The Left Hook Grand Prix with a3

By Michael Goeller

I have written before about the Grand Prix with a3 (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.a3), but I decided to return to the subject since I have accumulated some games and have been thinking about other lines with an early a3 move by White. I am surprised that this Left Hook Grand Prix is not well covered in any book, especially now that various other Left Hook opening lines have been receiving positive attention (especially the Left Hook Austrian Attack with 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.a3!? designed to discourage 5...c5 due to 6.dxc5! Qa5 7.b4 etc. which was shown in SOS #1)

I think of 5.a3 as a high-class waiting move that fits well with any of White's systems, and he can choose his system based on Black's next move. If Black plays now 5...d6, then White can play 6.Bc4! putting the Bishop on its strongest diagonal, where 5.a3 provides it a nice retreat at a2 for when it is attacked. And if Black plays 5...e6, then White has a nice gambit in 6.b4! challenging the dark squares. He also has a good idea in 6.d4!? which is basically a reversed version of a known line in the English.

What I like best about the 5.a3 line is that it continues to be little known to theory despite having been adopted by some high-profile players. So there is a lot of room for improvisation and enterprising play, as the following games show. I have also added a couple games I have annotated previously to help fill out a Grand Prix repertoire.

Game 1

goeller - astonewaller (1848) [B23]

ICC 2 2 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


I have played a large number of blitz games featuring the Grand Prix with a3, and I thought I'd start by using some of them to illustrate the general ideas.

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6

2... g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 e6 5. a3!? Ne7 6. b4!? cxb4 7. axb4 d5 8. e5 O-O 9. g4!? (9. d4!) 9... a6 (9... f5) 10. h4 Nbc6 11. b5! Nb8 12. h5 Nd7 13. Qe2 b6?! 14. hxg6 fxg6 15. Qh2 h6 16. Bd3?! (16. bxa6!) 16... Nc5 17. Be2 Bb7? (17... d4!) 18. d4 Ne4 19. Nd1 axb5 20. Rxa8 Qxa8 21. f5! Qa5+! 22. c3! exf5 23. Bxh6 Nxc3 24. Bxg7 Nxe2+ 25. Kxe2 Qa2+ 26. Nd2 Rc8 27. Qh7+ Kf7 28. Bf6+! Black resigns. 1-0 goeller-galew/Internet Chess Club 2007 (28).

 

3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 e6 6. b4!?

6. d4 is another interesting line, which I discuss below.

 

 

6... cxb4?!

I think taking the pawn is already an error since it gives White too much cetral control and control of the dark squares. Black does better not only to decline the sacrifice, but to avoid the exchange of pawns.

a) 6... Nge7!? 7. e5!

Playable but messy is 7. bxc5 Bxc3! (7... Qa5!?) 8. dxc3 Qa5 9. e5?! (9. Be3! Qxc3+ 10. Kf2 f5 11. Bd3) 9... Nd5!? 10. Bd3?! Nxc3 11. Qd2 Qxc5 12. a4 h6 13. Ba3 Nb4 14. a5 Ncd5 15. Be4? (15. Kf1) 15... Qc4! 16. Qd4 Nxc2+ 17. Bxc2 Qxc2 0-1 Ermenkov,E-Cosma,I/Subotica 2002 (56).

7... d6 8. Bb2 cxb4 9. Ne4 dxe5 10. fxe5 O-O 11. axb4 Nxb4 12. Ba3 Nbc6 13. Nf6+ Kh8 14. d4

 

b) 6... Nxb4!? is a surprising move, when it is best not to look surprised! 7. axb4 cxb4 8. e5 (8. Bb2!?) 8... bxc3 9. Ba3! (9. d4!? Ne7 10. Ba3 is probably what I would play) 9... cxd2+ 10. Nxd2 d5 11. exd6! (An enterprising idea! White gains more than sufficient compensation for the Exchange, yet Black can hardly resist taking it.) 11... Bxa1 12. Qxa1 f6 13. Ne4 Qa5+ 14. Kf2 Qf5? (14... Qb6+ 15. Bc5 Qc6 16. Bd3!) 15. d7+! Kxd7 16. Bb5+!! (also good is 16. g3!? Qxe4?? 17. Bb5+) 16... Qxb5 17. Rd1+ Kc7 18. Bd6+ Kd8 19. Be7+ (19. Nxf6!?) 19... Kxe7 20. Qa3+ Kf7 21. Nd6+ Kg7 22. Nxb5 Nh6 23. Qe7+ Nf7 24. Nd6 Rf8 25. Ne8+ Kg8 26. Rd8 1-0 Hollis ,G-Whiteley,A/London tt 1999 (26) -- an absolutely stunning game on close examination!

 

c) 6... b6! is a challenging move, not giving White any ground in the center. Steve Stoyko -- famous for always asking "Why give him what he wants?" -- thinks this is best. We will examine it below in the game Fischer - Danschczyk, Bayern 1998.

7. axb4 Nxb4

Taking the pawn leads to trouble, but declining at this point is hardly much better:

a) 7... d6 8. d4! Bd7 9. Nb5 Qb6 10. Nxd6+ Kf8 11. e5 f6 12. b5 Nd8 13. Bd2 Nf7?? 14. Ba5! 1-0 Boerstad,T - Carlsen,E/Gausdal 2004 (14).

 

b) 7... d5 8. e5

 

c) 7... a6?! 8. b5! Nb8 9. Ba3

8. Ba3










8... Nc6

This move is almost universally played, with rare exceptions:

a) 8... Na6 9. Nb5 Bxa1? (9... Bf8! 10. Bd6 Bxd6 (10... Qb6 11. Rxa6 bxa6 12. Nc7+ Kd8 13. Bxf8 Qxc7 14. Bg7 Qxf4 (14... f6 15. e5) 15. Bd3 f6 16. O-O) 11. Nxd6+ Kf8 12. e5 (12. Bxa6) ) 10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Nxb7+ Kg7 12. Nxd8 Black resigns. 1-0 goeller-sunnyday/Internet Chess Club 2007 (12).

b) 8... Bf8 9. Qb1! (9. Nb5 a6 10. c3 axb5 11. Bxb4 Rxa1 12. Qxa1 Bxb4 13. cxb4 Qf6 14. Nd4! (14. Qa8 Qd8 (14... Ne7!) 15. Bxb5 Ne7 16. d4 O-O 17. O-O Nc6 18. d5? exd5 19. exd5 Nxb4 (19... Qb6+) 20. d6 Qb6+ White resigns. 0-1 goeller-anon10/Internet Chess Club 2007 (20)) ) 9... a5 (9... Nc6! 10. Nb5! d6 11. e5 dxe5 12. fxe5 f6 13. d4) 10. Nb5 d5 11. e5 f6 12. Bxb4 Bxb4 13. Qxb4!! axb4 14. Rxa8 Ne7 15. Nd6+ Kf8 16. Nd4 Kg8 17. Bb5!!

c) 8... a5? 9. Bxb4 Black resigns. 1-0 goeller-Kakmonstret/Internet Chess Club 2007 (9).

d) 8... Bxc3! 9. dxc3 Nc6 10. Nd4! (10. Qd6!? Nge7) 10... Nf6! (10... d5 11. Nb5!) (10... a6?! 11. Bd6 Nge7? 12. Nb5! O-O 13. Bc7 Qe8 14. Nd6 is lovely.) 11. e5 Nxd4 (11... Ne4 12. Nb5 Qb6 13. Qf3 f5 14. Bd6) 12. Qxd4! Nh5!? 13. Kf2!? (13. c4!? Qh4+ 14. g3) 13... Ng7 (13... Qh4+ 14. g3 Nxg3 15. hxg3 Qxh1 16. Qd6) 14. Bd3 Nf5 15. Bxf5 gxf5 16. Bc5 a6 17. Rhb1 is probably Black's best at this point, but no one ever plays this way.

