 a3 exd4) 1 l . . ..ixc3 1 2 bxc3 e5 the strength of the c3-bishop, but re­
with a comfortable game for Black, quires considerable preparation, while
Sturua-Eingorn, Geneva 200 1 . queenside play would work better with
6 'iie7
••• the dark-squared bishop on a different
Black prepares the counter-advance diagonal. We see these themes in the
. . . e5 in order to halt White's expansion lines 1 1 b4 axb4 ( l l . ..l2Ja6 is possible
in the centre at the right moment. The too) 1 2 axb4 l:ha1+ 13 ..txa1 0-0 1 4
less confrontational 6 . . . 0-0 7 a3 (7 e4 g 3 ( 1 4 lDd2 lDh5 1 5 g 3 f5) 14 . . .c 6 1 5
e5 is unclear) 7 . . . .ixc3 8 .ixc3 d5 .ig2 tDa6 (Arlandi-Ikonnikov, Cata­
leaves Black with a position that is nia 1 995) and 1 1 c5 0-0 (or 1 1 . . .lDbd7
slightly worse but acceptable. 1 2 cxd6 cxd6 1 3 l2Jd2 0-0 14 .ie2 b6)
7 a3 1 2 .id3 ( 1 2 cxd6 cxd6 1 3 l2Jd2 b6)
7 e4 looks slightly premature, be­ 1 2 . . . l2Ja6 ! ? 1 3 cxd6 ( 1 3 .ixa6 .l:.xa6
cause after 7 . . . e5 8 dxe5 dxe5 9 l2Jd5 14 0-0 lDh5 is unclear) 1 3 . . . cxd6 14
l2Jxd5 1 0 cxd5 0-0 1 1 a3 .id6 White .ixa5 lDxe4 ! .
achieves nothing, Grigore-Eingorn, Is­ 1 1 ...0-0 1 2 0-0 a4 1 3 c5
tanbul Olympiad 2000. Otherwise White's play on the
7 ... .ixc3 8 .ixc3 l2Jc6 queenside will be blocked.
At the cost of two tempi, Black 13....ig4 14 .ib4 l2Ja6! 15 ..txa6
wants to clarify the centre while re­ .l:.xa6 16 lDd2 lDh5 17 f3 .id7
taining chances of counterplay. In­ Black has secured sufficient coun­
stead, 8 . . .l2Jbd7 9 e4 e5 10 .id3 ! 0-0 terplay against the white king, 'Odi­
( 1 0 . . .exd4 1 1 l2Jxd4 l2Jc5 12 0-0 al­ rovski' - 'Heffalump' , playchess.com
lows White to seize the initiative) 1 1 (freestyle rapid) 2008.
THE BOGO-LIKE 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 i.d2 131

10.5 cxd5 i.xd3 1 1 'ii'xd3 exd5, Peralta­


3. . .a 5 4 tt:Jc3 (D) lvanchuk, Barcelona 2006.
c) 5 ti:Jf3 ! ? ti:Jf6 6 .i.g5 (6 cxd5
exd5 7 i.g5 h6 8 i.h4 g5 9 i.g3 tt:Je4
10 ti:Jd2 tt:Jxg3 1 1 hxg3 c6, Riazan­
tsev-Maletin, Moscow 2008) 6 . . . h6 7
i.xf6 "ifxf6 8 a3 (8 e3 0-0) 8 . . . i.xc3+
9 bxc3 0-0 10 e3 (Khalifman-Maletin,
Novokuznetsk 2008) 1 0 . . . b6.
5 e4!
The main rejoinder. In lines 'a' and
'b' White also tries to expose the
shortcomings of the move 3 ... a5, but
without particular success:
a) 5 'ii'c 2 d5 (5 ... 0-0 ! ?) 6 cxd5 (6
e3 0-0 7 tt:Jf3 b6 and 6 ti:Jf3 0-0 7 i.g5
White places the knight on c3 right c5 are also satisfactory for Black)
away, retaining the option of vigorous 6 . . . exd5 7 i.g5 'ii'd6 (or 7 . . . h6) 8 .i.xf6
play in the centre. "ifxf6 9 a3 i.xc3+ 1 0 'ii'x c3 c6, Roiz­
4...tt:Jf6 Istratescu, Belgian Team Ch 2007/8.
Black also keeps his options open b) 5 i.g5 h6 6 i.h4 b6 7 e3 (7 f3 is
in the centre: Plans D and E are both met by 7 . . . d5) 7 ... �b7 8 f3 (8 tt:Jge2
still possible, and Black will tailor his i.e7) 8 . . . c5 (8 . . . .i.e7 ! ? 9 i.d3 c5 1 0
choice depending on how White now tt:Jge2 tt:Jc6 i s another idea) 9 �d3 (9
develops. 4 . . . d5 is less consistent, but a3 cxd4) 9 . . .cxd4 10 exd4 tt:Jc6.
leads to simpler positions; however, in c) After 5 ti:Jf3 b6 the play returns
all the following variations White's to the framework of the Bogo-lndian
chances are preferable: Defence, but with Black having side­
a) 5 a3 �xc3 6 bxc3 (6 �xc3 ti:Jf6) stepped its main line (i.e. 1 d4 ti:Jf6 2 c4
6 . . . b6 ! ? (6 . . . ti:Jf6 7 �g5 h6 8 .i.xf6 e6 3 ti:Jf3 ..ib4+ 4 .i.d2 a5 5 g3 ). Then:
ir'xf6) 7 e4 (7 ti:Jf3 .i.a6 8 cxd5 exd5 is c l ) 6 'it'c2 i.b7 7 e3 .i.xc3 8 .i.xc3
unclear) 7 . . . dxe4 8 'ii'g4 ti:Jf6 9 "ifxg7 tt:Je4 is equal.
.l:.g8 1 0 "ifh6 i.b7 1 1 tt:Je2 ti:Jbd7 1 2 c2) 6 �g5 h6 7 i.h4 i.b7 8 e3 d6
ti:Jg3 "ife7 i s reminiscent of lines of the transposes to the note to White's 6th
Winawer French. move in Section 1 0.4.2.
b) 5 e3 ti:Jf6 6 i.d3 0-0 7 ti:Jf3 (7 c3) 6 g3 i.a6 ! ? 7 b3 d5 8 cxd5
cxd5 exd5 8 tt:Jge2 b6 9 0-0 i.a6 was exd5 9 i.g2 0-0 with chances for both
equal in Gustafsson-Fressinet, Ober­ sides after 1 0 0-0 .l:te8 1 1 .:tel ti:Je4 or
hof 20 1 1 ) 7 . . . b6 8 0-0 i.a6 (8 . . . i.b7 1 0 a3 i.xc3 1 1 i.xc3 l:l.e8.
could be tried) 9 "ife2 (9 b3 ti:Jbd7 1 0 c4) 6 e3 i.xc3 (this is sufficient to
a3 i.xc3 1 1 i.xc3 a4) 9 . . . ti:Jbd7 1 0 equalize; 6 . . . 0-0 7 i.d3 d5 leads to a
132 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

more complicated struggle - see note bxc3 dxc4 14 'i!kxc4 'i!kd7 i s equal,
'b' to Black' s 4th move above) 7 while 9 bxc3 b6 10 i.d3 (both 10 cxd5
i.xc3 ltJe4 8 i.d3 (8 l:lc l i.b7 is exd5 1 1 i.d3 i.a6 12 i.xe4 dxe4 1 3
equal) 8 . . . ltJxc3 9 bxc3 i.b7 10 c5 ltJg5 'i!kd5 and 10 i.e3 i.a6 1 1 'i!kc2 f5
bxc5 1 1 l:lb 1 i.xf3 12 'i!kxf3 ltJc6 with are also unclear) 1 0 ... i.a6 1 1 'ii'c 2
equality. i.xc4 1 2 i.xc4 ltJxd2 13 ltJxd2 dxc4
s ...ds 14 ltJxc4 ltJc6 gives rise to unclear
Black initiates complications while play.
avoiding the wilder 5 . . . i.xc3 6 i.xc3 Another interesting line, 7 ltJxe4
ltJxe4 7 'i!kg4. dxe4 8 a3 (White should avoid 8
6 e5 ltJe4 (D) i.xb4? ! axb4, when Black has the ini­
tiative) 8 . . . i.xd2+ 9 'iifxd2 c5 10 ltJe2
( 1 0 dxc5 can be met by 10 . . . 'ii'xd2+ 1 1
�xd2 ltJd7 1 2 f4 exf3 1 3 ltJxf3 ltJxc5
or 10 ... ltJd7 with an equal position, as
given by Marin) 10 ... ltJc6 1 1 l:ld l a4
1 2 ltJc3 cxd4 1 3 ltJxe4 ltJxe5 14 'iifxd4
'ii'xd4 1 5 llxd4 ltJc6, leads to an equal
ending. 7 'ii'g4? ! is poor in view of
7 . . . ltJxd2.
7 ...'iih4!?
White is probably slightly better,
but the position remains rather unclear
and requires additional study. Here are
some illustrative lines:
7 a3 a) Not 8 g3? ! ltJxc3 .
This immediate pawn advance is b) 8 ltJxe4 'ii'xe4+ 9 i.e2 i.xd2+
more promising than delaying it a 10 'iixd2 'ii'xg2 ( 10 . . . ltJc6 1 1 ltJf3
move: 7 ltJf3 0-0 8 a3 (8 i.d3 ltJxd2 9 dxc4) 1 1 i.f3 'iig 6.
'i!kxd2 c5 1 0 a3 cxd4 1 1 axb4 dxc3 1 2 c) 8 'ii'e 2 i.xc3 9 bxc3 (9 i.xc3
bxc3 dxc4 1 3 i.xc4 'ilc7 i s unclear) 0-0) 9 . . . ltJxd2 10 'iifxd2 'iife4+ 1 1
8 . . . i.xc3 and now 9 i.xc3 b6 10 i.d3 'ii'e 3 ( 1 1 i.e2 dxc4 1 2 ltJf3 ltJd7)
i.a6 1 1 'i!ke2 i.xc4 1 2 i.xc4 ltJxc3 1 3 1 1 . . .'ii'x e3+ 12 fxe3 0-0.
1 1 Tra nsposition to the
Sici l ia n

1 d4 e6 2 lLlf3 c5 3 e4 (D) course that it includes the move . . . e6.


Note that Sveshnikov players often
use the Sicilian Four Knights move­
order, and this has caused some anti­
Sveshnikov lines to become popular,
as we shall see in Section 1 1 .5 . De­
pending on how scared our opponents
are of the Sveshnikov, we may not
even be forced to play the main lines
of the Four Knights !
3 cxd4 4 lt:Jxd4
•••

4 c3 dxc3 5 lt:Jxc3 is the Morra


Gambit. It is not very promising for
White, and Black has several good re­
joinders. For example, 5 . . . lt:Jc6 6 .i.c4
Welcome to Sicily ! Since we have d6 7 0-0 and now:
accidentally found ourselves here, let a) 7 . . .lt:Jf6 8 'ii'e2 .i.e7 9 l:td 1 e5 1 0
us try to make our walk short and safe .i.e3 0-0 i s a traditional main line.
- as far as this is possible in such a Now in case of 1 1 l:tac 1 .i.e6 the game
complicated opening with a lot of con­ is approximately level, and 1 1 b4? !
crete variations. (too active) 1 l . . ..i.g4 1 2 a 3 l:tc8 1 3
My choice of line to recommend is l:tac 1 iLxf3 1 4 gxf3 ( 1 4 'ii'xf3 lt:Jxb4)
the Sicilian Four Knights, which has 14 . . . lt:Jh5 1 5 'ii'd2 lt:Jd4 delivers the
quite different positional themes from initiative to Black.
most Sicilian lines. You won't be at a b) 7 . . . a6 8 'ii'e2 iLe7 9 .l:l.d l iLd7 is
disadvantage here just because you a subtle line where Black refuses to
lack years of experience with typical make any unnecessary concessions. If
Sicilian sacrifices and attacking sce­ White wishes to force . . . e5, then he
narios. Naturally, if there is already a must spend a tempo with 10 .tf4 e5 1 1
variation of the Sicilian in your reper­ .i.e3 lt:Jf6, when it will be hard for
toire that you are happy to play, you White to generate much activity. If
may prefer to use that, provided of White instead chooses a waiting move
134 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

such as 10 a3 or 10 h3, Black can play course our opponents may well play
the useful 1 0 .. Jlc8 before committing it too !
to ... lbf6. • Section 1 1 .6 deals with 6 lL'ldb5,
4 lL'lf6 5 lL'lc3
•.• which is the main continuation.
5 i.d3 lbc6 6 lbxc6 bxc6 7 0-0 (7 Note that 6 i.f4 i.b4 7 lL'ldb5 comes
c4 can be met by 7 . . . d5 or 7 . . . e5) 7 ... d5 to the same thing.
8 lL'lc3 is considered in the note to
White's 7th move in Section 1 1 .5 . 1 1.1
5 lL'lc6 (D)
••. 6 a3
This is not a very common move in
the Sicilian Defence. Those who are
willing to play more standard Sicilian
set-ups can happily choose the Sche­
veningen-style . . . d6 (now or later), but
we shall adhere to the . . . d5 plan.
6 i.e7 7 i.e2
••.

7 lL'lxc6 bxc6 8 e5 lbd5 9 lbe4 is


less potent than a move earlier (see
Section 1 1 .5) since White is behind in
development. Nevertheless, the posi­
tion remains unclear; e.g., 9 .. :fllc 7
(9 . . . 1Wa5 + ! ? 10 c3 'ifc7) 10 f4 f5 1 1
lL'ld6+ ( 1 1 lL'lf2?! 0-0 1 2 c4 lL'lb6 1 3
This is the starting position of the 'ifc2 c 5 1 4 i.e2 i.b7 1 5 0-0 d6)
Sicilian Four Knights, in which Black 1 1 . . .i.xd6 12 exd6 'i'b6 1 3 'ifh5+ ! ?
plans the central advance . . . d5, often g 6 1 4 'ii'e2 0-0.
backed up by a pin with . . . i.b4. White 7 0-0 8 0-0
.•.

now has several possibilities: Or 8 i.e3 d5 9 exd5 lL'lxd5 10 lbxd5


• By playing 6 a3 (Section 1 1 . 1 ) 'ifxd5 1 1 i.f3 'iia5 12 b4 'ifc7 1 3
White prevents . . . i.b4, but spends a lbxc6 bxc6 14 0-0 i.a6 with enough
tempo on a move that isn't espe­ counterplay for Black.
cially useful. 8 d5 9 exd5 lL'lxd5 (D)
•••

• 6 i.e3 (Section 1 1 .2) is not entirely 10 lL'lxd5


appropriate in this situation. It is not advantageous for White to
• Section 1 1 .3 covers 6 i.e2, leading play 1 0 lL'lxc6?! bxc6, which strength­
to gambit play. ens Black's central control.
• On the contrary, 6 g3 (Section 1 1 .4) lO .'fJ/xd5 11 i.e3 .l:.d8
••

heads for relatively calm and bal­ Black can also choose 1 1 . . .lL'lxd4
anced play. 1 2 'ii'xd4 'ii'xd4 1 3 i.xd4 .l:.d8 ! (Black
• 6 lbxc6 (Section 1 1 .5) is mostly needs to play accurately to maintain
used to avoid the Sveshnikov, but of the equilibrium) 14 :fd 1 i.d7 1 5 i.f3
TRANSPOSITION TO THE SICILIAN 135

less appropriate move, since Black re­


plies 6 . . . d5 .

.i.a4 ! 16 b3 ( 1 6 .i.xb7 .i.xc2 17 .ltxa8


.i.xd l 1 8 llxd l .ltc5 is also equal)
1 6 ... .i.c6, achieving equality.
12 .i.f3 'ili'c4 13 lt::lxc6!? bxc6 6 .ltb4
•••

After 1 3 . . . l:.xd l ?! 1 4 lt::lxe7+ 'itf8 Black scores very well with this
1 5 l:r.fxd l 'itxe7 1 6 b4 (Tyomkin-Kra­ natural move.
pivin, Ashdod 2003) White's attack on 7 .i.d3
the black king is rather unpleasant, so In the variation 7 a3 ii.xc3+ 8 bxc3
it is more reasonable to decline the Va5 (8 . . .lt:Jxe4 9 1i'g4 lt::lf6 is equal) 9
queen sacrifice. lt::lb5 0-0 10 i.c5 lt:Jxe4 ! ? ( 1 0 . . . l:r.d8 is
14 'ili'e2 possible too) 1 1 i.xf8 'itxf8 Black ob­
1 4 Ve l e5 does not give White any tains good compensation for the ex­
advantage. change.
14 Jla6 15 'ii'xc4 .ltxc4 16 l:.fd1
••. White can also play 7 lt::lxc6 bxc6
.i.dS 17 Jle2 i.f6 before 8 .i.d3 . Then:
The activity of Black's pieces com­ a) 8 . . . d5 9 e5 (9 exd5 can be met by
pensates for the weakness of his pawns, 9 . . . exd5 1 0 ii.d4 0-0 1 1 0-0 .i.d6 or
so there are chances for both sides. 9 . . . cxd5 ! ?) 9 . . . lt:Jd7 1 0 Vg4 i.f8 gives
Black a pleasant form of French. After
1 1 .2 1 1 'ii'g3 l:r.b8 1 2 l:r.bl 'iic 7 1 3 i.f4 ( 1 3
6 ii.e3 (D) f4 c5) 1 3 . . .g6 or 1 1 f4 l:.b8 1 2 lt::ld l ( 1 2
This move's surprising popularity .:lbl c 5 1 3 i.f2 h5 gives Black the ini­
is presumably an echo of the aggres­ tiative) 12 .. .'ii'a5 + 1 3 .ltd2 'ili'b6, as in
sive scheme with .i.e3, f3 and 'ili'd2 Mitkov-lllescas, Spanish Team Ch,
that is used against the Najdorf and Ponferrada 1 997, he has nothing to
Scheveningen. Here it is somewhat complain about.
out of place since Black is fully ready b) 8 . . . e5 9 0-0 0-0 fits better with
to play in the centre. 6 f3? ! is an even the Sicilian ethos, and leads to an
136 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

equal game. Inappropriate activity with 1 1 .3


10 f4 d6 1 1 h3 exf4 1 2 l:!.xf4 ( 1 2 i.xf4 6 i.e2 (D)
ii.c5+ 1 3 �h l ii.d4) 1 2 ... ii.a5 could
even leave White with the worse posi­
tion.
7 e5
•••

This may be simpler than 7 . . . d5 8


exd5 (8 lt:'lxc6 bxc6 transposes to line
'a' of the previous note) 8 . . . lt:'lxd5 9
lt:'lxc6 bxc6 10 i.d2 0-0 1 1 0-0 l:.b8,
which is also quite satisfactory for
Black.
8 lLlf5
8 lt:'lxc6 is a safer choice, with ap­
proximate equality after any recapture
on c6.
8 0-0 9 ii.g5
••. With this modest-looking move,
This active approach is practically White indicates his willingness to of­
forced. After 9 0-0 ii.xc3 1 0 bxc3 d5 fer an interesting gambit. Unless Black
( 1 0 . . . d6 ! ?) 1 1 exd5 lt:'lxd5 12 ii.c5 is familiar with some form of the
ii.xf5 13 ii.xf5 .:l.e8 White must switch Scheveningen or Paulsen (to which he
to defence. can easily transpose), he should accept
9 d5
... the invitation to go pawn-hunting.
There now follows a 'storm in a tea­ 6 ii.b4 7 0-0
•••

cup' , the main line of which ends in a 7 i.f3 is met by 7 . . . lt:'le5, while de­
draw. By playing instead 9 . . . h6 ! ? 1 0 fending the pawn with 7 1Vd3 d5 8
ii.xf6 ( 1 0 ii.h4 d5) 1 0 . . . ii.xc3+ 1 1 exd5 lt:'lxd5 9 i.d2 (9 lt:'lxc6 bxc6 10 a3
bxc3 1Vxf6 1 2 lt:'le3 d6, Black can con­ ii.xc3+ 1 1 bxc3 1Vf6) 9 . . . lt:'lxc3 (or
tinue the struggle. 9 . . . 0-0) leads to an equal position.
10 exd5 1Vxd5 11 i.xf6 ii.xf5 12 7 i.xc3 8 bxc3 lt:'lxe4 9 i.d3
•.•

i.xf5 1Vxg2 This is one of two ways to begin the


Black forces events. 1 2 . . . 1Vxd l + attack. In the case of 9 'ii'd3 Black
1 3 l:.xd 1 gxf6 1 4 0-0 ii.xc3 1 5 bxc3 should defend by 9 . . . d5 1 0 ii.a3 ( 1 0
.:tfd8 is sufficient for equality in the lt:'lxc6?! bxc6 1 1 i.a3 1Va5 1 2 i.b4
ending. 1Vb6 1 3 .:l.abl c5) 10 . . . 1Va5 l l lt:'lb5 a6
13 i.xh7+! �xh7 14 1Vh5+ 'it>g8 1 2 lt:'ld6+ lt:'lxd6 1 3 ii.xd6 lt:'le7.
15 0-0-0 1Vg6 16 l:.hg1 9 lt:'lxc3 (D)
•••

The aggressive 1 6 1Vh4 is parried Black is optimistic and seizes even


by 1 6 . . . lt:'ld4 ! . more material. A safer approach is
1 6 1Vxh5 1 7 l:!.xg7+
••• 9 . . . d5 1 0 lt:'lxc6 (after 1 0 i.a3 ? ! 1Va5
The game ends in perpetual check. 1 1 1Vc l lt:'lxc3 1 2 lt:'lb3 1Vd8 White
TRANSPOSITION TO THE SJCIUAN 13 7

cannot create real threats) 10 . . . bxc6 'iWd4 and 1 3 i.d2?! h4 1 4 'ii'g4 h 3 of­
1 1 i.a3 c5 ! ? 1 2 .i.xe4 ( 1 2 c4 0-0 is fer White less.
equal) 1 2 . . . dxe4 1 3 i.xc5 ( 1 3 'ii'g4 0-0
14 i.xc5 f5 1 5 'ii'f4 l:.f7 leads to un­ 1 1 .4
clear play) 1 3 . . . i.a6 14 .l:.e 1 ( 1 4 'ii'g4 6 g3 (D)
'ii'd 5) 14 . . . 'ii'xd 1 1 5 l:taxd 1 .l:.c8, lead­
ing to approximate equality in the end­
ing.

