Classical: The Bayonet attack
It is rare that I don't start my update without this system and this is no exception. So, Van Wely, L - Nijboer, F, ch-NED, Hilversum 2006 sees Van Wely's favourite line with 12.f3. The key position arose after White's 19th move:
In the diagram position Black plays a novelty, which seems to surprise Loek, as he errs immediately. Fortunately for him Friso wasn't in a fighting mood and soon initiated peace negotiations. White's improvement is just below the surface, so hopefully we'll see more interesting games in this line.
The traditional tournament in Biel featured a number of rare lines in the Classical KI. Carlsen, M - Morozevich, A, GM Biel 2006, started with Korchnoi's 9 a4:
However, it's interesting that just a few moves later we see a position which is fairly typical of the Bayonet Attack:
Somehow Black's extra tempo turned out to be unimportant, and after an inaccuracy, White seized the initiative and, despite a number of mistakes from both sides, was mostly on top and eventually won the game.
The game Carlsen, M - Radjabov, T, GM Biel 2006 sees another rare line, which was once a speciality of GM Miles:
It seems that Radjabov wasn't really surprised though, and he soon obtained a good position. The key moment of the game came on the 21st move when Black could try to play for a win by means of 21...gxf5. Instead he played 21...Bf5 allowing White to stabilize the position and a draw was soon agreed.
This game shows that 9.Kh1 doesn't promise much.
The 9.Bg5 line
Another attempt to surprise Radjabov took place in the game Pelletier, Y - Radjabov, T, GM Biel 2006. The well known path in this line led us to this diagram position, in which White has to exchange Black's dark-squared bishop by means of 17.Nd1 and 18.Bc3:
Instead, Pelletier played 17. Rfd1 and got into trouble. Soon it was clear that Black was in full possession of the initiative, while White had to defend passively. Despite two inaccuracies in time trouble Black's play in this game was of a high quality and he won it deservedly. Here is the position of total domination in which White resigned:
This popular line occurred in the game Navara, D - Novikov, St., Czech Open 2006.
In the diagram position White tried a new move, which reminds me of Beliavsky's idea in the 9...Qe8 line. However, the game shows that the idea is dubious in this particular position. Black's attack on the kingside turned out to be too strong and he won the game easily. Here as well the final position speaks for itself:
7.Bg5 lineYet another rare line occurred in the game Eingorn, V - Ivanchuk, V, Pivdenny bank Geller mem 2006:
White exchanged his dark-squared bishop at the very beginning of the game, which looked dubious, but Ivanchuk's play wasn't convincing and soon it was White who missed a chance to claim an advantage. Then the position was balanced, and later, even when White was two pawns down, he still had good possibilities for a draw, but missed his chances and eventually forced a pawn endgame, which turned out to be lost.
The opening line chosen by Eingorn can only be advocated as a rare weapon, which counts on the effect of surprise.
A very interesting novelty was introduced by my friend Vitali Golod in the game Fressinet, L - Golod, V, MTO Open Biel 2006.
In the diagram position he suddenly played 9...Nh5! instead of 9...Ne8 or 9...Nd7. It seems that the knight is doomed after 10.g4, but the Israeli GM showed that Black obtains sufficient compensation in all lines.
This idea of 9...Nh5! may revive the line with 6...c5. So I look forward to further tests.
Our final game in this update is Bu - Jobava, GM Scheveningen 2006.
In a relatively rare line with 9...a6 White tested 10.a4 here, which allowed Black to equalize easily. White never had a chance to take the initiative, while Black could try to do so both on moves 20 and 24.
It seems that White's plan in this game promises no advantage and the weakening of the b4-square can't set Black problems.
Enjoy the issue and see you in September.