Friday, July 06, 2007

The Spanish Four Knights, Part Three

Continuing our series on the Spanish Four Knights, we look at the recent game Najer-Ippolito, World Open 2007, which features a twist on a frequently underestimated way of meeting the Rubinstein Variation with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 (or 2...Nf6 as in the game) 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4 5.Bc4!?

Several books recommend the apparently simple solution of 5...Nxf3+ as the well-liked New Jersey IM Dean Ippolito plays here. But no one considers Najer's novel response 6.gxf3! when White quickly gets a bind on the light squares and dominates the center and the kingside (thanks to the open g-file). I think you will find the analysis worthwhile if you play either side of this double-edged line, as we consider a wide range of alternatives at every move and examine Black's best response, which is probably 5...c6! leading to an interesting gambit.

Previous pieces on the Spanish Four Knights include A Spanish Four Knights (C48) Bibliography, Sutovsky's Anti-Rubinstein 5.O-O! and The Spanish Four Knights, Part Two.

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