What's New- June '04
Welcome to my late June update. I played in a couple of tournaments with fair results. I hope this update finds everyone well.
Lets start off with a Vallejo Pons game.
This time he takes care of Swedish GM Ulf Andersson with a flashy attack. I've blabbered on about accurate move orders millions of times. In this Taimanov (B46) Black gave White an opportunity for 6 Nxc6 which gives good chances for the initiative:
I've always said that 5...Qc7!? is more solid than 5...a6?!. This is a good example in support of my assertion, see Game 1.
Lets go to the 'Taimanov English Attack' area with Akopian - Anand (B48). It's clear that the Taimanov is now Anand's number one opening vs 1 e4. White looked to be better out of the opening with the bishop pair and ok pawn structure. Black was never far from equality though, and when White misjudged the pawn capture race Black took control.
We see a return to action from Richter Rauser hero GM Zdenko Kozul vs Predojevic (B67) in Game 3.
Black has been holding his ground in the 9 f3 line. In this game White didn't find a proper plan. He carelessly allowed the kingside to become locked and was defending for the duration. My suggestion of a king walk to h3 was the best chance to live.
We round out this late June update with some Najdorf Defenses...3 to be exact, and 2 are with 6 Bg5. A bit of a surprise.
First up in our Najdorf group is Kritz - Sasikiran (B80) in the Scheveningen English Attack.
The ...e6 and ...Nc6 lines have become very popular in recent updates, but I don't see why. Black still has difficulties finding a clear cut plan. Take a look at Adams-Akopian in a note - White traded queens then expanded on the kingside while Black could only watch. I was very impressed by this. Adams plays these positions extremely well. I've noticed that against 6...e6 he sometimes prefers not to castle queenside.
Game 2 is Vallejo Pons-Kasparov (B97) in the Poisoned Pawn variation:
This has always been Garry's choice and of course carries a good reputation. The catch in this line is that there is heavy amounts of theory and it must be applied accurately. Here White plays the theory straight into a draw by perpetual check. It's not the first time we've seen this and it won't be the last.
The last game is in the main line with 10 g4:
The game Vazquez - Vallejo Pons (B99) saw Black go back in time with 13...Nc5!?. This move fell out of favor quite awhile ago. Black's improvement 20...Bb7!? ( I guess it is) worked out well, resulting in a fairly routine win. Fritz agrees that it looks ok for Black. Further tests are needed if there are any brave players out there for either side.
As I mentioned in the annotations I discussed this line with world renowned Najdorf player GM Nick de Firmian. Nick doesn't like the lines when Black plays 13...Bg5. White should capture on e6 with the knight leading to light square play. We also talked about recapturing with 11... gf6 which Nick seemed to think was shaky as well.
See everyone later in July! I'll try not to be too late.
Adios, GM John Fedorowicz
P.S. Feel free to contact me at the Forum (above) or send stuff to my email at email@example.com (subscribers only). 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.