Classical: The Bayonet Attack
The game Nielsen, P - Gladyszev, O, 3rd Open Kalamaria 2006 featured a line which I had considered to be drawish:
This endgame with some modifications occurred many times and in most of the games a draw was agreed sooner or later, some of them you may find in our archives. This time White succeeded in obtaining an advantage and won the game convincingly. Still, I believe Black has nothing to worry about since he committed two clear mistakes on the 24th and 25th moves.
In the game Gurevich, M - Matamoros, C, TCh-ESP 2006 1st Div(South) White introduced a very interesting novelty in the following position:
He played 12.Qc2, which is in fact a pawn sacrifice. Black accepted the challenge, but soon had to solve some serious problems and eventually erred, which led to an immediate disaster. So this interesting opening idea proves to be rather unpleasant for Black, however additional tests are necessary to discover whether there are hidden resources in the position.
The same opening line took place in Postny, E - Nataf, IA, XLVIII TCh-POR 2006:
This time Black played the main line with 11...Nf6 instead of the 11...Kh8 which was tested in the game above. In the diagram position White played the premature 12.cxd6, however Black's mistakes 17...a6 and 22...Ng6? allowed White to take the initiative. Then the opponents 'exchanged' mistakes, but Postny was the last to err, so Nataf won the game. I believe the early exchange on d6 shouldn't cause Black serious problems, however accurate play is definitely required.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
The recent game Gelfand, B - Movsesian, S, 22nd ECU Club Cup 2006 saw a very interesting and rare idea in the Orthodox with 7...Na6
10.Re1 has just been played. To my great surprise this idea scores extremely well, in fact this year Black only succeeded in taking home half a point! This game wasn't an exception, as already after 16 moves Black was under pressure and in order to obtain counterplay went for an unfortunate exchange of knights. His position became even worse and the suicide sacrifices of all the black pieces failed to impress Gelfand, who took everything and defended his king easily. A clear positional win from Gelfand and a headache for Black in the line with 10.Re1. At least it's clear that Movsesian's plan is unsound.
Another game in this line, Vitugov, N - Motylev, A, Russian High League 2006 featured a rare move order, but eventually the players transposed to the Orthodox system with 7...Na6 and 10...h6, which I believe is not the best way to treat this position. Motylev obtained an unpleasant position and his attempts to create counterplay by 13...f5 and 21...h5 only made White's task easier. Despite a few inaccuracies White led the game to a well-deserved victory.
This updates contains one more game in the Orthodox system, Markus, R - Damljanovic, B, 14th Bora Kostic mem 2006, where Black chose the line with 8...c6. Soon the players reached a position from the game Hydra-Kasimdzhanov,R, Bilbao 2005 in which Black had a serious initiative on the kingside:
In the diagram position White introduced the novelty 19.Rb1, instead of Hydra's 19.h3, but Black didn't experience serious problems in this game, which eventually reached a slightly better position for White which he couldn't win. Black's position in this line is safe enough and so White will have to look for improvements to cause Black any problems.
Ivanisevic, I - Efimenko, Z saw Bronstein's line with 7.g3:
This mix of Makagonov system and the Fianchetto confused Black who didn't react in the best way and soon got into trouble. The position in the following diagram is a good illustration of White's superiority:
Already two moves later White could win by force. Another inaccuracy and Black succeeded in transposing into a position with bishops of opposite colours and thus convinced White to agree to a draw even if he was still slightly better. I believe Atalik's 8...Qa5 is a critical idea in this line, which definitely requires practical tests.
And finally the game Georgiev,Kir-Popovic,Du, TCh-Serbia 2006, featured the rare line with 8.Qd3 which has been gaining in popularity recently:
Soon White played an interesting novelty, 11.h3, and obtained a pair of bishops and the better position. However, he later missed Black's counterplay, which could have cost him half a point. Being in time trouble Black then committed a number of mistakes and eventually lost the game. The line with 8.Qd3 deserves further tests while Black's plan in the current game seems to provide White with an advantage.
Enjoy the issue and see you in November.