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Caro-Kann Defence:

Advance Variation
and Gambit System

Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Podgaets

Translated by Jimmy Adams

First published in the United Kingdom in 2006 by


B T Batsford
151 Freston Road
London
WI0 6TH
An imprint of Anova Books Company Ltd
Copyright B T Batsford 2006
Text copyright Anatoly Karpov, Mikhail Podgaets
The moral right of the authors has been asserted.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means
electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the
prior written permission of the copyright owner.
ISBN-I0: 07134 90 I0 I
ISBN-13: 9780713490 I07
A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.
10 9 8 76 5432 1
Printed and bound by MPG Books Ltd, Bodmin, Cornwall
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Contents

Page

Foreword

Chapter One
Gambit System: I e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 f3
I ndex to Chapter One

7
32

Chapter Two
Advance Variation: I e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5
Everything except 3 ... i.f5
Index to Chapter Two

33
66

Chapter Three
Advance Variation: I e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 i.f5
Everything except 4lL!c3 and 4lL!f3
Index to Chapter Three

67
1 13

Chapter Four
Advance Variation: 4 lL!c3
I ndex to Chapter Four

1 15
21 1

Chapter Five
Advance Variation: 4 lL!f3
I ndex to Chapter Five

214
266

Illustrative Games
Index to Games

268
284

Foreword

It seems like the so-called 'Closed "ultra-modern" 4 ..te3. Moreover


System' of the Caro-Kann Defence is along the way there are even 4 g4,
trying to disprove its own name. The 4 h4 and 4 c4 ...
However the main continuations
starting moves - I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS
- serve as an introduction to one of are rightly considered 4 lbc3 and
the most dynamically developing - 4 lbfJ. They are elaborated
and undoubtedly open! - variations in respectively in Chapter Four and
contemporary theory. Variations in Five. The fourth chapter, representing
which classical and modem ideas post-modem imaginative play, teeters
closely intertwine, forming an on the brink of reality and is nothing
intricate and at the same time if not ultra-lively and aggressive,
attractive ball. Unravelling this ball is whereas the fi fth chapter is more a
what the present monograph is all strict appreciation of classical play.
Chapter One serves as an original
about.
The book is constructed in the start to the whole monograph - in it
following way. Chapter Two is you will find detailed analysis of the
characterised by Black's rejection of Gambit system I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 f3.
the main line 3 f5 and instead At the end of the book there is a
developing by 3 ...lba6 or 3 . . . c5, the selection of 1 5 games (3 for
latter giving such full value that it can each chapter), played by elite
grandmasters in 2004. Comments to
shed any label of being a side-line.
In Chapter Three White already these games on the one hand 'strive',
(after I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS fS) as it were, for inclusion in the main
departs from the side of main body of the book, while on the other
theoretical recommendations. There they show the reader a perspective to
are possibilities to deviate from the be found - alas, always - beyond its
mass - from the archaic 4 ..td3 to the pages.
...

Chapter One
Gambit System:
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 f3
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 t3

I
3 ... de 4 fe e5 5 ll'lt3 Black now has
a choice: S .. ed (A), 5 ...i..g4 (B) or
5 ... i..e6 (C).
.

A
5 ed? (the weakest) 6 i.. c4! White
sacrifices a pawn, but it is not so easy
..

to repulse the direct threats against


the f7 square:
I ) 6 ..ib4+ 7 c3 de 8 ..ixf7+! <t/e7

The so-called Gambit system. The


struggle in this variation is of an
extraordinarily sharp character, often
accompanied by sacrifices ( from
whence comes its name). The minus
of White's position is the awkward
placement of the f3 pawn, which
hampers the development of his own
pieces.

After 8 ... Wxf7? 9 xd8 cb+ I O <t/e2


ba'iV in return for the lost queen Black
gets a new one... but is then
checkmated: I I lt:lg5+ Wg6 1 2 'iVe8+
<t/h6 I3 ll'le6+ g5 I4 i..xg5 mate
(Skurski - Gasic, Poland 2000).
9 b3 cb+ 10 xb4+ Wxf7
11 i.. xb2 ,.e7 12 cJ lt:lf6 13 0-0
lt:la6 14 i.. a3 c5 1 5 b3+ We8
1 6 lt:lc3 White's attack c learly
outweighs the slight material loss.
2) 6...i.. c5 (Hopes of a discovered
check are not justified) 7 0-0 ll'lf6 The
clumsy 7 . . . f6 defends against the
bishop sacrifice on f7 but, as already

Though 3 f3 was first played a long


time ago, the arising positions up to
now have been little studied. Black,
in order not to lose, has to act with
great circumspection and must be
accurate with his order of moves.

shown by the game Levitsky Izbinsky, St Petersburg I 905, in no


way is the attack weakened:

Let us investigate four contin


uations: 3 ...de 4 fe e5 (1), 3 . . e5 (II),
3 ... g6 ( I l l ), 3 ...e6 ( IV).
.

Gambit System

xt7 1 5 tiJd2 llfB 1 6 tlJe4 i..e 7


I 7 i.g5 h6 1 8 l:tfl + e8 1 9 tiJd6+
Wd8 20 llxf8+ tiJxf8 2 1 tiJf7+, and
nearly all Black's pieces will be
gobbled
up,
(Skripchenko
Ziganova, Elista 1 998).
9 !iJxd4 'iVd7 I 0 ...h5+ d8
11 .i.eJ c5

8 li)e5 ! ! fe 9 'ifh5+ d7 I 0 'ifxe5


.i.d6 I I 'ifxg7+ tiJe7 1 2 .i.g5 rJ;c7
1 3 llt7 lieS 1 4 e5 .i.c5 1 5 tiJd2 h6
1 6 .i.h4 d3+ 1 7 h I de 1 8 tiJb3 .i.b4
1 9 a3 b5 20 ab be 2 1 tlJc5 1fd l +
22 .l:[ft ..g4 2 3 'iVt7 'iVxh4 24 'iVxe8
with a decisive advantage.
After 7 ...tiJf6 White can choose
between two attacks on the f7 square:
8 tiJg5 0-0 9 tlJxt7! llxt7 (9...d3+
1 0 h 1 1fd4 I I tiJd2 ! l:lxfl 1 2
.i.xt7+ 'iii'xt7 1 3 tiJbJ ..xe4 1 4 tlJxc5
de 1 5 ..d8) 1 0 .i.xt7+ xt7 1 1 e5
'ifd5 1 2 ef gf ( 1 2 ... g6 would be more
tenacious) 13 'iVdJ ..h5 14 tiJd2
.i.d6 1 5 hJ tiJa6 1 6 tlJe4 .i.e5 1 7 .i.f4
tlJc5 18 tlJxc5 .i.xf4 19 l:lxf4 'iVxc5
20 xh7+, and B lack resigned,
(Raudive - Zelezny, Decin 1 995).
Possibly even stronger is 8 tiJe5
.i.e6 9 tlJxti! rJ;xfi (9 . . . .i.xf7
I 0 .i.xf7+ ..txf7 I I 'iVh5+ g8
1 2 'iVxc5) 10 'iVh5+ f8 1 1 .i.xe6
'ife7 12 e5 tiJa6 1 3 lhf6+ 'ifxf6 14 ef
g6 1 5 'ifh6+ e8 1 6 'iVg7 dJ+
17 c.t>ht d2 18 'iVd7+. Again Black is
obliged to concede defeat (Hromadka
- Dobias, Pilsen 1 9 1 1 ).
3) 6....i.e6 7 .i.xe6 fe 8 0-0 .i.e7
Clinging to the extra pawn - 8 ... .i.c5,
entails far greater risks, for example:
9 tiJg5 d3+ I 0 h I de I I \1Vxc2 tiJd7
1 2 c5 'ife7 1 3 tiJf7 'iVxfl 1 4 llxf7

12 lld1 ! cd 13 llxd4 .i.d6 14 e5


The loan is recovered with a
hundredfold interest. Soon Black
resigned, (Tartakower - Przepiorka,
Budapest 1 929).
4) 6 i..e7 7 0-0 tiJf6 It seems that
by removing his king from its
dangerous position, B lack will
breathe easily. But far from it:
8 tlJg5! 0-0 9 tiJxt7 ! lht7
10 .i.xt7+ 'itxt7 11 e5 ..tg8 12 ef
.i.xf6 13 tiJd2 There is insufficient
compensation for the exchange.
13 .i.e6 (or 1 3 ... 'iVd5 1 4 'iVe2 i.e6
1 5 !iJe4, Yurkov - Burlyev, Moscow
1 958) 14 tiJe4 .i.e7 15 'iVh5 tiJd7
16 .i.g5 'iVa5 Even worse is 1 6 . . . i..d5
1 7 l:lae I i.. xg5 1 8 tlJxg5 h6 19 t;)f7
tiJf6 20 tiJxh6+ h7 2 1 llxf6 and
Black resigned (M itkov - Goban,
Santiago 1 990).
17 'ifh4 White has an undisputed
advantage (Teichmann - M ieses,
Berlin 1 9 1 0).

..

Gambit System

1 5 g3 lbxg3 ! 1 6 hg .ixg3 1 7 llxf7


h8, and the threats to the white king
can hardly be repulsed.
13 ... .ixf3 1 4 lhfJ 1 4 gf is
unsatisfactory in view of 14 ... 'iVh4
1 5 'ii'c2 llac8 1 6 'ii'g2 (or 1 6 lbc3
lbxc3 1 7 be llxc3 1 8 'iff2 'iVh5), and
now two combinational blows in a
row secure Black victory:

8
s .ig4!?
...

An interesting move. Now already


Black must be prepared to sacrifice
material. You see, after White
develops his bishop on c4 and queen
on b3, it will be impossible to defend
at the same time both pawns - on b7
and f7. In return he will gain quick
development and threats against
White's king's flank.
6 .ic4 lbd7 7 0-0 lbgf6 8 cJ .id6!?
9 'ii'bJ White wins a pawn but lags
behind in development. Which
carries more weight?
9 .0-0 1 0 'iVxb7 ed 11 cd lbb6
12 .ibJ The alternative is 1 2 .id3,
but after 1 2 . . . .ixf3 it becomes clear
that White has not reckoned on 1 3 gf
lbh5 14 lbc3 .ixh2+! with perpetual
check or 1 3 l:txf3 .ib8 1 4 d5 cd 1 5 ed
lbg4 with a very menacing attack.
12 ...lbxe4 13 'ifxc6 This looks like
an obvious mistake: White neglects
his development and the defence of
his king's nank just to snatch a pawn.
But even the apparently more natural
1 3 li'lc3 leads by force to a position in
which everybody would prefer to
play Black: 1 3 ... .ixf3 14 llxf3 'iVh4

1 6 ... l:lxc I ! 1 7 llxc I .ixh2+!


1 8 1i'xh2 'iVg5+ etc.
14 'iVh4!? Nothing is spoiled but
possibly clearer is
1 4 . . .llc8 ! ?
1 5 'iVxe4 lbc I + 1 6 f2 .ixh2
1 7 'iiie2 c4 1 8 .ixc4 l:xc4 19 d3
lie I 20 llh3 h6 2 1 llxh2 'Wb8.
I S gJ 'iVg4 1 6 llf4 Wh ite
..

..

understands that he cannot halt the


attack by normal means (for example,
if 1 6 l:te3, then 1 6...lbxg3 ! 1 7 'ii'g2
'irxd4 18 hg llae8 is conclusive), and
tries an exchange sacrifice to case his
position.
16 .ixf4
17
'iVxe4
l:.ae8
18 .ixf7+ ( 1 8 'iVxf4 lle l+ 1 9 g2
'ife2+ 20 ..ti>h3 llh 1 2 1 g4 :n)
.

18 <ith8 19 .ixe8 Or 1 9 'iVxf4 l'le l +


20 ..ti'g2 W'e2+ 2 I h3 l'lh I 2 2 g4
l:lfl .
..

Gambit System

1 9 ...i.e3+! The bishop cannot be


taken because of mate in three moves,
while otherwise he loses the queen.
White resigned. (Peregudov - Savon,
St.Petersburg 1 994).
.

Though 5 ... .i.g4!? in no way looks


like a panacea in the Gambit system,
the key to this move has for the
present not been resolved.
c
s .i.e6!?
...

roundabout way White brings his


knight to e3, although it would be
more logical to play simply I 0 .i.e3)
I O ... tbh6 I I c!Dc4 c!Dfl 1 2 c!De3 c!Db6
1 3 lilf5?! .i.xf5 1 4 ef o-o-0. B lack's
chances are at least no worse
(Fiueckiger - Tisdall, Berne 1 994).
7 .i.d3 I n the game Adams Seirawan (Bermuda 1 999) White, in
the manner of the Petroff defence,
carried out an exchange of pawns
along the e-file: 7 lilxe5 !? lilxe4
8 lbO .i.e? (Seirawan recommends
8 ...h6!? 9 .i.d3 lbg5 I 0 0-0 .i.d6)
9 .i.d3 lilg5 1 0 lilbd2 lbd7 I I 0-0
0-0, but this does not gain a tangible
advantage: 1 2 'ii'c2 h6 1 3 h I lbxO
1 4 lilxf3 .i.d6 1 5 i.d2 as
( 1 5 ...lle8 !? Seirawan) 1 6 ...c l 'it'h5
1 7 .i.f4 i.xf4 1 8 'ii'x f4 llae8 1 9 c4,
with only slight pressure.
7 ... ltlbd7 8 0-0 .i.d6 White was
completely outplayed in the game
Peptan - Chiburdanidze (Bled 2002):
8 ...'ii'c 7 9 lilg5 .i.d6 I 0 h3 0-0-0
I I .i.e3 h6 1 2 lLixe6 fe I 3 lild2 ed
1 4 cd. It seems that nothing could
portend disaster. . . All the more
interesting to observe the counterplay
generated on the dark squares:

A move that was recommended


long ago by Nimzowitsch. I n the
present position it looks the most
promising.
6 c3 (taking on e5 with the knight is
obviously not possible because of the
check on h4) 6...c!Df6 Countering with
the sharper 6 ... c!Dd7 also looks quite
hopeful, for example: 7 .i.d3 f6 8
'ii'e2 .i.d6 9 0-0 'ii'e7 1 0 c!Dbd2 (in a

1 4 ....i.h2+!? 1 5 h i g5 !? 1 6 i.c4
e5! 1 7 d5 i.f4 1 8 i.xf4 ef 1 9 l:tc l
10

Gambit System

This is how the game Smagin Summerscale (Nimes 1 99 1 ) went.


The English player did not find a
worthy
defence.
He
played
22 ...lLlf4?, allowing his opponent to
carry out a beautiful combination:
23 lZ.xf4 ! 'ire3+ 24 h I ...x f4
25 llfl 'irc7 26 .i.g6! hg 27 ...xh8+
e7 28 'irh4+ f8 29 Wh8+ We7
30 l:le I + 'it>f6 3 1 'iih4+ g5 32 'iVe4 g4
33 'ire6+ 'it>gS 34 lZ.e5+ Wf4 35 l:le4+
'it>g5 36 lZ.xg4+, and a move before
mate, Black resigned. But for all that
there was a defence: 22 .'ii'e3+
23 'it>h1 lLlf6 24 'irh4 0-0 25 c4
lLldS 26 .Uxti llxti 27 .i.xdS cd
28 'iVd8+ llf8 29 xdS+ :.n 30 :.n
'iVe7, and the game inclines towards a
draw.
2) 9 'ire2 'ii'e 7!? A classical plan
with long castling, though also quite
possible is 9 ... 0-0 1 0 lLlbd2 'irb6
I I 'it>h l lZ.ae8 12 b3 'irc7?!
( 1 2 ......d8!?) 13 lLlc4 xc4 1 4 be
c5?! ( 14 ... b6 !?) 1 5 d5 (M itkov Douven, Groningen 1 99 1). The
position is well-defined. White has a
clear plan to generate an initiative,
whereas Black lacks counterplay. All
this, however, is no more than a
consequence of Black's unconvincing
activity from moves 12 to 1 4.
1 0 lbbd2 0-0-0 1 1 lle 1 llhe8
1 2 lLln .i.c7 13 'it>ht liJg4 14 gs f6
I5 .i.eJ l2Jxe3 16 lLlxe3 ed 1 7 cd
b8 1 8 c4 liJb6 1 9 .i.xe6 'irxe6
20 lbrs lZ.d7 2 1 'irf2 g6 Black should
be satisfied with the results of the
opening. There are no weaknesses in
his position, while White's pawn
centre is vulnerable and in need of
defence. (Kasparian - Holmov,
Tbilisi 1 949).

'it>b8 20 de 'irxc6 2 1 dS 'ira6


22 c4 'irb6 23 'iVe2 lLleS 24 dS
lLlxdS 25 ed llxdS and later on
Chiburdanidze realised the extra
pawn.
After 8 ... d6 White has available
the following possibilities:

I ) 9 lLlgS lLlf8 It is not excluded


that 9 . . . 'irb6 ! ? is stronger. The
endgame reached after I 0 lDxe6 fe
I I 1i'b3 'irxb3 1 2 ab ed 1 3 cd eS ! is
obviously in Black's favour, and
even in the event of I 0 .i.c2 g4
his position looks preferable.
10 .i.e3 'ire7 II lLlxe6 lLlxe6
12 lLld2 lZ.d8 13 'irfJ c7 14 lLlb3
.i.b6 IS llad l ed 1 6 cd lDxd4
17 lbxd4 .i.xd4 (it is worth
considering the exchange sacrifice:
1 7.. .llxd4 ! ? 1 8 xd4 xd4+
19 h I 0-0) 18 .i.xd4 llxd4 1 9 eS
lLldS 20 e6 ll4 2 1 e+ lbti 22 'irhS

II

Gambit System

3) 9 'iii' h 1 'ilc7 1 0 ..te3 c5! Thanks


to tactics, an immediate break in the
centre is possible: I I d5 ..txd5 ! 1 2 ed
e4 13 ..txe4 ltlxe4 with equal
chances.
1 1 ltlbd2 cd 1 2 cd ed 13 l:.ct

the game Movsesian - Stohl (Austria


200 I ) Black entered into needless
complications: 20 1le8 2 1 l:.cdl
..txh2, however, all the same, the
game ended in a draw.
We add further that instead of
20 ltld4 no success is promised by
20 ltlxe5 ltlxe5 2 1 'ilg3 'ilf8
22 lLlh6+ h8 23 ..td4 l:.ae8. Attack
and defence counterbalance one
another, for example: 24 l:.ce I gh 25
J:r.xf6 l:.xf6 26 ..txe5 'ilg7 27 l:.d I
'ifxg3 28 ..txf6+ 'it'g7 29 e5 Wg8 or
24 'it'b3 gh 25 ..txe5 lbe5 26 .lhf6
l:.xe4, in both cases with full equality.
Conclusion: in the variation 3 . . . de
4 fe e5 White can hardly cause his
opponent serious trouble, provided
Black is not enticed by the pawn on
d4 (S . . ed?) and stands his ground
with quick development - 5 .....tg4! ?
or 5 . . ...te6 !?
II
3 e5!?
..

13 'ilb8 Worth considering is the


queen sacrifice 1 3 ... de!? 1 4 l:.xc7
..txc7. The variations convince us
that Black has full counterplay in
return, for example: 1 5 ltlc4 ltlc5
1 6 ltlxe3 0-0-0 1 7 ltle I lLlfxe4
1 8 'ilc2 ltlxd3 1 9 ltlxd3 'ii?b8 20 lLlf4
..txf4 2 1 llxf4 f5 ! etc.
1 4 ltlxd4 ..tg4 1 5 ..te2 ..txe2
16 'ifxe2 0-0 17 ltlrs lieS 18 'iftJ
..teS 1 9 ltlc4 l:.e6!
..

...

Black tries at once to take the bull


by the horns, striving to punish the
opponent for weakening his king's
flank. There are several moves - and
on the board quite irrational positions
can arise.
4 de Weaker, as pointed out by
Seirawan, is the other capture: 4 ed?!

20 lLld4 White, for his part, has a


dangerous initiative, but Black 's
defensive resources are sufficient
for equal ity. Now simplest is
20 ... ..txd4!? 2 1 ..txd4 l:.xe4, but in
12

Gambit System

ed! 5 'iVxd4 cd 6 lbc3 lbf6 7 .i.g5


.i.e7 8 0-0-0 tbc6 with a comfortable
game for Black.
4 .i.c5 It is not clear whether there
is any sense in 4 ...'iVb6 5 .i.d3 de
(5 ... .i.c5 amounts to a transposition
of moves) 6 xe4 'iVa5+ 7 lbc3
'ifxe5 - it seems that White gains
time, combining the development of
his minor pieces with pressure on the
queen. However in the game
S.lvanov - Galkin (St.Petersburg
1 993) Black solved his problems with
the queen simply... by sacrificing it:
8 lbge2 tbf6 9 .i.f4 'ifa5 I 0 0-0 .i.e7
I I 'it'e I 0-0 1 2 tbd5 'ifc5+ 1 3 .i.e3
cd ! ? 1 4 .i.xh7+ <it>xh7 1 5 .i.xc5
.i.xc5+ 1 6 'it>h I lbc6 with sufficient
compensation.

5 tbe2?! It is clear that both .i.xg l


and 'iVh4+ are threatened, but the
means by which White decides to
avoid this vector of hostile attack
hardly merits approval.
5 lbd7 6 lbec3 He would lose the
queen after 6 ed lbxe5 7 de'? f2+!;
also weak is 6 .i.f4 de 7 fe tbe7.
6...tbxe5 7 ed Probably the lesser
evil is that pointed out by Seirawan:
7 f4 tbg6 8 .i.g3 lDf6 with a slight
advantage for Black.
7...'itb4+ 8 g3 'fie7 9 lbe4 lDf6
Black is right not to force events:
both 9... f5?! 1 0 lbxc5 3+ I I ..ti>d2
lbxc5 1 2 'iVe2, and 9 ... cd 1 0 .i.b5+
ffi I I 'ifxd5 tbxf3+ would leave
White greater chances of a successful
defence.
tO lbbc3 The following variations
serve as proof that White's position is
already very difficult: I 0 d6'! tbxf3+
I I 'ifxf3 'iVxe4+, 1 0 de lbxf3 +
I I 'ifxf3 lbxe4, 1 0 lbxc5 tbxf3+
I I 'it>f2 'ifxc5+.
1 0... tbxd5 1 1 tbxd5 lbxf3+!
1 2 'fixf3 cd 1 3 .i.b5+ Wf8 14 .i.d3 de
1 5 'fixe4 .i.h3 1 6 'ifxe7+ ..ti>xe7
17 'i!;ld2 l:thd8 18 l:te l+ Wf8 19 a3
l:tac8

..

The shortcomings of the move 3 f3


are shown perfectly distinctly. White
must immediately take measures to
defend his king against the threats
along the g l-a7 and e 1 -h4 diagonals.
A
5 ed?! Too complacent and
therefore incorrect: 5 ...'it'b6 6 lbh3
.i.xh3 7 gh .i.fl+ (also 7 ...'ifb4+
works) 8 <it>e2 d4 We think no one
would want to defend such a position
for White.

Black has conducted the attack in


13

Gambit System

model fashion and has an undoubted


advantage in the endgame. From here
on he played just as accurately and
clearly and deserved his victory.
(Smagin - Meduna, Prague 1 992).

set about realising his material


Berg,
advantage
(Smagin
Copenhagen 1 992).
3) 5 'iYb6 6 l'Lle2 l'Lld7 7 f4 de
8 ..ixe4 l'Llh6 Slovakian grandmaster
Igor Stohl considers that Black has
sufficient counterplay. But in fact he
will still have to take pains in proving
the correctness of this assessment.
9 h3! (9 l'Llec3!? is also an
interesting try) 9 ..tf2+ 1 0 ..tn l'Llc5
1 1 l'Lld2 ..ie6 1 2 b4!? Inciting Black
to make a new sacrifice. On the other
hand, 1 2 g4 !?, met in the game
Dimov - Badev (Bulgaria 1 996), to
say the least, is dubious because of
1 2 ... 0-0-0!
1 2 l'Lla6 13 f5 ..ih4!? It is also
possible to give up material in
another way: 1 3 . . .l'Llxf5 14 ..i..x f5
..ixf5 1 5 tt:'!c4 l:ld8 1 6 ..i..d2 1ib5
1 7l'Lld6+ llxd6 1 8 ed ..ib6 1 9 a4 'ifc4
20 c3 0-0 2 1 a5 i.d8 22 f2 i.h4+
23 g3 ..if6, likewise with a dangerous
initiative.
14 g3 l'Llxf5 1 5 ..txrs ..ixf5 16 gh
0-0-0
.

5 ..id3!? A busy move. It turns out


that 5 ... ..ixg l 6 llxg l 'ifh4+ is really
not so terrible: 7 wn 'it'xh2 8 ed
'ifxe5 9 l!Jc3 leads to a position
where the loss of castling is not felt as
much as one might suppose. But if
this is not effective, then what is the
proper way for Black to increase his
initiative?
I ) 5 ... l!Jd7?! 6 f4 de 7 ..ixe4 l!Jh6
8 'ife2 0-0 9 l!JtJ lle8 10 l!Jc3 'ifb6
II :lfl l!Jf8 1 2 ..id3 (Sandkamp Meduna, Germany 1 989), and
1 2 ...l'Llf5 is parried by 1 3 l!Je4, when
White's extra pawn will soon begin to
tell.
2) 5 de 6 ..txe4 'iie7 7 f4 f6 8 l'Llc3
l'Lld7 9 'ifh5+ ..tf8 1 0 l'Llf3 l!Jh6
11 ..id2 lbn 12 0-0-0 g6 13 'ifb4 fe
14 'ifxe7+ ..i.. xe7 1 5 fe tt:'!c5 1 6 ..if4
Wg7 1 7 l:lhe 1 l:le8 1 8 h3 g5 19 ..ie3
g4

..

..

Analysis has led to a position


where only practical play can provide
an assessment. For the present we
shall refrain from a final conclusion

20 ..id4! White has again been


successful
in neutral ising the
opponent's initiative and is ready to
14

Gambit System

as to whether material or initiative


will prevail.
D

5 lllc3 The most solid retort in


reply to 3 ... e5 !? 4 de c5. As in the
preceding variation White should not
real ly be too a fraid of 5 . .. xg l
6 l:txg l 4+.
5 'iVb6 It is worth looking at
5 . ..llle7 ! ? 6 d3 0-0 7 f4llla6 8 1t'f3
'ifb6 9 lilge2 lilb4 I 0 g4 e6 I I Wfl
lllxd3 1 2 cd (Mitkov - Kallai, France
1 994), and here, in our view, worth
considering is 1 2 . .. 1i'a6 ! ? with
compensation for the pawn.
6 lll a4 'iVaS+ 7 c3 xgl Black's
undertake
active
refusal
to
counterplay seemed inexplicable in
the game Gallagher - Tukmakov
(Geneva 1 994): 7 ....i.ffi 8 b4 'ifc7. It
is not surprising that after 9 ed
'ifxeS+ I 0 'ife2 11t'xe2+ I I lllxe2ill f6
1 2 de lllxc6 1 3 b5 llla5 1 4 llld4 llld5
15 lllb3 lllb6 1 6 lllb2 lllxb3 1 7 ab
e6 1 8 e3 llld5 1 9 d4 b6 20lllc4
he didn't have the slightest hint of
initiative in return for the pawn he
sacri ficed in the opening.
.

achieve extra advantage with the help


of an intennediate 8 b4.
I ) 8 b4!? 1t'c7 9 lbgl 1Vxe5 Or
9...llle7 1 0 ed 'iVxe5+ I I f2 0-0
(Mitkov - Izeta, San Sebastian 1 993),
and in this position White can force
the opponent to allow a favourable
simplification by 1 2 de lllbxc6 1 3 b5
.Ud8 1 4 1t'e2.
10 'iVd4 'ifxd4 The queens can be
exchanged another way
I O . . lild7
I I 'iixe5+ li)xe5, but after 1 2 ed cd
1 3 f4 f6 1 4 0-0-0 I?Je7 White, in the
game Smagin - Berg (Copenhagen
1 993),
somehow
very
easily
neutralised the opponent's activity:
1 5 xeS fe 16 .Ue I lllg6 1 7 d3 ..t>f7
1 8 xg6+ hg 1 9 .Uxe5 .Uxh2 20 llxd5
e6 2 1 .tta5 etc.
I I cd de 12 fe i?Jf6 13 d3 0-0
14 f2
-

This pos1t1on arose in the game


Bundgen-Grund (Lcverkuizen 1 997).
Black should play 1 4 ... l:.d8. A fter
1 5 .i.b2 I?Ja6 1 6 a3 lllc7 there are
chances for both sides: White has two
bishops and an advantage in space,
and Black - clear play against the
opponent's not too well fortified
pawn centre.
2) 8 lbgl de 9 f4/?Je7 1 0 b4 1 l is
hardly appropriate to do without this

White is faced with a choice: to


take the bishop at once or try to
15

Gambit System

III
3...g6

move- 1 0 fe cS !? leads to a position


in which Black successfully occupies
the key eS square: I I c4 0-0
1 2 dS lDbc6 1 3 f2 tDg6 1 4 e3
tDcxeS I S xeS it)g4+ 1 6 e I l:.e8.
The game is unclear (Santo Roman Oshar, Chambery 1 994 ).
IO .'iVdS I I 'iVe2 tLlg6 12 fe ..e6
13 g3 tLlxeS 14 tLlcS 'iVe7 IS 'iVhS
lLlg6 16 0-0-0 b6 1 7 lLlb3 aS 1 8 ba
e6 1 9 c4

It seems that Black is in the mood


for solid play and has no intention of
an immediate refutation of 3 0, but
makes a stand for free, harmonious
development of forces in his half of
the board. But, as we shall see later,
this is not quite what happens.

This position arose in the game


Murey - Kadimova (Cappelle le
Grande 1 996). The further course of
events testifies to the serious
confusion of the player of the black
pieces: 1 9 ...tDd7 20 d6 'iVf6 2 1 'ifn
'iVgS+ 22 lld2 hS 23 g3 .J:lh6 24 'iVc3
lDgeS 2S ab llxa2 26 h4 and
resignation is forced.
Meanwhile we should not assume
that the position in the diagram is
such a complete fiasco. For example,
19 ii'a3+ 20 bl tLld7 21 e2
'ii'a4!? 22 'ti'fJ (22 d6 bS) 22 0-0
23 'ifcJ ltfe8 secures Black a very
fair game.
On the whole, the variant 3 ...eS !?
4 de cS presents itself as a quite
unexplored sector of chess theory.

A
4 e3 g7 S lLlc3 A rather watered
down possibility for White is S tDe2after the exchange of pawns in the
centre the knight can go to f3 .
Further, i n the game Conquest Delemarre (Groningen 1 997) there
occurred S . . . de 6 fe lLlf6 7lLlbc3 lLlg4
8 g l eS 9 dS o-o 1 0 h3 lLlf6 I I 'iVd2
bS 1 2 a3 .i.b7 1 3 0-0-0 cd 1 4 ed as
I S bl b4 1 6 ab 1Wxb4 1 7 lLlc l
tLlbd7 with an unclear game.
s. 'ifb6!?
..

..

16

Gambit System

A sharp change of rhythm - Black


fastens on to the d4 and b2 pawns. On
the other hand, the exchange 5 ... de?!
6 fe tiJf6 is dubious since it only helps
White - 7 ltJf3, and then:
7 ...ltJbd7 8 ..tc4 tiJb6 9 i.b3 0-0
I 0 0-0 i.g4 I I h3 i.xf3 1 2 'iVxf3
'iVd7 1 3 a4 l:lad8 14 a5 ltJa8 1 5 ltJa4
b6 1 6 ab ab 1 7 lDc3 lDc7 1 8 l:la7 lla8
1 9 llxa8 lDxa8 20 e5 with a decisive
advantage (Adorjan - Ermenkov,
Budapest - Sofia match, 1 969);
7 ...ltJg4 8 ..tg l e5 9 d5 0-0 1 0 i.c4
1Wa5 I I i.b3 tt'la6 1 2 tt'ld2 .i.h6
1 3 ltJc4 1Wd8 1 4 de 'irh4+ 1 5 g3 'iVh3.
The game Dutreeuw - Magem
( Mondariz 2000) arrived at th is
position. By continuing 16 cb ..txb7
1 7 'iVf3, White can increase his
advantage.
6 1Wd2 It is possible to defend the
pawn indirectly- 6 a3 ! ? (6 ...1Wxb2? 7
ltJa4). True, in the game Vorotnikov
Krytianksy (Leningrad 1 965) White
made a mistake on the very next
move: 6...e6 7 ltJh3?, a llowing the
opponent to seize the initiative:
7...e5! 8 ed ed 9 i.f2 i.xh3 10 gh cd
I I i.b5+ f8 1 2 0-0 ltJe7 1 3 l:le I
ltJbc6 1 4 1We2 ..tf6 1 5 llad l l:ld8 etc.
So the value of the idea 6 a3!?
remains in question.
6 1Wxb2 7 l:tbl 'iVa3 8 ed liJf6 9 de
be 10 i.d3 What to do in this position
is a matter of taste and temperament.
In the game Shabalov - Magem (New
York 1 998) events suddenly took an
unusual tum: I 0 ..tc4 .i.a6 I I l:tb3
'iVa5 1 2 ..txa6 'iVxa6 1 3 ..th6 0-0
1 4 h4 ! ? lDbd7 1 5 h5 e5 !? 1 6 i.xg7
rj;xg7 1 7 ltJge2 ed 1 8 lDxd4 llfe8+

1 9 f2 l:lad8 20 1Wf4 'iVa5 2 1 hg fg


22 Wg3

By continuing here 22 ...g5 !?, Black


has every basis to take the initiative.
For example: 23 1Wf5 lle5 24 1Wh3
'iVc7 25 'iVh6+ g8 26 f2 (even
worse is 26 h3 iDeS 27 l:lb4 ltd6)
26...'ifd6 27 ltJde2 l:r.de8 28 l:lb7 1i'd2
29 Ae I ltJg4+ 30 fg lt8e6 3 1 'iVh3
ltf6+ with a win.
1 0...tiJbd7 11 lDge2 0-0 12 0-0
i.a6! 1 3 ltbJ 'ifa5 14 i.xa6 1Wxa6
15 lte1 :res 16 'ifc1 tiJb6 17 i.f2
liJfd5 18 ltJe4 lDe4 19 1Wbl e5 20 de
.i.xe5 21 eJ ltJeb6 Distinct from
Shabalov, White, in Adams - Leko
(Tilburg 1 996), gave the game a
purely positional slant - and likewise
did not achieve very much. Black has
at the very least equal chances.
8

4 cJ i.g7 5 i.eJ White tries to


prevent the liberating e7-e5 with the
help of 5 i.f4, but Black has the right
to stand his ground: 5 ...lDd7 ! ? 6 e5 f6
7 ef lDgxf6 8 i.d3 0-0 9 ltJe2 e5 !
(Mitkov - Ebert, Cannes 1 995).
The break has been achieved,
consequently 5 .i.f4 is not so good.
5 e5!?

17

Gambit System

5 fe 'int4+ (for which there are the


moves 4 .i.d3 or 4 lLlc3 ), or pay no
attention to it (4 .i.e3). We begin with
the latter.

I f Black dominates the centre as


early as the 6h move (the absence of
a knight on f3 is felt), it means that
his opening problems are over.
6 de .i.xeS 7 lLld2 lLlf6 Seirawan
A
permitted himself too many liberties
4 .i.eJ Should Black take or not
in his game against Adams ( Bermuda
take on e4? Let's look at some
1 999): 7 ... lLle7?! 8 'ii'c2 o-o 9 o-o-o
possibilities:
a5 1 0 h4! b5 I I h5 lLld7 1 2 hg hg
4 . . .lLlf6 5 e5 with a subsequent
1 3 lLle2 b4 1 4 .i.d4 c5 1 5 .i.xe5 lLlxe5
advance of the f pawn (for White) and
1 6 lLlf4. As a result White was
the
c pawn (for Black) brings the
al lowed chances of attack on the open
pawn
structure into a position rather
h-file.
8 ._.c2 Ji.e6 9 lLle2 de 10 lLld4 1ke7 more characteristic of the French
1 1 lLlxe6 'ii'xe6 1 2 .i.c4 The game defence (code C l l );
4 ...f5 is too artificial to be correct,
M itkov - Dizdarevic (Pula 2000)
for
example: 5 lLld2 lLlf6 6 lLlh3 de
arrived at this position. The most
accurate here was 1 2 ... lLld5 !?, 7 fe fe 8 lLlg5 .i.d6 9 lLlgxe4 lL!xe4
emphasising his conquered terrain in I 0 lLlxe4 'int4+ I I lLlf2 0-0 1 2 g3
'ile7 1 3 'ii'd2 e5 1 4 0-0-0 .i.e6
the centre.
It can be boldly stated that the exit 1 5 lL!e4 and White's position is
of the dark-squared bishop on the to be preferred (Averbakh - Zita,
long diagonal (3 ... g6 and 4 ....i.g7) in Szczawno Zdroj 1 950);
4 . . . c5 has still not been tried,
conjunction with the idea 1id8-b6!?
and e7-e5 !? looks a very effective though it looks quite logical: 5 de
weapon in the struggle against the lLlc6 6 c3 lLlf6 etc.
Yet all the same the main retort to
Gambit system.
4 .i.e3 is this: if Black wants to win a
pawn, then he must occupy himself
IV
with it right away (4 ... de), and if not,
J e6
The basic continuation. White then it is worth trying 4 . . .1Wb6!?
I ) 4 . .de 5 lLld2!
should either parry the threat of 4 . . .de
..

18

Gambit System

1 2 llael !? A piece sacrifice - more


intuitive than with any foresight of
the opponent's possible defences.
1 2...cd 13 .i.xd4 lLlxc4 14 lt:\xc4
'ihc4 ( 1 4 . . . .i.c5 15 'iff2 .i.xd4
1 6 'ifxd4 0-0 1 7 llxf6! gf 1 8 lt:\e4
with a decisive attack) 1 5 .i.xf6 gf
16 'ii'xf6 llf8 1 7lt:\xh7 .i.e7 18 'ifg7
'ifc5+? Considerably stronger is
1 8 ...'ifc7!? 19 Wh l b6 20 lld l .i.a6
2 1 llf2 .i.c4, and it can be stated that
White has nothing better than
perpetual check after 22 'ifxf8+ !?
.i.xf8 23 lLlf6+ rj;e7 24 li)g8+.
19 Wh I 'irh5? Black does not
notice the opponent's reply. He
should choose 1 9 . . f5 20 li)xf8 .i.xf8
2 1 'iVg6+ d8, and possibly still put
up a stubborn resistance.

White agrees to sacrifice a pawn,


not on e4 {5 fe? 1i'h4+), but on f3.
The half-open f-file, great advantage
in development - all this creates the
prerequisites for a dashing attack.
a) After 5 ...ef 6lt:\gxf3lt:\f6 events
can unfold in the following way:
7 .i.dJ b6 8 'ife2 .i.d6? (Seirawan
indicates 8 . . ..i.e7 as stronger) 9 0-0
lt:\bd7 1 0 lt:\c4 .i.c7 1 1 lt:\ce5 .i.b7
1 2lt:\xf7! Wxf7 1 3lt:\g5+ We7

20 'irxr8+! Black resigned. Zalkind


- Kudrin, Chicago 1 989);
7 li)c4 The favourite continuation
of Vasily Smys1ov who in such a way
{occupying the central e5 square with
the knight) twice scored effective
victories:
7...li)bd7 8 .i.dJ lt:\d5?! 9 .i.g5
'ii'c7 10 0-0 h6 II .i.d2 .i.e7 J2lf)ce5
li)5f6 13 Wet li)xe5 14 li)xe5 .i.d7
15 WgJ g5 16 Wh3 llf8 17 lLlxf7!
llxf7 18 .i.g6 'ird6 19 Whl etc.
{Smyslov - Kan, Sverdlovsk 1 943 );

14lt:\xe6! {the sacrifice of a second


knight decides) 1 4...Wxe6 15 .i.c4+
<j;e7
1 6 .i. f4+ with victory
{Tartakower- Ween ink, Liege 1 930);
7 .i.c4 'ikc7 8 0-0 lbbd7 9 lt:\g5
lLlb6 10 'ii'fJ .i.d6 1 1 h3 c5?! A risky
undertaking - opening the centre
when his own king is uncastled. More
reliable is 1 1 . . . h6!? 1 2 lLlge4 lt:\xe4
1 3 'W'xe4 lLld5, bringing the knight
over to the defence of the king's
tlank.
19

Gambit System

7 .ltdS 8 .i.d2 .i.e7 9 .i.d3 .i.h4+


10 g3 .i.f6 1 1 ..,e2 aS 12 a3 0-0 13 h4
.i.e7 14 tLlgS lLlf6 IS tLleS bS 16 l:tfl
h6

17 llxf6! gf 1 8 S! fg 19 'ihh6
fS 20 ._.g6+ h8 2 1 hg .i.xa3
22 'ite2 ._.dS 23 lL!fJ Under threat of
a linear mate, Black resigned
(Smyslov - Gereben, Budapest
1 949).
It can be seen that in reply to 7 lL'lc4
Black must be particularly accurate in
the choice of his next moves and
therefore 7....i.e7 8 .i.d3 lL'lbd7 9 0-0
0-0 1 0 c3 b6 1 1 lL!ce5 .i.b7 appears
the most appropriate.
On the whole it is not possible to
say that White's attack 5 ...ef 6 lL!gxf3
lLlf6 looks deadly. In analysis Black's
possibilities are very noticeable, and
he has an extra pawn - not bad
support for the defence. But from the
point of view of practice it would be
wiser to refrain from accepting the
sacrifice:
b) S lL'lf6!? 6 fe eS!
Exploiting the fact that 7 de lLlg4
8 ._.e2 lL!xe5 9 lL!gfJ .i.g4
(Spielmann - Tartakower, Vienna
1 9 1 3), is not good, Black boldly
plays to seize the initiative.
.

20

7 lL!gfJ ed. Here 7. . . lLlg4? ! is


weaker, since the blockade on the e5
square involves a great loss of time,
for example: 8 .i.g I ed 9 .i.xd4 c5
I 0 ..tg I lLlc6 I 1 h3 lLlge5 1 2 lL!xe5
lLlxe5 1 3 'ii'h5 .i.d6 1 4 0-0-0 0-0
1 5 lLlc4 lLlxc4 1 6 ..txc4 ._.e7 1 7
llxd6! ._.xd6 1 8 ..txc5 ._.f4+ 1 9 'it>b l
..te6 (Reichel - Oms, Groningen
1 998), and with the move 20 ltfl !
White can underline his advantage.
8 .i.xd4 ..tg4 9 ..teJ lL'lbd7 I 0 .i.c4
.i.cS?! (more solid is 1 0... .i.d6!? with
equality) 1 1 ..txcS lLlxcS 12 .i.xf7+!?
Beginning a forcing operation, which
however does not yield particular
dividends. But if White does not
deliver a blow on fl, matters might be
even worse for him. It is possible to
say that 1 2 .i.xfl+!? is virtually a
drawing combination.
12 xli 13 tLleS+ 'it>g8 14 lLlxg4
lLlfxe4 IS lLlxe4 lLlxe4 16 ..,e2
( 1 6 0-0!?) 16 'ii'aS+ 17 c3 Ae8
18 'ifc4+ 'ifdS 19 'ifxd5+ cd 20 0-0
h5 2 1 lL'lf211h6 (Novikov - Khenkin,
Koszalin 1 997), and here, by
continuing 22 l:tae I , White would
possibly have a microscopic 'plus'
2) 4......b6!? Perhaps stronger than
4 ...de. The queen threatens the b2
pawn and prepares the break c6-c5.
5 lLld2

Gambit System

20 'ifc2 'ifa4 with a double-edged


game.
7 ltle2 b6 8 0-0 .i.a6 9 ltlb3 .i.xd3
I0 'ii'xd3 'it'a6 II 'ifd2 .ia3 1 2 lDgJ
lDd7 1 3 ltlct lDe7 1 4 ltld3 0-0
1 5 lDh5

5 'ifxb2 ! ? It is possible to
postpone the capture on b2 - 5 ...lDd7
6 .id3 c5 7 c3 c4 8 .ic2 'ifxb2 9 lDe2
'ifa3 1 0 0-0 lDb6 I I ed ed 1 2 l:le l
.id7 (Smyslov - Makogonov, USSR
1 944) or completely reject it:
5 . . .lDf6!? 6 .i.d3 c5 7 de .ixc5
The source of this important
8 .ixc5 'iVxc5 9 lDe2 lDc6 1 0 c3 o-o
II ed lDxd5 1 2 lDe4 'ifb6 1 3 'ii'd2 position for the variation 4 .. .'irb6!?
l:ld8 1 4 0-0-0 lDe3 (Mayorov - was the game M itkov - Khenkin
1 999).
The
further
Shobumov, Bryansk 1 995). But ( Bolzano
analysis does not reveal any continuation was 1 5 . . . g6 1 6 lbe5
inconvenience at all in immediately lDxe5 1 7 lDf6+ h8 1 8 de llfd8
1 9 .ig5 with complicated play.
taking the pawn.
But the fact of the matter is that on
6 .id3 6 lDb3 !? 'ii'a3 7 c3 lDf6
mostly leads to a simple transposition 1 5 ... g6?! White could develop a very
of moves: 8 .id3 etc. But in this case strong attack on the dark squares by
worth considering is 7...b6, for the 1 6 .i.h6! Neither 1 6... gh 1 7 lbe5 ! f6
present not deciding the position of 1 8 ltlxd7 llf7 1 9 e5 f5 20 llJf6+ 'ith8
the king's knight - possibly it will 2 1 lDxh5, nor 1 6 ...llfd8 1 7 'ii'f4 f5
prove useful on the e7 square.
( 1 7 . . . gh 1 8 lbe5 llJxe5 1 9 'ii'xe5)
6 .'ii'a3 Also here Black's plan is 1 8 lbe5 ..i.d6 1 9 'ii'g5 .i.xe5 20 de
modified, depending on where he 'itf7 2 1 llJf6 offer Black the least
intends to develop his king's knight. pleasure.
An important improvement, by
Thus, in the game Gdanski - Khenkin
( Koszalin 1 998) there followed comparison with the game Mitkov
6 . .lbf6 7 lDe2 'ii'a3 8 lbb3 b6!? (a Khenkin, was made by Alexei Dreev:
programmed move, preparing an t5 1Wc4!? The point of this move
exchange of light-squared bishops) lies in the fact that firstly, it does not
9 0-0 .ia6 I 0 .i.e I 'ii'e7 II lbg3 'ifb7 allow .ih6 and secondly, no way
1 2 .ig5 lbbd7 1 3 'ife2 .ixd3 1 4 cd should the g-pawn be touched - the
h6 1 5 .ixf6 lbx f6 1 6 f4 0-0-0 position of the king should be
1 7 ltab l 'it'a6 1 8 e5 lDe8 1 9 f5 lld7 reinforced by means of f7-f6, llf8-f7.
..

..

21

Gambit System

In the game Mitkov- Dreev (Naum


2000) the Macedonian grandmaster
did not find a retort against his
venerable rival. Play went 16 cJ f6 1 7
.:ab1 lDg6 1 8 lDgJ llad8 1 9 ttfd 1
:res 20 .i.f2 e5, and Black's
advantage (material and positional)
was very soon converted into victory.
Today the move 4 .i.e3 i s
considered insufficient for White to
obtain even an equal game.

18 a3 'ifb6 1 9 b4 .i.e7 20 'iVb1 g8


2 1 b5 lDa5 22 .i.e5 with advantage
(Spielmann - N imzowitsch, San
Sebastian 1 9 1 2);
2) 4 lDf6 5 .i.eJ c5 6 cJ cd 7 cd de
8 fe lDxe4! 9 lDt3 (9 .i.xe4 'ifh4+)
9 ... .i.b4+ 1 0 lDbd2 lDxd2 1 1 lDxd2
(Tartakower
Sultan
Khan,
Semmering 1 93 1 ). If Sultan Khan
had now played simply l l ...lDc6,
White could hardly have come up
with compensation for the sacrificed
pawn.
And so there is no reason at all to
refrain from the immediate capture.
..

4 ..tdJ White defends one pawn,


but. .. there and then sacrifices
another! True, great masters of the
past for some reason have refrained
from accepting this gi ft:
I) 4 c5?! 5 cJ lDc6 6 lDe2 'iib6
7 .i.c2 lDf6 8 0-0 cd 9 cd eS 10 lDbcJ
ed 1 1 lDa4 'ikc7

3) 4 ... de! 5 fe 'ikxd4

..

A classic situation: the sacrifice of


a pawn in exchange for a very fast
development. But two factors
complicate White's search for the
initiative: firstly, he must spend some
time to hide away his king (the g l -a7
diagonal is exposed to fire!), and
secondly, Black's pieces enter the
game surprisingly quickly.
6 lDtJ 'iib6 Black's play was lame
in the game A lekhine - Weiss
(simultaneous, 1 930): 6 ... 'ikd8 7 .i.e3
lDd7 8 lbc3 .i.c5 9 'ife2 .i.xe3
I 0 1fxe3 h6 II 0-0-0 lDgf6 1 2 g4
'iVb6 1 3 'ife2 !Dxg4 1 4 l:.hgI !Dt2

1 2 e5! lDd7 Tak i ng on e5 is


obviously not possible: 12 ...'1i'xe5
1 3 .i.f4 'ifh5 1 4 lDxd4 White also has
a clear advantage after 1 2 ... lDg8
1 3 b3 'ifxe5 1 4 l:.e l 'it>d8 ( 1 4 ...lDge7
1 5 lDec3) 1 5 lDec3 'ifh5 1 6 lDb5 .i.d7
1 7 ..tf4!? .:cs 1 8 .i.d6 lDb4 1 9 .i.b l
lDf6 20 .i.xf8 .:xf8 2 1 lDxa7 l:.c7
22 'ii'xd4.
13 ..tf4 lDcS 14 e6! 'ifaS 15 ef+
'it>xl7 16 lDxc5 .i.xcS 17 c;t>hl .i.e6
22

Gambit System

1 5 a4 'ira5 1 6 'irxfl 'irxa4 1 7 .Uxg7


ltffl 1 8 b I 'irb4 1 9 'it'h4. White is
about to draw close to the king and
his opponent has to concede to an
extremely unfavourable endgame:
19 ... 'it'e7 20 'it'xh6 'irf6 2 1 xf6
xf6 22 e5 etc.
7 a4 .i.eS 8 aS e7 9 bd2 d7
10 b3 .i.d6 1 1 0-0 gf6 12 h3 a6
13 .i.e3 0-0 It is already clear that
White has achieved nothing and his
pawn deficit will soon make itself
fell. The game Ortega - A.Zaitsev
(Berlin 1 968) then continued:
14 e4 .i.f4 IS .i-12 eS 1 6 eS xeS
1 7 .i.xeS xd3 1 8 'irxd3 lieS
19 .i.b6 'ifb8 Black, without any
doubt, stands better.
c

deS 14 'ire3 e4 IS xe4 de


16 b4 .i.d7 1 7 'iVfl e7 18 e4 'ifa6
1 9 bS a4 20 .i.e3! Black's queen
has lost its way, though the game is
sti ll not over (Smyslov - Flohr,
Moscow 1 949);
2) 4 ... eS?! S ed ed 6 de f6 7 .i.e3
.i.e7 8 .i.bS+ .i.d7 9 'ifd3 0-0
10 ge2 .i.e6 1 1 0-0 White has a
healthy extra pawn (Smagin Danielsen, Copenhagen 1 99 1 );
3) 4 ... f6 White, i f he wants, (5 e5
fd7 6 f4 c5) can transpose to
variation C I I in the French defence,
therefore
only
5
.i.g5
has
independent significance. I n the
game Smyslov - Botvinnik (Moscow
1 958) events developed in the
following way:
S h6! 6 .i.h4 b6 (with the
position of the bishop on h4 this
manoeuvre gains in strength) 7 a3 eS
A gross error would be 7 ......xb2?? in
view of 8 a4.
8 ge2 e6 9 de .i.xeS I 0 a4
as+ 1 1 ee3 .i.e7 12 i.xf6 .i.xf6
13 ed.

4 e3 A natural and very


reasonable defence of the e4 pawn.
Black is presented with no problems
after 4 d2 in view of 4 ... de 5 xe4
f6 6 .i.g5 bd7 7 'ild2 .i.e7
8 xf6+ .i.xf6 9 .i.xf6 xf6. The
game is equal (Jimenez - Barcza,
Havana 1 963).

13 ...d4! 14 .i.d3 Extremely risky


is 1 4 de i.xe6 with a strong attack.
14 ed 1S 0-0 0-0 With his
subsequent play Black obtained quite
a large positional advantage;

Here Black has many possibilities:


I ) 4 'ilb6?! S ge2 f6 6 'i6'd3
a6 7 a3 eS 8 eS d7 9 f4 rs I 0 g3
.i.e7 1 1 .i.g2 0-0 1 2 0-0 ed 1 3 xd4

..

23

Gambit System

4) 4 b6 An especially defensive
plan: Black wants to provoke an
exchange of light-squared bishops by
i.c8-a6, but, not stopping at that, will
then offer new exchanges which will
edge the game closer to a draw.
5 i.f4 (or 5 i.e3 i.a6 6 i.xa6
lDxa6 7 ...d3 lDc7 8 0-0-0 ...c8
9 lDge2 'ifa6 1 0 lDf4 lDf6 I I 'ii'xa6
lbxa6 1 2 e5 lDd7 1 3 lDce2 CfJc7 14 c3
i.e? 1 5 g4 0-0 1 6 lLlh5, draw,
McShane - Speelman, Malmo 2003)
5 i.d6 6 lDhJ xf4 7 lDxf4 lDf6
8 'ifd2 de 9 lbxe4 0-0 1 0 0-0-0 i.a6
1 1 g4 i.xn 1 2 l%hxfl ltlbd7 1 3 lbd3
'ifc7 14 lDcJ %X.fd8 1 5 gS CfJe8 16 h4
lbf8 1 7 'ii'f2 CfJd6 1 8 f4 lLlrs 19 tDes
White has a minimal advantage
( McShane - Speelman, Germany
2003).
5) 4...ltld7 S i.eJ i.b4 6 lDe2 de
7 fe eS 8 aJ i.aS 9 lDgJ lDgf6
1 0 ..ie2 0-0 l l "ifd2 i.b6 12 dS i.xeJ
1 3 "ifxeJ 'irb6 1 4 'ii' x b6 lLlxb6
1S 0-0-0 i.d7 16 l%hfl llad8 I 7 bJ
aS 1 8 a4 l%.c8 1 9 'iPb2 llfd8 20 hJ
'itf8 Imperceptibly, White has
somehow been outplayed and should
now be striving for a draw (Shulman
- Karpov, Lindsborg 2003).
6) 4 .....ib4 Simply the strongest: by
pinning the knight, Black renews the
threat on the e4 pawn by 5 ...de 6 fe
'ifh4+. The overwhelming majority
of games in the Gambit system travel
along this particular path.
It all depends on White whether he
conducts the further struggle with
equal material . 5 ..ie3 and 5 ..id2
imply a sacrifice (at times temporary)
of a pawn; 5 lLle2 and 5 ..if4 are quiet
developmental moves.
.

a) After S eJ de 6 aJ ..txcJ+ 7 be
"ifaS how White now reacts will
dictate his degree of aggression.
8 d2 (the way of appeasement)
8...lLlf6 9 c4 'ii' c7 1 0 fe lDxe4 (worth
considering is I O ...e5 !? I I li)f3 i.g4
with counterplay) 1 1 i.dJ lLlxd2
12 'irxd2 0-0 13 lbf3 cS 14 cJ lLlc6
IS 0-0 cd 1 6 cd eS 1 7 dS lLld4
1 8 lLlxd4 "ifcs I 9 'irf2 ifxd4
20 'it'xd4 ed 21 cS White has
achieved what he wanted: a slight
positional advantage (Tartakower Flohr, Kemeri 1 937).
On the other hand, 8 fe is hardly
correct, even i f extraordinarily
aggressive: 8 . . .'ifxc3+ 9 i.d2 'ii'xd4
I 0 i.d3 e5 I I ltlf3 'ii'c5 1 2 'ii'e2 i.g4
1 3 i.b4 'ifb6 1 4 i.c4 lLld7 1 5 0-0-0
lDgf6

1 6 ..ixf7+ ! ? 'it>xf7 1 7 .Uxd7+ ! ?


lbxd7 1 8 lDg5+ We8 1 9 xg4 c5
24

Gambit System

20 .i.c3 'iig6 2 1 l:td I l:ld8 22 'iVc6+


'iixe6 23 li)xe6 q;e7 The combinational play on which White has
embarked has led to his chances ... of
a draw, alas, not being great
(Gallagher - Conquest, England
1987).
b) 5 .i.d2 This move is damaging in
the sense that, if he so wishes, Black
can abruptly simplify and 'dry up' the
position.
5....i.xc3 However if Black is in the
mood for a fight, as indeed also his
opponent, then the position has much
to offer:
S ...lbe7 6 'iVe2 0-0 7 o-o-o bS 8 h4
aS 9 lbh3 .i.a6 I 0 'iVf2 .i.d6 I I hS
&iJd7 1 2 eS .i.c7 1 3 h6 g6 1 4 .i.gS b4
I S lbe2 cS 1 6 'iVh4 l:le8 (David Magem, France 1 999);
5 . . . b6 6 lbge2 .i.a6 7 g3 lbe7
8 .i.g2 cS 9 a3 .i.xc3 I 0 xc3 0-0
I I 0-0 de 1 2 lte l ef 1 3 xf3 lbbc6
1 4 de be I S lbf4 'iVc7 1 6 .i.e4 eS
1 7 lbd3'!! ( 1 7 'ih1S lbg6 1 8 lbdS 'iVd6
1 9 lbe3) 1 7 . . .l:tad8 I 8 'ir'f3 'irb6
(Kamsky - Dreev, Borzhomi 1 988) in both cases with incomprehensible
compi ications.
6 ..ixcJ de 7 d5 The last chance to
thrust
the
opponent
into
a
complicated struggle lay in 7 'iVc2 ! '!
7...lbf6 8 d e 'ihd l + 9 l:lxdl .i.xe6
10 .i.xf6 gf I I fe lbd7 1 2 lbe2 lbe5
In such a position, completely
devoid of prospects, one cannot
seriously play for a win.
c) 5 lbe2 de. In conjunction with
Black's next move - the most
principled. However this looks like a
case where he should forego
principles. It is of course tempting to

jump out with the queen to h4, to start


harassing the white king at once ...
However Black can achieve a
comfortable game in a more reliable
way and without embarking on
premature activity:
S ...li)e7 6 a3 .i.aS 7 .i.gS 0-0 8 'iVd2
li)d7 9 li)c J de 10 b4 .i.c7 I I lbxe4
aS 1 2 l:tb I ab 1 3 ab f6 14 .i.e3 lbdS
I S .i.c4 lb7b6 1 6 .i.b3 li)xe3 1 7
'iVxe3 lbdS 1 8 'iif2 .i.f4 (Morozevich
- Kharitonov, Alushta 1 994) or
S ...lbd7 6 a3 .i.aS 7 .i.e3 tJe7
8 lbg3 0-0 9 f4 de I 0 lbxe4 lbdS
I I .i.d2 .i.b6 1 2 1ff3 xd4 1 3 0-0-0
fS 1 4 lbd6 'iVc7 I S lbxdS ed 1 6 lDbS
.i.xb2+ 1 7 q;xb2 cb 1 8 WxdS+ l:lf7
1 9 .i.xbS lbb6 Draw (Kekelidze Galkin, Batumi 2002).
6 fe 'ifh4+ 7 lbgJ lbf6

'To the naked eye' this looks as


though it should turn out even better
for Black than after S . . . lbe7 or
S ... lbd7. But up to now practice has
not managed to confirm this.
8 11Vt3 Weak is 8 'ii'd 3 eS!, as played
in the game Taylor - Benjamin
(Philadelphia 1 986).
8 .lbbd7 (8 ...0-0 9 .i.f4 lbbd7
I 0 0-0-0 l:tc8 I I eS .i.xc3 12 ef e5
1 3 ..ie3, and in this head-spinning
..

25

Gambit System

position the rivals concluded a peace


treaty, Sax - Chandler, Vrsac 1 98 1 )
9 a3 .ia5 1 0 .id2 e5 I t d5 cd 1 2 ed
.ixc3 1 3 .ixc3 0-0 14 0-0-0 ltlb6
1 5 .ixe5 ltlbxd5 1 6 .ixf6 White
avoids the trap, albeit a quite
unpretentious one: 1 6 lbd5? ltlxd5
1 7 xd5 g5+ 1 8 b l lte8)
16 ...ltlxf6 1 7 b1 g5 18 h3 .ie6
1 9 .id3 llae8 The position is
completely equal and the game was
soon agreed a draw (Dubinsky Galkin, Moscow 1 998).
d) 5 .if4 Black has two replies:
5 ...lbf6 and 5 ...ltle7.
d l ) 5 ltlr6 In recent times this
natural move has yielded in
popularity to 5...ltle7, though it still
has a fair number of strong adherents.
..

7 a3 as 8 .ixb8 lbb8 9 e5 ltld7


I 0 ltb I .ixc3+ I I 'ii'xc3 'iVb6 1 2 de
ltlxc5 1 3 'ifd4 .id7 1 4 f4 lieS
15 4 "ilc7 l 6 ltlf3 0-0 17 c3 .ia4
1 8 ltc I b5 1 9 ltld2 f6 with a virtually
winning position (Vallejo - Garcia
Padron, Ampuriabrava 1 997);
7 de lbc6 8 0-0-0 .ixc3 9 "ilxc3 d4
1 0 'ifd2 e5 I I .ig5 h6 1 2 .ixf6 xf6
1 3 .ib5 0-0 1 4 ltle2 'ife7 1 5 .ixc6 be
1 6 c3 'ii'xc5 1 7 b l de 1 8 'ifxc3 5
1 9 lbc I (Tichy - Smejkal, Marianske
Lazne 1 978), and if Black were now
to find the move 1 9 ....ie6, then he
would have more basis to play for a
win than his rival.
7 ltle2 .ia6 It is rather strange,
having already played b7-b6, that he
then refrains from the exchange of
the light-squared bishops, but it was
precisely this that occurred in the
game J.Polgar - Asrian (Ohrid 200 1 ):
7 ...0-0 8 0-0-0 c5 9 a3 c4? 1 0 'iVe3
.ie7 1 1 g4 .ib7 1 2 ltlg3 de 1 3 g5. A
matter of taste. I n our view,
preferable was 1 3 fe!? ltlxg4 1 4 'iff3
ltlf6 1 5 .ixc4 with a great advantage
in space.
1 3 ...lbd5 1 4 ltlxd5

6 'ii'd3 b6 The main l ine.


I rrespective of where Black develops
the king's knight, above all he must
solve the problem of the bishop on
c8.
In all such positions the contin
uation most deserving of attention is
perhaps 6 ... c5 ! ? Black has clearly
declared his intention of playing
'number one' for a while and it must
be acknowledged that for the present
White has not produced an effective
counter-argument:

1 4 ... 'ifxd5? ! After this


questions
still
remain.
26

move
More

Gambit System

tenacious is 1 4...ed 1 5 l!Jf5 !? ( 1 5 fe


%le8 1 6 .i.g2 b5) 1 5 ...c3! 1 6 xc3
.txg5 1 7 ..e3 .txf4 1 8 xf4 g6
( 1 8 ...ef? 1 9 lbxg7 ! ..t>xg7 20 llg l +
h8 2 1 'it'h6 llg8 22 .td3) 1 9 l!Jd6
ile7 20 fe de 2 1 .tc4. White's
compensation for the sacri ficed
pawn is more than sufficient, but
a great deal of fighting stil l lays
ahead.
1 5 fe 5 1 6 d5! l!Jd7 1 7 'iVc3 , and
White realised his advantage.
Yet the main mistake in this game
was made by Black not on the 1 4 th,
but on the 9th move! He closed the
game, after which White, having a
powerful centre, commenced an
attack on the king's flank without any
hindrance. He should have returned
to his initial plan: 9 ... .ta6! 1 0 'iVe3 cd
I I lbxd4 .txc3 1 2 'iVxc3 .txf l
1 3 llhxfl 'iVc8 etc.
8 'ii'e3 0-0 On the theme 8 ....i.xc3+
9 lbxc3 .txf l I 0 llxfl two games
were played featuring the Swiss
grandmaster Joe Gallagher. In the
first his opponent quickly managed to
seize the initiative:
I0 ...0-0 I I 0-0-0 lbe8 12 e5 'ilc7
1 3 'it>b 1 c5 1 4 lbe2 l!Jc6!? 1 5 de
lba5 !? (Gallagher- Grosspeter, Lenk
1 992). Analysis convinces us that
B lack's sacrifice is correct, for
example: 1 6 cb ab 1 7 lbd4 lbc4
1 8 3 7 1 9 .td2 lbc7 20 .tb4
llfc8 2 1 f4 l!Ja6 22 llfe I 'it'd7. As a
result Gallagher lost this game.
However in the very next encounter
certain success awaited him:
l O ... 'ii'd7 I I 0-0-0 0-0 1 2 g4 llc8
1 3 .tg5 lbe8 14 f4 de 1 5 f5 f6
27

1 6 lL!xe4! Obviously the piece is


untouchable: 1 6... fg 1 7 fe! (only so,
otherwise Black would manage
to defend himself: 1 7 f6 gf 1 8 llxf6
'ife7 1 9 'iVxg5+ lbg7 20 'it'h6 lbd7
2 1 llf3 llf8) 1 7 ... 'ife7 1 8 llde l h6
1 9 llf7 20 llefl with decisive
threats.
Black declines the offered bishop,
but he is not able to save himself:
1 6... ef 1 7 .llxf5 lba6 1 8 .txf6 lbxf6
( 1 8 ... gf 1 9 llxf6!) 1 9 :xf6! lle8
20 etc. (Gallagher - Kelecevic, Bad
Ragaz 1 994).
There is at present no information
to clarify the variation 8 ....txc3+
9 lL!xc3 .txf l I 0 llxf l .
Food for thought is also provided
by Richards - S.Kasparov (Gausdal
2002), in which Black, as distinct
from the two above-mentioned
games, does not want to part with the
dark-squared bishop and is likewise
left none the worse for that: 8 ... lbbd7
9 a3 .te7 1 0 0-0-0 .tc4 I l lbg3 .txf l
1 2 lldxf l b5 1 3 h4 b4 1 4 ab .txb4
1 5 e5 lL!g8 1 6 lbh5 g6 I 7 lbg3 h5
1 8 lL!ge2 lbb6 1 9 b3 aS Perhaps
B lack's prospects in this position are
even better.
9 0-0-0

Gambit System

With very simple moves White has


achieved an overwhelming position
(Mitkov - Lokator, Groningen 1 99 1 );
9 c5! ? I 0 a3 cd 1 1 lLixd4 .txc3
1 2 'it'xc3 .txf t 1 3 llhxf l 'it'c8
(Conquest - Ravi, Madras 1 994). By
transposition of moves the game has
returned to the lines suggested by us
in the annotations to the 91h move of
the game J. Polgar - Asrian.
9 .te7, and then:
1 0 b l b5 I I lL!c 1 b4 1 2 lLI3e2
lLlbd7 1 3 h4 c5 14 .tg5 llc8 1 5 e5
lL!c8 1 6 f4 h6 I 7 .txc7 'it'xc7 1 8 g4
lL!c7 1 9 de .txe2 20 lL!xe2 lLib5
2 1 lL!d4 (White can drag out the
struggle: 2 1 g5 'it'xc5 22 xc5 lL!xc5
23 lL!c I with the slightly better
ending) 2 J . . .lL!xd4 22 xd4 xc5
23 xc5 lL!xc5 24 lld4 a5 25 .tg2
llc7 26 .tf3 Draw (Gallagher Kumaran, Hastings 1 994);
I 0 g4 b5 ( I O ... c5 I I ed lL!xd5
1 2 lLixd5, Draw, McShane - Dreev,
Esbjerg 2003) I I lLlg3 b4 1 2 lL!ce2
.tc4 1 3 b3 .tb5 1 4 g5 lLifd7 1 5 h4 a5
1 6 h5 a4 1 7 .th3 ab 1 8 ab c5 1 9 ed cd
20 lL!xd4 e5 2 I lL!gf5 .tc5 22 .txe5
lle8
...

The tabiya of the variation 5 .. .1)f6.


I t is very difficult to pick one
particular possibility in this position
to guide us. The variation is still in a
fonnative stage of development and
no final decision can be made as to
which idea has a future, and which not. B lack can simplify the position
with the help of exchanges - and he
can also retain the tension; he can
advance the c pawn - while he can
also ram White's castled position
with the help of the b pawn. White,
for his part, can rightfully organise an
immediate pawn stonn on the king's
flank - but the plan of play in the
centre also looks very logical.
Let's see if we can unravel future
events:
9 lL!bd7 I 0 h3 llc8 I I a3 .txc3
1 2 lL!xc3 .txf 1 1 3 llhxf1 b5 1 4 .td6
lle8 1 5 e5 lL!b6 1 6 b3 lLlfd7 I 7 f4
liaS 1 8 lL!e2 a5 1 9 'it'c3 cs 20 f5 ef
2 1 'it'f.3! lbffl 22 g4. Black has an
extremely poor pawn fonnation and a
deserved punishment now awaits
him. (M urey - Saidy, New York
1 989);
9 b5 1 0 ci>b l .te7 I I lLic l b4
1 2 lLIJc2 .tb5 1 3 h4 a5 1 4 .tg5 lL!a6
1 5 e5 lL!d7 16 f4 1le8 1 7 g4 c5 1 8 f5
ef 1 9 gf .txe2 20 lL!xe2 cd 2 1 lL!xd4

..

...

...

If White, in the game Wal l Hodgson ( Eastboume 1 990), had


found here 23 .tc7!. then, without
28

Gambit System

too fortunate an idea.


6 lL'ld7 7 a3 as 8 11fd3 lL'lg6
9 e3 de 1 0 fe 0-0 I I 0-0-0 eS 1 2 dS
b6 1 3 d6 xe3+ 1 4 ..,xe3 lL'lf6
I S lL'lg3 'iVb6 1 6 'ife 1 g4 1 7 lL'la4
..,d8 1 8 e2 xe2 1 9 11fxe2 'ilfaS
20 lL'lc3 bS In a struggle between two
strong computers ( ' Shredder' 'Setchess', London 2000),just as in a
distorting mirror they looked for
every conceivable idea of the variant.
People subject themselves to the
same torture if they do not have an
idea how to play the position shown
in the previous diagram.
6 0-0 7 a3 aS 8 11fd3 lL'ld7
9 0-0-0 bS 1 0 h4 b4 I I ab xb4
1 2 lL'la2 cS 13 b I 1fb6 1 4 de lL'lxcS
I S 'We3 aS 1 6 hS b7 1 7 lL'lg3 f6
1 8 eS

doubt, he would have gained a


victory: 23 ... 11fc8 24 ..,f4 ..,a6
2S d2, and it's all over. But Wall
lost his head and played 23 1ff4?
There and then the game turned 1 80
degrees: 23 ... lL'lxeS 24 lL'lxbS 'ifaS
2S lL'lh6+ gh 26 gh lL'lg6, and White
resigned.
However, we do not think these
particular considerations have any
influence on our assessment of the
idea of moving away the bishop from
b4 to make way for the advance b7bS-b4. For the present it is all very
unclear.
One thing is in no doubt: the knight
f6 in any case will be hit with tempo
- both on the eS square, as also on gS.
Therefore it seems that the popularity
of the S ... lL'lf6 variation will recede all
by itself.
d2) 5 lL'le7

It is clear that Black has overtaken


his rival in developing an initiative.
But who knows to what extent'!
1 8 ... d4! 1 9 llxd4 lL'ldS 20 llxd5
xdS 2 1 h6 gS 22 .ixgS fg
23 wt'xgS+ q,f7, and the subsequent
moves, strictly speaking, need not
have been made ( Beshukov Adianto, Biel 2003).
6 lL'lg6!? 7 gJ de 8 re e5!
Despite B lack's success in the
preceding game, it is precisely this

A very modern and problematic


position in the Gambit system.
Obviously White will give preference
to long castling but which move
should he start with? Up to now three
have been tried: 6 lL'le2, 6 1fd2 and
61ld3
d2 1 ) 6 lL'le2 White defers the
question as to where to detach his
queen until a slightly later date. Not

29

Gambit System

order of moves that should be


recognised as the clearest in reply to
6 lbe2. By carrying out a
breakthrough in the centre, typical
for the Gambit system, B lack
immediately equalises the game.
9 'ii'd3 .ig4 I0 a3 .iaS II de 7
1 2 h3 .ixe2 13 .ixe2 lbgxeS 14 'ii'eJ
W'b6 IS 'ii' xb6 .ixb6 16 0-0-0 f6
1 7 l:thel 0-0-0 1 8 bl llhe8 Only an
excessively peaceful disposition
prevented Black from playing to win
this endgame (Mitkov - Magem, San
Sebastian 1 993 ). But the position is
worth it.
d22) 6 'ifd2 Nearer to the truth, but
still not the truth.
6 0-0 7 lbge2 lbd7 8 a3 .iaS 9 eS
9 .ig3 b5 1 0 lbc l .ib6 I I b4 a5
1 2 lbb3 ab 1 3 ab llxa l + t 4 lbxa l de
1 5 lbxe4 lbf5 1 6 lbb3 e5 1 7 .if2 ed
led to a draw in the game Art.
Minasian - Asrian (Erevan 200 1 ).
White played pretentiously and
clearly inaccurately in the encounter
Richards - Nataf (Stockholm 2004):
9 h4 b5 1 0 lbc l ?! c5! I I de d4!
(Adianto would have been satisfied)
1 2 'ifxd4 e5. Only a dozen moves
have been made - but Black already
has an extra piece.
9...c5 10 de .ic7 II lbd4 .ixeS
1 2 .ixeS lDxeS 13 f4 lbd7 14 b4 b6
1 5 c6 lbb8 1 6 bS a6 1 7 lDa2 ab
1 8 lDb4 f6! An important resource.
B lack carries out e6-e5, then takes
out the splinter on c6.
1 9 .ixbS eS 20 lLlb3 'ifd6 The
chances are even (Gallagher Khenkin, Geneva 1 995).
d23) 6 'iVd3! ?
.

Despite the fact that at present there


is insignificant practical experience
of this move, we will risk making a
prognosis: in the near future the
Gambit system will be linked
precisely with 6 'iVd3.
6... b6 We do not think that the play
of the two opponents in the following
game provides a model for imitation:
6...lDd7 7 0-0-0 0-0 8 lDge2 lbb6 9 a3
.id6 I 0 e5 .ic7 I I .ig5 lbd7 1 2 f4
b5 1 3 lLlg3 f6 1 4 ef lDxf6 1 5 lDce2 a5
1 6 'iftJ 'iVe8 1 7 h4 b4 1 8 a4 c5 1 9 de
...xa4 20 'it>b I e5 (McShane - Art.
Minasian, Istanbul 2003).
7 lLle2 .ia6 8 'ife3 0-0 9 0-0-0 cS
10 a3 .ixc3 II 'ii' xc3 .ixe2 12 .ixe2
c4 13 h4 c!l)bc6 14 hS bS

Neither White nor Black can avoid


a pawn storm but whose will be more
successful? We suppose that it will be
White who has the better chances,
though in the game Nataf - Motylev
30

Gambit System

(Istanbul 2003) he did not succeed in


proving this:
15 h6 g6 16 g4 lbc8 17 1Ve3 lbb6
1 8 g5 f6 19 h4 ._d7 Almost
20 moves have been played, but the
position still shows no sign of
clarification. The chances of both
sides are almost unlimited; the
winner will be he who plays stronger.
I n the Gambit system everyone can
be as busy as he likes. White, bearing
in mind the nebula of already well
known paths and even more - others
that are unexplored, rightly reckons
that with analysis he will be lucky
enough to find an idea - or a whole

direction, which makes him (even if


just for a while) invulnerable against
an opponent. B lack, for his part,
hopes that by finding an accurate
order of moves and beating off the
first hostile storm, he will obtain not
just an equal game but something
more.
Success in the variation with 3 f3
by someone from the modem chess
elite will inevitably provoke a surge
of interest in this little studied
system. On the other hand, any
failure by leading players will once
again doom the Gambit system to
oblivion, where it has remained over
the past years.

31

Gambit System

Index to Chapter One


1 e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 t3
I. 3 ...de 4 fe e5

5 tbf3
A.5 ...ed 6 c4
1 ) 6 ...b4+
2) 6 ...c5
3) 6 ...e6
4) 6 ....1e7
B. 5 ....i.g4
C. 5 ...e6
6 c3 lbf6 7 d3 lbbd7
8 0-0 .1d6
1) 9 lbg5
2) 9 'ii'e2
3) 9 'ith I
II. 3 . . .e5
4 de c5
A. 5 ed
B. 5 lbe2
c. 5 .i.d3
1 ) 5 ...lbd7
2) 5 ...de
3) 5 ... 'ii'b6
D. 5 tbc3
5 . . .'ii'b6 6 lba4 'ii'a 5+
7 c3 xg l
1 ) 8 b4
2) 8 lbg l

III. 3 ... g6
A. 4 .i.e3
B. 4 c3
IV. 3 ... e6
A. 4 .i.e3
1) 4 ...de 5 lbd2
a) 5 ... ef
b) 5 ...lbf6
2) 4 ...'ifb6
B. 4 d3
1 ) 4 ...c5
2) 4 ...lbf6
3) 4 ...de
C. 4 lbc3
1 ) 4 . . .'ifb6
2) 4 ...c5
3) 4 ...lbf6
4) 4 ... b6
S) 4 ...lbd7
6) 4 ... b4
a) 5 e3
b) 5 .id2
c) 5 lbe2
d) 5f4
d 1 ) 5 ...lbf6
d2) 5 ...lbe7
d2 1 ) 6 lbe2
d22) 6 'ii'd2
d23) 6 'ii'd3

7
7
7
7
7
8
8
9
10

II
II
12
12
13
13
14
14
14
14
15

15
15

32

16
16
17
18
18
18
19
20
20
22
22
22
22
23
23
23
23
24
24
24
24
25
25
26
26
29
29
30
30

Chapter Two
Advance Variation:
Everything except 3 .ii. f5
...

I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS

However, for all its positional


basis, this plan is slow and White will
achieve an advantage with simple
developing moves.
4 c3 Weak is 4 .ixa6?! because of
4 .. .'ii'a 5+, but other moves are
perfectly admissible:
4 h4 h5 5 c3 lbc7 6 .id3 g6 7 lDd2
lDh6 8 lDfl lbe6 9 lbf3 lbg7
I 0 .ixh6 l:lxh6 I I lbe3 'it'b6 1 2 l.tb I
lbe6 1 3 'ifa4 lDf4 1 4 .ic2 .ig4
1 5 lbg5 .id7 with equality (analysis
by Mik. Tseitlin);
4 lbc3 b6 5 lbf3 lbc7 6 .id3 .ig4
7 h3 .ih5 8 .ig5 'ifd7 9 'ii'd2 .ixf3
1 0 gf e6 1 1 0-0-0 JJ...e7 1 2 h4 h5
1 3 lbe2 0-o-o 14 .ie3 Cit>b7 . Coming
across the plan lbb8-a6-c7 and
.ic8-g4xf3 for the first time, White
was not able to set the author of
the idea serious problems. Black's
position was already slightly better
(Lepeshkin - Simagin, Tallinn 1 965).
4 lbc7 For the present White is not
allowing the bishop to g4; Black
waits, hoping that such a possibility
will still present itself. On the other
hand, the impatient 4 . . . .if5 leads to a
di fficult game:
5 lDd2 1Wb6 6 lbgf3 c5 7 .ie2 cd
8 lbxd4 .id7 9 0-0 e6 1 0 a4 lbe7

In this chapter we look at


deviations by Black from the main
continuation 3 ... .if5.
I f Black wants to avoid basic
variations after 3 ... .if5, he has the
right to choose between two moves:
3 ...lba6 and 3 ...c5.
3 . . .lba6!?

This original continuation was


introduced into tournament practice
by Vladimir Simagin. The idea is
sound: Black in any event intends to
rid himself of his 'bad' light-squared
bishop, but with the danger that after
its departure from the board there will
follow the unpleasant breakthrough
e5-e6. However the knight, trans
ferring to c7. will take care of the e6
square.

..

33

Advance Variation: Everything except 3..

il..f5

I I ltl2f3 ltlc6 1 2 ltlb5 (Lau


Kalinichev, Cologne 1 992) or
5 ltle2 e6 6 ltlf4 ltle7 7 ltld2 ltlc7
8 g4 il..g6 9 h4 f6 I 0 ltlxg6 hg 1 1 ltlf3
'ii'd 7 1 2 llg I 0-0-0 1 3 il..d3 c5 1 4 il.. f4
cd 1 5 cd ltlc6 1 6 il..xg6 il..b4+ 1 7 'iPft
lldf8 1 8 h5 (Nunn - Nikolac,
Germany 1 985) - in both cases with
advantage to White.
5 il..d3 g6 6 ltle2 It is clear that
White should refrain from the
development of the king's knight to
f3, lest it be subjected to a pin.
I nteresting is the fol lowing game,
in which Black deftly manages to
avoid difficulties: 6 ltld2 h5 7 lbft
ltlh6!? 8 ltle3 ltlg4 !? 9 ltlf3 ltlxe3
1 0 fe il..f5 I I lbg5 e6 1 2 e4 de 1 3
il..xe4 il..e7 1 4 h4 ltld5 1 5 'ii'e2 'ii'b6
1 6 0-0 lld8 1 7 'ii?h I lld7 1 8 il.. x f5
gf 1 9 :n 'ii'a6 20 'ii't2 c5, draw
(van der Wiel - Kavalek, Wijk aan
Zee 1 982). Seirawan considers that
on the I Oh move White should take
on e3 with the bishop, and not with
the pawn, and thinks this is not the
only way to improve van der Wiel's
play.
6 h5 I f the previous reasoning
leads us to the thought that an
accurate order of moves in the
variation with 3 ...ltla6 does not exist,
then this is an error. Thus, as an
example, the knight should go out to
h6 only under cover of the h5 pawn
(as done by Kavalek). But here, in the
game Bologan - Campanile (Oslo
1 994), Black neglected this important
rule by playing 6 ... ltlh6?! Punish
ment fol lowed swiftly:

7 h4! il..e6 8 h5! Black already has


a very di fficult position. The
continuation was 8 ...'ii'd7 9 il.. f4 gh
1 0 llxh5 ltlf5 I I 'ii'c2 ltlg7 1 2 llxh7
llxh7 1 3 il.. xh7 lbf5 1 4 ltld2 0-0-0
1 5 0-Q-0 il.. h6 1 6 g4!, and White
won.
Also dubious is 6 ...lbe6 - be that as
it may, Black deprives his light
squared bishop of prospects. In the
game Sumets - Potachnikov (Yalta
1 996) B lack continued with an
intricate manoeuvre: 7 0-0 h5 8 ltld2
lbh6 9 lbO ltlg7 I 0 ltlg3 ltlhf5
I I il..g5 il..e6 1 2 b4 'ii'd7 1 3 lbe2 ltlh6
14 ..,d2 lbgf5 1 5 b5 il..g7 1 6 be be
1 7 llab I - as we see, without any
success.
7 lbd2!? White also should not
play in a slipshod manner. I n the

game Utashi - Grosspeter (Budapest


1 984) he was too early in deciding
the position of his dark-squared
bishop: 7 il.. g5?! After 7 ...lbh6 8 lbg3
il..g4 9 'ifb3 'it'c8 I 0 lbdl lbe6 I I h4
lbf5 1 2 lbgfl B lack, by playing
1 2 . . . f6? ! , missed
tactical possibility:

34

an

interesting

Advance Variation: Everything except 3

12 . . . tbxh4! Since 1 3 .i.xh4 is not


possible because of 1 3 ...tbf4!, Black
is simply left with an extra pawn:
13 .J:lxh4 lDxg5 14 lDe3 .i.g7 etc.
7 lDh6 8 tbn b6 Likewise
8 . .i.f5?! offers no prospects in view
of 9 .i.xh6! .i.xh6 I 0 .i.xf5 gf
I I lDfg3 f4 1 2 tbrs lDe6 1 3 tbxh6
Itxh6 1 4 'fi'd2 llg6 15 g3. Black has
no compensation for his weaknesses
on the king's flank (Zhang Pengxiang
- Dittmar, Gyula 2000).
9 llJcJ .i.g7 10 'ifc2 .i.e6 1 1 llJf4
'ifd7 12 a4 0-0 13 h3!

. .

. .,f5

moves Black stopped the clocks.


(Degraeve - Pingitzer, Charleville
2000).
It has to be said that White can
without great di fficulty refute
Simagin 's idea. It is sufficient to
secure himself against a bishop thrust
to g4 as B lack's pieces become
crowded in their own camp. At the
present time the variation with
3 ...lba6 is played episodically and
only for experimental purposes.
3... c5

..

..

In the past decade this move has


come out of the shadows and now
represents worthy competition to the
basic continuation 3 ....i.f5.
We examine White's three replies:
4 c3 (1), 4 lbf3 (II), 4 de (Ill).
I

4 c3?!
Hardly a successful idea. The
arising pawn structure reminds us of
the French defence, but with one
important reservation: the absence of
a pawn on e6 allows Black to solve
his main problem - the 'bad' light
squared bishop. After 4 ...lbc6 Black
should not have difficulties, as shown
by the variations given below.

Though Black is attacking the g4


square four times, the break comes
precisely on this square. The h-file is
opened and White's attack quickly
assumes a decisive character.
1 3 c5 14 g4! hg 1 5 hg tbxg4 16 f3
llJxe3 1 7 .i.xe3 .i.fS 1 8 'ifh2 gS
1 9 .i.xfS 'fi'xfS 20 lbhS After a few
..

35

Advance Variation: Everything except J.

. .

5 ltJaJ cd 6 cd .i.f5 7 .i.d3 .i.xd3


8 'iVxd3 e6 9 ltJe2 .i.b4+ 1 0 .i.d2
ltJge7 I I 0-0 0-0 1 2 ltJc2 ..txd2
1 3 'iixd2 llc8 1 4 ltJe3 'iVa5 1 5 ltJc3
1 6 l:.fd l ltJa5 1 7 l:.ac l l:tc6
1 8 ltJe4 'iVxd2 1 9 ltJxd2 l:.fc8
20 l:.xc6 ltJaxc6 with minimal
pressure for Black (Xie Jun - Karpov,
Monaco 1 996);
5 .i.eJ ltJh6 6 h3 ltJf5 7 ltJf3 f6
8 .i.b5 'iib6 9 'iVe2 ltJxe3 1 0 fe .i.d7
1 1 ltJa3 e6 1 2 0-0 .iJ...e7 1 3 l:tab l 0-0
1 4 Wh I f5 1 5 .i.d3 c4 1 6 .i.c2 'iia5
Black has gained a superiority on
both flanks ( Legahn - Khenkin,
Antwerp 1 995);
5 ltJtJ .i.g4 6 .i.e3 e6 7 .te2 _,6
8 'iVd2 ltJh6 9 0-0 ltJf5 1 0 de ..ixc5
1 1 .i.xc5 'ii'x c5 1 2 'iif4 ..txf3
13 .i.xf3 'ifb6 White has played the
opening of the game poorly and is
now faced with a not very pleasant
choice: whether to weaken his pawn
structure on the queen's flank ( 1 4 b3),
after which the weakness of the e5
and c3 pawns determines a stable
advantage for Black, or to throw
caution to the winds ( 1 4 .i.xd5). The
latter proves incorrect:
1 4 .i.xd5? ed 1 5 'iVxf5 'iVxb2 1 6 e6
0-0 1 7 'iVxd5 'iix a l 1 8 'iid2 fe
1 9 ltJa3 %:tad8 20 't!fc2 ltJd4! The
queen escapes, and together with it also intrigue in the game. White must
resign (Vorotnikov - Guliev, Moscow
1 996).
5 .i.e2 .i.f5 There is no need to
artificially complicate the game, as
Black did in the encounter Anderssen
- Magem (Sitges 1 997): 5 ... ltJh6
6 ..ixh6 gh 7 .i.h5 't!fb6 8 ltJe2 't!fxb2

36

i../5
9 ltJd2 .i.f5 1 0 .Uc 1 cd I I 0-0 de
I 2 lhc3 .i.g7 1 3 ltJb3 .i.xe5
14 'iVxd5. Though even here, by
continuing 1 4... .i.g6!? (in the game
1 4 . . . e6? ! was played) 1 5 ..txg6
( 1 5 l:txc6 :dS ! ) 1 5 ... hg 1 6 l.te3 0-0,
Magem could have gained a decisive
advantage.
Yet, all the same, 5 .. .i.f5 looks far
more natural than 5 ...ltJh6 6 .i.xh6
gh.
6 ltJtJ e6 7 0-0 ..ig4 8 ltJbd2 cd
9 cd ltJge7 10 hJ .i.xt3 1 1 ltJxtJ ltJf5
1 2 g4 ltJh4 13 ltJe1
.

13 h5! A typical break for this


position - with the idea of opening
the h-file. I f 1 4 gh, then B lack
establishes the knight on the excellent
f5 square.
14 .i.eJ hg 1 5 hg ltJfS! 1 6 ltJg2 (the
knight is obviously immune in view
of the threat of mate along the h-file)
16 ...ltJxe3 17 fe .i.e7 18 'iibJ ..Wd7
1 9 l:lacl lieS 20 ltJf4 .i.g5 Black's
chances are noticeably better
(Bancod - Khenkin, Veilburg 1 996).
..

The variation with 4 c3?! does not


promise White hopes of obtaining an
opening advantage.

Advance Variation: Everything except 3.

. i..j5

II

4 ll'lf3 ll'lc6
Games from this branch quite
frequently cross over into the
variation 4 de, and in this case an
early development of the knight on f3
narrows down White's possibilities,
for example:
5 de e6 6 .i.e3 ll'lge7 7 b5 ll'lf5
8 .i.d4 'ira5+ 9 lDc3 ll'lfxd4 I 0 ll'lxd4
'irc7 1 1 b4 .i.d7 1 2 .i.xc6 ffxe5+
1 3 ll'lce2 be 1 4 f4 'ife3 1 5 ffd2
'irxd2+ 1 6 xd2

5 ...e6 B lack could immediately


provoke exchanges - 5 ... cd, and then:
6 cd 'iVxd5 7 lDc3 'it'd8 8 ll'lb5 g4
9 ll'lbxd4 .i.xf3 I 0 ll'lxf3 'ifxd I +
1 1 xd 1 e6 1 2 .i.b5 .i.c5 1 3 e2
ll'le7 1 4 .i.g5 0-0 1 5 l'lhd I . Though
White has the advantage of the two
bishops, it is hardly possible to
realise this in such a position (Ricardi
- Garbarino, Villa Martelli 200 1 );
6 ll'lxd4 e6 7 ll'lc3 c5 8 ll'lxc6 be
9 .i.d3 de t o .i.xc4 .ixf2+?! (this
combination to win a pawn is
excessively risky for Black) 1 1 xf2
'it'h4+ 1 2 g3 'iVxc4 I HIVd6 f6 1 4 lld I
t7 1 5 lld4 'ifa6 1 6 'ii'c7+ ll'le7 1 7 ef
gf 1 8 ll'le4. White's compensation
greatly exceeds the slight material
loss (lordachescu - Arkell, Port Erin
2003).
6 cd ed 7 .ib5 .i.d7 8 0-0 cd
9 ll'lxd4 .i.c5 1 0 ll'lb3 .i.b6 11 ll'lc3
White rejects the immediate win of a
pawn - and rightly so. After 1 1 'ifxd5
ll'lge7 1 2 ffe4 0-0 1 3 .i.g5 'ireS
1 4 ll'lc3 ll'lg6 1 5 l'lfe 1 ll'lcxe5
1 6 xd7 'ifxd7 1 7 llad I 'iVg4 B lack
regains the material, achieving ful ly
equal chances.
ll .i.e6 12 a4 a5 13 ll'le2 ll'le7
14 .i.g5 0-0 15 .i.xc6 be 16 llcl .U.c8

1 6 . . . g5 ! ? B lack mobilises h is
central pawns. For this purpose the
pawn is not to be pitied!
1 7 fg e5 1 8 ll'lf3 .i.g7 1 9 llae I 0-0
20 ll'lg3 e4 2 1 ll'lh4, and here the clear
2 l ...f5! established an advantage in
the game Klinova - Kachiani (Pula
1 997).
After 4 ll'lf3 ll'lc6 only two
moves have independent theoretical
significance: 5 c4 and 5 b5.
A
5 c4!?
A very early clash of pawns in the
centre is unusual and foreshadows an
interesting struggle. However the
position is quite quickly defined.

37

Advance Variation: Everything except 3 ... J...f5

17 !Llc5 h6 1 8 .i.h4 g5 19 .i.gJ !LlfS


20 !Lld4 'ife7 21 !LlxfS .i.xfS

How to defend c5? Strange, but up


to now in grandmaster practice the
possibility 7 b4 !? has not gained
recognition. However variations of
this sort testify to the use of this
continuation:
7 ...a5 8 c3 !Lle7 9 !Llbd2 ab I 0 cb
!Llg6 I I h3 .i.xf3 1 2 !Llxf3 'iVc7
1 3 0-0 !Llxe5 1 4 .i.b2 Black has won
back the pawn, but his position does
not inspire the least confidence
(Kiovans - Pi len, Gelsenkirchen
2000).
7 . . .'tlc7 8 .i.b2 {stronger than 8 0-0
J...x f3 9 'ifxf3 'tlxe5 or 8 !Llbd2 b6)
8 ... b6 9 c4! There is no doubt that
White has come out of the opening
with a huge advantage.
7 ...!Lle7 8 .i.b2 b6!? (reconciling
himself to the fact that the pawn
already cannot be recovered, Black
can now reckon on obtaining
counterplay) 9 c4 ! a6 1 0 .i.xc6+
!Llxc6 I I 'ifa4 llc8 with some
compensation.
The grandmaster corps distrust
7 b4 !? All the more strange in that
Black is starting to take measures
against the usual 7 .i.e3 . Events here
develop almost by force:
7 .i.eJ !Llge7 8 cJ It is necessary to
secure a strongpoint for the bishop on

Despite the planned purposefulness


of his play, White cannot tum the
game to his advantage {Lastin Zhang Zhong, Moscow 200 I ).

5 .i.bS Now Black has to decide


whether to take on d4 himsel f {5 ... cd)
or allow his opponent the possibility
of capturing on c5 {5 ....i.g4) - but
then he should be prepared to play on
a pawn down for a while. You see, he
will not manage to take back on c5 at
once, or even very quickly.
I ) 5....i.g4 6 de. Why put off 'till
later' what can be done now? In the
game M inasian - Asrian (Erevan
2003) White wrongly delayed the
capture on c5. As a result Black took
over the initiative: 6 c3?! e6 7 de
.i.xf3 8 'ifxf3 .i.xc5 9 0-0 !Lle7
1 0 .i.f4 !Llg6 I I .i.g3 'ifg5 1 2 c4 0-0
1 3 cd !Lld4 1 4 'ifd3 !Llxe5 1 5 .i.xe5
'ifxe5 1 6 !Llc3 ed etc.
6...e6
38

Advance Variation: Everything except 3

d4. In the game Orso - Csonka


(Budapest 2000) White was careless
and Black had no difficulty in
equalising the position: 8 0-0?! lLif5
9 'ife2 lbxe3 1 0 1fxe3 .i.xO 1 1 'ifxO
.i.xc5 1 2 lbd2 0-0.

...

. . .tj5

but at least it creates problems for the


opponent!
9 'iWc7 10 .i.d4 lL!g6 l l lbbd2
...

ll f6!? 12 ef eS! Black finds a


successful means of highlighting the
unstable position of White's structure
in the centre. The fact that the bishop
d4 is exposed to attack forces us time
and time again to return to 7 b4!'! you see, in those variations the
bishop, on b2, is not threatened.
13 fg .i.xg7 14 .i.eJ lbh4 15 l:lg1
Clearly it is only human that White
does not want to play 1 5 0-0 - Black
will not have any di fficulty in
breaking up the pawn cover of the
castled position: 1 5 ... 0-0 1 6 .i.b3
'ifd7 1 7 h3 lL!xO+ 1 8 lL!xf3 .i.xf3
1 9 gf 'ifxh3. Though there is no
immediate mate to be seen, Black's
initiative will play on his opponent's
nerves: 20 1fxd5+ Wh8 2 1 'ife6
l:lf5!? 22 1lfd l llat8 23 ltd7 'it'h4 etc.
15 e4 1 6 hJ? The only moment
where White's play could clearly be
improved. Obviously he did not
notice 1 6 .ixc6+ !? be ( 1 6. . . 1fxc6
1 7 lbd4!) 1 7 1fa4! and the game can
be given up as lost. Meanwhile, after
1 6 .i.xc6+!? be 1 7 'it'a4! the struggle
is in full swing: 1 7 ...lL!f5 1 8 lL!xe4!

8 a6 Before B lack moves his


knight on e7 he must take away the
a4 square from the enemy queen:
8 ... lbf5? 9 .i.xc6+ be 1 0 'ifa4! ;
8 . . .lL!g6? can be met by 9 1fa4!
Belyavsky, in a game against
Timofeev (St. Petersburg 200 1 ), did
not see this resource and the struggle
took a course of its own: 9 .i.d4? .i.e7
1 0 lbbd2 0-0 1 1 .i.xc6 be 1 2 0-0 .i.g5
1 3 'ifa4 .i.xd2 1 4 lbxd2 llb8 1 5 b3
.i.e2 1 6 life l .i.b5 1 7 'ifa3 lbf4 etc.
9 ... -i.xO 1 0 .ixc6+ be I I 1fxc6+
We7 1 2 .i.g5+ f6 1 3 ef+ gf 1 4 'ifb7+
with a win.
9 .ia4 I mpotently - one cannot say
otherwise - was the way White
played in the game Krat Dumitrache (Creon 2000): 9 .txc6+
lbxc6 1 0 .i.d4 .i.e7 I I lbbd2 0-0
1 2 'ifb3 :bs 1 3 0-0 'ifd7 1 4 'iWc2
llfc8 1 5 b4 b6 1 6 lbb3 aS 1 7 a3 a4
1 8 lLlc l be 1 9 be lba5.
It is possible that 9 .ia4 also does
not lead to an advantage for White,

...

39

Advance Variation: Everything except 3

.. i..j5

i.. x f3 1 9 gf de 20 'ifxe4+ 'ife5


2 1 'ifxc6+ q;fl 22 0-0-0 or 1 7 ...ef
1 8 'ifxg4 lDxg2+ 1 9 d l lDxe3+
20 fe 0-0 2 1 lDxf3 llae8 22 lDd4 .Z:.f6.
1 6...ef 1 7 hg lDxg2+ 1 8 n
lDxe3+ 19 fe 0-0

In this pos1t1on the English


grandmaster Jonathan Speelman
slipped up by playing 1 9 ...llb4? (after
which White, by means of20 lDd6+ ! ,
created a favourable opening o f the
long diagonal for himself). He should
have preferred 19 ..0-0. In reply
White could sacrifice a piece:
20 tbf6+! ? gf 21 'ifd2 The arising
variations are most interesting!
Unsatisfactory is 2 1 ...h8? White
opens the diagonal for his bishop 22 ef and wins one way or the other:
22 ... i.. d6 23 6 .J:lg8 24 llh3 llxg2+
25 xg2 lDf4+ 26 h I or 22 ... e5
23 fe 'it'xe7 24 i..a3 lDb4 25 l:td7 'iVc5
26 'ifg5.
On the other hand, worth
considering is 2 I ...f5!? with the aim
of allowing the bishop on b2 to take
part in the attack: 22 'ifh6 :lb4
23 l.th3 (not possible is 23 l:la4 l:lxa4
24 ba h8 25 l:lh3 because of
25 ...lDf6! 26 g3 'ifd t + 27 q;g2 'itd5+
28 c;Pg t f4 etc.) 23 ...flh4 24 llxh4
i.. xh4 25 'ifxh4 l:lb8. The powerful
knight on d5 is the strongpoint of
Black's position.
Finally, it remains to clear up the
possibilities of the two sides in the
event of 2 1. fe 22 'iVh6 (weaker is
22 llg3+ h8 23 6 i..g5 ! 24 flxg5
.

Even a miracle will not save


the king on fl . After the opponent
brought up his last reserves to
the king's flank, White had to give
up. (Belushkov - Turov, Moscow
2002).
Perhaps we should let well alone
and yet it is not to everyone's taste to
play a pawn down on the 6th move. It
is not surprising that B lack has
looked for a substitute for 5 ... i..g4
6 de and found it in the following
variation:
2) 5 ..ed 6 tbxd4 i..d7 7 lDxe6
.

i.. xe6 8 i..xe6+ be 9 0-0 e6 10 e4


liJe7 1 l 'it'a4 'ifd7 1 2 lDd2 l:b8 1 3 b3
lDe8 1 4 l:d 1 lbb6 1 5 'it'a5 de
16 i..b 2! (for the most part a forced
but promising sacrifice of a pawn)
16 ...eb 17 ab tbd5 18 lDe4 i..e7
1 9 l:.d3!? (Sutovsky - Speelman,
Esbjerg 200 I ).