Now Black's standard counterplay


with 6 . . . i.b4? ! 7 i.g2 d5 fails due to 8
exd5 tiJxd5 9 0-0 ! , so we shall adopt
10 'ili'g4 another approach.
1 0 1i'd2 also deserves attention. Al­ 6 d5 7 exd5
•••

though it is not entirely clear how Interesting complications begin af­


White can prove a real advantage after ter 7 i.g2 ! ? 1i'b6 8 lDxc6 (following 8
1 0 . . . tiJd5 1 1 lDb5 0-0 1 2 i.a3 tiJde7 lDb3 d4, 9 e5 lDd7 gives White no
1 3 lDd6 (or 1 3 i.d6), nevertheless more than equality, and 9 tDe2?! e5 1 0
10 . . . 'iWf6 ! ? looks preferable, with an c 3 a5 1 1 cxd4 .ib4+ is advantageous
equal position after 1 1 'it'xc3 'it'xd4 1 2 for Black) 8 . . . bxc6 9 exd5 ! (9 0-0 i.a6
'it'xd4 tiJxd4 1 3 i.b2 e 5 1 4 l:tfe 1 ( 14 f4 10 i.e3 'ii'xb2 1 1 i.d4 .ic5 ! ) 9 . . . cxd5
d6) 1 4 . . . 0-0 1 5 l:txe5 d6 1 6 l:td5 lDe6 10 0-0 i.e7 ! ( 1 0 . . . i.a6?! is risky in
17 l:txd6 lDc5 . viewl of 1 1 i.e3 'ii'xb2 12 lDxd5 ! with
lO 'iWf6 11 tDxc6 h5! ?
••• an attack for White) 1 1 l:te1 and Black
This useful zwischenzug disrupts can choose between the equalizing
the coordination of the white pieces. 1 l . . . i.b7 and the more adventurous
12 'ii'g3 bxc6 1 l . ..i.d7 ! ?.
Now 1 3 h4 ! ? reaches a position that 7 exd5 8 i.g2 i.g4
•••

requires careful study, but it seems 8 ... 'ii'b6 is an acceptable alternative:


that White has enough compensation a) 9 i.e3 i.c5 is very similar to a
for the two pawns. Instead, 1 3 i.g5 ? ! variation of the French Defence. After
138 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

10 tba4 'ilfa5+ both 1 1 tbc3 'ilfb6 and


1 1 c3 �xd4 1 2 �xd4 tbxd4 1 3 'ii'xd4
0-0 14 0-0 b6 are equal.
b) 9 tbxc6 bxc6 10 0-0 �e7 1 1
l:te 1 �e6 1 2 tba4 'ilib5 led to a bal­
anced game in Vasiukov-A.Panchenko,
Dnepropetrovsk 1 980.
c) After 9 tLlb3 !? d4 10 tbe4 ( 1 0
tbe2 �b4+ 1 1 c 3 dxc3 1 2 bxc3 i..e7
1 3 0-0 0-0 14 tbed4 �d7) 10 . . . i..e7 1 1
0-0 0-0 1 2 l:.e 1 White keeps a modest
initiative.
The text-move leads to a more com­
plicated struggle. The exchange of the knights fol­
9 'ifd3 lowed by the advance of the e-pawn
After 9 tbde2 �c5 1 0 0-0 0-0 1 1 h3 completely changes the strategic com­
( 1 1 �g5 .:te8) 1 l . . .�e6 1 2 tLlf4 'ilfd7 plexion of the game. We should note
White does not get an advantage, and that this line has received considerable
in the lines 9 f3 �e6 1 0 �e3 �b4 and theoretical and practical attention as a
especially 9 tbxc6?! bxc6 10 'ili'd4 iLe7 way to avoid the transposition to the
Black's position is even preferable. Sveshnikov that arises after 6 tbdb5
9 JLc5 10 'ili'e3+! ?
••• d6 7 �f4 e5 8 i.. g5 .
This queen check looks rather odd, 6 bxc6 7 e5
•..

but the careless 10 �e3 'ili'b6 1 1 tbb3? White stops the ... d5 advance, and
( 1 1 h3 ! still retains rough equality) hopes to achieve a clear positional ad­
1 1 . . . tbb4 can lead to serious hardships vantage.
for White. 7 Ji.d3 d5 8 0-0 �e7 leads to more
Black stands no worse in the case of standard play. The typical outcome is
10 tbb3 'ili'e7+ 1 1 Ji.e3 0-0 ! ? (a small a complex positional struggle with no
improvement over 1 1 . . .Ji.xe3 1 2 'ifxe3 obvious advantage for either side. Here
'ili'xe3+ 1 3 fxe3 l:tc8, which is also are some illustrative variations:
quite satisfactory for Black) 1 2 tbxc5 a) 9 e5 tbd7 10 'ili'g4 ( 1 0 f4 tbc5)
( 1 2 0-0 �xe3 1 3 'ili'xe3 'ili'xe3 14 fxe3 10 ... g6 1 1 l:.e l l:.b8 12 l:.bl 0-0.
l:tad8 is also equal) 1 2 . . . d4 1 3 i.. xc6 b) 9 b3 (9 'ili'e2 0-0 10 b3 l:te8 is
( 1 3 tD3a4 dxe3 14 'ili'xe3 'ili'xe3+ 1 5 similar) 9 . . . 0-0 10 i..b2 e5 1 1 'ili'e2
fxe3 lDb4) 1 3 . . . 'ili'xc5 with equality. l:.e8.
10 tbe7 11 0-0 0-0 12 'ili'd3 h6
.•• c) 9 �f4 0-0 10 e5 (10 'ili'f3 tbd7 1 1
Both sides have chances. exd5 exd5 ! equalizes; 1 0 'ili'e2 can be
met by IO . dxe4 ! ?) 10 ... tbd7 1 1 'ili'h5
..

1 1 .5 f5 ( l l . ..g6 ! ?) 12 exf6 tDxf6 1 3 'ili'e2


6 tbxc6 (D) i..d6, Abergel-Petrov, Benidorm 2008.
TRANSPOSITION TO THE SICIUAN 139

d) 9 l:.e 1 0-0 10 i.f4 ( 1 0 e5 ? ! ti:Jd7 12 . . . gxf6, but two other moves de­
1 1 iVg4 f5) 10 . . .ti:Jd7 ( 1 0 . . . d4 ! ?) 1 1 serve attention:
exd5 cxd5 1 2 ti:Jb5 i.c5 ! . a) 10 c3 i.e7 1 1 i.d3 'ii'b6 12 'ii'e2
e ) 9 iVf3 0-0 10 iVg3 ( 1 0 l:.e 1 d4 ( 1 2 c4 f5) 1 2 . . . a5 1 3 c4 ( 1 3 a3 i.. a6 is
1 1 e5 dxc3 1 2 exf6 i.. xf6 leads to un­ equal) 13 . . . 'ii'h4+ 14 �fl f5 is OK for
clear play) 10 . . . ti:Jh5 1 1 iVf3 ( 1 1 iVh3 Black, Sax-T.Reiss, Hungarian Team
g6) 1 l . . .ti:Jf6. Ch 2008/9.
7 tt:Jd5 8 tt:Je4
••• b) 10 'ii'd2 i.b4 1 1 c3 ( 1 1 ti:Jd6+
It is absolutely illogical for White �f8) l l . . .i.e7 1 2 i.e2 (for 1 2 i.d3
to play 8 ti:Jxd5 ? ! cxd5 9 iVd4 (9 'ii'b6 1 3 'iife 2, see line 'a' ) 1 2 . . . 'iii'b6 1 3
i..d3 ? ! 'ilc7 10 'ile2 i..b4+ ! ) 9 . . . i.a6 a3 f5 1 4 exf6 ti:Jxf6 1 5 ti:Jd6+ i.. xd6 1 6
10 i.xa6 'ifa5+, with a good game for 'ii'xd6 (Govedarica-Bjelajac, Yugoslav
Black. But now Black must act very Team Ch, Tivat 1 995) 16 . . . ti:Je4 1 7
vigorously if he is to obtain enough i.h5+ �d8 1 8 'ii'd4 'ii'xd4 1 9 cxd4
counterplay. i.a6 and again White has not achieved
8 iVc7
••• an advantage.
Dragging the white pawn to f4 in 10 'ii'b6 1 1 i.d3
..•

order to weaken the g l -a7 diagonal The purpose of the sly manoeuvre
and the e3-square in particular. by the black queen is revealed in the
9 f4 'ii'a5+!? (D) variation 1 1 c4 'ii'd4 ! 1 2 'ii'f3 ! ( 1 2
'ii'b l ? l:.b8) 1 2 . . .'ii'xb2 1 3 l:.d l , when
13 . . . ti:Jb4 led to puzzling complica­
tions in Vachier-Lagrave - Wagner,
Mulhouse 2005 . The line 1 3 . . . f5 1 4
ti:Jd6+ i.xd6 1 5 cxd5 i.e7 1 6 dxe6
'iifxa2 1 7 exd7+ ..txd7 1 8 i.d3 0-0 1 9
0-0 i.e6 i s calmer, but also gives
Black a satisfactory defence.
ll i..e7 12 'ii'e2
•.•

In response to 1 2 c4 Black can


choose 1 2 . . . f5, 1 2 . . . 1i'd4 or 1 2 . . . i.a6
(intending 1 3 'iife2 'iifxb2).
12 l:.b8 13 b3 f5
•.•

The game is approximately equal.


And the purpose of this check is to
create some disharmony in White's 1 1.6
position. 6 ti:Jdb5 (D)
10 i.d2 This is the main line. White is will­
White stands worse after 10 �e2? ing to face the Sveshnikov after 6 . . . d6
f5 or 10 �f2? 'ii'b6+ 1 1 �f3 ( 1 1 �g3 7 i.f4 e5 8 i.g5 . But we have other
f5) l l . . .f5 12 exf6 ( 1 2 ti:Jf2 i..b 7) plans . . .
140 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

satisfied with a small opening advan­


tage. Black is obliged to struggle for
equality, but at least we are in famil­
iar strategic territory : Black will have
an isolated d-pawn and active piece­
play (compare lines in Chapter 5 ! ).
8 d5 (D)
•••

6 J.b4 7 a3
•.•

The complications following 7 J.f4


tt::lxe4 8 'S'f3 (after 8 tt::lc 7+ �f8 White
should avoid 9 tt::lxa8? 'S'f6 and settle
for the equal 9 'S'f3 tt::lxc3 ! ? I 0 bxc3
'S'f6) 8 . . . d5 (8 . . . tt::l x c3 !? 9 bxc3 'S'f6)
9 tt::lc 7+ �f8 are not dangerous for
Black:
a) After 10 0-0-0 .i.xc3 1 1 bxc3 e5 9 exd5
12 tt::lxd5 f5 1 3 J.e3 'ifa5 14 J.c4 ( 14 An interesting queenless middle­
�b2 J.e6 1 5 .i.c4? tt::le 7) 14 . . . J.e6 the game arises after the liquidation 9
white king is not safe. J.d3 ! ? dxe4 10 tt::lxe4 tt::lxe4 1 1 J.xe4
b) 10 tt::lxa8 ! ? e5 1 1 J.d2 ( 1 1 J.e3? ! 'ii'xd l + 1 2 �xd l . If White can calmly
i s met b y l l . . .tt::ld4, while 1 1 J.b5 finish his development, then he will
tt::ld4 1 2 'S'd3 is unclear) l l . . .tt::ld4 1 2 enjoy good prospects because of his
'S'd l 'S'h4 ! 1 3 g 3 ( 1 3 tt::lxe4?! 'S'xe4+ bishop-pair and queenside pawn-ma­
14 J.e2 tt::l xc2+ 1 5 �fl J.xd2 1 6 jority. However, as long as the white
'ii'xd2 tt::lx al 1 7 'ii'd l ? ! 'ii'c 2 1 8 'ii'x al king separates his rooks, the initiative
.i.d7) 13 ... 'ii'f6 14 tt::lxe4 ( 1 4 f4 'ii'g6 1 5 belongs to Black, and by maintaining
.i.d3 .i.g4 1 6 tt::lxe4 dxe4 gives Black it he denies White his cherished advan­
the initiative) 14 . . . tt::lf3+ 1 5 'ii'xf3 ! ? tage: 1 2 . . . .i.d7 1 3 .i.e3 ( 1 3 b3 0-0-0 14
( 1 5 �e2 tt::ld4+ i s a draw) 1 5 . . . 'ifxf3 J.b2 J.e8+ 1 5 �c l f6) 1 3 . . . f5 1 4 J.f3
1 6 J.xb4+ �g8 1 7 lLld6 'ifxh l 1 8 ( 1 4 J.d3 tt::le5 15 J.e2 tt::l g4 16 J.d4
0-0-0 .i.e6 with double-edged play. .i.c6) 1 4 . . . e5 1 5 �c l ( 1 5 :tel �f7)
7 .i.xc3+ 8 tt::lxc3
••. 15 ...l:.c8 ! ? ( 1 5 ... 0-0-0) 16 :tel ( 1 6 l:td l
In contrast to most of the previous f4 is equal) 1 6 . . . �f7 retains the dy­
lines in this chapter, here White acts namic equilibrium.
in a calm positional manner and is 9 exd5 10 .i.d3
•••
TRANSPOSITION TO THE SICILIAN 141

White should not delay castling; in the black knights combat the white
the line 1 0 i..g 5 ? ! 0-0 1 1 i.. d3 ( 1 1 i..e2 bishops more or less successfully:
i..f5 ; 1 1 'it'f3 :e8+ 1 2 i..e2 liJd4) a) 1 3 'it'd2?! is ill-advised due to
1 l . . .h6 ( 1 l . . .l:te8+) 1 2 i..h4 l:r.e8+ 1 3 1 3 . . . i.. xe2.
ltJe2 ltJe5 1 4 0-0 'it'b6 White runs into b) 1 3 h3 i.. xe2 and now both 1 4
problems. Black also achieves a good .i.xe2 l:.e8 and 14 'it'xe2 :e8 1 5 'it'f3
position after 1 0 'it'e2+ .i.e6 1 1 i.. g 5 'it'b6 are equal.
h6 12 i.. h4 (or 12 i.. xf6 'it'xf6 13 0-0-0 c) 1 3 b4 .i.xe2 also leads to equal­
0-0) 1 2 . . . 0-0 1 3 0-0-0 l:r.e8 14 'it'b5 ity after 14 i.. xe2 ltJe4 or 14 'it'xe2
'it'c7 ( 1 4 . . . :b8 ! ?) 15 �bl a6 1 6 'it'd3 :e8 1 5 'it'f3 ltJe5 16 'ii'xb7 ltJxd3 1 7
ltJe4, as in Dvoirys-Hasangatin, Par­ cxd3 tiJd5 .
dubice 2007. d) 1 3 i.. f4 l:.e8 14 :e1 ( 1 4 f3 i.. h5)
10 ... 0-0 11 0-0 d4 (D) 14 . . . 'it'b6 1 5 .l:.b1 .l:.ad8 with equality,
Lanin-Popov, St Petersburg 2007.
e) 1 3 l:.e1 l:r.e8 14 i.. g 5 h6 1 5 i..h4
i.. xe2 1 6 ltxe2 "iWd6 offers White no
more than a minimal advantage.
f) 1 3 .i.g5 h6 14 i..h4 .i.xe2 1 5
"ilt'xe2 ( 1 5 .i.xe2 .l:.e8 1 6 :el :e4 1 7
i.. g 3 'it'b6 i s unclear) 1 5 . . . lte8 1 6 "ilt'f3
( 1 6 "iWd2 ltJe4 1 7 i.. xe4 "iWxh4 1 8 f3
'it'd8 with equality) 1 6 . . . ltJe5 1 7 "ilt'xb7
ltJxd3 1 8 cxd3 'it'd5 gives Black com­
pensation for the pawn and he may
even sacrifice another one, if given the
opportunity; for example, 1 9 'it'xd5
ltJxd5 20 i.. g 3 .l:.e2 2 1 .:tab 1 f5 22 i.. d6
Advancing the d-pawn makes it l:td8 23 i.. c 5 liJf4 24 .i.xa7 .l:.c2.
more vulnerable, but seizes space. 13 i.. h5 14 ..tgS (D)
••.

Now White's knight must choose a The bishop pins the knight and can
square: be transferred to f2 to attack the d4-
11.6.1 : 12 ltJe2 141 pawn.
11.6.2: 1 2 ltJe4 142 Another line with similar ideas, 1 4
b4 'it'b6 1 5 i..b2 ( 1 5 liJf4 i..g6 16 ltJxg6
1 1 .6. 1 hxg6 leads to equal play) 1 5 . . . l:tad8 1 6
12 ltJe2 liJf4 ( 1 6 �h 1 i.. g6) 1 6 . . Jife 8 1 7 l:.e 1
White directly targets the d4-pawn, i.. g 6 1 8 ltJxg6 hxg6, looks somewhat
leading to complicated play. weaker.
12 .i.g4 13 f3
••• An alternative plan is to attack the
There is a wide range of other con­ black king, but after 1 4 liJf4 l:le8 ! ?
tinuations at White's disposal, in which ( 1 4 . . . i.. g6 1 5 ltJxg6 hxg6 1 6 f4 "ilt'b6 is
142 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

unclear) 1 5 tt:Jxh5 tt:Jxh5 16 f4 tiJf6 1 7 18 tt:Jxd4


�f3 tt:Jd5 1 8 'ii'h 3, as i n Topalov­ 1 8 'ii'd2 ! ? .l:.ad8 1 9 .l:.fe 1 offers
lvanchuk, Nanjing 2008, Black can Black a choice between the unclear
defend himself by 1 8 . . . h6 1 9 �f5 19 . . . 'ii'b5 and 19 . . . g5 ! ?, while 1 8 b4
tiJf6. can be met by 1 8 . . . l:.ad8 1 9 c3 ( 1 9
'ilid2 'ii'a6 i s equal) 1 9 . . . d3 .
18 l:.ad8 19 tt:Jxc6 'ii'xc6 20 i.d4
.••

tt:Jd5
Black's counterplay appears suffi­
cient for equality.

1 1 .6 . 2
12 tt:Je4 (D)

14 i.g6 15 i.h4
•••

This is consistent, but there are


other continuations:
a) 15 l:.el can be answered with
1 5 . . .l:.e8.
b) 15 'it'd2 l:.c8 16 l:.adl .l:.e8 17 :±"2
( 1 7 i.xg6 hxg6 is unclear) 1 7 . . . i.xd3
( 17 . . . 'ifb6 ! ? 1 8 .i.xf6 gxf6 led to un­
clear play in Petrushin-Yailian, Ak­ This move leads to exchanges, after
tiubinsk 1 985) 1 8 'il'xd3 h6 is equal. which White can expect only a mini­
c) 1 5 tt:Jf4 i.xd3 16 tt:Jxd3 �d6 1 7 mal advantage.
i.xf6 'ifxf6 1 8 �d2 (Asrian-Khenkin, 12 ....i.f5 13 .i.g5 .i.xe4 14 .i.xe4
FIDE Knockout, Moscow 200 1 ) gives h6
Black a choice between the equalizing Forcing White to part with one of
1 8 . . ..l:.fe8 and the more adventurous his bishops.
1 8 . . . tt:Je7 ! ?. 15 i.xf6
15 l:.e8 16 i.xg6
••• After 1 5 i.h4 g5 1 6 i.xc6 bxc6 1 7
16 i.f2 is inaccurate in view of .i.g3 'ii'd5 ( 1 7 . . . .l:.e8 ! ? i s unclear) the
16 . . . i.xd3 1 7 �xd3 tt:Je5 . activity of the centralized black pieces
16 hxg6 17 .i.f2 'ii'b6
.•• completely compensates for the weak­
Black cannot defend the pawn, but ening of his king's residence. Then 1 8
all his pieces gain activity. h4 i s met with 1 8 . . . .l:.fe8, while 1 8 f4
TRANSPOSITION TO THE SICIUAN 143

tt::le4 19 'ii'h5 ( 1 9 'ili'd3 lbd8) 19 .. .'it>g7 b) A more accurate implementation


20 .l:.ad 1 l:Iae8 21 �f2 (2 1 'i!i'f3 f5) of this idea by 1 6 lle1 l:.fe8 1 7 iff3
2 l . . .c5 and 1 8 'ili'd3 tt::le4 19 l:Iad 1 'i!i'xf3 1 8 .i.xf3 'iti>f8 1 9 l:.xe8+ ( 19 'iii>f l
l:lad8 20 l:lfe 1 l:lfe8 2 1 f3 (2 1 i.c7 tt::le5 ; 19 b3 ltxel + 20 l:.xel l:Ic8)
l:lc8 22 f3 tt::lc 5) 2 1 . . .tt::lx g3 22 hxg3 a5 19 ...l:lxe8 20 l:ld1 g6 21 �fl .:lc8 22
leave the game roughly balanced. l:ld2 (22 i.e4 f5) 22 . . .tt::le5 also allows
15 'i!i'xf6 (D)
••• Black to retain approximate equality.
c) 1 6 ifd2 l:lfe8 1 7 llae1 ( 1 7 l:Ife1
lle6 1 8 .:le2 d3) 1 7 . . . .:le6 1 8 l:.e2 l:.ae8
19 .:lfe 1 116e7 leads to a similar situa­
tion to our main line.

16 ifd3 (D)
Or:
a) Simplifying by 16 iff3 'ili'xf3 1 7
i.xf3 leads to equality: 1 7 . . . tt::le5 1 8
i.e4 ( 1 8 �xb7 l:.ab8 1 9 �e4 l:txb2 20 16 .:lfe8 17 f4 .:le7 18 l:.ael .:lae8
•••

.:lfb1 .l:.fb8 2 1 l:.xb2 lhb2 22 .:ld 1 g6 White's position looks the more
23 h3 f5) 1 8 . . . .:lad8 1 9 .:lfe l b6, Zas­ pleasant, but it is difficult to say how
lavsky-Vydeslaver, Haifa 20 1 0. he can make further progress.
1 2 Tra nsposition to the
Engl ish

1 d4 e6 2 lLlf3 c5 3 c4 different 4th move, namely 4 ... lLlc6,


With this move, White directs the or of White meeting 4 . . . lLlf6 with
game towards a form of English Open­ something other than 5 lbc3 .
ing. 4 ... lLlf6 5 lbc3 i.b4 i s the subject of
3 cxd4 4 ltJxd4 (D)
... Section 12.2. This popular variation
often arises from the Nimzo-Indian
Defence, and we are interested in it
mainly because of the move-order 1
d4 e6 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 lbc3 c5 4 lLlf3
cxd4 5 lbxd4 lLlf6. If in Chapter 8,
you meet 3 lbc3 with 3 ... c5, then
you need to be familiar with this
line too.
• In Section 1 2.3 we look into 4 . . . ltJf6
5 lbc3 lbc6 (or 4 . . . ltJc6 5 lbc3
lLlf6), which leads to more complex
play and offers Black better chances
of counterplay. The position bears
more than a superficial resemblance
Most of the lines we examine in to the Sicilian Four Knights - as we
this chapter follow the natural moves shall see, the two lines share several
4 ...lLlf6 5 lbc3, when we have trans­ opening ideas.
posed to the Symmetrical English line
1 c4 c5 2 lLlf3 lLlf6 3 d4 cxd4 4 lbxd4 12. 1
e6 5 lbc3. Then Black can choose ei­ 4 liJf6 (D)
•.•

ther the 'Four Knights' with 5 . . . ltJc6 The main alternative is 4 . . . ltJc6 ! ?.
or the more Nimzo-like 5 . . . i.b4. Both Then:
players can also choose to avoid the a) 5 lbc3 lbf6 transposes to Sec­
transposition. We survey these possi­ tion 12.3.
bilities as follows: b) 5 lbb5 lLlf6 6 i.f4 e5 ! ? 7 .tg5
• In Section 12. 1 we examine the 'i!Va5+ 8 ltJ5c3 (8 .td2 'i!Vd8 9 .tg5 re­
consequences of Black choosing a peats, while 8 liJd2 can be met by
TRANSPOSITION TO THE ENGliSH 145

