Classical: The Bayonet attack
Our first game in this system, L'Ami, E - Stellwagen, D, Corus B Wijk aan Zee 2006, featured a forgotten line of the Bayonet attack with 11...Nf4:
The players followed the game Kramnik, V - Shirov, A, Tilburg Fontys 1997 up to White's 20th move and L'Ami presented a logical novelty. The position looked balanced until Black committed a serious mistake on move 26 and could have found himself a pawn down without compensation, but White immediately returned the favour and a draw was soon agreed.
I believe the line with 11...Nf4 remains playable and has an advantage as it significantly reduces White's options when compared to 11...Nf6.
Classical with 9.Bd2
After preparing the game Kramnik, V - Zvjaginsev, V, Moscow RUS 2005 for the January update I decided to give the rare line with 9.Bd2, implemented by Kramnik in that game, a try. Here we are: Mikhalevski, V - Sidorenko, I, ISR-Tch 2006.
While Zvjaginsev deviated from the main line by means of 9...Kh8, Sidorenko played 9..Nh5 - see the diagram. Soon Black played ...f5, which allowed me to take control of the light squares and a typical position with a "bad" bishop on g7 arose. I broke through on the queenside, took control of the b-file and obtained a clear advantage. However then I made a mistake, which could have cost me the advantage but Black immediately returned the favour and the rest was clear. The line with 9.Bd2 deserves further tests.
The Gligoric-Taimanov system
The game Georgiev, K - Bologan, V, Gibraltar 2006 featured an interesting line of the Gligoric system.
In the diagram position Black applied a novelty - 14...Nxe2 - which didn't, however, allow him to fully equalize. Soon White broke through with c5 and sacrificed a pawn on e6 for the initiative. However, Bologan found a way to return the pawn to exchange queens and transfer his dark-squared bishop to a nice square. Unfortunately he later committed a number of mistakes, came under strong pressure and eventually lost. Probably Black has to prefer 12...g4 instead of 12...Nxf5.
Georgiev, K - Sutovsky, E, was played in the last round of the very prestigious Gibtelecom Masters 2006. Georgiev was a point ahead of Sutovsky, who needed to win the game to catch up with the leader. White chose the drawish Andersson line in the Exchange Variation and the key-position arose after Black's 17...Nf4:
After some forced play Georgiev went into a pawn endgame, which was only nominally better for Black, and in the following fortress position a draw was agreed:
The game Van Wely, L - Mamedyarov, S featured this semi-correct line.
White has just played 8.Rc1. Soon Black sacrificed a pawn and obtained typical Benko Gambit-style compensation. The position remained balanced throughout the game, which nevertheless was drawn after a hard fight.
Although this move is one of the main reactions to Black's setup I think it's unnecessary. Moreover, White has already showed a number of better options. Some of them you can find in our archives.
The Makagonov System
The game Jobava, B - Stellwagen, D featured this rare line.
In the diagram position Black played 7...Nh5, and White also avoided the main line of this variation. However, Black soon committed a serious positional mistake by weakening his pawn structure on the kingside (11...h5), which White exploited by means of f3 and g4 and soon won a pawn, which he converted into a win in an elegant manner. Here is his decisive combination:
Try to play like Jobava!
Fianchetto: Yugoslav System
The game Jussupow, A - Svidler, P, Bundesliga 2005-6 featured the main line of the Yugoslav system. In the following diagram position Black suddenly played 13...h5 which hasn't been tested since Anand's loss to Van Wely in Monte Carlo 1998:
In this game the idea worked very well after Jussupov's unfortunate novelty (16.fxg3?!). After a series of inaccuracies White eventually blundered and found himself in a lost position, which Svidler won without serious problems. It would be interesting to see this idea tried again in the near future.
Our last game, Zhumabaev, R - Fedorov, A, 4th Parsvnath Open 2006, also featured the Yugoslav system. However, this time instead of the main line with 11.b3 White played 11.Rb1 and then went into a dubious line with 12.cxb5?! (12.b3 is better) cxb5 13.b4. The diagram position arose after 14...Qc7!:
I believe White is already slightly worse and one mistake a few moves later cost him a pawn and soon the game. I wouldn't recommend repeating the line with 12.cxb5?!.
Enjoy the issue and see you in March.