40

Advance Variation: Everything except 3... i.j5

f6 25 l1.xe5 1i't7 with a slight


advantage for Black).

3 l .l:txg2+! 3 2 xg2 'ifg4+


33 hl ...fJ+, and at the end of the
whole experience - it's a draw.
And so, for the present, practice has
failed to prove the superiority of
4 lDt1 over the approved 4 de.

22 .i.h4! A bishop sacrifice with


the idea of clearing the 71h rank for
the queen - a leitmotif for the whole
of Black's defence. It must be made
immediately, otherwise the offering
will be too great: 22 ... h8?! 23 l:th3
il.h4 24 i.xe5+ f6 25 i.xb8 i.xf2+
26 'itxf2, and White wins.
23 i.xeS f6 24 i.xb8 i.gS 25 l:tg3
l1.xb8 26 h4 iDf4! (worse is 26...l1.xb3
27 hg ltxg3 28 fg with superiority to
White) 27 l:ta2! An equal rook ending
arises after 27 1i'xf6 lDe2+ 28 'it>h2
xg3 29 1i'xg5+ 'it'g7 30 'it'xg7+
Wxg7 3 1 l:ba7+ Wg6 32 'it'xg3
l1.xb3+ 33 0 ltb2. White has in no
way exhausted all possibilities of
playing for a win.
27 1lxb3 28 hg e2+! (only this
accurate move makes Black's
chances of a draw real) 29 lbe2
'ifd l+ 30 Wh2 lbg3 3l llb2 Even if
he foresaw the following combin
ation, White is forced to reconcile
himself to it as neither 3 1 l:Z.xe6? !
l:Z.xg2+ 32 xg2 'it'd5+, nor 3 1 'it'h5
lhg5 32 'iVe8+ </;g7 33 'ife7+ g6
34 'iVe8+ promises any more than
equality.
..

..

41

Ill

4 de!?

I t is precisely in this way that White


usually tries to place in doubt 3 ...c5.
In reply, Black must decide how he
intends to attack the pawns on c5 and
e5. It is possible to play 4 ...lbc6 (A)
leaving a 'life-line' for the light
squared bishop (more often than not
it goes to g4, where it pins the knight
t1 and will indirectly take part in the
struggle against the e5 pawn). On the
other hand Black can, by means of
d7, organise a double attack on the
white pawns, but then he has first to

Advance Variation: Everything except 3..

i.j5

prevent the break e5-e6 and himself


play 4 ... e6 (B), depriving his own
'bad' bishop of prospects.
I t goes without saying that in many
games Black crosses the idea lLlc6
and e6, and then it all comes down to
a simple transposition of moves.
A
4 lLlc6 This move is more popular
than 4 ...e6, yet none the less it is
weaker. In the majority of variations
linked to 4 ...lLlc6, B lack has the
prospect of solving quite difficult
problems in order to equalise the
game.
White has three possibilities to
defend the eS pawn: S lLlO, 5 iif4
and S i.b5.
I) 5 lbt3?! cannot be correct, since
it panders to Black's basic idea development of the bishop on g4.
5 iig4 6 i.b5 1i'a5+ 7 lLlcJ e6
8 i.e3 lLle7
Black can allow himself to spend
time on 8 ...a6!?, in order to sort out
the centre: 9 iixc6+ be, and then:
I 0 0-0 iixcS I I iixcS 1i'xcS
1 2 1i'd4 1i'xd4 1 3 lLlxd4 (Smits Heltzel, Limburg 2000). Now 1 3 ... cS
1 4 lLlb3 llc8 prevents the blockade of
pawns on the queen's flank;
1 0 h3 is simply feeble: IO ... i.xf3
II 1i'x0 iixcS 1 2 i.xcS .-xeS
1 3 0-0-0 lLle7 1 4 l%hfl 'it'as 1 5 1i'd3
c5 and Black is already better
(Vallejo - Spraggett, Andorra 1 996);
1 0 a3 i.xO II 'ifxO iixcS 1 2 0-0
i.xe3 1 3 'it'xe3 lLle7 1 4 b4 'flc7
I S lLla4 (also the more ambitious
1 5 f4 does not allow him to repair the
blockade: I S ... 0-0 1 6 .-cs l:ttb8

1 7 lbe2 llb5 - White somehow lacks


a single tempo) l 5 ... a5 1 6 lLlc5 0-0.
Again Black does not experience the
slightest di fficulty in achieving
equality (Kirov - Arkell, Leningrad
1 989);

...

...

42

9 aJ!? Creating the pawn chain a3b4-cS, White cannot claim much but
at least he insures himself against the
trouble that lay in store in the
following variations:
9 iid2 c7 I 0 iie2 a6 II 0-0 lLlg6
1 2 lLla4 i.xf3 1 3 i.xf3 lLlcxeS
1 4 lLlb6 lld8 1 5 b4 lLlxO+ 1 6 xn
i.d6 !? with the initiative (Spassky Kotov, Moscow 1 955);
9 0-0 a6 I0 iie2 lLlfS I I d2 'ilc7
1 2 lba4 l:td8 1 3 .:te l i.e7 1 4 ..if4
i.xO 1 5 iixO gS 1 6 g4 ltlh4 1 7 ..ig3
as! Of course, he was not obliged
to lose at once, as happened in the
game Hennings - Mohring (Leipzig
1 984): 1 8 b3? .-xe l +! But also upon
1 8 ..ixh4 gh 1 9 c3 'iic7 the e5 pawn
will very soon be lost and with it also
White's hopes.
After 9 a3 Black should observe, as
it were, minimal accuracy, otherwise,
as shown by the game Kalugin - Bets
(Kharkov 2000), he might also be
left a pawn down and without
compensation for it: 9...lDfS?! I 0 b4

Advance Variation: Everything except 3

...

Ji,(5

b8) 1 5 i..e7 1 6 'iVd3 fe 1 7 fe lLlxe5


18 'iWhJ Wb8 19 0-0-0 l::the8 How
strange it is that White won this game
(Galdunts - Zelcic, Graz 200 1 ),
although objectively the position
very quickly suggests the reverse
result.
9 a6 10 i.. e2 A trap, identical to
that which we saw in the game
Kalugin - Betz, but with the
inclusion of the moves 9. . .a6 I 0 i..a4,
occurred i n the game Klovans Schroeder (Sender 1 999): I O . .lbf5?!
I I b4 lLlxe3 12 fe 'iVc7 13 0-0 i..e7
1 4 e4 d4 1 5 lLld5 ! ed 1 6 ed etc. But
of course B lack needed to play
10 ... 0-0-0 1 1 b4 'ifc7.
IO lLlf5 ll b4 lDxeJ 12 fe 'ifc7
1 3 0-0 it.xf3 14 it.xf3 'fixeS 1 5 'ifdJ
i.e7 16 e4 d4 1 7 lba4 lld8 18 lDb6
'iVc7 1 9 i.h5 0-0 20 lLlc4 ..b8
2 1 i.e2 i.f6 22 :adl lDe5 (Asrian
Zelcic, Istanbul 2003).

lLlxe3 1 1 fe 'iic 7 1 2 0-0 i..e7 1 3 e4!


de (possibly Black counted on the
variation 1 3 . . .d4 1 4 lLld5 ! ) 1 4 lLlxe4
0-0 1 5 i.. xc6 'iix c6 1 6 lLld6 f6
1 7 lLld4! i.. xd I 1 8 lLlxc6 i.. xd6 1 9 ed
i..e2 20 llfe l with a practically
winning position.
And yet White does not set great
problems in this variation. Croatian
grandmaster Robert Zelcic, twice, by
quite different means, equalised the
game:
9 0-0-0 I 0 b4 i.. x tJ! A tactical
nuance: the opponent is denied the
possibility of taking on f3 with the
queen, since the b4 pawn hangs.
There was weaker play in the game
Pytel - Donev (Biel 1 995): I O.. 'ifc7
I I i.. f4 i..x f3 1 2 'it'xf3 (of course! )
1 2 ...lLlxe5 1 3 'ife2 lLl7g6 1 4 i..g3 h5
1 5 h3 a6 1 6 i..d 3 h4, and now, by
continuing 1 7 i..xe5 lLlxe5 1 8 lLla4,
White would have every right to
count on an advantage.
I I gf 'ifc7 12 i.. xc6 lLlxc6 13 i..d4
a6 1 4 f4

..

..

Beginning with the 9h move, White


has demonstrated play of a high class.
And yet he has no advantage at all! It
follows that 5 lLlf3?! is not the
strongest continuation...
2) 5 i.f4 Better than 5 lLlf3. but still
insufficient to obtain an advantage.
The bishop is better placed on e3 !

1 4 f6! ? A known motif: the


construction on the squares c5-d4-e5
will fall apart upon the first break.
15 h4 (even worse is 1 5 ef lLlxd4
1 6 'it'xd4 gf 1 7 .l:g l i..g7 1 8 lba4

43

Advance Varia/ion: Everylhing excepl 3..

5 ... e6 6 d2 ge7 looks


noticeably more accurate than
6 ... .txc5, because then, after 7 b3
.i.b6, White can apparently pose
Black serious problems by 8 'ii'g4.
But the proof of this hypothesis, in
two games by the Moldovian
grandmaster Viorel Bologan, brought
a negative response!
8 ...ffi 9 f3 f5 10 1Vg3 ge7
I I h4 g6 1 2 h5 xf4 1 3 'ifxf4 .i.c7
1 4 bd4 'iff6 1 5 xc6 bc 1 6 g3 'ife7
1 7 0-0-0 l%b8 1 8 c3 e8, and Black's
position deserves the preference
( Bologan - Umgaev, Groningen
1 997);
8 ... g6 9 h4 h5 I 0 'iVg3 a5 ! I I 0-0-0
a4 1 2 d2 a3 1 3 b3 .td7 1 4 b l
h6 1 5 .td3 'ifc7 1 6 c3 e7 1 7 e2
ef5 1 8 1Vf3 .ic6 1 9 llc l 'ifd7
20 lL!g3 g4 2 1 x f5 gf 22 l:hfl d4
By refraining from 23 'ii'g 3, White
even lost (Bologan - Conquest,
Germany 1 997), but in any case he
has no advantage.
White also achieves nothing after
6 ... .txc5 7 lL!b3 .ib6 8 .i.d3 (instead
of 8 W'g4): 8 ...ge7 9 f3 g6
I 0 .ig3 f6 I I 'iVe2 gxe5 1 2 xe5
fe 1 3 'ifh5+ 'iii>ffi 1 4 .ixe5 xe5
1 5 W'xe5 1Vf6 1 6 W'd6+ n 1 7 0-0
'ifxb2 1 8 c4 de 1 9 .ixc4 lld8 (Petrov
- Jakobetz, Aarhus 2003 ). All these
variations are highly reminiscent of
the well-known blockading examples
of N imzowitsch, but with one
di fference: in the games we have
looked at nothing came out of the
blockade for White.
So the question remains open
whether there is any sense including

il,(5
the manoeuvre g8-e7-g6 before
capturing 6....txc5.
7 gO g6 8 .ig3 .txc5 9 .id3
'ti'c7!? In its time there was great
publicity surrounding the game
Fedorov - Morozevich (Samara
1 998), in which White achieved a
decisive advantage by means that
were anything but trivial: 9 . . . f6?!
1 0 efW'xf6 I I 0-0 .ib6 12 .i.xg6+ hg
(more circumspect was 1 2 ...'ifxg6).

1 3 c4! (rejecting the blockade and


working on a breakthrough) t 3 ...1lh5
1 4 llb t ! wn 1 5 b4 a6 1 6 a4 a5 (it
looks l ike White breaks in any case:
1 6 ... .id7 1 7 c5 .i.a7 1 8 b5 a5 1 9 c6
etc.) 1 7 c5 .ta7 1 8 b5 b4 19 'ifc2!
e5 (Black refuses to accept the pawn
sacrifice, but his position is lost in
any event: 1 9 . . ..i.xc5 20 .flbc I .i.b6
2 1 ll.. c 7 .txc7 22 :xc7+ <;Pes
23 .flfc I <t>d8 24 'ii'e3 e5 25 'ifc5)
20 xe5+, and soon Black resigned.
lntluenced by this and subsequent
games Black changed tactics: he put
up with some inconvenience linked to
the blockade of the centre on the dark
squares, but in return gained time for
comfortable development.
I 0 b3 .i.e7 1 1 W'e2 b4 1 2 0-0
ll..d7 13 fd4 0-0 14 f4 'itb6 1 5 'it>hl
xd3 16 'ii'xd3 f6!

44

Advance Variation: Everything except 3..

JJ.,f5

f6 (on l l ... fg follows 1 2 'ii'e S)


1 2 'ii'h4 etc.
5 e6 We look further at 6 b4,
6 'iVg4 and 6 i.e3.
a) The idea of constructing a pawn
chain by b2-b4, which we actively
recommended earlier, is hardly
appropriate in the present position:
6 b4 aS (only not 6 ... 'iVh4?! 7 c3
'iVe4+ 8 e2 'iixg2 9 g3 'ilfh3
I 0 i.gS fS I I f3, as happened in the
game Art. Minasian - Khenkin,
USSR 1 990 - the risk of the loss of
the queen is too great. Although
Seirawan, for example, considers that
it is possible to gain sufficent
compensation for it in the variation
l l ... h6!? 1 2 i.fl hg 1 3 i.xh3 ltxh3)
7 c3 i.d7 (after 7 . . . ab 8 cb, in the
opinion of Igor Khenkin, again
pointless is 8 'iVh4 in view of
9 'ifb3 ! 'ii'e4+ 10 e2 'iVxeS I I i.b2
Wc7 1 2 0-0, and White noticeably
in
outstrips
the
opponent
development.) 8 i.xc6 .i.xc6 9 f3
ab 10 cb b6 11 0-0 be 1 2 be .i.xcS
13 'ife2 ..,6
..

White returns to the classical


blockade formation, but... his
position is not impressive at all! The
game Bologan - Chela (Elista 1 998)
continued: 1 7 ef i.xf6 18 fS ef
19 xfS i.xb2 20 ltab1 'ii'b S!
21 e3 l:txn+ 22 xn 'ihd3 23 cd
i.eS, and only a negative difference
in class prevented B lack from
winning this endgame.
3) 5 i.b5!

Precisely this: the l ight-squared


bishop defends eS, the dark squared
one ( from the e3 square) - cS.
Everything is supported by a nuance,
noticed long ago by the great analyst
Isaak Boleslavsky. You see, it seems
that it is possible for Black to win
back the pawn at once: S ... 'ifaS+
6 c3 c6 7 i.e3 .i.d7 8 f3 xeS
Possible, but.. . it loses the game:
9 xeS .i.xbS I 0 'ilfhs g6 I I xg6!

. . .

Black has come out of the opening


with an acceptable position, while a
tactical touch after the careless
14 bd2? allowed him quite a stock
of extra material: 14 -tbS 15 llbl
..

45

Advance Variation: Everything except 3.

. .

{5

'ilfc7! (San Segundo - Khenkin,


Saragosa 1 995).
b) But the misfortune befall ing
White on the path 6 b4 does not mean
that the natural 6 .i.e3 is not an
alternative. The move 6 'illg4!? looks
quite unpleasant for Black - the
bishop f8 remains out of play for
some time and the pawn deficit adds
to the problems with his develop
ment. For the present, practice has
not given a reply as to precisely
which retort to 6 1fg4 is the
most accurate. We pick four
continuations:

8 bc 9 'ifa4! 'fic7 (obviously, the


endgame after 9...1fxc5 1 0 .i.e3 'fic4

I I 'ifxc4 de does not appeal to Black)


10 .i.eJ .J:[b8 1 1 0-0-0 lL'lh6 12 f4 lL'lf5
13 i..fl aS 14 ltJge2 l:tb4 1 S 'iVaJ He
has not managed to win back the
pawn, indeed the bishop fB has still
not for the present entered play. All
this, of course, is not fatal (the
dynamics of Black's pieces can be
seen with the naked eye) but it is
unpleasant (Smirin - Khenkin, Ischia
1 996).
b2) 6 hS (if everything could be
.

solved so simply.. ) 7 .i.xc6+ be


8 a4 'ifc7 9 .i.eJ lL'le7 10 f4 lL'lfS
1 1 .i.fl The well-known picture: the
bishop f8 is again out of play. Urgent
measures are needed, otherwise
Black will simply choke:
.

ll . aS!? 1 2 aJ gS!? 13 lLJfJ gf


14 liJc3 .J:[g8 IS 0-0 .J:[b8 16 1tfd 1
..

.i.a6 B lack does not decide on


1 6 ... Axb2 ! ?, and wrongly. The
complications in this case do not
yield
themselves
to
accurate

b 1 ) 6...1faS+ 7 ltJcJ hS 8 .i.xc6+!


In conjunction with the following
move this secures White the
advantage. On the other hand, 8 'iff4
al lows the bishop f8 freedom:
8 ... .i.xc5 9 lt'if3 lt'ige7 I 0 0-0 lt'ig6
I I 'ii'g5 .i.d7 1 2 .i.d3 .i.e7 1 3 'ii'e3 d4
1 4 lt'ixd4 lt'icxe5 1 5 J.. e4 'ifb6
1 6 lbce2 f5 1 7 .i.d3 .i.f6 1 8 c3 lt'ig4
1 9 'irh3 lL'le7 20 f4 0-0-0 2 1 h I
ltJc6 22 i..e 3 (Mark Tseitlin Khenkin, Israel 1 996). Black is only a
little better, but with the simple
22 ... lt'ixe3 23 'iVxe3 h4 his advantage
might be increased.

calculation. Here we give only a few


sample variations:
1 7 ltab l ltxb l

1 8 :xb 1 i.. g 7

1 9 lL'le2 .i.xe5 20 lL'lxe5 'fixeS


2 1 'ifxc6+ rj;e7 22 lie I .i.d7 23 'fib7
'ife4 24 lL'lg3 fg 25 Axe4 gf+ 26 '1txt2
de 27 c6 e3+ 28 cit>fl ltd8 or
1 7 l:xd5 !? lL'le3 1 8 .i.xe3 fe 1 9 1:r.d3
i..xc5 20 lt'ie4 i..e7 2 1 lL'ld6+ i.. xd6
22 ed 'fib6 23 'Mfh4 'ifa7 24 llc I :bs
It would all be very unclear, whereas
in the game White's initiative quickly
becomes decisive.
46

Advance Variation: Everything except J

1 7 l:txd5! .i.b5 1 8 li)xb5 cb


19 'ife4 ed 20 Wxrs .i.xc5 21 e6! One
' hammer' blow is fol lowed by
another - Black resigned (Cioara Slovineanu, Bucharest 200 1 ).
b3) 6...li)e7 7 li)f3 lbf5 8 .i.d3 The
knight fS frees the bishop from
defence of the g7 pawn but itself gets
into a fine mess. In the game Psakhis
- L.B. Hansen (Istanbul 2000) Black
could not cope with the newly arising
problems:
8... f6? ! 9 .i.xf5 ef 10 'iVg3 fe
1 1 lbxe5 'ife7 1 2 0-0 Wxe5 (It would
be dangerous to accept the piece
sacrifice by 1 2 ...lbxe5 in view of 1 3
lbc3 lbc6 1 4 lbxdS lbd4 1 5 h I
lbe2 1 6 1if3 with a very strong
attack) 1 3 'ihe5+ lbxe5 14 lle l
i.xc5 15 l:txe5+ <ii?ti 1 6 i.e3 i.xe3
1 7 llxe3 White's advantage may not
be so great but it is stable. Until the
end of the game Black will be
doomed to thankless defence.
b4) 6... .i.d7!? If it finally becomes
clear that the situation, in which
Black is forced to take on c6 with a
pawn (as in the case of 6 ...1ia5+
7 lbc3 hS or 6... h5), is unfavourable
for him, then the move 6. . . i.d7 !? has
every chance of becoming standard in
reply to 6 Wg4!'?

.. .i./5

7 i.xc6 .ixc6 8 lbf3 h5! An


accurate order of moves - the attack
on the g7 pawn is removed and the cS
pawn will be left undefended. In the
game Nataf - Meduna (Pardubice
2002) White carried on tenaciously:
9 'ifd4, but after 9 . . .Wc7 10 lbc3 lbe7
I I Wb4 aS 1 2 'ii'f4 lbf5 1 3 i.e3 lbxe3
1 4 'ifxe3, seeing an inevitable
deterioriation in his position, he
offered a draw. Just in time!
Otherwise (after a move of the light
squared bishop and a capture on cS)
Black would have every basis to play
for a win!
9 'iff4 i.xc5

Further in the game Yudasin Spraggett (Calgary 1 996) White


limited himself to short castling, but
in analysis it became clear that
slightly more accurate was 1 0 i.e3
'ifb6 I I i.xcS WxcS 1 2 lbc3 with a
subsequent blockade on the d4 square
(Yudasin). However, B lack did not
have to be led by his opponent; worth
considering was I O ... .i.xe3 I I 'Wxe3
lbe7 1 2 lbbd2 lbf5 1 3 Wa3 d4! ? with
good chances of equalising.
Perhaps only the order of moves
6. . .i.d7!? 7 i.xc6 i.xc6 8 lbf3 hS !
will allow Black to feel more or less
confident in reply to 6 'iVg4!? And yet
47

Advance Variation: Everything except 3

.. Ji..f5

no way does the thrust of the white


queen on the 61h move exhaust his
potential.
c) 6 eJ (the most popular)
6 llJge7 7 c3 At the highest level the
move 7 llJf3 has occasionally been
tried, but without any success:

l l . . ...aS (B lack's activity was


incomprehensible in the game Palac Sulava, Kastel Stary 1 997, and led
him quickly to ruin: 1 l ... aS 1 2 b4 ab
1 3 cb b6 1 4 cb lla4 I S a3 'iVa8
1 6 0-0 Ji.. xb4 1 7 llJc3 llxa3 1 8 llJbS
Ji.. xbS 1 9 b7!) 1 2 b4 'iVa6

7 . . . Ji..d 7 8 0-0!? llJxeS 9 llJxeS


Ji.. x bS 1 0 c4 ! ? Ji.. c6 I I llJc3 de
1 2 'iVg4 llJf5 1 3 ltad l 'ifh4 1 4 'ifxh4
lL!xh4 1 5 llJxc6 be 1 6 lld4 e7
1 7 llxc4 0-0 1 8 b4 a6 1 9 a4 llJg6
White's mode of play none the less
led to an equal endgame (Shirov Karpov, Monaco 1 996).
7 . . .llJfS 8 b4 Ji.. d7 9 Ji..xc6 Ji..xc6
1 0 c3 aS I I 0-0 ab 1 2 cb b6 J 3 llJd4
llJxd4 1 4 Ji..xd4 be 1 S be lla4 1 6 _.d2
Ji..e7 1 7 _.e3 The struggle ' for' and
'against' the cS pawn led only to
exchanges and a draw (Svidler Khali fman, St.Petersburg 1 996).
7 Ji..d 7 Preventing White from
reinforcing the eS pawn by means of
f2-f4 is possible by 7 ... llJf5, but after
8 Ji..d4 d7 9 Ji.. xc6 xc6 I 0 llJf3
llJxd4 I I _.xd4 it is clear that Black
does not succeed in winning back the
material sacri ficed on the Jrd move.
Of course, the compensation looks
full value, but is it really sufficient?
Events might develop as follows:

Despite his inabil ity to castle,


White's position is solid - first and
foremost thanks to his pawn
entrenchment on the dark squares.
But as soon as White endeavours to
end his especially defensive tactics
and go over to more active
operations, the unpleasant position of
his king hampers his operations and
prevents the realisation of the extra
pawn. Here are just two characteristic
examples:
l 3 a4 b6 1 4 cb ab I S aS Ji..e7
1 6 llJbd2 ( 1 6 lla3 !?) 1 6... 0-0 1 7 llJb3
Ji.. d 8 1 8 d2 'irb7 1 9 _.d3 ba
20 llJxaS Ji.. xaS 2 1 ba Ji..bS 22 l:lhb 1
ltfb8, and it all ended in a draw
(Kotronias - Turov, Corinth 2000);
1 3 '1Ve3 b6 1 4 cb ab I S llJd4 Ji.. bS
1 6 f4 Ji..e7 1 7 f2 0-0 1 8 llJd2 Ji..d 7
1 9 llhe l D.fc8 20 a3 llc7 2 1 'itg l
'ifc8 22 llec l llca7 23 llJb I f6 24 ef
Ji.. x f6 2S lla2 llc7 26 lte l llc4
27 llae2. Again White concentrates
only on defence of his material gain,

48

Advance Variation: Everything except 3. . . iJ..f5

and not on its realisation (Kapinsis Svetushkin, I kar 2003).


8 .ixc6 xc6 Of course i f it
possible to take on c6 with a knight then it is necessary to take with a
knight. 8 ... .i.xc6?! leads to positions
similar to the previous annotation:
9 f3 f5 1 0 .i.d4 a5 I I 0-0 xd4
1 2 'ifxd4. True, in the game Blehm Svetushkin (Erevan 2000) Black
managed to 'unravel' the position:
1 2 . . . a4 1 3 bd2 lla5 1 4 b4 ab
1 5 xb3 l:ta4 1 6 'ii'd2 'ifc7 1 7 fd4
'ii'x e5 1 8 f4 'iH6 1 9 l::ae I 1Le7
20 'ii'e2 d7 2 1 f3 llha8 etc., but
the move 8 ... 1Lxc6?! has still not
gone beyond the l imits of an
experiment.
9 f4 White has done without this
double-edged advance. But safe does
not necessarily mean good: 9 lDf3
'ifc7 I 0 .id4 lDxd4 I I cd b6! 1 2 cb
'ii'xb6 1 3 'ii'b 3 ( 1 3 0-0 'ii'x b2
1 4 bd2 .ia3 1 5 lib 1 'ii'xa2 1 6 l:tb7
i.e7 1 7 'ii'c I 1lc8, draw, Almasi Magem, Pamplona 1 997) 1 3 ...'ii'a6!?
1 4 lDc3 .ie7 After both sides have
completed their development, the two
bishops, together w ith control of
open files on the queen's flank, will
provide excellent support for Black in
any peace negotiations (Kaminski Timoshenko, Erevan 1 996).
He can also completely abandon
the e5 pawn - if only to regain the
initiative: 9 f.3 flc7 I 0 0-0! ?
( instead of 1 0 .td4) I O . . . xe5
I I xe5 'iVxe5 1 2 iid4 'iVf5 1 3 'iVe2
f6 1 4 lDa3 .ie7 1 5 f4 0-0 1 6 llae l
ltfe8 1 7 h i ( 1 7 lDb5 ! ?) 1 7 ...a6
1 8 'iVd2 iid8 1 9 .ig I .ic7 20 c2
ltad8 2 1 h3 'it>h8. As we see, Black

has gobbled up the pawn but the


position is not lost (Krakops Khalifman, Ubeda 1 997).
9... g5!?

White, like the breath of life, needs


a respite in order to commence an
advance of his forces, and not just his
pawns, but Black of course does not
want to allow him such a respite!
10 fg. It is possible to decline the
capture on g5 - 1 0 lDf3, but practice
has shown that then it will be even
easier for Black to organise an
offensive on the enemy king: I O ...gf
I I .ixf4 (White played whimisical ly,
but possibly not exactly badly, in the
game Peng Xiaomin - Arkell ,
London 1 997: I I .id4!? xd4 1 2 cd
b6 1 3 cb 'ii'xb6 1 4 bd2 'ii'x b2
1 5 0-0, and here Black should
continue 1 5 ...'ira3 with counterplay)
I I ... .ixc5 1 2 bd2 'ii'h6 1 3 lDb3
.if2+ 1 4 e2 a5 1 5 xa5 .ib5+
1 6 d2.

49

Advance Variation: Everything except 3 .. i.j5


.

The first outing for this position


came in the game Glek - Khe nkin
(Werfen 1 990), in which Black didn't
think twice about taking the knight
and was gradually outplayed:
1 6 ... Wi'xaS?! 1 7 a4 ..id7 1 8 l:r.fl .icS
1 9 gS l::t g8 20 'iff3 d4 2 1 xf7!
de+ 22 be ..ic6 23 'ii'h 3 l:r.xg2+
24 c l Wd7 2S gS l:r.e8 26 .id2
Wi'd8 27 xe6 l:r.xe6 28 l:r.d I .idS
29 Wi'xg2! etc.
Grandmaster Igor Khenkin took
revenge 6 years later: 1 6 ...d4! 1 7 b4
de+ I 8 c2 l::t d 8 I 9 'ike I ..ia4+
20 b3 'ikxb4 2 1 1i'fl i.xb3+ 22 ab
Wi'e4+ 23 xc3 l:r.c8+ 24 'iii' b2, and,
without waiting for mate, White
resigned (David - Khenkin, Geneva
I 996).
10 xe5 1 1 fJ xfJ+. Black
sowed the wind and therefore had to
be complete ly faultless in his choice
of the ne xt moves - not to reap the
whirlwind.
Thus
the
natural
l l ...i. g7?! 1 2 xeS .ixeS is bad
because of 1 3 d2 ! ? (White's attack
was unsuccessful in the game Lautier
- Magem, France 1 997: 1 3 'ikbs .ig7
I 4 0-0 0-0 I S d2 .ibS 1 6 l::t fe l eS
17 f3 lieS IS l:r.ad l Wi'aS 19 h4 d4
20 f5 ! ? de 2 I l:xe3 l:lad8 22 .Uxd8
1i'xd8 23 llh3 'it>ffi) 1 3 ...Wi'c7 1 4 f3
i.g7 I 5 0-0 0-0-0 1 6 l:le I h6, and
now the clear-cut 1 7 g6! f6 1 8 .if2
l:.he 8 I 9 b4 f5 20 -.o3 eS 21 .ih4
secured White a decisive advantage
in the encounter Komeev - Arkell
(Metz 1 998).
12 'ifxfJ 1i'c7 Black simply wants

continue sword fencing after 1 3 0-0


0-0-0!? But since the square f3 is
inaccessible to the white king, the
move 1 2 ... ..ig7 be come s quite
tolerable (White cannot establish his
bishop on d4 in view of the reply
e6-eS) - 13 0-0 0-0 1 4 d2 .ibS, and
then:

I S l:tt2 eS 1 6 'ifg3 d4 1 7 cd ed
1 8 i. f4
'ifd5
with
se rious
compensation for the pawn (Lutz Kache ishvili, Pula 1 997);
I S l:lfd l .ic6 1 6 'ikh3 e5 1 7 f3
1i'c8 1 8 'ikxc8 l:laxc8 1 9 i. f2 .Ucd8
20 .i.g3 l:lfe 8 2 1 l:le 1 d4! 22 .ixeS
i.xf3 23 .i.xg7 'iPxg7 24 gf de 25 be
l:r.xe I+ 26 l::t xe I lidS. Both sides are
playing for a win, but ne ither can
achieve it (Nisipeanu - Svetushkin,
Bucharest 1 998);
1 5 l:lfei !? eS 16 c4 c4 1 7 'it'f5 .ic6
1 8 l:lad I 1i'c8 1 9 'itt2 'ike6 20 b3 de
2 1 d4 ..ixd4 22 l:lxd4. Of course it
is more pleasant for White to play this
position, but Black has every chance
of a draw (Kotronias - Pert, Port Erin
2003).
13 d2 ..ixcS 14 .ixcS Wi'xcS
1 5 0-0-0 0-0-0 16 h4 ..ia4 17 l:.de I
to establish material equilibrium - or d4 18 l:th3 l:td7 19 c4
.

50

Advance Variation: Everything except 3. . 1lj3


.

T hough on average this is played


only half as much as 4 ...lL!c6, the
percentage of grandmasters choosing
the pawn move is noticeably higher.
White has the choice between six
continuations of unequal strength:
5 c4, 5 lLlc3, 5 lLlf3, 5 f4, 5 1fg4
and 5 e3. T he first two are not
good, the next two - neutral, the last
two - dangerous for Black.
I) The move 5 c4?! brings no luck:
it does not look that weak but for the
present White has not succeeded in
'catching on' to an authentic point,
for example: 5 lLlc6 6 cd ed 7 e3
d4 8 f4 xeS 9 lL!fJ lL!ge7 1 0 d3
lLlg6 1 1 g3 .i.g4 12 0-0 0-0 13 lle1
lle8 14 .i.xg6 hg 15 lL!bd2 .i.b4
1 6 :e4 .i.fS 17 .U.f4 11'd5 Without
doing anything supernatural, Black
has obtained the advantage (Cicak Speelman, Germany 2001 ).
2) The move 5 lL!c3 was played by
Tal - in his return match for the world
championship. Botvinnik easily
equalised the game: 5 lL!c6 6 f4
lLlge7 7 iLlfJ lL!g6 8 .ie3 lL!gxe5
9 iLlxeS iLl xeS 1 0 bs lL!c6 11 0-0-0
e7 12 f4 g6 13 h6 f8 14 gs
xg5 15 fg h6 16 lL!a4 ( 1 6 lL!b5
cli>e7) 16 .id7 (Tal - Botvinnik,
Moscow 1 96 1 ). To this day the
reputation of the move 5 lLlc3 has not
improved at all. And here another
device of Tal in this match - 5 1Wg4 !?
- proved no more fortunate in our
example. But more about this a little
later.
3) 5 lL!fJ White makes a stand for
free development (in the spirit
of Nimzowitsch's idea in the
corresponding variation of the French

T he advantage lies with White and


the question only is by how much
(Savon - Bets, Kharkov 2000). Black
has more chances of standing his
ground if, instead of 1 9 ... d3, he is
patient and continues with trench
warfare: 1 9 . . . c6 20 1Wf6 :es
21 lle5 'ii'b6 22 l:lb3 1Wc7.

Finishing the discussion on


4 ...lL!c6 we can draw the following
conclusions: after 5 .i.b5 ! White, for
his part, will manage to retain a slight
material advantage or transform it
into a positional plus. Black's task is
not to fight for material equality at
any cost but on the contrary to try to
obtain positional compensation or an
attack on the king in return for the
pawn.

4...e6

51

Advance Variation: Eve1ything except 3... i.j5


defence: I e4 e6 2 d4 dS 3 eS cS
4 de), as it were without ambitions of
obtaining an opening advantage. But,
as we saw earlier, this is not quite so,
and the struggle in this line at times
assumes a highly concrete character.
5 .i.xc5 6 .i.dJ tt:lc6 Since White
is presently not on the attack, Black
can exploit his freedom of activity
and delay the development of the
queen 's kn ight. Only he should not
try to exchange his 'bad' light
squared bishop via the a6 square this is unattainable: 6... b6?! 7 c3 aS
8 tt:la3 !? .i.xa3 9 'ii'a4+ tt:ld7 I0 'ii'xa3
tt:lcS I I i.bS+! (II .i.e2 i.a6 ! )
l l .. .i.d7 1 2 i.e2 tt:le7 1 3 0-0 0-0
1 4 tt:ld4 tt:lc6 1 5 tt:lxc6 i.xc6 1 6 i.e3,
and White retains a minimal
advantage ( Leko - Anastasian,
Moscow 200 I ).
But here 6 . . . tt:le7 ! ? is quite
possible: 7 0-0 (the pawn sacrifice in
the game Prasad - Prakash, Guntur
2000, - 7 i.f4?! 'ii'b 6! is more like a
blunder) 7 ... tt:lg6 8 a3 tt:lc6 9 b4 i.b6
1 0 l:te l f6 !? (in the game Mitkov
Zvjaginsev, Poikovsky 200 I , Black
played along classical lines: I O. .. aS
II i.xg6 fg! - and likewise achieved
an attractive position) II ef 'iVxf6
1 2 lla2 tt:lh4 1 3 tt:lbd2 0-0 1 4 i.b2 eS
1 5 bS

This posttton arose in the game


Beshukov - Evseev (St. Petersburg
200 I).
Encouraged
by
his
overwhelming superiority in the
centre Black embarked on a
combination - 1 5 . . . i.xf2+? ! , but
mate didn't materialise and the wheel
quickly spun the other way.
Meanwhile, by continuing simply
1 5 . . .tt:ld4! 16 ltxeS lLldxf3+ 1 7 tt:lxf3
i.g4, Black increases the pressure on
the f-file, without resorting to drastic
measures.
7 0-0 It cannot be excluded that
stronger is 7 'ii'e2 tt:lge7 8 c3, when,
refraining from short castling, White
can prepare a dashing march of the h
pawn:
8. . . i.d7 9 h4 h6 I 0 hS i.b6 I I lth3
'ilc7 1 2 llg3 f8 1 3 tt:la3 fS 14 tt:lbS
with pressure on both flanks
(Perunovich - Svetushkin, Belgrade
2002) or
8 . . .tt:lg6 9 b4 i.e7 1 0 bS tt:laS I I h4
tt:l f8 1 2 i.f4 a6 1 3 tt:ld4 ab 1 4 ._g4 g6
1 5 tt:ld2 i.d7 1 6 tt:lxb5 hS 1 7 'ii'g3
i.xbS 1 8 i.xb5+ tt:ld7 1 9 c4 d4 with
a very complicated game (Smirov Zvjaginsev, Ohrid 200 1 ).
After 7 0-0 Black has a choice: to
continue with quiet development
(7 ... tt:lge7) or first of all prevent the
thrust of the white bishop to f4
(7. .. f6).
a) 7 tt:l ge7 8 i.r4 In recent times,
White, disappointed with classical
formations, has tried to think up
something else:
8 tt:lbd2 tt:lg6 9 tt:lb3 i.e7 I 0 'ife2
'ikc7 II l:te I tt:lb4 1 2 tt:lbd4 tt:lxd3
1 3 'ikxd3 0-0 14 g3 lte8 1 5 h4 tt:l f8
1 6 h5 h6 1 7 i.f4 a 6 1 8 g4 tt:lh7
..

52

Advance Variation: Everything except 3. /5


. .

1 9 'ild2 'ild8 20 h2 d7 21 .Ue2 the centre. White, by establishing a


.Uc8 22 c3 .Uc4 23 llg I (Zhang 'semi-blockade' on the d4 and eS
Pengxiang - Yu Shaoteng, China squares, has the right to count on a
2003);
sl ight advantage, while Black, by
8 c3 a6 9 'ife2 lt:)g6 I0 g3 'ilc7 undermin ing the centre, - on a
I I :e I 0-0 1 2 e3 e7 1 3 i.d4 d7 gradual equalising of chances. Here
14lt:)bd2 .Ufc8 I Slt:)b3lt:)fE 1 6 'ile3 are just a few examples:
lt:)xd4 1 7 lt:)bxd4 'ild8 1 8 h4 l:lc7
10 c4!? de 1 1 xc4 b6 12 'ile2
1 9 'iti>g2 (Berg - Speelman, Malmo j.b7 13 l:td 1 'ike7 14 lt:)c3 .Uad8
2003). In the previous examples, on 15 lt:)bs (Kinderman - Yermolinsky,
the whole the initiative has been on Groni ngen 1 997). Sl ightly more
White's side, but B lack's formation space plus the threat of invasion w ith
possesses great durability.
the knight on d6 - this is the essence
8 lt:)g6 (Black manoeuvered
of White's advantage.
favourably in the game lstratescu 10 lt:)c3?! a6 1 1 a3 f5 1 2 ef gf
Oshar, Cappelle le Grande 1 998:
13 'ikd2 f5 14 b4 e7 15 :ael i.f6
8 ...a6 9lt:)bd2 bS I 0lt:)b3 b6 I I c3
(Ledger - Speelman, Telford 2003).
lt:)g6 1 2 g3 d7 1 3 'ifc2 llc8 14 a3
On the other hand, in this game
0-0 I S h4 h6 1 6 hS lt:)ge7 1 7 1We2
White's play was careless and he
lt:)f5 1 8 h2 f6, and achieved at least
an equal game) 9 g3 0-0 Even here allowed control of the d4 and eS
experiments are possible: 9 ...'ifb6 1 0 squares to pass to his opponent.
10 a3 d7 1 1 lt:)c3 h8! 12 'ild2
b3 d7 I I c3 aS 1 2lt:)bd2 0-0 1 3 a3
lt:)d4!
A well-know n positional
llfc8 1 4 h4 i.f8 (Nijboer - Nep,
Amsterdam 2000) or 9 ... f6 10 ef device, directed at kicking the knight
'ilxf6 l l c4! de 1 2 xc4 0-0 13 lt:)c3 f3 out of play, led to a quick draw in
Speelman
!;td8 1 4 'ile2 (N ijboer - Jens, the game Lutz
(Katrineholm
1
999):
13
lt:)xd4
i.xd4
Belgium 2003). But leave well alone
14 i.xg6 ..ixc3 15 'ilxc3 fg! etc.
- why start searching?
After 9 . . . 0-0 a critical position Judging from Speelman' s analysis,
arises.
there was no sense in White decl ining
a draw since in the variation 1 3lt:)gS
f5 1 4 ef1fxf6 1 Slt:)ge4 !'? de J6lt:)xe4
Black has sufficient resources to
keep the extra material: 1 6 . . .li'e7!
1 7lt:)xcS 'fixeS 18 ..txg6 hg 19 l:[ fd I
( 1 9 l:lad l ..tbS) 1 9 ...t'Ll fS 20 1fxd7
lt:)xg3 21 hg ._.xt2+ 22 'iti> h2 .Uf5 .
I 0lt:) bd2 f5 1 1 ef 'ifxf6 12 ..txg6
'irxg6 13 c4! (the motif of the game
Fedorov - Morozcvich, but w ith less
It looks like the struggle has success) 13 ..te7 14 'iVb3 'ilti
developed around the dark squares in 15 llac1 i.f6 16 llfe1 aS 17 i.d6

53

Advance Variation: Everything except 3... i.f5


lld8 1 8 i.aJ h6 1 9 l!Jn d4 20 ft:)gJ
eS 2 1 'ii'd3 .i.g4 22 llcd 1 i.e7, and
Black was able to breathe easily
(Nijboer - Zelcic, Plovdiv 2003).
b) 7 f6! ?

squares brings him some glimpse of


advantage: 1 2 ... i.d7 1 3 cd 'fib6
14 i.e3 i.xe3 IS fe li:) g4 1 6 'iVd4
llxfl + 1 7 llxfl lLlxe3 1 8 'iVxb6 ab
1 9 de!?
11 ...0-0 1 2 lt:) fJ i.d6 13 'ii'e2 'fkc7
Only so! The limp 1 3 ...'fie8?! lacks a
concrete basis after 1 4 lie I 'fibs
IS h3 with advantage for White. And
it is too early to sacrifice the e pawn:
1 3 . . . eS ! ? 1 4 lLlxeS lle8 I S f4
( I S i.f4? lLlg4 ! ) I S ...lLlg4 1 6 c3
( 1 6 'iVtJ i.xeS 17 fe lLlxeS) 16 ... 'ifh4
1 7 g3 'fih3 1 8 'ii'g2 etc. No, first of all
it is necessary to lure the rook away
from fl !
14 lle1 Only when the variation
becomes independent, does Black
prefer to take the smooth road:
1 4 ...i.d7 I S i.gS llae8, but after
1 6 lLleS White obtains ideal positions
for his pieces, for example: 1 6... i.c8
1 7 c3 h6 1 8 i.h4 lLld7 1 9 i.g3
(Grischuk - Bauer, Carmes 200 1 ).
Any attempt to change the position
by means of tactics will not lead to
anything good: 1 6 ...li:)e4 (instead of
1 6 ...i.c8) 1 7 .i.xe4 (here in the game
Magem - Khenkin, France 200 I ,
there followed an agreed draw, but in
analysis it became clear that from
White's perspective the decision was
premature) 1 7 . . . de (or 1 7 . . . i.xeS
1 8 i.xh7+ <t>xh7 19 'ii'xeS 'fixc2
20 i.e3 a6 2 1 .i.d4 D.f7 22 l:tac l 'ii'fS
23 llc7 i.bS 24 %lxf7 'ifxf7 2S lie I
lle7 26 lWgS) 1 8 lLlxd7 i.xh2+
19 h 1 l:tfs 20 'ifg4 i.d6 2 1 lLlf6+ gf
22 i.xf6+ f8 23 .i.h4 'ifxc2
24 D.ad I Whether because of the
opposite-coloured bishops or because
of the same-colour initiative, White is
very strong.

...

A n idea o f Igor Khenkin. It exploits


the fact that 8 i.f4 is not good in view
of 8 ... gS ! 9 i.g3 g4! (in the game
Kortenbusch - Khenkin, Senden
200 I , there followed I 0 lLlfd2 fe
I I 'ii'xg4 l!Jf6 1 2 'fig? llg8 1 3 'ii'b6
e4 1 4 .i. e2 l:.g6 I S i.hS lLlxhS
1 6 'ii'x hS 'figS 1 7 'ii'x h7 llh6 1 8 'ii'c7
eS 19 lLlxe4 de 20 lLlc3 i.b6, and
White, under threat of losing his
queen, resigned) and Black starts to
undermine the centre, even without
completing his development. If in the
end it is confirmed that there is no
refutation of 7 . . . f6! ?, this move will
of course force out the older
7 ...lLlge7.
8 'fie2 fe 9 lLlxeS lLlxeS 10 'fixeS
The first fruits of the idea 7 ... f6 are
seen: the queen, not the bishop, has
been obliged to occupy the eS square.
To eject the queen from the key
square wi l l not be di fficult.
10 . lLlf6 1 1 lLld 2 White recon
structed just in time in the game
Shirov - Agdestein (Bergen 200 I ):
I I c4! ? 0-0 1 2 lLlc3. Refraining from
a classical blockade of the dark
..

54

Advance Variation: Everything except 3. . iLf5


.

classical blockading game in the


centre has just grown old. It is worth
White turning his attention to the plan
with 6 i.d3, 7 'it'e2 followed by
h2-h4-h5. At least, in this case, Black
will have to solve hitherto unknown
problems whereas after 7 0-0 he
comfortably achieves equality along
already known lines.
4) 5 i.f4 A move which is
noteworthy mainly for the fact that
Shirov played it against Kramnik
(Wijk aan Zee 200 I ).
5 i.xc5 6 i.dJ When the bishop
has already come out to c5, but
White's minor pieces are still not
14 ...e5! 1 5 lbxe5 lieS 16 f4 On
developed, the idea 6 'iVg4 looks
1 6 i.f4 Black should not react
highly suspect. Most likely, the g7
1 6 . . .lbg4? (which is weak because of
pawn can be disregarded: 6 ...lbe7!
the counter-combination 1 7 ..i.xh7+!
(but not 6 ...'it'b6? 7 'it'xg7 'it'xb2
xh7 1 8 'it'd3+ c;;> g 8 1 9 lbxg4 ltxe I +
8 'it'xh8 'ifxa I 9 'ifxg8+ i.f8 because
20 Axe I ..i. xf4 2 1 lbf6+! ), but
of the s imple 1 0 i.h6) 7 'ikxg7 llg8
1 6 . . . .tg4 ! , which promises an
8 'ifxh7 'it'b6 with excellent
advantage
in
all
vanattons:
counterplay.
1 7 ..i.xh7+ 'iii> xh7 1 8 'it'd3+ 'iii> h 8
6 ...lbc6 It is possible that Shirov's
1 9 lbxg4 ..i.xf4 20 lbxf6 gf; 1 7 t3
main preparation was orientated
lbh5 1 8 gJ ..i.h3; 1 7 'it'e3 lte7 !
towards the gambit 6 ...'ifb6 7 i.g3
1 8 i.g3 llae8 .
'it'xb2 8 lbd2 lbe7 9 lbgf3. But
16...lbg4 1 7 llfl Now, in the game Kramnik gave him no such chance
Yagupov - Yevseev (St.Petersburg and in his turn began active
2002), Black won back the pawn by operations.
1 7 ... lbxe5 1 8 fe llxe5 1 9 'ift3 i.e6
7 lbf3 f6!?
20 i.f4 ltf8 2 1 'ifg3 l:.xf4 22 llxf4
lth5 23 llafl ..i.xf4 24 'it'xf4 'ifxf4
25 lhf4 l:le5 26 l:ta4 and not without
difficulty held the inferior endgame.
The simplest way to equality was
1 7...i.xe5! 18 fe 'ifxe5 19 'it'xe5
lbxe5 20 i.b5 i.d7
Perhaps, in the variation 5 lDD, the
plan with short castling and a
The evaluation of the position has
cardinally changed since the
publication of the findings of
St.Petersburg grandmaster Denis
Yevseev:

55

Advance Variation: Eve1ything except 3... f5


One again Black, as in the variation
5 ll'lf3 xeS 6 d3 tt'lc6 7 0-0 f6! ?,
begins to break in the centre, without
waiting until all his pieces have
entered the game. And again such
tactics bring success !
8 tt'lbd2 (obviously, on 8 'iVe2 or
8 0-0 follows 8 . . .g5 !? with which we
are already acquainted) 8 fe. Also
here 8 ... g5 is worth considering and
leads to immense complications :
9 tt'lxg5!? fg 1 0 'it'h5+ Wd7 I I i.xg5.
Playing against Shirov it is wiser to
avoid such situations .
9 xeS (9 tt'lxe5? Vi' f6) 9 tt'lf6
10 'iVe2 ( 1 0 0-0) 10 0-0 11 0-0-0?!
Also now it is worth restricting his
choice to the restrained I I 0-0 but
White did not seem to want to
reconcile himself to the fact that
playing for an an opening advantage
will not exactly be a success .
ll a5! 12 tt'lb3? Next, a last show
of activity. It was poss ible to
commence a stubborn defence by
means of 1 2 a3.
12 ..td6 13 Wb1 i.xe5 14 tt'lxe5
a4 15 tt'lct (even worse is 1 5 ll'ld2?
a3 1 6 b3, since this allows play for
mate: 1 6 ...lLlxe5 1 7 'iVxe5 tt'lg4 1 8
'it'h5 'iVf6! ) 1 5 a3 1 6 b3 'iVa5! 1 7 c4
de 18 tt'lxc4 'ilc7 19 l:.hel?! tt'ld5
20 'iVd2 tt'lcb4 The win is still oh so
far away but all the chances are on
Black's s ide. On the 53rd move
Kramnik realised his advantage.
5) 5 'iVg4!? In comparis on with the
ideas already elaborated upon, this
should be recognised as the most
dangerous for Black.

..

56

You are already acquainted with the


analysis of such positions , not only
with the inclus ion of the moves
4 . . .tt'lc6 5 b5 . Now the situation is
different but the basic motif is the
same: by keeping the g7 pawn in his
s ights, White makes it difficult for the
opponent to develop his king's flank.
In the 81h game of the return match
for the
world championship,
Botvinnik could not cope with the
problems facing him: 5 . . .tt'lc6 6 ll'lf3
'ikc7 7 b5 i.d7 8 i.xc6 'iVxc6
9 i.e3 tt'lh6 I 0 xh6 gh I I lLlbd2
'ifxc5 1 2 c4 0-0-0 1 3 0-0 Wb8
1 4 ltfd I 'ifb6 1 5 'it'h4 a5 1 6 llac l
llg8 1 7 tt'lb3 a4 1 8 c5. Positional
advantage and playing for the
initiative are both on White's s ide
(Tal - Botv innik, Moscow 1 96 1 ).
Botvinnik was far more successful
in the same match, but two games
earlier: 5 ...tt'ld7!? 6 tt'l f3 tt'le7 7 i.g5
h6 8 i.xe7 'iVxe7 9 tt'lc3 'ii'x c5
I 0 0-0-0 a6 I I 'it>b I tt'lb6 1 2 tt'ld4
i.d7 13 h4 o-o-o 14 l:.h3 Wb8 15 f4
l:.c8 1 6 h5 l:.g8 1 7 lLlb3 'flc7 1 8 i.d3
tt'lc4 with a double-edged game. But
almost 40 years later the final
correction to Black's play was
confirmed: 6 . . . Wc7 (in place of
6 ... tt'le7) 7 f4 tt'lxc5 8 tt'lc3 a6

Advance Variation: Everything except J. . .i/5


.

9 0-0-0 &De7 1 0 b 1 d7 1 1 .id3


llc8 12 lthe 1 b5 1 3 &Dd4 b4 1 4 &Dce2
0,g6 1 5 .ig3 &Dxd3 1 6 cd h5 1 7 'iVg5
h4 1 8 .if4 (Grischuk- La Rota, New
York 2000). By continuing he re
18 . . . .ie7 1 9 'iVg4 0-0, Black achieved
a highly promising position.
The reply 5 ... &Jd7 looks a quite
reliable response to 5 'iVg4.
Nevertheless, in recent years, it is
practical verification of 5 h5 that
has mainly been sought. Further play
can be divided into three variations:
a) By 6 .ib5+ White intends (by
transposition of moves) to return to
the not unfavourable variation for
him 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 de &Dc6
5 .ib5 e6 6 'ifg4, analysed below.
Black of course objects to a 'repeat
performance'
6 .id7! 7 .ixd7+ &D xd7 (the most
habitual capture, but, in the opinion
of grandmaster Rustem Dautov, in no
way worse is 7 ... 'iVxd7, for example:
8 'ife2 .ixc5 9 lLlf3 &Dc6 1 0 0-0 lJge7
I I lLlbd2 lLlf5 with equality) 8 ._e2
.ixcS 9 lL!tJ
.

about the damage to his pawn


structure: 9 . . .'iVa5+! 1 0 c3 'iVa6 !
1 1 1Wxa6 ba 1 2 &Dbd2 &De7 1 3 &Db3
.i.b6 or 10 &Dbd2 ltc8 1 1 0-0 1Wa6!
12 'iWd I lLle7 1 3 lLlb3 b6.
10 0-0 'ilc7 II cJ a6 12 ltel ltc8
13 .i.gS lJg6 14 &Dbd2 0-0 Again
showing pragmatism. The rook can
find work also on the h-file, but for
this he has to sacrifice the right to
castle: 1 4 . . . .ie7 ! ? 1 5 .i.xe7 xe7
1 6 'ilfe3 \i'b6 1 7 'iVg5+ ..tffi 1 8 lLlb3
1id8 1 9 'iVe3 h4 !
1 5 lLlbJ .i.a 7 1 6 .i.eJ .i.xeJ
17 WheJ Wd8 18 lLlbd4 tle7 19 gJ
h4 The position has already come
closer to equality, but now it is
noticeable that the players are even
ready to shake hands for a draw
(Kindermann
Dautov,
Bad
Homburg 1 997).
b) White can press for an attack on
the g7 pawn: 6 'iVgJ Unfortunately
for him, there are ways to get rid of
his troublesome queen:
6 h4 7 'iVg4 (harmless is 7 '1Vf4
.ixc5 8 .i.d3 'ii'b6 - since the move
9 ltJ f3 is not possible, it is not clear,
from White's point of view, whether
the pawn is better placed on h4 or h5)
7 &Dh6 8 .i.xh6 l1xh6 9 lL!tJ Also
9 .i.d3 lLlc6 I 0 lJf3 has been tried,
but after the surprising IO ... f5 ! ? I I ef
'1Vxf6 1 2 &Dc3 .ixc5 1 3 0-0-0 .id7
14 .ib5 0-0-0 all Black's pieces are
where they need to be : 1 5 l%he I l1g6
1 6 'ifxh4 1txg2 I 7 .ixc6 be 1 8 'ifh3
:xf2 with a decisive superiority
(Carton - Renet, France 200 I ).
9 &Jd7 10 .i.b5 llg6 l l 'IVhJ a 6
12 .i.dJ llh6
.

9 lL!e7 A normal move, but


Black's most striking idea in this
position would be to strive for a
favourable endgame, not worrying
.

57

Advance Variation: Evetything except 3.. Jif5


.

9 b4 .te7 10 .ie3 g5 1 1 'ii'g3 h4


12 'ii'h3 'ilc7 13 f4 li) c6 14 li) fJ gf
15 .ixf4 f5 1 6 0-0 li) h6 1 7 bS .ic5+
1 8 h 1 li) e7 19 1fxh4 0-0-0
20 .ixh6 li) g8 2 1 .if4 .l:l xh4
22 xh4 lJe7

The position is not so much sharp,


as strange. Nevertheless we do not
believe that Black will experience
serious difficulties - he has the two
bishops, while his king, though stuck
in the centre, is not presently under
any threat. Further, in the game
Khalifinan - Kachiani (Bad Wiessee
1 997) there followed 13 0-0 li) xc5
14 li)bdl .id7 1 5 li) b3 li) xd3 16 cd
By continuing now 16 ... .ie7 1 7 ltac I
'ifb6, Black equal ises the game.
c) 6 1Wf4!? The move looks ins ipid,
but how strange that it is precisely
here that it s tarts to get very
interesting.
6 .ixc5 7 .id3 1fb6 8 c3!?
(preventing the check on b4,
exchanging queens ) 8 .id7 It is
proper that the adventure could start
right here: 8 ... g5 ! ? 9 'ii'xg5 .ixt2+
I 0 dI. The pos ition looks
dangerous for both sides, although
analysis shows it is still Black who
runs the greater risks . Here is a
sample variation: IO . . li)h6 1 1 1ff6
ltg8 1 2 .ixh6 .i xg I 1 3 .ig5 li)c6
1 4 c2 'ii'd 8 1 5 'it'xd8+ li)xd8
16 ltxg I ltxg5 I 7 li)d2 ! .id7
( 1 7 ...Axe5'? 1 8 li)f3, and the rook
fal ls ) 1 8 li)f3 ltg4 1 9 g3. The
endgame is in White's favour.
..

..

The name of the White player can


be identified not by looking at what is
says on some caption - but by his
'handwriting' Of course it is Shirov
(in his game against Vallejo,
Ayamonte 2002). White has more
than sufficient compensation for the
queen, though it is all still very
unclear.
6) 5 .ie3 The most widely used
continuation. Keeping in mind that
the positional pluses in his pos ition
are clearly insufficient to claim a
serious advantage, White clings to the
extra pawn with all his might.
Black's reply is obvious - 5...d7 ,
since it flows directly out of the idea
of the whole 4 ...e6 variation. Black,
not afraid of the header e5-e6, carries
out a double attack on the white pawn
and prepares to comfortably establish
material equality.
But after 6 .ibS!? it becomes clear
that establishing material equality
will not be quite so easy! This is how
future events develop:
58

Advance Varia/ion: Eve1ything excepl 3 . Jl.f5


. .

6...'ii'c7 (or 6. ..Ci::J e7 7 lL!f3 'flc7


8 0-0lL!g6 9 b4 aS I 0 c3 i..e7 I I i..d4

0-0, Kurnosov - Kornev, Kazan


200 I , and here 1 2 .J:te I !? looks very
strong) 7 b4!?

The pawn wedge b4-cS is


extremely dangerous for Black. The
eS pawn makes it difficult for Black
to develop his pieces, while breaking
up this wedge is very complicated on 7 ... aS follows 8 c3. Even if he
wins back the pawn Black will lose
precious time without solving the
problems of his development:
7 ... 'ii'xe5 8 c3 'ii'c7 9 lL!fJ a6
10 i.. a4 lDf6 II 'ii'd 4! A programmed
move. White prevents the liberating
advance e6-eS, and likewise wants to
further cramp Black's position by
i..e 3-f4.
1 l ...lL!e4 12 lDbd2 bS 13 cb 'ii'xc3
14 0-0 'flxd4 1 5 i.. x d4 lL!xd2
16 lL!xd2 'itd8 17 lL!bJ i.. xb4 18 a3
On the retreat of the bishop follows
19 lL!aS, while on 1 8 ... eS possible is
1 9 i..xeS ! with an obvious advantage
(Belikov - Bets, Alushta 200 I ).
It is therefore not surprising that
Black will seek an alternative to
S ... lDd7 and finds it in the unexpected
5...lL!h6!?

Not particularly trying to bring the


knight to eS, Black concentrates his
forces in the struggle against the cS
pawn, for which he heads the knight
to fS. If White does not find a retort to
this he will fal l into an unpleasant
position, for example: 6 f4?! lDd7
7 i..bS 'liaS+ 8 lL!c3 a6 9 .ixd7+
i..xd7 I 0 lDe2 lL!f5 I I i.. f2 i.. xcS
1 2 0-0 llc8 1 3 1fd3 0-0 14 g4 lL!e7
I S lL!d4 lL!g6 1 6 lL!ce2 i..x d4
1 7 i..xd4 i..bS 1 8 ird I 'ii'a4 (Nimtz
Khenkin, Bad Wiessee 2000).
Practice has mainly centred around
two continuations: 6 lDf3 and 6 c3 .
a) 6 lD13 An elastic move: White
sets aside the question whether he
should advance the c pawn one or
two squares, 'until later'- depending
on what Black does. There is only
one defect of this move: it is possible
that 6 c3 is simply stronger!
B lack should decide on a route for
his horses. Three paths: 6 ... lDf5,
6 ...lL!c6 or 6 ... lDd7.
6...lL!f5 7 i..gS as+ (the game
Prasad - Prakash, M umbai 2000,
developed in a quite boring way for
Black: 7 ...'ii'c7 8 i..d 3 h6 9 i..d2
i..xcS I 0 0-0lL!c6 1 1 lL!c3 g6 1 2lL!bS
'ifd8 1 3 g4lL!h4 1 4 lDxh4 1fxh4, and
the rook will be no more: 1 S lL!c7+
59

Advance Variation: Everything except 3 .. /5


.

'ii e7 1 6 lbxa8) 8 c3 'ilxcS 9 d3 h6. 1 6 'ilhS+ <j;e7 1 7 'ilh4+ ). It is


All the signs are that it will be a long possible that objectively this was the
manoeuvring game with a slight right outcome but his particular
situation forced Khenkin to play for a
advantage for White.
6 lbc6 7 c3 ! lbf5 8 d4! White win : I S ...lL'lxeS 1 6 'ife2lL'lc4 t 7 lbd2.
forms a basis for the construction of Here, instead of continuing as in the
the whole variation, directed at the game by taking on h6, Black could
defence of the key cS pawn . Far retain the better chances by
weaker is 8 .i.f4?! xeS 9 .i.d3 lL'lh4 17 ... llc6!? 1 8 lL'lxc4 de 19 'ilhS+ g6
I 0 lL'lxh4 (an appalling and 20 'ifeS l1g8.
White is also not promised an easy
incomprehensible mistake was made
in the game Lutz - Dautov, Bad life by 7 .i.d3 lbg4! (no wonder he
Homberg 1 997: 1 0 lL'lbd2?? lL'lxg2+, overlooked such a move - we get
and White had to resign at once; but used to the fact that the knight only
even after the apparently better goes to fS) 8 .i.d4 lL'lxcS . But since
I 0 0-0 Black, in the opinion of White is already late with the
grandmaster Dautov, would develop construction 'bishop on d4 + pawns
a furious attack by I O lL'lxf3+ on c3, cS and eS ', he has nothing left
I I 'ilxf3 gS !? 12 .i.g3 hS 13 h3 g4! but to advance c2-c4. He needs only
1 4 hg 'ilgS etc.) 1 0 ... 'ilxh4 I I .i.g3 to decide: at once or a fter an
'ilh6!? 1 2 lbd2 0-0 1 3 0-0 aS 1 4lL'lf3 exchange on h6 .
.i.d7 IS lie I h8. Here, in the game
Glek - Dautov (Porto San Giorgio
1 997) a draw was agreed - perhaps
from a position of strength for Black.
8 ... .i.d7 !? (Glek points out that the
hasty 8 ... lbfxd4?! 9 cd b6 comes up
against 1 0 b4 ! ) We look at this
position below, under the following
order of moves: 6 c3 llJfS 7 .i.d4 .i.d7
8 lbf3 lbc6.
a 1 ) 7 c4 lL'l fS A very complicated,
6 lbd7!? Obviously, the strongest.
Black renews the threat against the cS uncertain position . Theory can swing
pawn . It is very important that now to either side in three continuations:
8 gS!? il.e7 9 .i.xe7 lL'l xe7
the rescue attempt 7 b4?! does not
work because of 7 . . . aS 8 c3 ab 9 cb 10 lbcJ ( I 0 b4 aS I I 'ifa4 0-0 1 2lL'lc3
b6. In the game Cabrera - Khenkin de 13 .i.xc4 lL'lc6) IO lL'lxcS 1 1 cd
(Cali 2000) White, seeing such ( I I b4 lL'ld7 1 2 cd ed 13 lbxdS
disorder, wanted to immediately lL'lxeS ! ) l l lbxd5 12 4Jxd5 'ifxd5
force a draw: 1 0 .i.bS be I I 0-0 cb 13 'ifxdS ed 14 llc l b6 1 5 lbd4 with
1 2 llJd4 .i.a6 1 3 lL'lxe6!? fe 14 .i.xa6 a somewhat better endgame for
llxa6 I S .i.xh6 (reckoning on I S ...gh White.
...

. .

...

...

60

Advance Variation: Everything except

3 . i.,[5
. .

8 b4 ltJxe3 9 fe aS 10 'ilra4 il.e7


II cd ed 12 lDc3 0-0 13 il.e2 (Acs

Seger, Pardubice 2002), and here


Black did not notice the simple blow
13 . . . ltJxe5 ! 1 4 ltJxe5 il. f6 with
advan tage.
8 cd ltJxeJ 9 fe il.xcS I0 de fe,
and again there is a choice of
replies:
II il.c4 0-0 12 0-0 (obviously, the
e6 pawn is like a free sample of
cheese in a mousetrap: 12 il.xe6+
Wh8 13 il.xd7 .i.xd7 14 ltJc3 il. xe3
1 5 'iVd3 'ifb6!) 1 2...ltJb6! 13 il.b3
ltJdS 14 il.xdS il.xe3+ IS Wh 1 ed
16 'ifb3 'iVb6 17 1i'xb6 (Kinderrnann
- Dautov, Germany 1 999). Here
Rustem Dautov, trusting his own
judgement, chose not 1 7 ... ab, but
17 . . . il.xb6! which led to an advantage
after 1 8 lDc3 il.. e6 19 ltJg5 lb fl +
20 lhfl l:te8 2 1 lDxe6 l:txe6
22 lDxd5 il.d4!
1 1 lDbd2 0-0 12 'ii b3 1t'b6 13 il.c4
il.xe3 14 il.xe6+ 'i!?h8 1S 'ii'xb6 ab
16 il.h3 l:le8 17 ltJc4 (or 17 .ixd7
il. xd7 1 8 ltJc4 il.. c 5) 1 7...ltJxeS
18 lDfxeS il.xh3 1 9 gh il. f4
(Charbonneau - Asrian , Bled 2002).
The board, as after a heavy battle, is
virtually a wasteland. Soon came a
lull, a draw.
For the present, one thing is certain :
the variation 7 c4 lDf5 is shaky
ground for White - even though he
remains with an extra pawn he is
more easily tied down than his
opponen t. And for Black, the
reference point is clear - the enemy
king, whereas White's game is very
hazy.
a2) 7 i.xh6 gh 8 c4
61

So, at least White has insured


himself against a hostile thrust by the
kn ight h6. True, the path of liberation
for the bishop ffi on the long diagonal
promises Black new possibilities of
counterplay.
8 dc 9 il.xc4 (9 ltJbd2!? Dautov)
9 ltJxcS
I f, in this variation, Black goes first
and foremost for reliable and solid
equality, he should literally copy the
play of Khen kin in his game against
Rabiega (Germany 2000): 9 ... ..tg7 ! ?
I 0 'iVe2 'ilc7 I I il..b5 0-0 1 2 il. xd7
il.xd7 13 0-0 'ilxc5 1 4 ltJc3 il.c6
1 5 ltJe4 'iib4 1 6 life I il. xe4, and at
once - a draw.
But if here Black gets the idea of
adventure into his head - then, of
course, he should try 9 ...ltJxc5. True,
even without this he has weakened
the gaping square f6, but he has also
removed the threat to the e5 pawn ...
Well what now? In return it is
interesting!
10 'iVe2 a6! ? Somehow B lack
uncomfortably rolled various ideas
into one ball in the game Markovic Svetushkin (Herceg Novi 200 I ):
I O ... .ig7?! I I 0-0 0-0 1 2 ltJc3 11e7
13 ltJe4 b5. White has achieved an
overwhelming advantage- one could

Adva11ce Variation: Everything except

3 JJ.f5
...

say Black fel l under the influence of


a move: 1 4 .i.xb5 ltJxe4 1 5 Wxe4
.i.b7 1 6 .i.c6 .i.xc6 1 7 'iVxc6 Wb4
1 8 b3 l:tfc8 1 9 Wa6 l:tc3 20 l:r.ac I etc.
But here the game Sutovsky Dautov (Essen 2000) proved to be a
no less interesting example:
1 1 b4?! ( I I 0-0!? b5 1 2 l:ld l 1Wc7
1 3 .i.d3 ltJxd3 1 4 llxd3 .i.b7 1 5 ltJc3
.i.g7 16 ltJe4 .i.xe4 17 1Wxe4 0-0
1 8 l:r.d6 w ith advantage - here and
later we refer to Dautov's notes)
l l ...ltJd7 1 2 aJ ( 1 2 0-0! ? i.xb4
1 3 bd2) 1 2 ... a5 (Black under
estimates the danger that lies in wait
for his king; more circumspect was
1 2 . . . ..tg7!? 1 3 0-0 b5 1 4 i.d3 .i.b7
15 .i.e4 .i.xe4 1 6 1Wxe4 0-0 1 7 ltJc3
l:tc8 w i th equality) 13 ltJcJ! ab
( 1 3 ... i.g7! 14 0-0 ab 1 5 ab ltxa l
1 6 l:txal 'iVe7) 1 4 e4 l:txaJ 1 5 l:td l
.i.e7 16 0-0 0-0 1 7 .i.bS Wc7

The position is so complicated that


even such strong grandmasters as
Sutovsky and Dautov do not find the
strongest continuation. The final
result depends not on who makes the
bigger mistake, but w ho makes the
last one.
So, in this position Sutovsky
missed the combination 1 8 .i.xd7
.i.xd7 1 9 ltJf6+ .i.xf6 20 ef h8

2 1 ltJe5 .i.e8 22 It.d7! (though


22 . . .Wa5 would leave Black w ith
some possibilities of defence). He
played 18 l:tct ? and after 1 8 Wb8
19 ltJgJ ltJcS ( 1 9...h 8!) 20 l:tfe l ?
(20 Wc4 !?) 20...It.d8 (20 . . .'ith8 ! )
21 Wc4 once and for all Dautov
missed the chance to quell the
activity of the white pieces by means
of 2 I ....i.d7. As a result the final
mistake was Black's...
b) 6 cJ!? The strongest contin
uation. White, w ithout further ado,
intends to consol idate his bishop on
the d4 square, and if it is exchanged
for the knight, to recapture w ith the
c3 pawn. Black, reconciling himelf to
the fact that the c5 paw n has still not
been regained, must strive for the
follow ing counterplay: exchange the
bishop on d4, undermine the c5 pawn
by means of b7-b6, then scatter the
pieces so that some of them attack the
d4 paw n and some the b2 pawn.
6...ltJf5 7 ..td4
,

..

7....i.d7!? This, quite frankly, not


most natural of moves has today
become the basic reply. Why is this
so?
Clearly 7 . . . ltJc6?! is weak in view
of 8 .i.b5 !, which returns us to th e
62

Advance Variation: Everything except

variations we looked at earlier. Nor


can Black be satisfied with 7 ...'fic7?!
8 d3 xeS 9 xeS 'fixeS 1 0 x fS
ef I I lLJ f3 l'Dc6 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 lLlbd2
(Boleslavsky's analysis). It is more
difficult to work out w hy Black turns
away from an immediate break on the
queen's flank: 7 . . .lLlxd4 8 cd b6.
There is the interesting check
9 .i.bS+!? In the game Nisipeanu Kachiani (Bad Wiessee 1 997) Black
did not succeed in obtaining visible
counterplay for the sacrificed pawn:
9 ...d7 10 xd7+ ...xd7 I I cb ab
1 2 lLle2! b4+ 1 3 lLlbc3 lLlc6 1 4 0-0
0-0 I S ...d3 f6 1 6 f4 etc.
Nevertheless the most resourceful
way is 9 b4 !? aS 1 0 bS+ d7
I I ...a4. After l l ... xbS 1 2 ...xbS+
'iVd7, White, in the game Arakhamia
- Kachiani (Groningen 1 997), did not
risk continuing w ith complications
and backed out w ith 1 3 'iVxd7+ d7
1 4 lLle2 ab, even to the point of
obtaining a slightly inferior game.
But h ere in the encounter Peng
X iaomin - Khenkin (Geneva 1 997)
White took risks: 13 'ifxb6!? lLlc6
14 bS lLlxd4 I S c6 ...a7 1 6 xa7
l:.xa7 1 7 a4 lLlc2+, but... not right up
to the end!

There followed 1 8 d2?! lLlxa 1


1 9 c3 gS 20 lLJ f3 g4 2 1 lLld4 .icS,
63

3 iLf5
...

and the rivals agreed a draw.


However, though analysis showed
that the endgame after 1 8 'it>e2!'?
l'Dxa 1 I 9 b6 .i.cS 20 ba .i.xa7, looks
virtually equal, in fact it is much
better for White! Here is an
approx imate example: 2 1 lLla3 lLlb3
22 lL!f3 <l;e7 23 llb 1 lL!cS 24 lLld4
b8 25 f4 ltc8 26 lLlabS lLlxa4
27 l:la 1 lLlb6 28 llxaS f6 29 lla6 fe
30 fe l'Dc4 3 1 l:ta8 with a w inning
position.
By the process of elimination we
have rejected all solid moves, apart
from 7 ...d7 !? I n th is way Black
prepares an ex it for h is knight on c6.
8 lLlf3 lLlc6 9 a3! White, in h is tum,
plays fi nely - show ing that by
threatening to play 9 b4, he provokes
Black into the weakening 9 ...aS.
In no way is 9 d3?! any good then Black would realise h is idea in
crystal-clear fash ion: 9 ...lLlfxd4 to cd
b6 ! Wh ite is forced to go over to
defence: I I 0-0 be 1 2 de .ixcS
1 3 lLlbd2 b6 1 4 a3 0-0 I S l:tc l f6
(Apicella - Fontaine, France 1 998)
There is more complicated play
after 9 ...d2 f6!, and it is worth Wh ite
making quite a bit of effort to get the
game back under h is control:
10 d3?! lLlfxd4 I I cd fe 1 2 lLlxeS
lLlx eS 1 3 de .ixcS 1 4 0-0 4! Black
takes over the initiative (Brizgalin Prizant, Neftekamsk 2000).
1 0 b4 aS! I I ef gf 1 2 b5 lLlcxd4
1 3 cd e5 !, and White, in the game
Nijboer - Glek (Groningen 1 997).
w as forced to al low the further
advance of the e paw n, since
unsatisfactory is 1 4 de .ixcS 1 5 lLlc3
( 1 5 'ii'xdS 'ifb6) I S . . .d4 1 6 lLldS fe

Advance Variation: Everything except 3... il,l5

1 7 c2 .i.e6 1 8 'iVxc5 l:lc8! 1 9 lLX7+


'it'xc7 20 'iVxc7 l:lxc7 2 1 lbxe5 l:lc5.
The initiative, as before, is in Black's
hands.
1 0 ef gf I I .i.e3 !? ( I I .i.b5 fle7
1 2 0-0 e5 1 3 l:te l o-o-o 14 b4 'ill g7
1 5 .i.e3 d4! 1 6 cd e4, and White is a
piece dow n, Smimov - Prizant,
Neftekamsk 2000) l l ... lr.g8 1 2 lba3
a6 J 3li:)c2 lbxe3 1 4 'ifxe3 fle7 1 5 b4
e5 1 6 0-0-0 llg6 1 7 'it'b I .i.h6
1 8 fle2 .i.e6 1 9 lbh4 l:tg5 20 g3.
White finally stabilised the situation
( lordachescu - Prakash, Calcutta
2000), but an improvement on
Black's play is at hand: 12 ...lbxe3 !?
(instead of 12 . . . a6) 13 'ilt'xe3 b6 !
1 4 cb .i.xa3 1 5 ba ab - again to his
advantage.
9 a5 I 0 .i.e2 From the preceding
discussion it has become clear why
he cannot play 1 0 .i.d3? Of course,
because of I O ...lbfxd4 I I cd b6!
But what must Black's decision
now be?
..

Let's examine, in order, four


continuations: I O ... lbfxd4 I I cd b6,
I O. . . g6, I O . . . f6, I O... a4.
b l ) IO lbfxd4 1 1 cd b6 Alas, in
the present situation the idea of a
break does not work. 1 2 cb 'ifxb6
13 lbc3! 'iVxb2 14 lbb5 llc8 15 0-0

There is every chance that Black's


queen w i ll not be returning home.
b2) I O g6 1 1 0-0 .i.g7 An
experimental continuation: Black is
simply left a paw n down and can only
place his hopes on the disharmony in
the arrangement of White's pieces.
Then, in the game Herrera Zvjaginsev (Linares 200 I ) there
followed:
1 2 a4! 0-0 13 .i.b5 No less logical
looks the transfer of the knight to b5,
although, in the opm1on of
grandmaster Zvjaginsev, in this case
Black has greater chances of a draw :
1 3 lba3 b6 1 4 cb lbfxd4 1 5 cd 1Vxb6
1 6 lbb5 lba7!
13....!Llfxd4 14 cd b6 15 cb 'ifxb6
1 6 lbbd2 ( 1 6 c!Llc3! '! llfd8 1 7 .Ua3
looks more energetic) 16 ... .Ufb8?! A
natural move, but, as pointed out by
Vadim Zvjaginsev, in fact it is a loss
of time. He should play 1 6....i.e8 !
1 7 lbb3 c!Lla7 1 8 .i.xe8 1:fxe8.
17 l:tcl .Ua7? (again preferable is
1 7 ... .i.e8! 1 8 lbb3c!Lla7) 18c!Llb3c!Lle7
19 .i.xd7 llxd7 20 c!Llc5 %la7 2 1 b3
Black's non-concrete play has led to
White putting right the co-ordination
of his pieces and preparing to realise
his extra pawn.
b3) 10...6!? In contrast to the
preceding variation this is an
interesting concrete idea. Its defect
could be considered the fact that the
opening of the centre has no bearing
at all on the immobility of the bishop,
and through this - Black's entire
king's flank. Consequently, Black
should be ready for the fact that the
opening of the game may rebound
against him.

64

Advance Variation: Everything except

3... iLj5

1 1 0-0 lbfxd4 1 2 ed fe 13 .i.bS! ed h opelessly weak c5 paw n is still


14 .i.xe6 be 1 5 'iVxd4 'irf6 16 'ireJ alive! He cannot take either with the
'iih6 17 'ireJ 'irf6 1 8 'iVe2 .i.e7 bishop (because of the threat on h7),
19 lbeJ 0-0 (wanting, of course, to or w ith the queen (as then the a4
play 1 9...e5 20 l:t fe l e4, but how to paw n comes under fire).
assess the position after the piece
This or some other consideration
sacrifice 2 1 lbx.e4! de 22 'iVx.e4 .i.f5 influenced the choice of grandmaster
23 'iic 4!?) 20 l:lae1 .i.e8 21 lbeS l:tb8 Speelman, as he parted with the a4
22 lba4 Black's play is worthy of paw n at once:
1S ....i.xeS!? 16 lbxa4 iJ.. a7 17 iJ.. e2
praise, but none the less he has still
not ach ieved full equality. (Kotronias 0-0 18 b4 f6!? Black's counterplay is
- Fontein, Cappelle le Grande 2002). pleasing to the eye. White deems it
b4) 10 a4!? The most logical. By righ t to simplify the position, and
breaking up the pawns on Wh ite's after 19 W'dJ g6 20 ef 'irxf6 21 lbeS
queen's flank, B lack creates a iJ.. xeS 22 be l:taS the chances of the
weakness for the opponent on b2. I t two sides are completely equal
remains only for h im t o prepare the (Kotronias - Speelman, Catalan Bay
break b7-b6 - and possibly have a 2003).
Despite more than ten years
trouble-free future.
practical
play at a h igh level, the
1 1 0-0 iJ.. e7 1 2 .i.dJ A typical form
variation
I
e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5!? is
of play in th is variation: t 2liJbd2 b6!
13 b4 ab 1 4 lbx.b3 0-0 1 5 'ifd3 lba5 still extraordinarily young. Every
1 6 lbx.a5 l:lx.a5 1 7 cb, draw (N unn - now and then the individual branches
intersect one another; accurate move
Speelman, Birmingham 200 I ).
orders,
sometimes perfectly subtle,
12 lbfxd4 13 ed b6 14 lbcJ be
sometimes
progressively digging a
15 de.
forced 'tunnel' which a decade
ago nobody would have even
contemplated.
The surge of interest in 3 . . . c5!? was
perhaps not linked directly to its
strength , but served only as a
mirrored reflection of the state of
affairs in the variation 3 ... iJ..f5 . Just
w hen Wh ite found new crush ing
ideas in reply to 3 ... iJ.. f5 - on the spot
Black turned his attention to 3 ... c5.
A critical position.
And, on the other hand, if th e
In the game Kovchan - Belikov variation 3 ... iJ.. f5 was 'in order', if
(Aiushta 200 I ) Black acted in Black felt comfortable with it classical fash ion: 15 . . .'ifa 5 16 l:tcJ interest in 3 . . . c5 died aw ay all by
0-0 1 7 .i.c2 lbb8, but after 1 8 h4! he itself, even if objectively there were
began to feel a certain discomfort: the no grounds for th is.
..

65

Advance Variation: Everything except

3. . iJ..f5
.

Index to Chapter Two


1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5
3 ... tl:la6

33
33

3 ... c5
I. 4 c3
II. 4 tl:l f3
4 ... tl:lc6
A. 5 c4
B. 5 iJ..bS
1) 5 ....ig4
2) s ... cd
III. 4 de
A. 4 ...tl:lc6
1) 5 tl:l f3
2) 5 .if4
3) 5 .ibS
5 ... e6
a) 6 b4
b) 6 'iVg4
b l) 6 ...'ifa5+
b2) 6 ...h5
b3) 6 ... tl:le7
b4) 6... .id7
c) 6 .ie3
B. 4 ...e6

35
35
37

1) 5 c4
2) 5 tl:lc3
3) 5 tl:l f3
5 ... iJ..x c5 6 iJ..d3 tl:lc6 7 0-0
a) 7 ...tl:lge7
b) 7 ... f6
4) 5 iJ.. f4
5) 5 'ifg4
5 . . .h5
a) 6 .ib5+
b) 6 'ifg3
c) 6 'iff4
6) 5 .ie3
5 ...tl:lh6
a) 6 tl:l f3
6 ...tl:ld7
at) 7 c4
a2) 7 .ixh6 gh 8 c4
b) 6 c3
6 ... tl:l f5 7 .id4 .id7 8 tl:l f3
tl:lc6 9 a3 aS I 0 .ie2
b l) IO ... lDfxd4 I I cd b6
b2) I O. . g6
b3) I O. . . f6
b4) I O . . . a4

37
38
38
40
41
42
42
43
45
45
46
46
46
47
47
48
51

66

51
51
51
52
54
55
56
57
57
58
58
59
60
61
62

64
64

64
65

Chapter Three
Advance Variation:
Everything except 4 ttJc3
and 4 ttJt3
I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS .irs

The so-called Closed System. Our


account of the material is laid out in
three parts. Chapter Three contains an
analysis of the moves 4 .id3 (1),
4 lbe2 ( II), 4 lbd2 (III), 4 .ie3 (IV),
4 c3 (V), 4 c4 (VI), 4 g4 (VII), 4 h4
(VIII). In Chapter Four are examined
sharp variations associated w i th
4 lbc3. And, finally, in Chapter Five
is given an analysis of 4 lbtJ .

reliable plan of play for B lack,


connected with the transfer of the
queen to a6 ('ifd8-a5-a6 or 'ifd8-b6a6) w ith future control over the light
squares. It has been shown that Wh ite
has noth ing to counter th is plan;
moreover very often it is Black who
seizes the initiative.
Many will recall the victories in
th is variation gained by Ni mzo
w itsch and Capablanca; Tartakower
over Nimzow itsch , and the game
Nimzow itsch-Capablanca (New York
1 927) which to the present day has
served as a model of positional play
for Black. Nowadays the move
4 .id3 is not fash ionable.
4 .ixd3 5 'ifxd3 e6 White has a
great but not too promising choice.
.

6 f4?! is extremely dubious in view


of 6 'ifa5 + 7 c3 'iVa6! (on 7 .id2
would follow the same move) 8 'ifd l
I
(transposing to a n endgame that is
4 .id3
favourable for Black) 8 c5 9 lbe2
Historically, the move 4 .id3 was lbc6 I 0 .ieJ cd II cd lbge7 12 0-0
the first to have been tried in practice. liJfS 13 .if2 hS 1 4 lbbc3 .ie7 w ith
However the investigations of an excellent position (Wachweger Nimzow itsch led to the discovery of a Sch mitzer, Bergen 1 997).
...

...

67

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lpf3


8

6 lbtJ 'iVaS+ (the most principled,


but also fully acceptable is 6 ...c5 !?,
since after 7 de tt:'ld7!? White will not
succeed in holding on to his extra
pawn: 8 b4 aS 9 c3 ab 10 cb b6) 7 c3
'ii'a 6! 8 'it'xa6 tt:'l xa6 9 .teJ tt:'le7 10
lDbd2 tt:'lrs 1 1 o-o h S! 12 .tgs .te7
13 b4 f6! 14 i.. f4 17 I S llfel lDb8!
(the knight transfers to defence of the
e6 pawn) 16 l:le2 tt:'ld7 17 .U.ael tt:'lrs
18 hJ aS (seizing the a-file) 19 a3 ab
20 ab lla3 Black has an undoubted
advantage in this endgame (Sanyar Podgaets, Bali 2000).
c

6 tt:'lcJ

This move (just like 6 tt:'le2) allows


White to avoid an exchange of
queens: 6 . . .'it'b6 7 tt:'lge2 'iVa6 8 'iVh3 !
Therefore Black's counterplay, as in
the preceding examples, is to a large
ex tent directed towards the break
c6-c5.
Simplest is 6 . . . c5!? 7 de lDc6
8 lDge2 (or 8 tt:'l f3 .txc5 9 0-0 a6
I 0 .tf4 tt:'lge7 I I .U.ad I 0-0 1 2 a3 llc8
with full and comfortable equality,
Degraeve - Izeta, Cappelle le Grande
1 998) 8... i..x cS 9 0-0 tt:'lxeS 1 0 'ifbS+
lDd7 I I 'l'xb7 'iVc8 1 2 Wbs tl'Jgf6
68

1 3 a3 0-0 1 4 'iVd3 .i.d6. If only we


could always have such a position out
of the opening! (Basman - Podgaets,
Dresden 1 969).
However if Black is in the mood for
a more complicated game he has the
right to postpone the break c6-c5
'until later' But in this case he
should take some care, otherwise
White's advantage might inadvertent
ly disintegrate.
Thus, in the classic game
Nimzowitsch-Capablanca (New York
1 927) was played 6 ...'it'b6 7 tt:'lge2 cS
8 de .i.xc5 9 0-0 (present-day
grandmasters would hardly miss the
opportunity to ' turn around' the
position by 9 'iWg3 !? lDe7 10 'iWxg7
.tx f2+ I I ft .U.g8 1 2 '1Vxh7, though
the complications might result in
Black's favour: 1 2 ... -'ld4 1 3 lDxd4
'iWxd4 1 4 'iWhs lDfS 1 5 'ii'e2 l:lh8
1 6 'Wf2 lbd7) 9 ...lDe7 1 0 tt:'la4 'ii'c6
I I lDxcS 'iVxcS 1 2 .te3 'ii'c7 1 3 f4
lDfS

Everybody knows what happened


next: Nimzowitsch chose the passive
1 4 c3 and was outplayed in brilliant
style by Capablanca. Meanwhile, as
was pointed out by Alekhine at the
time, the position is in White's
favour! It is necessary to play more

Advance Variation: Eve1ything except 4 ll.k3 and 4 /:Q/3


actively: 1 4 .Uac I lL!c6 1 5 t2 h 5
1 6 c4! d e 1 7 'ilfxc4 0-0 1 8 llfd l , and
who knows how it will all end ...
Vasily Ivanch uk's treatment is
worth looking at: 6 ...lL!e7 7 lL!ge2
lL!d7 8 0-0 a6!? 9 lL!d I c5 l 0 c3 l::tc 8
I I lL!e3 h5 12 il.d2 g6 l 3 h3 'iib6
14 b3 lL!c6 1 5 .Uac l cd 16 cd 'ilb5 !
1 7 1rxb5 ab. Black also got in c6-c5
and exchanged queens (Hellers lvanchuk, Biel 1 989).
However the most frequently seen
order of moves in our time has
surprisingly become the following:
6 'ilfb6 7 lL!ge2 lL!e7 8 0-0 lL!d7
9 a4!? Extraordinari ly interesting is
also the possibility 9 b4!?, found by
the Hungarian Peter Acs. True, th is
move has not won fame: 9 . . . .h 5
I 0 lib l lL!f5 I I g5 e7 1 2 xe7
Wxe7 1 3 b5 l:thc8 l 4 lL!d l cb 1 5 lL!e3
g6 1 6 lL!x f5+ gf 1 7 .Ux b5 ..,a6, and
Black is not worse (Acs - Sargissian,
Athens 2001 ). But nobody before
hand had hit on the radical break
c7-c5.
9 cS!? 10 aS (weaker is 1 0 de
lL!xc5 I I 'ilfh 3 lL!c6 1 2 lie I lL!d7
13 'ilfg3 g6 1 4 a5 Wa6 1 5 g5 g7,
Kapnisis - Izoria, Athens 200 l )
1 0 1ra6 1 1 1i'h3 lL! c6 12 e3 cd
13 lL! xd4 lL!xd4 14 xd4 1i'c6
IS 'iVgJ g6 16 'iVeJ a6 17 lL!a4 e7

...

Black's position is quite solid but


no more than that (Berg - Sargissian,
Athens 200 I ).
The conclusion is clear: the simpler
Black reacts to 6 lL!c3, the better it is
for him!

6 lL!e2!? A ruse of war: White


prepares castling and also in good
time closes dow n the a6-fl diagonal
to the black queen. Possibly, Black
should in general refrain from
th e manoeuvre 'ilfd8-a5-a6. Quite
acceptable, for example, is 6 . . .c5!?
7 c3 lL!c6 8 0-0 h 5 9 lL!d2 lL!h6
I 0 lL!f3 lLlf5 I I lL!g3 lL!h4 1 2 lL!xh4
'iVxh4 1 3 f4 g6 1 4 'ilb5 'ilfe7
(Raudsepp - Podgaets, Riga 1 968).
6...'iVaS+ 7 lL!bcJ! 'ilfa6 8 'ilfhJ!
The superiority of Wh ite's position
should not be overstated. Soon h is
advantage will bear a psychological
character: he foresees the enemy
plan ('ii'd 8-a5-a6) and renders it
harmless. Black should simply gather
his forces- h is position is still not too
bad.
8 lL!d7 In the game Holmsten Dreev (Ubeda 1 999) Black easily got
away from the obtrusive guardian of
the wh ite pieces and pawns by means
of 8 . . .lL!e7: 9 e3 lL!d7 1 0 f4 g6
I I g4?! h5! 1 2 lL!g3 c5 l 3 f5 cd
1 4 xd4 h6 1 5 fg fg 1 6 gh 0-0-0 !
etc.
9 0-0 c5?! Playing w ith fire: in the
presence of queens and w i th an
incomplete development, opening the
game could be dangerous: Sometimes
it can work out, sometimes not:
...

69

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lbj3


(Wijk aan Zee 1 995), in which Black,
judging that the move 7 ...'iVa6 only
urged on the white queen to the handy
outpost h3, rejected this plan:
7 ...&i:Je7 8 0-0 &i:Jd7!? 9 a4! c5
10 .i.d2

10 .i.e3!? &i:Je7 1 1 de &i:Je6 1 2 a3!


(we have already met this method and
we will again come across it from
time to time - White consolidates the
c5 pawn, preferring to give up the one
on e5) 12 lLlexeS 13 b4 'ii'e4 14 f4
&i:Je6 1 5 llad1 lLlf6 1 6 fS eS 17 .i.gS
d4 1 8 .i.xf6! de 19 .ixg7! .i.xg7
20 f6 .ixf6 (more tenacious but still
not saving him is 20... ..th6 2 1 'iVd7+
Wf8 22 'iVxb7 lle8 23 llfe l .i.e3+
24 h I lbd4 25 &i:Jxd4 ed 26 c6, and
after the pawn gets to the 7h rank, the
blow lbd4! will be decisive)
21 llxf6 winning (Sax - Arlandi,
Baden 1 999).
10 a4!? (with the idea of securing
an outpost for h is knight on b5 should
the occasion arise) 10 .'iVe6 I I ..teJ
a6 1 2 de .i.xeS 1 3 'iVgJ lLle7 (Black
sacrifices a pawn, striv ing to obtain
counterplay along the open g and h
files) 1 4 ..txeS 'iVxeS I S 'iVxg7 llg8
1 6 'ifxh7 lLlxeS 1 7 'iVhS &i:J7g6
18 lLlgJ 0-0-0 19 'iVgS llh8 20 .J::t ae1
It seems that th ings have settled down
(Kotronias - S.-B. Hansen, Gausdal
1 990); after 20 ...&i:Jd7 Black has
obv ious compensation for the
sacrificed pawn.
We want to conclude our discussion
of 6 lLle2 'ii'a 5+ 7 &i:Jbc3 with the
game van der Werf - Khalifman

I O . .'iVd8 !? I I .i.g5 a6 1 2 f4 g6
1 3 lLlg3 'iVc7 14 f5 cd 1 5 fe fe
1 6 'iVxd4 'iVc5 ! Khalifman's reward
was a better endgame.
One thing is unclear: if it is possible
to reckon on an advantage, by
randomly losing two tempi ('iVd8-a5d8), then is it not better to start
directly with 6 ...c5!?
.

II

4 lDe2

Not such a harmless continuation


as seems at first sight. It has been
played with success by world
champions Tal and Spassky and
pretender to this title Bronstein. Even
70

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 liJc3 and 4 liJj3


today the move 4liJe2 is met now and
th en in the games of strong
grandmasters.
4 ... e6 Now p lay divides up
depending on how Wh ite intends to
pursue the enemy bishop: 5 lbf4
(with the threat of 6 g4 .i.e4 7 f3 .i.g6
8 h4) or 5 liJg3 .i.g6 6 h4.

17 'it'd l g8 18 :te l 'iPh7 19 g3


l'.thb8 20 1Wd3, and all the same Black
h as to weaken his king's flank:
20 ...h 5 (Rabiega - Bareev, Frankfurt
2000).
1 2 l'.t b 1 ( Morozevich - Leko,
Frankfurt 1 999).

5 liJ f4 For a long time Black


automatically replied to this with
5 c5, and, overcoming some
inconvenience associated with the
h unting of his bishop, usually
achieved a good position:
6 g4!? Of course it is possible to
re frain from th is venture: 6 de .i.xc5,
In th is position, as righ tly
but then the manoeuvre liJg l -e2-f4
mentioned by grandmaster Lukacs,
loses all purpose.
worthy of consideration is 1 2 ...b5 !?
6 .i.e4 7 13 'ifh4+ 8 'it>e2 .i.g6 9 cJ
13 a4 a6 14 .i.a3 lbb6 15 ab cb with
lbc6 10 .i.e3 'ifd8 1 1 f2 lbge7
a good game for Black.
12 .i. b5 ( 1 2 .i.d3 'ifb6! ?) 12 'ifb6
It appears th at on 5liJ f4 there are at
13 'ifbJ c4 The position is slowly
a minimum three worthy repl ies:
defined in Black's favour (Kobese
5 . . .c5, 5 . . .lbe7 ! ? and 5 ...h6.
Karpov, Cap d' Agde 1 998).
But in the very latest times another
8
idea has emerged, proving its worth :
5 lbgJ The bas ic reply is 5....i.g6.
5 liJe7!? 6 g4 (6 h4 h6) 6 .i.e4
More
rarely encountered is the idea
7 tJ i.g6 8 h4 h5 9 c4 de 10 liJcJ hg
of
the
Hungarian grandmaster Barcza
11 fg .i.h7 12 .i.:xc4 liJd7 13 .i.eJ
5
...
liJe7,
but it is also sufficiently
lbb6 14 .i.bJ liJed5 15 'iftJ 'ifd7
And everything is in order for Black reliable:
6 .i.d3 .i.xd3 7 xd3 'iVa5+! (the
(Ch epuka itis - Devyatkin, St.
manoeuvre
'iVd8-a5-a6 again works
Petersburg 2003);
without
a
h
itch)
8 c3 'iVa6! 9 'it'xa6
5...h6!? Of course not so active as
5 . . . c5, but a very solid, reliable move. liJ xa6 1 0 .i.e3liJ f5 I I liJxf5 efwith at
6 .i.dJ lbe7!? 7 0-0 liJd7 8 lbaJ least an equal endgame (Simagin .t:xd3 9 'iV:xdJ liJf5 10 c3 .i.:xaJ Gufeld, Moscow 1 96 1 );
6 h4 h6 7 liJc3 liJd7 8 .i.e3 .i.h 7
1 1 ba h5! Securing an outpost on f5
for th e knight. Less attractive is 9 i.d3 .i.xd3 1 0 cd h 5 ! I I liJce2 Th is
l l . . .'iVe7 1 2 l'.tb l b5 13 '1Vf3 g6 is how one of the games continued in
14 lbd3 lbb6 1 5 liJc5 a6 1 6 a4 f8 the world championsh ip match Tal ...

...

..

..

..

71

Advance Variation: Eve1ything except 4 iDcJ and 4 lDj3


Botv innik (Moscow 1 96 1 ). I n this
position, instead of the logical
l l . . .g6,
grandmaster
Pachman
suggested l l ... lDg6 ! ? as a more
active way of conducting the game.
But returning to 5 ....i.g6 ...

7 hS .i. h7 8 .i.d3 .i.xd3 9 cd !?

First encountered in the game Van


den Bosch - Opocensky (Prague
1 93 1 ). White's plan is revealed if the
opponent should want to undermine
the centre by c6-c5. Then, by
exchanging pawns, White again
consolidates his pawn bastion anew
by d3-d4.
9 'ii'x d3 is not considered
dangerous, but, as shown by analysis,
even in this case it is necessary for
Black to play accurately, otherwise he
risks falling into the worse position.
It is possible to recommend the
following variation: 9 ...c5 !? I 0 c3
( t o de lDd7) 1 0...1Wb6 I I 0-0 lDc6
1 2 lld l (on 12 de he should give
preference to the intermediate
1 2 .. .'tlt'c7 ! 1 3 f4 .i.xc5+ with equality
- analysis by Pachman) 1 2 ...0-0-0!?
(it is not so simple to equalise the
game after 1 2 ...1lc8 1 3 lDa3 cd 1 4 cd
.i.xa3 1 5 'tlt'xa3 ! , and all because
1 5 . . .iDxd4 leads to a perceptibly
worse endgame after 16 .i.e3 iDc2
1 7 .i.xb6 iDxa3 1 8 .i.xa7 ! ? lDc4
1 9 .i.d4 lDe7 20 llac l d7 2 1 b3)
1 3 h I ? (stronger, of course, is 1 3 b3
'iii>b8 14 .i.c3 llc8 with chances for
both sides) 1 3 . . . lDge7 1 4 b3 g6
1 5 .i.a3 iDf5 . Black happily solves all

6 h4 The main continuation. There


is no advantage in 6 c4 lDe7 7 lDc3 de
8 .i.xc4 lt)f5 9 iDxf5 .i.xf5 t o 0-0
because of 1 0....i.g6! In good time
Black moves away his bishop,
thereby avoiding the pawn attack on
the king's flank. If White tries to
carry out this plan by 1 1 f4, Black
succeeds in putting the brakes on the
advance of the white pawns: l l . . . h5 !
1 2 .i.e3 iDd7 1 3 'Wf3 lDb6 1 4 .i.b3
'Wd7 1 5 llad 1 .t f5 1 6 h3 h4!
(Gergens - Kreizkamp, Germany
1 994).
Further play develops according to
how much confidence Black has in
his forces. He could save the bishop
g6 by the reliable but rather passive
6 ... h6. But he could also possibly try
to thrust counterplay on his opponent
at once by 6 ...h5 !?
1) 6...h6 The defect of this move
lies in the fact that it allows a fixing
of the black kingside pawns. As a
consequence this might lead to a
di fficult endgame for him.
72

Advance Variation: Eve1ything except 4 lbc3 and 4 ib.P


h is
problems
(Sobolevsky
Vladimirov, Bamaul 1 988).
9...'iVb6!? The most principled
reply. after wh ich White must
sacrifice a pawn in order to develop
an initiative. Otherwise, as shown by
practice, Black has a satisfactory
game:
9 ...lbe7 1 0 lbc3 lba6 I I 0-0 'iVd7
1 2 lbce2 ibf5 (Matulov ic - Pachman,
Sarajevo 1 96 1 ). furthermore, in
order to figh t for an advantage,
Pachman suggested that White tum
his attention to the puzzling move
1 3 lbh I ! ? with a sample variation
going 1 3 ... c5 1 4 de xeS 1 5 d4 b6
1 6 g4 lbe7 1 7 lbhg3 0-0-0 1 8 f4 f6.
By avoiding exchanges, the sides are
all ready in nervous anticipation for
hand to hand fighting.
9 ... lbd7 10 lbc3 c5 !? 1 1 de lbxe5
1 2 d4 lbc6 1 3 b4 ibf6 ( 1 3 ...lbxb4?! is
too hasty in view of 1 4 l:tb l 'iVa5
1 5 d2 lbd3+ 1 6 fl 'iVa6 1 7 lbb5
with a great advantage for Wh ite)
1 4 b5 lba5 1 5 0-0 e7 1 6 1Wd3 0-0
l 7 lbd l a6 1 8 ba .:xa6 l 9 l:tb l 'ifd7
20 lbc3 lbc4. In the forthcoming
struggle Black's chances are perhaps
stil l a bit better (Matanov ic - Donner,
Bled 1 96 1 ).