8 . . . ..'tJe4 9 ..'iJc7+ "ikxc7 10 ..'iJxe4 'i!Vb6) manoeuvre: the white bishop is poorly
8 . . . ..'tJe4 9 .ltd2 ..'iJxd2 10 ..'iJxd2 .ltb4 placed on d2) 7 .ltg2 0-0 8 0-0 ..'iJc6 9
with equality, Nyback-Miezis, Jyvas­ .ic3 (the bishop finds a good square,
kyla 2006. but at the cost of blocking the best
c) 5 g3 'i!Vb6 6 ..'iJb5 !? (6 ..'iJc2 is square for the b 1 -knight) 9 ... d5 1 0
met by 6 . . . .tc5 7 e3 d5, while 6 ..'iJb3 tLld2 'i!Vb 6 leads to an approximately
tLle5 7 e4 .ltb4+ 8 ..'iJc3 ..'iJf6 trans­ equal position. For example, 1 1 e3 ( 1 1
poses to Section 1 2.3.4) 6 . . . ..'iJe5 7 cxd5 ..'iJxd5 1 2 .txd5 exd5 is unclear,
.ltf4 a6 8 .ixe5 axb5 9 .ltg2 ! ? (9 e4? ! while 1 1 ..'tJxc6 bxc6 1 2 e3 a5 is equal)
.ltc5) 9 ... bxc4 1 0 0-0 with chances for 1 1 . . ..id7 1 2 a3 :ac8 ( 1 2 ... 'ili'a6 ! ?) 1 3
both sides, Tomashevsky-Zakhartsov, b4? ! (White c an maintain equality by
Irkutsk 20 1 0. 1 3 :c 1 :fd8) 1 3 ... ..'tJxd4 14 .txd4
"ika6, and White's pieces are not situ­
ated actively enough to support his
pawn advance.
6 .tg2 e5 7 tLlf3
This is the main continuation. Sev­
eral other knight moves are viable,
although in all these lines Black's
chances are no worse:
a) 7 ..'iJb5 d4 8 f4 a6 9 fxe5 axb5 1 0
exf6 bxc4 1 1 0-0 .lte6.
b) 7 tLlc2 d4 8 f4 (8 0-0 ..'iJc6 9 tLld2
.ltf5 10 b4 .lte7 gives Black the initia­
tive) 8 . . . ..'iJc6 9 .ltxc6+ (9 0-0 'ii'b6)
9 . . . bxc6 10 fxe5 ..'iJg4 ! ? ( 1 0 . . .'ii'a5+ 1 1
Now 5 ..'iJc3 is covered in Sections 'ifd2 'ifxe5 1 2 'ifxd4 is unclear) 1 1
1 2.2 and 12.3. There is just one major 'ifxd4 'ifxd4 1 2 ..'iJxd4 ..'tJxe5 .
alternative: c) 7 tLlb3 d4 8 0-0 (8 e3? ! a5 9 exd4
5 g3! ? a4 gives Black the initiative; 8 t'4
White avoids the lines w e see in .ltb4+ 9 .id2 ..'tJg4 1 0 0-0 .txd2 I I
Section 1 2.3, but allows other possi­ 'ifxd2 ..'iJe3 1 2 :f2 tLlg4 is equal, he­
bilities. cause White should avoid 13 JltT! I
5 ...d5 ..'iJc6) 8 . . . tLlc6 9 f4 (9 e3? ! .ltg4; 9 .t11�
This is a sharp continuation, which a5) 9 ... e4 1 0 f5 g6 1 1 .ltg5 .tc7 1 2
is also relevant to lines we cover in .ltxf6 ( 1 2 e3 d3) 1 2. . . .txf6 1 3 .t Kr4
Chapter 14. 0-0.
5 ... .ib4+ is an alternative. Then 6 7 d4 8 0-0 tLlc6 9 e3
•••

.id2 ( 6 ..'iJc3 transposes to Section White should avoid 9 b4?1 r4 I l l


1 2.2, while 6 ..'iJd2?! is dubious in ..'iJg5 .ixb4.
view of 6 . . . ..'iJc6) 6 ... .ie7 (a standard 9 .te7 10 exd4 exd4
•••
146 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

Now 1 1 l2Jbd2 i.e6 ! ? 1 2 l2Jg5 i.g4 b) 6 i.g5 h6 7 ..th4 'i¥a5 8 'ii'c2 (or
1 3 'ir'b3 'ir'd7 14 l2Jde4 0-0 left Black 8 l2Jb5 l2Je4 9 'ii'd4 0-0 ! 10 'i¥xe4 a6
in possession of the initiative in Mas­ 1 1 'ii'd3 axb5 1 2 cxb5 d5) 8 . . . l2Jc6
trovasilis-Edouard, Cappelle la Grande (8 ... l2Je4 9 l:.c 1 f5 !? is unclear) 9 e3 (9
20 1 0, while 1 1 i.f4 0-0 1 2 l2Je5 ( 1 2 ..txf6 gxf6 10 e3 also offers unclear
l:.e 1 i.b4 ! ?) 1 2 . . .'ir'b6 1 3 'ifb3 ( 1 3 play) 9 . . . l2Je4 I O .l:.c l l2Jxc3 ( l O . . . f5 ! ?)
l2Jxc6 bxc6 14 l2Jd2 i.e6) 1 3 . . .l2Ja5 ! 1 1 bxc3 .te7 was equal in Stem­
14 'ii'xb6 ( 1 4 'ii'b5 ..te6) 14 . . . axb6 also Alekseev, Santo Domingo 2003 .
gives Black satisfactory play. c) 6 .i.d2 l2Jc6 7 a3 (7 e3 0-0 8 ..te2
d5 is also equal) 7 . . . ..te7 8 ..tg5 (or 8
1 2.2 e3 0-0 9 ..te2 d5 with equality) 8 . . . 0-0
4 l2Jf6 5 l2Jc3 i.b4 (D)
••• 9 e3 h6 10 ..th4 d5 1 1 cxd5 l2Jxd5 1 2
l2Jxc6 bxc6 1 3 i.xe7 'ii'xe7 14 'ii'c2
l2Jxc3 15 'ii'xc3 c5 gave rise to level
play in Cifuentes-Ubilava, Roquetas
de Mar 2008.
d) 6 'ii'b3 ..tc5 (6 . . . ..te7 ! ?) 7 ..te3
(this is artificial; 7 e3 l2Jc6 8 l2Jf3 is
simpler, and equal) 7 . . . b6 8 f3 0-0 9
l:.d l (9 ..tf2 e5 gives Black the initia­
tive) 9 . . . ..ta6 (9 . . . e5 ! ? is an interesting
alternative) lO i.f2 'ii'c 8 1 1 e3 l2Jc6
was equal in Granda-Gashimov, Lugo
2009.
e) 6 l2Jb5 is more interesting but
also brings no advantage:
6 g3 e 1 ) 6 . . . 0-0 7 a3 i.xc3+ 8 l2Jxc3 d5
This is virtually the only way to 9 i.g5 (9 cxd5 ? ! exd5 1 0 i.g5 d4)
fight for the advantage, and reaches a 9 ... h6 1 0 i.xf6 ( 1 0 .th4 d4 1 1 l2Je4
position that is better known via the g5) 1 0 ... 'ii'xf6 1 1 cxd5 exd5 is suffi­
Nimzo-lndian move-order 1 d4 l2Jf6 2 cient for equality since 1 2 e3 is met by
c4 e6 3 l2Jc3 ..tb4 4 l2Jf3 c5 5 g3 cxd4 6 1 2 . . . l:td8, while after 1 2 'ii'xd5 l2Jc6 1 3
l2Jxd4. e3 l:.d8 14 'ii'f3 'ii'g6 Black's lead in
Other continuations are not danger­ development completely compensates
ous for Black: for the missing pawn.
a) 6 'ii'c2 0-0 7 ..tg5 (7 a3 .txc3+ 8 e2) 6 . . . d5 can lead to interesting
'ii'xc3 d5 9 cxd5 'ii'xd5) 7 . . . l2Jc6 8 e3 complications: 7 cxd5 (7 i.f4 0-0 8
h6 9 i.h4 (9 h4? l2Jxd4 l O exd4 d5) e3 a6 9 a3 ..ta5 10 l2Jd6 ..txc3+ 1 1
9 ...l2Jxd4 10 exd4 b6 1 1 i.d3 i.b7 1 2 bxc3 l2Jbd7 ! 1 2 cxd5 e5 gives Black
0-0 ..te7 and then . . . d5 with slightly the initiative) 7 . . . exd5 8 .tf4 (8 .tg5
the more pleasant position for Black. 0-0 9 e3 l2Jc6 lO .te2 a6 1 1 l2Jd4
TRANSPOSITION TO THE ENGLISH 147

ii.xc3+ 12 bxc3 'ti'a5 is unclear, Aron­ tbd4 1 5 0-0 tbxe2+ 1 6 �h 1 tbd4 with
ian-Gustafsson, Deizisau 2002) 8 ... 0-0 equality) 9 ... dxc4 10 'ili'a3 ( 1 0 'ii'xc4 e5
9 a3? ! (9 tbc7 is unclear) 9 . .ltxc3+ . . 1 1 lbb5 a6 1 2 tbc7 b5 1 3 "flc5 lbbd7
10 bxc3 tbc6 and now White cannot 14 "fla3 l:.b8 1 5 lbxa6 ..txa6 1 6 "flxa6
even equalize, Lenic-Y ak:ovenko, Eu­ "fie? is equal) 1 0 . . . lbbd7 1 1 0-0 lbb6.
ropean Team Ch, Khersonissos 2007. 8 tbxd5 9 "fib3!
•..

6 0-0 7 .ltg2 d5 (D)


••• 9 ..td2 is less ambitious: 9 . . . tbxc3
10 bxc3 .ltc5 (it is useful to leave the
e7-square vacant) 1 1 .lte3 ( 1 1 lbb3
.i.b6 12 0-0 tbc6 and 1 1 0-0 e5 1 2
tbc2 tbc6 1 3 l:r.b1 "fie? also lead to an
equal game) 1 l . . ."fle7 1 2 "flb3 tba6 1 3
0-0 l:r.b8 with a level game i n pros­
pect, Almeida-Almagro Llanas, Ma­
drid 20 1 0.
9 ..tc5 (D)
•.•

8 cxd5
This is the strongest continuation.
Nowadays other lines occur less often,
although they too require accurate
play from Black. In both the following
lines, White's initiative compensates
for the sacrificed pawn, but he has no
advantage:
a) 8 0-0 dxc4 9 'iia4 (9 .i.g5 .i.e?; 9
tbc2 .ltxc3 10 bxc3 "fie? 1 1 l:r.b1 .l:.d8 Up to here we have followed the
1 2 .i.f4 fie? 1 3 "flc 1 tbd5) 9 . . . tba6 1 0 standard main line of Nimzo-Indian
lbdb5 ( 1 0 .l:.d1 ..td7) 1 0 . . .tbd5 (or theory, but this rare move looks like a
10 . . . "fle8 ! ?) 1 1 l:r.d 1 .i.xc3 1 2 tbxc3 reasonable way to move in a different
tbxc3 1 3 bxc3 tbc5 14 'iic 2 "fie? 1 5 direction - and one that our opponents
..ta3 ( 1 5 .l:.d4 e5 ; 15 ..te3 .l:lb8) 1 5 . . .l:.b8 are unlikely to have analysed in ad­
1 6 l:r.d4 b5 1 7 "fid2 ..tb7 1 8 ..txb7 vance. White must at once make a
l:r.xb7. tricky decision.
b) 8 "fib3 ..txc3+ 9 bxc3 (9 'ii'x c3 10 .ltxd5
e5 10 lbb3 tbc6 1 1 .i.g5 dxc4 1 2 The following lines are also possi­
"flxc4 Jle6 1 3 "fih4 Jtxb3 1 4 axb3 ble:
148 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

a) 10 t2Jdb5 a6 1 1 l2Jxd5 exd5 1 2 1 2 .3


l2Jc3 d4 1 3 l2Jd5 l2Jc6 1 4 0-0 ..te6 is 4 t2Jf6 5 l2Jc3 l2Jc6 (D)
•..

equal.
b) 10 l2Jxd5 ..txd4 1 1 l2Jc3 ( I I
..te3 l2Jc6 and now not 1 2 ..txd4?!
l2Jxd4 1 3 'i¥c4 l2Jxe2 ! , but 1 2 .l:!.d l
'i¥a5+ 1 3 ..td2 'ii'c5 with an equal po­
sition) I I . . .lt'lc6 1 2 0-0 e5 1 3 e3 ( 1 3
l:!.d 1 'ii'f6) 1 3 . . . ..tb6 1 4 .l:!.d 1 'ili'g5 with
counterplay; for example, 15 l2Jd5 ..te6
16 'ili'b5 .l:.ad8.
c) 10 tL'lf3 ! ? l2Jc6 ( I O ... 'ili'b6 ! ?) 1 1
0-0 l2Jxc3 1 2 'ii'xc3 'ili'e7 1 3 ..te3 ( 1 3
..tf4 f6) 1 3 . . . ..txe3 14 'i!lxe3 e5 leads
to equality.
d) 10 l2Jc2 l2Jc6 (the possible loss of
the d5-pawn does not perturb Black) White has a wide choice of continu­
1 1 l2Jxd5 ( 1 1 0-0 l2Ja5 1 2 1Vb5 l2Jxc3 ations here, so before moving on to
1 3 bxc3 'ili'b6 is equal; 1 1 ..txd5 exd5 our four main lines, we shall briefly
1 2 'ii'xd5 'ili'b6) 1 l . . .exd5 12 0-0 ( 1 2 deal with moves that do not pose seri­
..txd5 'ii'a5+ 1 3 ..td2 ..txf2+ 14 'ittxf2 ous problems for Black:
it'xd2 is unclear, while 12 'ii'xd5 'ili'a5+ a) There's no justification for 6
1 3 'ii'd2 'ili'b6 14 0-0 ..tg4 is equal) l2Jc2?! (6 lt'lb3 ? ! and 6 t2Jf3 ? ! are also
12 ... d4 1 3 ..tf4 ( 1 3 .l:.d 1 .:!.e8) 1 3 . . . 'ii'e7 absolutely inappropriate) 6 ... d5 7 cxd5
with equal chances. exd5 8 ..te3 (8 e3 is slightly prefera­
10 exd5 11 ..te3 ..txd4 12 ..txd4
••• ble) 8 . . . ..td6 ! ? 9 g3 (9 tL'lxd5 .i.f5
l2Jc6 13 .l:!.d1 gives Black the initiative) 9 . . 0-0 10
.

It is dubious for White to continue ..tg2 ..te5 , when Black enjoys the
1 3 0-0-0? ! .i.e6 and entirely bad to better chances.
play 13 .i.c5 ? d4. b) 6 l2Jxc6 bxc6 7 e4 ..tb4 trans­
13 ..th3
••• poses to Section 1 2.3. 1 .
Now the white king remains in the c ) 6 e 3 d5 7 cxd5 (7 .i.e2 dxc4 ! ?)
centre. 7 ... exd5 and now 8 ..te2 .i.d6 9 0-0 a6
14 l2Jxd5 transposes to Section 1 3 . 1 .2. A more
Other moves are at best unclear: 1 4 vigorous idea is 8 .i.b5 .i.d7 9 0-0
f3 ? ! .l:!.e8 1 5 'ittf2 'ii'e 7, 14 l::tg 1 ..te6, ..td6 1 0 e4 ( 1 0 tL'lf3 ..tg4 ), but by play­
14 .i.c5 l:te8 15 'ii'xd5 'ii'f6 or 14 ing 10 ...l2Jxe4 1 1 l2Jxc6 ..txc6 12 'ii'xd5
iexb7 'ii'd6. 0-0 1 3 ..txc6 l2Jxc3 14 bxc3 bxc6 1 5
14 t2Jxd4 15 .l:!.xd4 l::tc8 16 f3
••. 'ii'xc6 .l:!.c8 Black soon re-establishes
.l:!.cl + 17 .l:!.d1 .l:!.xd1 + 18 'ii'x d1 .i.e6 the material equilibrium, with equal
The game is equal. chances.
TRANSPOSITION TO THE ENGliSH 149

d) 6 .i.f4 can also be met by 6 . . . d5 . 12.3.1 : 6 e4 1 49


Then: 12.3;2: 6 a3 1 50
d 1 ) 7 tt::'ldb5 transposes to Section 12.3.3: 6 tt::'ldb5 151
1 2.3.3. 12.3.4: 6 g3 153
d2) 7 e3 is quite adequately an­
swered by 7 ... .i.c5 ! ? 8 cxd5 (8 .l:tc 1 1 2.3. 1
0-0) 8 . . . tt::'lxd5 9 tt::'lxd5 (9 tt::'l xc6 bxc6 6 e4 (D)
is equal) 9 . . . exd5 10 tt::'lxc6 bxc6, with Another metamorphosis: we have
equality. now reached a line of the Sicilian De­
d3) 7 cxd5 tt::'lxd5 8 tt::'lxc6 bxc6 9 fence ( 1 e4 c5 2 tt::'lf3 tt::'lc6 3 d4 cxd4 4
.i.d2 is a more interesting possibility. tt::'lxd4 e6 5 c4 tt::'lf6 6 tt::'lc 3), but not one
White's pawn-structure is superior, that is considered dangerous for Black.
but due to the tempo lost by .i.f4-d2 he The line 6 tt::'lxc6 bxc6 7 e4 .i.b4 comes
has no time to make use of this advan­ to the same thing.
tage: 9 . . . .i.b4 1 0 �c2 ( 1 0 .l:tc 1 .l:tb8)
10 . . .�a5 (or 10 . . . 0-0 ! ? 1 1 a3 .i.xc3 1 2
bxc3 tt::'lf6 with equality) 1 1 a3 .l:tb8 1 2
e 3 0-0 ! ? (weaker i s 1 2 . . . .i.a6?! 1 3
.i.xa6 �xa6 1 4 �a4 'ii'xa4 1 5 tt::'lxa4)
13 .i.d3 .i.a6 14 .i.xh7+ 'lti>h8 1 5 .i.d3
.l:tfd8 is equal.
e) 6 .ltg5 .i.e7 7 e3 �aS ! ? 8 .i.h4 (8
tt::'ldb5 0-0 9 a3 d5 10 b4 �d8 was
equal in Agrest-Timman, Malmo 1 999,
while 8 .i.xf6?! .i.xf6 9 'it'd2 tt::'lxd4 1 0
exd4 b 6 gives Black the initiative) and
now Black must make an important
decision:
e l ) After 8 . . . tt::'le4 9 .i.xe7 tt::'l x c3 6 .i. b4 7 tt::'lxc6 bxc6 8 .i.d3
•••

10 �d2 tt::'lxe7 ( 10 . . . '1ti>xe7 ! ? 1 1 bxc3 It is not good for White to choose 8


tt::'lxd4 and 10 . . . tt::'lxd4 ! ? 1 1 exd4 'lti>xe7 e5 ? tt::'le4 9 .i.d2 .i.xc3 (Black even has
1 2 .:te l b6 are both unclear) 1 1 tt::'lb5 a stronger path in 9 . . . tt::'lxd2 ! ? 10 'it'xd2
d5 12 tt::'lx c3 ( 1 2 tt::'ld6+ 'lfi>f8 13 �xc3 �aS) 10 .i.xc3 tt::'l xc3 1 1 bxc3 'ii'a5 1 2
'ii'x c3+ 14 bxc3 g6 is equal) 12 . . . dxc4 �d4 .l:tb8 with the initiative for Black,
Black can play for equality. A.Stefanova-Zhu Chen, Wijk aan Zee
e2) 8 . . . .i.b4 offers Black more pos­ 2004.
itive prospects. After 9 'it'c2 tt::'lxd4 1 0 8...e5
exd4 b5 ! ? 1 1 .i.xf6 gxf6 1 2 cxb5 .i.b7 Otherwise Black will need to take
he sacrifices a pawn to secure the ini­ White's e5 advance into consideration;
tiative. for example, 8 . . . 0-0 9 e5 ! ? �aS 10
Now we move on to the main lines: .i.f4 with unclear play.
150 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

9 �e3 does not change the assessment of the


9 0-0 is a more common move­ position.
order, although Black can then play 15 Ji'c5
.•

9 ... �c5 !?, taking control of the impor­ The game is approximately equal as
tant g1 -a7 diagonal. Instead, after the both sides have pawn-weaknesses.
standard 9 ... 0-0, 10 �e3 transposes to
our main line below, while the straight­ 1 2.3.2
forward 10 f4 d6 ( 1 0 ... �c5+ ! ? 1 1 �h 1 6 a3 (D)
d6 1 2 f5 h6 gives Black the initiative)
1 1 f5?! (better is 1 1 lt:la4 .l:te8 1 2 a3
�a5, with unclear play) 1 1 . . .d5 al­
lowed Black to take over the initiative
in A.Muzychuk-Cherenkova, Russian
Women's Team Ch, Sochi 2007. Given
the strategic importance of the g1 -a7
diagonal, both sides should seek to
control it; for example, after 9 �d2 or 9
�g5 Black replies 9 ... �c5 to good ef­
fect.
9 0-0 10 0-0 d6 1 1 h3
••. .

1 1 lt:la4 lt:lg4 1 2 �d2 ( 1 2 �c l ! ? is


unclear) 12 . . . �xd2 1 3 1i'xd2 1i'h4 14
h3 lt:lf6 (Anka-Berczes, Hungarian This is a rather popular continua­
Team Ch 2005/6) and 1 1 1i'a4 i.xc3 tion. Covering the b4-square is useful
12 bxc3 c5 do not promise White an in many lines, while in specific terms
advantage. White seeks an improved version of
l l i.xc3 12 bxc3 �e6
... the 6 �f4 d5 7 cxd5 variation, which
1 2 . . . c5 ! ? is more ambitious (al- we examined at the beginning of Sec­
though somewhat risky): Black fixes tion 1 2.3.
the pawn-structure and restricts the 6 d5 7 cxdS exdS
•••

activity of the white bishops. 1 3 f4 ( 1 3 This time taking with the knight is
1i'd2 i.b7 1 4 f3 1i'd7 ; 1 3 l:tb1 1i'c7) somewhat weaker: after 7 . . . lt:lxd5 8
1 3 . . . lt:ld7 14 f5 f6 ( 1 4 . . . l:tb8 ! ? 15 f6 lt:lxc6 bxc6, 9 i.d2 or 9 'ii'c 2 will fol­
lt:lxf6 1 6 i.g5 l:te8) can follow, with low, with a small but stable advantage
unclear play, which may be sharpened for White.
if White launches a kingside attack. S i.gS
13 f4 exf4 14 �xf4 1i'b6+ 15 .l:tf2 8 g3 leads to positions similar to
Or 1 5 �h 1 1i'c5, as in the game the Tarrasch Queen's Gambit where
Chandler-Emms, Hastings 2000. In­ the move a3 is not very useful. After
terposing the rook appears slightly 8 . . . �c5 9 �e3 (the careless 9 lt:lxc6?!
stronger than moving the king, but it bxc6 1 0 �g2 lt:lg4 hands the initiative
TRANSPOSITION TO THE ENGLISH 151

to Black right away) 9 . . . .ib6 10 .ig2 after 12 .ie3 ! ? .l:e8 1 3 0-0 .i.f5 14
0-0 1 1 0-0 .:!.e8 the game is level, .:!.c l White's position remains the more
Kasimdzhanov-Gopal, FIDE World pleasant because of his bishop-pair.
Cup, Khanty-Mansiisk 2007. U .ixf6
8 .ic5 9 e3 0-0 10 .ie2 (D)
••• 1 1 .ih4 is quite well answered with
Changing the pawn-structure by 1 0 1 1 . . ..ixd4 1 2 exd4 .i.f5 1 3 0-0 :c8 or
t"Llxc6 bxc6 does not provide any bene­ 1 1 .. .t"Llxd4 1 2 exd4 .i.e7 1 3 0-0 .i.e6,
fit for White, since the vulnerability of when 14 'iib 3, 14 .if3 and 14 l:.e1 are
his own queenside reduces the effect all met by 1 4 . . . t"Lle4.
of the pressure along the c-file. Black ll .. .'iVxf6 12 t"Llxd5
obtains enough counterplay; for ex­ After 12 t"Llb3 .id6 1 3 1!Vxd5 , ( 1 3
ample, 1 1 .i.e2 h6 12 .i.h4 l:le8 1 3 0-0 0-0? ! .:!.d8) 1 3 . . ..i.e5 the position of
.if5 14 t"Lla4 .id6 1 5 :c 1 l:le6 16 t"Llc5 the b3-knight is insecure and Black's
( 1 6 .ig3 a5 is equal, while 16 b4 can initiative completely compensates for
be answered with 1 6 . . . .ixh2+ ! ? 1 7 his small material deficit.
'iii>xh2 t"Llg4+ 1 8 .ixg4 "ii'xh4+ 1 9 .ih3 12 1We5 13 t"Llxc6
•••

l:lg6) 16 . . . .ixc5 17 :xc5 g5 18 .ig3 After 1 3 t"Llb3 .:!.d8 14 t"Llxc5 .:!.xd5


t"Lle4 19 :c 1 a5, maintaining the equi­ 15 t"Lld3 'iVg5 the activity of the black
librium without any particular diffi­ pieces again turns out to be enough to
culty. It is worth paying attention to maintain the equilibrium; for exam­
the weakness of the b2-pawn - a con­ ple, 1 6 .i.f3 i.g4 1 7 .i.xg4 t"Lle5, 1 6
sequence of the move 6 a3 . 0-0 .ih3 1 7 i.f3 .ixg2 1 8 .ixg2 .:!.ad8
or 1 6 g3? ! t"Lle5, when 1 7 'iVb3? loses
to 17 ... .:!.xd3 ! 1 8 .ixd3 t"Llf3+.
13...bxc6 14 t"Llf4
Or 1 4 t"Llc3 :b8 1 5 'iVc 1 .id6.
White is ready to return the pawn, but
Black is in no hurry to take it back.
14....if5 15 t"Lld3 .ixd3 16 'ifxd3
l:lab8 17 l:ld1 .:!.xb2
The game is approximately equal.

