Classical: The Bayonet Attack
Let's start with the Bayonet Attack as usual, and our first game is Brynell, S - Kotronias, V, Rilton Cup 2006-07. A critical position arose after White's 20th move fxe4:
Here Black shocked his opponent with the unexpected 20...Nxe4. Obviously impressed by this sacrifice White declined it but got into an unpleasant position. Soon both opponents started to err, but White was more 'successful' in it and so Black took home the full point. A very interesting fight. The analysis of the opening part of the game shows that the ball is on the Black's side, he has to look for an improvement.
Let's continue with Kramnik's favourite 12.Bf3 instead of Van Wely's pet-line 12.f3, which we saw in the first game. The game Bartholomew, J - Kiewra, K, UTD GM Invitational 2006, featured a classic "Bayonetian" endgame, which arises from a number of lines in this system:
The last serious test of this was two years ago in the game Lautier, J - Ivanchuk, V, 36th Olympiad 2004 in which Ivanchuk succeeded in escaping with a draw after accurate defense, which can't be said of the current game. Two consecutive mistakes from Black made the position difficult and White won the game convincingly. The game proves once again that in the line with 13.b5 White may hope for a slight edge, while Black still needs to be accurate to hold the balance.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
The game Landa, K - Mogranzini, R, 49th IT Reggio Emilia 2006 featured the popular line with 10.c5:
In the diagram position Black followed my recommendation from the November update. Up to the 29th move the game was balanced, but then Black suddenly exchanged his bishop, which allowed White to grab the initiative, which he gradually converted into a big advantage and eventually won. The final part of the game is interesting for the theory of rook endings. An interesting game, which shows that there are still a lot of hidden resources in the line with 11.c5. So further tests will hopefully shed more light on this fascinating line.
The Gligoric system
The well-known Russian commentator (and my friend) Sergey Shipov mostly plays blitz games recently. Here is one of his favourite lines, which he misplayed this time after winning another blitz game against Moro earlier this year. The key position of Shipov, S - Azarov, S ACP Christmas blitz 2006, arose after Black's 22...Bg8:
Now instead of 23. Na5 with a complex position White erred with 23.Bf1, which allowed Black to start an offensive on the kingside. Although White could defend better Black's attack was very convincing. I believe White has to correct his play in the opening phase of the game as in the diagram position Black has serious counterchances.
The Petrosian system
The game Vallejo Pons, F - Muse, M, Bundesliga 2006-7 saw a novelty in a well-known position.
In the diagram position Black suddenly played 9...Bg4, which initiated complex strategical play in which the Spanish GM outplayed his lower rated opponent. This line deserves further tests though I have a feeling that White should be able to obtain an advantage with accurate play.
The Makogonov system
The game Jakovenko,D-Illescas Cordoba, XVI Magistral A 2006, was a mix of Benoni and KID.
Black has chosen a side line with 8...Na6, while his last move was the unfortunate novelty 12...a6. White came up with a beautiful pawn sacrifice, which allowed him to take the initiative. However later he made an inaccurate move, but Black missed his chance and was crushed in great style.
Try to find a decisive tactical blow here.
The game shows that Black's opening plan as well as his novelty are very suspicious.
In a recent update I analysed 8...e5, this time it's the turn of the more popular 8...Ne4 in Bu Xiangzhi-Hakki,I Asiad Classical 2006:
White played a novelty on the 14th move and then gradually outplayed his opponent. This game is a good example of playing according to a plan by one side (e3, Qe2, Bf1, Nd2) and passive defense from the other. Nevertheless, the opening line with 8...Ne4 deserves further tests.
The game Ovsejevitsch, S - Schmidt, W, 22nd Voivoda Cup 2006 featured an early deviation from the main lines of the King's Indian, White has just played 3.Bg5, which is a very rare continuation:
On the 13th move White sacrificed a pawn and then an exchange and obtained serious compensation, though the position remained balanced up to Black's 23...Bf3?, which missed White's reply when Black found himself in a lost position. After 23...Rd4!! instead, Black would have had good chances to maintain the balance. Though the line with 3.Bg5 is playable I believe Black is able to at least equalize with accurate play.
Enjoy the issue and see you in February.