Classical: The Bayonet Attack
The game Kotanjian, T - Kotronias, V, Kolamaria Open 2007, featured the favourite line of GM Kotronias against Van Wely's speciality 12.f3.
White has just played the rare 15. exd5, which is a very risky decision and later White's 19th move was a mistake and allowed Black to launch a decisive attack. A very interesting game from a theoretical point of view. In order to revive 15.exd5 White has to play 19.Bb5!
The Main line with 9.Nd2
Khalifman, A - Cheparinov, I, NH Chess tournament 2007, featured a line which was popular in the mid 90s, but is a rare guest in tournament practice nowadays.
Here Black played 15...Bh6, which was never tested at GM level. Khalifman should have checked Black's preparation with 19.dxc7! Instead he decided to stabilize the position with 19.Nxe5, which proved to be wrong. After this White was under pressure and though he could still hold a draw the initiative was on Black's side. An interesting opening idea and good technique yielded Cheparinov a well-deserved win. 19.dxc7 is critical.
The Orthodox with 7...Na6
Volkov.S-Novikov,St, 60 ch-RUS Higher League 2007, saw another test of the interesting line with 10.c5.
In the diagram position Volkov played 12.Nd5?! And although without the inclusion of the moves ...h6 and Bh4 this move is good, here it seems to be an inaccuracy because of 12...g5!. As a result of complications Black obtained a slight edge, which he gradually converted into a full point. 12. Nxd4 is the best way to look for an advantage.
The game Sakaev.K-Kokarev,Dm, 60 ch-RUS Higher League 2007, featured 8.Re1, and the critical position arose after White's 13.g5:
Now instead of the normal 13...Qxd1 Black played 13...Nc5?!, which allowed White to recapture on d1 with the a-rook, instead of the e-rook. Later White introduced the interesting novelty 16.Bh2 (though 16.Bc1 also deserved attention), and soon sacrificed an exchange, but then continued with the tempting 19.b4, instead of 19.Bxc5, when Black had a chance to equalize. Missing this chance he was never able to recover and succumbed to White's pressure. Black's 13th and White's 19th moves are the critical moments of the game.
The Gligoric System
The game Kuzubov, Y - Czarnota, P, Rubinstein mem 2007, featured a rare line of the Gligoric system, with 11...Nd7 instead of 11...Nc6, which would transpose to the main line:
White obtained an advantage, which became even bigger after 18...b6? Despite a few inaccuracies White led the game to a deserved win. An interesting fighting game... Black's setup in the game is a bit passive, but in order to overcome Black's defense one needs a lot of patience.
In the game Bu Xiangzhi-Inarkiev,E, IV RUS-CHN Match 2007, the Chinese GM continued to experiment with different lines against the Panno Variation. This time he chose 8.b3, and the game continued normally by 8...a6 9 Bb2 b5 10 cxb5 axb5:
In this position he played the rare 11.Ne1, but this didn't come as a surprise for the Russian player. The position simplified to an equal endgame and, despite some inaccuracies from both sides, the game was drawn. An interesting game, in which Bu's opening setup proved to be insufficient to gain an advantage.
Wang Yue-Inarkiev,E, IV RUS-CHn Match 2007, featured the interesting line with 8.Qd3, which may become popular one day.
In the diagram position Black played the new move 9...Nb4, which was introduced in the game Kosten,A (2508)-Hebden,M (2540)/Great Yarmouth ENG 2007, and a move later tried 10...a5!?, instead of Hebden's 10...c5, and obtained a double-edged position. However, a mistake on the 14th move, 14...b5?! instead of 14...a4, allowed White to claim an advantage. Starting from this point we see brilliant play by both players and only White's mistakes on moves 29 and 30 passed the advantage to Black's hands, although stubborn defense allowed White to save half a point. Don't miss this great game! Inarkiev's novelty as well the entire line with 8.Qd3 deserve further tests.
Nikolic, P - Stellwagen, D, NH Chess tournament 2007, is an example of a relatively rare setup, White has just played 7.d5 instead of the much more popular 7.Nc3:
Black correctly reacted with 8...c6, but then went astray with 10...Nb6. Nevertheless he shouldn't have had problems if not for 19...Qg5?, which turned out to be a decisive mistake. In fact this game was decided by one mistake. From the theoretical point of view Nikolic's novelty doesn't promise much. If White wants to look for an advantage in this line he has to come back to the old move 13.b4.
Enjoy the article and see you in October.