1 0 c3!? Th is interesting, but


dubious pawn sacri fice was first
played by Tseshkovsky in a game
with one of the authors of this book.
Inferior is 1 0 'it'g4 because of the
strong reply 1 0 ...1Wb5 ! I I 0-0 'iVxd3
1 2 e3 lbd7 1 3 lbc3 lbe7 1 4 l:tad l
'it'h7 1 5 f4 g6! with a great advantage
(Loanzon - Adianto, Manila 1 995).
10...1Wxb2! The most principled.
However it is quite possible to wait a
l ittle with the capture on b2:
I O .ibd7 !? I I 0-0 lbe7 1 2 ibc3 'ifxb2
1 3 .:c l 'iVa3 1 4 'ifg4 'iVa6 1 5 llb l b6
1 6 llb3 l:tg8 1 7 lie l (Tseshkovsky Podgaets, Lvov 1 973). A fter th e
logical 1 7 . . .g6!? it is not quite clear
how White continues the attack.
I I ibd2 'it'cJ! ? 12 llb l 1Wxd3
13 llxb7 'iVa6 1 4 l:tb3 ibd7 15 'it'g4
llb8 16 llxb8+ lDxb8 17 lbe2 lbe7
18 0-0 lDd7 1 9 lDg3 cS
..

Black has come out of the first


wave of complications with honour.
If he overcomes the second just as
confidently then he will be left with a
healthy extra pawn (Kotan - Stajcic,
Topolchanki 1 994).
2) 6 h5!? Objectively the strong
est (compared to 6 ...h6) move. In not
one of the main variations has Wh ite
yet succeeded in justifying his claim
for even a minimal advantage.
..

73

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lbj3


a) 7 ..ie2 cS 8 c3 Other moves by
White also do not present any danger.
On the other hand, more often it is
Black who succeeds in taking the
initiative:
8 .i.xh5?! ..ixh5 9 lb xh5 g6
I 0 ..ig5 ..ie7 I I ..txe7 1Wxe7 1 2 lbg3
lbh4 (Brzoszka - Veresov, Polanica
Zdroj 1 958);
8 lbxh5?! .i.xh5 9 .i.xh5 g6 10 .to
llxh4 1 1 llxh4 1Wxh4 1 2 c4 lbc6
1 3 cd 'iih I + 1 4 e2 lbxd4+ (Hecht Hort, Kecskemet 1 964);
8 de?! ..txc5 9 lbd2 1Wb6!? (also
acceptable is 9 ... lbc6 1 0 tt:)b3 .i.b6
I I ..txh5 tt:)xe5 1 2 ..txg6 tt:)xg6 1 3
..ig5 'iVd6 1 4 'ife2 'i'e5 1 5 'ii'xe5
tt:)xe5, Bronstein - Botvinnik, USSR
1 966) I 0 0-0 tt:)c6 I I tt:)O tt:)h6
1 2 ..ixh6 D.xh6 1 3 ..id3 0-0-0
1 4 ..ixg6 llxg6 1 5 lb xh5 'ifb4 !
(Malada - Eperjesi, Budapest 2000);
8 ..ig5?! ..te7 9 ..ixe7 tt:)xe7 1 0 c3
'ifb6 1 1 ..ixh5? 1Wxb2 1 2 ..ixg6 tt:)xg6
1 3 h5 'ifxa I 1 4 1Wb3 tt:)e7 1 5 0-0 cd
1 6 'iix b7 de ( Kovalev - Adams,
Tilburg 1 992).
8...tt:)c6 9 .i. e3 The idea of the
Czech grandmaster Filip. In reply to
9 tt:)xh5 Black can rightly choose
between 9 . . . cd 1 0 cd ..ixb l ! ?
I I lbb l g6 1 2 lb f4 llxh4 1 3 0-0
tt:)ge7 1 4 g4 .i.h6 1 5 ..te3 'ifb6
1 6 tt:)g2 ..ixe3 ! 1 7 fe (it is highly
dangerous to accept the exchange
sacrifice: 1 7 tt:)xh4 ..txd4 1 8 tt:)O
..ixe5 1 9 lbxe5 lb xe5 etc.) 1 7 ...l:th7
1 8 b4 0-0-0 1 9 'iVc2 Wb8 20 'iVc5
tt:)c8 (Ricardi - Bologan, Buenos
Aires 2000) and 9 ... ..txh5!? 1 0 .i.xh5
g6 I I .to .U.xh4 1 2 lhh4 'iixh4
1 3 g4 0-0-0 1 4 .i. f4 .i.h6 1 5 1id2 f6

1 6 ef ..ixf4 1 7 1ixf4 tt:)xf6 18 de e5


(Espig - Vadasz, Tmava 1 979). In
both cases Black's game clearly
deserves the preference.
9 ... 'ifb6! 10 de. It all comes down
to the fact that in the future White
will not be able to maintain the
centre: I 0 1id2?? cd I I cd .i.xb I
1 2 llxb I ..ib4. But after 1 0 1Wb3 c4!
1 1 1Wxb6 ab Black manages, with
advantage to himself, to rid himself
of the doubled pawns: 1 2 tt:)d2 b5
1 3 f4 tt:)h6 1 4 ..tt2 b4 (M ieles Palau Moreno, Quito 1 999).
1 0...1Wxb2 1 1 0-0 0-0-0 1 2 'ifb3
1Wxb3 13 ab a6

Agreed a draw (Spassky Dj indjihashvi li,


Ti lburg
1 978),
though, by rights, Black does not risk
much by continuing to play for a win.
b) 7 ..id3!? As in the variation
6 . . . h 5 ! ? White plays this most
frequently even if without particular
success.
7.....txd3 8 cd (on 8 1Wxd3 comes
the standard 8 ...'ifa5+ 9 c3 1Wa6)
8 ... 'ifb6 It is worth giv ing some
attention to 8 . . . g6 !? In this variation
the Hungarian grandmaster Barcza
deserves the most flattering words.
This is how he outplayed his less
skil led opponent in a positional
stmggle:
74

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lt!c3 and 4 tq{3


Vasilchuk in a game against Shatkes
(Moscow 1 96 1 ).

9 lt\d2 .tb4 ! Not an obv ious


decision. It would seem that once
Black has weakened his dark squares
it is unfavourable for him to
exchange the bishop. However he
reckons on the fact that White will be
tied to the defence of the d4 pawn.
I 0 a3 .txd2+ I I .txd2 'iVb6
1 2 .tc3 a5 1 3 b3 ltld7 14 l:tc I ltlh6
1 5 l:th3 ltlf5 ! 1 6 ltle2. Of course, it is
unfavourable for White to exchange:
after 1 6 ltlxf5 ef Black transfers
the knight to e6 and obtains a
strategically winning position.
1 6 ...ffi 1 7 'it>fl g7 1 8 Wg I 'ti'd8
1 9 g3 b6 and Black has decidedly the
better prospects (Sikora - Barcza,
Decin 1 977).
9 ltle2 ltle7 10 ltld2 ltlf5 l l ltlfJ cS
12 de .txc5 13 d4 .te7 14 .tgs

White transferred the knight to b3


in order to prevent c6-c5. All v ery
well but what does the knight b3 do if
Black declines to break in the centre?
Practically nothing. Therefore Black
should show flexibility in the
variation 4 ltld2 and then di fficulties
will pass him by.
4 ... e6 At the highest level 4 . . . h6
5 ltlb3 e6 has been tried, and then:
6 c3 ltld7 7 .te3 ltle7 8 f4 h5 9 ltlf3
h4 1 0 .te2 .tg4 I I 0-0 ltlf5 1 2 .tf2
.te7 1 3 lt\bd2 c5 1 4 h3 .th5 1 5 .td3
.tg6 with equality (Anand - Karpov,
Bastia 2002);
6 ltln lt\d7 7 .te2 ltle7 8 0-0 .th7
9 c3 l:tc8 I 0 .td2 ltlg6 I I .ie3 .te7
In this position Black, in the game 1 2 ltle l c5 1 3 f4 0-0 1 4 ltlf3 c4
Spassky - Adams (Cannes 1 989), 1 5 ltlc I b5 1 6 'iVd2 a5 I 7 .td I f5
preferred not to alter the pawn 1 8 ltle2 b4 1 9 h3 1:tb8 20 g4
structure and announced check on b4. (Kasparov - Vallejo, Linares 2003). It
Meanwhile after 14 ... f6 !? 1 5 ef gf is impossible to predict whose attack
1 6 i.d2 ltlc6 1 7 .tc3 .td6 he could - White's on the king's flank or
reckon on nothing more than simple Black's on the queen's - will develop
quicker.
solid equality.
5 ltlbJ lt\d7 6 ltlfJ Now and then
White has taken excessive measures
Ill
against c6-c5: 6 .te3 . Without
4 ltld2
This continuation was introduced particular success: Black will carry
into practice by the Moscow master out c6-c5 in some way or another,
75

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 li:\c3 and 4 li:\j3


while no way can the white pieces
establish harmonious ccordination
with one another:
6 ... a6 7 f4 l:tc8 8 li:lf3 c5 9 de li:lxc5
1 0 c3 li:la4 I I 'ifd2 li:le7 1 2 e2 lLib6
1 3 li:laS fie? 1 4 0-0 J.g4 1 5 li:ld4
xe2 1 6 ...xe2 lbc4 1 7 lbxc4 ...xc4
1 8 'it'f2 'ifd3 (Short - Dreev,
Hyderabad 2002), or
6 ...lLlb6 7 lLlf3 lLlc4 8 l:tb l .i.b4+
9 ll'lbd2 li:le7 I 0 d3 0-0 I I 0-0
lLlxe3 1 2 fe c5 1 3 x5 lLlx5 1 4 ...e2
cd 1 5 ed e7 (Short - Macieja, Bled
2002). Even such a strong player as
grandmaster Short did not manage to
prove the advantage of 6 e3 in
comparison to the usual 6 lLlf3.
A fter 6 ltlf3 Black might,
according to his taste, choose one of
roughly equal value continuations:

6...ltle7 7 e2 Now premature is


7 c5?! 8 li:lxc5 lLlxc5 9 de lLlc6.
After I 0 i.e3 i.g4 I I 0-0 i.xf3
1 2 i.xf3 ll'lxe5 1 3 i.d4 lLlc6. White
has available the powerful resource:
14 c4! (Fries-Nilsson - Rasmussen,
Denmark 200 1 ). The centre is opened
and the light-squared bishop starts to
exert unpleasant pressure on Black's
queen 's flank.
Worth considering is a new idea for
the present type of position dev ised

by Slovakian grandmaster Stohl :


7 f6! ? Black begins the struggle not
against the d4 pawn, as usually
happens, but against the pawn on e5 !
In the game Groszpeter - Stohl
(Austria 2000) White did not succeed
in placing in doubt this original plan:
8 ef gf 9 i.f4 lLlg6 10 i.g3 i.e?
1 1 lLlh4 lLlxh4 1 2 i.xh4 'ilc7 1 3 g3
d6 14 i.d3 i.xd3 1 5 'ilxd3 0-0-0
1 6 0-0-0 Draw.
Finally, it is worth remembering
the recommendation of Dautov :
7...lLlg6!? 8 0-0 h5. As far as we arc
aware, it has still not been tested in
grandmaster practice.
A highly interesting setup was
demonstrated by Black in the
following game: 6 .te7!? 7 i.e2
h5!? 8 h3 lLlh6 9 i.e3 h4 10 'ild2
i.g6 1 1 0-o lLlrs 12 r4 i. hs

..

With some connivance from the


opponent all Black's minor pieces
have achieved good positions and are
ready to take an active part in the
game (Medved - A.Vajda, Budapest
200 1 ).
6 ... a6 In this way, Black, by
averting a check on b5, prepares the
liberating c6-c5.
7 e2 c5 8 de lLle7 9 0-0 lbc6
10 lLlbd4 (Zvjaginsev - Sargissian,

..

76

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 ll)c3 and 4 ll)j3


Ubeda 2000), and here, in the opinion
of grandmaster P.Lukacs, the most
accurate way to equality was
1 0...i.e4.
6 i.g6 The least forcing and most
popular continuation. The f5 square is
freed for the knight, while the
mtsston for the bishop was
exchanged at a handy moment.
7 ..te2 fl)h6 In the meanwhile
grandmasters and masters, playing
this position for Black, have not come
to a single opinion as to which route
they should send the knight to f5 .
Thus 7. . .fl)e7 likewise has full civic
rights.
8 0-0 i.e7 9 fl)e1 fl)fS 10 fl)dJ 0-0
1 1 c3 'ii'b6 1 2 .i..f4 D.ae8 13 g4 fl)h4
14 i.g3 .i..xd3 15 .i..xd3 e5 16 de
fl)xe5 1 7 fl)xe5 llxe5

Thanks to the fact that it is played


by the world's strongest grand
masters: Kasparov, Anand, Svidler,
Shirov, Gelfand and others, the move
4 .i..e3!? has become to a certain
extent the fashion. However for the
present it is too early to talk about its
true worth; in the majority of games
Black has managed to solve his
opening problems.
We remain with two possibilities:
4 ...'iVb6 and 4 ... e6.
A

4 .'ii'b6 ?! Frankly speaking, the


move looks dubious.
5 ...el fl)b6 It goes without saying
that Black understands that after this
move the knight could be left out of
play, but what is there to suggest
instead? The attempt to return to the
channels of 'normal' play by 5 ...e6 is
refuted by 6 c4! The poor position of
the black queen allows White to grab
space first of all on the queen 's flank,
and then increase his expansion over
the whole board. There are only a few
examples on this theme:
6 ...i.xb I 7 lbb I i.b4+ 8 d I !?
(more energetic than 8 ..td2 i.xd2+
9 1Wxd2 de 1 0 ..txc4 c5 I I d5 ed
1 2 1Wxd5 4+ 1 3 We2 fl)h6, as was
played in the game Gelfand - Dreev,

Black's chances appear in no way


worse than White's. The opponents
preferred not to tempt fate further and
agreed a draw (Zhigalko - Galkin,
Retymnon 2003).
IV

4 .i..e 3!?
Analogous to 4 fl)d2 (in so far as
the advance of the bishop to e3 is also
directed against the undermining of
the centre by c6-c5 ), but far more
modem.
77

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 it)c3 and 4 it)jJ


Moscow 2002) 8 ...dc 9 it)f3 it)d7
1 0 a3 i.e7 I I i.xc4 ._,c7 1 2 'iPe2
it)b6 1 3 i.d3 it)d5 14 i.d2 h5 1 5 b4
it)h6 1 6 lie I :c8 1 7 Wfl (Kasparov
Jobava, Retymnon 2003), or
6 ...it)e7 7 c5 ._,c7 (on 7 ......a5+
8 i.d2 "ilc7 9 it)c3 it)d7 very strong is
1 0 i.e2! h6 I I b4 g5 1 2 g4 ! i.g6
1 3 h4 with great advantage, Kasparov
- Sh irov, Moscow 2002) 8 it)c3 it)d7
9 ..ie2 f6 I 0 f4 ..ie4 I I ef xf6
1 2 f3 f5 1 3 0-0 g4 14 ..id2, and
Black's pieces will soon be forced
back (Shirov - Genov, Plovdiv 2003).
White's space advantage after
5 ... e6 6 c4! is beyond doubt. But also
with the knigh t on h6 he cannot
expect an easy life.
6 it)f3 Th e incomprehensible
indecisiveness displayed by White in
the game Smirin - Bareev (Moscow
2002) led to a loss of the initiative:
6 h3 e6 7 f3 ..ig6 8 c3?! (a sluggish
move, whereas there was a worthy
alternative in 8 g4!?, restricting the
knight h6) 8 ...it)f5 9 i.f4 c5 1 0 g4
it)e7 I I de "ilxc5 1 2 bd2 h5 etc.
6 e6 7 bd2 Also here 7 c4! ?

White's initiative is threatening to


grow into someth ing completely
unbearable (Svidler - Sh irov, Plovdiv
2003).
8

4 ... e6 Without experiencing any


positive emotions after 4 ...6? ! ,
Black returns to the usual routine.
5 lbd2 Further possibilities are:
I ) 5... 1ib6?! Also here the queen
sortie arouses doubts. Sooner or later
Wh ite plays c2-c4 and... at a
mini mum h i s chances will be
preferable on the queen's flank.
6 it)bJ lbd7 In the game Sax
Kacheishv ili (Retymnon 2003) Black
somehow led the game into rugged
channels without initiative: 6 . . . a5
7 a4 lbd7 8 lbe2 h5 9 lLlf4 h4 I 0 i.e2
i.b4+ I I c3 i.e7 1 2 0-0 it)h6 13 lbd3
i.g6. But perhaps th is is only an
incidental?
7 lLlfJ The alternative is 7 i.e2 aS
8 a4 e7 9 f3 i.g6, and then:
I 0 lLlh4 ! ? it) xeS I I de ._,b4+
12 i.d2 'i!t'xh4 1 3 0-0 (Shabalov lzoria, Las Vegas 2003 ), and here the
intrigue continued with 1 3 ......e4!?;
I 0 0-0 lLlf5 I I c4 lLlxe3 1 2 fe fLe7
1 3 cd ed 1 4 c l (Gelfand
Kacheishv ili, Retymnon 2003). In

..

suggests itself. In the game Anand Khenkin (Stuttgart 2002) play


continued 7 ...de 8 bd2 i.d3 9 i.xd3
cd 1 0 i.xh6 gh I I 0-0 it)d7 1 2 :d t
"ila6 1 3 e4 llg8 1 4 e I 0-0-0
1 5 lbxd3. It is not difficult to assess
th is position - White h as a noticeable
advantage.
7 ... c5 8 it)bJ lbd7 9 de lbxc5
10 lbfd4 lbg4 11 i.b5+ <it'd8 12 0-0
lbxe3 1 3 "ilxe3 i.g6 14 ltfd 1 rj;c7
15 c4!
78

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 liJc3 and 4liJj3


this position 1 4 . . .0-0 1 5 liJd3 .i.e4
1 6 liJf2 fS ! ? looks the most natural
continuation.
7 h6 (defending against liJ h4)
8 .i.e2 liJe7 9 0-0
.

17 liJc4 g4 18 hg hg.
11 l:l.cl .i.g7 12 cd cd 13 .td3 0-0
14 'ii'd 2 .txd3 15 1fxd3 l:l.fc8 1 6 h3
a6 17 1fd2 liJfS 1 8 g4 liJxe3 19 fe
Ac6 20 liJaS (or 20 l:l.xc6 be 2 1 l:l.c 1
aS) 20 ....l:l.xc l 2 1 l:txc1 f6 The
position has simplified unexpectedly
in Black's favour ( Kurnosov Huzman, Istanbul 2003), but it would
be nai"v e to think that this game will
remain long as a basis for the
variation 5 ...1fb6? !
2) 5 liJd7!? Nowadays this seems
the strongest.
...

9 g5!? A crucial decision, weak


ening the king's flank, but it is not so
easy for Black to develop his pieces.
lf 9 ...1fc7 (in order to prepare c2-c4)
unpleasant is 1 0 liJ h4 with f2-f4 to
follow, while i f 9 . . . .i.h7 with the idea
of developing his pieces by l O. .liJf5,
.
I I . . . .i.e7 etc., then White cramps the
opponent on the queen 's flank by 1 0
a4 and 1 1 aS.
10 c4! .i.g6 1n the game Zvjaginsev
- Sargissian (Moscow 2002) Black
solved the problems of defence in
another way: I O . . . a5 I I a4 .i.g6 (on
1 1 . . . de unpleasant is 1 2liJ fd2 ! , and if
1 2 ... cb?, then 13 liJc4!) 1 2 h3 (more
logical is 1 2 c5!? 1fd8 1 3 .i.d2 b6
14 cb 'ii'xb6 15 .i.c3 i..g7 1 6 liJ e 1
0-0 1 7liJd3 with advantage) 1 2 . . .'it'c7
1 3 cdliJxd5 1 4 .i.d3 .i.e7 1 5 'it'b l (it
is also not easy to recover the lost
initiative by 1 5 .txg6 fg 1 6 'it'c2 f7
1 7 liJ fd2 'ltig7 1 8 liJc4 l:l.hf8 1 9 .id2
b6 20 l:tac I l:tac8 2 1 'ii'e4 liJb8)
15 . . .l::.g8 1 6 liJ fd2. Here Black
missed a good chance to complicate
the position to the limit: 1 6... h5 !?
..

6 f4 h5 A standard (and not only in


the Caro-Kann defence) reaction to
the construction d4-e5-f4 - Black sets
up a blockade on the light squares.
But there is always a place for
experiments:
6 ... c5 7 liJgO 'it'b6 8 'it'c 1 liJ e7
9 i..e2 liJc6 1 0 c3 cd 1 1 liJxd4liJ xd4
1 2 .ixd4 .tc5 1 3 liJ b3 i.. xd4
1 4 liJxd4 0-0 1 5 0-0 ltJc5 1 6 h I
Draw (Kasimdzhanov - Anand,
Hyderabad 2002);
6 ...1fb6 7 liJb3 liJh6 8 liJO f6 9 h3
il..e7 1 o .i.e2 te 1 1 fe liJt7 1 2 '*d2
0-0-0 (Papa - Zontakh, Zurich 2003).
As we see, this is not bad at all, which
means that Black 's problems arc
really not so great.
79

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 liJc3 and 4 liJj3


7 liJgfJ In the game Nisipeanu Khenkin (Andorra 2003) White tried
to break the blockade: 7 e2 'irb6
8 1fc I liJh6 9liJgf3 (9 xh5?! .ig4!)
9 . . .e7 10 h3. Noth ing good comes
out of this: I O . . h4 I I f2 Wd8
1 2 0-0 g6. A draw was agreed but
in no way from a 'position of
strength' by White.
7 liJh6 8 e2 e7 9 liJb3 lle8
1 0 Wd2 e4 1 1 0-0-0 b6 1 2 b1 e5
1 3 de be 14 liJg5 xg5 1 5 fg liJg4
1 6 b5 0-0

4 e3!? e6 5 ..ie3

...

This is how the game Golubev Grischuk (Germany 2003) develop


ed. It is obvious that Black's opening
problems remain far beh ind h im, and
he is seriously th inking about
someth ing more. In the subsequent
sharp play Grischuk was also at his
height and celebrated a deserved
v ictory: 17 xd7 Wxd7 18 liJxe5
1fb5 1 9 l2Jxe4 de 20 d4 llfd8 21
'iff4 e3! 22 lldfl lld7 23 .i.xe3
l:txe2!
The variation 4 e3 ! ? is for the
present in its infancy. But its pioneers
already have strong ideas.

Suppressing the queen 's flank,


White transfers to active operations
on the kingside. This arrangement of
pieces was first played at th e
beginning of the 80s by the Georgian
grandmaster Bukhuti Gurgenidze.
The system is fairly venomous and it
is not easy for Black to find the right
plan of play. The first time such a
deployment of forces was seen, even
experienced positional players such
as Tigran Petrosian and Vladimir
Bagirov were unable to break out of
the v ice and equalise the game. From
th is time the variation has enjoyed
popularity and to the present day
remains topical.
Before investigating th e basic
replies for Alack (to such we attribute
5 . . . 1fb6 and 5 . . .l2Jd7), we should
recall the possibility of immediately
starting compl ications by 5 f6! ?
Events develop i n a n impetuous way:
6 f4 'ifb6 7 'ifb3 g5! 8 fg?! (the
variation 8liJ f3 liJd7 9 ti:lbd2 will be
examined under a different order of
moves: 5 ... 'irb6 6 'irb3 ti:ld7 7liJd2 f6
8 f4 g5 9 l2Jgf3) 8... fe 9 Wxb6 ab
10 de .i.e5!
.

80

Advance Variation: Evetything except 4 ll.JcJ and 4 ll.Jj3


7 ll.Jd2

After the exchange of dark-squared


bishops a powerful pawn skeleton is
created for Black, which compens
ates for his pawn deficit.
11 xeS be 12 ll.Jd2 ll.Jd7 13 ll.Jgf3
h6! (as in the Volga Gambit!) 14 e2
Better was 14 l:lg I , but even then
Black has no problems: 1 4... hg 1 5 g4
g6 1 6 h3 <tJe7 1 7 ll.Jxg5 ll.Jxe5 etc.
14 hg IS ll.JxgS ll.JxeS 16 0-0 'iPe7
17 .:.ae I ll.Jh6 1 8 a3 .:.ag8 19 h4
ll.Jhf7 with a great advantage (Socko
- Sargissian, Moscow 2002).

In this position there is a sea of


different possibi lities for Black
however the idea of a central break
by t7-f6 seems most in keeping with
the spirit of the position. However
let's not run ahead of ourselves, but
look at all the moves in order.
I ) We cannot recommend the setup
which grandmaster Bareev wanted to
test: 7 ... ll.Je7?! 8 f4 .:.es 9 ll.Jgf3 eS
10 de ll.Jxe5 1 1 'ifxb6 ab (Aseev Bareev, Russia 1 998). White has a
definite advantage which should be
consolidated by 1 2 ll.Jh4 ! ? c2
1 3 l%c l a4 14 e2.
2) Passive is 7 ... g6 8 f4 h5
9 ll.Jgf3 ll.Jh6 I 0 g3 e7 1 1 h3 0-0-0
1 2 'ifxb6 ab 13 a4 f5 14 ll.Jg5 with a
great advantage to White (Yudasin Ponomarev, Budapest 1 999).
3) Fully permissible is 7...lte8!?
8 f4 e5 9 ._.xb6 ll.Jxb6!? 10 de xeS
II xeS l:lxe5 12 ll.Jgf3 An important
moment. It is dangerous to win a
pawn: 1 2 ll.Jb3 llc8 1 3 ll.Jd4 ll.Je7
1 4 ll.Jb5 0-0 1 5 ll.Jxa7, since after
1 5 ...l%a8 1 6 ll.Jb5 ll.Jg6 1 7 ll.Je2 ll.Ja4
1 8 b4 d3 1 9 ll.Jbd4 ll.Jb2 20 g3 lla3
Black obv iously has compensation
for it.

Let's return to the basic contin


uation.
A

S 'ifb6! ? 6 'ifb3 ll.Jd7 The remain


ing moves are weaker:
6 ...ll.Je7 7 ll.Jd2 g6 8 f4 ll.Jd7
9 ll.JgO aS I 0 'ifxb6 ll.Jxb6 I I a4 ll.Jf5
1 2 t2 h5 1 3 g3 ll.Jd7 14 e2 f6
1 5 0-0 fe 1 6 fe e7 1 7 h3 . A typical
endgame has arisen which should be
assessed in White's favour - he is in
control of greater space (Shirov Anand, Monaco 2000).
Also 6 ... h5?! does not promise easy
equality: 7 ll.Jd2 ll.Jh6 8 e2! h4
(8 ... iLg6 9 ll.Jh3 ! ) 9 h3 e7 10 ll.Jgf3
ll.Jd7 I I 0-0 g6 1 2 g5 ll.Jf5
1 3 xe7 ll.Jxe7 14 'ii'a3 ! (Shirov Bareev, Sarajevo 2000).
.

81

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 ttlc3 and 4 ttlj3


ltfd8 2 1 c4 ttlb4) 20 c4 ttldb8
21 fl ! (Grischuk - Sargissian.
Istanbul 2000).
5) 7 a5 8 1i'xb6 ttlxb6 9 a4

1 2...a6 1 3 ttld4 ttle7 The position is


even (Golod - Burmakin, Ubeda
200 I ).
4) After 7 c5 it is not so simple to
achieve acceptable play in the ending
that arises after 8 1i'xb6 ab 9 .i.b5 c4
10 ttle2!? (weaker is 1 0 a4 ttle7
I I ttlgf3 ttlc6 1 2 b3 cb 1 3 ttlxb3 .i.e7
1 4 0-0 0-0 1 5 ttlfd2 ltfd8 1 6 l:tfc I
ltac8 with equality, Magem - Asrian,
Istanbul 2000) 1 0 ttle7 1 1 0-0 ttlc6
1 2 b3!
..

..

What should Black do now? I f


1 2 .. . .i.a3, then after 1 3 be .i.b2 worth
considering is the exchange sacrifice
1 4 cd ! ? ed 1 5 ttlf4!? ii.xa l 1 6 ltxa l
.i.e6 1 7 c4! ttle7 1 8 a4. White has a
menacing initiative that is underlined
by the following sample variation:
1 8 ...l:lc8 1 9 ttlxe6 fe 20 cd ttlxd5
2 1 ttle4 l:.c7 22 ttld6+ ct>f8 23 llc I
ttlb8 24 ttlxb7 h6 25 ttld6 We7 26 f4!
with noticeably better prospects.
I f however 1 2 ....i.d3, then even
here with accurate play Wh ite's
chances arc superior (though Black
too might fi nd some interesting
possibilties): 13 l:tfe1 .i.xe2 14 lhe2
cb 1 5 ttlxbJ .i.aJ 1 6 lib 1 ttla7
17 ..i.d3 0-0 ( 1 7 ...ttlc6 !? 1 8 ti)d2 .i.e7
1 9 ttlf3 0-0 20 l:lc2 l:.fc8) 18 ttld2
ttlc6 19 .i.b5 l:tfd8 ( 1 9 . . . ii.c7 !? 20 a4
82

There arises an ending that is


i mportant for the evaluation of the
system 4 c3. As shown by practice,
Black has sufficient counterchances.
The main thing one must master
wh en playing such endings is an
active method of defence; otherwise
White, having a space advantage on
the king's tlank, will sooner or later
play f4-f5.
9 ttle7 Worthy of further study is
9 ...h 5 1 0 .i.e2 ! ? iJ..e7 I I h3 .i.d8
1 2 g3 li'Je7 1 3 f4 iJ..c2 1 4 b3 ttlf5
1 5 .i.t2 (Sh irov - Antonio, I stanbul
2000), and now not 1 5 ... g5, as played
by the Filipino grandmaster, but
1 5 ... h4 ! ? It is possible to start double
edged play in which Black's chances
are perhaps no worse, for example:
1 6 g4 ttlg3 1 7 il.xg3 hg 1 8 ttlgf3
(Black threatened mate: 1 8 . . . g2
1 9 llh2 ii.h4! ) 1 8 ... g2 19 .Ug l l:.xh3
20 f2 .i.e7 2 1 Wxg2 l:.h8 22 l:.h I
0-0-0 etc.
10 f4 h5!? Inferior is I O ... .i.g6
1 1 ttlgf3 ttlf5 1 2 ii.t2 h5 1 3 g3 J..e7
1 4 .i.c2 d7 1 5 0-0 rJ;c7 1 6 h3 ttld7
1 7 Wg2 ttlh6 1 8 ttle I c5 1 9 c4! with
...

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lp{J


advantage (Gelfand - Karpov,
Monaco 2000).
I I lt:Jgf3 h4! He does not equalise
by l l ...f6 1 2 .i.e2 lLld7 1 3 g3 .i.h 3
1 4 lLlh4 lLlf5 1 5 lLlxf5 .i.xf5 1 6 h 3
il..e7 1 7 w f2 W f7 1 8 Wg2 .i.g6
1 9 l:lh fl fl.ac8 20 .i.g I . White's
obv ious space advantage begins to
tell (Gurgenidze - Petrosian, Moscow
1 983).
12 h3 1 2 :1g I .i.g4 1 3 .i.d3 lLlf5
14 .i.t2 .i.e7 1 5 h3 .i.xf3 1 6 lt:Jxf3
looks more reliable (Gofstein Krizsany, Berne 1 999). Howev er
even here White's minimal advantage
might have completely evaporated if
Black h ad found the manoeuv re
1 6 . . .lLld7! Then the knight, v ia f8,
lands on g6, defending h is only
weakness on h4.
12 ....i.c2! 13 bJ lt:Jrs 14 .i.fl .i.e7
15 .i.e2 By transposition of moves
th is position was reached in the game
Moreno - Polak ( Istanbul 2000).
Possibly frightened by h is own
bravery Black stopped trying.
Without reason: after 15 ...lt:Jg3 !
1 6 .i.xg3 hg 1 7 l:la2!? .i.e4 18 lLlxe4
de l9 lLld2 the complications tum out
in h is favour.

Th e main th ing is to break up the


wh ite pawn skeleton in the centre and
83

then all the sluices will open by


themselves for the black pieces:
1 9...fS! 20 ef gf 2 l lLlxe4 f5! 22 lLlg5
lt:Jd5 23 lLlxe6 ti! 24 lt:Jc5 .i.xc5
25 de fl.ae8! 26 0-0 lLlxcJ 27 .i.c4+
Wf6 28 fl.d2 fl.d8 Despite the pawn
deficit, Black 's position even
deserves some preference. The strong
g3 pawn creates every possibility of
discomfort for the enemy king, the
open d-file is on the point of falling
into Black's hands. The weakness of
the c5 pawn l ikewise ties down
White's pieces.
6) 7 f6!? 8 f4 g5!
Despite other interesting possibil
ities we continue to stand by the idea
of a full scale undermining of White's
centre.
.

9 lt:JgfJ Forced, since on 9 ef


follows 9 ... g4!, and the development
of White's king's flank will be made
difficult. As an example, in the game
Haba - Dautov (Germany 2003),
Black easily ach ieved an advantage
after 1 0 f7+ Wx f7 I I lLle2 lLlgf6
1 2 lt:Jg3 'ii'xb3 1 3 ab .i.d6 1 4 lLlxf5 ef
1 5 .i.d3 Wg6 1 6 wt2 a6 1 7 h4 lLlh5
1 8 g3 l:lhe8 etc.
9 ...gf 10 .i.xf4 .i.h6!? I I .i.xh6
Interesting (but no more than that) is
I I .i.g3 !? fe 1 2 lLlxe5 lLlgf6 1 3 lt:Jdf3,

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lDc3 and 4 lDj3


played by the young Serbian
As we see, a reasonable alternative
grandmaster Nikolai Sedlak. Black to 1 3 i.e2 has not for the present
successfully solves h is opening been found. But also in the case of the
problems both
by
1 3 . . . lDxc5 development of the bish op Black
14 .i.xe5 ! ? 0-0 1 5 h3 lDd7 (Sedlak should not be dissatisfied with the
Ostojic, Stara Pazova 200 I ), and also result of the opening:
through exchanges: 1 3 . . .0-0 1 4 .i.e2
13 llg8 14 Wxb6 ab 1 5 0-0 lDe4
lDxe5 l 5 lDxe5 'ii'xb3 1 6 ab (Sedlak 16 lDxe4 i.xe4
Zenklusen, Athens 200 l ). He should
not be afraid that after l 6 . . .lDe4
1 7 .i.h4 .i.d2+ 1 8 d l i.f4 1 9 lDd7
llf7 20 lDb6 llaffi 2 1 llxa7 White
wins a pawn since h is compensation
(albeit after 2 1 ... e5) is obvious.
ll lDxh6 12 ef lDxf6 13 .i.e2 Let
us look at other continuations:
1 3 lDh4!? 0-0 1 4 lDxf5 lLlxf5
1 5 'ii'xb6 (otherwise Black will be
able to th ink about whether he should
Th is position was reached in the
decline the exchange of queens)
1 5 . . . ab 1 6 .i.d3 lDe3 1 7 llg I (in reply game Grischuk - Leko (Linares
to 1 7 e2 unpleasant is 1 7...lLlfg4! 200 I ). There followed 17 lLlel lDfS
1 8 lDO ll'lxg2 1 9 .i.c2 e5 !, at the (more promising is l 7 .. 5e7!? 1 8 g3
same time ridding h imself of the c5 with a sligh tly more pleasant
weak pawn: 20 de lDxe5 2 1 lLlxe5 position for Black), and after a few
l%ae8 22 llafl llxe5+ 23 Wd2 llxfl moves the opponents agreed a draw.
24 llxfl lLle3) 1 7 ... e5 ! (also here th is Possibly White could try for an
move is important) 1 8 de lLlfg4 advantage by 17 g3 !?, though even
1 9 lDO ltae8 20 d2 lLlxe5 with here Black's pos1t10n inspires
cautious optimism. For example,
equality).
13 'ii'xb6 ab 1 4 h 3 lDe4 1 5 g4 .i.g6 1 7 .. .'ii>e7 1 8 a3 c5 1 9 llae l lDf5
1 6 .i.g2 lDfl 1 7 a3 0-0 1 8 llfl e5 !? 20 lDd2 cd 2 1 cd (or 2 1 lLlxe4 de
1 9 lLlxe5 ll'lxe5 20 i.xe4 lL"ld3+! 22 cd l%ad8 23 ..ic4 llxd4 24 llx f5
2 1 i.xd3 i.xd3 with sufficient llxc4) 2 l ...lLle3 with equality.
compensation for the sacrificed
pawn.
8
Finally, 13 lDeS llg8 1 4 lZ'ldO
s lDd7!?
lLlhg4 1 5 lLlxg4 lLlxg4 1 6 h3 lDf6
Without neglecting the jump of th e
1 7 Wxb6 ab 1 8 lDe5 h5 1 9 a3 rj;e7
20 0-0-0 llg3 led to quite an queen to b6, Black, as it were, leaves
advantage for Black (Smirin - Dreev, th is possibility 'till later ', masking
h is intentions.
Moscow 2002).
...

...

...

84

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lLlc3 and 4 lLlj3


ignorance for some time regarding
his intentions. For that he can choose
6 . . .lLle7 or 6 ...1fb6.
a) 6 lLle7!? 7 f4 i.g6! The best
move. Black does not achieve
equality after 7 . . . f6 8 lLlgfJ fe. True,
on 9 lLlxe5 lLlxe5 I 0 fe lLlg6 he has
nothing to fear: everywhere Black
has a comfortable game. For
example, I I 'ifh5 'ii'b 6 12 b4 i.e7
1 3 d l 0-0 1 4 g4 lLlf4! 1 5 i.xf4 i.g6
1 6 'irh3 l:txf4 (Zaichik - Tal, Tbilisi
1 986).
9 fe! c5 I 0 de lLlc6 I I b4! brings
clarity. It is important to reinforce the
c5 pawn. In many positions of the
closed variation it is precisely the
pawn wedge c3-b4-c5 that secures
White the advantage.
l l .. .ltldxe5
1 2 lLlxe5 lLlxe5
1 3 i.b5+ lbc6 14 0-0 i.e7 1 5 'irh5+!
(taking the g6 square away from the
bishop) 1 5 ... g6 1 6 1t'e2 (now Black's
light-squared bishop feels uncomfort
able) 1 6 . o-o 1 7 i.xc6 be 1 8 g4 i.e4
1 9 i.d4 with a decisive advantage
(Aseev - Yevseev, Nijny Novgorod
1 998).
8 lLlgf3 c5!? 9 aJ Leading to a
complicated struggle is 9 'it'b3 cd
1 0 .ixd4 (if I 0 lLlxd4, then I O. . a6
with the idea on I I 'ihb7 to reply
l l ...ltlc5 1 2 'ifb4 lt:'if5 ! ) I O . 'ifc7
I I c4 ! ? Black's position appears
uneasy, but it seems he can play
l l ...l:r.c8!?, increasing pressure on the
c-file. After 1 2 i.e2 de 1 3 lLlxc4 lLld5
1 4 lLld6+ i.xd6 1 5 ed 'ifxd6 1 6 i.xg7
l::tg 8 1 7 i.e5 'it'b4+ the position is
determined in Black's favour. Also
worth considering is l l ...lt:'ic6!? (in
place of l l . . .l:tc8) 1 2 cd lt:'ib4!

The play acquires a very


complicated, concrete character: in a
series
of
variations,
tactical
complications completely over
shadow
h is
own
strategical
manoeuvring.
Before analysing the basic
continuations 6 lLld2 and 6 'ii'b 3, we
mention that the idea of 6 f4 in the
present position still seems to be
rather too direct. Thus in the game
Rowson - Adianto (Istanbul 2000)
the grandmaster from Indonesia,
playing Black, adopted an interesting
plan: 6 ...lLlh6!? 7 lLlf3 i.e? 8 lLlbd2
0-0 9 .ie2 f6 I 0 '1Vb3 lLlg4 I I i.g I fe
1 2 fe b5 1 3 h3 .ih4+ 1 4 'ittfl lLlh6
and obtained a highly promising
position. It could all have been even
more interesting if a fter 1 5 a4
Adianto had included his queen in the
attack: 1 5 ... i.g5 ! ? 1 6 i. f2 i.xd2
1 7 lLlxd2 'ifg5 1 8 lLlfJ 1t'g6 1 9 ab
i.d3 ! The white king is not to be
envied.
I ) 6 lLld2 White also brings up his
reserves, intending to work out a
more usual plan depending on which
tlank the opponent intends to attack:
on the queen's (c6-c5) or the king's
( f7-f6).
Incidental ly, besides 6 . . . c5 and
6. . . f6, Black could still hold White in

. .

85

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 llk3 and 4 ljjf3


after 8 ef ljjg xf6 9 ljjgf3 'ilfc7 1 0 h3
d6 1 1 J-e2 0-0 1 2 0-0 eS 1 3 de
ljjxeS 14 ljjxeS xeS Black starts to
take over the initiative, Rychagov Huzman, I stanbul 2003) 8 . . . fe 9 de
'ilfc7 I 0 f4 ljjh6 1 1 lfjf3 e7 1 2 e2
0-0 1 3 o-o b6 1 4 ljjbd4 ! , allows a
small but highly tangible advantage,
(Zvjaginsev - Dautov, Essen 2002);
7 a5!? 8 'ii'a4!? (8 a3 f6) 8 ...'ilfa7
(8 .. .'i'c7 !? 9 bS ljjb6) 9 bS ljjb6
I 0 'ilfd I a4 I I be be J 2 ljjg f3 h6 1 3 a3
'ilfaS 1 4 'ilfc 1 ljje7 I S e2 ljjec8
1 6 0-0 e7 1 7 c4 de 1 8 ljjxc4 ljjxc4
1 9 'ilfxc4 e4 20 ljjd2 ljjb6 2 1 'ilfc I
Now after about I 0 moves we have .ildS 22 d3 l:tc8 23 llb 1 .ta2 Draw.
a tenacious, very complicated (Naer - Bologan, Moscow 2003).
Summing up, we have the feeling
struggle. And no, it is neither the end
nor the brink (lvanchuk - Bareev, that it is not good for Black to delay
undermining the centre, as they say,
Frankfurt 2000).
b) 6 'ifb6 7 b4!? We recall that 'putting it on the shelf'. Therefore we
7 'ilfb3 was analysed by us previously, go over to an investigation of active
under the fol lowing move order: pawn play: 6 ...cS and 6 ... f6.
c) 6...c5!? 7 ljjgtJ .tg6! I n good
s .. .'ii'b6 6 'ilfb3 ljjd 7 7 ljjd 2.
After 7 b4 there is still too little time Black moves away the bishop,
practical material to ascertain with so that after an exchange on d4 it (in
confidence which continuation will the event of a capture with the knight)
have civil rights, and which - not. We will not find itself under fire.
8 .te2 Interesting is 8 h4!? White
leave this problem to the discretion of
gains space on the king's flank, but
the reader:
after 8 ... h6 9 hS h7 1 0 de xeS
1 1 ljjd4 ljje7 1 2 'iVg4 .txd4! 1 3
.txd4 ( 1 3 cd?! ljj f5 ) 1 3 ...ljjfS (in the
opinion of grandmaster Maciej a,
even stronger is 1 3 ...0-0!? 1 4 f4 lfjfS
I S f2 f6) 14 d3 0-0 there are
chances for both sides (Kovalev Macieja, Preshov 2000).
8 cd 9 cd ljje7 10 ljjb4 .J:r.c8 Also
not bad is I O .. .'ii'b6 I I 'ii'b3 ljjc6
7 f6 8 ljjb3 !? (not possible is 8 f4? 1 2 ljjxg6 hg 1 3 'ii'xb6 ljjxb6 (Jenni fe 9 fe in view of 9 . . .ljjxeS ! , while Dettling, Aviles 2000).

1 3 c4 ed 1 4 xdS ljjcS 1 S J-xcS


'ilfxcS, likewise with good play for
Black.
9 cd 10 ljjx d4 ljjc6 11 ljj2b3 e7
12 e2 0-0 13 0-0 ljjb6 14 .J:r.f2 ljjc4
.

...

...

...

86

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 ltlc3 and 4 ltlj3


I I ltlxg6 hg 1 2 'ifbJ 'iVb6 1 3 0-0
ltlc6 1 4 llacl e7 15 f4 0-0

While the opponents are heading


for this position, and when they reach
it - the evaluation does not change:
Black does not have the slightest
Macieja,
di fficulties (Socko
Warsaw 200 I ).
d) 6 f6!? 7 f4 g5!? 8 ltlgf3 Highly
interesting is 8 lilh3 !? gf 9 ltlxf4 fe
..

1 0 'iVhS+ e7 I I de ltlxe5 1 2 d4
g7 1 3 ltlc4 (Golubev - Khenkin,
Germany 2002). Subsequently, White
gained a beautiful and convincing
victory.
But here, about to continue the
attack, there is something he has not
seen if Black takes the offered piece:
1 3 . . .dc!? . . .
F o r example: 1 4 c5+ 'ifilf6
t s d4 ( 1 s i.t2 i.g6 t 6 h4+ cttn
1 7 ltlxg6 hg) 1 5 ...e7 (dangerous is
1 5 ...'ifa5 in view of 1 6 .i.xc4 .D.d8
1 7 b4 'ifc7 1 8 0-0) 1 6 .i.c5+ f6 with
a repetition of moves.
s gf 9 xf4 .i.h6 1 0 gJ 'Wb6
...

I I 'ii'bJ ltle7 12 .i.e2 0-0 13 hJ g6!


(freeing the f5 square for the knight)
t4 i. h2 ltlrs

without any
Black has
reservations - an excellent position
(Belotti - Khenkin, Bratto 2002).
Today it is possible to boldly
recommend in reply to 6 ltld2 both
the breaks - 6...cS and 6 ... f6 - as a
means of achieving a game with fully
equal rights.
2) 6 'iVbJ Inviting the opponent to
return to the variations analysed
above after 6 . . . 'ii'b 6. But an
unpleasant surprise awaits White ...
6 .'.c7!? A joke on the side. Black
intends to castle long, after which by
means of r7-f6 (in reply to f2-f4, of
course follows g7-gS) he will
commence a direct attack on the
king!
7 ltld2 Experienced grandmaster
Yudasin
played
the
opening
carelessly in a game against Furdzik
(New York 2000): 7 f4 ltle7 8 ltlf3
i.g6 9 e2 lilfS I 0 f2 hS I I g3
i.e? 12 0-0 eS 1 3 c4 de 1 4 'ifxc4 0-0
I S lle l 'ii'b6 1 6 de (also nothing is
offered by 1 6 'ii'b S, since a fter
1 6 ...llfd8 1 7 de 'ii'x b5 1 8 xbS
Black has available the counterblow
1 8 ...ltlxcS! 1 9 .J:xeS i.xcS 20 .i.xe5
l:.ac8 or 1 9 xeS ltae8 20 b4 b6 - in
both cases with a great advantage)
1 6... .i.xc5 17 xeS ltlxc5 1 8 'ii'bS
( 1 8 'ii'xc5? l:Uc8).
.

87

Advance Variation: Everything excepl 4 tbc3 and 4 tbjJ


1 6 ltJxf5 ef 1 7 'iVc2 etc. (Smirin Macieja, San Vincent 2000).
The position belongs to that
category in which it is already too
late to have nothing to be afraid of.
Therefore:
13 e4!? Threatening an opportune
e4-e3, but the main thing is that Black
restricts the bishop g I and frees the
line b8-h2 for his diagonal pieces.
The downside of the move has to be
the fact that from now on the knight
g4 will find itself in a critical
position. Which will carry more
weight?
14 c4!? Threatening both an attack
on the knight with the h-pawn (which
is impossible at once because of the
check on g3) and also the opening of
the c-file.
Let's take a look at other contin
uations:
1 4 ttJn !? (defending the g3 square
and threatening h2-h3) 1 4 . . . .td6
1 5 'iVd l (with the idea of depriving
Black of counterplay associated with
the break h7-h6) 1 5 ... h5 1 6 'iVa4 <t>b8
1 7 ltJxf5 ef 1 8 h3 .tg3+ 1 9 Wd2 ltJf2
20 ltJxg3 'iff4+ 2 1 c2 ltJxh 1
22 ltJxh I 'iVxg5 23 .th2+ f4. Black
has defended himself.
1 4 0-0-0 'iVf4 (securing the e3
square for the knight) 1 5 'iVa4 ltJe3
1 6 l:te I 'it>b8 1 7 ltJxf5 ltJxf5 1 8 h4
ltJg3 1 9 l%h3 ltJxe2+ 20 l:lxe2 'ifg4.
Again Black comes out unscathed.
14 .te7!? Attacking the g5 pawn.
The alternative is 1 4 ...e3!? 1 5 .i.xe3
.i.c2 !? 1 6 'ifc3 ltJxe3 1 7 'ifxe3 .i.d6.
Now. on 1 8 ltJhf3, good is
1 8 ...l%he8 !? with the idea of carrying
out e6-e5. For example. 1 9 l:tc I .tg6

Suicide. Suddenly: 1 8 ...lbb3+! and


White can resign at once.
7 ... f6 8 f4 0-0-0 9 tbgf3 g5! ?
10 .i.e2 lbh6! 1 1 fg ltJg4 12 .tgl fe.
A critical position for the variation. In
the original game there followed:
1 3 h3 e4 1 4 hg ef 1 5 gfS (in the event
of 1 5 gf3 .tg6 1 6 c4 .td6 1 7 .ie3
l:thffi 1 8 <iPf2 b8 1 9 l:tac I de
20 .txc4 e5 Black has sufficient
counterplay) 1 5 . . . fe 1 6 fe ltJb6
1 7 'ifc2 'iVg3 +. Black's chances
already look preferable (Spraggett Campara, Moscow 1 994).
The Israeli grandmaster I lya Smirin
set
Black
more
complicated
problems:
13 ltJh4!?

..

Smirin 's opponent could not cope


with the problems before him and
quickly fel l into a difficult position:
1 3 ...ed?! 14 cd .td6 1 5 0-0-0 ltJxh2
88

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 li:Jj3


into total calm. The chances of the
two sides are completely equal.
I t goes without saying that the
above-mentioned analysis needs
careful practical trials, but we guess
that for amateurs with a sharp style,
the idea 6 ... 'ifc7 !? should be to their
taste.

20 0-0 e5 2 1 cd ed 22 'fft2 d3 23 de
be 24 i..d l i.. f4 25 l:le l l:lxe l +
26 1fxe I l:le8 27 'irh4 1fb6+ 28 'it>fl
(losing is 28 Wh I ? i..xd2 29 li:Jxd2
'ife3 30 i..f3 1fxd2 3 1 l:lxc6+ d8)
28 ...l:tf8 29 li:Jc4 'iVa6 30 l:lc3 '*xa2
3 1 g3 i..c7 with a great advantage for
Black. But after 1 8 1fc3 (instead of
1 8 li:Jhf3) 1 8 . . .i..e4 !? 1 9 li:Jhf3 e5
20 de li:Jxe5 2 1 0-0-0 (2 1 c5 li:Jxf3+
22 gf .ie5 23 'ifa3 .ic2) 2 1 ... lt)xf3
Black has again happily solved all his
problems.
1 5 cd ( 1 5 h3 lt)h6 ! ) 1 5 .ixg5
16 lL)xfS ef 17 l:lcl Even if he opens
the c-file 1 7 de '*xc6 1 8 .ixg4 fg
1 9 .ie3 .ixe3 20 'i6'xe3, White will
not manage to exploit it since Black
prevents castling and does not allow
the opponent to connect his rooks:
20 ...l:lhf8 !

VI

4 c4!?

..

An energetic move, introduced into


tournament practice in 1 945 by the
Yugoslav player Boris Kostich.
4...e6 (we return to the capture on
c4 on the following move) 5 lL)cJ
Black has a choice: whether to
develop his pieces (5 ... lt)d7, 5 ...lt)e7
or 5 ... .ib4), or to play for the
occupation of the d5 square by means
of 5 . . . dc. Let's look at all four
possibilities.

1 7 lL)bS! The best move. The


point is to make up for the
insufficient pawn 'cover' of his king.
1 8 de lt)xc6 19 l:lc5 .ixd2+
20 xd2 e3+ 21 c 1 lbd4 22 .ixe3
l:le4! The main thing is to get rid of
the opponent's light-squared bishop
quickly.
23 .ixg4 fg. The head-spinning
complications have been transformed
..

89

5 ... dc. This apparently logical


move, after which Black obtains the
central point d5, has been placed in
doubt by grandmaster Alexander
Morozevich.
6 i..xc4 lt)d7 7 lt)ge2!? After 7 lt)f3
lt)b6 8 .ib3 lt)e7 the game, as a rule,
proceeds to an exhausting positional

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lDc3 and 4 llj3


struggle. Black takes the dS square,
while White, possessing a space
advantage, conducts operations in
the centre and on the king's flank.
Here are just a few characteristic
examples:
9 0-0 h6 1 0 'ife2 lDedS I I lle4
i..e7 1 2 i..d2 aS 1 3 a3 lJd7 1 4 :lad I
(Kotov - Flohr, Moscow 1 9SS). I n
this position 1 4 . . ....b6 ! ? suggests
itself and in reply to any retreat of the
bishop Black captures on b2. We do
not see how White can prove the
correctness of the sacrifice.
9 llh4!? h6 ! ? (inferior is 9 ...i..g6
I 0 i..gS ...d7 I I 0-0 lDfS 1 2 lDxfS
i..x fS 1 3 g4 i..g6 1 4 f4 i..b4 I S f5 ef
1 6 e6! fe 1 7 i.. xe6! with a great
advantage for White, Dumont Fernandez, R io de Janeiro 1 999)
I 0 0-0 i..h 7 I I 'it'hS ...d7 12 f4 lJf5
1 3 llxf5 i..x f5 1 4 i..e3 o-o-o I S l:lfc l
<iftb8 1 6 a4 lDdS 1 7 lDxdS cd 1 8 aS
i..b4 19 i..a4 ...e7 20 a6 l:lc8. The
game is approximately equal (Zhang
Zhong - Leko, Erevan 1 996).
What is the difference between
7 lJf3 and 7 llge2! ? The fact that the
knight can go to f4!
7. llb6 8 i..b3 lJe7 9 0-0!?

example, 9 ... i..g6 l O f4! 1i'd7 I I


.i.e3 lDedS 1 2 lDcxdS llxd5 13 xdS
ed 1 4 f4 i.. f.5 1 5 'ifd2 i..e7 16 i..d l h5
1 7 b4, and White has the initiative on
both flanks (Morozevich - Korchnoi,
London 1 994).
10 llf4! It is precisely in this move
that lies the point of Morozevich's
whole setup.
IO h6 I I i..e3 i.. h7 12 11cl edS
1 3 lDcxdS lDxdS 14 xdS ed.
Liquidating the piece outpost on d5.
But since there are apparently no
other pluses in Black's position,
White's advantage becomes long
term.
I S i..d 2!? i..e7 16 11c3! (threat
ening to transfer the rook to g3)
16 . ..i.f5 17 i..c2 hS 18 i..xfS xrs
1 9 'itb3 'ifd7 20 f4 White continued
to play just as purposefully and won
this game (Morozevich - Sasikiran,
Moscow 200 1 ).

..

9......d7 Also other continuations


are insufficient for equality. For
90

..

Understanding what problems


await Black on S . . . dc, it is worth
looking more closely at s i..b 4!?
Black's plan is thus: first to exchange
one of the white knights, and then to
occupy the dS square. Without the
knight c3 it is not easy for White to
counter this plan.
6 'itb3 aS 7 a3 de 8 i..xc4 .i.xc3+
9 'ihc3 ( in the event of 9 be Black
succeeds in establishing a blockade
on the light squares by means of
9 . . . b5 I 0 i.. e2 a4 I I 1i'b2 lld7
1 2 l10 lle7 1 3 0-0 b6) 9...d7
1 0 lle2 lJb6 1 1 i..a2 e7 12 0-0
lDbds 13 o 0-o
...

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lbj3


h5 (he has to play this way, because
after I O . . . lLld5 White has the
advantage: I I i.xd5 ed 1 2 h5 i.e4
1 3 f3 g5 1 4 fe gf 1 5 ed 'A'xd5 1 6 0-0)
I I lLlxg6 fg 1 2 i.e4 lLle7 1 3 g5
1fd7 1 4 a3 i.xc3+ 1 5 be lLlbd5
1 6 l1h3 llc8 1 7 gh gh 1 8 'A'e2 b5.
White has definite compensation but
it is unclear how he will approach the
enemy king. Black however carries
out a plan, reinforcing the position of
his king: g6, lLlf5 etc. (Zude - van der
Sterren, Munich 1 992).
After 6 cd cd worth considering is
7 h4!? with the aim of gaining space
on the king's flank. The bad position
of the knight on d7 plays into White's
hands.
Returning to 6 a3 !? After 6...lLle7!?
White further advances the c4 pawn,
thereby bringing to life his main idea
- pressure on the queen 's nank.
Therefore it seems that Black should
play 6 ...dc (while it is not too late).
But this in fact will not give him any
satisfaction at all: 7 i.xc4 lLle7
8 lLlge2 lLlb6 9 ..ib3 lLled5 (in
occupying d5, Black loses control of
the f5 square) I 0 lLlg3 i.g6 I I 0-0
i.e7 1 2 f4 'A'd7 1 3 lLlce4 o-o 1 4 .i.c2
(threatening to play f4-f5) 1 4 ...i.f5
1 5 lLlxf5 ef 1 6 lLlg3 g6 1 7 lLlxf5!
with a great advantage for White
Echeverria,
(Zhang Zhong
Medellin 1 996).
7 cS! (naturally!) 7...f6 8 f4 fe 9 fe
b6!? Of course the only chance for
Black is to undermine the pawn
foundations!
10 b4 aS!?

14 g4?! Since upon ' normal' play,


he cannot breach Black's position,
White decides on a pawn storm.
However nothing worthwhile comes
out of the attack whereas the position
of his own king is shown to be
seriously compromised.
1 4... .i.c2! 15 h4 f5 1 6 ef llxf6 17
'ii'g3 'ii'f8 1 8 f4 hS! (gaining the f5
square) 19 gS l1ti 20 d2 g6!
Preparing the g7 square for the queen,
Black's game is already preferable
(Smagin - Savon, Norilsk 1 987).
c

5 lLld7 Black continues his


development, for the present not
resolving the tension of the pawn pair
c4-d5.
6 a3!? The point of the move is to
prepare a gain of space on the queen 's
flank, c5, b4 etc. In practice the
moves 6 lLlge2 and 6 cd have also
been tried.
On 6 lLlge2 the most principled is
6 ... dc!? In reply - 7 lLlf4!? White
attacks the c4 pawn, incidentally
threatening a standard pawn attack on
the king's flank. Upon this, the
bishop f5 feels very uncomfortable:
7 ...lLlb6 8 g4 i.g6 9 h4 i.b4 10 i.g2
..

91

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lL!c3 and 4 lL!j3


1 7 b4 with advantage (Morozevich Meduna, Lubnevice 1 994).
6 lL!d7 7 lL!g3 de!? Inferior is
7 ....tg6 in view of 8 h4 !? h5 9 i.g5 !
'ifb6 I 0 'ifd2 de I I i.xc4 lL!d5
12 0-0 f6 1 3 ef gf 14 llfe l ! with a
great advantage to White (Orlov Asrian, St.Petersburg 1 999).
8 i.xc4 lL!b6 9 .tb3 i.g6 10 0-0
'it'd7!? Premature is I O...lL!f5?! in
view of the standard pawn advance
on the king's flank: I I lL!xfS i.xf5
12 g4 .tg6 1 3 f4 'ifh4 1 4 f5 ef 1 5 gf
i.hS 1 6 'ifd3 (Hellers - Rowley,
Philadelphia 1 990). Also insufficient
for equality is I O ... lbedS 1 1 lL!ce4
.te7 1 2 h4! h5 1 3 'ii'f3 'it'c7 1 4 .tg5
(van der Wiel - van der Sterren, Lyon
1 990).
1 1 i.e3 lL!bdS 12 'iVe2 Black is
experiencing obvious problems with
development - two knights are laying
claim at the same time to the d5
square. This is why completely
inappropriate is 1 2 lbxd5?! lL!xd5
(Kinsiz - Takhirov, Baku 1 999) which immediately unties Black's
hands!
However after 1 2 'it'e2 it seems that
it is not so easy for Black to extricate
himself. Alas, this is just an optical
illusion.
.

This position was reached in the


game Zhang Zhong - Ponomarev
(Zagan 1 997). After I I i.e3 Black
dawdled, by playing I I . . .i.g6, and
for a long time fel l under White's
positional pressure.
The position requires more decisive
action: l l ...ab! 1 2 ab llxa I 1 3 'iVxa I
be 1 4 be lL!xeS ! 1 5 de d4 1 6 lL!b5
lL!d5 1 7 'iVxd4 lL!xe3 1 8 'iVxd8+
xd8 1 9 lL!d6 Cit>d7 20 lL!f3 i.e7 with
a completely satisfactory game.
Instead of I I i.e3 he can try
another development of the dark
squared bishop, but in each concrete
case counterplay is to be found for
Black: I I .tg5 h6 1 2 .th4 g5 1 3 .tf2
i.g7 1 4 .te2 0-0 or I I i.d2 lL!g6
1 2 lL!f3 ab ( 1 2 ...lL!h4 1 3 b5) 1 3 ab
l:.xa I 1 4 'iVxa I lL!h4.
D

S ... lL!e7! ? Out of four possible


moves this is the most accurate.
6 lL!ge2 6 a3 !? lL!d7 returns us to
the game Zhang Zhong - Ponomarev.
And it would be better for Black to
stick precisely to this game, since
6 . . . dc? ! again brings nothing but
grief: 7 i.xc4 lL!d5 8 lbge2 lL!d7
9 0-0 h5 1 0 lL!g3 g6 I I i.e2 h4
1 2 lL!xfS gf 1 3 .tf3 .te7 1 4 'iVc2
lLI7b6 I 5 lbe2 'ifd7 1 6 i.d2 0-0-0
92

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 tbc3 and 4 tbjJ


12 h5! 13 .igS h4 1 4 tbge4 tbfS
I S l:tad l .ie7 Indeed, this time
Black succeeds in levelling the
game ( Benjamin - Christiansen,
Jacksonv ille 1 990). However for
some
reason
there
remains
confidence in the fact that there are
more than enough unexplored places
in the variation 4 c4 !?
..

preferable) 9 Ji'd6 10 d+ .ixti


11 tbd2 tbd7 12 .if4 'itb4 13 c3
'ii'xb2 14 l:lb1 'ii'xa2 1 5 l:txb7 tbgf6
with a complex sharp struggle (Zhang
Pengxiang - Seirawan, Beijing
2003 ).
2) 5 c3 cS In the present situation
5 ... h5?! is very dubious since White
manages to transfer the knight to f4:
6 gh .if5 7 lbh3 ! e6 8 tbf4 c5 9 'ii'b3
'ii'c7 I 0 .ie3 .ig4 I I l:tg I .ixh5
1 2 l:tg3 ! It is not so easy to cope with
the threat to pin the bishop by means
of 1 3 l::h 3.
6 .ie3 e6 7 de 'fkc7 8 tbf3 .ixcS
9 .ixcS 'ii'xcS 10 'ii'd4 Wkc7 11 tba3
a6 The game is even (Balinas - Filip,
Lugano 1 968).
3) 5 .ig2 does not promise an
advantage in view of the fact that
Black carries out the standard plan of
undermining the g4 pawn.
5 e6 6 .ie3 In reply to 6 lCifJ or
6 lC!e2 very strong is 6 ... h5 ! It is
useful for Black to clear up the
situation with the g4 pawn, before he
undermines the centre by c6-c5. In
essence, Black gives the opponent a
choice: whether to give up the f5
square (which in itself represents
a positional concession), or reply
h2-h3. But then Black can boldly play
c6-c5, since it is dangerous for White
to castle on the short side in view of
the opening of the h-file.
6...tbe7! ? 7 lC!f3 hS! 8 gS? Better is
8 h3, but even then after 8 ...lC!g6
Black has a good game.
8 lCifS 9 .icl ? cS 10 h4 lC!c6
1 1 de .ixcS 12 ll'lc3 'iVb6 13 'iVd2
( 1 3 0-0 ll'lcd4) 13 ...ll'lcd4 14 ll'lxd4
.ixd4 1 5 f4 ll'lg3! 16 l:lh3 .ixc3
..

VII
4 g4

of
continuation
old
This
grandmaster Richard Reti was
introduced into tournament practice
as long ago as 1 9 1 3 . Sharp play
commences, where the cost of each
move for both sides is extremely
high ...
Black has available three replies:
4....id7, 4 . . ..ig6, 4 . . ..ie4. We look at
each of these in tum.
A

The solid 4....id7 leads to a French


construction. After this move Black's
main idea becomes the struggle for
occupation of the f5 square. Most
frequently he wants to achieve this by
means of the pawn thrust h7-h5.
I ) 5 .ieJ hS! 6 gh .irs 7 tbe2 .ig4
8 l::g l .ixhS 9 e6! (in a static game
Black's chances are noticeably

..

..

93

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 llX3 and 4 /1)j3


1 7 be 'ifgl +. White resigned
(Sandapan - Podgaets, Bali 2000).
4) After 5 c4 once again S ...hS!?
looks logical, with the idea of
returning with the bishop to the f5
square.

has beaten off all sudden attacks and


can now think about playing for a win
(Bronstein - Magem, Oviedo 1 992).

The loss of a pawn is not so terrible


for Black - sooner or later White has
to give it back otherwise he cannot
complete the development of his
king's flank.
It is also possible to play 5 . . . e6.
Only after 6 /1)c3 it is not worth
blending the whole idea at once, as
Black did in the game Morozevich Zontach (Tallinn 2003): 6 ... h5 7 g5
/1)e7 8 /1)f3 de 9 .i.xc4 /1)g6?! I 0 .i.d3
.i.e7 I I .i.xg6 fg 1 2 /1)h4. The g6
pawn falls, and with it also Black's
position. After 5 ... e6 more reasonable
is 6 /1)c3 concentrating on the
development of his queen 's flank:
6 .../1)e7 7 /1)f3 /1)a6 8 h4 c5 9 .i.e3
.i.c6 I 0 llh3 de I I .i.xc4 /1)b4
1 2 3 /1)ed5 1 3 a3 /1)xe3 1 4 fe /1)d5
1 5 .i.xd5 ed 1 6 0-0-0 with chances
for both sides (Lastin - Burmakin,
Istanbul 2003).
6 gh .i.fS 7 /1)cJ e6 8 /1)ge2 .i.g4
9 'iVbJ 'iVb6 10 .tel .i.xhS 1 1 cd cd
12 /1)f4 /1)e7 13 'iVxb6 ab 14 /1)xh5
llxhS IS /1)bS d7 16 /1)d6 f6 Black

I ) Harmless for Black is 5 /1)e2 e6


6 /1)f4 .te7!? Preventing h2-h4.
Weaker is 6 ....te4 7 f3 'ifh4+ 8 e2
.tg6 9 .te3 /1)d7 1 0 c3 'it'd8 I I h4!
.txb l 12 l:lxb l c5 1 3 t2 cd 14 cd
/1)e7 1 5 'ifb3, and White achieves
more than his opponent (Morozevich
- Topalov, Monte Carlo 2003).
7 .tel (7 /1)d2!?) 7....tgS 8 /1)xg6
hg 9 f4 i.h4+ 10 d2 cS In any
event it will not be Black who has to
equalise in this game (Velimirovic Hort, Vincovci 1 970).
2) Aggressive and at the same time
absolutely harmless is 5 h4 hS 6 e6
'ifd6 (6 ... hg!?) 7 ef+ i.xti 8 gS eS
9 de 'iVxeS+ 10 /1)e2 (Blumberg Hemudi, Biel 1 995). By continuing
1 O .tcS 1 1 .i.g2 /1)e7, Black
achieves the better game.
3) If White really intends hand to
hand fighting then he needs to start
with 5 e6!? If the pawn is accepted,
5 ... fe, he will have to reckon on
unpleasant pressure on the king's
flank: 6 h4 (6 /1)h3 ! ? Seirawan)

4 .tg6
.

94

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lt)c3 and 4 lt)j3


6 ...'ifd6 7 h5 ..tf7 8 f4. It is not
possible to survive such suffocation!
s...'ilfd6!? 6 ef+ ..txf7 7 lt:)fJ lt:)d7
8 ..t d3 (Haimi - Nurkinen, Finland
200 I ). In this position Black goes for
long castling, losing the impetus for
counterattack . He should play
8 .lt:)gf6, and in reply to 9 l::tg l (9 g5
lt:)e4) immediately break in the
centre: 9 . e5!? 10 de lLlxeS II 'ilfe2
lt:)d7

denying the knight the f3 square.


Likewise he hopes to exploit
sometime in the future the weakening
of the g3 square.
5 f3 ..tg6 6 h4 Also in this position
6 e6 brings no success because of the
manoeuvre, well known to us,
6 . . .'ilfd6 !? 7 ef+ ..txt7 8 ..td3 h5 ! The
main thing is to prevent White from
playing f3-f4 (with the help of an
advance of the f pawn White deprives
his
opponent
of counterplay
associated with e7-e5). After 8 ... h5 !
the game turns out in Black's favour:
9 g5 e5 I 0 'ilfe2 lt:)d7 I I ..tf4 0-0-0
1 2 Jlxe5 lt:)xe5 1 3 de 'ifb.4+ 1 4 c3
'ilff4 etc.
6...h5

..

12 dl ! ? In making this cunning


move, White threatens immediately
to exploit some pins by 1 3 ..tf4
( 1 2 ..tf4? at once is weak because of
1 2 ... 'ifb.4+). Besides this, the king
escapes from the checks on d3 or f3 .
And none the less...
1 2...0-0-0!? 13 ..tf4 lt:)xfJI The
sacrifice is practically forced,
but Black obtains ful l value
compensation for the queen.
1 4 ..txd6 lt:)xgl I S 'iVel ..txd6
16 'ilfxgt lt:)cS The correctness of this
queen sacrifice should be confirmed
(or refuted) by practice. For the
present this is no more than
preliminary analysis.
c
4 ... ..te4 was recommended by
A.Alekhine. Black provokes t2-f3,
95

7 e6!? In this typical pawn


sacrifice, hampering the development
of pieces, l ies the point of White's
idea.
Insipid is 7 Jld3 ..txd3 8 'ilfxd3 e6
9 g5 lt:)e7 (analysis by Filip), while
after 7 lt:)e2 e6 8 lLlf4 hg 9 lt:)xg6 fg
I 0 'ilfd3 the complications in all
variations tum out in Black's favour:
I O . . . d7 ! I I 'it'xg6 gf 1 2 Jlh3
'ifxh4+ 1 3 fl 'ifxh3+ ! 14 llxh3
l::txh3 1 5 'iif7+ ..te7 1 6 1Wxg8 lt:)a6!
1 7 'it'xg7 (or 1 7 'iixa8 Jlh4 1 8 g l
t2+ 1 9 'iPg2 llh2+ 20 xh2 fl 'ii

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lbj3


2 1 1i'xb7+ lDc7 22 .i.e3 'it'e2+
23 h3 11fe l ) 1 7 ...1lh l + 1 8 ..tf2
l:txc I , and Black soon won (Hulshof
- L' Ami, Hoogoven 2003).
7 11t'd6 With some reservations it
is possible to recommend also 7 ... fe
8 .i.d3 .i.xd3 9 'iVxd3 'iVd6 1 0 'iVg6+
cltd8! (into Black's plan enters the
advance of the e pawn but, with the
position of the king on d7, in reply to
e6-e5 there is an unpleasant check on
f5) I I g5 e5 1 2 'iVf7 e6 1 3 de 'iVe7
1 4 'iVg6 lL'ld7 1 5 f4 'it'e8 1 6 'it'd3 .i.c5
1 7 lDe2 lDe7 with a good game
(Abbasifar - Sasikiran, Elista 1 998).
8 ef+ .i. xf7 (as indicated as long
ago as Alekhine, Black's prospects in
this position are superior) 9 g5 1i'g3+
1 0 e2 lL'ld7 In the game Schmidt
Bolmann (Binz
1 994), B lack
blundered with I O . . e5? I I l:th3 !
1Wxg I 1 2 .i.e3. The queen is trapped.
11 .i.e3 'iVc7 12 f4 (or 1 2 .i.h3 e6
1 3 f4 .i.d6 1 4 'iVd2 lL'le7 1 5 lL'lf.3 lDg6
1 6 f5 ef 1 7 .i.xf5 0-0-0 with
advantage to Black, Teodoro Livshitz, Toronto 1 996) 12 .i.e6 13
.i.hJ .i.xh3 14 llxhJ e6 15 lL'!f3 lDe7
1 6 lL'lbd2 lDfS In this position (Hahn
- Alekhine, Krakow 1 94 1 ) the
question can only be whether it is
Black or White who will succeed in
defending a draw. Properly speaking,
this question in fact applies to the
whole of the variation with 4 g4.
..

It should be said that even now


(more than 70 years after Paul
Petrovich Keres published his
findings) the advance of the edge
pawn has not lost its topicality. The
idea of the move lies in the fact that
White does not allow his opponent to
play 4 ...e6 - after 5 g4 he loses the
bishop. Besides this, the rush of the h
pawn cramps the opponent's king's
flank to the maximum. Therefore
Black has to lose time on 4 ... h6 (or
4 ... h5, which is more popular), in
order to secure the position of the
light-squared bishop after e7-e6.
4 . . . h6 (A) and 4 ...h5 (B) - are the
basic defences. Besides these, worth
considering is 4 ...'iVb6 (C). A move
directed at preparing c6-c5 .
But here the impatient 4 ...c5?! is
unsatisfactory because of 5 de! lDc6
(even weaker is 5 .. .'ii'c7?! 6 lL'lc3 lL'lc6
7 lDfJ l:td8 8 lDb5 11t'c8, Tal Botvinnik, Moscow 1 96 1 , and here,
as pointed out by Smyslov, 9 c3 !
is best as it underlines White's
VIII
enormous
advantage) 6 .i.b5 !? 'W'a5+
4 h4!?
First played by Keres in 1 93 1 , but 7 lDc3 0-0-0 8 .i.xc6 be 9 1Wd4 e6
the move 4 h4! ? gained particular (9 ....i.xc2 1 0 e6! f6 I I lDge2 .i.fS
popularity after the return match for 1 2 b4 'iVa6 1 3 'iVe3 with a great
Nevednichy
the world championship, Ta l - advantage,
Kaiganovic, N is 1 995) I 0 .i.e3 h5
Botvinnik.
.

..

96

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 ll:lc3 and 4 ll:lf3


A fter 5 g4! ? Black has three
retreats to choose from: 5 . . . .i.h7,
5 ....i.e4 and 5 ... .i.d7 .
1 ) Dubious is 5 .i.h7?!, on which
fol lows the wel l known pawn
sacri fice: 6 e6! 'iVd6 (or 6 ... fe 7 .i.d3
.i.xd3 8 1i'xd3 1i'd6 9 f4 llJd7 1 0 llJf3
0-0-0 1 1 llJe5 with a great advantage
for White, Gufeld - Spiridonov,
Helsinki 1 96 1 ) 7 ef+ xf7 8 f4!
'iVe6+!? (the replies .i.e4 and llJf6
will be examined under the following
move order: 5 ....i.e4 6 f3 h7 7 e6
'iVd6 8 ef+ Wxt7 9 f4) 9 Wd2 llJf6
1 0 f5 'ii'd6 1 1 'iVf3 'ii'g3 12 .i.h3
'ii'xh4 13 e2 llJbd7 14 f4 llJe4
15 llJd2 llJxd2 16 xd2 1i'f6 17 lbe2
The passive positions of the black
bishops give White good chances of
an attack (Romero - Magem,
Mondariz 1 995).
2) 5 ....i.e4 With the idea of
provoking t2-f3 and thereby taking
away the f3 square from the knight.
6 f3 .i.h7 7 e6! ? 'ii'd 6 8 ef+ xf7
9 f4! Strictly speaking, the only
solution. In reply to any other move
Black plays e7-e5, achieving more
than an equal game. For example,
9 .i.d3?! e5 ! 1 0 .i.xh7 l:.xh7 1 1 de
Wxe5+ 1 2 llJe2 llJd7 1 3 llJc3 (bad is
1 3 .i.f4 Wxb2 1 4 llJbc3 .i.b4 1 5 l:tb 1
.i.xc3+ 1 6 'ifilfl 'iVxa2 with a decisive
advantage, Lutz - Brunner, Garmisch
Partenkirchen 1 994) 1 3 . . .l:te8 14 Wd3
(or 14 f2 llJgf6 1 5 .i.f4 .i.c5+
1 6 g2 1i'e6 1 7 .tg3 llJe5 1 8 llJf4
'iVd7 1 9 g5 hg 20 hg lteh8! with a big
advantage for Black, Ycmelin Bachmann, Berlin 1 995) 14 . . .llJgf6
1 5 h5 d4 1 6 'iVc4+ :le6 1 7 llJe4 llJxe4
1 8 fe e8 1 9 0-0

I I 0-0-0! ? (as pointed out by Nunn,


also leading to its objective is
I I li:lf3 !? ll:lh6 12 0-0 .i.xc2 13 b4
ti'a6 1 4 b5 cb 1 5 .i.xh6 l:lxh6 1 6 llfc I
.i.a4 1 7 llab 1 ) l l ...li:lh6 1 2 f3 .i.e?
13 'iVa4 and Black has practically no
chances of salvation (Moroz Weinstein, Pardubice 200 I ).

4... h6

It is surprising that even upon this


rather passive move, on the board
highly interesting complications
develop. We see that in the variation
4 h4 there is in general nowhere to
escape from these!
5 g4!? At least logical. Less
promising is 5 ll:le2 e6 6 ll:lg3 ll:le7
7 ll:lc3 llJd7 8 .i.e3 .i.h7 9 .i.d3 (9
h5 !?) 9 . . ..i.xd3 10 cd h5 !
The game Tal - Botvinnik
(Moscow 1 96 1 ) reached this position.
White decided not to take the pawn,
and this is why: I I llJxh5 llJf5
1 2 'iig4 ( 1 2 g3?! c5!) 1 2 ...c5 1 3 llJg3
llxh4 1 4 llxh4 'ilt'xh4 1 5 'iVxh4 llJxh4
1 6 fl cd 1 7 xd4 a6 1 8 f4 l:tc8
leads to a position with rather the
better chances for Black. Tal played
1 1 llJce2, but likewise achieved no
advantage.
97

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 &[jp

1 9 ...g5! By including the rook h7 in


the game, Black outplayed his
opponent ( Forster - Chiburdanidze,
Biel 1 994).
9...&[jf6 Also after 9 ....te4 1 0 &[jf3
e8 I I &[jc3 &[jf6 1 2 &[jxe4 &[jxe4
1 3 &[je5 &[jd7 1 4 .td3 &[jxe5 1 5 fe
White outstripped his opponent in
development and initiative (Magem Menager, Reunion 1 997).
10 h3 cS 1 1 &[jtJ cd 12 &[jeS+
e8 1 3 gS &fjfd7 1 4 'ifhS+ g6
15 'ife2 .ig7 1 6 &[jdJ Perhaps
White's chances are still superior
(Moroz - Virovlansky, Decin 1 997).
Apparently, the pawn sacrifice
e5-e6 !? in association with the
subsequent clamp t2-f4 - is a serious
argument in favour of leaving the
bishop on the diagonal c8-h3.
3) s ...td7! (now the threat of e5e6 is liquidated) 6 h5!? By blocking
the g7 and h6 pawns, White fixes the
pawn structure, which will in
practical terms be favourable for him
in any endgame. But the endgame is
still oh so far away...
Poor is 6 c3?! c5 7 .tg2 e6 8 &[je2
.ib5 9 &[ja3?! (9 .i.e3 !? Botvinnik)
9 . . ..i.xe2 10 'ifxe2 cd I I cd .txa3
1 2 ba tLlc6 1 3 .i.e3 'iVa5+. The
position is simpli fied and the white
.

98

pawns are a sorry sight (Tal


Botvinnik, Moscow 1 96 1 ).
No advantage is promised by
6 .ie3 c5 (it is worth lending an ear to
Seirawan's recommendation 6 ... h5 !?)
7 c3 &[jc6 8 a3 a5 9 b3 e6 I 0 h5 b5
I I &[jf3 'ii'h6 1 2 .tg2 c4 1 3 be be
(Bronstein - Donner, Budapest
1 96 1 ).
After 6 h5!? Black is faced with a
choice:

... whether to prepare the break c6-c5


with the move 6 ...e6, or to thrust
forward immediately with 6 ...c5.
a) 6...e6 7 f4 cS 8 c3 &[jc6 9 &[jtJ
'ifb6 10 fl A position that is critical
for the assessment of 6 ... e6. The king
transfers to g3, where it will find
itself in relative safety. The main
thing for White is not to delay his
walk to g3. Otherwise Black will
manage to generate counterplay, for
example, I 0 &[ja3 cd I I cd 0-o-o
1 2 &[jc2 b8 1 3 .td3 &[jge7 1 4 ltb I
&[ja5 1 5 .td2 Ilc8 1 6 b4 &[jc4 1 7 b5
(Tal - Pachman, Bled 1 96 1 ), and here
1 7 ... f5 !? would be very strong.
1 0 ... 0-0-0 The position is too
compl icated to deliver a final verdict
as regards this or that move. The
sides quickly make contact with one

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lbc3 and 4 lbj3


IJ... cd 14 cd lba5 15 lbc3 lbc4
16 .i.xc4 l:lxc4 1 7 a3 Defending
passively, very soon Black drifts into
an inferior position. Therefore he
should try as hard as he can to exploit
the position of the white king on g3.
It means 1t IS necessary to play
1 7 . . . g6 !?, and then - see what
happens.
b) A very complicated position with
not bad counterchances for Black
also arises after 6... c5!? 7 c3 lbc6!?
As we see, Black has not closed the
way for his bishop d7 by playing
6 . . . e6. I ndeed he does not al low
White to freely pursue the main idea
of the system - a pawn attack on the
king's flank by f2-f4. Insisting on
following his plan, White is forced
to defend the g4 pawn with his
bishop on h3, after which he loses
control over the important diagonal
a6-fl .
8 .i.h3 e6 9 f4 (9 .i.e3?! 'ifb6
1 0 'ilt'b3 cd I I 'flxb6 ab 1 2 cd lba5 1 3
lbc3 b5 with the better game for
Black, Tal - Botv innik, Moscow
1 96 1 ) 9..Jlc8 10 lbf3 'flb6 II 0-0!?
By analogy with the variation 6 . . .e6 it
is not possible to play now I I llh2 in
view of l t ... cd 1 2 cd lbxd4! 1 3 lbxd4
l:lxc l ! The exchange sacrifice on c l ,
typical for positions of this kind,
invariably brings Black success:
14 'ilt'xc l 'ifxd4 1 5 .i.fl f6 1 6 l:le2 fe
1 7 fe .i.e7 with a menacing attack
(Nevednichy - Grigore, Romania
1 996).
But even after castling short White
succeeds in avoiding complications
which are unfavourable for him.
l l ...cd l2 cd

another, without a single piece or


pawn leaving the board... Probably
some analyst or other will find a
chain of 'only' moves. But for the
present these are not to be found and
therefore for the majority of moves
we rightly apply only the term
'probably' .
Probably dubious i s I O .. f6 I I g3
0-0-0 1 2 a3 c4 1 3 lbbd2 b8 1 4 b3
cb 1 5 lbxb3 'flc7 1 6 d3 .i.c8 1 7 a4
(Malanuk - Psakhis, Baku 1 979).
Black also could not get to the
exposed king in the game Adams Khalifman (New York 1 994): tO ...cd
I t cd lbge7 1 2 Wg2 aS ( 1 2 ... f5 ! ?)
1 3 lbc3 lba7 1 4 .i.d3 lbec6 1 5 .i.b I
.i.b4 1 6 lba4 'flc7 1 7 a3 .i.e7 1 8 lbc3
1 1 Wg3 <itb8 l 2 llh2!? In the event
of 1 2 a3 (with the idea of b2-b4)
Black plays for a blockade: 1 2 ...c4
1 3 lbbd2 lba5 1 4 lbh4 .i.e7 1 5 l:lb l
l:lc8 1 6 'ilt'c2 .i.xh4+ 1 7 l:lxh4 lbe7 1 8
lbf3 g6! ? 1 9 .i.e3 llcg8 with quite
good counterplay (Maiwald
Pezerovic, Germany 1 999).
12 ...l:lc8 13 .i.e3
.

The first exchange in the game


Filipovic - Belotti (Mendrisio 1 988)
took place only now - when it seems
the board was already red hot.
99

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4 /3

12 ...ltJxd4!? How strange that there


is a worthy (and very simple)
alternative to this powerful tactical
idea: 1 2 ...g6!? 1 3 ltJc3 (or 1 3 hg fg
1 4 ltJc3 h5 with good control for
Black) 1 3 ...gh 1 4 gh ltJge7.
13 ltJxd4 llc4! (bad is 1 3 ...c5?
14 e3 'ifxb2 1 5 'ii'd2 'ii'xa l 1 6 ltJc3)
14 e3 c5 1 5 lbd2!? llxd4
16 xd4 xd4+ 17 'it>h 1 e3!? If
Black manages to complete his
development without hindrance and
give his bishops their necessary
freedom, it will definitely tum out
badly for the white king.

5 c4 The strongest move, leaving


Black a difficult choice. The first plan
of defence is to exchange on c4, then
to exploit the d5 square as a
springboard to transfer his pieces.
There is a negative to this
construction - at White's disposal is
the e4 square, besides which he
occupies more space. Another plan
consists of holding the d5 square for
the time being and continuing with
the development of his pieces. If
White does not further advance the c
pawn Black has the right to exchange
on c4 at an appropriate moment.

On the whole, however, the


variation 4 ... h6 is unimaginably
complicated for practical play. It is
therefore not surprising that the
majority of the games played
with this variation consist of those
conducted by correspondence.

I nsufficient
for equality
is
S ... xb I ?! 6 lhb I e6 in view of the
fact that White has immediately
gained space on the queen's flank:
7 c5 ! b6 8 b4 aS 9 a3 lbe7 1 0 lbf3 ab
I I ab lbfS 1 2 d3 e7 1 3 g3 g6
1 4 0-0 f8 1 5 f4 g7 1 6 'ife2 lbd7
1 7 lla I with a tangible advantage
(Vasyukov - Skembris, Corfu 1 989).

4... h5!?
The basic continuation. Black
prevents 5 g4, but at the same time
weakens the g5 square.

And so there is only a choice


between two continuations: 5 ...dc or
5 ... e6.

1 00

I) 5...dc 6 xc4

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4 tiJjJ

6 e6 Also here, highly dubious is


6 . . . .ixb 1 7 ltxb 1 e6. It appears that
despite the fact that he has support
points on d5 and f5, Black's position
is inferior, since he is deprived of
counte.,Iay. On the other hand it
is quite complicated to breach the
black bastion. Here is just one
example: 8 lL!f3 lLld7 9 0-0 lLlb6
1 0 .id3 lLle7 I I .ig5 lLlbd5 1 2 'ifc 1
aS 1 3 a3 1Wd7 1 4 l:te 1 lLlc8 1 5 'ifc2
.ie7 1 6 .id2 a4 1 7 .ic4 lLlcb6
1 8 .ia2, and White has not advanced
very far to his goal (Moroz - Savon,
Ordzhonikidze 2001 ).
7 lLlcJ Possible now are 7 ... .ie7
and 7 ...lLld7.
a) 7 .ie7 This is rarely played,
although, in our view, the move is
principled and so it is for no reason
that it has languished in obscurity.
Black prevents the jump of the bishop
to g5 and attacks a pawn - one cannot
expect more from a single move.
8 lL!f3 !? Also leading to a
complicated game with chances for
both sides is 8 .ie3 lLlh6 9 'ii"d2 .ig6
(freeing the f5 square for the knight)
I 0 .ig5 lLlf5, as also 8 g3 lLld7
9 lLlge2 lLlb6 1 0 .id3 .ixd3 1 1 'ii"xd3
lLld5.
.

8....ig4 More reliable is 8 ... lLld7!?


9 .ig5 lLlb6 1 0 .ib3 (I 0 .id3 .ixd3
I I 'ifxd3 lLlh6) 1 O ...'ifd7 I I "ife2
0-0-0 1 2 0-0-0 'iPb8 13 lLle4 .ixe4
1 4 'ifxe4 lL!d5 1 5 b I lLlh6 1 6 lLle 1
lLlf5 with an equal position (Suetin Nebling, Bad Liebenzel 1 996).
Of course, 8 ... .ig4 looks more
tempting, but here White virtually by
force launches a dangerous attack.
9 .igS!? lLlh6 (if 9 ... .ixf3 10 gf
.ixg5 I I hg 'ii"xg5, then 1 2 lLle4 with
the initiative) 10 ._,d2 .ixiJ 11 gf
lL!fS 1 2 0-0-0

In the game Blatny - Chervenka


(Tmava 1 987) Black played weakly:
1 2 . . .lLld7? ! The attack quickly
becomes irresistible: 13 .id3 lLlxh4
1 4 .ixh4 .ixh4 1 5 l:ldg I lL!f8 1 6 'fVf4
g5 1 7 'ii" e 3. There is no defence
against the threat 1 8 lLle4 and soon
Black will be forced to resign.
Interesting complications remain
from the cadre:
12 lLlxh4!?
13 .ixh4 .ixh4 14 lldg1 g6
15 11'f4!? .ie7 ( 1 5 ....ixf2? 1 6 lLle4)
16 .ixe6! The bishop sacrifice is the
only chance of sharpening the game.
16 fe 17 l:txg6 lLla6 18 l:tg7! d7
Also after 1 8 . . .'iVd7 White has a
strong attack, for example: 1 9 'iff7+

101

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lDc3 and 4 lDj3


d8 20 lDe4 ll 2 1 'W'xh5 c5 22 d5!
ed 23 lDf6 'ifa4 24 lDxd5 'W'c4+
25 lDc3 'iff4+ 26 b I 'iff5+ 27 'ifxf5
llxf5 28 lDd5 with victory.
19 lDe4 'iff8 (or 1 9...lDc7 20 llhg l !
lDd5 2 1 'iff7 : 22 lDc5+ Wc8
23 'ifxe6+ c7 24 f4! l:lxf4 25 'ifh6
with a decisive advantage) 20 llti
'W'h6 (20 ...'W'd8 2 1 l:lg l ! c8
22 lDd6+ .i.xd6 23 ed lDb4 24 'ifh2)
21 xh6 l:lxh6 22 lDf6+ d8
23 lDg8 l:r.h8 24 lDxe7 We8 25 l:lg7
f8 26 llhgl l:td8 27 lDg8 l:lxd4
28 lDf6, and White's position is
probably winning.
Jt goes without saying that it is not
possible to guarantee that all the
variations presented here are
faultless, and it i s all the more
difficult to calculate them in practical
play. But this in no way reduces the
creative achievement of the Czech
grandmaster; on the contrary it pays
honour to his intuition.

Black frees the e7 square for the


knight. After 1 2 a3 .ia5 1 3 .ia2 lDd5
1 4 b4 lDxc3 1 5 xc3 .ib6 Black has
simply the better game (Blatny Plachetka, Namestovo 1 987).
8....ie7!? We already know the
basic idea of the move: to prevent the
development of the bishop to g5.
There is also a thorny path to
equality after 8 ...lDb6. On 9 .i.b3
rejection of the idea 9 ... .i.e7 leads
B lack into an inferior position:
9 ...lDe7?! 1 0 .i.g5 'ifd7 I I 0!? (in
this way White prepares an outpost
for the knight on e4) l l ...lDed5 1 2
lDe4 .i.g6 1 3 a3 (White methodically
l imits the mobility of the enemy
bishop) 1 3 . . . 'ifc7 1 4 l:lc l Wd7
1 5 lik5+ with an obvious advantage
(Mainka - Psakhis, London 1 994).
After 8 . . . lDb6 9 .i.d3 likewise
demands accurate play from Black:

b) 7 lDd7
.

8 lDge2 White, in accordance with


his intended plan, transfers the knight
to e4.
Also encountered is 8 .i.g5 .i.e7
9 'ifd2 lDb6 I 0 .ib3 .d7 I I lDge2
.ib4 ! ? With this excellent move

9 ... .i.xd3 1 0 'ifxd3 'ifd7 (in the


event of I O ... lDh6 I I .i.xh6 llxh6
1 2 0-0-0 .d7 1 3 lDf4 0-0-0 1 4 'iff)
g6 1 5 Wb l llh8 1 6 lDh3 White
obtains a great space advantage, but it
is di fficult for him to achieve
anything more real, since Black's
position is very solid and his only
weakness - the f7 pawn - wi II be

1 02

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4lbj3


defended with ease: 1 6 ...i.h6 1 7 lDg5
%lhf8 1 8 !Dh7 llh8, Vasyukov Hodgson, Moscow 1 987) I I i.g5
(after I I 0-o 0-0-0 1 2 !De4 it is
important not to allow the white
bishop to g5: 12 ... f6!? 1 3 'it'D i.e7
1 4 !Df4 llh7 1 5 i.e3 !Dd5 1 6 %tad l
llh6!?; then, in the encounter
M . R ichagov - Khenkin, Barnaul
1 988, White did not risk taking the
pawn, since he rightly feared
counterplay: 1 7 ef gf 1 8 'ifxh5 J:.dh8
l 9llg6 lDf5 20 'it'e2 l:tg8 2 1 h5llg7
22 g4 fS 23 lDxe7+ 'iVxe7 24 i.g5
..c7) l l ...f6 1 2 i.f4 lDe7 1 3 0-0
lDf5 !? 1 4 lDe4 lDdS 1 5 l:.fd l i.e7
1 6 g3 0-0-0 1 7 J:.ac I , and after
1 7 ... gS! Black seized the initiative
(Mellado - lzeta, Spain 1 993).
How much simpler are matters
upon 8 ... i.e7!? This is how Black even without effort - achieves the
better game:
9 lDg3 i.g6 I 0 lDce4 There is
nothing in 1 0 llge4 lDh6 I I i.e2
i.xe4 1 2 lDxe4 lDfS 1 3 i.xh5 lDb6
1 4 g3 ..xd4 1 5 'Wxd4 lDxd4 (Art.
Minasian - Oshar, Paris 1 994).
There is still the recommendation
of King and Speelman, I 0 i.e2, tried
in the game Mitkov - Stoyanovsky
(Gevgelia 2002): I O ... c5 1 1 i.gS cd
1 2 'ii'xd4 lDb6 1 3 i.e3 'Wxd4
14 i.xd4 0-0-0 1 5 lDbS b8 1 6 J:.c l
i.b4+ 1 7 'it>fl lDe7 1 8 lDd6 lDc6
19
i.xb6.
In
this
position
Stoyanovsky agreed a draw, and
perhaps prematurely as Black stands
better.
IO llh6 ll lDgS 'ii'a5+!

An important move, allowing


Black to detain the white king in the
centre. Incidentally it frees for the
rook the d8 square, from where it will
exert pressure on the d4 pawn.
1 2 i.d2 i.b4 1 3 lDle4 i.xe4 A
crucial moment: in such positions this
exchange is favourable for B lack,
since he rids himself of the passive
bishop, while the weak d6 square is
now defended by the knight from f5.
14llxe4 l[)f5 15 i.c3 i.xc3+ 16 be
l:td8 17 i.d3 lDxd4! 1 8 lDd6+ <i;e7
1 9 0-0 lDfJ+! An excellent tactical
blow, underl ining Black's great
advantage (Chandler - Speelman,
Edinburgh 1 985).
The continuation S ...dc 6 i.xc4 e6
followed by i.f8-e7, in our view, is
highly promising. However more
frequently met in practice is s . .e6.
2) 5 e6

1 03

...

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4 CiJj3


Before going over to an analysis of
the basic 6 lbc3, we find some time to
look at the work of Dnepropetrovsk
players Vladimir Okhotnik and
Alexander Moroz. By continuing
6 gS!?, they, without exaggeration,
have achieved virtually I 00% results!
6 .'A'b6!? Also 6 ... e7 has been
played against the Dnepropetrov
skers, but after 7 1fd2 White step by
step obtains the better position:
7 ... i..xb l 8 lhb l lbh6 9 lbt3 lbf5
I 0 d3 lbd7 I I c5 (Moroz Vamitsky, Rovno 2000);
7 ... i..xg5 8 hg lbe7 9 lbc3 de
1 0 i..xc4 lbd7 1 1 lbge2 c5 1 2 f4 a6
1 3 lbg3 (Okhotni k - Vadasz,
Balatonberenyi 1 996). In this
position Black took on d4, but,
possibly, stronger is 1 3 . . . lbb6 ! ?
1 4 lbxh5 (or 1 4 i..e2 cd 1 5 lbxh5
f8) 1 4...f8;
7 ... de 8 xc4 lbd7 9 tbc3 lbb6
10 i..b3 f6 ( I O ...'ifd7 ! ?) I I f4 lbd5
1 2 lbxd5 cd 1 3 lbe2 lbh6 14 lbg3
..tg6 1 5 0-0 lbf5 1 6 life I lbxg3
1 7 ef! gf 1 8 ..txg3 with advantage
(Moroz - Klinova, Pardubice 2000).
Instead of 1 5 ...lbf5 more natural
looks 1 5 ... fe 1 6 i..a4+ f8 1 7 xeS
lbn, but after 1 8 llfe l ! ? (only not
1 8 f4? ! lbxe5 1 9 fe+ g8) 1 8 ... xh4
1 9 i.. f4 and the compensation for the
sacrificed pawn is more than
sufficient.
7 1t'd2 tbd7 More reliable than
cl inging to the pawn after ? . .. de
8 lbc3 'it'a6 (8 ... lbe7?! 9 xc4 lbd7
I 0 0-0-0 1fa5 I I 'ife I !? 'fie?
1 2 lbge2 lbd5 1 3 lbg3 g6 1 4 i..xd5
cd 1 5 lbxf5 gf 1 6 b l with
advantage, Okhotnik - Roos, France
.

1 996) 9 lbge2 d3 1 0 lbg3 xfl


I I llxfl lbd7 1 2 'iie2 lbe7 (Moleion
- Lobo, Austria 1 999), and in this
position White should play simply
13 lbxh5 ! lbd5 14 g4 with a great
advantage.
8 lbc3 f6 9 ef gf 10 eJ lbh6!? An
apt manoeuvre. The knight heads for
g4 to exchange the strong bishop on
e3, while in reply to I I t3 it will try to
establish itself on f5.
11 lbge2 lbg4 1 2 cd lbxeJ 13 fe cd
14 lbf4 i.d6 15 i.. e2 Agreed a draw
(Maiwald - Lalic, Dresden 1 998).
It goes without saying, 6 g5!?
ought not to be stronger than the
basic 6 lbc3, but the above
mentioned variations once again
show how important it is to have
one's own opinion on all theoretical
problems. What and how to play must
be decided by you yourself!
Let us return to 6 tbcJ

Further play flows in three


directions: 6 ...lbd7, 6 ... lbe7, 6 . ..i..e 7.
a) 6...tbd7 Out of the three
possibilities - the least successful.
However, if White tries to obtain the
advantage with a so called ' front
man' (7 i..g5 or 7 cd cd 8 g5), then
Black without particular difficulty
will beat otT this sudden attack:

1 04

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4 lbj3


a I ) 7 .i.gS 'itb6 (Black is worse
after 7 . . . f6? ! 8 ef gf 9 .i.e3 de
I 0 .i.xc4 lbb6 I I .i.e2 .i.g6
1 2 lbh3 !?, Timman - Karpov, Linares
1 992) 8 'ifd2 de 9 .i.xc4 f6 10 ef gf
1 1 ..ie3 0-0-0 12 lbge2 'ii'b4 13 .i.d3
.i.xd3 14 'ii'xd3 lbc5 1 5 'ifc2 'iVxb2
16 'ii'd 1 In this position Black, in the
game Malaniuk - Zelcic (Formia
1 994), could have obtained the better
endgame by 1 6...lbd3+ 17 'iti>rt lbb4
18 l:r.b 1 (White also gets nothing out
of 1 8 a3 lt:lc2 1 9 l:r.b I lbxe3+ 20 fe
'ifxa3 2 1 lta I 1lib4 22 llxa7 lbh6)
18 'ifc2 19 'ihc2 lbxc2 20 lbf4
lbxe3+ 21 fe .i.d6
a2) 7 cd In this way White deprives
the opponent of the chance to
exchange on c4. Then, with tempo, he
brings out his bishop to g5 and seizes
the c-file.
7...cd 8 .i.gS Not dangerous for
Black is 8 .i.d3 .i.xd3 9 'iVxd3 lt:le7
I 0 .i.g5 f6 I I ef gf 1 2 .i.d2 <j;fl
1 3 lbge2 lbg6 1 4 g3 .i.d6 (lvanchuk
- Karpov, Tilburg 1 993).
8...f6!? The most concrete, though
other moves are worth considering:
8 ...'ii'b6 9 'ii'd2 l:tc8 1 0 l:tc l lbe7
I I a3 lbc6 1 2 lbge2 (Yagupov Anastasian, Linares 2000). Lukacs
considers that in this position Black
missed an interesting possibility:
12 ... f6!? 1 3 e fgf 14 .i.f4 lba5 !?
8 ...'ifa5?! (Mokry - Shaw, Saloniki
1 984 ). Grandmaster Mokry himself
also pointed out a clear reaction to
this move: 9 .i.b5 .i.b4 I 0 .i.xd7+
Wxd7 I I lDe2 with advantage.
8 ... .i.e7 9 'ii'd2 a6 (judging from the
analysis of Okhotnik, Black cannot
take on g5, since after 9 . . . .i.xg5
..