 

9. Nb5! Bf8

As soon as Black realizes this is his best move, he knows he's not going to enjoy the remainder of the game.

a) 9... Bxa1? 10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Nxb7+

b) 9... Nge7? 10. Bd6!! (10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Ng5) 10... a6 (10... Ng8 11. Nc7+) (10... Bxa1 11. Qxa1! O-O 12. Bc7 Qe8 13. Nd6) 11. Nc7+! (11. Bc7?? axb5!) 11... Kf8 12. Nxa8 Bxa1 13. Qxa1

 

10. Bd6! Bxd6

10... f6? 11. Bc7! Qe7 12. Nd6+!

 

11. Nxd6+ Ke7!?

The other king move is not much better: 11... Kf8 12. Ne5! I like this move best, though White has a number of good options.(12. d4 Nh6 13. c4) (12. e5 f6! (12... Nge7?! 13. Ng5!) 13. Bb5! fxe5 14. Bxc6 dxc6 15. fxe5) 12... Nh6 (12... Nxe5 13. fxe5 f5!? 14. exf5! Qh4+ 15. g3 Qd4 16. Ra5! exf5 17. Bg2 Nh6 18. c3 Qb6 19. Rb5 Qc7 20. Qa4 a6 21. Qh4 Ng8 22. Rb4) 13. Qf3 f6 14. Nec4 Nf7 15. e5

 

12. e5

Best may be 12. Ne5!? Nh6 (12... Nxe5 13. fxe5) 13. Nec4 Rb8 14. Qf3! b5 15. Qa3! b4 16. Qh3

 

12... f6

12... a6 13. d4 f6 14. d5! exd5 15. Qxd5 fxe5 (15... Nh6 16. Qc5!) 16. fxe5 Nh6 17. Bb5 (17. Qc5!) 17... Qg8 18. Bxc6 dxc6 19. Qd2 Nf7 20. O-O Be6 21. Ng5 Rb8 22. Nxe6 Kxe6 23. Nxf7 Qxf7 24. Rxf7 Kxf7 25. Qd7+ Kg8 26. Rf1 Rf8 27. e6 Rxf1+ 28. Kxf1 Black resigns. 1-0 goeller-JnDy/Internet Chess Club 2007 (28).

 

13. d4

And here best is likely 13. Qc1! Kf8! 14. h4 Nh6 15. Qa3 Kg7 16. h5

 

13... Nh6! 14. Bd3?!

Having missed very strong attacking ideas earlier, White now loses the thread and his position deteriorates -- until Black later blunders.

a) 14. c4! Nf7 15. d5! exd5 16. cxd5 Nb4 17. Nb5!?

b) 14. d5!? exd5 15. Qxd5 Qb6 16. exf6+!? Kxf6 17. g4!?

 

14... Nf7 15. Nxf7

15. Ne4 f5 16. Nf2 d5 17. c3

 

15... Kxf7 16. O-O Kg7

Black seems to have reached relative safety, but White still has plenty of compensation for the pawn, very much like a French Wing Gambit position. But White needs to play c3 to bolster the center and prevent Nb4.

 

17. Kh1?!

17. c3!

 

17... d6 18. Qe2 Rf8 19. d5!? exd5 20. e6 f5! 21. Rae1 Re8 22. Ng5 h6 23. Nf7 Qe7?!

23... Qc7

 

24. c4 Nd4?

24... Bxe6 25. cxd5 Bxf7 26. dxc6 Qxe2 or 24... d4

 

25. Qb2!










25... Bxe6 26. Qxd4+ Kxf7 27. cxd5 Qf6 28. dxe6+ Rxe6 29. Qb4

29. Qd5!

 

29... b6?? 30. Bc4! Rae8 31. Rxe6 Rxe6 32. Re1

32. Qxd6

 

32... a5 33. Qxd6! Kg7 34. Qxe6 Qc3 35. Qf7+ Kh8 36. Qg8#

Black checkmated. Not the prettiest game (it was played at 2 minutes and 2 second increment after all), but a good illustration of White's attacking chances in these positions.

 

1-0

Game 2

Lawrence A Day - Anatoly Lein [B23]

Saint John op-1/Saint John 1988


1. e4 c5 2. f4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. Nc3 Nc6 5. a3 e6 6. b4!

This Delayed Wing Gambit is not really a gambit since it is unhealthy for Black to take the offered pawn.

 

6... cxb4?!

Accepting the gambit pawn just leads to trouble for Black, as we saw in the first game. He actually ends up declining the pawn, but Black does much better by playing 7...Nge7!? immediately rather than this exchange.

 

7. axb4 Nge7










7... Nd4 8. e5 Nxf3+ 9. Qxf3 Bf8 10. Nb5 Qb6 (10... Bxb4 11. Ba3!) 11. c4 Bxb4 12. Ba3 Bxa3? 13. Qxa3 Ne7 14. Nd6+ Kf8 15. c5 Qd8 16. Bd3 Kg7 17. Be4 Nc6 18. h4 h5 19. Qg3 b6 20. f5! exf5 21. Nxf5+ Kg8 22. Nd6 bxc5 23. Bxg6 1-0 Bennett,H-Inoue,S/Kuala Lumpur MAS 2006.

 

8. b5! Nd4 9. e5 Nxf3+

9... Nef5 10. Ba3?! (10. Nxd4! Nxd4 11. Ba3) 10... d6? (10... Nxf3+! 11. Qxf3 f6) 11. Nxd4 Nxd4 12. Bxd6 (12. Ne4!) 12... Bd7 13. Bc5 Bc8 14. Ne4 Qd5 15. Bd3 b6 16. c4 1-0 Urquhart,E-Wight,K/Guelph 2002 (16).

 

10. Qxf3 d5

Better perhaps 10... d6 11. Ne4 (11. b6!? O-O 12. Rxa7 Rb8) 11... dxe5 12. fxe5 Bxe5 13. Nf6+ Bxf6 14. Qxf6.

 

11. Qf2!

Going after the pawn at a7, but there might be other ideas:

a) 11. d4!? Nf5 12. Qf2 Qb6 13. Ra4

b) 11. exd6!? Qxd6 12. Ba3 Qd8 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. b6 Qc5 15. Bb5+ Kf8 16. Rxa7 Rxa7 17. bxa7 Qxa7 18. Nd1

 

11... f6 12. exf6 Bxf6 13. Rxa7 Rxa7 14. Qxa7

The extra pawn gives White the edge, but Black does have active squares for his pieces.

 

14... Nf5 15. Ba3 Kf7 16. g3 h5!

16... Bd4 17. Bc5

 

17. Bd3 Re8 18. Kd1 Bd4 19. Bc5 Bxc5 20. Qxc5










Though a pawn down, Lein puts up a good enough fight to draw the ending.

 

20... Qd6 21. Qxd6 Nxd6 22. Ne2 Bd7 23. Nd4 Kf6 24. c3 Ra8 25. Ke2 g5 26. h4 gxf4 27. gxf4 Rg8 28. Kf3 Nf7 29. Be2 e5 30. fxe5+ Nxe5+ 31. Kf2 Ng4+ 32. Bxg4 Rxg4 33. b6 Ke7 34. Nf3 Rf4 35. Ke3 Re4+ 36. Kf2 Rf4 37. Re1+ Kd6 38. Kg3 Rg4+ 39. Kf2 Bf5 40. Re8 Be4 41. Ne5 Rxh4 42. Kg3 Rh1 43. d4 Rb1 44. c4 dxc4 45. Nxc4+ Kd5 46. Nd2 Rg1+ 47. Kh4 Bh1 48. Rd8+ 1/2-1/2


Game 3

Stefan Cristian - Evgeni Karasik [B23]

Canarias en Red prel 1st/playchess.com INT (7) 2004


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 e6 6. b4 d6?!

