Classical: The Bayonet Attack
The game Iskusnyh - Bologan,V, TCh-RUS 2007, saw a strong novelty, which almost refuted Bologan's idea 14...Nh5?!:
In the diagram position White played 15.c5! and Black soon came under very strong pressure. Despite White missing a chance to finish the game as early as move 19 (!), he kept the game under control and deservedly won it. Black has to either come back to 14...f5 or even to 13...c5. The latter looks safer.
In Popov,Val-Amonatov,F, TCh-RUS 2007, White played a relatively rare line with 9.a4, although soon the position started to resemble the Bayonet attack:
Soon White played a5 and obtained a comfortable advantage. Only a number of White inaccuracies allowed Black to survive. The game shows that even in a side line with 9.a4 Black has to be very precise in order to solve the opening problems.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
The game Marzolo, C - Motylev, A, 8th ch-Euro 2007, featured the very dangerous line with 10.c5:
A forced line, which started with 10...exd4, led the players to the following position:
Here Motylev introduced the new move 18...Qd7, but his position remained very hazardous. White was winning throughout the game and even the final position was winning for him! This game proves once again that the line with 10.c5 is a very dangerous weapon against 7...Na6.
Another interesting theoretical position occurred in Brodsky,M-Zakharevich,TCh RUS HL 2007, in the line with 8.Re1:
In the diagram position White chose 11.a3, which allows Black to double his pawns on the kingside, but obtains a serious advantage on the queenside. Soon he could win a pawn, but missed this chance and the game came levelled out. The opening idea of 11.a3 deserves further tests.
Glek's line with 7...exd4.
Glek's line with 7...exd4 is a rare guest in the games of strong GMs, so Lputian, S - Volokitin, A, TCh-RUS 2007, was a pleasant surprise. The following theoretical position arose after 11...Nf4:
White has a number of options here, but in the game White chose the relatively rare 12.Nxc6 instead of the main line (Ivanchuk's 12.Rfd1). As it turns out Black's task in this line is not easy at all. The experienced Armenian exploited a number of inaccuracies, Black came under strong pressure and in fact had no chances to save the game. A great positional game from Lputian. As we could see the reasons for Black's loss was mainly the faulty manoeuvre of the rook, Re8-e5-g5-g3, but also the weakening of the b5-square.
The Gligoric System.
The decisive game from the last round of Sofia 2007, Sasikiran, K - Topalov, V, saw the main line of the Gligoric System.
In the diagram position White played the dubious 12.h3?!, instead of 12.Nd2. Topalov found a good reaction and by the 19th move had a better position. A number of inaccurate moves put White's position on the edge of a precipice and Black won the game in style. White's opening choice in this game was unsuccessful and confirms that 12.Nd2 seems to be the only way to fight for the advantage.
The rare system with 6...Bg4
In Van Wely, L - Guseinov, G, 2nd President's Cup 2007, White played the 8.Rc1 line in the following diagram position:
The Dutch GM followed one of Guseinov's games in which a draw was agreed on the 14th move. Loek continued to play, but already on the 16th move committed an inaccuracy and the initiative passed to Guseinov's hands, and he soon amassed a big advantage. Probably time trouble was the reason for his subsequent mistakes and eventually Van Wely won the game.
The game Malakhatko, V - Zubarev, Al1, 2nd President's Cup 2007, saw another rare line in the above position, as White played 8.Qb3, instead, but obtained nothing serious, and Black just needed to play accurately to equalise. Instead he blundered a piece and lost quickly. Despite the unconvincing play in this game I still consider the 6...Bg4 system to be insufficient for equality, at best.
Enjoy the issue and see you in July.