The Monte Carlo French

French Exchange Variation with c4

By Michael Goeller

The Monte Carlo Exchange Variation of the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4) reaches positions that often occur by transposition from other openings (especially the Queen's Gambit Accepted). This is a great "first line" against the French for developing players, but there are also a number of strong masters (especially Normunds Miezis) who play this all the time with success. Often under-estimated by opponents, it contains a number of tactical ideas and attacking motifs that may not be familiar to many players. Theory is probably right that White does not get much of an edge this way, but he does get a wild and wide-open game, which may not be the sort of thing the typical French Defense player wants. He also gets to reach exactly the type of positions he wants to play, without allowing Black to dictate. And for players who prefer open positions (and what 1.e4 player does not?) it can be a wonderful thing to side-step the closed positions so typical of this opening. White does have to be prepared to accept an isolated pawn, but anyone who likes to control the center and have open lines and outposts for his pieces should enjoy that.

In general, White's attack with 4.c4 blasts open the position and forces both players to battle for the initiative. Therefore, any defensive play by White is out of place. This is especially true in the line most frequently recommended by theory, 4...Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Ne7, where White must be ready to sacrifice a pawn, in my view, after 6.Nf3 Nbc6 7.a3! Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 O-O 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nd5 (the book "refutation") with 11.O-O! (not considered by theory as far as I have seen). I also examine other lines where White must sacrifice a pawn or aggressively advance his pawns on the kingside in order to keep the initiative.

What follows is a selective "repertoire" for White and an introduction to the line where I have recommended the sharpest choices. However, I include a bibliography for those who want to do their own research and pave their own way. I have also included a few of my own games, which were the easiest to find to illustrate my first tactical theme -- the Bishop trap...

 

Game One

Garry Kasparov - Fritz 3 [C01]

Munich Intel Express 1994


1. e3!?

This move order is obviously intended as an anti-computer strategy, especially well suited to blitz play. The game position could also arise via

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 dxc4 5. Bxc4 Bb4+ etc.

 

1... d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Bxc4 e5 4. d4 exd4 5. exd4 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Bg4

 










9. Be3

A better illustration of the Bishop trap motif can be found in another game from the match: 9. h3 Bh5 (9... Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Qxd4 11. Qxb7) 10. g4 Bg6 11. Ne5 Nc6 12. Be3 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Nd7 (13... Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ne4 15. Qxd8 Raxd8 16. f4 h6 17. f5 Bh7 18. e6 Baburin) 14. f4 Nb6 15. Bb3?! ( 15. Bxb6! axb6 16. Qxd8 Raxd8 17. f5 Rd2 18. fxg6 hxg6 19. e6 Baburin) 15... Bd3! 16. Qf3?! White gets insufficient compensation for the Exchange.( 16. Rf2! Nc4 17. Qf3) 16... Bxf1 17. Rxf1 c6 18. f5 Qe7 19. f6 Qxe5 20. fxg7 Kxg7 21. Ne4 Nd5 0-1 Kasparov,G-Fritz 3/Munich Express 1994 (47).

 

9... a5

This is not an especially meaningful move, though it does defend the loose Bishop at b4.

 

10. h3 Bh5 11. g4! Bg6 12. Ne5 Nbd7 13. f4 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qe8

Not 14... Qxd1 15. Nxd1! Nd7 16. e6!

 

15. Qe1 Ne4 16. a3!?

Even stronger is 16. f5! Qxe5 but it gets quite tactically complex, which may be why Kasparov chose the simpler line against the computer: 17. fxg6 hxg6 (17... Nxc3 18. bxc3 Bxc3 19. Bxf7+ Kh8 20. Rf5) 18. Rd1! Bd6 19. Bf4! Qc5+ 20. Kg2 Rae8 (20... Qxc4 21. Qxe4) 21. Bd5 Nf6 22. Bxd6

 

16... Bxc3 17. bxc3 Qc6 18. Ba2 h6 19. f5! Bh7

The Bishop is entombed, so that White may as well be up a piece for the remainder of the game.

 

20. Bd4 Ng5 21. Qe3 Rfe8 22. h4! Ne4 23. g5!

The immediate 23. Rae1 Nd6 is a little less clear, while with the pawn at g5 White can meet Nd6 with g6 and Qg3 winning a piece due to the double attack on Bishop and Knight.

 

23... hxg5 24. hxg5 g6










Nor 24... b6 25. Rae1 Nc5 26. g6

 

25. e6!

White blasts open all lines leading to Black's king.

 

25... fxe6 26. fxe6 Re7 27. Rae1 b5? 28. Qxe4 Qxe4 29. Rxe4 b4 30. Rf7 b3 31. Bxb3 c5 32. Rxe7 cxd4 1-0


Game Two

goeller - Rambaldi (1807) [C01]

ICC 5 0 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 dxc4 5. Bxc4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Be7

A typical error here is 6... Bg4? 7. Bxf7+! Kxf7 8. Ne5+ Kg8 9. Nxg4 Bd6 1-0 Kuip-De Vries/Den Haag 1979 (9).

 

7. Nc3 O-O 8. O-O Bg4

The Bishop is often exposed on this square, but you will find that most of your opponents will do this automatically. At the very least, White should get the two Bishops in an open position, which can't be too bad.

 

9. Be3 c6 10. h3 Bh5 11. g4!

Imitating Kasparov, of course!

 

11... Bg6 12. Ne5 Nbd7

 










13. f4! Ne4?

Black is already in quite a bit of trouble, but this move simply loses.

a) 13... Be4 14. Qb3 (14. g5 Nd5) 14... Bd5 15. Bxd5 cxd5 16. Nxd5

b) 13... Qc7 14. f5 Nxe5 15. dxe5 Qxe5 16. Qf3 Bc5 17. Bf2

 

14. Nxd7

14. f5 also wins.

 

14... Qxd7 15. f5 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Bxf5 17. Rxf5 Bh4 18. Qf3 Rae8 19. Rf1

Black resigns

1-0

Game Three

goeller - mathou (1804) [C01]

ICC 5 0 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 dxc4 5. Bxc4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5

With White's Bishop at g5, the plan of g4, Ne5, and f4 does not seem to work as well. But White has other possibilities here.

 

10. Nc3

White should probably complete his development before beginning kingside operations. But maybe White can get away with the aggressive

10. g4 Bg6 11. Ne5 Nbd7 12. f4!? Bxb1!?

(12... Nb6?! 13. f5! Bxe5 14. dxe5 Qxd1 (14... Nxc4 15. exf6 Qxd1 16. Rxd1 h6 17. fxg7 Kxg7 18. Bf4 Bh7 19. Rc1 Na5 20. Rxc7) 15. Rxd1 Ne4 (15... h6 16. Bb3!) 16. Be7 Nxc4 (16... Rfe8 17. Bd3) 17. Rd4)

13. Rxb1 Nb6 14. Bb3 Be7 15. Qd3 and Bc2 with attacking prospects.

 

10... c6 11. Ne4! Be7 12. Ng3! Bg6 13. Ne5 Nbd7 14. f4 Nd5?










Threatening Ne3 and Bxg5, but failing to account for White's bigger threat of f5. Better 14... Nxe5! 15. dxe5 (15. fxe5 Nd5=) 15... Ne4! works due to the loose Knight at g3 when after(15... Nd5 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Bxd5 cxd5 18. f5 Qxe5 19. Qd3) 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 the threats of Qc5+ and Nxg3 force further exchanges, but White still keeps an edge after 17. Nxe4 Bxe4 18. Qd6!

 

15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Bxd5

16. Nxd7

 

16... cxd5 17. f5

More precise is 17. Nxd7! Qxd7 18. f5

 

17... Qg5?

17... Nxe5 18. dxe5 Qxe5 19. Qf3

 

18. Qf3

18. Nxd7 Qxg3 19. Nxf8

 

18... Nxe5 19. dxe5

Black resigns

1-0

Game Four

goeller - SlapJack (1950) [C01]

ICC 5 0 u/Internet Chess Club 2007


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Be7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bd3 c6 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. Re1 Nb6 11. Bb3 Bg4 12. h3 Bh5 13. g4 Bg6 14. Ne5 Re8?!










a) 14... Nbd5 15. f4 Bb4 16. f5

b) 14... Bb4 15. f4! Bxc3 16. bxc3 Nfd5 (16... h6? 17. Nxg6) 17. f5

 

15. f4!

The Bishop trap theme returns, aided here by the fact that Black cannot play h6 due to the pin on the f-pawn and the Knight's attack on the Bishop at g6.

Another idea here is 15. h4!? Nbd7 16. h5 which should also win.

 

15... Nfd5

15... h6 16. Nxg6

 

16. f5 Bh4 17. fxg6 hxg6 18. Rf1 Re7 19. Ne4 f6 20. Nxg6 Rxe4 21. Nxh4 Qd6 22. Nf5 Qe6 23. Qf3 Re8 24. Bd2 g6 25. Ng3 Rxd4 26. Rae1 Qf7 27. Bc3 Rf4 28. Rxe8+

Black resigns

1-0

Game Five

Steven Geirnaert - Charles F Kuijpers [C01]

Vlissingen HZ op 7th/Vlissingen (2) 2003


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Ne7

This is the "book" remedy, first proposed by John Watson and well demonstrated by his student, Tal Shaked. Black's idea is to pressure the d-pawn with an eventual Nbc6 and Nf5. The Knight is also better placed here to block checks on the e-file, sidestep the pin by Bg5, and prevent White from so easily using the e5 square. However, I think White has a remedy.

