The Left Hook Grand Prix Revisited

By Michael Goeller

The Left Hook Grand Prix can arise by 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.a3!? when White intends to meet 5...e6 with the interesting gambit 6.b4! and to meet 5...d6 with 6.Bc4 (when a3 provides the Bishop with a nice retreat square). I have come to regard 5...d6 6.Bc4 as the main line, when the game typically continues 6...e6 7.O-O Nge7 8.d3 O-O 9.Qe1, giving rise to the diagram above. The following two games reach this position and are discussed in Gaiwain Jones's excellent book, Starting Out: Sicilian Grand Prix Attack (Everyman 2008). They are actually the only games mentioned in the book that could arise from The Left Hook Grand Prix, but they seem to me now to mark a critical territory for the variation and therefore deserve close study by anyone interested in the theory of this line.

Game One

Murray Chandler (2515) - Andreas Schenk (2507) [B23]

British League/Coventry, England 2006


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6

a) The Left Hook Grand Prix move order to arrive at the game line would be 2... Nc6 3. f4 (3. Bb5!? is one of Jones's recommendations, with the idea of 3... Nd4 4. Bc4 (but 4. Nf3!? has been discussed by Motwani and by Baker and seems promising) ) 3... g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. a3!? d6 (5... e6 6. b4!) 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Nge7 8. d3 O-O 9. Qe1 etc.

 

b) 2... a6 3. f4 (3. g3 b5 4. Bg2 e6 5. Nge2 Bb7 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 transposes to what I have called the Guseinov Gambit, 7... Nf6 8. O-O! b4 9. Na4) 3... b5 4. g3 is Jones's recommendation.

 

c) 2... e6 3. f4 ( and here I think 3. Nf3! is the best reaction) 3... Nc6 (3... d5!) 4. Nf3 d5 (4... d6 5. g4!? Jones) 5. Bb5 Jones.

 

3. f4

Wanting to easily solve the problem of my light squared Bishop, I often play here the impulsive 3. Bb5+!? Bd7 (3... Nc6?! 4. Bxc6+!? bxc6 5. d3 with play against the doubled pawns) 4. Bxd7+ (4. Bc4!? is not so silly as it looks, since the Black Bishop is not well placed -- for example, it interferes with the Queen's support of a d5 advance.) 4... Qxd7 5. f4 Nc6 6. Nf3 O-O-O!? 7. d4!? cxd4 8. Nxd4 e6 9. Be3 d5 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Qe2.

 

3... g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bc4!

With Black having committed to 2...d6, White can commit to Bc4 since any time Black might gain by a d5 advance is fully mitigated by the fact that the d-pawn took two steps getting there.

 

5... Nc6 6. O-O e6 7. d3 Nge7 8. Qe1 O-O 9. a3

Jones says that this is safer than 9. f5!? -- White wants to drop his Bishop back to a2 since with the Bishop on b3 "he would have to be alert to the threat of c5-c4 after either b7-b5 or Qb6."

 

9... Nd4

9... d5! is the more critical try, which Jones only mentions with reference to Sutovsky,E-Palac,M/Saint Vincent 2002 (20) -- see next game.

 

10. Qf2!?










This is an interesting idea, and the Queen often belongs on this square anyway. But it is more complicated than Jones reveals, since Black can now force transposition to the lines that typically follow 9...d5 10.Ba2 (rather than 10.Bb3) by playing now 10...d5!

10. Nxd4 cxd4 11. Ne2 d5! 12. Bb3 transposes to positions considered in the next game. Basically, if White is going to trade on d4 then the Bishop belongs on b3 after it gets kicked with d5.

 

10... Nxf3+

a) Jones does not consider the more critical possibility of 10... d5! 11. Ba2 which is unclear, as discussed in the notes to the next game.

 

b) 10... Bd7 11. g4!? (11. Be3?! Nec6 (11... Qb6) 12. Rae1 Qb6 is awkward for White) (11. Nxd4! cxd4 12. Ne2 d5!? (12... Nc6 13. f5!) (12... Qb6 13. Qh4!? (13. c3) 13... Rae8 14. Rf3) 13. exd5! exd5 14. Bb3) 11... b5 12. Ba2 Nxf3+ (12... f5!?) 13. Qxf3 Bc6 14. Be3 b4 15. axb4 cxb4 16. Nd1 d5 17. c3 dxe4 18. dxe4 Qc7 19. cxb4 Qb7 20. Nc3 Qxb4 21. Rf2 Rfd8 22. f5 gxf5 1/2-1/2 Sanz Perez,E-Padilla Gonzalez,M/Barcelona ESP 2000.

