The April Update
First, I would like to thank you all for your feedback. It's highly appreciated... Unfortunately there were no top events this month, but I was still able to find a number of very interesting games.
Most of all I liked the game Del Rio Angelis-Illescas, so you'll see a very detailed analysis of this game - I'm sure you're going to enjoy it. I've also included one of my own games which featured a line we discussed in the January update. Most of the games included in this update involved the Classical system.
The first game in our update is an extremely interesting fighting game with a lot of theory and fireworks: Del Rio Angelis-Illescas, Dos Hermanas, 2004
Here, instead of repeating the position with 20.Nb5 Qb8 21.Na3 White comes up with a new idea 20 b5! and then sacrifices an exchange. Black defends almost perfectly and thanks to White's inaccuracy reaches a position with mutual chances. Then he suddenly loses two tempi and White comes up with a series of brilliant moves which eventually leads to the following position:
Classical: The Orthodox Variation with 7...Na6
Our second game is another theoretical battle which featured a recent idea from Shabalov: 16.Bb4!?, see Mikhalevski,V-Oratovsky, ISR-Tch 2004.
In order to surprise my opponent I played this interesting line, but Michael knew more than I could possibly expect. His novelty 19...Nf4, in the diagram position, deserves serious attention. After good play by both sides Black committed a serious mistake in time-trouble (31...Be7), as after the correct 31...Ne6 the position would remain balanced.
Our next game is an excellent performance from a young Georgian. The game Izoria - Glek, FRA-Tch 2004 sees a not very popular line with 11...h6.
Izoria struck with the very logical novelty 17.Rfd1 in the board position. Despite an inaccuracy on the 27th move White won a very good game, outplaying his experienced opponent both tactically and strategically. Probably after this game Black will have to look at how to deviate from this line, and I suggest 15...Nh5.
Classical: The Gligoric-Taimanov system
The game Onischuk - Bologan features the line with 7...Ng4. In the diagram position White continued with the non-standard, and interesting, idea 15.Bh5!?.
However, the wrong 20th move lost all chances for an advantage and with 20...Nd4 Black seized the initiative which he deservedly converted into a full point.
Our next game Popov - Solovjov, St.Petersburg-ch 2004 sees the line with 9.Bc1 (compared to Onischuk's 9.Bh4), Black doesn't seem to have any problems equalizing. Despite a positional mistake on the 20th move Black had chances to level the game, but 26...bc? ruined everything.
Another Popov game in this system is Popov - Loginov, St.Petersburg-ch 2004 featuring the unsound, in my opinion, line with 8.d5. Loginov played an excellent game - an especially strong impression was created by his cavalry, as almost half of the moves in this game were made by the knights!
The game Varga - Bologan, FRA-chT features a mix of the Makogonov with the Classical system. By playing 12.Be3?! White suddenly transposes into the line with an early Be3, a tempo down. After a not completely errorless fighting game there is another win for Bologan. 12. Be3 is not the way to fight for an advantage!
And last, but not least, Kazhgaleev - Nijboer, Windesheim Open 2004 sees a rare, but very interesting idea in a well-known position.
White played 11.exd5 (the more popular 11. cxd5 occurred in the game Kasparov-Kramnik, Las Palmas 1996), obtained a position with a big advantage in just a few moves and won the game easily. It may seem that White's position after 11.exd5 is already much better, but this impression is wrong. Nevertheless, the game shows that even a very experienced GM may fall victim to a rare idea. Be careful!
Enjoy the games! See you in May.