1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5!

by Michael Goeller

And I saw heaven opened,
and behold a white horse...
Revelations 19:11

Lo, I have seen the end of traditional chess theory, and it is 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5! -- the Apocalypse Attack in the Caro-Kann Defense.


Position after 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5!

I hear the ghost of Tarrasch moaning: "Exchanging the central e-pawn for the less important c-pawn?! Moving the same piece twice in the opening?! Initiating an attack across the dividing line before developing your forces?!" Such concerns are dead and buried.

It was John Watson in his Secrets of Modern Chess who first wrote about how contemporary players follow the dictates of the position and of concrete analysis first and foremost. As John Nunn put it: "General principles are seen to have a place, but their limitations are now more clearly recognized. Much greater emphasis is placed on the concrete requirements of a given position than on obeying abstract principles. If a leading grandmaster of today thinks that the positon requries a particular plan, he will embark on it even if in doing so he flouts much of the dogma of the past" (6).

The forward leap of the White horse with 4.Ne5! is perfectly logical once we compare it to the traditional Exchange Variation of the Caro-Kann, which has a much longer and more respected pedigree. After 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 White typically plays 4.Bd3 to discourage the development of Black's light-squared Bishop and to avoid the pin on the Knight that would result from 4.Nf3 Bg4! In fact, White typically goes to great lengths to counteract the pin on the Knight, either by avoiding Nf3 for several moves (developing his Bishops before his Knights with Bd3 and Bf4) or playing a time-wasting h3 push.


The more traditional Exchange Variation of the Caro-Kann

Meanwhile, when playing the traditional exchange line, White also has his eyes set on getting his Knight to e5 as soon as possible, and in several games with the line (see especially Fischer-Petrosian and Browne-Larsen) the achievement of Ne5 signals White's domination of the position. What could be more logical, therefore, than to play for a speedy Ne5 advance, which accomplishes all of the typical short-term goals in the Exchange: discouraging Black from developing the light-squared Bishop (in part due to the threat of Bb5+), preventing the Bg4 pin, and securing the e5 square all before Black has even moved a piece?

The recent use of the Apocalypse Attack by Super-GM Morozevich in the Amber Blindfold Tournament signals that this alternative method of approaching the Exchange Variation is sound as well as surprising. And the games with the line certainly reinforce that perspective.

The theory here is still unsettled and there is plenty of room for original play and analysis. In fact, there appear to be fewer than 30 games with the line in the general databases, so you can have the rare pleasure of playing through every bit of known theory in a relatively short time. The possible plans for each side also break down fairly easily and you can limit your opening preparation even further as White. First, you need to know Black's two basic defensive set-ups, which involve either ...e6 (most popular) or ...g6 (which is probably better). And then as White you can choose to focus on one of three possible plans: playing for an early c4 with positions reminiscent of the Panov-Botvinnik Attack (for those who enjoy open tactical fights); playing for d4, c3, and f4 to create a powerful central wedge around the advanced Knight (for those who like to play thematically and enjoy a more closed position); or seeking to exchange the Knight for Black's light-squared Bishop with the goal of getting into an advantageous two-Bishops ending (for those seeking a safe positional plus to work with).

The games below have thus been loosely grouped according to those four lines, with Black's ...e6 plans considered first. And at the end of the article I have presented a few classical Exchange Variation games that feature White playing for the e5 square.

Note that you may download a PGN version of these variations to do your own analysis.

Part One: Neo-Panov-Botvinnik Attack

White's idea is to play for typical Panov-Botvinnik positions, but with the added tactical threats along the a4-e8 diagonal that the powerful Knight at e5 helps support.

Marie Sebag (2404) - Yuanyuan Xu (2407) [B10]

France vs. China (1) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5!

This move turns the rather staid Exchange Variation (which Fischer sometimes played to avoid lots of study) into a whole new animal. The Knight is powerfully centralized here and serves as a centerpiece for a plan of dark-square domination. And a Knight on dark can aid an attack on the light, as this game wonderfully illustrates. 4... Nc6 Obviously not 4... f6?? 5. Qh5+ (or 5. Bb5+ Nc6 6. Qh5+ g6 7. Nxg6+-) 5... g6 6. Nxg6 hxg6 7. Qxh8+- 4... >= Nf6 5. d4 Qb6 to keep White's Bishop out of b5(for >= 5... g6 see Konstantinov-Potapov or Hakki-Magerramov below) 6. c3 (6. c4!? Nc6 7. Qa4~~) 6... Nc6 7. f4!? (7. Bd3 Nxe5 8. dxe5 Nd7 9. Qe2 Nc5 10. Bc2 Bd7=) (7. Nd2!?) 4... Nd7 5. d4 Ngf6 6. Bd3+/= (6. f4!? Ne4 7. Bd3 Qb6 8. c3) 4... d4?! is the type of reply you might get in skittles games, but it hands White at least a pawn after 5. Bb5+ (5. Bc4) 5... Nd7[] (5... Bd7? 6. Qf3 Nf6 7. Bc4! e6 8. Qxb7+-) 6. Qg4 a6 7. Bxd7+ Bxd7 8. Qxd4+/= 5. d4 Nf6 Or 5... Bf5!? 6. Bb5 Qb6 7. c4 dxc4 8. Nc3+/= After >= 5... Qb6! White might try the sharp 6. Nc3!? (>= 6. c3 Nf6 (6... Bf5 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Nxd3+/=) 7. f4+/=) 6... Nf6 (6... Nxd4?? 7. Be3+-) (6... Qxd4? 7. Qxd4 Nxd4 8. Nxd5+-) 7. Bb5 a6 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. Na4 Qa5+ 10. c3 with continued play on the dark squares. Also, we should note that after 5... Nxe5!? 6. dxe5 e6 7. Bd3 Ne7 8. Qe2+/= White retains a strong grip on the dark squares with c3 and f4 to follow. 6. Bb5 Qb6 6... Bd7 7. c4! This is much stronger than 7. Nc3 since it open s the line for the Queen to a4 and adds significantly to the attack on d5.

 

 

7... dxc4 8. Nc3 White wants to push Pd5. 8... e6 8... Bd7 9. Be3+/= 9. Qa4 Bd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. Be3 Again threatening d5 and Black cannot prevent that now. 11... Rd8 11... >= Qc7 12. d5! Nce5 (12... exd5?! 13. Nxd5 Qc8 14. Bf4->) (12... Nb4 13. dxe6 fxe6 14. O-O+/=) 13. O-O-O! (13. O-O a6~~) 13... a6 14. dxe6 fxe6 15. Bb6!! Qxb6 16. Bxd7+ Kf7 17. Rhe1|^ Qc7 18. Bxe6+! Kxe6 19. f4-> 12. d5 Nd4[] 12... Bc5? 13. dxc6! bxc6 14. Bxc6 Bxe3 15. fxe3 O-O 16. Bxd7 Qxb2 17. O-O[] Qxc3 18. Qxa7+- 13. dxe6 >= 13. O-O-O!? e5 14. Qxc4|^ 13... fxe6 13... Qxe6 14. O-O-O-> 14. O-O-O! sharpest! 14. O-O Bc5 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Rad1+/= 14... Bc5 15. Bxd7+ Rxd7 16. Qxc4 Qc7?! 16... >= O-O! 17. Na4! Qc6 18. Nxc5 b5 19. Rxd4 (19. Qb4? a5<=>) 19... bxc4 20. Nxd7+/- and Black might be able to soldier on for a while. 17. Bxd4 Qf4+ 18. Kb1 Bxd4 18... >= Qf5+ 19. Ka1 Bxd4 20. Rxd4+- 19. Qxe6+ Re7?? Black is lost in any event, but this simplifies things. 19... Kf8 20. Qxd7+- 19... Kd8 20. Ne2!+- 20. Qxe7+!+- and Black resign s because 20. ..Kxe7 21.Nd5+ Kmoves 22.Nxf4 leaves White up a Rook. 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Robert Carver - Stephen J Patterson [B10]

