Guseinov's Anti-Paulsen

By Michael Goeller

The line that annoys me most when playing the Two Knights system against the Sicilian (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3) is the Paulsen with an accelerated queenside fianchetto (3...a6 4.g3 b5 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bb7 7.Bg2 Nf6). It seems everyone is playing it these days, and practically half of my games on ICC (including one just five minutes before this writing) feature it. Black sets up an immediate attack on White's e-pawn with his pieces and threatens to win that important center pawn immediately by 8...b4 9.Na4 Bxe4 10.Bxe4 Nxe4. If White defends with 8.a3, 8.Qe2, or 8.Bg5(?!) he loses time and allows Black an easy game with 8...b4 followed by simple development.

Why not just give Black the damn pawn and get on with development yourself? The gambit line with 8.O-O!? has been tried, but it is only in the past year that its reputation has improved due to an amazing novelty by GM Gadir Guseinov which was played several times by his teamates from Azerbaijan--all of whom have absorbed his anti-Paulsen system well enough to win important games, including Rau Mamedov's win at the Turin Olympiad (our main game below) which helped them place better than expected.

Guseinov shared some of his analysis in an interview with Misha Savinov at ChessCafe in July, and his games and those of his teammates reveal quite a bit about this gambit. However, several questions remain unanswered (as shown in my notes), and are not ones likely to be answered anytime soon by a lowly Expert like myself, even with the help of Fritz. So I have set forth my notes on this line in their present unfinished state, hoping they will help others to clear up these questions--or at least to play the games which will help in forming a final evaluation of the line.

Rau Mamedov (2538) - K. Lie (2493) [B40]

37th Olympiad/Turin ITA (10) 2006


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3

Most of the games considered below actually began instead 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 , but I prefer 2.Nc3 as it keeps open the option of the Grand Prix Attack.

 

2... e6

Probably the best anti-Grand Prix move, in my opinion.

 

Black can also play an accelerated form of the queenside fianchetto with 2...a6, , which discourages both the Grand Prix and an early d4 with a White kingside fianchetto. Against this system, White should probably adopt either a traditional Closed Variation where Black's ...a6 is not so useful or a different system of open game:

 

2... a6 3. Nf3

(3. g3 b5 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. d3 b4!?)

3... b5 4. d4!

(4. g3 Bb7 5. d3 is also possible, transposing to an alternate line considered below and recommended by Joel Benjamin)

4... cxd4

(4... Bb7?! 5. dxc5 e6 6. Be3 Qc7 7. Nd4 Bxc5 8. Bxb5!? Nf6 9. Bd3 1-0 Kinzel,A-Prins,L/Varna olympiad final 1962 (36))

5. Nxd4 Bb7 6. Bg5!

(this seems the most troublesome for Black)

 

 

6... Qc7

(a) 6... Nf6 7. e5! b4 8. exf6 bxc3 9. fxg7 Bxg7 10. Nf5 Qa5 11. Nxg7+ Kf8 12. Ne6+ Ke8 13. b4 Qe5+ 14. Be3 fxe6 15. Qd4 Qxd4 16. Bxd4 Rg8 17. Bxc3 Bd5 18. a4 d6 19. f3 Nd7 20. Bd4 e5 21. Be3 e4 22. f4 Rc8 23. Kd2 Bb7 24. g3 Nf6 25. c4 d5 26. cxd5 Nxd5 27. Bh3 Rc3 28. Be6 Rd3+ 29. Kc1 Rg6 30. Bxd5 Bxd5 31. Bc5 Rc3+ 32. Kd2 Rd3+ 33. Ke2 h5 34. Rhd1 Bc4 35. Rxd3 h4 36. Ke3 Bxd3 37. Rg1 hxg3 38. Rxg3 Rh6 39. Rg7 e6 40. Kd4 Rxh2 41. Re7+ Kd8 42. Rxe6 Kd7 43. f5 Rf2 44. Rd6+ Kc7 45. f6 Rf3 46. Re6 Kd8 47. Kd5 Bc2 48. Bb6+ 1-0 Garbarino,R-Restuccia,F/Villa Ballester 1996

 

(b) 6... f6 7. Bh4

Also good is 7. Be3 e6 (7... b4 8. Nd5 e6 9. Nf4 Bxe4 10. Qh5+ g6 11. Qh4) 8. Qg4 Nc6 9. Nxc6 Bxc6 10. O-O-O (10. Bd3) 10... Qa5 11. Kb1 Ne7 12. Bd3 g6 13. Qg3 Rc8 14. f4 Qc7 15. h4 b4 16. Ne2 Qb7 17. Bd4 Bxe4 18. Bxf6 Nf5 19. Bxe4 Qxe4 20. Qd3 Qxd3 21. Rxd3 Bg7 22. Bxg7 Nxg7 23. Rd6 Rc4 24. Rhd1 Re4 25. Rxd7 O-O 26. Nd4 Rexf4 27. Rxg7+ Kxg7 28. Nxe6+ Kh6 29. Nxf8 Rxf8 30. b3 Kh5 31. Rd4 a5 32. g3 h6 33. a3 bxa3 34. Ka2 Rf2 35. Rc4 Rg2 36. Kxa3 Rxg3 37. Ka4 Rg4 38. Rxg4 Kxg4 39. c4 g5 40. c5 Kf5 41. hxg5 hxg5 42. Kxa5 1-0 Sax,G-Csom,I/Warsaw zt 1987