1 2 .3.3
6 t"Lldb5 (D)
Now 6 . . . d6 ! ? is possible, with very
interesting play after 7 .if4 e5 8 .ig5
10 h6
••• a6. However, White can also choose 7
This move has so far not been e4, transposing to a Sicilian main line,
played in practice, but it is a useful namely 1 e4 c5 2 t"Llf3 t"Llc6 3 d4 cxd4 4
way to liven up the game. In principle, t"Llxd4 e6 5 t"Llb5 d6 6 c4 t"Llf6 7 t"Ll 1 c3.
10 . . . .ixd4 1 1 exd4 h6 suits Black, but So let us not tempt fate any longer.
152 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

White initiates a forcing sequence


that leads to a sharp ending. 8 i.g5 ? !
i s not advantageous i n view of 8 . . . a6 9
cxd5 axb5 1 0 dxc6 'ifxd 1 + 1 1 l:txd 1
bxc6.
8 exf4 9 dxc6 bxc6 10 'ifxd8+
•.•

�xd8 (D)

6 d5
•••

This move is a pawn sacrifice, but


one that White usually does not ac­
cept.
7 i.f4
The choice is not large - either this
bishop move or the exchange 7 cxd5
tt::lxd5 . Now it is illogical to play 8 e4
tt::lx c3 9 'ifxd8+ Wxd8 10 bxc3 (more 11 l:td1+
careful is 10 tt::lx c3 ..tc5, with equal­ 1 1 0-0-0+?! �e7 ! 12 tt::ld4 ( 1 2 tt::ld6
ity) IO . . . ..tc5 1 1 ..tf4 a6 1 2 tt::ld4 ..td7 ..te6) 1 2 . . . ..td7 is of doubtful value for
1 3 tt::lb 3 ..ta3 14 l:td 1 ( 1 4 .:.b1 ! ?) White as the f2-pawn is undefended
14 . . . �e7, when White's activity is ex­ and so the unpleasant threat of . . . lbg4
hausted but his pawn weaknesses re­ appears.
main, Miladinovic-Antic, Kragujevac After 1 1 tt::ld4 Black can equalize
2009. However, 8 tbxd5 exd5 9 'ifxd5 by 1 1 . . .i.d7 12 g3 fxg3 1 3 hxg3 i.b4
i.b4+ 1 0 ..i.d2 is more critical. Black 14 i.g2 ( 1 4 .:.c 1 .l:lb8) 14 . . . i.xc3+ 1 5
has the initiative in return for the bxc3 Wc7 or try to obtain more with
pawn after 10 . . . 0-0 1 1 'ifxd8 l:txd8 1 2 1 1 . . .�c7 ! ? 1 2 g3 l:tb8 ( 1 2 . . . i.c5 is un­
tt::lc 3 i.e6 1 3 e 3 .l:.d7, 10 . . . i.e6 ! ? 1 1 clear, Korchnoi-Portisch, Candidates
'ifxd8+ .:.xd8 1 2 tt::lc 3 0-0 1 3 e3 l:td6 (3), Bad Kissingen 1 983) 1 3 l:tc 1
or IO . . . 'ife7 1 1 0-0-0 ! ? ( 1 1 tt::lc 3? ! 0-0; l:txb2.
1 1 a3 ! ? ..i.xd2+ 12 'ifxd2 is unclear) ll i.d7 12 tt::ld6 �c7
•••

1 1 . . ...i.xd2+ 1 2 .:.xd2 0-0 1 3 'ifd6 'ifh4 Or 1 2 . . . i.xd6 1 3 l:txd6 .:.b8 14 .l:ld2


( 1 3 . . . 'it'g5 14 e3 l:td8? 1 5 h4) 14 g3 ( 1 4 b3 .l:lb4 1 5 g3 �e7 is equal)
'il'e4. However, all these lines could be 14 . . . l:te8 15 g3 ( 1 5 f3 l:te5 16 g3 tt::ld 5)
investigated further. 15 . . . f3 16 �d 1 fxe2+ 1 7 ..txe2 Wc7,
7 e5 8 cxd5
••• with approximate equality.
TRANSPOSITION TO THE ENGliSH 153

13 0.xf7 l:tg8 14 0.e5 wants to fight for an opening advan­


White's knight should save its skin tage. Here, however, Black has more
right away. After 14 g3 ? ! l:tb8 1 5 l:td2 ways to create counterplay.
( 1 5 �g2 .l:.xb2 16 0-0 .lib4 1 7 .l::.c l 6 .'ii'b6 7 0.b3
••

fxg3) 1 5 . . ..lib4 16 .lig2 the unexpected 7 e3 can be met by 7 . . . ..tb4 8 Jlg2


1 6 . . . f3 ! 1 7 .lixf3 :ge8 drives White 0.e5 or 7 . . . d5, with equality, while 7
into a difficult situation. 0.c2 d5 8 ..tg2 (not 8 cxd5 ? ! exd5 9
14 l:tb8 15 l:td2
••• 0.xd5 ? 0.xd5 1 0 'ifxd5 �e6 1 1 'ife4
More accurate than 1 5 0.xd7 (or Jtb4+) 8 . . . dxc4 9 0.e3 (9 0-0 Jtd7)
1 5 0.d3 ..tf5) 1 5 . . . 0.xd7 16 g3 ( 1 6 9 . . . 'ii'a6 10 a4 Jtb4 1 1 0-0 Jlxc3 1 2
:d2 0.e5) 1 6 . . . .:lxb2 1 7 .i.h3 0.f6 bxc3 0-0 looks unattractive for White.
( 1 7 . . . 0.b6 ! ?) 1 8 0-0 .i.b4, when Black The adventurous 7 0.db5 ! ? is much
has the initiative, Postny-Grtinfeld, more interesting and popular. Then
Givataim 1 998. 7 . . . d5 ! ? is certainly possible, but the
15 .lib4 16 0.xd7 0.xd7 17 g3
••• main line is 7 . . . 0.e5, when we have
0.e5 two important moves to consider:
The game is equal. Blees-Hegeler, a) 8 Jlg2 0.xc4 9 'ii'a4 a6 1 0 'ii'xc4
Krumbach 1 99 1 ended in perpetual axb5 1 1 'ii'xb5 ( 1 1 0.xb5 ? ! ..tc5 1 2
check after 1 8 Jth3 Jlxc3 1 9 bxc3 Jle3 .lixe3 1 3 0.c7+ �e7 1 4 0.xa8
l:tb1 + 20 :d 1 0.d3+ 2 1 exd3 l:te8+ 22 Jlxf2+ 15 �fl 'ii'd4 gave Black the
�d2 .:l.b2+ 23 �c 1 l:tee2 24 l:tde 1 advantage in the game Mkrtchian­
l:tec2+ 25 �d 1 .:ld2+. Burtasova, European Women's Ch,
Dresden 2007) 1 1 . . .'ii'xb5 12 0.xb5
1 2 . 3 .4 .i.b4+ 1 3 Jtd2 �xd2+ 14 �xd2 �e7
6 g3 (D) 1 5 .l::. hc 1 d5 and an equal ending
arises.
b) 8 ..tf4 0.fg4 leads to complica­
tions:
bl) 9 e3 a6 1 0 h3 ( 1 0 0.c7+? !
'ifxc7 1 1 'ii'xg4 'ii'xc4 ! ?, Smirin-Holz­
ke, Port Erin 2004) 1 0 . . . axb5 1 1 hxg4
0.xc4 12 'ii'b 3 d5 1 3 ..txc4 dxc4 1 4
'ii'xb5+ 'ii'xb5 1 5 0.xb5 Jtb4+ 1 6 �e2
l:ta5 (Timofeev-Stevic, Bosnian Team
Ch, Bihac 20 1 0) 1 7 a4 Jtd7 is equal.
b2) 9 'ii'a4 ! ? (adding more fuel to
the fire) 9 . . . 'ii'xf2+ ! ? (it is strange that
this simple reply has still not been
tried in practice) 10 �d2 'ii'c5 1 1 0.e4
As in Section 1 2.2, the fianchetto is 'ii'b6 ! ? 1 2 h3 0.f6, with rather intricate
the most promising for White if he play.
154 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

7.JiJe5 8 e4 'ii'f2+ 1 6 'iti>d l .i.xb5 1 7 cxb5 .:tc8 1 8


White is not completely obligated lt:lc4 J:l.xc4 1 9 bxc4 lt:le3+.
to defend the c4-pawn, but after 8 .tg2 10...lt:lc6 1 1 .i.e3
lt:lxc4 9 0-0 (9 e4 .tb4 1 0 0-0 .txc3 I I 1 1 .tg2 is answered with l l . . .e5,
bxc3 d6 1 2 .tg5 e5, Kalashian-D.Pe­ seizing the initiative.
trosian, Armenian Ch, Erevan 20 1 0) ll ....txc3+ 12 bxc3 'il/c7 13 .tg2
9 ... .te7 (9 ... d5 ! ? 10 e4 lt:lxe4 ! l l ltlxe4 e5! (D)
dxe4) 1 0 e4 d6 1 1 'ii'e2 ltle5 ( 1 1 . . . 'ii'b4
and l l . . .'ii'a6 are also possible) he gets
no real compensation.
8....tb4 9 'ii'e2 d6 (D)

For the time being castling can wait;


first it is more important to arrange the
pawns correctly.
14 0-0
10 f4 14 c5 dxc5 15 .txc5 .tg4 ( 1 5 . . . exf4
The modest 1 0 .i.d2 a5 1 1 lt:lb5 ! ? is unclear) 1 6 fie3 lt:ld7 fails to incon­
( 1 1 f4 lt:lc6 1 2 lt:la4 fic7 gives Black venience Black greatly.
the initiative) l l .. ..i.xd2+ 1 2 ltlxd2 is 14 ... b6 15 fxe5
enough for equality at most; for exam­ Now 1 5 . . . dxe5 ? ! is dubious in view
ple, 1 2 . . . lt:lfg4 ! ? 1 3 b3 (not 1 3 f4?? of 1 6 .th6, but after 1 5 . . . lt:lxe5 Black
ltld3+) 13 ... .td7 14 f4 ltld3+ 1 5 fixd3 stands no worse.
1 3 2 ttJf3 c5 3 e3

1 d 4 e 6 2 ltJf3 c5 3 e3 • 4 c4 (Section 1 3 . 1 ) leads to the


This modest continuation can serve Symmetrical Tarrasch, which is not
as an introduction to one of three dif­ dangerous for Black.
ferent opening schemes for White, de­ • The same verdict may be passed on
pending on what he does with his 4 c3 (Section 1 3 .2). Moreover, if
c-pawn. White employs Colle's system of de­
3 ...d5 (D) velopment in full, he even risks fall­
ing into a slightly worse position.
• The most noteworthy line is 4 b3
(Section 1 3 .3), known as the Zuker­
tort Attack. White can opt for central
play (c4, when hanging pawns are
likely) or a classical attacking plan
with lt::\e 5, f4, etc. Black must take
both these possibilities into account.

13.1
4 c4 (D)

We occupy the centre, not fearing


lines where we end up with an isolated
d-pawn, given that White has made a
rather slow move with this e-pawn,
and won't be able to adopt the most
potent line in the Tarrasch Queen's
Gambit.
Given that 4 i.d3 can be answered
by 4 . . . c4 5 i.e2 b5 6 0-0 ltJf6 7 b3
i.b7 8 a4 a6, not only seizing space
but also establishing firm control over
e4, White needs to make a committal With this move, the game trans­
move right now: poses to the Symmetrical Tarrasch (a
156 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

standard move-order being 1 d4 d5 2 a5 1 0 b5 t'bbd7 ( 1 0 . . . b6 ! ? 1 1 cxd5


c4 e6 3 lL'lf3 c5 4 e3). The strategic 'ii'xd5) 1 1 'ii'c 2 ( 1 1 cxd5 exd5 1 2 .i.e2
struggle will revolve around both sides' lbc5 and 1 1 .te2 b6 1 2 cxd5 t'bxd5 are
attempts to resolve the central tension also equal) l l . . .b6 1 2 lL'ld4 .i.b7 1 3
in their favour, and as economically as t'bc6 .txc6 1 4 bxc6 t'bc5 Black main­
possible in terms of tempi. tains the equilibrium.
4 a6! ?
••. 5 t'bf6 (D)
.••

The exchange 4 . . . dxc4 5 .i.xc4 lL'lf6


transposes to the traditional main line
of the Queen's Gambit Accepted. With
the text-move, Black hopes to encour­
age White to exchange pawns himself,
or else to play .i.d3, when Black can
save a tempo by replying . . . . dxc4.
4 . . . t'bf6 is a reasonable alternative.
Then 5 t'bc3 a6 transposes to our main
line below, while 5 cxd5 ! ? exd5 6 .i.b5+
t'bc6 7 0-0 .td6 (a kind of reversed
Nimzo-Indian) 8 dxc5 (8 .txc6+ bxc6
9 'ii'c 2 'ii'b6 10 dxc5 'ii'xc5 ; 8 'ii'c2
'ii'b6 9 dxc5 .i.xh2+ ! , Hebden-Chand­
ler, British League (4NCL) 1 997/8) Now White should avoid 6 b3? !
8 . . . .txc5 leads to a different type of cxd4 7 exd4 .i.b4 (or 7 . . . t'be4) 8 .i.d2
game. In the following illustrative dxc4, and choose one of the following
lines, White fails to secure the initia­ continuations:
tive, and there is a complicated strug­ 13.1.1: 6 a3 1 56
gle with chances for both sides: 9 'ii'c2 13.1.2: 6 cxd5 1 57
'ii'b6 10 .i.xc6+ 'ii'xc6 1 1 b3 .i.g4, 9
..ltxc6+ bxc6 1 0 'ii'c 2 'ii'd6 1 1 b3 ( 1 1 13. 1 . 1
t'bc3 .i.g4) l l .. ..i.a6 1 2 lid 1 0-0 or 9 6 a3 dxc4 7 .txc4 b5
b3 0-0 10 .i.b2 .i.d6 1 1 .ltxc6 bxc6 1 2 Again we have a Queen's Gambit
'ii'c 2 .i.d7 (when White should avoid Accepted, but one of the secondary
1 3 t'bg5 ? ! .txh2+). variations rather than the main line.
5 t'bc3 S .ta2
5 b3? ! is answered by 5 ... cxd4 6 This retreat is logical, since White's
exd4 .i.b4+ and 5 a3 with 5 . . . dxc4, as main hopes are pinned to aggressive
Black's a-pawn move is a little more play in the centre. The following lines
useful than White's in this structure ­ have also been seen in practice:
compare Section 1 3 . 1 . 1 . White can a) 8 .te2 i.b7 9 0-0 t'bbd7 10 dxc5
also play 5 dxc5 .i.xc5 6 a3 . After i.xc5 1 1 b4 i.e7 1 2 i.b2 0-0 is equal,
6 . . . t'bf6 7 b4 .te7 8 .i.b2 0-0 9 t'bbd2 Sarakauskas-Ivanisevic, Troms0 201 0.
2 0.f3 c5 3 e3 15'7

b) 8 �d3 0.bd7 9 0-0 ..tb7 1 0 'i!ke2 White is gearing up for a battle


..td6 ! ? ( 1 0 . . . �e7) 1 1 l:.d 1 0-0 1 2 dxc5 against an isolated d-pawn. More ac­
0.xc5 1 3 e4 'iic7 leaves Black with the tive continuations also deserve atten­
initiative, S cekic-Nikolov, Nova Gor­ tion:
ica 1 998. a) 7 �d3 0.c6 8 0-0 i.g4 9 dxc5 (9
8 �b7 9 0-0 0.bd7 10 l:te1
••• h3 �xf3 10 'ii'xf3 cxd4 1 1 exd4 0.xd4
A risky continuation, but 10 'ii'e2 is equal, while 9 J:e1 c4 10 i.b1 i.e7
'Wic7 1 1 l:.d 1 ..td6 yields no more than is unclear) 9 . . . �xc5 10 h3 i.h5 l l e4
equality. ..txf3 1 2 Wxf3 0.e5 1 3 'iWg3 0.xd3 14
10 ..td6 11 d5
••• 'i!kxd3 dxe4 15 'ii'g 3 'iWd6 leads to
After 1 1 e4 cxd4 1 2 0.xd4 ( 1 2 equal play.
'i!kxd4 ..tc5) 1 2 . . . 'i!kb8 1 3 h 3 0-0 White b) 7 g3 ! ? is an interesting attempt
already needs to struggle for equality, to play the main lines of the Tarrasch
Ekstrtim-Godena, Swiss Team Ch with the extra moves e3 and . . . a6.
200 1 . However, after 7 . . .0.c6 8 i.g2 i.e7 it
l l exd5 1 2 e4 0-0
••• is hard to intensify the pressure on
Black is somewhat better, since 1 3 Black (since �g5 is impossible), and
e5 carries no punch. After the further 9 dxc5 �xc5 10 0-0 0-0 1 1 b3 i.g4 is
moves 1 3 . . . 0.xe5 14 0.xe5 d4 1 5 0.b1 equal.
'i!kc7 Black has more than enough for 7 0.c6 8 0-0 cxd4
•••

the piece. 8 . . . �d6 9 dxc5 �xc5 occurs more


often, when Black hopes to profit from
1 3 . 1 .2 his bishop's influence on the gl -a7 di­
6 cxd5 exd5 (D) agonal:
a) 10 b3 0-0 1 1 �b2 �a7 1 2 J:c l
( 1 2 Wc2 can be met by 1 2 . . . 'iWe7 or
1 2 . . . ..te6) 1 2 . . . 1:te8 1 3 'iWc2 (after 1 3
0.a4 0.e4 White should settle for
equality by 1 4 0.c3!? 0. f6, since 1 4
0.d4?! 'i!kg5 gave Black the initiative
in the game Renet-Conquest, Clichy
200 1 ) 13 . . . ..te6 1 4 J:fd l 'iWe7 and little
by little White's play reaches a dead­
lock.
b) 10 a3 ! ? 0-0 1 1 b4 i.a7 1 2 i.b2
(or 1 2 b5 axb5 1 3 0.xb5 and now
1 3 . . . i.b6 14 ..tb2 0.e4 1 5 J:c 1 :teH
was unclear in Grecescu-Lysy, Euro­
This type of position more often pean Ch, Plovdiv 2008, but Black can
arises with reversed colours. also try 13 . . . �b8 !? 14 i.b2 0.e4 I S
7 ..te2 l:!.c l l:te8) 1 2. . . �e6 1 3 b5 ( 1 3 0.a4
158 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

lt:Je4 1 4 lt:Jd4 .l:.c8) 1 3 . . . axb5 1 4 lt:Jxb5


i.b8. White has more prospects in this
line, but nevertheless does not achieve
any real advantage.
9 lt:Jxd4 i.d6 10 b3!
This is evidently stronger than 1 0
lt:Jxc6?! bxc6 1 1 b 3 "ilc7 ( l l . . .h5 ! ?,
Trois-Kosten, London 1 982) 1 2 h3
( 1 2 g3 h5 gives Black the initiative,
while White should definitely avoid 1 2
f4? ! 0-0 1 3 "ilc2 :e8, Gelashvili-Lu­
ther, Balaguer 2007) 1 2 . . . "ile7, when
Black's position is preferable.
After 10 i.f3 0-0, White must also lt:Jbd7 6 .i.d3 i.d6), and the idea is that
be careful not to end up worse. 1 1 White should be able to make good
lt:Jxc6?! bxc6 1 2 b3 "ilc7 (or 1 2. . . i.e5) use of his extra tempo. As in many
permits Black the initiative, while 1 1 . other cases of 'reversed' openings,
b3 .i.e5 ( 1 1 ... "ile7 ! ?) 1 2 .i.a3 ( 1 2 lt:Jce2 this strategy does not represent a seri­
"ild6 1 3 h3 lt:Je4) gives Black a choice ous danger for Black, mainly because
between the equalizing 1 2 . . . lt:Jxd4 and it works best as a counterpunching
1 2 . . . :e8. White should possibly try 1 1 set-up, and is less well suited to pursu­
lt:Jxd5 ! ? lt:Jxd5 1 2 .i.xd5 .i.xh2+ 1 3 ing active plans.
�xh2 "ilxd5. 4. .lt:Jf6 5 lt:Jbd2 lt:Jc6 6 i.d3 .i.d6 7
.