This move is positionally suspect since it allows White to essentially exchange his b-pawn for Black's central d-pawn, leaving White in strong control of the center and the dark squares. But Black's rapid development can give him sufficient counterplay.

 

7. bxc5 dxc5 8. e5! Nge7?!

And this natural developing move is too slow. Black must act much more vigorously to secure counterplay: 8... f6! 9. Ne4! fxe5 10. Bb2 Qc7 (10... Nf6 11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. fxe5 Bg7 13. Bb5) (10... Qd5 11. Nfg5! threatening Bc4!) 11. fxe5 Nxe5 12. Bb5+ Bd7 13. Bxd7+ Kxd7 14. Bxe5 Bxe5 15. Rb1

 

9. Ne4!









9... O-O!

Black correctly gives up the pawn at c5 rather than allow the check at d6.

a) 9... b6? 10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Ng5

b) 9... Nd5 10. Nxc5 (10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Bb5!?) 10... Nxf4 11. d4 Nd5 12. Ne4 O-O 13. c4 Nde7 14. Bg5

 

10. Nxc5 Nd5

10... Qd5 11. d4 Nf5 12. c3 b6 13. Nd3 h5 14. Nb4 Nxb4 15. axb4 Qe4+ 16. Kf2 Qc6 17. Bd2 f6 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. Bd3 Bh4+ 20. g3 Bf6 21. Re1 Qc7 22. Be4 Rb8 23. b5 Qg7 24. h4 Nh6 25. Qc2 Nf5 26. Ra4 Kh8 27. Rea1 Rf7 28. Bc6 Rc7 29. Ne5 Bxe5 30. fxe5 Ne7 31. Rxa7 Nxc6 32. Rxc7 Qxc7 33. Qxg6 Ne7 34. Qxh5+ Kg8 35. Kg1 Nf5 36. g4 Qg7 37. Qe8+ Kh7 38. Bg5 Nh6 39. Rf1 Rb7 40. Qxc8 Rf7 41. Qxe6 Rxf1+ 42. Kxf1 Nxg4 43. Qxg4 Qf7+ 44. Bf6 Qc4+ 45. Kg1 Qf7 46. Qf5+ Kg8 47. e6 1-0 Martinovsky,E-Kende,G/Chicago 1992 (47).

 

11. g3

Black has no compensation for the pawn. Perhaps a bit stronger was 11. d4! f6 12. c4

 

11... Qa5 12. Nb3 Qc7 13. Bg2 b6 14. O-O Bb7 15. Qe2 Rac8 16. c4 Nde7 17. Bb2 Rfd8 18. d4 Nb8 19. Rac1 Ba6 20. Nfd2 Nbc6 21. Rfd1 Nf5 22. Qe4 Bb7 23. d5 Nb8 24. d6 Bxe4 25. dxc7 Bxg2 26. cxd8=Q+ Rxd8 27. Kxg2 Ne3+ 28. Kf2 Nxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Bf8 30. Ke2 Rc8 31. Rc1 Na6 32. Ne4 Be7 33. c5 Kg7 34. cxb6 Rxc1 35. Bxc1 axb6 36. Kd3 h5 37. Kc4 Nc7 38. Nd4 Nd5 39. Kb5 h4 40. a4 hxg3 41. hxg3 Kf8 42. Nc6 Ke8 43. Nxe7 Kxe7 44. Ba3+ Kd7 45. Nf6+ Nxf6 46. exf6 Kc7 47. Bb2 Kb7 48. Bd4 Ka7 49. Bxb6+ Ka8 50. a5 Kb7 51. a6+ Ka8 52. a7 Kb7 53. Bd4 Ka8 54. g4 Kb7 55. g5 Ka8 56. Kc6 e5 57. Kd5 exd4 58. Kxd4 Kxa7 59. f5 gxf5 60. g6 Kb7 61. gxf7 f4 62. f8=Q f3 63. Ke3 Kc6 64. Kxf3 Kd5 65. Qe7 Kd4 66. f7 1-0


Game 4

Manfred Fischer - Christoph Danschczyk [B23]

Bayern (5) 1998


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3!? e6

Inviting the gambit that follows. As I showed in "The Grand Prix with a3," if 5... d6 then 6. Bc4 and the a-pawn's advance has created a good retreat square for the Bishop.

 

6. b4!? b6!

This may well be the best defense, refusing to surrender an inch in the center or to weaken the dark squares. Accepting White's pseudo-gambit is bad: 6... cxb4?! 7. axb4 Nxb4? (7... Nge7 8. b5 Nd4 9. e5 Nxf3+ 10. Qxf3) 8. Ba3 Nc6 9. Nb5

 

7. e5!

In another game, White played 7.bxc5 but did not fare as well:

7. bxc5?! This exchange has the disadvantage of opening the b-file for Black. 7... bxc5 8. e5 d6 9. Bb5 Nge7 10. Bb2

(10. Ne4!? dxe5 11. fxe5 O-O 12. Nf6+ Kh8 13. Bb2 is not as good as the game due to 13... Rb8! and the skewer of the Bishops forces White to lose time and the Bishop pair.)

10... O-O 11. Ne4 dxe5 12. Bxc6 Nxc6 13. fxe5 Rb8! 14. Bc3 Qd5 15. Nf6+! Bxf6 16. exf6 e5! 17. d3 Nd4 18. O-O Bg4 19. Qd2?

(White had to play 19. Bxd4 Bxf3 20. Rxf3 Qxd4+ 21. Kh1 though he comes under pressure after 21... Rb2! 22. Rc1 (22. Qd2? Rxc2!!) 22... Qc3 -- but that niggling pawn at f6 might still be a problem for Black.)

19... Bxf3 20. Bxd4?

(Fritz finds a near-save for White in 20. Qh6!? Nf5 21. Qc1! c4 (21... Be2? 22. Rxf5!; 21... Bxg2?! 22. Rxf5 Bh1 23. Qg5; 21... Rb6 22. Rxf3 Rxf6 23. Qg5 Qd6 24. Raf1; or 21... Nd4 22. Qh6=) 22. Rxf3 cxd3 23. Rxf5! d2!! 24. Bxd2 gxf5 25. Bh6 f4! 26. Bxf8 Rxf8 and Black has the better of the major piece ending, but it sure takes some exact play just to get there!)

20... Qxd4+ 21. Kh1 Bxg2+ (Or 21... e4 22. Qh6 Qxf6 23. dxe4 Bxg2+ 24. Kxg2 Qc3) 22. Kxg2 Rb6 23. Rae1 (23. Qh6 Rxf6!) 23... Qg4+ 24. Kh1 Qh4 25. Re4 Qh5 26. Qf2 Rfb8 27. Qxc5 Rxf6 28. Ree1? (28. Rxf6 Rb1+ 29. Kg2 Qg5+ 30. Kh3 Qxf6 31. Qxe5 and White "ha s excelent chances of holding despite the exposure of his king" notes DeFotis.) 28... Rxf1+ 29. Rxf1 Qe2 30. Kg1 Qg4+ 31. Kh1 Qe2 32. Kg1 Qg4+ 33. Kh1 Qd4 34. Qc6 Rd8 35. Rb1 Qd5+! 36. Qxd5 Rxd5 37. Rb4 a5 38. Rc4 Rd4 39. Rc5 e4 40. dxe4 Ra4 41. Kg2 Rxa3 42. c3 a4 43. Kf3 Ra2 44. h4 Rh2 45. Kg3 Rc2 46. h5? gxh5! Creating a second passed pawn for Black. 47. Kh4 a3 48. e5 Rc1 49. Ra5 Ra1! 50. Kg3 Kf8 51. Ra7 a2 52. Kg2 Ke8 53. c4 Kd8 54. c5 Kc8 55. c6 Kb8 56. c7+ Kc8 57. Kh2 h4! 58. Kg2 h3+! 59. Kh2 h6 60. Ra5 Kxc7 61. Ra6 Kb7 62. Ra3 Kc6 63. Ra5 Kd7 64. Ra6 Ke7 65. Ra5 Ke6 66. Ra6+ Kxe5 67. Ra5+ Kd4 68. Ra8 f5 69. Ra4+ Kc5 70. Ra5+ Kb6 71. Ra3 and resigns in Martinovsky-Colias.