I 0 'ii'xg5 'ii'xg5 I I hg a6 12 .i.e2 .i.g6


1 3 g4! h4 1 4 lbf3 White in the end
wins a pawn) 1 0 lbge2 .i.g6 I I lbg3
lbh6 1 2 .i.d3 .i.xd3 1 3 'ii'xd3 .i.xg5
1 4 hg 'Wxg5 1 5 lbh5 'We7 1 6 0-0-0
0-0-0 1 7 l:r.dh I f6 with equality
(Matikozian-Ponomarev, Rimavska
Sobota 1 996).
9 ef gf I 0 .i.eJ 'itb6 II 'ii'd2 .i.b4
1 2 .i.d3 lbe7 13 li'lge2 'it>t7 Again
Black's chances are in no way worse
(I.Almasi - Hertan, Vienna 1 996).
And so, upon 7 .i.g5 or 7 cd cd
8 .i.g5, everything is in order for
Black. But all the same there is a way
for White to lead the game to a better
position for himself.
a3) 7 lbge2!?

The whole business lies in the fact


that Black cannot allow himself to
win a pawn - 7 ....i.e7 8 cd cd 9 .i.g5!
.i.xg5 I 0 hg 'Wxg5 - in view of
I I lbb5 ! The threat of invasion by the
knight on c7 or d6 immediately
makes Black's position difficult. I f
however 9... a6 (in place o f9....i.xg5),
then I 0 'iVd2 l:r.c8 I I a4 lbb6 1 2 lbg3
.i.g6 1 3 a5 lbc4 1 4 .i.xc4 l:r.xc4
1 5 0-0 'Wc7 1 6 l:t.fc 1 again leaves no
doubt as to White's superiority - with
his extremely big advantage in
development. Indeed also tactics are

1 05

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lbc3 and 4 CiJj3


on his side: not possible is 1 6 ... .i.b4 Tilburg 1 996).
7 .i.gS Also this move does not
because of 1 7 11Jxd5 ! (Conquest bring any advantage. For Black there
Metz, Hastings 1 995).
However after 7 11Je7 8 CiJgJ .i.g6 are actually two retorts, upon which
9 .i.gS a position is reached which we he obtains a game with equality of
have already come across when rights.
studying the variation 4 c4 (with the
b I ) 7 de!? 8 .i.xc4 CiJd7 9 I1Jge2
following order of moves: 4 c4 e6 On 9 'ifd2 he needs to play not
5 11Jc3 CJe7 6 CJge2 CiJd7 7 11Jg3 .i.g6 9 ...11Jb6?! I 0 .i.b3 ..d7 I I CiJge2
8 h4 h5 9 .i.g5). To be examined then 11Jed5 1 2 I1Jg3 .i.g6!? 1 3 o-o i..e7
is the move 9 ...'itb6 (Orlov - Asrian, 1 4 CJce4, as happened in the game
St.Petersburg 1 994) and one might A rt. Minasian - Yudasin (Tilburg
add that also after 9 ... f6 1 0 ef gf 1 993), but at once 9 ... f6! with good
I I .i.e3 CiJb6 1 2 b3 White obtains the chances.
9 .. f6!? 10 ef gf 1 1 .i.eJ CiJb6
advantage he is seeking (Benjamin Seirawan, Key West 1 994).
12 i.. d3 In the game Magem b) Principally different from Karpov (Cap d'Agde 1 996) was seen
6 . . .11Jd7 is the plan chosen by Black 1 2 i..b3 CiJbd5 1 3 I1Jg3 i..g4 1 4 ..d3
CiJf5 1 5 CiJxd5 cd with equal chances.
in playing 6 11Je7.
12 ...'ifd7 13 CJr4 0-0-0 14 i.. e2
(winning a pawn - 14 i..x f5 CiJxf5
1 5 I1Jxh5 CJc4 - is too risky)
14...11Jed5 15 CiJfxdS CiJxdS

No way is Black's aim to allow a


position in which he is unable to
occupy the d5 square with a piece.
The brightest example of this was
shown in the variation 7 I1Jge2 de! ?
(regarding 7 ...11Jd7?! see the games
Orlov - Asrian, Benjamin Seirawan) 8 CiJg3 i..g6 9 .i.g5 'ifb6
1 0 ._d2 !? I I a3 'itb3 12 l::tc l
CiJd5 1 3 CJce4 b5 1 4 i..e 2 CiJd7
1 5 0-0 CiJ7b6 1 6 CiJc3 b4 1 7 ab 'W'xb4,
and throughout it is Black who has
the ini tiative (Adams - Karpov,

The position remains highly


complicated but nevertheless we
might give Black some preference
(Nunn - Karpov, Monaco 1 995).
b2) 7 .'iVb6!? Black drags out the
exchange on c4, but it is also possible
that he does not want to exchange.
But meanwhile he will not get away
with it in practice!

106

..

Advance Variation: Everything except 4lLlc3 and 4liJ./3


8 'ifd2 lLld7 9 lLltJ White has tried
other continuations without great
success:
9 :c I f6 1 0 ef gf I I e3 'ifa5
1 2 lLlh3 lLlb6 1 3 b3 de 1 4 be 0-0-0.
The game is equal ( Rachels Seirawan, Durango 1 992);
9 lLlge2 f6 1 0 ef gf I I e3
(Sveshnikov - Pira, Cap d' Agde
2003), and here already the time has
come to decide - l l ... dc! ?, for
example: 1 2 d5 ( 1 2 lLlg3 'iVa6)
1 2 . . .116'a6 1 3 de lLle5 14 lLlf4 lld8
1 5 'ifc I lLl7g6 with a complicated and
sharp game.

9 f6!? Once again this idea


appears as the most aggressive but
also as objectively strongest.
10 ef gf II .i.eJ ltg8 12 g3 'it'as
1 3 cS b6 14 cb lLlxb6 1 5 lLle4 'ifxd2+
16 lLlexd2 aS 17 l:tc1 a4 18 e2 'iti>d7
19 0-0 g4 20 ltfel lLlfS Black has
completely outplayed his opponent
and has a great positional advantage
(Gelashvili - Asrian, Batumi 2002).
c) 6....i.e7
In the previous variations this idea
has more than once rescued Black,
but here it is not possibly not worth
looking for anything better than good
(the more so that with the natural
6 ...lLle7 White will not for the present

manage to pick up the key to the


position).

But none the less: how should


White play in reply to 6 ... e7 ?
Hardly deserving serious investig
ation is 7 tLlf3?! - White only helps
Black to employ his minor pieces in
the best way. For example, as
happened in the game Nunn - Miles
(Amsterdam 1 985): 7 ... .i.g4 8 .i.e3
tLlh6 9 cd cd 10 'lfb3 'iVd7. Black's
position ts already far more
promising.
However more solid ' normal'
moves by White (7 g3, 7 'lfb3, 7 cd),
seem to have equal rights.
c I) 7 gJ!? White modestly defends
h4... For the present Black decides on
the development of his pieces - and it
turns out that this is not so simple to
do.
7 lLlh6 Exchanging on c4, when
the Black king's knight is denied the
square e7 (and, accordingly d5), is
not quite appropriate. In the game
Topalov - Bareev (Cap d' Agde 2003)
Black combined the move 7 ...dc with
another idea: 8 .i.xc4 lLld7 9 e2
c5! '! And all the same after I 0 tLlf3
lLlh6 I I d5! ed 1 2 .i.xh6 ltxh6
1 3 'ifxd5 'it'c7 1 4 lLlg5 .i.e6 1 5 lLlxe6
fe 1 6 'ife4 lLlxe5 1 7 0-0-0 <li>f8

1 07

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lL!c3 and 4l'Qf3


1 8 lL!b5 'ifb8 1 9 f4 lLic6 20 l:ld7
White obtained a winning attack.
8 .i.g5 .i.xg5 Here the move 8 ...dc
makes a fool of positional measures
the sides go along the forced
variation: 9 .i.xe7 'ifxe7 I 0 'irxh5
'ii'b4 1 1 o-o-o ..tg4 1 2 'ifg5 .i.xd 1
1 3 'ifxg7 ..f8 1 4 'ifxf8+ xf8
1 5 t!Jxd 1 . As shown by the game
Ponomarev - Bareev (Wijk aan Zee
2003), after 1 5 ... c5 ! 1 6 de lL!d7 it is
White who must fight for equality.
9 hg ..,xg5 10 l:lxh5 'ile7 I I cd ed
1 2 f4 .i.g6 13 l:lh3 lL!d7 14 .i.d3 If
1 4 g4, then Black can provoke a
further advance of the white pawns 14 ... o-o-o 1 5 f5, but only in order to
annihilate them: 1 5 ...lL!xf5 ! 1 6 gf
.i.xf5 1 7 llxh8 l:txh8 1 8 4Jf3 .i.g4.
By then playing f7-f6, Black will
finally seize the initiative (analysis by
Lukacs).

However, it is not excluded that the


whole variation 7 g3 has already
swung to the other side (see the note
to Black's 8lh move).
c2) 7 'ifb3 Not wishing to spend
time on 7 g3, White intends to divert
the enemy queen to defence of the b7
pawn. A sensible idea, but, in the end,
play on such a narrow section of the
front (indeed sti ll with a closed
centre) does not promise the
advantage.
7.....b6 8 c5 'fic7 9 a4 4Jd7
1 0 lLifJ Grandmaster E. Vasyukov
experimented a great deal in this
variation. Thus in his game with Berg
(Graested 1 990) there followed
10 .i.e2 f6 I I ef lL!gxf6 1 2 lLif3 0-0
1 3 g3 e5 1 4 4Jxe5 4Jxe5 1 5 .i.f4
lLifg4 ( 1 5 ...4Jfd7!?) 1 6 0-0

In this position Black got quite


confused and, by giving up the
The position after 1 4 ..td3 was bishop on c5 for some reason or
encountered in the game Art. another, soon suffered defeat.
Minasian - Savchenko (Eiista 1 998). Meanwhile, after 16 ....i.d3 !? Black's
Lukacs considered that by continuing chances are preferable in all
14 ... .i.xd3 1 5 'ifxd3 4Jf6 1 6 0-0-0 variations: 1 7 .i.xg4 .l:txf4! 18 .i.e6+
4Jfg4 1 7 .:td2 0-0-0 1 8 4Jf3 'ifd7 h8 1 9 gf 4Jf3+; 1 7 f3 ..d7 1 8 fg
'
Black has good chances of .i.xe2 1 9 4Jxe2 4Jxg4; 1 7 de .i.xe2
establishing a blockade. Nevertheless 1 8 4Jxc2 .i.xc5.
to us it seems that after 1 9 llh4
10....i.g4 II 4Jh2 i.f5 12 ..ig5 f6!?
White's position is preferable.
13 ef gf 14 .i.e3 4Jh6 1 5 b4 .i.g6
108

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 ll'lc3 and 4 {3


16 .i.xh6 l:lxh6 17 ll'lf3 (Akopian Sargissian, Moscow 2002). B lack
here wrongly rejected the break
1 7 . . . e5, giving him a good game.
c3) 7 cd cd. Suspect is 7 ...ed?!
8 .i.d3 .i.g4 9 .i.e2 .i.xe2? l 0 'iVxe2
.i.xh4 because of I I ll'lf3 .i.e? 1 2 e6!
(A.Ivanov - Zaremba, Philadelphia
1 996).

After the exchange on d5 White has


two plans of play. The first is linked
to an exchange of dark-squared
bishops, traditional for this system of
development, while the second (more
unpleasant for Black) - with the
exchange of light-squared bishops. In
this case difficulties arise for Black
with the development of his pieces.
For example, if he develops the
knight to h6, then White takes with
the bishop, and Black has to lose a
mass of tempi in order to go back
with the rook h6, then carry out
artificial castling... It is clear that
during this time White will seize the
initative on the queen's flank.
Let us look briefly at the first plan:
8 .i.gS ll'lc6 Worth considering is
8 ... a6!?, in order to take under control
the b5 square.
9 'ifd2 Wt'b6 (9 ... f6!? Seirawan)

10 .i.bS .i.b4 1 1 ll'lge2 ll'le7 1 2 a3


il.xc3 13 ll'lxc3 0-0 14 lld1 il.h7
15 Jl.xe7 ll'lxe7 16 .i.e2 f6!'! Black's
counterplay is quite sufficient for
equality (Malaniuk - Giorgadze,
Simferopol 1 988) .
Far more interesting is the
development of events in the second
case: 8 iLd3!? .i.xd3 9 'ifxd3 ll'lc6
10 ll'lf3

An outwardly simple position that


conceals quite a few dangers for
Black.
Thus, after IO .. ll'lb4 I I _.e2 ltc8
1 2 0-0 ll'lc6 1 3 g3 'iVd7 14 .i.d2 ll'lh6
1 5 .i.xh6 ltxh6 1 6 ltac I ffi 1 7 ll'la4
llc7 1 8 l1c3 White's advantage
assumes a sufficiently real outline
(Gulko - Karpov, Dos Hermanas
1 994).
On I O ..l:lc8 unpleasant is I I 0-0!
ll'lh6 (the h4 pawn is not worth
suffering so much torment for:
l l ... .i.xh4 12 li.)xh4 'iVxh4 1 3 ll'lb5)
1 2 .i.xh6 l:txh6 1 3 g3 ffi 1 4 llfc I g6
1 5 'fibs _.d7 1 6 li.)a4 Wg7 1 7 ll'lc5
1Lxc5 1 8 l:txc5 l:lhh8 1 9 ltac I a6
20 'ii'b6 'ikc7 2 1 'iVb3 'iVd7 22 'it'e3
and White again has a firm advantage
(Becerra - Morovic, Havana 1 999).

1 09

Advance Variation: Everything except 4ltk3 and 4 liJj3


IO a6!? Only in this way does it
look possible to keep in check the
opponent's initiative. Defending
against the thrust to b5, Black forces
White to lose time on the defence of
the h4 pawn.
I I g3 ..tb4 12 0-0 liJge7 13 liJe2
liJfS 14 a3 ..te7 1 5 b4 l:lc8 This old
analysis of grandmaster Yudasin was
put to the test in the game Shtirenko 200 I ).
(Alushta
Alexandrov
Yudasin 's assessment - that Black
can hold on - was confirmed:
1 6 ..tgS ..txg5 17 liJxgS 'ii'b6
18 %Ud1 aS! (it is necessary to break
up White's pawn chain so as not to
allow him to exploit the outpost on
c5) 19 b5 liJce7 20 .Uac1 0-0 21 'ii'fJ
.Uxcl 22 %bel g6 23 'ifd3 ltc8 It is
obvious that Black's position is not
breached.

4...'ifb6!?

c8). But the square h6 will prove


useful for the knight.
The idea 4 .. .'tib6 has today
displaced 4 ... h6 and now comes
immediately after the main 4 ... h5.
I ) 5 g4?! ..td7 6 c3 e6 7 h5 c5 8 f4
liJc6 9 liJfJ .:.cs! It is already clear
that refraining from 4 ... h6 has been to
Black's advantage. The extra tempo
in such a sharp position gives him the
right to dictate his own terms.
Thus White will not succeed in
transferring his knight to g3 (which
represents an important link in his
plan), in view of the variation pointed
out by Lukacs: I 0 ..t>f2? cd I I cd
lLJxd4! 12 lLJxd4 ..tc5 1 3 ..te3 (or
13 e3 ..txd4+ 1 4 'iVxd4 'ii'xd4+
15 'it>xd4 l:txc l ) 1 3 ...'iVxb2+ 1 4 Wf3
xa I 1 5 liJb3 'ffxa2 16 lLJxc5 d4
17 ..txd4 it'd5+ 1 8 lLJe4 f5 with an
immediate win.
The same sacrifice in the variation
10 ..th3 !? cd I I cd lLJxd4! 12 lLJxd4
:txc I 1 3 ifxc I 'it'xd4 leads to not
such crushing consequences, but
even here the initiative wholly
belongs to Black.
Finally, simply weak is I 0 de?
..txc5 I I llh2 f6! 1 2 ..td3 fe 1 3 fe
lLJh6 I 4 ltg2 ..te3 with a great
advantage (Day - Dizdarevic, Elista
1 998).
10 %lh2!? cd II cd lLJh6 12 ..th3

A topical move. In this way Black


successfully defends himself against
the enemy's main strategical idea pressure on the king's flank. Since he
does not lose a tempo on 4 ... h6 or
4 ... h5, then after the undermining of
the pawn centre by c6-c5 it is
possible to spend this time on a more
useful move (for example, rook to
I to

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 tbc3 and 4 tbj3


This position was reached in the
game Relange - Kumaran (Oakham
1 992). Black was not able to find an
accurate order of moves (what to
sacrifice and in what sequence). But
meanwhile everything is quite
standard: 12 lbxd4! 13 lbxd4 l:hc l !
1 4 1i'xcl 'ifxd4 1 5 We2 f6! 1 6 ef gf
17 lbc3 .J::[ g8 18 1i'd2 'ii'c4+ 19 fJ
l3 ..."Wc4! with a comfortable game.
c6 Judging from our analysis,
Black's attack can hardly be repulsed.
In assessing the so-called side lines
2) 5 lbc3 The position can be after I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS .irs we
reached also on another order of have a very real 'creeping'
moves: 4 lbc3 'ifb6 5 h4. I t is clear revolution. And the matter does not
that in this case 5 h4 cannot be the only lie in the fact that several old
moves (such as 4 ..id3 or 4 g4) have
best move.
in a natural way left the scene.
5...h5 6 ..i.e2 Weaker is 6 lbge2 e6
Nothing at all is surprising in this, so
7 lbf4 c5 8 .i.b5+ tbc6 9 .i.e3 0-0-0
it must be.
I 0 ..ixc6 'ii'xc6 I I lbxh5 'ifb6
It is something else that is
1 2 lbg3 1i'xb2 1 3 lbce2 ..ixc2 with surprising: parallel with the process
advantage to Black ( l vanchuk - of the dying off of an old continuation
Adams, Adelaide 1 988).
one can observe a revival of others,
Nothing is offered by the 'central no less (and at times even more!) old.
reinforcement' manoeuvre 6 lbce2. It is not even so much about
Black can easily achieve a favourable individual moves as about whole
opening of the game: 6 ... g6 7 c3 ..ih6 systems. As it were, taking forms that
8 lbfJ ..ig4 9 lbg5 f6 I 0 ef ef I I lbh3 have faded after years of use and
lbd7 1 2 ..ixh6 lbxh6 1 3 1i'd2 0-0-0 adding new content to them. Such
1 4 0-0-0 l:lde8 1 5 lbhf4 g5 ! 1 6 lbd3 continuations as 4 ..ie3, 4 c3 e6
5 ..ie3 or 4 c4, in the hands of
tbf7 1 7 f3 ..if5 . Black's chances
Kasparov, Shirov, Morozevich and
are superior (Moroz - Burmakin,
other very strong world class
Pardubice 200 I).
grandmasters, shine with completely
6...e6 7 lbo (7 ..ixh5 cS) 7...lbe7 new paint. But with enormous effort
8 Ab 1 ..ig4 9 lbg5 ..ixe2 I 0 lbxe2 c5 Black can hold back White's
1 1 de 'ii'xc5 12 0-0 lbrs 13 eJ
headlong attacks in those setups
This is how the game Shirov - Lutz which in the archives seem to have
( Horgen 1 994) went.
been written off as hopeless.
Of course, it would be too bold to
As pointed out by Lutz, the best
continuation in this position would be assert that in future some of these
..

111

Advance Variation: Everything except 4 lLlc3 and 4 lLljJ


'sidelines might be transfonned into
one of the basic variations - 4 lLlc3 or
4 lL!f3. But neither should one
completely reject this supposthon.
Variations. analysed in Chapter

Three. are too interesting not to have


a future. Horizons in many of them
are opened to their widest extent and
who knows what further surprises are
concealed in their 'sideline moves!

112

Advance Variation: Everything except 4ltJc3 and 4ltJj3

Index to Chapter Three


1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .i.rs
I. 4 .i.d3
4 ... .i.xd3 5 'ilfxd3 e6
A. 6 f4
B. 6ltJf3
C. 6ltJc3
D. 6ltJe2
II. 4ltJe2
4 ...e6
A. 5ltJf4
B. 5ltJg3
5 ... .i.g6 6 h4
I) 6 ... h6
2) 6 ... h5
a) 7 .i.e2
b) 7 .i.d3
Ill. 4ltJd2
IV. 4 .i.e3
A. 4 ...11tb6
B. 4 ... e6
5ltJd2
1) 5 ...11tb6
2) 5 ...ltJd7
V. 4 c3 e6 5 .i.e3
A. 5 . . .11tb6
6 11tb3 lLld7 7ltJd2
1) 7 ...lL!e7
2) 7 ....i.g6
3) 7 ...:c8
4) 7 ...c5
5) 7 ... a5
6) 7 ... f6
B. 5 ...ltJd7
1) 6ltJd2
a) 6 ...ltJe7
b) 6 ...11tb6

67
67
67
68
68
69
70
71
71
72
73
74
74
75
77
77
78
78
79
80
81
81
81
81
82
82
83
84
85
85
86

c) 6 ...c5
d) 6 ... f6
2) 6 'i!Vb3
V I. 4 c4
4 ... e6 5ltJc3
A. 5 ... dc
B. 5 ....i.b4
c. 5 ...ltJd7
D. 5 ...ltJe7
VII. 4 g4
A. 4 ... .i.d7
1) 5 .i.e3
2) 5 c3
3) 5 .i.g2
4) 5 c4
B. 4 ....i.g6
1) 5ltJe2
2) 5 h4
3) 5 e6
C. 4 ....i.e4
VIII. 4 h4
A.4 ... h6
5 g4
1) 5 ....i.h7
2) 5 ....i.e4
3) 5 ... .i.d7
6 h5
a) 6 ... e6
b) 6 ...c5
B. 4 ... h5
5 c4
I) 5 ...dc
6 .i.xc4 e6 7ltJc3
a) 7 ... .i.e7
b) 7 ...ltJd7
2) 5 ...e6

1 13

86
87
87
89
89
90
91
92
93
93
93
93
93
94
94
94
94
94
95
96
97
97
97
98
98
99
1 00
1 00
101
1 02
1 03

Advance Variation: Everything except 4liJc3 and 4liJj3


6 liJc3
a) 6 ...liJd7
at) 7 .i.g5
a2) 7 cd
a3) 7 liJge2
b) 6 ..liJe7
7 .i.g5
bl) 7 ... dc
b2) 7 ... ..,6
.

c) 6 .. .i.e7
cl) 7 g3
c2) 7 -.,3
cJ) 7 cd
c. 4 .....,6
1) 5 g4
2) 5 liJc3
.

1 04
1 05
1 05
1 05
1 06
1 06
1 06

1 14

1 07
1 07
1 08
1 09
1 10
1 10
I ll

Chapter Four
Advance Variation:
4ltJc3
invariably arising after 4 ... e6 5 g4.
However the fact that Black delays
the advance e7-e6, in itself already
looks unnatural and in no way
promotes the development of pieces.
At the present time, all moves, apart
from 4 ... e6, are regarded as artificial
and secondary.

1 e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS .trs 4 ll'lcJ

4 a6!?

It was Sergei Freimann who


devised the move 4 ll'lc3 in the first
half of the 20111 century, while at a
high level this move was first
encountered in the game Lublinsky Simagin (Moscow 1 945). The idea is
to wait with the natural reply e7-e6,
to commence an attack on the king 's
flank by g2-g4, h2-h4 etc. In this case
the black bishop finds itself in a very
unpleasant position.
4 . . .e6 is the most logical reply, after
which arises a critical position of the
variation. By choosing other moves 4 . . . a6 (A), 4 ... h6 (B), 4 . . . h5 (C),
4 . . .'ilrc8 (D), 4 . .'i'i'd7 (E), 4 ...'ilrb6 (F)
- Black retains the possibility of
reliably sheltering the bishop on d7 or
h7. There the bishop avoids getting
hit with tempo in the sharp variations
.

From all the secondary possibilities


this, in our view, is the most
interesting. Right away Black takes
under control the b5 square, basically
preparing the break c6-c5.
I) S .tdJ An indifferent move, after
which 4 . . . a6 is fully justi fied. A
French setup is obtained with an
exchange of light-squared bishops,
which favours Black.

1 15

Advance Variation: 4 ll'lc3


5 ... .i.xd3 6 'ifxd3 c6 7 lt'!tJ c5
8 ll'le2 ll'lc6 9 c3 cd 10 ll'lexd4 ll'lge7
II 0-0 .l;lc8 12 .i.d2 'flc7 13 llael
ll'lxd4 14 ll'lxd4 ll'lc6 Black's lag in
development is easily eliminated and
soon White will have to prove that
the position is more than equal
(Kosteniuk - Karpov, Spain 2002).
2) No problems at all are posed by
5 ll'lge2 e6 6 ll'lg3 .i.g6 7 .i.d3 c5
8 ll'lce2 ll'lc6 9 f4 .i.xd3 10 'ii'xd3 cd
(Kosteniuk - Karpov, Spain 2002).
As we see, Alexandra Kosteniuk was
twice given the opportunity to refute
4 ...a6 in a rapidplay chess match, but
her arguments were not convincing.
3) The idea of the move 5 h4 is to
commence a pawn assault on the
king 's flank, not with the g-pawn
(since e7-e6 has still not been played)
but with the h-pawn. White forces
Black to weaken the g5 square,
hoping in the future to exploit this
circumstance.
5 h5 6 .i.d3 .i.xd3 7 'ifxd3 e6
8 .i.g5 'ilc7 9 ll'lfJ c5 10 0-0 ll'lc6
II ll'le2 cd 12 ll'lexd4 ll'lge7 13 llfe1
ll'lxd4 14 ll'lxd4 ll'lc6 15 ll'lxc6 'ifxc6
16 llad1 (Anand - Karpov, Monaco
2000). The simplest way for Black to
equalise this position is by means of
1 6...l:lc8!? 1 7 c3 'iic4.
4) 5 ll'lce2 e6 6 ll'lg3 .i.g6 7 b4 b6
8 ll'lte2 ll'le7 9 ll'lf4 c5 10 ll'lxg6
ll'lxg6 1 1 .i.d3 cd 1 2 .i.xg6 fg 1 3 'iig4
'iVd7 1 4 'iixg6+ 'iVf7 with an equal
endgame (Shirov - Anand, Leon
200 I ). A more complicated game is
reached after II b5!? ll'le7 12 c3
ll'lec6 13 a3
.

Now 1 3 ... 'ifb6 is insufficient for


equality in view of 1 4 llh4 ll'ld7
1 5 b4 cd 1 6 cd .i.e7 1 7 llg4 f5 1 8 ef
ll'lxf6 1 9 llxg7 'iVxd4 20 lta2.
For the present it is best for the
queen to remain at home: 13 ll'ld7
14 .i.e3 l:tc8 15 .i.d3 ( 1 5 b4? ! cb
1 6 cb ll'lb6 1 7 .l:lc 1 ll'lc4) 15 lt'!a5
On 1 6 0-0 comes 1 6 ... 'ifh4 !, but
otherwise it is not apparent how
White can complete his development.
5) 5 ..ie3 Prophylaxis! By making
it di fficult for the opponent to
advance c6-c5, White, for the time
being, does not decide the direction
of his 'main blow ' Bad now is
5 ...'iVb6?! 6 ..id3 ! ...xb2? because of
7 ll'la4 'ii'a3 8 c3 ! (Nunn - Mestel,
London 1 994 ).
Black usually makes a choice
between 5 ...'iVc7 and 5 ... e6.
a) 5 'iVc7! ? As before, not
hurrying with the move e7-e6, Black
intends in reply to 6 g4 to retreat the
bishop to c8 or d7, in order then to
exploit the weakening of the king 's
flank by means of h7-h5.
6 g4!? Despite all its outward show
of aggression this move does not pose
Black serious problems:
6 .i.d7 (possible is 6 ....i.c8 7 .i.g2
e6 8 f4 h5 9 h3 c5 1 0 lt'!f3 cd

1 16

..

..

..

Advance Varia/ion: 4 lbc3


I I lbxd4 b4 1 2 ...d3 lbd7 1 3 lbb3
lbb6 1 4 d4 lba4 and Black's
position has the greater prospects,
V lasov - Mchedlishvili, Moscow
2002) 7 f4 e6 8 g2 cS 9 l!Jf3 cd
10 lbxd4 lbc6 1 1 0-0 lbxd4 12 xd4
c5 13 f5 lbe7 14 f6 gf 15 ef xd4+
1 6 xd4 lbc6 With White's sudden
attack beaten off, the black king is on
the point of seeking shelter on the
queen 's flank, and then (after the
break h7-h5) his white counterpart
will feel rather uncomfortable. In
short, Black's chances are superior
(Ovechkin - Burmakin, Nefteugansk
2002).
b) 5 e6!? 6 g4 g6 7 lbge2 It goes
without saying that the most natural
path in this position is that associated
with 7 c5!?

If we compare this position with


the basic variation ( I e4 c6 2 d4 d5
3 e5 f5 4 lbc3 e6 5 g4 g6 6 lbge2
c5), then we see that White has
made the developing move e3,
while Black still lags behind in
development, having spent time on
a7-a6. It seems clear who benefits by
this insertion: White. But in practice
all is not so simple! Here are just a
few examples on this theme:

8 h4 h5 9 lbf4 h7 1 0 lbxh5lL'lc6
I I l%.h3 cd 1 2 xd4 lbge7 1 3 lbe2
lbb4! 1 4 J:lc3 l:lc8 1 5 c5 l:lxc5 !
1 6 llxc5 lbec6 1 7 l:txc6 lbxc6
1 8 lbd4 1Vb6 ! with advantage to
Black (lnarkiev - Palo, Halkidiki
200 1 );
8 f4!? 'iVh4+ 9 t2 (or 9 lbg3 lbh6
1 0 e2 lbc6) 9......xg4 1 0 1Wd2 lbc6
I I h4 cd 1 2 lbxd4 lbxd4 1 3 1Vxd4
lbe7 1 4 e2 1Vg2 1 5 llg l ..,h2
(Antal - Vajda, Hungary 2003), and
here White did not find the strong
move 1 6 'tib6!?;
8 de, and then:
8 ...lbd7 9 b4 lLlxe5 I 0 lbd4 lbf6
I I g5 lbe4 1 2 lbxe4 de 1 3 g2?!
( 1 3 h4! ?) 1 3 ... b6 1 4 0-0 be 1 5 be e7
1 6 h4 0-0 1 7 1Ve2 1Vc7 1 8 l:lad l
.ixc5 1 9 f4 (Smirnov - Burmakin,
Nefteugansk 2002). It is not clear
why, in this position, Black rejected
the favourable endgame after
1 9... lbf3+ 20 xf3 ef 2 1 xc7 fg;
8 ... lLlc6 9 i.g2 lLlxe5 1 0 lL!f4 lbf6
I I g5 lLlfg4 1 2 'ffe2 lLlxe3 1 3 ..,xe3
lbc4 1 4 'ii'd4 'ii'xg5 1 5 xd5 ed
1 6 lbcxd5 0-0-0 1 7 'ii'xc4 'ii'e5+
1 8 fl ..,e4 Nothing has come out of
White's attack (Charbonneau - Bu
Xiangzhi, Bled 2002).
From the previous examples it is
apparent how the provident move
a7-a6 helps Black. White's bishop
and knight. which in the main
variation continually threaten to jump
to b5, are now denied this possibility.
And other attacking resources are not
very impressive!
Apart from 7 ... c5!?, we want to
suggest for Black one more very
concrete plan, worked out in detail by

1 17

Advance Variation: 4lbc3


the Russian grandmaster Vladimir
Burmakin: 7...f6!?

9 d6 10 lbgJ! 'ii'c7 ( I O ...lbe7!?)


11 fS ! There is no way back but in the
meanwhile White does not risk much.
For example, it is unfavourable for
Black to win a pawn: l l ...xg3+
1 2 hg cf 1 3 gf xf5, since the
absence of the dark-squared bishop
immediately begins to tell: 1 4 .i.f4
e7+ 1 5 e2 lbd7 1 6 d2 .i.g4
1 7 0-0-0 .i.xe2 1 8 llde I 0-0-0
1 9 ltxe2 1i'b4 20 c7! :rs 2 1 a3
c4 22 d6 winning.
In the game Popov - Burmakin
(Nefteugansk 2002) Black achieved a
draw by continuing l l ....i.f7 1 2 fe
.i.xe6 1 3 'iff3 lbd7 1 4 lbce2 0-0-0
1 5 lbf4 :te8 1 6 0-0-0 xg4 1 7 'ifxg4
lbh6 1 8 4 :xe3. White does not
want to continue the struggle by
1 9 lbg2, realising that his opponent
has available the promising exchange
sacrifice 1 9 .. J:lxg3 ! 20 hg lbf5
2 1 'ifg4 lbxg3 . However a little
earlier White perhaps missed good
chances of an advantage: 1 5 0-0-0
(instead of 1 5 lbf4) 1 5 ...%:te8 1 6 .i.d2 !
lbe7 1 7 lbf4 f7 1 8 d3 etc.
t t . .ef 12 lbxfS .i.xfS 13 gf r4
14 'ifhS+ d8 15 fl 'ife7+ 16 lbe2
..

8 ef! ? The only solution, allowing


White to continue the struggle for an
advantage. After 8 lbf4 f7 9 lbd3
lbd7 1 0 f4 lbe7 I I g2 h5 1 2 h3 fe
1 3 fe hg 1 4 hg :txh l + 1 5 xh l c5
Black has sufficient counterplay
(Movsesian - Burmakin, Cappelle le
Grande 2002).
8...gf9 f4!? A principled move. It is
necessary for White to break up
Black's pawn centre - even at the
cost of material.
Leading to a complicated struggle
is 9 'ifd2 lbd7 1 0 h4 d6 I I h5 f7
12 f4 lbe7. In the game Nataf Karpov (Cannes 2002) White made a
mistake - 1 3 lbc I ? (he should play
1 3 o-0-0!?), after which the spring of
black pieces was released in literally
2-3 moves: 1 3 ... :tg8 14 e2 e5!
1 5 lbb3 ed 1 6 .i.xd4 c5 1 7 e3 (in
the event of 1 7 .i.g I unpleasant is
1 7 ... 'ifc7 1 8 .i.h2 f5!, denying the
white knight the e4 square and
threatening a further advance of the
d-pawn) 1 7 ... f5 ! (an idea on the same
theme) 1 8 o-o-o ._c7 1 9 gf 0-0-0
20 f3 lbxf5 ! Black has completely
outplayed his opponent and has a
great advantage.

The culminating moment was


reached in the game Sutovsky - Stohl
(Kaskady 2002). Black chose

118

Advance Variation: 4lDc3


1 6 ... i.e3, but after 1 7 llg I St.xf2+
1 8 xf2 White has a palpable
advantage. Sutovsky soon won.
However why did Stohl reject
the great material advantage after
16...'ifb4+ 17 c3 d2+ 18 xd2
'ifxb2+ 19 e3 xa1 ? Analysis
shows that even in this case White
should win:
20 'ift7 !&De7 21 'ifxf6 lieS 22 i.h4
&Dd7 23 'ife6! It is difficult for Black
to defend himself, since his pieces
fall under various pins.
If it becomes clear that the game
Sutovsky - Stohl has delivered a
serious defeat to the variation 7 ... f6,
Black will very simply return to
7 ... c5. We can boldly state that at the
present moment in time a refutation
ofthe outwardly slow idea of an early
a7-a6 does not exist at all!
8
4 h6?! is dubious m view of
5 g4 !? h7 6 e6! fe 7 &Dn &Df6
8 i.d3 &De4 9 'ife2 with an
overwhelming advantage (Nunn
Bellon, Saloniki 1 984). But after
5 i.d7 6 g2 'ifc8 7 h3 h5 8 gh
i.f5 9 i.e3 e6 10&Dge2&Dh6 l l&Dg3
i.h7 12 &Dce2 &Dd7 13 0-0 &Db6
14 b3 ..d7 15 a4 lbc8 16 c4 White's
advantage is likewise beyond any
doubt (Shabalov - Seirawan, Seattle
2000).
..

..

c
4... h5
In this cardinal way Black averts
the programmed g2-g4 and secures
an outpost for his light-squared
bishop.

At a minimum 4 ... h5 should bring


with it a weakening of the g5 square.
Besides this, the h5 pawn is often
needed in defence, while in the event
of its advance to h4 White fixes it
with the move h2-h3 and after the
exchange of light-squared bishops he
will have at his disposal the g4
square.
I ) 5 i.e2!? Played with the idea of
not so much winning a pawn as
first and foremost completing the
development of his pieces. But the
threat of capturing on h5 will
continually hang over Black like the
sword of Damocles.
5... e6 6 i.e3 As indicated by
grandmaster
Skembris,
it
is
dangerous to win a pawn: after
6 i.xh5 c5 7 i.e2 lbc6 8 lbf3 it.g4
9 i.e3 i.xf3 I 0 i.xf3 cd I I i.xd4
lbge7 Black has quite good
counterplay.
Undertaking play on the queen 's
flank is also possible in another way:
6 a3 !? h4 7 lbf3 &Dd7 8 o-o lbe7
9 g5 h3 1 0 g3 i.g4 I I b4 !?
However in the game Ivanchuk Dautov (Istanbul 2003) White did not
succeed in convincing his opponent
of the superiority of his plan: after
ll ... f6 1 2 ef gf 1 3 f4 lbg6 1 4 lbd2

119

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3


.txe2 1 5 lDxe2 lDb6 1 6 c3 'fi'd7
I 7 1i'c2 'iVh 7 1 8 1%a2 0-0-0 there were
chances for both sides.
6 h4 7 hJ iDd7 Intending in the
near future to undermine the white
centre by f7-f6.
Black constructed his game in
another way in Motylev - Dautov
(Mainz 2002): 7 ...ltJe7 8 ltJfJ lDg6
9 0-0 iDd7 I 0 .td3 .txd3
I I 1Wxd3 .te7 1 2 lDe2 c5 1 3 c3 'ii'b6
1 4 b3 .l:tc8 1 5 iDh2 1i'a6 1 6 1i'd2 cd
1 7 cd .ta3. Equality, i f not at hand, is
not far away. Incidentally, Black
skilfully avoided the prepared trap...

14 cf gf 15 e4!? de 16 xe4 eS
1 7 1Wcl

..

I f instead of l l .. ..te7 he plays


at once l l . . . c5?, then he might
come up against the blow 1 2 ltJxd5 ! c4 ( 1 2 . . . ed 1 3 e6! )
1 3 'iVxc4 ed 1 4 'fi'xd5 - with very
painful consequences.
8 itJ fJ
f6? !
Risky.
More
circumspect would be to stick to
the plan already well-known to us
from the game Moreno - Campora:
8 ... .te7! ? and then transfer the knight
along the route g8-h6-f5.
9 .tdJ ltJe7 10 lDe2 'iVe7 II .tf4!
(on this diagonal the bishop occupies
an excellent attacking position)
11 ...1i'b6 12 0-0 0-0-0 13 .i.h2 cS

1 7...ed? Black does not maintain


the pressure and miscalculates. There
was an alternative: 1 7 ....i.h6 1 8 de
lDxc5 (bad is 1 8 ....txc I ? in view of
19 cb .i.xb2 20 ba iDb6 21 .i.e6+!
.txe6 22 .f4abl) 1 9 1i'c3. White's
chances are preferable, but the whole
struggle still lies ahead. But now
follows a rout:
1 8 ltJexd4 ed 19 .i.e6+ 'fi' c6
20 ltJxd4 After a few moves Black
resigned (Motylev - Lian Chong,
Shanghai 200 I ).
2) 5 .i.dJ! ? .i.xdJ 6 1Wxd3 e6
7itJfJ Further practical material goes
in three directions: 7 ... ltJd7, 7 ...lDh6
and 7 ...'ii'b6, but only in one of these
can Black feel confident.
a) There is no equality to be found
in 7...lDd7 8 0-0 ltJe7 9 .i.gS 'ifb6
1 0 bJitJfS HiDe2 eS 12 e4 de 13 be
ed 1 4 l:lab l iDeS 1 5 'iVd2 1i'c7
16 lDexd4 iD xd4 17 ltJxd4 b6
1 8 1i'e3 .i.e7 (Shirov - Dlugy,
Liepaya 200 I ). Now Shirov, instead
of an immediate exchange of bishops,
inserted the move 19 iDbS!, and the
rest all went swimmingly for him:
19...'ifb7 20 .iLxe7 'fi' xe7 21 lDd6+
f8 22 a4!

120

Advance Variation: 4 4Jc3

He cannot take the pawn:


22 . . .4Jxa4? 23 'ifa3 ltJc5 24 llxb6! ,
and otherwise h e has to worry about
the advance - 23 a5, breaking up the
opponent's queen 's flank.
b) Interesting (but at the same time
not too convincing) is the idea of
Seirawan: 7...4Jh6 8 0-0 4Jd7!? By
consolidating the centre: 9 4Je2 e7
10 c3 White makes a stand for a
minimal advantage. However if he is
in a more ambitious mood then he
should try the plan of grabbing space
on the queen's flank: 1 0 b3, I I c4 etc.
But in the meanwhile even after 1 0 c3
Black does not succeed in achieving
his desired equality:
1 O g6 11 xh6 llxh6 124Je I f8
13 f4 g7 14 ltJc2! The knight
transfers to e3, to support an
opportune break f4-f5.
14 c5 154Je3 'ifb6

Further, in the game I. Zaitsev Lastin


(Kstovo
1 997) White
proceeded rather slowly: 1 6 h I h4
1 7 'ifd2 llhh8 1 8 ltJg t llac8. As a
result Black managed to seize the
initiative and subsequently won.
Worth considering is the sharper
16 fS!? gf 174Jf4!, with threats on d5
and f5. In this case Black would
have to solve completely different
problems, for example: 1 7 ...cd 1 8 cd
..ig5 1 9 4Jfxd5 !? ed 20 ltJxfS+ 'iti>g8
2 1 ltJxh6+ 'ifxh6 22 llf3 or 1 7 .. .'.ti>h8
1 8 ltJexd5 !'? ed 1 9 4Jxd5 'ifd8
20 llxf5 - White's initative in any
case assumes a threatening character.
c) 7 'ifb6!? It is precisely along
this path that Black achieves the
best results. Once again the old
manoeuvre 'ifd8-b6-a6! rescues him.
8 0-0 'ifa6 9 ,.. d l ltJe7 10 4Je2
h4!?
..

The idea of the move lies in the fact


that it takes away the g3 square from
the enemy knight and thereby
prepares a springboard on f5 for his
knight. Otherwise in reply to ltJe7-f5
he has to reckon with the idea of
ltJe2-g3. A fter the exchange of
knights White recaptures with the f1 21

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3


pawn, and the rook fl immediately
enters the play. Here is an example on
this theme: I O ... lLld7 I I c3 lL!f5
1 2 g5 e7 1 3 lLlg3 ! lLlxg3 1 4 fg f6
1 5 ef gf 1 6 f4 0-0-0 1 7 l:te I lL!f8
1 8 b4 'ifb6 19 a4 with the advantage
(Short - Seirawan, Rotterdam 1 989).
In the game Baklan - Dautov
(Plovdiv 2003) White treated the
position in his own way, and also
successfully: I I g5 (instead of
I I c3) l l ... lLlg6 1 2 c3 c5 1 3 h3 1l.e7
1 4 l1e l llc8 1 5 'ifd2 f6 1 6 ef gf
1 7 lLlh4 lLld f8 1 8 lLl t!
11 b3 lLld7 1 2 lLlr4 lLlrs 13 lLlg5
1i'b6 14 ltJe2 e7 15 ltJO 0-0-0
1 6 f4 lldg8 1 7 'iVd2 'ifd8 1 8 ..ig5
f6 19 ef gf 20 f4 d6 White has
marked time. As a consequence
Black has good counterplay (Rodin Pvechkin, Bryansk 1 995).

serious
of
worthy
Not
consideration is 4 'ifc8?! White will
nevertheless advance g2-g4, and the
black queen will find herself poorly
placed.
5 h3! h6 6 g4 h7 7 g2 e6
8 ltJge2 c5 9 0-0 ltJc6 1 0 ..ie3 cd
11 ltJxd4 lLlxd4 (taking the pawn l l . . .lLlxe5? - is rash in view
of 1 2 ..tf4 lLlg6 1 3 g3 'ifc5
1 4 lLla4 'ifa5 1 5 c4 lLlf6 1 6 cd lLlxd5
1 7 lLlc3 with a very strong initiative)
12 'ifxd4 lLle7 t3 f4 lLlc6 14 'ifa4
..ie7 1 5 f5 Without making a
superhuman effort, White has
achieved an overwhelming advant
age (Shabalov - Seirawan, Seattle
2000).

4 .'ifd7

This move has been played from


time to time by the well-known
Czech grandmaster Vlastimil Hort.
The idea is to prevent the advance of
the white pawns on the king's flank.
The obvious defect of the
continuation is the even greater
difficulty Black will have developing
his pieces, since the queen takes away
the d7 square from the knight.
After 5 ..ie3 Black has several
possibilities at his disposal:
I ) 5 h6?! 6 h3! e6 7 g4 h7 8 f4
b4 9 lLle2 lLle7 10 a3 xc3+
11 lLlxcJ 'ifc7 12 d3 lLld7 13 xh7
ltxh7 14 'ifd3 g6 15 1'2 White has
the advantage - though, possibly, it is
not so significant as appears at first
sight (van der Wiel - Hort, Wijk aan
Zee 1 986).
2) 5 h5?! 6 lL\13 lLlh6 7 h3 e6
8 e2 e7 9 'ifd2 b5 10 .ig5 aS
Such an artificial move cannot bring
results! A high level grandmaster
(and John Nunn is exactly one of
these) will refute Black's set up with
very simple moves: 11 ltc l 'ifd8
1 2 a4 b4 13 lLld 1 lLla6 14 0-0 g6
1 5 'iff4 lLlf5 16 ..ixe7 lLlxe7 17 lLle3
'iV b6 1 8 llfd 1 0-0-0 19 lLlh4
(Nunn- Hort, Lugano 1 9R7).

1 22

..

Advance Variation: 4lbc3


3) S lba6!? The most logical: if
the knight's natural path of
development has been taken away
then it will find a roundabout route.
6 f4 Perhaps it is better not to dilly
dally and play simply 6 ..i.xa6!? ba
7 lbge2 e6 8 lbg3 ..i.g6 9 h4 h6 I 0 h5
..i.h7 I I 0-0 lbe7 1 2 ...e2 'iVc8
1 3 lba4 (Trifunovic - Loiskandal,
Bad Worishofen 1 992).
6...h5 7 lbfJ e6 8 lbh4 The game
Svetushkin - Vajda (Romania 2000)
then continued 8 .....i.g4 9 'ifd2 i.e?
1 0 .i.f2 lbh6 I I h3 ..trs 1 2 ..i.e2, and
White managed to break the blockade
on the king's flank. If the analysis of
Romanian players Nisipeanu and
Stoica is to be believed, stronger was
8 lbh6!? with the following
variations:
9 'ii'x h5? g4 1 0 'ii'g5 e7
I I 'ii'xg7 Q-0-0; 9 lbxf5 lbxf5 I 0 i.t2
lbc7; 9 h3 lbb4 I 0 llc I i.e7 I I ..i.t2
g5; 9 i.t2 i.e7 1 0 'ii'd2 i.h7. Is there
a touch of divine inspiration in these
variations?
...

White: to engage in complications


with 5 g4, to exchange light-squared
bishops by 5 i.d3 or, for the time
being not to trouble the bishop at all
but conclude his development by
means of lbf3, ..i.e2, 0-0, and then, by
exploiting the poor position of the
black queen, he can really grab space
on the queen 's flank.
I ) 5 g4?!

...

F
4 'ifb6
..

An overly forcing move. Since


e7-e6 has still not been played, it
means that it is possible to retreat the
bishop to d7, from where it will
conduct counterplay on the light
squares (the main idea being h7-h5!).
Up to now White has not been able to
prove in practical play that the value
of 5 g4 outweighs its shortcomings.
S i.d7 6 lba4 Also other moves
have been tested:
6 h3 e6 7 f4 c5 8 i.d3 cd 9 lbce2
i.b4+ I 0 fl i.c5 I I a3 aS 1 2 lbf3
lbe7 1 3 g2 lbbc6 1 4 i.d2 "ikc7
1 5 l:lb I a4 1 6 lbg3 lbg6 1 7 h4 f6
1 8 ef gf 1 9 f5 lbge5. Poor (there is no
other way to describe it) play by
White led to a natural defeat
(Agdestein - Dreev, Internet 2002);
6 ..i.g2 ! ? e6 7 lbge2 c5 8 0-0 cd
9 lbxd4 lbc6 1 0 lbxc6 (after 1 0 lbb3
Black, in the opinion of Nunn, should
.

The most common continuation (If,


of course, we do not take into account
4 ... e6). There are three paths for

123

Advance Variation: 4 ltJc3


not take the 'poisoned pawn' on e5,
but should stubbornly get his own
way: I O... h5 !? I I gh 'ilfd8) I O... i.xc6
I I ltJe2 h5 1 2 gh l4xh5 1 3 ltJd4 l4h4
1 4 c3 i.c5. To all appearances,
Black's
chances are superior
(Apicella - Oshar, France 1 997).
6 'ifc7 Not tested in serious games
is Kasparov 's recommendation:
6 ...'ifa5+ 7 c3 e6 8 b4!?
1 4... h5! Forever denying White
a) White will only be left fighting
chances
of breaking on the king's
for equality upon 7 i.g2?! ltJa6 8 f4
h5 9 h3 c5 10 ltJc3 cd 1 1 ltJxd5 flank by means of f4-f5. On the
'iWa5+ 12 i.d2 'ifd8 13 ltJb4 ltJxb4 opposite flank matters for Black are
14 i.xb4 'ifb6 15 'ii'd2 i.c6 likewise not bad at all:
15 g5 g6 16 c3 a6 17 i.e3 .ixe3
16 .ixc6+ (after 1 6 ltJf3 hg 1 7 hg
J:xh I + 1 8 i.xh I Black obtains the 18 'ilhe3 0-0 19 0-0 l:lac8 20 l4ad1
advantage by tactical means: 1 8 ...d3 ! ltfd8 21 'iffl ltJa5 Very soon a draw,
1 9 0-0-0 de 20 <li>xc2 e6 2 1 i.a5 but it will be White who has to fight
i.e4+ 22 c I 'ii'c 6+) 16 .. .'ifxc6 for it (Kamsky - Adams. London
17 l4h2 hg (Fedorov - Dreev, Samara 1 989). I ncidentally, in this game
White could not cope with the needs
1 998);
b) 7 lDc5 e6 8 ltJd3 Interesting (but of defence and in the end lost.
2) 5 i.d3!? A great adherent of this
no more than that) is 8 ltJxd7 ltJxd7
gambit continuation is grandmaster
9 f4!? c5 1 0 c3 ltJe7 I I lL!f3 h5.
Vasi lios
Kotronias,
currently
In the game Velimirovic - Kasparov
representing Greece.
(Moscow 1 982) White crossed the
boundaries of permissible risk by
playing 1 2 f5?! In reply Black cold
bloodedly took on g4 and won the
game. M ore circumspect was 1 2 gh! ?
l4xh5 (weaker i s 1 2 . . .ltJ f5 because of
1 3 de !? 'ifxc5 1 4 i.e2 l4xh5 1 5 ltJd4
l:.h6 1 6 ltJxf5 ef 1 7 h4) 1 3 de 'ii'xc5
1 4 ltJd4 l:.h8, but even here there is
no question of an advantage for
White: 1 5 i.e3 (or 1 5 'ii'b3 0-0-0
The gift on d4 is truly from the
1 6 i.e3 ltJc6) 1 5 ...lDc6 1 6 'ifd2 'iVa5 Greeks! After 5 'ii'x d4?! 6 ltJf3 'ii'g4
8 ...c5 9 de i.b5! 10 f4 i.xc5 7 h3! Losing by force is 7 ...'ii'xg2? in
1 1 ltJO lL!e7 12 a4 i.xd3 13 .ixd3 view of 8 l:lg l 'ii'x h3 9 i.fl ! i.xc2
I 0 'ii'e2 'ifh5 I I l:lg5 'iVh I 1 2 'ii'xc2
ltJbc6 14 'ii'e2

1 24

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3


'iVxf3 1 3 .i.g2! And in the event of 12 lbb3 cS 13 .i.bS+ lbc6 14 lL!xfS
7 'ifh5 8 0-0 .i.xd3 9 cd White's .i.xfS I S 0-0 c4 1 6 lL!c l .i.e7 1 7 .i.f4
initiative more than compensates for 0-0-0 (Sutovsky - Dizdarevic,
Istanbul 2000).
the sacri ficed pawn:
After 6 .i.e2 arises a critical
9 'iV f5 1 0 .l:.e1 'ifc8 ( I O . . . e6'!
I I iLlh4) 1 1 e6! (once before we have position of the variation.
seen how this sacrifice decides
matters against Black's hampered
development) ll ...fe 12 lbd4 lba6
1 3 1113 iLlf6 14 g4! h6 15 .i.f4 g5
16 .i.d6! 'it>ti 1 7 lhe6 with a win
(Borge - Berg, Espergaerde 1 992);
9 lL!d7 10 'iV bJ llb8 1 1 .i.eJ
lL!xe5 12 lL!xe5 'iVxc5 13 .i.xa7 llc8
14 llacl iLlf6 15 'iV xb7 'ifc7 16 'ifa6
(also possible is 1 6 'iVxc7 llxc7
1 7 .i.b6 l:tc8 1 8 lbbS with a serious
White quietly completes his
advantage in the endgame) 16 e6
17 lLlb5 'iVd7 1 8 lbd4 .i.d6 19 lLlxc6 development, keeping in mind the
0-0 20 b4 e5 2 1 b5 d4 (Holmsten - following plan: o-o, b2-b3, li)c3-a4
Art. Minasian, Ubeda 2000). White and, finally, c2-c4, completely taking
has conducted the game highly control of the queen's flank. It is not
convincingly and could now have so simple for Black to find an
achieved a decisive advantage by antidote (the poor position of the
queen tells) Nevertheless it is
22 f4 !
3) 5 lDf3!? e6 (it is not immediately possible to suggest two possibilities
apparent how to refute s . .i.g4!?, for him.
The first consists of the quickest
although in the game Asrian Nikolaidis, Istanbul 2003, White possible development of pieces on
nearly succeeded: 6 .i.e2 e6 7 0-0 the king's flank, even if he has to
iLld7 8 b3 'iVc7 9 h3 .i.xf3 10 .i.xf3 spend time on the manoeuvre .i.f5-g4
lLle7 l l lbe2 cS 1 2 c4! de 13 be lbc6 in order to free the fS square for the
1 4 dS ed I S lbc3 etc.) 6 .i.e2 Not knight. This reconstruction requires a
leading to success is the impatient great deal of time, apart from which it
6 lbh4 lbe7 7 li)a4 'iVc7 8 lbcS .i.g6 in no way prevents White's plan. The
9 g4. In this way White prevents the other, more promising possibility lies
manoeuvre li)e7-fS, however the in making the useful move h7-h6,
habitual counterattack 9 ... hS! turns preserving the bishop from exchange,
the position in Black's favour. The then playing li)b8-d7 and, if required,
loss of a pawn does not bother him, cardinally
preventing
White's
the main thing is to gain the fS advance c2-c4 by means of b7-bS.
square: 10 .i.gS .i.h7 I I gh ll:)fs
a) 6...lbe7 7 0-0 Once again Black
.

..

1 25

Advance Variation: 4 tbc3


is in a dilemma: to play 7 ....i.g4 at
once or to delay parting with the
bishop for one or two moves.
a 1 ) 7 .i.g4 8 lba4 'Wc7 9 bJ bS
Practice has shown that this move is
still necessary. I f he continues with
his original idea 9 ... lbf5, then after 1 0
c4 lbd7 1 1 .i.b2 .i.e7 1 2 c d cd 1 3 llc I
White easily grabs space and forces
Black to go in for arid defence:
1 3 . . .'Wb8 14 'ifd3 0-0 1 5 h3 .i.xf3
1 6 .ixf3 lbh4 1 7 .ig4 'ifd8 1 8 g3
lbg6 1 9 f4 (Sutovsky - Dreev,
Shenyang 1 999).
10 lbb2 lbd7

badly for him) 1 5 lL!xc4 lDf5 1 6 lld1


.ie7 (on 1 6 ...1Wd7 very unpleasant is
1 7 llb I !) 1 7 lL!f3 lL!xc4 1 8 'ifxc4
(Grischuk - Karpov, Linares 200 1 ).
l l ..llb8 12 lbdJ lLlg6 ( 1 2 ...c5!?)
1 3 a4 aS 1 4 ab cb 15 b4 ab?! (it
would be better to close the
troublesome file with the move
1 5 ... a4) 16 cb lLlb6 17 lbcS with a
great positional advantage (Shirov Karpov, Monaco 200 I ).
a2) 7 lL!d7 8 bJ .ig4 Further
delay with this move already makes
no sense because there are simply no
other useful moves left:
8 . . . a6?! 9 lL!a4 'ifc7 1 0 c4 b5
I I lbc3 be 1 2 be de 1 3 .ixc4 lL!d5
1 4 .id2 (Shirov - Hracek, Ostrava
1 998);
8 ... c5?! 9 lba4 'flc7 1 0 lL!xc5 lbxc5
I I de lbc6 1 2 .ie3 .ig4 1 3 .i.b5
.ixf3 1 4 'ifxf3 'ifxe5 1 5 c4 (Popov
Burmakin, Kazan 200 1 ). White's
advantage in all these games is
beyond any doubt.
1 1 cJ! A deep strategical plan,
9 lL!a4 'ifc7 10 c4 White pursues
placing under doubt the whole of his plan logically. It is clear that it is
Black's strategical play. The point not easy for Black to obtain
lies in the opening of the a-file by counterp1ay. Let's look at a few
means of a2-a4, then fixing the weak examples: :
I O. . .lld8 I I lbh4 .ixe2 1 2 'iVxe2
pawn on b5 with the move b3-b4 and
obtaining the c5 square for the knight. lLlb6 1 3 lbxb6 1Wxb6 1 4 .ie3 Black
For the sake of accuracy it should can hardly breathe. (Grischuk be mentioned that even after I I c4 Sargissian, Moscow 2002);
White maintains the advantage:
IO ...lLlg6 I I h3 i.xf3 1 2 .ixf3 b5
1 1 ...bc 1 2 be de 1 3 lbg5 !? .ixe2 1 3 lbc3 (Sutovsky recommends
1 4 'ifxe2 lbb6 (no good is 1 4 ... lbf5 trying 1 3 lLlb2 ! ?) 1 3 . . . bc 1 4 be
because of 1 5 lbxc4!, and if Black (Sutovsky - Magem, Elista 1 998);
accepts the pawn sacrifice 10 dc. Also this attempt to exploit
1 5 ...lbxd4'!!, then after 1 6 'ife4 lbf5 the weakness of the d4 pawn brings
I 7 ltd I h6 1 8 lbf3 lLlb6 1 9 g4! lL!xc4 nothing good for Black if White plays
20 gf it obviously does not tum out correctly.
.

...

126

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3


ll be ll d8 This position was
encountered in the game van den
Doel - P.-H. Nielsen (Esbjerg 200 1 ).
White hastily forced play: 1 2 lDgS ! ?
.i.xe2 1 3 'ili'xe2 lb f5 1 4 d 5 'ifxe5.
Black would have faced more
problems
with
the unhurried
12 'irbJ! ?

For the present White, not showing


his cards, quietly strengthens his
position - whereas Black racks his
brains how to complete his
development.
I 2 lbf5 (extremely dangerous is
1 2 . . .c5 because of 1 3 d5) 13 .i.b2
.i.e7 Or 1 3 ...lL!h4 1 4 lL!xh4! i.xe2
1 5 llfe I i.h5 (unsatisfactory is
15 ... .i.xc4?! 1 6 'ili'xc4 b5 1 7 11t'c2 ba
in view of 1 8 d5 !) 1 6 d5 ! 'ili'aS 1 7 d6
(analysis by Lukacs).
14 hJ In the game Aroshidze
V. Gaprindashvili (Tbilisi 2000)
White rather hurried his break in the
centre - 1 4 d5?! - and as a result let
slip the whole of his advantage. Now
however, after 14 .i.xf3 IS i.xfJ
0-0 16 llfet, over-protecting the e5
pawn,
White eliminated
any
counterplay. His positional advantage
is obvious.
b) 6 h6!?
...

...

A flexible prophylactic move. By


safeguarding his bishop from
exchange, Black has to look in an
entirely different way at the
possibi lity of counterattack by b7-b5
(after White plays b2-b3 and lL!c3a4). The fact that the bishop f5 takes
under control the b 1 square will have
decisive significance in a series of
variations.
Besides this, Black even prepares
to play a timely g7-g5 !?
7 0-0 lbd7 8 bJ The fact that the
idea g7-g5 !? is not just a gimic, was
shown by the game Gallagher Dizdarevic (Pula 2000): 8 lba4 'ifc7
9 b3 lL!e7 1 0 c4 g5 !? I I i.e3 .i.g7
1 2 llc l f6! (it is very important
undermine White's centre, otherwise
it is difficult for the bishop g7 to
make an appearance) 1 3 lL!c3 0-0
1 4 ef i.xf6 1 5 b4 a6 1 6 'ifb3 'ifd6
1 7 a4 :n 1 8 lLld2 g4! 1 9 llfd l h5
20 i.fl i.g6! Black methodically
clears space on the king 's flank and
has quite good chances of attack.
White is particularly nervous about
the inevitable transfer of the knight to
f5.
8 1fa5!? 9 lba4 bS!? 10 .i.d2
'ili'c7 l I lDb2 Further, in the game
Kobalia - Zelcic (Ohrid 200 I )

1 27

..

Advance Variation: 4 ltlc3


followed l l .ltle7?! 12 e4?! be 13 be
l::tb8 14 j,eJ ltlg6 I S d2 ..i.a3
16 ltla4 de 17 ..i.xe4 ltlb6 18 ltlxb6
ab with approximately equal
chances.
It is very similar how the opponents
have rushed past the key moment of
the opening skirmish. Let's return to
the position after I I ltlb2.

4...e6

..

The best solution was l l .. . ..i.a3 ! ,


but Black was apparently afraid that
after 1 2 ltld3 White would at an
opportune moment trap the bishop by
b3-b4. However this is not confirmed
by analysis: 1 2 ...ltle7 1 3 b4 ltlb6
14 llb 1 ltlc4 1 5 llb3 ltlcs 1 6 ltlc5
ltl8b6 with not a bad position for
Black.
After the move made by Zelcic,
l l ...ltle7?!, Kobalia, instead of the
conventional advance of the c-pawn,
could successfully adopt the plan
from the game Shirov - Karpov,
which we analysed above: 1 2 a4!
l:lb8 1 3 ab cb 1 4 ltld3 The position is
again determined in White's favour.
With these variations we conclude
our review of the sidelines after I e4
c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 f5 4 ltlc3 and go
over to the main line 4 ... e6.

5 g4 .ig6 6 ltlge2 The tabiya of the


variation. A bishop hunt begins. The
threat is 7 ltlf4 followed by h2-h4 (at
times these moves are made in the
reverse order), exchanging the bishop
g6 and spoiling the opponent's pawn
structure on the king's flank. There
are a great many defences for Black:
6 ...'ifh4 (1), 6 ... h6 (II), 6 ...ltld7 (II I),
6 .....i.e7 (IV), 6 .....i.b4 (V), 6 ... f6 (VI),
6 ... ltle7 (VI I), 6 ... c5 (VIII). Let's
examine these, as always, progress
ing from the less popular - to the
more popular, from the dubious - to
the main lines.
I

6.. Ji'h4?!
A move which pursues the
objective of keeping in check the
advance of White's pawns on the
king's flank - but, as we will see
below, his objective is not achieved.
7 ltlf4!? One cannot treat 6 ...'it'h4
too condescendingly. At times Black
has been successful with it, as, for
example, in the game Smimov Obechkin (Togliatti 2003): 7 ltlg3?!
..i.b4 8 ..i.g2 h5 9 h3 ltld7 I 0 ..i.f4
0-0-0 I I 'ifd2 'ife7 1 2 0-0-0 ltlb6
1 3 'itr>b l ltlc4 1 4 'ife l .i.a5 1 5 ..i.c l hg

1 28

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 6 hg lbh I 1 7 .ilxh I ..,4 with a


menacing initiative.
7 lbh6 8 h3 b4

II
6... h6
Above all Black safeguards his
bishop from attack or exchange,
while he intends to construct his play
depending on his opponent's
subsequent threats.
7 eJ lbd7 8 'fld2 White played
somewhat chaotically
in
the
following game: 8 lbf4 Jlh7 9 'ii'd 2
lbe7 10 b4?! lbg6 I I a3 lbh4 1 2 .ie2
a5 1 3 llb l ab 14 ab g5! 1 5 lbh5
lbg2+ 1 6 fl lbxe3+ 1 7 fe f6 1 8 ef
lbxf6 1 9 lbxf6+ 'ifxf6+ 20 ..tg2 .ild6
(Bauer - Piket, Krsko 1 998). No
White has more than one way to
wonder that Black is already playing
obtain a high quality position with a for a win.
view to an advantage:
Worth considering is the formation
9 a3 Jlxe3+ 1 0 be 0-0 1 1 Jle3 e5 that Kobalia chose in a game against
12 lbg2 'fle7 13 h4 ed (Kupreychik Gavrikov (St. Petersburg 200 I ):
Kremer, Leuwarden 1 993). Viktor 8 h3 !? (White reinforces the g4 pawn,
Kupreychik took on h6, but worth so as then to ram Black's position by
considering is 1 4 .ilxd4!? f6 1 5 ef gf f2-f4-f5) 8 ...lbe7 9 1i'd2 c5 I 0 f4 lbc6
1 6 J.e3 q;g7 1 7 lbf4 llc8 1 8 llg I ! I I J.g2 :tc8
lbf? 1 9 .ild4 with an attack.
9 .ild2 lbd7 10 lbee2 xd2+
11 'ifxd2 'i/ie7 12 f3 f6 13 ef 'ifxf6
14 0-0-0 0-0-0 15 h4 'ike7 (van der
Wiel - Timman, Brussels 1 987), and
here simply 1 6 lbxg6 hg 1 7 lbt't
leads to an advantage.
9 lbg2!? (a graphic illustration for
Black of the fact that his queen is
a poor blockader) 9...'ike7 10 h4 e5
1 2 f5! Kobalia sacrifices a pawn,
11 a3 ed 12 ab de 13 Jlb5+ lbe6 rightly supposing that his advantage
14 be f6 15 h5 .iti 16 J.xh6 gh in development will compensate for
17 'iVd4 (Senff - Lorinc, Budapest the slight material loss.
2000).
1 2 ...ef 1 3 gf J.xf5 1 4 0-0 .ie6
1 5 lbxd5 cd 1 6 lbxd4 lbxd4
The move 6...'ilh4?! , without any ( 1 6 ...lbdxe5 1 7 lZ'lf4) 1 7 Jlxd4 .ic5
doubt, is principled, but. .. up to now 1 8 lbf4 lbxe5 1 9 lbxe6 fe 20 c3 with
a dangerous initiative.
it has not justified itself.
..

1 29

Advance Variation: 4 ltX3


8 bS 9 lLig3 ! The familiar pre
paration for the advance of the
f-pawn.
9 lLib6 I 0 f4 ifh4 II 'iff2 lLie7
Not possible is l l ...'iVxg4? in view of
1 2 h4! and, under threat of his queen
being trapped, Black will be forced to
part with material.
12 .ie2 lLie4 13 0-0-0 lLie8 14 rs
.i h7 IS l:ldfl 'iVe7 1 6 .ixe4 be
17 lLihS For White - heavy pieces on
the open f-file, and for Black - the b
file. Which initiative will carry more
weight? First and foremost comes the
factor of development, and in this
White is far ahead of his opponent.
Particularly unimpressive is the rook
h8 (Nataf- Bauer, Mondariz 2000).
Play, firstly linked to passive
defence by 6 ...h6 and then a sharp
counterattack with b7-b5, can hardly
be fully implemented by Black. He
must find a more harmonious way.

..

III
6...ltJd7
Unambiguously
preparing
to
undermine the white centre - both by
the usual c6-c5, and also with f7-f6.
7 h4 Black has three ways to
safeguard his bishop against h4-h5:
the sharp 7 ... f6 and 7 ... h5 and the
moderate 7 ... h6.

7...f6!? 8 hS .if7 9 f4 eS 10 ef!?


White gives up his pawn centre,
gaining in return handy squares for
his pieces.
I O ltJgxf6 II .ih3 -.,6 Looking
principled is l l ... cd !? 1 2 1rxd4
( 1 2 lLixd4 .ib4) 1 2 ....ic5 1 3 'iVd3
'irb6 1 4 g5 lLixh5 1 5 .ig4 g6 1 6 a3
with a double-edged game.
12 .ieJ 0-0-0 1 3 de .ixeS 14 .ixeS
lLixeS IS 'iVd4 The d4 and e5 pawns
are no more, but all the central dark
squares, as before, are in White's
hands (Westerinen - Ostenstad,
Aalborg 1 989).
...

8
The move 7. hS starts a forcing
vanatton in which the arising
complications are favourable for
White.
8 ltJf4 lLie7 9 lLixg6 lLixg6 I 0 gh
ltJxh4 II .id3 eS 12 'ifg4 ed 13 lDe2
.ie7 14 'ifxg7
..

In
the
game Kotronias
Simeonidis (Athens 1 997) Black
played weakly: 14 ... 'iVa5+?, driving
the enemy king where generally
speaking it wants to go. He does not
have to wait long for his punishment:
1 5 Wfl 0-0-0 1 6 'iVxt7 ltde8 1 7 .ih6!
(the decisive move; White transfers
1 30

Advance Variation: 4 ltJc3

the bishop to g7, after which the


passed h-pawn is irresistible)
17 ... b8 1 8 g7 llhg8 1 9 h6 'ifd2
20 h7 Black resigned.
It would be more difficult for White
after the natural 14 ....1lxh5 15 'it'fl
tbxe5, and then:
16 tbgJ tbxdJ (losing is 1 6...
17 'it'g8 tbxd3 1 8 tbxhS tbxc I
1 9 tbg7+ d7 20 'it'xf7+ 'ike7
because of 2 1 'ifxe6+! 1Wxe6
22 ltJxe6 iLe7 23 ltJxd4 gS 24 llg l )
1 7 ltJxh5 tbxct 1 8 llxcl ttJr5
19 ltJf6+ i.d6 20 llh8+ q;e7
21 l:txd8 lhd8 22 'ifg4 llh8 In all,
Black has only a pair of minor pieces
for the queen. Nevertheless there are
still chances of building a fortress.
16 b5+ ltJc6 1 7 ltJxd4, and
however Black plays it is not good
for him:
1 7 ... 1Wb6 1 8 'ifg8+ iL 19 e3;
17 ...ttJfs 1 8 'ifg8+ d7 1 9 'ikxd8+
llxd8 20 xc6+ be 2 1 l:txhS ltJxd4
22 c3; 1 7 ...l:tc8 1 8 e2.
c
7 h6 By modestly defending the
bishop, Black, as it were, takes a
pause, giving the opponent a chance
to express himself.
8 eJ White will ram the enemy
position by f2-f4-f5, and, if the pawn
is taken, the bishop is hit with tempo
by tbe2-f4.
8...c5'! ! More circumspect would
be first to develop - 8 ...ltJe7 9 1Wd2
a6 1 0 hS h7 I I f4 l:tc8 1 2 g2, and
only then advance 1 2 ... c5 (Pavlovic Malakhatko, Korinthos 2002). But
lovers of sharp sensations for the
present are in the majority. They have
..

not established the fact with that an


early c6-c5 they undermine not only
the enemy centre but their own !
Henceforth the pawn fortress c6-d5e6 does not exist.
9 f4! tbe7 Simply losing is 9 . cd?
I 0 ltJxd4 iLcS I I f5 ! xd4 1 2 ...xd4
ef 1 3 hS h7 1 4 ltJxdS ltJe7 1 5 0-0-0
ltJc6 1 6 'ikf4 (Sax - Prassas, Athens
1 999). All White's moves are
absolutely predictable, and he can
only be surprised that his opponent
has lost his sense of danger!
1 0 fS! ef I I tbf4 cd 12 xd4 lbb6
13 b5+ ltJc6
.

1 4 'ikdJ! The best move. White


quietly generates threats.
1 4 ... e7 1 5 0-0-0 xh4 Short
castling does not save him: 1 5 ...0-0
1 6 xc6 be 1 7 gf h7 1 8 tbh5 iLxh4
1 9 ltJf6+! gf 20 llxh4 fe 2 1 l%g l +,
and mate is not far off.
1 6 gf h7 1 7 i.xb6! ? ab
1 8 ltJfxd5 fB (also hopeless is
18 ...0-0 1 9 'ike4 'it'gS+ 20 Wb I iLg3
21 llhg l tbxeS 22 tbe2) 19 'ike4
'ifg5+ 20 Wb 1 iLgJ 21 iLxc6 be 22
'it'b4+, and White wins.

The variation 6 ... ltJd7 7 h4 h6


8 iLe3 cS?! 9 f4! - is a good
illustration of how accurate Black

131

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

must be in the system I e4 c6 2 d4 dS


3 eS .irs 4 lL!c3 e6 S g4 .ig6 6 lL!ge2
One or two non-concrete, lax moves
from his side - and a devastating
attack will overwhelm him.

7 lL!f4 cS?! Lovers of sharp


sensations are again in the majority!
8 de d4 9 lL!xg6 hg 10 lL!e4 .ixcS
II tL'lxcS ( I I .ig2!? lL!c6 1 2 0-0)
II Ji'dS 12 lL!xb7 'ii'x hl 13 lL!d6+
f8 14 'ii'xd4
..

IV
6 .ie7
A solid move, preventing h2-h4.
White has a few ways to develop,
each of which has its virtues and
defects.
.

7 .ig2!? The recommendation of


Kotronias, 7 .ih3, looks dubious in
view of 7 ...cS !? (but not 7 ... hS 8 lL!f4
hg 9 .ixg4 .ih7 I 0 lL!xe6! fe
I I .ixe6 .ib4 1 2 'it'hS+ g6 1 3 'it'h3
with an attack) 8 f4 lbc6 9 fS ef I 0 gf
.ihS, and White's initiative will soon
be neutralised. The idea 7 .ih3 has
still not been tested in practice.
7...lL!d7 8 lLif4 ! ? According to
M iles, the best move. Weaker is
8 0-0?! hS 9 lDf4 hg I 0 lL!xg6 fg
I I 'flxg4 lL!f8 1 2 lL!e2 (van der Wiel
- M iles, Ter Appel 1 987), and here
1 2 ...gS! ? 1 3 f4 lL!h6 1 4 'fibS+ g6
I S ..-o g4 gives Black the better
game.
8....igS 9 lL!ce2 .ixf4 A sensible
decision. 9 . . . cS seems premature
because of 1 0 c4 !, and it turns out that
White is better prepared for the
opening of the game.
I 0 lL!xf4 lL!e7 II 0-0 0-0 12 lL!xg6
lL!xg6 13 f4 For White - two bishops
plus a space advantage. For Black nothing (Acs - Sermek, Nova Gorica
200 1 ).

In the game Nunn - Chandler


( Wiesbaden 1 98 1 ) Black happily
extricated himself from this scrape by
concluding the game as a draw. But a
desire to repeat his feat was
something we did not see...
c
7 .ie3 lL!d7 I n the game Fedorov
O.lvanov (Retymnon 2003) Black
preferred to draw fire upon himself 7 ... .igS !? 8 f4 .ih4+ 9 d2 f6. How
often we see a stormy opening
change into a complete calm: I 0 ef
.ixf6 I I .ih3 ( I I h4!? hS 1 2 f5 ef
I 3 lL!f4) I J ...'ii'd7 1 2 'ii'f l hS 13 gh
l:txhS 1 4 lL!g3 llh8 1 S lie 1 .irs
1 6 .ixfS ef with a quick draw.
8 'ii'd2 Too early is 8 f4 in view of
8 ... hS!, and the break f4-fS is already
unattainable.
Leading to a complicated struggle
with not bad chances for Black is
8 .ig2 hS ! ? 9 h3 hg 10 hg llxh l +
I I .ixh l 'ifb6 1 2 llb l f6 1 3 e f gf

1 32

Advance Variation: 4 t"Dc3

14 f4 i.d6 1 5 'ifd2 li:Je7 1 6 i.n


0-0-0 1 7 f2 llh8 1 8 g2 'it'd8
1 9 li:Jg3 'it'g8 20 llfl . In the game
Kobalia - Kharitonov (Ekaterinberg
1 999) Black, apparently wrongly,
continued with prolonged manoeuvr
ing and allowed a moment for the
break 20... e5 !?
8 h 5 9 li:Jf4 hg. Worth deeper
consideration is 9 ...li:Jffi!? - Black
does not allow the break up of his
pawn structure on the king's flank.
I0 l"Dxg6 fg 11 i.dJ The other way
- I I h3 ! ? t"Df8 1 2 0-0-0 promises less,
since Black immediately started a
counterattack: l 2 ...'ifa5 1 3 a3 b5 !? In
the ending a fter 14 l"Da2 ...xd2+
1 5 xd2 a5 1 6 li:Jc I f7 1 7 l"Dd3
l:lh4 1 8 i.g2 li:Jh6 the game is even
(Kamsky - Miles, New York 1 989).
ll t"Df8 12 0-0-0

1 2 ...%lh4 because of 1 3 lL!e2! li:Jh6


1 4 c4 li:Jf5 1 5 l"Df4 f7 1 6 'itb I li:Jd7
1 7 cd cd 1 8 lL!g2 llh8 1 9 1t'e2 l"Dh6
(Art. Minasian - M iles, Moscow
1 989), and after 20 .ixh6 White has a
great advantage.
13 lldgl (or 1 3 b l l:th4 14 lldg l
li:Jh6 1 5 i.g5 i.xg5 1 6 ..,xg5 'ii'd 8
1 7 i.xg6+ d7 with equality,
Henn - Hille, Germany 1 993)
IJ ...llh4 14 i.gS i.xgS 15 'iVxgS
'iVd8 1 6 i.xg6+ d7 1 7 l:txg4
'ifxgS+ 18 llxgS l:lxd4 19 i.dJ g6
20 i.xg6 l"Dxg6 2 1 llxg6 li:Je7
According to Dokhoian 's analysis,
Black has sufficient compensation for
the pawn.
v

6 i.b4
..

...

It goes without saying that Black


has pinned his hopes not on the extra
pawn on the g-file - but on the fact
that White can win it back only by
means of mass exchanges. However
the endgame does not promise White
the advantage.
1 2 'it'a5!? Dokhoian's idea. The
knight c3 is riveted to the a2 pawn,
while in the event of 1 3 <ii?b I White
loses an important tempo. Inferior is
.

In principle, a logical move: Black


puts the brakes on the knight on e2,
while keeping the path clear for his
own knight to go to e7. In some
variations, when the bishop g6
becomes particularly bad, it is able to
pull out to e4. Nevertheless if White
counts not on a blitzkrieg but on a
gradual seizure of space, then he has
good chances of achieving his
objective.
7 h4!? The most dangerous
continuation. Other replies lead to an

133

Advance Variation: 4 llX3

acceptable position for Black:


7 .ig2?! c5 8 .ie3 cd 9 lL!xd4 h5
1 0 a3 .ixc3+ 1 1 be hg 1 2 llb l 'ilc7
1 3 'ilxg4 lLlh6 1 4 ...h4 White's
pawns are weak and his initiative is
really not so strong. If, in the game
Acs - Korchnoi (Ohrid 200 1 ), Black
had played 1 4 ...lL!c6!? 1 5 lL!xc6
'ilxc6! 16 c4 llc8!, then the unfolding
events might have suited him.
7 a3 .ixc3+ 8 lL!xc3 h5 ! 9 h4 lL!d7
1 0 .ig5 6 1 1 lL!a4 ..aS+ 1 2 lL!c3
6 1 3 lL!a4 'ilc7 (Black rejects a
repetition of moves, but his position
is still not so good that he can
seriously bid for victory) 1 4 gh .ixh5
1 5 .ie2 .ixe2 1 6 1Vxe2 lLlh6
1 7 .ixh6 llxh6 1 8 0-0-0 Draw
(Svidler - Bologan, Santo Domingo
2002).
After 7 h4 Black is already at a
crossroads.
A
7 .ie4?! Since h4-h5 is really not
such a terrible threat (the knight c3 is
pinned at the moment), Black can
with tempo deal with it - and
successfully.
8 l:thJ hS?! Probably stronger is
8 ... h6 9 a3 .ixc3+ I 0 lL!xc3 .ih7,
though even here White achieves the
advantage with simple moves. For
example, I I .id3 .ixd3 1 2 1i'xd3
lL!d7 1 3 .id2 lLlfl! 1 4 h5 'iVd7
1 5 0-0-0 lL!e7 1 6 f4 0-0-0 1 7 lL!a4 b6
(Ady - Speelman, Morecambe 1 98 1 ),
and here, by the move 1 8 1i'e2! ?
(with the idea of transferring the rook
to b3), White can begin a serious
attack.
9 lL!gJ cS I 0 .igS 'ifb6 The
..

alternative is IO . . f6, but in the game


Vasyukov - Razuvaev (Vilnius 1 980)
White found the right order of moves:
I I .id2 .ixc3 1 2 be lL!c6 1 3 ef gf
1 4 lL!xe4 de 1 5 1i'e2 1i'd7 1 6 tWxe4
0-0-0 1 7 g5 with advantage.
II aJ! hg. There is no salvation in
the intermediate t l ....ixc3+ 12 be
and only now 1 2 ...hg, since White
has 1 3 lL!xe4 gh 14 lL\d6+ f8
1 5 l:[b I winning.
.

12 ab! gh 13 de tWc7 14 lLlgxe4 de


(or 14 ... h2 1 5 lLld6+ tlfxd6 1 6 cd
h I ='il 1 7 lL!bS) IS lLlbS According to
an analysis by Day, White wins.
8
7 .ixc3+!? An idea of Hungarian
player Laszlo Eperjesi that is little
explored but worthy of attention. The
point is that after 8 lL!xc3 the white
knight no longer controls the f4
square, therefore Black has the
chance to del iver a typical
anticipatory counter-blow: 8 ... h5! In
the game Alfred - Eperjesi (Budapest
2002) play continued 9 .ig5 'ilb6
I 0 l:[b I hg I I 'ifd2 lL!d7 1 2 .ie2 .if5
1 3 h5 f6 1 4 ef, and now, instead of the
capture of the pawn, it would be
better to play 14 . . .lL!gxf6 with
advantag .

1 34

..

Advance Variation: 4 c3
8 f4 e7 9 d3 The space
Taking into account the above, in
reply to 7 ...xc3+!? more interesting advantage he seeks after 9 xg6
is 8 be! ? Black should play 8...'ifa5, xg6 1 0 h5 e7 I I a3 xc3+ 1 2 be
threatening the manoeuvre 'ifa5-a4, d7 1 3 a4 as 1 4 .i.d2 'ifc7 1 5 f4 is
and White has serious problems with at hand. However in the game
the defence of the c2 pawn. There are Kobalia - Labumskiy (Ekaterinberg
still no games on this theme; here is 2002) White did not manage to
convert it into something more
some preliminary analysis:
substantial. On the other hand, Black
9 'ifd2!? d7 The threat of9 ...'ifa4
will already soon start to play for a
is devalued by I 0 lib I b5 I I l4b2
win: 1 5 ... c5 1 6 e3 6 1 7 ..id3 cd
tlJd7 1 2 c4!
1 8 cd b4 1 9 ._.d2 xd3+ 20 cd
10 g3 h6 1 1 f4 tlJe7 12 h3!? b8 2 1 e2 c6 22 a5 a6 23 llhc I
White makes it clear that he too has a ._.e7 24 t2 l4c8 25 l:r.c5 0-0 26 ._.e3
threat - the advance f4-f5. Absolutely f5.
harmless would be 1 2 d3 xd3
9 ..ixd3 10 'ifxd3 d7 11 ..id2
1 3 cd c5.
'ifb6 1 2 0-0-0 0-0-0 13 hS e5 14 de
12 ...h5! (the only move) 13 gh xeS 15 f4
(White gets nowhere by 1 3 f5 hg
1 4 fg gh 1 5 gf+ <t>xf7 1 6 l4xh3 c5)
l3 ... xh5 ( 1 3 ... f5 !?) 14 fS ef
IS xf5 xf5 16 xf5 f8 17 l4b1
b6 1 8 l4b3 e6 (or 1 8 ... g6
19 xg6 xg6 20 'irg2 with an
initiative for White) 19 a3
..

Once again everything is in order


for White with his gain of space - and
once again he does not manage to
make an impression with h is
subsequent moves: 15 g6 16 f6
xf6 17 ef e6 18 h5 l4hg8 with
gradual equalisation (Smits
Willems, Dieren 2003).
So White sti ll has to pick up
the true golden key to 6 ... ..ib4.
Nevertheless the bishop thrust cannot
yet claim to eclipse the main moves 6... f6, 6. ..c5, 6...e7.
..

It seems that White has managed to


breach the opponent's defence, but
our advice is to study very attentively
the note to the I Jh move.
c
7 h6!? Objectively - the best way.
...

1 35

Advance Variation: 4 li)c3


VI

I ) 7 c5!? Black carries out


breakthrough work in the centre in
two directions at the same time! This
interesting continuation was first met
in the game Nunn - Cocozza
(Saloniki 1 984). Though the game
ended in a convincing victory for
Nunn, in his annotations the winner
himself gave due respect to his
opponent's idea and pointed out
where Black might have played more
strongly. Further analysis and
practical application of the idea
7 .. . c5!? confirmed Nunn's assess
ment: everywhere the position is
extremely unclear.
a) 8 ef li:)xf6!? It goes without
saying that Black has sown the wind
and now must be particularly
accurate so that he does not reap the
whirlwind. Thus, bad is 8 . . . gf?
because of 9 li:)f4 .in I 0 'it'e2 'it'd?
(or I O . 'it'e7 I I de li:)c6 1 2 li:)bS !,
Westerinen - Muresan, Palma de
Mallorca 1 989) I I de e5 12 .ig2!
9 li:)f4 cd! Best. After 9 ... ..if7'!!
I 0 g5 li:)e4 I I li:)xe4 de 1 2 'iie2 'it'xd4
1 3 c3 'iVd6 1 4 li'xe4 Black has,
strategically, a very nasty position
(Nisipeanu - Hosvar, Eger 1 995).
10 'it'xd4 li:)c6 11 'ifeJ e5 12 li:)xg6
hg. The position is full of life but the
players for some reasons of their own
concluded a peace. (Sax - Adorjan,
Budapest 1 993).
b) In the stem game was played
8 li:)f4 ..i17 9 ef (9 li:)cxd5?! li:)c6!
Belyavsky) 9 cd! 10 'iVxd4 ( 1 0 1i'e2
d7! Nunn) 1 0 gf 11 'it'a4+ li:)c6
1 2 .ieJ i.d6 13 0-0-0 (iJe7 14 g5 f5
(Nunn - Cocozza, Saloniki 1 984).
.

6 f6
Black, in spite of the teachings of
Nimzowitsch, undermines the centre
not at the base of the white pawn
chain (for which simply c6-c5 does
the job), but at its last link. Of course,
such a strategy is a departure from the
rules - but in return it secures a
retreat for the bishop on fl.
White has two main continuations:
7 h4 and 7 li:)f4.

A
7 h4!?

White's plan is pressure on the


king's flank, and if he succeeds then
Black's light-squared bishop will not
take part in the play for a long time.
The main direction of Black's
counterplay is linked to an exchange
on e5. Then the knight from d7
attacks the pawn, requiring White to
play f2-f4 weakening the a7-g l
diagonal. After this Black transfers
his queen to b6 and forces his
opponent to cover the diagonal by
li:)e2-d4. The knight on d4 will
become a handy target for the c6
pawn. I f Black carries out with tempo
an advance of his central pawns then
the weakness of the king's flank will
already not be so noticeable.

136

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

After 15 .ig2 a6 arises a critical


position.

Nunn's idea lies in the sacrifice of a


piece by 16 ll'lcxd5!? ed 17 lt'ixd5
However B lack has a surprising
possibility to force a transfer to an
endgame in which his chances are at
least no worse.
1 7... b5!? 1 8 'ifb3 ( 1 8 li)xe7?
Wxe7 !) 18 lt'ib4 19 ll'if6+ f8
20 lt'id7+ g8!? Weaker is
20.....xd7 2 1 ..xb4 .ixb4 22 .D.xd7
ltc8 23 .ib7 llb8 24 .ia7 .ie6
25 .ixb8 .ixd7 26 lld I , and the three
pawns are perhaps a little stronger
than the knight.
2 1 lbd6 .ixb3 22 ll'if6+ <ii?n
23 .D.xd8 lt'ixa2+ 24 b 1 llaxd8
25 cb lt'ib4 It seems that the two
powerful bishops plus the possibility
of creating a passed pawn on the
king's flank are compensation for the
loss of the exchange - but no more
than that.
c) 8 .ig2!? (the idea of grand
master Kotronias) 8... ll'lc6 9 f4 .in!?
Other replies are inferior: 9 ... fe 10 de
l[Jge7 I I ll'lb5 !? or 9 ...lt'ige7 1 0 f5 ! ef
I I ef gf 1 2 g5 (analysis by
Kotronias).
10 ef gf 1 1 .ie3 ll'lh6 12 .irJ .D.g8
13 .D.gl cd 14 lbxd4 e5 15 ll'lxc6 be
.

16 'ifd2 e4 17 .ie2 f5 18 g5 ll'lg4


Thus continued the game Costa Harris (Scarborough I 999). White, in
deciding against the gain of a pawn,
rejected playing for a win. I f he had
accepted the challenge then after
1 9 .ixg4 fg 20 11xg4 .D.b8 2 1 lib I
'ii'd 7 22 .D.g3 l:.b7 B lack would
organise a blockade on the light
squares, and in an appropriate case
carry out c6-c5. It seems that Black
has full compensation for the pawn.
2) 7...lbd7?! looks more reliable
than 7 ... c5!?, but in the meanwhile a
developing move of the knight does
not guarantee Black an easy life.
8 f4 'ii'c7?! Missing an obvious
retort, therefore worth considering is
8 ... fe 9 fe .ie7 1 0 g5 .ib4 1 1 .ih3
.if5 1 2 ll'lf4, with only a slight
advantage for White (Borge Kaunas, Copenhagen I 993 ).

9 f5! (naturally!) 9 ef (or 9 ...if7


1 0 fe .ixe6 I 1 ll'lf4 Wfl 1 2 'ifO l:r.e8
I 3 g5 with a very strong attack) 10 e6
.id6 11 h5 .ig3+ 1 2 d2 lbb6 13 hg
ll'ih6 14 .D.xh6! gh 15 g7 .D.g8 1 6 gf
lbg7 17 .ih3 .if4+ 18 <it>d3 .ig5
19 b3 A master of attack such as
Gyula Sax exploited to the full the
chances with which he was
presented. White soon won (Sax Feller, Senden 1 998).

1 37

..

Advance Variation: 4 tDc3

3) 7 fe. Now very much depends


on White's next moves. If he misses
the moment for h4-h5, then he will
never play it! The whole matter
consists of the fact that on 8 de?!
Black has available 8 ... lL!d7, and not
possible is 9 h5? lL!xe5 !
Probably, White's last try to swing
the game to his favour is by 7 ... fe
8 de?! lL!d7 9 f4 h5 ! 1 0 f5 !? In reply
Black should sacrifice a piece:
I O ... lL!xe5! I I fg lL!O+ 12 'itf2 hg
1 3 ..tg2 'iVf6 14 lL!f4.
..

In the game Yudasin - Peresipkin


(USSR 1 983) was played 1 4 ... i.d6,
whereupon White lost his head:
1 5 'iVe2?! i.xf4 1 6 ..txf4 'it'xf4
1 7 'it'xe6+ Wd8. The non-standard
position requires non-standard action:
1 5 lL!e4! g3+ 1 6 xO (weaker is
1 6 fl lLlh2+ 1 7 <ite2 'it'e5 1 8 llxh2
de 1 9 llh I 0-0-0) 1 6...de+ 1 7 xg3
e5 1 8 lLlh3 (or 1 8 lLle2 i.c5 1 9 'it'e l
'iVxg6+ 20 i.g5 i.e3) 1 8 ...'iVxh4+
1 9 '11i>h2 lL!f6 20 'it'xd6 lL!g4+ with a
draw by perpetual check.
However, an improvement for
Black
lies
on
the surface:
1 4 ... ..tc5+!? ( instead of 1 4 ... JLd6)
1 5 'ii? fl e5 with great chances of
victory.

So before making the 'obvious'


move 8 de?! , he should think hard!
8 hS! ..tf7 Now already Black
misses the chance to go into the
'space' - 8 ...JLe4?! However, this is
one of those cases where the
medicine is worse than the cure:
9 1lh3 !? ed 10 lL!xd4 i.b4!? (bad is
I 0 . . .e5? because of I I t:be6, and
Black loses the ill-fated bishop:
l l ... 'it'e7 1 2 ltlxf8 'it'xf8 1 3 0, Bard
Smith, Michigan 1 998) I I f3 e5 1 2 fe
ed 1 3 'it'xd4 1We7 1 4 h6 ltlf6 1 5 hg
llg8 1 6 .i.g5 ti)bd7 1 7 0-0-0!? (only
leading to equality is the obvious
1 7 llO llxg7 1 8 .i.xf6 lLlxf6 1 9 'it'xf6
'it'xf6 20 llxf6 d4) 1 7...1lxg7 1 8 i.xf6
t:bxf6 1 9 ed Axg4 20 'it'd3 i.xc3
(20 . . . 0-0-0? - a simple blunder:
21 lle3 'it'g7 22 ..th3 winning the
exchange) 2 1 1Wxc3 cd (nothing good
awaits Black in the event of the
counterattacking 2 1 ... 0-0-0 22 de
l:txd l + 23 xd l llg l 24 l:lf3)
22 i.d3 with a serious initiative for
White.
9 de. The tabiya of the variation
7 ... fe.

a) 9.....tb4!? 10 i.g2 t:be7 I I f4


t:bd7 1 2 i.d2 g6!? Played with the
aim of activating the pieces on the
king's flank. There was some

1 38

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

pointless activity by Black in the


game Westerinen - Groszpeter
(Copenhagen 1 988): 1 2 . . .'iVc7?!
1 3 lLld4 'irb6 14 a3 .i.a5 1 5 lLlxe6!?
.i.xe6 1 6 b4 'iVd4 17 ba 0-0, and here
White should have averted the
exchange sacrifice on f4 - 1 8 lLle2
'it'c4 1 9 .i.h3 .
13 hg. After 1 3 lLlg3?! Black seizes
the initiative by 1 3 ... g5!? (again a
space!) 1 4 0-0 ( 1 4 f5 'iVc7) 1 4 ... gf
1 5 xf4 .i.c5+ 1 6 h2, and now an
attractive combination: 1 6 .. .lLlg6!
1 7 hg 'iVh4+ 1 8 .i.h3 hg 1 9 lLlh5 (the
only move) 1 9...gh 20 g5 .i.g6 with
overwhelming superiority of the
black pieces.
13 lLlxg6 14 lLld4 lLlh4 15 .i.fl
.i.c5 16 .i.e3 h5! (struggle for the f5
square . . ) 17 g5 .i.xd4 18 .i.xd4 lLlf5
19 .i.f2 'iVa5 20 'iVd2 g6 2 1 .i.d3
lLle7. . . ending in Black's advantage.
His chances are superior.
b) 9 c5!? 10 lLlg3!? In this thicket
there are completely unclear
variations. Here is one of them:
I 0 g2 lLlc6 I I f4 ( I I .i.f4?! lLlh6!
12 lLlg3 .i.e7 with the idea of .i.e7g5) 1 1 ...lLlh6 1 2 lLlg3 d4 1 3 lLlce4 c4.
Who is quicker? Who is superior and
stronger?
I O e7 1 1 .i.g2 lLlc6 1 2 0-0
lLlh6?!
More
principled
is
1 2 ...lLlxe5 !? 1 3 f4 lLlc6 1 4 f5 lLld4
1 5 fe xe6 1 6 lLlf5 .i.x f5 1 7 gf lLlf6
once again with an absolutely
unclear game.
13 f4 g5 14 fS! lLlxe5 15 fe .i.xe6
1 6 lLlxd5 lLlhxg4 17 lLlxe7 'iVxe7
1 8 lLle4 ltd8
.

...

19 .i.xg5! l:lxd 1 20 l:laxd1 White


has breached the opponent's defence
with direct blows (Shirov - Epishin,
Dordrecht 1 999) but, even after this,
wonders did not cease. Epishin
returned the queen, transposed to the
endgame a clear exchange down and made a draw!
c) 9 lLld7 The basic continuation,
though, as shown by the above
mentioned variations, for the time
being no one has clearly refuted
9 ... .i.b4!? and 9 ...c5 !?.
10 f4!? 'iVb6 11 lLld4 You might
suppose that White, provoking c6-c5,
as it were helps his opponent's cause,
but, as shown by practice, on the
more ' independent' 1 1 .i.g2 it is
easier for Black to solve his opening
problems.
1 1 0-0-0 1 2 b3 lLle7 1 3 lLla4 'iVc7
1 4 .i.e3 c5 1 5 c4! (otherwise White
cannot count on this at all) 1 5 ...d4
1 6 .i.f2 ( 1 6 .i.d2 !? Timman) 1 6 ...g5 !
Not for the first time we observe how
this counterblow breaks up the pawn
structure. Black revives the bishop f7
and seizes the initiative (van der Wiel
- Timman, Amsterdam 1 987).
11 c5! ? Is long castling necessary
first? On this score there is more than

1 39

..

...

Advance Varia/ion: 4ltk3

one opinion. Here is a sample


variation after 1 1 ...0-0-0!?: 1 2 a3 ! ?
c 5 ( 1 2 ... i.c5?! 1 3 i.e3 i.xd4
1 4 i.xd4 c5 meets with the
tactical refutation: 1 5 ltJb5!) 1 3 ltJO
lbe7 14 b4 lbc6!? (it is totally bad for
Black to accept the pawn sacrifice)
1 5 b5 ltJd4 ! 1 6 ltJxd4 cd 1 7 lbb l .

7 ltJf4!? A slightly more dangerous


move than 7 h4.

Black is at a crossroads: should he


go back with the bishop to fl or
counter the threat?
I ) 7 i.f7 In his tum, White also is
faced with a choice: unload the
situation with an exchange on f6 or,
for the present, maintain the tension
in the position?
a) 8 ef. As shown by practice, after
this move it is easier for Black to
obtain an acceptable game.
8 gf 9 'ife2 'ife7 10 ltJd3
(defending against the liberating
e6-e5, White intends to ' freeze' the
centre by means of t2-f4) 10 ...ltJd7
1 1 f4 i.g7 12 i.e3 e5 13 fe. Fresher
looks 1 3 0-0-0! ? e4 1 4 ltJt2 h5 1 5 h3
( 1 5 g5!?) 1 5 ... 0-0-0 1 6 'ifd2 f5
1 7 .J:lg I (Apicella - Zelcic, Algarve
1 999). However, after 1 7... hg!? 1 8 hg
fg 1 9 ltJxg4 .i.h5 20 .Ue I .ixg4
2 1 .J:lxg4 ltJh6 it is only Black who
has chances of victory.
1 3 fe 1 4 ltJxe5 ltJxeS 1 5 de
'ifxe5! ? This move is stronger than
1 5 ....txe5, though even here Black
holds the position: 1 6 0-0-0 ltJf6
(Sveshnikov - Sorokin, Moscow
1 992) 1 7 .ig5 .ixc3 !? 1 8 'ifxe7+
...