Class3/IECG email 1998


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 a6 6. c4 This seems a viable alternative method of playing the 4.Ne5 line. 6... Nbd7 7. Nc3?! It would be premature to play 7. c5?! Nxe5 8. dxe5 Nd7 9. Qd4 (9. Qxd5 e6 10. Qe4 Nxc5=/+) 9... e6 10. b4 a5=/+ but Black's next invites this thrust. But better may be >= 7. Qa4 to prevent Black from playing 7....Nxe5. 7... Nb6? 7... >= Nxe5! 8. dxe5 d4! 9. exf6 (9. Ne2?! Qa5+ 10. Qd2 (10. b4 Qxe5 11. Bf4 Qf5 12. Qxd4 e5 13. Qxe5+ Qxe5 14. Bxe5 Bxb4+=/+) 10... Qxe5 11. Qxd4 Qxd4 12. Nxd4 e5 13. Nf3 e4=/+) 9... dxc3 10. Qxd8+ Kxd8 11. fxe7+ Bxe7 12. bxc3 Bc5~/= and White's additional pawn, doubled and isolated on an open file, may actually turn out to be a liability. 8. c5! Nbd7 9. b4+/= 9. Qa4!? 9. Be3 9... e6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Be2 >= 11. Bd3! 11... Qc7 12. Bf4 Nxe5 13. Bxe5 Qd7 14. O-O O-O 15. Bd3 g6? 16. Na4!+- Black has accumulated an embarrassing collection of weak dark squares. 16... Bd8? 17. Bxf6 b5 18. Nb6 Bxb6 19. cxb6 Rb8 20. Qc1 Only tremendous material sacrifice can stop White from playing Qh6 and Qg7#. 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


A Morozevich (2741) - E Bareev (2709) [B10]

Amber Blindfold/Monte Carlo MNC (4) 2005


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 e6 5. d4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Qb6 7. c4 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 Nge7 9. O-O O-O 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. Na4 Qd8 12. Qc2 Bd6 13. Re1 Qc7 14. Bd2 Nf5 15. Nf3 dxc4 16. Qxc4 a5 17. Nc5 Qb6 18. Rac1 h6 19. b3 Rd8 20. Qc2 Bf8 21. Be3 Rd5 22. h3 Qb5 23. Na4 Bb4 24. Red1 Bb7 25. a3 Bxa3 26. Nc3 Nxe3 27. fxe3 Bxc1 28. Nxb5 Bxe3+ 29. Kh1 Rxb5 30. Qe4 Bg5 31. Nxg5 Rxg5 32. Rd2 Rf5 33. Qe3 Rd5 34. Qf4 Rd7 35. Qe5 Rd5 36. Qc7 Rb5 37. Rd3 Rc8 38. Qd7 Rf8 39. Kh2 Ba8 40. Rc3 Rb7 41. Qd6 Rbb8 42. Rg3 Rb5 43. Qe7 Rf5 44. Qh4 Kh8 45. Qe7 Kg8 46. Kg1 g6 47. Qa7 Rd8 48. Qc7 h5 49. Qxd8+ 1-0


Anatoly Lein - Alexander Nikolaevi Chistiakov [B10]

URS-ch sf/Leningrad (6) 1955


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bb5+ Nc6 5. Ne5 Qc7 6. d4 a6 7. Bxc6+ bxc6 8. O-O e6 9. c4 Bd6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Bf4 f6 12. c5 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Ng6 14. Bg3 fxe5 15. Qc2 O-O 16. Nd2 a5 17. Nf3 Rxf3 18. gxf3 Ba6 19. Qc3 Qf7 20. Bxe5 Nh4 21. Re3 d4 22. Qxd4 Nxf3+ 23. Rxf3 Qxf3 24. Bxg7 h5 25. Re1 Qg4+ 26. Qxg4 hxg4 27. Bc3 Bc4 28. Re4 Bxa2 29. Rxg4+ Kh7 30. Ra4 Bb3 31. Rxa5 Rg8+ 32. Kf1 Bc4+ 33. Ke1 Rg1+ 34. Kd2 Rg2 35. Ra4 Rxf2+ 36. Ke3 Re2+ 37. Kf3 Bb5 38. Ra8 e5 39. h4 Kg6 40. Rb8 Rh2 41. Kg3 Re2 42. Rxb5 cxb5 43. c6 Re3+ 44. Kf2 Re4 45. c7 Rc4 46. Bxe5 Kf5 47. Bg3 Ke4 48. h5 Rc2+ 49. Kg1 Kf3 50. Bd6 b4 51. h6 Rg2+ 52. Kh1 Rg8 53. Be5 1-0


Part Two: The Outpost Variation

White's idea here is to reinforce his outpost on e5 by playing d4, f4, and c3 with a strong central wedge.

Capece - Nathans [B10]

WchT U26 15th fin-C/Ybbs jr 1968


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 e6 6. Nd2 Be7 7. c3 O-O 8. Bd3+/= Nbd7 9. f4

 

 

9...Ne8 Black is forced to desperate contortions before move 10 to try and rid himself of the Knight at e5, which is like a bone in the throat. 10. Qc2 f5?! A permanent surrender of the e5 square, but with the idea of taking the e4 square in compensation. 11. Ndf3+/- Ndf6 12. h4!? Nd6 13. h5-> Nfe4 14. Be3 Bf6 15. g4 Bd7 15... fxg4 16. Nxg4 Bd7 17. h6-> 16. g5 Be7 17. Qg2 >= 17. Ng6!!+- 17... Be8 17... >= Bb5!~~ 18. Ng6! White decisively opens up the h-file after 18....hxg6 19.hxg6 Bxg6 20.Ne5 Qe8 21.Qh3. 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Ro1 Popov (2392) - R Ovetchkin (2473) [B10]

Russian Blitz Internet Cup Sup/chessassistantclub.com INT (2) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 Nc6 6. c3 e6 7. Bd3 Bd6 8. Qe2 Qc7 9. f4 Nxd4 10. Qf2 Bxe5 11. fxe5 Qxe5+ 12. Be3 Ng4 13. cxd4 Qxe3+ 14. Qxe3 Nxe3 15. Kd2 Nxg2 16. Rg1 Nf4 17. Rxg7 Ng6 18. Nc3 Kf8 19. Rxg6 hxg6 20. Be2 Rxh2 0-1