 

7... d6

7... Nge7 8. Ne4! O-O 9. c3!? (better perhaps 9. b5!? or 9. bxc5) 9... d5 (9... f6!) 10. Nf6+?! (10. exd6 Nf5) 10... Bxf6 11. exf6 Nf5 12. b5 Na5 13. g4 Nd6 14. g5 (I am intrigued by Glek's treatment of the position, which shows you the type of strange and enterprising ideas that White can try, though I think ultimately that White must be worse here.) 14... d4 15. cxd4 c4 16. a4 (16. d3) 16... Bb7 17. Bb2 Nf5 18. Bg2 Qc7 19. O-O (19. d5!?) 19... Qxf4 20. Ne5? Qxg5 21. Qg4 Qxg4 22. Nxg4 Rfd8 23. Rxf5 gxf5 24. Nh6+ Kf8 25. Kf2 Bxg2 26. Rg1 Ke8 27. Rxg2 e5 28. Rg7 exd4 29. Ba3 Kd7 30. Nxf7 Rg8 31. Nh6+ Rxg7 32. fxg7 c3 33. dxc3 dxc3 34. Ke2 c2 35. Kd2 Nc4+ 36. Kxc2 Nxa3+ 37. Kb3 Nb1 38. Kc2 Na3+ 39. Kb3 Nb1 0-1 Glek,I-Stellwagen,D/Wattenscheid GER 2007.

 

8. Bb5 Nge7 9. Ne4! dxe5 10. fxe5 O-O 11. Nf6+! Kh8

11... Bxf6?? 12. exf6 wins a piece.

 

12. Bb2 Bb7 13. O-O

with Black's Bishop on b7, White can exchange with 13. bxc5 bxc5 14. O-O Nd5 when 15. Ne4! gains a tempo with the attack on c5.

 

13... Nd5 14. Bxc6 Bxc6










15. Ng5?!

Indicated is 15. Qe1! Nxf6 (what else?) 16. exf6 Bh6 (16... Bxf6? 17. Bxf6+ Qxf6 18. Ne5) 17. Qh4! Bxd2 18. Ne5 Be3+ 19. Kh1 and White appears to have a tremendous attack: 19... Bb7 ( Black's only chance is to give up a piece to expose White's king with 19... Bxg2+ 20. Kxg2 Qd2+ 21. Kh1 Qxc2 22. Rae1! Bd2 23. Bc1! though White still wins.) 20. Rad1 Qe8 21. Nxg6+ fxg6 22. f7+ Bd4 23. Qf6+!! Bxf6 24. Bxf6#.

 

15... Nxf6 16. exf6 Bh6 17. Qg4 Qxd2 18. Bc1 Qc3 19. Nxf7+ Rxf7 20. Bxh6 Rxf6 21. Rxf6 Qxf6

21... Qxa1+ 22. Rf1 Qd4+ 23. Qxd4+ cxd4 24. Rf7=

 

22. Rf1

White clearly missed a winning opportunity in 15.Qe1!

1/2-1/2

Game 5

S. Monange (2121) - C. Housseau (2015) [B23]

Paris Championship/Paris, FRA (5) 1999


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 e6 6. d4!?










Tim McGrew pointed out this possibility to me, interpreting the a3 line as a reversed English where the gambit of the d-pawn is well known and usefully covered in Nigel Davies's recent Gambiteer II.

 

6... cxd4

Alternatives are no better:

a) 6... Nxd4 7. Nxd4 cxd4 (7... Bxd4? 8. Nb5 Bg7? 9. Qd6!) 8. Nb5 d6 (8... Qb6?! 9. e5 f6 10. Nd6+ Ke7 (10... Kf8 11. Be2! fxe5 12. fxe5 Bxe5 13. Nc4) 11. Nc4 Qc5 12. Bd2 Qd5 (12... a5? 13. Bxa5 Rxa5 14. b4) 13. Bb4+) (8... Ne7 9. Nd6+ Kf8 10. Bd3) (8... e5 9. Nd6+ Ke7 10. fxe5 Bxe5 11. Nc4) (8... d5 9. e5 Ne7 10. Nd6+ Kf8 11. Bd3) 9. Nxd4 a6 (9... Nf6 10. Bb5+ Bd7 11. Bxd7+ Qxd7 12. Qd3) (9... Ne7 10. Bb5+) 10. c3 would actually transpose back to the game continuation.

b) 6... d5 7. e5

 

7. Nb5 d6

7... d5!? 8. e5 f6! 9. Nd6+ Ke7

 

8. Nfxd4

8. c3!? is often thematic in this position, but here it makes no real difference since 8... a6 (8... dxc3?! 9. Nxd6+ Kf8 10. e5 f6 11. Bb5) 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 transposes back to the game line.

 

8... Nxd4 9. Nxd4 a6 10. c3

White also gains a slight edge with 10. Nf3 Qb6 11. c3 Nf6 12. Bd3 e5!? (12... O-O 13. Qe2 and Be3 +=) 13. fxe5 Ng4 14. Qe2?! (14. Qa4+! Bd7 15. Qd4 Qxd4 16. cxd4 dxe5 17. h3) 14... Nxe5 15. Nxe5 dxe5 16. Be3 Qc7 17. O-O O-O 18. Bc4 Kh8 19. Bb3 (19. Bd5!) 19... b5 20. a4 Bb7 21. axb5 axb5 22. Rxa8 Bxa8 23. Bc2 Bc6 24. Qf2 f6 25. Ra1 Qd7 26. Ra7 Qg4 27. h3 Qe6 28. Qd2 g5 29. Qd1 Rc8 30. Bc5 (30. Bb3!) 30... Qc4 31. Qd6!? Qe2 32. Bd3?! (32. Qe6!) 32... Qe1+ 33. Kh2?! (33. Bf1) 33... g4 34. hxg4? Qh4+ 35. Kg1 Bf8! 36. Qxf8+ Rxf8 37. Bxf8 Qxg4 38. Rc7 Bxe4 39. Bxe4 Qxe4 40. Bh6 Qe1+ 0-1 Zancas,M-Shevelev,S/Sitges 1993 -- obviously White's play could be improved considerably!

 

10... Ne7 11. Be3 O-O 12. Bd3 b6 13. O-O Bb7 14. Qd2

14. Qb3!? with pressure on b6 and the a2-g8 diagonal is another idea.

 

14... Nc6

14... e5!?

 

15. Nxc6 Bxc6 16. f5! exf5 17. exf5 Be5 18. Bg5 Qd7 19. Rae1 Rfe8 20. Re3!?

20. fxg6

 

20... f6?!










21. Rxe5!!

An absolutely brilliant combination! Not as strong is 21. Bxf6 Bxf6 22. fxg6.

 

21... fxe5

No better are 21... dxe5 22. Bxf6! or 21... Rxe5 22. Bxf6

 

22. fxg6 e4

22... hxg6 23. Bxg6 Rf8 24. Bf6

 

23. Bc4+ d5 24. Rf7!

The key to the entire combination. Black is lost.