7... e6 8. Bd3 Qb6 9. Nb3 Ne7 10. f4 b4 11. Qh5+ g6 12. Na4 Qe3+ 13. Qe2 Qxe2+ 14. Kxe2 Bh6 15. Nb6 Ra7 16. Bf2 Bc6 17. Nc4 Ra8 18. Nd6+ Kf8 19. g3 f5 20. a3 bxa3 21. Rxa3 Bg7 22. c3 fxe4 23. Bxe4 Bf6 24. Nc5 Kg7 25. Rha1 Nd5 26. Nxa6 Nxa6 27. Rxa6 Rxa6 28. Rxa6 Rb8 29. Ke1 Kg8 30. Bxd5 Bxd5 31. Rb6 Ra8 32. Kd2 Bd8 33. Rb4 Be7 34. Bc5 Bxd6 35. Bxd6 Ra1 36. Rb8+ Kf7 37. Rh8 h5 38. Rh7+ Kf6 39. Rxd7 Rh1 40. Kd3 Bc6 41. Be5+ Kf5 42. Rf7+ Kg4 43. c4 Rxh2 44. b4 Kf3 45. b5 Be4+ 46. Kd4 Rd2+ 47. Kc5 Rd1 48. Ra7 Kg4 49. Kb6 Re1 50. Ra3 Bf3 51. c5 1-0 Jaracz,P-Pedzich,D/Swidnica 1999

 

(c) 6... b4 7. Nd5 f6 8. Bf4! e5 9. Bxe5 Bxd5 10. Bxb8 Bxe4 11. Qe2 ( 11. Bf4) 11... Qxb8 12. Qxe4+ Qe5 13. Bd3 d5 14. Qxe5+ fxe5 15. Ne6 Bd6 16. Nxg7+ Kd7 17. Nf5 e4 18. Bc4 Nf6 19. O-O-O Bf4+ 20. Kb1 Ke6 21. Nd4+ Ke5 22. Nc6+ (22. Bb3) 22... Ke6 23. Bb3 a5 24. Nd4+ Ke5 25. g3 Bh6 26. f4+ Kd6 27. Nf5+ Kc5 28. Nxh6 a4 29. Bxd5 Nxd5 30. Nf7 Rhe8 31. Ne5 a3 32. Nd7+ Kc6 33. Ne5+?! (33. Rxd5! Kxd5 34. Nb6+) 33... Kc5 34. Nd7+ Kc6 35. Ne5+ 1/2-1/2 Huerga Leache,M-Ivanov,J/Pamplona 2005

 

(d) 6... Qa5 7. Nb3 Qb6 8. Be2 e6 9. O-O b4 10. Na4 Qc6 11. Na5 Qxa4 12. Nxb7 Qc6 13. Nd8 Qc7










14. Bh5 g6 15. Qf3 d6 16. Bg4 h6 17. Bh4 Bg7 18. e5 d5 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Nxe6 Qb7 21. Nxg7+ Qxg7 22. Qxd5 Qa7 23. Rad1 g5 24. e6 Kf8 25. Qf3+ 1-0 Shamkovich,L-Marchand,E/New York State Ch 1977

7. Bd3 e6 8. O-O Nc6 9. Nxc6 Qxc6 10. Qe2 Be7 11. Bxe7 Nxe7 12. Qg4 f5?! (12... O-O) 13. exf5!? (Simple chess, after which White retains a clear structural plus for the rest of the game.) 13... exf5 14. Qh5+ g6 15. Qh3 O-O 16. a3 Rae8 17. Be2 Qf6 18. Qd3 Bc6 19. f4 Nc8 20. a4 Nb6 21. axb5 axb5 22. Nxb5 Nd5 23. Nd4 Ne3 24. Rf2 Bd5 25. Bf3 Qf7 26. Re1 Bc4 27. Qd2 Ng4 28. Rxe8 Rxe8 29. Bxg4 fxg4 30. b3 Bd5 31. c4 Ba8 32. f5 Qe7 33. fxg6 hxg6 34. Re2 Qf7 35. Rxe8+ Qxe8 36. Qe2 1-0 Polgar,J-Franklin,M/Hastings II 1988

 

3. Nf3

3. f4 d5 4. Bb5+ (4. Nf3 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Nf6=) 4... Bd7!= is one line that rather discourages me from the Grand Prix here.

 

3... a6 4. g3

On principle, the kingside fianchetto looks best once Black has played ...a6 and ...e6 blunting any play on the Bishop's more natural squares.

 

4... b5 5. d4

A Closed system with the Knight at f3 is recommended by Benjamin in his online articles and by Chris Baker in "A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire" as follows:

 

5. Bg2 Bb7 6. d3 d6

(6... d5 7. exd5 exd5 8. O-O Nf6 9. d4 Baker)

7. O-O

(7. Ng5!? h6 8. Nh3 Ne7 9. O-O g6 10. d4 Nd7 11. Be3 Bg7 12. Qd2 cxd4 13. Bxd4 Ne5 14. f4 Nc4 15. Qf2 Bxd4 16. Qxd4 Qb6 17. Qxb6 Nxb6 18. Nd1 Rc8 19. c3 d5 20. Nhf2 O-O 21. Ne3 Nc4 22. Nxc4 Rxc4 23. Rfd1 h5 24. Rd2 Rfc8 25. exd5 Bxd5 26. Re1 Kg7 27. a3 R4c6 28. Nd1 Bxg2 29. Kxg2 Nd5 30. Ne3 Nb6 31. Red1 Na4 32. Re2 Nc5 33. h3 Rb8 34. g4 Rh8 35. Red2 Na4 36. Rf2 a5 37. Rd4 Nc5 38. f5 exf5 39. gxf5 Re8 40. Nd5 Ne4 41. Rf3 gxf5 42. Ne3 Rg6+ 43. Kh2 Kh8 44. Nxf5 Ng5 1/2-1/2 Benjamin,J-Smirin,I/Philadelphia 2001)