M. Haahr - P. Skov [B10]

Hillerod op/Hillerod 1980


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Nf6 5... Qb6 6. Nc3!? ( The more positional method might be 6. c3 Bf5 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Nxd3+/=) 6... Nf6 (6... Qxd4? 7. Qxd4 Nxd4 8. Nxd5 Nxc2+ 9. Kd1 Nxa1 10. Bb5+! Bd7[] 11. Bxd7+ Kd8 12. Bb5+-) (6... Nxd4?? 7. Be3+-) 7. Bb5 a6 (7... Bf5 8. g4!? Be6 9. a4 a6 10. a5+/=) 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. O-O Nd7 (9... e6 10. Na4+/=) 10. Na4 Qa5 11. Nxd7 Bxd7[] 12. c4!+/= and White continues to have play on the dark squares. 6. c3 6. Bb5!? Qb6 7. c4 6... e6 7. Bg5 Be7 8. Nd2 Qb6 9. Qb3 Qc7 10. Bb5 O-O 11. Ndf3 11. f4!? 11... Bd7 12. Nxd7 Qxd7 13. O-O Ne4 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Bd3 f5?! 16. Rfe1 Na5 17. Qa4 Qc7 18. Ne5 Nc6 19. f3? White is clearly better up to this point, and the idea of driving back the Knight at e4 is good, but the immediate 19. f3? is the wrong way to execute it. >= 19. Nxc6! bxc6 20. f3+/- 19... Nxe5! 20. dxe5 Qb6+ 20... >= Nc5! 21. Qd4 Nxd3 22. Qxd3 Qb6+=/+ 21. Qd4 Nc5 22. Bf1 Rac8 23. Rab1 Na4 24. Qf2 Rfd8 25. Red1 Qa5 26. Rd4!= Nb6 27. a3 Nc4 28. f4 Qb6 29. Bxc4 Rxc4 30. Rbd1 Rdc8 31. Rxc4 Qxf2+ 32. Kxf2 Rxc4 This Rook ending should probably be drawn, but Black does have an opportunity to try for a minority attack. 33. g3 Kf7 34. Rd3 Ke7 35. Ke3 Kd7 36. Rd4 Kc6 37. Kd3 b5 38. b3 Rc5 39. c4 bxc4+ 40. bxc4 Ra5 41. cxd5+ Rxd5 42. Kc4 Rxd4+ 43. Kxd4 Kb5 44. a4+?? Kb4!! The opposition wins for Black. Likely White was hoping for 44... Kxa4?? 45. Kc5 a5 46. g4! g6 47. gxf5 gxf5 48. Kd6 Kb4 49. Kxe6 a4 50. Kxf5 a3 51. e6 a2 52. e7 a1=Q 53. e8=Q+- and White's passed pawn should win the Queen ending. 45. a5 a6 46. g4 g6 47. g5 Kb5 48. h3 Kb4 Clearly White emerged from the opening with a solid edge but two key errors cost him the advantage and then the game. 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


M Tissir (2436) - J Rincon Bascon (2125) [B10]

IV Open/Dos Hermanas ESP (9) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 Nc6 6. Nc3 a6 7. Be2 Bf5 8. g4 Be6 9. f4 g6 10. Be3 Qa5 11. O-O Nxe5 12. dxe5 Ne4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Qd4 Qd5 15. Rad1 Qxd4 16. Rxd4 Rc8 17. c4 h5 18. f5 gxf5 19. gxf5 Bd7 20. e6 fxe6 21. fxe6 Bc6 22. Rf5 1-0


L Cernousek (2369) - Z Medvegy (2455) [B10]

29th Elekes Mem GM/Budapest HUN (10) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Qb6 6. c3 Nxe5 7. dxe5 e6 8. Bd3 Bd7 9. Qe2 a6 10. Be3 Bc5 11. Bxc5 Qxc5 12. Nd2 Ne7 13. Nb3 Qb6 14. Qg4 Bb5 15. Bxb5+ axb5 16. Qxg7 Rg8 17. Qxh7 Rxg2 18. Nd4 b4 19. Qd3 bxc3 20. bxc3 Qb2 21. Qb5+ Qxb5 22. Nxb5 Kd7 23. Nd4 Ng6 24. Nf3 Ra3 25. Kf1 Rg4 26. Rg1 Rga4 27. Rb1 Rxc3 28. Rxb7+ Ke8 29. Rb3 Rc1+ 30. Kg2 Nf4+ 31. Kh1 Rxg1+ 32. Kxg1 Rxa2 33. Ne1 Ra1 34. Kf1 d4 35. f3 d3 36. Rb8+ Ke7 37. Rb7+ Kf8 38. Rd7 Nd5 0-1


Arkady Shevelev - Sergey Erenburg [B10]

ISR-chT/Israel (1) 2002


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 e6 6. c3 6. Bb5?! Bd7 7. Nxd7 Qxd7 8. O-O a6= see Ljuboschitz-Kasparov below 6... Bd6 6... Nf6 7. Nd2 (7. f4!?) 7... Bd6 8. f4+/= 7. Bb5!? >= 7. f4 7... Nge7 8. f4 O-O 8... f6!? 9. Bd3 Qc7 10. Qc2 h6 11. O-O f6 12. Bh7+!? >= 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. c4= 12... Kh8 13. Ng6+!? White tries to scare up an attack on the Black King, but it is quite speculative. 13... Nxg6 14. Bxg6 Bd7 15. Qe2 e5 16. f5 Ne7 16... >= exd4! 17. Qh5 Be8!=/+ 17. Qh5 Ng8 17... Nxg6 18. Bxh6!! Ne7! 19. Bxg7+ Kxg7 20. Qg4+ Kf7 21. Qh5+ Kg8 22. Qg4+= 18. Be3 Qb6 19. Rf2 Be8! 20. Nd2?! >= 20. Bxe8 Raxe8 21. Qf3= 20... Qxb2! 21. Rb1 Qxc3 22. Rb3 Qc7 White does not get sufficient compensation for the pawns and his attack soon comes to an end. 23. Nf3 Bxg6 24. fxg6 Rae8 25. g4 exd4 26. Bxd4 Be5 27. Bxa7 Ne7 28. Bb6 Qd6 29. Be3 Bf4 30. Bxf4 Qxf4 31. Rxb7 Qe4 32. Nh4 Rb8 33. Rxb8 Rxb8 34. Nf5 Rb1+ 35. Rf1 Rxf1+ 36. Kxf1 Qb1+ 37. Kg2 Qxa2+ 38. Kg3 Qb3+ 39. Kg2 Qc2+ 40. Kg3 Qd3+ 41. Kg2 Qe4+ 42. Kg3 Nc6 43. Kh4 Qg2 44. h3 Ne5 and Black will force mate. 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


Mustapha Cherad - Wissem El Imam [B10]

ALG-ch/Algiers (8) 2000


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 e6 6. Nd2 Bd6 7. f4 Nc6 8. c3 Qb6 9. Ndf3 Ne4 10. Bd3 f6 11. Ng4 >= 11. Nc4! dxc4 12. Bxe4+/= 11... h5 12. Ne3 Bd7 13. Bxe4 13. Nc4!?+/= 13... dxe4 14. Nd2 Bxf4 15. Nxe4 Qc7 16. g3 Bxe3 17. Bxe3 h4?! 17... >= O-O-O= 18. Bf4! 18. Qg4 O-O-O 19. Qxg7~~ 18... e5 19. dxe5 Nxe5 19... fxe5? 20. Nd6++- 20. Nd6+ Ke7 21. Bxe5 fxe5 22. Ne4 Bc6? 22... >= Qc6! 23. Qe2 (23. Qf3 hxg3 24. O-O-O Qh6+!~~) 23... Bf5 24. Nf2[] hxg3 25. Qxe5+ Qe6 26. Qxe6+ Bxe6 27. hxg3 Rxh1+ 28. Nxh1+/= 23. Qg4!+/- Bxe4 24. Qxe4 Rad8 25. Qg6 Rhg8?! 25... >= Kd7! 26. Qxg7+ Kc8 27. Qxc7+ Kxc7 28. Ke2+/= 26. Rf1! Rdf8 27. Rxf8 Kxf8 28. Qf5+ >= 28. O-O-O!-> 28... Ke7 29. Qg5+ Ke8 30. Qxh4 Qd6 31. Qa4+ Qc6 32. Qxc6+ bxc6 33. Ke2+/- Ke7 34. Rh1 g5 35. h3 Ke6 36. Rh2 e4 37. h4 gxh4 38. gxh4 Rh8 39. h5 Rh6 40. Ke3 Kf5 41. Rh4 Kg5 42. Rxe4 Kxh5 43. Re7 a6 44. Ra7 Re6+ 45. Kd4 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Mustapha Cherad - Abdelatif Henni [B10]