 

24... Qe6 25. Bf6 e3 26. Rg7+ Kf8 27. gxh7

and mate cannot be avoided. A great game.

 

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game 6

goeller - anon [B23]

ICC 3 2 u/Internet Chess Club 2008


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 d6

If 5.a3 induces this move, then White is happy. After all, he now gets an ideal Grand Prix set-up with the Bishop on c4 and able to retreat to a2 to avoid attack.

 

6. Bc4! e6

6... Nf6 7. d3 O-O 8. O-O Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nd4 11. Qf2 Nd7 12. Be3 a6 13. Nd1 b5 14. Bd5 Rb8 15. c3 Ne6 16. Bxe6?! (16. f5!) 16... fxe6 17. Qh4 b4? 18. axb4 cxb4 19. Rxa6 bxc3 20. bxc3 Bf6 21. Qg3 (21. Qg4!) 21... Qc8 22. Ra2 (22. Ra7!) 22... Nc5 23. Bxc5 Qxc5+ 24. d4 Qc4 25. Raf2 Rb3 26. e5 dxe5 27. fxe5 Bg7 28. Rxf8+ Bxf8 29. Qf3 Bg7 30. Qf7+ Kh8 31. Qe8+ Black resigns 1-0 goeller-Wrob/Internet Chess Club 2007.

 

7. O-O Nge7 8. d3 O-O 9. Qe1 a6

9... Nd4! 10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Ne2 d5 12. Bb3 dxe4 13. dxe4 d3 14. Nc3 dxc2 15. Bxc2 is about equal for Black.

 

10. Qh4 d5 11. Ba2










11... d4?!

This looks like it gains Black space, but the truth is it helps White by closing the center, making his kingside attack difficult to counter.

 

12. Ne2

An interesting alternative is 12. Nd1!? b5 13. Nf2 headed for Ng4 with attack on the dark squares.

 

12... b5 13. f5!

13. Ng3!?

 

13... exf5 14. Bh6! fxe4

14... Qd6 15. Ng3! (15. Ng5 Qf6 16. Rae1 Bxh6 17. Qxh6 Qg7 18. Qh4 h6 19. Nxf7 Rxf7 20. Bxf7+ Kxf7) 15... Bb7 16. Ng5 Qf6 17. exf5

 

15. Ng5!?

15. Bxg7! exf3 16. Bxf8

 

15... Nf5 16. Rxf5! Bxf5

 










17. dxe4!

17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Qxh7+ Kf6

 

17... Be6?

17... Qf6 18. Bd5! Rac8 19. Bxg7 Qxg7 20. exf5

 

18. Bxe6! fxe6? 19. Bxg7! Kxg7 20. Qxh7+

(I seem to have completely overlooked 10.Nxe6+ in my focused pursuit of the king)

 

20... Kf6 21. Rf1+ Kxg5

(21...Ke5 22.Rxf8! wins, e.g.: 21...Qxf8 22.Qc7+ Qd6 23.Qg7#)

 

22. h4+ Kg4 23. Qxg6+

1-0

White mates nicely after 23...23...Kxh4 with either 24.g3+ Kh3 25.Qxe6+ or 24.Rf4+ Rxf4 25.g3+! Kh3 26.Nxf4#.


Game 7

Bernard Hanen - Bruno Belin [B23]

FRA AJEC/1162 corr/France 1986


1. e4 c5 2. f4 Nc6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 d6 6. Bc4

6. Bb5 is also playable but hardly consistent with 5.a3.

 

6... e6

6... Nd4 7. O-O Bg4? 8. Bxf7+ Kxf7 9. Ng5+

 

7. O-O a6?!

The Bishop at c4 provokes Black into wasting time with queenside action before completing his development. But the Bishop will find a nice home at a2.

Better 7... Nge7! 8. Qe1 O-O 9. d3 Nd4 10. Qf2!? (10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Ne2 d5 12. Bb3 dxe4 13. dxe4 d3 14. Nc3 dxc2 15. Bxc2=) 10... d5 11. Ba2 b6 12. Re1 ( probably necessary is 12. Nd1! Bb7 13. c3 Nxf3+ 14. Qxf3=) 12... Bb7 13. e5 Nxf3+ 14. Qxf3 Nf5 15. Rb1 Rc8 16. Bd2 h5 17. Qd1 a6 18. b4 c4 19. Ne2 d4 20. Bxc4 b5 21. Bb3 Nh4 22. Ng3 Bxg2 23. Qe2 Bh3 24. Qf2 Bg4 25. Re4 Qb6 26. Kf1 Nf3 27. c4 bxc4 28. dxc4 h4 29. Nh1 Qc6 30. Re2 Nxd2+ (30... Bh3+) 31. Rxd2 Qxh1+ 32. Qg1 Qf3+? 33. Qf2 1/2-1/2 Day,L-Frilles,R/Toronto 1997 (33) -- Black must have taken a draw in extreme time pressure.

 

8. d3 b5 9. Ba2 Nge7 10. Qe1

An alternative development scheme might be 10. Be3 O-O 11. Qd2 Nd4 12. Rae1 Nec6 13. Nd1 followed by c3 with the possibilities of b4 and e5.

 

10... O-O 11. f5 exf5

11... b4!? 12. axb4 cxb4 13. Ne2 exf5 14. Qh4 is still strong.

11... gxf5!? 12. Qh4 Nd4 13. Bh6 is less clear than the game continuation.

 

12. Qh4 Nd4?! 13. Bg5!

The pressure on e7 is going to be unbearable for Black. Note that he cannot break the pin since ...f6 is impossible due to the Bishop at a2.

 

13... Ndc6 14. Nd5 Ra7










15. exf5

White continues straightforwardly with the attack on e7. More decisive, if complicated, was a kingside attack by:

15. Nf6+! Bxf6 16. Bxf6 h5 (16... fxe4 17. Ne5! Nxe5 18. Qh6 Nf5 19. Rxf5) 17. Qf4 Kh7 18. Ng5+ Kg8 19. Nxf7 Qb6!? 20. Kh1 c4 21. dxc4

 

15... Bxf5 16. Rae1 Be6 17. Nxe7+ Nxe7 18. Bxe6 fxe6 19. Rxe6 Rf7?!

19... Re8! 20. Rfe1 Bf8 requires White to re-target his attack: 21. Qg3 Rd7 22. Bf4 d5 23. Ne5 Nf5 24. Rxe8 Qxe8 25. Nxd7 Qxd7 26. Qf3

 

20. Rfe1 Bf8 21. Bf6! Qc7 22. Ng5 Nf5 23. Qe4 Ng7 24. Bxg7!

24. Nxf7 Nxe6 25. Nh6+ Bxh6 26. Qxe6+ Qf7 27. Qxd6 is much less decisive.

 

24... Rxg7?!

24... Kxg7 25. Nxf7 Qxf7 26. Rf1

 

25. Re8!

with the powerful forking threat of Ne6 or Rxf8+ and Ne6+

 

25... Rf7 26. Nxf7

Black did not like the looks of 26...Qxf7 27.Rf1 etc.

 

1-0

Game 8

Stanimir Nikolic - Leonid Shamkovich [B23]

Lone Pine op/Lone Pine 1979


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3 d6 6. Bc4 e6

6... Nd4 7. O-O Nf6 (7... Bg4? 8. Bxf7+) 8. e5 Ng4 9. Ng5 O-O 10. e6 f5 11. Nd5 Nh6 (11... Nxe6 12. Nc3) 12. c3 b5 13. Ba2 Nc6 14. d3 Bb7 15. Qe1

 

7. d3 Nge7 8. Qe2!?