7... Nf6

(a) 7... Nc6 8. Ng5 h6 9. Nh3 Nge7 10. f4 g6 11. f5 gxf5 12. Qh5 Ne5 13. Bg5 Qd7 14. Bxe7 Bxe7 15. exf5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 O-O-O 17. Rae1 Rdf8 18. Ne4 Nc6 19. fxe6 fxe6 20. Rxf8+ Bxf8 21. Nf4 Bg7 22. c3 Nd8 23. Qg4 e5 24. Nxd6+ Kc7 25. Qxd7+ Kxd7 26. Nh5 Kxd6 27. Nxg7 Nc6 28. Rf1 c4 29. dxc4 bxc4 30. Rf6+ Kd5 31. Ne6 a5 32. Nc7+ Kc5 33. a4 h5 34. Kf3 Rh7 35. Ne6+ Kd5 36. Ng5 Re7 37. Ne4 Re6 38. h4 Nb8 39. Rxe6 Kxe6 40. g4 hxg4+ 41. Kxg4 Nd7 42. h5 Nf8 43. h6 Ng6 44. h7 Nh8 45. Nd2 Kd5 46. Kf5 Nf7 47. Kf6 Nh8 48. Kg7 e4 49. Nxe4 Kxe4 50. Kxh8 1-0 Morozevich,A-Ivanchuk,V/Monte Carlo Blind 2006)

 

(b) 7... Nd7 8. Bf4 Be7 9. e5 dxe5 10. Nxe5 Bxg2 11. Kxg2 Baker)

 

(c) 7... Be7 8. e5 dxe5 9. Nxe5 Bxg2 10. Kxg2 Nf6 11. Qf3 Ra7 12. a4 b4 13. Ne4 O-O Ivanchuk-Polugaevsky, Monaco 1992.)

8. Ng5










White's alternatives are quite playable also:

(a) 8. Nh4 Be7 9. e5 Nd5 10. Nxd5 Bxh4 11. Nf6+ gxf6 12. Bxb7 Ra7 13. Bg2 Bg5 14. f4 Bh6 15. Qh5 Bg7 16. f5 dxe5 17. fxe6 Qd6 18. Bh6 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 fxe6 20. Qxf6 Rf8 21. Qxf8+ Qxf8 22. Rxf8+ Kxf8 23. Re1 Nd7 24. Bc6 Nb8 25. Bf3 Nd7 26. Kf2 Ke7 27. g4 h6 28. h4 Kd6 29. g5 hxg5 30. hxg5 Nf8 31. Be4 Rg7 32. Rg1 Ke7 33. Kf3 Kf7 34. b3 Kg8 35. g6 Rc7 36. Rg5 Kg7 37. Rxe5 b4 38. Ke3 Kf6 39. Rh5 a5 40. d4 cxd4+ 41. Kxd4 e5+ 42. Kd5 Rd7+ 43. Kc6 Rd4 44. Rf5+ Kxg6 45. Rxe5+ Kf6 46. Rf5+ Ke7 47. Bd3 1-0 Kupreichik,V-Mochalov,E/Minsk 1982

 

(b) 8. e5!? Baker 8... dxe5 9. Nxe5 Bxg2 10. Kxg2 Nbd7 11. Nxd7 Qxd7 12. a4! b4 13. Qf3

8... Nbd7 9. f4 h6 10. Nh3 b4 11. Nb1 c4 12. Be3 Be7 13. Nf2 cxd3 14. cxd3 e5 15. d4 O-O 16. Nd2 exd4 17. Bxd4 Re8 18. e5 Nd5 19. exd6 Bxd6 20. Nc4 Bf8 21. Bxg7 Bxg7 22. Bxd5 Bxd5 23. Qxd5 Nf6 24. Qxd8 Raxd8 25. Rad1 h5 26. Rxd8 Rxd8 27. Rd1 Rc8 28. b3 Re8 29. Rd6 Re2 30. Rd2 Re1+ 31. Kg2 Ng4 32. Nd3 Ra1 33. Nde5 Bxe5 34. fxe5 Re1 35. h3 Nxe5 36. Kf2 Re4 37. Nd6 Ng4+ 38. hxg4 Rxg4 39. Nf5 1-0 Lopez Martinez,J-Barria,D/Ayamonte 2006

 

5... cxd4 6. Nxd4 Bb7

6... b4 7. Na4 e5 8. Nf5 d5 9. Ne3 d4 10. Nd5 Be6 11. Bg2 Ne7 12. O-O Nxd5 13. exd5 Bd7 14. c4 Qa5 15. Qh5 Bxa4 16. Qxe5+ Kd8 17. Bg5+ Kc8 18. Qf5+ Bd7 19. Qxf7 Qc5 20. Rfe1 Bd6 21. Qxg7 Rf8 22. Bf6 Rxf6 23. Qxf6 a5 24. Qh8+ Kc7 25. Rad1 Ra6 26. Rxd4 1-0 Ivanov,A-Kudrin,S/Los Angeles 1991 (63)

 