1 7 ...g5 ! (Black is playing 'eye-spy'


in this variation) 1 8 hg i.xg6 1 9 i.b2
.i.c5 20 d3 l:ldffi with an excellent
counterattack.
12 ltJfJ ltJe7 Even such a strong
'attacker' as Gyula Sax gets bad
vibes and hastens to start peace
negotiations after 13 ..tf2 ltJc6
14 g3 0-0-0 15 a3 i.e7 16 g5 .tfB
The negotiations were concluded
successfully (Sax - Razuvacv,
Maribor 1 996).
The idea h2-h4-h5 does not achieve
its main aim: Black's light-squared
bishop, as if sent into exile on fl,
after the counterblow g7-g5 once
again becomes free. It turns out that
White has spent three tempi, for
nothing, on a quick march of his edge
pawns! Today the variation 7 h4 has
lost its topicality.

1 40

..

Advance Variation: 4 lbcJ

rtixe7 1 9 be llag8 20 h4 h6 2 1 l:lc I +


e6 22 .i.xf6+ 'iPxf6 23 .i.h3 .i.c8
24 l:lhfl + 'it>g6 with equality.
16 0-0-0 lbf6 1 7 gS Dubious is
1 7 .i.c5?! lbe4 1 8 .i.d4 'ii'f4+ 1 9 'IPb I
.i.xd4 20 lbxe4 in view of 20...0-0-0!
with advantage to Black (Relange Savchenko, Paris 1 998).
17 ...lbe4 ( 1 7 ... .i.h5 1 8 .i.d4)
18 d4 'ifxgS+ 19 b l .i.xd4
20 lbxe4 de 21 l:lxd4 0-0 22 l:r.xe4
rtih8 The preceding play cannot be
said to have been really very sharp
(rather, a certain amount of care was
required of the two opponents), and
the end position also promises
absolute calm. So it is all the more
surprising that both games that
reached this position (Sveshnikov Vizhmanavin, Helsinki 1 992, and
Antal - Koneru, Budapest 200 I )
ended decisively!
b) 8 'ii'e2!?

The best continuation. White does


not hurry with an exchange on f6,
which yields to the opponent a
powerful pawn centre. The threat to
the e6 pawn forces Black either to
exchange himself on e5 (but then a
weak pawn on e6 appears and to boot
the dark squares in the centre prove to

be hopelessly weak), or to place his


queen in a not very aesthetic position
on e7.
8 fe. After 8 ... 'ife7 worthy of most
attention is the game Sax - Zelcic
(Lj ubliana 200 I ): 9 .i.d2 ! ? lbd7
1 0 h4! ? (not allowing the advance
g7-g5 and therefore 'sealing up' the
bishop f8) 1 0...0-0-0 I I 0-0-0 h6
1 2 lbd3 fe 1 3 lbxe5 lbxe5 14 'ii'xe5
'iff6 1 5 'iie3 c5 1 6 g5! cd 1 7 'ii'g3.
The undeveloped state of the minor
pieces is depressing for Black.
I ndeed, after a knight jump to b5,
White has every chance of
concluding the game in a rout.
9 ..xeS lbd7 10 'ii'e2 ...f6 Black
intends to leave out playing his
bishop to d6. Another plan, orientated
towards the break e6-e5, has come to
his rescue more than once in the
preceding variations. For example:
I O. . .'ife7
II
lbd3 (Bangiev's
recommendation is apparently a
misunderstanding: I I g5 !? e5 1 2 de
lbxe5 1 3 .i.e3, since after 1 3 ...d4!
Black wins) I I . . ..i.g6 12 h4! .i.xd3
1 3 'ifxd3 e5 1 4 .i.g5 ( 1 4 .i.e3 !?
Timman) 1 4 ...'ift7 1 5 0-0-0 .i.d6
(Timman - Anand, Amsterdam
1 992). In Timman's opinion, after
1 6 'ifg3! '! White maintains a minimal
positional advantage.
I I gS! ? (more interesting than
I I .i.g2 .i.d6) l l 'ifxd4 12 lbxe6
.i.xe6 13 'ifxe6+ .i.e7 14 .i.e3 'ife5
I S .i.h3 (it seems that it would be
simpler for White to obtain an
advantage by 1 5 1fxe5 lbxe5
1 6 ..te2) 15......xe6 16 ..txe6

141

..

Advance Variation: 4 lik3

White has a choice of three


captures. Let's look at them:
a) 8 de. The least principled
continuation. White endeavours to
return the game to quiet positional
channels, but his refusal to enter
complications also means his refusal
to struggle for the advantage.
8 -i.ti
We
present
some
This ending, arising in the game characteristic examples - in each of
Berg - Akesson (Linkopping 200 I ), them Black achieves an equal game
in no way can be called equal. Of without particular difficulty.
9 .i.hJ lbd7 I 0 'iVe2 'iVc7 I t g5
course, White, having two strong
bishops, can without any risk play for 'iVxe5 1 2 lbxe6 .i.xe6 1 3 .ixe6 .i.d6
a win. However Black, if he makes 1 4 i.d2 lbe7 1 5 0-0-0 'iVxe2 1 6 lbxe2
use of the recommendation of B iatny, lbc5 1 7 .ilg4 0-0 (Kapengut 1 6 . . . lbc5 ! ? 1 7 .i.h3 h6 !?, might Bagirov, USSR 1 98 1 );
gradually equalise the position. For
9 .i.g2 lbd7 I 0 lbd3 h5 I I h3 lbe7
example: 1 8 gh lbxh6 1 9 0-0-0 lbn 1 2 .i.g5 'iVa5 1 3 'ife2 hg 1 4 hg Jlxh I +
20 l:tde I ffi 2 1 .i.g2 lbh6 etc.
1 5 .i.xh I lbg6 1 6 .i.d2 'ifa6 1 7 f4
We see that in the majority of
.i.e7 1 8 lbf2 'iVxe2+ 1 9 lbxe2 0-0-0
games played with the variation
20 lbd4 c5 (David - Korchnoi,
7 ... i.n, Black finds himself rather in
Antwerp 1 994);
difficulties. Long drawn out defence
9 'iVe2 lbd7 10 lbd3 e7 1 1 i.g2
with a view to a difficult draw - this
lbg6
1 2 .i.d2 h5 1 3 h3 lbh4 1 4 .i. fl
is what can be expected in the future.
This
probably
explains
the g5 ! ? 1 5 0-0-0 hg 1 6 'iVxg4 .i.e7
enthusiasm for a forcing variation, 1 7 .i.e2 lbg6 (Kupreychik - Goldin,
7 ... fe, where events develop in a more Szetin 1 993).
b) 8 lbxg6 hg 9 de Things are
lively way.
already
hotting up. White has saddled
2) 7 fe!?
his opponent with a whole complex
of pawn weaknesses on the king's
flank, and also (as a bonus) gained
the advantage of the two bishops.
However, on the other hand, there is
the downside that his e5 pawn is in
need of defence, while the open
h-file, generally speaking, could
outweigh all his own trumps.
...

...

142

Advance Variation: 4 lbcJ


9 lbd7 10 .i.f4 .i.b4 Also not bad
is 1 o . . . .i.c5!? 1 1 .i.d3 lbe7 1 2 .i.g3
'iic 7!? 1 3 lba4 a5 1 4 'ii'd2 .i.b4!?
15 c3 b5 16 cb ab ! 1 7 lbc3 be
1 8 'ii'xc3 lta4 (analysis by van der
Wiel}. If this is not enough, then here
is the recommendation of Korchnoi:
IO ... 'itb6!? 1 1 .i.d3 0-0-0. So there
are moves to every taste...
I I .i.dJ lbe7 1 2 0-0 1Wc7 13 lbe2
lbxe5 (when does Korchnoi refuse
the offer of a pawn?} 14 lbd4 .i.d6
15 llel lbxdJ 16 lbxe6
...

This is the continuation of the game


Antonsen - Korchnoi (Copenhagen
1 996). Black does not want to
sacrifice the queen (and, incidentally,
win the game without a sacrifice).
But afterwards he himself pointed out
the possibility of 1 6 . . . lbxf4 ! ?
1 7 lbxc7+ .i.xc7 1 8 'ii'd4 ltf8 (after
1 8 ...t7 White should force a draw
by 1 9 ltxe7+) 1 9 h i llt7 20 'itb4
1:.b8 2 1 l:1e3 d7. His compensation
for the queen is more than sufficient.
c) 8 lbxe6 As shown by practice the strongest continuation. The next
few moves are forced for both sides.
8 'ii'e7 9 lbxf8 ed+ 10 .i.e2
...

I O dc. How strange that this is


the only move. IO . .'ifxf8?! was
suggested long ago by Pachman, but
it looks like Black is taking excessive
risks: I I 'ifxd4 'iff6 (leading to an
inferior endgame is 1 l ....i.xc2?!
12 d2 .i.g6 13 lle l lbe7 14 b3 !
lbd7 1 5 .i.a3 'ii'f6 1 6 'ii'x f6 lbxf6
1 7 .i.a6!) 1 2 .i.e3 .i.xc2? (a terrible
move, but what to suggest instead?)
1 3 lie I .i.g6 1 4 lbxd5! cd 1 5 ltc8+
<iii>d7 1 6 'ifc5. It is hardly possible to
beat off White's attack (de Vreis - de
Saegher, Haarlem 2001 ).
It's a sad picture for Black also in
the case of I O ...'iti>xf8?! I I 'ifxd4 lba6
1 2 .i.e3 lbb4 1 3 0-0-0. I t becomes
clear that taking on c2 (otherwise
why did Black move the knight to
b4?) is simply not possible:
1 3 ... lbxc2 14 'ii'f4+ 'iVf6 1 5 .i.c5+!
lbe7 (or 15 ...e8 16 1Vc7 d4 17 J..d 3)
1 6 'ifxf6+ gf 1 7 ..td3 (analysis by
Notkin). In the game Grischuk Timman (Wijk aan Zee 2002) Black
belatedly tried to complete his
development, but the time spent on
the manoeuvre lL!b8-a6-b4, does not
come for free: 1 3 ...lbf6 (instead of
13 ... lbxc2) 14 1:.d2 a5 1 5 a3 t7 1 6
'iff4 ! g8 1 7 J..d4 lba6 1 8 ..txa6

1 43

Advance Varialion: 4 lDc3

After 1 3 .. .'it>ffl !? it is easier for


with advantage to White, close to
Black to coordinate his forces: 1 4 be
overwhelming.
11 ltJxg6 hg. Once again he cannot liJbd7 1 5 e3 (or 1 5 'iff5 Wg8
turn to the side - l l .. .cb?! 1 2 i..xb2 1 6 lib I l:t.e8 1 7 e3 ltJe5 1 8 llb4 llffl
hg - in view of 1 3 'ifd4, and the 1 9 'it'g5 ltJf7 20 'iVg6 ltJe4, Kurnosov
pressure on the long diagonal is - Yevseev, Alushta 2002) 1 5 ... ltJe4
unbearable (Efimov- Vdovin, USSR ( 1 5 ...l:t.e8!'? Bologan) 1 6 l:t.b 1 ltJe5
1 7 'ii' f5+ ..ti>g8 1 8 l:t.xb7 11Vxb7
1 980).
12 'ifdJ ltJf6 13 'ifxg6+!? Earlier 1 9 'iWxe5 'iVf7 20 c4 l:t.e8. White still
1 3 'tWxc3 was played, but after has to offer proof that the
1 3 . . .liJbd7 Black step by step came compensation for the exchange is
enough if only for a draw. (Fedorov
out unscathed:
1 4 e3 ltJe4 1 5 'ifd4 0-0 1 6 0-0 Naer, Ekaterinburg 2002).
Play becomes more complicated
'iVh4 1 7 f3 ltJg3 1 8 hg 'iVxg3+
1 9 Wh I Draw (Nunn - Andersson, after 13 d8 14 be liJbd7 15 'it'gS It
is not easy for Black to find the right
London 1 982) or
1 4 'We3 ltJe4!? 1 5 d2 ( 1 5 f3? plan: he has not secured his king, it is
ltJg3) 1 5 ... liJxd2 1 6 xd2 'ifxe3+ difficult to get the rook aS out.
1 7 fe l:th4 1 8 h3 ltJe5. In the present Besides this, he is simply a pawn
endgame the advantage of the down! And even if Black, by
centralised knight over the bishop is exchanging queens, wins back the
obvious (Art. Minasian - Karpman, pawn, the endgame for him is
probably worse because of the
Minsk 1 990).
opponent's
pawn majority on the
After 1 3 'Wxg6+ arises a position
that is critical for the evaluation of king's flank. This is approximately
what happened in the game Kobalia
the whole variation with 6 ... f6.
Yevseev
(St. Petersburg
200 1 ):
15 ...ltJc5 1 6 'ife3 ltJce4 17 g5 ltJd7
1 8 b2! ltJxg5 1 9 'Wxe7+ Wxe7
20 c4 with a slight but persistent
advantage for White.
The game Aroshidze - Popov
(Batumi 2002) developed in a
completely different way: 1 5 ...'ii'e4
1 6 n ! (from here the pawn controls
the important e4 square, and Black's
Go to the left ... go to the right...but knight turns out to be lame)
nothing is found ... nothing is in 16 ... 'it'xc2 1 7 'iVd2 'ii'h7 (transferring
sight... goes the rhyme, but in this to an endgame is unfavourable for
case it is the other way around: it Black) 1 8 h4! (on the way to h5, the
looks like both moves of the king are pawn frees the rook h I for
manoeuvres) 1 8 ... b5 (preventing the
possible!
.

1 44

Advance Variation: 4 liJc3

break c3-c4, but in return allowing


the bishop c 1 full scope on the h2-b8
diagonal) 19 .i.a3 a5 20 .i.d6 l:te8
2 1 .i.g3! b4 22 'it>f2 ltJc5 23 'iVf4.
Again White's advantage is beyond
doubt.
Yet all the same, in our view, there
is a way for Black to fully equalise
the game: 15 ....:e8!? 16 .i.eJ (weak
is 1 6 'iVe3'?! in view of 1 6 ...ltJxg4!)
16...liJc5 17 0-0 ltJce4 18 'iVfS ltJxcJ
He can also look for opportunities in
the rook endgame after 1 8 ...liJxf2 ! '?
1 9 .i.xf2 'iVxe2 2 0 .i.h4 'ti'e3+ 2 1
h 1 'ife4+ 2 2 Wi'xe4 lbe4 2 3 .i.xf6+
gf 24 l:txf6 e7 with not bad chances
of a draw.
19 .i.dJ ltJce4!? 20 l:tfe1

depends not on general reasoning, but


on concrete, move by move, analysis.
The defect of 6 ... f6 is obvious, its
merits - rather doubtful, and yet
Black, even at grandmaster high
level, has succeeded in obtaining an
equal game, and at times - even more
than equal.
In variations of this kind there is
only one serious flaw, but this flaw is
particularly distressing for authors
(and for readers). A book with such
variations gets out of date before the
author has finished the manuscript,
and even more so before the reader
has read it
But there is nothing to be done
about this.
VII
6...ltJe7!?

20...g6! Of course, it is bad for


White to take the pawn, 2 1 'iVxg6?,
because of 2 l ... l:tg8. But after 21 Wi'f4
:rs 22 .i.xa7 liJd7 23 'iVeJ c5 24 f3
l:ha7 25 fe d4 26 'iVgJ ltJe5 27 .i.e2
Wi'd6! Black achieves a position in
which White's extra pawn plays no
role at all...
The variation 6 ... f6 is a typical
modem variation. In it everything
does not go according to the rules
(one might say - despite the rules), all

The system of defence begun with


this move was worked out by
M.Podgaets on the eve of the second
half of the Karpov - Timman match
(Jakarta 1 993).
Through the efforts of Kasparov,
Shirov, Svidler, Sutovsky, Kotronias,
Sax (as White) and their opponents
Karpov, Anand, Dreev, and Bareev,

145

Advance Variation: 4 lDcJ

transposition of moves leads to the


main line - 1 0 11xg4 lDh4 I I .i.d3.
10 ... liJh4!? The most reliable Black transfers the knight to fS. More
risky, but also possible is 1 0...1i'h4
I I 'iff3 liJd7 1 2 .i.d3 llJgxe5 !? - in
the present position there is more
basis for this combination: 1 3 de d4
1 4 liJb5 cb 1 5 .i.xb5 ( 1 5 Wxb7? llb8)
1 5 ...0-0-0 with a pleasant position for
Black.
11 .i.dJ g6 12 0-0-0 .i.e7 13 <itb1
liJd7 14 lDe2 b5!? More principled
than 1 4 ...liJb6, which was seen in
the game Nunn - Karpov (Monaco
1 994).
15 liJf4 liJb6 1 6 liJh3 aS 17 l:tdgl
This is how the game lruzubieta lzeta (E1goibar 1 995) continued.
Black should not complicate
unnecessarily, but simply occupy the
f5 square, in order to prepare the
ground for favourable exchanges:
1 7 . ..liJf5 ! ? 1 8 llJg5 l:lh4 1 9 'ifg2
llJxe3 20 fe .i.xg5 2 1 11xg5 11xg5
22 l:lxg5 1;e7 with the better
position .

new ways of attack and defence have


been found. The debate has continued
with shells and armour to the present
day; and up to now 6 ...lDe7!? has not
been refuted.
The strongest continuations for
White appear to be 7 f4 and 7 liJf4. In
brief we look at the remaining
possibilities.
A
7 .i.eJ?! does not bring an
advantage in view of the standard
pawn counterattack.: 7 h5! Black
secures an important springboard for
transfer of his pieces - the f5 square.
8 liJf4 hg 9 llJxg6 llJxg6 10 'ihg4
On 1 0 .i.d3 the combination
IO ...llJxe5? I I de d4 is mistaken
.

... in view of 1 2 .i.g6! It seems as soon


as Black got started, he was close to
defeat:
1 2 ...l:lh4?! 1 3 'iVd3 'ikc7 1 4 .i.xd4
fg 1 5 0-0-0 11f7 1 6 .i.e3 liJd7 1 7 liJe4
lDxe5 1 8 'ifb3;
1 2 ...de? 1 3 .i.xt7+ q;e7 14 'ifxd8+
xd8 1 5 .i.xe6 ef+ 1 6 xf2 .i.c5+
1 7 c.t>g2;
1 2 ... fg 1 3 'ifxg4 'ffe7 1 4 .i.g5 ! 'ift7
1 5 0-0-0
In reply to I 0 .i.d3 it would be
simplest to play l O...liJh4!, which by

Quite interesting is 7 liJgJ!? White


averts the opponent's counterplay
with h7-h5, and intends himself to
undertake a timely pawn storm
f2-f4-f5.
7 ... c5!? 8 f4!? cd 9 liJbS lbbc6
10 f5!? Very logical. Other White
replies are not dangerous: I 0 lDd6+
d7 I I lbxb7 'ifb6 1 2 lbd6 f6 or
I 0 lbxd4 lbxd4 I I 'ifxd4 ll'lc6
12 16a4 1lc7.
IO ef.

146

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

Epishin " 1 5 ...'ifa6 ! 1 6 lbb5 <li>d7 with


advantage" Epishin 's recommend
ation passed its examination in the
game Toren - Engqvist (Sweden
1 995). After 1 7 c4 tLlb4 1 8 l:.d 1 i.c2
1 9 l:.d2 'ifxa2 20 l:txc2

1 1 tLld6+?! After a few strong


moves White strays from the right
course. He should play I I f4!,
developing a menacing attack.
t l ..d7 12 gf tLlxeS! It is
interesting that in reply to 1 2 f4
would have followed the same blow:
1 2 . . . tLlxe5 ! 1 3 i.xe5 tLlc6 with
advantage to Black.
13 tLlbS? Weak. After 1 3 tLlxb7 !?
'itb6 14 fg tLl7xg6 15 i.g2 'Wxb7
1 6 0-0 i.c5 the position would still
remain unclear.
decisive
13 ...tLlxfS
with
a
advantage (Kravtsov
Podgaets,
Moscow 1 994).
.

Black lost his head, for some


reason making a silly check on b l
and losing quickly. But in the event of
the natural 20......xb3 21 l:lc3 'Wa2
22 'ife5 'Wb l + 23 <li>e2 'Wxb2+ 24
i.d2 lba6 25 'iff4 'ifb l 26 i.g2 'ifg6
27 ...d6+ e8 28 1Vg3 d7 29 lld3
White remains in possession of the
JnttJatJve. It is possible that
i mprovements will be found for
Black's defence, but intuitively it
seems that his position is very
dangerous.
1 6 0-0-0 0-0-0 1 7 lbbS a6
18 lbd6+ 'li>b8 and White's chances
are in no way superior.

7 g2, does not pose great


problems but it is natural that in such
a dangerous position, accurate play is
required of Black at nearly every
move in order not to fall under attack.
D
7... h5!? (an exchange of rooks
White can make no claim for
favours Black) 8 hJ hg 9 hg l:bh I+
1 0 i.xh l cS 1 1 i.gS!? ( I I de?! an advantage after 7 h4?! hS 8 lDf4
lbec6) 11 ...lbbc6 12 de lDxeS hg 9 lbxg6 lbxg6 10 hS cS! A
13 lbd4 as 14 'We2 lDSc6 15 lbbJ counterattack in the centre - always
Nor is anything offered by 1 5 lbdb5 the best strategy (particularly if the
in view of the simple 1 5 . . . 0-0-0 opponent gets too carried away by
operations on the queen's flank).
(Shabalov - Epishin, Tilburg 1 993).
11 'ifxg4 Or I I i.e3 lbc6 1 2 ...xg4
1S...'ii'b 4!? This move looks more
reliable than the recommendation of cd 1 3 i.xd4 lbge7 14 i.d3 tLlxd4
1 47

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 5 'ifxd4 lbc6 with the better chances


for Black (Sherzer - Yennolinsky,
Philadelphia 1 998).
l l cd. Sti ll not out of the
boundaries of the opening, White
already comes up against serious
difficulties. For example, 1 2 .i.g5?
loses
because
of
1 2 . . .lbxe5
(Holmsten - Galkin, Koszalin 1 999),
and there is also nothing good for
White in 1 2 hg llxh l 1 3 'ift3 ( 1 3 gf+
Wd7) 1 3 ... f5 ! 1 4 'iVxh l de 1 5 be 'ilc7
(Sveshnikov - Dreev, Alushta 1 994).
Relatively harmless is 12 'ilfxd4
lbc6 13 .i.bS lbe7 (in the opinion of
Dreev, stronger is 1 3 ...'ii'c 7!? 1 4 f4 a6
1 5 .i.xc6+ 'ii'x c6) 14 .i.gS a6
IS .i.xc6+ lbxc6 1 6 1Wh4 .i.e7 but
even here, in view of the many pawn
islands, White's position is a little
worse. (Casella - Bareev, New York
1 998).
A fter analysing sidelines (and
nearly all of these have been refuted)
we go on to an analysis of the main
moves: 7 f4 and 7 lDf4.
...

pedestal. The idea of 7 f4, of course,


is to advance this pawn one step
further, sacrifice it and thereby
restrict the bishop g6. Besides this, by
removing the enemy pawn on e6
(after the inevitable ...ef), White will
weaken the key square d5 should
Black want to advance c6-c5.
Black has three replies: 7 ...lba6,
7 ...h5 and 7 ... c5.
I ) 7...lba6!? There is no time for
White to defend against the
manoeuvre lba6-b4: after 8 a3?! h5
9 f5 ef I 0 g5 Black succeeds in
transferring the knight along the route
a6-c7-e6. But, what is even more
important, with the move I O .. h4!
Black opens the h5 square for his
light-squared bishop.
8 lbg3! Only this concrete move
sets Black a complicated task.
8 lbb4 9 fS! ef 10 a3 f4! (best)
11 ab fg 12 hg
.

...

7 f4!?

This move has quickly gained


popularity, threatening in a very short
time to knock the 7 lDf4 line off its

As a result of the forcing operation,


a position has arisen in which White
controls two half-open files on the
edge of the board, while his
apparently weak doubled g-pawn
controls the strategically important
squares f4 and rs.
12...a6!? Preventing the break b4b5. After 1 2 ...lbc8 White, in the game

148

Advance Variation: 4 tbc3

Sutovsky - Dautov (Essen 200 I ),


obtained the advantage by continuing
1 3 bS .tb4 14 be be I S .td3 !
1 3 .tgS! Leading to an unclear
game is 1 3 .td3 .txd3 1 4 W'xd3
lDg6, and, in order to defend b4,
White is forced to lead his knight to
the edge of the board.
1 3 bS! ? The second accurate
decision in a row - Black fixes the b4
pawn and at the same time prevents
the possible manoeuvre of the knight
to a4. Obviously worse is 1 3 ...'itb8,
since White succeeds in comfortably
rebuilding by means of 14 .td3 W'a7
I S tDe2 bS 1 6 c3 .txd3 1 7 1Wxd3
lbg6 1 8 tDf4 tDxf4 1 9 gfl h6 20 f5
with a great advantage (Svidler Galkin, Tomsk 200 l ).
14 'ii'd 2!? A very dangerous move
for Black, pointed out by the Cuban
grandmaster Lazaro Bruzon. White
defends the b4 pawn and tries to
transfer the knight, via the d I square,
to e3.
14 W'd7 IS .te2 lbg8!? (other
wise he cannot carry out the freeing
f7-f6) 16 tDd1 f6 17 .tf4 fe
An unnecessary expression of
activity is 1 7 ... .te4 1 8 Afl gS
19 .te3 .tg7 20 tDf2 .tg2 21 Ag I
.te4, since after 22 0-0-0 0-0-0
23 lbd3 White's pieces tum out to be
where exactly where they need to be
- not without help from the opponent.
1 8 de d4!? No good is the attempt
to transfer the knight to e6 by means
of 1 8 . . .tDh6. After 1 9 tDe3 ! tDf7
20 tDfS! .txfS 2 1 gf 1WxfS 22 0-0-0
White develops a terrible attack.
19 .to Starting to prepare long
castling. The alternative is 1 9 0-0!?
..

..

tDe7 20 tDf2 tbds 2 1 W'xd4 .txc2


22 e6 'ila7 23 1fxa7 Axa7 24 l:r.fc l
lbxb4 2S .i.d2 .i.b3 26 .i.xbS .i.xe6
27 .i.xc6+ tDxc6 28 llxc6 d7
29 llcxa6 llxa6 30 llxa6 .i.cS. The
limited material and closeness to
'opposite coloured bishops' allows
Black to make a draw.
19 ... tDe7 20 tDf2 tDdS 21 0-0-0
aS!? 22 'ilxd4 ab 23 e6 'ifc8 24 .i.e4
(more aggressive than 24 tDd3 b3
2S c3 Aa4 26 'iVeS b4 with
counterplay for Black) 24 'ii'xe6
2S libel ti 26 Jus .i.xfS! 27 Axe6
.i.xe6

Black has sacrificed the queen and


has some chances of building a
fortress.
The presented analysis shows that
it is not easy for Black to hold the
position after 7 ...tDa6. Apparently,
more prospects are offered by the
other repl ies: 7 ... hS or 7 ...cS.
2) 7 hS!? The idea of Russian
grandmaster Alexei Dreev. It has still
not passed sufficient practical trials to
form an exhaustive opinion on it.
8 r5! .i.h7!? After 8 ... ef?! White's
idea is fully justified: 9 gS tDa6
lO tDf4 tDc7 I I h4! ll is important not
to allow Black to play hS-h4. By
bricking up the enemy bishop, White

1 49

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

c) In the event of 9 lbf4 highly


promising is the piece sacri fice:
9...lbxf5!? 10 gf 'iVh4+ 11 e2 .ixfS
1 2 h3 c5 This position was met in two
games at a high level, and in both
Black celebrated victory.
The game Sutovsky - P.-H. Nielsen
(Bled 2002) continued: 1 3 lbbS lbc6
1 4 c3 'it'd8 1 5 .ie3 a6 1 6 lbd6+
.ixd6 1 7 ed 'ifxd6 1 8 de 'ifeS l 9 lbd3
.ixd3+ 20 'ifxd3 0-0-0 2 1 J:td l d4!
Black's attack, begun on the 91h move,
carried on unceasingly.
In the game Nataf - Dreev (Cap
d' Agde 2002) White tried to defend
in another way: 1 3 Wet 'iVd8! This
continuation is far stronger than
a) Logical but harmless is 9 f6 1 3 ... 1Wxe l + 1 4 >xe l lbc6, though
A fter 9...gf 10 ef lbg6 1 1 g5 'it'c7 the even in this endgame the chances are
break e6-e5 gives Black not bad on Black's side.
counterplay.
14 f2 lbc6 15 .id3 lbxd4
b) 9 fe!? fe 1 0 lbf4 comes up 16 .ixf5 lbxf5 17 g2 g5 18 lbd3 c4
against IO . lbg6!? The threat of a 19 lbf2 .ic5 20 J:tn J:tg8 21 lbfd 1 g4
check on h4 forces White to refuse Black's attack quickly decided the
material acquisitions, for example, game.
I I lbxh5 'ifh4+ 1 2 lbg3 c5 1 3 lbbS
d) 9 .ig5! A sought after move,
lbc6! (sacrificing the rook, Black after which Black is forced to
obtains a strong initiative) 1 4 lbc7+ conduct a passive defence.
d7 1 5 lbxa8 cd 1 6 c3 lbgxe5
9... hg. No better is 9 ...ef l O gh lba6
1 7 1t'b3 ..tc8 1 8 .if4 .id6, and not I I lbf4 lbc7 1 2 .ig2 lbe6 1 3 lbxe6 fe
possible is 1 9 0-0-0 because of 1 4 0-0 - White has a serious
1 9... lb0! with mating motifs.
initiative.
l l lbxg6 .ixg6 12 g5 c5!? 1 3 .id3
10 fe fe l l lbf4 .irs 12 .idJ
.ixd3 14 'it'xd3 lbc6 15 0-0 cd
1 6 lbb5 'it'd7 17 'iVg6+ d8 18 .if4
(mistaken is 1 8 l1f7? because of
1 8 ... lbxe5 ! ) 1 8 ... h4 19 h3! ? (or
1 9 l:lad I l:lc8 20 h l 'iVe8 with a
good game for Black) 19 ...lbe7
20 'iVd3 lbrs 21 lbxd4 .ic5 22 c3
:cs The king is sent forward with the
pawn to b8, after which Black's
difficulties remain behind him.

starts to play, as it were, with an extra


piece.
A fter playing f2-f4-f5, White
should decide on the subsequent plan.
From here the game is extraordinarily
concrete, with general reasoning not
excluded.

1 50

Advance Variation: 4lbc3


12 'it'd7 It seems that on every 2 1 lbe7+ Wh7 22 l:xd4 'ifxd4
reply, Black will not succeed in 23 lbxc8 1lxc8 24 lld3 'ii'g l + 2S lid I
'ife3+ 26 l:d2 f4 the game is deter
quenching the opponent's initiative:
12 ...lba6 1 3 lbg6 llhS 14 lbxf8 mined in Black's favour, though, of
Wx f8 I S h4 'it'b6 1 6 lbe2 g6 1 7 0-0 course, the position is still dreadfully
complicated...
CiJ.c7 1 8 a4 aS 1 9 lla3 'it>e8 20 c4;
Analysing this game, grandmaster
1 2 ...11fb6 1 3 .i.xfS lbxfS ( l 3 ... ef
suggested
improving
1 4 1Wd2) 1 4 lbxe6 d7 I S 1Wxg4 Bologan
'it>xe6 1 6 .i.f4 'ifxb2 ( 1 6 ... 1Wxd4 White's play by 14 .i.f4!? The
1 7 'ifg6+ 'iii>d7 1 8 'ifxfS+ d8 variations proposed by him testify to
1 9 .i.gS+ Wc7 20 l:d I ) 1 7 1Wg6+ the fact that B lack has great
d7 1 8 1WxfS+ d8 1 9 Wd2 .i.b4 difficulties:
14 ... .i.d6 I S lt:lxc6 be 1 6 'ii'd4 0-0
20 1Wd3 (analysis by Bologan).
13 lba4 Also not bad looking is 1 7 0-0-0;
1 4 ...'W'aS+ 1 S c3 0-0-0 1 6 lbxc6
1 3 0-0 lba6 1 4 lbce2, and if
14 ... lbb4, then 1 S .i.xfS lbxfS lt:lxc6 1 7 11fb3 lle8+ 1 8 lt:le3 .i.d6
1 6 lbg6 llhS 1 7 lbxf8 'it>xf8 1 8 .i.d2 ( 1 8 ...'ifcS 1 9 0-0-0 llxe3 20 .i.xc6
l:lxc3+ 2 1 'W'xc3) 1 9 .i.xc6 be
cS 1 9 lDf4 J:lh6 20 lbxe6+!
13 ...b6 14 .i.xrs lbxrs IS 'W'xg4 20 .i.xd6 l:xe3+ 2 1 Wf2 l:e4
lba6 16 0-0 lbc7 1 7 lbxe6! lbxe6 22 'ii'b8+ Wd7 23 11fb7+ Wxd6
18 'ii'xfS This is how the game 24 llad 1 + eS 2S 1We7+ Wf4
Sutovsky - Erenburg (Israel 2002) 26 1Wd6+ 'W'es 27 'ifd2+ l:te3 28 l:lde 1
went. Sutovsky quickly achieved a winning.
And yet, in our view, main events
decisive advantage, though it is more
than probable that Black's play could in this variation still remain with the
have been improved at an earlier cadre! We return to the position after
8 h4 hS 9 fS !?
stage.
3) 7 ... c5!? The most logical. In
reply White usually chooses between
8 h4 and 8 lbg3.
a) 8 h4 The only serious game on
this theme was played by Topalov
(White) and Bareev (Dortmund
2002). The further continuation was:
8 h5 9 fS!? ef 10 g5 lbec6 II .i.g2
cd 1 2 lbxdS lDd7 13 lL!xd4 llJdxeS
1 4 lt:lbS?! llc8 I S 1We2 .i.d6
1 6 lL!xd6+ 'ii'x d6 1 7 .i.f4 0-0 ...and try the piece sacrifice - 9 hg!?
1 8 0-0-0 'ifcS 1 9 llh3. Here Bareev I 0 fg lt:lxg6 Analysis shows that
should tum his attention to the move everywhere Black has more than
1 9 ...lL!g4!?, securing the f2 square for sufficient compensation for the
the queen. After 20 .i.d6 lt:ld4! material:
..

..

..

lSI

Advance Variation: 4 lLlcJ


1 1 hS Nothing is changed in the
assessment of the position by I I .i.g5
JL.e7 1 2 JL.xe7 'ikxe7 1 3 ll:lg3 ll:lc6.
Instead, also not bad is 1 3 ...1lxh4
1 4 ll:lxd5 ed I 5 ll:lfS 'ifg5 1 6 ll:lxh4
ll:lxh4.
l l ... ll:le6!? 1 2 ll:lf4 In case of
1 2 ll:lg3 Black, i f he wishes, can force
a draw by perpetual check by means
of 1 2 ... ll:lxd4 1 3 hg llxh l 1 4 ll:lxh l
'iVh4+ I 5 ll:lf2 ll:lf3+. Instead of
1 3 hg, bad is 1 3 JL.b5+ ll:lxb5 1 4 hg
( 1 4 ll:lxb5 ll:lxe5) 1 4 .. . llxh 1 +
I 5 ll:lxh I 'ikh4+ 1 6 l/Jf2 l/Jxc3 1 7 gf+
xf7 1 8 be g3 with advantage to
Black.
12 ... ed 13 ll:lxg6 The logical
alternative - 1 3 hg llxh I 14 gf+ c;Pxf7
1 5 'iVxg4 1:th6 1 6 ll:lce2 ll:lxe5, and
Black has no reason to complain.
13 fg 14 'iVxg4 de IS 'iVxe6+ 'iVe7
1 6 'ikxg6+ Wd7 1 7 dl 'iVxeS
18 'ifg4+ 'ii?d8 1 9 be JL.d6 20 h6 gh
21 iL.hJ 'ike7 22 l:le1 'ikti The
complications have subsided. White
is a pawn down and his king is placed
no better than his black counterpart.
Who is playing for a win?
b) 8 ll:lgJ!? A principled move threatening to play f4-f5, White, as it
were, holds the knight 'on a leash' . At
top level this was first played by
Anand against Karpov (Wijk aan Zee
2003 ). However, the attentive reader
will probably notice that by
transposition of moves (7 ll:lg3 c5
8 f4) before us is a position from the
already analysed game Kravtsov Podgaets (Moscow 1 994).
In reply to 8 ll:lg3 unprincipled is
8 ... h6, since after 9 f5 JL.h7 10 fe fe
I I ll:lce2 it is incomprehensible for

what Black is tormenting himself.


The game Anand
Karpov
continued: 8 ... cd 9 ll:lb5 ll:lec6
(9 ...ll:lbc6 leads us cross country to
the game Kravtsov - Podgaets) 1 0 fS
JL.c5 I I ll:ld6+ JL.xd6 1 2 ed 'ifxd6
1 3 .i.g2 f6 14 fg hg 1 5 0-0 ll:ld7
1 6 :f2 with the preferable game for
White.
What is most interesting in the
variation 8 ll:lg3 is the position after
8 h5!? There are still no games on
this theme, therefore we have to
orientate ourselves exclusively
towards analysis.
..

..

We can point ourselves in the right


direction only by looking at all
reasonable moves. Above all 9 gh?! is
refuted by 9 ...ll:lf5! (in this tactical
nuance lies the whole point of 8 ... h5)
1 0 hg (or 10 ll:lce2 .i.xh5 1 1 l/Jxf5 ef
1 2 'ifd3 ll:lc6) IO ... ll:lxg3 1 1 i.b5+
ll:lc6 1 2 l:g I ll:lfS with good chances
for Black.
Leading to head-spinning, but in
the final reckoning not unfavourable
complications for Black is 9 ll:lb5
ll:lec6 1 0 f5 (the other line
I 0 gh
JL.e4 1 1 ll:lxe4 de 1 2 JL.e3 a6 1 3 ll:ld6+
i.xd6 1 4 ed 'iVh4+ 1 5 JL.f2 'ii'x f4
1 6 de e3 1 7 i.g3 'ii'b4+ 1 8 c3 'iVxb2
1 9 'iVc I 'ii'xc 1 + 20 llxc 1 llxh5 with a

1 52

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

satisfactory position) I O .. .i.h7 I I de


.i.xc5 1 2 lL!xh5, and the branches:
12 ...0-0 1 3 f6 .i.e4 14 .i.e2 ( 1 4 fg
'it'h4+ 1 5 d2 'ifg5+ with equality)
1 4 ....i.xh l 1 5 '6'd2 lL!xe5 1 6 '6'g5
ttlg6 1 7 fg (reckless is 1 7 ttlxg7 'ifb6
1 8 lLih5 l:lc8) 1 7 ...'ii'xg5 1 8 gf='iV+
lDxf8 1 9 .i.xg5 lDbd7 20 d2 .i.e4
2 1 ttlg3 with somewhat better
chances for White;
1 2 . . . ef1? 1 3 lbxg7+ ( 1 3 .i.f4 !?)
1 3 ...f8 1 4 lDh5 .i.g6 1 5 lbg3 fg
1 6 .i.f4 lbd7 with very sharp play.
9 fS! ? is the most logical
continuation of the attack. Black
replies blow for blow:
9 h4! I 0 fg. He should look at
10 lL!b5 lL!ec6 I I fg hg 1 2 'iVf3 (on
12 gf+ it is necessary to reckon on
12 .. .'d7 !?, since Black wins a piece
after 1 3 h3 g2 1 4 .i.xg2 '6'a5+
15 lbc3 cd) 1 2 ... fg 1 3 '6'xg3. The
position looks troublesome for Black,
but once again tactics come to his
rescue: 1 3 ... c4!'! 1 4 c3 '6'a5 1 5 lbd6+
..ixd6 1 6 ed lbxd4!
10 hg 1 1 gf+.
.

..

after the natural l l ...xf7: 1 2 1Wf3+


<ltg8 1 3 .i.d3 ! g2 14 'ifxg2 lbbc6
1 5 0-0 cd 1 6 lbb5 a6 1 7 '6't2 lbxe5
1 8 lbxd4 '6'b6 1 9 'ith 1 l:th3 20 .i.f4
lb7g6 2 1 .i.xg6 lbxg6 22 .i.g3 with
the better chances for White. In this
variation we pick out the fine move
1 3 .i.d3 ! It seems, that 'normal ' is
1 3 hg llxh l 1 4 'irxh l , but after
14 ... cd White does not succeed in
finding an advantage:
1 5 .i.d3 de 1 6 'it'hs g6 1 7 .i.xg6
lbxg6 1 8 'ilfxg6+ ..ig7 1 9 .i.h6 'ilfe7
20 .i.xg7 'ifxg7 2 1 'iWe8+ 'iff8
22 'ilt'g6+ with a draw;
1 5 lbe2 lbbc6 1 6 lbf4 'ilfc7 1 7 .i.d3
xeS+ 1 8 t2 g6 1 9 .i.d2 'ifg5
20 'iVe I 'iVxg4 2 1 'iVxe6+ 'ilfxe6 22
lbxe6 lbe5 with full equality;
1 5 lbb5 lbbc6 1 6 .i.d3 g6 1 7 .if4
a6 1 8 lbd6 .i.g7 with an unclear
game.
The black king will feel far more
comfortable on the queen 's flank.
l l .. d7! 12 .i.f4 1lxh2 13 l:tg l !?
White tries to act in the same non
standard manner as Black. Fewer
problems are posed by 1 3 l:txh2 gh
1 4 .ixh2 lbec6.
IJ l:.f2 1 4 .i.xgJ l:.xti I S de
lbec6 16 ttle4 'iVaS+ 17 cJ .i.xcS
18 ltg2 (pointless is 1 8 b4? because
of 1 8 ... tbxb4 !) 18 ...lba6 19 lbgS!?
With a last effort he tries to maintain
the initiative. You will be convinced
of the fact that Black is literally
'sitting on his heels' by the following
variations:
1 9 .i.xa6 ba 20 b4 ..ixb4! 2 1 cb
'ifxb4+ 22 ttld2 llaf8;
1 9 'ifb3 .i.e3 20 lbd6 lbc5 2 1 'iVd I
llxfl +! 22 ..ti>xfl l:lf8+ 23 'it>e2 .i.f4
24 b4 W'a3 25 ..ixf4 'iVxc3.
.

The position would hardly deserve


a diagram, were it not for one
circumstance: l l .. .'itd7! turns out to
he stronger than the capture on f7!
Here is how events might develop

153

Advance Varia/ion: 4 c3

The main line in reply to 6 . e7. It


is hard to find an analogy in other
opening
variations
with
the
subsequently arising positions and
their fantastic formations. Practice
has mainly been concentrated on
7 . .. c5 !?, but let us also briefly dwell
on two other continuations.
A quite solid, but rather passive
way recommends itself: 7...d7 8 h4
h6 9 xg6 xg6 I 0 h5 li:le7 Further
Since 20 b4?! is no good in view of play might go 11 e2 c5 12 c3 c6
20 ... axb4 2 1 cb .i.xb4+ 22 e2 13 .i.g2 l:tc8! Black makes useful
.i.c3 23 llb 1 11Vxa2+ 24 e3 .i.d4+, it moves to organise a counterattack on
is possible to state that the forcing the queen 's flank, but for the time
variations are over. It cannot be said being lacks the participation of the
that one of the sides has managed to queen, intending to include her on h4
arrange his pieces harmoniously, after White castles.
14 0-0 11Vh4 15 f4 .i.e7 16 .i.e3
rather we see parity of disharmony.
0-0 17 13 (threatening to trap the
Despite some practical trials, the
queen after 1 8 f2 and 1 9 li:lh3)
variation 7 f4 is still in its infancy. A
17 d8! 1 8 11Ve2 .i.b6 19 l:tfdl l:tc7
welt defined idea, perhaps, but with
Black has reconstructed very
an accurate move order here - hardly.
successfully and his prospects are not
One or two successful games can
bad (Shirov - lvanchuk, Monaco
either turn the variation on its head or
200 1 ).
take it to the very top. The field for all
Things get worse for Black after
possible analytical fi ndings is
7 h6 8 .i.g2!? (less successful is
boundless. Be creative!
8 e3 .i.h7 9 d3 xd3 1 0 11Vxd3
d7 I I 0-0-0 b5 1 2 li:lce2 'ti'a5
1 3 b I c5, Shirov - Sturua, Leon
F
200 1 ) 8 ... d7 9 0-0 h5 By
7 f4
sacrificing a pawn, B lack makes
available the f5 square, although his
position remains cramped.
10 gh f5 I I .i.tJ .i.h7 1 2 li:lce2
'ifb6 13 b3 0-0-0 14 a4 a6 1 5 c3 c5
16 a5 11Vc7 17 b4 with the advantage
(Acs - Sturua, Dubai 2002).
We now switch to dealing with
7 c5!? White's main reply today is
8 de! ?, although in the process of
19...lle7

...

..

1 54

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

analysing the variation our principal


attention has been given to 8 h4! ? We
look at both moves in as much detail
as possible:
I ) 8 h4!? The next few moves are
made on 'auto-pilot'. 8...cd 9 lDb5
lDec6 1 0 h5 e4 11 f3 And here
Black has a choice between the 'old'
l t . ...i.xO !? and the 'new' l l ...a6! ?
We insist that the choice i s precisely
from two continuations, and not
three, since the idea l l . . .g5?! ,
successfully carried out in the game
Shirov - Rausis (Pamu 2000), is in
fact dubious. If Shirov, after 1 2 fe de
1 3 lDhJ h6 1 4 c) de 1 5 'ii'xd8+ 'it'xd8
1 6 .i.g2 lDxe5 1 7 .i.xe4 lDbc6, had
played simply 1 8 lift .i.c5 1 9 be!
:rs 20 lDd4!? ltJxg4 2 1 .U.b t , then
White's advantage would not be in
doubt.
a) J t .i.xf3!? ("Analysing the
variation, I sincerely believe that this
bishop sacrifice is not an alternative"
- M .Podgaets) 12 'ifxf3 lDxe5 The
first critical position of the variation
is l l . . .xf3 ! ?
...

a t ) 1 3 'iVe2 lDbc6 14 c3 !? A
programmed move. It favours White
to exchange the d4 pawn, as after
14 . . . de 1 5 be he controls the d4
square. And otherwise, after a7-a6,

White's knight is cast away to a


passive position on a3.
1 4 .i.g2? ! poses no problems:
1 4 ... .i.c5 1 5 c) de 1 6 be. In the game
Ljubojevic - Karpov (Monaco 1 994)
play continued 1 6 . . . 0-0 1 7 h6 g6
1 8 .U.b I 1Wa5 1 9 'it>ft , and here
Seirawan
suggested
improving
Black's play by 1 9 . . . .U.fe8 ! ? An
improvement should be found earlier:
1 6 ... a6! ? (instead of short castling)
1 7 ltJaJ 1i'f6 with the better prospects
for Black.
14 dc (worth considering is
1 4...1Wa5 !? - threatening the thrust
d4-d3 winning a piece) 15 be .i.c5
16 e3 .i.xe3 1 7 'iVxe3 a6 1 8 ltJd4
lDxd4 1 9 cd 1Wa5+ 20 e2 Thus
continued the game Satyapragyan Sundarararajan (Calcutta 2000). We
beg the forgiveness of the players if
we have not managed to spell their
names correctly. If we get to
essentials, after 20...ltJc4!? 2 1 'ifd3
'iVc7 Black's counterplay is not bad.
It looks like Black has everything
in order in the variation 1 3 ,.e2. So
the move is clearly a sideline...
a2) Practice with the move
13 ... f2!? is too little to draw a
definitive conclusion as to its
strength. The idea of the move is that
White creates threats on the d4 pawn,
while the e2 square is left for the
bishop. At the same time, it loads up
the f-file and at an opportune moment
White can organise an attack on this
line.
In the game Agdestein - Ostenstad
( Roros 2002) B lack, coming up
against a surprise move, at once made
a blunder: 1 3 ... lDxg4? (greed has

1 55

..

Advance Variation: 4 3
1 S lLlf4 The second critical positon
of the variation l l ...xO !?

repeatedly been the undoing of a well


placed game) 1 4 'ife2 lLlf6 (more
tenacious is 1 4...lLle3).

1 5 lLlxe6! fe 1 6 'ifxe6+ e7
1 7 f4 f8 1 8 lLld6 and he still had
to resign.
Considerably stronger is 13 ...lLlbc6
with the idea, on 14 e2, ( 1 4 lLld3!?)
to play in a serious game 14...'ifb6
I S c3 a6!? 16 cd (bad is 1 6 lLlxd4 in
view of 1 6 . . . c5 1 7 e3 'ifxb2
1 8 0-0 'ifxc3) 1 6 lLld7 17 lLlcJ
lLlxd4 18 d1 cS, while in a casual
encounter, fittingly, 1 4 . . .lLlxg4! ?
1 5 'ifgl (or 1 5 xg4 1Wa5+ 1 6 c3
'ifxb5 1 7 .:n 0-0-0) 1 5 ... lLle3
1 6 xe3 de 1 7 'ifxe3 d4 1 8 g3
ifa5+ 1 9 c3 de 20 lLlxc3 d6 with a
sharp game.
a3) 1 3 'ifgJ The most natural
retreat of the queen and - really not
such a frequent coincidence considered the main line in the theory
of the variation.
lJ lLlbc6 14 lLldJ f6!? Creating
nervous tension in the centre of the
board. Weaker is 1 4 ... lLlxd3+? !
1 5 xd3 e5 1 6 o-o c5 1 7 llf5!'!
0-0 18 h6 g6 19 llxe5! with the
advantage (Kotronias - Karpov,
Athens 1 997).
.

Several pages ago we have already


come across the paradoxical situation
in which the king took flight to d7
and not, like any normal king, to fl.
Now again we have a similar case.
Ofcourse, at first everybody played
1 5 ...'it>f7? ! , and it didn't tum out
badly: 1 6 c3 dc 1 7 bc c5 !? 1 8 g5 a6
1 9 gf gf 20 h3 ab 2 1 lLlxe6
(Kotronias - Bouaziz, Las Vegas
1 999) 2 1 ...1lg8!? 22 lLlxd8+ l:laxd8!
23 e6+ xe6 24 3+ f5 25 l:lfl
Zlg4 26 f4 d4 with "overwhelming
compensation" (if we can call it that)
for the queen.
Instead of 1 7 ...i.c5 other contin
uations are weaker:
l 7 ...d4?! 1 8 g5 de ( 1 8 ... fg loses
because of 1 9 lLlxe6! 'it>xe6 20 xg5
'iia 5 2 1 h3+ etc.) 1 9 i.e3 fg
20 lLlxe6! (Fedorov - Asrian, St.
Petersburg 1 997), and not possible is
20...xe6 because of 2 l xg5 with a
decisive attack.
1 7 . . .l:lc8?! 1 8 h3 ( 1 8 g5! ?)
1 8 ...'ifa5 1 9 g5 lLld8 20 lLlxe6! (even
here this tactical blow greatly
damages Black's position) 20 ... lLlxe6
2 1 xe6+ xe6 22 'iVh3+ f5 23
lLld4+ e7 24 0-0 'iVxc3 25 e3

1 56

Advance Variation: 4 tLlc3

llc4! (Black defends himself with


'only' moves) 26 llac I 1t'a3 27 'ifg3
tLld7 28 g6! (freeing the g5 square for
the bishop) 28 ... hg 29 llcel 'iVa6!
30 hg (Sutovsky - Podgaets.
Koszalin 1 998). In this very sharp
position Black should continue
30 . . .lLlf6! and he would possibly hold
the defence: 3 1 'it'e5+ d8 32 .ig5
i.b4! 33 1t'xd5+ c8 34 .ixf6 .ixe l
35 'ifxf5+ (or 35 ltxe l 'ifxf6
36 'ii'xc4+ b8 with equality)
35 ...b8 36 .ie5+ <ita8 37 l:.xe I
'ifxa2. White's king is exposed and
therefore he will hardly succeed in
'undoing' the g6 pawn.
However all these variations
belong to last year's snows because
the Cuban master Leiva has found in
reply to 1 5 ...f7 the strongest reply 1 6 g5 !? After 1 6...'ifd7 1 7 .ih3 l:le8
1 8 g6+ there is little joy in 1 8 .. .'.t>g8
1 9 lLlxe6! llxe6 20 lLlc7 lLlg4+
21 lLlxe6 llfxe6+ 22 d I f5 23 lie I .
Indeed also 1 8 ...hg?! 1 9 hg+ e7
( 1 9 ...g8?
20
.ixe6+
lhe6
21 ltxh8+ with mate on h7) brings
nothing but grief - White forcefully,
indeed also beautifully, gains a great
advantage:

20 .ixe6! Axh I + 2 1 f2 'ifxe6


22 lLlxe6 xe6 23 lLlc7+ d7 24
lLlxe8 xeS 25 'ifb3 !

After such variations, anyone might


be persuaded to hurry to the queen 's
flank - a little further away from all
these terrors.
15 d7!? 16 c3!? White, to clear
up matters, hopes 'to get at ' the
enemy monarch even on the queen's
flank. Doubtful is the inclusion of the
move 1 6 g5?! f5 and only now 1 7 c3
de 1 8 be (Anand - Karpov, Monaco
200 I ), since the g5 pawn comes
under attack: 1 8 ......xg5 ! 1 9 ...xg5
tLlf3+ 20 d I tLlxg5 2 1 ltg I
(2 1 tt:lxd5'! tt:le4) 2 1 ...lLle4 22 c4 d4
23 .ib2 (the tactical operation
23 lLlxe6?! xe6 24 lLlc7+ f6
25 tt:lxa8 does not work in view of the
simple 25 ....id6 26 c5 .ie5 with a
great advantage) 23 ...e5 24 lLld5 ltd8
25 .ig2 Wc8. Four connected pawns
should be stronger than the piece. Or,
at least, not weaker.
1 6 dc. In the only serious game on
this theme Black found another way 1 6...'ifb6? !, but after 1 7 cd lLlxd4
1 8 tLlxd4 .ib4+ 1 9 f2 .ic5 (or
1 9......xd4+ 20 .lte3 ...xb2+ 2 1 .ie2
with an obvious advantage) 20 lLlfxe6
.ixd4+ 2 1 lLlxd4 'iVxd4+ 22 g2 he
has for the piece not four but only
two pawns. Too few (Kotronias Adianto, Buenos Aires 1 997).
17 be (weaker is 1 7 lLlxc3 .id6; all
the signs are that the knight should be
placed on d4) 17......a5 B lack,
foreseeing the appearance of the
enemy knight in the centre, transfers
the queen to a4. Generally speaking,
the series of sacrifices and checks
is over and each player will now get
his position well organised without
particular trouble.

1 57

Advance Variation: 4lbc3


1 8 d2 'ii'a4 19 e3 a6!? 20 lDd4
lle8 2 1 llb1 bS! 22 1lb2 d6

In the forthcoming struggle Black's


chances will be slightly superior.
Summing
up
the
variation
l l ...xf3 !?, it can be said that, for
Black's part, he has come through
some quite difficult experiences.
Possibly he will get (mated) without
ceremony or, on the other hand, not
get (sufficient compensation for the
piece). In general, it is not surprising
that when Anand showed how to
avoid the bishop sacrifice on the l llh
move, everybody quickly followed
him. We followed him too.
b) l l a6!?
...

1 4 f2?! e7 1 5 xbS 0-0


1 6 'ii'e2 lt)d7 1 7 h6 g6 1 8 lDxd5
h4+ 1 9 g2 lDdxe5 (Ady - Ashley,
New York 1 999);
1 4 'ii'e 2!? b4+ 1 5 d l 0-0
1 6 lDd3 lle8 1 7 g5 lDd7 1 8 g6 lDdxe5
(Antonio Rogelio - Nguyen Anh
Dung, Manila 200 I );
1 4 h6 lDd7! I S e6 fe 1 6 liJxe6 'ire7
1 7 'ii'e2 lDde5 (Malakhov - Galkin,
Lausanne 2000).
14 ...b4+. There is a sharper plan
with long castling: 1 4 ... lDxe5 !?
I 5 liJxd5 lDbc6 16 h6 'ii'd 6!? 17 f4
0-0-0 1 8 'ife2 'ire6 1 9 liJb6+ tj;c7
20 'ihb5 g5! 2 1 h2 d6
(Svetushkin - Sargissian, Erevan
2000). Even after the black king
castles short, it is not sweet...
1 5 n The alternative - 1 5 d2
xd2+ 1 6 'ii'xd2 liJxe5 1 7 h6 g6
1 8 lDxdS lDbc6 1 9 0-0 0-0 20 lDf6+
h8 2 1 'ii'f4 d3 with unclear play
(Fedorov - Bu X iangzhi, Istanbul
2000), but, in the opinion of Dautov,
Black missed a good possibility 1 5 ...'irg5 !? (instead of I S ...xd2+),
and in any case it will not be him who
has to fight for equality: 1 6 liJxd5
'ii'x e5+; 1 6 xb4 'irxf4 1 7 d6
lDxe5; 1 6 0-0 .i.xd2 1 7 'il'xd2 0-0.
1 S lDxe5
16
lDxdS
d6
(interesting is 1 6...lDbc6!? 1 7 lDxb4
'il'f6+ 1 8 g 1 lDxb4 1 9 xb7 llxa2
20 .Uxa2 liJxa2 - analysis by Dautov)
17 h6 g6 18 'il'xd4 0-0 19 'ifb6!
'irxb6 20 liJxb6 .Ua6 21 e3 lDxg4
22 gl (Sutovsky - Christiansen,
Essen 1 999), and here 22 lDc6
equalises.
b2) 12 lLid6+ xd6 13 ed.
..

The choice is not great: 1 2 lDd6+ or


1 2 fe.
b 1 ) 12 fe! ? ab 1 3 ed ed 14 g2
Trying to play something different,
but in no way does it gain an
advantage:

1 58

..

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

13 g5! Only this move, found by


Anand, legitimises the variation
l l . . . a6. Actually the line I I . . . a6
12 lDd6+ xd6 1 3 ed was also well
known earlier, but it was l inked
exclusively to the 'centralising'
l3 ...e5?! - however this move loses
virtually by force: 1 4 fe! (also worth
considering is l 4 lDg2!? with the idea
on l 4 .. .'ifxd6?! 1 5 fe de to play
1 6 lDe3 ! with a great advantage)
l4 ... de 1 5 lDe2 e3! 1 6 lDg3 'ifa5+!
1 7 c3 de, and now the fantastic
1 8 b4 ! ! lDxb4 1 9 xe3 lDd5 ! ? (Nataf
- Atalik, Cappelle le Grande 1 999),
when there is a choice of winning
moves: 20 f2 !? lDxe3 2 1 xe3
"it'c5+ 22 0 0-0 23 lDe4 or (the
probably even stronger) 20 i.e I ! ! o-o
2 1 d3! ? (or 2 l i.g2).
Nataf looked further at l 3 ...'ifxd6,
but came to the conclusion that it is
weak: 1 4 i.g2! f5 1 5 0-0 0-0 1 6 fe de
1 7 c3 ! d3 1 8 'ifb3 ! d2 1 9 i.xd2 'it'xd2
20 gf.
14 lDhJ h6! 15 fe de 1 6 g2 f5
1 7 0-0 0-0 On the whole, as in the
variation l l ... i.xn, Black will again
sacrifice a bishop.
But the
compensation - a powerful pawn
fence in the centre - is so strong that
White should not be playing even to
.

equalise - but to save himselfl It is to


his good fortune, however, that he has
a crucial sacrifice of two bishops
which leads to a draw by perpetual
check.
18 gf. In the stem game White did
not sense the critical moment and
very soon reached a lost position:
1 8 c3?! 'ifxd6 1 9 gf ef 20 'ifb3+ <it'h8
2 1 i.xe4 (it is too late to sacrifice)
2 1 . ..fe 22 ltxf8+ 'ifxf8 23 'it'e6 tbd7!
With this move Black begins to
successfully play for a win (Topalov
- Anand, Linares 1 999).
1 8...ef.

1 9 i.xe4! fe 20 i.xg5! l:Z.xn + (the


only move!) 21 'ihn hg 22 'it'f5
Weak is 22 "it'g2? in view of
22 ... lDe5 ! 23 lDxg5 h8 24 :tfl
lDbc6, and Black already has an extra
piece with no attack from his
opponent in return.
It is proper that already after
22 'it'f5 peace negotiations can be
started, but usually a couple more
moves are played first: 22 . "it'd7
23 'iVg6+ (or 23 "it'xe4 "it'xh3 24
'iVg6+ h8 with the same outcome)
23...'it'g7 and Black is forced to
agree to perpetual check. Many have
already driven into this drawn blind
alley (for example, the game Nataf -

1 59

..

Advance Variation: 4lbc3

unhesitatingly breaks up his own


centre, reckoning that the hunt for the
bishop g6 is worth all the expense.
Now, with the capture on d4 not
threatened, the knight c3 keeps a
firm eye on the e4 square. At times,
however, White's plan changes (most
frequently this happens when Black
succeeds in gobbling up eS, but
thereby also exposing the central
files), and he breaks up the position
of the enemy king by direct attack.
Black has a choice between
8 ...lt)ec6 and 8 ...lt)d7.
a) 8 lt)ec6 Today this natural
continuation is going through a crisis.
9 h4 And again a fork in the road:
9 ...lt)xe5, 9 ......a5 or 9 .....c7.
a I ) 9 lt)xe5 Indeed why not take
the pawn? Throughout the last few
pages Black has sacrificed the light
squared bishop, and nearly always
obtained
in
return
sufficient
compensation! But by the same token
here the situation is different: White
is playing not to win a piece but to
attack.
10 g2! hS 1 1 'ii'e2 lt)bc6
12 lt)xg6 lt)xg6 This position (true,
with a different order of moves) was
reached in the game Kasparov Karpov (Linares 200 I ).
13 .i.gS! A powerful improvement
of play. Kasparov rejected the win of
the dS pawn, preferring quick
development. White did not achieve
an advantage after 1 3 lt)xdS xeS
1 4 gS lt)ge7 1 5 5 f6 ! 1 6 'ilt'xcS
lt)xdS 1 7 0-0-0 'ilt'e7 1 8 5 0-0-0
(Shirov - Karpov, Monaco 2000).
13 e7 14 gh. First we look at the
A new step in the development of
the system with 7 ... c5. White ending of the game Kasparov -

Solozhcnkin, France 1 999, Zulfugarli


- Galkin, Batumi 1 999, Sutovsky Dreev, Hastings 2000), and how
many more will also drive into it...
I t i s as if the variation 8 h4 has been
frozen out. A feverish surge of
interest in it at the end of the 90s was
replaced by a calm; games, important
on the theoretical plane, were played
less and less. The reason was not to
be found in the fact that the variation
itself was exhausted but in the fact
that it... was too difficult to play!
One must have either colossal
combinational gifts, displaying
correct orientation in the mad
complications of this variation, or
deep encyclopaedic knowledge. That
is to know everything and even much
more...
However, if we risk employing this
variation (indeed for both sides) after
superficial study, then the game will
virtually be all over for us before we
have even got started. The variation
8 h4 is far from that which we can
play 'on the ofT chance' ! However,
even for the following variations we
can say the same thing.
2) 8 de!?

...

..

1 60

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

Karpov, and then we return to this


critical moment.
1 4 lbf8 1 5 lbb5 lbd7 1 6 h6!
(Opening up the position of the
enemy king) 16 lbxc5 17 i.4 fB
No help is 1 7 ... l:tc8 1 8 hg l:tg8
19 0-0-0 lbb4 ( 1 9 ...llxg7 20 xd5 !)
in view of 20 a3! , and i f 20...lbb3+
2 1 b 1 llxc2, then boldly 22 ,.e3
f6 23 xb3 ! llxb2+ 24 ._xb2
i.xb2 25 lbc7+, and it turns out that
for the queen White has bitten ofT a
full complement of pieces (a
variation pointed out by Kasparov).
18 hg+ xg7 19 0-0-0 fB
20 Wb I !
A fter this strong
prophylactic
move
Black
is
defenceless against the many threats
of his opponent. There followed:
20...a6 2 1 lbc7 .Uc8 22 i.xd5! ed
23 llxd5 "ikxc7 24 i.xc7 lhc7
25 115!, and after a few moves White
won.
Let us return to the position after
Black's l 41h move.
.

..

What can be suggested apart from


the move of the king to f8?
14 ...lbxh4 is the first move that
comes to mind, but the refutation is
quite obvious: 1 5 .i.xh4 .txh4
16 i.xd5! (by destroying the
opponent's pawn chain on the

queen's flank, White will make


virtually every endgame favourable
for himself) 1 6 ... i.e7 1 7 .i.xc6+ be
1 8 'ife4! !itf8 1 9 .Ud l ._c7 20 b4 with
advantage;
1 4...lbge5 is a little stronger, but,
alas, also insufficient: 1 5 f4 lbc4 (he
also does not want to suffer a White
attack after 1 5 ... f6 1 6 h6! gh 1 7 fe fg
1 8 0-0-0) 1 6 0-0-0 "ika5 1 7 i.xd5 ed
1 8 .i.xe7 'iVb4 1 9 i.f6+! (only so,
upon 1 9 .i.d6+ d8 20 i.c7+ Wd7
2 1 'Wg4+ e8 22 l:tde I + 'it>f8 the
king escapes the checks) 1 9...lb6e5
20 lba4 gf 2 1 fe 0-0-0 (losing is
2 1 . ..'Wxa4 because of 22 ef+ d7
23 llxd5+ Wc8 24 l:r.hd I ) 22 b3 lbxe5
23 'it>b I with a solid advantage
(analysis by Kasparov).
In a very complicated situation the
best chance for White was
14 i.xg5!? White has the choice of
two captures. If 15 hg5, then after
1 5 ...lbf4 1 6 'Wg4 lbxg2+ 1 7 xg2
as 1 8 o-o-o o-o-o 1 9 h6 gh 20 gh
l:th7 !? he does not reach the same
clear position. Black blockades the
passed h-pawn, just before taking on
c5. White's attack is not correct...
Can he hold on'!
More dangerous is 15 hg6, but even
then Black succeeds in consolidating
by means of 15 ... lbd4! and then
1 6 .. ..t f6. And a transposition of
moves is not possible - if at first
1 5 ...i.f6, then Black gains a great
advantage by transposing into an
endgame: 1 6 lbxd5 xb2 1 7 :b I
'ii'a 5+ 1 8 d2! 'i!ixd2+ (after
1 8 . . .1i'xa2 B lack either remains
material down or gets mated:
1 9 lbc7+ We7 20 ,.d6+ f6

161

..

Advance Variation: 4 ltX3

2 1 ll'ld5+ 'it>xg6 22 e4+ h5


23 'iVg3! or 2 l ...'itf5 22 Wg3 ! 'ii'xb l +
23 d2) 1 9 xd2 e5 (just as bad is
1 9 ...0-0-0 20 l:lxb2 ed 2 1 D.hb I )
20 gf+ ffl 2 1 ll'lb4. Playing Black in
this endgame is an agonising and
completely hopeless business.
16 'ifdJ f6 17 0-0-0 'ifaS 18 hS
'ifxcS 19 ll'le2 li:'lfS 20 hJ ll'le7
21 gr+ Wxt7

White can also avoid complic


ations: I I g2 'ifxeS+ 12 'iVe2!?
'iVxe2+ 1 3 lDcxe2 (Khalifman Dreev, Dubai 2002), but after
1 3 ... lDe5 ( 1 3 ...xc2? 1 4 l:lc l ) the
defects in White 's position begin to
show.
The idea 9 ...'iVa5 !? t o d2 'ifc7
deserves further study.
a3) 9 ...'iVc7!? As also with 9 ...'iVa5
t o d2 'ifc7, this idea belongs to the
Russian grandmaster Alexei Dreev.
Modem practice gives its preference
to precisely 9 ...'iVc7.

If the previous discussions are right


and the game, after 1 4. .. xg5, has in
fact to reach this position, then the
whole variation with 9 ... ll'lxe5 must
Findings of the last years have been
be buried even earlier. White must concentrated exclusively in two
again base his claim to an advantage directions: t o g2 and 1 0 h5.
on the given lines.
a3 I ) I 0 g2 Black should be
a2) Before studying the material prepared once again to engage in his
after 9 ...'ifc7, it is interesting to take a favourite business: the sacrifice of his
look at 9 'iVa5!? Black's idea has its light-squared bishop in some
ingenuity: he lures the bishop to d2 situation or other, aiming for quite
(after which White loses control of good compensation for the piece.
the d4 square), and only then sends
IO 'ifxeS+. You will not believe it
his queen to c7. Why does Black but again a fork in the road awaits us:
control the d4 square? This is why:
I I fl or I I ll'lce2. Readers! We
10 d2 'iVc7, and if White takes wish you every success in coping
the bait
I I h5!? 'ifxe5+ 1 2 lbfe2, with the ins and outs of theory. This is
then a surprise awaits him: 1 2 ... lL'ld4! a very difficult but necessary burden.
In this lies the whole point - upon an
x) II ll'lce2 lDa6! Apparently best.
immediate 9 ...'ilc7 Black lacks this Also possible is l l ...xc5 1 2 h5 e4
resource.
1 3 f3 lbd7!?
.

162

Advance Variation: 4lbc3

After 1 3 ... f5? 1 4 fe fe, White, in the


game Svidler - Dreev (Smolensk
2000), found a possibility of
favourably simplifying the position:
1 5 ll:)xe6! 'ii'x e6 1 6 lLlf4 'ife5
1 7 'ii'x d5 with a great advantage.
1 4 fe de, and now there is a choice:

to force a draw after 1 8 llfl 0-0-0


1 9 if'c2 ll:)db4! 20 cb lLlxb4 2 1 'iVb3
lZ)dJ+ 22 Wd 1 ll:)b4+.
Why is l l ...ll:)a6 stronger than
l l ....i.xc5 ? Because Black prepares
0-0-0!
1 2 hS .i.e4 1 3 f3 0-0-0! 1 4 .i.d2
.i.xcS!? IS 'ii'c l In the game Gofstein
- Donchenko (Tel Aviv 200 I ) White
did not restrain the enemy bishop:
1 5 fe. It would be better not to do this.
There followed 1 5 ... de 1 6 'ii'c l , and
now...

1 5 lLlc3!? lLlf6 1 6 lLlfe2 ! lLlxg4


1 7 .i. f4 .i.f2+ 1 8 'it>fl lLle3+ 1 9 .i.xe3
.1xe3 20 .ixe4 l:ld8 2 1 'ife I fS with
fairly good compensation for the
material;
1 5 .i.d2 ! ? 0-0-0 1 6 'ifc l g5 !
1 7 .i.c3 !? .i.b4 1 8 lLlh3 h6 1 9 'iVe3 f5
1 6 ... %txd2 ! A purely intuitive rook
20 0-0-0 .i.xc3 2 1 'ifxc3 !? ...xc3
22 ll:)xc3 ll:)de5 23 gf ef. The row of sacrifice. Clearly it is not possible to
black pawns from e4 to h6 looks very calculate all variations on the board,
but White is very quickly overcome
menacing;
1 5 ll:)gJ ll:)f6 1 6 c3 as in the game with depression:
I 7 if'xd2 lld8 1 8 'ii'c I ll:)ab4
Smimov - Volzhin (Samara 2000).
After 1 6 ...l:ld8?! 1 7 'iVe2 e3 1 8 o 1 9 llh3 (defending against the threat
0-0 (on 1 8 ...'ii'g5 still follows i.c5-e3 !) 1 9 .. .i.b6! A n excellent
19 ll:)e4) 1 9 ll:)e4. White, by some move. The bishop frees the c5 square
miracle, managed to escape and even for the queen. There followed:
20 %tc3 e3 2 1 'it'ft %td4!, and Black
claimed his right to the advantage.
Without any doubt, instead of won.
IS ...gS 16 ll:)bJ (Shirov - Bareev,
16 ...1ld8 far stronger is 16 ...ll:)d5 !
1 7 ll:)fe2 (Svidler pointed out that Montecatini Terme 2000). Bareev
1 7 llfl ? is not possible because of played 1 6 . . . ll:)d4?! , A lexei Shirov
17 ...ll:)xc3 ! 1 8 'ifb3 ll:)d4 1 9 ...xc3 recommends 1 6 ... h6! 1 7 fe de 1 8 .i.c3
.1b4) 1 7 ... f5 !, and the most White ll:)d4, while most interesting for us is
can achieve is to oblige his opponent 1 6 .i.d4!?
.

..

1 63

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

An absolutely surreal position. All


the usual reference points have gone
and each player will go for a variation
that appeals to him.
1 7 1Wd l (the weakest move)
1 7 ... .txb2 1 8 l:.b l lbab4 1 9 fe de;
1 7 c3 .td3 1 8 .tfl .ib6 1 9 .ixgS
l:.d7;
1 7 lbxd4 .txf3+ 1 8 f2 'ifxd4+
1 9 xO ( 1 9 .te3 ...xg4 20 .txO
1Wf5 2 1 llJxgS lbab4) 1 9 ... lbe5+
20 g3 1fxg4+ 2 1 h2 ...xhS
22 .txgS l:ldg8;
1 7 ltb l lbab4 1 8 fe lbxa2 1 9 'ifd l
de 20 lbxd4 lbxd4 2 1 o-o e3 22 ...e I
lL!xc2;
1 7 .tc3 ! ? (the strongest move)
I 7 ... .txc3+ 1 8 be h6 1 9 fe de 20 0-0
fS .
As you will probably guess,
1 7 ...d I and 1 7 .i.c3 are two possible
poles of defence, but, no matter what,
the evaluation everywhere oscillates
from 'unclear' to ' far better for
Black'
y) 11 n (it will be recalled that
this is the alternative to I I lL!ce2). We
will not worry the reader with a
further increase in the size of
the index but will just go on to
analyse the important branch l l ...d4
1 2 h5

I n the game Shirov - Bareev (New


Delhi 2000) Black tried to solve his
problems in the simplest way:
1 2 ... .txc2 1 3 ...xc2 de, but after
1 4 liJd3 ! ...d4 1 5 .te3 ...c4 (or
1 5 .. .'..xg4 1 6 'it'b3 !) 1 6 ...xc3 1Wxc3
1 7 be he lost this truly miserable
endgame.
In our analysis, of course, we are
most interested in why Bareev
rejected the win of a piece: 12 dc!?
13 hg cb. Shirov has his own version:
because there follows 14 .ixb2 ...xf4
1 5 lhh7.
It seems to us that more principled
is 14 llbl !? be.. 15 ...xcl If now
1 5 ... b6 1 6 l:lxh7 llxh7 1 7 gh g6 1 8 cb
ab, then after 1 9 1We3 .tg7 20 ..xeS
.txeS 2 1 llxb6 d7 22 llb7+! There
cannot be two opinions: White has
the advantage.
More interesting is 1 5 .txc5!?
16 gf+!? xf7 17 l%xb7+, and Black
will not find a clear defence:
1 7 ...g8 loses in view of 1 8 llhS !
.i.a3 1 9 llxeS .txc I 20 llxe6;
1 7 ...e8 1 8 ...d l .td4 1 9 .i.xc6+
lL!xc6 20 o cs and again Black
cannot settle because of 2 1 liJg6!
'iVc4+ (2 1 . . .lL!e5 22 llxh7! llxh7
23 lbxeS) 22 Wg2 .tf6 23 gS!
(23 lDxh8?! llJeS!) 23 ...ltg8 24 1hh7
with a great advantage;

1 64

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3


17 e7!? (the most tenacious)
18 lLldJ!? 'ii'd6 19 'ifeJ with an
enduring initiative for White.
What Bareev saw of all this, and
what he did not see, it open to
conjecture, but in his next game he
refrained from 1 2 ... dc!? 1 3 hg cb, and
as a whole from the idea of l l . ..d4,
and went along another path:

But it is necessary to say that


Sakaev and Bareev played this game
in the world championship on the so
called knockout system. At the
standard time limit the opponents
each won one game with White, and
this meant they already had to play an
extra game as a decider. Suspecting
nothing, Sakaev played 13 tJ and in
reply there followed ...

1 1 xc5 1 2 hS e4 Shirov
considered that l 3 lLlxe4 de 1 4 'ii'e2
was quite frankly weak in view of
" 1 4 . . . f5, and Black has a great
advantage" The move 1 4 ... f5 ! is
indeed very strong, but here we want
to take issue with Shirov 's
assessment. Let us continue the
variation: 1 5 'iVc4 lLld8 1 6 gf ef
17 f.3 ! ? (in time activating the bishop)
1 7 ...lLld7 1 8 fe fe 1 9 'ifxe4 l:tf8
20 .i.d2 lLle6 2 1 Ae 1 lLlxf4 22 i.xf4
e7. The position is approximately
equal, isn't it?
I nstead of 1 4 ... f5 ! less significant is
14 ...lbd7 1 5 'ifxe4 ...xe4 16 xe4
lLlf6 I 7 xc6+ be I 8 lLld3 d6 1 9 g5
lLld7 20 l:r.h4. White obtains the better
endgame, technically a win (Sakaev Bareev, Moscow 200 I ).

13...f5! With the king on fl, this


resource, pointed out by Shirov,
proves even more effective. It is
strange that in playing such an
important game from the sporting
point of view, Sakaev did not know
about this recommendation.
14 fe fe 15 ct>et lLld4 16 lLlce2 (it is
clear that Sakaev is not thinking
about
anything
supernatural)
16 lLlf3+ 17 ct>n 0-0 1 8 cJ lLlc6
19 b4 b6 20 a4 lLlgS! 21 aS eJ
Black's atttack increases with each
move. Bareev won this game and
thereby also passed to the next round
of the world championship.
It happens that even famous
grandmasters don't know everything!
a32) 10 hS! The latest word in
fashion.

..

1 65

Advance Variation: 4 li:lc3

1 0 .. -'ii'xeS+ t t lllfe2! The best


continuation. Weaker is I I .ie2 .ie4
1 2 llh3 h6 with advantage to Black.
tt .ie4 12 .if4!? In the game
Vlasov - Dreev (Internet 200 I ) Black
solved all his problems after 1 2 .Uh3
h6 (an escape square for. . . the
bishop! ) 1 3 f4 'ilc7 1 4 lt::lxe4 de
1 5 lt::lc3 .ixc5 1 6 lt::lxe4 .ie7 1 7 c3
li:ld7 1 8 i.g2 0-0-0
1 2 'iVf6 1 3 gS 'ile7 14 lt::lxe4 de IS
lt::lc3 'ilxc5 Where will White now
move his queen: to e2 or d2? In the
game Grischuk - Dreev (Moscow
2002) was played 1 6 'iVd2, and Black
cannot equalise: 1 6 ...'iVa5 1 7 lt::lxe4
'iVxd2+ 1 8 i.xd2 li:ld7 1 9 .ig2 with
advantage. Nevertheless it seems to
us that White's play would be richer
if he castled long and occupied the
'drawing' open d-file. Well then ...
16 'ile2!? li:ld4 1 7 xe4 lt::lbc6
18 0-0-0 i.e7 19 llgl 0-0-0 20 i.e3
with an undoubted advantage (Nataf
- Bareev, Cannes 2002).
b) 8 li:ld7
It cannot be categorically stated
that this continiation is stronger than
8 . . . lt::le c6. Its main plus is that
it is relatively new and fresh.
Nevertheless White simply does not
succeed in picking up the key to this
move!
...

..

..

9 h4 The main continuation. Of


course, he could readily deliver a
check on d6, but... in fact he should
not taste the sweet fruit: 9 lt::lb 5?!
lllc6 1 0 c4 li:ldxe5 1 1 lt::lxg6 (also not
good is 1 1 cd i.e4) I I ...hg 1 2 cd ed
1 3 'ilxd5 'ilxd5 1 4 lt::lc7+ d7
1 5 li:lxd5 i.xc5 Black's position is
more pleasant on account of his better
pawn structure (the g4 pawn is
particularly weak).
9 lt::lx eS As you will probably
suspect - next we have a fork.
..

b l ) Dubious is 10 hS?! i.e4


t t llh3 lt::l7c6 12 .ie3 (but 1 2 f3 is

simply bad in view of the standard


tractical blow: 1 2 ... i.xt1 ! 1 3 l:lxt1
'ilh4+ 14 Wd2 'ilxg4! 1 5 llf2 'ilg3
1 6 li:ld3 i.xc5 !) 1 2 ... ..te7!? 13 h6 gS!
14 li:lhS 0-0 I S i.e2 i.g6 with a great
advantage for Black (Safaiek Karpov, Damascus 200 I ).
b2) 10 .ibS+ lt::l7c6 tt 'ii'e2 a6!?

1 66

Advance Variation: 4 lf)c3


1 2 ..ta4 Black obtains a good
position upon 1 2 .i.xc6+ lf)xc6
1 3 ..te3 d4 1 4 0-0-0 'iff6 1 5 lf)xg6 hg
1 6 .i.g5 'ife5 (Sax - Polak, Budapest
2000). Meanwhile after 1 2 .i.a4 on
the board arises a paradox ...

present position. All the variations


given
are
considered
purely
preliminary.

12 ...-txcS! Entertaining cinema!


White seems to be chasing two hares:
the bishop g6 and the knight e5. But
Black pretends that he does not notice
the threats to his own address. And he
is absolutely right! As becomes clear,
there are actually no such threats.
13 hS After 1 3 'iVxe5 White risks
coming out worse: 1 3 ...b5 14 'iVxg7
.i.d4!
l3 ..i.e4 14 lf)xe4 de 15 ..txc6+
lf)xc6 16 'ifxe4 'iVd4 17 'iVe2 'ifeS
A peaceful agreement is clearly not
far off (Apicella - Fontaine, Vichy
2000).
b3) 1 0 ..tg2 !? Probably the
strongest. White takes under control
the e4 square and threatens to play
h4-h5.
10 d4!?
There is only one serious game
(Aimasi - Karpov, Monaco 200 1 )
this of course is too little to draw a
conclusion about the viability of the
..

..

I I lf)e4?! Not sensible: l l .....txe4


1 2 ..txe4 lf)7c6;
I I 'ife2 lf)7c6 1 2 h5 (bad is
1 2 lf)b5? in view of 1 2 .....txc5 1 3 h5
..txc2 1 4 'it'xc2 'iWa5+) 1 2 . . . ..txc2
1 3 'iWxc2 de 1 4 'ifxc3 lf)xg4 White
does not have sufficient compens
ation for the pawn. But if he is afraid
to take on g4, the 'capital' 14 ... 'ifd4
might be suggested;
I I lf)ce2 simply lays waste the
board: l l .. .'tWa5+! 1 2 'ifd2 'it'xc5
1 3 lf)xd4 0-0-0 1 4 lf)dxe6!? lbd2
J 5 lf)xc5 llxc2 J 6 lf)xb7 lf)7c6 1 7 h5
lf)d3+ with a draw;
There is no advantage in I I lf)b I
'iVa5+ 1 2 lf)d2 'iWxc5 1 3 lf)xg6
lf)7xg6 14 .i.xb7 ltd8 1 5 .i.e4 d3
1 6 c3 lf)f4. Instead of 1 4 .i.xb7 he
could try 14 lf)b3 'ifc4 1 5 'ifxd4
'ifxd4 1 6 lf)xd4 0-0-0 1 7 lf)b5, but
even here after 1 7 .....tb4+ 1 8 We2 a6
the game is unclear.
1 1 hS de 1 2 'ifxd8+ ( 1 2 ,.e2
..txc2!? 1 3 'trxc2 lf)7c6 1 4 11fxc3
'ifd4 with an equal game) 12 ... llxd8
13 hg

167

Advance Variation: 4 lLlc3

This is also how the Almasi Karpov game continued. Black took
on g6, allowing the opponent to
create a menacing pawn chain on the
queen's flank by means of b2-b4!
Play went 13 cb! 14 .i xb2 and then
14 lLl7xg6 In this case there do not
appear to be any problems at all
securing equality, for example:
1 5 lLlxg6 lLlxg6 1 6 .i.xb7 .ixc5
1 7 .i.xg7 llg8 1 8 llxh7 lLlf8.
.

All
opening
vanat10ns can
conventionally be divided into three
groups.
The first - 'proletariat-variations'
These are played only by amateurs;
for their part,
masters and
grandmasters avoid them. Why?
Probably, they have found some hole
in them, but for some reason do not
want to let out their findings to the
general public. Or simply laziness ...
There are not very many of these
variations but still far more than we
could present ourselves.
The second
'democraticvariations' These are played by
everyone - grandmasters, masters,
and amateurs. Old and young. Such
variations are in the overwhelming
majority. And this is right - chess
should unite the people.

And the third group - 'aristocratic


variations' This kind of variation is
played only by grandmasters and
masters, not by anybody. Amateurs
will not be tempted for love or money
by such variations. Except the very
desperate who
after a
few
unsuccessful attempts will then go
along with the rest.
The variation 6 ...lLle7!? is from the
third group. Tum over the previous
pages again, see who places the
knight on e7 on the 6h move. Strong
grandmasters. Not without reason.
The positions ansmg are too
complicated and the variations
produced too demanding for a player
to readily include them in his opening
repertoire.
Do you believe that amateurs are
capable of mastering the variation
6 ... lLle7!? As a matter of fact we are
very happy if you think so. Then
boldly go into battle - and this book
will help you!
VIII
6 c5!?
As distinct from 6 ... f6, Black for
once attacks the opponent's centre
'according to the rule': at the base of
the pawn chain 'a Ia Nimzowitsch' . It
is important that White cannot
consolidate the centre with the move
c2-c3, since this square is occupied
by a knight.
In reply White chooses between
two moves: 7 h4 and 7 .i.e3. The first
of these moves pursues the well
known aim - to harass the bishop g6.
Speculating on this threat, White will
forcibly distract the opponent from

1 68

..

Advance Variation: 4 lLlc3

his attack on the central pawns. In


several variations the move h2-h4 is
also useful for the fact that it allows
the inclusion of the rook in the game
via the route h I -h3. Upon 7 e3
White pays less attention to the king's
flank, but, by quickly bringing out his
pieces, strives for long castling so as
then to develop an attack on the black
king, stuck in the centre.
A
7 h4

opm10n of Kotronias, should be


played l 2 . . . Wd8 ! 1 3 lLla3 'ii'b4+
1 4 'ifxb4 .ixb4+;
l l ...'ifd7 1 2 lLla3 lLlxe5 1 3 'fi'xd7+
xd7 1 4 lLlxd4 (Sax - Djuric, Saint
Affrique 1 993) 1 4...lLlxg4.
But Sax himself also pointed out
the most precise reaction for White:
1 0 lLld l !? %lc8 I I .id2 'ilfd7 1 2 'ifa4
lLlxe5 1 3 'ifxd7+ Wxd7 1 4 lLlxd4
lLlxg4 1 5 .ib5+. In such a position
three pawns hardly serve as sufficient
compensation for the piece.
After 8 ....ie4 White could take the
bishop - 9 lLlxe4, or might also
continue to hunt it by 9 l:th3 and then
f2-0.

a) 9 lLlxe4 In the old days, the main


line, but nowadays - simply a
secondary continuation.
9 de 1 0 .ig2 cd lJ .ixe4 lLlge7!?
12 f4 'ifb6!? (preparing long castling
and at the same time preventing
castling by White) 13 a3 0-0-0
14 l:lhJ lLldS Logically played: Black
gets the chance to develop the bishop
and intends a timely shift of the
knight to e3. But worth considering is
1 4 ... f6!?, breaking_ up the pawn
wedge on e5.
1 s l'ldJ .ie7 16 ..tn g6
Endeavouring to open a line for the
rook. Quite possible is 1 6 ...lLle3+
I 7 .ixe3 de 1 8 ...c I l:txd3 1 9 cd b8
20 'fi'c3 .ic5 2 I .l:c 1 .id4 with a
comfortable game.
17 lLlxd4 lLlxd4 18 .l:xd4 lLlxf4!
(Bibasa - Ezat, Cairo 2000) 19 l'lc4+
Wb8 20 'fi'O lLldS 21 h6 f5! It looks
like Black has already passed the
stage of equalisation and is now
playing for a win.
..

I f we can put it like this, Black has


already got used to the threat h4-h5
and will look upon it more or less
calmly. He could safeguard his
bishop (7 ... h5 or 7 ...h6), and might
postpone the solution of this problem
(7 . . . cd) or completely ignore it:
7 . ..li:Jc6.
I ) 7 lLlc6 An interesting move but
apparently insufficient to equalise.
8 hS e4 Hardly a correct sacrifice
of a piece is 8 ... xc2?! 9 'ifxc2 cd.
True, after I 0 lLlb I ? ! %lc8 I I 'ilfa4 the
Yugoslav grandmaster Stefan Djuric
has twice managed to obtain definite
compensation:
I I . . . 1fb6 1 2 lLlf4 (Kotronias Dj uric, Corfu 1 993), and here, in the
.

1 69

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

The line I 0 .ig2 cd, quite frankly,


looks completely hopeless for White.
I f, after 7 ... lLlc6 8 h5 .ie4 9 lLlxe4 de,
there is some way for White to try for
an advantage, then it is only by
10 c3!?

White's idea is shown in the


variation I O ... cd?! I I lL!xd4! lLlxd4
1 2 cd .ib4+ 1 3 .id2 .ixd2+ 1 4 'iVxd2
'iVd5 1 5 'iVb4, which was given long
ago by Isaak Boleslavsky.
However, with time, Black found
the right way even after 1 0 c3. There
is the tempo move I O lLlh6!? as g4
is hanging. I f White plays I I g5, then
the knight has the luxury of the f5
square, while in the event of an
exchange on h6 the g-file is opened
for the rook:
I I .ixh6 gh 12 'ii'b3 Nothing is
offered by 1 2 .ig2 cd 13 cd 'ii'a 5+
1 4 fl lidS 1 5 .ixe4 in view of
1 5 ... lLlxd4! 1 6 lLlxd4 .ic5.
12 ...'..b6 13 'iVxb6 ab 14 .ig2
Similar to the preceding variation as
the idea of covering the d4 pawn with
the king does not work: 14 <it>d2 cd 1 5
cd 0-0-0 1 6 e3 lLlxd4!
14...cd 15 cd llg8 16 .ixe4 lbg4
1 7 t3 llg7 18 d2 .ie7 19 llhc l
d7 20 f4 lla4 21 'ite3 f6, and Black
should hold this position.

b) 9 llh3!?

The strongest continuation. It was


introduced into tournament practice
by grandmaster Vasilios Kotronias.
The threat of f2-f.3 speaks for itself,
and it is necessary for Black to take
some firm measures.
9 Ji'b6!? (shifting the accent from
the e4 square to the adjacent one)
10 .ie3! 'ii'xb2 On principle, but... to
a certain extent forced. Unfortunately
for Black, all tactical operations,
started with I O ... cd?! 1 1 .ixd4 !, do
not tum out in his favour:
l l .. ..ixc2 1 2 'ii'd2 'ii'b4 1 3 b3 ! ;
l l . . .lLlxd4?! 1 2 'ii'x d4 ! ? 'iVxb2
1 3 llb l 'iVxc2 1 4 f.3;
I I . . . .ic5 1 2 .ixc5 'ii'xcS 1 3 f.3
.ixc2 1 4 'iVxc2 d4 1 5 b4! 'ii'x b4
1 6 l:lb l 'ii'a5 1 7 1lb5 'ii'd 8 1 8 lLle4 d3
1 9 'ii'c 5.
II lL!xe4 The alternative appears to
be I I llb I li'xc2 12 'ii'xc2 Jlxc2
1 3 llxb7 c4 1 4 .ig2 .ib4 1 5 d2
.id3 1 6 lL!c I l:tc8 I 7 a3 .ixa3
1 8 lL!xd3 cd 1 9 lLlb5 .ib4+ 20 xd3
with an obviously favourable
endgame for White.
l l ...de 12 llbl 'ii'xa2 13 llxb7

1 70

Advance Variation: 4lbc3


8 ltlxd4 h5 9 f4! This resolute
move was first employed by the
Dutch grandmaster John van der Wiel
in a game against Speelman in 1 983.
White threatens the break f4-f5.
Black should exchange on g4, but this
does not save him from a direct and
extremely dangerous attack.
9 hg I 0 i..b5+ lLld7
.

13 0-0-0! ? All this, of course, is


very clever, but... as before it does not
lead to equality!
14 'ifb l It is unfavourable for
White to take the pawn - 1 4 lhf7
since, after 1 4 ...cd, in view of the
check on b4 he is forced to give up
the exchange without sufficent
compensation:
1 5 %txf8 Axf8
1 6 i..xd4 %(f3 etc.
14 'ifxb l+ 1 5 lhb l cd 16 i.. xd4
i.. b4+ 17 i.. c3 aS 18 i..g2 ltlge7
Objectively - a defensible position
for Black, but no more than that.
Today there is not much desire to get
behind the idea of 7 ...ltlc6.
2) 7 cd?! Black's plan consists of
two stages. With the exchange he
deflects the knight e2 from the f4
square. Then he delivers the flank
blow h7-h5 and if White is faint
hearted, then the result of the whole
operation will be that Black gains the
key square t:s.
A significant minus of the plan
appears to be the fact that the pawn
move basically costs a tempo. As a
result Black is considerably behind in
development. If the opponent is able
to exploit this, then things will tum
out badly for Black.

I I f5! The main continuation.


White sacrifices a second pawn with
the idea of weakening the d5 square
and at an opportune moment to ram
Black's position by e5-e6.
l l ...lZ.xh4 Accepting the challenge.
I f, without turning his attention to the
h4 pawn, he immediately gobbles up
f5, then White's task is considerably
simplified:
l l ...i..xf5? t 2 ltlxf5 ef 1 3 'ifxd5 a6
(even worse is 1 3 .. .'iVc7?! 1 4 i-f4
ltle7, and in the game Sax - Vadasz,
Magyarorsag 1 985, White, as later
indicated by Sax himself, could have
demonstrated a beautiful point:
1 5 'ifd2!? 0-0-0 1 6 e6 ltle5 1 7 i..d7+
b8 1 8 ltlb5 ltlf3+ 1 9 d I ! ) 1 4 e6 fe
1 5 'ifxe6+ ltle7 1 6 i..c4. There is very
little hope that the black king will
come out unhurt from such a

171

Advance Variation: 4 ltX3

situation, (Mannion - Burmakin,


Cappelle le Grande 1 998);
l l . ..ef?! 1 2 e6 fe 1 3 tDxe6 ._,6?
(we examine the more tenacious
l3 ...'ile7 1 4 'ii'e2 1:txh4 I S :n under
the main move order: 1 1 .. Jih4
1 2 :n ef 1 3 e6 fe 1 4 tDxe6 'ile7
I S 'ife2) 1 4 'ife2 with a win
(Karlsson - Stensson, Oster 1 998).
12 :n !? The most promising
direction. We mention, incidentally,
that the inclusion of the moves
1 2 .i.xd7+?! xd7! is principally
incorrect: 1 3 llfl ef 14 tDxf5 c8!
The king slips away to the queen's
flank, something which Black can
only dream about after the immediate
1 2 :n .

1 2 ef. How strange that this is the


only move. I n all the remaining
variations theory already goes along
the path of a quick win for White.
1 2 ... .i.xf5? 1 3 tDxf5 llhS (totally
bad is 1 3 ... ef? 14 'ii'xd5 a6? I S e6,
Kamsky - Fossan, Innsbruck 1 987)
14 lDxg7+! (the recommendation of
J.Nunn) 14 ... .i.xg7 1 5 'ifxg4 l:th7
( I S .. .l:txe5+? 1 6 'iii'd l f8 1 7 l:r.g l ,
and Black loses a piece, Kistner Palma, Ladenburg 1 992) 1 6 .i.g5 !?
'ii'c7 1 7 0-0-0 lDh6 (losing are both
...

1 7 ... a6 1 8 tDxdS! ed 1 9 'ilfS, and also


1 7 ...1lc8 1 8 ltxd5 ! ed 1 9 e6) 1 8 'ii'a4
.i.xeS (there is no salvation in 1 8 ... a6
in view of 1 9 tDxdS! ed 20 ltxdS lld8
2 1 .i.xd7+ l:txd7 22 l:txd7 'ilxd7
23 l:td l ! ) 1 9 llxdS ! (it is interesting
that all combinations for White take
place on the dS square) 1 9 . . . ed
20 tDxd5 'ifb8 (no help is 20 ...'ii'd 6
because of 2 1 xd7+ 'ilxd7
22 lBc7+!) 2 1 We4! f5 22 lDf6+ with
a rout;
1 2 . . . .rlh2? (Black threatens to
announce mate on h4, but this is his
last threat in the game) 1 3 'ii'xg4
xf5 1 4 lDxf5 ef I S e6! An effective
blow to finish the struggle (Nunn Wells, Chichester 1 984);
1 2 . . .1:thS?! (a suggestion of
Seirawan, but it smacks of a wild
adventure) 1 3 fg ..,_.4+ (also hopeless
is 1 3 .. J:txe5+ 1 4 tDce2 'iVh4+ I S 'iii'd2
fS 1 6 c3 a6 1 7 .i.xd7+ >xd7
1 8 'ifa4+, Tate - Derouineau,
correspondence 1 996) 1 4 'ite2 llxeS+
1 5 .i.e3. Black is not in a position to
exploit the exposed position of the
white king, while all other factors are
not in his favour (analysis by
Kotronias).
After 1 2 ... ef we are dazzled by all
the possible tempting continuations
of the attack. One cannot say that it is
necessary to invariably choose a
single path from these but it is also no
good acting at random. You see,
White has already sacrificed several
pawns, and there are sti ll more
sacrifices in prospect. ..
There are two basic directions of
attack for White: 13 .i.f4 and 13 e6.

1 72

Advance Variation: 4 cJ

1 7. .. xd4!? - not a blunder, as


might appear at first sight, but a real
sacrifice. White wins the queen
by force, however, in order to
consolidate his advantage he must
return it: 1 8 .i.d6+ li)e7 1 9 xd5
.i.f6 20 J..c7 g3! (the best chance)
2 1 0-0-0! (not so clear is 2 1 xd8
%le4+ 22 ,.Pd I l:lxd8 23 xf6 gf
24 We I f4 25 lid I Wg7 26 b3 li)c6
a) 13 f4!? Suggested by Kamsky
27 Wb2 li)e5 28 'it'xb7 .i.f5)
and Nesis, but, as it turns out, in the
arising complications a number of 2 1 ...llxa2 22 .i.xd8 lla I+ 23 d2
chances will come to light for Black. l:ld4+ 24 1t'd3 ! (the final stroke)
13 ...a6! 14 e6!? ab 15 'W'e2!? It 24 ...J..g5+ (or 24 ...l:lxd3+ 25 ,.Pxd3
seems that more logical is 1 5 xd5, f4+ 26 ,.Pd2) 25 CiPc3 l:lxd3+ 26 lbd3
but after 1 5 ... e5 ! Black repels the with a decisive advantage.
1 6 xdS!? I n the well-known
attack.
game
Westerinen - Adianto (Saloniki
1 5...e7! An accurate move. The
1
988)
White went astray by 1 6 ed+?
category of intuition - 'like', 'dislike'
- may not work here. Is it really 'it'xd7 1 7 dxb5 Wf8 1 8 0-0-0. Black
possible (without any concrete replied 1 8 ...f6 1 9 li)c7 liaS and
variations) to say that 1 5 ...e7 is everything is defended, leaving him
stronger than 1 5 ... c5?! Indeed it is with three extra pawns.
16...c5 17 c7+ Wf8 18 0-0-0
stronger, and by far. After 1 5 ... c5
16 ed+! Wffl 1 7 'iVxb5 Black gets into
a bad position:

1 7 ... l:la5 - this is almost a blunder:


1 8 .i.c7! 'it'e7+ ( 1 8 .. .'.,xc7 1 9 ...xb7!
b6 20 ...c8+) 1 9 de2 l:lxb5
20 d81t'+ 'it'xd8 2 1 xd8. The end
position is quite interesting, don't you
think?

Kamsky assessed this position as


obviously better for White, however
we will wait a while before agreeing
with his conclusion. It is better to see
how further events develop.
18 . .lba2!? Everything consider
ed, also 1 8 ......c8 does not lose: 1 9 ef
.i.xt7 20 xa8 'ifxa8 2 1 li)xf5 'it'xa2 !

1 73

Advance Variation: 4 llJc3

22 .i.g5 lDf6! (22 ... .txg5? loses to


23 e7+! .i.xe7 24 l:ld8+) 23 .i.xh4
lDb3 ! ! A beautiful move, one might
say, "in pure-ich style"! But if we are
serious, the game is far from up.
1 3 .i.f4 (have you forgetten how it all
started?): Black's light-squared
bishop, dormant for a long time,
enters the game with decisive effect:
24 cb f4+ 25 l%d3 (after 25 'it>c I
White delivers the natural mate:
25 ...:a I+ 26 'ltd2 .i.b4) 25 ... :d4
(analysis by Purich);
20 ef l:lxd4 2 1 llxd4 'iWxd4
22 fg='iW+ 'it>xg8 23 'iWxe7 (creating
the threat 24 .i.e5, but Black is one
step ahead) 23 ...lDd3 ! 24 .te l lDxc l
25 'irxh4 lDd3! Today this knight is
simply at its best. It will hardly refute
the whole variation but its place in
history is practically assured.
b) 13 e6!? The strongest way. And
the fact that it is the strongest lies in
its logic "Do what you must, and
what will be will be!" It is still not
known where the dark-squared
bishop will prove useful - on f4, g5
or sitting at home. But here it is as if
White cannot do without the break
e5-e6.