ALG-ch/Algiers (2) 2000


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 Bf5 6. c3 6. Bb5+!? Nbd7 7. Qf3 e6 8. Nc3 (8. Bg5!? Qa5+ 9. Nc3 a6 10. Bxf6 axb5! 11. Nxd7 Kxd7 12. Be5 b4~~) 8... a6 9. Bxd7+ Nxd7 10. Nxf7 Kxf7 11. g4 Nf6 12. gxf5 exf5 13. Bg5|^ 6... a6 7. Nd2 Nc6 8. f4 Nxe5?! 8... >= e6 9. g4!? (9. Ndf3 Bd6 10. Bd3 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 O-O 12. O-O Ne4=) (9. Be2 Bd6 10. O-O h6=) 9... Be4 10. Rg1~~ 9. fxe5 Ng8 9... Ne4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 11. e6|^ 10. Nf3 Bd7 11. Bd3 e6 12. O-O Be7 13. Qc2 Qc7 14. Bxh7+/- O-O-O 15. Bd3 f5 16. c4 dxc4 17. Qxc4 b5 18. Qxc7+ >= 18. Qb3-> 18... Kxc7 19. Bd2 Kb6 20. Rac1 Nh6 21. Be2 Bc6 22. Ba5+ Kb7 23. Bxd8 Rxd8 24. Rc2 Be4 25. Rcc1 g5 26. Nd2 Rxd4 27. Nxe4 fxe4 28. Rfd1 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 Nf5 30. Bb3 Nd4 31. Kf2 Kb6 32. Ke3 Bc5 33. Kxe4 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Arkady Shevelev (2354) - Marina Roumegous (2211) [B10]

ch-Paris Open/Paris FRA (6) 2000


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 e6 6. c3 Be7 7. Bd3 Nbd7 8. f4!+/= Qc7 9. O-O Nb6 10. Nd2 Bd7 with the idea of controlling c4 and eventually playing Bb5 to trade the light-square Bishop. 11. Qe2!? >= 11. Qf3 Rc8 12. Qh3 O-O?! 13. g4!-> 11... a6 12. Ndf3 12. f5!? 12... h6 13. f5! exf5 14. Bf4 Qd8 15. Nxd7 Qxd7 16. Qe5! White targets the weak pawn at f5 (attacked directly by Queen and Bishop and indirectly by the Rook at f1), hoping to induce Black's next move. A little premature would be 16. Ne5!? Qe6 17. a4 Ne4 18. a5 Nc8 19. c4 Bg5 when things get complicated. 16... g6? Black had to cut his losses with 16... O-O 17. Bxf5 Qd8 when White would have a clear advantage due to his powerfully centralized pieces, but material would be equal and the Black King would be safe. 17. Rae1! Kf8 17... Qe6 18. Qxe6 fxe6 19. Rxe6 Nc8 20. Ne5-> 18. Qe3 Ng4 19. Qc1 Bd6 20. h3 Bxf4 21. Qxf4 Nf6 The exchange of Bishops may have rescued the pawn at h6 but it has left Black's dark squares completely weakened. Now the Knight returns forcefully to e5 to finish the game. 22. Ne5 Qd8 23. Bxf5! Kg7 23... gxf5 24. Qxf5 Kg7 25. Re3-> and White soon recovers the piece and more. 24. Qg3 The new target is g6. 24... Nh5 25. Be6! Qe8 25... Nxg3? 26. Rxf7+ Kg8 27. Re7+ Kf8 28. Nxg6# 26. Qg4 Qxe6 27. Rxf7+ Qxf7[] 28. Nxf7 Nf6 28... Kxf7 29. Qe6+ Kg7 30. Qxb6+- 29. Qe2 Rhe8 30. Ne5 The Knight returns to its powerful centralized post with the game in the bag. 30... Rac8 31. Rf1 Rc7 32. Qf3 Re6 33. Ng4 Rce7 34. Nxf6 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Ibrahim Hasan Labib - Mohamed Mahmoud Ezat [B10]

Tanta op 4th/Tanta (7) 2001


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nd7 5. d4 e6 6. Bb5!? Ngf6 6... >= a6! 7. Bxd7+ (7. Qh5 Qe7=) 7... Bxd7 8. O-O+/= and White retains his powerful Knight. 7. O-O Be7 8. Qe2 O-O 9. Nd2 >= 9. f4!+/= 9... Nxe5 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. Nb3 f6! 12. exf6 Rxf6?! 12... >= Nxf6= 13. Bg5! Rg6!? 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. f4+/= Rf6 16. Rad1 Qd6 17. f5!? White mistakenly seeks to open up lines but ends up freeing Black's light-squared Bishop. Better to keep the bind with >= 17. Nd4 a6 18. Bd3 Nc5 19. Qe5! Qxe5 20. fxe5 Rxf1+ 21. Kxf1+/= 17... a6! 18. Bxd7 Bxd7 19. c4 Preventing Bb5 19... Raf8 20. fxe6 Rxf1+ 21. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 22. Kxf1 Bxe6 23. c5 Qf4+ 24. Kg1 Bf7 White retains a lasting edge because his Knight is better than the Bishop, he has a queenside pawn majority, and Black's d-pawn is isolated and on a light square. The course of the game suggests that these small advantages give White real winning chances. 25. Qd2 Qe4 26. a3 Qb1+ 27. Qc1 Qd3 28. Qc3 Qd1+ 28... Qxc3?! 29. bxc3+/= 29. Kf2 Qg4 30. Nd4 Bg6 31. Qe3 Be4 32. Qg3 Qc8 33. Qd6 Qf8+ 34. Qxf8+ Kxf8 35. Ne6+ >= 35. b4 Ke7 36. g4+/= 35... Kg8? 35... >= Ke7! 36. Nxg7?! Bg6! 37. g4 Kf6 38. Nh5+ Bxh5 39. gxh5 Ke5 40. Ke3 d4+ 41. Kd3 Kd5 42. b4 h6 43. h3! a5 44. h4 a4! 45. Kd2!= 36. g3 Bf5 37. Nd4 37. Nc7!? d4 38. Ne8 Kf7 39. Nd6+ Ke6 40. Nxb7!+/- 37... Bd7 38. Ke3 Kf7 39. Ne2 Ke6 40. Kd4 g5 41. Nc3 Bc6 42. b4 h5 43. h3?! >= 43. a4! h4 44. b5+- 43... h4 44. g4?! Bb5! 45. Nxd5 Bf1= 1/2-1/2 [Michael Goeller]


Monang Sinulingga - Glenn Bordonada [B10]

Nice ol (Men) prel/Nice (2) 1974


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Qc7?! 6. Bf4! White immediately points up the fact that Black's Queen is misplaced on c7. 6... Qb6 6... Nxe5 7. Bxe5! (7. dxe5 e6 8. Bd3 offers less) 7... Qa5+ 8. Nc3+/= 7. Nc3 Nf6 7... Qxb2? 8. Nxd5-> 8. Nb5! a6 8... Nb4 9. c4! Bf5!? 10. Qa4 Nc2+ 11. Kd1 Nd7 12. c5-> 9. Nxc6 White can also gain the advantage by 9. Nxf7 Kxf7 (9... axb5 10. Nxh8 g6 11. Qd3 Bg7 12. Nxg6 hxg6 13. Qxg6+ Kf8 14. Bh6+/-) 10. Bc7 Qxb5 11. Bxb5 axb5 12. O-O+/= and the Queen should be better than the three pieces given Black's weaknesses. Similar, though not as strong, is 9. Nc4 Qxb5 (9... dxc4 10. Nc7+ Kd8 11. Nxa8 Qxb2 12. Rb1 Qxa2 13. d5->) 10. Nd6+ exd6 11. Bxb5 axb5 12. O-O+/= Likely White rejected these options in favor of the positional advantage he gains after this simple exchange due to the unpredictable situation of having a Queen versus three minor pieces. 9... axb5 10. Ne5 b4 11. Bd3 e6 12. O-O Be7 13. Re1 O-O 14. Re3!-> Qd8 15. Rh3 g6[] 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Qf3! White has developed a strong initiative on the kingside. 17... Ra5 18. g4 Also good is 18. Qf4 with the idea of Rf3 and Bg5 18... Bd6 19. Bg5 Be7 20. Rxh7 Rf8 21. Rh4 Nd7 21... Ne4 22. Qh3!-> 22. Qh3!+- Bxg5 23. Rh8+ Kg7 24. Qh7+ Kf6 25. Nxf7! Rxh8 26. Qxg6+ Ke7 27. Nxd8 Bf6 28. Nxe6 Nf8 29. Nxf8 Rxf8 30. Re1+ Kd7 31. g5 Bxd4 32. Qe6+ Kc7 33. Qe7++- 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Part Three: Playing for the Two Bishops

White's third option is to exchange the Knight for a Bishop at d7, thus gaining the two bishops in an open position. While there is some long-term positional logic to that idea, it does seem to lose a lot of time.