10 "ilc7 U lt:Jf3 .i.e6 12 .i.b2 0-0


••• 0-0
13 l:.cl 7 dxc5 ! ? i.xc5 8 b4 is a kind of re­
Now 1 3 . . . l:.ad8 is quite acceptable; versed Meran, but Black has no diffi­
for example, 14 "ilc2 l:tc8 1 5 l:.fd 1 culties after 8 . . . i.d6 (8 . . . i.e7 ! ?) 9 a3
:fd8 1 6 "ilb1 d4 ! ? 1 7 lt:Je4 lt:Jxe4 1 8 (9 0-0 0-0 transposes to note 'a' to
"ilxe4 i.d5 1 9 "ilg4 i.e6 20 "ilh4 dxe3 White's 9th move) 9 . . . 0-0 1 0 .i.b2 ( 1 0
21 fxe3 h6 with equal play, V.Geor­ c4? ! lt:Je5) 1 0 . . . a5 ( 1 0 . . .e 5 i s unclear)
giev-J.Blauert, Turin 2002. However, 1 1 b5 lt:Je5 1 2 lt:Jxe5 .i.xe5 1 3 lt:Jf3 ( 1 3
Black may well try 1 3 . . . :fd8, because 0-0 b 6 1 4 lt:Jf3 i.d6 1 5 c4 .i.b7)
the other rook could prove useful on 13 . . . .i.d6 14 c4 dxc4 15 .i.xc4 "ile7 16
the c-file. 0-0 e5.
7 ... 0-0 8 dxc5
13.2 White switches to active measures,
4 c3 (D) since otherwise Black will play . . . e5
White chooses the Colle System. himself. For example, 8 :e 1 e5 9 e4? !
White is playing a kind of reversed cxd4 1 0 exd5 lt:Jxd5 1 1 lt:Jc4 .i.g4. In­
Semi-Slav (the original looks like 1 d4 stead 8 "ile2 'fic7 9 dxc5 (9 e4 cxd4 10
d5 2 c4 c6 3 lt:Jf3 lt:Jf6 4 lt:Jc3 e6 5 e3 cxd4 e5) 9 . . . .i.xc5 10 e4 transposes to
2 lhf3 c5 3 e3 159

our main line below. The immediate The game has taken on contours of
advance 8 e4 is parried without diffi­ the French Defence, though it is by no
culty by 8 ... cxd4 9 cxd4 e5 (provoking means easy for White to execute the
simplifications; 9 . . . dxe4 ! ? 10 li:Jxe4 e5 advance, as Black's accurate queen
il..e7 is also an effective equalizing move not only hinders it, but sets up
variation) 10 dxe5 ( 1 0 exd5 li:Jxd4) some neat ideas for counterattacking
10 .. .'!tJxe5 1 1 li:Jxe5 il.. xe5 1 2 exd5 the pawn if it does eventually reach e5.
il.. g4 1 3 lbf3 h6 14 ..lle2 ( 14 h3 ..llxf3 10 'ii'e2
15 'ili'xf3 'i!i'xd5 1 6 'i!i'xd5 lbxd5 also Preparing the advance e5 . After 10
leads to equal play) 14 . . . il.. c7 1 5 h3 h3 l:ld8 1 1 exd5 ( 1 1 'ii'e2 is met by
il.. h5 with equality, Samsonkin-J.Frie­ 1 l . . .lbh5 and 1 1 'ii'c 2 with 1 l . .. ..llb6)
del, Toronto 20 1 0. 1 1 . . . lbxd5 White has nothing tQ count
8 i.. xc5 9 e4
... on.
9 b4 still remains the alternative for The exchange 10 exd5 eJtd5 1 1
White: lbb3 (not 1 1 h3? ..llx h3) 1 1 .....th6 right
a) 9 . . . il..d6 10 ..tb2 ( 1 0 a3 a5 is away delivers the initiative to Black.
equal) 10 . . . a6 ( 1 0 . . .'ife7 is also possi­ Then 1 2 h3 allows a dangerous piece
ble) 1 1 a3 b5 12 a4 l:lb8 1 3 axb5 axb5 sacrifice, but it looks as if Black's at­
14 'ii'e 2 'ii'b6 15 lbd4 ( 1 5 e4 lbg4) tack only leads to a draw: 1 2 .. . il..xh3
15 . . . lbxd4 16 exd4 il.. d7 with an equal 1 3 gxh3 'ii'g 3+ 14 �h 1 'ii'xh3+ 1 5
game. lbh2 lbe5 1 6 ..lle2 lbf3 17 ..tf4 ttlh4
b) 9 . . . ..te7 10 b5 ( 1 0 ..tb2 a6 1 1 a3 1 8 i..f3 lbg4 (or 1 8 . . . lbh5 19 .ie5
b5 1 2 a4 l:.b8 1 3 axb5 axb5 14 'ife2 ltae8 20 i.. d6 ltd8 2 1 .i.e5 with equal­
'i!i'b6 and now White should avoid 1 5 ity) 1 9 .i.xd5 lbxh2 20 i.xh2 l:tad8
lbd4?! e5) 1 0 . . . lba5 1 1 il.. b2 a6 1 2 a4 2 1 l:.g1 i.c7 22 ltg3 ..ixg3 23 fxg 3
'ilc7 1 3 c4 dxc4 leads to chances for lbf5 24 'ii'f3 l:.xd5 is equal. Instead,
both sides. 1 2 . . . lbe4 ! ? 1 3 lbbd4 lb�d4 14 lbxd4
9 'ii'c7 (D)
••• 'ii'd6 maintains the tension and keeps
the initiative. Other typical lines are
1 2 lbbd4 .i.g4 1 3 'ii'a4 ( 1 3 .i.e2 lbxd4
14 lbxd4 ..txe2) 1 3 . . . lbxd4 14 lbxd4
ltfe8, 1 2 'ii'c2 ..tg4 ( 1 2 ... lbe5 1 3 lbxe5
'ii'xe5 1 4 lbd4 ! ..txd4 is equal) 1 3
lbfd4 ..td7 1 4 ..tg5 lbg4, 12 l:.e 1 i.g4
1 3 .i.e3 .l:tfe8 1 4 il.. xb6 'ii'11b6 1 5
ltxe8+ .:!.xeS 1 6 h3 .i.xf3 17 'ii'xf3
lbe5 and 1 2 i.g5 lbe4 1 3 'ii'c 1 i.g4
( 1 3 . . . 'ii'd6 ! ?) 14 .i.f4 'ii'd7 1 5 lbfd4
with a choice between 15 . . . i..f5 and
the equal 1 5 . . . lbxd4 1 6 lbxd4 .txd4.
10 b6! ?
•.•
1 60 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

Now Black appears in the role of 12 �xh7 13 lDg5+ �g8 14 'ii'xg4


.•.

the provocateur, tempting White with 'ii'xe5 15 'ii'h5


the standard idea of a bishop sacrifice Or 1 5 ltJdf3 'ii'f6 ( 1 5 . . .'fi'f5 1 6 'ii'xf5
on h7. l O . . . ..tb6 has a similar idea: 1 1 exf5 1 7 .:te l f6 is another idea) 1 6
e5 (Black can be content with I I h3 'ii'h5 ( 1 6 'ii'a4 i s answered b y l 6 ... e5,
ltJh5 , 1 1 ..tc2 ..td7 or 1 1 b3 lle8) while 16 'ii'h4 'ii'g6 leads to an equal
l l . . .ltJd7 ! 12 ..txh7+ (Black has the game) 1 6 . . . 'ii'h6 1 7 'ii'xh6 gxh6 1 8
initiative after 1 2 .l:.e l f6) 1 2 . . . �xh7 ltJh3 �h7 1 9 ltJf4 ..ta6 and Black's
1 3 ltJg5+ �g6 14 'ii'd 3+ f5 15 ltJxe6 position is preferable, Parameswaran­
'ii'xe5 1 6 ltJxf8+ ltJxf8 1 7 lDf3 'ii'e4 Zarnicki, Erevan Olympiad 1 996.
1 8 'ii'd2 ltJe5, with chances for both 15 'ii'f5 16 g4
.••

sides. After 16 ltJdf3 ..ta6 17 l:td 1 ( 1 7


1 1 e5 .:te l ? f6) 1 7 . . . ..td3 1 8 g4 'ii'g6 1 9
If White does not take up the chal­ 'ii'xg6 ..txg6 Black also has good pros­
lenge, he forfeits the initiative. For ex­ pects, Fenollar Jorda-Gonzalez Gar­
ample, 1 1 h3 lDh5 1 2 'ii'd l lDf4 1 3 cia, Barbera del Valles 20 1 1 .
ltJb3 ltJxd3 1 4 'ii'xd3 ..te7 1 5 exd5 16 'ii'g6 17 'ii'xg6 fxg6 18 ltJb3
.••

l:td8 or 1 1 b3 ..td6 1 2 ..tb2 ..tb7 1 3 ..te7 19 h3 e5


exd5 ( 1 3 c4? ! d4 allows Black to take Black has the advantage in the end­
over the initiative), when Black can try ing.
1 3 . . . exd5 ! ? or settle for equality after
1 3 . . . ltJxd5 1 4 g3 . 13.3
l l ltJg4! (D)
... 4 b3 (D)

12 ..txh7+ This set-up is known as the Zuker­


Half-measures are of no use - 1 2 tort Attack. Among all the develop­
b4? ! ..te7 1 3 .:te l f6 i s in Black's fa­ ment systems for White considered in
vour. the present chapter, this one is the
2 CiJj3 cS 3 e3 161

most flexible. For the time being the White must now make an important
c2-pawn remains in its place, but can decision that will determine the nature
be moved forward to c4 at an appro­ of the struggle:
priate moment. 13.3. 1 : 8 c4 161
4 CiJc6 5 .td3
••• 13.3.2: 8 CiJbd2 1 62
The straightforward 5 J..b2 leaves
Black more possibilities for improvi­ For 8 CiJe5, see Section 1 3 .3.2.
sation:
a) 5 . . .CiJf6 6 J..d3 'ii'a5+ (6 . . . b6 7 1 3 .3 . 1
0-0 transposes to our main line below) 8 c4
7 c3 (7 CiJbd2 cxd4 8 exd4 ..ta3 is By playing in the centre, White opts
equal) 7 . . . cxd4 ! ? 8 exd4 CiJe4 9 0-0 f5 for a standard position with hanging
is unclear; e.g., 1 0 b4 'ii'c 7. pawns.
b) 5 . . . cxd4 ! ? 6 exd4 CiJge7 7 .td3 8...cxd4 9 exd4 J..d6 10 CiJc3
g6 (or 7 . . . CiJf5 8 0-0 .te7) 8 0-0 J..g7 9 After 1 0 CiJbd2 0-0 White's centre
c3 (9 CiJbd2 0-0 1 0 .:te l b6) 9 . . . 0-0 1 0 is defended better, but he has fewer at­
CiJbd2 J..d7 with unclear play, San tacking chances. In the following lines,
Emeterio Cabanes-Arencibia, Madrid Black is no worse:
2002. a) 1 1 11i'e2 ..tf4 12 a3 l:.c8 and now
5 CiJf6 6 0-0
.•• 13 c5 is met by 1 3 . . . bxc5 14 dxc5 e5 .
There is no need to play 6 a3, which b) 1 1 CiJe5 dxc4 1 2 CiJdxc4 J..e7 1 3
again gives Black an opportunity for .l:r.e 1 CiJb4 1 4 .tb1 CiJbd5 1 5 11i'f3 b5 (or
the useful queen check 6 . . . 'iia5+ ! ? 7 1 5 . . . l:.b8 ! ?) 1 6 CiJe3 .tb4 1 7 .l:.d 1 .l:r.c8,
CiJbd2 (7 c3 .td6 8 0-0 e5 9 dxe5 Hebden-E.Berg, European Union Ch,
J.. xe5 is equal) 7 . . . cxd4 8 exd4 'ii'c 3 9 Liverpool 2008 .
.l:r.bl CiJxd4, as in Zarubin-Makarychev, c) 1 1 a3 .l:.c8 (other possibilities
Russian Team Ch, Moscow 1 994. include 1 1 . . .ltJe7 ! ? and 1 1 . ...tf4) 1 2
6 b6 7 J..b2 .tb7 (D)
••• lle 1 dxc4 1 3 bxc4 ..tf4 14 CiJe4 ltJxe4
( 1 4 . . . CiJa5 ! ?) 1 5 l:.xe4 .th6 1 6 l:tg4
offers Black a choice between 16 . . . g6,
as played in Mladenovic-A.Kovace­
vic, Serbian Cup, Valjevo 20 1 1 , and
1 6 . . . CiJa5 ! ?.
10 0-0 (D)
•••

10 . . . dxc4 1 1 bxc4 0-0 is sharper.


White is in danger of losing one of his
pawns, but Black risks coming under
attack:
a) 1 2 .l:r.e1 .l:.c8 1 3 d5 ( 1 3 a3 CiJa5)
1 3 . . . CiJb4 1 4 .tn ( 1 4 .tb1 l:txc4 15
dxe6 fxe6 1 6 11i'e2 and now 1 6 ... l:.g4 !
162 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

17 h3 i.xf3 1 8 li'xe6+ Wh8 19 hxg4 13.3.2


i.xg4 20 'iltb3 i.c5 gives Black the 8 lt:'!bd2 (D)
initiative) 14 ... exd5 1 5 a3 lt:'!a6 1 6 This is a more directly aggressive
lt:'!xd5 lt:'!xd5 1 7 cxd5 lt:'!c5 i s unclear. handling of the position. White is go­
b) 1 2 li'e2 l:tc8 1 3 l:tad 1 (or 1 3 a3 ing to play lt:'!e5, which was the origi­
lt:'!a5 14 lt:'!e5 lt:'!b3 1 5 l:!.ad l lt:'!xd4 1 6 nal idea of the Zukertort Attack. 8
i.xh7+ lt:'!xh7 1 7 llxd4 li'g5) 1 3 . . .lt:'!b4 lt:'!e5 i.d6 9 lt:'!d2 leads to the same po­
( 1 3 ... l:te8 ! ?) 1 4 i.bl (not 1 4 lt:'!e5 ? ! sition.
lt:'!xd3 1 5 l:txd3 i.a6) 14 . . . i.xf3 1 5
li'xf3 ! ( 1 5 gxf3 ? lt:'!fd5) 1 5 . . . l:txc4 1 6
d5 li'e7 ! ? 1 7 a3 lt:'!bxd5 1 8 lt:'!xd5
lt:'!xd5 19 i.xh7+ Wh8 is unclear.

8 i.d6 9 lt:'!e5
•••

After 9 c4, the line 9 . . . cxd4 1 0 cxd5


lt:'!xd5 1 1 lt:'!xd4 lt:'!xd4 1 2 i.xd4 0-0
seems sufficient for equality, while
1 1 'ii'e2 9 . . . 0-0 10 cxd5 (otherwise 10 . . .cxd4
Exchanging by 1 1 cxd5 offers White will follow) 10 . . . exd5 can again reach
very little hope of an advantage after a position with hanging pawns, but
l l .. .exd5 or 1 l .. .lt:'!xd5 1 2 lL'lxd5 exd5. now it will be Black who possesses
n l:te8 12 l:!.ad1 l:tc8 13 i.b1
... them. White's extra tempo would be
White must not continue 13 l:tfe 1 ? ! of vital importance if his knight were
lt:'!b4 14 i.b1 dxc4 1 5 bxc4 i.xf3 1 6 more actively placed on c3, but here
gxf3 i.b8 1 7 lt:'!e4 lt:'!h5, when Black Black can be quite confident as his
gets the advantage, Franco-A.Soko­ pawns won't come under much pres­
lov, Pamplona 1 993/4. sure: 1 1 lt:'!e5 ( 1 1 l:.e1 l:te8) 1 l . ..lt:'!b4
13 i.b8
.•• 1 2 i.b1 ( 1 2 i.e2 cxd4 1 3 i.xd4 l:.c8)
Both sides have chances. White 1 2 . . . l:te8.
should still refrain from 14 l:tfe 1 ?! in 9 0-0 10 a3
..•

view of 14 . . . dxc4 15 bxc4 lt:'!a5, when The pawn covers the b4-square. 10
1 6 lL'le5 ? ! is met by 16 . . . lt:'!xc4. li'e2 is met by 1 0 ... lt:'!b4, while 1 0 f4
2 lbf3 c5 3 e3 163

is premature in view of 1 0 . . . cxd4 1 1


exd4 li:Jb4 1 2 ..te2 li:Je4 with a pleas­
ant game for Black.
10 li:Je7 (D)
...

This is Bogoljubow's manoeuvre,


by which Black wants to prevent 1 1 f4.
But since the f4 advance is not really
so dangerous for Black, he can also
calmly wait for this move and then
seek to exploit its loosening effect on
White's position: 10 . . . l:tc8 1 1 f4 ( 1 1
'ii'f3? ! 'ii'c 7 1 2 'ii'g 3 li:Je7 1 3 'ii'h 3 li:Je4
14 f3 li:Jg5 gives Black the initiative)
1 1 . . . li:Je7 and now: Black's idea is that 1 1 f4 is well met
a) 1 2 'ii'f3 b5 ( 1 2 . . . li:Jf5 ! ?) 1 3 dxc5 by 1 l . . .lbe4, when 1 2 .l:.f3 ? f6 1 3 li:Jg4
.i.xc5 14 b4 (avoiding 14 'ii'g 3? lbe4 ! cxd4 14 exd4 h5 is clearly no good for
and 1 4 'ii'h 3? ! lbe4 1 5 l:r.ad 1 lDf5) White. 1 2 'ii'e2 can be answered with
14 ... ..tb6 1 5 <iti>h 1 ( 1 5 ..td4 ! ? is unclear 12 . . . l:r.c8 ! ?, transposing to line 'b' of
- Zsu.Po1gar) 1 5 . . . lbe4 1 6 lDxe4 dxe4 the previous note, while 1 2 . . . lDf5 1 3
17 .i.xe4 ..txe4 1 8 'ii'xe4 'ii'd5 1 9 I:.ad 1 offers a pleasant choice between
'ifxd5 lbxd5 20 lbd7 .l:.fd8 2 1 lbxb6 1 3 . . . 'ii'e7 and 1 3 . . . l:r.c8.
axb6 and Black has the initiative, Ko­ 1 1 'ii'f3 lbg6 1 2 'ii'h 3 is rather a du­
sic-Dinger, Budapest 2008. bious plan. Then 1 2 . . . lbe4 is equal,
b) 12 'ii'e2 lbe4 1 3 li:Jxe4 ( 13 .i.xe4 but Black can also opt for 1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3
dxe4 1 4 dxc5 .i.xc5) 1 3 . . . dxe4 1 4 .i.c4 lbxg6 hxg6 14 exd4. After 1 4. . .g5 ! ? it
cxd4 ( 1 4 . . . lDf5 ! ?) 15 exd4 ( 1 5 ..txd4 is Black who has attacking chances on
lDf5) 1 5 . . .lDf5 16 a4 and Black can the kingside, while 14 . . . lDh5 1 5 g3 a5
pursue the initiative by 1 6 . . . 'ii'c 7 or was equal in Bagirov-Kochiev, Lenin­
1 6 . . . .i.xe5 ! ? 1 7 dxe5 'ii'c 7. grad 1 989.
Therefore, after 1 0 . . . .l:.c8, the calm ll li:Je4 12 .l:.fdl
...

continuation 1 1 'ii'e 2 li:Je7 1 2 dxc5 The complications after 1 2 .i.xe4


( 1 2 l:.fd 1 lbg6 was equal in Cvitan­ dxe4 1 3 dxc5 .i.xc5 are quite favour­
Caruana, European Ch, Budva 2009) able for Black; e.g., 14 l:r.ad 1 'ii'c 7 1 5
12 ... .i.xc5 deserves attention, although 'ii'g4 f5 1 6 'ii'g 3 f4 1 7 'ii'g4 fxe3.
in this case the position will be ap­ 12 'ifc7
•••

proximately level. The game is complex, with chances


11 'ii'e2 for both sides.
1 4 Ra re 2 nd a nd 3 rd M oves
after 1 d4 e6

1 d4 e6 (D) tbf3 (4 e4 is a French) 4 . . . lbbd7, when


5 e4 can be met by 5 . . . h6.
We shall focus on three lines where
Black can face more significant open­
ing problems:
• In Section 14. 1 we examine all pos­
sible forms of the London System.
White's key move here is i.f4, and
we need to consider 2 i.f4, 2 tbf3
c5 3 c3 (with i.f4 to follow) and the
immediate 2 c3, intending a quick
i.f4. These last two move-orders
may also be used by players looking
to employ some form of Torre At­
tack, with i.g5 .
To complete our repertoire with 1 • Section 14.2 features 2 tbf3 c5 3 g3
e4 e6 and 1 d4 e6, it remains only to or 2 g3 c5 3 tbf3. This has ideas
consider a variety of more minor con­ akin to a Catalan, and can transpose
tinuations for White on moves 2 and 3 to mainstream openings after White
that haven't been covered in earlier plays c4. However, Black can direct
chapters. the game into a form of reversed
There isn't much point dwelling on Grii nfeld where White will find it
some of these options because Black hard to get much traction on the
can obtain a good position simply by black position.
logical development or else direct the • After 2 tbf3 c5 3 tbc3 (Section
game to lines we have already exam­ 14.3) we are, conceptually at least,
ined by bearing in mind suitable trans­ fighting against our own weapon:
positions. For instance, 2 g3 c5 3 c3 (3 White uses an unusual move-order
d5 exd5 4 i.g2 lDf6) 3 ... d5 4 i.g2 lDf6 to make it more difficult for Black
5 tbf3 i.e7 or 2 tbc3 tbf6 (2 . . . d5 of­ to achieve his ambitions. Highly
fers White a French Defence right original positions result in many
away) 3 i.g5 (3 i.f4 i.b4) 3 . . . d5 4 lines.
RARE 2ND AND 3RD MOVES AFTER 1 d4 e6 165

14. 1 and a rapid sharpening of the struggle.


The London System is a rather popu­ The absence of the moves l2Jf3 and
lar scheme of development where ...l2Jf6 can turn out to be in Black' s fa­
White plays d4, ..tf4, c3, e3, lDf3 and vour.
l2Jbd2, in one sequence or another. 2 ...c5
Generally speaking, White seeks a very Black can also just ignore White's
reliable position with a slight initia­ move-order and play 2 ... d5 3 e3 lDf6 4
tive. Black can tailor his reply accord­ l2Jf3 c5 5 c3 (5 l2Jc3 a6 is equal)
ing to White's precise move-order, or 5 ... l2Jc6, transposing to Section 14. 1 .3.
else reduce his workload by adopting This represents the 'universal method'
a universal method that can be em­ mentioned above.
ployed against all forms of the Lon­ 3 e3
don System. We examine: 3 c3 'iib6 generally leads to calmer
14.1.1: 1 d4 e6 2 ..tf4 1 65 play, since White can defend his b­
14.1.2: 1 d4 e6 2 l2Jf3 c5 3 c3 1 66 pawn by 4 'iic2 cxd4 5 cxd4 l2Jc6 6 e3
14.1.3: 1 d4 e6 2 c3!? 1 67 l2Jb4 (6 . . . l2Jf6 7 l2Jc3 l2Jb4) 7 Vb3 (7
'ii'd2 l2Jd5) 7 . . . Va5 8 l2Jc3 (8 l2Jd2 b6)
Note that within these last two sec­ 8 . . . lDf6, when the game is approxi­
tions, we need to bear in mind that mately equal. Instead, 4 'iib3 ? ! Vxb3
White isn't yet committed to playing 5 axb3 cxd4 6 cxd4 l2Jc6 is not only in­
..tf4, and may seek to profit from sipid, but it also leads to the more
some other development scheme. pleasant position for Black.
3 ...cxd4 4 exd4 Vb6 5 l2Jc3
1 4. 1 . 1 White is not bound to enter the
1 d4 e6 2 ..tf4 (D) complications, but in the variation 5
b3 l2Jf6 6 l2Jf3 (6 c3 ..td6 ! ?) 6 . . . l2Jd5 7
..lid2 l2Jc6 Black has no problems. The
pure gambit 5 l2Jf3 Vxb2 6 l2Jbd2 lDf6
gives White some tempi but no clear
compensation for the pawn. All that
leaves is 5 l2Ja3 Vxb2 6 l2Jb5, which
transposes to the main line below.
5 ... Vxb2 6 l2Jb5
6 ..td2 may be parried by 6 . . . Vb6
or 6 . . . a6.
6 ... ..1ib4+ 7 'iti>e2 l2Jc6 (D)
8 l:.b1
Black is safe after 8 lDf3 lDf6
(8 . . . 'iii> f8 ! ?) 9 l2Jc7+ 'iti>d8 1 0 l:.bl ( 1 0
This straightforward move allows a3 ? ! l2Je4 1 1 Ve l ..tc3) 1 0. . .'ii'xa2 1 1
counterplay against White's b2-pawn l2Jxa8 l2Jd5 . White should avoid 8
166 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BlACK

white king cannot escape from the


checks.
c) 14 �e3 offers Black a choice
between two acceptable endings:
c 1 ) 14 ... 'ifxd4 1 5 �xd4 tt:lf6 16
�xa7 d6 (or 1 6 ... b5) 1 7 �e3 b5 1 8
tt:lb6 �c5 looks safe enough for Black.
c2) 14 . . . 'ifb5+ 1 5 'iii>e 1 'ifa5 1 6
'iixg7 ..tc3 1 7 'iig 5+ 'ifxg5 1 8 �xg5+
tt:lf6 is not easy to assess, but it doesn't
appear bad for Black.

