The Latest Developments - March 2003
Hi Flank Opening fans!
When I go through all last month's new games in my section, I use a variety of strategies for deciding which games to annotate: games of a high standard between super GMs, important novelties in theoretical lines, but most of all I pick exciting games, involving sacrifices, if I can. This month was a good crop, and I hope you enjoy looking at the games as much as I enjoyed annotating them!
[A21]: Subscriber alumbrado asks:
«You mention in your King's English e-book that you consider the 1...e5 2...d6 system as one of Black's most promising responses to the English which pleased me as it is the system I play myself with Black! My problem is that I also play 1.c4 and 1.Nf3 a lot with White and I am struggling to find a line to play!
My question is, do you think White has any other options via the Reti move order - in other words, can he hold back from playing c2-c4 and instead maybe play for e2-e4 and a King's Indian Attack setup? Have you seen any games with this approach or any other alternatives?»
Thinking about this, I think the answer is no. After, say, 1 Nf3 d6 2 e4, Black can play 2...c5 with transposition to a Sicilian, and otherwise play is likely to transpose into a King Pawn Opening, should White play a later e4.
I still like my 2 g3 move, and a good example is Suba,M - Bosboom Lanchava,T , where White plays a very imaginative, and somewhat surprising novelty on the fifth move.
[A29]: Taking Etienne Bacrot on in a theoretical battle involving his pet line against the English is always a risky affair, as Gretarsson,H - Bacrot,E proves, where the young prodigy plays a powerful innovation.
[A30]: Concerning the 7 Re1 line against the Hedgehog (in the Symmetric eBook) I mentioned that 13...Rfe8 seems like the strongest line for Black
So, in Chuchelov,V - Gommers,R I was happy to be able to analyse a recent game involving the main line.
[A34]: Another sharp mainline, this time Nimzovitch's Variation, is as vibrant as ever, as one of the strongest players in the World finds to his cost in Vallejo Pons,F - Leko,P.
[A15]: I thought I would give one of the trendier 'Anti-KID' lines with an early b4 a try in the recent 4NCL weekend, at Telford, England:
and I wasn't disappointed, winning a nice game with a 'banal' queen sac. Have a look at Kosten,A - Jones,R.
[A06]: After 1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e3 Nf6 transposition to a QGA seems probable, following 4 Bxc4, but in the game Nogueiras,J - David,V the Cuban GM played the unusual 4 Na3!?
so as to recapture with the knight instead. He then continued in hyper-aggressive style and won a convincing miniature!
[A07]: A while ago we had several question about the possibility of avoiding ...Bg4 (Capablanca's System) or ...Bf5 (Lasker's System) in the Réti and instead playing ...Nbd7 directly; especially if White plays a quick d3 (which precludes lines with d4). Indeed, there seems to be absolutely nothing wrong with this, and in Ubilava,E - Rasch,H Black managed to draw comfortably despite conceding over 300 ELO points to his illustrious adversary (Anand's trainer).
[A00]: I don't often find decent games in the 'other' Flank Openings and so I was not going to miss the opportunity of looking at Brameld,A - Ward,C where our very own Dragon expert outplays his opponent and then makes an awful blunder which leaves him happy to accept a draw against a player with 500 ELO points less. Sorry about including this one Chris!
[A00]: Likewise it was difficult to resist the game Hasangatin,R - Ramirez,A which swayed back and forth quite a bit (perhaps because of the time control), but gave a good opportunity to look at a neglected variation.
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 directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next month, Tony K