 

11. Qxf3 Bd7 12. Be3 a6 13. Ba2 b5 14. Rae1 a5?!

14... b4! 15. axb4 cxb4 16. Nd1 Qc7.

 

15. f5! Nc6?

a) 15... exf5 16. Bg5! h6 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. exf5 Qf6 19. fxg6 Qxg6 20. Nd5 Jones.

 

b) 15... gxf5 16. Qg3 b4 (16... Qc7? 17. exf5 Nxf5 18. Rxf5! exf5 19. Bh6) 17. Bh6 Ng6 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. exf5 exf5 20. Nd5 Jones

 

16. f6! Bh8 17. Qf4 b4 18. Nd1

White should go after the target at d6 with 18. Nb5!? (Jones) since Black must make concessions to defend the pawn: 18... e5 (18... Nd4!? 19. Nxd6! Nxc2 20. Re2) 19. Qf2 Qb8 20. a4.

 

18... Ne5 19. Qh4 Bb5 20. Bh6 Re8 21. Re3!

With the brutal threat of Rh3 and mate along the h-file.

 

21... c4 22. dxc4 Bxc4 23. Bxc4 Nxc4 24. Rh3 Qc7 25. Nf2

25. Bg7?! h5 26. Qg5? Bxg7 27. fxg7 Qc5+ Jones.

 

25... Rab8

 










No better was 25... bxa3 26. bxa3 Qd8 27. Bg5 h5 28. g4

 

26. Bg7! h5 27. Bxh8 Rb5

27... Kxh8 28. Qg5 Kh7 29. Rxh5+ gxh5 30. Qg7#

 

28. Bg7 Nxb2 29. Qf4

There is no way to block the Queen's invasion at h6, since 29...g5 meets with 30.Rxh5 and 31.Rh8#.

1-0

[Michael Goeller]


Game Two

Emil Sutovsky (2656) - Mladen Palac (2580) [B23]

10th Valle d'Aosta Open/Saint Vincent (9) 2002


1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bc4 Nc6 6. O-O e6 7. d3 Nge7 8. Qe1 O-O 9. a3 d5!










This advance is probably Black's best, and an eventual ...d5 is the only way to challenge White.

 

a) 9... Nd4 can lead to positions similar to the game after 10. Nxd4

(10. Qf2!? is Chandler's move in the previous game, when I note that 10... d5! 11. Ba2 transposes to positions considered below, though Black has other options: 11... b6 12. Re1 (12. Ne5!?) 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+ 31. Rxd2 Qxh1+ 32. Qg1 Qf3+ 33. Qf2 1/2-1/2 Day,L-Frilles,R/Toronto Closed 1997 -- when Gary Lane suggests that time pressure was a factor, since Black could have won by 30...Bh3+ and is still winning in the final position)

 

10... cxd4 11. Ne2 (perhaps 11. Nd1!? or 11. Nb1!?) 11... d5 12. Ba2

(12. Bb3 dxe4 13. dxe4 Bd7?! 14. Qf2! Bb5 15. Rd1 d3 16. cxd3)

 

12... dxe4 13. dxe4 d3 (Here White must take the pawn, while with the Bishop at b3 he cannot due to Qb6+ -- but in that case the pawn at c2 is defended at least. Also played is 13... Bd7!? 14. Ng3?! (14. Qf2! putting pressure on the pawn at d4 is best) 14... Rc8 15. Rf2 Qb6 16. Bb3 (note why the Bishop belongs at b3 if White intends to trade at d4) 16... Nc6 17. e5 Na5 18. Ba2 Nc4 19. Ne4 Ne3 20. Bb3 Ng4 21. Rf3 (21. Rd2 d3+ 22. Kh1 dxc2 23. Bxc2 Ne3 24. Bd3) 21... d3+ 22. Be3 Nxe3 23. Qxe3 dxc2 24. Rc1 Bc6!?= 1/2-1/2 Greet,A-Menon,S/Birmingham 2000)

 

14. cxd3 Qxd3 15. Ng3
(As in the Greet game above, this just does not seem to be the best place for the Knight. White probably cannot succeed with direct attack by f5 but should instead try to assert his space advantage in the center. Perhaps instead 15. e5! Nf5 (15... f6 16. Rf3 Qd8 17. exf6 Bxf6 18. Nc3) 16. Rf3 Qd8 17. Bd2 (17. g4!?) 17... Qb6+ 18. Kh1 Qxb2? 19. Bb4 Rd8 20. Bb3)