7. Bg2 Nf6

7... b4 8. Na4 Qa5 (8... Nf6 9. O-O! transposes directly into the main line below) 9. c3 Nf6 10. O-O Nxe4 11. cxb4 Bxb4 12. Be3 O-O 13. Rc1 f5 14. Ne2 Bc6 15. Nb6 Nd2 16. Bxc6 Nxc6 17. Nxa8 Rxa8 18. Bxd2 Bxd2 19. Rc2 Ne5 20. Nd4 Bb4 21. a3 Be7 22. Nf3 Nxf3+ 23. Qxf3 Rb8 24. Rd1 Qb5 25. Rc7 Qxb2 26. Rdxd7 Bf8 27. Kg2 Qb1 28. a4 a5 29. Qe3 Re8 30. Qe5 Qe4+ 31. Qxe4 fxe4 32. Ra7 Rc8 33. Rxa5 Rc2 34. Kf1 h6 35. Ra8 Rc1+ 36. Ke2 Rc2+ 37. Ke3 Rc3+ 38. Kxe4 Rc4+ 39. Kf3 1-0 Hebden,M-Stepak,Y/London 1991

 

8. O-O!?










The future of the whole variation rests on this gambit. Black does quite well in other lines:

a) 8. a3 b4 9. axb4 Bxb4=

 

b) 8. Qe2 b4 9. Na4 Qa5 10. b3 Nc6 11. Bb2 (11. Be3 is similar) 11... Nxd4 12. Bxd4 e5!? 13. Bb6 Qb5 14. Qd3 Be7 (14... d5!?) 15. O-O-O Rc8 16. Kb1 Rc6 17. Ba7 O-O (with a complicated game in which Black is certainly no worse. However, Petrosian eventually found a way to wrest the advantage.) 18. Rhe1 Ba8 19. Be3 Qb8 20. Qe2 Rfc8 21. Rd2 Re6 22. f3 Bc6 23. Bh3 Bb5 24. Qf2 Rd6 25. Nb6 Rxd2 26. Qxd2 Rd8 27. a4 Bc6 28. Nd5 Bxd5 29. exd5 Qd6 30. Rd1 Rc8 31. Bf1 a5 32. Bc4 Ne8 33. f4 Bf6 34. g4 exf4 35. Bxf4 Be5 36. Bxe5 Qxe5 37. d6 Nf6 38. Qd4 Re8 39. Qxe5 Rxe5 40. Rf1 h5 41. gxh5 Rxh5 42. Re1 Rxh2 43. Re5 g6 44. Re7 Rh7 45. Kc1 g5 46. Kd2 Rh2+ 47. Kd3 Rh3+ 48. Kd4 Rh4+ 49. Ke5 Rf4 50. Bxf7+ Kf8 51. Bg6 Ng4+ 52. Kd5 Nf6+ 53. Kc5 g4 54. Re3 Kg7 55. Bd3 Kh6? 56. Kb5 Kg5 57. Kxa5 Kh4 58. Re1 Kh3? 59. Kb6 g3 60. a5 g2 61. a6 Nd5+ 62. Kb7 Kh2 63. a7 Rf8 64. Be4 1-0 Petrosian,T-Koneru,H/Kochin IND 2004

 

c) 8. Bg5?! b4 (8... Be7 9. O-O b4 10. Na4 transposes) 9. Na4 Be7 10. O-O Qa5! 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Nb3? (12. c3) 12... Qxa4! (12... Qc7 13. Nac5 Bc6 1/2-1/2 Tseitlin,Ma-Kobalija, Bugojno 1999 (47)) 13. Nc5 Qc6 14. Nxb7 Be5! 15. Nd6+ (15. f4 Qxb7 16. fxe5 Nc6) 15... Qxd6 16. Qxd6 Bxd6 17. e5 Bxe5 18. Bxa8 Bxb2 19. Rab1 Bc3 0-1 Benjamin,J-Serper,G/Salt Lake City 1999 and Bistric-Sax, Sarajevo 1982.

8... b4

The most principled move. Against other lines White defends the e-pawn easily with Re1 or e5 gaining a clear edge.

a) 8... Bb4 9. e5! Bxg2 10. Kxg2 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Nd5 12. Qg4 Kf8 13. f4! h5 14. Qf3 Nc6 15. f5! Nxd4 (15... Nxe5 16. Qe4) 16. cxd4 Qc7 17. c4! (opening the c-file, which will become the main route for the invasion) 17... bxc4 18. Ba3+ Kg8 19. Bd6 Qa7 20. Bc5 Qc7 21. Rac1 Qc6 22. Kg1 exf5 23. Rxc4 Rc8 24. Rfc1 Nb6 25. Qxc6 Rxc6 (Black defends with great tenacity) 26. Rb4! (now over to the b-file!) 26... Rhh6 27. Rcb1 (27. Rf1!?) 27... Nd5 28. Rb8+ Kh7 29. R1b7 Rc7 30. Rxc7 Nxc7 31. Rd8 Ne6 32. Rxd7 Nxc5 33. dxc5 Re6 34. Rd5 f6 35. exf6 Rxf6 36. Rd6 Kg6 37. Rb6 (now, who said that Tal never learned to play the endgame because he didn't reach it enough?) 37... Kf7 38. Kf2 Re6 39. c6 Re4 40. Rxa6 f4 41. Ra5 fxg3+ 42. hxg3 h4 43. Rc5 hxg3+ 44. Kxg3 Re8 45. Kf4 Ra8 46. Ke5 Ke7 47. Rd5 Ra7 48. a4 g5 49. a5 g4 50. Rb5 g3 51. Rb7+ Rxb7 52. cxb7 g2 53. b8=Q g1=Q 54. Qc7+ Ke8 55. Qc8+ Ke7 56. Qc7+ Ke8 57. Kd6 Qd4+ 58. Kc6 Qe4+ 59. Kb6 Qb4+ 60. Ka6 Qa4 61. Kb7 Qb4+ 62. Qb6 Qe7+ 63. Kc8 Qe4 64. Qb5+ Kf8 65. a6 Qe6+ 66. Kc7 Qe7+ 67. Qd7 Qc5+ 68. Qc6 Qe3 69. Kb7 Qe7+ 70. Kc8 Qe3 71. Qf6+ Kg8 72. Qd8+ Kh7 73. Qc7+ Kh6 74. a7 Qe4 75. Qb6+ 1-0 Tal,M-Taimanov,M/Riga 1958