14. 1 .2
tt:lc7+? ! �d8 9 tt:lf3 g5 ! ?, while 8 1 d4 e6 2 tt:lf3 c5 3 c3 (D)
'iib 1 can be met by 8 . . . 'iixb 1 9 tt:lc7+
�d8 10 :xb 1 e5 .
8 'ifxa2 9 tt:lc7+! ?
•••

A courageous attempt to play for a


win. It is not advisable to play 9 d5 ?
tt:lf6, but White can repeat moves by 9
.l:ta1 'ifb2 1 0 :b1 , etc. Black has to
take this drawing line into consider­
ation if he chooses this variation.
9 �e7 10 tt:lxa8 tt:lxd4+ 11 'ifxd4
•••

'ifxb1 12 tt:lf3
Not 1 2 c3? 'ifc2+ 1 3 �d2 (or 1 3
'ifd2 'ife4+ 14 ..te3 ..td6) 1 3 . . . ..td6 14
'ifxg7 b6, when Black wins (Johnsen
and Kovacevic). This flexible move-order retains
12 'ifxc2+ 13 tt:ld2
••. ideas of either ..tf4 or �g5, or some
It is evidently weaker for White to other system completely.
continue 1 3 �d2?! ..txd2 14 tt:lxd2 3 tt:lf6
•••

b6. 3 . . . d5 embodies the 'universal' re­


13 'ifc5
•.• ply that we referred to in the introduc­
Now: tion to Section 14. 1 : rather than try to
a) White should avoid 14 'ii'x c5+ ? ! exploit any special features of White's
..txc5. move-order, Black is happy for his
b) After 14 'ii'xg7 �xd2 15 �xd2 opponent to set up his preferred for­
( 1 5 'iii>xd2 'ii'xf2+ 16 �d3 'ifxf4 is mation. Then 4 �f4 tt:lc6 5 e3 tt:lf6
equal) 1 5 . . .tt:lf6 16 'ifxh8 'ii'h 5+ the transposes to Section 1 4. 1 .3. Torre en­
game ends in a draw again, since the thusiasts will gain little after 4 �g5
RARE 2ND AND 3RD MOVES AFTER 1 d4 e6 167

ii.e7, while 4 e3 was covered in Sec­


tion 1 3 .2.
Note that Black should in one way
or another take control of the e4-
square since after 3 . . . tLlc6 4 e4 d5 5
exd5 we find ourselves in Alapin Si­
cilian territory.
4 ii.g5
White adopts the Torre Attack. 4
ii.f4 is less effective here in view of
4 . . . ii.e7 (4 . . . tLlc6 5 e3 tLlh5 6 ii.g5
'i!Vb6 is also quite good) 5 h3 (5 e3 is
met by 5 . . . tLlh5, while 5 tLlbd2 cxd4 6
cxd4 tLlc6 7 e3 tLlh5 was equal in 8 tLlh5
.•.

V.Georgiev-lvanchuk, Merida 2006) It is simpler to play 8 . . . 1Ld6 9 i.e2


5 ... cxd4 6 cxd4 'it'b6 7 'ii'd2 (7 'ifc2 1Ld7, with an equal position. With the
tLlc6 8 e3 tLlb4 9 'it'b3 tLlbd5 is equal) text-move Black wants to enliven the
7 ... tLle4 8 'ifc2 tLlc6 9 tLlc3 f5, with a game.
good game for Black. 9 i.e2
4 tLlc6 5 e3
••• White can preserve the status quo in
Now it is not advantageous for the variation 9 g4 tLlf6 10 h3 i.d6.
White to seize the centre by 5 e4 since 9 g5 10 tLle5 tLlxe5
•.•

Black hits back with 5 . . . cxd4 6 cxd4 (6 Black's other try is 1 0 . . . cxd4 ! ? 1 1
e5 h6 and 6 i.xf6 'ifxf6 7 cxd4 d5 tLlxf7 'it'xb3 1 2 axb3 'iii> xf7 1 3 1Lxh5+
show Black's other ideas) 6 . . . 'ifb6 7 'iii>e 7 14 i.g3 dxc3 15 bxc3 il.. g7 1 6
tLlc3 d5 . .l:.c l ..td7.
5 h6 6 ii.h4 'ifb6 7 'ifb3
••• 11 dxe5 gxh4 12 'ifxb6 axb6 13
White can also play 7 'ifc2 d5 8 i.xh5 l:tg8 14 g4 hxg3 15 hxg3 b5
tLlbd2 i.d7 9 ii.e2 (or 9 ii.d3 ; 9 ii.xf6 Both sides have chances in a com­
gxf6 is unclear) 9 . . . cxd4 1 0 exd4 tLlh5 . plicated endgame, Pankov-Nepomnia­
7 d5 8 tLlbd2 (D)
.•• shchy, Russian Team Ch, Dagomys
The queen exchange 8 'it'xb6 axb6 2009.
quite suits Black; for example:
a) 9 tLla3 ? ! c4 gives Black the ini­ 14. 1 .3
tiative after 10 tLlb5 .l:!.a5 1 1 a4 tLla7 or 1 d4 e6 2 c3! ?
10 tLlc2 tLle4 1 1 tLld2 tLlxd2 1 2 'iii>xd2 A rather subtle introduction t o the
b5 1 3 a3 h5 . London System.
b) 9 tLlbd2 c4 10 a3 b5 and now 1 1 2 ...d5 (D)
.l:.b1 is met by 1 l . . .g5 1 2 ii.g3 tLlh5, 2 . . . c5 is of course possible, but after
while 1 1 i.xf6 ! ? gxf6 1 2 l:tb 1 leads to 3 e4 d5 4 exd5 we have transposed to
equality. an Alapin Sicilian.
1 68 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

3 i.f4 formation, and Black sees nothing bad


After 3 lt:lf3 it is not bad for Black in that for himself.
to opt for 3 . . . i.d6 ! ? 4 i.g5 (4 lt:lbd2 6 i.d6 7 i.g3
•••

f5) 4 . . .f6 5 i.h4 lt:le7 6 e3 c5. This is the most aggressive continu­
3 ...c5 ation. The following lines have also
This is the 'universal' approach as been tried in practice:
applied to this move-order, as we shall a) 7 i.d3 shows that White is not
in two moves' time reach a position too concerned about pawn-structure.
that Black can achieve against all forms 7 ... i.xf4 8 exf4 'f/b6 (8 . . . cxd4 also
of the London System. leads to equality) 9 'fib3 (9 dxc5 ? !
If Black wishes to exploit the pecu­ 'fixb2) 9 . . cxd4 ( 9 . . . 'f/xb3 ! ? l O axb3
.

liarities of White's precise sequence, cxd4) lO 'fixb6 axb6 1 1 lt:lxd4 lt:lxd4


he can play 3 ... .td6. Then: is equal.
a) 4 i.xd6 cxd6 gives Black an b) 7 dxc5 i.xc5 8 i.d3 0-0 9 0-0
equal game, as his doubled pawns use­ h6 ! ? (9 . . . i.d6 lO i.xd6 'fixd6 1 1 e4
fully control central squares. .l:.d8 and 9 . . . .l:.e8 lO e4 e5 1 1 i.g5 d4
b) 4 .tg3 lt:lf6 5 lt:ld2 0-0 6 lt:lgf3 are also possible) lO h3 ( 1 0 e4 ?! lt:lh5)
b6 7 e3 i.b7 8 a4 (8 i.d3 lt:le4 is un­ 10 . . . .td6 1 1 .txd6 'ii'xd6 1 2 e4 .:d8
clear, while 8 lt:le5 lt:lc6 is equal) 8 . . . c5 with equality.
with equality, Grivas-Sandalakis, Porto c) 7 i.g5 h6 8 i.h4 0-0 9 i.d3 (9
Carras 2008. i.e2 b6 10 0-0 i.b7 is also equal)
c) 4 e3 lt:lf6 5 lt:lf3 0-0 6 lt:lbd2 ( 6 9 . . . .l:.e8 10 0-0 ( lO 'flc2 e5 1 1 dxe5
i.g3 lt:\e4 7 lt:lbd2 f5) 6 . . . .txf4 7 exf4 lt:lxe5 1 2 lt:lxe5 .l:.xe5 ! ?) lO . . . e5 and
c5 8 dxc5 'fie? is equal. the game is level.
4 e3 lt:lc6 S lt:lf3 lt:lf6 6 lt:lbd2 (D) d) 7 lt:le5 appears aggressive, but
This position is the result of an this turns out to be a premature intru­
opening compromise: White has suc­ sion, since after 7 . . .'fi/c7 White has no
cessfully achieved his desired opening convincing follow-up:
RARE 2ND AND 3RD MOVES AFTER 1 d4 e6 169

d 1 ) 8 Ji.b5 ? ! 0-0 9 Ji.xc6 bxc6 gives


Black the preferable game; e.g., 1 0 0-0
.l:.b8 1 1 .l:.b1 cxd4 12 cxd4 c5 .
d2) After 8 lDdf3 ! ? cxd4 White
should settle for 9 lDxc6 with an equal
game, since 9 exd4?! lbe4 10 lbxc6
Ji.xf4 1 1 lDce5 f6 hands Black the ini­
tiative.
e) 7 .txd6 'ii'xd6 8 .tb5 Ji.d7 9 0-0
(9 'ii'a4 li:Jb8 ! ?) 9 . . . 0-0 10 a4 a6 1 1
.ilxc6 .txc6 1 2 lbe5 lbd7 1 3 lbxd7
.txd7 14 a5 . White is relying on his
knight to prove superior to the black
bishop, but by opening files for his 9 0-0 Ji.xg3 10 hxg3 .ilb7 leads to
rooks Black secures enough counter­ an equal game, and the tempting 9 e4
play: 14 . . . b6 ! 15 axb6 ( 1 5 'ii'b 3, as is parried by the cool-headed retreat
played in the game Kveinys-Krivo­ 9 . . . .te7 ! , when 1 0 dxc5 bxc5 is equal,
ruchko, Cappelle la Grande 2008, can 10 e5 ? ! is met by 10 . . . lDh5, and 1 0
be met by 1 5 . . . cxd4 1 6 exd4 .l:.ab8 1 7 'ii'c2 by 1 0 . . . cxd4 1 1 e 5 lDh5 .
'ii'c 2 l:.fc8) 1 5 . . . l:.fb8 1 6 'ii'c 2 'ii'xb6 9 Ji.b7 10 f4 lDe7 1 1 'ii'f3
••.

with equality. Otherwise 1 l . . .lbe4 and then . . . f6


7 0-0 8 .td3
•.• will follow.
It is still too early for 8 lbe5 in view l l ...lbe8
of 8 . . . 'ii'c 7 9 f4? ! cxd4 10 exd4 lbe4 So Black's knight goes to another
( 1 0 . . . lbe8 ! ? 1 1 .td3 f6) 1 1 .td3 f5, square. Black can also choose 1 1 .. .lDf5
but 8 .tb5 ! ? is more interesting; for 1 2 .tf2 .te7, intending 1 3 . . . lDd6 with
instance, 8 . . . 'ii'e7 9 .ilxc6 bxc6 1 0 unclear play, Mitkov-Borges Mateos,
'ii'a4. Black must act vigorously to Toluca 2009.
avoid coming under positional pres­ 12 .tf2 f6
sure: 1 O . . . cxd4 1 1 exd4 ( 1 1 cxd4 llb8 Now White can decide between a
1 2 .txd6 'ii'xd6 is unclear) l l . . .lDh5 ! ? draw by perpetual check ( 1 3 Ji.xh7+
1 2 .txd6 ( 1 2 'ii'xc6?! lbxg3 1 3 hxg3 Wxh7 14 'ii'h 3+ �g8 1 5 'ii'xe6+) and
l:.b8 leaves White in considerable dan­ 13 'ii'h 3 lDf5 14 g4 cxd4 ! , with chances
ger) 1 2 . . . 'ii'xd6 1 3 0-0 ( 1 3 g3 f6; 1 3 for both sides.
lbe5 c 5 1 4 'ii'a3 'iib 6 1 5 dxc5 'ii'c 7)
13 . . .f6 with counterplay. 14.2
8...b6 (D) 1 d 4 e 6 2 lDf3 c 5 3 g 3 (D)
This position is reminiscent of the With this hybrid variation, White
Zukertort Attack (Section 1 3.3.2), and postpones the move c4. Now Black's
Black may defend himself similarly. task (from the point of view of our
9 lbe5 repertoire) is to avoid coming under
1 70 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

times. The game acquires an original


nature, but it appears that this is
White' s only real achievement. For
example:
a) 1 1 tLld4 tLlc6 and now White
should settle for the unclear 1 2 'iti>h 1 ,
since 1 2 tLlxe6?! fxe6 1 3 e4 'ii'b6+ 14
'iti>h 1 d4 gives Black the initiative.
b) 1 1 'iti>h 1 tLlc6 12 .lte3 0-0 1 3
tLld4 'ili'd7 ( 1 3 . . . .l:tc8 ! ?) 14 tLlxe6 ( 1 4 f5
gxf5) 1 4 . . . fxe6 1 5 .ig 1 .l:tad8 (Ro­
manishin-Bluvshtein, Montreal 2003)
and here 1 6 e4 enables White to main­
pressure in a main line of the Catalan tain equality.
or Tarrasch. 8 tLlbd7 (D)
•••

3 cxd4 4 tL!xd4 d5 5 .ltg2


...

5 c4 tLlf6 (5 . . . e5 ! ?) 6 .ig2 trans-


poses to Section 1 2. 1 .
5 tLlf6 6 0-0
•••

6 c4 is again Section 1 2. 1 .
6 e5 7 tLlb3 .lte6
•••

We now have the Griinfeld line 1 d4


tLlf6 2 c4 g6 3 tLlf3 d5 ? ! 4 cxd5 tL!xd5
5 e4 tLlb6 with reversed colours and
two extra tempi for White. This factor
would normally be a damning indict­
ment of an opening line, but that form
of Griinfe1d leaves Black with a very
passive game. Can White put his extra
tempi to good use, or will Black be 9 tLlc3
able to catch up in development while 9 e4 dxe4 1 0 tLlc3 .ie7 1 1 tLlxe4
still enjoying his excellent pawn­ 'ii'c 7 allows Black to finish his devel­
centre? opment in safety, whereupon he will
8 .ltg5 not experience difficulties. The attempt
8 c4 tLlc6 9 cxd5 tLlxd5 is inoffen­ to begin the siege of the d5-pawn right
sive for Black, but 8 tLlc3 ! ? .ie7 9 f4 away by 9 e3 ? ! h6 (9 . . . 'ifb6 ! ? 10 tLlc3
(9 .ig5 tLlbd7 transposes to the main tLle4 is more vigorous, hunting the
line below) 9 . .exf4 is more danger­
. wayward white bishop) 10 .ixf6 tL!xf6
ous. The natural 1 0 .ltxf4 ! ? tLlc6 has 1 1 'ife2 ( 1 1 tLlc3 .ib4) 1 l . . .a6 ! ? 1 2
not so far been seen in practice, but 1 0 tLlc3 'ili'c7 1 3 .l:tad 1 e4 appears unsuc­
gxf4 g6 has been examined several cessful.
RARE 2ND AND 3RD MOVES AFTER 1 d4 e6 1 71

9 i.e7
.•• A rare but interesting continuation.
An acceptable alternative is 9 . . . h6 3 ... cxd4
10 i.xf6 lLlxf6 1 1 'ii'd 3 ( 1 1 f4 'ii'b6+ The line 3 . . . d5 4 e4 lLlf6 5 exd5 is
12 'iti>h 1 exf4 1 3 gxf4 .:td8) 1 1 . . .e4 1 2 not enough for equality.
'i!Vb5+ ( 1 2 'ii'd4 i.e7 1 3 lLlc5 a6 is 4 lDxd4
equal) 1 2 . . . 'ii'd7 1 3 'ii'x d7+ i.xd7, 4 'i'ixd4 lLlc6 5 'ii'a4 hardly de­
when Black stands no worse. serves serious attention. Black can
10 f4 choose 5 . . . a6 ! ? 6 e4 d6 or 5 . . . lLlf6 6
It is clear that 10 lLlxd5 ?? lLlxd5 is e4 i.. b4 7 i.d2 (Teuschler-Hess, Graz
no use to White, and 10 e3 only leads 2008) 7 . . . d5, with equality.
to equality after 10 . . . e4 1 1 tLld4 'ii'b 6. 4...lLlf6 5 tLldb5! ?
Meanwhile, 10 e4 dxe4 transposes to 5 e4 lDc6 transposes to the Sicilian
the note to White's 9th move. Four Knights, considered in Chapter
10...exf4 11 i.xf4 1 1 . However, White has other plans -
The extravagant 1 1 gxf4 lLlb6 1 2 f5 it turns out that the Sicilian Defence
i.d7 also gives White no advantage can also be played without the move
here. e4 ! Let us note only that it would be
l l ...'ii'b6+ inaccurate for White to play 5 i.f4 in
The game is roughly level. The pos­ view of the reply 5 . . . a6.
sible loss of the d5-pawn should not 5 ...d6 6 i.f4 e5 7 i.g5 a6 (D)
perturb Black too much; for example,
after 1 2 'iii>h l ( 1 2 e3 h6 ! ?) 1 2 . . . 0-0 1 3
i.xd5 ( 1 3 lLlxd5 lLlxd5 1 4 i.. xd5 .:.adS)
1 3 . . . .:.ad8 he has quite enough posi­
tional compensation.

14.3
1 d4 e6 2 ltJf3 c5 3 lLlc3 (D)

White's opening experiment has led


to a position that looks rather similar
to the Sveshnikov Sicilian - only the
moves e4 and . . . lLlc6 are lacking. Both
sides have ways to avoid completing
the transposition.
8 i..xf6
1 72 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

The immediate retreat of the knight 1 1 ltJd5 ( 1 1 i.c4 b5 12 i.d5 i.d7)


by 8 ltJa3 is the alternative: 1 l . . .i.e6. These variations are diffi­
a) 8 . . . i.e6 9 i.xf6 (9 e4 ltJbd7) cult to evaluate with a high level of
9 .. .'ii'xf6 10 ltJd5 (10 e4 'ii'g6) IO ...'ii'd8 certainty, as is our main line.
I I e4 ( l l ltJc4 ltJd7) l l . . .ltJd7 1 2 l2lc4 10 b5
.••

l:!.c8 1 3 ltJce3 ( 1 3 c3 'ii'h4) 1 3 . . . i.e7 Avoiding IO . ltJc6 ! ?, which trans­


..

14 i.e2 0-0 1 5 0-0 i.g5 is equal. poses to a sideline of the Sveshnikov


b) 8 . . . ltJbd7 ! ? 9 ltJc4 h6 10 i.h4 that is thought satisfactory for Black.
( 10 i.xf6 lDxf6 1 1 e4 i.e6 gives Black l l ltJd5 fxe4
the initiative) I O . . . g5 1 1 .i.g3 ltJc5 1 2 Now 1 1 . ..ltJc6 would transpose to a
f3 b 5 ( 1 2 . . . i.e6 1 3 e4 l:.c8) 1 3 ltJe3 main-line Sveshnikov Sicilian.
i.e6 1 4 ltJed5 ltJxd5 15 ltJxd5 ltJa4 1 6 12 lDb1 ltJc6 (D)
l:!.b1 l2lb6, with chances for both sides. The variation 1 2 . . . i.g7 1 3 a4 bxa4
8 gxf6 9 ltJa3 f5 (D)
••. ( 1 3 ... b4 ! ? has the idea 14 ltJxb4 e3,
and can be met by 14 ltJd2, with un­
clear play) 1 4 ltJbc3 ltJc6 1 5 ltJxe4 0-0
is worthy of notice.

10 e4
White can also play 1 0 g3 i.e6 1 1
i.g2 ltJd7 1 2 0-0 h5 ! ? ( 1 2 . . . 'ii'a5 1 3
ltJd5 l:.c8) 1 3 i.xb7 l:.b8 1 4 i.xa6 h4 13 a4 b4 14 ltJd2 i.e6
or 1 0 e3 ltJc6 ( 1 0 . . . b5 1 1 ltJd5 i.e6) The game is unclear.
1 5 Shou ld B lack Play l . . . e6
vs Fla n k Open i ngs?

Clearly the move l ... e6 is playable af­ not the end in itself, then we should at
ter any opening move by White, and as least seek answers to these moves that
a matter of principle one would like to fit as well as possible with our chosen
make our 1 . . .e6 repertoire complete by repertoire. The basic problem lies in
recommending it against moves such the fact that after 1 c4 or 1 tt:'Jf3 White
as I c4 and I ltJf3 too. However, the can seek to transpose to 1 d4 openings
mere fact that the move can be played that may not be within our opening
does not necessarily mean that this preparation. And while in the case of 1
would be a coherent repertoire. For that c4 c5 (Section 1 5 . 1 ) the solution may
to be true, there would need to be trans­ be no more complex than simply add­
positions that work in Black's favour ing a few lines to those covered in
by lessening his workload, and areas of Chapter 1 2, the situation with 1 tt:'Jf3 is
strategic common ground between the not so simple: Black must either allow
lines he needs to handle. Above all, his the possibility of the Sicilian Defence
choice against I c4 and I tt:'Jf3 shouldn't ( 1 ltJf3 c5 2 e4 - and there is no guar­
mean that he is forced to transpose to antee we will get an Open Sicilian,
huge tracts of I d4 or I e4 theory that for which Chapter 1 1 has prepared
he has hitherto been able to avoid. us), or prepare some other rejoinder.
Unfortunately, after I c4 e6 2 tt:'Jf3 (2 As an example, in Section 1 5 .2 the
tt:'Jc3 and 2 g3 must also be considered) variation I tt:'Jf3 d5 2 d4 c5 is quoted,
or I tt:'Jf3 e6 2 g3 it is very difficult to but it can serve mainly as a surprise
propose for Black any worthwhile orig­ weapon.
inal ideas that give this move-order Thus the main purpose of this chap­
some real purpose within the context of ter is to provide guidance and a few
our repertoire. Certainly there are inde­ thoughts on how you might complete
pendent ideas, but they are more a case your repertoire.
of 'originality for the sake of original­
ity' than anything else. Otherwise the 15.1
play just reaches usual theoretical con­ 1 c4 c5 (D)
tinuations. Chapter 1 2 has already covered lines
So if simply playing l . . .e6 against where White plays an early d4. Here
all of White's reasonable first moves is we briefly examine lines in which
1 74 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

7 . . . i.. xc5 8 b4 i.. a7 9 i.b2 0-0 1 0 'ii'c 2


( 1 0 i.e2 dxc4 is equal) 10 . . . i.d7 is un­
clear.
4 g6 5 i.g2 (D)
.••

White delays the d4 advance or avoids


it entirely.
2 tt:Jf3
I suggest meeting 2 tt:Jc3 by 2 . . . g6.
Then:
a) 3 tt:Jf3 i.. g7 4 d4 cxd4 5 tt:Jxd4 s d6
...

