The line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.h3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Bd3 exd5 9.exd5 ( 9.cxd5 is a Modern Benoni) 9...Re8+ 10.Be3 Bh6 11.0-0! Bxe3 12.fxe3 is considered a very risky line for Black:
but one which will still always appeals to some players. If Black can consolidate, he will have a fine game positionally, it is the "if" that is the difficult part. It is well known that 12...Rxe3?! 13.Qd2 Re8 14.Qh6 is too dangerous for Black, so Guseinov plays the most flexible move, 12...Nbd7. Even Kramnik could not make the most of White's chances and Black got a comfortable game. I think White can probably do better though, see Kramnik, V - Guseinov, G.
In Kramnik, V - Radjabov, T we see two heavyweights battle in a closed position of the 7...Na6 line that arises after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 c6 9.d5 Ng4 10.Bg5 f6 11.Bh4 c5. Radjabov does not seem at home in the slow strategic position that arises. Kramnik, on the other hand, is in his element and gives and exemplary illustration of White's chances in this type of structure.
In the main line 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 Na6 7.0-0 e5 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 Black should be prepared for Kramnik's tricky 10.Re1!? which leads to fresh positions which are not easy to handle without preparation. Black is unable to solve his problems in Pavlovic, M - Saric, S.
In Gustafsson,J - Nevednichy White plays an ambitious plan in the Gligoric with 1.d4 d6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e4 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.Be3 Ng4 8.Bg5 f6 9.Bh4 Nc6 10.d5 Ne7 11.Nd2 Nh6 12.f3 g5 13.Bf2 f5 14.h3!?:
This idea may give White some theoretical advantage, but the positions are not so easy to handle and after 14...Ng6 15.g4 fxg4 16.fxg4!? is probably not as strong as the more natural 16.hxg4.
Mar Del Plata
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3:
Although 8.Be3 is not terribly dangerous, Black should certainly know how to meet it. In Berczes, D - Jankovic, A Black was indeed well prepared. 8...Re8 (8...Ng4 is another option which could transpose to the Gligoric variation) 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.h3 Be6 11.c5 Qe7!? 12.Bb5 Red8 13.Qa4 Nd4! gave Black a good game, but after sacrificing a piece Black inexplicably wrecked his own king position and White decisively took over the attack.
In Evdokimov, A - Jakovenko, D White tried 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.a4!?:
This is rather obscure, but not bad.
After 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Nd2 Black plays the hot 9...Ne8!?, which has been favoured by Nakamura, in Popovic, Z - Berg, E:
After 10.b4 f5 11.c5 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.a4 g5 14.Nc4 Ng6 15.Ba3 Rf7 16.b5 (16.a5 also looks like a testing approach) 16...dxc5! I am not so sure I believe in this line, but when Black wins, it is usually in brutal fashion.
In a critical line, Diamant introduces a very interesting idea that brings new hope to the black cause! Following 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.Bd2 Nf6 12.f3 f4 13.c5 g5 14.Rc1 Ng6 15.Nb5!?:
This is a highly topical line. After 15...Rf7 (15...a6 16.cxd6 axb5 17.dxc7 is also critical, but White has the initiative in this line) 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Be1 Black played 18...g4!? in Rusev, R - Diamant, A. Even though there is a large rating difference, this looks like an important innovation.
Until next month, David