 

b) 8... d6 9. Re1! Nbd7

(No better is 9... Qc7 10. a4 b4 11. Na2 (even better may be 11. Nd5! exd5 12. exd5+ Kd8 13. Bg5 Nbd7 14. Nc6+ Bxc6 15. dxc6 Nc5 16. Bxf6+ gxf6 17. Qd4 Be7 18. Qxb4 Ke8 (18... Kc8 19. Bd5) 19. Qh4 Guseinov) 11... e5 12. Nf5 g6 13. Nh6 Nc6 14. Bg5 Be7 15. Rc1 Qa5 16. c3 bxc3 17. Qb3! Nd8 18. Nxc3 Bc6 19. Red1 Qc7 20. Qa3 Qb8 21. b4 Kf8 22. Qb2 Ne6 23. Be3 Kg7 24. Nd5 Bxd5 25. exd5 Nd4 26. Rxd4 exd4 27. Qxd4 Bd8 28. g4 Bb6 29. Nf5+ gxf5 30. Bh6+ 1-0 Berelovich,A-Van der Weide,K/Solingen 2005)

 

10. e5! dxe5

(10... Bxg2 11. exf6! Bb7 (11... Bh3 12. Qh5 Qxf6 13. Be3 Bf5 14. Nd5 Qd8 15. Bg5 Guseinov) 12. fxg7 Bxg7 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. Rxe6+ Kf8 15. Rxd6 Guseinov)

11. Nxe6 (11. Bxb7 exd4 12. Bxa8) 11... Qb8 12. Nxf8 Kxf8 13. Nd5 h5 14. b3 h4 15. g4 h3 (15... b4 16. g5!) 16. Ba3+ Ke8 17. Bf3 Rh4 18. Ne3 b4 19. Bxb4 Bxf3 20. Qxf3 e4 21. Qg3 Ne5 22. Rad1 Qxb4 23. Qxe5+ Kf8 24. g5 Rh5 25. Kh1 Nh7 26. Rg1 f6 27. Qf4 Rxg5 28. Rd7 Qb5 29. Rxg5 Qe2 30. Qxe4 1-0 Kupreichik,V-Marjanovic,S/Nis 1994

 

9. Na4 Bxe4

The alternatives are not promising for Black:

a) 9... Nxe4 10. Re1 d5

(a1) 10... f5?! 11. Bxe4 Bxe4 12. Rxe4 fxe4 13. Qh5+ g6 14. Qe5 Rg8 15. Qxe4 Ra7 16. Nxe6 Qe7 17. Be3

 

(a2) 10... Nd6 11. Bxb7 Nxb7 12. Qf3 Qc7 13. Bf4 d6 14. Nc5!

 

(a3) 10... Qa5 11. Rxe4 Qxa4 12. Re5 d5 13. Nxe6 fxe6 14. Rxe6+ Kd8 (14... Kf7?? 15. Bxd5) 15. Bf4 (15. Bxd5 Qd7 16. Bg5+ Kc8 17. Bxb7+ Kxb7 18. Qf3+ Nc6 19. Rae1 Kb6) 15... Qd7 16. Bh3 Bc5 17. Qh5

11. Nxe6!

(11. c4!? bxc3 12. bxc3 Bd6 13. Rb1 Qc7 14. Qb3 Ra7 15. Be3 Bc8 16. c4 0-1 Barczay,L-Votava,J/Budapest 1995 (87))

11... fxe6 12. Qh5+ g6

No better is 12... Kd7 13. Bxe4 (13. Be3!?) 13... dxe4 14. Bg5! (14. Rd1+ Bd5 15. Rxd5+ exd5 16. Qxd5+ Kc8 17. Qxa8 Qd1+ 18. Kg2 Qf3+ 19. Kg1 Qd1+= 1/2-1/2 Vedder,R-Michielsen, J/Hoogeveen 2005) 14... Be7 (14... Qc7 15. Bf4!) 15. Rad1+ Bd5 16. Bxe7 Kxe7 17. Rxe4 Bxe4 18. Qg5+ Guseinov

13. Qe5 Qd7!

(13... Qf6 14. Rxe4 Qxe5 15. Rxe5 Nd7 (15... Kf7 16. Bh3!) 16. Rxe6+ Kf7 17. Re1 1/2-1/2 Cubero Ferreiro,R-Vehi Bach,V/Pontevedra 2002 (52))

