The Latest Developments - November 2003
I was very sorry to see the disaster that befell the Egyptian team that played in the African Games in Abuja, Nigeria.
Four of them contracted cerebral malaria, two of them died, including strong IM Essam Ahmed Ali - my game against him was in the September update - but fortunately the condition of young prodigy Ahmed Adly (who beat me recently) and friendly journalist and organiser Hassan Khaled was correctly diagnosed in Greece and both recovered.
Note that there is once more a new E-mailbag for this month.
More really interesting openings this month, so much so that I couldn't even find room for one of my own efforts! OK, that is not strictly true as I did manage to sneak one into one of the notes!
[A22]: Papaioannou,I - Gelfand,B gives another chance to look at an early e3:
But, once again White fails to gain any advantage.
[A28]: Another chance to examine the sharp 4 e3 line of the Four Knights with 7 Qf5:
In the game Narciso Dublan,M - Illescas Cordoba,M Black tries a new move which doesn't seem to change the assessment of the position, as he is clearly worse. However, he then sacs some pawns to activate his king which comes all the way to the 3rd rank and winds a mating net around its white counterpart - a brilliant swindle!
[A37]: In July I answered an email concerning the 8 Ne4!? move recommended by John Watson:
so it was nice to see the game Markowski,T - Genov,P where Black plays (in my view) a lesser defence, and is clearly worse. However, White misses two great chances to gain a serious advantage (see the notes), takes an unclear exchange sac, and then gets thoroughly crushed!
[A39]: The Pure Symmetrical mainline goes 1 c4 c5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 g3 g6 4 Bg2 Bg7 5 Nf3 Nf6 6 0-0 0-0 7 d4 cxd4 8 Nxd4 Nxd4 9 Qxd4 d6 10 Qd3:
and this position has a double importance as it can also arise from a King's Indian Defence, Fianchetto Variation.
I haven't covered this line too well these last years, as it isn't particularly fashionable, so I was pleased to see two important innovations this month.
Firstly, in Bistric,F - Kovalev,A, where Black plays 10...Qa5 planning ...Qh5. White plays a strong new move, and had he followed it up correctly (see the note to move 17) he would have gained a significant advantage.
Secondly, in Damljanovic,B - Macieja,B we see the long line where Black swaps his queenside for White's centre. At move 19 Black plays a move suggested by Gufeld, and goes on to win - but he was clearly worse during most of the ending.
[A10]: It is always risky repeating a previous game of your opponent, as he may have worked on the position at home. That is exactly what happened in Agrest,E - Kanep,M where White sprung a powerful new move against the English Defence.
[A15]: As in the above, the game Agrest,E - Ponomariov,R featured an early queenside fianchetto. Black obtained a good position from the opening, but later blundered to allow a neat combination. Then, to cap it all, his portable phone rang and he was immediately disqualified!
[A16]: In the following Pseudo-Grünfeld position:
White played the surprising 7 Ne5!? attacking d7 and f7. Black normally concedes his bishop, but in Georgiev,K - Neverov,V he played a brave, new pawn sac which worked-out very well indeed!
[A18]: In the Mikenas Attack of Ivanchuk,V - Nielsen,P White springs a good novelty at move 19!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Till next month, Tony K