Classical: The Bayonet Attack
The game Mikhalevski, V - Zapata, A, First Miami Open 2007, featured a relatively rare line of the Bayonet attack.
Black has just played 12...fxe4 instead of the much more popular 12...c6. However, the move promises good chances for equality. 15.Bg4?! could have cost me the initiative in the game, but fortunately Black missed his chance and after a long and tense struggle I managed to win. An interesting game, which leaves the ball in White's court, as this rare line with 12...fxe4 seems to be a good weapon against this branch of the Bayonet attack.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
The game Golod, V - Areschenko, A, Isle of Man 2007, saw the not very popular line with 8...h6:
In reply Vitaly played a relatively new line with 9.Ne1, which Black answered by the principled novelty 9...Ng4. However, mistakes on the 13th and 15th moves allowed White to seize the initiative and win in good style. A surprisingly easy win for White, in fact, so maybe the line with 9.Ne1 is not so bad?!
Glek's line with 7...exd4
Timman, J - Jones, G, 5th Staunton mem 2007, saw an early queen blunder/sacrifice.
White has just played 13.Bxg7, which was answered by 13...Qg5 and now White sacrificed the queen by means of 14.Qxf4, either intentionally or because he did not find 14.Kf2, and obtained two pieces and string dark squared play for a queen, which for a while looked like good compensation. However, after the materialistic 23.b5?! White was lost. An interesting game although White played most of it a queen down. The game showed that the chances of two minor pieces shouldn't be underestimated even if they face a queen.
The Gligoric System
Volkov, S - Shomoev, A, 60th ch-RUS Higher League 2007, was an interesting struggle in a recent line of the Gligoric system with an early exchange of queens.
The key position of the diagram arose after 22.Nc5. Now Black failed to find 22...Re8! and came under pressure. Fortunately for him White missed his chances and eventually the game was drawn even though White almost over pressed. This line shouldn't set Black serious problems, although he has to be accurate to equalize.
The game Mikhalevski, V - Hernandez, Y, Copa de Ajedrez Mexico City 2007, featured a side line of this rare system, with 7...Nc6 instead of 7...Nd7:
Being unfamiliar with the line I introduced a novelty and gained a slight edge, which become decisive despite some inaccuracies, and it was only a complete blackout from my part which nearly turned the tables. Fortunately Black missed his chance and I won anyway. The game proved that the side line with 7...Nc6 is hardly a good weapon vs the Classical System.
Koneru, H - Miroshnichenko, E, 17th Chess Festival 2007, was a test of an awkward line of the Panno Variation.
White has just introduced the strong novelty 12.e4 and after the inaccurate 12...e5 she seized the initiative with a series of precise moves. Soon Black found himself on the edge of a precipice and only a number of later white inaccuracies in time-trouble nearly saved him. However, he failed to find a nice piece sacrifice which would have led to a perpetual. Impressive play from the rising Indian star, which virtually refutes Black's plan in the game.
Bu Xiangzhi-Jones,G, UK-China match 2007, saw Gallagher's idea (8...a6) in practice.
By the 16th move Black managed to equalize and in the diagram position White committed two consecutive mistake 17.f4 and 18.Nde2, which allowed Black to obtain a virtually winning position. Unfortunately, he then erred (18...Nh5?) and after a few more inaccuracies White seized the advantage, which he converted into a win without great problems. This game proved that White has to look for an improvement, and the more popular 10.dxe5 might be an idea.
I doubt the line which occurred in Blanco Fernandez, A - Mikhalevski, V, Copa de Ajedrez Mexico City 2007, has a name and so I have called it the 'Anti-Samisch' as with 3...Nc6 Black avoids this system. Already move 4 (!) turned out to be a novelty - a rare case in modern chess - and so I decided the game definitely deserves to be shown:
Moreover, this is not the only thing to attract one's attention, as after a number of inaccuracies from my opponent I obtained a nice position and finished the game in style. Look at the following diagram:
Black to move and win.
I believe this game proved that the line with 3...Nc6 and 4...e5 deserves further tests.
Goodbye for now and see you in November!