14. Qxh8 Qxa4 15. f3!

(15. c4!? bxc3 16. f3 Nc5 17. Bh3 Nbd7 18. Bg5 Kf7 19. Rxe6 Nxe6 20. Qxh7+ Ng7 21. Be6+ Kxe6 22. Qxg6+ Ke5 23. Re1+ Kd4 24. Be3+ Kc4 25. b3+ Qxb3 26. axb3+ Kb4 27. Qg4+ 1-0 Plaskett,J-Hillarp Persson,T/Hampstead 1998)

15... Nc5 16. Bh3 Nbd7 (16... Qd7 17. Be3! Guseinov) 17. Bg5 ( 17. Qxh7) 17... Qc6 (17... h6!?) 18. Qxh7 e5 19. Re2 e4 20. fxe4 dxe4 21. Rf1 Ne5 22. Qh8 Nf7 23. Rxf7 1-0 Kupreichik,V-Gdanski,P/Leningrad 1989

 

b) 9... d5 10. e5 Ne4 11. Be3 Nd7 12. f4?! (12. f3 Nec5 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. f4) 12... Ndc5 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. Kh1 (14. f5!?) 14... O-O 15. Qg4 Bxd4 16. Bxd4 Rc8 17. Rfc1 Rc4 18. Qd1 Qc7 19. b3 Rc6 20. a3 Rc8 21. axb4 Rxc2 22. Rxc2 Qxc2 23. Qxc2 Rxc2 24. Bf1 h5 25. Bxa6 Bxa6 26. Rxa6 Nd2 27. b5 Nxb3 28. Bg1 Rb2 29. b6 Nd2 30. Bd4 Rb1+ 31. Kg2 Kh7 32. Ra1 Rb3 33. Ra7 Kg6 34. h3 Rb4 35. Bc5 Rb5 36. b7 Ne4 37. Bd6 Nxd6 38. exd6 Kf6 39. d7 Ke7 40. Ra8 1-0 Shchukin,D-Mishuchkov,N/St Petersburg 2005

10. Bxe4 Nxe4 11. Re1

 

 

11... d5?

This had been considered the critical move, but now it appears problematic. Meanwhile, White has not demonstrated an edge against the alternatives, though I have tantalizing hints that something promising is there (I just can't crack it yet):

a) 11... Nc5! must be the critical line now: 12. Qf3 Ra7

(12... d5 13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Rxe6+ Be7 16. Bg5)

13. Nxc5 Bxc5 14. Be3!?

I'm still not sure if this or 14.Nb3 is the move. My own recent experience and the fact that database games have switched to 14.Be3 suggest it is the main line, but I really don't know yet.

14. Nb3 Bb6!

(a) 14... Be7? 15. Be3 Rc7 16. Bb6 and White picks up the Exchange.

 

(b) 14... d6 15. Qh5 O-O 16. Nxc5 dxc5 17. Qxc5 Rc7 18. Qxb4 Rxc2 19. Qb3 Rc5 20. Be3 Rb5 21. Qc3 Qd5 22. Bd4 f6 23. b4 a5 24. a3 axb4 25. axb4 e5 26. Bc5 Rc8 27. Red1 Qc6 28. Rd6 Qb7 29. Qc4+ Kh8 30. Qd3 Nc6 31. Ra7 Qb8 32. Rxg7 1-0 Antal,G-Szieberth,A/Budapest 2000.

 

(c) 14... Rc7 15. Bf4 Rc6 16. Nxc5 Rxc5 17. Bd6 Rb5 18. c4 bxc3 19. Qxc3 f6 20. Rad1 Nc6 21. a4 Rb7 22. b4 Kf7 23. Qc4 Qa8 24. b5 (24. Qe2) 24... axb5 25. axb5 Ne7 26. Bxe7 Kxe7 27. Rxd7+ (27. Qg4) 27... Rxd7 28. Qxe6+ Kd8 29. Qb6+ Rc7 30. Rd1+ Kc8 31. Qe6+ Kb7 32. Qd5+ Kb8 33. Qd6 Kc8 34. Qe6+ Kb7 35. Qd5+ Kb8 36. Qd6= 1/2-1/2 Gipslis,A-Kunz,K/Crailsheim 1999.

15. Qg4?! Qf6! was the continuation of a blitz game I lost recently. I still don't know what was best here.

14... Qb6!

(14... Rc7 15. Qh5 (15. Nf5!? O-O 16. Nh6+ Kh8 17. Nxf7+ Kg8 18. Nh6+ gxh6!? 19. Qg4+ Kf7 20. Qh5+=) 15... Qf6 16. Nxe6 dxe6 17. Bxc5 g6 18. Qe5?! (18. Qd5!!) 18... Qxe5 19. Rxe5 Nd7 20. Bd4 O-O 21. Re2 Rfc8 22. c3 a5 23. Rd1 h5 24. Kg2 Nc5 25. Be5 Rd7 26. Rxd7 (26. Red2) 26... Nxd7 27. Bd4 e5 28. Bxe5 Re8 29. f4 bxc3 30. bxc3 f6 31. Rd2 Nxe5 32. fxe5 Rxe5 33. c4 Kf7 34. Kf3 Ke6 35. Rb2 Rc5 36. Rc2 Ke5 37. Ke3 g5 38. Kd3 Rc8 39. Re2+ Kf5 40. Rf2+ Ke5 41. Re2+ Kf5 42. Rc2 Ke5 43. Rb2 Kf5 44. Rb5+ Kg4 45. Rxa5 Kh3 46. Kd4 Kxh2 47. Ra3 h4 48. gxh4 g4 49. Ra6 Rf8 1/2-1/2 Sutovsky,E-Livshits,G/Rishon Le Zion ISR 2006)