Alexander Ljuboschitz - Garry Kasparov [B10]

Sokolsky mem/Minsk (10) 1978


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bb5+ Nc6 5. Ne5 Bd7 This position can also arise after 4.Ne5 Nc6 5.Bb5?! Black threatens the "protect-take" motif after 6. d4?? Nxe5 7.Bxd7+ Nxd7 winning a piece. 6. Nxd7 Gaining the two Bishops is good in theory, but the resulting position favors Black, in part because he gains a lot of time. After all, the Knight moved three times to remove a piece that had only moved once. >= 6. Bxc6! Bxc6 7. d4 e6 8. O-O=

 

 

6... Qxd7 7. d4 a6! 8. Bxc6 A terrible concession, but the Knight will be better in this position where all of Black's pawns will occupy light squares. 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bb3 Nf6 10. O-O e6 11. c3 Bd6=/+ 8. Bd3? Nxd4-/+ 8... Qxc6 9. O-O e6 10. Bf4 Nf6 11. Nd2 Bd6 12. Bxd6 >= 12. Be5 12... Qxd6 13. c3 O-O 14. Qe2 b5 15. a3 a5 16. Rfd1 b4 The minority attack works wonders for Black in this position. Through very simple moves, Kasparov has taken over the initiative and now slowly builds a winning game. 17. c4 bxa3 18. Rxa3 dxc4 19. Nxc4 Qb4 20. Rg3!? The standard counter to the minority attack is a kingside piece attack, but White probably holds on better with the defensive >= 20. Rda1 20... Rfc8 21. Ne5 Ra7 22. h4?! Too slow. >= 22. Qf3! Nd5[] 23. Qg4 g6 24. Nd3 Qb3 25. Rh3! a4 26. Rf1 with the idea of Qh4, and White is at least fighting back hard. 22... Rb7 23. h5 Qxb2 24. Qf3 Nd5 25. h6 g6 26. Kh2 Rc3 27. Nd3 Qa3 28. Qe4 Qf8 29. Ra1 Rb5 30. Rh3 Nf6 31. Qe2 Rd5! 32. Ra4 Qe8 33. Ra2 Rxd4 34. Rxa5 Ng4+ 35. Kh1 Qd8 You can hardly fault the future champion in the heat of battle for missing >= 35... Qb8! 36. Qb2 Rc1+!! 37. Qxc1 Rxd3! 38. f4 Rd1+ 39. Qxd1 Nf2+ 40. Kg1 Nxd1 41. Rha3 Qb6++- 36. Ra1 Nxh6 37. Rxh6 Rcxd3 38. g3 Rd1+ 0-1 [Michael Goeller]


Michal Tworuszka - Marcin Steczek [B10]

POL-chT2/Wysowa (11) 2003


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 4... Nc6 5. Bb5!? Bd7 6. Nxd7 Qxd7 7. d4 a6= Ljuboschitz-Kasparov 1978 5. Bb5+!? Bd7 6. Nxd7 It seems wrong to exchange off the much-travelled Knight even if it gains the advantage of the two Bishops. The opening, however, works out well for White. 6... Nbxd7 7. d4 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. c3 O-O 10. Nd2 Rc8 11. Re1 a6 12. Bd3 Re8 13. Nf3 b5 14. Qe2 Nb6 15. Ne5+/= Bf8 16. Qf3 Rc7 17. Qh3 Nc4 18. Bg5?! >= 18. Ng4! h6 19. Bxh6!-> and White wins at least a pawn since 19... gxh6?! 20. Nxf6+ Qxf6 21. Qg3+ Bg7 22. Qxc7+/- picks up the Exchange. 18... h6 19. Ng4 >= 19. Bc1 and White will keep a slight edge. 19... Be7! After this, White's attack can only produce a draw. 19... hxg5?? 20. Nxf6+ Qxf6 21. Qh7# 19... Nxb2?! 20. Re3 Nxd3 21. Bxf6 gxf6[] 22. Nxh6+ Bxh6[] 23. Qxh6 Nf4[] 24. Qxf4-> 20. Nxh6+ gxh6 21. Bxh6 Bf8 22. b3 Bxh6 23. Qxh6 Nd6 24. Re3 Nfe4[] 25. Bxe4!? White is clearly trying to find a winning line, since he rejects the obvious drawing lines 25. Rg3+ Nxg3 26. Bh7+ Kh8 27. Bd3+= and 25. Rh3 f6 26. Qh8+ Kf7 27. Rh7+ Kg6 28. Rh6+= 25... Nxe4[] 26. Rh3 f5?! 26... >= f6! provides a necessary retreat for the Knight to g5, and White must draw with 27. Qh8+ Kf7 28. Rh7+ Kg6 29. Rh6+ Kf5!? 30. Rh5+ Kg6 (30... <= Ng5? 31. Qh6+/=) 31. Rh6+= 27. Qh8+?! If he still wanted to try for a win, possible was 27. f3! Qf6 28. Rg3+! Rg7 29. Rxg7+ Qxg7 30. Qxg7+ Kxg7 31. fxe4 fxe4 32. Kf2+/- and White's connected passed pawns give him excellent practical chances. 27... Kf7 28. Rh7+ Kg6 29. Rh6+ Kf7 30. Rh7+ Kg6 31. Rh6+ Kf7= 1/2-1/2 [Michael Goeller]


L Cernousek (2378) - T Polak (2482) [B10]

GM/Brno CZE (5) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Nf6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxd7 Qxd7 8. c3 e6 9. O-O Bd6 10. Nd2 O-O 11. Re1 Qc7 12. Nf3 h6 13. Bd3 Rfe8 14. h3 Rab8 15. Qe2 Nd7 16. Bd2 a6 17. a4 Re7 18. c4 dxc4 19. Bxc4 Nf6 20. Bc3 Qb6 21. Ne5 Bxe5 22. dxe5 Nd5 23. Rac1 Rd7 24. Qg4 Nxc3 25. Rxc3 Rd4 26. Qh5 Rf4 27. Qe2 Rd8 28. Rec1 Rf5 29. Re3 Nd4 30. Qe1 Nc6 31. b3 Rf4 32. Re4 Rxe4 33. Qxe4 Rd2 34. Qf4 Qd4 35. Qxd4 Nxd4 36. Bf1 Nxb3 37. Rc8+ Kh7 38. Rc3 Na5 39. Bd3+ g6 40. Kf1 Kg7 41. Ke1 Ra2 42. Bc2 Nc6 43. f4 Nd4 44. Bd1 Rxg2 45. Rd3 Nc6 46. Rd7 Rb2 47. Bf3 Rb4 0-1


Larry Kaufman (2365) - Alexandr Krawczuk [B10]

