Daring Defences, July 2003
We start with the Neo-Grünfeld this time. A variation that Karpov has employed from time-to-time over the years. Recently he has been causing problems to players of the 6...dxc4 7 Na3 c3 system.GM Glenn Flear
See Game 1 to check how many of Karpov's opponent's played into his hands or not, but recent wins over Leko, Illescas and Judith Polgar have to be taken seriously!
Sutovsky's handling of the Black pieces fared better in Game 2, another suggestion that the e2-e4 and Ng1-e2 system isn't quite the terror it used to be.
An anti-Grünfeld system that is ideal for King's Indian Sämisch players involves 3 f3 and is investigated in Game Three. Black can easily go astray here but probably should be OK after 9...e5 in the following position. I'm not so sure however about 9...f5.
Game Four sees the up-and-coming English star David Howell win a smooth game after an individual interpretation of the fashionable queenless line (in the Exchange Variation with Nf3 and Be3).
Luke McShane seems to have learnt from his defeat at the hands of Peter Heine Nielsen in Malmo 2003 (see notes to Games Six of June's update) and in Game Five was able to show an improved move-order to cope with the Dane's pet-line against 10...Bd7.
after White's 14 Nd4 we reach the above position, and now Black played 14...Na5 and obtained a satisfactory game.
This month's Games Six sees Thomas Ernst becoming the latest victim of the dangerous exchange sacrifice, but despite the limited number of moves played (after the theory ran out!) there are some possible improvements for both sides. Even so, allowing White to play this way is really playing with fire.
In the Dutch defence I've investigated a couple of ideas both of which featured in my own games. In the Leningrad in Game 7 Christian Bauer played a dangerous system but found a route to equality. As for the result, well let's say that his endgame play was better than mine!
Dutch specialist and writer Simon Williams had a couple of encounters with 7 b4 in the Classical Dutch. His win over Dumitrache in Game 8 was convincing, showing that Black is also OK here.
Here Black played 10...d5! a strong move first played by Richard Pert at last years Hastings Challengers. The move has a curious history: I'd suggested White's 10th to Simon in our post-mortem two rounds earlier, only next day to be queried by Richard Pert as to how I then intended to meet 10...d5. I was frankly lost for words (and next day it was clear that Dumitrache was short of ideas too!) as this timely switch to a Stonewall is surprisingly strong. It was amazing to see this particular position occur on the adjacent board, one that I had discussed the previous day but that wasn't yet present on any database.
The Benko Gambit is featured in the last three games. Game 9 illustrates how things can go wrong if he doesn't get his counterplay going. The notes show how to make White's task more complicated.
In Game 10 again 4 Nf3 is played. Here Black ventures the less-popular 4...Bb7 and obtains easy equality showing that his split pawns are not a problem for him in this line.
Finally, Game 11 illustrates a new approach for Black against 10 0-0 Nb6 11 Nh4 in the Fianchetto Variation. Ristic plays a good game only to agree a draw prematurely.
Till next time! Glenn
Write to the Forum, or to Glenn_Flear@chesspublishing.com.