October Daring Defences
GM Glenn Flear
In my new role as "Daring Defences" contributor I hope to keep the new ideas flowing just as Neil and Tis' have done in the past. This time around I'm concentrating on the Grünfeld and Dutch as Tis' 'Maverick' update has only just been uploaded.
Neil received an enquiry concerning 12 Bf4 in the following position:
Most common is 12...Qd7, although 12...e5 in game 1 looks better than it's reputation. The following five games illustrate various subtleties, but the key factor after 14...e5 is that Black really needs to bring his knight as rapidly as possible from a5 to d6. My feeling is that 12 Bf4 isn't dangerous.
Of course D85 is the main focus of attention for Grünfeld followers yet again.
It's rare to see Ftacnik so completely outplayed in the Grünfeld, especially by a lower-ranked player, so his game against Zugic (Game 7) caught my attention. In fact 11...Nc6 is the cause of Black's woes, a move Ftacnik had played and analysed 10 years earlier. He shouldn't have believed his own analysis! It looks like the more popular 11...0-0 is better.
In the next game Azmaiparashvili improves on a famous encounter and earns himself a comfortable draw, but this isn't a line to generate winning chances for Black.
Game 9, featuring the main line of 8 Rb1 sees Black getting away with 16...b6! (instead of the more popular 16...Bf6) in the following position:
Which is the best move? I have a feeling that 16...b6 is the one to watch!
Finally our last Grünfeld examines one game from the Russian variation featuring a new idea. Black sacrifices a piece for a couple of pawns and active play. I don't think this will be the last we hear of this one!
In the Leningrad Dutch 7...Qe8 remains popular and game 11 looks at some tries after 8 d5 for White. I feel that White has reasonable chances to maintain an edge.
Instead after 8 Nd5 I couldn't resist including my flashy win against Gavin Wall (game 12). I improved on my earlier game against French Leningrad specialist Santo-Roman (see Neil's June issue, where for the record Santo missed a win with
24...Rf5! 25 Qd1 Rxb4 26 Ra3 Rd4 etc.) this is probably academic as in game 13 Black yet again uses 9...Nd7! to great effect. I have to agree with both Neil and Kindermann that this is Black's best.
After 7...Nc6, game 14 highlights a sharp try for White:
where Black improves on move 14 and obtains the better game.
In the Iljhin-Zhenevsky, 7...Ne4!? is an interesting try and a favourite of Ovetchkin, see game 15.
Game 16 illustrates how White can play positionally against 7...a5. It's a matter of taste but the plan of an early a3 and a slow build-up preparing e4 looks pleasant for White.
I've referred to ECO A (4th edition 2001) and ECO D (3rd edition 1998) and two new Everyman books; The Grünfeld Defence by Nigel Davies (June 2002) and Classical Dutch by Jan Pinski (September 2002) both these recent books are full of interesting new ideas and worth getting.
A final note, keep the e-mails rolling in to Glenn_Flear@chesspublishing.com. I've noticed that previous columns involved a number of replies to reader's questions. It's a good way to find out which variations you are really interested in!