(pointed out by Jakobsen, Kamsky


analysed only 2 l ...lDe6? 22 lDxe7!
lDxe7 23 j_b8 !) 22 lbxh4 'iVa i +
23 d2 lDb3+!
19 bl lla4!? Doesn't Black have
at his disposal the winning
combination: 1 9... %lxb2+!? 20 xb2
lDa4+!? The reply is
sort of: he
does, but
it is not quite winning:
2 1 a t (the only move) 2 1 ...lDc3
22 'iVd3 (leading to a bad position is
22 lDxf5 'iVxd l +! 23 'iVxd l tDxd l
24 lDxh4 xc2 25 .i.d6 lbf6)
22 ...:h3 23 ef xf7 24 .i.g3 'iVxc7.
After a few more mutual thrusts the
game somehow stabilised into close
equality.
20 lDxfS This is how the
correspondence game (and no one,
apart from a correspondence player,
could physically play such a position)
Carleton - Purich ( 1 994-95) contin
ued. Black wins by sacrificing
virtually everything he has:
20...'iWxd l +! 21 llxdl

21 lDb3!! 22 cb .txfS+ 23 cl
llxf4 24 'iWxbS :c4+!! with
unavoidable mate.
Analysis shows that instead of
20 lDxf5 there is no help in other
variations either.
20 lDc6 "ifxd I + 2 1 l:txd I be
..

13 fe 14 'ire2!? The struggle


continued very interestingly in the

1 74

..

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

Kooliman
game
Evelins
(correspondence, 1 995/96): 14 lbxe6
'fie? 1 5 1i'e2 f7! 1 6 xd7 (if he
wants, White can force a draw by
1 6 lbg5+ e8 1 7 lbe6) 1 6...1i'xd7
1 7 lbg5+ f6 1 8 e3 (also here
White is not satisfied with a
repetition of moves: 1 8 lbce4+ de
1 9 lbxe4+ f7 20 lbg5+ with a
draw) 1 8 .. J:le8 1 9 0-0-0 f7 20 1i'f2
l:th5 2 1 lbge4+ g6 22 lbg3 l::lh3
23 lbxf5 e6 ! ? 24 lbd4 lbf6 ! ?
2 5 lbce2 d6 and by now nobody
can suggest that White has more than
a draw in this game...
14...1i'e7!? 1 5 g5! (a case where
the sacrificer of the piece is pleased
with himself, but the recipient of this
sacrifice - not so) 15 1i'xg5
16 lbxe6 The most popular even if
there is a simpler way - 16 xd7+!
'itxd7 1 7 'ifxe6+ d8 1 8 'ifxd5+, and
then:
1 8 .. .'t>c8 1 9 'it'e6+ Wb8 ( 1 9 ...d8
20 lid I ) 20 'ife5+ c8 2 1 lbe6 .i.d6
(2 1 ...1i'e7 22 0-0-0) 22 'iVxd6 'ife7
23 0-0-0 'ifxd6 24 l::lxd6 b6 25 l::ld8+
b7 26 l:td7+ Wb8 27 l::lxg7;
I 8 ...e8 1 9 'ifbs+ q;n 20 lbxf5
l:le8+ (20 ... xf5 2 1 l::lx f5+ 1i'xf5
22 1i'xf5+ lDf6 23 0-0-0; 20 ...lbf6
2 1 1i'b3+) 2 1 lbe3+ 1i'f6 22 1i'b3+!
I:le6 23 0-0-0
Such variations are not very
complicated, and the moves White
makes are natural, therefore it
is incomprehensible why such
excessive attention has been devoted
to 1 6 lbxe6, though this move also
wins.
16 ...'iff6 17 0-0-0! ? In the
approaching calm Black will examine

all possible moves and each time


convince himself that things are bad
for him:

1 7 . . . lbe7? 1 8 xd7+ Wxd7


1 9 lbxd5 lbxd5 20 'ifbs+;
1 7 . . . d6?!
18
lbxd5
1i'e5
1 9 xd7+ xd7 {no help is 1 9 ...f7
in view of 20 1i'c4 tbf6 2 1 tbdf4
tbxd7 22 tbf8+) 20 tbc5+ c6 (also
bad is 20. . .We8 2 1 1i'b5+ Wf7
2 2 l::lfe l ) 2 1 lbb4+ c7 22 lbe6+
Wb6 23 tbd5+ c6 24 1i'c4+ d7
25 tbc5+;
1 7 ...f7 1 8 xd7 a3 1 9 lbd4
tbe7 (or 1 9... xb2+ 20 xb2 tbe7
2 1 .i.e6+ Wf8 22 xf5 with a win)
20 ba g3 (on 20 ...lld8 winning is
2 1 tbe4! ) 2 1 tbxd5 tbxd5 22 xf5
1i'g5+ 23 lld2 ci>g8 24 tbf3
17 ...a3 !? Apparently the most
tenacious defence, but it will not save
Black.
1 8 xd7+!? xd7 19 ba! 1i'xc3
Starting somewhere around the J 3 rh
move there has been "no salvation"
that most popular combination of
words. Also here these words are
appropriate:
1 9...1i'xe6 20 llxd5+ e7 2 1 lieS
f7 22 l::lxe6+ xe6 23 tbd5+;
1 9 ... tbe7 20 tbxd5 tbxd5 2 1 l::lxd5+
We? 22 tbxg7+ Wffi 23 tbxf5

1 75

Advance Variation: 4 lL'!c3


20 l:txd5+ >e8 2 1 lL'lf4+ lL'le7
22 lL'lxg6 '9i'xa3+. Also here there is
no trace of perpetual check:
22 ... 'ii'a I + 23 d2 l:th2 24 'irxh2
'irxfl 2S 'ireS 'irg2+ 26 c l 'ii'h l +
2 7 b2 'ire4 2 8 lL'lxe7 'irxeS+
29 l:r.xeS.
23 d l llh2 24 'ii'b5+! f7
25 lL'lxe7 'irxe7 26 l:tdxf5+ 'itg6 A fter
26 . . .'g8 Black loses the queen:
27 'irdS+ >h7 28 l:thS+ 11xhS
29 ..-xhS+ g8 30 'ii'd S+ h7
3 I llh I + with an honourable escort to
follow right down the e-file.
27 'ii'd 3! h6 28 llel 'ird8 29 lld5
Every poetic evening ends in heavy
prose. Here it is heavy pieces. It is
time for Black to resign.
You have to be crazy to play
7 ... cd?! Or a correspondence player
(a thousand apologies). Why 7 ... cd is
bad - every first category player will
tell you: backward development, the
inexorable charge f2-f4-fS, the
decisive hit eS-e6. But how exactly to
refute 7 ...cd - nobody can say. Apart
from you. You have been warned.
3) 7 h6!?

But suddenly it becomes clear that


there is more to the modesty: if on g6
the bishop was subject to all sorts of
threats, then on h7 it will be difficult
to get at. White is faced with a
conceptual choice: either to make a
desperate attempt to get at the bishop
(8 f4 or 8 lL'lf4), or, change hands and
engage in other business (8 e3).
a) 8 f4!? The patent of international
master Nikolai Vlasov. Practice has
shown that Black obtains a pleasant
game, even if he ignores White's
intended advance f4-f5. For example,
8 . . .lL'lc6! ? 9 fS ef I 0 lL'lf4 cd
I I lL'lcxdS lL'lge7 1 2 g2 lL'lxd5
1 3 xdS 'ira5+ 1 4 d2 b4 I S l:th2
0-0-0 (VIasov - Ovechkin, Moscow
2001 ).
8 e7?! More concrete than
8 . . .lL'lc6 Black takes fright at an
eventual f4-f5 and now 'changes
points' to other problems. For
example, what to do about the h4
pawn?
9 g2! i.xh4+ 10 n Sacrifice,
of course! Black is noticeably behind
in development and a chance turns up
for White to obtain an enduring
initiative.
10 e7 The best defence, while
here are the others:
I O ... cd?! I 1 lL'lxd4 lL'lc6 1 2 f5 lL'!xd4
(according to an analysis by Stohl,
bad is 12 ...lL'lxeS? in view of 1 3 f4
f6 1 4 xeS xeS I S fg f6+
1 6 lL'IO fg 1 7 gS !) 1 3 'ii'xd4 i.h7
(VIasov - Guliev, Moscow 1 994)
1 4 lL'lb5!? i.e7 I S 'ira4 f8 1 6 fe fe
1 7 lth3 i.c5 1 8 l:r.O+ <iile7 1 9 i.e3
'ii'b6 20 lL'ld6 with a strong, possibly
decisive attack.

A modest, if not the world's most


challenging move. Black quietly
prepares a refuge for his bishop on
h7.

1 76

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3


I O . .lbc6 I I de !? (Anand and
Ubilava preferred to look at I I g5 !?)
l l .. ..i.e7 1 2 .i.e3 lbb4 1 3 lbd4! .i.xc5
1 4 f5 .i.xd4 1 5 ...xd4 lbc6 1 6 'iVf4
.i.h7 1 7 lbb5 with a great advantage.
1 1 fS .i.h7 1 2 lbf4 Taking the
knight away from the d4 square
becomes possible since on l 2 ...cd?!
there is a very strong temporary
sacrifice of a piece: 1 3 fe ! de
( 1 3 . . . f6?! 1 4 g5 ! ) 1 4 ef+ xf7
15 ...xd5+ with a decisive advantage.
1 2......d7
.

This how the game Shirov N isipeanu


(Las Vegas
1 999)
continued. In this game White moved
the knight to h5 without too much
success.
Worth considering is 13 lbcxdS!?
ed 14 .i.xdS .i.gS In his analysis,
Stohl assessed this position in Black's
favour. But we will not generalise and
continue to analyse....
IS ...1'3!? .i.xf4 The first nice
novelty: 1 5 ... lbc6? loses because of
1 6 e6 fe I 7 lbxe6 lLlf6 18 .i.xg5
lbxd5 l 9 lbxc5.
16 .i.xf4 lbc6 17 e6 fe 18 .i.xe6!?
(it is not clear how to reinforce the
attack after 1 8 fe 'ifc8) 18......xd4
19 l:r.dl 'iff6 The second nice novelty:
White starts to dominate in the centre.

The queen can hardly remain free


from the cage:
1 9 .. ....xb2?!
20 .i.d7+ f8
2 I i.xc6 be 2 2 ...xc6 .Ue8 23 .i.d6+
fl (23 ...lbe7 24 .i.xe7+ mating)
24 ...d5+ f6 25 .i.xc5;
1 9 .. .'iVb4 20 .i.d7+ 'ii;J f8 2 1 c3
'ifb5+ 22 'ii;lg2 'iVxb2+ 23 Ad2 'ifb6
24 .Ue 1 lld8 25 .i.d6+ lbce7 26 .Uxe7
lLlxe7 27 f6 winning.
It is extremely difficult for Black to
attack the coordinated pieces. And if
White includes the rook h I in the
play, the game will be decided.
20 .i.d7+ f8 2 1 .i.d6+ lbge7
22 .i.xcS Stohl would hardly have
assessed this position in Black's
favour. The extra piece is scarcely
noticed at all; White pursues the
attack without any particular risk.
22 ....i.g8 23 .i.xc6 be Upon
23 ...'ifxc6 Black will be forced to
return the piece: 24 'ifxc6 be 25 l:ld7
.Ue8 26 f2 and then l:lh 1 -e l .
24 .Ud7 .Ue8 25 .i.d4 .i.c4+ (there is
no salvation in 25 ......f7 26 f2 h5
27 f6 gf 28 .i.xf6 llh7 29 g5, and
Black is totally stalemated) 26 fl
gs 27 f6 'ii?g8 28 .Uxe7 llxe7 29 fe
'ifxe7 30 ...xc6 'iVn+ 31 e3! .i.dS
(3 l .. .'ife7+ 32 'ife4) 32 ...c8+ 'ii?h7

1 77

33 l:xh6+! (the rook, after all,

Advance Variation: 4 tbcJ

enters the game, and at the most 1 7 l:lxg8 - after which it is difficult to
decisive moment) JJ gh 34 'ifxh8+ give a single assessment on the
winning.
position) 1 3 tLib5. In the game van
However, Black lost heart too early Tel lingen - Vink (Hengelo 1 997)
in the variation 8 f4. We advise you Black then decided not to risk and
not to follow fashion but switch your went in for the forced drawing
attention from 8 ....ie7?! to 8 ...tbc6!? variation: 13 ... liJbc6 ( 1 3 ... liJf5 1 4 g6
b) 8 tbf4?! Dubious, as after liJc6 1 5 .ie2 leads to an unclear
8 .ih7 it is not clear what the knight position) 1 4 liJd6+ d7 1 5 tDxb7
is doing on f4. The only reasonable 'itb6 1 6 tbxc5+ c7 ( 1 6 . . .We8?
idea is to continue on the way to h5, 1 7 lhf8+) 1 7 tDa6+ d7 1 8 tLic5+
but in practice the development of with perpetual check.
A sympathetic idea, right? And yet
this idea has not once turned out well.
For example, in the old game it is not above criticism. Black should
Korchnoi - B ivshev (Leningrad concentrate on development: 9 cd !?
1 95 1 ) after 9 .ie3 tbe7 1 0 de tbec6 10 'ifxd4 tbc6 11 .ibS .ixc2 12 g6
I I .ib5 tbd7 1 2 'ife2 'ilc7 1 3 0-0 liJe7 13 hS a6 14 .ixc6+ tL!xc6, as it
(more logical is 1 3 0-0-0! ?) becomes clear that White has lost the
1 3 . . .'ilxe5 1 4 .:tad l B lack could opening battle ( Handoko - Adianto,
Yangon 1 998).
obtain the better game by 14 ... .ie7.
Usually White in this position sets a
c) 8 .ie3!? White did not come
trap: 9 gS?! It seems that it is easy to right away to the realisation that this
win by 9 ... hg 1 0 hg .ixc2, however if move is best; one might say it came
we continue the variation, then it about by the method of trial and error.
becomes clear that all is not so But today all serious chessplayers
play exclusively 8 .ie3.
simple:
White's plan is simple: to play
9 'li'd2, castle queenside and start an
attack on the uncastled black king. It
goes without saying that White is
nearly always prepared to spoil his
own centre by capturing on c5 - if
only t o open the central files.
Black has a choice: 8 ... tbc6, 8 ... cd
or 8 ... 'ifb6.
c I ) 8 ... liJc6? Quite unsatisfactory.
Black, apparently assuming he is
I I llxh8! .ixd l 1 2 xd l liJe7 (or dealing with the usual opening
12 ...cd 1 3 c!Db5 a6 1 4 tbxd4 'ifb6 variation, gets rather careless. No, in
1 5 .ie3 'ii'xb2 1 6 liJc2, and in view of the present case exceptional accuracy
the threat of .id4 Black has to give is required of him in his choice of
up the knight on g8 - 1 6 ...'ifxe5 moves!
...

..

1 78

Advance Variation: 4 ltk3

1 6 0-0-0 c8 I 7 .i.c3 tDxd5 1 8 .i.xc6


be 1 9 'it'a6+ Wd7 20 'iVb7+ 'ifc7
2 1 l:.xd5+! cd 22 c6+.
16 .i.e5 f6 On 1 6 ...c8 1 7 f4 f6
1 8 tDc7 'ife7 1 9 tDxa8 fe 20 .i.xc6 be
2 1 o-o-0 b7 we point out if only
22 llh3 ! With great effect, the rook is
included in the attack, after which
there does not seem to be a
satisfactory defence.
17 0-0-0 Wc8 18 .i.xc6 'ifxc6
19 .i.f4 .i.xc5 ( 1 9 ... i.f7 20 tDc7 llb8
2 1 'it'd3 b5 22 tDa6) 20 llhJ! .i.f7
2 1 l:tcJ b6 (2 I . . .i.xd5 22 llxc5)
In the game Timman - Karpov 22 tDb4 winning. Do not play
(Belfort 1 988) Black spent yet 8... tDc6 !
c2) 8 cd. This move is possible,
another tempo to secure himself
but only in connection with the
against a check on b5 : I O ... a6 I I g2
following accurate move.
tDf6 1 2 'ife2 tDfxg4 1 3 .i.d4 .i.e4. In
9 tDxd4 .ib4! The only move!
reply White missed the chance to
Black secures an escape square on e4
obtain an overwhelming advantage:
for his light-squared bishop and in
14 tDxe4! de 1 5 'ifxe4 'ifa5+ 1 6 b4!
this way wrecks White's plan to
1ixb4+ 1 7 c3 '1Wc4 1 8 'iVxb7 l:.d8
advance f2-f4-f5.
1 9 .i.fl 'iVa4 20 .i.xa6 (pointed out by
10 h5 (making it clear that the
Timman).
undertaking with f2-f4-f5 has failed,
1 O d4 11 .i.bS+ <t;e7 12 tDfdS+! White counts on grabbing space)
The most effective. Less clear is IO .i.e4!? Also tried is I O... .i.h7
the recommendation of Timman I I 'ifd2 tDd7 1 2 a3 .i.a5 1 3 b4 .i.b6
1 2 tDxg6+ fg 13 .i.f4 de 14 .i.xe5 cb 1 4 f4 tDe7 1 5 tDcb5 0-0 1 6 tDd6 tDc6
1 5 'ifxd8+ llxd8 1 6 .i.xb2 "with the (Kotronias - Speelman, New York
advantage" Let's continue the 1 990) 1 7 c4!? with a complex game.
variation: 1 6 . . .tDf6 1 7 l:b I Wf7.
11 tJ .ih7 12 'ifd2 !? The complic
There does not seem to be any ations in the game Timman advantage.
Seirawan (Tilburg 1 990) - 1 2 i.d3
1 2.. ed 13 .i.xd4 tDc6 White's task .i.xd3 1 3 'ifxd3 tDd7 14 0-0-0 .i.xc3
is simplified upon 1 3 ... f6 1 4 .ixe5 fe 1 5 'it'xc3 l:tc8 1 6 '1i'e I tDxe5 1 7 .i.f4
1 5 tDxd5+ Wf7 1 6 'iff)+ tDf6 1 7 .i.c4 tDc6 1 8 tDf5 ct>f8 - calmed down all
We8 1 8 0-0-0 with a winning attack.
by themselves: 1 9 .i.d6+ tDge7
14 'ife2+ d7 15 tDxd5 'ife8 In 20 tDxe7 tDxe7 2 1 'ife5 g8
such positions developing subsidiary 22 .i.xe7 'ifxe7 23 lhd5 11c7
winning variations is easy and 24 1kxc7 with a slightly better
pleasant. For example, 1 5 . . . tDe7 ending.

9 de tDxeS 1 0 tDf4! I t is no
exaggeration to say that with the
'natural' move 8 ...tDc6 Black has
placed himself on the edge of defeat.

..

1 79

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 0 0-0-0 h5 ! I I de i.xc5 1 2 i.xc5


'iVxc5 1 3 tl)f4 lbge7 with equality
(A.Sokolov - Karpov, Linares 1 987).
After 9 h5 Jth7 the game quietens
down, and it is not easy for White to
extract if only a minimal positional
advantage.
However i f White goes for
maximum adventure then in reply to
8 ...'ifb6 there is practically no choice:
9 f4!? tl)c6 10 fS!

1 2 lbe7 I f we believe the analysis


of Kotronias, it is dangerous for
Black to win the e5 pawn by
1 2 ...lbd7?! 1 3 a3 i.xc3 1 4 'ii'xc3
lbxe5 in view of 1 5 i.b5+ lbd7
1 6 lbf5! ef 1 7 0-0-0! lbf6 1 8 .i.c5
with a strong attack on the black king
stuck in the centre.
13 a3 i.xc3 14 'ii'xc3 lbbc6
15 i.bS 0-0
..

The game Sax - Nisipeanu


(Balatonbereny 1 996) reached this
position. The further continuation
was 16 i.xc6 l:r.c8! 17 g5 lbxc6, and
by means of 1 8 gh!? lbxe5 1 9 'ifb3
lbc4 20 llg l White was able to
generate some initiative for himself:
20...g6 (20 ... e5? loses in view of
2 1 lbe6! fe 22 l:r.xg7+ h8 23 'ii'xb7
f6 24 l:r.xh7+ g8 25 0-0-0)
2 1 0-0-0.
c3) 8...'ii'b 6!? The most concrete
and therefore the most logical
continuation. Black defends c5 and
threatens a timely capture of the b2
pawn.
From now on White must show
resourcefulness, since 'simple ' play
with long castling, which justified
itself in the preceding variations, this
time leads to a dead end. 9 'iVd2 lbc6

This plan, which is extremely


dangerous for Black, was discovered
by English grandmaster John Nunn.
1 0 i.b7 Inferior is I O ... er?!
I I lbxd5 'ifa5+ 12 ..i.d2 'iVd8 1 3 i.g2
cd 1 4 lbef4. A similar position was
reached in the above-mentioned
game Vlasov - Ovechkin, but
compared to that White here has an
extra tempo.
1 1 'iVd2 0-0-0! A nuance: after
l l ...c4?! White is forced to castle
queenside, but can be cunning:
1 2 i.g2 0-0-0 1 3 0-0 f6 1 4 lbf4 with
advantage (Salmensuu - Shevelev,
San Vincent 2000). It is to B lack's
advantage to wait for his opponent to
castle queenside and only then
determine his pawn chain from f7 to
c4.

1 80

..

Advance Variation: 4 c3
12 0-0-0 c4! 13 ll::if4 'ii'a6 14 fe.
The most important question for the
whole 8 .. .'ifb6 variation is whether
to advance b7-b5-b4 or prefer a
piece attack? At present all the
theoreticians are oriented towards an
analysis by Timman: 1 4 ... b5 1 5 ef
ll::ige7 1 6 ll::ie6 b4 (Timman Seirawan, Hilversum 1 990) 1 7 ll::ic 5!
be 1 8 'ii'xc3 "with the advantage"
19 ll::ixd5 b5! White and Black have
Although one cannot guarantee that been exchanging heavy blows.
However, this is all still theory
such an assessment is I 00%.
(analysis
by Kotronias).
14 ll::ib4! ? 15 ef ll::ie7 16 g5!? The
In
the
game
Nijboer - Hakulinen
position is very sharp and the
responsibility for each move made ( Parana 1 993) Black joined his
opponent's
cause:
1 9 ... 1:txd5?
increases over and over again. Also
20 ..txc4 'ii'a4, and after 2 1 '1Vb3 !
here: White rejects 1 6 a3, but is he
(accurate to the end! - losing is
right? In the game Magnusson 2 1 ..txd5? ..tb4 22 b3 'ii'a2 or
Anhalt (by correspondence, 1 99 1 ) 22 ..txc6 'iVa I + 23 d2 'ifxb2)
after 1 6 a3 ll::ix c2 1 7 'ii'f2 ll::ia l 2 1 ...'ii'a I + 22 d2 'IVaS+ 23 We2 and
(Thipsay's recommendation 1 7 ...b5 !? fell into a hopeless position.
has still not passed practical trials)
20 <;t>d2 <;t>bS! The knight on d5 is
1 8 .tte l ll::ic 2 ( 1 8 ...b3+ 1 9 d l b5 !? l i ke a Trojan horse: 20 ... .ttx d5?!
Thipsay) White carried out what 2 1 l:ta I ! 'ifxa I 22 ..th3+ <;t>b7
looked a promising queen sacrifice - 23 l:lxa I ..tb4 24 ..tg2 with a great
1 9 'ii'x c2?! ..txc2 20 Wxc2, but advantage.
21 b4 A fork. Weak is 2 l ...cb?!
overlooked the counterblow 20 ... g5!
because
of 22 l:r.a I '1Vxc2+ 23 ...xc2
2 1 hg hg 22 .rlxh8 gf, and in view of
..txc2
24
..tg2 b2 25 l:r.a6 b I 'tv
the threat of check on g6 the
26 lbb I ..txb I 27 l:lxc6 with a great
advantage passed to Black.
advantage.
16 ll::ixa2+. In the heat of battle he
A sharp endgame with better
should not forget about very simple
chances for White arises after
replies by the opponent, as occurred
2 1 ...%lxd5 22 l:la I 'ifxc2+ 23 'ffxc2
in the game Rodin - Buknicek ..txc2 24 <itxc2 hg (if 24...ll::ixd4+,
(Pardubice 1 996): 1 6 .....txc2?! 1 7 a3 ! then 25 ..txd4 .ttxd4 26 :as with the
From an unclear position things advantage) 25 ..tg2 ll::ixb4+ 26 <it'd I
immediately became difficult for gh 27 ..txdS ll::ix dS.
Black.
21. '1Va6! Keeping queens on the
board is the best decision. The black
17 ll::ixa2 'lha2 18 '1Vc3 ll::ic6

181

Advance Variation: 4 lix3

queen gains in activity, and observes


the background of its white
counterpart closed in by its own
pieces and pawns.
22 .:.a t 'ifc8 23 h3 (bad is
23 xc4 in view of 23 . . .l:lxd5)
23...5 with advantage to Black.
With the variation 8 ...1i'b6 9 f4
tDc6 I 0 f5 many variations arise in
the same vein: and both White and
Black refuse to play them! In any
case, they have disappeared from
grandmaster practice. There can be
two explanations for this. Either that
the grandmasters have discovered
some forcing line, leading to an
obvious advantage for one of the
sides (but then why is the variation
not played for both colours?) or, on
the other hand, that nobody clearly
knows what is happening and they do
not want to entrust the fate of the
game to blind chance.
How does this influence the
assessment of the system 7 . . . h6
8 e3 ? In fact, practically not at all.
The reserve airfield - 8 ...cd 9 tDxd4
.ib4 - is so strong that Black boldly
plays 7 ... h6, knowing that in the
event he can always deviate.
4) 7 h5!?
..

The most topical continuation


today. After 8 tDf4 Black can choose
between 8 ...cd, 8 ...tDc6 and 8 ... .ih7.
a) 8... cd?! (the least successful)
9 tDxg6 fg 1 0 tDbS! ? I n the
stem game Kellner - Persitz
(correspondence, 1 984-85) was
played 1 0 'iVxd4!? tDc6, and after the
dubious I I 'ifa4?! .ib4 1 2 .tb5
.txc3+ 1 3 be tDe7 1 4 .tg5 'ilc7
1 5 0-0-0 0-0 1 6 f4 a6 I 7 .te2 b5
I 8 'illa3 .:.a 7! 1 9 .:.dg I 'ifb6 Black
seized the initiative.
10 ....tcs 11 .id3 tDe7 12 .tf4!?
This is how the game Borg Shakhzad (Manila 1 992) continued.
For some reason Black rejected
kingside castling and quickly came
under attack. But, as shown by
analysis, even after 12 0-0 his
problems are not over. Here are some
sample variations:
13 .tg3 'ilb6 14 gh tDrs 15 0-0 On
1 5 hg unpleasant is 1 5 ... .tb4+,
forcing the white king to obstruct the
diagonal d l -h5, intended for the
queen. Now however it seems that
Black, in one order or another, will
exchange on g3, fl , drive away the
knight with the move a7-a6, and the
worst will be over for him. But the
desired order of moves somehow
cannot be found...
.

I R2

Advance Variation: 4 lLlc3


1 S a6? ! 1 6 tiJd6 ltJxg3 1 7 fg
llxfl + ( 1 7 ... .ixd6? 1 8 'ifg4 ! )
1 8 'ifxfl .ixd6 1 9 hg! (an important
intermediate
move)
1 9 .. . lLld7
20 'iff7+ h8 2 1 'ifxe6! lLlxe5
22 'iff5 g8 23 llfl winning, or
15 lLlxg3 1 6 fg llxfl + 1 7 Wxfl a6
1 8 hg! (the same motif) 1 8 ...lLld7
1 9 'illh 5 lLlf8 20 lLld6 .i.xd6 2 1 ed
...xd6 22 Wg2, and no help is 22 ... e5
in view of 23 l:lfl ! ...e6 (23 ... lle8
24 'iff3 !) 24 l:lxf8+! xf8 25 .i.f5
again with a win for White.
b) 8 lLlc6!? This move was made
for the first time in the game Timman
- Seirawan (Hilversum 1 990). Black
again, as in many previous variations,
demonstrates concrete ideas; he is not
frightened by the severe weakening
of his pawn structure since in return
he can create a pawn formation(!) on
the g-file, firstly to open the h-file for
his rook, and secondly to secure the
f5 square for his knight.
9 lLlxg6 fg 10 lLle2!? The best
solution: White transfers the knight to
f4, after which the e6 and g6 pawns
come under attack.
Weak is I 0 'ifd3? cd! I I lLlb5
( I I 'ifxg6+? d7 1 2 lLlb5 loses
because of 1 2 . . .lLlxe5, and White
drops his queen) l l ...hg! 1 2 'ifxg6+
'ittd7 1 3 'ifxg4 'ii'b6 1 4 c3 de 1 5 lLlxc3
lLlh6, and the knight occupies the
excellent f5 square (Timman Seirawan, Hilversum 1 990).
I f there is apparently no serious
alternative plan for White than
I 0 lLle2, then for Black, on the other
hand, there is a choice of several
plans, comparable in strength:

..

b l ) 1 0 hg. This seemingly logical


continuation, (with the idea of
gaining the f5 square) has been tried
surprisingly little in practice. And, it
seems, not without reason.
11 lbf4 lLlh6!? Black should try to
maintain the 'bone' on g4, otherwise
the queen will join in the attack with
decisive effect. For example, losing is
l l ...lLlxd4 1 2 'ifxg4 g5 ( 1 2 ...llxh4?
1 3 .ib5+; 1 2 ...lL!xc2+? 1 3 d l lLlxa I
1 4 .ib5+) 1 3 lLlg6 l:lh6 (not possible
is 1 3 ...lbh6? in view of 14 .ib5+!
lLlxb5 1 5 Wxe6+ .ie7 16 lLixh8)
1 4 lLlxf8 'it>xf8 1 5 .ixg5.
12 lLlxg6 In the game Nunn Seirawan (Monaco 1 994) Black,
losing his head, gave up the rook h8
and quickly lost. But also the more
tenacious 1 2 l:.g8!?, does not seem
to bring equality: 13 i.xh6! gh
1 4 1hg4 (White, just the same, finds
a way to include the queen) with
uncomplicated variations:
1 4 ......d7 1 5 .i.b5 0-0-0 1 6 .i.xc6
'iVxc6 1 7 0-0-0;
1 4 ...'ifa5+ 1 5 c3 d7 1 6 de .ixc5
1 7 h5 '6b6 1 8 0-0-0;
1 4 . ..d7 1 5 0-0-0 cd 1 6 f4;
1 4 ...lL!xd4 1 5 c3 lLlf5 1 6 .ib5+ 'it'n
17 l:tg I
the assessment oscillates
from 'better' to 'winning'.

1 83

Advance Variation: 4 li:)c3

b2) lO cd U li:)xd4 d7!?


.

The idea of Ehlvest - interesting,


and very much so, but all the same it
cannot be recommended.
1 2 e3! Less promising is
1 2 h3 !? 'ifb6, and then:
1 3 li:)xe6!? 'ifb4+ 1 4 fl xe6
1 5 gh+ Wxe5 1 6 -..o Wd6 1 7 f4+
c5 1 8 e3+ <t>d6 1 9 f4+ with a
draw by perpetual check (analysis by
Nielsen);
1 3 c3 li:)xd4 1 4 cd hg 1 5 ...xg4 li:)e7
(Grischuk - Ehlvest, New Delhi
2000). There is no advantage
whatsoever.
1 2 li:)h6 13 gh -.as+ 14 c3 li:)xd4
I S xd4 lt:)fS 1 6 hg cS 1 7 xeS
'ifxcS 18 hS l:laf8 19 ...d2 Black
guarantees the safety of his king but
at too high a price. Two extra pawns
- this is no joke (Shirov - P.-H.
Nielsen, Germany 200 I ).
b3) I O 'ifb6 (the most active plan
of counterplay) 11 li:)f4 Worthy of the
most attentive consideration is the
idea of Moldovian grandmaster
Viorel Bologan I I gh!? Quite frankly,
there does not seem to be a
satisfactory defence.
.

l l ... gh 1 2 liJf4 cd (or 1 2...li:)xd4


1 3 c3 li:)f5 1 4 li:)g6 l:lh 7 1 5 d3)
1 3 h3 li:)xe5 1 4 0-0 li:)f6 1 5 xe6
with an attack;
l l .. .cd 1 2 h3 li:)xe5 1 3 li:)f4
b4+ 1 4 <t>fl tiJf6 1 5 'ife2 !? d6
1 6 .i.xe6 ttJxh5 1 7 tiJxh5 gh 1 8 f4
d3 1 9 cd l:lffi with minimal chances
of salvation;
1 1 ...0-0-0 1 2 li:)f4 li:)xd4 ( 1 2 ... li:)xe5
1 3 de + 14 d2 "ife4+ 1 5 e3
...xh l 1 6 ttJxg6) 1 3 tlJxg6 l:lh7 1 4 c3
li:)f5 1 5 .id3 with advantage to
White.
Bologan 's idea definitely has a
future. For the present, however,
practice concentrates mainly on
I I tiJf4.
l l . cd 12 ttJxg6!? Only this
continuation sets a few problems. I n
the event of 12 .id3 li:)xe5 1 3 ttJxg6
li:)xg6 1 4 xg6+ Wd7 1 5 gh Black
has, as shown by the following
games, good play:

1 84

..

Advance Variation: 4 lLlc3

I S ...lLie7 1 6 .i.d3 (after 1 6 .i.f7


White loses control over the fS
square, and Black obtains the more
promising position: 1 6...lbf5 1 7 0-0
.i.b4! 1 8 .i.g5 llaffi 1 9 .i.g6 .i.e7
20 ...g4 .i.xg5 2 1 hg Wd6, Shirov Khenkin, Germany 2000) 1 6...lLic6
1 7 llgl ( Leitao - Khenkin, New York
2000) 1 7 ... 'ifc7 ! ? 1 8 Wg4 1fe5+
19 e2 d3 ! (simplest) 20 cd llJd4
with equality;
(apparently
the
1 5 . . ..i.b4+ !?
clearest way) 1 6 c3 (White tries to
sharpen the play, but, as will often be
the case, he goes too far; better is
16 fl lLie7 with equal chances)
1 6 ... dc 1 7 Wa4+ e7 1 8 be .i.xc3+
1 9 ..te2 1fc6! 20 Wxc6 be. Black is
playing for a win (Zhang Pengxiang
Khalifman, Shanghai 200 I ).
1 2. b4+. Now nothing is offered
by 1 3 ..id2?! i.xd2+ 1 4 'ifxd2 in
view of 14 ...llh6, but after 13 ..te2
Black is presented with a difficult
choice. What to do with the rook h8?
Get it out or give it up as lost'? And i f
i t is to be given up, then for what
compensation?
Bareev recommends 1 3 . . .Wc7 ! ?
1 4 f4 (bad is 1 4 .i.f4? i n view o f
14 ...1l t7 15 1ld3 lLige7 1 6 lLixh8
fi'xf4 with a dangerous attack for
Black) 1 4 ... 1lh6 1 5 gh lLige7. The
position is extremely non-standard,
but in the first analysis White is in a
position to put right the coordination
of his forces: 1 6 ..tt2 lLixg6 1 7 hg
l:lxg6 1 8 d3 llh6 1 9 hS (fixing the
weakness on g7) 1 9 ...0-0-0 20 a3
..tas 2 1 b4 .i.b6 22 'ifg4 1ff7 23 'it'c2
lLie7 (both sides complete the
reconstruction of the pieces in their
..

camps) 24 .i.d2 lL!fS 25 l:lag l l:tg8


26 llg2 and White's chances are
preferable.
Now apropos 'giving up as lost' .
There is an interesting continuation
1 3 ... lLige7!? 14 lLixh8 lLixe5 1 5 f4
d3+ 1 6 cd lLixg4 1 7 d4 lbf5! ' Minus'
a rook but with evident compens
ation. All White's pieces without
exception look a sorry sight, and are
not in a position to help their king.
However, in all probablity, Black's
activity is only enough for a draw:
1 8 f3 lbxd4+ !? 1 9 g2 llc8
20 .i.d3 lLic2 2 1 We2 lLid4 22 'iffl
lLic2. It is best for White to reconcile
himself to a drawn result, since very
dangerous is 23 xc2 llxc2+ 24 ..tg3
e5 ! with a decisive attack.
Finally, in the game Morozevich Bareev (Sarajevo 2000), following
Belyavsky's recommendation, Black
risked the rook sacrifice: IJ...hg!?

After 1 4 lLixh8?! Black's idea is


justified: 14 ...lLixe5 1 5 i.d2 lLif6
( 1 5 ...1lc8!?) 1 6 xb4 lLie4 1 7 'ifc l
1rb5+ 1 8 ..td I 1lxb4 with a strong
attack
(analysis
by
Bareev).
Unfortunately, he is not obliged to
take the rook.
14 aJ! llh5 There is apparently
nothing better, but now White gains

1 85

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

the advantage by force: 1 5 ab


In this posttlon Black played
lbge7 16 lbxe7 ( 1 6 b5 ! ? Bareev) 1 3 ...lb7c6 1 4 lbxe6 'ifa5+ 1 5 fl hg
16 ... l:.xe5+ 17 d2 xe7 18 b5 lbb4 1 6 i.xg4 i.d6 1 7 g2 'ifa6 1 8 'ifd I .
Here White strayed from the course a Here most interesting would be to try
little by playing 1 9 i.d3, when the 1 8 ...d3! ? 1 9 cd (on 1 9 i.f4 would
forcing variation was still not at an fol low 1 9 . . . 'ii'a 4! 20 cd 'ifxd I
end: 19 'ii'xg4! 'ii'e 5 20 e3! de+ 2 1 be 2 1 i.xd 1 rj;e7 with the better
'ii'xfl+ 22 i.e2 ._.e3+ 23 dl 'ii'xe3 chances) 1 9 ... lbxg4 20 'ifxg4 lbe5
24 'ii'xb4+! This recommendation of (Adianto 's recommendation).
Bareev passed the test in the game
We would like to improve Black's
Antal - Bartel (Halkidiki 200 1 ), and play at an earlier stage: IJ . . hg!?
successfully. It was not difficult for (instead of l 3 ... lb7c6) 14 'ii'xe5 gh
White to win the endgame with an 15 lbxe6 lbe6! (an important
extra bishop.
intermediate move) 16 'ife2 d3!
b4) IO lbge7! ? In the system we 1 7 ed 'ifxh4 Despite the superficially
have worked out with 7 ... h5 we dangerous position, Black can look
consider this the basic move. Black 'with indifference' at all the
defends the g6 pawn and hopes for a opponent's discovered checks:
timely transfer of the knight to f5.
1 8 lbc7+ d7 1 9 lbxa8 lbd4
Upon the indifferent I I c3 cd 1 2 cd
20 'ifd l i.b4+! 2 1 fl (bad is
Black's plan is fully justified: 1 2 ... hg!
2 1 i.d2 i.xd2+ 22 xd2 'iif4+
1 3 lbf4 ...b6 14 lbxe6 lbxe5 !
23 e I liJO+ 24 fl liJd2+)
1 5 i.b5+ cJi>t7 1 6 lbg5+ g8 1 7 de
2 l ... h2! 22 'i'a4+ b5 23 xa7+ e6 .
...xb5 1 8 ...xg4 lbf5 1 9 a3 lieS etc.
The checks have ended for White,
The sharper 1 1 lbf4?! was met in
while for Black everything is only
the game Timman - Karpov (Jakarta
just starting;
1 993). Some accurate replies - and
1 8 lbg5+ d7 1 9 'ife6+ 'it>c7
again it is White who is fighting for
20 l:xh3 'ii'b4+ 2 1 fl (2 1 i.d2?
equality:
l:.xh3 ! ) 2 1 ...i.e7! 22 'ifxd5 l:xh3
ll ...ed!? 12 i.h3 (not leading to an
23 lbxh3 lld8 Black's game is at least
advantage is 1 2 lbxe6 ...d7 1 3 lbxd4
no worse;
lbxd4 1 4 ._.xd4 lbc6 1 5 f4 hg
1 8 llxh3 ! ? 'ii'b4+ 1 9 i.d2 .l:.xh3 !
1 6 i.e2 f5) 1 2...lbxe5 13 'ii'e2
20 i.xb4 (there is a beautiful
refutation to 20 lbc5+ - 20... 'ife4!)
2 0...1l h I + 2 1 cJi>d2 i.xb4+ 22 c2
l:txa I Black has two rooks and a
bishop for the queen - a highly
positive correlation.
And so, after I O... lbge7 is
everything in order for Black? Not
quite. By analogy with Bologan's
idea in the previous variation also
.

1 86

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

here we tum our attention to 1 1 gh!? .J::r.a b8 20 'ii'x a7 .J:lhe8 21 xe7


It looks like White has again (2 1 0-0-0 lla8 22 ..ixf5 'ifxg5+!)
succeeded in setting Black serious 2 1 ...tDxe7 22 'ifxd4
problems.
l l cd! ? The best chance. At first
we thought that l l ...lDf5 was more
reliable, but later a flaw was found in
this move: 12 lDf4 cd 1 3 lDxg6 b4+
1 4 ..id2 ..ixd2+ 1 5 'it>xd2 .J:lh6
1 6 ..id3 ! or 1 5 ... 'ii'a 5+ 1 6 We i l1h6
1 7 a3 ! followed by ..id3. By
dislodging the knight from the key
square f5, White gains the advantage.
Just when it seems the forcing
12 ll:lf4 Interesting is 1 2 lDxd4
l:lxh5 1 3 ..ig5 'ilc7 1 4 tDxe6 (upon variations have ended in White's
1 4 f4! ? tDxd4 1 5 'ii'xd4 tDf5 1 6 1Wa4+ favour, Black leads the game to a
r3ilfl 1 7 ..ie2 .J:lh8 Black just about draw with a surprising sacrifice of a
holds on) 14 ...1t'xe5+ 1 5 W'e2 1Wxb2 rook.
22... llxb2! 23 'ii'xb2 'ife4+ 24 <t>d2
1 6 .J:ld I 'iVb4+ 1 7 c3 W'xc3+ 1 8 ..id2
'ii'e5 1 9 ..if4 W'c3+ with perpetual 'iff4+. It is possible to convince
oneself that there is no refuge for the
check.
I 2 ...tDxe5 (leading to a rather white king. And yet the preceding
worse endgame is 1 2 ...'ilc7 1 3 lDxe6 play is too shaky to be seriously
'ifxe5+ 1 4 'iVe2 'ilxe2+ 1 5 .ixe2 fl guided by it. It may happen that
1 6 lDf4) 13 .ih3 (or 1 3 'iVe2 'iVd6 White improves his play and then
1 4 .ih3 d3 ! 1 5 cd lt)f5 1 6 .ixf5 gf Black's entire setup sinks to the
1 7 d4 lDc6 1 8 tDxe6 Wfl) 13 ...lDf5 bottom.
It looks like Bologan 's idea I I gh,
14 'ife2 ( 1 4 tDxe6 'ii'a5+ 1 5 d2
'ifb6) 1 4 ... 'ii'f6 1 5 'ifb5+ (after working away on two fronts - in the
1 5 lDxg6 b4+ 1 6 Wd I lDxg6 variations I O...'ii'b6 and I O .. lDge7,
1 7 .ig5 Black obtains counterplay by casts serious doubt on the reliability
means of 1 7 ... d3 ! 1 8 cd 'ii'fl 1 9 hg for Black of the whole system
'ii'xg6) J S 'it>ti 16 hg+ lDxg6 8 ...tDc6 9 lDxg6 fg 1 0 tDe2.
c) 8 ..ih7 ! ? Black prefers to
17 lDxg6 (leading to a draw is
1 7 'ifxb7+ e7 1 8 lDxg6 .J:lhb8 sacrifice a pawn but maintain the
1 9 'ii'd 7 lld8 20 'ifc7 lldc8) light-squared bishop. This is also the
17 'ifxg6 18 'ifxb7+ ( 1 8 g5 brings strongest move in the present
White nothing real after 1 8 .. .'g8 position.
9 lDxh5 9 g5?! looks illogical 1 9 0-0-0 .J::r.c 8 20 'ifd3 .J::r.c4 2 1 llhg I
._,fl 22 llde 1 g6 23 xf5 'ii'x f5 freezing the position on the king's
24 'iVxf5 ef 25 .if6 .J:lh5 26 b3 .J:lc6 flank, White abruptly predetermines
2 7 xd4 .J:lxh4) 18 .ie7 19 ..ig5 his possibilities.
..

..

..

1 87

Advance Variation: 4 ltJc3

After 9 lL!xh5 Black is faced with a


difficult choice, and it would again be
better to be guided by a knowledge of
concrete variations than on intuition.

The question is: 9 ...lL!c6 or 9 ... cd.


c I ) 9 cd! ? At one time this was
rejected by theory, and only recently
recognised that it possibly led to a
very complex game. White could
capture the pawn with the queen or
after playing 1 0 lL!b5.
e l l ) 10 'it'xd4?! (let us say at once
- this is not the best solution)
IO lL!c6 11 bS lL!e7 12 h6 The
alternative is 1 2 i.g5 a6 1 3 i.xc6+
lL!xc6, and then:
1 4 'it'e3? 'ifa5 1 5 0-0-0 l:tc8 1 6 a3
(Hersvik - Hermansson, Gausdal
200 1 ), and here Black missed the win
- 1 6 ... lL!b4! (pointed out by P.-H.
Nielsen);
1 4 'it'a4 (only helping Black to
organise counterplay) 1 4...b5 1 5 'it'f4
'it'c7 1 6 0-0 (or 1 6 0-0-0? b4 1 7 lL!xd5
ed 1 8 l:td2 lL!d8 1 9 ..txd8 l:txd8
20 l:te I ..tg6 winning, Ehlvcst Bareev, Moscow 200 I ) 1 6 . . . ..tg6
1 7 lL!g3 'it'xe5 1 8 'it'd2 ..tc5 1 9 Wg2
'it'd4 20 'it'e2 'it'c4 with an
unquestionable advantage (Orso Kallai, Hungary 2000).
The position after 1 2 ..th6 deserves
a separate diagram.
.

A typical case of an optical illusion


in chess. It seems that White's last
three moves delivered blows
( 1 0 'iVxd4, I I i.b5, 12 ..th6). But in
fact his position is already extremely
shaky. Black easily repulses the
single threat (to the g7 square) and
then pushes the enemy pieces right
back.
1 2 ...llg8! Weak is 1 2 ... 'it'd7?
1 3 'it'f4 0-0-0 1 4 ..txg7 xg7
1 5 lL!xg7 with a great advantage for
White (van der Wiel - lcklicki,
Brussels 1 985).
13 0-0-0 Nothing changes in the
arrangement of forces after 1 3 0-0 a6
1 4 ..txc6+ lL!xc6 1 5 'iVf4 'iVxh4
1 6 ..tg5 'it'h3 1 7 life I ..tc5 - White
retreats, Black advances.
1 3 a6 1 4 ..txc6+ lL!xc6 1 5 'it'f4
'iVaS 1 6 'it'a4!? The suggestion of
Belgian Willy Icklicki. From time to
time other moves are also tried, as a
rule resulting in failure:
1 6 'it>b l ? lL!b4 1 7 l:tc l ltc8 1 8 a3
lL!xc2 1 9 llxc2 llxc3 20 be 'iVxc3
(David - Kallai, France 1 996);
1 6 llhe l ?! lL!b4 1 7 a3 ltc8 1 8 ab
'it'a I + 1 9 <t>d2 'it'xb2 (Chapman Rogers, Sun Coast 1 999).
16 ...'it'xa4 17 lL!xa4 gh 1 8 lLlf6+
r/;e7 19 lLlxh7 lL!xe5! Dubious is the

1 88

..

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

recommendation of Kallai 1 9 ...l:lxg4


20 lbb6 lidS 2 1 lbf6 l:lf4 22 lbg8+
..te8 23 lbf6+ q;e7 "with a draw by
perpetual check" In fact there is a
more dangerous continuation for
White - 24 ltxd5!? ed 25 lbfxd5+
..te6 26 lbxf4+ xe5 27 lbd3+ with
advantage.
20 .T.:r.he1 (20 g5 ..tg7) 20 ..tg7
21 f4 lbxg4 22 lbb6 llad8 23 lbxd5+
lbd5 24 1hd5 llh8 25 lbg5 hg
26 llxg5 llg8 We might say that
White discovered the given concrete
draw. But we would not advise
anyone to repeat the experiment
beginning with 1 0 'irxd4?!
c 1 2) 10 ll'lb5! Quite another matter!
To fight with the knight on d4 is far
more enjoyable than with a queen
coming under all blows.
I O lbc6 Grandmaster Gabor
Kallai, in a number of games with a
group
of Hungarian
friends,
established the idea IO .....te4!? The
point of the move lies in the fact that
if White plays I I f.3, then l l .....tg6
1 2 .ig5 f6!?, and all the variations
jointly develop to Black's advantage:
1 3 ef gf 1 4 ll'lxf6+ lbxf6 1 5 ..txf6
'irxf6 1 6 lbc7+ dB 1 7 lbxa8 (or
1 7 Wxd4!? e5!) 1 7 ....Uxh4 with an
attack:
Correct is I I llh3! lbc6 12 lbxd4
lbge7 1 3 ..tg5 Wa5+, and the
branches:
1 4 .i.d2 Wb6 1 5 .ic3 lbxe5 1 6 'ird2
a6 1 7 f3 ( 1 7 'irg5 !?) 1 7 . . ...th7
1 8 0-0-0 ltc8 (Csebe - Ruck,
Budapest 2000);
1 4 c3 lbxd4 1 5 'irxd4 lbc6 1 6 We3
l:lc8 1 7 ..te2 lbxe5 (Nguyen Anh
Dung - Kallai, Budapest 2000).

l l lbxd4

..

l l lbge7!? I nteresting that this


logical developing move has only
recently come to the fore. This is how
it was played before:
l l . ..'ifc7 1 2 lbxc6! Wxc6 1 3 .id3
with the advantage (Sax - Berg,
Aarhus 1 993);
l l . ..lbxe5 1 2 .ib5+ ( 1 2 .i.f4!?)
1 2 ...lbd7 1 3 .i.g5 (Shirov recom
mends
13
We2 !?)
1 3 ...'ii'a 5+
14 c3 a6 1 5 .ta4 b5 1 6 .i.c2 .i.xc2
1 7 'ifxc2 lLlgf6 1 8 lLlf4 lLle4
1 9 lbfxe6 fe 20 f3 ll'ldc5 (20...ll'lxg5?
loses in view of 2 1 'ifg6+ ll'lfl 22
1i'xe6+ .i.e7 23 ll'lc6) 2 1 fe ll'lxe4,
and here the opponents agreed a draw
(Sax - Krizsan, Medulin 1 997). The
decision is premature: after 22 ll'lxe6
White maintains the advantage.
l l ...ll'lxd4 1 2 1i'xd4 ll'le7 1 3 1i'a4+
ll'lc6 1 4 .i.g5 1i'a5+ 1 5 'irxa5 ll'lxa5
1 6 f4 l:lc8 (according to an
analysis by Lukacs, 1 6 ... .i.xc2? is
unsatisfactory because of 1 7 .i.b5+
ll'lc6 1 8 ltc I .i.b4+ 1 9 e2 .i.e4
20 lthd I 0-0 2 1 .i.xc6) 17 .ib5+ ll'lc6
1 8 0-0-0 with the advantage (Shirov
Yermolinsky, Wijk aan Zee 1 999).
12 c3! ? One of the latest examples
on the given theme is the game
Grischuk - Bareev (Wijk aan Zee

1 89

...

Advance Variation: 4 o!DcJ

1 2 ... .!Dxd4 1 3 cd ( 1 3 'ifxd4 ! ?)


1 3 . . .'ifb6 1 4 i.d3 'ifb4+ 1 5 fl
i.xd3 1 6 'ifxd3 .!Dc6 1 7 i.e3 'ifc4
1 8 'ii'e2 and White holds on to the
extra pawn he has won;
1 2 . . . 'ifa5 1 3 .!Db5 .!Dg6 (not
possible is 1 3 ....!Dxe5? 14 f4 .!D5c6
1 5 o!Dd6+ d7 1 6 .!Dxt7, while after
1 3 ....!Dc8 1 4 f4!? a6 1 5 .!Dd4 .!Dxd4
1 6 'ii'xd4 i.e4 1 7 l:th3 .!De7 1 8 i.e3
Black also has nothing in particular to
boast about) 1 4 f4 a6 1 5 .!Dd4 .!Dge7
(or 1 5 ....!Dxd4 1 6 1i'xd4 i.c5 1 7 'ifd l
'ifb6 1 8 .!Dxg7+ f8 1 9 .!Dh5 i.t2+
20 e2 .!Dxh4 2 1 .!Df6 g7 22 f5)
1 6 i.e3 .!Dxd4 1 7 'ifxd4 i.e4 1 8 l:th3
.!Df5 1 9 gf l:txh5 20 fe fe 2 1 i.e2 l:th6
22 h5. The moves have changed, but
the extra pawn remains.
1 2 .. .'.1>6! ?
(already
getting
warmer) 1 3 f4 .!Dxd4 14 'ifxd4 'iVa5 !?
( 1 4 .. .'it'xd4 1 5 cd llc8 1 6 .!Dg3 o!Dc6
1 7 i.b5 a6 1 8 i.xc6+ llxc6 1 9 e2
llc2+ 20 0) 1 5 i.e3 .!Dc6 1 6 'ifd2
0-0-0 with developing counterplay.
There are an enormous number of
1 2 1Wc7!?
moves for Black and the strongest
one is not yet apparent.
1 2 . . . .!Dxe5
13
i.b5+ .!D5c6
( 1 3 ....!D7c6 14 i. f4) 14 i.g5 'ifc8,
and here Grischuk, in a game against
Seirawan (Moscow 2002), missed the
very strong 1 5 'ife2;
1 2 ...a6 1 3 i.g2 .!Dxe5 1 4 0-0 'ifd7
1 5 i.g5 0-0-0 1 6 e2 .!D5c6 1 7 .!Dxc6
.!Dxc6 1 8 i.xd8 'ifxd8 1 9 c4 with the
advantage (Shomoev - Galkin,
By provoking f2-f4, Black at once
Krasnodar 2002).
solves two problems: he does not
Having examined games on the allow the enemy bishop to g5 and he
theme 1 2 c3 we add an analysis exposes the other side's king.
of the moves 1 2 ....!Dxd4, 1 2 ...'ilfa5,
13 f4 Complying directly with the
1 2 ...'ifb6 and 1 2 ...'ifc7.
opponent's wishes. Of course White

2003): 1 2 l:th3 a6 (a useful move,


denying White the b5 square).
1 3 i.g5 'ifb6 1 4 .!Dxc6 .!Dxc6 1 5 d3
i.xd3 1 6 l:txd3 'ifb4+! ? (a fine
intermediate move, upsetting the
coordination ofWhite's pieces) 1 7 c3
'ife4+ 1 8 .lle3 'ilfg2! 1 9 l:tc l 'ilfg l +
20 d2 'ilfxf2+ 2 1 l:te2 'ifc5 22 'ii'a4
l:tc8 23 :n l:tc7 24 'iPc I d4 with
serious counterplay for Black.
It is highly probable that in the
future this game will become what
they call the 'main line' in the present
variation. But for the time being we
sum up the experiences after 1 2 c3.

1 90

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

also has good things, which is why


other continuations are weaker,
1 3 .if4 lt:Jg6 ( 1 3 ... a6 1 4 .ig2!? lt:Jxe5
1 5 .ig3) 1 4 .ig3 lt:Jgxe5 1 5 .ib5
( 1 5 'ifa4 0-0-0 1 6 lt:Jxc6 'ifxc6
1 7 'ifxa7 lt:JO+ 1 8 d I d4 ! )
1 5. . .0-0-0 1 6 lt:Jxc6 (not possible is
1 6 .ixc6 be 1 7 lt:Jxc6? 'ifxc6
18 .ixe5 because of l 8 ... d4 1 9 0-0 d3
20 lt:Jxg7 .ie4 2 1 lt:Jh5 .in 22 'ilfb3
.id6 with a decisive attack) 1 6 ... bc
1 7 .ia6+ b8 1 8 0-0 .id6. In this
posttlon White
probably has
everything organised, apart from one
thing: why are the pawns which are
supposed to be on g2 and h2, pushed
up to g4 and h4?
1 3 .ig2!? (an interesting move, and
yet White's attack has every chance
of finishing up as a dead end draw)
1 3 ...lt:Jxe5 14 o-o lDd3 1 5 'ifa4+ lDc6
1 6 c4 lt:Jc5 1 7 'ifd 1 .id3 1 8 .if4 'iib6
19 lt:Jb5 e5 20 cd .ixb5 2 1 de .ixfl
22 'ifxfl ef 23 'ife2+ lt:Je6 24 cb
(24 lDxf4 0-0-0 25 lt:Jxe6 fe 26 l:lc 1
.id6) 24 . . . D.d8 25 l:lc l .ic5
26 lDxg7+ 'ii?f8 27 lt:Jxe6+ fe 28 b4
(28 h5 llh7 29 g5 llc7) 28 ...'ifxb4
29 'ife5 .ixf2+ 30 fl .id4
3 1 'ifxf4+ e7 32 llc7+ lld7 33 .ic6
'ifb 1 + 34 g2 'ifxa2+ 35 h3 'ifb3+
36 .in .ie5 37 'ifg5+ e8 38 'it'g6+
d8 39 b8'if+ 'ifxb8 40 'ifg5+ Wxc7
41 'ii'xe5+ l:ld6
1 3 f4 has one advantage - but for
all that, one that is extraordinarily
distinct - over the moves 1 3 .if4 and
1 3 .ig2: the extra pawn, White's last
trump, sti ll remains.
IJ lDxd4 14 'ifxd4 In the
endgame after 14 cd lt:Jc6 15 .id3
.ixd3 1 6 'ifxd3 lt:Jb4 1 7 'ilfb5+ 'it'd7

1 8 'ifxd7+ xd7 1 9 d l lieS it will


be White who would sooner obtain a
draw. And, probably, he will achieve
it, for example: 20 llh2 .ie7 2 1 .ie3
f5 22 lt:Jxg7 fg 23 f5 etc.
14 lbc6 15 'ifa4 0-0-0 16 .ie3
b8!? Premature is 1 6...d4?! 1 7 cd
.ie4 (or 1 7 ....ib4+ 1 8 f2 .id2
1 9 .ixd2 l:lxd4 20 .ia5 l:lxa4
2 1 .ixc7 <j;xc7 22 .ig2) 1 8 llh3 'ilfb6
1 9 'iVb5 'ifxb5 20 .ixb5 lt:Jxd4
2 1 lie I + b8 22 .ixd4 llxd4 23 l:lc4
llxc4 24 .ixc4, and White will set
about the long-awaited tedious
realisation of his small material
advantage.
1 7 0-0-0 d4! And here, when the
white king is under a pin on the c-file,
comes the break d5-d4 - just at the
right time!
18 .it2 (even worse is 1 8 .ixd4
lt:Jxd4 1 9 llxd4 Axd4 20 'ifxd4 .ic5)
18 de 19 .ibS D.xd l+ 20 lbd1 e2
21 llel a6 A few more exchanges
and it will be possible to agree a
draw.
I f nothing extraordinary happens,
the point at issue about the viability
of 9 ...cd will pass on to the next
generation of players and analysts. I f,
of course, it is passed on.
c2) 9...lt:Je6

...

191

..

...

Advance Variation: 4 ltX3

I t seems that this move should give


way to 9 ...cd, since the bishop f8
can't be everywhere at once,
defending at the same time two
pawns that are under fire: c5 and g7.
However in fact everything is not so
gloomy and Black has every right to
reckon on counterplay in all
variations.
10 de .i.xcS! All ingeniously
simple. This move, discovered by the
Swedish master Emil Hermansson,
turns around the idea of the variation.
Far worse is I O.. lL!xe5? 1 1 .i.b5+
lL!c6 1 2 'ilfd4 f6 1 3 .i.e3 lL!e7
1 4 0-0-0 e5 1 5 11fa4 .i.g8 1 6 f4. By
breaking in the centre, White will just
about get at the enemy king (Borge Danielson, Copenhagen 1 994).
II
lL!xg7+!?
Applause
for
adherence to principles. Given the
defeat that awaits White in this
variation, and then going back and
analysing, is it not possible to think
up something 'less principled'.
11 f8 12 lL!hS d4 1 3 lL!bS!? In
the game Moser - Ruck (Oberwart
2003) was tried 1 3 lL!b I ! ? lL!b4
1 4 lL!a3 'ilfd5 1 5 llh3 (leading to an
unclear endgame is 1 5 lL!g3 11fxe5+
1 6 'ife2 'ii'xe2+ 1 7 .i.xe2 .ixc2),
.

llxh5! 1 7 gh 11fe4+ 1 8 d2 'iff4+


1 9 e I 'ife4+ White counted his
blessings and concluded a peace.
1J a6!? 1 4 lL!aJ No good is
1 4 lL!d6? lL!xe5 15 lLlxb7 because of
1 5 ...11fd5 1 6 lL!xc5 'ifxh l 1 7 .i.f4
lL!f3+ 1 8 e2 lld8! (preparing a
combination) 1 9 'ilfc l lL!g l + 20 e l
.i.xc2 ! 2 1 'ifxc2 (2 1 .i.xa6 d3)
2 1 ...lL!f3+ 22 e2 d3+ 23 lL!xd3
lL!d4+ with a win.
14 lL!xeS!? IS .i.g2 (leading to a
complicated game is 1 5 l:r.h3!? llc8
1 6 11fc2 .i.b4+ 1 7 .i.d2 .i.xd2+
1 8 11fxd2 lL!xg4) 1S...d3 16 .i.f4
'ifaS+ 17 'ilfd2 'ifxd2+ 1 8 xd2
lL!xg4 19 f3 lL!f2 and Black's chances
are at least not worse.
But now, as promised, we return to
the position before 1 1 lL!xg7. What to
do?
.

..

...

11 .i.bS This seemingly harmless


idea has been advanced by Bulgarian
Veselin Topalov.
l l . 'ifc7! 12 .i.xc6+!? 'iVxc6
13 'ii'fJ (averting the threat of d5-d4,
White intends to occupy himself in
real earnest with the g7 pawn)
13...0-0-0 The experimental 1 3 ...f8
did not justify itself in the game
Sakaev - Bareev (Retymnon 2003).
A fter 14 lL!g3 lL!e7 1 5 h5 .i.d4
.

but after 1 5 ... .ixc2!

1 6 lL!xc2

192

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 6 .i.f4 llc8 1 7 h6 .i.xc3+ 1 8 'ii'xc3 2 1 ._.g7+ .i.fl 22 .Ue I with a very


'iWxc3+ 1 9 be .i.e4 20 hg+ xg7 strong attack) 1 6 'iWxd6+ .i.xd6
2 1 l.txh8 Wxh8 22 .i.g5 White has a 17 0-0-0 .i.eS 18 lbhS lbxc2 Again
with approximate equality.
far more pleasant endgame.
14 lbxg7 d4! ? ( 1 4 . .. lbe7! ?)
The system 7 h4 is just like a
15 'iWxc6+ be 16 lba4 ( 1 6 lbe2 .ixc2
1 7 .ig5 lidS 1 8 f4 .i.b4+ 1 9 f2 d3 chameleon. Today it favours White,
20 lbc3 .ixc3 2 1 be d2 22 We2) tomorrow - Black. It seems that a
16 ....if8 1 7 lbhS .ixc2 18 b3 lidS! funeral awaits the variation, with
Provoking his opponent into 1 9 f4. strong-looking schemes - wrecked in
Then the activity of White's dark an hour. And, what is most unpleasant
squared bishop will be sharply for the players - it is very difficult to
reduced, and, besides, Black could be guided by any sort of general rule,
play 1 9 ... .i.e7, riveting White to the to tackle, as it were, the thicket of
variations on general principles... The
h4 pawn.
best
move in one position - in an
19 .i.f4 .ib4+ 20 We2 dJ+ 21 0
d2 Black's chances should not be 'adjoining' one proves to be bad, and
worse, although, of course, the vice versa. And everywhere - long
position is completely crazy (Topalov forcing tunnels...
This book is not a universal recipe,
- Gelfand, Dortmund 2002).
11 .ig2!? Very interesting. Great how to win (or not lose) in this or that
accuracy is demanded of Black in his complex variation. This book is an
choice of the following moves, assistant, and it should help you to
otherwise he risks not even getting come to form your own opinion on
what is presented and its problems.
out of the opening.
ll lbxeS!? Dubious is l l . . .lbd4?!
8
in view of 1 2 .igS f6 1 3 lbxg7+ Wf7
7 .ieJ
1 4 ef 'iWd6 (Grischuk - Bareev,
Moscow 2002). and after the simple
I S .Uc I White has a great advantage.
12 'ii'e2 lbc6 1 3 .igS lbd4! (an
important
intermediate
move)
14 lbxg7+ f8 15 es (in the
endgame after 1 5 .ixd8 lbxe2
1 6 xe2 .Uxd8 1 7 lbh5 .i.xc2
I H :ac I d4 19 .ixb7 d3+ 20 Wf3
.id4 2 1 lbd I l:tb8 the activity of the
two sides does not go beyond the
With this tempo move White
boundary of an equal game) 15 1fd6
(not good is I S ...lbxc2+? 1 6 d2 strives for a very quick development
'iVb6 1 7 lbxe6+! fe 1 8 1fxh8 lbxa I of pieces, long castling and only then
1 9 We i ! .i.g6 20 .i.h6+ '3;e7 - a pawn attack. Black usually makes
...

..

1 93

Advance Variation: 4 tlX3

a choice between 7 ... cd, 7 .. .'ifb6,


7 .Ji)d7 or 7 . ..liJc6.
I ) 7 lbd7!? is the least principled.
Black defends the pawn on c5 - and
continuously. However one cannot
say that White has found the key to
this unpretentious move.
8 h4 cd 9 lbxd4 Untested in serious
encounters is the recommendation of
van der Wiel: 9 .i.xd4 h6!? 10 lbf4
.i.h7 I I 'ii'e2 lbe7 1 2 0-0-0 lbc6
''with an unclear game"
9 h5! Exploiting the fact that te
white knight has relinquished control
of the f4 square, Black carries out a
typical flank counterattack, which
allows him to gain the important
strategical point f5.
10 f4 hg 1 1 'ifxg4 lbh6 1 2 'ifg1
.i.hS Preventing long castling. We
mention, in particular, that the
exchange of light-squared bishops
favours Black.
13 .i.e2 .i.xe2 14 lbcxe2 1Wa5+!
Played with the same aim - to
prevent White castling on the
queenside. White can only do this by
weakening his queen's flank (a2-a3),
after which Black transfers the knight
to b6 with counterplay.
1 5 .i.d2 1Wa6 1 6 hS 0-0-0 17 a3
Citb8 ( freeing the c8 square for the
rook) 18 0-0-0 l:l.c8 19 bl lbb6
.

..

Black has conducted the opening


stage in exemplary style and deserves
to have the better game. Later on he
won (Fedorov - Adianto, I stanbul
2000).
2) 7...cd! ? 8 lbxd4 .i.b4!? These
two moves - cd!? and .i.b4!? - need
to be looked at together, as one whole
manoeuvre. You see, here it is more
well-founded than with the inclusion
of the moves h4 h6.
On 8 ...lbc6 extremely unpleasant is
9 f4! ? .i.b4 1 0 .i.g2!? (the black
bishop is forbidden entry to e4)
I O ... lbge7 I I 0-0 lbxd4 1 2 ..txd4
1Wd7 1 3 lbe2 h5 1 4 c3 .i.a5 (Freitag
Shavelka, Giessen 1 993), and now, of
course, 15 f5 ! ef 1 6 g5 !
Therefore Black also hurries with
8 ....i.b4, so that on any change in
events the bishop g6 will have a loop
hole on e4.
9 'iVd2 Other moves are weaker:
9 .i.b5+ lbd7 I 0 0-0 a6 I I ..te2
lbe7 1 2 f4 .i.xc3 1 3 be .i.e4 1 4 f5
lbxe5 1 5 fe 0-0 with an acceptable
game (Motylev
Nisipeanu,
Bucharest 200 I );
9 .i.g2?! h5 I 0 g5 lbe7 I I 0-0
..txc3 1 2 be lbbc6 1 3 l:l.b l 'ii'd 7 1 4 f4
lbxd4 1 5 ..txd4 llc8 1 6 l:l.b3 b6
1 7 l:l.f2 lbf5 with some advantage
(Vlasov Shirov, Reykjavik 2003).
9 lt:Jd7 10 aJ 'ifaS 1 1 ltb1 In the
game Shirov - Grischuk ( Dubai
2002) White shed the pawn in
another way: I I .i.b5 ..txc3
1 2 .i.xd7+ (Svidler advises testing
1 2 be!? 0-0-0 1 3 f4 lbe7) 1 2 ...xd7
1 3 be l:l.c8 1 4 o-o 'ifxc3 1 5 lltb l , but
after 1 5 ... b6 1 6 1Wxc3 l:bc3 1 7 a4
lbe7 1 8 aS lbc8 he does not obtain
sufficient compensation.

1 94

..

Advance Variation: 4 lZ)cJ

22 li:)xe6! (the saving combination)


22... i.xe6 23 i.xe6 'iVd6 24 i.f5
li:)g6 25 llb4 'iVeS 26 llh4 lltb8
27 i.xg6 fg 28 'iVxh7+ f8 29 lld l
'iVe2 30 llxd5 'iVO 3 1 'iVh8+ f7
32 'iVh7+, and a draw.
3 ) 7 'iVb6!? A non-conformist
move (as distinct from 7 ... li:)d7 and
7 ...cd). Defending at the same time as
attacking - in general, Black is ready
for a scuffle.
8 f4!? (blow for blow) 8 li:)c6

l l i.xc3 12 be a6 13 lbb7 'iVxaJ


14 i.g2 li:)xe5 15 0-0 li:)f6 16 i.g5
0-0 17 i.xf6 gf 18 b4 li:)xg4 19 i.b3
The alternative is 1 9 0 li:)es 20 h5
llab8 (20 ...i.xh5? 2 1 1ht6 i.g6
22 li:)xe6!) 2 1 llxb8 llxb8 22 hg hg
23 f4 li:)c4 24 'ire I 'iVd6, and the
outcome of the struggle is completely
unclear.
19...li:)e5 More promising is
I9 ... f5!? 20 i.xg4 fg 21 lZ)c6 :res
22 'iVg5 h6 23 'iVxh6 1i'xc3 24 li:)e7+
llxe7 25 llxe7 'ireS, although finding
such a variation at the board is a very
difficult matter.
20 b5 i.xb5 21 'iVb6
..

..

..

We are following the game


Kotronias - Sundararajan (Edinburgh
2003) which continued 2 l . ..li:)O+
22 li:)xO i.xO 23 i.xe6! i.e4
24 'ifxf6 i.g6 25 i.xd5, and White
gained a definite advantage.
M ore interesting is 2 1 . i.g4!?, and
in the best case the activity of the
white pieces is enough for a draw.
22 1i'xf6 1i'xc3 23 'ifxe5 f6
(23 ...'ifxh3 24 'ifg5+ with perpetual
check, but by now he wants more)
24 llg7+! ? h8 25 'iff4 'ifxh3
26 'ifxg4 (or 26 llxg4 e5 27 'iVO
'ifxg4+! 28 'iVxg4 llg8) 26 ...1ht6
27 li:)xe6 lZ.g8, and victory is near;
.

How strange it is that this position


(we recal l one of the main lines with
the inclusion of the moves h2-h4 and
h7-h6) in the present situation has
been extremely rarely encountered in
practice. White has a choice between
9 'iVd2 and 9 f5.
a) 9 'iVd2 'iVxb2!? 10 llb1 'iVxc2
1 1 1i'xc2 i.xc2 1 2 lZ.xb7 c4! ?
(blocking White's play on the queen's
flank) 13 f5 (or 1 3 li:)bS lZ.b8
1 4 llxb8+ li:)xb8 1 5 li:)xa7 h5)
13...i.b4! 14 fe fe 15 llxg7 li:)ge7
with a promising position for Black.
b) 9 fS!? ef (the pawn is on h7
which means that Black lacks the
possibility of moving his bishop out
of an ambush) 1 0 li:)xd5 'ifa5+
11 li:)ec3 cd 12 i.xd4 0-0-0 13 i.g2
li:)ge7 (Zapolskis - Tikkanen, Finland

1 95

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 997). White misses the best immediately, otherwise it will be too


development of the attack: 14 b4!? late, for example: 9 g3 a6! I 0 'ifd2
xb4 15 xb4 'ifxb4 16 llbl c6 Wxg4! ? I I f4 d4 1 2 J.xd4 lld8
17 ltxb4 (probably it is not necessary 1 3 ce2 J.xcS 14 c3 ge7 with the
to call for a 'stoppage' after 1 7 J.xc6 advantage.
After 9 bS Black is obliged to
ltxd4 1 8 'iVO fg! 1 9 llxb4 J.xb4)
17 J.xb4 18 J.xc6 (leading to a sacrifice the rook. He can do this in
draw is 1 8 'iVO llxd4 1 9 gf J.hS three ways:
20 WxhS J.xc3+ 2 1 e2 lld2+
a t ) 9 ... J.e4 10 c7+. Worth
22 q;,n llhd8 23 J.xc6 be 24 Wo considering is 1 0 llg l !? xeS
llxc2) 1 8 ..txe3+ 19 n be 20 'iff3 I I llg3 with a dangerous initiative.
J.xd4 21 gf q,e7 with unclear For example: 1 1 ... 0+ 1 2 l:xf3
consequences. However, there is no J.xO I 3 c7+ q,d7 I 4 xa8 Wd8
doubt that this analysis could be 1 5 Wd4 'ifxa8 1 6 Wf4 J.xe2
1 7 'ifxt7+ etc.
made more exact.
IO d7 I I xa8 J.xh l 1 2 gJ
4) 7 . c6 (the main continuation)
8 de!? This time the exclusion of 'ifxh2 13 b4 h6 14 'ife2 J.e7 1 5 b5
h2-h4 and h7-h6 offers additional xe5 Draw (van der Wiel - Sosonko,
possibilities not only for White, but Amsterdam 1 982).
also Black! Very much depends on
a2) 9 h6?! A trappy move.
Black is counting on 1 0 c7+?,
Black's next move.
after which he obtains excellent
compensation for the exchange:
10 ...q,d7 1 1 xa8 xg4 12 Wd2
xe3 1 3 Wxe3 Wb4+ 1 4 'ifc3 J.xcS
with the advantage (pointed out by
Nunn). But a surprise awaits him ...
10 hJ! (after this strong move the
knight h6 will remain out of play for
a long time) I O llc8 The arising
complications were analysed in detail
He has a rich choice: 8 ...'ifh4, by English grandmaster John Nunn.
8 ...llc8, 8 ...a6, 8 ...xe5 or 8 ... h5.
Here are a few of the variations he
a) 8 Wh4?! The point of the move gives:
I O ... xg4 I I hg 'ifxh l 1 2 g3
is unclear: Black prevents the
advance h2-h4-h5, but this queen winning;
1 O ...xeS I I g3 'ifd8?! I 2 f4
sortie, at a time when the
development of his minor pieces on c6 I 3 f5 ! ef I 4 'ife2 with a strong
the king's flank is difficult and the attack.
II gJ xeS 1 2 xa7 llxc5 The
queenside in general 1s left
other capture was tried in the game
undefended, looks risky.
9 b5 He needs to make this move Taiana - Pizzio (Argentina 1 99 I ):
..

..

..

..

..

..

I 96

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

1 2 ... .i.xcS 1 3 lbxc8! .i.xe3 1 4 'iVe2 1 9 .i.xc7+ xc7 20 lDbS+ Wb6


.i.f4 I S lbd6+ <l;e7 1 6 lDbS, and it 2 1 lt:ld4 and Black's pawn and two
turned out that Black could not bishops still do not promise sufficient
complete the forcing variation with compensation for the expense of the
the move 1 6 ... .i.xg3 in view of exchange.
I 4... l:txbS l S lL!xbS lt:ld3+ I 6 fl
1 7 1i'e3 !
1 3 c3 f6 Black lost quickly i n the lt:lxb2 1 7 'iVb3 lt:lc4 1 8 'iVa4 -.nJ+
game Nunn - Sosonko (Tilburg (otherwise White himself will play
1 982): 1 3 ...lbc4? 1 4 .i.xcS .i.xcS h2-h3) 1 9 Wg l lt:ld7 20 as+ rtJe7
l S 'it'a4+ e7 I 6 .i.xc4 'iVf6 I 7 o-o 2 I lDc7 f6 (losing is 2 l ...lt:ld6 in
view of the simple combination:
'iVO 1 8 .i.xdS !
14 1Va4+ cj;n IS i.e2 llc7 16 i.b6 22 xdS+! ed 23 lle I + .i.e4 24 f3)
lle7 17 .i.bS! The black pieces do the 22 lie I deS 23 i.xeS xeS
best they can for themselves and for 24 llxeS ! (blasting the shaky
the other half of the 'team' on h6. defence) 24 ... fe 2S ...xb7 with
Yet still the initiative remains on decisive threats;
1 4....i.d6 l S i.e2 (defending the f3
White's side (Taiana - Berdichesky,
square and freeing bS for the knight)
correspondence game, 1 993 ).
a3) 9 lDxeS!? (leading to immense 1 S ....i.e4 1 6 'iVb3! (with the threat of
complications) 10 lDg3 l:tc8 l t lbxa7 1 7 'ifb6+) 1 6 ...ltc7 (losing is
D.xcS This was the continuation of 16 ... i.xh l because of 17 'Wb6+ .i.c7
the Klinger - Garcia Martinez 1 8 ...xb7) 1 7 bS ! i.xh l 1 8 xd6
(Cienfuegos I 98S), in which White 0+ ( 1 8 ...lDc4 does not save him in
was afraid of continuing the view of 1 9 i.xc4 de 20 'iVb6 dS
principled debate. But it was 2 1 iiaS) 1 9 .i.xf3 i.xO 20 'iVb6 d7
possible: 12 .i. bS+ d8 13 c3 lDf6 2 I xf7, and once more White gains
the upper hand.
14 i.d4!?
b) 8 Jlc8?! Morozevich's idea original as always, even if rather
dubious.
9 ltld4 Possibly even more
effective is 9 f4 !?
...

The coordination of the black


pieces is upset and the variations
confirm White's superiority:
1 4 ...lbexg4 I S h3 lDh6 1 6 ...a4 llc7
1 7 i.b6 1Vxa4 1 8 i.xa4 .i.cS
1 97

Advance Variation: 4 itlcJ

White, by sacrificing the g4 pawn, for victory) 20 'iVb8+ e7 21 .i.c4!?


consolidates the centre, after which .J:lxd4+ 22 itlxd4
the black queen finds itself in an
unenviable situation. In the game
Grischuk - Shirov (Moscow 2002)
the
further continuation was
9 ...MI4+ 1 0 .i.f2 'irxg4 I I 'ird2 ttlb4
1 2 .J:lg l 'irfS 1 3 .J:lc l ttlxc2+ 1 4 d l
d4 1 5 .i.xd4 ttlb4 1 6 ttlg3 'irg4+
1 7 .i.e2 'ifh4 1 8 ttlce4 with a great
advantage.
9 itlxd4 10 'irxd4 .i.xc5 I I 'ifa4+.
White wins a pawn but his queen for
22 itlf6! (only by sacrificing the
the time being remains out of play.
And Black tries to exploit this factor. knight and rook can Black achieve
l l . f8 12 .i.xc5+ .J:lxc5 13 'irxa7 counterplay) 23 gf+ gf 24 'tWxh8 'ii'e4
b6 14 ttlb5 h5! (basically suppress 25 c3 e5 26 ttlb3 'tWxc2+ 27 b4
ing any possibility of a break on the 'irxfl 28 .i.b5 'tWf4+ 29 Wa3 f5 Move
king's flank) 15 g5 The game Shirov by move, the game goes on - but the
- Morozevich ( Monaco 2002) outcome of the struggle remains
continued 1 5 . ..CiJe7 with sharp play. completely unclear.
c) 8 a6?! Black has endured a
However we would like to examine
in more detail 15 d4!? 16 .J:ld l great deal from the jump of the knight
to b5 in previous variations, and it is
.J:lxe5+ 17 .i.e2, and then:
1 7 ... .i.xc2? 1 8 .J:lxd4 lld5 1 9 l:lxd5 natural that he wants to nip this
ed 20 itld4;
attacking idea in the bud. But time is
1 7 ... d3?! 1 8 ttlc3 ttle7 1 9 f4! lle3 time ...
9 itld4 Worth considering (with the
20 f2! e5 2 1 'ifa4! (the refutation of
Black's idea, weaker is 2 1 .i.xd3? motif just seen in the game Grischuk
.i.xd3 22 xe3 'ifd4+ 23 d2 - Shirov) 9 f4!? After the win of the
'ifxf4+, and a draw by perpetual pawn the queen is left out of play:
check) 2 l ...ef 22 .i.xd3 .i.xd3 9 ...'ii'h4+ 1 0 i.f2 'tWxg4 I I 'tWd2 itlb4
23 .J:lxd3 .J:lxd3 24 cd ttlg6 25 .J:le I 1 2 .J:lg I 'tWfS 1 3 llc l ttlxc2+ 1 4 d I
with a great advantage;
ttlb4 1 5 ttlg3 'ii'g4+ 1 6 .i.e2 'iVh3
1 7 'ifd5! ? (the best chance) 1 7 ttlb5! with a great advantage.
18 .J:lxd4 'irxh l + ( 1 8 . . .ltxe2+?
9...h5 10 g5 Black continued his
1 9 Wfl ) 19 d2 .J:ld5 (after 1 9... f6 development without particular
White wins the queen: 20 .J:ld8+ .i.e8 problems in the game Motylev 2 1 .J:lxe8+ xeS 22 itld6+ Wd8 Anand (Moscow 2002): I 0 ttlxc6 be
23 'ii'b 8+ d7 24 'ii'c 8+ Wxd6 I I g5 itle7 1 2 h3 l:lb8 1 3 'iVd4 .i.f5
25 'tWd8+ c6 26 'tWaS+, true, it is not etc.
clear whether the material is enough
IO ttlge7
.

..

..

..

1 98

Advance Variation: 4 lbc3

11 llla 4!? Thus played Svidler in a


game against Macieja (Bermuda
2003), and analysis shows that he
made the right choice:
1 1 i.h3 lllxe5 1 2 f4 lllc4, and
Black is not worse;
I I f4 lllf5 1 2 lllxf5 i.xf5 1 3 i.g2
lllb4 1 4 l:tc I 'it'aS 1 5 a3 ltJa2 1 6 i.d2
lllxc I 1 7 lbxd5 'it'd8 1 8 lbe3 i.xc5
1 9 lllx f5 ef 20 i.xb7 0-0 2 1 i.xc l
'ii'a5+ 22 c3 i.f2+ 23 CiPxf2 'ii'b6+
24 g2 'ii'xb7+ 25 n 'ii'b3 26 l:te l
with a complex game.
l l . ltJxe5 12 f4 i.e4 1 3 fe i.xh I
14 lbb6 .:.a7 15 c3 lbc6 1 6 lbxc6 be
17 i.d3 i.e7 1 8 h4 White has
developed a strong initiative, but all
the same we think that in the
variation 7 . . . a6 the attention of
players should rather be switched to
9 f4!?
d) 8...ltJxe5 The very case when a
move, deeply rooted in theory as the
main line, ceases to be the strongest!
It is all very simple: leading
practitioners had already found a
stronger continuation, but there were
still no books on this theme.
White has a choice: 9 lll f4 or
9 llld4.
d I ) 9 ltJf4!?
.

Earlier this continuation was


considered harmless, but with
improvements by grandmasters
Sutovsky, Shabalov, Shirov, new
attacking resources were found for
White, and the move 9 lllf4 became
even more fashionable than 9 lbd4.
White's future plan is this: to
develop the bishop on b5, queen on
e2 and castle queenside, after which
over Black will hang the threat of a
knight sacrifice on d5. The minus of
the move 9 lllf4 is the fact that White
ceases to control the d4 square. I f
Black can so reorganise his pieces
that he threatens the fork d5-d4, then
it might not be so simple for White to
parry the threat! I t means he has to
sacrifice a piece in any case whether he wants to or not.
Black has a great choice: 9 ..d4,
9... a6, 9...lbc6, 9...lbf6, 9...ltJe7.
d I I ) 9 d4? ! In any case,
principled. True, there are not exactly
any other merits to this move.
1 0 i.b5+ ctie7 1 1 lll xg6+ hg
12 i.f4 f6 13 i.xe5 fe 14 'it'f3 (by
attacking the pawn, White gains an
important tempo for queenside
castling) 14 .. .l:tc8 15 0-0-0 Obvious,
but it is worth paying attention to
1 5 b4!? with the idea of transferring

1 99

Advance Variation: 4 tbc3

the knight to d6. Possible then are:


15 ...dc 16 l:ld I 'Wc7 17 l:ld7+ 'iWxd7
18 ..ixd7 xd7 19 'ifxb7+ l:lc7
20 'fibS+ winning;
15 ...llJf6 16 l:ld l aS 17 a3 ab 18 ab
b6 19 'Wb7+ 'ifc7 20 'ifxc7+ l:lxc7
21 cb l:tb7 22 llJa4 with a transfer to
the endgame.
1 S .l:txc5

1 6 gS! By locking in the knight,


White secures himself an enormous
advantage in force.
1 6 l:lh4 1 7 'iWxb7+ llc7 1 8 'iWa6
llf4 More stubborn is 18 .'it.'f7,
though even here Black's defence is
extremely difficult. For example:
19llJe2 'ifxg5+ 20 f4 'iWf6 21 l:l.hfl cf
22llJxd4 ..ic5 23llJc6! llxh2 24 ..ic4
1 9 l:lhe 1 117 20 l:lxeS .i.d6 2 1 lte2
de 22 1:1.xd6 'ifxgS 23 1:1.d7+! winning
(Apicella - Flouzat, France 1998).
Thus it is possible to draw the
conclusion that the move 9 ...d4 is
dubious and leads to an obviously
worse position for Black.
d12) 9 a6?! Defending against the
first part of the opponent's plan - the
introduction of the bishop to b5,
Black has nothing else to counter it.
Quite frankly it loses time.
1 0 'ife2! llJf6 1 1 0-0-0 Of course. In
return for the bishop remaining on f l ,

..

the queen and rook are already in


place, and the knight is ready to
sacrifice itself. The position has
become threatening.
l l llJexg4 Insufficient for equality
is lt.....ie7 12 ..ig2 llJexg4 13llJfxd5
ed 14 llJxd5 lbxd5 15 'ifxg4 0-0
16 ..ixd5 'ifc7 (Shabalov - Adianto,
New York 1993) 17 'ifg3!? l:lac8
18 b4. Now White carries out the
threat which we have already said so
much about.

1 2 llJcxdS! lbxe3 13 'ifxe3 llJxdS


1 4 l:lxdS 'ifc7 1 5 ..ih3 ..ie7 1 6 ..ixe6!
fe 17 llJxe6 'ifc6 (Renet - Kallai,
France 1997). After 18 l:le1 ! Black
will not avoid defeat.
d13) 9 lbc6 Here the idea is
different. Black, not relying on the
strong point d5, wants to castle long
himself and therefore first develops
his pieces on the queen's flank.
1 0 ..ibS In reply to 10 ..ig2 Black
arranged his forces in a very
interesting way in the game Sax Porper (Deitsisay 2002): 1O . ...te7!?
11 e2 ..if6!? 12 h4 'iWa5, and after
13 0-0 d4 14 g5 de 15 gf lbxf6 16 be
0-0 obtained the better chances.
1 0 lbe7 1 1 'ife2 'ifc7 1 2 h4
(Sutovsky - Rogers, Batumi 2001 ). It
is incomprehensible that Black is

200

Advance Variation: 4 ltlc3

compelled to reject his original plan1 2 0-0-0!?, as White cannot launch


a serious attack.
..

13 iL.xc6 ltlxc6 14 ltlb5 1Wa5 +


15 c3 e5 16ltlxg6 hg 17 a4 lld7. By
preparing a retreat for the queen on
d8, Black insures himself against
trouble;
13 h5 iL.e4!? 14 f3 iL.xf3 15 1ixf3
d4 16 iL.d2 de I 7 iL.xc3 ltld5
18ltlxd5 llxd5 with not a bad game.
d l 4) 9 ..f6!? 1 0 i.b5+ ltlc6 The
variation is like the previous one,
perhaps now the Black player will
succeed in carrying out his intended
plan and hide his king on the queen's
nank.
Instead of IO .c6, weaker is
IO ..fd7?! I I ...e2 iL.e7 12 0-0-0
0-0 in view of 13 h4! iL.xh4 14ltlxg6
xg6 15 f4 h6 16 iL.xd7 xd7 17 f5!
with an attack (Sutovsky - Adianto,
Batumi 2001).
1 1 ...e2 Premature is 11 h4 'ilc7
12 h5 .i.e4 13 f3 because of 13 ...d4!
14 xe4 (after 14 iL.xd4 is revealed
Black's basic idea - 14 ... 0-0-0!)
14 ... de.
l l ......c7 1 2 g5 e4 Ideal-looking
is 12...d4 13ltlxg6 hg 14 .i.xd4 0-0-0
IS .i.e3 5 16 0-0-0 xc3 17 be
.

..

iL.e7 18 llxd8+ (Degraevc - Rausis,


France 1999), and now 18...ltlxd8!?
19 lid I iL.xc5 20 lld7 iL.xe3+
21 1Wxe3 1Wb6 22 1We5 f6 23 1Wf4 e5
Though, for the sake of accuracy, we
should mention that Black still has to
equalise in this endgame.
13 ltlcxd5!? ed 1 4 f3 0-0-0
1 5 ltlxg6 hg 16 fe de 1 7 1Wg4+ (weak
is 17 0-0ltle5) 1 7 ...Wb8 1 8 xc6 (no
good is 18 b4 in view of 18...ltle5
19 1Wxe4 llh4!) 1 8 ...1Wxc6 1 9 b4 f5
20 gf gf 2 1 1Wxg6 'iVe6 A rare case in
this setup: the black king is better
placed than its white counterpart!
Black's attack is not yet threatening;
so if we assess the position as a
whole, then the game is unclear.
d 15) 9...ltle7 It makes sense to look
at the immediate I 0 1We2!? ltl7c6
II 0-0-0. Now weak is 11. . .1Wa5?!
12 i.d4ltlxd4 13 llxd4ltlc6 because
of the obvious piece sacrifice
14ltlxe6! fe 15 'ifxe6+ iL.e7 16 iL.b5
with a very strong attack (de Vreis
Kallai, Germany 200 I), but worth
considering is l l ...iL.e7!? In the game
Shirov - Anand (Wijk aan Zee 2003)
White played routinely - 12ltlfxd5?!
ed 13 f4, but was met by what was
obviously home preparation: 13 ...d4
14 h4

20 1

Advance Variation: 4 c3

14 ... d3+! 15 cd h5! Two moves


of high quality - and White has
neither piece nor attack.
But now we return to the usual
order of things (that is moves).
10 .i.bS+ 7c6 I t 11fe2 .i.e4!?
Very similar to the stronger l l ...d4!?
12 0-0-0 .i.xc5 13 xg6 hg
(Shabalov - Rubenchik, Philadelphia
1999). The best that White can do is
to 'muddy the waters' by 14 .i.f4!?
d7 15 .i.xc6 be 16 e4 11fb6
17 11fc41ld8!? 18 .i.g3 0-0.
l2 xe4 de 1 3 1ld1 11fc7 14 Wfl !?
The point of the move lies in the fact
that on 14...a6 White can retreat to a4,
and there is no check on aS. There
was weaker play in the game Asrian Khenkin (Moscow 200 I): 14 h5?!
a6, and White was forced to exchange
bishops - 15 xc6+ 11fxc6 16 0-0
11fb5 ! 17 11fxb5+. A draw from a
position of strength (for Black, of
course).
14 ... a6?! There was no sense
driving the bishop where it actually
wants to go. Better was at once
14 ....i.e7!?
IS .i.a4 .i.e7 16 c3 g6 1 7 xg6
bg 18 11fc4 11feS 19 .i.c2 rs 20 .i.b3
with the advantage (Shirov Gyimesi, Moscow 200 I).
In the variation 9 f4 Black teeters
on a life threatening edge. In the
meantime Black is managing not to
step over this edge, but the variation
develops directly with tempo-gaining
threats and one fine day the
whole system with 8...xe5 could
fall apart.

d2) 9 d4

This move produces a more


'central' impression than 9 f4.
White clearly keeps under control the
d4 square, the knight does not tread
on the toes of the f pawn but, on the
contrary, helps it march on to f5 .
Black has three reasonable
continuations: 9 ...f6, 9 ...c6 and
9 ...d7.
9 ...a6? (defending against the check
on b5) did not work in past variations
and neither does it snap into action
here: 10 f4 c4 I I .i.xc4 de 12 f5 ef
13 gf 11fe7 14 d2 0-0-0 15 fg (van
der Wiel - Timman, Wijk aan Zee
1982) 15 ...11fe5 16 gf h6 17 e2
f5 18 11fg l .i.e? 19 h4 .i.xh4
20 llh3 with a great advantage
(analysis by van der Wiel).
d21) 9 f6?! Extremely risky:
Black literally leaves himself wide
open to f2-f4-f5 and .i.b5 +. But all
the same, with each move White
endeavours to start an attack and how
right is it to pursue it further?
x) 1 0 .i.bS+ ed7 1 1 c6 (a
recommendation of Timman) 1 1 bc
1 2 xc6 "ilc7 13 gS a6 14 .i.a4 e4

202

..

..

Advance Variation: 4 lDc3

I O lLJc4 I I .i.x:c4 de 12'iFe2 lLJe4


13 0-0 (threatening f4-f5) 13 ...lLJx:c3
(matters are not essentially changed
by 13 ....i.x:c5 14 f5 .i.x:d4 15 fg f5
16lLJx:e4 fe 17 llad I .i.x:e3+ 18 'ihe3
'iVb6 19 lld4) 14 be ..i.e4 15 f5! with
the initiative;
1 O lLJc6 I I .i.b5 llc8 12 f5! ef
13 lLJx:f5 .i.x:f5 14 gf .i.e? 15 e2
0-0 16 0-0-0 lle8 17 g2 .i.f8
18 .i.g5, and with simple moves
White almost won the game
(Mortensen - Schandorff, Graeve
2002);
10 lLJexg4 (enviable optimism i s
necessary to go in for this position)
I I .i.b5+ <j}e7 12 'iFe2!? (recom
mended by Jan Timman) 12...lLJx:e3
13 ..xe3 .i.e4 14 c6 b6 15 0-0-0 a6
16 lLJxe4 ab (Kots - Shigan, Austria
1995), and here he should play 17
lLJx:f6 gf 18 llhe I w.ith an irresistible
attack.
d22) 9 lLJc6 (once a main line
move, but now in retirement) 1 0 .i.bS
llc8 I I e2 The i mpetuous I I f4! ? is
rarely played, but, possibly, for no
reason: I I .. ...i.xc5 (I I ...lLJf6? 12 fS!
returns us to the game Mortensen Schandorff which we have just
looked at) 12 f5 ef 13 gf'iFe7 (quite
out of the question is 13 ....i.xd4?
14 x:d4! .i.xf5 15 x:g7 'ilh4+
16 ..i.fl 'iFf6 because of 17 .i.d4
'ilh4+ 18 <j}d2 with a win, Hardy Clough,
Great
Britain
1994)
14 'iFd3!? .i.h5 (less attractive is
14....i.xd4 15 'iFxd4 .i.xfS 16 o-o-o
<j}f8 17'iFf4) 15 lLJxd5 'iFe5 16 lLJf4
lLJf6!? (Black obtains the worse
endgame after 16 ....i.f3 17 lLJxf3
xe3+ 18'iFxe3+ .i.xe3 19lLJd5 .i.c5
...

In this position White, in the game


Lima - Milos (San Paulo 2001),
embarked on a mistaken combin
ation: 15 lLJx:d5? ed 16 'iFx:d5, and
after 16 ....i.d6 17 o-o-o 0-0 18 f3
.i.c5! found himself on the brink of
defeat.
A more modest approach is
necessary: I S lLJxe4 .i.xe4 16 f3 .i.g6
1 7 'iFd4 f6 (on no account 17...
.i.x:c2?! 18 b3) 18 gf gf 19 c4, though
after 19 .i.cS 20 'iFg4 f7 21 .i.f4
.i.d6 Black's position is no worse.
y) 1 0 f4!? The most principled.
Now on every retreat of the knight e5
White has some reply:
..

IO lLJed7 I I f5 ef 12 c6! (an


unpleasant
intermediate
move)
12...bc 13 lLJx:c6 'iFc7 14 .i.b5 a6
15 'iFe2! 'iFd6 16 .i.a4 f4 17 .i.x:f4+
'iFe6 18 g5 with a great advantage
(Khalifman - Adianto, Bali 2000);
.

203

..

..

Advance Variation: 4 lLlc3

20 0-0-0) 17 lLlxh5 lLlxh5 18 0-0-0


0-0 and after all his experiences
Black has a completely acceptable
positi on.
l l lLlf6 It is not clear whether it is
worth including l l ...h5!? At some
time Black will occupy the very
important f5 square, but he is even
further behind in development.
1 2 0-0-0 xeS 1 3 h4 This time the
standard 13 f4 promises li ttle:
13 .. .0-0 14 xc6 be 15 h4 h5 16 f5 ef
17 gf xd4 18 xd4 xf5 19 :dfl
g4 20 iff2 (Ciocaltea - Spiridonov,
Baile Herculane 1982) 20 ...lLld7!
1 3 h5
...

the meantime let's return to the


thoroughfare.
d23) 9 lLld7!? 1 0 b4!? Only after
this principled move can White fi ght
for the advantage. It is very important
to retain the c5 pawn, which not only
restricts Black's pieces but is also, in
sufficient measure, an original
battering ram.
10 e7!? A multi-faceted move.
Black prevents the advance h2-h4 No.I. It prevents the advance f2-f4
(because of the check on h4)- No.2.
It prepares the counterblow h7-h5 No.3. One cannot expect more from
one move.
The 'natural' lO ... lLlgf6?! in fact is
not really so natural: I I g5 lLle4
12 lLlxe4 xe4 13 f3 g6 14 c4!?
(14 h4 h5! ) 14 . ..dc (it is dangerous
to win a piece
I 4 ...e5 15 ed ed,
since after 16 'iVxd4 aS 17 b5 f6
18 d6 ab 19 ifd5 White is dange
ously close to the enemy king)
15 xc4 i.e7 16 h4 0-0.
..

...

At the beginning of the 80s the


Bulgarian grandmaster Nikolai
Spiridonov surprisingly easily coped
with Black's numerous problems. We
have just seen his game with
Ciocaltea and here is another
characteristic example: 14 gh xhS
15 f3 0-0 16 :hgl lLlxd4 1 7 xd4
xd4 18 :xd4 ..b6! with the
advantage (Kupreychik- Spiridonov,
Polanica Zdroj 1981 ).
However, looking at these games,
you will surely have guessed that we
have found ourselves hitting the edge
of a deep kerb in the variation. So in

This position was reached in the


game Nataf - Ernst (Hasselbaken
200 I). It is not quite clear why the
French grandmaster rejected the
better endgame: 17 lLlxe6! ? fe
18 xe6+ c;tJh8 19 ifxd7 :xn 20
'iVxd8+ :xd8 21 :h3, and White

204

Advance Variation: 4 /.DcJ

should gradually realise his material


advantage.
After I O ....ie7! ? White concent
rates his efforts on two moves:
II .ig2 and II h4. Recently there has
appeared a third idea - prophylaxis:
II a3! ? (in good time forestalling the
advance a7-a5, White gives the
opponent the chance to express
himself) l l ...lDgf6 12 g5 I.Lle4
13 I.Llxe4 .ixe4 14 f3 .ig6 15 c6 be
16 lDxc6 1Wc7 17 lDxe7 xe7
18 l::tc1 1Wc3+ 19 ot>t2 aS (Motylev Miton, Bermuda 2003). Whether this
idea has a future - only the future will
tell.
x) 1 1 .ig2 h5 (both sides logically
pursue their plans) 1 2 f4! ? The most
active continuation. After 12 h3 hg
13 1Wxg4 a draw was agreed in the
encounter Fedorov - Ruck (Ohrid
2001).
t2 i.h4+ 13 ot>n hg 14 lDcb5
lDgf6
..

xI) I 5 lDd6+ 'it>f8 In the game


Gofshtein - Kallai (France 200 I)
there followed 16 c4, but after
16...1.Llb6!? (pointed out by Lukacs)
the advantage passes to Black.
Instead of 16 c4 more interesting is
16 lbxb7 'iibs 1 7 c6 lDb6 18 lDa5
lL!e4 19 c.ii>g l e5 20 fe 1Wxe5 2 1 I.Lle2
l:le8 with very complicated play.
x2) 15 c6 lDb6! It is surprising that
the rook a8, which is within White's
grasp, is not taken: 16 cb l::tb8 17lDc6
'ifd7! (note that the knight on bS
remains undefended, and this proves
useful in the very near future)
18 lL!xb8 'iVxbS+ 19 g I lDc4 or
17 f5 (instead of 17 I.Llc6) 17...ef
18 .if4 0-0 19 lDxa7 l:txb7 20 I.Llac6
'iVa8 with an unclear position.
Besides 16 cb, we should look at
16 1We2! ? White defends the knight
bS and threatens to capture the pawn
on b7 with a fork on c6 to follow. At
an opportune moment there will also
arise the threat of f4-f5. And yet
Black has counterplay with gain of
tempo.
I 6...lDe4 I 7 cb l:tb8 1 8 lDc6 'iff6
I 9 lid 1 0-0 20 lDxb8 llxb8 Though
White wins the exchange, it is far too
early for him to settle down. His king
is weak, Black controls the strategical
points c4 and e4.
x3) 1 5 a4! ?