 

6. Nf3

6. a3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 O-O 8. Nf3 Nbc6 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 11. O-O! is similar to the game line.

 

6... Nbc6

 










6... O-O 7. a3!? (This gets a "?!" from Watson) 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Nbc6 (8... Re8 9. Be2 dxc4 10. O-O Be6 11. Rb1 Bd5 12. Ne5=) 9. Bd3 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 11. O-O! is again the thematic line.

 

7. a3!

I like this move, which secures the two Bishops in an open position and gains more support for White's pawn center. Burgess says that "White probably cannot afford this," but I think White can if he is willing to sac a pawn for rapid development (an idea Burgess does not consider).

 

7... Bxc3+

Of course, the Bishop is trapped after 7... Ba5? 8. b4 Bb6? 9. c5 -- a nice echo of our theme in the previous games.

 

8. bxc3 O-O 9. Bd3 Bf5

This exchange does not trouble White at all.

On 9... dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nd5 White must sacrifice a pawn, Giuoco Piano style, with 11. O-O! since defending the pawn is bad:(11. Qd3?! Re8+ 12. Kf1 Nce7!) (11. Bd2?! Re8+ 12. Be2 Qe7 13. c4 Nb6 (13... Bf5!? 14. cxd5? Bc2! 15. Bg5 Bxd1 16. Bxe7 Bxe2 17. dxc6 Bxf3) 14. Be3 Bg4 15. O-O Rad8 16. d5? (16. Bd3) 16... Bxf3! 17. gxf3 (17. Bxf3 Nxc4) 17... Ne5 18. Qb3 Nbxc4! 19. Bxc4? Nxf3+ 20. Kg2 Qe4! 21. Kh3 Re5 (21... Qh4+ 22. Kg2 Qg4+ 23. Kh1 Nh4 24. Rg1 Qf3+ 25. Rg2 Qxg2#) 22. Be2 Rdxd5 23. Qc4 Rh5+ 24. Kg3 Rdg5+ 25. Bxg5 Rxg5+ 26. Kh3 Qf5+ 0-1 Santo Roman,M-Shaked,T/Cannes 1997 (26)) 11... Nxc3 (11... b5 12. Bg5 f6? 13. Bxb5) 12. Qd3 Nd5 13. Re1! and White's two Bishops, central pawn, and attacking chances (with ideas like Ng5, d5, Bb2, Bb3-c2, and Rad1) certainly compensate for the pawn.

 

10. O-O Bxd3 11. Qxd3 dxc4 12. Qxc4 Qd5

With his central pawns, potential b-file pressure, and square control (aided by the dark-squared Bishop), White has some potential for an edge, so Black tries to exchange pieces. White can probably exploit his edge most easily in the ending and should probably accept the exchange. No better, though, is

12... Qd6 13. a4!? Rfe8 14. Ba3 Qf4 15. Rfe1.

 

13. Qd3!?

Better 13. Qxd5! Nxd5 14. c4 Nb6 15. Rb1 and White has real pressure with ideas like Bf4, c5 and Rxb7. If White gets a passed d-pawn with his Bishop on c7, that could be very dangerous for Black.

 

13... Ng6 14. Rb1! b6 15. Rb5! Qd7 16. Rh5!?

The Rook swing is typical of these isolani positions, though this one is a bit unorthodox.

 

16... Rfe8 17. Rd1 Rad8 18. h3 a5 19. Ng5 h6 20. Ne4 Qe6 21. Ng3 Nce7 22. c4 Qf6 23. Ne4 Qe6 24. Nc3! f5 25. d5 Qf7 26. Qg3 Kh7?

Better 26... Nc8! and White will need to sacrifice material to maintain his initiative. 27. Nb5! Nf4 28. Bxf4 Qxh5 29. Rd3.

 

27. Nb5! f4

27... Nf4 28. Rxh6+! gxh6 29. Bxf4

 

28. Qg4 Nc8 29. Rf5 Qe7 30. Bxf4 Nxf4 31. Qxf4 Nd6

31... c6 32. Nc7 Qe2 33. Rd4

 

32. Nxd6 Qxd6 33. Qd4 Rf8 34. Rxf8 Rxf8 35. Qd3+ Kh8 36. Re1 Qf4 37. Re2 Qc1+ 38. Kh2 Qf4+ 39. g3 Qd6 40. Qe3 Kh7 41. Kg2 Rd8 42. Qe4+ Kh8 43. Qe7 b5!? 44. Qxd6 Rxd6 45. Re7

45. Re6! Rd7 46. Kf3 bxc4 47. Ke4 Kg8 48. Rc6

 

45... bxc4 46. Rxc7 Rxd5 47. Rxc4 Kh7 48. a4 Kg6 49. Rc6+ Kf5 50. g4+ Ke4 51. Re6+ Kf4 52. Rg6 Rg5?! 53. Rxg5 hxg5 54. f3 Ke3 55. Kg3 g6 56. Kg2 Ke2 57. h4!

The only way to win. After 57...gxh4 58.f4 White will force through his pawn to Queen.

1-0

Game Six

Normunds Miezis - Manfred Kahn [C00]

Dresden op 01st/Dresden 1992


1. c4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. d4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Bd3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nd5










9. O-O! Nxc3

a) 9... Bxc3 10. bxc3 Nxc3 11. Qb3! ( with no Black Knight at c6 to threaten Na5, this is strong, but also good is the standard 11. Qd3 Nd5 12. Ng5) 11... Ne4 12. Re1 Nd6 (12... Nf6 13. Ba3) 13. Bg5! Qd7 14. Ne5 Qf5 15. Be7 Nxc4 (15... Re8? 16. Bxd6) 16. Bxf8

b) 9... Nb6! 10. Bb3 Bg4 11. Qd3.

 

10. bxc3 Bxc3 11. Rb1 Be6

a) 11... Bg4? 12. Ba3! wins the Exchange since 12... Re8? 13. Qb3! is even worse.

b) 11... c5?! 12. Ng5! (12. dxc5!?) 12... Qf6! All pawn captures lose by the same idea:(12... Qxd4? 13. Qh5 Bf5 (13... h6 14. Bxf7+ Kh8 15. Qg6!) 14. Bxf7+ Kh8 15. Nxh7!) (12... Bxd4? 13. Qh5 Bf5 14. Bxf7+ Kh8 15. Nxh7!) (12... cxd4 13. Qh5 Bf5 14. Bxf7+ Kh8 15. Nxh7! Bxh7 16. Bg6) 13. Qe2! Nc6! (White threatened 14.Nxf7 and Qe8+) 14. Ne4! (14. Nxf7!? Nxd4 15. Ng5+ Kh8 16. Qh5 Bf5 17. Rxb7 Bg6 18. Qh3) 14... Qxd4 15. Rd1 Qe5 16. Rd5 Nd4 17. Qe3

 

12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Qd3

13. Qb3 Rxf3! is stronger than in the game.

 

13... Rxf3

13... Ba5 14. Rb5! c5 15. Ng5!

 

14. Qxf3 Bxd4 15. Qxb7 Nd7

With his pawns broken, Black has insufficient compensation for the Exchange.

 

16. Qc6 e5 17. Be3 Nb6 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Rfd1 d3 20. h3 Rc8 21. a4

1-0


Game Seven

Normunds Miezis - Frode Bull Jaeger [C00]

Politiken Cup 26th/Copenhagen (1) 2004


1. c4 e6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. d4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Ne7 6. Nf3 Bg4?! 7. h3!

a) 7. Be3 is playable and transposes to lines considered later, e.g.: 7... Nbc6 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 O-O 10. O-O Nf5 11. Qd3 Nd6 12. Bd5 Ne7 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Rfe1 Qf6 16. Ne5 Bf5 17. Qf3 c6 18. Bb3 Rad8 19. Re3 Rfe8 20. Rae1 Be6!? 21. Qxf6 gxf6 22. Nd3 Ba5 23. Nc5! (23. Bxe6 Rxe6 24. Rxe6 fxe6 25. Rxe6 Kf7 26. Nf4 Nc4 27. Ne4) 23... Bc8 24. N5e4 Nxe4 25. Rxe4 Rxe4 26. Rxe4 Kf8 27. h3 f5 28. Rh4 Kg7 29. d5! Bxc3 30. bxc3 cxd5 31. Rd4! Kf6 32. f4!? b5 33. Rxd5 Rxd5 34. Bxd5 Be6 35. Bc6 Bxa2 36. Bxb5 Ke7 37. Kf2 Kd6 38. Ke3 Kc5 39. Bd7 Bb1 40. Be8 Ba2 41. Bd7 Bd5 1/2-1/2 Miezis,N-Pedersen,S/Gausdal 2000 (41)

b) 7. a3!? is also interesting, e.g.: 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Nbc6 9. h3 Bh5 10. Bd3 dxc4 11. Bxc4 O-O 12. O-O Nd5 13. Qd3!? Bg6 14. Qd2 Nb6 15. Ba2 Re8 16. Rd1 Be4 17. Ng5 Bg6 18. Qf4 Nd5 was equal in Miezis,N-Akesson,J/Sweden 2003, when best was 19. Qf3 (rather than 19. Qd2) 19... Nf6 20. Qg3 giving White some chances of using his two Bishops and potentially mobile center pawns.