 

15... b6 16. f5 exf5 17. Bg5 Qd4+ 18. Kh1 Qe5! (The key move, after which White's attack does not seem to work.) 19. Qb4 Nc6! 20. Qc4 Na5 21. Qd5 Be6!? (21... Qxd5 22. Bxd5 Bb7! 23. Bxb7 Nxb7 24. exf5 Bxb2) 22. Qxe5 Bxe5 23. exf5 gxf5 24. Nxf5 Bxb2 25. Rab1 Bc3 (25... Bxa3) 26. Rbc1 Bb2 27. Rc2 Bxf5? 28. Rxf5 Rae8 29. Rf1 Bxa3 30. Bh6 Bc5 31. Rc3 Kh8 32. Bxf8 Rxf8 33. Rxf7 Rxf7 34. Bxf7 and White won a very tough ending: 34... Nc6 35. Rg3 Ne7 36. Bc4 Ng6 37. Ba6 Kg7 38. Rd3 Ne5 39. Rd8 Kf6 40. Rh8 Kg7 41. Ra8 Nc6 42. Bb5 Nd4 43. Rxa7+ Kf6 44. Bd3 h6 45. Rh7 Bf8 46. Rd7 Bc5 47. Rd8 Ne6 48. Rd7 Ke5 49. g3 Bd6 50. Rh7 Bf8 51. Rf7 Bc5 52. Rf5+ Kd4 53. Bf1 Be7 54. h4 Ke4 55. Rf7 Bd8 56. Rd7 Ke5 57. Rh7 Nd4 58. Rxh6 Nf5 59. Rh5 Kf6 60. Kg2 Kg6 61. Be2 Bf6 62. Kh3 Nd4 63. Bd1 b5 64. Rd5 b4 65. h5+ Kf7 66. Rd7+ Ke6 67. Rb7 Nc6 68. Rb6 Kd7 69. Ba4 1-0 Rutherford,E-Hamid,R/Istanbul TUR 2000.

 

b) 9... a6 (this appears to be a waste of time, and White has done well here) 10. Qh4

The most natural, though White has good alternatives:

(a) 10. Ba2!? Qc7 11. f5 exf5 12. Qh4 Ne5 13. Nxe5 dxe5 14. Bg5 Nc6 (14... Re8 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Qxe7 Rxe7 17. Nd5 and Black must surrender the Exchange.) 15. Nd5! Qd6 16. exf5 (16. Nf6+ Bxf6 17. Bxf6 f4 18. g3) 16... Bxf5 17. Kh1 Be6 18. Nf6+ Bxf6 19. Bxf6 Rfe8 20. Bxe6 Rxe6 21. Rf3 Nd4??










(21... 21... h5 22. Raf1 Nd4 23. R3f2 Rae8 24. Qg5 Qf8 25. c3 Nc6 26. g4!; or 21... Qf8 22. Rh3) 22. Qxh7+! 1-0 Bujupi,F-Richard,J/Bern 1997)

 

(b) 10. Ne2!? b5 11. Ba2 d5 12. Qh4 dxe4 13. dxe4 Bb7 (13... c4!?) 14. Ng5?! h6 15. Nxf7? Kxf7?! (15... Rxf7! 16. Bxe6 Nd4! 17. Bxf7+ Kxf7 18. Ng3 Nxc2) 16. f5 Kg8 (16... Nd4! 17. Bxe6+ Ke8 18. Bxh6 Nxe2+) 17. Bxh6 (17. Bxe6+ Kh7 18. Bg5 Nxf5!! 19. Rxf5 Qd6 20. Rf7 Rxf7 21. Bxf7 Rf8 22. Rf1=) 17... Nd4? (17... Nxf5! 18. Bxe6+ Kh7 19. Qxd8 Raxd8 20. Bxg7 Nxg7 21. Rxf8 Rxf8 22. Bd5 Nd4!) 18. Ng3? (18. Bxg7! Kxg7 19. f6+) 18... Nec6 19. Bg5 Qe8 20. c3 (20. f6) 20... c4 21. f6! Bh8 22. cxd4 Nxd4 23. Rad1 (23. e5) 23... e5! 24. Qh6 Bc8