US Amateur Team East/Parsippany USA (3) 2005


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxd7 I think of this as a "computer-type of move," since it gains the two Bishops without concern for the larger positional issues. White is also now behind in development. But those two Bishops can be a real edge if White playscarefully and Black is not aggressive. 7... Qxd7 8. c3 a6 9. Bd3 e6 9... e5! 10. dxe5 Nxe5= 10. O-O Bd6 11. Qe2 Ne7 11... Qc7!? 12. h3 (12. g3 O-O-O 13. f4 h5) 12... Bh2+ 13. Kh1 Bf4= 12. Nd2 Ng6 13. g3!? O-O 14. f4 Rfe8 15. Nf3 Qc7 16. Bd2 Rad8 17. Rae1 Qb8 18. Ne5+/= Bc7 19. Kh1 Qa8 20. a4 Qb8 21. g4 Nf8 22. g5 N6d7 23. Qh5+/- Nxe5? 24. fxe5-> Rd7 25. Bxh7+! Nxh7 26. Rf3 Nf8 27. Rh3 Ng6 28. Rf1 b5 29. Qh7+ Kf8 30. Qxg6 Ke7 31. Rxf7+ Kd8 32. Qxg7 1-0


P2 Skovgaard (2174) - E Hermansson (2432) [B10]

2nd K41 Int/Copenhagen DEN (7) 2005


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Nf6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxd7 Qxd7 8. c3 a6 9. Bd3 Qg4 10. Qxg4 Nxg4 11. O-O e6 12. h3 Nf6 13. Bf4 Be7 14. Nd2 O-O 15. Rae1 Rfc8 16. Nf3 b5 17. a3 Nd7 18. Ne5 Nb6 19. Re2 Na4 20. Nxc6 Rxc6 21. Bc1 Rac8 22. Bf4 g6 23. Bh6 Bf6 24. Bb1 a5 25. Bd3 Rb6 26. Rc2 b4 27. cxb4 Rxc2 28. Bxc2 Nxb2 29. bxa5 Ra6 30. Be3 Rxa5 31. Rb1 Nc4 32. Rb8+ Kg7 33. a4 Ra6 34. Kf1 Be7 35. Ke2 Bd6 36. Rb5 Na3 37. Rb2 Nxc2 38. Rxc2 Rxa4 39. Rc6 Be7 40. Rc7 Bf6 41. Kd3 g5 42. Rc8 h5 43. Rc7 Ra3+ 44. Ke2 Ra2+ 45. Kd3 Kg6 46. Rc3 Be7 47. Rc6 h4 48. Rc2 Rxc2 49. Kxc2 Kf5 50. f3 Bd8 51. Kd3 Bb6 52. Bd2 f6 53. Bc1 Bc7 54. Be3 Bf4 55. Bf2 Bc1 56. Kc2 Ba3 57. Be3 Bb4 58. Kd3 Ba5 59. Bc1 Bb6 60. Bd2 e5 61. dxe5 fxe5 62. Bc1 Bg1 63. Bd2 Bh2 64. Be3 Bf4 65. Bf2 Bc1 66. Kc2 Ba3 67. Be3 Be7 68. Kd3 Bb4 69. Bc1 Be1 70. Be3 Bg3 71. Bb6 Bh2 72. Be3 d4 73. Bd2 Bf4 74. Be1 Be3 75. g3 hxg3 76. Bxg3 Bf4 0-1


L Cernousek (2369) - A Matras (2269) [B10]

Pobeskydi Arcimpex Cup/Frydek Mistek CZE (5) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Nf6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. Nxd7 Qxd7 8. O-O e6 9. c3 Bd6 10. Nd2 a6 11. Bd3 O-O 12. Re1 b5 13. a3 Rab8 14. Nf3 h6 15. Ne5 Qc7 16. Nxc6 Qxc6 17. Qf3 Be7 18. Qg3 Kh8 19. Qh3 Ng8 20. Re5 f5 21. Bd2 Bf6 22. Re2 Be7 23. Rae1 Rf6 24. Qh5 g6 25. Qh3 Kg7 26. Bf4 Rbf8 27. Be5 Bd8 28. g3 Re8 29. Qf1 Bc7 30. Bxf6+ Nxf6 31. f3 Kf7 32. Ra1 Bd6 33. Qc1 Kg7 34. a4 bxa4 35. Qc2 a3 36. b4 a5 37. Rxa3 axb4 38. Ra6 Qc7 39. cxb4 Qxc2 40. Bxc2 Bxb4 41. Rexe6 Rxe6 42. Rxe6 Bc3 43. Re7+ Kf8 44. Rb7 Bxd4+ 45. Kf1 Be5 46. Ke2 Bd4 47. Bb3 Ke8 48. Rb5 Bg1 49. Kf1 1-0


Part Four: Black Fianchettoes

Black's best strategy may be to fianchetto the King's Bishop with an early ...g6 and ...Bg7. This set-up gives Black more flexibility in battling for the e5 square.

Sergey Konstantinov - Alexander Potapov [B10]

Russia ch/Briansk (3) 1995


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 g6! This method of developing the kingside seems the best response to White's scheme since it allows Black to fight for the e5 square.

 

 

6. c3 This may be too slow to fight actively for e5. >= 6. Bb5+! Nbd7 (6... Bd7 7. Nxd7 Nbxd7 8. O-O and White has the two bishops.) 7. f4!? (Too slow is 7. O-O?! a6 8. Bd3 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. Bf4 Bg7 11. Qe2 Qb6 (11... g5!? 12. Bg3 h5<=>) 12. c3 O-O 13. Re1 (13. h3?! Nxe5! 14. Bxe5 Bxe5 15. Qxe5 Qxb2=/+) 13... f6=/+) 7... Qa5+ 8. Nc3 a6 9. Bd3 Bg7 10. O-O Qb6 11. Ne2!+/= 6... Bg7 7. Nd2 7. Bb5+ Nbd7 8. f4 Ne4! (8... O-O 9. Nd2+/=) 9. Qb3 e6 10. Bxd7+ (10. O-O f6 11. Nxd7 Bxd7 12. Bd3~~) 10... Bxd7 11. Qxb7 Bxe5 12. fxe5 Rb8 13. Qxa7 Ra8 14. Qb7 Rb8= 7. Bd3 Nc6 8. Qe2= (8. f4!?) 7... O-O 8. Ndf3 It might not be too late for 8. f4!? Nh5! (8... Bf5?! 9. g4 Be4 10. Rg1|^) 9. Ndf3 f6 10. Nd3 Qd6|^ 11. Nh4!? e5 12. f5!?~~ 8... Ne4 9. Bf4?! This Bishop becomes a target for Black's advance with e5. >= 9. Bd3!? Nd6! (9... f6 10. Nc4! dxc4 11. Bxe4+/=) 10. Bc2 f6 11. Nd3~~ 9... f6 10. Nd3 Nc6 11. Qb3 e5!=/+ 12. Be3 Na5 13. Qc2 Nc4 14. O-O-O Nxe3 15. fxe3 Nxc3!? This may prematurely release the tension in the position, which seemed to favor Black after >= 15... Bh6! 16. Re1 Bf5|^ 16. Qxc3 e4 17. Kb1 exd3 18. Bxd3 Re8 19. Rhe1 Bd7?! 19... Be6 20. Qb3 a5!?~~ 20. Qb3! Qa5!? Black must have already conceived of the following sacrificial attack, which only yields a draw with best defense. Without that attack the position begins to turn in favor of White. 21. Qxb7 Rab8!! 22. Qxd7 Rxb2+! 23. Kxb2 Rb8+ 24. Kc1 Qa3+ 25. Kd2 Rb2+ 26. Bc2 Rxc2+! 27. Kxc2 Qxa2+ 28. Kd3 Qc4+ 29. Kd2 Qa2+ 30. Kd3 Qa6+ 31. Kc3 Qc4+ 32. Kd2 Qa2+ and there is no escape from the perpetual check. 1/2-1/2 [Michael Goeller]


Imad Hakki (2451) - Elmar Magerramov (2566) [B10]

