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The Latest Developments - August 2003

Hello again!

I have spent much of the last two weeks watching the French Championships at Aix-les-Bains, and they were quite interesting as the standard of chess was very high. I am off to Egypt again for a closed tournament tomorrow, so wish me luck!


To download the August '03 Flank Openings games directly in PGN form click here: Download Games

English 1...e5

English 1...c5



English Opening



[A28]: Black's favourite reply against 4 a3 in the Four Knights is often the simple 4...g6 when play normally heads for a Closed English by 5 g3 Bg7 6 Bg2 0-0:

In Gurevich,M - Plischki,S the game continued 7 d3 and White played a later e4 to reach a favourable Botvinnik structure. This whole plan is worth noting, and I have used it myself with success a few times in the past - one of these games is in the notes.

Instead, after the 7 0-0 of Ruck,R - Romanishin,O Black played 7...d5!? which seems to lose a pawn, but is actually a sound pawn sacrifice, and drew comfortably.


[A37]: Last month we had another look at the Symmetric pawn sac, but White can also delay this a move, so that after 1 c4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 Nf3 e6 instead of playing 6 d4, White can go 6 0-0 Nge7 7 d4!?

The disadvantage is that Black is one move closer to castling himself, and as I think you will see from the analysis of Kretchetov,A - Lakdawala,C, Black should have no real problems.


[A07]: The game Minasian,A - Sulskis,S is very interesting, Black plays Lasker's System against White's Réti, but White defers playing c4, and then sacs the e-pawn in the following position:

by 9 e4! and deserved to win.

[A11]: Craig Hall sent an email with some of his games recently, and then asked:

«Thanks for the coverage of Gurevich-Dreev, it was enlightening. Any chance of more games with the g4 stab in the Gurevich System?»

And this is the only excuse I need to show another of my efforts, Kosten,A - Olarasu,G, where my opponent improves on Black's play in Gurevich,M-Savchenko, but never manages to shake my grip on the dark squares.

Another game along simlar lines is Sambuev,B - Keosidi,K where White kills his opponent with a sharp mating attack in only 21 moves following the novelty 7 g4!?:

This whole system of Gurevich's is becoming so important that I have added a new chapter for it in the Réti eBook.

[A11]: Back to more traditional lines with g3, and in Radjabov,T - Svidler,P Black captures the c-pawn on move 4, and then quickly returns it to gain a good grip on two key squares. Could this line supplant Capablanca's System as Black's preference?

[A11]: My recommendation against Lasker's System in The Dynamic English was to capture on d5 and then play 6 Qb3

to exploit the absence of Black's light-squared bishop from the queenside, and in Stefanova,A - Zhukova,N Black answers this by 6...Qb6 which leads to an endgame that favours White because of the weak doubled b-pawns.


Please feel free to share any of your thoughts with me, whatever they are, suggestions, criticisms (just the polite ones, please), etc. Drop me a line at the Flank Openings Forum, or subscribers can write directly to

Till next month, Tony K

English 1...e5

English 1...c5