This time I decided to concentrate on the Fianchetto variation which undeservedly hasn't received sufficient coverage on our pages.
Classical: The Orthodox Variation with 7...Na6
I would like to start with the curious game Huzman, A - Arduman, C 20th ECC 2004.
After 28.Qh3 the position in the diagram has arisen. Up to this moment the players have followed the game Gelfand, B - Movsesian, S, Bermuda 2004 and now Black tried a new approach 28...Rg8 and already went wrong on move 30, obtained a difficult position and soon lost. Nevertheless the idea is worth further tests. 30...Bb3 has to be checked out.
The game Lautier, J - Inarkiev, E saw a strong novelty from the president of the ACP:
In the above position he played 12.f5 and obtained an advantage, then won a pawn, but subsequently allowed his opponent to escape to a rook endgame a pawn down, which Black held without too many problems. Black should look for improvements in the early stages of the game.
The game Bocharov, D - Radjabov, T saw a long theoretical line.
In this position Black deviated from theory with 18...exf4, but White still obtained a slightly better position. On one move White could win a pawn, but even afterwards Black's position remained passive, which didn't however stop Radjabov from wining the game! This game shows that Black still has opening problems to be solved.
The game Bocharov, D - Jobava, Be (don't mix him up with GM Jobava,B!) was a test for a relatively rare line with an early 6...Bg4. Careless play from Jobava on the kingside led to a quick disaster. Nevertheless the line deserves serious attention.
In the game Khalifman, A - Yrjola, J The Exchange variation of the Yugoslav system was played.
In the diagram position Khalifman chose the relatively rare 11.Rac1, which I believe is the only way to fight for some advantage in this line. White keeps the pressure on and forces Black to commit a number of mistakes, which he exploited in good style. This line requires further tests.
A rare guest, the Smyslov system, occurred in the game Tihonov, J - Motylev, A.
Here 7.e4!? - the recommendation of Hungarian IM Hazai - was tested for the first time and led to very sharp play. However, soon Black won a pawn and obtained the better position. Nevertheless, the game was drawn in only 26 moves... I think the new idea tested in this game didn't pass the test and so I would recommend the solid 7.e3.
In the game Vaganian, R - Zhigalko, A a favourite variation of Viorel Bologan with 9...e5 occurred. Black obtained a slight edge, but was unable to convert it into something more serious and soon the game was drawn. This game shows that White has to look for improvements.
And finally last, but definitely not least, the game Greenfeld,A-Candela Perez,J:
In the well-known position of the diagram Greenfeld played the brilliant piece sacrifice, 16.Nd5!! On the next move Black chose the wrong direction for his queen, then both players showed fantastic play which however (although quite logically) led to White's advantage which he converted into a win without problems. Bravo Greenfeld! This game shouldn't be missed!
I believe that 17...Qa6 has to be considered seriously.
Enjoy the games! See you in November.