15. Qg4 O-O 16. Rad1 d6 17. h4 Kh8 18. h5 h6 19. Qf3 Nd7 20. Nc6 Rc7 21. Rxd6 Ne5 22. Nxe5 Qxd6 23. Bf4 Qb6 24. Ng4 Qb7 25. Qe2 Rd7 26. Bxh6 Rd5 27. Be3 Rxh5 28. Nh2 Rd5 29. Nf3 Bxe3 30. Qxe3 Rfd8 31. Qe4 R8d7 32. Qh4+ Kg8 33. Kg2 Rd4 34. Qh3 Rd1 35. Re5 R7d5 36. Re4 Qb5 37. Ne1 Rh5 38. Qg4 Qd5 39. Nf3 Rhh1 40. Qf4 Qh5 41. Qg4 Qd5 42. Qf4 f5 43. Qb8+ Kh7 0-1 Khakimov,T-Bryzgalin,K/Voronezh RUS 2004

 

b) 11... Nf6!? is also a tough nut to crack. I have investigated 12. Qf3!

(12. c4 Be7! 13. Qf3 Ra7 14. Bf4 (14. Be3!? Rc7 15. b3) 14... O-O 15. Rad1 Re8 16. b3 Qc8 17. Re2 Qb7 18. Be3 d6 0-1 Matikozian,A-Andrianov,N/Burbank USA 2004 (40))

12... d5

(12... Ra7 13. Bf4 Be7 (13... d6 14. Nf5) 14. Nf5 exf5 15. Rxe7+ Qxe7 16. Bxb8 d5 17. Bxa7 (17. Nb6!? Rb7 18. Nc8 Qd8 19. Nd6+ Kf8 20. Nxb7 Qxb8 21. Nc5) 17... Qxa7 18. Re1+ Ne4 19. c4)

13. Bg5 Be7

(13... Nbd7 14. c4 bxc3 (14... Qa5 15. b3 Rc8 16. Qf5) 15. Nxc3 Bc5 16. Nxd5 Bxd4 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Nc7+ Qxc7 19. Qxa8+ Qd8 20. Qxa6)

14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Rxe6+ Kf7 17. Rae1 Ra7 18. Nb6 Rf8 19. Nxd5 Kg8 20. Nxf6+ gxf6 21. Qb3 Raf7 22. Qxb4

12. c4!

White can also get an interesting ending, though hardly advantageous, with 12. Nxe6 fxe6 13. Qh5+ g6 14. Qe5 Qf6 15. Rxe4 Qxe5 16. Rxe5 Kf7 17. Re3 Nd7 18. Rf3+

(Perhaps a better idea is first 18. Bd2 a5

(18... Be7 19. Rae1 e5 20. Rd3 Ke6 21. c3 a5 22. f4 Rac8 23. fxe5 Rc4 24. Kg2 Rf8 25. h4 bxc3 26. Nxc3 Nc5 27. Rxd5 a4 28. Bg5 Rb8 29. Bxe7 Rxb2+ 30. Kh3 Kxe7 31. Rxc5 Rxc5 32. Nxa4 Rcc2 33. Nxb2 Rxb2 34. a4 Ra2 35. Re4 h5 36. e6 1-0 Paredes Galan,A-Vehi Bach,V/Mondariz Balneario 2002)

19. Rf3+ Kg7 20. Re1 Ra6 21. Bf4 Be7 22. Rd3 Bf6 23. c4 d4 24. Kg2 Rc8 25. b3 g5 26. Bd2 Kg6 27. f4 gxf4 28. gxf4 Kf5 29. Rh3 Rg8+ 30. Kf3 Rg7 31. Rh5+ Kg6 32. Rb5 Re7 33. Nc5 Nxc5 34. Rxc5 Rd7 35. Ke4 d3 36. Rg1+ Kf7 37. Rc8 Bc3 38. Rd1 Rad6 39. c5 Rd4+ 40. Ke3 e5 41. c6 exf4+ 42. Kf3 Rd8 43. Rxd8 Rxd8 44. c7 Rc8 45. Bxf4 d2 46. Ke2 Ke6 47. Rf1 Kd7 48. Bg3 Re8+ 49. Kd3 Kc8 50. Kc2 Kb7 51. Rf5 Kb6 52. Rd5 Rc8 53. h4 Re8 54. Rd8 Re1 55. Rxd2 Bxd2 56. Bxe1 1-0 Antal,G-Szilagyi,Z/Balatonlelle jr 2000)

18... Kg7 19. b3 Be7 20. Nb6 Bf6 21. Rxf6 Nxf6 22. Nxa8 Rxa8 23. Bb2 Kf7 24. f3 Nd7 25. Kf2 Rc8 26. Rc1 e5 27. c3 bxc3 28. Rxc3 Rxc3 29. Bxc3 Ke6 30. Ke2 d4 31. Bb4 Kd5 32. Kd3 Nf6 33. Be1 e4+ 34. fxe4+ Nxe4 35. b4 Ng5 36. g4 h5 37. gxh5 gxh5 38. Bg3 Ne6 39. a4 Nd8 40. b5 axb5 41. axb5 Ne6 42. b6 Nc5+ 43. Ke2 Kc6 44. Bf2 Ne6 45. Kd3 Kxb6 46. Bxd4+ 1/2-1/2 Velimirovic,D-Markus,R/Zlatibor SCG 2006

 

12... bxc3

12... Nf6 13. cxd5 Nxd5 14. Nxe6 fxe6 15. Rxe6+ Be7 16. Bg5 Nc6 17. Rc1!