25. Rxd4! exd4 26. Rf4! Kf7 27. e5 d3 28. Rxc4! bxc4 29. Bxc4+ Qe6 30. Qh7+ Ke8 31. Bxe6 Bxf6 32. exf6 Rf7 33. Qxf7+ Kd8 34. Qe7# 1-0 McKay,B-Keith-Jacques,L/Halifax, NS 2007)

 

10... Nd4

(10... b5 11. Ba2 Ra7 12. f5!? exf5? (12... gxf5! 13. Bh6 Bxh6 14. Qxh6 f6 15. Nh4) 13. Bh6! fxe4 14. dxe4?! (14. Ng5!? Nf5 15. Rxf5! Bxf5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qxh7+ Kf6 18. Ncxe4+ Bxe4 19. Nxe4+ Ke7 20. Rf1) (14. Bxg7! Nf5! (14... Kxg7 15. Ng5) 15. Qxd8 Rxd8 16. Bf6 exf3 17. Bxd8 Nxd8 18. Rxf3) 14... Ne5? (14... Nf5! 15. Qxd8 Rxd8 16. Bxg7 Nxg7 17. Nd5) 15. Ng5! Ng4 16. Bxg7 h5 17. Bxf8 Qxf8 18. Rxf7 Qd8 1-0 urusov-KorbenDALLAS/Owl21.com blitz 2008 (18))

 

11. f5

(11. Nxd4 Bxd4+ 12. Kh1 Nc6 13. Qg3 Bg7 14. f5 Ne5 15. Ba2 b5 (15... exf5 16. Bg5) 16. Bg5 Qe8 17. f6 Bh8 18. Rf4 (White can also cash in with simply 18. Bh6) 18... b4 19. Ne2 bxa3 20. bxa3 Qb5 21. Rb1 Qa4 22. Bb3 Qxa3 23. Qh4! Rb8?? (23... h5 24. Bh6 and it's not exactly clear how White should break through.) 24. Qh6 1-0 Dalla Vedova,G-De Angelis,F/Venice 1983)

 

11... Nec6 12. Bg5 f6 13. fxe6! Bxe6 (13... fxg5?? 14. e7+! (or 14. Nxg5) ) 14. Bxe6+ Nxe6 15. Be3 (15. Bh6 is more thematic.) 15... Nc7 16. Rf2 Qd7 17. Raf1 Rae8 18. Bh6 b5 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. Nd2 Qe6 21. Ne2 Qe5 22. c3 d5 23. Nf4 dxe4 24. Nxe4 c4 25. Nxf6 (25. Nxg6!? hxg6 26. Nxf6 Rxf6 27. Rxf6 Nd8 28. dxc4 Rh8 29. Qf4 Qxf4 30. R6xf4 bxc4 31. Rxc4) 25... Rxf6 26. Nh5+ Qxh5? (26... gxh5 27. Rxf6) 27. Qxf6+ Kh6 28. Qxc6 Qe5 29. d4 Qe7 30. Qf3 1-0 Stadler,B-Videkovic,M/Pula CRO 2001.

 

10. Bb3

Whether the Bishop should retreat to b3 or to a2 depends upon how White plans to react to 10... Nd4. If he intends 10...Nd4 11. Nxd4 cxd4 then the Bishop will be better placed on b3 to defend the c2 pawn, which might be attacked along the open c-file. If he intends not to exchange on d4, then 10.Ba2 is the better idea. However, the available games do not show the Ba2 idea in a favorable light:

10. Ba2 dxe4 (10... Nd4 11. Qf2 b6 transposes to Day - Frilles, discussed above.) (10... d4 11. Ne2 b5 12. Qh4 Rb8 13. Ng5?! (13. Ng3!? a5 14. f5 exf5 15. Bh6) (13. f5! exf5 (13... gxf5 14. Bh6 Ng6 15. Qh5) 14. Bh6 c4 (14... Qd6 15. Ng3) 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. dxc4) 13... h6 14. Nf3 f5!? 15. e5 Qd7 16. h3 (16. b4) 16... Nd5 17. g4 Nce7 18. Ng3?! (18. g5! h5 19. b4! xd4) 18... Bb7 19. g5 h5 20. Nxh5? gxh5 21. Qxh5 Qe8 22. Qh4 Qg6 23. Qg3 Qh5 24. Rf2 Ng6 25. Bd2 Kf7 26. Re1 Rh8 27. Rh2 Ndxf4 28. Bxf4 Qxf3 29. Qxf3 Bxf3 30. Bg3 Ke7 31. Kf2 Bc6 32. h4 f4 33. h5 fxg3+ 34. Kxg3 Bxe5+ 35. Kg4 Bxh2 36. Rxe6+ Kd7 37. Rxg6 Be5 38. Be6+ Kc7 39. Bf5 Bd7 40. Bxd7 Kxd7 41. h6 Rbg8 42. Ra6 Bd6 43. Kh5 Bf4 44. Rg6 Rxg6 45. Kxg6 Ke7 46. Kf5 Bxg5 47. Kxg5 Kf7 0-1 Galyautdinova, K-Kalmykova,A/Smolensk RUS 2008, but White can obviously improve here as indicated.) 11. dxe4 b6 12. Qh4 (12. e5!? Nf5 13. Ne4 Ncd4 14. Rf2! Bb7 15. c3 Nxf3+ 16. Rxf3) (12. Qf2! is often the thematic move in this line and may be best, planning to simply complete development by Be3 and Rad1 for example.) 12... Ba6 13. Rd1 Nd4 14. f5?!










