What's New- June '03
Welcome to the late June update (right on time!) I hope everyone has had a good month.
White is doing alright in the 7 Nd5!? line as seen in our next game, Stellwagen - Van Wely in the B33 Sveshnikov. It looked like White was on the way to an advantage, then he gave up the bishop pair for nothing. After that Black got his share of the play.
Next up, our monthly mixed bag of English Attacks. Where would we be without this opening? It provides us with interesting fresh material.
The first part of our English Attack review hits B48 in the Taimanov Variation with Gashimov - Mastrovasilis.
Black's 8...b5?! looked a little creepy to me and indeed White got serious dark squared play with 9 Nc6 dc6 10 Bf4.
White let Black get numerous good chances, but Black failed to capitalize. 16 Nd6!? looks like one strong alternative.
The moral is that: if Black can play ...Bb4 to provoke a3 then he should, but then Black shouldn't play ...Bxc3 unless it's forced.
An instructive game in the B57 Benko Sozin, Blokhuis - Berkmortel, sent in by subscriber Theo Berkmortel caught my attention. Theo played well only to lose on a blunder at the end.
This has been one of my favorite variations for many moons, (after I got mated in a Velimirovic Attack around 1975 vs IM Jose Gutierrez... I can't find the game, but it created much controversy) I've tried to point out some of the tricks involved in this line.
Our lone (B67) Richter Rauser is Inarkiev - Del Rio Angelis.
9 f3 continues to cause alot of trouble as per usual. The reply 9...Qa5?! flunked the test and should be dumped pronto! Black is solid with 9...Be7 or 9...Qc7, the usual stuff.
In the B80 area we see Kovacevic - Stevic.
I'm starting to mistrust Black's position in these Nc6 lines. It's a real struggle to find any clear plan. I hate when White controls the action and Black sits around and reacts. I like having a say in what happens to me!
Having said that, Black is best off playing one of the Najdorf lines with e6 and some N to d7. In this game Black needed several miracles to survive...
Next up is Habu - Sadvakasov from the B86 Sozin/Najdorf section. White hasn't been proving too much vs the 7...Nbd7 line, and 8 Qe2 isn't going to scare anyone.
Most to the point is 8 Bg5 when Black shouldn't play 8...Qa5?!... the reason being this tranposes to 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cd4 4 Nd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 a6 6 Bg5 Nbd7 7 Bc4 Qa5 8 Qd2 e6 9 0-0-0. This variation vs Bg5 in the Najdorf has been under a cloud for years. Black should play 8...Nc5!? and it's a game.
Last, in the B90 Najdorf section, Gaponenko - Dzagnidze was the same as Grishuk-Kasparov from many updates ago. White's 12 Qc4?!
is a terrible move that gift-wraps the advantage for Black.
One good alternative that I see for White is 12 Qf2!?. It makes sense to keep queens on given the state of the white pawn structure. If I'm playing White I still prefer 6 Be3 over 6 f3 which makes 6...Qb6!? a good idea.
I wish all my friends the best in chess and life!
See you at my next update... the July update!
Adios, GM John F
PS Feel free to contact me at the Forum (above) or send stuff to my email at email@example.com. I'll try to answer your questions as soon as possible. I've had problems replying when contacted through Chess Publishing at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks! Fed.