tt:Jc6 6 lZJc2?! (6 e3 is equal) 6 ... i.. xc3+ Black plays this move before ... i.g7
7 bxc3 tiJf6 offers Black a pleasant so that he is better prepared to meet
game. White's d4 advance.
b) 3 g3 i.. g7 4 i.g2 tt:Jc6 5 a3 (5 e3 6 d4
can be met by 5 . . . d6 6 lZJge2 tt:Jf6 7 d4 White can instead opt for wing
0-0 or 5 ... e6 6 lZJge2 lZJge7 with equal­ play: 6 a3 i.g7 7 0-0 (7 ltb1 0-0 8 b4
ity; 5 tt:Jf3 d6 6 0-0 tt:Jf6 will transpose cxb4 9 axb4 a5 10 bxa5 d5 and 7 d3
to lines covered below) 5 . . .tt:Jf6 6 .:tb1 0-0 8 .:tb 1 d5 are equal) 7 . . . 0-0 8 .:tb1
0-0 7 b4 cxb4 8 axb4 a5 9 bxa5 d6 10 (8 d3 i.d7 9 .:tb1 lZJd4 1 0 b4 i.c6
d3 (10 tt:Jf3 d5 is equal) 1 0 . . . 'ii'xa5 is yields equal chances) 8 . . . b6 ! ? 9 b4 (9
unclear. tt:Je5 tt:Jxe5 1 0 i.xa8 i.f5 also leaves
2 tt:Jc6 3 tt:Jc3 tt:Jf6 4 g3
•.• the game level) 9 . . . ..tb7, with approx­
After 4 e3 e6 5 d4 d5 another form imate equality.
of Symmetrical Tarrasch arises: 6 cxd4 7 tt:Jxd4 i..d7 8 0-0
.••

a) 6 cxd5 exd5 7 i..b5 (7 i..e2 a6 In the variation 8 tt:Jb3 a5 ! ? 9 a4 (9


transposes to Section 1 3 . 1 .2) 7 . . . i.d6 c5 a4 is unclear, Vitiugov-Zhou Jian­
8 dxc5 i.xc5 9 0-0 0-0 is equal. chao, Moscow 20 1 1 ) 9 . . . i.g7 10 c5 d5
b) 6 a3 a6 7 dxc5 (7 b3 cxd4 8 exd4 Black stands no worse.
i.e7 and now 9 i.b2 b6 leads to equal 8...i.. g7 9 b3
play, while 9 c5 can be answered by White has also examined these other
9 ... b6 10 cxb6 'ii'xb6 1 1 lZJa4 'ii'b 8, continuations, without achieving any
with an unclear game, or 9 . . . tt:Je4 ! ?) real advantage:
SHOULD BLACK PLA Y l . . . e6 VS FLANK OPENINGS ? 1 75

a) 9 e3 0-0 (9 ... h5 ! ?) 1 0 b3 a6 I I
i.b2 'ili'a5 1 2 a3 (or 1 2 'ili'e2 l:.ac8)
1 2 . . . l:tab8.
b) 9 tbxc6 bxc6 (9 ... i.xc6 1 0 e4
0-0) 1 0 i.f4 ! ? (both 1 0 c5 d5 I I e4
dxe4 1 2 tbxe4 tiJd5, as in Galic-Stevic,
Croatia Cup, S ibenik 20 1 1 , and 10 e4
0-0 I I c5 dxc5 are equal) 1 0 . . . 0-0 I I
'ili'd2 l:.e8.
c) 9 tbc2 and now Black can seek
counterplay by 9 . . . h5 10 h4 'ili'c8 1 1 b3
i.h3 12 .:!.bl 0-0, with equal play, or
9 ... tbg4 ! ?; for example, I 0 i.d2 h5 1 1
h3 tbge5 1 2 b3 ( 1 2 tbe3 is unclear) e5 7 d3 tbe7 with approximate equal­
1 2 . . . 'ili'c8 1 3 'ifi>h2 ( 1 3 f4 i.xh3 is un­ ity.
clear) 1 3 . . . f5 ! ? 14 h4 g5 ! 1 5 hxg5 h4, c) 3 b4 ! ? liJf6 4 i.b2 (both 4 g3 c5
when he had seized the initiative in and 4 e3 dxe3 5 fxe3 e5 ! ? 6 tbxe5
Leko-Gashimov, Astrakhan 20 1 0. lbbd7 are also unclear) 4 . . . c5 5 e3
9 0-0 10 tbc2
••• dxe3 6 fxe3 cxb4 7 a3 e6 is unclear.
Or 1 0 i.b2 'ili'a5 1 1 lk l .:!.ac8 White's other standard way of play­
( l l . . ..:!.fc8 12 a3 l:tab8) 12 e3 a6 1 3 a3 ing the Reti is 2 g3, when I propose the
tbxd4 14 'iixd4 i.c6 with equality, solid 2 . . . c6 3 i.g2 ..tg4 4 0-0 (4 tbe5
Andersson-Tal, Malmo (4) 1 983. ..tf5 is equal; 4 c4 e6 5 0-0 tbf6)
10 Ji'a5 1 1 i.b2 'ili'h5 12 e4 i.g4
.. 4 . . . tbd7 5 d4 (other lines run 5 c4
13 f3 'ii'c5+ 14 'ifi>h1 i.e6 ..txf3 6 ..txf3 tbe5, 5 h3 i.xf3 6 i.xf3
Both sides have chances. e5 and 5 d3 tbgf6) 5 . . . tbgf6 6 c4 e6 7
h3 ..th5 8 'ili'b3 'iib 6, leading to a pro­
1 5. 2 tracted positional struggle with roughly
1 tiJf3 d 5 (D) equal chances, Adly-Zhang Zhong,
2 d4 Khanty-Mansiisk Olympiad 20 1 0.
With this move, White prefers a 2 c5
...

queen's pawn opening rather than a This is an interesting way to avoid


pure Reti approach. The traditional the standard continuations. Black of­
Reti continues with 2 c4, when I sug­ fers his opponent a game of symme­
gest 2 . . . d4. Here is a brief summary: try.
a) 3 g3 tbc6 4 i.g2 e5 5 d3 liJf6 6 3 c4
0-0 a5 7 e3 i.c5 ! ? 8 exd4 tbxd4 is un­ The meek 3 e3 e6 allows us to reach
clear. Chapter 1 3 , and 3 c3 e6 is discussed in
b) 3 e3 tbc6 4 exd4 (4 b4 dxe3 5 Section 14. 1 .2. That leaves 3 dxc5 e6 4
fxe3 lbxb4 6 d4 e5 gives Black the ini­ ..tg5 (4 e4 ..txc5 5 ..tb5+ tbc6 is equal)
tiative) 4 . . .tbxd4 5 tbxd4 'it'xd4 6 tbc3 4 . . .tbf6 5 e3 ..txc5 6 c4 tbc6 7 tbc3
1 76 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

0-0 8 a3 i.e7, when White does not 5 'ili'xd4


achieve any advantage. A further idea 5 tbxd4 tbxd5 6 e4 ( 6 lbb5 1i'a5+; 6
is 3 tbc3, with a kind of reversed lDf3 ! ? tbc6 7 e4 lbdb4 8 a3 'ii'xd 1 + 9
Chigorin Queen' s Gambit, but White' s �xd 1 tba6) 6 . . .tbf6 is also rather in­
extra move doesn't prove very useful. teresting:
Then 3 ... tbc6 4 i.f4 (4 dxc5 tbf6 5 a) 7 i.b5+ i.d7 8 i.xd7+ (8 e5
i.g5?! d4 !) 4 ...tbf6 5 e3 i.g4 keeps the i.xb5 9 lbxb5 'ii'xd 1 + 10 �xd 1 tbd5
game level. 1 1 lD1c3 tbc6 is equal) 8 . . . lbbxd7 9
3 cxd4
••• tbc3 e6 1 0 0-0 a6 with White some­
Instead, 3 ... e6 is a Tarrasch Defence, what for preference.
and 3 . . . dxc4 is a line of the Queen's b) 7 tbc3 e5 8 i.b5+ i.d7 9 lDf3 (9
Gambit Accepted - both main-line tbf5 i.xb5 1 0 'ii'xd8+ �xd8 1 1 lbxb5
openings that demand detailed prepa­ tbxe4 leads to unclear play, while 9
ration. i.xd7+ 'i!Vxd7 is equal) 9 . . . .tb4 1 0
4 cxd5 lDf6 (D) 'i!i'b3 ( 1 0 Jtc4 0-0 1 1 0-0 Jtxc3 1 2
bxc3 'i!Vc7) 1 0 . . . i.xc3+ 1 1 bxc3 0-0
also gives White slightly the better
game.
5 'i!Vxd5 6 tbc3
•••

6 'ii'xd5 tbxd5 7 Jtd2 ! ? (7 a3 g6 ! ? 8


e4 lbb6 is unclear) appears more dan­
gerous for Black, as White will keep
the initiative for a lengthy period; for
example, 7 . . . tbc6 8 e4 tbc7 9 i.f4 (9
tbc3 Jtg4 10 tbd5 l:tc8) 9 . . . tbe6 1 0
i.e3 g6.
6 .'ii'xd4 7 tbxd4 a6 8 g3
..

After 8 i.g5 i.d7 9 i.xf6 exf6 1 0


tbd5 .:ta7 Black successfully defends
This position is also known from himself, Varga-Bogut, S ibenik 2008.
the Symmetrical Queen's Gambit, i.e. 8 e5 9 lbb3 tbc6 10 Jtg2 Jte6 11
.••

1 d4 d5 2 c4 c5 3 cxd5 tbf6 4 tbf3 0-0 0-0-0


cxd4, but that move-order gives White Black has quite good chances of
a variety of dangerous alternative op­ equality, Genov-Serafimov, Guingamp
tions. 20 1 1 .
1 6 X- Fi les

An opening repertoire is more than Each key moment is marked with a


just a collection of variations; it is also diagram and a caption 'What should
a variety of structures and themes con­ Black play?' , so before reading the
nected with those variations, and in or­ commentary that follows, give some
der to be effective with the repertoire, serious thought to how he should con­
we need to know how to handle these tinue. The numbers that appear above
situations when we are at the board. the players' names denote the section
We can gain these skills by experience of the book in which the opening line
and by additional study. While decid­ is discussed.
ing which lines to select and which to
discard, it is easy to lose sight of gen­ 3.2
eral considerations and concepts. Pavel Tregubov -
This chapter is designed as a first Svetlana Matveeva
step towards broadening your under­ Russia Cup, Tomsk 1 998
standing of the lines featured in this
book. Our focus is not on games 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 exd5 4 l'Df3
where Black swept his opponent off t'Dc6 5 i.d3 i.d6 6 0-0 l'Dge7 7 c4
the board, but on positions where dxc4 8 i.xc4 0-0 9 t'Dc3 i.g4 10 h3
Black had to make a vital decision, (D)
and in many cases failed to choose
correctly. These are in effect warning
examples - it is better to learn from the
mistakes of others than to learn from
our own. In many of the examples
that follow, the decision we are exam­
ining was not necessarily bad, but
was at least insufficiently thought­
out, and a first step towards greater
difficulties. In some cases the error
was a consequence of a superficial
approach to problem-solving, and
with the help of these examples you
can test your own level of positional
assessment. What should Black play?
1 78 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

10...�h5 17 l:.ad1?
As a result of this retreat, the bishop White continues to linger and even
is driven away to the empty b1 -h7 di­ ends up losing the initiative. 1 7 g5 !
agonal, and White keeps a superiority would have given him an overwhelm­
in the centre. However, it is too early ing attack.
to claim that Black's choice is incor­ 17 ... l:.fe8? 18 tLlg2? tt:Ja5 19 �a2
rect, as the weakening of White's king tZ:lb6 20 f5 tt:Jac4 21 �g5?!
position is also relevant. 10 ... �xf3 1 1 White shows activity at a most in­
'ii'xf3 tZ:lxd4 is an alternative. appropriate moment. After 21 .tc I the
11 g4 .tg6 12 a3 h5 position remains unclear.
A logical attempt to create counter­ 21 tt:Jxb2 22 l:.b1 lL12c4
•••

play against g4. After 1 2 . . . 'ii'd7 1 3 Black has the advantage, although
l:.e 1 l:.ae8 14 d5, only passive defence she went on to Jose ( 1 -0, 34 ).
awaits Black.
13 �e3 'ii'd7 14 lLlh4 l:.ad8?! 4.6
This rook move is a waste of time; Joel Benjamin - Daniel Edelman
it is better to retreat the bishop by New York 1992
14 . . . �h7 right away.
15 f4 �h7 16 'ii'f3? ! (D) 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 tt:Jc6 5
After the more logical 1 6 f5 Black lLlf3 'ii'b6 6 �e2 cxd4 7 cxd4 lLlh6 8
would find herself in rather an un­ �d3 lLlf5 9 �xf5 exf5 10 0-0 .te6 1 1
pleasant position. tt:Jc3 h 6 12 h 4 .te7 1 3 tLle2 (D)

16 tt:Jc8?
.•. What should Black play?
Black's game is difficult, but active
play by 16 ...l:.fe8 17 f5 tZ:lxd4! 1 8 �xd4 13 0-0-0?!
•••

tLlc6 19 �f2 tLle5 makes White's task The white king's residence is weak­
far harder. ened and Black aspires to attack with
X-FILES 1 79

. . . g5 . However, in spite of the outward


logic of this decision, the sharpening
of the play turns out not to be in his fa­
vour. If Black castles on the other side
- 1 3 . . . 0-0 ! - his position is preferable,
as his king' s safety is ensured and he
retains the initiative on the queenside.
14 .l:l.bl ! g5?
An impetuous reply - Black does
not obtain compensation for the pawn.
It is also not entirely successful for him
to play 14 ... .l:i.dg8 15 b4 g5?! ( 1 5 ... 'it>b8
16 ..ta3 !? gives White the initiative) 1 6
b5 tt::la5 1 7 hxg5 hxg5 1 8 i.. xg5 i..xg5 becomes vulnerable, and this circum­
19 tt::lxg5 tt::lc4 ( 1 9 ... l:txg5?? is ruled out stance, together with the undermining
by 20 'ii'c 1 +) 20 f4, while the line b3, allows White to seize the initia­
14 ... 'it>b8 15 b4 llc8 (or 15 ... tt::la5 16 tive. 10 . . . h6 is better.
i..xh6) would mean a switch to de­ 1 1 exf6 gxf6 12 .l:l.e1
fence. The immediate 12 .l:l.bl , meeting
15 hxg5 hxg5 16 i..xg5 i.. xg5 17 12 . . . tt::le7 by 1 3 b3, is even more reso­
tt::lxg5 .l:l.h5 18 f4 .l:l.dh8 19 tt::lf3 'it>b8 lute.
20 'iitf2 12 ... ..td6?
White went on to win ( 1 -0, 55). A waste of time; Black patently dis­
regards the need for defence. He should
4.7.2 play 1 2 . . .c.t>b8 or 1 2 . . . tt::le 7.
Alexander Grishchuk - 13 i..h3 i..c7 14 l:tb1 'iitb8 15 b4
Nikita Viti ugov cxb3 16 tt::lxb3 tt::le7
Moscow 2010 It is already too late.
17 tt::lfd2 'ifc6 18 tt::lc5 tt::lf5 19
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 'ifb6 5 tt::ldb3 tt::lxb3 20 'ifxb3 b6 21 a4
tt::lf3 tt::lc6 6 a3 c4 7 tt::lbd2 tt::la5 8 g3 White has a direct attack ( 1 -0, 36).
i..d7 9 i.. g2 0-0-0 10 0-0 (D)
What should Black play? 5.2
Leonid Stein - Wolfgang Uhlmann
10 f5?!
••• Moscow 1 967
This untimely thrust leads to diffi­
culties for Black. The opening of the 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 tt::ld2 c5 4 tt::lgf3
g-file does not promise him any coun­ cxd4 5 exd5 'ifxd5 6 i.. c4 'ifd6 7 0-0
terplay, since White manages to avoid tt::lf6 8 tt::lb3 tt::lc6 9 lZ:lbxd4 lLlxd4 10
weakening his king's position by play­ tt::lxd4 ..te7 11 b3 a6 12 ..tb2 0-0 13
ing h4. Meanwhile, the black e6-pawn 'iff3 'ifc7 14 l:tfe1 (D)
180 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

for Black, but he could try 1 8 . . . 1Wc5 ! ?,


keeping survival chances.
19 tZ::lxe6 fxe6 20 1Wxe6+ .l:.f7 21
..tc4 'iVf4? 22 'ikxf7+ 1Wxf7 23 .l:!.xe7
1-0

5.4
Garry Kasparov -
Andrei Kharitonov
USSR Ch, Moscow 1988

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 tZ::ld2 c5 4 tZ::lgf3
lLlf6 5 exd5 exd5 6 ..tb5+ ..td7 7
What should Black play? ..txd7+ tZ::l bxd7 8 0-0 ..te7 9 dxc5
tZ::lxc5 10 lLld4 'iVd7 11 'iVf3 0-0 12
14 b5
••. tLl2b3 tZ::lce4 13 'ii'f5 l:.fd8
This sharp continuation is perfectly One could question this move, and
viable, but Black badly misjudges its suggest instead 1 3 . . . 1i'c7. But objec­
consequences. 14 . . . ..tb4 is safer. tively, Black is still OK.
White's next two moves are obvi­ 14 l:.e1 ..tf8 15 c3 (D)
ous enough.
15 ..td3 ..tb7 16 'ikh3 g6?
Black correctly considers the d3-
bishop to be a source of direct danger
and therefore tries to protect h7, but
the way he does so is too mechanical.
A more subtle defence is needed:
16 . . . .l:.ad8 ! successfully meets White's
tactical threats, and maintains the
equilibrium.
17 a4!
White wants to regain the c4-square
for his bishop.
17 bxa4 18 1:txa4
•••

The immediate knight sacrifice 1 8 What should Black play?


tZ::l xe6?! allows Black to hold on by
playing 1 8 . . . fxe6 1 9 1Wxe6+ .l:.f7 20 15 'ii'xf5
..•

..tc4 ..td5 . In positions like this, Black tends to


18 tZ::lh 5?
•.. retain sufficient counterplay even in
This leads to a crushing defeat. an ending, but he could prefer to avoid
1 8 . . . tZ::ld5 ? 1 9 tZ::l xe6 is also hopeless the queen exchange by 1 5 . . . 1Wa4. But
X-FILES 181

the main reason for disliking Black's


decision to exchange queens is that he
helps his opponent transfer his knight
to an excellent post on e3.
16 li:Jxf5 g6 17 lt:Je3 l:te8 18 l:.d1
lt:Jc5?!
This careless move leads to real dif­
ficulties. After 1 8 . . . a5 Black still has a
reliable position.
19 g4! h6 20 h4 lt:Jxb3?!
Another poor move; 20.. .'itg7 21 g5
hxg5 22 hxg5 li:Jfe4 is stronger. Black
is ready to sacrifice the d5-pawn, but
White does not hurry to take it, prefer­ approach to solving opening prob­
ring to improve his pieces. lems, under which the strategic strug­
21 axb3 i.c5 22 g5 hxg5 23 hxg5 gle is replaced by a tactical battle,
lt:Je4 24 lt:Jg4! i.b6?! sometimes continuing all the way into
The final mistake; 24 ... l:ted8 25 b4 the endgame. In such positions even a
i.e? is more tenacious. minor detail can be of paramount im­
25 <.tg2 <.tg7 26 i.f4 l::tad8 27 f3 portance for the assessment of the po­
White has a decisive positional ad­ sition. For example, now either way
vantage ( 1 -0, 35). for the queen to flee is acceptable for
Black, but combining the two turns
6.3.2 out to fail. 22 . . . 'i¥e7 is the other viable
Roeland Pruijssers - move.
Hagen Poetsch 23 g3 'ife7?
Groningen 201 1 Now that Black has brought his
queen into battle, it is correct to keep it
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lt:Jc3 li:Jf6 4 e5 active by 23 . . . 'i¥h3 .
li:Jfd7 5 f4 c5 6 li:Jf3 lt:Jc6 7 i.e3 cxd4 24 <.td2!
8 lt:Jxd4 'ilfb6 9 'ifd2 'ifxb2 10 l::tb 1 A subtle rejoinder: the white king
'ifa3 11 i.b5 lt:Jxd4 12 i.xd4 a6 13 defends the c3-knight, neutralizing the
i.xd7+ i.xd7 14 l:.b3 'ilie7 15 l:.xb7 attack ...'i¥a3. And thanks to Black's
'ifh4+ 16 i.f2 'i¥d8 17 i.b6 'i¥c8 18 overly elaborate queen manoeuvre, the
l::tc7 'i¥d8 19 .:.b7 'i¥c8 20 .:.c7 'i¥d8 21 h4-square is now inaccessible to his
'ifd4 l:.c8 22 .:.a7 (D) queen.
What should Black play? 24 Ji'a3?
••

By persevering with active mea­


22 'i¥h4+
••• sures, Black marches to his death. But
This risky variation serves as a vivid all was not yet lost - he should have
demonstration of the contemporary tried 24 . . . g5.
182 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

25 �b1 �c4? 26 'ilixc4! dxc4 27 bishops leads to unpleasant conse­


�aS+ .i.cS 2S �xeS+ 'iti>d7 29 �c7+ quences.
'iii>dS 30 l:r.xc4+ 1-0 13 .i.xa6 �xa6 14 c4!
This break in the centre is typical in
6.3.3 such positions. Here the tactics sup­
Tatiana Kosintseva - Hou Yifan porting it are not very complicated.
Jermuk (women) 2010 14 cxd4 15 lt::lxd4 lt::lxd4 16 cxd5!
•••

lt::lb5
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lt::lc3 lt::lf6 4 e5 1 6 ... lt::lc6 1 7 dxc6 lt::lc5 is slightly
lt::lfd7 5 f4 c5 6 lt::lf3 lt::lc6 7 .i.e3 .i.e7 S better.
'ilid2 0-0 9 .i.e2 b6 10 lt::ld 1 (D) 17 'ii'e2 lt::lc7 1S d6 b5
Now by playing 1 9 a4 White could
have secured an obvious advantage,
though even after missing this she
went on to win anyway ( 1 -0, 48).

7.2
Peter Leko - Sergey Volkov
FIDE Knockout, New Delhi 2000

1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lt::lc3 lt::lf6 4 .i.g5


.i.e7 5 e5 lt::lfd7 6 .i.xe7 'ii'xe7 7 f4 0-0
S lt::lf3 c5 9 dxc5 lt::lc6 10 .i.d3 f5 1 1
exf6 'iixf6 12 g3 lt::lxc5 13 0-0 ..td7
l 3 . . . a6 1 4 'ii'd2 .i.d7 is arguably a
What should Black play? more palatable option.
14 'iid2 �adS 15 �ae1 .i.eS 16 a3
10 f5?!
••• (D)
1 0 ... cxd4 is correct. By allowing
her opponent to join up her pawn­
chain, Black loses the possibility of
placing her knight on c5 and then
(given the opportunity) on e4. As a re­
sult she suffers from a constrained and
slightly worse position, while White
retains attacking chances on the king­
side with 0-0, 'iii>h l , �gl , g4, etc.
11 c3! a5 12 0-0 .i.a6?
Black is careless; the preliminary
1 2 . . . lt::ldb8 is better. The immediate at­
tempt to exchange the light-squared
X-FILES 183

What should Black play? 'ife3+ 36 'ii'g3 e5 37 tt::l xa6 (37 f5


'ii'h6+ 38 �g2 b6 !) 37 ... :xc5 38 tt::lxc5
16 �h5?!
..• exf4 39 'ifxe3 dxe3 is equal !
Black wants to activate his 'French' 32 'ii'g5 'iff8 33 l:!.xe6
bishop, but chooses an inappropriate White went on to win ( 1 -0, 39).
moment. The simple 1 6 . . . a6 is more
useful; e.g., 1 7 b4 tt::lxd3 1 8 cxd3 llc8. 7 .3 . 1
17 tt::le5 tt::lxe5 18 :xeS .i.g4? ! Ferdinand Hellers -
This move seems like the natural Evgeny Bareev
conclusion of the manoeuvre, but the World Junior Ch, Gausda/ 1 986
modest retreat 1 8 . . . .i.f7 is stronger.
19 'ii'g2? ! 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 tt::lc3 lLlf6 4 �g5
White could exploit his opponent's �e7 5 e5 tt::lfd7 6 h4 h6 7 �e3 c5 8
carelessness and seize the advantage 'ii'g4 g6 9 tt::lf3 (D)
by 1 9 b4 ! tt::l x d3 ( 1 9 . . . tt::ld 7 20 :g5)
20 cxd3 , followed by transferring the
knight to d4.
19 llc8
••.

Now Black's dream comes true: he


gains counterplay along the c-file.
20 h3 tt::lxd3 21 cxd3 .i.f5 22 llf3
d4 23 tt::lb5?!
A flank sally of doubtful value. Af­
ter 23 tt::le4 �xe4 (23 . . . 'ii'd8 24 tt::lg 5)
24 l:he4 the position remains equal.
23 l:.cl+
•••

23 . . . :fd8 24 tt::lxa7 (not 24 g4?