(14. Nxd4!? cxd4 15. Qe1 Qc7 16. Ne2 Qxc2 17. Nxd4 Bxd4+ 18. Rxd4 Rfd8 19. Rd2!) (14. Qf2!) 14... Nexf5!! 15. Qxd8 Raxd8 16. exf5 Ne2+ 17. Kf2 Nxc3 18. Rxd8 Ne4+! 19. Ke3 Rxd8 20. Kxe4 gxf5+ 21. Kf4 Bh6+ 22. Ng5 Rd4+ (22... f6 23. Bxe6+ Kg7 24. Kxf5) 23. Kf3 Rg4 24. Nh3 Bb7+ 25. Kf2 Rxg2+ 0-1 Cavanaugh,K-Van Buskirk,C/USA 1982.

 

10... Nd4!

Now White is basically forced to exchange on d4 due to the positional threat of Nxb3. Black can also play a more positional game, though White seems to retain the initiative here:

a) 10... b6!? 11. e5 a6 12. Nd1 Bb7 13. c3 d4 14. Nf2 Na5 15. Bd1 dxc3 16. bxc3 c4 17. d4 Nb3! 18. Bxb3 cxb3 19. Ne4 (19. Ng4!?) 19... Bd5 20. a4 Qc7 21. Ba3 Rfd8 22. Nfd2 (22. Nf6+!?) (22. a5!?) 22... Rac8










23. Rc1 (23. Qe2!?) (23. g4!? Bxe4! 24. Nxe4 Nd5) 23... Qd7 24. Nd6 Rb8 25. c4 Ba8 26. Qf2 Qxa4 27. Ra1 Qc6 28. Rfd1!? ( A safe play was 28. Nxb3 Nc8 29. Nxc8 Rbxc8 30. Rfc1 which looks at least slightly in White's favor given his central pawn mass.) 28... Nf5 29. N2e4 Nxd6 30. Nxd6 a5! (30... b5 31. cxb5 axb5 32. Rdc1 Qd7 33. Bc5) 31. Rd2 ( White needs to play more aggressively to retain the initiative by 31. d5! Now Black assumes the initiative and gets his queenside pawns moving with a nice Exchange sac.) 31... Qd7 32. Qe3 a4 33. Rad1 b5! 34. Nxb5 Rxb5! 35. cxb5 Qxb5 By eliminating the Knight, Black gains a bind on light squares, and his two Bishops make it possible to support his advanced connected passed pawns. 36. Qc3 Bh6 37. Rf2 Be4 38. h3 Qb7 39. Ra1 Rc8 Black's pieces assume powerful squares and push White into a bind. 40. Qe1 Bc2 41. Bb2 Ra8 42. Ba3 Bf8! The writing is on the wall: Black will eventually get his pawns rolling and win. 0-1 Anderson,B-Jaederholm,B/ICCF Email 2003. White seems to have several opportunities to improve, but this line is quite double edged.

 

b) 10... Qb6?! 11. exd5! Bxc3 (11... Nxd5 12. Nxd5 exd5 13. Bxd5) 12. bxc3 exd5 13. Be3

 

11. Nxd4 cxd4










12. Ne2

White should consider other Knight retreats to avoid the drawish game line, e. g.:

a) 12. Nd1!? dxe4 13. dxe4 (with ideas like Rf3-h3, Qh4, and Nf2-g4-h6+ etc.) 13... d3! (13... Bd7 14. Rf3 Bc6 15. Nf2) 14. Be3 dxc2 15. Bxc2 b6 16. Nc3 Ba6 17. Rf2 ( White plans to double on the d-file, but 17. Rf3! with kingside ambitions seems more interesting) 17... Rc8 18. Rd2 Qc7 19. Rad1 Rfd8 20. h3?! 1/2-1/2 Villavicencio,A-De la Riva Aguado,O/Andorra la Vella AND 2006, though White can keep a slight edge after 20. e5 Rxd2 21. Qxd2 Nf5 22. Bf2.