I often have trouble deciding whether the Queen belongs at e2 or e1 (after O-O of course). Here I think the Queen does well to take up this post straight away. But White can probably do well with 8.O-O and Qe1:

8. O-O O-O (8... h6 9. Qe1 Nd4 10. Qf2 Nec6 11. Ba2 O-O 12. Kh1 b5 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Be3 Bd7 15. Nd1 Qf6 16. c3 Nc6 17. e5 dxe5 18. Bxc5 Rfc8 19. fxe5 Qxf2 20. Nxf2 Nxe5 21. Bd4 Bc6 22. Rae1 Nd7 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. d4 a5 25. Nd3 Ra7 26. d5 exd5 27. Re7 Rf8 28. Ne5 Nxe5 29. Rxa7 a4 30. Kg1 Nd3 31. Rc7 Ba8 32. Rd7 Nxb2 33. Bxd5 Bxd5 34. Rxd5 Nc4 35. Rxb5 Nxa3 36. Ra5 1-0 Lalic,S-Bonafont,P/Great Yarmouth ENG 2007 (36)) 9. Qe1!? Nd4 10. Nxd4 (10. Qf2! might be better, essentially transposing to the 8.Qe2 line) 10... cxd4 11. Ne2 d5 12. Ba2 (12. Bb3! dxe4 13. dxe4 d3 14. Nc3 dxc2 15. Bxc2) 12... dxe4 13. dxe4 Bd7!? (13... d3 14. cxd3 Qxd3 15. Nc3) 14. Ng3?! (14. Qf2!) 14... Rc8 15. Rf2 Qb6 16. Bb3 Nc6 17. e5 Na5 18. Ba2 Nc4 19. Ne4 Ne3 20. Bb3 Ng4 21. Rf3 d3+ 22. Be3 Nxe3 23. Qxe3 dxc2 24. Rc1 Bc6 1/2-1/2 Greet,A-Menon,S/Birmingham 2000 (24).

 

8... O-O

8... Nd4 9. Qf2 (9. Nxd4!? cxd4 10. Nb1!) 9... Nec6?! After this move, the Knights seem to step on each other's toes.(9... d5 10. Ba2) 10. O-O O-O 11. Nd1 Kh8 12. Ng5 h6 13. Nh3 d5 14. Ba2 Ne7? (14... Nb5! 15. c3 (15. Qxc5?? Bd4+) ) 15. c3 Ndc6 16. Qxc5 dxe4 17. dxe4 b6 18. Qf2 Ba6 19. Re1 Qc8 20. Qh4 Kg8 21. Ne3 h5 22. g4 hxg4 23. Ng5 Rd8 24. Nxg4 Kf8 25. Nh7+ 1-0 Eid,F-Camilleri,S/Elista 1998 (25).

 

9. Ba2!?

9. O-O Rb8 (9... a6 10. Ba2 d5 11. Qf2 Nd4 12. Nd1 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 dxe4 14. dxe4 b5 15. Be3 Qc7 16. c3 Bb7 17. Nf2 Nf5 18. Qe2 Nxe3 19. Qxe3 Rad8 20. Rad1 b4 21. cxb4 cxb4 22. Rc1 Qa5 23. Rc5 Qb6 24. e5 bxa3 25. bxa3 Qb2 26. Bb1 Rd2 27. Rc7 Rfd8 28. Qa7 R8d7 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. Be4 Bf8 31. a4 Bc6 32. Qxa6 Bxe4 33. Nxe4 Qd4+ 34. Nf2 Ra7 35. Qd3 Qxf4 36. Ne4 Qxe5 37. Nf6+ Kg7 38. Nd7 Bc5+ 39. Kh1 Qd4 40. Nxc5 Qxc5 41. Qf3 Qd4 42. a5 h6 43. Qa3 e5 44. h3 e4 45. a6 Qd3 46. Qxd3 exd3 47. Rd1 Rxa6 48. Rxd3 Ra2 49. Kh2 g5 50. Kg3 h5 51. Rb3 Kg6 52. Rc3 h4+ 53. Kf3 Ra4 54. Kf2 g4 55. hxg4 Rxg4 56. Rc8 Rf4+ 57. Kg1 Rf5 58. Kh2 1/2-1/2 Eid,F-Chavez,H/Elista 1998 (58)) (9... Nd4!? 10. Qf2 (10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Nb1) ) 10. Qf2! Nd4 11. Nd1 b5 12. Ba2 Nxf3+ 13. Qxf3 Nc6 14. c3 b4 15. axb4 cxb4 16. Bb1?! (16. Bd2!=) 16... bxc3 17. bxc3 Nd4 18. Qe3 Nb3 19. Ra3 Nxc1 20. Qxc1 Qb6+ 21. Nf2 Bd7 22. d4 Rfc8 23. e5 dxe5 24. fxe5 f6 25. exf6 Bxf6 26. Qe1 Bg7 27. Ba2 Kh8 28. Ng4? (28. Ne4) 28... Rxc3 (28... Qd6!) 29. Rxc3 Qxd4+ 30. Re3 Qxg4 31. Bxe6 Qd4 32. Kh1 Bc6 33. Qg3 Re8 34. Rfe1 Rf8 35. Bg4 a5 36. Bf3 Bb5 37. Rb3 Qc5 38. Reb1 Be8 39. Be2 a4 40. Rf3 Rg8 41. Qe1 Bc6 42. Rc1 Qb6 43. Rh3 Re8 44. Qh4 h6 45. Rhc3 Bxg2+ 46. Kxg2 Rxe2+ 47. Kf1 Re5 48. Rf3 a3 49. Qc4 Rg5 50. Rf2 Qe3 51. Rcc2 Qh3+ 52. Ke1 Kh7 53. Rce2 Rg1+ 54. Kd2 a2 0-1, Nikolic,S-Chandler,M/Lone Pine 1979 (54).

 

9... Nd4 10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Nb1 b6 12. Nd2 Bb7 13. Nf3 Rc8 14. Qf2 d5 15. e5! Nf5 16. Bb3 f6 17. g4 fxe5

17... Nh6 18. Nxd4 Qd7 (18... Nxg4 19. Qg3) 19. Qe2

 

18. gxf5 Rxf5 19. Bd2 Qf8










20. O-O?

20. Qe2! exf4 21. Qxe6+

 

20... exf4 21. Nxd4 Rg5+ 22. Kh1 Bxd4 23. Qxd4 e5 24. Bxd5+??

White not only misses a win, he actually loses!

24. Qe4! Qf7 25. Qe2 d4+ 26. Rf3 Bd5 27. Bxd5 Qxd5 28. c4 Qc6 29. Re1

 

24... Qf7 25. Bxb7 exd4 26. Be4 Rxc2 27. Bxf4 Rf5 28. Bxf5 Qxf5 29. Rae1 Qh3

and Black forces mate.

0-1

Game 9

Chris A Baker (2370) - Daniel J King (2535) [B23]

BCF-chT 9697/England (8) 1997


I have discussed the following two games before and offer them here simply to help fill out a Grand Prix repertoire for White.

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 Nc6

3... g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bb5+ Bd7 (5... Nc6 6. Bxc6+!) 6. Bc4!? is an interes ting idea of Dzindzi's, designed to inhibit ...d5, when one game of Perelshtyn's continued 6... Nc6 7. d3 (7. O-O Na5!? 0-1 Macieja,B-Gelfand,B/Bermuda BER 2005 (55)) 7... e6 (7... Na5!? 8. Bb3 Nxb3 9. axb3) 8. O-O (8. f5!? exf5 9. O-O Nge7 10. Bf4) 8... Nge7 9. Qe1 h6 (9... O-O 10. Qh4) 10. a3 a6 11. Bd2 b5 12. Ba2 Rb8 13. Nd1 b4 14. Ne3!? O-O (perhaps White planned 14... bxa3 15. bxa3! Bxa1 16. Qxa1 O-O 17. Ng4) 15. axb4 Nxb4?! 16. Bc3! Nxa2 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Rxa2 f5 19. exf5 Nxf5 20. Nxf5+ exf5 21. Rxa6 Qf6 22. b3 Rb7 23. Qa1 Bb5? 24. Rxd6! 1-0 Perelshteyn,E-Fernandez Rangel,A/Oropesa del Mar ESP 1998.