 

13. Nxc3 Nxc3










White should retain at least a slight edge after 13... Be7!? 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Bf4!? ( 15. Rxe4! Qd5?! 16. Qa4+ Nd7 17. Nc6) 15... Bf6 (15... Qd5 16. Qa4+ Nd7 17. Rad1 Qb7 18. Nb3 Rd8 19. Na5) 16. Rxe4 O-O 17. Qa4 Qd5 18. Rae1 Nd7 19. Qc6 Nc5 20. Bd6 Nxe4 21. Bxf8 Bxd4 0-1 Beach,P-Humphrey,J/Queenstown NZL 2006 (21)

 

14. Qh5!!

The critical move, which GM Gadir Guseinov discovered (as described in an interview at ChessCafe) and then shared with several associates, all of whom have used it with great success (including in the present game). Others point to the game Guthrie-Humphrey, Australian Open 2005 as a possible first use of the idea....

 

14... Ne4

a) 14... Qd7 15. Nxe6! transposes to the main line below. Alternatives, while interesting, are not as promising:(15. Rxe6+!? Kd8 16. Bg5+ Kc7 (16... Kc8 17. Re3) 17. Re3 Nb5 18. Bf4+ Kb7 19. Rc1) (15. bxc3 g6 16. Qe5 Rg8 17. Rb1 Qd6 18. Qe2 Nc6 19. Bf4) 15... Ne4 16. Nc7+ Qxc7 17. Qxd5 etc. arrives at the main line below.

 

b) 14... g6? 15. Qe5 Rg8 16. Nxe6 Bd6 (16... fxe6 17. Qxe6+ Qe7 18. Qc8+! Guseinov) 17. Nxd8+ Bxe5 18. Rxe5+ Kxd8 19. bxc3

15. Nxe6 Qb6










16. Nc7+! Qxc7 17. Qxd5 f5

a) 17... Nc6 (probably best according to Guseinov) 18. Qxe4+ (18. Bf4 Qd7 19. Qxe4+ Be7 20. Rad1 Qb7 21. Bd6 O-O 22. Bxe7 Rfe8 23. Qf3 Rxe7 24. Rxe7 Qxe7 25. Qxc6 Guseinov) 18... Be7 19. Bf4! (19. Bg5 O-O (19... f6 20. Rac1 fxg5 21. Rxc6 Qd8 22. Qc4!) 20. Bxe7 Rfe8 21. Bd6!) 19... Qd7? (19... Qb7 20. Bd6 O-O 21. Bxe7 Rae8 22. Qf3 Rxe7 23. Rxe7 Qxe7 24. Qxc6) 20. Rad1 Qb7 21. Bd6 O-O 22. Bxe7 Rfe8 23. Qf3 Rac8 24. Ba3 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 h6?? (25... Qb5 26. b3) 26. Re7 1-0 Safarli,E-Yagiz,Y/Kusadasi TUR 2006 (26)

 

b) 17... Ra7?! 18. Qxe4+ Be7 (18... Qe7 19. Qa4+) 19. Be3 Rb7 (19... f5 20. Qe6 1-0 Guthrie,A-Humphrey,J/Mount Buller AUS 2005) 20. Rac1 Qd7 21. Red1! Rb4 22. Qc2 (22. Qe5! f6 23. Qh5+ g6 24. Rxd7 gxh5 25. Rxe7+ Kxe7 26. Bc5+) 22... Qc6 23. Qxc6+ Nxc6 24. Rxc6 O-O 25. Rd7 Bf6 26. b3 Ra8 27. Ra7! 1-0 Vyskocil,N-Langner,L/Czech Rep CZE 2006 (27)

 

c) 17... Qc6?? 18. Rxe4+ Be7 19. Rxe7+! Kxe7 20. Bg5+ f6 21. Re1+ Kf8 22. Qd8+ Kf7 23. Re7+ Kg6 24. Qxh8 Kxg5 25. Qxg7+ 1-0 Guseinov-Khagani, Abadan Iran 2005

18. Qxf5 Be7 19. Qxe4 Ra7 20. Be3

20. Bg5!?

 

20... O-O 21. Rac1 Qb7 22. Bxa7 Qxa7 23. Re2 Bd8??










24. Rc8! Nd7 25. Rxd8

According to Guseinov, Mamedov took only 10 minutes to prepare this line (with Guseinov's help, of course) shortly before their match. Thanks partly to this game, their team won 3-1.

1-0

Games in PGN

References

Baker, Chris. A Startling Chess Opening Repertoire. Everyman 1998. 114-120.

Benjamin, Joel. "Anti-Sicilians, Part Four." Opening Shortcuts at JeremySilman.com

________. "Anti-Sicilians, Part Five." Opening Shortcuts at JeremySilman.com

ChessBase Database

ChessLab's Database

Davies, Nigel. Taming the Sicilian. Everyman 2002. 73-81.
Davies considers the opening a Kan Variation rather than a Paulsen.

Goeller, Michael. "Grand Prix Attack, Explained."

_______. "Grand Prix Attack Bibliography (Updated)."

_______. "Knightmare Repertoire."

_______. "Two Knights Sicilian, Part One."

_______. "Two Knights Sicilian, Part Two."

_______ "Two Knights Sicilian, Part Three."

Monokroussos, Dennis. "Olympiad, Round 10." The Chess Mind

NIC Database

Savinov, Misha. "Interview with Gadir Guseinov." ChessCafe (July 19, 2006)