Classical: The Bayonet Attack
Our first game in this update is Lenic, L - Jankovic, A, 15th TCh-CRO 2006.
In the diagram position White introduced an interesting novelty, 23.b5, and soon won a pawn. Although the realization of the full point wasn't easy, one should look for improvements on 23...Qe5?!, more specifically 23...Kh7 makes sense. I hope this game will bring some interest back to the line with 12.Bf3.
The game Goloschapov, A - Bologan, V, 22nd ECU Club Cup 2006, saw a different line in this popular variation:
This position arose from the rare 14...Nh5 line which was tested by Bologan against Shirov back in 2000. Goloschapov tried to improve upon Shirov's play with 17.g3 instead of 17.Bb2, but it seems that Black never experienced any problems, and after the inaccurate 29.Rh3 Black took the initiative and eventually won the game. Bologan's idea of ...Nf4-h5-f6-d7 proves to be playable. Probably White's only way to fight for the advantage is to prepare f4. See Shirov, A - Bologan, V, Tallinn 2000, in the notes.
Bacrot - Radjabov, KO Cap d'Agde 2006, was a serious test of Radjabov's line with 14...c5.
The players already reached this position earlier this year, but that game only continued two more moves. This time Bacrot struck first with the novelty 19.Kd1 and obtained a position with a minimal advantage. After numerous attempts to break through the following position arose:
Here Bacrot decided to take a chance and played 75.Nbxc5!?, Radjabov defended precisely and the game would have been drawn if not for 88.Qxh4, which allowed Black to take the initiative, and he later converted his advantage into a win. A tough game, which doesn't answer the question of how to break Radjabov's fortress. Further tests are necessary.
The game Kasimdzhanov, R - Bologan, V, 10th Corsica Masters KO 2006, featured a rare line with 11.0-0, which in fact transposes to the 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Be3 line, although I still believe it's more important for the Gligoric system.
The most important position arose after 16.Ne4, above. Here instead of 16...Nxg3?! Black could unblock the e-pawn by means of 16...Nf6 and gain compensation for the sacrificed pawn. In the game White obtained some advantage, though it wasn't easy to retain it. Both players committed a number of mistakes, but White was the last to err and missed a win in a simple rook endgame. This game proves that 11.0-0 deserves further tests, though I believe Black should be able to equalize with precise play.
The game Damljanovic, B - Nijboer, F, III Open Calvia 2006, featured the less popular line with 9.Bc1 instead of 9.Bh4.
This key position arose after 17...Rae8. Here White introduced the novelty 18.Bg5, with the idea of 19.Bh6, which worked out extremely well, though Black should be able to retain equality with 21...a6 instead of the over optimistic 21...g5. Soon White won a pawn and could have finished the game using a nice, but simple, tactical blow. Later, he still kept chances for a win, but an unbelievable mistake threw away first the advantage, and then the draw. Though the line doesn't promise White a clear advantage this game shows that Black has to be very precise to equalize.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
The game Landa,K-McShane featured the topical 10.c5 line:
This is becoming more and more popular. In the diagram position Black has a number of options. This game featured 10...exd4, and then the first test of 11...Qxe4 at GM level. It seems that Black was unfamiliar with the nuances of this line and soon found himself in trouble. Despite a comedy of mistakes White won the game. Instead of McShane's 13th move, 13...Nc5 (which was first suggested on our forum by 'teyko' over a year ago) deserves serious attention.
The game Mikhalevski, V - Ready, J, GM Slugfest 2006, featured another way to fight this dangerous system. Black played 10...h6 11 Bh4 and only then 11...exd4. Then I introduced the novelty 12.Nxd4, instead of 12.Nd5, and soon the game reached the diagram position:
Here, instead of playing 14...g5 with a complicated position, Black blundered with 14...c6?, after which he couldn't recover. The line with 10.c5 leads to very complicated positions, which are not sufficiently explored. So let's hope for further fascinating games in this interesting line.
Finally the game Kozul, Z - Smirin, I featured the line with 8.Re1.
Here Kozul introduced a new plan with 16.Rb1, instead of 16.Be3, and obtained a slight edge by move 20. Suddenly Smirin sacrificed a pawn, missing White's defensive resources and found himself in a lost position. 20...Re7 or any other waiting move was necessary. Still the line with 16.Rb1 is interesting and deserves further tests.
Enjoy the issue and see you in December.