The position is very complicated,


and if we were to tell you the right
move at once then it will hardly be
the correct idea... Thus before we
show you our findings, let us discuss
how White should not play.
And White should not play
15 lDd6+ or 15 c6.

205

Advance Variation: 4lbc3

A difficult to find, but we hope,


What o n earth i s this? With his last
after the previous variations, move ( IO ....ie7) Black seemed to
comprehensible
move.
Before have prevented the advance of the h
advancing the pawn to c6, it is pawn. And here it becomes clear that
necessary to defend the knight on b5 ! after 1 l ... .ixh4 White develops
1 5 0-0! ? Relatively best. He furious activity: 12 .ib5 a6
manages to neutralise the hot bed of 13 .ixd7+ xd7 14 lba4 e8
Black's aggression, although not 15 lbb6 llb8 16 c4 etc. He has to
switch to the move...
without difficulty:
ll h6 1 2 .ig2 lDgf6 In the game
l 5 ...lbe4 16 c6 be 17 lbxc6 'ilc8
Antal - Flamborg (Nagykanica 2003)
18 lDcxa7 'ifc4+ 19 'ife2;
15 ....i.e4 16 c6 lDb6 17 cb .i.xg2+ was played 12...a5 13 lbcb5 f8
(dangerous is 13 ...ab in view of 14 c6
18 xg2lbc4 19 .ig l ;
l 5 ...e5 16 lbd6+ f8 17 lbe2!? be 15 lbxc6 'ifc8 16 lbxe7 xe7
llb8 18 f5 .ih5 19 .ixd5 lbxd5 17 'ifd4 f8 18 'ifxb4+ lbe7 19 0-0)
14 c4lbe5 15 cd ed 16 0-0 ab 17lbd6
20 'ifxd5 'ile7 21 lbc4 g6 22 lld l .
.ixd6
18 cd lDf6, and in this unclear
I 6 c6 lDb6 The only move. If
position
White for some reason first
l 6 ...bc??, then after 17 lbxc6 it
opened
the
h-file - 19 g5? ( 19 .if4
becomes
clear,
that
White ...
lbd3 20 .ig3 'ifb6) 19 ...hg 20 hg
' checkmates' the queen!
lbe4, and then continued in
1 7 cb llb8 1 8 lbc6 'ild7 1 9 lDxb8
this style: 21 'ifb3 'ifxd6 22 lDb5?
llxb8 White has done everything he
Black returned compliment with
can, and yet the outcome of the game
compliment, and did not deliver mate
remains unclear. The position of his
in two moves (22...lDO+! 23 .ixO
king is far from perfect, his light
'ifh2), but still won shortly after squared bishop is hermetically
modestly, without mate.
sealed. After say 20 .ixb6 (20 lbxa7
1 3 g5lbh5 14 'ife2 No good comes
lbxa4!) 20 ab 21 llaJ 'ifxb7 the
from hunting the knight h5: 14 .tO?!
game is in full swing. But this means
hg 15 hg .ixg5 16 .ixh5 .ixe3 17 fe
that instead of I I .ig2 he should look
'ifg5 18 .to llxh l + 19 .ixh I 'ifxe3 +
for something else. And, it seems, it
20 lbce2 a5 with a serious initiative.
has already been found!
14 lbe5 1 5 gh gh ( l 5 ...lbc4!?)
y) 1 1 h4! ?
1 6 llg1 ! lDf6?! Possibly the last
attempt to somehow change the
character of the game lies in 16 ... a5!?
A fter 17 b5 'ifc7!? 18 b6 'ifxc5
19 lbdb5 'irc4 he can survive, as the
combination 17 lbxe6!? fe 18 .id4
comes up against 18 ...lbd3+! 19 cd
lDf4!
In the further play we do not look at
Black's chances; White completes his
...

...

...

206

Advance Variation: 4 ll:lc3

development and goes for mate:


17 .i.f4 llJc6 18 llJcbS .i.hS 19 .i.tJ
.i.xtJ 20 'iVxtJ llJxd4 2 1 llJxd4 llJe4
22 'ilfhS .i.xh4 23 0-0-0 .i.xfl?
(23 ....i.g5 would slow the process)
24 llJxe6 'iff6 25 ll:lc7+ Wf8 26 .i.eS
i.e3+ 27 Wb2 'ifc6 28 .i.g7+. Black
resigned (Grischuk - Dreev, Togliatti
2003).
The road on which Black travels by
choosing 8 ...llJxe5, is steep and
tortuous. Until recent times there was
nothing else; he had to endure
through will-power. Though it is easy
to say - endure! Young, strong
grandmasters dig Black's grave both
on the path 9 llJf4, and on the path
9 llJd4. Yes, they will dig anywhere.
Yet here, quite recently, Black has
made a detour, but a very convenient
route march.
e) 8...h5!?

Probably, someday, justice will be


found in this move. But meanwhile,
unlikely as i t may seem, it all comes
together successfully for Black in this
variation.
9 llJf4!? .i.h7! The main move of
the variation. And it was devised by
Viswanathan Anand! First we discuss
9 . d4 10 llJxg6 fg, and then:
.

II .i.d3 llJxeS (de Vries Maksimenko, Lvov 2001) 12 .i.f4


'iff6 13 i.xeS 'iVxeS+ 14 'ire2
'ifxe2+, and Black should hold the
somewhat inferior endgame;
II 'ilfd3 ! ? (a very interesting
positional sacrifice of a piece)
l l...Wt7 12 0-0-0 de 13 'irxc3 'file?
14 .i.c4 'ifxeS 15 .i.d4 'iVf4+ 16 WbI
lieS 17 g5 'irxg5 18 llhg I 'iVh 4
19 llge I llJf6 20 'iVb3 llJd8 21 .i.eS
Wg8 with an unclear game (Shirov
Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 2003).
After 9 ....i.h7! practice has for the
time being receded into the
background and before us is spread a
boundless sea of analytical lines.

10
llJbS!?
The
strongest
continuation. Upon other replies
Black has sufficient counterplay:
10 i.g2 hg II 'iVxg4 llJh6 (there is
no need to go after pawns: l l ...llJxe5
12 'iVbS; l l .. . .i.xc2 12 'ilfe2 .i.f5
13 o-o-o) 12 'iVhs .i.f5;
10 .i.bS hg II 'ifxg4 .i.xc2 12 'ire2
(not for the first time, the
combination 12ll:lxe6? fails to work:
12...fe 13 'irxe6+ llJe7 14 .i.g5 'ireS)
12 ...i.f5 13 0-0-0 a6 (if he does not
like the fact that White can take on
c6, then he can play first l3 ...llJe7! ?,
and only then 14 . . .a6) 14 .i.a4

207

Advance Variation: 4 ltX-3

(however, we see nothing terrible physically get at the enemy king - he


there after 14 xc6+ be 1S f3 'ilc7 can travel these roads:
16 d4 l'Je7 17 h4 h7 18 11fd2
12 l'JxdS ed 13 cd l'JxeS 14 Wa4
l'JfS) 14 ...l'Je7 IS h4 (weak is 1S b4 l'Jf3+ 1S q;e2 ..tg7;
11fc7 16 bS because of the simple
I 2l'Jxe6 fe I3 'ilxg4 f5 14 WxgS
16.. .11fxeS) IS...11fc7 16 11ff3 'iixeS 11fxgS 1S xgS l:1c8;
17 d4 'ilc7 18 l'JcxdS!? (18 l'JhS
12 cd gf 13 de fe 14 'irxd8+ l:1xd8
0-0-0) 18... ed 19 l'JxdS l'JxdS 1S c7 ef+ 16 xt2 l:tc8 17 g2
20 'ilxfS 'ilf4+ 21 'iVxf4 l'Jxf4 with a
xeS+ 18 e2 b6 19 b7 '1Je7
win.
20 lladI c2 21 l:td2 a4 - in all
I O hg.
cases with an advantage, close to
decisive.
I I 11fxg4 l'Jh6 1 2 11fh5 Everything
is in order for Black after 12 11fe2
l:iJfS 13 0-0-0 'ilaS (weaker is
13...l'Jxe3 14 11fxe3 Was because of
1S a3! 0-0-0 16 b4 Wa4 17 Wb3
'ilxb3 18 cb) 14 a3 a6 I S l'Jd6+
xd6 16 cd d4
1 2 f5 1 3 l%g 1 g6 1 4 'ii'e2 g7
Hopeless now is II l'Jd6+ xd6 15 0-0-0 f8 This will be the cosiest
12 ed in view of 12 ...e4 13 'ilxg4 place for the king. Although even
l'Jf6 14 'ilxg7 l:1g8 IS l'Jxe6 l:1xg7 after 1S...O-O he is under no threat;
16l'Jxd8 l%xd8 17 f3 xf3 etc.
thus, 16 l:iJhS does not work in view
On the other hand, II c4!? is quite of 16...g4 17 l:txg4 '1Jxg4 18 'iVxg4
interesting. The usual argument, l:iJxeS. Relatively weaker, possibly, is
perhaps, is that Black cannot snap only IS ...11faS 16l'Jd6+ e7 17 iVbS.
into action:
16 c4 Absolutely not 16 '1Jd6
II...l'JxeS 12 11fa4l'Jf3+ 13 e2;
because of 16...xeS.
l l ...e4 12 cd ed 13 l'JxdS l:tc8
16 'ila5 17 cd. It is possible not to
14 'ifxg4 xdS (or 14 ...xh l
give up a2 - 17 a3, but then 17...de
1S 0-0-0 xdS 16 llxdS 11fxdS
18 'it'xc4 l'JxeS (or even 18...'1Jg4
17 'ifxc8+ 11fd8 18 l'Jc7+ q;e7
19 '1Jxg6+ fg 20 l:lxg4 l:iJxeS) 19 'ilb3
19 i.gS+ l'Jf6 20 ef+ gf 21 'ifxb7 fg
22 l'JdS+ <iPe6 23 Wxc6+ <iti>eS '1Jhg4 20 d2 'ild8 21 b4 'ilb4
24l'Je3 with mating threats) 1S 0-0-0 22 c6+ liPg8 23 cb llb8. Not a
l'JxeS 16 WfS xeS 17 WxeS+ l'Je7 position, but continual devastation
18 xeS l:txcS+ 19 l'Jc3 f6 20 1i'e3, (for White).
After 17 cd it is important for Black
and it is not easy for Black.
On II c4!? it is necessary to reply to guess the right direction of the
l l ...gS!?,
and
White
cannot attack:
..

..

208

Advance Variation: 4 tDc3

1 7...'iVxa2!? (the right guess) 18 de


be 1 9 o .ixeS 20 d2 (running
from mate; bad is 20 thd4 l1b8)
20...l1b8 21 'iVxe6 'iVaS+ 22 We2
(22 c l ?! tbg4).

1 7 lhb4 (not the right guess)


18 b3 ( 18 tbc3 tbxa2+ 19 tbxa2
xa2 20 "ifb5 ed 21 'iixb7 l1e8
22 thxd5 .ixe5) 1 8 tbxa2+. In the
long forcing variation after 18...a6
White wins: 19 lhc3 .ixe5 20 tba4
b5 21 tbxe6+ fe 22 .ixh6+ l1xh6
23 ..Wxe5 ba 24 de ab 25 ..,f6+ Wg8
26 'ifxfS, and now:
26 ...b2+ 27 Wxb2 'ifxa2+ 28 lit?c3
'ifa3+ 29 lit?c4 'ira2+ 30 xb4 llb8+
3 1 Wc3 'ifa3+ 32 'it>d4;
26...tbxa2+ 27 b2 'ifc3 + 28 <it?bl
h7 29 'ii' e4 l1a7 30 l1g3 'ifxc5
3I 'ii' c4;
26...'ira3+ 27 'iitd2 'ifb2+ 28 We3
lhc2+ 29 e4 ba 30 .ic4 (only
leading to a draw is 30 'iff7+ 'ii>h8
31 e7 'ifb7+ 32 d3 'iVd7+ 33 'ii>xc2
'iVxd l+! 34 'ii>xd l a l'iV+) 30 ...11h4+
31 f4 'iVc3 32 l1xg6+ h8 33 'iff6+
'ifxf6 34 llxf6 a l'iV 35 l:lxal lhxal
36 e7 g7 37 llf7+, and his e and f
pawns should hatch new queens.
19 'it>b2 a6 (there is a draw by
repetition of moves for Black:
19 ..tbb4 20 de 'iVa2+ 21 Wc3 'iVa5)
20 .id2 'iVxbS 21 Wxa2 (21 ..e3
'ife8 22 <iii'xa2 ed) 21 'iVxe5 22 de!?
(22 :te l 'iVd4 23 de tbg4) 22 'iVe2+
23 aJ 'it>g8 24 e7!? (in no case
24 llcl .if8+ 25 b4 .ixb4+!) with
chances for both sides;
..

..

22...'iVxb5+!? Better a bird in the


hand, than mate on the board:
22 ...l1xb5? 23 tbxg6+! .ixg6
24 l:.xg6! ! fg 25 l1d7 l:tb8 26 'iVxe6
etc.
23 'iVxbS l1xb5 24 l1d8+. White
also does not equalise after 24 f3
ltb4! ? 25 thd3 (or 25 .id3 .ig4+ 26
llxg4 tbxg4 27 Wxg4 .ixf4 28 .ixf4
eS) 25 ....i.e4+ 26 e2 .i.xd3 +
27 Wxd3 'it>g7.
24 ... We7
25
llxh8
.i.xh8
26 lhxg6+ .ixg6 27 .ixh6 l1:xb2+.
Black retains definite chances of
victory.
The story of the variation 6... c5 can
be presented as some sort of spiral. At
its first turn White tried to annoy the
bishop g6 with the move 7 h4. And he
tried quite successfully, it is
necessary to say. But gradually Black
cut his opponent down to size whether with the quiet 7...h6, or the
counterattacking 7...h5.
And then White on the 8h move
came to try other ideas - a long way

209

Advance Variation : 4 ltJc3

from the bishop g6 but unpleasantly


close to the black king. All the time
he had to search for a defence, but at
the very least defences were to be
found. This was the second tum of
the variation.
Then White began to understand: if
he wanted to deliver mate by means
e3, 'ife2, 0-0-0 etc., the inclusion of
the moves h2-h4 and h7-h6 (or h2-h4
and h7-h5) nearly always played into
Black's hands! So was born the idea
of an immediate 7 e3. And this is
the third tum of the variation.

And so it continues to this very day


- but there is the strong feeling that
the variation is on the point of
passing on (if it has not passed on
already) to the next turn in its
development. If fresh, powerful ideas
can be found as early as the 8th move
(we have in mind Anand's idea
7. ..ltJc6 8 de h5! ? 9 ltJf4 h7! ), then
this signifies that the variation has
stored-up potential for the next
gallop. But what kind of gallop will
this be - upwards? Or again - in a
spiral?

21 0

Advance Variation: 4 tbc3

Index to Chapter Four


I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS .irs 4 c3
A.4 . . . a6
115
115
1 ) 5 .i.d3
116
2) 5 ge2
3) 5 h4
116
4) 5 lbce2
116
116
5) 5 .ie3
a) 5 . . .1Wc7
116
117
b) 5 ... e6
119
B.4 ...h6
119
C.4 .. . h5
1) 5 .i.e2
119
120
2) 5 .id3
5 . ...i.xd3 6 1Wxd3 e6 7 f3
120
a) 7. JiJd7
121
b) 7 . ..h6
c) 7...1Wb6
121
122
D. 4 . . .1Wc8
E. 4 ...1Wd7
122
5 .ie3
I) 5 . . . h6
122
122
2) 5 .. . h5
3) 5 ...a6
123
F. 4 . . .1Wb6
123
I) 5 g4
123
5 . ...id7 6 a4 'ii'c7
a) 7 .ig2
124
b) 7 c5
124
124
2) 5 .id3
3) 5 f3
125
5 .. . e6 6 .i.e2
a) 6.. .e7
125
7 0-0
at) 7...i.g4
.
126
a2)7...d7
126
b) 6...h6
127

I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS .irs 4 c3 e6
5 g4 .i.g6 6 ge2
I. 6...1i'h4
128
II. 6...h6
129
III. 6...d7
130
7 h4
A. 7 . . . f6
130
B. 7...h5
130
c. 7.. . h6
131
132
IV. 6....i.e7
A. 7 .i.g2
132
132
B. 7 f4
132
C.7 .i.e3
v. 6 ....ib4
133
7 h4
A. 7....ie4
134
B. 7 . . ..ixc3+
134
c. 7...h6
135
VI. 6...f6
136
A. 7 h4
136
1 ) 7 . ..c5
136
a) 8 ef
136
b) 8 f4
136
c) 8 .i.g2
137
2)7...7
137
3) 7 . ..fe
138
8 h5 .if7 9 de
a) 9....ib4
138
139
b) 9 . . .c5
139
c)9 ...7
B. 7 f4
140
I) 7.. ..i.fl
140
a) 8 ef
140
b) 8 1We2
141
142
2) 7...fe
a) 8 de
142

2 11

Advance Variation: 4 lLX3

b) 8 lDxg6
c) 8 lDxe6
VII. 6 ...lDe7
A. 7 ..i.e3
B. 7 lDg3
c. 7 g2
D. 7 h4
E. 7 f4
I ) 7 ...lDa6
2) 7 .. h5
8 f5 ..i.h7
a) 9 f6
b) 9 fe
c) 9 lDf4
d) 9 ..i.g5
3) 7 ...c5
a) 8 h4
b) 8 lDg3
F. 7 lDf4
7 . . . c5
I) 8 h4
8 . . . cd 9 lDb5 lDec6 I0 h5
e4 II f3
a) 11.....i.xf3
12 'irxf3 lDxe5
al) 13 'ife2
a2) 13 'iff2
a3) 13 'iVg3
b) l l . . .a6
bl) 12 fe
b2) 12 lDd6+
2) 8 de
a) 8 ...lDec6
9 h4
al) 9 . . .lbxe5
a2) 9...'ira5
a3) 9 . . .'irc7
a31) 10 ..i.g2
IO . ..'ifxe5+
x) I I lbce2
y) II Wfl
a32) 10 h5
.

142
143
145
146
146
147
147
148
148
149
150,
150
150
150
15 1
15 1
152
154
155

155
155
155
156
158
158
158
160
160
160
162
162
162
162
164
165

b) 8...lDd7
9 h4 lDxe5
bl)10 h5
b2) 10 ..i.b5+
b3) 10 ..i.g2
VIII. 6...c5
A. 7 h4
I) 7 ...lDc6
8 h5 ..i.e4
a) 9 lDxe4
b) 9 llh3
2) 7 . ..cd
8 lDxd4 h5 9 f4 hg 10 ..i.b5+
lDd7 11 f5 l:txh4 12 llfl ef
a) 13 f4
b) 13 e6
3) 7 ...h6
a) 8 f4
b) 8 lDf4
c) 8 ..i.e3
cl) 8...lDc6
c2) 8 ...cd
c3) 8...'itb6
4) 7 ... h5
8 lDf4
a) 8... cd
b) 8...lDc6
9 lDxg6 fg I0 lDe2
bl) 10 .. hg
b2) 10 ...cd
b3) 1o . . .'itb6
b4) 10 . . .lDge7
c) 8 .....i.h7
9 lbxh5
cl) 9...cd
ell) 10 'irxd4
c12) 10 lbb5
c2) 9 . . .lbc6
B. 7 ..i.e3
1) 7 . ..lbd7
2) 7 ...cd
3) 7 ...'itb6
.

212

166
166
166
167
168
169
169
169
170
171

173
174
176
176
178
178
178
179
180
182
182
183
183
184
184
186
187
188
188
189
191
193
194
194
195

Advance Variation: 4 llJc3

a) 9 ifd2
b) 9 f5
4) 7...lLlc6
8 de
a) 8...'ifh4
9 lLlb5
al) 9 ... e4
a2) 9...lLlh6
a3) 9...lLlxe5
b) 8...1lc8
c) 8 ...a6
d) 8 . . .lLlxe5
dl) 9 lLlf4
dll) 9.. .d4
dl2) 9...a6
dl3) 9...lLlc6
dl4) 9 . ..lLlf6

195
195
196
196
196
196
197
197
198
199
199
199
200
200
20 1

213

diS) 9. . .liJe7
d2) 9 lLld4
d21) 9 . . .lLlf6
x) 10 b5+
y) 10 f4
d22) 9 . ..lLlc6
d23) 9 . . .lLld7
10 b4 e7
x) I I .i.g2
l l ...h5 12 f4 h4+
13 fl hg 14 lLlcb5
lLlgf6
xl) 15 lLld6+
x2) 15 c6
x3) 15 a4
y) I I h4
e) 8.. . h5

201
202
202
202
203
203
204
205

205
205
205
206
207

Chapter Five
Advance Variation:
4lbt3
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .i.fS 4 lDf3

Black, is linked to the development of


pieces. The advance c6-c5 is by no
means convincing, it needs to be
properly prepared; in this respect it is
very important to safeguard the light
squared bishop from exchange by
means of h7-h6.
After 4 e6 the following moves
are possible for White: 5 c3 (I), 5 a3
(II) and the main l ine 5 .i.e2 (III). For
the present 5 .i.e3 has not found
popularity, since Black can try to
exploit the rather unfavourable
position of the white bishop on e3:
5 ...lDe7!? 6 lDbd2 .i.g6! ? The game
Anand - Leko (Dortmund 1998) then
continued 7 lDh4 lDf5 8 lDxfS .i.xfS
9 c3 .i.e? I0 .i.e2 0-0 l l 0-0 f6 12 ef
.i.xf6 13 f4 'ifb6 14 b4 aS 15 a3 c!Dd7
16 g4 .i.g6 17 lDb3 ab 18 ab 'flc7
with a defensible position.
..

In contrast to the complications


after 4 lDc3 e6 5 g4 .i.g6 6 lDge2,
chess theory looks at the system with
4 lDO as an island of solidity. White
completes a free and easy develop
ment and hopes to obtain the
advantage thanks to his space
superiority in the centre (the 'nail' on
e5).
Black has two plans of counte
attack. The first - a prompt break in
the centre by c6-c5. However the fact
that the d6 and f6 squares are
inaccessible to his minor pieces
allows us to regard this plan with a
fair amount of scepticism. Most
l ikely, opening the game will play
into White's hands. The other plan,
which might be recommended for

5 c3
Most frequently this move is linked
to the idea of grabbing space on the
queen's flank by means of a2-a3 and
then b2-b4 . In reply Black usually
makes a choice between 5 ...lDd7 and
S ...cS.

214

Advance Variation: 4 lLlj3

A
16 h4 ...d8 17 hS lL!b6 18 lL!e3
s lL!d7!? The h4 square is under lL!c4 19 lL!g4 'it>h8! The subsequent
control, which means that the black point of the plan is the important
bishop at present does not threaten strategical manoeuvre 'iVg8-h7. After
seizing the h7-bl diagonal Black's
anything.
6 ..t-d3 This move has been advantage becomes unquestionable.
employed
by
the
Lithuanian
8
grandmaster Sarunas Sulskis, true,
S cS This is the most logical
without particular success . In our
view, more in accordance with the continuation.
1) 6 ..t-e3 Although it does not
demands of the position is 6 ..t-e2.
promise an advantage, the arising
6 lLle7 7 lL!aJ ..t-xd3 8 'iVxd3
variations are quite sharp and require
careful analysis:
6 cd!? After 6...'iVb6 he should not
defend the b2 pawn: 7 a4+ lL!c6
8 ..t-bS, since this gives Black a tempo
for development: 8 ...l:tc8 9 lL!bd2 a6
10 ..t-xc6+ xc6 11 'iVxc6+ l:txc6 12
de ..t-xcS (Torre - Lalic, Moscow
1994). It is necessary to play 7lL!a3!,
and the capture on b2 is attended by
In the game Sulskis - Dautov great danger, for example: 7...'iVxb2?!
(Eiista 1998) Black decided to shift 8lL!bS lLla6 9 de l:td8 I 0lL!d6+ ..t-xd6
the accent from the break c6-c5 to the 11 cd ..t-c2 12 ...c l etc.
break f7-f6: 8 ...lL!g6 9lL!c2 f6 10 0-0
In the game Tkachiev - Adianto
fe I I de ..t-e7 12 lL!cd4 lL!cS 13 'iVe2 (Jakarta 1994) after 6...6 7 lL!a3
'iVd7 14 g3 lL!e4 15 h4 cS 16 lL!b3 Black decided to close the position 0-0 17 lL!bd2 lL!xd2 18 lL!xd2 :rs, 7...c4, but he did not achieve
and after 19 f4 hS! it became clear equality: 8 ...a4+ lL!c6 9 b3 'iVaS
that his idea had been successful.
10 ...xaS lL!xaS 11 lL!bS 'it>d7 12 be
And yet more natural looks 8 c5
lL!xc4 13 j_xc4 de.
9 0-0 lL!c6 In the game Sulskis Butnorius (Vilnius 1999) White could
not find anything to oppose the
logical play of his opponent: 10 .i.gS
'iVb6 l l lLlc2 h6 12 ..t-f4 .i.e7 13 b4
cb 14 cb 0-0 15 a3 :res By
transferring the king's rook to c8,
Black prepares the retreat of his
queen to d8 for defence of the king's
flank. At the same time he frees the
b6 square for a knight manoeuvre.
...

..

..

..

215

Advance Variation: 4ll:Jj3

14 d5! (White obtains the d4 square


for his pieces and at the same time
deprives Black of the possibility of
occupying the d5 square) 14 ... ed
15 l:td I .i.e6 16 ll:Jxa7 ll:Jh6 I 7 l:lb I
llb8 18 0-0 ll:Jf5 19 .i.b6 h5 20 D.fd 1
D.h6 21 a4 .i.e7 22 a5 with the
advantage.
7 ll:Jxd4 ll:Je7 8 ll:Jd2 ll:Jbc6 9 f4
ll:Jxd4 1 0 cd ll:Jc6 1 1 .ie2 1fb6!
1 2 g4! ? The game Kharlov Galliamova (Kazan 200 I ) now
continued 12....i.g6 13 0-0 h6 14 f5
.i.h7 15 llf3 .i.e7 16ll:Jb3, and White
obtained play full of initiative.
Therefore more promising is
1 2 .i.e4!?, and judging by an
analysis of Lukacs, Black gains full
value counterplay everywhere:
13 ll:Jxe4 de 14 'ifc2 .i.b4+ 15 'it>n
ll:Jxd4 16 .i.xd4 'ii'xd4 17 l:td I 'ii' b6
18 'ifxe4 0-0 19 .i.d3 g6 20 h4 llad8
or
13 o-o h5! ? I 4ll:Jxe4 de 15 g5 lld8!
2) 6 aJ (preparing b2-b4) 6 ll:Jc6
Or 6 ...cd 7 cd ll:Je7 8 .i.e3 ll:Jec6
9 .i.d3 .i.xd3 I 0 'ii'xd3 .i.e7 I I ll:Jc3
ll:Jd7 12 0-0 0-0 13 ll:Je2 D.e8 14 ll:Jf4
ll:Jffi 15 g3 ll:Jg6 16 ll:Jh5, and in the
game Short - Gulko (New York
1994) White achieved a good
position.
7 b4 cd 8 cd ll:Jge7 9 .i.e2 ll:Jc8
1 0 ll:Jbd2 Precisely here! On c3 the
knight would of course be beautifully
placed but now the most important
.

thing is control over the c4 square.


1 0 ll:Jb6 1 1 .i.b2 .i.e7 1 2 D.c1 ltc8
13 0-0 0-0

This position has been repeatedly


tested in practice. The verdict Black's struggle for equality ends in
success:
14ll:JbJ?! ll:Jc4! Black immediately
exploits the possibility of dropping
the knight on c4, without worrying
about the loss of a pawn. Two bishops
and control of the d5 square are
compensation for the material loss.
We should mention that for such
positions this pawn sacrifice is
standard.
IS .i.xc4 de 1 6 l:bc4 'ifdS 1 7 D.cJ
aS! with sufficient compensation
(Hamdouchi - Adams, Cap d'Agde
1994);
14 .i.cJ White intends to mobilise
his queenside pawns, but Black is on
the alert:
14 a6 1 S 'ilbJ l:la8! 16 a4 aS!
(one of two important squares either b4 or c4 - passes to Black's
control) 1 7 ba ll:JxaS 1 8 bs ll:Jbc4
19 ll:Jxc4 ll:Jxc4 20 ll:Jd2 (Smirin - de
Boer, Wijk aan Zee 1993) 20...ll:JaJ!
2 1 'ii'x b7 (inferior is 21 'ifb3?! 'ifd7
22 aS l:tfc8) 2 l . ltb8! with equality;
14 l:tel 'iid7 1 S ll:Jn ll:Jb8 (the
exchanges along the c-file have
levelled down White's advantage in
space) 1 6 ll:JeJ l:lxc l 17 .i.xc 1 .ig6

216

Advance Variation: 4 t:oj3

18 b5 l:tc8 19 ..,3 'ikc7 20 .i.d2


t:o8d7 (Hubner - Hracek, Germany
1994).
One might say that the usual
scenario of games in the variation
5 c3 is a path leading from a slight
advantage for White to a draw.
II

5 a3!?

Short - Leko (Cap d'Agde 1996)


Black chose 6... .i.xb 1 ?! 7 l:txb I t:oc6,
but after 8 'ikb3! 'ikb6 9 'ikxb6 ab he
was not able to hold the endgame:
I 0 cd ed II .ibS t:oe7 12 0-0 t:{jf5
13 l:td l 0-0-0 14 de be 15 .ixc6 be
16 g4! t:oh6 17 h3 .ie7 18 b4! etc.
7 cd ed 8 t:oc3 More logical is
8 de .ixc5 9 b4, however on 9 ....ib6
I 0 .ib2 t:oge7 I I .id3 .ixd3
12 'Wxd3 t:og6 13 o-o 1Vd7 somehow
there do not seem to be any particular
difficulties for Black.
8 a6!? 9 'ikb3 was threatened,
with a double attack on b7 and d5 . In
the game Solomon - Gluzman
(Melbourne 2001) White did not
evaluate at true worth Black's last
move and still played 9 'ikb3? After
9....ie6 it became clear that he could
not take on b7: 10 xb7?? t:oaS, and
he loses the queen. But this means
that the move 9 Wb3? is absolutely
pointless.
9 de .ixc5 1 0 t:oxd5 ( 10 1Vxd5
'iVb6 with compensation for the
pawn) 1 0 .ie4 1 1 .ic4 t:oge7
l 2 t:oxe7 ( 12 .ie3 .ixd5 13 .ixd5
'WaS+) 12 'iVxdl + 13 <t>xd1 l:td8+
14 e1 .ixe7 1 5 .ie2 f6
...

Worked out by the English


grandmaster Nigel Short. The idea is
that if Black wants to carry out an
immediate c6-c5 then White, after
exchanging on c5, advances b2-b4
with tempo, grabbing space on the
queen's flank (since the counterattack
c2-c4 has not been taken off the
agenda at all).
It would be preferable for Black not
to hurry with c6-c5 , but first to
develop his pieces. On the whole,
however, the theory on 5 a3 has still
not been formulated. Everybody
plays their own way and as a result
the practice of the variation has
developed in a number of separate
areas in which the ideas are only
weakly connected to one another.
A
5 c5 (not too clever but, of course,
possible) 6 c4 t:oc6!? In the game
.

...

..

White has an extra pawn, but Black


has not bad play in return. Is it

217

Advance Variation: 4 {jjf3

enough? Yes, but strong players have


nevertheless stopped playing 5 ...c5.
We draw the conclusion that White's
play can (and must) be improved.
8

S {jjd? Black has rather the worse


..

position after 5 ...{jje7 6 {jjbd2 {jjd7


7 {jjh4 c5 8 c3 a6 9 {fjxfS {jjxf5
I 0 {fjf3 lieS I I .i.d3 cd 12 .i.xf5 ef
13 {jj xd4 g6 (Short - Karpov, Dos
Hennanas 1997) 14 e6! ? {jjc5 (or
14 ...fe 15 {jjxe6 'ife7 16 'ife2) 15 ef+
xf7 16 0-0
6 {jjbdl The most common. Also
possible is 6 .i.e2 .i.g6 7 {jjbd2,
although after 7...{jjh6! ? 8 {jjfl {jjf5
9 {jjg3 .i.e7 10 .id3 {jjh4 I I {jjxh4
.i.xh4 12 {jje2 c5 13 c3 lieS 14 0-0
0-0 15 .i.xg6 hg 16 g3 .i.g5 17 f4
i.e? 18 .i.e3 cd 19 cd 'ifb6 20 'ifd2
'iVb3 Black's chances are slightly
better (Polzin - Khalifman, Rety
mnon 2003).
After 6 c4 there arise positions
which are characteristic of the
Queen's Gambit Accepted: 6 ... dc
7 .i.xc4 {jjb6, and then 8 .i.b3 {jje7
9 0-0 {jjed5 10 l::r.e l .i.e? I I {jjbd2
0-0 12 {jje4 {jjd7 13 h3 llc8 14 .i.d2
.i.g6 15 l::r.c I (Short - Adams,
Groningen 1997). After l 5 ...h6!?,
preventing an exchange of dark
squared bishops, Black has a
satisfactory position.
After 6 {jjbd2 the attention of both
sides is concentrated on the king's
flank:

6... h6 (wishing to retain the light


squared bishop) 7 .i.el liJe7 8 LtJn
.ig6 9 c3 cS 10 {jjgJ {jjc6 I I 0-0 .i.e?
1 2 .i.e3 0-0 13 .i.d3 cd 1 4 cd {jj b6!
(here, as in one of the variations of
the Slav defence, there is no sense in
exchanging light-squared bishops
himself since, in the event of an
exchange on g6, the f-file will be
opened to Black's advantage)
IS .i.xg6 fg 16 {jjd l 'ife8 17 'ifcl aS
1 8 {jjel gS 1 9 'ifd3 a4 Black's
chances are preferable (Short Adams, Groningen 1997).
6 ... f6! ? (the sharpest - Black
commences the struggle against the
'nail' on e5 , which prevents his
pieces from developing free play)
7 {jjbJ 'flc7 8 .i.f4 0-0-0 9 .i.g3 fe
1 0 {jjxeS {jjxeS I I .i.xeS .id6 1 2 f4?!
After this move White weakens the
a4 square, and Black takes over the
initiative. In all fairness we should
mention that also upon other
continuations Black has no problems.
1 2...{jjf6 1 3 .iel {jje4 14 0-0 l:lhg8
IS .i.xd6 'ifxd6 16 {jjd2 cS 17 c3
'flb6 with the advantage (Benjamin Khenkin, New York 2000).
The variation 5 a3 is interesting,
but no more than that.

218

Advance Variation: 4ltlj3

I) 6 0-0 Striving with all his might


to avoid concrete, move by move,
play. White simply wants to complete
his development.
6 ltlc6 7 cJ Short's favourite
continuation.

Ill

5 ..ie2

The tabiya of the system. Black


can now choose between 5 ...c5 (A)
5 ...ltld7 (B) and 5 ...ltle7 (C) .
A
5 c5!? It is clear that this
continuation should be analysed first.
Until we give an answer as to
whether an immediate break in the
centre is bad, it is senseless looking at
the other moves.
White replies 6 0-0 or 6 ..ie3. There
are no prospects in 6 c3 ltlc6 7 a3,
since with the move 7...c4! Black
blockades the queen's flank. If we
compare this position with the
correspondimg variation of the
French defence: (I e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5
c5 4ltlf3 ltlc6 5 a3 c4), then it can be
seen that Black's light-squared
bishop, instead of passively residing
behind his own pawn barrier,
occupies an excellent position on fS.
The game Short
Timman
( Hilversum 1989) then continued
K ltlbd2 ..ie7 9 b3 cb 10 ltlxb3 ltlh6
I I a4 0-0 12 aS, and after 12...f6
l31ack has a highly promising
position.
...

7...cd!? Considered the mam


continuation, but first we look at the
sidelines:
a) 7 'ifb6?! is dubious in view of
8 de!? After this exchange White
significantly outstrips his opponent in
development, pushing away the
knight c6 and gaining the d4 square.
8 ...txc5 9 b4! ..te7 10 'it'a4 f8
(weak is IO ..ltlh6 because of II ..te3
'it'c7 12 b5 'it'a5 13 11t'b3 ltlb8
14 ltld4) 11 b5 ltla5 1 2 ltlbd2! ltlh6
13 ltlbJ ltlxbJ 14 ab ..te4 15 ..teJ
..ic5 16 ltld4 With purposeful play,
White, in the game Giaccio - Sorokin
(Trelev
1995)
obtained
the
advantage.
b) 7 ..ig6, as in many other
variations, looks ideal. Black
removes his bishop from the firing
line and frees the f5 square for his
knight. In the game Anand - Karpov
(Monaco 1992) there followed 8 ..ieJ
cd 9 cd ltlge7 10 ltlcJ ltlrs 1 1 .D.cl
..ie7 1 2 ltla4 0-0 13 ltlc5, and here

219

...

..

...

Advance Variation: 4 tiJjJ

Black should play 13 ..J:tc8!? The b7 After 8...cd 9 cd lbge7 arises a


pawn is not poisoned, but inedible: critical position:
1 4 lbxb7 'iVb6 1 5 lbc5 lbcxd4!
16 lbd7 lbxe3 17 lDxb6 lDxd I
18 lbxc8 llJxe2+ 19 h 1 lDxf2+!
with a comfortable ending.
c) Also encountered is 7 ..:c8 8 a3
(with the idea of carrying out b2-b4),
and then:
8...c4 9 liJbd2 lDh6 I 0 bJ cb
II 'iVxbJ l:lc7 12 ..tb2 ..te7 13 c4 0-0
14 ..tcJ f6 15 cd ed 16 :ad l 'it>h8
with a complicated game (Short The position has repeatedly been
Hjartarsson, Manila 1990);
tested at a very high grandmaster
8...h6 9 b4 c4 10 a4 llJge7 I I llJaJ level. Everywehere White retains a
lbg6 12 lbc2 lDh4 13 llJeJ lDxf1+ slight, but stable, enduring positional
14 ..txf1 ..tdJ with equality (Nunn advantage. Here are just a few
Korchnoi, Monaco 1994).
examples:
d) Insufficient for equality is
1 0 h3 ..txfJ I I llJxfJ llJf5 1 2 b3!?
7 .....tg4, although after the very (not so dangerous for Black is 12 llbI
natural 8 .tel Black's idea is 'iVb6 13 .i.eJ ..te7 14 b4 0-0 15 ..td3
justified: he transfers the knight to f5, llJxeJ 16 fe l%ac8 I 7 <it>h I 'iVd8
threatening at a suitable moment to 18 'iVe I, Anand - Karpov, Reggio
exchange on eJ. This is how the Emilia 1991, and here leading to
struggle might then develop:
equality is Karpov's recommendation
8 cd 9 cd llJge7 1 0 lDbd2 Or 18.. . g6!?) 1 2 1lc8 1 3 ..tb2 h5
I 0 llJcJ lDf5 I I liJd2 ..txe2 12 lDxe2 14 .i.d3 g6 I S a3 ..te7 1 6 b4 with
..te7 13 liJbJ 0-0 14llJg3 lbxgJ 15 hg advantage (Schandorff - Danielsen,
f6, and once again Black has no Aalborg 1994).
problems (Xie Jun - Lutz, Cap
10 a3 (10 bJ!? Short) 10 llJf5
d'Agde 1994).
1 1 b4 ..te7 1 2 h3 .i.xfJ 1 3 lDxfJ 0-0
1 0...llJf5 l l ..tb5 ...b6 12 'it'a4 This 1 4 ..tb2 a6 1 5 'iVd2 with advantage
was the continuation of the game (Short - Karpov, Linares 1992).
Short - Stohl (Oiomouts 1996). In
e) 7 cd!? The main line. Though
this position the simplest way to in this way Black lets the white
equalise is 1 2 a6!? 13 ..txc6+ 'ifxc6 knight have the cJ square, he does not
14 'iVxc6+ be 1 5 l:tfc l d7 16 h3 hurry to exploit this.
..txfJ 1 7 llJxf3 llJxe3 1 8 fe ..te7
8 cd. Interesting is 8lDxd4!? liJge7
From the above it follows that in 9 lbxf5 lDxf5 10 ..tdJ ..te7 11 llel
reply to 7.....tg4 it is better for White (Black must hurry, while White has
not to touch his dark-squared bishop still not transferred the knight to f1)
for the time being, but play 8 liJbd2. l l ...d4!? (after the exchange on cJ
.

..

..

..

220

Advance Variation: 4lbj3

Black will have at his command the


d4 square) 12 a3 de 13 lbxc3 0-0
14 'iVO lLlh4! ? (with the knight
manoeuvre Black provokes a
weakening of the opponent's king's
flank) 15 'iVe4 lbg6! ? 16 f4 'ifb6+
17 <;i;>f) (unfavourable is 17 ..te3
because of 17 .....tc5, but worth
considering is 17 q.,h l llfd8 18 g3! ?
l::tac8 19 l:t.b I lld4 20 'ife2 lldd8
21 ..te3 lbd4 22 'iVf2 with some
advantage - analysis by Ivanchuk)
I 7 ...llfd8 with chances for both sides
(Ivanchuk- Anand, Linares 1999).
8 lbge7
..

position of the knight on the edge of


the board is not very good and time
has to be spent on bringing it back:
IO ....txe2 II lbxe2 lbg6 12 lbf3
..tb4 13 ..tg5 ..te7 14 i.xe7 'ifxe7
15 llc I 0-0 with equal chances,
Xie Jun - Karpov, Huanchou 2000)
IO .....txe2 l llbxe2 lLlf5 12 a3! ? 'ifb6
13 lLlf3 i.e7 14 b4 0-0 15 'iVd3 ltac8
16 .i.d2! with advantage (011 Campora, Seville 1992).
10 i.e3 lbb6 I I llc:J Also
interesting is I I lba4 .i.e7 12 lDc5! ?
We have looked at this position under
the move order: 9 i.e3 ltX:8 I 0 lbc3
..te7 I I lLla4 lLlb6 12 lLlc5 ! ?
l l i.e7 1 2 lba4 (exchanging the
knight, which at an opportune
moment might land on c4) 12 lbxa4
13 'iVxa4 0-0
.

...

And once again there are branches:


9lbc3, 9 ..te3 or 9 a3.
e I) 9 lbc:J A natural developing
move, but Black surprisingly easily
solves his opening problems.
White has played in different ways
9 lbc8 In the present position
there is a basic plan: the knight frees in this position, but the assessment
the f8-a3 diagonal for the dark remains unchanged: the chances are
squared bishop, and itself transfers to equal. Here are some examples:
14 i.bSiLlb4! IS aJ tLldJ 16 i.xd3
b6.
Also encountered is 9 .....tg4 ! ?, ..txdJ 17 llfel aS! 18 'iVdl i.g6
exerting pressure on the d4 pawn. In 19 'ifbJ lla6! 20 i.d2 d7 (Anandthis plan the knight is assigned a Speelman, Linares 1992), or
14 a3 a6 IS b4 aS!? (also
place on fS. This is how future events
might develop: I 0 iDe I (by means of interesting is 15 ...'ii'e8 with the threat
I 0 lLlh4 White can prevent the 16 ...lbxd4! or 16 ...lbxe5!) 16 bS
opponent's plan, however the lbb8 17 l:tcJ lbd7 18 l:[fc:J lbb6

22 1

Advance Variation: 4 ti:Jj3

1 9 d1 a4 20 t'i:Jd2 'ifb8 In view of


the weakness on a3 Black's position
even deserves some preference
(Hellers - Epishin, Malmo 1994).
e2) 9 .i.eJ t'i:Jc8 If 9 ....i.xb l
I 0 l:lxbI t'i:Jf5 (Xie Jun
Chiburdanidze,
Moscow 1994)
equalised, then it would be so simple.
In fact after II b4! White has the
advantage.
1 0 t'i:Jbd2 In Short's opinion in this
variation it is always necessary to pay
close attention to detail, and he chose
I 0 t'iJc 3 .i.e7 II t'i:Ja4 t'i:Jb6 12 t'i:Jc5 !?
(Short - Ledger, Birmingham 2002).
His opponent then made a serious
positional blunder by exchanging on
c5, whereas leading to interesting
complications
was
12 ...t'i:Jc4!?
13 t'i:Jxb7 c7 14 t'i:Jc5, and only now
14 ....i.xc5 15 de t'i:Jxb2 16 1fb3 llb8
17 .i.b5 0-0 18 1fxb2 a6 19 a4 ab
20 ab .i.d3 21 b6 .i.xf l . What carries
more weight, the extra exchange or
the passed pawn - is unclear.
I O .i.e7 1 1 lllbJ aS!? Black starts
active operations on the queen's flank
and incidentally repulses the threat to
pin by 12 .i.b5, on which follows
12...t'i:Ja7.
In reply to 1l ...a5 White, in the
game Hubner - Brunner (Moscow
1994 ), reacted not too cleverly:
1 2 llcl ? ! (stronger is 12lllc5!?), and
after 1 2 1Vb6!? 1 3 lllcS 1fx b2
14 llla4 1fa3 (analysis by Hubner)
Black can't help fearing for his
queen.
e3) 9 a3!? White's basic plan in this
branch is seizure of space on the
queen's flank by means of b2-b4.
.

..

Black has two paths: the traditional


- 9...lllc8 and the less obvious 9....i.e4.
e31) 9 lllc 8 What is White to do?
There are many ideas, and practical
material - even more, but each time,
after making the IOh move for both
sides, it has to be established that
Black is equal:
1 0 .i.gS .i.e7 11 .i.xe7 li)8xe7
12 b4 0-0 13 li)bd2 l:lc8 14 l:lc l
(Yermolinsky - Leko, Madrid 1998),
and here, in the opinion of Leko, the
most accurate would be 14 ....i.e4!
with approximately equal chances;
10 lllbd2 .i.e7 11 b3 aS!? (freeing
the a7 square for the knight c8 and,
until White has second thoughts,
preventing b2-b4) 12 .i.b2 li)8a7
13 lieI 0-0 14 lllf l l:lc8 15 t;)g3 .i.g6
16 1fd2 1fb6 17 .i.d1 l:lc7! with a
subsequent doubling on the c-file
(Shirov - Karpov, Las Palmas 1994).
e32) 9 ...i.e4!? This system of
defence was prepared for the match
Short - Karpov (Linares 1992).
10 li)bd2 t;)fS After 10 ...'iVb6
11 b4!? it is better for Black to return
to the main variation ( l l ...lllf5), since
the pawn grab l l ...t;)xd4? is
punished according to Short's
analysis: 12 li)xd4 1fxd4 13 t;)xe4
1fxa l (or 13 ......xe4 14 l:le l 0-0-0

222

Advance Variation: 4lbj3

15 Jlh5) 14 6+ d7 15 Jlb5+
ttlc6 16ll:lxb7 with a decisive attack.
l l b4

Almost the first time that White


played 6 0-0, from this point general
considerations gave way to concrete
variations.
Dubious is 11 ...lbcxd4?! 12 ll:lxd4
ttlxd4 in view of 13 ll:lxe4 de
14 'it'a4+ (also interesting 14 Jle3!?
ttlxe2+ 15 'it'xe2 'it'd3 16 'it'g4 h5
17 'iVg3 with the initiative) 14 ...e7
15 lle l .
x) l l ...'it'b6 This move was
encountered in the 4th game of the
match Short - Karpov (Linares
1992). It is interesting that almost by
force it leads to a position with Black
the exchange down, but with chances
of salvation due to the limited
remaining material:
1 2 Jlb2 Jle7 (here Spanish
advises
grandmaster
Magem
12...lld8!?) 13 llel ! White obtains no
advantage after 13 Jlc3 (Yermolinsky
- Adianto, San Martin 1993) in view
of 13 ...ll:lfxd4 14 ttlxe4 lL!xe2+
15 'ifxe2 de 16 'ifxe4 0-0 .
1 3 D.d8!? (with this cunning move
Black creates an indirect threat
against the d4 pawn) 14 Jlfl aS
15lL!xe4 de 1 6 llxe4 ab 1 7 ab Jlxb4
.

1 8 llb1 (18 Jtd3!? Short) 1 8 ...'it'a5


1 9 h4 0-0 20 Jld3 lld7 2 1 llf4 g6
22 hS In this position Karpov played
22 ...Jle7, but after 23 hg hg 24 Jle4
did not achieve equality. In analysis it
was established that the strongest
move was 22 ...llfd8!? After four
years this hypothesis was proved in
the game Short - Adianto (Jakarta
1996): 23 hg hg 24 i.xfS ef 25 llh4
Jle7 26 D.h3

Here the Indonesian grandmaster


lost his way, moving the bishop to f8.
With two consecutive pawn sacrifices
- 27 e6! and 28 d5! - Short
developed a very strong attack.
Correct was only 26 ...lL!xe5!
27ll:lxe5 'it'xeS 28 dS llxdS! 29 'it'e2!
lldl+! 30 llxd 1 llxd l + 3 1 'it'xd1
'ifxb2 32 llb3 We do not believe that
White can realise this extra exchange.
Probably, over the board- it's a draw.
y) l l ...aS 1 2 g4! ll:lfxd4 You can't
back out once.you've begun. In the
game Shirov - Magem (Madrid
1994) Black wavered at the very last
moment: 12... i.xf3?! 13 ll:lxf3 ll:lh4
14lL!xh4 'ifxh4 15 b5 lL!b8 16 f4 Jle7
Here, as pointed out by Shirov,
17 g2 lLld7 18 llf3! Jtd8 19 g5!
leads to a great advantage for White .
1 3 ll:lxd4 ll:lxd4 14 ll:lxe4 de (or

223

Advance Variation : 4li:Jj3

14 ...lJxe2+ 15 'ifxe2 de 16 lldt!?


'ifc7 17 i..b2 with the advantage)
IS i..eJ!

We analysed this posttton long


before it was tried in practical play.
For the present variation it is - key.
To the point, instead of 15 i..e3
weak is 15 'ifa4+? because of
15...<it>e7! 16 lld l lJxe2+ 17 f l
'ifc8 18 i..e3 f6 (Prie - Oshar, Nantes
1993).
1 S li:Jc6!?
Far
worse
is
15 ...lJxe2+ 16 11fxe2 11fd3 17 'ifb2!
(Bologan - Khalifman, Germany
1994).
1 6 'ifxd8+ llxd8 1 7 ba. In his
comments Yermolinsky considers
this posttton unclear, but his
assessment is not quite correct. After
17...lJxa5 18 i..b5+ lJc6 19 llfc I
i..e7 20 a4 White is better.
Drawing conclusions, one can say
that in the variation 6 0-0 both sides
have to solve difficult problems.
White, voluntarily showing self
restraint, leaves the opening with a
minimal advantage in which is
embodied something real, even if it
more often seems impossible. He can
torment Black, but win the game hardly.
Black's task is still more difficult:

from the very first moves he is forced


to conduct passive defence, not
having the possibility to play for a
'take over' To suffer and suffer
again, to finally earn half a point - is
this not too disgusting for words?
2) 6 i..e 3! The antipode of the
previous variation - White voices his
resolution to fight for the advantage
'move by move' by setting Black
serious and absolutely concrete
problems. The main replies are:
6 ...11fb6, 6...li:Jd7, 6...lJe7 and 6...cd.
a) 6...'ifb6!?

A risky continuation. In pursuit of a


pawn Black gets noticeably behind in
development. However, a sacrifice is
required from White, and this is not
to everyone's taste. However if he
rejects principles and does not give
up b2, then everything is in order for
Black: 7 de?! i..xc5 8 i..xc5 'ifxc5
9 'it'd4 li:Jd7 10 lJc3 a6! (preventing
the manoeuvre lJc3-b5-d6) II 'ifxc5
lJxc5 12li:Jd4li:Je7 13 f4 h5 14 0-0-0
llc8 15 llhe I (Topalov - lllescas,
Leon 1996 ), and here 15 ...i..g 4,
recommended by lllescas, leads to
equality.
It means, sacrifice! There are two
ways for the b2 pawn not to go to
waste: 7 li:Jc3 and 7 c4.

224

Advance Variation: 4 lDj3

a I ) 7 lDcJ Probably weaker than


7 c4, but the arising position is so
interesting in itself that an objective
assessment of the move might be
neglected. First we look at what
happens if Black accepts the sacrifice
- 7 ...'ifxb2!?, and then, if he displays
more caution - 7 ...lDc6.
a I I ) 7 JWxb2 One can well
understand that he cannot play like
this, but. .. how to refute this move?
The standard reaction is 8 li:)bS, but
then 8...c4! 9 llbl (leading to an
unclear game is the immediate win of
the rook - 9 lDc7+ d7 I 0 lDxa8
i.. xc2) 9 ...'ifxc2 10 'ifxc2 xc2
II :lb2 .i.a4 12 lDc7+ Wd7 13 lDxa8
c8 14 dl c6

It is difficult for White to save the


knight (the threat is 15 ...lJd7 and
16 . . .'iit> b8), while 15 li:)gS is easily
repulsed by means of 15 . ..lDh6 .
However when Black wins the piece,
the material correlation on the board
hardly turns out in his favour: 15 a4
.i.a3 16 l:tb I lJd7 17 aS .i.e7 1 8 g5
h6 19 .i.d2 b8 20 li:)b6 ab 21 ab
.i.d8 (Qin Kanying - Karpov, Beijing
1998).
The key to capturing on b2 was
picked up by Moldovian grandmaster
Viorel Bologan: 8 'ifbl !? 'ifxb l +

(the knight on c3 is obviously


untouchable) 9 ltxb I c4 1 0 D.xb7
lDc6 II lDbS :b8 1 2 lbb8+ llxb8
13 'it>d2 a6 14 lla7 'iii>d7 (if there is
somewhere that Black can shape his
destiny, then it is onl y here:
14 ...b4+!'?) IS %1bl c7 16 lDgS
ilh6 1 7 g4 .i.g6 1 8 Wd 1 e7
19 d2 li:)c6 20 li:)xc6 xc6 2 1 h4
with a great positional advantage
(Bologan - Palo, Skanderborg 2003).
So we see that that capturing on b2
is still not possible ...
a l 2) 7 llc6 8 0-0 c4

It is not easy to evaluate the present


position. Black has constructed a
powerful pawn chain - from f7 to c4 .
This is an obvious plus. The
interaction of the white pieces lacks
harmony - a second plus . But if
White has not developed in the best
way, then Black is not developed at
all, and this backwardness can cancel
out all his pluses.
However, in this position (as also in
the variation 6 .i.e3 as a whole)
general considerations do not apply.
Thus the move that suggests itself,
9 b3 (with the aim of opening files on
the queen's flank) is mediocre, since
Black, exploiting the unprotected
knight on c3, succeeds in defending

225

Advance Variation: 4 /3

the c4 pawn: 9...'ifa5 10 d2 b4


11 'it'eI b5. A number of good games
on this theme have been played by
the Spanish grandmaster Jorge
Magem - 12 a3 xc3 13 xc3 'ifb6!
14 'ifd2 tlJge7, and then:
15 l:ltb l 0-0 16 be de 17 a4 b4!
(Black's defence is held by this
nuance) 18 xb4 IZ.ab8 19 aS 'ifbS
20 c5 'ifxb l + 21 IZ.xb l llxb l +
22 tlJ e I .i.xc2! (Granda Zuniga Magem, Pamplona 1996);
15 lhbI 0-0! ? (a positional
sacrifice of a queen) 16 be de
17 .i.xc4 (on 17 a4 Black is saved by
the familiar idea 17 ... b4! 18 .i.xb4
IZ.tb8) 17... be 18 llxb6 ab. Black has
sufficient counterplay on the light
squares (Nijboer - Magem, Linares
1995).
9 liJh4!? Out of the popular moves
this is the best. With the exchange of
the bishop Black is denied support for
his counterplay.
9 .i.g6 1 0 ltbl .i.e7 1 1 tlJxg6 hg
1 2 'ifdl 'ifas 13 aJ a6 14 f4 bS
IS tJ lld8 16 g4 with the advantage
(Short - Burmakin, Moscow 1995 ).
a2) 7 c4!

Without worrying about materi al


loss, White strives to break up the
opponent's centre.
7...'ifxb2 8 tiJbdl (8 0-0 tlJc6!)
8...tiJe7 A strong analyst from
St.Petersburg, Andrei Lukin, also
suggested here 8 ...tiJc6 with the
sequel 9 cd ed I 0 de 0-0-0.
9 0-0 tiJbc6 10 tiJbJ!? There is no
advantage in 10 cd tiJxdS 11 tlJc4.
White activates his own knight, but
the exchange on d5 also in tum helps
Black to compete his development:
11...'ifc2 12 ll.c1 'it'xd l 13 ltfxd1
0-0-0 14 de tlJxe3 15 llxd8+ xd8
with a good game (Bagirov - Magem,
Metz 1999).
1 0...0-0-0 This looks quite risky.
But no less dangerous is IO ...dc
11 .i.xc4 tiJg6 12 d5!?, and then:

A sharp commitment by the c-pawn


- White's main argument throughout
the whole of the variation 6 .i.e3.

12 ...ed 13 'ifxd5 .i.e6 14 'ife4


.i.xc4 (no better is 14 ...tlJgxe5
15 .i.xe6 fe 16 tlJgS or IS ...tiJxO+
16 gf fe 17 11t'xc6+ .i.e7 18 tlJxcS 'iff6
19 'ild7+ wn 20 11t'd5 + with an
attack) 15 'ifxc4 .i.e7 16 ltfe 1!
(creati ng the strong threat of 17 .i.e 1 )
1 6...ltd8 (after 16 . .. 0-0 17 c1
tlJgxeS 18 tlJxeS tlJxeS 19 11t'e4 11t'c3
20 .i.d2 and White has an obvious
advantage) 17 ltJxcS (White avoids
the trap - now on 17 .i.eI? follows

226

Advance Variation: 4 lLlj3

17 ...lLlgxe5 18 lLlxe5 1ixe5! 19 llxe5


l':.d I+ with a win);
12 ..Jld8 13 de! (an interesting
queen sacrifice, giving White a very
strong initiative) 13 ...l%xd l 14 cb
ltxf l + 15 llxf l ..id6 (the only
possibility of
preventing
the
appearance of a new queen) 16 ..ib5+
We7 17 ed+ itxd6 18 lld I + Wc7
19 lld7+ itb6 20 ..if l ! e5 (no help is
20 ... ..ie4 in view of 2 1 lLlxcS <it>c6
22 a4! a6 23 ..id4) 21 lLlxcS Wc6
22 lh f7 .
In both variations White's advant
age is in no doubt.
1 1 lLlxcS de 1 2 ..ixc4 lLld5 13 lLld3
'iVa3 14 llcl

..ie4 20 cb+ itb8 21 llc8+ llxc8


22 bc1i+ llxc8 23 ..ixf4 with a
complicated game.
But Macieja preferred to sacrifice a
pawn, if only to simplify the position:
15.....xd3 16 i.xc6 ._xd I 17 llfxd I
(in the event of 17 ..ixb7+ Black
retains chances of a draw after
17 .. .Wxb7 18 ltfxd l llc8) 17 ...bc
18 dS! llxd5 19 llxd5 ed 20 lLld4.
The endgame reached for Black is
extremely bad and the fact that
Macieja saved it means little.
Understandably, the Pole did not
want a repetition of this course of
events the next time around. He
immediately found an improvement:
14 h6 I S ..ixdS ed 1 6 lLlcS ..ixcS
1 7 lbcS Wb8 1 8 lLld2 1ixa2 White's
attack is not crowned with success:
19 1icl lLlb4 20 ._c3 lLldJ 2 1 :at
2 22 'ii'aS lLlxcS 23 'ifxa7+ CiPc7
24 'ii'xcS+ <it>d7 25 1ixdS+ We8
(Volokitin - Macieja, Istanbul 2003).
And so, nowadays in the variation
6... 'ifb6?! 7 c4! Black holds on with
difficulty. This miracle of fate will
not have a very long life. A single
decent improvement for White - and
Black's defence must crack and
crumble.
b) 6 lLld7
..

Along these lines, a creative


discussion developed between the
young Ukrainian grandmaster Andrei
Volokitin (White) and Bartholomew
Macieja from Poland. The first time
they played this position was in 2001
at the European championship in
Ohrid. Macieja played 14 ...i.e7, and
after 15 ..ixd5 he was faced with a
choice: 15 ...'ifxd3 or 15 ...llxd5 ?
It seems that 15 ...llxd5 was
nevertheless possible: the very
menacing looking 16 lLlf4 lldd8
17 d5!? is parried by 17 ...g5 (weak is
17 ... ed 18 lLld4) 18 ..id2 gf 19 de

227

..

Advance Variation: 4 lL)f3

The idea of the move is clear - White to play the intermediate


Black strives to put right the I 0 ..tg5 !'! In any case, in the
coordination between his knights, so following game it brought no
that they do not get in each other's advantage at all, rather the opposite:
IO ...i.e7 1 1 .ixe7 'ii' xe7 12llJxc4
way. Quite simply, the queen 's knight
goes to d7, while the king's knight is 0-0 13 llJd6 llJf4 14 4Jxf5 ef 15 i..b5
dispatched to c6. Incidentally, llJb6 16 :.c I (Tkachiev - Nikolaidis,
6...lDc6?! is dubious in view of 7 de Cannes 1995 ) 16...1lfd8! ? 17 'ii' c2
i.g4 8llJbd2llJge7 9 c3 g6 10 'ii' a4 (17 llxc5 a6 18 .i.e2 llxd4! ) 17...cd
.ix3 I I llJx3 (Egorov - Bunnakin, 18 'ifxf5 llJe6 with counterplay, or
even I O...f6!'?
Smolensk 1997).
1 0....i.e7 Here, after IO ...b5 ?!, the
In reply to 6...llJd7 White is faced
with a choice, which we know from intennediate I I i.. g5! proves to be
the previous variations: whether to very much to the point: 11...1Wb8 (on
bum his bridges at once - 7 c4, or l l ...f6? winning is 12 ef gf 13 4Je3 ! ,
and then: 13 ...f g 14 llJxf5! ef
play modestly 7 0-0 or 7llJbd2.
b l ) 7 0-0 llJe7 8 e4!? de 9 lDaJ 15 ..txb5 or 13 ...llJxe3 14 i.xe3 c4
Logical - White wants to take the 15 d5! with a decisive attack in both
pawn with the knight. In reply to cases) 12lDe3 h6 13 i.h4 .ie4 (weak
9 .ixc4 worth considering is is 13 ...lbxc3?! 14 fe a6 15 a4! .1l.e4
9.....tg4!? (weaker is 9 ...llJc6 because 16 llJd2 i..c6 17 .ih5 g6 18 .ixg6!
of 10 d5 llJb6 I I .ig5! .ie7 12 .ixe7 with a win, Krakops - Rasmussen,
4Jxe7 13 .ib5+ f8 14 d6 with a Gausdal 200 I ) 14 a4 cd 15 llJxd4
great advantage, Kindennann - .ic5 16 .ixb5 'ii'xe5 17 llJc6 with a
Brunner, Biel 1995), linking the great advantage (Krakops - Teske,
knight f3 to the plan of carrying out Cappelle le Grande 1997).
unloading operations in the centre.
IO ...b5 does not work at all, but
After 9llJa3 the choice is not great: also IO ....ie7 is not much better:
9...llJd5 or 9...c3.
1 1 llJd6+ .ixd6 1 2 ed 0-0 1 3 de
lbxe3 14 fe llJxeS 1 5 'ifd4 'ifb6
1 6 ltae1 llJe4 1 7 d7 (Smirin Vizhmanavin, Novosibirsk 1995).
bl2) 9 e3!? (ideal and... forced)
1 0 be 4Jd5 1 1 .igS In the event of
I I ..wb3 i.e 7 12 llJc4 0-0 13 .id2
'ifc7 14 a4 h6 15lba3 cd 16 cd Black
achieves an even game with a transfer
of the knight to c6: 16...llJb8!
1 1 ..te7 1 2 ..txe7 'ihe7 13 llJbS
bl l ) 9 4Jd5 1 0 4Jxe4 It is not
clear whether it is necessary for 0-0

228

Advance Variation: 4 liJj3

The most balanced looks 14 'ifd2 White, as in the case of 14 l':.c I ,


defends the pawn on c3, but, as
distinct from the move of the rook,
prevents the sortie of the black knight
to f4.
14 cd 1 5 cd f6! ? (also here this is
the best chance of obtaining
counterplay) 16 1lac1 If 16 lbd6, then
16 ...fe 17 lbxf5 l':.xf5, and on 18 Jtd3
Black sacrifices the exchange:
18...1lxf3! 19 gf ed 20 Jte4 lbc3!
21 il.xb7 lld8, obtaining sufficient
compensation.
16 l:ad8! A strong move. Not
worrying about the loss of a pawn,
Black includes his last inactive piece
in the game.
1 7 liJxa7 (17 ef allows Black to
sharply activate his pieces after
17...lb7xf6 18 liJxa7 lbe4 19 'ifb2
liJf4) 1 7 fe 1 8 de .tg4 19 lbb5
.i.xiJ 20 .txiJ liJxeS with equality.
b2) 7 liJbd2 is met far less
frequently, with the idea 7...lbe7 8 de
liJc6 to defend c5 by 9 liJb3
..

To this point events have developed


by force, but now White is at a
crossroads. Of course, it would be
good to rid hi mself of the knight d5
(which cements Black's whole
position), but how to do this?
lt is useless to try to exchange it:
14 Jtc4 lb7b6 15 .txd5 lbxd5, and
the knight on d5 is replaced by a
second one. After 16 e4 lbb4 17 lbd6
.tg6 I 8 de lbd3 19 ifb3 lbxc5
20 'ife3 b6 (intending to take away
the support from under the knight d6
by means of f7-f6) 2 1 lbd4 lbb7!
22 ltfd l lbxd6 23 lbc6 ifb7 24 llxd6
.l:tac8 25 'iVf3 .th5! The position is
equal.
Also little is offered by 14 llc l
(White defends the pawn on c3,
freeing his knight for a jump to d6) in
view of 14 ...lbf4! 15 'ii'd2 lbxe2+
16 'W'xe2 f6! The only chance to
obtain counterplay: Black opens the
f-file and wants to liquidate (or at
least weaken) White's hostile outpost
on e5 . After 17 'ii' e3 (weak is
17 lbd2'?! fe 18 de l':.ad8, and not
possible is 19 lbd6? because of
19...lbxe5!, while in reply to 19 lbc4
follows 19 ...a6 20 lbbd6 b5 and then
another blow on e5) 17...fe 18 de
.l:tad8 19 lbxa7 lbb6 and Black has
sufficient compensation for the pawn.

..

Black, one might say, has bid


farewell to the c5 pawn, but in return
wants by all means possible to get the
one on e5 . From this comes the
branch: 9 ....tg4 or 9....te4.

229

Advance Variation: 4 l:i:Jj3

b21) 9 ... g4 Short has doubts


about this move and possibly he is
right.
1 0 .!Llfd4 Among other things, the
plan of exchanging light-squared
bishops gives White the possibility of
castling queenside.
1 0 xe2 1 1 'ihe2 lL!cxeS!?
Significantly weaker is l l ...Cf:Jdxe5?!
12 f4! l:i:Jc4 13 l:i:Jxc6 be 14 d4 with
the advantage (Short - Adianto,
Jakarta 1996).
1 2 0-0-0 l:i:Jc4 1 3 l:1he1 l:lc8

25 'ii'c 3+, and the non-conformist


black pieces cannot achieve any
harmony at all.
1 7 eS
(possibly
the
most
tenacious) 1 8 f4 'ii'h4 1 9 g3 'ii'g4
20 lidS 'ife6 (after 20 ...e7 White
sacrifices a rook in another fashion,
risking nothing in the process:
21 llxe5! l:i:Jxe5 22 'ifxe5 'ii'd 7
23 'ifxg7 llf8 24 l:i:Jd4) 21 'ii'c4
(including his knight in the attack)
2 1 . .1lc7 22 l:i:Jd4 ._a6 23 l:i:Jf5! llxcS
24 llxcS xeS 2S fe 'ii'x a2 26 e6
with a great advantage.
b22)
9 e4 ! ?
(far
more
interesting than 9 ....ig4) 10 .ibS
Making it difficult for his opponent to
regain the pawn. Leading to an
unclear game is 10 .!Llg5!? xg2
I I llg I .ie4, as pointed out by Short.
10 .ie7

This position was reached in the


game
Bologan
Galkin
(St.Petersburg 1996). The Moldovian
grandmaster decided not to sacrifice a
piece on e6, but in the meantime
analysis has shown that the sacrifice
was correct. Here are some sample
variations:
14 l:i:Jxe6!? fe 1S llxdS! Cf:Jxe3
16 'ifxe3 'ii'e 7! ? (Notkin's recom
mendation 16 ...llc6? is poor in view
of 17 lied I ! ) 1 7 lld6!?, and then:
17...Cf:Jxc5 18 l:i:Jxc5 'ifxd6 19 l:i:Jxe6
- White is a whole rook down but it is
not easy to repulse the attack;
17... l:1c6?! is even worse in view of
18 l:i:Jd4 l:i:Jxc5 19 llxc6 be 20 b4 l:i:Ja6
21 l:i:Jxe6 l:i:Jxb4 22 l:i:Jxg7+ q;fl
23 'ifb3+ xg7 24 l:1xe7+ xe7

The game now branches out,


depending on how White regards his
property on e5:
II 0-0 (White returns the pawn,
hoping in the future to exploit the
advantage of the two bishops)
l t ....ixf3 12 'ii'xf3 l:i:Jdxe5 13 'ii'g3
0-0 14 llad l f6 15 f4 l:i:Jg6 16 c4
l:i:Jge7 with an approximately even
game;
11 l:i:Jfd2 (in this way White wants
to hold on to the pawn) 1 l . ...ig6

230

Advance Variation: 4 lbj3

12 .txc6 (inferior is 12 f4 in view of


12 ...'Jb4 13 ltJd4 .txc5 14 tLl2b3
.i.xd4, and 15 lbxd4? is no good
because of 15 ...lbxc2+! ) 12. .. bc
13 .td4 0-0 14 0-0 f6! (it is desirable
to exchange the e5 pawn) 15 ef .txf6
(also worth consi dering is 15 ...gfl?)
with good compensation for the
material;
1 1 lLlfd4 (the sharpest) l l ...lbdxe5!
(Black accepts the challenge,
engaging in interesting complic
ations ... ) 12 f3 .tg6 13 f4 lbc4
14 lbxc6 be 15 .i.xc6+ f8 16 .td4
llb8 ...out of which he emerges with
the better position.
b3) 7 e4!?

In the variation 6...'ifb6, and now,


after 6...lbd7, - White's idea to open
the centre immediately, without
spending time on castling, appears to
be the most dangerous for the
opponent. In reply, Black can
exchange in one way or another
(7. ..dc or 7... cd) or just be patient
(7...lbe7).
b31) 7 ...lbe7!? 8 tLleJ de 9 i..xe4
lbe6 1 0 dS Forced, otherwise White's
centre is dismantled.
lO ed. How to refute I O ...lbb6 ?
Only not as Anand tried to do in a
game against lvanchuk (Moscow
1995): I I i..b3?! ed 12 lbxd5 i..e7

13 0-0 o-o 14 l:lc I lLixd5 15 .txd5


lbb4! The game is even .
On I O ...lbb6?! strong is I I .tg5!
.te7 ( l l ...f6? 12 ef gf 13 de fg
14 .tb5! with an obvious advantage)
12 de lbxc4 13 cb 'ifxd l + 14 lbxd l
l:lb8 15 .txe7 xe7 16 l:tc I . The
ending is in White's favour.
1 1 .txdS lbb6 12 .te4 .txe4
13 tLlxe4 tLle4 14 'ifb3 11fa5+ IS .td2
lbxd2 1 6 lbexd2 'ifb4 After
experiencing
some
unpleasant
moments (and moves! ), Black has
almost equal chances (Short Ivanchuk, Dortmund 1995).
b32) 7...ed. Virtually forced and
leading to a somewhat worse ending
for Black.
8 lbxd4 .txb l 9 lhb l .tb4+
10 fl !? Only in this way can White
fight for the advantage. I 0 .td2 - is a
dead end: I O ....txd2+ I 1 'ifxd2 lbe7
(the pawn grab is certainly
interesting: l l ...lbxe5 ! ? 12 cd 'ifxd5
13 0-0 lbe7! 14 'iVb4 0-Q) 12 cd
lbxd5 13 f4 0-0 14 0-0 'ifb6 15 .tf3?!
(Anand - Gulko, Riga 1995).

15 ...llad8! 16 .txd5 lbxe5! 17 fe


ltxd5 18 l:lbd I l:lfd8 19 l:f4 f6 with a
great advantage (analysis by Anand).
IO lbe7 1 1 11fa4 'ifaS 12 'ifxaS
i.. xaS 1 3 b4!? .te7 14 f4 de 1 5 .txe4
0-0 16 .tbJ .tb6 1 7 e2 l:.fd8

23 1

Advance Varialion: 4 {3

1 8 l:hd l It is hard to believe that


I I g5 contains the threat to win a
White can seriously play for a win in piece by means of d5-d6, however it
this position. But all the same it is dubious in view of l l ...ed 12lL!xd5
cannot be called equal (Ehlvest - h6 l 3 h4 (nothing is offered by
trying to break up the pawn structure
Gulko, Riga 1995).
b33) 7 . dc. Black's plan is on the on the queen's flank - 1 3 xe7 xe7
grand scale. He intends (waiting until 14 a4 - because of 14 ...lL!b6!
White has his minor piece on c4) to 15 lL!xb6 'iVxb6 1 6 ab Wxb5 17 1fd5
establish a pawn chain from a6 to c4! 0-0 1 8 'iVxc4 'ifxb2) 13. ..g5 14lL!xg5
In addition, he will erect a piece (a forced piece sacrifice, since in the
blockade (best with the knight g8) on event of 14 .ig3 Black calmly
his
development:
completes
d5 .
14
...
lL!xd5
15
'ifxd5
.i.g7,
leaving
A colossal idea. It is only a pity that
himself
with
the
better
position)
the lag in development leaves this
plan on paper. But he wants it - on 14 ... hg 15 xg5 e4 1 6 lLlf6+ (on
16 .i.f3 Black carries out favourable
the board.
How should White react? First we exchanges for himself: 16 ....i.xd5
17 xd5 lL!xe5 1 8 xe7 .1Lxe7
dispense with 8 lL!a3. After 8...cd
1 9 l:te I f6 20 xa8 'iVxa8 with an
9 lL!xd4 b4+ I 0 .i.d2 .i.xd2+
obvious advantage) 1 6 ...lL!xf6 17 ef
I I 'ifxd2 lL!xe5 Black will have an
l:tg8 18 1fxd8+ ltxd8 19 fe .i.xe7
extra pawn without any compens
20 h4 .ixg5 21 hg lbg5. After all the
ation. On 8 .ixc4 Black could carry
complications on the board is
out a very favourable unloading of
established a quiet endgame, in
the centre: 8 ...cd 9 lL!xd4 xb I
which on the whole it is Black who is
1 0 l:.xb l ..aS+ I I We2 'ifxe5.
playing for the initiative.
This leaves two moves: 8 0-0 and
I I a4! ? (endeavouring to break up
8lL!c3.
the fistful of pawns on the queen's
x) 8 0-0 a6 (none other than to
flank) l l .. .b4 12 de fe (weakening his
prepare b7-b5 !) 9 xc4 Let's also king, but in return not allowing the
look at the aggressive 9 d5 lL!e7! knight to e4) 13 lL!b I lL!g6 14 lL!bd2
1 0 lL!c3 b5 , and then the choice - lLldxc5 15 lL!xe5 lL!xe5 16 lL!xc4
I I g5, I I a4 or I I l:te I :
lL!xc4 17 xc4 with an unclear game;
I I lie I ! '! ed 12 lL!xd5 lL!xd5
13 'ifxd5 e7 14 lL!g5! (he must
hurry, otherwise he might be left
without a pawn and without any
compensation) 14 ...0-0 15 lL!xf7!
llxf7 16 e6 llf6 1 7 ed+ e6 with
equality (Short - Adianto, Moscow
1994).
The conclusion is clear: an
immediate break in the centre is
.

232

Advance Variation: 4 {Qf3

possible, but it brings nothing


significant for White.
9 ll:Je7 (winning a pawn - 9 ...cd
I 0 ll:Jxd4 ll:Jxe5 - is risky in view of
I I i.. e2 with an initiative for White)
10 ll:Jc3 bS Black's play is principled,
vindicating his plan to seize the d5
square. Less principled, but possibly
stronger, is IO ...ll:Jc6!?, simply
increasing the pressure in the centre.
..

weakened, but what is he to do if it is


vitally necessary for Black to occupy
the d5 square!
1 2 lt:'la4 llJdS 1 3 .igS 'iia S!? (the
best square for the queen in the given
situation) 1 4 llcl h6 IS .id2
(15 .ih4 lDf4) IS i..e7 1 6 b3! ? In
any case defending the knight a4.
Frankly speaking, 16 a3!? looks
better.
1 6 0-0 1 7 de tLlxcS 18 tLld4 tLlxa4
19 ba

...

I I d5 !? tt:'icxe5 12 ll:Jxe5 tt:'ixe5


13 'iia4+ tt:'id7 (bad is 13...b5? in
view of 14 lt:'lxb5! ab 15 i..xb5+ We7
16 d6+! with an irresistible attack)
14 de fe 15 l'ladl b5 16 lt:'lxb5 ab
17 'iixb5 l:la7, and still it is not
known whether the activity of the
remaining
white
pieces
is
compensation for the sacri ficed
knight (Bologan - Razuvaev, Biel
1995);
II i..e 2!? Leading to a complicated
game with chances for both sides is
I I .id3 c4 12 .ic2 (12 .ixf5 tt:'ixf5
13 d5!? .ib4) 12 ...l:lc8 13 l'lel b4
(gaining the d5 square) 14 lDe4 lDd5
15 .ig5 'ifa5 16 lt:'lh4 .ixe4, and
Black has achieved some success
( Kamsky - Karpov, Dos H errnanas
1995).
ll b4 After this move the pawns
on the queen's flank are abruptly
...

In the game Sulskis - Galkin


(St. Petersburg 1995) Black made a
serious mistake: 19 ....ig5?! The
pos1t1on
might have become
unbearable for him if, after 20 tLlc6
'ikc7, Black had found the simple
technical method: 21 .ixg5 hg
22 .tf3.
The best chance in the diagram
position is the pawn sacrifice:
19 lt:Jc3!? 20 .ixc3 be 21 lDc6 'iicS
22 ltlxe7+ 'iix e7 23 l:lxc3 lHd8
24 ._,cl 'ikb4 The doubled white
pawns on the a-file are not
impressive, but Black's active pieces
do impress and very much so. There
should not be any problems at all for
him to achieve a draw.
y) 8 ltlc3!? More concrete by far
than 8 0-0. With the support of the

233

..

Advance Variation: 4 &iJp

knight c3 the break d4-d5 will be far


more dangerous for the opponent.
8... a6!? 9 xc4 4Je7 10 dS!? &iJb6
I I d6! (beginning a forcing variation)
1 1 ... 4Jxc4 1 2 a4+ bS 13 &iJxbS! ab
1 4 'ihbS+ .d7 I S xc4

This posJtlon was reached in the


game Spraggett - Magem (Manresa
1995). White has two pawns for the
piece, next there will be a third - on
cS. Besides this, Black's development
is difficult because of the strong
passed pawn on d6. It seems that
these factors are sufficient to assess
the position in White's favour.
However Black's defensive potential
is high. Instead of 1S...lbc6, as played
by Magem, he should continue
I S ... lbdS!?, and on 1 6 iLxcS 1 6 ... g5!, in this non-trivial way
solving the problem of the
development of the bishop f8. Then
possibly: 1 7 &iJxgS g7, and now:
18 f4?! is dubious in view of 18 ...f6
19 lbf3 fe 20 fe (or 20 &iJxeS?! xeS
21 fe .U.c8 22 d4 JigS, and Black
takes over the initiative) 20...l:lc8
21 'iid4 h6! (creating the threat to
transfer the bishop to e3) 22 'iih4
.i.e3 23 .i.xe3 4Jxe3 with the better
chances;

18 &iJfJ f6 19 0-0 ( 19 &iJh4 does not


achieve its objective because of
1 9 ...l:la4! 20 b4 g6) 19...fe 20 .U.fe1
e4 21 &iJd4 xd4 22 xd4 l:lg8. In
this position again we should take
Black's side.
The vanat10n 6 ...lbd7 looks
stronger than 6...'iVb6, but all the
same the level of reliability of
Black's position is not high enough
that we can seriously recommend the
knight move. White's play in the
main branches of the variation is
simple and natural: undermining the
centre with c2-c4, and then (after an
exchange on c4) preparing for the
break d4-d5 . Black is l iterally
shifting around in order to stand still.
And he does not want to ' stand still',
but play, and preferably - for a win!
c) 6...CiJe7 Out of four possibi lities
(6...'iVb6, 6...4Jd7, 6...lbe7 and 6 ...cd)
- the least studied.

Perhaps the main point of the move


6 ...lbe7 - is prophylaxis. Black
renders harmless White's direction of
play - the advance c2-c4. Thus, in the
game Shirov - Anand (Dortmund
1996) there followed 7 c4 de 8 lbc3
4Jbc6 9 de &iJdS I 0 &iJxdS 'iixdS
I I 0-0 d3 . In this position Black's
chances are not at all worse.

234

Advance Variation: 4 li:)j3

Nothing is given for free, and Black incidentally frees the f5 square
Black, by taking under control the d5 for his knight) 9 .i.xd7+ 'ifxd7 I 0 c3
square, loses contact with the lbf5 I I .i.d4 lbh4! (wrecking the
adjacent square - c5. And it is to there opponent's pawn structure) 12 l:tg l
that White transfers his play.
.i.e7. An extra pawn for White, but all
7 de!? li:)d7 Relatively best. The the play - for Black.
endgame is hopeless after 7 ...c6?!
8 lbc3 (the knight endeavours to
8 c4! (Black again ceases to land on d6) 8 ...lbc6 9 lbb5 lbxc5
control d5, and White immediately 10 lbfd4 .i.g6 (on I O ...te4 11 0-0 a6
emphasises this fact) 8...dc 9 'ifxd8+ White carries out a sympathetic
'i!?xd8 I 0 li:)c3 li:)d7 I I 0-0-0 'itc8 exchanging combination 12 lbd6+!
12 .i.xc4 li:)dxe5 13 li:)xe5 li:)xe5 .i.xd6 13 ed 'ifxd6 14 li:)xc6 be 15 f3
14 .i.e2 (Black's pieces are disunited, .i.g6 16 'ifd4 lbd7 17 1fxg7, leaving
and it is difficult to put right their him with a slight advantage, Ehlvest
interaction) 14....i.e7 15 h3 g5 (trying - Khalifman, Pamu 1996) I I 0-0
to secure the position of the knight on (lordachescu - Zlochevskij, Porto
e5, however White dashes these San Giorgio 1999), and here worth
hopes) 16 g4 .i.g6 17 h4! gh 18 f4 considering is l l ...a6! ? 12 lbxc6 be
li:)d7 19 l:thfl (by threatening to win 13 lbd4 ( 13 lbd6+ .i.xd6 14 ed does
the bishop g6, White forces a new not have its former strength in view
weakening in the opponent's camp) of 14 ...lL\e4! ; this is why it is so
19 ...f5 20 c4 with an obvious important for Black on the J Od move
advantage (Adams - Brunner, not to occupy the e4 square!) 13 ...
lba4!? with an acceptable position.
Garmisch Partiekirchen 1994).
After 7...li:)d7 White is faced with a
8 lbd4 The most concrete move
choice - not so much of the next again proves the most dangerous.
move but more of the plan a few
8 li:)xe5?! A case when principled
moves ahead.
play leads to a loss of quality in
position. It is better to reject the e5
pawn - 8...a6. A fter Black takes on
e5, White's attack swings into action
all by itself.
.

...

8 .i.b5 (a very simple idea - White


wants to retain the extra pawn)
8....i.g4!? (also a well-known
method: by pinning the knight f3,
235

Advance Variation: 4 {jj_f3

9 .i.f4! lL'l5e6 I 0 lbb5 lbg6


I I .i.d6! Not tempted by the variation
I I /l)c7+ d7 1 2 .i.g3 ltc8 1 3 lbxd5
'it.?e8, and everything is in order for
Black.
l l ...'iWg5 12 g4 .i.e4 13 t3 .i.xd6
14 lL'lxd6+ <3;e7 This is how the game
Bologan - Asrian (Krasnodar 1 997)
developed. White forcibly obtained a
big advantage by continuing 15 fe!?
'iWh4+ 16 fl de (or 16 . . .'iWf6+
1 7 Wg I 'ifxb2 1 8 lL'ld2 ..Wd4+ 1 9 'iti>fl
lL'lf4 20 ed lL'lxd5 2 1 lL'l2c4) 1 7 lL'le3
'5'h3+ (losing is 1 7 ... e3 1 8 lL'ld5+!)
18 fl e3+ 19 'ii?g I lL'lf4 20 'ii'fl
lbxe2+ 21 lbxe2 ..Wxg4+ 22 'iVg2 The
counterattack is stifled, and White's
extra knight must tell.
The variation 6...lbe7 is presently
going through a youthful period of
development. It is even a compl icated
matter guessing what awaits this
variation in the future.
d) 6 ed (the most popular
continuation) 7 lbxd4 lbe7 Dubious
is 7 ....i.g6?! 8 0-0 lL'lc6 in view of

9 c4! The game Short - Malisauskas


(Moscow 1 994) continued 9...lbge7,
and here, as shown by Short,
White obtains the advantage by
1 0 'iVa4! 'ifd7 1 1 ll'lb5. The threat of

12 "l..ld6
forces Black into l l ..."l..l
f5,
but then he is saddled with weak
pawns in the centre: 1 2 cd ed
1 3 ll'l l c3 etc.
After 7 . ..li'Je7 White has a wide
choice; true, not all the moves arc
equal in quality.

d I ) 8 lL'le3 .i.g6 9 h4 h6 10 h5 jLh7


1 1 .i.d3 .i.xd3 12 ed lbec6 13 ll'lxe6
lbxe6 1 4 d4 ..ib4 1 5 'ilg4 'it.?f8
16 :le i :te8 17 0-0 g8 1 8 lL'la4 Wh7
19 a3 .i.e7 20 b4 White has quite a
big advantage (Smirin - Barcev,
Moscow 2002).
d2) 8 g4 .i.g6 9 f4 The direct pawn
stonn on the king 's flank docs not
bring White an advantage, but it does
require accurate play from Black.
9 lbbe6 10 0-0 Not dangerous is
1 0 ll'lb5 lL'lc8 I I 0-0 a6 12 lL'ld4 il.e5.
White finds himself a step away from
trapping the bishop g6, but making
this step does not bring him success:
1 3 f5? .i.xd4 14 ..ixd4 ef 1 5 gf1t'g5+
or 1 3 c3 ll'l8e7 1 4 ll'ld2 'ifd7 1 5 ll'l2b3
.i.a7.
10 ... lL'lxd4 1 1 'iVxd4 ...d7! By over
protecting against White's main
threat o f f4-f5, Black at the same time
intends to route march his knight to
c6.
12 ll'lc3 lL'le6 13 'iVa4 .i.b4 The
threat was 1 4 f5 and in reply to 1 4... ef
- 1 5 .l:lad I . Now, however, in all
variations
Black succeeds
in
capturing the knight c3, el iminating
the danger.
14 :tad l .i.xe3 1 5 be h5! 16 e4
And again he wants to play f4-f5

236

..

Advance Variation: 4 lbj3

and... deviates: after 1 6 f5'! ef 1 7 gh


xh5 1 8 'ilh4 1We6 1 9 xh5 g6
Black regains the piece with a
winning position.
1 6 hg ( 1 6...d4 ! ?) 1 7 xg4 lL!xe5!
(a tactical trick, after which the
position is abruptly simpli fied)
18 'iVxd7+ lL!xd7 19 cd lL!f6 20 e2
0-0! Simplest. Black at least
equalises the game.
d3 ) Worth considering is 8 f4! ?

B y reliably defending the e 5 pawn,


White maintains the dark-square
blockade. He cannot lift this blockade
by exchanges and therefore White
reta ins
his
space
advantage
irrespective of future events.
8 g6 9 lL!cJ lL!bc6 10 lL!cbS
lL!xd4 I I lL!xd4 There is no need to
yield to provocation - I I lL!d6+,
since the black king feels quite cosy
in the centre: I I .. .'ii?d7 1 2 xd4 lL!c6
1 3 lL!xb7 Wb8 1 4 lL!d6 xd6 1 5 ed
lL!xd4 1 6 1Wxd4 'ii'xd6.
1 1 . lL!c6 1 2 cJ e7 13 0-0 0-0
14 b4!? White continues his original
dark square strategy, at the same time
liquidating Black's counterplay
associated with an incursion of the
knight on c4.
14 a6 15 'it'd2 lL!xd4 16 xd4
e4 17 'tlfeJ llc8 18 aJ 'it'e8 19 c4

All the time White's space advantage


is increasing in dimensions (Hort Chiburdanidze, Marbella 1 999).
d4) 8 gS! ? is an interesting
manoeuvre. By pinning the knight.
White forces the enemy queen to
occupy a rather poor square.
8 'it'a5+. Apparently weaker is
8 . . ....d7. In the game Volokitin Bareev (Warsaw 2002) Black
obtained an inferior and completely
hopeless position after 9 xe7 xe7
1 0 lL!xf5 ef I I i.f3 d4 1 2 0-0 lbc6
1 3 xc6 be 1 4 'iid3 l:lb8 1 5 b3 llb5
1 6 1Wg3 0-0 1 7 lbd2 b4 1 8 lL!c4.
9 lL!cJ The most promising
continuation, but here is another:
9 'ifd2 ...xd2+ I 0 lL!xd2 g6 I I lL!b5
'it'd7 1 2 c4 lL!bc6 1 3 lL!f3 i.e4
1 4 l:ld 1 .i.xf3 1 5 i.xf3 lL!xe5 1 6 i.e2
with
some compensation
for
the pawn ( Morozevich - Galkin,
Moscow 1 998).
9 g6! The bishop needs to be
kept. In fact it is also useful to pass
the move to the opponent.
.

..

For a long time, White, in this


position, came to a dead end and all
because, it goes without saying, he
made the move I 0 0-0. If Black
replies I O . . .lL!ec6? ! , then White's
chances of success remain: I I lL!b3

237

Advance Variation: 4 &i:Jj3

'ii'b6 1 2 e3 'ii'd 8 1 3 f4 ! In the game


Kveinis - Epishin ( Parnu 1 996)
Black intensified his problems by
playing
1 3 . . . &i:Jd7?, on which
fol lowed 1 4 g4 ! f5 1 5 d3 fg
1 6 1i'xg4 Jif7 1 7 &i:Jxd5! with an
obvious advantage.
On I 0 0-0 he needs to react by
I O . . . a6!?, and B lack's position is
solid: I I h4 h5 ! 12 d3 xd3 1 3 cd
&i:Jbc6 1 4 &i:JfJ &i:Jg6! 1 5 d4 e7
1 6 xe7 &i:Jgxe7 1 7 a3 &i:Jf5 (Svidler
Epishin, Groningen 1 997).
10 &i:JbJ!? (continuing to pursue the
queen) 10 'ii'b6 1 1 &i:Jb5! This idea
breathes new life in the variation
8 g5. With tempo, White carries out
a useful reorganisation of forces.
1 1 &i:Jec6 1 2 eJ 'ii'd8 13 f4 a6
14 &i:JcJ The mass exchanges after
14 lb5d4 lbxd4 1 5 lbxd4 lbc6 are
hardly in White's favour, but, by
playing 1 4 ltlc3 , he should be
prepared for Black, with a temporary
pawn
sacri fice
1 4 . . . d4 !?,
transferring to an ending: 1 5 ltlxd4
ltlxd4 1 6 'ii'xd4 W'xd4 1 7 xd4 ltlc6
1 8 b6 xc2 - and try to 'beat off'
his desired draw in it. However, the
game Svidler - Epishin (St. Petrsburg
1 997) shows that the task to which
Black committed himself is by no
means as easy as it seems. After
1 9 l:tc I g6 20 0-0 White has a
stable positional advantage.
It is probable, therefore, that in the
game Kurnosov - Li Wenl iang
(Groningen 2003) B lack was
unwill ing to back himself into a
comer and so preferred the simpler
14 e7 15 0-0 0-0 16 g4 f6 1 7 f5
ti 1 8 fe xe6 1 9 ltlcS xeS

20 xeS lUi 21 ef ltld7 But even


here it is a long way to equality.
Nowadays the trendy 8 g5 is highly
promising.
d5) There are far fewer prospects in
8 0-0?! After 8 ltlbc6 Black, as a
rule, will achieve an acceptable game
without diffculty.
9 c4 He could try to do without this
standard plan - to play, for example,
9 b5, but practice testifies to
Black's advantage:
9 ... a6 1 0 xc6+ be I I c4 'iVd7
1 2 lL'lc3 de 1 3 ltla4 lt:ld5 1 4 ltlxf5 ef
15 d4 lld8! 16 'iff] c5 ! 1 7 lt:lxc5
'ilb5 (Gelfand - Karpov, Sanghi
Nagar 1 995);
9 ... 'it'd7 !? (even more solid than
9 . . . a6 1 0 xc6+ be) 1 0 ltlc3 g6
I I ltla4 ltlf5 1 2 xc6 be 1 3 lt:lxf5
it.xf5 1 4 c5 Jixc5 1 5 lt:lxc5 'ifc7
1 6 lle I 'iVb6 1 7 'ifd4 llb8! 1 8 b3
iixc2 White has some compensation
for the pawn but no more than that
(Hracek - Epishin, Germany 1 997).
So it is still necessary to play 9 c4 !
.

9 ltlxd4 10 Jixd4 ltlc6 Judging by


the games given below, White
already has to be careful if he is not to
get the worse game:
1 1 cd 'ifxd5 1 2 c3 'ifxd l 1 3 llxd l
c2! (with this fine move Black first

238

Advance Variation: 4 j3

drives away the rook from the d-file,


and then transfers the bishop to the
excellent d5 square) 1 4 lle l .i.e4
1 5 .i.fl (in the opinion of Leko, better
for Black was 1 5 .i.a6 !? .i.xg2 !
1 6 .i.xb7 .:.b8 1 7 xg2 llxb7)
15 . . ..i.d5 16 d2 .i.e7 17 c4 0-0-0
1 8 a3 b8 1 9 llad 1 .i.c5
( lordachescu - Leko, Erevan 1 996);
1 1 'ifa4 .i.c2! 1 2 'ifxc2 xd4
1 3 'iVd 1 .i.c5 14 c3 de 1 5 .i.xc4
0-0 1 6 e4 .i.e7 1 7 l:tc I 'ifb6 1 8 l:tc3
(Smirin - Liang Chong, Beijing
1 996) 1 8 ...llfd8!?
The move 8 0-0 absolutely fails to
justify the hopes placed on it.
d6) 8 c4!? The strongest
continuation. At top level this was
first played by Gelfand in a game
against Karpov (Sanghi Nagar 1 995).

8 bc6 Leading to a worse


position for Black is 8 ....i.xb I 9 l:txb I
bc6 1 0 0-0 de (risky is 1 0...xe5 in
view of 1 1 'ifa4+ 'iVd7 12 b5! 5c6
1 3 llbd 1 ; the pawn is not worth the
aggravation) 1 1 .i.xc4 a6 1 2 xc6
'ifxd I 1 3 llfxd I xc6 1 4 f4 .i.e7
1 5 .i.e2 l:td8 16 .i.f3 f6 (Shaked Burmakin, Linares 1 997). White
easily obtains the advantage by
continuing 1 7 ef .i.xf6 1 8 .i.b6
l:txd 1 + 1 9 ltxd 1 .:t8 20 b3.
..

Also insuffcient for equality is


8 ...dc 9 a3 .i.d3 10 xc4 .i.xc4
1 1 .i.xc4 'ifa5+ 1 2 'iVd2 'ifxd2+ (once
again the pawn on e5 is inedible:
1 2 ... 'ifxe5?! 1 3 b5) 1 3 xd2 a6
1 4 f4 d7 1 5 e2 g6 1 6 b3 .i.e7
1 7 .:ac I (Golubovich - Malakhov,
Porto San Giorgio 1 997).
9 'ifa4! Continuing to drive hard
along the line begun with the move
8 c4. By pinning the knight, White
creates the most problems for the
opponent. How Black can develop
his pieces in a natural way is not
clear.

Bad is 9 ...'ifd7?! in view of I 0 b5


g6 I I cd ed 1 2 1 c3 (pointed out
by Gel fand), therefore Black chooses
one of two continuations: 9...dc and
9. . .a6.
d6 1 ) 9 dc 1 0 aJ 'ifaS+ In the
endgame the way to equality is not
easy, but there are even more gloomy
prospects for B lack with queens on
the board. Thus, according to an
analysis by Gelfand, leading to an
advantage for White is I O . d5
I I xc6 'iVd7 1 2 xc4 be 13 0-0.
A little better is 1 O ...'ii'd7 I I xc4
d5, and then:
1 2 lbxf5 .i.b4+ 1 3 fl ef 1 4 lld 1
(Khali fman - Dreev, Maikop 1 998),

239

..

. .

Advance Variation: 4 {3

and here worth considering is the


suggestion of Epishin 1 4 ...'iVe6! ;
1 2 lbxc6! ? (the clearest way to an
advantage) 1 2 ...bc ( 1 2 ... .i.b4+ does
not rescue him because of 1 3 lbxb4!
'ifxa4 1 4 lbxd5 ed 1 5 lbd6+ <;i.lf8
16 lbxf5 'ifc2 1 7 lbd4 xb2 1 8 0-0,
and the three minor pieces are
noticeably stronger than the queen)
1 3 0-0 .i.e7 1 4 ltfd l 0-0 1 5 llac l .
1 1 'ifxaS lbxaS

From what was given by Svidler


the strongest continuation
is
considered 12 lbxc4 tt:lxc4 13 .i.xc4
a6 14 t3 with the idea of preventing
the transfer of the l ight-squared
bishop to the a8-h I diagonal. For this
reason 14 llc I is somewhat weaker
because of 14 ....i.e4 ! 1 5 0-0, and now
there is a choice:
1 5 ...lbd5 1 6 .i.d2 lbb6 1 7 .i.b3
.i.e7 1 8 .i.a5 lbd7 1 9 llfe I .i.g6
20 .i.xe6 ! ? (an absolutely correct
piece sacrifice) 20... fe 2 1 lbxe6 Wfl
22 lbc7 tt:lc5 (Shirov - l llescas, Spain
1 998) 23 e6+ with advantage;
1 5 ... .i.d5 (obviously stronger than
1 5 ...lbd5) 1 6 .i.e2 .J:tc8 1 7 f4 llxc l
1 8 l:hc I d7 1 9 a3 lbc6 with an
equal game (Svidler - Epishin,
St.Petersburg 1 997).
14 lbg6 1 5 lbxfS lbxeS! ? An
important intermediate move, which
however does not give full equality.
1 6 .i.b3 ef 1 7 0-0-0 .i.e7 1 8 l:.dS
lbc6 1 9 :xrs o-o 20 lld 1 .i.f6
2 1 l:td7!? (he has to remove the
support of the knight) 2 l . .. b5
(Svidler - Anand, Madrid 1 998). By
continuing here 22 AcS lbeS
23 llddS l:lfe8 24 .i.d2, White,
possibly, retains a slight positional
advantage.
d62) 9 a6!?
..

The original game Gel fand Karpov continued 1 2 lbab5 !? lbd5


1 3 lbxf5 ef 1 4 .i.d2 a6 1 5 lbd4 .i.b4
1 6 lbx f5 0-0 ( 1 6 ... .i.xd2+ also does
not solve his problems after 1 7 'it>xd2
0-0 1 8 lbd6 llad8 1 9 .i.O lbf4
20 c3) 1 7 .i.xb4 lbxb4 1 8 0-0, and
White
gradual ly
realised
his
advantage.
Despite the fact that Gelfand's play
in this endgame is worthy of high
praise, later there were repeated
attempts to improve upon this play.
As a rule, unsuccessfully. Here, for
example, is how the game Nisipeanu
Galkin
(Groningen
1 997)
developed: 12 .i.d2 lbec6 1 3 lbxf5 ef
1 4 lbxc4 lbxc4 1 5 .i.xc4 lbxe5
1 6 .i.b5+ lbc6 1 7 l:lc I 0-0-0, and
Black had virtually equal chances.

