Classical: The Bayonet attack
The first game in our update, Ponomariov, R - Bologan, V, Aerosvit GM Foros 2006, sees Ponomariov, somewhat surprisingly, on the white side of the King's Indian:
White has just played a very interesting and new pawn sacrifice 14.c5!? after the rare 13...Ra8. Soon he obtained a clear positional advantage and only because of some later inaccuracies and some tough defense from Bologan the game was drawn. In my view the main line with 13...c5 looks better.
Classical. The early exchange 7...exd4
This variation occurred in the game of another Israeli, and at the same time Gelfand's second, Alex Huzman, see Huzman, A - Bachmann, A, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006.
In the diagram position Alex chose a rare line with 12.Rf2, instead of the more popular 12.Rfd1, and with strong and resourceful play obtained a clear advantage. Only some inaccuracies in the later stage of the game stopped Huzman gaining a full point for the team. The game doesn't refute the line with 7...exd4, but Black should certainly take it into consideration.
The game Illescas, M - Richardi, P, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006 is additional proof that this line is dubious for Black.
In this, the initial position of the variation, White has a pretty wide choice of good options. Illescas played 8.Rc1, which I believe is not the toughest way to meet this system. Nevertheless, he obtained a positional advantage and converted it into a win rather comfortably. The game is another reason why it's not recommended to play this system.
A very interesting game, from the theoretical point of view, took place in the match Israel-Azerbaijan: Gelfand, B - Radjabov, T, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006.
Radjabov went for the line he introduced earlier this year against Bacrot (14...c5) once again and in the diagram position Gelfand introduced a new idea, which he definitely prepared just for this game, 16.Rb1. However, Radjabov defended precisely and equalized without big problems. Probably White could try to improve his play on the 21st move, but after that a draw became inevitable.
The game Nyback, T - Inarkiev, E, 7th ch Euro Kusadasi 2006 saw another possible continuation for Black, 14...fxe4 instead of Radjabov's 14...c5.
Only few moves later, in the diagram position, Black introduced an interesting novelty, 16...h6. White did not react in the best way so Black took the initiative and won the game in good style. It seems that Black is doing pretty well in the line with 13.f3. I feel that White should try to look for an advantage after 13.exf5 instead, as in Aronian, L - Radjabov, T, Linares 2006, from the March update.
Another game from an Israeli team match, this time against the US, Onischuk, A - Smirin, I, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006, saw a Gligoric System with the less popular 9.Bc1, instead of 9.Bh4 as in the two preceding games.
In the diagram position, which arises almost by force, Smirin introduced an interesting and strong novelty, 14...Ne4, which seems to fully equalize. Indeed, after a series of exchanges an equal bishop endgame was reached and a draw was soon agreed. It's time for White to look for improvements in the 9.Bc1 line or to go with the main stream - 9.Bh4.
Old main line with 9.Ne1The game Kozul, Z - Kotronias, V, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006 featured this once popular line. Already on the 10th move, instead of 10.Be3, Kozul chose a rare line with 10.Nd3:
Kotronias is well-known as a good theoretician and he reacted very solidly, first protecting his main weakness on d6, and only then creating quick counterplay on the kingside, which came as a shock for White. White committed an error and soon found himself facing a very strong attack. Only two consecutive mistakes in time trouble saved White from a loss and actually led the game to the opposite result. Probably the line with 10.Be3 is more popular not without reason.
And finally Morozevich, who never plays boring games, features in the game Babula, V - Morozevich, A, 37th Olympiad Turin 2006.
Babula has just played Kramnik's idea 14.b4, which Morozevich met with a novelty, 14..h5, instead of Kasparov's 14...axb4 15 axb4 Nxb4. Then he seemed to achieve a lot on the kingside, but in fact it wasn't enough for more than equality, but he tried to push too hard and soon found himself in a lost position. Some attempts to complicate matters changed nothing and he would have lost the game if not for .the clock. In the final winning position White lost on time. In any case the opening position is very complicated and so both Kasparov's and Morozevich's moves require further tests.
Enjoy the issue and see you in July.