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The Latest Developments - February '04

Hi everyone, as I have been relatively free this last two weeks this update comes early!


To download the February '04 Flank Openings games directly in PGN form click here: Download Games

English 1...e5

English 1...c5

English 1...Nf6 & others


English Opening



[A20]: 7 b3 isn't exactly setting the World on fire:

but it has been increasing in popularity at the top level recently, see Gurevich,M - Rublevsky,S.

[A23]: Kveinys,A - Stocek,J looks at the Keres System with another early ...Na6 idea for Black.

[A25]: After 1 c4 e4 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Black normally plays 4...Bg7 and we reach a standard Closed English. Instead, in Dorfman,J - Libiszewski,F Black preferred 4...d6 5 Rb1 Be6 to develop his queenside more quickly:

however, White reacted very strongly by sacrificing his c-pawn and won convincingly.

[A28]: Bukal,V - Olsen,H is another disaster for White in the 4 e3 Four Knights, and this despite the fact that White out-rated his opponent by almost 200 ELO points!


[A31]: In my notes to Vladimirov - Ghaem Maghami some time ago, I suggested that the best answer to 7 d6:

is the rook sac 7...0-0!, and this is borne-out in the exciting encounter Seel,C - Ganguly,S.

[A37]: In the following Botvinnik System position:

should Black play 6...Nge7 or 6...d6 ?

I think he should prefer the latter, for in Kosten,A - Chabanon,J after 6...Nge7 I played 7 Ne1 to c2 to e3 and managed to get a good grip on d5.

1...Nf6 & others

[A13]: Following 1 c4 e6 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 g3 a6 4 Bg2:

Can Black play 4...b5, or does it weaken the h1-a8 diagonal too much? See Gomez Feria,J - Pogorelov,R for the answer.

[A16]: In this position:

Black's last move (7...0-0) is a known mistake losing a pawn, but how?

In fact, it might even be termed a 'pawn sac' as Black does get some compensation for it, see Grinev,V - Schukin,I.

[A17]: Finally, Kramnik grinds out a long win in the Nimzo-English of Kramnik,V - Zhang Zhong. Perhaps the World Champion should turn to 4 g4!?!


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

English 1...Nf6 & others