Classical: The Bayonet attack
The game Nyback, T - Stellwagen, D, Bundesliga 2005-6 featured the line with 13.b5, which I considered to be harmless for Black.
Here is the position after 19...d5. Now White sacrificed the exchange on e5 à la Shirov and won in a good style. And indeed White's initiative can't be underestimated. Probably Black can improve his play on the 21st move and of course he can play a well-known endgame with good chances for a draw after 16...fxe4.
The second game in this system is Gulko, B - Smirin, I, World Team Championship 2005. White played a relatively rare line with 10.bxa5 and soon the diagram position was reached:
The very experienced American then outplayed Smirin in fine style, but the latter showed good defensive skills and imagination and saved half a point. An interesting game, which shows that 10. bxa5 is perhaps undeservedly in the shadow of 10.Ba3.
The system with 6.h3
Our next game, Mchediishvili, M - Avrukh, B, World Team Championship 2005, sees another Israeli on the black side. The key position arose after White's 10.g3:
Here Avrukh played a very uncommon idea 10...f6, as all but one preceding game featured the immediate 10...f5. White played very solidly and obtained some advantage, which he could maintain with 20.g4, then instead of equalising the position Black erred, but White returned the favour and the game ended peacefully. Probably Black has to flow with the stream - 10...f5.
The Orthodox with 7...Nbd7
The game Zhao Xue-Smirin,I, World Team Championship 2005 saw Smirin play in a provocative style, which allowed White to obtain a positional advantage.
The position which arose after White's 20th move is in White's favour, but after inaccuracies from both sides Smirin succeeded in outplaying his young opponent and later delivered a simple tactical blow, which won a pawn and then the game. Nevertheless his play in the opening has to be improved.
The system with 5.Bd3
The diagram position arose after 13...Qh4 of Aronian, L - Miroshnichenko, E, Bundesliga 2005-6:
Aronian cleverly decided to leave the knight on f4 alone. He simply ignored it and prepared b4. White succeeded in maintaining a slight edge throughout the game, but with accurate play Black should have been able to keep a draw. However, a number of mistakes in time-trouble ended it in White's favour. Despite the fact that the system with 5.Bd3 is not very popular it's not without poison...
Our first game in the Saemish is Grischuk, A - Smirin, I, World Team Championship 2005.
In this position after 8.d5 Smirin came along with the new idea 8...h6. Soon they obtain an unusual position where Black made an inaccurate move which allowed White to get an advantage. Instead of playing concretely Grischuk then tried to transpose into a typical Saemich-Benoni position.
Smirin took the advantage into his own hands and after Grischuk's mistake delivered a nice tactical blow, which seemed to demoralize the latter, who erred again and soon had to resign... Black's opening idea deserves further tests.
The game Jobava, B - Smirin, I, World Team Championship 2005 sees the line with 6.Be3.
In the diagram position Smirin found another novelty, 13...Rb8. I believe White could challenge it with the win of a pawn, which later leads to a queen sacrifice, but allows White to get rook, knight and two pawns in exchange. Though Jobava decided to avoid home preparation and allowed Black to develop an initiative. Instead the latter played the natural 16...Ne5, which allowed White to obtain an advantage. But he also erred and Black get some counterplay, which eventually led to the following position, while White to move:
A question for my readers: what was the reason for the draw agreement here?
Smirin's opening idea has to be rechecked, but for the moment it doesn't seem to work.
As usual I finish the update with the Fianchetto variation and our last game for this month is an encounter between two players in the top 10, Aronian, L - Ivanchuk, V, World Team Championship 2005.
This position, which arises after 11.c5 has been rather popular the last three years. However, here Ivanchuk came with an interesting idea 11...Ne4, which was tested only once before. Soon he sacrificed an exchange and obtained sufficient compensation. Despite a small inaccuracy from Ivanchuk both players showed a very high level of play and with accurate defence Black should have been able to keep the balance, but Ivanchuk didn't manage to withstand the pressure and eventually lost. A great performance from Levon Aronian and a very interesting idea revived by Ivanchuk. Hopefully we'll see further tests of 11...Ne4.
Enjoy the issue and see you in December.