 

7... Bh5 8. Bd3 Nbc6 9. Be3

a) 9. O-O!? dxc4 (9... Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nxd4 11. Qg4) (9... Nxd4? 10. Qa4+ Ndc6 11. cxd5!) (9... O-O 10. Bxh7+!) 10. Bxc4 O-O 11. a3!? (11. Be3 transposes to the game line) 11... Bd6 (11... Bxc3 12. bxc3 is similar to the game) 12. Ne4 Bxf3 13. Qxf3 Nxd4 14. Qh5

b) 9. a3? Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nxd4

 

9... dxc4 10. Bxc4 O-O 11. O-O Nf5 12. a3! Bxc3

12... Bd6 13. g4! Nxe3 14. fxe3 Bg6 15. e4 is sharp but promising for White.

 

13. bxc3 Na5 14. Ba2!? Nd6 15. Re1 Nac4 16. Bc1 Re8 17. g4 Bg6 18. Ne5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Ne4?

 










This loses to a familiar tactic, but White has the edge due to his space and two Bishopsafter 19... Qe7 20. Qf3 or 19... Nb5 20. Bb2

 

20. Qxd8 Raxd8 21. f4!

Black must lose either the Knight or the Bishop.

 

21... Nxc3 22. f5 Rd3 23. Kg2

1-0


Game Eight

Maurice Ashley (2435) - Alexander Shabalov (2590) [C01]

New York Enhanced/Marshall Chess Club 1993


The following game is one of my favorites to show to students, for whom GM Ashley is an excellent role model. It was played at the Marshall Chess Club the same year that Shabalov won the US Championship. I like how well it illustrates the fight for the center and initiative, as well as the power of the pin.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4

Against the quiet 4. Bd3 Black can seriously consider turning the tables with 4... c5 as in the following well-known miniature: 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Qe2+ Be7 7. dxc5 Nf6 8. h3?! O-O 9. O-O Bxc5 10. c3 Re8 11. Qc2 Qd6 12. Nbd2?! Qg3! 13. Bf5 Re2 14. Nd4 Nxd4!! 0-1 Stefano Tatai-Viktor Korchnoi/Beer Sheva 1978 (14)

 

4... Nf6 5. Nc3 Bb4

Black typically pins White's Knights.

5... Be7 6. Bd3 O-O (6... dxc4 7. Bxc4 O-O 8. Nge2 Nbd7 9. O-O Nb6 10. Bb3 c6 11. Bg5 Bf5 12. Re1 h6 13. Ng3 Bg6 14. Bf4 Re8 15. Qf3 Qxd4 16. Rad1 Qb4 17. h4 Nbd5 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. h5 Bh7 20. Bd2 Qd6 21. Bc3 Rad8 22. Re5 Qb8 23. Bxd5 cxd5 24. Nf5 Bxf5 25. Rxf5 Bf8 26. Rfxd5 Rxd5 27. Qxd5 Qc7 28. Qd7 Rc8 29. Qxc7 Rxc7 30. Rd8 Rc4 31. a3 1-0 Maurice Ashley-Guil Russek-Libni/It (open), New York (USA) 1992 (31)) 7. Nge2 c6 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. Re1 Nb6 11. Bb3 Bf5 12. Ng3 Bg6 13. f4 h6 14. f5 Bh7 15. Be3 Re8 (15... Nbd5 16. Bf2 Qd7 17. Qf3 Bd6 18. Bc2 Ne7 19. Re5 Rfe8 20. Rae1 Bxe5 21. dxe5 Nfd5 22. Nce4 Nb4 23. Bb1 Ned5 24. Qg4 Rxe5 25. Nh5 Bg6 26. Nxg7 Kxg7 27. Bd4 Rae8 28. Qg3 Qxf5 29. Nd6 Kf8 30. Bxe5 Qg5 31. Nxe8 Qxg3 32. Bxg3 Bxb1 33. Bd6+ 1-0 Joshua Waitzkin-Aviv Friedman/New York (USA) 1993 (33)) 16. Qf3 Qd7 17. Rad1 Nbd5 18. Bc1 Bb4 19. Rf1 Rad8 20. Rd3 a6 21. Nh5 Nxh5 22. Qxh5 Nf6 23. Qh3 Bf8 24. Rdd1 Nd5 25. Nxd5 cxd5 26. Qh5 f6 27. Qf3 Kh8 28. g4 Bg8 29. Bf4 Bb4 30. h4 Ba5 31. Bc2 Bh7 32. Bg3 Qb5 33. Bb3 Bg8 34. g5 Qe2 35. gxf6 gxf6 36. Bf4 Qxf3 37. Rxf3 Bf7 38. Re3 Rxe3 39. Bxe3 Bh5 40. Rc1 Kh7 41. Rc5 Be1 42. Bxd5 b6 43. Rc7+ Kh8 44. Be6 1-0 Maurice Ashley-William Hook/01, World Open, Philadelphia U 1997 (44).

 

6. Bd3 c5!?

The present game suggests that this move is overly aggressive.

6... O-O 7. Nge2 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 9. O-O Nb6 10. Bb3 c6 (10... Re8 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 Be6 13. d5 Bf5 14. a4 Nbd7 15. Nd4 Bh7 16. Ne6 Qb8 17. Rc1 a6 18. Re1 Bd6 19. Qd4 Qa7 20. Qd2 fxe6 21. dxe6 Nc5 22. Bc2 Be7 23. Bxf6 Bxf6 24. Nd5 Bg5 25. Bxh7+ Kxh7 26. Qc2+ Kh8 27. Qxc5 Bxc1 28. Qxc1 Rad8 29. Nf4 Qd4 30. Qxc7 Qb4 31. Kf1 Qxb2 32. Qf7 Qf6 33. h4 Rxe6 34. Qxe6 Qxf4 35. Qe7 Rf8 36. Qc5 Kg8 37. g3 Qxa4 38. Qd5+ Kh8 39. Qxb7 Qb5+ 40. Qxb5 axb5 41. Re7 Rb8 42. Ke1 b4 43. Kd1 b3 44. Kc1 Rc8+ 45. Kb1 Rc2 46. Rf7 Re2 47. h5 Kg8 48. Rf5 b2 49. g4 Rd2 50. f3 Rh2 51. Ka2 g6 52. hxg6 Kg7 53. Kb1 Kxg6 54. Ka2 1/2-1/2 Maurice Ashley-Nick DeFirmian/09, Mermaid Beach Club, Bermud 1997 (54)) 11. Qd3 Nfd5 12. Bc2 g6 13. Ne4 Be7 14. Bb3 Nc7 15. Bf4 Nbd5 16. Bh6 Re8 17. Qf3 Be6 18. Nc5 Rb8 19. Nf4 Bf5 20. Rfe1 b6 21. Ncd3 Nxf4 22. Bxf4 Bxd3 23. Bxf7+ Kg7 24. Bxe8 Bd6 25. Bxc6 Bf5 26. Be4 Ne6 27. Bxd6 Qxd6 28. d5 Nd4 29. Qc3 1-0 Maurice Ashley-Jonathan Levitt/It (cat.8), New York (USA) 1994 (29).

 

7. Nge2

A viable alternative system made popular by Ashley and Waitzkin. Developing the Knight to e2 avoids the pin by Bg4 and supports the Knight at c3.

 

7... Nc6 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. dxc5 Bg4?!

9... Nxc3 10. Nxc3 (10. bxc3 Bxc5= Tangborn) 10... Qe7+ 11. Be3 Bxc5 12. O-O Bxe3 13. Nd5 Qe5 14. Nxe3 O-O=.

 

10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 Nxc3










12. Qc2!

A critical improvement on an earlier game with this line that Shabalov had played against Josh Waitzkin, of "Searching for Bobby Fischer" and "The Art of Learning" fame, which continued:

12. Qe1?! Qxd3! 13. Nxc3+ Be6 14. Qe3 Rd8 15. Rb1 O-O 16. Rxb7 Qa6 17. Rc7 Nd4 18. Bb2 Rfe8 19. h3 Qa5 20. Qg3 Nf5 21. Qf4 Rd4 22. Qe5 f6 23. Qh2 Bc4 24. Rc1 Qb4 25. Ba1 Qa3 26. Rb1 Bxa2 27. Nxa2 Qd3 0-1 Joshua Waitzkin-Alexander Shabalov/New York (USA) 1993 (27)

 

12... Bxe2 13. Re1!

A cool pin. Black is temporarily up a piece but has two pieces hanging. Note that the Bishop at d3 is immune from capture due to the pin on the e-file.

 

13... Qd4

 










13... O-O 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15. Qxc3

 

14. Bb2!

A second pin!

 

14... O-O-O

Breaking the pin on the e-file.

 

15. Bf5+ Kc7?!

15... Kb8 16. Bxc3 Bd3! 17. Bxd3 Qxd3 18. Qxd3 Rxd3 19. Bxg7

 

16. Bxc3 Bd3 17. Qc1! Qc4 18. Re4!! Nd4

Walking into a pin, but Black had to save his queen and clear a space for the King. Not 18... Bxe4? 19. Qf4+

 

19. Qf4+ Kc6 20. Bxd4 Rd5 21. Bxg7 Qxc5 22. Rc1!

One last pin wins the game.

1-0

Game Nine

Maurice Ashley - Thomas Shih [C01]

US Amateur Team East/Parsippany (6) 1999


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Nc6!

Reminiscent of the Chigorin Defense, the Knight here puts pressure on d4. Black strives for rapid development. Ashley shows an interesting way for White to stifle any Black counterplay.

