January 2003 Update.
Welcome to the January Update!
The last couple of weeks have been dominated by the Wijk aan Zee tournament, one of the jewels in the chess crown. This year Vishy Anand emerged triumphant (he is winning everything at the moment) half a point ahead of Judith Polgar with the two reigning World Champions well down the field. The bad news is that only one player was prepared to defend the honour of the King's Indian and that was the youngest participant Teimour Radjabov. Even Judith seemed to have had her fill of the King's Indian after her recent efforts.
The good news is that Radjabov played no less than 4 King's Indian's and scored an excellent 2.5 points. A loss against Bareev and a draw with Karpov were more than compensated for by wins against Ponomariov and Krasenkov. I have presented the two most interesting here and they both happen to be Bayonet Attacks. I thought for a while that we were beginning to see less of 9 b4 but it just won't go away!
Anyway, Bareev produced the novelty 15 Rb1 (he'd previously played 15 g3 and then agreed a draw!) and won with a powerful display.
When Ponamariov decided to take Radjabov on in the same variation a few rounds later the boy from Baku sensibly decided to side-step his preparation by switching to 12...Kh8 instead of his usual 12...Nh5 and he comprehensively outplayed the current FIDE champ.
Do you remember this wonderful combination?
Black to play and mate in 6. Well, it didn't happen again, but in Bunzmann - Golubev we take a look at the variation where this combo resides.
I also have a couple of my own games to show you. The first against Barkhagen features a fashionable line of the ...Na6 Classical
I lost, but not because of the opening. Just as we are going to press though, I notice that the new US champion Shabalov (playing White) has defeated Volokitin in Bermuda by playing 12 Bd2 Nh6 13 c5 c6 14 Bxa6 bxa6 15 Qa4. We shall take a look at this next month.
Boensch - Gallagher was a real treat, at least for me. The German grandmaster struggled to develop his kingside in a sharp Averbakh, and just when he finally managed 15 Nf3 he got hit by 15...Nxe4! 16 Qxe4 Bh3!. This, understandably, rendered him a little groggy and a few moves later he blundered a piece in a worse but far from lost position.
The game Sapi - Bilek takes a look at another variation in the Averbakh, the unusual 6...Nc6. This is not a recent game but an answer to a subscriber's request. Sometimes I like to answer these requests here where everyone can share in my findings.
See you next month
Any queries or comments to Joe_Gallagher@ChessPublishing.com would be most welcome.