5th Arab Clubs/Damascus SYR (1) 2003


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nf6 5. d4 g6 6. Bd3 6. c4!? 6. Bb5+!? Nbd7 7. O-O Bg7 8. Re1 a6 9. Bd3 Nxe5 10. dxe5 Ng4! 11. e6 f5~~ 6. Nd2 Bg7 7. Bd3 6... Bg7 7. Nd2 O-O 7... Nc6 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. O-O+/= 8. O-O Nc6 9. Ndf3 >= 9. Nxc6! bxc6 10. Re1+/= 9... Ng4?! 9... Nb4!= 10. Nxc6! bxc6 11. Re1 Re8 12. h3 Nf6 13. c3 Qb6 14. Qe2 14. Ne5!+/= 14... a5 15. Ne5 Ba6 16. Bxa6 Qxa6 17. Qf3 Qb7 18. Re2 e6 19. Bh6 Bxh6 20. Qxf6 Bg7 21. Qf4 Bxe5 22. dxe5+/= 1/2-1/2 [Michael Goeller]


Ibrahim Hasan Labib - Jorge Molina [B10]

Bled ol (Men)/Bled (14) 2002


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nc6 5. d4 Nf6 6. c3 6. Bb5! see Sebag-Xu above 6... g6 7. Bd3 >= 7. Bb5 Bd7 8. Nxd7 (8. Bxc6!? Bxc6 9. O-O Nd7=) 8... Qxd7 9. O-O a6 10. Bd3+/= 7... Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Re1 >= 9. f4! 9... Nd7 10. Nxd7 10. Nxc6?! bxc6 11. Qa4 c5 12. Qc6 Rb8 13. Qxd5 cxd4 14. cxd4 Rb4!<=> 10... Qxd7! Black keeps open the possibility of fianchettoing the Bishop while avoiding the messy 10... Bxd7 11. Qb3!? 11. Nd2 e5?! This leads to immediate liberation for Black, but the isolated d-pawn is a long-term liability. >= 11... f6! 12. Nb3 b6! 13. Be3 e5 14. f3 Bb7 15. dxe5 fxe5 16. Qd2~~ 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Nb3 Nxd3 14. Qxd3 Qf5 15. Rd1 Qxd3 16. Rxd3 Be6 17. Be3 Rfc8 18. Bd4 White has uncontestable control over the square in front of the isolated d-pawn and offers an exchange of Bishops that will leave him with the better minor piece. 18... a5?! 18... >= Bf8 was necessary to avoid the exchange of Bishops. By allowing the exchange of Bishops, Black hands White complete control of the dark squares and the better minor piece in the ending. 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Nd4+/= White's Knight towers over the Bishop at e6 which is hemmed in by pawns on light squares. 20... a4 21. a3 Ra6 22. f3 Rb6 23. Rd2 Bd7 24. Kf2 Bb5 Black invites the exchange of minor pieces, which White does well to ignore. 25. Re1 Kf8 26. h4 Re8 27. Rxe8+ Kxe8 28. Nc2?! White sets his sites prematurely on winning the pawn at d5. The Knight should not move from its pretty perch. Instead White should first lock the pawns on the Kingside, in part to prevent counterplay in that region. 28... Bc4! 29. Nb4 h5 30. Ke3 Ke7 31. Kd4 f6?! Now was the time for Black to create counterplay by exploiting White's abandoned Kingside pawns with >= 31... Rf6!<=> threatening Rf4+ and Rxh4 and practically forcing 32. Ke3 (32. Kc5 b6+!) 32... Re6+= and White will at least have to regroup if he is going to try to win. 32. Rc2 White appears to miss a tactical opportunity that may have greatly simplified his task: 32. Re2+! Re6 (32... Bxe2? 33. Nxd5++/-) (32... Kd7? 33. Nxd5 Bxd5 34. Kxd5+/-) (32... Kd6 33. Re8->) 33. Rxe6+ Kxe6 34. Nc2 and the great superiority of the Knight in this position will eventually tell; for example: 34... g5 35. g3 Bb3 36. Ne3 b6 37. f4 gxf4 38. gxf4+/- and White is making steady progress. 32... Kd6 33. Rc1 >= 33. g4 33... Rb5 34. Re1 Kd7 35. Re3 Ra5?! This places the Rook too passively. Black's Rook needs to keep to the 6th rank and the b-file. Now White's Rook finds a way of attacking on the kingside. >= 35... Rb6 36. f4?! (36. Nxd5? Bxd5 37. Kxd5 Rxb2=/+) (>= 36. g4!+/=) 36... Re6 37. Nc2 (37. Rxe6?! Kxe6=/+ and in this position the Knight cannot keep out the Black King from f5.) 37... Rb6 38. Nb4= 36. f4! Ra8 37. Rg3 37. Nxd5!? and Black's counteractivity is limited following 37... Bxd5 38. Kxd5 Ra5+ 39. Kc4 Rf5 40. g3 37... Ke6 Too passive is 37... Rg8 38. Nxd5 Bxd5 39. Kxd5+- 38. Rxg6 Kf5 39. Rh6 Rg8 40. Nc2 Kxf4 41. Ne3 Re8 42. Rxf6+ Kg3 43. Rg6+ Kf4 44. g3+ Kf3 45. Nxc4 dxc4 46. Kxc4 Re2 47. Rg5 Rxb2 48. Rxh5 Kxg3 49. Rb5 Ra2 50. h5 Rh2 50... Rxa3? 51. h6 Ra1 52. Rh5+- 51. Kb4 Rh4+ 52. c4 Kf3 53. Rxb7 Rxh5 54. Kxa4 Ke4 55. Rd7 Rh8 56. c5 Ke5 57. Kb5 Rb8+ 58. Kc6 Ra8 With the end in sight White sacrifices one pawn in order to Queen the other. 59. Re7+ Kd4 60. Kb7 Rxa3 61. c6 Rb3+ 62. Kc8 Kc5 63. c7 Rh3 64. Kd8 Kd5 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


L Cernousek (2378) - A Mista (2443) [B10]

GM/Brno CZE (3) 2004


1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5 Nd7 5. d4 g6 6. Nc3 Bg7 7. Bb5 Ngf6 8. Qf3 O-O 9. Bf4 Nxe5 10. dxe5 Ne4 11. O-O-O Nxc3 12. Qxc3 Bf5 13. Qd2 Qb6 14. Ba4 Rac8 15. Bb3 Rxc2+ 16. Bxc2 Rc8 17. Bg3 Bh6 18. f4 Bxc2 19. Qxc2 Qe3+ 20. Kb1 Rxc2 21. Kxc2 Qe4+ 0-1


Ciprian Nanu - Olivier Piot [B15]

St Quentin op 5th/St Quentin (6) 2002


1. Nf3 g6 2. e4 c6 3. d4 Bg7 4. Nc3 d5 5. h3! This important move denies Black both Bg4 and Ng4. The same position could arise, of course, after 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 g6!? 3.d4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.h3. 5... Nh6!? 5... Nf6 6. e5+/= 5... >= dxe4 6. Nxe4 Nf6 7. Nxf6+ Bxf6 8. Bc4 O-O 9. O-O+/= 6. Bf4 The standard way of attacking the Knight at h6. 6... O-O 7. Qd2 dxe4 8. Nxe4 8. Bxh6!? exf3 9. Bxg7 Kxg7 10. gxf3+/= 8... Nf5 9. c3 b6 10. Bd3 Ba6 11. Bc2!? 11. g4!? Bxd3 12. Qxd3 Nd6 13. Nxd6 exd6 14. O-O-O+/= 11... Nd6 11... >= Qd5!? at least discourages queenside castling. 12. Nxd6 exd6 13. O-O-O Bc4 14. Bh6! 14. h4 h5!? 14... Nd7 15. h4 Bxh6 16. Qxh6 Qf6 17. h5 Qg7 18. Qf4 Be2 18... Qf6 19. Qg3-> 19. Rdg1 Qf6 20. Qg3 20. Qh2 g5!+/= 20... Bxf3 21. gxf3 Rfe8 22. hxg6 fxg6 22... hxg6 23. f4 Nf8 24. f5-> 23. Rxh7! Re1+ 24. Rxe1 Kxh7 25. Qh3+ White wins the Knight at d7 and his attack is undiminished. 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Part Five: Classical Reflections

The Classical Exchange Variation of the Caro-Kann has much to teach us about how to handle the Apocalypse Attack. Below are some classic "Classical" games that show White's strategy of securing the e5 square.