 

5. Nc3

5. Nf3 Bg4 seems to play into Black's plan, but Miezis has somehow made this work: 6. Be2 dxc4 7. O-O Bd6 8. Bxc4 Qd7 (8... Qf6!? 9. Re1+ Kf8 10. Ne5) 9. h3 Bh5 10. d5 Bxf3 11. Qxf3 Ne5 12. Qe2 O-O-O 13. Bb5 Qf5 14. f4 Nd7 15. Nc3 Nb6 16. Be3 Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Qxd5 18. Rad1 Qf5 19. Bxa7 Nf6 20. Qc4 Qe4 21. Rd4 Qe3+ 22. Kh2 h5 23. Kh1 Ne4 24. Rxe4 Qxa7 25. Qxf7 Qb6 26. Be2 Qxb2 27. Bxh5 Kb8 28. Bf3 Rdf8 29. Qc4 g5 30. Re2 Qb6 31. Qc3 Bb4 32. Qb2 gxf4 33. Rb1 Rd8 34. Re4 Bd2 35. Qc2 Qd6 36. Ra4 c6 37. Rxb7+ Kxb7 38. Qb3+ Bb4 39. Rxb4+ Kc8 40. Bg4+ Rd7 41. Bxd7+ Kxd7 42. Rb7+ Kc8 43. Ra7 1-0 Miezis,N-Berg,E/Oslo 2008.

 

5... Nf6

5... dxc4 6. Bxc4!? (6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bxc4 Bd6 8. h3 (8. Nf3!?) 8... O-O 9. Nf3 a6 10. O-O b5 11. Bd3 Nb4 12. Bb1 Bb7= 1-0 Bhat,V-Paehtz,T/Oropesa del Mar 1999 (38)) (6. d5 Ne5) 6... Bd6 (6... Nxd4 7. Nge2 (7. Be3) ) 7. Nf3 Nf6 (7... Nge7? 8. Ng5!) 8. O-O O-O 9. h3 avoids committing the Bishop prematurely to e3.

 

6. c5!?

This looks like a good idea in this exact position, where an immediate b6 by Black is dangerous. The pawn cramps Black's development and temporarily relieves the indirect pressure on the d-pawn.

 

6... Bf5

6... b6 7. Bb5

 

7. Bb5! a6 8. Bxc6+ bxc6 9. Nf3 Be7 10. Ne5

Black's shattered pawns make for a long-term advantage for White.

 

10... O-O 11. O-O Qe8 12. Re1 Ne4 13. f3?!

13. Qf3 Bg6 14. Bf4

 

13... Nxc3 14. bxc3 Bd7 15. Bf4 f6 16. Nxd7 Qxd7 17. Qe2 Kf7 18. Qd3 f5 19. Be5 Bf6 20. f4 Bxe5 21. Rxe5 g6 22. Rae1 Rfe8 23. Kf2 Rxe5 24. fxe5 Ke6 25. Rb1 Qc8 26. Qh3 Rb8 27. Qxh7 Rxb1 28. Qxg6+ Ke7 29. Qf6+ Ke8 30. Qh8+ Kd7 31. e6+ Kxe6 32. Qxc8+

1-0


Game Ten

Gert Iskov - Henrik Danielsen [C01]

Politiken Cup 09th /Copenhagen (7) 1987


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. c4 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 O-O 7. Bd3

7. Be2 dxc4 (7... Ne4?! 8. Qb3! Klinger - Glek, Werfen Opoen 1990.) 8. O-O?! (8. Bxc4 Re8+ 9. Be3 transposes to the game) 8... Bxc3 9. bxc3 Be6

 

7... Re8+ 8. Be3 Bg4

Winning a pawn is too risky for Black as White uses the extra time to speed his development: 8... Ng4?! 9. O-O! Bxc3 (9... Rxe3?! 10. fxe3 Nxe3 11. Bxh7+ Kxh7 12. Qd3+ Nf5 13. Nxd5! Bd6 14. g4 g6 15. gxf5 Bxf5 16. Qd2 c6 17. Ne3 Bf4 18. Qf2 Be4 19. Ng2 Bh6 20. Ne5 f5 21. Nf7 1-0 Khetsuriani,B-Karountzos,N/Athens GRE 2007) 10. bxc3 Nxe3 11. fxe3 Rxe3 12. Ne5 Rxd3 13. Nxd3 dxc4 14. Qf3 f6 15. Nf4 Nc6 16. Rae1 Bf5 17. Qe2 Bg6 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Qxc4+ Kf8 20. Rf3 1-0 Spartak Vysochin-Igor Zakharevich/St. Petersburg (Russia) 2003.

 

9. O-O Nc6

a) 9... Nbd7 10. Qb3 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 Nb6 13. c5 Nc4 14. Rae1 Qc8 (14... Nxe3 15. fxe3 b6 16. c6 (16. cxb6 axb6 17. e4) 16... Re6 17. e4 Rxc6 18. Kh1! (18. exd5?! Nxd5 (18... Qxd5 19. Qxd5 Nxd5 20. Be4) 19. Be4 Rd6 20. c4 Nf4 21. Bxa8 Qg5+ 22. Kf2 Nh3+ 23. Ke2 Rxd4 24. Rd1 Nf4+=) (18. e5?! Nh5! 19. f4 Nxf4 20. Rxf4 Qg5+) 18... Re6 19. e5 Nh5 20. f4 Rh6 21. Rf2 c6 (21... Qh4 22. Qxd5) 22. Qd1 Qh4 23. Qf3) 15. Kg2 b6 16. cxb6 axb6 17. Bc1 Qa6 18. Bb1 h6 19. Rg1 Qc8 20. Qd1 Qd7 21. Kh1 Rxe1 22. Qxe1 Re8 23. Qf1 Kh8 24. Bf4 Rg8 25. Qg2 c6 26. Bc1 Qe6 27. Bd3 b5 28. Qg3 Ne8 29. Bf4 Ned6 30. Qh4 Re8 31. Qh5 Qf6 32. Rg4 Re1+ 33. Kg2 Re8 34. Bg3 Rg8 35. Be5 Qe6 36. Rg6 1-0 Korchnoi,V-Van der Stricht,G/Plovdiv, Bulgaria 2003

b) 9... c6 10. Rc1 a6 11. Bg5 Bxc3 12. bxc3 h6 13. Bh4 b5 14. c5 Nbd7 15. h3 Bh5 16. g4 Bg6 17. Bxg6 fxg6 18. g5 Ne4 19. gxh6 g5?! 20. h7+! Kh8 21. Bg3 Re6 22. Ne5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 Rh6 24. Qg4 Qe7 25. Rfe1 Rh4 26. Qg2 Qd7 27. f3 Nf6 28. Qxg5 Qxh3 29. Bxf6 Qh1+ 30. Kf2 Qh2+ 31. Kf1 Qh3+ 32. Ke2 gxf6 33. Qxf6+ Kxh7 34. Qf7+ Kh8 35. Rg1 Qh2+ 36. Kd3 1-0 Repkova Eid,E-Kolcak,M/Slovakia 1995.

c) 9... Bxc3 10. bxc3 Ne4 11. Rc1 b6 12. Re1 c6 13. h3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Ne5 Qh4 16. Qf3 Re6 17. cxd5 cxd5 18. c4 f5 19. cxd5 Re8 20. gxf5 Bh5 21. Qxe4 Qxh3 22. Bf1 1-0 Estrada Nieto,J-Csikos,M/Zalakaros 1997.

 

10. Rc1 Qd7 11. h3 dxc4

11... Bxh3? 12. gxh3 Qxh3 13. Ng5!

 

12. Bxc4 Bxc3 13. Rxc3 Bh5 14. Bb5 Nd5 15. Rc5 f6

15... Nxe3? 16. fxe3 Bxf3 17. Qxf3

 

16. Qb3 Bf7

 










16... Bxf3? 17. gxf3

17. Bc4! Nce7 18. Qxb7 Reb8 19. Qa6 Rxb2 20. Bb3 Kh8 21. Re1 Nxe3 22. Bxf7 Nc2 23. Qe6 Rd8 24. Rxc2 Rxc2 25. Qxe7 Qxe7 26. Rxe7 a5 27. g3 a4 28. Kg2 a3 29. Re3 Ra8 30. Bd5 c6 31. Bb3 Rb2 32. Rc3 h5 33. Ne1 Rd2 34. Nc2 h4 35. g4 Ra6 36. Nb4 Ra8 37. Nxc6 Kh7 38. d5 Kg6 39. Rf3 Re8 40. Na5 Re1 41. Nc4 Rxd5 42. Nxa3

1-0


Game Eleven

Johannes Hermann Zukertort - Samuel Rosenthal [A28]

London m/London (19) 1880


I always like to consider classic games with the openings that interest me. The following game reaches the French Exchange with c4 by transposition from the English Opening.

1. c4 e5 2. e3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Nf3 Bb4

This is generally a good line for Black except that White transposes to a reversed Two Knights French with his next move which is easier for the French side.

 

5. d4!? exd4 6. exd4 d5 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 O-O 9. h3?!

This is certainly too slow and hardly necessary.

9. Bd3! leads to lines considered above.

 

9... Re8+

9... Ne4! 10. Qc2 Bf5! appears to favor Black.

 

10. Be3 Ne7 11. Bd3 Nf5 12. Ne5!? dxc4

12... Be6!?

