What's new - September '04
This update is coming to you from Cesme, near Ismir in Turkey, where Kasparov et al are gathered for the European Teams Championship.
I hope to see some great Flank Openings chess whilst I am here, but with this confounded FIDE time control we don't have much time for getting up and looking at the other games!
Incidentally, did anyone notice that the boards have changed colour?
[A21]: After 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Bb4 3 Nd5 we have considered almost every legal move for Black, but I hadn't yet looked at 3...a5!?:
In Lautier, J - Fressinet, L Lautier handles the opening much as in the 3...Be7 line, but doesn't achieve too much from the opening. However, he then shows how much more important it is to understand positional themes in the English Opening, and gradually outplays his young opponent.
[A37]: It was interesting to see that Tony Miles' pawn sacrifice against Botvinnik's System is still alive and well:
When I asked Kasparov about its merits many years ago he replied that there was no point playing this as White is better if he plays more simply because of the weakness on d5!
Well, maybe, but still Lie, K - Fedorov, A features some exciting chess.
September was a good month for the Réti, with lots of interesting games:
[A04]: In Halkias, S - Grunberg, M we see 2 d3 crush the Dutch once again, but I think Black was doing well here after the opening.
[A09]: In Odendahl, R - Kasimdzhanov, R Black tried 6...Be7:
6...a5 is normally preferred here to stop 7 b4, but as the new FIDE Champ shows Black can allow this and get some advantage.
Still, later in the game he was hit by a superb tactic, and although he managed to wrestle control of the game back, and should have won, his opponent played superbly and drew comfortably. In fact, he could well have played on for a win at the end.
[A13]: It seems that Gata Kamsky has come out of his self enforced retirement, but he might be a bit rusty as White draws effortlessly in Wojtkiewicz, A - Kamsky, G.
[A14]: In this standard position, which has been seen thousands of times:
, White either plays 6 b3 continuing along normal Réti lines, or 6 d4 with a Catalan. However, in Kurajica, B - Horvath, P, White chose a move which I have never seen before, 6 Ne5!? and won easily. Could this be the start of a new trend?
[A01]: Time to look at the weird 5 Na3 Na5 line once again:
I really don't think this gives White anything at all, but if you are just happy to play reversed Hedgehog positions as in Berkes, F - Balogh, C then why not?
[A03]: Young French star Marie Sebag shows her tactical talent by destroying Bird's Opening in Dimitrijevic, A - Sebag, M!
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