Classical: Gligoric system
Our first game in this update involves the newly crowned French champion, Tkachiev, who springs a novelty in a topical line of the Gligoric System.
In the diagram position White played 16.Kh1 instead of Gelfand's 16.a4. Black's reaction was very interesting and allowed him to obtain good play, but a later mistake should have cost him the game. Fortunately for his opponent Tkachiev returned the favour and the game was drawn by perpetual. Tkachiev's novelty doesn't seem to change that much, as the position remains complicated and it is he who plays better that has an advantage, see Tkachiev,V-Nataf, IA, 81st ch-FRA Besancon 2006.
The next game between two old friends Gelfand, B - Smirin, I, World Blitz Rishon Le Zion 2006 wasn't peaceful at all:
Hard to believe, but Black's novelty came no later than move 10 (in the diagram position) and it was the natural 10...dxe5. Later White committed two inaccuracies, and in order to create counterplay sacrificed an exchange. After complicated play with a number of mistakes White succeeded in creating counterplay, which eventually forced Smirin to sacrifice the material back and agree a draw. Probably 10.Bf4, which I introduced against Smirin in Foxwoods 2006, sets Black more problems.
Another game in this line, Gurevich, D - Svidler, P, World Blitz Rishon Le Zion 2006 featured 8.Re1 instead.
In the diagram position Svidler played 13...Qe5 instead of the 13...Qxd1 which brought him a win against Topalov earlier this year. After White's conservative plan Black obtained an equal position, but played it too aggressively, which eventually led to a quick disaster. I believe both 13...Qe5 and 13...Qxd1 are playable, although the latter seems to me more solid.
This rare line occurred in the game Atalik, S - Socko, B, Rubinstein memorial 2006.
I believe this line is dubious although Polish players Socko and Kempinski may not agree with me. I believe Atatlik reacted pretty well here and obtained an advantage. However Black defended well and White's inaccuracy later in the game allowed Black to escape. Eljanov's 11.Qb3 instead of 11 a4 deserves serious attention.
The game Korchnoi, V - Polgar, J, Lichthof Champions 2006 featured a very agressive line with 7.f4:
Already on the next move White came up with the novelty 8.Bh4. Judith sacrificed a pawn immediately, but got no compensation. On the 14th move Korchnoi could prevent ...f5 and stabilize his advantage, however he went wrong and allowed counterplay, which eventually led to the loss of the game. To evaluate the real value of Korchnoi's idea we need more practical tests, although as we see even Polgar reacted wrongly, so probably it's worth a try.
Makagonov with Bg5
Our next game is Miroshnichenko, E - Fedorov, A, 16th Open Abu Dhabi 2006.
In the diagram position Black played the natural 10...Bd7 and suddenly came under pressure on the kingside after 11 g4! followed by the Nf1-g3 manoeuvre. With strong play White blocked Black's position and won without any problems. A study-like game! I believe that 10...Kh8, which was tested earlier this year, is better.
When one sees Kasparov back in action one starts to understand what the chess world is missing. The game Kasparov, G - Polgar, J, Lichthof Champions 2006 didn't disappoint.
Judith decided to surprise Garry with the rare 6...Qe8 line, which Kasparov virtually refuted by a central strategy. Black will hardly want to repeat this line, especially against strong opposition. This game shows that Kasparov remains an extremely strong opponent even after such a long break.
And finally, the game Kveinys, A - Navara, D, TCh-POL Extraliga 2006, where the young Czech star tried the rare line with 9...Na5:
White's reaction was precise and soon David found himself in a very dangerous position. Fortunately for him Kveinys initiated tactical complications, which led to the following crazy position:
The strength of White's connected passed pawns can be seen at a glance. Now, instead of trying to stop White's pawns from behind, Black played the inaccurate 30...Kf7? after which Black was in trouble again. Only White's mistake in a winning position allowed Black to save the game. Don't miss this fascinating game! However the opening line looks a bit suspicious.
Enjoy the issue and see you in October.