 

13. Bxc4 Nd6 14. Bb3 Be6 15. O-O Nd5 16. Bd2 Ne4 17. c4 Ndc3?

17... Nxd2! 18. Qxd2 Nb6

 

18. Bxc3 Nxc3 19. Qc2 Qxd4

 










20. Nf3! Qf6 21. Rfc1 Ne2+ 22. Qxe2 Bxh3 23. Qd2! h6 24. Qc3! Qf4?

24... Qxc3 25. Rxc3 Bg4 26. c5

 

25. gxh3 Re6 26. Re1 Rg6+ 27. Kf1 Rf6 28. Re3 Qf5 29. Ke2 Qxh3 30. Rg1 Kh8 31. Bc2 Rd8 32. Qe5 Qd7 33. Rd1 Rd6 34. Rxd6 cxd6 35. Qe7 g6 36. Qf6+ Kg8 37. Re7

1-0


Game Twelve

Alexander Alekhine - Slosar [D08]

Olomouc sim/Olomouc 1943


1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. e3 exd4 4. exd4 Bb4+ 5. Nc3 Qe7+ 6. Be3

As usual, White needs to be prepared to sacrifice a pawn at e3 if necessary to speed his development. Miezes has done surprisingly well with the alternative.

6. Be2!? Bg4 (6... dxc4 7. Nf3 Nf6 8. O-O O-O 9. Bxc4 Bg4 10. Bg5 c6 11. h3 Bh5 12. Re1 Qd6 13. g4 Bg6 14. Ne5 Nd5 15. Qf3 Nd7 16. Nxd5 cxd5 17. Qxd5 Qxd5 18. Bxd5 1-0 Miezis,N-Lagumina,G/Castellaneta 1998 (42)) 7. Kf1!? Bxe2+ 8. Ngxe2 dxc4 9. Qa4+ c6 10. Nd5 b5 11. Nxe7 bxa4 12. Nf5 g6 13. Ne3 Nd7 14. Nxc4 Nb6 15. Ne5 0-1 Miezis,N-Barsov,A/Haarlem 1998 (50).

 

6... Be6 7. Qb3 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Bxc4 9. Qxc4 Nf6 10. Nf3 Ng4

 










11. O-O! Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nxe3 13. fxe3 O-O

13... Qxe3+? 14. Kh1 O-O 15. Ne5! is far too dangerous.

 

14. Rae1 c6 15. e4 Nd7 16. e5! Rae8 17. a4

17. Qd3 followed by Qf5 and Ng5 is a strong idea.

 

17... Nb6 18. Qb3 Qe6 19. Rb1!? Qxb3 20. Rxb3 Nxa4 21. Rxb7 Nxc3 22. Rxa7 Rd8

22... f6

 

23. Re1 Nb5 24. Ra4 Rd5?! 25. Rc1 Nc7

25... Rfd8 26. Rxc6

 

26. Rxc6 Ne6 27. Kf2 Rfd8 28. Ke3 Kf8 29. Rca6 Ke7 30. Ra7+ R8d7 31. Ke4 Rxa7 32. Rxa7+ Rd7 33. Rxd7+ Kxd7 34. d5 Nd8 35. Nd4 g6 36. g4 h6 37. h4 Nb7 38. Nb3 Ke7 39. h5 gxh5 40. gxh5 Kd7 41. Kf5 Ke7 42. d6+ Kf8 43. Kf6 Nd8 44. Nd4 Nb7 45. d7 Nd8 46. e6

Brilliant play by Alekhine to bring home the full point.

1-0

Game Thirteen

Joshua Waitzkin - Tal Shaked [C01]

Mermaid Beach Club, Bermuda/Bermuda (7) 1997


I decided to throw in a "baker's dozen," even if it's a bit of a data dump, just for the sake of "coverage." This is what many consider the main line of the Monte Carlo currently. Personally, I prefer 7.a3 gaining the two Bishops and supporting White's d-pawn -- even if he may need to sac a pawn later. This main line, though, is full of piece play and lots of fight for players below 2000 ELO.

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4 Bb4+

4... c6 5. Nc3 (5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. Bd3 Bg4 8. O-O O-O 9. Be3 Bxc3 10. bxc3 Ne4 11. Rc1 Qa5 12. h3 Bh5 13. g4 Bg6 14. Ne5 Qxa2 15. f3 Nd6 16. Ra1 Qb2 17. c5 Nc4 18. Bxc4 dxc4 19. Qe1 Bc2 20. Rf2 Qb3 21. Qc1 f6 22. Rxc2 fxe5 23. Rb2 a5 24. Rxb3 cxb3 25. Qb1 exd4 26. Qxb3+ Rf7 27. Bxd4 Na6 28. Re1 a4 29. Qa2 Nc7 30. Re7 Nd5 31. Rxf7 Kxf7 32. Qb1 a3 33. Qxb7+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Hofer,F/Seefeld 2004 (33)) 5... Nf6 6. Bd3 Be7 7. Nf3 O-O 8. h3 (8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nbd7 10. Re1 Nb6 11. Bb3 Nbd5 12. Bg5 Be6 13. Ne5 Re8 14. Qf3 Nc7 15. Qd1 Nfd5 16. Bd2 Bg5 17. Bxg5 Qxg5 18. Ne4 Qd8 19. Nc5 Rb8 20. Qh5 Rf8 21. Qf3 Nf6 22. Rad1 Bd5 23. Qh3 Re8 24. Bc2 g6 25. Bb3 Kg7 26. a4 b6 27. Bxd5 Qxd5 28. Ncd3 a5 29. Nf4 Qd6 30. Qg3 Rbd8 31. h4 Ne6 32. h5 Nxf4 33. h6+ Kg8 34. Qxf4 Re7 35. Qf3 Nd5 36. Rc1 Rc8 37. Re2 f5 38. Qb3 Rb7 39. Rce1 Kf8 40. Nc4 Qd7 41. Qg3 f4 42. Qg5 Kg8 43. Re6 Rf8 44. Rd6 Qf5 45. Qxf5 Rxf5 46. Rxc6 Rf8 47. Rd6 Nf6 48. f3 b5 49. Nxa5 Ra7 50. Nc6 Rxa4 51. Ne7+ Kh8 52. Rb6 Rxd4 53. Rxf6 Rxf6 54. Nc6 1-0 Miezis,N-Bjerke,S/Gausdal 1999 (54)) 8... h6 9. O-O Be6 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Re1 Nd7 12. Ne4 N5f6 13. Ng3 Re8 14. Bd2 Bf8 15. a3 Qb6 16. b4 Bd5 17. Nf5 Rxe1+ 18. Nxe1 Re8 19. Nc2 Be4 20. Qf1 Qd8 21. Rd1 Nb6 22. Bf4 Qd7 23. Nce3 Nfd5 24. Be5 Bxd3 25. Qxd3 Nxe3 26. Nxe3 Qe6 27. Ng4 Nc4 28. Qg3 Nxe5 29. dxe5 Be7 30. f4 Rd8 31. Rf1 Kh7 32. f5 Qc4 33. f6 gxf6 34. Qh4 Qd4+ 35. Kh1 Qd2 36. Qh5 Rf8 37. Nxf6+ Bxf6 38. Rxf6 Kg7 39. h4 Qc1+ 40. Kh2 Qe3 41. Qf5 Qd4 42. Qh5 Qe3 43. g3 Qd2+ 44. Kh3 Qe3 45. Qg4+ Kh7 46. Qf5+ Kh8 47. Rd6 Rg8 48. Qf6+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Sarmiento Alfonso,B/Las Palmas 1995 (48)

4... dxc4 5. Bxc4 Bb4+ (5... Bd6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. Nc3 Nc6 (8... Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. Bg5 h6 11. Be3 c6 12. g4 b5 13. Bb3 b4 14. gxh5 bxc3 15. bxc3 Qd7 16. Kg2 Qf5 17. Bc2 Qxh5 18. Ne5 Qh4 19. f4 Nd5 20. Bd2 a5 21. Qf3 Ra6 22. Qd3 Re8 23. Rae1 Kf8 24. Qh7 1-0 Miezis,N-Fouad,H/Dubai 1999 (24)) 9. Re1 Bg4 10. Be3 h6 11. h3 Bh5 12. g4 Bg6 13. Nh4 Bh7 14. Qf3 Nd5 15. Nf5 Nxe3 16. fxe3 Bxf5 17. gxf5 Qh4 18. Qg4 Qg3+ 19. Qxg3 Bxg3 20. Rf1 Bh4 21. Rf3 Rad8 22. Kh1 Na5 23. Bd5 c6 24. Bb3 Nxb3 25. axb3 a6 26. Ne4 Rfe8 27. Nc5 Re7 28. Rg1 Kf8 29. Rg4 Bf6 30. Kg2 Rd5 31. Kf1 a5 32. Ne4 Rb5 33. Nxf6 gxf6 34. e4 a4 35. Ke2 axb3 36. Rh4 Rb4 37. Rd3 c5 38. Ke3 cxd4+ 39. Rxd4 Rxd4 40. Kxd4 Rc7 41. Rxh6 Kg7 42. Rh4 Rc2 43. Rg4+ Kf8 44. e5 Ke7 45. e6 fxe6 46. Rg7+ Kd6 47. Rxb7 e5+ 48. Kd3 Rxb2 49. Kc3 Rh2 50. Kxb3 Rxh3+ 51. Kc4 Rf3 52. Rb6+ Ke7 53. Rb7+ Kf8 54. Kd5 Rxf5 55. Ke6 Rf4 56. Ra7 e4 57. Rf7+ Ke8 58. Rh7 Kd8 59. Kd6 Ke8 60. Ke6 Kf8 61. Rf7+ Kg8 62. Ra7 f5 63. Kf6 Rf3 64. Kg6 Kf8 65. Kf6 Ke8 66. Ke6 Kd8 67. Rf7 Kc8 68. Kd5 e3 69. Re7 f4 70. Kc6 0-1 Miezis,N-Krivonosov,O/Tallinn 1998 (70)) 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O Bf5 9. Bg5 c6 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Nxf7 Qa5 12. Ne5+ Kh8 13. Bxf6 Rxf6 14. Nxd7 Bxd7 15. Ne4 Rh6 16. f4 Qh5 17. Qxh5 Rxh5 18. Ng5 h6 19. Nf7+ Kh7 20. Ne5 Be8 21. Be2 Rd8 22. Rad1 Rh4 23. g3 Bh5 24. Bd3+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Krien,H/Dresden 1996 (24).