 

4. Nf3 g6 5. Bb5!?

5. Bc4 followed by a3 may very well transpose to the lines considered above.

 

5... Bd7 6. O-O Bg7 7. d3

7. Bxc6!? Bxc6 8. d3 Nf6 9. Qe1 O-O can also yield White the standard GPA kingside initiative: 10. Qh4 Qd7 (or 10... b5 11. f5 b4 12. Ne2 gxf5 13. Bh6 fxe4 14. Ng5 is one of their lines ) 11. f5 b5 12. Bh6 Rfd8 13. Ng5 Bh8 14. Rf3 a5 15. Raf1 Ra7 16. Rh3 e6 17. Nxh7 Nxh7 18. Bg7 Bxg7 19. Qxh7+ Kf8 20. f6 Bxf6 21. Rxf6 Qe8 22. Qxg6 Ke7 23. Rh7 Kd7 24. Qxf7+ 1-0 Brustkern,J-Szabo,K/Budapest HUN 2002.

 

7... a6 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. Kh1!? Qd7 10. Qe1 Nh6 11. Bd2 f5 12. Nd5!










12... fxe4

a) 12... Bxb2 13. Nb6 Qd8 14. Nxa8 Bxa1 15. Qxa1 O-O 16. Ng5 Qxa8 17. Qe1 Ng4 18. exf5

b) 12... Bxd5 13. exd5 Bxb2 14. Rb1 Bg7 15. Ng5 O-O 16. Ne6

 

13. Qxe4!










The best move, keeping the e-file open:

a) 13. dxe4!? Bxd5 14. exd5 Bxb2 15. Rb1 Bf6 16. Ng5

b) 13. Nb6?? exf3 14. Nxd7 fxg2+ 15. Kg1 gxf1=Q+ 16. Kxf1 Kxd7 etc.

 

13... Nf7

a) 13... e6 14. Rae1 O-O (14... Kf8? 15. Nb6 Qd8 16. Qxe6!! Qxb6 17. f5) 15. Nb6 Qe7 (15... Bxe4 16. Nxd7) 16. Qxe6+ Qxe6 17. Rxe6 Rad8 18. c3

b) 13... Bxb2?! 14. Rae1 Nf5 15. g4 Bxd5 16. Qxd5 Nd4 17. c3 Nxf3 18. Rxf3

 

14. Rae1 Bxd5 15. Qxd5 O-O 16. Ng5 Qc6 17. Qxc6 bxc6 18. Ne6 Rfb8 19. Nxg7 Kxg7 20. f5

20. Bc3+ Kf8 21. f5 gxf5 22. Rxf5 e5 23. Ref1 Rb7 24. Rh5 Kg7=

 

20... gxf5 21. Rxe7!










21... Re8

21... Kf8 22. Rc7 Rxb2 23. h4! Kg8 (23... Rxc2 24. Rxf5 Rxd2 25. Rfxf7+ Kg8 26. Rg7+ Kf8 27. Rxh7) 24. Rxf5 Rf8! (24... Ne5? 25. Rg5+ Kh8 26. Rh5) 25. Bc3!! Rxc2 26. Bf6 Re8 27. Rf3 Re1+ 28. Kh2 Ree2 29. Rg3+ Kf8 30. Rc8+ Nd8 31. Rg7!

 

22. Bc3+

22. Rc7 Rac8 23. Rxc8 Rxc8 24. Rxf5

 

22... Kg6 23. Rfe1 Ne5 24. Rc7 Re6 25. Rxc6! Rae8 26. Rxa6 Ng4?! 27. Rxd6! Rxd6 28. Rxe8 c4 29. h3 cxd3 30. Rg8+ Kf7 31. Rg7+ Ke6 32. cxd3

32. hxg4?? dxc2

 

32... Nf2+ 33. Kg1 Nxd3 34. Rxh7 Kd5 35. Rf7 f4 36. Kf1 Re6 37. a4 Ke4 38. a5 Ke3 39. Rf6 Re4 40. a6 Ra4 41. Re6+

1-0


Game 10

S. Iuldachev (2513) - A. El Arousy (2315) [B23]

ADCF Masters/Abu Dhabi UAE (4) 2003


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6

2... e6 3. f4 d5 4. Nf3 Nf6 (4... dxe4 5. Nxe4 (or 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bxd7+ Nxd7 7. Nxe4) 5... Nf6 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Bxd7+ Nbxd7 8. d3 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. a4 Qc7 11. Qe2 Nd5 12. g3 h6 13. Bd2 Rac8 14. b3 Qc6 15. Rae1 Rfe8 16. Ne5 Qc7 17. Nxf7 Kxf7 18. Ng5+ hxg5 19. Qxe6+ Kf8 20. fxg5+ N5f6 21. g6 Ne5 22. Rxe5 Bd6 23. Rxf6+ gxf6 24. Bh6+ 1-0 Milliet,S-Nagel,Y/Istanbul TUR 2003) 5. e5 (5. Bb5+!? Bd7 6. Bxd7+ Nbxd7 7. d3=) 5... Nfd7 6. d4 transposes to the popular Steinitz French, which is beyond the scope of this article. Meanwhile 6. g3?! resembles a variation of the Closed Sicilian that Dzindzi and Perelshteyn recommend--see below.) 6... Nc6 7. Be3.

 

3. f4

3. Bb5!? is discussed by Paul Motwani as a way of testing Black before commiting to f4, with the idea of 3... Nd4 4. Nf3! (or 4. Bc4 is also played). These lines are discussed in the recent book Starting Out: The Sicilian Grand Prix by Gawain Jones.

 

3... e6










3... d6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bb5 Nf6 (5... Bd7 6. d3 Be7 7. O-O Nf6 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. Qe1 Qc7 10. a3 (10. e5 Nd5 11. Ne4 Nb4 12. exd6 Bxd6 13. Qf2 O-O-O 14. a3 Bxe4 15. dxe4 Nc6 16. e5 Be7 17. Be3 Nd4 18. Kh1 Nf5 19. b4 Nxe3 20. Qxe3 b6 21. b5 h6 22. a4 g5 23. a5 Qb7 24. axb6 gxf4 25. Qxf4 axb6 26. Qxf7 Rhg8 27. Qxe6+ Kb8 28. Ra6 1-0 Schuyler,J-Ascolese,P/New York State ch 1991) 10... O-O 11. Qg3 Rfe8 12. Bd2 b5 13. f5 exf5 14. Nh4 Bd7 15. Nxf5 Bxf5 16. Rxf5 Qd8 17. Raf1 b4 18. Ne2 a5 19. Bg5 Kh8 20. Qh4 Ra6 21. Rxf6 gxf6 22. Rxf6 d5 23. Rxf7 1-0 Weeramantry,S-Grigsby,F/Alexandria,VA US Open 1996) 6. Bxc6+ bxc6 7. d3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. e5 Ne8 10. Na4!? f6 11. b3 fxe5 12. fxe5 dxe5 13. Bb2 e4 14. dxe4 Qxd1 15. Raxd1 c4 16. Ne5 cxb3 17. Nxc6 Rxf1+ 18. Rxf1 Bf8 19. axb3 Bb7 20. Nd4 Bxe4 21. Nxe6 Bd6 22. c4 Nf6 23. Nxg7 Ng4 24. h3 Ne5 25. Nh5 Bc2 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27. Ng4 1-0 Olesen,M-Molvig,H/Copenhagen 1995.

