Daring Defences for February 2003
Last month I concentrated mainly on the Grünfeld. Indeed, continuing in the same vein, the emailbag this month contains four Grünfeld questions, so I've tried to balance things out below by giving more emphasis to other openings.
GM Glenn Flear
The first game highlights a little known idea against the Leningrad Dutch, but behind the game there is a great story told to me by Tony Kosten (Mr. Chesspublishing.com himself). The story concerns a tale of two authors, Stefan Kindermann whose most recent book is Leningrader System (Chessgate, in German), and Valeri Beim who wrote Understanding the Leningrad Dutch (Gambit, in English). These high quality books both became available very recently, so I suggest that all Leningrad players get at least one of them.
The story takes place at an Austrian league week-end, where both authors (and Tony, who is Kindermann's teammate) were present. Kindermann was aware of an interesting and little-known idea which he recommended for White in his own book, but crucially he knew that the idea was missing from Beim's!
An amazing opportunity arose when Kindermann's team were preparing to play against Beim's and Beim (a Leningrad practitioner as well as a theoretician) was down to play Black. Kindermann prepared team-mate Freitag and their opening efforts came up: Beim went straight into the trap and was soon faced with a lost position!
In the following position Black has problems as the natural 14...Be6 fails to 15 Ng5! with a clear advantage.
Stefan Kindermann kindly sent me some notes that I've incorporated into Game One.
Opening preparation doesn't always work so well but if you diligently study your monthly Daring Defences you will no doubt pick up some good ideas such as this one!
In Game Two, Black introduces a strong improvement in a sharp Grünfeld line which essentially kills off White's opening strategy.
Games Three and Four illustrate that the opening phase is treacherous territory in the English Defence. In Game Three Blatny's opening nuance as Black is almost immediately shown to be dubious:
here White found a decisive continuation, whereas in Game Four it's White who soon gets into hot water.
In the following two games it's the Dutch that has a rough time. The young Spanish star Vallejo Pons is successful with an anti-Leningrad system in Game Seven, whereas Khenkin shows how to get an opening edge against one of the leading 4...Bb4+ specialists in Game 8.
Vallejo Pons found a great combination in the diagram position above, for the details see Game 7.
You may have noticed that White has obtained a high score this month. Model games from top players are worth including whatever the result. Such games may even indicate how not to play with Black!
In the following entertaining game a tough fight eventually ends in a draw, but Radjabov must have been disappointed after outplaying Van Wely from a slightly inferior opening, see Game 9.
In Game 10 we investigate 4 f3!? (rather than the usual 4 Bxf6) an idea that is suggested in the e-book, but rare in practice. Best play looks far from clear but it seems to guarentee an interesting struggle.
Keep the letters rolling in, and please send me any of your games that are theoretically interesting. Anybody out there interested in something other than the Grünfeld? In any case, the next Daring Defences should be available in mid-March.
Write to Glenn_Flear@chesspublishing.com.