 

5. Nc3 Ne7

5... Nf6 6. Bd3 O-O 7. Nf3 dxc4 (7... Re8+ 8. Be3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 Be6 10. Bxe6 (10. Bd3 Nbd7 11. Ng5 Bg4 12. Qb3 Qe7 13. Kf1 c5 14. h3 Bh5 15. g4 Bg6 16. Bxg6 hxg6 17. Kg2 Bxc3 18. bxc3 cxd4 19. Bxd4 Ne4 20. Nf3 Ndc5 21. Qc4 b6 22. Ne5 Qb7 23. f3 Ng5 24. Rhf1 Rac8 25. Rae1 b5 26. Qb4 a5 27. Qb1 Na4 28. Qb3 Ne6 29. Kg3 g5 30. Rb1 Nxd4 31. cxd4 Nc3 32. Rbe1 b4 33. a3 Qd5 34. Qxd5 Nxd5 35. axb4 axb4 36. h4 gxh4+ 37. Kxh4 Rc3 38. Nd7 Rd8 39. Nc5 Ne3 40. Rf2 Rxd4 41. Ne4 Ra3 42. Rfe2 Rdd3 43. Nc5 Rd5 44. Rxe3 Rxc5 45. Rxa3 bxa3 46. Re8+ Kh7 47. Ra8 g5+ 48. Kh5 Rc3 49. Kxg5 Rxf3 50. Kh5 Rh3+ 51. Kg5 Kg7 52. Kf4 Kf6 53. Ra6+ Ke7 54. Ra7+ Ke6 55. Ra6+ Kd5 56. Ra7 Miezis,N-Kiriakov,P/Hastings 1998 (56)) 10... Rxe6 11. O-O Nc6 12. Qc2 (12. Bg5 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Qd5 14. Bxf6 Rxf6 15. Re1 Qc4 16. Re3 Rd8 17. Qb1 b6 18. Ng5 Rg6 19. Qe4 Rf8 20. f4 f5 21. Qf3 (21. Qb1 Na5 22. Qe1 Qc6 23. Qe2 Nc4 24. Re7 Nd6 25. Qf3 Qc4 26. Rae1 h6 27. Ne6 Rc8 28. h3 Qxa2 29. Kh2 Ne4 30. Rxe4 fxe4 31. Qxe4 Rxe6 32. Rxe6 Rf8 33. Kg3 a5 34. d5 Qd2 35. Rc6 Rf7 36. d6 g5 37. dxc7 1-0 Miezis,N-Johannessen,L/Gausdal 2001 (37)) 21... h6 22. Qh5 Rgf6 23. Rae1 hxg5 24. fxg5 Qf7 25. Qh4 Rd6 26. Rh3 Qg6 27. Rf1 Rd5 28. g4 b5 29. Kh1 Ne7 30. Qh8+ Kf7 31. Qh4 Ke8 32. Re3 f4 33. Ree1 Qxg5 34. Qh7 Kd8 35. Qe4 Qf6 36. a4 bxa4 37. Rb1 Qd6 38. Rfd1 Nc8 39. c4 Rg5 40. Rb8 f3 41. Rf1 f2 42. h3 Qg3 43. Qg2 Qxg2+ 44. Kxg2 Ra5 45. Rb2 a3 46. Ra2 Nd6 47. Rfxf2 Rxf2+ 48. Kxf2 Nxc4 49. Ke2 g5 50. Kd3 Nd6 51. Kc3 Kd7 52. Kb4 Ra6 53. d5 Nb7 54. h4 gxh4 55. g5 h3 56. Kb5 Ra5+ 57. Kc4 h2 58. Rxh2 a2 0-1 Miezis,N-Johannessen,L/Oslo 2001 (58)) 12... Nd5 13. Ng5 Rg6 14. Qf5 Nf6 15. Ne2 Qd5 16. Ng3 Re8 17. Nf3 Qxf5 18. Nxf5 Nd5 19. a3 Bf8 20. Rac1 Rf6 21. Ng3 g6 22. Rfd1 h6 23. Rd3 a6 24. Ne5 Nxe3 25. Rxe3 Nxd4 26. Ng4 Rc6 27. Nxh6+ Kg7 28. Rd1 Ne6 29. Ng4 Rb6 30. Re2 f5 31. Ne3 f4 32. Nd5 fxg3 33. Nxb6 gxf2+ 34. Kxf2 Bc5+ 35. Kg3 Bxb6 36. Rde1 Kf7 37. Rf1+ Ke7 38. Rfe1 Kd7 39. Rd1+ Nd4 40. Red2 Re4 41. Rf1 Ke7 42. Kh3 Ne6 43. g3 a5 44. Kg2 a4 45. h4 Bd4 46. Rh1 Re3 47. h5 gxh5 48. Rxh5 Rb3 49. Rh7+ Kd6 50. Rh4 c5 51. Rg4 b5 52. Kf1 Ke5 53. Re2+ Kf5 54. Rge4 Rxg3 55. Ke1 Nf4 56. Re8 Nxe2 57. Kxe2 Rb3 58. Kd2 Rxb2+ 59. Kd3 Rb3+ 0-1 Miezis,N-Roeder,M/Germany 1997 (59)) 8. Bxc4 c5 9. O-O Nc6 10. dxc5 Qxd1 11. Rxd1 Bxc5 12. Bg5 Bg4 13. Bxf6 Bxf3 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. gxf3 Rad8 16. Kg2 Ne5 17. Bd5 Rd7 18. f4 Ng6 19. Be4 Rfd8 20. f5 Nf4+ 21. Kf3 Nd3 22. Rab1 Nxf2 23. Rxd7 Rxd7 24. Nd5 f6 25. b4 Nxe4 26. Kxe4 Bd6 27. h4 Rd8 28. Rd1 Re8+ 29. Kf3 Re5 30. Kg4 Bxb4 31. Nc7 Re4+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Ostrowski,L/Gausdal 2003 (31)

 

6. Nf3 O-O

6... c6 7. Bd3 O-O 8. O-O dxc4 9. Bxc4 Nd7 10. Qb3 Bxc3 11. bxc3 Nb6 12. Bd3 Bf5 13. c4 Bxd3 14. Qxd3 Ng6 15. Rb1 Qd7 16. Rd1 Rfd8 17. Qc2 Rab8 18. Bg5 f6 19. Bd2 Nc8 20. Be3 b6 21. d5 Nce7 22. d6 Nf5 23. c5 Nxe3 24. fxe3 bxc5 25. Rxb8 Rxb8 26. Qxc5 Rb5 27. Qc4+ Kh8 28. a4 Ne5 29. Qh4 Nxf3+ 30. gxf3 Re5 31. Kf2 Kg8 32. Qc4+ Kf8 33. Rd4 Rh5 34. h4 g5 35. Qc3 Kg7 36. Qa5 Qh3 37. Qc7+ Kh6 38. d7 1-0 Okhotnik,V-Kern,G/Hungary 1997 (38)

6... Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Nbc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. Rd1 Na5 11. cxd5 Nxd5 12. Bd2 Re8+ 13. Be2 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Qe7 15. Kf1 Nb6 16. Bd3 Nbc4 17. Bc1 c6 18. h4 Qe6 19. Rh3 Qd5 20. Qg4 Re6 21. Rg3 g6 22. h5 Rae8 23. hxg6 fxg6 24. Rf3 Nd6 25. Bf4 Nac4 26. Bc2 a5 27. Kg1 b5 28. Kh2 a4 29. Bc1 Nf7 30. Rf5 Qd6+ 31. Bf4 Qe7 32. Rc5 Nb6 33. Rd3 Nd5 34. Rf3 Nxf4 35. Rxf4 Rf6 36. g3 Rxf4 37. Qxf4 Qe2 38. Bb1 Qf1 39. Be4 Rxe4 40. Qxe4 Qxf2+ 41. Qg2 Qf6 42. Rxc6 Qf5 43. Rc5 1-0 Miezis,N-Van Ketel,R/Leiden 2003 (43).