 

b) 12. Nb1!? dxe4 13. dxe4 d3 14. Nd2!? dxc2 15. Bxc2=

 

12... dxe4 13. dxe4 d3!

13... e5?! 14. Qg3 Be6 15. f5! Bxb3 16. Qxb3 Qd6?! 17. Bg5 h6? 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. fxg6 Goeller - Bartell, KCC Simul 2008.

 

14. Nc3

14. cxd3?? Qb6+

 

14... Nc6!

White seems to gain some attacking chances, though it is double-edged, after 14... dxc2 15. Bxc2 b6 16. Kh1 Bb7 17. f5! exf5 18. exf5 Nd5 19. Ne4 Re8 20. fxg6 (20. Qf2!?) 20... hxg6 21. Qf2 Qc7 (21... f5!? 22. Ng5 Ba6 23. Rd1 Re2 24. Qh4) 22. Ng5 Ba6 23. Rd1? (White had to play 23. Bb3! Bxf1? (23... Rad8 24. Rd1 Re2 25. Qh4) 24. Bxd5) 23... Re2! 24. Qf3 Rxc2 25. Rxd5 Bb7 26. Bf4 Bxd5 27. Qxd5 Rd8 28. Qf3 Qd7 29. Rf1 Qf5 30. Qe3 Qd5 31. Qh3 Bh6 32. Nxf7 Qxf7 33. Qxh6 Rc5 34. Qh4 g5 35. Qg3 Rdd5 36. Re1 Rc2 0-1 Campeanu,A-Dasaolu,A/Gibraltar 2008.

 

15. Be3 Nd4!

The key to Black's idea.

15... dxc2?! 16. Bxc2 Nd4?! 17. Ba4! followed b y Rd1 gives White control of the d-file and a big lead in development.

 

16. Bxd4

16. Rd1!? dxc2 (16... Nxb3? 17. Rxd3!) 17. Bxc2 Nxc2! 18. Rxd8 (18. Qf2? Nxe3! 19. Rxd8 Rxd8 and the Knight is indirectly protected due to Bd4) 18... Nxe1 19. Rxf8+ Kxf8 20. Rxe1 yields an ending that is pretty much equal but may offer some practical chances. Black has the two Bishops but White has the more active pieces and control of space. However, Black can probably gain a draw fairly easily by 20... Bxc3 21. bxc3 b6 22. Rd1 Bb7 23. e5 Bd5= and with Bishops of opposite color it is unlikely anyone can make progress.

 

16... Qxd4+ 17. Kh1 Qb6

17... d2?! seems unlikely to work: 18. Qe2 Rd8 19. Rad1 b6 20. Bc4! Bb7 21. Bd3 and the pawn must fall.

 

18. Na4!

Sutovsky's drawing idea is probably best here, unfortunately. White could play on with 18. Qd1 dxc2 19. Qxc2 Bd7 but White's awkward pieces and Black's two Bishops are discouraging. 20. e5!? Rac8 21. Rad1 Bc6 22. Ba2 Rfd8. An improvement will have to be found much earlier if this game is not to be the last word on the system...

 

18... Qb5

Black seems to have many Queen moves if he wants to avoid repetition, but White gains something against all of them: 18... Qa6?! 19. Nc5!; 18... Qd6 19. Rd1; or 18... Qc6 19. cxd3 all leave White better placed and better developed.

 

19. Nc3 Qb6

19... Qa6 20. cxd3 Qxd3 21. Rd1 gives White a huge lead in development, even after 21... Bxc3?! 22. Rxd3 Bxe1 23. Rxe1

 

20. Na4 Qb5 21. Nc3

1/2-1/2

 

 

Bibliography

Goeller, Michael. The Left Hook Grand Prix with a3 (Java)

______. Fun with the Left Hook Grand Prix (Java)

______. Grand Prix Attack Bibliography, Updated

Jones, Gaiwain. Starting Out: Sicilian Grand Prix Attack. Everyman 2008.

Lane, Gary. The Grand Prix Attack. Batsford 1997.

 

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Copyright © 2008 by Michael Goeller