Robert James Fischer - Tigran V Petrosian [B13]

Belgrade URS-World/Belgrade (1) 1970


1. e4 c6 A relatively rare opening for Petrosian at this time and likely chosen because of his recent victory with it against Fischer in the 1959 candidates tournament. In their previous meeting, Fischer chose the Two Knights Variation with 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 with which he did not have much success. 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 A surprising choice of opening, since the Exchange Variation has always had a rather tame reputation, especially in comparison to the Panov-Botvinik Attack with 4.c4, which Fischer had played on several occasions. However, Fischer had some success with the tame Exchange line and may have chosen it for psychological effect. This was the first of four games played in the USSR vs. the World match. One possible strategy for both players was to settle for a draw in order to hold their board. It may be that Fischer wished to lull his opponent into a false sense of security. 4... Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 5... e5! Kholmov's recommendation, which transposes to lines that could arise from the Sicilian or the French, leads to relative equality, though White has potential play against the isolated QP. One idea of playing an early Ne5 is that it slows or prevents altogether this liberating move. Play might go 6. dxe5 Nxe5 7. Bb5+ (7. Qe2 Qe7[] 8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. Bg5 Qxe2+ (9... f6 10. Be3+/=) 10. Nxe2 Be7 11. Bxe7 (11. Bxc6+!? bxc6 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. Nd2 Ng6 14. O-O-O=) 11... Ngxe7 12. Nd2 a6 13. Ba4 b5 14. Bc2 Bf5! 15. O-O-O O-O-O= Georgiev-Kholmov, Bulgaria 1987) 7... Nc6 8. Nf3 Bc5 This position more commonly arises from the move order 1.e4 c5 2.c3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bb5 Bd6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 etc. 9. O-O Nge7 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Nb3 Bd6= with numerous examples from master practice suggesting about even chances. 5... Qc7!? , aiming to prevent Bf4 and contest e5, leads to similar play after 6. Ne2 Bg4 7. f3 Bd7 8. Bf4 e5! (8... Qb6?! 9. Qb3!) 9. dxe5 Nxe5= 6. Bf4! White plays to control the central squares with his Bishops so as to avoid the pin following 5.Nf3 Bg4. By playing Bd3 so early White also inhibits the development of Black's light-squared Bishop, which would naturally go to f5 if allowed. White thus puts a lock on the contested squares of e4 and e5 and keeps Black from so easily using the light-squared Bishop to affect that contest. Too slow are 6. h3?! e5! Keene or 6. Bg5?! Ne4!? (6... Bg4 7. Qb3 Qd7= Keene) 7. Bxe4 dxe4 8. d5 Ne5 9. Qa4+ Qd7 10. Qxe4 Qf5! (10... Qb5 11. b3 Nd3+ 12. Kf1 Nc5+ 13. Qe2+/= Keene) 11. Qxf5 Bxf5~/=

 

 

6... Bg4 7. Qb3 Na5 7... Qd7 8. Nd2+/= 7... >= Qc8! Euwe writes that this move "seems to entail fewer obligations" than Na5. 8. Qa4+ Bd7 8... Nc6 9. Nd2 a6 10. Ngf3+/= and White controls the critical squares e4 and e5. 9. Qc2 e6 10. Nf3 Qb6 11. a4! 11. Ne5 Bb5! 12. Bxb5+ Qxb5 13. b4 Nc4 14. a4 Qa6~~ 11... Rc8 12. Nbd2 Nc6 13. Qb1 Nh5 14. Be3 h6 15. Ne5 Nf6 16. h3 Bd6 17. O-O Kf8 18. f4 Be8 19. Bf2 Qc7 20. Bh4 Ng8 21. f5 Nxe5 22. dxe5 Bxe5 23. fxe6 Bf6 24. exf7 Bxf7 25. Nf3 Bxh4 26. Nxh4 Nf6 27. Ng6+ Bxg6 28. Bxg6 Ke7 29. Qf5 Kd8 30. Rae1 Qc5+ 31. Kh1 Rf8 32. Qe5 Rc7 33. b4 Qc6 34. c4 dxc4 35. Bf5 Rff7 36. Rd1+ Rfd7 37. Bxd7 Rxd7 38. Qb8+ Ke7 39. Rde1+ 1-0 [Michael Goeller]


Walter Browne - Bent Larsen [B13]

San Antonio (8) 1972


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qc8 8. Nd2 e6 9. Ngf3 Be7 10. O-O O-O 11. Ne5 Bh5 12. Qc2 Bg6 13. Nxg6 hxg6 14. Nf3 Nh5 15. Be3 Qc7 16. g3 Rac8 17. Qe2 a6 18. Rae1 Rfe8 19. Bc1 Nf6 20. Ne5 Bd6 21. f4 Nd7 22. Nf3 Nf8 23. Ne5 Ne7 24. Kg2 f6 25. Nf3 Rb8 26. h4 b5 27. a3 Nc6 28. Qf2 Ne7 29. Qe2 Qc6 30. Rh1 a5 31. h5 b4 32. cxb4 axb4 33. a4 Qxa4 34. Nh4 gxh5 35. Qxh5 Rec8 36. f5 Qb3 37. fxe6 Nxe6 38. Qh7+ Kf7 39. Qh5+ Kf8 40. Ng6+ Ke8 41. Rxe6 Kd7 42. Rxe7+ Bxe7 43. Qf5+ 1-0


Robert James Fischer - Moshe Czerniak [B13]

Netanya-A/Netanya (3) 1968


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bf4 g6 7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Nbd2 Nh5 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O f5 11. Nb3 Qd6 12. Re1 f4 13. Bd2 Bg4 14. Be2 Rae8 15. Nc1 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 e5 17. Qb3 exd4 18. Nd3 Rd8 19. c4 dxc4 20. Qxc4+ Kh8 21. Re6 Qb8 22. Rae1 Rc8 23. Bxc6 Rxc6 24. Rxc6 bxc6 25. Qxc6 Qc8 26. Qxc8 Rxc8 27. Kf1 Bh6 28. Rc1 Rxc1+ 29. Bxc1 g5 30. b4 Kg8 31. b5 Kf7 32. Ba3 Bf8 33. Ne5+ Ke6 34. Bxf8 Kxe5 35. Bc5 Nf6 36. Bxa7 Ne4 37. f3 Nd2+ 38. Ke2 Nc4 39. b6 Na5 40. b7 Nxb7 41. Kd3 h5 42. Bxd4+ Kd5 43. h3 Nd8 44. a4 Ne6 45. Bb6 g4 46. hxg4 hxg4 47. fxg4 Ng5 1-0


Richard Teichmann - Francis Joseph Lee [B13]

London m/London (1) 1901


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nf6 5. c3 Bg4 6. f3 Bh5 7. Ne2 e6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. Nd2 Bg6 10. Nf4 Bxd3 11. Nxd3 Nbd7 12. Qe2 O-O 13. O-O Qc7 14. f4 Rae8 15. Ne5 h6 16. Bh4 Nh7 17. Bg3 Bd6 18. Rae1 Nhf6 19. Qf3 g6 20. Re2 Kg7 21. h3 Nh5 22. Bh2 Kh7 23. g4 Ng7 24. Qd3 f5 25. gxf5 Rxf5 26. Rg2 Bxe5 27. dxe5 Qb6+ 28. Kh1 Nh5 29. b4 Qd8 30. Nb3 Nf8 31. Nd4 Rf7 32. Rfg1 Rg7 33. f5 Qh4 34. f6 Rc7 35. Rg4 Qf2 36. Rxg6 1-0