 

7. Bd3 dxc4

7... c5 8. O-O cxd4 9. Nxd4 dxc4 10. Bxc4 Nbc6 11. Be3 (11. Nxc6 Nxc6 12. Qxd8 Rxd8 Miezis,N-Shabalov,A/Amsterdam 1996 (12)) 11... Nxd4 12. Qxd4 Qxd4 13. Bxd4 Nc6 14. Be3 Bf5 15. Nd5 Bd6 16. Rad1 Be6 17. f4 Rfe8 18. Bf2 Bxf4 19. Bxa7 Be5 20. Bc5 Bxb2 21. Bb5 Be5 22. a4 h5 23. h3 Kh7 24. Nb6 Ra5 25. Kh1 f6 26. Nd7 Bb3 27. Rb1 Bc2 28. Rbc1 Bxa4 29. Bd3+ Kg8 30. Bg6 Rc8 31. Nb6 Rb8 32. Bxh5 Bb3 33. Nd7 Rc8 34. Bb6 Rd5 35. Bg4 Re8 36. Nc5 Bd4 37. Bf3 Rde5 38. Nxb7 Bxb6 39. Bxc6 Rb8 40. Rb1 Re3 41. Rf3 Rxf3 42. Bxf3 Rc8 43. Rxb3 Rc1+ 44. Kh2 Bc7+ 45. g3 Rc2+ 46. Kg1 Kf8 47. Be4 Rc4 48. Bd3 Rc1+ 49. Kg2 Ke7 50. h4 Ke6 51. Bg6 f5 52. Rf3 f4 53. gxf4 Rc4 54. Kg3 Kd7 55. Bd3 Rc1 56. Bf5+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Fontaine,R/Gonfreville 1999 (56).

 

8. Bxc4 Bg4

Only with this precise move order does Black equalize.

8... Nd5 9. O-O Nxc3 10. bxc3 Bxc3 11. Rb1 Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Qd3 Rxf3 14. Qxf3 Bxd4 15. Qxb7 Nd7 16. Qc6 e5 17. Be3 Nb6 18. Bxd4 exd4 19. Rfd1 d3 20. h3 Rc8 21. a4 1-0 Miezis,N-Kahn,M/Dresden 1992 (21).

 

9. Be3

9. h3?! Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Qxd4 11. Qxb7? Bxc3+

 

9... Nbc6 10. O-O Nf5

10... Rb8!? 11. a3 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Nd5 13. Bd2 Na5 14. Ba2 b5 Watson

 

11. Qd3 Nd6

Pedersen notes that he finds it "hard to believe that White should have any advantage whatsoever" in this position, "but Miezis happily aims for it almost any time he has a chance. "

a) 11... Bxf3? 12. Qxf5

b) 11... Qd7 12. Ng5 Bh5 (12... Ncxd4 13. h3) (12... Na5 13. h3 (13. Bb5 c6 14. Ba4 Bh5 15. a3 (15. Ne2 Bg6 16. Nf4 b5 17. Nxg6 hxg6 18. Bc2 Rad8 19. a4 a6 20. axb5 axb5 21. Nf3 Nc4 22. Bb3 Ncxe3 23. fxe3 Qe7 24. Rf2 Qxe3 25. Qxe3 Nxe3 26. Ne5 Rxd4 27. Nxc6 Rd3 28. Bxf7+ Rxf7 29. Rxf7 Bc5 30. Ra8+ Kh7 31. Kf2 Rd6 32. b4 Nd1+ 33. Kg3 Bf2+ 34. Rxf2 Nxf2 35. Ne5 Nd3 36. Nf7 1-0 Miezis,N-Rodgaard,J/Gausdal 2003 (36)) 15... Be7 16. b4 Nc4 17. Qxc4 Nxe3 18. fxe3 Bxg5 19. Qd3 Rfe8 20. Rae1 Rad8 21. d5 Re5 22. e4 Qe7 23. Bb3 Kh8 24. Rf2 f5 25. Ref1 fxe4 26. Nxe4 Bh4 27. g3 Bg6 28. d6 Qe8 29. Bf7 Bxf7 30. Rxf7 h6 31. gxh4 1-0 Miezis,N-Friedrich,N/Porto San Giorgio 2002 (31)) 13... Bh5 14. Bd5 h6 15. Bf3 Bg6 16. Nge4 Nh4 17. Qd1 Nc4 18. Nd5 Nxf3+ 19. Qxf3 Bxe4 20. Qxe4 Rfe8 21. Qf3 Nd2 22. Bxd2 Bxd2 23. Rad1 Bg5 24. Nc3 c6 25. Ne4 Qd5 26. Nxg5 hxg5 27. Qxd5 cxd5 28. Rd2 Rac8 29. f3 f6 30. Kf2 Kf7 31. Rh1 Rc6 32. h4 gxh4 33. Rxh4 Rec8 34. Ke3 Rc2 35. Rh5 Rxd2 36. Kxd2 Ke6 37. Rh7 Kf7 38. b3 Kg6 39. Rh1 Kf5 40. Re1 Rc7 41. g3 g5 42. Re8 b6 43. Rh8 Ke6 44. a4 Kd6 45. g4 Ke6 46. Rh6 Re7 47. Kc3 Rc7+ 48. Kd3 Rg7 49. Ke3 Rc7 50. f4 gxf4+ 51. Kxf4 Rc1 52. g5 Rf1+ 53. Ke3 Rf5 54. gxf6 Rxf6 55. Rh7 Rf7 56. Rh8 Kd6 57. b4 Re7+ 58. Kd3 Rg7 59. Rd8+ Ke6 60. Re8+ Kd6 61. Rd8+ Ke6 62. Ra8 Rg3+ 63. Ke2 Rb3 64. b5 Rb4 65. Rxa7 Rxd4 66. Ke3 Re4+ 67. Kd3 Kd6 68. Kc3 Re3+ 69. Kd4 Re4+ 70. Kc3 Re3+ 71. Kd4 Re4+ Miezis,N-Dittmar,P/Seefeld 2000 (71)) 13. Nd5 Bg6 14. Nf4 Na5 15. Bd5 Nxe3 16. Nxg6 hxg6 17. Be6! Qe7 (17... fxe6? 18. Qxg6) 18. Qxg6 Qxg5 19. Qxg5 Nxf1 20. Bd7 Bd2 21. Qf5 Ne3 22. fxe3 Bxe3+ 23. Kh1 Nc4 24. Ba4 Rad8 25. d5 Bb6 26. Qh3 Ne5 Miezis,N-Dgebuadze,A/Bogny sur Meuse 2005 (26).

 

12. Bd5

12. Bg5 Qc8 13. Bd5 Qf5 14. Qxf5 Bxf5 15. Rfe1 Rfe8 16. Re3 Rxe3 17. fxe3 Re8 18. Bf4 Ne7 19. Bb3 h6 20. Ne5 g5 21. Bg3 Kg7= 0-1 Miezis,N-Luther,T/Dresden 1992 (58).

 

12... Bf5

12... Ne7 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. Rfe1 Qf6 16. Ne5 Bf5 17. Qf3 c6 18. Bb3 Rae8

(18... Rad8 19. Re3 Ba5 (19... Rfe8 20. Rae1 Be6 21. Qxf6 gxf6 22. Nd3 Ba5 23. Nc5 Bc8 24. N5e4 Nxe4 25. Rxe4 Rxe4 26. Rxe4 Kf8 27. h3 f5 28. Rh4 Kg7 29. d5 Bxc3 30. bxc3 cxd5 31. Rd4 Kf6 32. f4 b5 33. Rxd5 Rxd5 34. Bxd5 Be6 35. Bc6 Bxa2 36. Bxb5 Ke7 37. Kf2 Kd6 38. Ke3 Kc5 39. Bd7 Bb1 40. Be8 Ba2 41. Bd7 Bd5 Miezis,N-Pedersen,S/Gausdal 2000 (41)) 20. Rd1 Rfe8 21. Qe2 Re7 22. h3 Rde8 23. Re1 Be6?










24. Nxf7! Kxf7 25. Qh5+ g6 26. Bxe6+ Rxe6 27. Qxa5 Rxe3 28. fxe3 Kg7 29. Qxa7 Rf8 30. Nd1 Ne4 31. Qxb7+ Rf7 32. Qb8 Kh7 33. Qe5 Qh4 34. Rf1 Re7 35. Qf4 Qh5 36. Qf8 Rg7 37. Nf2 Qd5 38. Nxe4 Qxe4 39. Qf3 Qc2 40. Qf2 Qc4 41. b3 Qc3 42. Qe1 Qd3 43. Rf3 1-0 Miezis,N-Stark,L/Duesseldorf 2004 (43))

19. Re3 Re7 20. h3 Rfe8 21. Rae1 Kf8 22. Qh5 Qg5 23. Qe2 Be6 24. h4 Qf6 25. Bxe6 Qxe6 26. Ng6+ Qxg6 27. Rxe7 Rd8 28. a3 Ba5 29. Qe5 Bb6 30. Na4 f6 31. Qf4 Nf5 32. h5 Qg5 33. Qxg5 hxg5 34. Rxb7 Bxd4 35. g4 Nd6 36. Rc7 Be5 37. Nc5 Kg8 38. Ne6 Rb8 39. b4 Nf7 40. Rxa7 Re8 41. Nc5 Nh6 42. f3 Nf7 43. Kf1 Rd8 44. Rd7 Ra8 45. Re3 Rb8 46. Ke2 Ra8 47. Kd1 Re8 48. Kc2 Rb8 49. Red3 Re8 50. Kb3 Bf4 51. Ne4 Kf8 52. h6 gxh6 53. Nxf6 Re1 54. Ra7 Nd6 55. Ne4 Ne8 56. Rdd7 Re3+ 57. Kc2 Rxf3 58. Rh7 Kg8 59. Rxh6 Be3 60. Re7 Kf8 61. Rd7 Kg8 62. Rxc6 1-0 Miezis,N-Munoz,L/Turin 2006 (62).