�xd3) 24 ... l:!.c 1 + 25 Wh2 'ii'h6 is more
accurate, and keeps the initiative; e.g., What should Black play?
26 g4? .i.xd3 .
24 'it>h2 l:.d8 25 'ii'd2 :at 26 g4 9 tt::lc6?
•••

.i.xg4 This is a fundamental error that


This piece sacrifice is more or less leads to a difficult position for Black.
forced, but it is enough for equality. He should take on d4: after 9 ...cxd4, 10
27 hxg4 'ii'h4+ 28 l:h3 :hl+?! �xd4 leaves the white bishop poorly
28 ... 'ii'xg4 is far simpler. placed, and the pawn sacrifice 1 0
29 �xhl 'ii'xh3+ 30 �gl 'ifxg4+ tt::lxd4 tt::lxe5 has unclear consequences.
31 'ifg2 'ifxf4? 10 dxc5! tt::lxc5
Only 3 1 . . . 'ii'd 1 + ! keeps Black in the 10 . . . tt::ldxe5 1 1 tt::lxe5 tt::lxe5 1 2 'ii'g 3
game, when the computer line 32 �h2 is advantageous for White, so Black
a6 ! 33 tt::lc 7 :c8 34 :c5 'ife1 35 �h3 tries to avoid the opening of lines.
184 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

11 0-0-0 a6 12 .i.xc5 .i.xc5 13 lbe4 What should Black play?


.i.e7?!
Black should prefer 13 ... 'it'b6 14 9 e5? !
•.•

lbxc5 (14 lbf6+ 'it>f8) 1 4 ... 'ifxc5 with After choosing the somewhat risky
an inferior but resilient position. 4 . . . .txc3+, heightened caution is re­
14 'iff4 b5? quired of Black. The white f-pawn is
After this error Black can put up ready to advance, and Black has to de­
little further resistance. 14 . . .'itf8 is cide on which square to halt its push
better. forward. In this case another way to
15 lbd6+ .txd6 16 exd6 l:la7? blockade White's pawn-centre looks
This concluding oversight ends the more reliable: 9 . . . 0-0 10 f4 f5 ! , with
game. unclear play.
17 lbd4! 'it>d7 18 .i.xb5 axb5 19 10 f4 f6 11 d5 lba5 12 lbg3 0-0
'ii'xf7+ 1-0 It is very dubious for Black to opt
for 1 2 . . . exf4?! 1 3 lbf5.
8.4 13 f5 (D)
Sergei Ivanov -
Tiger Hillarp Persson
Stockholm 2001/2

1 d4 e6 2 c4 .i.b4+ 3 lbc3 c5 4 e3
.i.xc3+
Earlier in the book I recommended
4 . . . lbc6 5 lbf3 .txc3+ 6 bxc3, the
point being to wait until White had
blocked his f-pawn.
5 bxc3 d6 6 .i.d3 lbc6 7 lbe2 lbge7
8 0-0 b6 9 e4 (D)

The development of events is rather


interesting. Black is going to attack
the c4-pawn, but White's threats on
the kingside tum out in the long term
to be more dangerous.
13 .'ii'e8
••

It looks more logical to continue


1 3 . . . ii.a6 14 lbh5 'it>h8 right away.
Those moves without which one can­
not manage anyway should be made
first of all.
X-FILES 185

14 ti:Jh5 �h8 15 g4 the strength of the white bishops.


White stakes everything on his at­ 9 ... exd5 is preferable.
tack. The calmer idea 1 5 a4 i.a6 1 6 10 'i!kxd5 ti:Jxd5
'i!ke2 blocks Black's counterplay on Even here 10 . . . exd5 deserved atten-
the queenside. tion.
15 ti:Jg8 16 g5 fxg5?!
••• 11 e4
Activating the hostile bishop. 1 1 b4 ! ? f6 1 2 e4 ti:Jb6 (Malakhatko­
17 i.xg5 i.a6 18 'i&'g4 'i!kd7 19 Rozentalis, Cappelle la Grande 20 10)
�h1 l::tf7 20 'i!kh4 i.xc4 21 i.xc4 1 3 i.e3 is another promising possibil­
tbxc4 22 f6 g6 23 tbg7 ity for White.
White has the advantage ( 1 -0, 36). l l ti:Jf6 12 i.d3 0-0 13 b4?!
...

This pawn move is an inaccuracy,


9. 1 . 1 which Black immediately exploits. 1 3
Kiril Georgiev - Levon Aronian i.f4 i s stronger, and keeps a small but
Bundesliga 200112 lasting advantage.
13 l:.d8 14 'iti>e2 tbg4! 15 i.c2 b6
•.•

1 c4 ti:Jf6 2 ti:Jf3 e6 3 d4 i.b4+ 4 16 b5 tba5 17 h3 ti:Jf6 18 i.f4 a6 (D)


ti:Jbd2 c5 5 a3 i.xd2+ 6 'ii'xd2 cxd4 7 1 8 . . . i.b7 19 ti:Jd2 l:.ac8 maintains
'it'xd4 ti:Jc6 8 'ii'd3 d5 9 cxd5 (D) approximate equality.

What should Black play? 19 a4 axb5 20 axb5 i.b7?!


Now this is ineffective. Black should
9 'ili'xd5?!
••• immediately target the b5-pawn by
A highly dubious decision. Black 20 . . . i.d7. After 2 1 i.d3 ti:Jb3 the posi­
must be very cautious about exchang­ tion still seems balanced.
ing queens, because he has no firm 21 ti:Jd2 l:.ac8 22 l:.hcl tbc4 23 f3
squares for his knights and in the long ti:Jh5 24 i.g5 f6 25 tbxc4
term it will be difficult for him to resist White went on to win 0 -0. 34).
186 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

10.4.2 but allows him to burst through in the


Vladislav Tkachev - centre.
Aleksander Delchev 13 lt:lh4! lt:lxd5?!
French Team Ch 2001 1 3 . . . i.d7? is entirely bad due to 14
f4, but 13 ... i.xe2 14 lt:lf5 'ili'f8 15
1 d4 e6 2 c4 i.b4+ 3 i.d2 a5 4 lt:lf3 'i¥xe2 g6 is a better defence.
d6 5 lt:lc3 lt:lf6 6 'ili'c2 lt:lc6 7 a3 i.xc3 14 exd5 'ili'xh4 15 f4 i.xe2 16 'ili'xe2
8 i.xc3 'ili'e7 9 e4 e5 10 d5 lt:lb8 1 1 lt:ld7 17 fxe5 dxe5 18 i.xe5 0-0 19
i.e2 (D) .i.xc7 l:tac8 20 d6
White has a decisive advantage ( 1-0,
40).

1 3 . 1 .2
Mark Hebden - Chris Ward
Southend 2008

1 d4 lt:lf6 2 lt:lf3 e6 3 e3 c5 4 c4 a6 5
lt:lc3 d5 6 cxd5 exd5 7 g3 lt:lc6 8 i.g2
i.g4
8 . . . i.e7 is my recommendation.
9 0-0 (D)

What should Black play?

l l .i.g4? !
...

This continuation is quite plausible,


but clearly not the best, since now
White could continue 1 2 b4 ! . Com­
pare this with 1 1 . . .0-0 1 2 b4 lt:lh5 ,
which offers Black good counterplay.
12 0-0 a4?
Black evidently forgets about the
two tempi already lost by him earlier
in the opening, which mean that he
must be very cautious about any lines What should Black play?
where the game opens up. Now he
should either castle or play 1 2 . . . i.xf3 ! 9 :c8?!
•••

1 3 .i.xf3 a4, with good chances of A similar variation exists in the


equality. The immediate a-pawn ad­ Tarrasch Defence: 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3
vance blocks White's queenside play, lt:lc3 c5 4 cxd5 exd5 5 lt:lf3 lt:lc6 6 g3
X-FILES Ill '?

tt::lf6 7 .tg2 .te6 8 0-0 l:lc8. Here 13.2


Black' s play seems at first glance more Carl Oscar Ahu11 - LudWII lnpll
logical since White cannot continue Bad Nauhelm / IJJ,,
.tg5, but in fact it is very risky to de­
lay the development of the f8-bishop. 1 d4 tt::lf6 2 ltlf3 d! J eJ cS 4 /i,hdl
10 h3 .te6 1 1 tt::le2? ! tt::lc6 5 c3 e6 6 ..td3 'ii'c7 7 0·0 .le7 II
This is too sluggish. By continuing dxc5 .txc5 9 e4 0-0 10 iVe2 ..th6 I I
1 1 tt::lg5 .te7 1 2 e4 ! White can seize e5 (D)
the initiative with confidence.
l l cxd4
••.

More logical is 1 1 . . ..te7 1 2 b3 tt::le4


1 3 dxc5 .txc5 14 i.b2 0-0, with ap­
proximate equality.
12 tt::lfxd4 �d7
Black continues to provoke his op­
ponent.
13 tt::lxe6 fxe6 14 e4 tt::lxe4 (D)

What should Black play?

l l ltlg4?
•••

It is not so easy to feel the differ­


ence between the variations 1 0 . . . b6
1 1 e5 and 10 . . . .tb6 1 1 e5, but this dif­
ference is rather considerable. In the
first case Black should reply with
1 1 . . . tt::lg4, and in the second, 1 1 . . . tt::ld7.
15 tt::lf4 12 .txh7+ �xh7 13 ltlg5+ �g8 14
White should prefer the simple 1 5 �xg4 �xeS 15 �h5! �f5 16 tt::ldf3
.txe4 dxe4 1 6 �xd7+ �xd7 1 7 l:td 1 +, �g6?!
with a minimal advantage. Black finds nothing better than of­
15 i.d6 16 �h5+
•.. fering an exchange of queens. 1 6 ... f6?
Now after 1 6 . . . g6 1 7 tt::lxg6 'ikf7 an loses to 1 7 g4 �d3 1 8 tt::le 1 or 1 7 tt::lh4
unclear position would arise. He in­ �d3 1 8 tt::lg 6, but 1 6 . . . .td8 1 7 .te3
stead played 16...�f7?! 17 tt::lxe6! and .txg5 1 8 tt::l x g5 should have been
went on to lose after mistakes by both tried, even though White keeps the ini­
sides ( 1 -0, 38). tiative.
188 A ROCK-SOUD CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

17 11i'xg6 fxg6 18 .ie3 is to attack the white e5-knight with


The ending is distinctly better for his f-pawn, but now this idea is indefi­
White because his g5-knight occupies nitely delayed. Black should prefer
a dominant position. l l . . .lbe8 or l l . . .lbf5 1 2 .if2 .ie7.
18 .ic7 19 .l:.ad1 l:td8 20 lbh4 e5
••• Nevertheless, Black' s real hardship
21 lbxg6 .ig4 22 f3 .ic8 23 l:tfe1 only begins after his next move.
White has an extra pawn, although 12 .if2
he failed to win the game ( lf2_lf2, 72). After 1 2 .ih4 Black defends by
1 2 ... 'ii'c7 (not 1 2 ... f5? 1 3 g4) 1 3 'ii'h 3
14. 1 .3 lbg6.
Dragan Kosic - Stefan Mijovic 12 ...f5?!
Montenegrin Team Ch, Cetinje 2009 1 2 . . . f6? is no use due to 1 3 .ixh7+
'ifi>xh7 14 'ii'h 3+ 'Oti>g8 15 'ii'xe6+, but
1 d4 d5 2 .if4 lbf6 3 e3 e6 4 lbd2 the two-square advance of the pawn is
c5 5 c3 lbc6 6 lbgf3 .id6 7 .ig3 0-0 8 a poor substitute. Black should calmly
.id3 b6 9 lbe5 .ib7 10 f4 lbe7 11 play 12 . . . 'ii'c 7 (meeting 13 'ii'h 3 with
fif3 (D) 1 3 . . . ti:Jf6), retaining the option of driv­
ing the e5-knight away with . . .f6 at
some later moment.
13 g4 lbf6 14 gxf5 exf5 15 l:tg1
.ixe5 16 fxe5 lbe4 17 'ii'g2? !
1 7 h4 i s more accurate, denying the
black knight the g6-square. White's
advantage is then obvious.
17...lbg6 18 lbf3 'ii'e7 19 0-0-0
cxd4 20 cxd4 l:tac8+? !
Black misses an excellent chance
for counterplay by 20 . . . f4 ! 2 1 'ifi>bl (2 1
.ixe4 dxe4 22 lbg5 .idS) 2 l . . . fxe3 22
.ixe3 lbf4.
21 'Oti>b1 'ii'b4 22 .ie1 'ii'a4 23 'ii'e2
What should Black play? a6
White was threatening to trap the
l l lbd7? !
... black queen by 24 .i.b5 .
This continuation must give rise to 24 h4
some doubts, since Black's basic idea White went on to win ( 1 -0, 33).
I ndex of Va riations

A: 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lt:Jc3 5 i.. xf6 80


B: 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 lt:Jd2 5 exd5 80 5 . . .exd5 31
C: 1 e4 e6: other lines 5 .•• lt:Jfd7
D: 1 d4 e6 2 c4 i.b4+ 6 i.xe7
E: 1 d4 e6: other lines 6 i.e3 80
F: 1 c4 and 1 lt:Jf3 6 h4 87 6 . . . h6:
a) 7 i.e3 87
A) b) 7 i.f4 87
1 e4 e6 c) 7 'ii'h5 87
2 d4 d5 d) 7 i.. xe7 88
3 lt:Jc3 66 6.•. 'ii'xe7
3 ... lt:Jf6 7 f4 83
4 i.g5 80 7 i.d3 81
4 i.d3 66 7 lt:Jf3 81
4 exd5 exd5 30 7 lt:Jb5 82
4 e5 66 4 lt:Jfd7:
••• 7 'ii'g4 ! ? 83
a) 5 'ii'h5 ? ! 66 7 'ii'h5 83
b) 5 lt:Jf3 66 5 . . . c5 6 dxc5 lt:Jc6 7 7 'ii'd2 81 7 ... 0-0:
i.f4: a) 8 lt:Jd 1 ?! 81
b l ) 7 . . . a6 68 b) 8 f4 - see 7 f4 0-0 8 'ikd2
b2) 7 . . . lt:Jxc5 68 7••• 0-0
b3) 7 . . . i.xc5 69 8 lt:Jf3
c) 5 lt:Jce2 70 5 . . . c5 6 f4 lt:Jc6 7 c3: 8 'ii'h5 83
c1) 7 . . . 'ii'b6 71 8 'ii'd2 c5 :
c2) 7 . . . i.e7 72 a) 9 lt:Jb5 ? 84
d) 5 f4 74 5 . . . c5 6 lt:Jf3 lt:Jc6 7 i.e3 b) 9 lt:Jf3 85
(7 lt:Je2 71): 8... c5
d 1 ) 7 . . . i.e7 78 9 'iid2 85
d2) 7 . . . cxd4 8 lt:Jxd4: Or:
d2 1 ) 8 . . . i..c 5 74 9 g3 84
d22) 8 . . . 'ii'b6 76 9 lt:Jb5 84
4 ••. i.e7 9 i.d3 84
5 e5 9 dxc5 lt:Jc6:
5 i.d3 ? 80 a) 1 0 'i¥d2 85
190 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

b) 10 Jt.d3 : b) 3 l2Jf3 13
b 1 ) 10 . . . ttJxc5 1 1 O-O h6 84 2 l2Jf3 d5 3 e5 (3 l2Jc3 13) 3...c5:
b2) 1 0 . . . f6 1 1 exf6 'S'xf6 1 2 g3 a) 4 d4 35
l2Jxc5 85 b) 4 c3 ltJc6 5 d4 'ii'b6 36
c) 4 b4 /3
B) 2 d3 d5:
1 e4 e6 a) 3 'ii'e2 18
2 d4 d5 a1) 3 . . . l2Jf6 1 9
3 l2Jd2 50 a2) 3 ... l2Jc6 21
3 c5 b) 3 l2Jd2 22 3 . . . ltJf6 4 l2Jgf3 :
4 exd5 b l ) 4 . . . b6 23
4 Jt.b5+ 51 b2) 4 ... Jt.e7 24
4 c3 51 2 ... d5
4 dxc5 51 3 e5 33
4 l2Jgf3 50: 3 Jt.e3? 9
a) 4 . . . cxd4 51 3 Jt.d3 14
b) 4 ...l2Jf6 5 e5 l2Jfd7 6 c3 l2Jc6 7 3 exd5 27 3 ...exd5:
Jt.d3 : a) 4 c3 28
b1 ) 7 .. .'ili'b6 52 b) 4 i.d3 27
b2) 7 . . . h6 53 c) 4 ltJc3 30
4 ... exd5 58 d) 4 l2Jf3 29
4 . . .'ili'xd5 54 e) 4 c4 31
5 l2Jgf3 59 3 ... c5
5 Jt.b5+ 58 4 c3 36
5 ... a6 61 4 dxc5 ? ! 34
5 ... ltJf6 59 4 'ii'g4? ! 34
6 Jt.e2 64 4 l2Jf3 35
Or: 6 c3 61 ; 6 c4 ! ? 61 ; 6 dxc5 62; 6 4 ... 'ii'b6
Jt.d3 64 5 t'tJf3
5 a3 l2Jc6 6 ltJf3 41
C) 5 ... l2Jc6
1 e4 e6 9 6 a3
2 d4 6 dxc5? ! 36
2 e5 9 6 l2Ja3 36
2 g3 9 6 Jt.d3 37
2 c4 10 6 Jt.e2 38 6...cxd4 7 cxd4 l2Jh6:
2 b3 1 1 a) 8 b3 ? ! 39
2 f4 12 b) 8 l2Jc3 40
2 'ii'e2 16 c) 8 ..ltd3 ! ? 40
2 l2Jc3 d5: 6 ... f6 48
a) 3 f4 9 Or: 6 . . . Jt.d7 42 ; 6 ... c4 44
INDEX OF VARIATIONS 1 91

D) 4 dxc5 94
1 d4 e6 4 a3 95
2 c4 ii.b4+ 4 ftJf3 cxd4 5 ltJxd4 ftJf6 146
Now: 4 �b3 93
D l : 3 ftJd2 4 d5 96:
D2: 3 lbc3 a) 4 . . ..1hc3+ ! ? 96
D3: 3 ii.d2 b) 4 . ftJf6:
..

b l ) 5 ii.g5 97
01) b2) 5 f3 97
3 lbd2 1 09
3 ... c5 109 03)
3 . ftJf6 1 13:
. . 3 ii.d2 1 1 8
a) 4 a3 1 13 3 ... aS 124
b) 4 g3 113 3 ii.xd2+ 1 18:
...

c) 4 lbf3 0-0 1 14: a) 4 ltJxd2 1 1 9


c l ) 5 e3 1 14 b ) 4 �xd2 1 1 9 4 . . . ftJf6:
c2) 5 g3 1 15 b l ) 5 lbc3 120
c3) 5 a3 ii.e7 : b2) 5 g3 121
c3 1 ) 6 e3 1 1 5 b3) 5 lbf3 121
c32) 6 g3 1 15 4 lbf3 127
c33) 6 b4 1 1 5 4 �a4 125
c34) 6 e4 1 16 4 ii.xb4 ? ! 125
4 a3 ii.xd2+ 4 g 3 127
5 �xd2 cxd4 4 e4 124
Now: 6 �xd4 ! ? 1 10; 6 lbf3 1 1 1 4 a3 ! ? 126
4 lbc3 131
02) 4 ... d6
3 ltJc3 93 Now:
3 .. . c5 94 a) 5 a3 ! ? 126
3 . . b6 101 :
. b) 5 e3 128
a) 4 �c2 1 02 c) 5 g3 128
b) 4 �b3 102 d) 5 lbc3 129
c) 4 g 3 102
d) 4 e3 1 02 E)
e) 4 e4 104 4 . . . .tb7 : 1 d4 e6
e l ) 5 d5 ? ! 104 2 ftJf3
e2) 5 �c2 105 2 e4 - see 1 e4 e6 2 d4
e3) 5 ii.d3 105 2 g3 164 2 . . c5 3 lbf3 1 69
.

e4) 5 f3 107 2 ltJc3 1 64


4 e3 99 2 ii.f4 1 65
Or: 2 c3 ! ? 167
192 A ROCK-SOLID CHESS OPENING REPERTOIRE FOR BLACK

2 .•. c5 6 a3 134
3 e4 133 6 �e3 135
3 c3 166 6 �e2 136
3 g 3 169 6 g 3 137
3 ltlc3 1 71 6 tbxc6 138
3 c4 144 3 ... cxd4 4 ltlxd4 ltlf6 6 �f4 �b4 7 tbdb5 140
(4 . . . ltlc6 ! ? 144) 5 ltlc3 (5 g 3 ! ? 145): 6 ... �b4
a) 5 . . . �b4 146 7 a3 �xc3+
b) 5 . . . ltlc6 148: 8 ltlxc3 d5
b 1 ) 6 e3 148 9 exd5 exd5
b2) 6 i.f4 149 10 �d3 0-0
b3) 6 � g 5 148 11 0-0 d4
b4) 6 tbxc6 bxc6 7 e4 �b4 149 Now: 1 2 ltle2 141 ; 1 2 ltle4 142
b5) 6 e4 149
b6) 6 a3 150 f)
b7) 6 ltldb5 151 1 c4
b8) 6 g 3 153 1 ltlf3 d5 1 75 ( l . . .e6 1 73; l . . .c5
3 e3 155 3 ... d5: 1 73):
a) 4 c3 158 a) 2 c4 d4 1 75
b) 4 �d3 155 b) 2 g 3 c6 1 75
c) 4 c4 155 4 . . . a6 ! ? 5 ltlc3 ltlf6: c) 2 d4 c5 :
c 1 ) 6 b3 ? ! 156 c 1 ) 3 dxc5 1 75
c2) 6 a3 156 c2) 3 ltlc3 1 76
c3) 6 cxd5 157 c3) 3 e3 e6 155
d) 4 b3 160 4 ... ltlc6 5 �d3 ltlf6 6 c4) 3 c3 e6 166
0-0 b6 7 �b2 �b7 : c5) 3 c4 cxd4 4 cxd5 tbf6 1 76
d 1 ) 8 c4 161 1 ... c5 1 73
d2) 8 ltle5 162 l . . .e6 1 73
d3) 8 ltlbd2 162 2 ltlf3
3 cxd4 2 ltlc3 g6 1 74
4 ltlxd4 2 ... ltlc6
4 c3 133 3 ltlc3
4 ... ltlf6 3 d4 cxd4 4 ltlxd4 e6 144
5 ltlc3 3 ... ltlf6
5 �d3 134 Now:
5 ... ltlc6 a) 4 d4 cxd4 5 ltlxd4 e6 148
6 ltldb5 139 b) 4 e3 1 74
6 f3 ? ! 135 c) 4 g 3 1 74
www. g a m b itbooks . com

Playing as Black i n a game of chess can be difficult Do you simply try to


neutralize Wh ite's i nitiative, o r go all-out to compl icate the game? Either way,
there are many pitfalls , and a lot of study may be needed .

I n this book, G randmaster E i ngorn shows that it is possible both to play solidly,
and to take White out of h i s comfort zone. He recommends ideas and move­
orders that are a l ittle off the beaten track, but which he has very ca refully
worked out over many years of h i s own practice. The repertoire, based on
playing 1 . . . e6 , is strikingly creative and wil l appeal to those who want a stress­
free life as Black . You will get every chance to demonstrate your chess s k i l l s ,
and are very u n l i kely to be blown off the board b y a sharp prepared line . A l l you
need is a flexible approach , and a willingness to try out new structures and
ideas. Ei ngorn's subtle move-orders are particularly effective if White refuses to
pick up the gauntlet, as Black can then use h i s delay in playing . . . l2Jf6 to good
effect and take the fight directly to his opponent

Viacheslav E i ngorn i s a n extremely experienced g randmaster from Odessa


( U kraine), who played reg u la rly and successfully i n the Top League of the
U S S R Championship i n the 1 980s. He has represented U kraine many times in
team events, win n i ng a gold medal at the 2001 World Team Championship.
E ingorn is a F I D E Senior Trainer, and coached the victorious U krainian
women's team at the 2006 Olympiad .

� � . 99 $23. 95
llAI580T
ISBN-13 : 978-1-906454-31-9
Understanding ISBN-10 : 1-906454-31-0

Chess
Middlegames