 

4. Nf3 d5

4... a6 5. g3 transposing to the Closed Variation is the recommendation in "Openings for White, Explained" by Dzindzi and Perelshteyn, but I don't find that so inspiring.(Perhaps instead 5. d4! cxd4 6. Nxd4 which I will have to discuss in a future installment. Meanwhile, I recommend you read John Emms's "Danger in the Taimanov" in Dangerous Weapons: The Sicilian.) 5... d5 6. e5!? (the text has an amusing typo, giving this "?!" instead) 6... Nge7 7. Bg2 Nf5 8. Ne2 h5 9. c3 d4 10. d3 h4 11. Nfg1 c4 12. cxd4 cxd3 13. Qxd3 Nb4 14. Qb3 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 Qxd4 16. Be3 Nc2+ 17. Qxc2 Qxe3+ 18. Qe2 Bb4+ 19. Kf1 Qb6 20. Bf3 Bd7 21. Kg2 Rc8 22. Nh3 Bb5 23. Qe4 Bc6 24. Qe2 Bxf3+ 25. Kxf3 Rd8 26. Rad1 Qc6+ 27. Qe4 Qxe4+ 28. Kxe4 Rxd1 29. Rxd1 hxg3 0-1 Fegebank,F-Rahls,P/Germany 1991.

 

5. Bb5 Nge7

a) 5... c4?! is something I've seen: 6. d3! cxd3 7. exd5! dxc2 8. Qe2! a6 9. Ba4! (9. Bxc6+!? bxc6 10. dxe6 fxe6 11. Be3! Nf6 12. Qxc2) 9... b5 10. Bb3!? (maybe stronger 10. Bxc2! Nb4 11. Bb3!?) 10... Na5! (10... Nce7 11. Ng5!) 11. dxe6 fxe6 12. Bxc2 Nf6 13. O-O Bc5+ Goeller-Kernighan, Kenilworth (skittles) 2005

b) 5... Nf6 and they give 6. e5! Nd7 7. Bxc6! bxc6 8. d3 (8. b3!?) 8... Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Ba6 11. Ne2 c4 12. d4 c5 13. Be3

 

6. exd5!

6. Qe2!? d4 7. Nd1 creates a more closed game where White's plan is Nd1-f2, g4, O-O, d3 etc.

 

6... exd5

6... Nxd5! receives no coverage, but it is tricky and very likely Black's best. Perhaps then 7. Ne5 (7. Bxc6+?! would be the "logical move" of many readers, but 7... bxc6 8. Ne5 Bd6!= Minasian-Becerra Rivero, Lucerne 1997 (not 8... Nxf4? 9. Qf3 -- but Black might consider 8... Qh4+!? 9. g3 Qh3 or 8... Ba6!? 9. Ne4 Qh4+ 10. g3 Qh3) 9. Nxc6 Nxc3! 10. dxc3 Qc7 11. Ne5 Bxe5 12. fxe5 Qxe5+ was not in his favor -- but 7. O-O!? Nxf4!? may be worth a look for the adventurous.) 7... Bd7 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. O-O yields only a slight edge for White.

 

7. Qe2!

As Gary Lane points out, this pin on the e7 Knight is "an inconvenience" for Black. Likely it will force him to allow the doubling of the c-pawns or, if he tries too hard to avoid that, hand White a strong initiative.

 

7... Qd6

The most logical if Black wishes to prevent the doubling of the c-pawns.

a) 7... g6? 8. Qe5! Lane

 

b) 7... a6?! 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. b3 gave White a tempo with which to dominate the weak dark squares and c-pawns via Ba3, Na4, and Qf2 etc. in Mossong-Nainapalert,DubaiOL1986.

 

c) 7... Bg4 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. O-O Qd6 10. b3 c4 (10... Qxf4?! 11. Ba3) 11. bxc4 Qc5+ 12. Kh1 Qxc4 13. Qe1! and the Black King had trouble finding safety in Zinn-Doda, Lugano 1968.

 

d) 7... Be6 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 (8... Nxc6? 9. f5) 9. O-O

 

e) 7... d4? 8. Ne4

8. d4!?

White has two main alternatives:

a) 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 (8... Qxc6?! 9. Ne5 Qd6 10. O-O a6 11. d3 f6 12. Qh5+ g6 13. Nxg6! Nxg6 14. f5 Qe5 15. Bd2 Qd4+ 16. Rf2! Qh4 17. Re1+ Kf7?! 18. fxg6+ hxg6 19. Qxd5+ Kg7 20. g3 Qh3 21. Ne4 Rh5? 22. Qd8 Kosten-Rovid, Budapest 1984) 9. d3 g6 10. O-O Bg7 11. Re1 Be6 12. Na4!? and White has the traditional play against the weak c-pawns, which he must first fix in place by either c4 or b3 and then build up an attack with Ba3, Rac1, Qf2 etc.

 

b) 8. O-O!? Bg4 (8... Qxf4? 9. Ne5) 9. Bxc6+ Qxc6 10. h3 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 O-O-O 12. f5!? Lazic-Molnar, Szekszard 1994.

 

c) 8. Ne5 Dzindzi and Perelshteyn present this as "8.Ne5!" -- but it may be the least interesting of White's alternatives. f6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Ba4 is a line D&P offer, claiming White is better, with a rare game reference. That game continued: 10... Qe6?! (10... Kf7!?) 11. O-O Qxe2 12. Nxe2 Ba6 13. Re1 Kd7 14. d3 Nf5 15. Ng3 1/2-1/2 Paschall,W-Farago,S/ Budapest HUN 1997, when, in the final position, Black is probably better following 15...Nxg3.

 

8... cxd4?!

The critical question in this game is whether White still has an edge after 8... c4! 9. b3!? (9. O-O or 9. Ne5!? a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 are also tries) 9... cxb3 (9... Bg4! 10. bxc4 O-O-O) 10. axb3 Bg4 (10... Qe6 11. Ne5 Bd7 12. Bxc6!) 11. h3 (11. Ba3) 11... Bxf3 12. Qxf3 O-O-O 13. O-O!? (13. Ra4! a6 14. Bd3 Nb4 15. O-O Nxd3 16. Qxd3) 13... Nxd4 14. Qf2 Qc5 15. Bd2 Nec6 Adamski-Schinzel, Polish Ch. 1980.

 

9. Nxd4 Bd7 10. Bxc6

10. Be3!?

 

10... bxc6 11. O-O g6 12. Nb3 Bg7 13. Be3 Be6 14. Bc5 Qd7 15. Bd4! Bg4 16. Qf2 Bxd4 17. Qxd4

The elimination of the dark-squared Bishops gives White a clear advantage since Black will not be able to keep White's Knights out of the critical dark squares c5, e5, f6, or h6.

 

17... O-O 18. Nc5 Qc7

18... Qd6 19. h3! (19. N3e4?! Nf5 20. Qc3 dxe4 21. Nxe4 Nd4! 22. Nxd6 Ne2+ 23. Kf2 Nxc3 24. bxc3 Rfd8) 19... Bc8 20. g4

 

19. h3 Bf5?! 20. g4! Bd7 21. Rae1

White's positional advantage, built on the domination of the dark squares, is simply overwhelming.

 

21... Rae8 22. Nxd7 Qxd7 23. Ne4 f6?

23... f5 24. Nf6+ Rxf6 25. Qxf6 fxg4 26. Qg5!

 

24. Nxf6+ Rxf6 25. Qxf6 Nc8 26. f5!

1-0

[Michael Goeller]

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