 

13. Qd1

13. Qe2?! Na5 14. Bg5 Qc8 15. Rfc1 Re8 16. Qf1 c6 17. a3 Bxc3 18. Rxc3 Be6 19. Bxe6 Qxe6 20. b4 Nac4 21. Re1 Qd5 22. Be7! f6 23. Bxd6 Nxd6 24. Rc5 Qb3 25. Ra1 Re7 26. d5 Ne4 27. Re1 Rae8 28. Rxe4 Rxe4 29. Nd2 Qxa3 30. Nxe4 Rxe4 31. dxc6 bxc6 32. Rxc6 Qxb4 Ashley,M-Remlinger,L/New York 1994 (61).

 

13... Ne7

a) 13... Bxc3 14. bxc3 Ne4 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Qc1 Qd5 17. c4 Qa5 18. Ne5 Qa6 19. f3 Nd6 (19... Nf6 20. Rd1 Nd7 21. Bf4 Nxe5 22. Bxe5 Rac8 23. Qc3 f6 24. Bg3 Be6 25. Rac1 Bf7 26. Rd2 Rfe8 27. h4 Re7 28. Kh2 Rb8 29. d5 cxd5 30. cxd5 Rd8 31. Rcd1 Rdd7 32. Qb4 Re8 33. Qc5 Qb6 34. Qc3 Qb7 35. Rb2 Qa8 36. Bxc7 Rxd5 37. Rdb1 Rd7 38. Rb8 Qd5 39. Qe1 Kf8 40. Qb4+ Kg8 41. Re1 Qh5 42. g4 Qxh4+ 43. Kg2 Rxc7 44. Rexe8+ Bxe8 45. Rxe8+ Kf7 46. Rf8+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Sjodahl,P/Germany 1995 (46)) 20. d5 cxd5 21. cxd5 Rfe8 22. Bf4 f6 23. Nc6 Qb6+ 24. Kh1 Qb5 25. Rd1 Qa4 26. Nd4 Qd7 27. Qc6 Qxc6 28. dxc6 Bg6 29. Bxd6 cxd6 30. Nb5 Rec8 31. Rxd6 Be8 32. Nd4 Rab8 33. h3 Rb6 34. Rc1 Kf7 35. Kh2 g6 36. a4 a5 37. Rc5 Ra6 38. f4 Ke7 39. Re6+ Kf7 40. f5 gxf5 41. Rxf5 Kg7 42. Rfxf6 1-0 Miezis,N-Gurevich,M/Bonn 1995 (42)

b) 13... Na5 14. Bg5 Qc8 15. Qa4 Bxc3 16. bxc3 Nc6 17. Ne5 Ne4 18. Nxc6 bxc6 19. Bxe4 Bxe4 20. f3 Bd3 21. Rfe1 f6 22. Bf4 Qd7 23. Re3 Bg6 24. Qa5 Bf7 25. Re2 Bc4 26. Rb2 Rfc8 27. h4 a6 28. Rab1 Qf7 29. Kh2 Bd5 30. Bg3 Qh5 31. Qc5 Qf7 32. a4 Re8 33. Rc1 Rab8 34. Rd2 Qd7 35. c4 Bf7 36. Qa5 Rec8 37. d5 Ra8 38. Re1 cxd5 39. cxd5 c5 40. d6 Re8 41. Qc7 Red8 42. Re7 Qxc7 43. Rxc7 c4 44. Re2 h5 45. Ree7 Rf8 46. Bf4 a5 47. Kg3 Rad8 48. d7 Bg6 49. Bd6 Bf5 50. Kf4 Bxd7 51. Rexd7 Rxd7 52. Rxd7 Re8 53. Rc7 Rd8 54. Be7 Rd2 55. g3 c3 56. Kf5 Kh7 57. Bxf6 c2 58. Rxg7+ Kh6 59. Bg5+ 1-0 Miezis,N-Glek,I/Hamburg 1995 (59).

 

14. Bb3 c6 15. Ne5

15. a3!? Ba5 (15... Bxc3 16. bxc3 Nd5 17. Bd2 b5?! 18. Ne5) 16. Ne5 Ng6 17. Qh5 Qb6 18. Bxf7+ Nxf7 19. Nc4 Qa6 20. Nxa5 Qxa5 21. b4 (21. g4?! Nd6 22. gxf5 Rxf5) 21... Qc7 22. Qxf5.

 

15... Kh8 16. Rc1

a) 16. Re1 f6 17. Nd3 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Nd5 19. c4 Nxe3 20. Rxe3 Re8= Pedersen 21. Nf4 Rxe3 22. fxe3 Qe7 23. Qf3 Re8 24. Re1 Be4 25. Qd1 b6 0-1 Miezis,N-Moreno Ruiz,J/Andorra 2001 (65)

b) 16. Ne2 with the idea of Ng3 is a suggestion of Pedersen's.

 

16... f6 17. Nd3 Bxc3 18. bxc3 Nd5 19. Nf4

19. Bf4!? Bxd3?! (19... Ne4 20. Bxd5=) 20. Bxd6 Bxf1 21. Bxf8 Bxg2 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. Kxg2

 

19... Nxe3 20. fxe3 Qe8

Watson and Pedersen see this as clearly better for Black thanks to his blockade on the light squares and the backward White e-pawn. However, I think White can easily hold this position and develop counterplay with an eventual c4 push.

 

21. Qe2 b5 22. Rce1?!

22. c4=

 

22... Ne4 23. c4 a6 24. cxb5 axb5 25. Rc1 Rc8 26. a4 bxa4 27. Bxa4 Bd7 28. Nd3 Ra8 29. Bc2 Be6 30. Nf2 Bd5 31. Nxe4 Bxe4 32. Bxe4 Qxe4 33. Qf3 Rfe8 34. Qxe4 Rxe4 35. Kf2 Rae8 36. Rfe1 R8e6 37. Rc3 g6 38. Ra1 f5 39. g3 g5 40. Kf3 Kg7 41. Ra7+ Kg6 42. Ra6 Kf6

1/2-1/2

pgn

Games in PGN

Monte Carlo Variation Bibliography

Baburin, Alexander. "Play on the e-file." Winning Pawn Structures (Batsford 2003): 92-101. In his contemporary classic on the isolani pawn structure, GM Baburin devotes a chapter mostly to positions where the e-file is unobstructed by pawns. This position can arise from many openings, but especially the Queen's Gambit Accepted (1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5 4.Bxc4 exd4 5.exd4) or the French Exchange Variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 dxc4 5.Bxc4). Baburin notes that "pressure along the e-file is particularly unpleasant for Black where it is combined with pressure along the a2-g8 diagonal." An excellent book and a very useful chapter.

Burgess, Graham. 101 Chess Opening Surprises (Gambit 2001): 62. Offers a brief repertoire with the line 4.c4 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Ne7, focused around the games of Tal Shaked and biased toward Black.

Glek, Igor. "French Defence, Exchange Variation." New in Chess Yearbook 20 (1991): 39-41. A balanced treatment of the line with an early White c4, focused on the game Klinger - Glek, Werfen Open 1990, which began 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.c4 Bb4+ 6.Nc3 O-O 7.Be2 Ne4?! 8.Qb3! += and was eventually won by White.

Lane, Gary. "A French Farce." Opening Lanes 46 at ChessCafe. http://www.chesscafe.com/text/lane46.pdf

Lane, Peter. "Exeter Chess Club: The Queen's Gambit Accepted/Isolated Queen's Pawn." Exeter Chess Club 1998. http://www.exeterchessclub.org.uk/Openings/qga_iqp.html

Mednis, Edmar. "The Not-so-harmless Exchange Variation of the French Defence." Practical Opening Tips (Cardogan / Everyman 1997): 110-117. Mednis's book is an excellent treatment of themes in the opening, but this chapter also offers a rather thorough and positive treatment of lines following both 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 c6 (which can also arise via the Slav move order 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e5 4.e3 exd4 5.exd4 Nf6) and 4.Nf3, which can transpose.

Pedersen, Steffen. French Advance and Other Lines (Gambit 2005): 104-106. Focuses on the line 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 exd5 4.c4 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Ne7 6.Nf3 Bg4 as illustrated by the games of Miezis as White and Shaked as Black. Pedersen's main line goes 7.Be2 dxc4 8.Bxc4 O-O 9.Be3 Nbc6 10.O-O Nf5 11.Qd3 Nd6 12.Bd5 which has occured in numerous high level games (including at least one of the author's own).

Razuvaev, Yuri. "You were right, Monsieur La Bourdonnais!" Secrets of Opening Preparation. Ed. Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov. (Olms 2007): 170-180.
A wonderful article that reinforces my favorite theme in these pages: that there is still a lot of opening knowledge to gain from the great players of even the most distant past. Razuvaev considers the line 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5!? as contested in the classic LaBourdonnais - McDonnell match -- a line that typically transposes to the Monte Carlo Variation after 4.Bxc4 exd4 5.exd4. Thanks to reader Jose for pointing me to this article, which I had initially overlooked.

Van der Sterren, Paul. "Transposition from the Queens Gambit." New in Chess Yearbook 32 (1994). Considers the line 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.e3 e5 4. Bxc4 (Queens Gambit Accepted or Monte Carlo French) 4...exd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.Nf3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8. h3 Nc6, which is now a Petroff, as in Gelfand - Adams Wijk aan Zee 1994. Thanks to reader Jose for this information.

Watson, John. Play the French, 3rd Edition (Everyman Chess 2003): 71-73. Focuses on the games of Watson's former student Tal Shaked with the line 4....Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Ne7 -- as he notes, "A move this book helped to bring to attention."

Copyright © 2009 by Michael Goeller