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This month I will focus a bit on the Flohr-Mikenas Attack in the Anglo-Indian lines as well a couple of rare lines in the Anti-Grünfeld.
I will return with the October update shortly.

Download PGN of September '08 Flank Openings games

Saragossa/Sokolsky Opening

I seem to recall that the move 1...g6 was recommended for Black against 1 a3 in the first edition of the BCO. The argument behind the move may well be that b2-b4 now is less attractive and that a2-a3 isn't particularly useful against the King's Indian. Somebody clearly forgot to tell Gelashvili that, because in our first main game in this update, Gelashvili - Salgado Lopez, 1 a3 g6!? was played, and after 2 Nf3 Bg7 3 e3 Nf6, White played 4 b4! anyway:

Black can move his knight to attack the rook on a1, but it doesn't serve any real purpose.


We have discussed the position after 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 c5 7.0-0 a6 8.Qc2 a couple of times:

but in the game Swiercz - Malakhatko, Black now went for the somewhat surprising, mainly because it isn't necessary, 8...Ra7. It has been played on a few occasions before, even by grandmasters. In our present game, the much-lower rated player behind the White pieces won the game thanks to a beautifully executed endgame.


From the Junior World Championship, which was played in August in Gaziantep in Turkey, we find our next main game, Laznicka - Nechepurenko. In the Anti-Grünfeld Black, after the normal 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 cxd5 Nxd5 5 Qa4+ didn't play the usual 5...Bd7, but instead opted for 5...Nc6. After 6 Ne5 Ndb4 7 a3 f6 8 axb4 fxe5 9 b5 Nb8, White went for 10 g3!?, which we haven't looked at previously on this site:

White went on to win a very convincing game.

The same can be said of Topalov - Shirov which was White put a different spin on another Anti-Grünfeld line: 1 Nf3 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 d5 4 Qa4+ Bd7 5 Qb3 dxc4 6 Qxc4 a6, and now instead of the more popular lines 7 e4 or 7 d4 and 7 g3 of which Topalov has previously played the latter two, the former FIDE World Champion went for the unambitious-looking 7 d3!?:

Clearly Shirov's response was a little too care-free and he soon ended up in an uncomfortable position without any counterplay. Despite some hiccups at the very end of this long rapid game, this game is a beautiful effort on White's part.

Flohr-Mikenas Attack

As mentioned briefly in the introduction, we will this time take a closer look at the Flohr-Mikenas Attack, which arises after 1 c4 e6 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 e4. In two recent games by the Dutch Grandmaster and runner-up in the European Individual Championship Erwin L'Ami explored the opening from both sides of the board. In the first game we will look at, he took the white pieces, L'Ami-Wells, where the following line was discussed: 1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.e4 c5 4.e5 Ng8 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nxe5 8.Ndb5 a6 9.Nd6+ Bxd6 10.Qxd6 f6 11.Be3 Ne7 12.Bb6 Nf5 13.Qc5!:

The last move was introduced by Kasparov in 1988 and has since then constituted the critical line of this variation. However, Wells has played this line before with good results, for example Speelman-Wells, London 2007, which can be found in the notes to our main game. Compared to the lines that we have previously discussed on, we need to revise our opinion on the objective merit of this line.

With the black pieces, L'Ami took on a former world number three in Bareev-L'Ami. Bareev varied with 13 Bxd8, which is hardly ever played these days:

But as the notes to the game will indicate White appears to have pretty decent chances of claiming an edge in these lines, particularly around White's 18th move.

King's English

Last year we covered the line, 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nc6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 g3 Nd4 in detail, and relatively few things have happened since then. But the game Aronian - Svidler gives us cause to examine one of the main lines again. After 5 Bg2 Nxf3+ 6 Bxf3 Bb4 7 Qb3 Bc5 8 d3 c6, White opted for 9 0-0, which is considered a bit harmless. The continuation went 9...0-0 10 Bg2 h6 11 Bd2 Re8 12 Rac1 Bf8 13 h3 d6 14 Kh2 a6 with fairly even chances, though the game was soon kicked into a different gear.

Symmetrical English

In the last game of this month's update, Graf - Atakisi, White tries an fairly rare line after 1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 in 6 Bg5!?, which is supposed to be harmless, provided Black knows how to prove it. Previously we have discussed both 6...Be7 and 6...h6 7 Bh4 Qb6, but in our main game, Black went for the sharper 6...Bb4:

which has been played before by Shirov amongst others.

See you next month, Carsten


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