240

..

Advance Variation: 4 tbj3

The best solution. It is difficult to l'L!b4 1 4 0-0 (losing at once is


imagine what Black can extract from 14 llc l ? lllc 2+ ! , Tragstadt 200 I )
the position, into which he himself Solozhenkin,
Gausdal
has driven headlong, but fact remains 14 lllc 6!? 1 5 .i.f3 .U.c8 I f White
fact: after 9 ...a6 White for the present makes an effort, he will equalise the
has not found an order of moves that game.
leads to a clear advantage.
y) 10 t!Dc3 (a case where the
The choice is not great: I 0 cd or strongest move can be found by the
process of elimination) I O dc
1 0 lt:Jc3.
x) 10 cd? ! It would all be very 11 lldl (it would be interesting to try
simple and good if it were not for I I 0-0-0 !?) l l d3! ? Worse is
1 O b5! Other continuations are l l ...'irc8 12 t!DxfS t!Dxf5 in view of
13 b6! (a programmed manoeuvre,
weaker:
I O ..'ikxd5?! I I lt:Jc3 'ika5 1 2 lt:Jxf5 blockading the b pawn, which is
lt:Jx f5 1 3 'IVxa5 lt:Jxa5 14 b6 lt:Jc6 highly unpleasant for Black)
1 5 f4 e7 1 6 0-0-0 with an 1 3 ....i.e7 1 4 f4 0-0 15 'ifxc4 d8
overwhelming advantage (Svidler - 1 6 f2 aS 1 7 0-0 with the
advantage (Svidler - Epishin, Erevan
Anand, Moscow 2002);
I O . . lt:JxdS I I lt:Jxc6 '1t'd7 1 2 lt:Jc3 1 996).
l'L!xe3 1 3 fe be 1 4 f3 l:tc8 (Bologan
12 .txd3 cd 13 .U.xd3 bS
Bareev, Ekaterinburg 2002)
1 5 'it'xa6.
The advance of the b pawn turns
over the usual picture of the variation.
Now B lack comes forward, and
White defends.
I I 'iVd1 And what else can he do?
Things will hardly come right after
I I lt:Jxc6 lt:Jxc6 1 2 'iVf4 lllb4 or
1 2 'ifb3 b4+.
There is, of course, the problem of
14 t!Ddxb5! A principled decision.
a queen sacri fice: I I lllx fS ! ? ba It is clear that after 1 4 -..,3 White
1 2 llld6+ d7 1 3 de+ lllxc6 1 4 t!Dxf7 cannot lay claim to obtaining an
'ifa5+ 1 5 t!Dd2 .U.g8 1 6 0-0, but Black advantage - if only because of
can easily avoid all these troubles by 14 . . .t!Dxe5 1 5 lld l 'ireS 16 0-0 t!D7c6
returning the queen : 1 2 . . . 'ihd6! (Svidler - Leko, Tilburg 1 998). So it
(instead of 1 2 .. .'1ti>d7) 1 3 ed t!Dxd5 is clear that to thrust himself into an
14 d I lllxe3 1 5 fe .i.xd6 16 .i.xa4 abyss of compl ications, without
having a tinge of good quality home
1lc8.
It transpires that White is forced to analysis, is sheer folly. To make
moves such as 14 llldxbS, you must
beat a retreat.
ll t!Dxd4 12 .i.xd4 t!DxdS 13 lllc3 have solid analytical backup!
..

...

...

24 1

Advance Variation: 4 liJj3

14 'Wxd3 1 5 li'Jc7+ Wd7 1 6 lt:lxa8


The game Ni Hua - Bu Xiangzhi
( Beijing 200 I ) then continued
16 ... liJd5 1 7 liJxd5 ed, and White
strayed from the course by
announcing check on g4. Lukacs
recommended
1 8 liJb6+ c7
19 liJxd5+! 'Wxd5 20 0-0 'Wb5 2 1
'iff4 with an attack.
1 6...liJf5 1 7 liJb6+ Wc7 1 8 'ii'c4
leads to an endgame a pawn down.
Strongest, apparently, is 16 liJg6!?
1 7 a3 e7 18 liJb6+ c7 with an
unclear game.
The variation 5 ...c5 - in no way
popular, main line and so forth - has
excellent chances of leaving the
scene for a long time. It seems that by
now every first class player knows
that 6 e3 ! is stronger than 6 0-0;
every first class player knows what
White has to do next: advance,
without loss of time, c2-c4, and then
d4-d5 ... It turns out that by choosing
5 . . . c5 B lack is incomprehensibly
giving his opponent odds! Knowing
beforehand all the favourable
positions for himself, he attacks with
'something to spare' while Black is
forced into 'only moves' to maintain
his shaky equality.
At some stage of the development
of the system 4 liJf.3 e6 5 e2 a
search for an alternative continuation
to 5 ... c5 became inevitable. And this
search was crowned with success.
..

next move - whether he will again


hurriedly advance c6-c5 or prefer
first to develop the pieces on his
king's flank.
6 0-0

..

B
5 liJd7 Out of three continuations
- 5 ... c5, 5 ...liJd7 and 5 ...liJe7 - this is
the least independent. It will all
depend on what Black plays on the
..

I ) With the hurried 6...c5?! White


fights along the usual scheme: 7 c4!
de (or 7 ... 0.e7 8 liJc3 de 9 xc4 0.c6
I 0 d5! liJcxe5 I I 0.xe5 0.xe5
12 J_b5+ liJd7 1 3 g4! g6 14 lte l
e7 1 5 de fe 1 6 %txe6 with a decisive
advantage,
L.-B.
Hansen
Johansson, Stokholm 1 994) 8 xc4
(White also has a great advantage
after 8 d5!? ed 9 'ii'xd5 'Wc7 1 0 xc4
e6 I I 'ifc4 i.xc4 12 'Wxc4 liJb6
1 3 'ife4 liJe7 1 4 e6, Tkachev Hatanbatar, Moscow 1 994) 8 liJe7
9 liJc3, and if Black wants to avoid
events from the game Hansen Johansson, he should play 9 a6,
which, however, is also not good
because of 10 d5! b5 1 1 d3 xd3
12 'Wxd3 c4 13 'ii'd4 (analysis by
lstratescu).
2) 6...J_g6!? Quite an interesting
plan, frequently applied by Australian
grandmaster Rogers. The immediate
point of 6...i.g6 is to free the square
f5 for the knight. But since Black
does without h7-h6, the knight can set
off for f5 also via e7, and through h6.

242

...

Advance Variation: 4 lJj3

There is sti ll no other way of


playing for White, besides that
associated with the advance c2-c4.
The question is how to prepare the
advance: with 7 li:lbd2 or 7 b3.

a) 7 li:lbd2 li:lh6 8 c4 i..e7 In the


game Roiz - Burmakin ( Istanbul
2003 ) Black preferred to evacuate the
king on the queen 's flank: 8 ...li:lf5
9 b3 f6 1 0 cd cd I I ef 'iVxf6 1 2 .i.b2
.i.d6 1 3 lt::le5 o-o-o 1 4 li:ld f3 'it>b8
with an acceptable game.
9 cd. Black would also feel
confident after 9 b3 0-0 I 0 ..ib2 li:lf5
I I h3 f6 12 g4 li:lh6 1 3 li:lh4 i..e8 1 4
li:lg2 fe 1 5 de 'iVb6 1 6 li:lhf3 i.. f7
( Erenburg - Galkin, Istanbul 2003).
9 cd 10 li:lb3 0-0 Preparing f7-f6,
but it is also possible to do without
abrupt movement. I O. . li:lf5 I I i..d2
0-0 1 2 .J:lc l li:lb8 1 3 ..ia5 1i'e8 1 4 l:lc7
b6 1 5 ..id2 'ifd8 1 6 :lc3 aS 1 7 a4 li:la6
(Baklan - Ryzantsev, Internet 2003).
11 i..d 2 f6 12 ef i..x f6 13 ..iaS 'ile7
14 'ifd2 llfc8 1 5 i..c3 lt::ln 1 6 ..id3
.i.xd3 1 7 'iWxd3 li:lf8 1 8 l:lfe l
(Volokitin - Pogorelov, Istanbul
2003 ). The very quiet variation
7 bd2, has nothing to otTer.
b) 7 b3 li:lh6!? 8 c4 lt::lrs 9 lt::lc3
..ib4 I 0 i.. b2 0-0
.

The fact that in this seemingly quiet


position there is a sufficient
undercurrent was proved if only by
the game Socko - Polak (Pardubice
2003): I I a3 i.. e 7 1 2 'ifd2? i.. h5
1 3 h3 i.. x f3 1 4 i.. x f3 de, and in view
of the impending attack on e5
grandmaster Socko was left simply a
pawn down.
The strongest move in the diagram
position appears to be I I g3!?, as was
played in the game Volokitin - Zelcic
( Lausanne 2000). Black should reply
ll f6, to exchange the e5 pawn
which cramps his position. There are
mutual chances for the two sides.
3) 6... h6 (a standard move,
preparing reliable cover for the light
squared bishop) 7 c3 White shifts the
accent to his pawn attack: instead of
c2-c4 he starts to prepare f2-f4.
7 lt::le7 Also possible here is the
plan with long castling, starting with
the move 7 .. .'ilc7. In the game Anand
- Timman (Paris 1 99 1 ) White tried to
get active on the queen's flank - 8 a4,
but a fter 8 ...g5 9 li:la3 f6 I 0 i.. d3
i.. xd3 I I 'ifxd3 0-0-o 1 2 ef li:lgxf6
1 3 lle I l:l.e8 the game turned out in
Black's favour.
After 7 ...lt::le7 White finds himself
at a crossroads.

243

...

...

Advance Variation: 4 li'Jj3

10 ._,xd3 gS (he has to go for this


weakening, since f2-f4 was threat
ened) I I li'Jt3 li'Jg6 1 2 i..e3 i.. e7 13
li'Jbd2 'it'c7 14 c4 de I S li'Jxc4
0-0-0 16 'it'e4 with a slight advantage
(Kir. Georgiev - Vogt, Altensteig
1 995).
4) 6 li'Je7!? The main contin
uation. All by itself it raises the
question : if this is strong on the 6 th
.

There are two plans of develop


ment: the manoeuvre li'Jb l -a3-c2-e3
or 8 li'Jh4 followed by f2-f4.
a) 8 li'Ja3 i.. h 7 Dubious is 8 ... a6?!
9 li'Jc2 i..h 7 1 0 li'Jce I c5 I I d3
xd3 12 li'Jxd3 li'Jg6 (he has to place
the knight in this not very fortunate
position, since in the event of
12 ... li'Jc6
Black,
not
without
foundation, will fear the transfer of
the knight d3 to h5) 13 g3 i.e? 14 h4
with the advantage (Anand - Karpov,
Brussels 1 99 1 ).
9 li'Jc2 "tWc7!? Again Black switches
to a plan linked to long castling. It
seems that 9 ... c5 is natural, however
after I 0 lt'lce I li'Jc6 I I i..d3 i.. xd3
1 2 li'Jxd3 'ilb6 1 3 li'Jf4 cd 14 cd e7
1 5 llb I a5 (preventing pressure on
the queen's flank by b2-b4) 16 e3
a4 1 7 li'Je I g6 1 8 'it'g4! (provoking a
weakening of the g5 square) 1 8 ... h5
1 9 'it'd I White's chances are
preferable.
10 li'Je3 0-0-0 I I i..d3 i.. x d3
1 2 'ifxd3 f6 13 ef gf 14 li'Jh4 llg8
1 5 i..d 2 b8 1 6 llael li'Jc8 1 7 g3
li'Jd6 Black has played unconvention
ally and as a result achieved a good
game (Handoko - Ngyen Anh Dung,
Kuala Lumpur 200 I ).
b) 8 lt'lh4!? (more resolute than
8 li'Ja3 ) 8 i.. h 7 9 i..d 3 i.. x d3
..

move, then is it not better to play it on


the 51h, and hold back the knight b8
until a better time ...

The most principled move in this


position appears to be 7 li'Jh4, but
White has at his disposal quite a few
other continuations.
a) 7 i..e3 h6!? Black preserves the
bishop from exchange. Passive, but
quite solid is 7 . . .i..g6 8 li'Jh4 li'Jf5
9 li'Jxf5 xf5 1 0 g4 i.. g6 I I f4 f5
1 2 g5 h6 1 3 h4 hg 1 4 hg lj;f7 1 5 lt'ld2
li.e7 1 6 g2 "ilc7 (Shirov- Anand,
Wijk aan Zee 1 996).
8 li'Jbd2 i.. h7 9 c4 li'JfS Another
way of playing is linked to the
exploitation of the blockade of the d5
square: 9 ...dc 1 0 lt'lxc4 li'JdS I I ii.d3
ii.xd3 1 2 'it'xd3 e7 1 3 llad I "tWc7
1 4 i..d2 li'J7b6 1 5 b3 'it'd7 1 6 l:tfe I
li'Jc7 1 7 'it'e4 li'Jbd5 1 8 "tWg4 g6.
White has the freer game but Black's

244

Advance Variation: 4 lqf3

defensive resources are great (Nunn


Conquest, Kilkenny 1 996).
1 o cd cd 1 1 ..,bJ l%b8 12 l%fc l il.e7
13 lbrt lbxeJ It should be noted that
if Black manages to carry out an
exchange of the knight for the dark
squared bishop, then, as a rule, his
defence will not present particular
problems. 14 fe 0-0 1 5 il.dJ xdJ
16 ._,xdJ J:tc8 17 lbgJ 'WaS 18 lbe2
lbb6 with equal chances (Hubner lordachescu, Bavaria 1 997).
b) 7 cJ!? White provokes his
opponent into an immediate c6-c5.
It makes sense for the time being to
wait - 7 ...g4!?
7 c5 (principled but, most
probably, poor) 8 de lL'Ic6?! Actually,
the simple 8 . . .lbxc5 9 lbd4 iL.g6 is
best.

a6 1 7 1:lb2 f6 1 8 J:ld2 with a


complicated game in which White's
chances are nevertheless superior
(Benjamin - Seirawan, USA 1 99 1 ).
10 lbxe5 11 f4!? Stronger than
I I il.bS+ lbc6 1 2 'it'a4 ._,c8 1 3 c4 a6
1 4 ii.xc6+ 1i'xc6 1 5 'ifxc6+ be 1 6 cd
cd 1 7 ii.b2 J::tb8 1 8 a3 , although this
endgame is in White's favour
(Mainka - Smagin, Copenhagen
1 993).
l l lbc6
(unsatisfactory
is
l l ...lbd7'!! 1 2 lba3 a6 l 3 c4) 1 2 'ifa4
'ii'd 7 13 lbd2 with a pleasant game
for White.
c) 7 lbbd2 For the time being
White does not reveal his plans,
intending to react according to how
Black plays.
Dubious is 7 . . .lbg6? ! (Black has no
objections to exchanging the bishop
e2 by means of 8 ...lbf4, but White is
on the alert) 8 J:te I ! (now the bishop
can always retreat to fl ) 8 ... lbh4
9 lbxh4 'iixh4 I 0 lbfl 0-0-0 I I c3 cS
1 2 lL'Ie3 g6 1 3 J:tfl 'ike? 14 f4 with
advantage (Sax - Anastasian, Pula
1 997).
7 g6 8 aJ! ? 8 c4 offers no
advantage in view of 8 . . . de 9 lbxc4
lbd5 I 0 iL.gS 'ifc7 I I l:Ic I h6 12 h4
lb7b6 (J. Polgar - Adianto, Jakarta
1 996).
8......c7 9 b4!? Realising the idea,
begun with the move 8 a3 !? White
forestalls the break c6-c5, while in
the event of long castling by the
opponent, he will commence an
attack on the queen 's flank by c2-c4.
I f, however, Black breaks on the
other flank ( f7-f6), then the b2 square
is freed for the bishop to defend the
eS pawn.

...

..

9 b4! Here yet again the pawn


structure c3-b4-c5 proves to be the
decisive factor in the position. Apart
from this, the time he spends on
regaining the pawn on eS leaves
Black
noticeably
behind
in
development.
9 lbdxe5 10 lbxeS Alternatively 1 0 lbd4 il.xb l I I l:txb l e7 1 2 f4
lbd7, and then: 1 3 fS !? eS 14 lbf3 e4
I S lbd4 lbdeS (or 1 5 . . 0-0 1 6 iL.f4,
Nunn - Drazic, Walsall 1 992) 16 iL.f4
.

245

Advance Variation: 4 lDj3

9... f6 10 .i.b2 Drs I I c4 fe 1 2 de G.Kuzmin - Burmakin, Cappelle le


i.e7 13 g4! lDh6 1 4 lDd4 'irxeS 1 S f4 Grande 2003) 8 lDbd2 The Dutch
'ire3+ 1 6 h1 de 1 7 ltD .i.e4 1 8 grandmaster Friso N ijboer, in
lJxe4 'it'xe4 1 9 .i.xc4 lD:xg4 2 0 'it'gl accordance with the motif of his
This position was reached in the game with Zelcic (see above),
game Nijboer - Zelcic (Metz 200 I). decided to test his idea again: 8 b4 !?
White's pieces are in a state of This time it did not work out: 8 ...a5!
suspended animation but Black 9 b5 c5 I 0 de lDxc5 I I a4 lDc8
cannot exploit this circumstance. 1 2 lDbd2 lDb6, and White did not
Thus 20 ... i.f6 2 1 'ifxg4 iLxd4 is no stand better (Nijboer - Seirawan,
good in view of 22 .i.d3 'iVd5 (or Dordrecht 2003).
8...aS!? (once and for all solving
22 ... 'iVxf3+ 23 'it'xf3 i.xb2 24 llb I)
23 ..ixd4 'it'xd4 24 'iWxe6+ ..td8 the problem of b2-b4) 9 c4 a4 10 ltel
25 lld l 'iVd5 26 'inl3! Wc7 27 i.c2 h6 (useful prophylaxis) I I b3 ab
'irf7 28 i.b3 with a win.
12 'irxb3 'iVb6 13 'iVa2 lDc8 14 cS
d) Worth considering is 7 a3, after 'iVc7 15 a4 i.e7 16 lDbJ b6 17 cb
which Black must play accurately if lJd:xb6 18 aS lJc4 Black accurately
he is not to be left with the worse l iquidates the initiative of his
opponent and rightly achieves an
position.
equal game (Short - Seirawan,
Amsterdam 1 996).
e) 7 lDh4! ? Principled and strong.

Premature is 7 ... c5?! 8 de lDxc5 (on


8 ...lDc6 follows the habitual 9 b4!
lJdxe5 I0 lDxe5 lDxe5 I I ..ib2 with
the initiative) 9 b4 lDd7 1 0 lDbd2 !?
'irc7 (or IO ...lDc6 II .i.b2 i.e7 12 c4
with the better game, Lutz - Rausis,
Germany 1 998) I I c4 lJxe5 1 2 cd. In
this position Short gives White the
preference.
Usually, in reply to 7 a3, Black
deploys his light-squared bishop in
some way or other: 7 ...i.g6 (also
possible is 7 ...i.g4 8 lDbd2 c5 9 c4 ! ,

e I) 7...i.e4 A move, undoubtedly


with an idea - Black frees the f5
square for the knight (and in the event
of an exchange of the bishop on the
e4 square the enemy knight h4 will
find itself stranded on the edge of the
board), but in the present situation it
is not quite so well founded.
8 lJd2 Drs I nteresting is 8 ...c5
9 lDxe4?! de, it is not so easy for the

246

Advance Variation: 4 j3

knight h4 to enter the game (Lederer


- Polak, Biel 1 998).
9 li)hf3! c5!? After the knight
returns to 0, it becomes obvious that
he will not manage to engage in
7 ... .i.e4. Therefore it is right that
Black does try to sharpen the game.
In the event of the passive 9. . . .i.e7
1 0 c3 0-0 1 1 e l c5 1 2 li)xe4 de
White has the right to play even
1 3 g4!? li)h4 1 4 'it'c2 cd 1 5 cd f5
1 6 i.c4 li)b6 1 7 .i.xe6+ h8 1 8 d5!
(Bologan - Polak, Vienna 1 996).
10 c3 i.e7 (insufficient is Shirov's
suggestion of I O...'it'b6!? in view of
I I 'iVa4! ) 1 1 g4!? i.xf3 12 li)xf3
h4 J 3 li)xh4 .i.xh4 14 f4 White has
a serious advantage (Shirov - Adams,
Wijk aan Zee 1 996).
e2) 7 i.g6 8 li)d2 c5 9 c3 A
standard position, in which much will
depend on Black's next move.
..

White (Anand - Karpov, Brussels


1 99 1 ).
e22) Also insufficient for equality
is 9...1lc8 10 li)xg6 hg l l li)f3 'it'b6?!
This move does not prevent White's
general direction - pressure on the
queen 's flank. On the other hand, the
poor position of the queen only
redoubles
Black 's
difficulties.
Preferable, i n Short 's opinion, is
l l ...li)c6.
1 2 l:r.b 1 a6?! (an insipid move,
better is 1 2 ...f5) 13 b4 cd 14 cd
ll)f5 1 5 g4! (White exchanges his
opponent's only active piece)
1 5 ...li)h4 J 6 li)xh4 llxh4 17 bS aS I 8
.i.e3 with a great advantage (Short Yudasin, Erevan 1 996).
e23) 9...li)fS Stronger than 9 . . .cd
I 0 cd ll)f5, since it maintains the
pawn tension c5-d4.
10 li)xg6 hg 1 1 ll)tJ 'it'b6 1 2 c4!?
Logical - White is fully prepared to
break in the centre, but possibly the
best solution was the simple
1 2 1lb l ! ?
1 2 dc 1 3 dS!? 0-0-0! A bold
decision ! Apparently when White
decided on 1 2 c4 !?, it was precisely
Black's
) 3th
move
that
he
underestimated.
14 i.xc4
..

e2 1 ) There is no promise of an even


game after 9. cd 1 0 cd ll)f5 U li)xg6
hg 1 2 ll)tJ .i.e7 13 .i.d3 b8 (a
typical manoeuvre: Black transfers
the knight to a more active position
where it will strike the d4 pawn)
14 .i.d2 c6 1 5 .i.c3 a6?!
( 1 5 ... 'it'b6 !?) 16 b3 li)h4 17 li)xh4
.i.xh4 1 8 g3 i.e7 19 a3 'it'b6 20 b4
with the more pleasant position for
..

247

Advance Variation: 4 ltJf3

1 4 li:Jd4?! A mistake, linked to a


tactical miscalculation. After 1 4 . . . f6 !?
Black is free of danger in all
variations: 1 5 'itb3 ( 1 5 de ltJxe5
1 6 1i'e2 ltJxc4 1 7 'iixc4 li:Jd4) I S ... ed
1 6 .i.xd5 'iVxb3 1 7 ab (or 1 7 .i.xb3
ltJxe5 1 8 lDxe5 fe) I 7 ... ltJxe5
1 8 ltJxe5 fe 19 .i.t7 'itb8.
15 li:Jxd4 ltJxe5 (Black places his
hopes on this intermediate move)
16 .i.bJ cd 17 de .i.d6?! (better is
1 7 ... fe) 1 8 f4 dJ+ 19 'ith 1 'it'd4
(Aimasi - Bareev, Ubeda 1 997)
20 ef! with a great advantage.
e24) 9 ... ltJc6 1 0 lDxg6 hg 1 1 ltJfJ
Yet another standard position.
White's plan is clear: g2-g3, h2-h4,
g2, after which Black will be afraid
of castling on the short side in view
of llh I with a future opening of the
h-file. But here Black's counterplay
cannot quite be seen.
1 1 .i.e7 12 .i.eJ a6!? Here there
are branches literally at every move,
which makes for a great deal of
practical material. However such
varied opinions in no way shake the
principal conclusion: White has an
easy game on the king's flank, while
Black is forced to defend passively.
Here are a few more examples on this
theme.
1 2 . . . 0-0?! (obviously premature)
1 3 g3 cd 14 cd 'itb6 1 5 b3 llfc8 1 6 h4
llc7 1 7 'itg2 li:Jb4 1 8 ltJe I %lac8
1 9 llh I li:Jf8 20 .i.fl and, with the
black king on g8, life is even worse
than when it is on e8 (Nisipeanu Ponomarev, Slofok 1 996);
1 2 ...c4?! (it is naiVe to think that by
closing the position Black will ease
his defence) 1 3 g3 b5 1 4 h4 li:Jb6

1 5 lDg5 aS 1 6 lii>g2 b4 1 7 llh I a4


1 8 a3! be 1 9 be ltJa5 20 .i.g4 White
attacks the king, but Black is still
breathing (Christiansen - Seirawan,
USA 1 997).
1 2 ... a6!?, against the background of
1 2 ... 0-0 and 1 2 ...c4, looks far more
mature. Black does not hurry with
short castling and retains the tension
in the centre.
13 gJ g5! 14 g2 cd 1 5 cd li:Jf8!?

The reconstruction undertaken on


the J 2th- J 5 th moves is the best that
can be recommended for Black in the
present situation. And yet he does not
achieve full equality.
1 6 aJ!? White gains space on the
queen's flank . This plan is more
accurate than 1 6 llc I f6 1 7 h3 'ii'd 7
1 8 l:tc3 .i.d8 19 a3 li:Jg6 20 l:h I .i.b6
with an unclear game (Khalifman Lobron, Munich 1 992).
16 f6 1 7 hJ 'iVd7 18 b4 .i.d8
19 lX.cl li:Jg6 20 .i.dJ ltJge7 21 llel
.i.c7 22 .i.d2 Deeply thought out
manoeuvres from one side and the
other are close to completion, but
now it can already be seen that it is
precisely White who has the more
harmonious arrangement of his
pieces (Smirin - Li Wen liang, Beijing
1 996).

248

Advance Variation: 4 lbj3

e3) 7 ... c5!? The most logical. It


turns out that the knight fJ, blessed
with good intentions, has gone to the
edge and given up control of the d4
square and so Black tries to destroy
White's pawn base in the centre.
It should be mentioned it is not
right for White to unload the centre:
After 8 de (Bologan - lordachescu,
Szeky 1 998) Black can take over the
initiative by means of 8 ...ii.e4! 9 f4
lbc6 1 0 lLlf3 ii.xc5+ I I h I 0-0 (a
recommendation of lordachescu).
Possible is 8 c3, and then:

d5 is still not the whole game (Smirin


- Anand, Villarobledo 1 998).
8 .i.gS!? (White tries by tactical
means to refute the opponent's
idea... ) 8 .i.g6 9 lLla3 f6!? ( ...and he
accepts the challenge! ) 10 lLlbS lLlc6
I t ef gf 1 2 .i.f4 rJ;;f7 13 c4 lbxd4
14 .i.c7 White will continue to
confuse the trail. Worth considering
is the more natural 1 4 ltJxd4, so that
after 1 4 . . . cd 1 5 cd e5 1 6 .i.g3 lLlb6,
he can start making his way through
to the black king: 1 7 f4! ef 1 8 .i.xf4
'ii'xd5 1 9 l:tc I .i.c5 20 .i.f3 d3+
21 <Jilh 1 'ii'd4 22 .i.xb7 ltad8 23 .i.g5
with the initiative.
14 'ii'c8 IS cd ed 16 .i.g3 lLlxe2+
1 7 'fi'xe2 'iVc6 18 :re t
.

8 ...ii.xb I 9 l:txb I lbc6 I 0 lLlf3 ii.e7


I I a3 !? (White intends ii.e2-d3 and in
good time to guard the b4 square
against the knight; worth considering
is also the standard I I ii.e3 0-0 1 2 g3
ltc8 1 3 h4 cd 1 4 cd lLlb6 1 5 b3 with
Osieka,
advantage, Hubner
Altenkirchen 1 999) l l . . .l:tc8 1 2 .i.d3
lbb6 1 3 'fi'e2 cd 14 cd a6 1 5 b3
(restricting the knight b6) 1 5 ... 'ii'd7
1 6 'ii'b2 lLla7 1 7 .i.f4 0-0 1 8 h4 with
an enduring initiative (Svidler Lobron, Bad Homburg 1 998);
8 ....i.e4 9 lbd2 lbc6 I 0 lLlxe4 de
I I g3 .i.e7 1 2 lLlg2 cd 1 3 cd 0-0
14 Jk.e3 lLlb6 1 5 l:tc I lbd5 1 6 'ifc2
'ifb6 1 7 'ifxe4 'fi'xb2 1 8 Jk.d3 g6
1 9 .i.c4, and the blockading knight on

This position was reached i n the


game Kovalevskaya - Danie1ian
( Warsaw 200 I ). Black should
continue 18 lbb6!? 19 ltJd6+ .i.xd6
20 'ii'e6+ rJ;;g7 21 'ii'xd6 l:.he8
22 l:.e7+ g8, and White's attack
gradually comes to naught.
.

S ltJe7!? The most prom ising


trend. As we have seen, it is not worth
hurrying with the advance c6-c5.

249

Advance Variation: 4 !Jj3

I I f4 with the threat of winning a


piece.
10 de. It seems that White has done
everything he needs to and the fistful
of pawns on the queen 's flank is
about to show itself, but.. .

It is clear that most frequently


White plays 6 0-0, but before
analysing this move it is useful to say
a few words about 6 cJ!? This is a
little explored, but quite venomous
continuation. The point of it is clear:
to wail for c6-c5, take on c5 and
reinforce it with a pawn on b4. Black
should give it the utmost attention;
we have already repeatedly satisfied
ourselves that the pawn fist a2-b4-c5c3 is capable of causing a huge
amount of trouble.
The conclusion is simple: in reply
to 6 c3 do not play c6-c5 until the c5
square is under your control ! Take
away the knight from e7, free the
diagonal f8-a3 for the dark-squared
bishop and then boldly advance the c
pawn.
6 .ig6! 7 0-0 !JfS! (only so! )
8 !Jbd2 c S (the bishop f8 controls the
c5 square, which means that the time
for c6-c5 has arrived) 9 g4?! 9 !Jb3 !?
looks more reliable, although clearly
it is difficult to fight for the advantage
in such a way: 9 ... cd 1 0 cd tJc6
I I .ig5 .ie7 1 2 .ixe7 !Jfxe7 1 3 tJc5
0-0, and Black has solved nearly all
his problems.
9 !Je7! Inferior is 9 ...!Jh4, since
after I 0 tJxh4 'iVxh4 White pushes
..

I O h S ! A well known device.


Either the h file will be opened or
White must give up the f5 square. In
either case for a long lime attention
will be diverted from events on the
queen's flank to the close proximity
of White's king ...
11 hJ hg 12 hg tJec6 13 b4 d4! An
original break in the centre. Black
finally takes over the initiative.
14 cd (or 14 b5 d3 1 5 be de
1 6 'iVxe2 tJxc6) 14 !Jxd4 IS !Jxd4
'iVxd4 16 .ibS+ tJc6 17 'iVf3 l:lc8
White's strategy has been a failure.
He is doomed to a struggle for
survival.
Those who are not suited to either
6 0-0 or 6 c3 can add to their armoury
Svidler's play in a game against
Belov (Moscow 2003): 6 !Jbd2 c5?!
7 de! tJec6 8 !Jb3 !? !Jd7 9 0-0 .ixc5
I 0 tJxc5 tJxc5 I I !Jd4 with a good
positional 'plus' But let's go back to
the main continuation.
6 0-0 The tabiya of the variation
5 . ..lhe7.

250

. .

Advance Variation: 4 t:Qp

the initiative) 1 6 'ifb3 aS! 1 7 a3 lDc6


1 8 Wd1 Wa6
b) 7 bd2 lDd7 From here there
are an enormous number of moves
for each and every taste. Be assured
that you yourself will be able to
choose something.

The choice for Black is simple: to


play directly and crudely - 6... c5, or
cunningly and flexibly - 6... h6.
I ) 6 ... h6!? Black is supposedly
preparing a retreat for his bishop. But
in fact he... is waiting! When he
catches on to what White intends to
do, then he will generate his
counterplay.
In the move 6. . . h6 there is also a
thi rd, for the present completely
concealed, idea. In some variations
the h6 pawn is needed for the
preparation of g7-g5 !
For White there are three plans. He
can start to hassle the bishop f5
(7 h4). He can continue his
development (7 bd2). Finally, he
can (most l ikely, necessary) prepare
c2-c4 with the move 7 b3 .
a) 7 h4?! h7 8 d3 xd3
9 1hd3 A dubious manoeuvre. After
9... cS Whte does not succeed in
carrying out a pawn advance on the
king's flank by 1 0 f4 in view of
I O . ec6. I n the game Xie Jun Karpov (Huanzhou 2000) White was
forced to sound the retreat: 10 c3
ec6 1 1 13 lDd7 1 2 e3 e7
13 lDbd2 'iVb6 14 l:tabl cd IS cd
lDb4 (by driving back the queen from
its active position, Black takes over
..

8 c3 c5 9 a3 c6 1 0 b4 cd I I cd
e7 1 2 lle l (White transfers the
knight d2 to a more active position he e3 square) 1 2...0-0 1 3 lDfl lDb6
1 4 e3 g6 1 5 b2 llc8 1 6 l:lc l
11t'd7 1 7 11t'b3 a6! (Black lets it be
known that he too is no stranger to
manoeuvring - the knight a6 sets otT
for b5, while the queen goes to
exchange on a4) 1 8 d2 a7 with a
complicated but fresh struggle (Am.
Rodriguez - Asrian, Las Vegas 1 999).
8 b3 c5 9 b2 c6 I 0 c4 (after
B lack loses control over the d5
square, this thrust is quite logical)
I O ..e7 1 1 cd ed 1 2 lle l b4!? (if
you want to play solidly - follow the
game Sakaev - Bareev, Elista 1 998:
12 ...0-0 1 3 lDn e6 14 d3 cd
1 5 xd4 xd4 1 6 xd4 c5)
13 de !? (it is impossible to resist the
pleasure of sacrificing the exchange
in such a position) 1 3 ...xc5 (on the
immediate 1 3 . . . lDc2?! strong is

25 1

Advance Variation: 4 lLlj3

1 4 lLld4!) 1 4 lLlf1 lLlc2 1 5 lLlg3 !?


lLlxe I 1 6 lLlxf5 lLlxf3+ 17 .lixf3 ...g5
1 8 ...c2 with an initiative which more
than compensates for the loss of
material.
8 aJ (we have already come across
this idea: White waits until Black has
carried out c6-c5, in order to
exchange on c5 and, in tum, play b2b4) 8 . . .h7 (also Black waits ... ) 9 b3
c5 I 0 de lLlxc5 I I b4 lLld7 (weaker is
l l . ..lLle4 1 2 lLlxe4 .i.xe4 because of
1 3 .ltb5+ lLlc6 1 4 lLld4) 1 2 i..b2 g5 ! '?
(developing the bishop on g7 and
even theateoing a timely g5-g4 ! )
1 3 c4 g7 1 4 cd lLlxd5 1 5 lLlc4 0-0
1 6 .lid3 xd3 1 7 ...xd3 b5 ! 1 8 lLle3
lLlxe3 1 9 ...xe3 g4!, at least with the
initiative (Art. Minasian - Asrian,
Erevan 2000).
8 .U.e l ! ? h7 9 lLlfl c5 1 0 c4 de
I I lLle3 (it seems that White is on the
point of breaking in the centre, but
Black manages to abruptly simplify
the position) l l ...cd 1 2 lLlxd4 lLlxe5
1 3 lLlxc4 lLl7c6 1 4 lLlxe5 ...xd4 !
1 5 lLlxc6 ...xd l 1 6 .U.xd l be 1 7 .i. f3
llc8 1 8 e3 c5 with an equal
endgame (Svidler - Dreev, Elista
1 998).
c) 7 bJ!? White wants to carry out
c2-c4 in such a way that it does not
allow the appearance of a hostile
blockading knight on d5. In other
words, he intends to capture on c4
with a pawn.
Black has his customary reflection:
whether to play, at last, 7 . . .c5 or be a
little more patient - 7 ... lLld7.

c I ) 7 c5!? Black thinks that his


time has come. White thinks
otherwise. Somebody must give way.
True, in chess there is one other
variant: draw.
ideal istic
(an
de
8
ell)
continuation, but it does not lead to
an advantage) 8 lLlec6 9 lLld4 lLlxd4
1 0 xd4 lLlc6 1 1 bS xc2
12 .ltxc6+ be 13 lLlcJ e7 14 lLle2
...aS! (Black thrusts the queen over to
a6, and from there to d3 - to shake
hands) 1 5 b4 'ifa6 16 llel llb8 17 a4
.i.g6 1 8 eJ 0-0 19 'ifcJ 'ifdJ, and
problems are solved (Sutovsky Finkel, Israel 1 996).
c 1 2) 8 lLlaJ A move with two
objectives a t the same time. The first
- to drop the knight at b5. The second
- to help promote c2-c4. But as a
result he achieves nothing.
8 lLlec6 9 .i.b2 a6 Suppressing
White's attempt to penetrate with the
knight on b5, but, as will be clear, a
good move contains within itsel f
pluses of which one is not
immediately aware when making it.
Also quite possible was 9 ... .lte4
I 0 c4 cd I I lLlxd4 lLlxd4 1 2 ...xd4
lLlc6 1 3 'ife3 '1Vg5 1 4 ...xg5 hg
1 5 lLlb5 0-0-0 1 6 .U.fd I i.c5 1 7 cd

252

..

Advance Variation: 4 l:i:Jj3

l::txd5 1 8 l1xd5 xd5 1 9 l1c I b6


with an equal endgame (Gelfand
Karpov, Monaco 200 1 ).
1 0 de. 1 0 c4 is inappropriate since
after I O. .cd l l l:i:Jxd4 l:i:Jxd4 1 2 'ifxd4
Black gains time for development:
1 2 . . .1:i:Jc6 1 3 1i'f4 d4 1 4 f3 .ic5
1 5 l:lad l 'ifg5 ! 1 6 'ifxg5 hg 1 7 l:i:Jb l
l:i:Jxe5 1 8 xb7 lla7 1 9 ltfe l (van der
Weide - Podgaets, Hoogoven 1 999)
1 9 ...1:i:Jd3 !? with a tangible advant
age.
10 xc5 1 1 c4 d4 1 2 d3 g4
13 e4

(Mitkov - Dreev, Elista 1 998).


l l ...l:i:JxfS 12 b2 1Wa5! (a well
thought out manoeuvre, having a
tactical basis) 13 1i'e2 l:i:Jfd4 14 1We4
lidS l 5 lld 1

..

1 3 ...1:i:Jxe5 !? Perhaps B lack, in


playing 9 ... a6, foresaw that with this
move he would give life to the rook
aS !
1 4 xb7 lla7 1 5 'iVe2 1:i:Jbd7 1 6 h3
dJ ! 1 7 'iVd l .ih5 1 8 g4 llxb7
19 l:i:Jxe5 1Wc7! Several strong moves
in succession - and Black has great
chances of victory (Am. Rodriguez Asrian, Las Vegas 1 999).
c 1 3) 8 c4?! This move always
rescues White, but in the present
variation it will rebound on itself.
8...dc 9 xc4 cd I 0 l:i:Jxd4 l:i:Jbc6
11 l:i:JxfS Even worse is I I b2?!
l:i:Jxd4 1 2 'iVxd4 'iVxd4 1 3 xd4 1:i:Jc6
1 4 b5 0-0-0 1 5 b2 l:i:Jd4 !, and
Black finally took over the initiative

15...'iVxe5! In this move lies the


point of the whole combination.
When the fire dies down and the
endgame approaches, you will see
how comfortable Black is with his
setup.
1 6 'iVxe5 l:i:JfJ+! 1 7 gf l:txd l +
1 8 g2 l:i:Jxe5 1 9 .ixe5 .icS White
has to make an effort to achieve a
draw (Glek - Dreev, St. Petersburg
1 998).
c2) Although, as follows from the
above-mentioned variations, 7 ...c5 !?
is quite possible, one should also look
at other plans: 7.. 1:i:Jd7 8 c4, and then
8 ...1:i:Jg6 or even 8 ... g5!?
c2 1 ) 8...1:i:Jg6 9 1:i:Ja3 He can also try
to play in another way: 9 h3 h5
I 0 .ie3 e7 I I a3 (give White one
more tempo and he will close the
queen 's flank by c4-c5 and obtain an
enormous space advantage) l l ... dc!
1 2 be c5! (just in time) 1 3 l:i:Jc3 0-0
1 4 d5 !? l:i:Jdxe5 1 5 l:i:Jxe5 l:i:Jxe5 1 6 f4
l:i:Jd7 1 7 xh5 l:i:Jb6 with counterplay
(Tkachiev - Adams, Wijk aan Zee
1 995);

253

Advance Variation: 4 f1Jj3

9 '1Jf4!? (A favourable unloading


operation for B lack - an exchange of
the passive knight, which only
hampers the development of pieces)
1 0 .i.xf4 .i.xa3 I I .i.d3 .i.g4 ! ?
1 2 ll b l ( ...and suddenly there i s the
gaping b3-b4) 1 2 .i.e7 (no gaping! )
13 h 3 .i.h5 1 4 ,..e2 0-0 1 5 'ife3
.i.g6!? 1 5 ...a5? would be a blunder in
view of 16 cd cd 1 7 .i.xh6! (Topalov
- Timman, Amsterdam 1 996), but
now approaches the critical moment.
..

second rook remains for the time


being on b I and from there will
support a pawn advance on the
queen's flank: 1 6..Jle8!? 1 7 c5 etc.

9 '1Jc3 Possible is 9 .i.a3 '1Jg6


I 0 .i.xf8 <it>xf8 1 1 .i.d3 .i.xd3
12 'ifxd3 <j{g7 1 3 '1Jc3 de 1 4 'ifxc4 g4
1 5 CiJe I c5 1 6 de '1Jdxe5 with equality
(Espinosa - Dreev, Merida 2003 ).
9 .i.g7!? The most natural move.
Black completes his development and
at an opportune moment threatens to
break in the centre (c6-c5 or f7-f6).
9 . . ..i.h7 1 0 CiJe t '1Jg6 looks
pretentious, although in the game
Shirov - Brunner (Biel 1 995) Black
managed to justify his setup:
1 1 '1Jd3?! de 1 2 be c5! 13 de .i.g7
with serious counterplay.
Stronger therefore is I I cd!? cd
1 2 f1Jd3 llc8 1 3 .i.b2. Shirov assesses
the position after 1 3 . . f5 as unclear.
But this assessment is questionable;
after 1 4 ef '1Jxf6 1 5 .J:le I White's
position is preferable.
1 0 cd ed! ? (with the idea of
transferring the knight to the strong
blockading square e6) 1 1 .i.d3 '1Jf8!
1 2 .i.a3 (threatening 1 3 .i.xe7
winning a piece) 12 ....i.g4 13 h3
.i.h5
...

White headed for this posiiton but


it brings him no good fortune. Thus,
in the game Lutz - Adams (Germany
1 996) the German grandmaster chose
1 6 .i.xg6 fg 1 7 'ifd2, but after 1 7 ... g5 !
(freeing the g6 square for the queen,
where it will occupy an excellent
position) 1 8 .i.e3 'iVe8 1 9 '1Jh2 'iVg6
20 'iVa5 llfc8 2 1 llbc I '1Jf8 22 'ifd2
'iVe4!? Black, at least stood no worse.
And most probably - better.
c22) I f 8 ...'1Jg6 is the most solid
plan of counterplay, then 8 g5!? is
the most active. On the next moves
the weight of the struggle transfers
from the centre to the king's flank.
Apparently the most accurate move
in the present situation is 1 6 llfd1 !?
(Fiorito - Bacrot, Erevan 1 996). The

254

Advance Variation: 4 lbp

Black has conducted the previous


stage of the game in ideal fashion,
and yet the assessment of the present
position oscillates. It is quite
probable that White will still get his
hands on the initiative.
In the game Baklan - Bareev
(Moscow 200 1 ), true, he did not
make a success of things: 1 4 .i.e2
.ig6 1 5 tba4 b6 (cutting the knight
off from the c5 square) 1 6 l:c l (it
makes sense to play 1 6 ._.c l !?,
transferring the queen to c3, and only
then to place the rook on c I )
1 6 . . .._.d7 1 7 .i.d3 .i.h5 1 8 l:c3 tbe6.
The manoeuvring stage of the game
has been more successful for Black.
Therefore stronger is an immediate
14 tba4!? tbe6 1 5 ltJcS, not waiting
until Black takes prophylactic
measures against the knight intrusion
on c5. After 1S ......a5 16 tbxe6 fe
1 7 .i.cS White has the advantage
(Zamicki - Dreev, Internet 2003).
2) 6...c5!? Despite the favourable
as indicated by the above-mentioned
variations - prognosis for Black
after 6... h6, breaking in the centre
remains the most direct and effective
weapon.
-

Before surveying the environs of


the basic moves (7 de and 7 c4), we
draw attention to the sidelines: 7 c3,
7 tbc3 and 7 tba3.
Hardly worth considering is
7 tbc3?! - after 7 . . .tbec6 White does
not succeed in making this knight as
effective as he would like: 8 .i.g5
as 9 a3 tbxd4 I 0 tbxd4 cd I I lDb5
h6 1 2 .i.d2 6 1 3 .i.b4 .i.xb4 1 4 ab
tbc6! 1 5 tbd6+ e7 1 6 tbxf5+ ef
(Smirin - Karpov, Cap d' Agde 1 996).
More interesting is 7 tba3, as
already mentioned above, with two
threats: dropping the knight on b5
and helping to prepare c2-c4.
However upon correct play Black
equalises: 7 ...tbec6 8 .i.g5 (nothing is
offered by 8 c4 cd 9 cd in view of
9 ....i.xa3 I 0 de tbxc6 I I 3 d3 !
1 2 l:d I 6 1 3 xb6 ab 1 4 .i.xd3
0-0-0 1 5 .i.e2 l:xd I + 1 6 .i.xd I l:ld8
1 7 .i.b3 tba5, Erenburg - Miton, Goa
2002), and here, instead of what
followed in the game Mark Tseitlin Podgaets (Biel 1 997) 8 .. .'.'b6, it was
necessary to play 8 ...'ifd7! 9 c4 cd
1 0 cd .i.xa3 ! I I de tbxc6 1 2 ba d3 !
7 c3 allows Black to arrange his
pieces in maximum comfort:
7 . . .tbec6! 8 .i.e3 tbd7 9 a3 .i.e7 !?
1 0 b4 cd I I cd 0-0 12 tbbd2 tbb6
1 3 llc l l:tc8 1 4 lDb3

255

Advance Variation: 4 0.}3

8 lf:Jd7 9 c4 de 10 0.a3! White


wants to take the pawn with the
knight and control the d6 square.
..

14 ...0.c4! (we have already come


across this kind of sacrifice) 1 5 .ixc4
de 1 6 l:txc4 'iVd5 1 7 l:tc I b6 !? with
excellent compensation for the
pawn in view of the blockading
square d5 and control over the light
squares (Short - Adams, Gannisch
Partenkirchen 1 994).
We go over to a survey of the main
continuations: 7 de and 7 c4.
a) 7 de (White temporarily wins a
pawn)
7 0.ee6!?
The
most
successful deployment of the knight:
the king's knight will go to c6, the
queen 's - to d7, attacking at the same
time c5 and e5.
8 .ie3!? Probably the best move
but here are the others:
8 a3 !'? .ixc5 9 b4 .ib6 I 0 .ib2
lf:Jd7 I I c4 de 1 2 li::Jbd2 c3 1 3 .ixc3
.ic7 14 .ib5 0-0 1 5 l:te I lf:Je7
1 6 li::Jb3 lf:Jd5 1 7 .ib2 .ig4 1 8 .id3,
and White has achieved something;
true, there is no doubt that Black's
play can be improved {lnarkiev Simutowe, Goa 2002);
8 c4 d4! 9 l:le 1 .ixc5 10 .id3 ..ig6
I I a3 aS 1 2 .ixg6 hg 1 3 li::Jbd2 a4
1 4 ll:Je4 lf:Jd7 1 5 .if4 'iVb6 1 6 l:b l
..ie7 1 7 b4 ab 1 8 Ibb3 'iVa7 1 9 'iVb 1
llb8 20 li::Jd 6+ .ixd6 2 1 ed 0-0
22 lf:Jg5 'ilc5, draw {Baklan - Prasad,
San Vincent 2003).
.

Do you sense how the play has


speeded up sharply? Even two moves
ago the sides were expressing their
thoughts out loud: where to place
each piece, which exchange was
favourable, which unfavourable . . .
And suddenly everything becomes
absolutely concrete; such a position
is no longer decided on general
considerations!
a l ) IO c3? ! suggests itself, to
devalue White's pawns on the
queen's flank. However, as proved by
practice and analysis, this advance
leads to a worse position for Black.
I I 'iVbJ!? It is important to free the
d I square for the rook as quickly as
possible. Weaker is I I be?!, after
which White is saddled with weak
pawns on c3 and e5 . In the game
Tkachiev - Adams (Wijk aan Zee
1 995) Black quickly picked up the
key to these weaknesses: l l ....ixc5
1 2 .ixc5 0.xc5 1 3 lf:Jb5 0-0 1 4 'ire I
'ilb8! 1 5 'ile3 lf:Jd7! It becomes clear
that there is no way to defend the e5
pawn since on 16 lf:Jd6 there follows
all the same 16 ...0.dxe5!

256

Advance Variation: 4 lbj3

ll ...cb 1 2 llad I ! There is no sense


in losing time on regaining the pawn:
1 2 'iNxb2?! xeS 1 3 ..xb7 lbaS
14 'ifb2 xe3 I S fe 'ifb6, and Black
is at least no worse (analysis by
Yermolinsky).
12 ... b l ,.! ? ( it is necessary to
deflect the knight away from the bS
and c4 squares) 13 lbxb l 'iNc8
14 'ii'c3 A critical position is reached.

In the game Shirov - Karpov


(Monaco 1 997) Black played simply
14 ... xb l I S llxb l e7, but did not
achieve equality: 1 6 lLld4 ! lbxd4
1 7 ..txd4 lLlxcS 1 8 .to llb8 1 9 as !
Worth considering is the more
refined 14 ... g4!? I S lld2 (with the
idea of doubling on the d-file)
1S... xl3 1 6 gf gS!?, developing the
bishop on g7 and at the same time
tixing the f pawn. However, after
1 7 l:tfd I lLldxeS 1 8 lba3 ! ? g7
19 xgS 0-0 20 lLlbS h8 2 1 lLld6
'fic7 22 f4 White, as before,
possesses the initiative.
a2) l O...xcS! ( far stronger than
I O . . . c3? ! ) 1 1 xeS I nteresting is
I I lbxc4! ? with the idea on
l l . . . ..ixe3?! to start an attack by
means of 1 2 lbd6+ 9i;e7 1 3 lbxb7!
(an unpleasant intermediate move !)
1 3 ... 'Wb6 (inferior is 1 3 . . .'iNc7? ! ,

since in the endgame after 1 4 ._d6+


'iNxd6 I S ed+ e8 1 6 fe J:lb8
1 7 llac I ! White's advantage is close
to decisive) 14 'iNd6+ We8 1 5 fe
1i'xb7 1 6 llac l llc8

1 7 lLld4! White's attack is indeed


very unpleasant. There might follow:
1 7 ... xd4 1 8 ed J:ld8 I 9 llc7 'ifb6
(transferring to an endgame rather
eases Black's defence; 1 9 ...'ilfxb2?
loses because of 20 f3 with the
irresistible threat of 2 1 c6) 20 llfc I
1i'xd6 2 1 ed, and the impossibility of
castling makes Black's position
suspect.
But in reply to I I xc4 there is the
simple 1 1 . . .0-0 ! ? 1 2 'ifb3 xe3
1 3 'ifxe3 b6. The knight transfers to
dS, after which Black equalises the
game: 1 4 lLld6 dS 1 5 'ii'cS ..i.g4
1 6 xb7 'ifb6 1 7 'ifxb6 ab 1 8 d6
f4 1 9 ..id I llad8 etc.
l l ...xcS 1 2 xc4 0-0 13 'ifcl ! ?
The best move. White transfers the
queen to e3, where it occupies an
excellent position. Nothing is offered
by 1 3 llc l ( 1 3 d6 'ifb6) 1 3 ...d3 !
1 4 llc3 f4 I S d6 xeS! (a
tactical blow, very quickly leading to
equality) 1 6 xf5 lLlxe2+ 1 7 'ii'xe2
xf3+ 1 8 1i'xf3 ef, and in the game
Klovans - Yermolinsky (Groningen

257

Advance Variation: 4 li:lj3

1 996) the opponents concluded


peace.
After 1 3 'ifc I Black has an
enormous choice of continuations,
but only one of them promises full
value counterplay.

First of all, 1 3 ...li:ld4?! is weak in


view of 14 li:lxd4 'ifxd4 1 5 lid I , and
White has a great advantage. Then we
have to look at the queen moves:
1 3 ...'iVc7 and 1 3 . . .'iVe7.
After 1 3 . . ...c7?! 1 4 'iVe3 li:lb4
( 1 4 ...li:ld7 1 5 l:lac l ) 1 5 li:ld4 he has
no compensation at all for White's
advantage in space.
From time to time the move
1 3 ...'it'e7?! is tried in practice, but
each time equality slips from Black's
hands: 14 'it'e3 l:tad8 (it is worth
paying attention to the recommend
ation of Korchnoi: 1 4 . . .li:ld7 !?)
1 5 li:ld6 (also possible is 1 5 l:lad I
.i.g6, Hubner - Karpov, Dortmund
1 997, and here Hubner advises
1 6 li:ld6 b6 1 7 a3 li:lb7 1 8 li:lb5 with a
great advantage) 1 5 ... b6? (this is
weak, but also the better, in Shirov's
opinion, 1 5 . . . li:ld7 1 6 li:lxb7 l:tb8
I 7 l:tac I li:lcxe5 1 8 li:lxe5 li:lxe5
1 9 li:la5 does not change the
assessment of the position) 1 6 .i.b5 !
li:lb4 1 7 li:ld4 .i.d3 (losing is 1 7 ... .i.g6

1 8 d2 ! a5 1 9 a3 - Shirov) 1 8 .i.xd3
li:lcxd3 1 9 f4! (Shirov - Teske,
Budapest 1 996).
On the other hand, still none of the
active players has applied in practice
the interesting queen sacri fice:
1 3 ... .i.d3 !? 14 l:td l .i.xe2 1 5 l:lxd8
l:lfxd8.

It looks like there are chances,


although of course Black is hanging
on by a thread: 1 6 li:ld6 (or 1 6 f4
li:ld3 1 7 'ife4 .i.xt3 1 8 xo l:td5 ! )
l 6. . .li:ld3 1 7 e3 .i.xt3 1 8 1i'xd3
li:lxe5 1 9 'iVe3. Black's problems are
linked to the fact that the light
squared bishop will not manage to
consolidate itself on the aS-h I
diagonal:
19...1:txd6 20 xeS l:td5 2 1 1i'e3
(after 2 1 'ifc3 Black easily equalises:
2 l ... .i.h5 22 h3 a5) 2 l ... .i.h5 22 h3 h6
23 l:tc l b6 24 l:tc7 .i.g6 25 'iVc3 ;
l 9... f6!? (leading to more lively
play) 20 li:lc4 l:td3 2 1 e ) (or
2 1 'ifc5 c6! 22 li:lxe5 l:td5 23 'it'e7
l:lxe5 24 l:td I l:te8, and everything is
under control) 2 l . . J:td5 22 h I
(22 b3 llad8) 22 ...llc5 !? 23 b3 .i.c6
24 f4 li:lfl 25 1i'xe6 l:te8 26 'it'g4 b5,
and Black starts to keep an eye on the
g2 square...

258

Advance Variation: 4 lbj3

The idea 1 3 ....i.d3 !? still awaits


practical trials, while here the move
13 ... lbd3!, thought up by M.Podgaets
in 1 997, passed its test in the game
lvanchuk - Karpov (Monaco 1 998)
and from this time became the main
line.

Hawaii 1 998}, and 20 lld2 (lvanchuk


- Karpov, Monaco 1 997) 20 ... gS !
Black, by making a flight square and
securing the position of his knight eS,
has no problems.
b) 7 c4 Without exception, in all
these variations of Chapter Five the
advance c2-c4 is a very principled
and main response to c6-cS. In reply
Black can choose between 7...dc and
7 ...lbbc6.
b I ) 7 de does not guarantee full
equality.
.

14 'ifeJ There is no advantage in


14 .i.xd3 ..xd3 I S lld l ( I S lbd6?
lDxeS ! ) I S .....c2 ! 1 6 lld7 11fxc l +
I 7 llxc I .i.e4 1 8 lDfd2 .i.d5 Black
stands better, but this, of course, is no
reason to lose in one move:
1 9 llxb7'?? (Wang Zili - Karpov,
Beijing 1 998) 1 9 . . . lbd4! (Karpov
comes down on e5), and White loses
a rook.
14 11fd5!? The clearest way to
equality. Possible is 1 4 . . . lbdb4 ! ?
I S llad l 'fle7 1 6 lbd6 .i.g6
( 1 6 ... .i.g4!?) 1 7 .i.c4 lbas 1 8 b3 !?
(Abreu - Podgaets, Havana 1 999)
1 8 ... lbxc4 1 9 be b6! 20 lld2 llad8.
1 5 lbd6 Also upon the quiet 1 5 b3
llfd8 1 6 llad I ..e4 1 7 lbd6 xe3
1 8 fe Black exploits the unloading
with the blow 1 8 ... lDdxeS! 1 9 lDxb7
llxd l 20 :Xd l lbg4.
1 5 lbdxe5 1 6 llfd 1 lbxf3+
17 .i.xf3 es 18 ..xeS lDxeS 19
.i.xb7 ltab8 In this endgame after
both 20 b3 g5 ! (Shaked - Gulko,
.

8 .i.xc4!? It is also useful to


examine 8 lbc3 and 8 lba3 :
8 lba3 lbec6 (we looked at the
variation 8 ...lbbc6 after the fol lowing
move order: 7 . . .lbbc6 8 lba3 de) 9 de
'ifxd I I 0 llxd I .i.xcS I I lbxc4 lbd7
1 2 .i.f4 lbb6 1 3 llac I lbxc4 1 4 .i.xc4
.i.b6 I S .i.bS llc8 1 6 lDd2 (Bologan Adianto, Manila 1 992), and here
Black missed the possibility of
liquidating his opponent's initiative
by 1 6 ... 0-0!? 1 7 lbc4 lbd4 1 8 lbxb6
llxc 1 1 9 llxc 1 lbxb5 20 lbc4 llc8.
8 lbc3 promises Black even less:
8 ... a6 9 'fla4+ lbd7 I 0 de lbc6
1 1 .i.e3 (Motylev - Pozdnyakov,
St. Petersburg
1 997)
1 l . . . .i.xc5
1 2 .i.xcS lbxc5 1 3 ..xc4 lbd7
1 4 llfd l ..c7. In view of the

259

Advance Variatio11: 4 !:fjp

weakness on eS Black's chances are


even somewhat preferable.
Bologan
advises
exammmg
8 'ii'a4+ !? 'ii'd 7 9 'ii'xc4 cd I 0 !:fjxd4
g6 I I !:fjc3, but there are still no
serious games on this theme.
8 ... !:jbc6 9 de!? {jg6 Weaker is
9 . . .'ifxd l ?! 1 0 l%xd l g4 I I !:fjcJ
ltd8 1 2 l':xd8+ xd8 1 3 !:fjgS !:fjxeS
(Svidler - Yermolinsky, Madrid
1 998) 14 .i.f4! 'j7g6 I S xeS !:fjxeS
1 6 lte I h6 1 7 !:fjxe6+ xe6 1 8 xe6
with the better endgame (analysis by
Yermolinsky).
10 eJ g4 I I 'ii'xd8+ l%xd8
1 2 !:fjbd2 {jgxe5 13 !:fjxeS !:fjxes
14 .i.b5+ !:fjc6 1 5 !:fjc4 e2 16 llfc l
This i s how the game Kaminski Volzhin (Visla 1 998) continued. In
the opinion of the Polish grandmaster
Marcin Kaminski, White retains a
minimal advantage if he brings the
rook with tempo to e I, and not c I .
b2) 7 !:jbc6!? Stronger than
7 ... dc, although, judging by the last
analysis, White in every layout can
count on obtaining an advantage. We
look at three moves: 8 de, 8 !:fjc3 and
8 !:fja3,
.

Dubious is 9 'ii'a4?! 'jg6 1 0 b4 aS


I I bS !:fjb4 1 2 b6+ !:fjc6 1 3 a3.
The game Hamdouchi - Karpov
(Cap d' Agde 1 998) then continued
1 3 ...'jf4?! 1 4 .U.e I !:fjxe2+ I S ltxe2
'Wd7 1 6 l':d2 d3 1 7 !:fjc3, and in this
position the opponents agreed a draw
(although, frankly speaking, White
could continue the struggle without
particular risk, for example, 1 7 . . . e7
1 8 !:fjbS 0-0 1 9 !:fjd6). For the theory
of the variation these details mean
little, since instead of 1 3 ...'jf4?! he
should play 1 3 ... f6!
9 xd3 1 0 'Wxd3 {jg6 I I 'We4
xeS 1 2 !:fjbd2 0-0 13 lbbJ It is clear
that Black should arrange his forces
around the d4 pawn, but how exactly?
In the game Gelfand - Karpov
(Cannes 2002) was played 1 3 ...'ii'b6
1 4 h4 h6 I S hS lbge7 1 6 lbe l b4!?
1 7 lbd3 'ii'a 6! with a fully acceptable
position. Other paths are also
interesting:
1 3 b6!? 1 4 f4 Weak is
1 4 gS?! '1Vb8 I S llfe l h6 16 f4?
(Bologan - Razuvaev, Reggio Emilia
1 996), and Black missed the chance
to punish his opponent for his lack of
concern: I 6 ... f5 !
1 4 'ifd7 ! ? I n the opinion of
Bologan, leading to an unclear game
is I 4... f5 1 5 ef lbxf4 1 6 'ii'x f4 l:.xf6
1 7 'ii'e4 'ii'd6. The assessment is not
quite accurate; after 1 8 l%ad I l%d8
1 9 l:r.fe I White has the preferable
game.
1 5 l%ad l :tad8 16 l:d2 White
wants to take the pawn on d4 for
underestimating
the
nothing,
opponent's counterplay. Best was
1 6 g3, although even then there is a
...

b2 1 ) 8 de d4!? (best) 9 dJ! It is


necessary first to blockade the black
pawn, and then actually try to win it.

260

Advance Variation: 4 /3

defence for Black: 1 6 ...a5! 1 7 c5 a4


I N cb ab 1 9 ab 'ifd5 ! Now however
he even goes on the offensive.

Not an easy choice for Black:


8 ...lLlg6, 8 ...a6 or 8 ...dc.
x) 8 lLlg6 (the most natural) 9 cd!?
Not so clear is 9 ..i.gS in view of
9... f6!? 10 ef gf I I cd (or I I ..i.e3 e5 !
1 2 cd lLlxd4) l l ...ed 1 2 ..i.e3 c4 with
counterplay for Black.
9 "tkxdS Otherwise (but also in
White's favour) the struggle develops
by 9... ed 1 0 lLlc2 ..i.e4 (or l O... c4
I I b3 b5 1 2 a4 a6 1 3 ab ab 1 4 l:lxa8
'Wxa8 1 5 lLle3 ..i.e6 1 6 lLlg5) I I ..i.e3
'Wb6 1 2 lie I , and it is dangerous to
take the pawn 1 2 ...'Wxb2 because of
1 3 e6! fe 1 4 lLlg5!
10 lLlbS l::te8 1 1 'Wa4 It is possible
to simpl ify the position - I I de
lLlgxe5 (weaker is
I I . . .'Wxd I
1 2 l:lxd 1 ..i.xc5 1 3 ..i.e3 !, and the
knight breaks in to d6) 1 2 "ikxd5 ed
1 3 lLlxe5 lLlxe5 1 4 ..i.f4, since the
endgame looks rather better for
White.
l l .. ed. To play l l . . .a6 is like
putting out a fire with petrol:
1 2 lLld6+ ..i.xd6 13 ..i.c4 'We4 14 l:le l
'Wc2 1 5 ..i.b3 'Wd3 1 6 ed cd 1 7 ..i.g5 !
1 2 lLlxa7 l:la8 1 3 ..i.bS ..i.dJ
( 1 3 .....i.c5 1 4 ..i.xc6+ be 1 5 "tkxc6+
'Wxc6 1 6 lLlxc6 d3 1 7 ..i.e3 with an
extra pawn in the endgame) 14 ..i.xd3
lLlxeS

16 f5! 17 ef e5! 1 8 t7+ (even


worse is I 8 lbxe5 lbgxe5 1 9 ..i.xe5
l:Ue8 20 n+ "tkxn 2 1 f4 'ifxc4)
18 "tkxt7 19 ..i.g5 l:lde8 20 e5 ..i.e7
For a long time Black possessed the
initiative (van Haastert - Podgaets,
Wijk aan Zee 1 998).
b22) 8 lLlcJ?! Despite first
impressions, quite an inoffensive
move.
8 ... a6!? Possibly even stronger is
8 ...dc 9 de lLld5 (Atalik recommends
9. . .lLlg6!?) 1 0 lLld4 lLlxc3 I I be ..i.xc5
1 2 lLlxf5 ef 1 3 ..i.xc4 ..i.xf2+! (Shirov
- Karpov, Vienna 1 996).
9 ed (unsatisfactory are both 9 de?
d4 1 0 lLla4 d3, and 9 ..i.g5 h6 1 0 ..i.h4
cd I I lLlxd4 lLlxd4 1 2 'ifxd4 lLlc6! )
9 lLlxd5 1 0 ..i.g5 lLlxe3 1 1 b e ..i.e7
12 ..i.e3 0-0! 13 de "tke7 14 ..i.d4 lLlaS
15 ..i.dJ ..i.xd3 16 "ikxd3 l:lfd8! Black
has no difficulties at all (Yermolinsky
- Gulko, Key West 1 994).
b23) 8 lLlaJ!? The ' new way' of
recent years. We have encountered
this continuation now and then in
previous lines, but it is precisely this
variation that represents the greatest
danger to Black.
.

26 1

Advance Variation: 4 lLlj3

chances) I I ...4:Jg6 1 2 4:Jc2 .i.xc2 1 3


'it'xc2 .i.xc5
IO dJ 1 0 ...4:Jg6 does not solve the
problem in view of I I l:E.d l !? .i.xc5
1 2 b4 ! In the endgame after
1 2 ... .i.xb4 1 3 4:Jxd4 'it'a5 1 4 'it'xa5
4:Jxa5 1 5 4:Jxf5 ef 1 6 l:E.b l White has
an undoubted advantage. For
example: 1 6 ... .i.c5 1 7 lld5 b6 1 8 .i.e3
4:Je7 1 9 l:E.d3 4:Jac6 20 .i.xc5 be
2 1 .i.O l:E.c8 22 .i.xc6+ 4:Jxc6 23 lLlc2
f4 24 g3 fg 25 hg 0-0 26 f4.
I I lld l 4:Jg6 1 2 b4 aS!? Of course,
dangerous - the b5 square is again
open for the transit of the white
knight - but together with this it is the
only move which givs prospects of
obtaining counterplay. Hopeless is
1 2 . . ..i.e? 1 3 .i.xd3 ! (only not
1 3 .i.b2? 4:Jf4 1 4 .i. fl .i.g4)
1 3 ....i.xd3 14 'it'b3 4:Jgxe5 1 5 4:Jxe5
4:Jxe5 1 6 .i.b2 .i.f6 1 7 f4.
1 3 b5 .i.e7

Up to this moment practically no


questions on the variation have
arisen, but now White has at least two
continuations of the attack. It is
possible to play simply 1 5 4:Jxe5
lha7 1 6 'ifc2 'it'xe5 1 7 f4 'iVc5
1 8 'ife2 .i.d6 and, let's say, 1 9 a3 !?
There is no pawn but there is an
initiative. What it will bring - you
decide yourself.
There is a more intricate way:
15 .i.b5!? lba7 16 'iVxa7 4:Jxf3+
1 7 gf 'iVxb5 Already White has extra
material, but roles are changed and
this also relates to the attack:
18 'it'a8+ d7 1 9 l:E.d l g5 20 .i.e3
q;c7 2 1 a4 'iVe2 22 l:E.acl .i.g7 23
'iVa5+ b8 For White - the
exchange, for Black - the initiative.
Which carries more weight - again
you decide yourself.
y) 8 a6 ( Black prevents the
appearance of the white knight on b5,
but gets sti ll further behind in
development) 9 de d4 10 'iVa4!? An
ideal move. White rivets the enemy
queen to the back rank. Since if the
rook a8 is left undefended, the threat
of the jump 4:Jb5 again becomes real.
An unclear position is obtained
after 1 0 'it'b3 'iVd7 I I ltd I (or 1 1 h3
4:Jg6 1 2 g4 d3 ! 1 3 .i.d I .i.e4 1 4 4:Jd2
4:Jd4 1 5 'it'b6 .i.c6 with counter.

Suggesting itself is 1 4 .i.xd3 .i.xd3


1 5 4:Jd6+ .i.xd6 1 6 l:E.xd3 ab I 7 'it'b3
li)gxe5 1 8 lllxe5 li)xe5, and now
1 9 l:E.d I ! with the idea of attacking d6
with a pawn and thereby obtaining a
strong passed pawn.
After the nervous 1 9 . . .li)xc4?!
White's enterprise is justified: 20 cd
li)b6 2 1 d7+! 4:Jxd7 22 'iVxb4 'it'b6

262

Advance Variation: 4 lLlj3

(or 22 ... b6 23 .te3 'ike7 24 'ikbs lla7


25 .txb6 llb7 26 llac l ! 0-0 27 .td8!
winning) 23 'ikg4 llg8 (23 ... g6
24 .th6) 24 .te3 lLlf6 25 'ikf4 with a
colossal initiative.
Instead of 1 9...lL!xc4 stronger, of
course, is 19 . . . 0-0! , and on 20 cd 20 . . . 'ikh4 ! ? The d6 pawn is
unquestionably strong but the
remaining white pieces do not
impress, while the main thing is that
the black king is in danger. This is
how the game might further unfold:
2 1 .tb2 lL!g4 22 'ikg3 'ikxg3 23 hg
llfc8 24 d7 lld8 25 lld3 liaS 26 'itiJfl
f6 27 f3 lLleS 28 .txeS llxeS 29 lib I
l:tcS 30 llxb4 llc7 with an equal rook
endgame.
14 'ifb3! lL!:x:b4 1 5 a3! Two
accurate moves - and Black has
serious problems:
1 5. lLlc2 1 6 l:ta2 de 1 7 l:r.xd8+
l:txd8 I 8 lL!d6+ .txd6 1 9 ed lL!es
20 .td2 lLlxf3+ 2 1 'ikxf3 e I 'iV+ 22
.txe l lLlxe l 23 'ii'xb7 o-o 24 'ikc7;
1 5 lL!a6 1 6 .te3 lL!xcS 1 7 .txcS
.txcS 1 8 .txd3 a4 1 9 'ikc2 .txd3
20 l:txd3;
15 'ikc8 1 6 lL!d6+ .txd6 I 7 ed
lL!a6 1 8 .txd3 .txd3 1 9 .te3 !
z) 8...dc!? It is not easy to decide
on such a move - after all, White has
played 8 lLla3 to capture on c4 with
the knight. But our previous analysis
shows that other continuations do not
ease the pain.
9
lL!xc4
lLld5
10
.tg5! ?
Development with tempo. Less
dangerous is I 0 .te3, although this
move also contains a trap: IO ... bS?
I I lLld6+ .txd6 1 2 .txbS ! But after
I O....te4!? White will regret that he
..

did not develop the bishop with


tempo.
1 0 . ..'ikd7 Worth considering is
I O ... 'ii'c 7!? I I l:te I (in order to lead
away the l ight-squared bishop;
weaker is I I l:tc l h6 1 2 .th4 lLlf4)
l l ...h6 1 2 .th4 cd 1 3 lL!xd4 lL!xd4
1 4 'ikxd4 .tcS. After 1 5 lL!d6+ 'itiJf8!
( losing are both
I S ... 'ikxd6??
1 6 'iVa4+, and 1 5 ... .txd6? 1 6 ed)
events happen all by themselves in a
long and virtually forced variation,
resulting in perpetual check: 1 6 'ika4
.txd6 1 7 ed 'ikxd6 1 8 .tg3 'ikb6
1 9 l:r.ac I 'itiJg8 20 .thS l:tf8 2 1 .i.e5
'1th7 22 a3 a6 23 .td4 'ikd8 24 .i.c5
'ikg5 ! 25 .txf8 lLlf4! 26 .tf3 lLlh3+
27 fl .td3+ 28 .te2 .txe2+
29 xe2 lLlf4+ 30 f3 'ikxg2+
3 1 xf4 'iVx f2+ 32 e5 'ifxh2+
33 'iVf4 'Wxb2+ 34 'it'd4 'itb2+ etc.
1 1 l:tc l h6 12 .teJ

..

...

In the game Bologan - Erenburg


(Istanbul 2003) B lack engaged in
mass exchanges on the d4 square, but
he was not able to hold the position
and lost quite quickly. Apparently the
best chance for Black is an immediate
pawn sacrifice.
12 .. b5!? It is difficult to prove the
correctness of this sacri fice, but there
are simply no other resources.

263

Advance Variation: 4 {jjf3

1 3 a3 (weaker is 1 3 ftjd6+ xd6


14 ed in view of 1 4 ...c4! 1 5 b3 'iVxd6
1 6 be be 1 7 xc4 0-0) 13 a6 14 de
e7!? (more preferable than
1 4...{jxe3 1 5 'iVxd7+ xd7 1 6 fe
e7 1 7 ftjd4) 1 5 ftje2 1ld8 A critical
position. White has an extra pawn,
but his c5 and e5 pawns are weak,
whereas the black pieces unravel in
quite a harmonious way. It is
necessary to try to create new
problems for Black, concretely - to
spur into action the pawn pair a6+b5.
In the event of an immediate 16 a4
Black seems to obtain counterplay:
1 6 . . . 'iVc7 1 7 ftjcd4 ftjxe3 1 8 fe
g5!?, and then:
..

1 9 {jjxg5 hg 20 'iVe I (in the event


of 20 ab 'iVxe5 2 1 be Black develops
a threatening attack: 2 1 . . . 'iVxe3+
22 llf2 .Uxd4 23 'ife I l:ldh4 24 c7
rtile7 25 h3 .Uxh3 ! ) 20...'ifxe5 2 1 'iVg3
'iVxg3 22 hg ftjxd4 23 ed .Uxd4 24 ab
ab 25 .ixb5+ <ite7 26 c6 .Ud5 27 a6
d3 28 xd3 llxd3 29 b4 l:td5
30 llfd l .Uxd l + 3 1 .Uxd l .Ud8, and by
some kind of miracle Black will hold
this endgame.
1 6 ftjed4 (logical and at the same
time the most unpleasant move for
Black) 1 6..,{jxe3 1 7 fe ftjxd4 Other
moves are much worse: 1 7 . . .'iVd5
1 8 'iib3 ; 1 7 . . .'iVc7 1 8 'iVb3 .ie4
1 9 'iVa3 'iib7 20 ftjxc6 xc6 2 1 b4.
1 8 ed {White cannot win the
endgame w ith opposite coloured
bishops after 1 8 ftjxd4 g5 1 9 {fjxf5
ef 20 'iVxd7+ 'it>xd7) 1 8... J.e4 19 b4
It is still too early to push the a-pawn:
1 9 a4 ba 20 .ixa6 0-0 2 1 ltf2 :as
22 .ic4 .Uad8 with good chances of
salvation.
19 0-0 20 a4 (the time has come ! )
2 0...J.xf3 2 1 .UxfJ 'iVxd4+ 22 'it'xd4
llxd4 23 ab ab 24 .ixb5 llxb4
25 .id7 g5 26 :en .Ubb8 27 g3
J.e7 28 e6 d8 29 g2 .ie7
...

1 9 ltc3 b4 20 llb3 {jja5 2 1 xa6!?


(2 1 llxb4? xe3+ 22 'it>h 1 ftjc6)
2 1 ...{jxb3 22 b5+ 'it>f8 23 'iVxb3
'iVxc5 24 {jjx g5 hg 25 {fjxf5 ef
26 1lxf5 (for the exchange White has
a menacing initiative, but Black's
heavy pieces - above all the rook h8
- come out of hibernation) 26 ... f6
27 c4 llh4 ! 28 g8 lld7 29 .ie6
l:tf4! 30 J:lxf4 gf 3 1 xd7 fe 32 fl
'it'c I + 33 <ite2 'iVd2+ 34 c;t>o e2
35 'iVc4 e I ftj+! (he cannot promote to
a queen because of mate in two
moves) 36 e4 'iVxg2+ with a
probable draw;

I f Black succeeds in giving up the


bishop for the e and c pawns, it will

264

Advance Variation: 4 lDj3

be extremely difficult for While lo


realise his material advantage.
The system 4 lDf3 is perhaps the
only properly classical system in this
book. Classical system does not
exactly suggest an immediate
refutation of the opening variation
chosen by the opponent. No way.
Classical system suggests, firstly, a
healthy development of one's forces;
secondly, a healthy (mainly - central)
plan of play after coming out of the
opening; and thirdly, absolute
preparation to repulse the latest 'non
classical' tip and run attacks by the
opponent.

It goes without saying that with the


moves 4 lDf3, 5 e2, 6 0-0, 7 c4 etc.
you will hardly succeed in playing a
miniature. But it is highly probable
that you will succeed in obtaining a
game laying claim to a serious
positional advantage. In this also lies
the advantage of the Classical.
The Classical system might reach
the peak of popularity or fall
completely from fashion. But the
Classical cannot die before chess
itself dies. In other words, it will
never die.

265

Advance Variation: 4 /C,f3

Index to Chapter Five


I e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .irs 4 /C,O
4 . . . e6
I. 5 c3
214
A. 5 ... /C,d7
215
B. 5 ... c5
215
1 ) 6 ..ie3
215
2) 6 a3
216
II. 5 a3
217
A. 5 ... c5
217
B. 5 .../C,d7
218
Ill. 5 ..ie2
219
219
A. 5 ... c5
219
1) 6 0-0
6 ... /C,c6 7 c3
a) 7 ...1fb6
219
b) 7 .....ig6
219
c) 7 ...l:1c8
220
d) 7 .....ig4
220
e) 7 ...cd
220
8 cd /C,ge7
e1) 9 lbc3
22 1
222
e2) 9 ..ie3
222
e3) 9 a3
e3 1) 9 . . ./C,cS
222
e32) 9 . . . ..ie4
222
I 0 lL!bd2 lL!f5 I I b4
x) l l ...'ifb6
223
y) l l ...a5
223
2) 6 ..ie3
224
a) 6 . . .'..b6
224
a 1 ) 7 lL!c3
225
a l l ) 7 ...'iVxb2
225
225
a l 2) 7 ...lL!c6
a2) 7 c4
226
b) 6 . . .lL!d7
227
bl) 7 0-0
228

7 . . ./C,e7 8 c4 de 9 /C,a3
b l l ) 9.../C,d5
b 1 2) 9 ...c3
b2) 7 /C,bd2
7 . ..l'iJe7 8 de /C,c6 9 /C,b3
b2 1 ) 9 . . ...ig4
b22) 9 .....ie4
b3) 7 c4
b31 ) 7 .../C,e7
b32) 7 ... cd
b33) 7 . . . dc
x) 8 0-0
y) 8 /C,c3
c) 6.../C,e7
d) 6. . .cd
7 /C,xd4 /C,e7
d 1 ) 8 lL!c3
d2) 8 g4
d3) 8 f4
d4) 8 ..ig5
d5) 8 0-0
d6) 8 c4
8...lL!bc6 9 1Wa4
d61) 9 ... dc
d62) 9 ... a6
x) 1 0 cd
y) 1 0 lL!c3
B. 5 ...lL!d7
6 0-0
l) 6...c5
2) 6.....ig6
a) 7 lL!bd2
b) 7 b3
3) 6... h6
7 c3 lL!e7
a) 8 lL!a3
266

228
228
229
230
230
23 1
23 1
23 1
232
232
233
234
236
236
236
237
237
238
239
239
240
24 1
24 1
242
242
242
243
243
243
244

Advance Variation: 4 liJj3

b) 8 liJh4
4) 6 . . .lJe7
a) 7 ..i.e3
b) 7 e3
c) 7 ltJbd2
d) 7 a3
e) 7 ltJh4
el) 7 ... ..i.e4
e2) 7 ... ..i.g6
8 ltJd2 e5 9 e3
e21 ) 9...ed
e22) 9. . .l:le8
e23) 9...ltJf5
e24) 9...ltJe6
e3) 7 ... e5
C.5 ... ltJe7
6 0-0
1 ) 6 ...h6
a) 7 ltJh4
b) 7 lbbd2
c) 7 b3
cl) 7 ... e5
e l l ) 8 de

c l 2) 8 liJa3
c 1 3) 8 e4
c2) 7 ... lJd7
8 e4
c21 ) 8 ...ltJg6
c22) 8 ...g5
2) 6... e5
a) 7 de
7 . . .ltJee6 8 ..i.e3 ltJd7
9 e4 de
1 0 lba3
a t ) I O ... e3
a2) I O ... ..i.xe5
b) 7 e4
bl) 7 ...de
b2) 7 ...lbbe6
b21 ) 8 de
b22) 8 lbe3
b23) 8 lba3
x) 8 ...ltJg6
y) 8 ...a6
z) 8 ... de

244
244
244
245
245
246
246
246
247
247
247
247
248
249
249
25 1
25 1
25 1
252
252
252

267

252
253
253
253
254
255
256

256
257
259
259
260
260
26 1
26 1
26 1
262
263

Illustrative Games

No. I
A.MOROZEVICH - E.BAREEV
Monaco 2004
l e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 f3 de. It is worth
mentioning an idea, hitherto not seen
at the highest level: 3 ...'ifb6!? This
was played by world champion Maya
Chiburdanidze. Whether this kind of
move has value, apart from the factor
of surprise, only the future will tell.
But Maya Grigorievna obtained quite
an acceptable position: 4 ltJc3 de 5 fe
e5 !? 6 liJf3 ed 7 'ifxd4 'ifxd4 8 liJxd4
.ic5 9 liJb3 .id6 I 0 .ig5 liJd7
I I 0-0-0 .ie5 1 2 liJd4 liJgf6 1 3 .ic4
0-0 and subsequently won (Yatskova
- Chiburdanidze, Elista 2004).
4 fe eS S liJO .ie6 6 c3 liJf6 7 .id3
liJbd7 8 0-0 .id6 9 Wh 1 0-0 This
natural move is in fact a theoretical
novelty. We looked at the sharp
9 ...'ifc7 10 .ie3 c5!? (as in the game
Movsesian - Stohl) on page 1 2.
1 0 .igS 'flc7 1 1 liJbd2 llae8
12 'it'et h6 13 .ie3 ltJg4 14 .ig1 r5
1 5 er .ix5 16 .ix5 :xrs 1 7 'iVe2
ltJgf6 1 8 l1ae1 ed 19 'iVc4+ lld5
20 llxe8+ ltJxe8 2 1 liJxd4 liJdf6
22 liJfS b5 23 'ife2 'ifd7 24 liJxd6
liJxd6 25 liJO liJde4 26 .id4 a6
27 g 1 c5 28 .ixf6 liJxf6 29 .Ue1
lld6 30 b3 'it'f5

lt is obvious that White has not


obtained a serious advantage. None
the less it is still too early to agree a
draw.
3 1 c4 'ifd3 32 'iff2 be?! She should
choose between 32 . . . liJd7 and
32 . . .ltJe4 33 'ith4 liJd2 34 lle8+ h7
35 liJxd2 (35 ltJg5+? Wg6) 35 ...'ifxd2
36 'iVe4+ llg6. However even in this
case White can without risk continue
the struggle, for example, 3 7 h3
(37 lle6 'ifc l +) 37 ... 'ifd l + 38 h2
'ifd6+ 39 %1e5 Wh8 40 'ifd5 etc.
33 ltJe5! 'ifd2 34 ltJxc4 'iVxf2+
35 'iti>xll To be really precise, such an
endgame is not equal - the pawn
weaknesses on a6 and c5 pre
determine an advantage tor White.
Moreover Black does not put up a
tenacious defence.
35...1ld4?! 36 lte6 ltJe4+ 37 'it>e3
ltJc3 38 llxa6 lld 1 39 lla5 lta 1 40 a4

268

lllustrative Games

:a2 41 l:bc:S l:lxg2 42 aS l:lxh2


43 a6 l:lh3+ 44 Cit>d4 ll'le2+ 45 eS
Black resigned.

1 8 'ifd3 b4 1 9 gS .i.a6?!

No.2
R.FELGAER - A.DREEV
Tripoli 2004
I e4 c:6 2 d4 dS 3 f3 e6 Theory
promises Black a comfortable game
both on 3 ... g6, and 3 ... e5 !? However
in grandmaster practice why does the
modest advance o f the e-pawn
prevail?
4 .i.e3 b6!? In gambit variations
4. . . de 5 ll'ld2 ef 6 ll'lgxt3 ll'lf6 7 ll'lc4
('a Ia Smyslov ' ! - see page 1 9)
worthy of consideration is the game
Turov - Galkin (I nternet 2004):
7 ... ll'lbd7 8 .i.d3 .i.e7 9 'ild2 ll'ld5
I 0 g5 0-0 I I 0-0-0 b5 1 2 lbce5
lbxe5 1 3 de a6 1 4 i.xe7 'ifxe7
1 5 lbg5 h6 1 6 lbe4 c5 1 7 ibd6 with
some compensation for the material.
5 ibd2 It is possible that White
connects the move 4 ... b6 only to the
idea of exchanging the light-squared
bishops and prepares to avoid it:
5 ....i.a6 6 c4. But Dreev's plan is on a
broader scale... Stronger therefore is
the usual 5 lbc3.
S c:S!? 6 e3 'ifd7 7 ll'lh3 ed
8 xd4 lbe7 9 ibf4 lbbc:6 I 0 i.bS a6
I I ed ab 12 de 'ifxe6 13 lbe4 lbrs
14 ibhS i.b7 Black's central strategy
bears its fruit; his position is better.
Realising this, White rushes into a
desperate counterattack which is
hardly crowned with success.
1 5 g4! ? lbxd4 1 6 'ihd4 f6
1 7 0-0-0 (already now it was possible
to sacrifice a piece on f6) 17 ...e5
.

20 ibhxf6+!? The right idea but


with the wrong exploitation. After
20 lbexf6+! gf 2 1 'ii'f5 ! he is no
position to ward ofT the attack, as a
consequence of which Black is
in a lamentable predicament. For
example, 2 1 ...i.c8 22 ibxf6+ c;t>n (or
22 .. .'J.e7 23 lbd5+) 23 lbd7+ <lJg7
24 'ii'xe5+ Wg8 25 ibxf8 be 26 l:.d8
cb+ 27 xb2 winning.
In search of an improvement on his
play, Black probably has to return to
1 9 ...i.a6?!
20...gf 2 l lbxf6+ <J;n 22 'ifrs 'i1Ve6!
(now B lack is already winn ing)
23 'ii'e4 i.e7 24 l:td7 be 25 l:lhdl eb+
26 <3;xb2 i.bS 27 l:he7+ 'ii'xe7
28 'ifdS+ 'ii>g 7 29 ll'!hS+ Cit>g6
30 lbg3 'iVa3+ 31 <3;bl 1fb4+
32 Cit>a l l:r.xa2+! White resigned in
view of 33 xa2 i.c4+ or 33 1fxa2
'ii'c3+ 34 <3;b l i.d3+.
No.3
A.MOROZEVICH
V.BOLOGAN
Dagomis 2004
I e4 e6 2 d4 dS 3 f3 e6 4 lbe3 b4
5 i.f4 lbe7 The other popular
development, with the knight on f6,

269

Jllustrative Games

was tried in the game N i Hua - Dreev


(Taiwan 2004): 5 . . .lt'lf6 6 'ird3 b6
7 lt'lge2 .i.a6 8 'ire3 0-0 9 0-0-0
lt'lbd7. The encounter continued in a
classical way; White obtained a slight
but stable advantage I 0 h4 c5 I I e5
lt'le8 1 2 a3 .i.xc3 1 3 lt'lxc3 .i.xfl
1 4 llhx fl cd 1 5 l:txd4 lt'lb8 1 6 ..ig5
'irc7 1 7 ltg4 h8 1 8 lt'lb5 'ird7
1 9 lt'ld4 lt'lc6 20 h5 lt'lxd4 2 1 ltxd4 f6
22 ..if4 f5 23 h6 g6 24 ..ig5 - and he
was able to lead the game to victory.
6 'ii'd3 b6 7 lt'lge2 ..ia6 Three times
in 2004 A lexander Morozevich
played the system 3 f3 - and three
times he achieved success ! Here is a
fragment of his won game against
Vallejo (Monaco 2004): 7 . . . a5
8 0-0-0 ..ia6 9 'ife3 lt'ld7 10 h4 0-0
I I a3 ..ixc3 1 2 'irxc3 c5 1 3 ..id6 .:tc8
1 4 'iPb l l:te8 1 5 ..ixe7 'irxe7 1 6 ed ed
1 7 lt'lf4 c4 1 8 g3 (rejecting the
offered pawn; after 1 8 lt'lxd5 1fd6
1 9 lt'le3 b5 Black outstrips the
opponent in development and
initiative) 1 8 . . . lt'lf6 1 9 ..ih3 l:ta8
20 lthe l 'ii'd6 2 1 l:te5 with a
complicated struggle.
8 'ire3 0-0 9 0-0-0 c5 10 a3 ..i xc3
11 'irxc3 ..ixe2 1 2 ..ixe2 c4 1 3 h4 b5
In our theoretical survey in chapter
one we gave the game Nataf Motylev, in which was played
1 3 ... lt'lbc6 (page 30). Formally
1 3 ... b5 - is a new move, but in
essence, the plan demonstrated by
White in the present game should be
taken into account alongside the
novelty.
1 4 'ii'e l!? lt'lbc6 15 h5 'ii'd7 16 g4
r6
-

1 7 .in ! .:tad8 1 8 ..ih3 de 1 9 re


lt'lxd4 20 g5 rs As pointed out by
Morozevich himself, Black had a
surprising possibility at his disposal:
20. . . b4!? 21 gf ba! 22 fe a2 ! The
correct defence lies in 2 1 ..ie3 ! ba 22
ltxd4 a2 23 'ira5.
2 1 Wbl ! 'ii'c6 22 h6 re (22 ...'irxe4
23 'irxe4 fe 24 ltxd4! l:txd4
25 ..ixe6+ llf7 26 ltfl ) 23 'irc3 e3
24 llxd4! 'ii'x hl+ 25 a2 1Wxh3
26 lbd8 gh (more tenacious is
26...lt'lf5) 27 gh 'irg4 28 1i'h8+! And
in view of the inevitable mate Black
resigned.
No.4
S.RUBLEVSKY - K.ASRIAN
Moscow 2004
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c4!?
Immediately provoking a crisis in the
centre. After this game there
appeared many strong adherents of
the thrust of the c-pawn, which had
previously only been seen rarely.
4 cd 5 lt'lf3 lt'lc6 6 lt'lxd4 e6
Recently the theoretical discussion
has moved towards the endgame 6 ...dc 7 lt'lxc6 'ifxd I + 8 'ii'xd I be
9 ..ixc4 ..i f5 I 0 lt'lc3 e6 I I ..ie3.
Black
has
noticeable
pawn

270

..

Illustrative Games

weaknesses on the queen 's flank; on


the other hand, the knight, heading
for d5, can cement the position. Here
is a typical example: l l . ..&i:Je7
1 2 We2 lbdS 1 3 lbxd5 ed 1 4 a6
d7 1 5 llac 1 llb8 1 6 b3 a3
1 7 llcd1 e6, and his problems are
behind him (Volokitin - Speelman,
Internet 2004).
7 lbe3 b4 By transposition of
moves the opponents have reached a
well-known position (see page 37),
but Black decides to deviate from the
game we analysed, Iordachescu Arkell. It will be recalled that there
c5 was played.
8 lbxe6 be 9 d3 d4 1 0 a3 aS
11 b4 e7 (a mistake, stronger is
l l ... dc 1 2 ba ...xa5 with a
compl icated struggle) 1 2 lbe4 xeS
13 'iVhS 'iVc7 A beautiful win in reply
to l 3 ...c7 was pointed out by Sergei
Rublevsky: 1 4 g5 lbe7 1 5 f6!
1 4 f4 d6 (More problems with his
king remain after 14 ...xf4 15 0-0
xc 1 1 6 llaxc l ) 1 5 b2 lbe7 16 0-0
xf4 1 7 xd4 lbfS 1 8 eS a6

23 'iWxf7+ with mate. But there is no


salvation in transposition to an
endgame, while allowing it only
slightly delays the moment of
resignation. 22 lbd6+! 'it>d7 23 l1xh5
llaf8 24 bS e8 2S llh4 e7
26 lbxc8 llxe8 27 xa7 llhd8
28 .te4 lld l+ 29 'it>tl lled8 30 llxh7
ll8d2+ 3 1 g3 lla2 32 eS :c 1
33 b6+ 'it>b7 34 llxg7, and White
wins.
No.5
S.MOVSESIAN D.SVETUSHKIN
Calvia 2004

I e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS eS 4 de. The
success o f the earlier c2-c4 in
the game Rublevsky - Asrian
predetermined interest in this move
and in other variations. Thus, in ' new
history' the variation 4 .!Llf.3 g4
5 c4!?, was formulated and then:
S ... cd 6 'ii'a4+ d7 7 'ii'b3 de
8 xc4 e6 9 .!Llxd4 .!Llc6 I 0 .!Llxc6
.txc6 I I 0-0 .!Lle7 (Nisipeanu Zelcic, Naum 2004);
s ... dc 6 xc4 e6 7 'ii'b3 .txf3
8 1fxf3 .!Llc6 9 .tbS 'ii'h6 10 xc6+
'iWxc6 I I 'iWxc6+ be (Baklan Speelman, Internet 2004);
5 ....!Llc6 6 de de 7 1fxd8+ llxd8
8 xc4 xf3 9 gf e6 1 0 e3 .!Llge7
I I b5 a6 1 2 a4 tbdS (Parligras Svetushkin, Agios 2004).
4 tbe6 S bS e6 6 e3 tbge7
1 9 llxf4! 'iWxf4 20 :n 'irh6 (or 7 e3 d7 8 xe6 xe6?! In the
20... jfc7 2 1 llxf5 ef 22 lbd6+ 'it>d8 theoretical section (pages 48-49) we
23 xfS) 2 1 %1xf5! 'iix hS The second established in detail the basis for this
sacrifice cannot be accepted: 21 ... ef move being considered insufficient
22 lld6+ 'it>d7 (22 ...d8 23 .!Llxf7+) and experimental. The main line is
.

27 1

Illustrative Games

No.6
S.MOVSESIAN - I.KHENKIN
France 2004

8 ...llxc6 9 lJf3 (9 f4 g5 !?) 9 . . .'ikc7


1 0 d4 lJxd4 I I cd b6! ?
9 llf3 lbfS 1 0 d4 llxd4 1 1 'ikxd4
'ikaS 1 2 b4 'ika6 1 3 a4 b6

14 'iff4! A novelty (earlier we had


encountered only 1 4 cb), laying claim
to be a refutation of the whole system
with 8 . . . xc6 White creates two
threats: 1 4 llg5 and 1 4 cb ab 1 5 lJd4,
against which it is difficult to find a
satisfactory defence.
14 d4?! IS lbgS! Possibly Black
reckoned only on 1 5 b5 xb5
16 llg5 0-0-0!? 1 7 lbxn xc5 with
an attack. But White, not enticed by
material, creates a protected passed
pawn for himself on c6. Then in a
profound endgame he also secures a
decisive advantage.
IS 'ifb7 16 bS xg2 1 7 c6 'ikc7
18 l:tgt dS 1 9 cd f6 20 llh3 fe
2 1 'iVxeS ..i.b4+ 22 lJd2 'ikxeS+
23 de c3 24 .U.a3 xeS 2S .U.e3
.td4 26 l:d3 ..i.f6 27 llf4 0-0-0
28 d l .U.hf8 29 c2 ltt7 30 .tlel
gS 31 lbxdS ed 32 f3 llf4 33 :.es
f6 34 .UexdS l':.xdS 35 l:txd5 ltxa4
36 Wb3 .J:[d4 37 llxd4 .txd4 38 Wc4
.tgl 39 h3 Wc7 40 Wd5 a6 41 ba bS
42 lbb3 b4 43 llc5 Black resigned.
.

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 cS 4 de e6
5 e3 As always, Vasily lvanchuk
plays the opening in a non-standard
way and with great inventiveness:
5 a3 !? S..xc5 6 'ifg4!? g6 7 ..i.d3 llc6
8 lbf3 'ilc7 9 .tf4 d7 I 0 0-0 h5
I I 'iVg3 0-0-0 1 2 llc3 h4 1 3 llxh4 g5
1 4 ..i.xg5 llge7 1 5 b4 ..i.d4 1 6 lbb5
'ifb6 1 7 lJxd4 'ifxd4 1 8 lJ f3 .
Black has not managed to obtain
compensation for the two pawns and
he resigned (lvanchuk - Akopian,
Warsaw 2003). It is not excluded
that the best reaction to 5 a3 xc5
6 1lg4 is 6 .. .'.tf8 ! '? 7 ..i.d3 f5 !?
(Shaposhnikov - Komev, Kaluga
2003).
All this increased interest in Igor
Khenkin's idea: 5 .tf4 xc5 6 d3
lbc6 7 llf3 f6!? It will be recalled,
that on the simple-minded 8 0-0'?!
Black had prepared 8 . . . g5! (see page
54), while the defect of the move
8 lbbd2 we analysed in detail in
connection with the game Shirov Kramnik (pages 55-56). The more
interesting discovery of Arkady
Naiditsch is 8 g3 (prophylaxis!).
After 8 ...llh6 9 0-0 0-0 10 lbbd2 fe
1 1 lbxe5 e5 1 2 xe5 d7 1 3 'ifh5
lJf5 1 4 llb3 (Naiditsch - Ubilava,
Spain 2004) White obtained the
better chances.
5 llh6 6 c3 lbrs 7 .td4 lJxd4 8
cd b6

272

Illustrative Games

9 c6!? A surprise! Theory examines


mainly 9 .tbS+ d7 I 0 .txd7+
'ifxd7 I I cb ab 12 tbe2 (Nisipeanu
Kachiani) and 9 b4!? (Peng Xiaomin
- Khenkin). Both these possibilities
were analysed on page 63.
It is hard to imagine that with a
symmetrical pawn formation, Black,
possessing two bishops, will
experience difficulties. But this is
precisely what happens.
9....tb4+. It is interesting that this
position has already been met in the
practice of grandmaster Khenkin,
when he chose, it seems, the more
logical 9. . . lbxc6 1 0 lbf3 .id7 l l lbc3
.te7 1 2 .ie2 a6 1 3 0-0 bS 1 4 'iVd2
'iVb6 I S ltfd I 0-0 1 6 .id3 f6 with a
comfortable game (Bort - Khenkin,
Andorra 200 I ). However what was it
that compelled him to part with the
two bishops?
1 0 lbc3 .ixc3+ 1 1 be tbxc6
12 ..td3 .td7 13 'iVg4 0-0 14 lbf3 fS
1 5 ef lbr6 The position acquires an
outline, characteristic of the French
defence. There comes a sequence of
manoeuvres. White's plan is play in
the centre with support from the eS
square. Black would not mind
exchanging
the
light-squared

bishops,
which,
alas,
proves
unachievable.
16 ._...4 11h6 17 'ifg3 ..te8 18 0-0
.tg6 1 9 .tb5! lbe7 20 lbe5 ibfS
2 1 'iVg4 .ih5 22 'iff4 lbd6 23 .td3
llc8 24 llacl lbl7 25 c4 lbxe5 26 de
d4 27 l:tc2 .te8 28 l:ld2 %th4 29 'iVg3
'ile7 30 f4 .tc6? Black's difficulties
are visibly growing, but by means
of 30 ... l:lh6 he would still be able to
put up stubborn resistance. However
an uncomplicated combination by
White breaks down the opponent's
defence.
3 1 fS! ef 32 .txf5 lle8 33 e6+!
'ifxe6 (in no way better is 33 .. .'t>h8
34 11n) 34 'ilxh4 'ifxc4 35 lle1 .td5
36 'ifxd4 'iVxd4+ 37 llxd4 .ixa2
38 lla l ..te6 39 l:lxa7, and soon
Black resigned.
No.7
A.MOROZEVICH - E.BAREEV
Dagomis 2004
I e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .tfS 4 ..te3
One cannot ignore the game
Morozevich - lvanchuk (Calvia
2004): 4 f4 !? (the sharpest if rather a
questionable move, real ly too
prepossessing to obtain play) 4 ... e6
S lbf3 c5 6 .ie3 cd 7 lbxd4 lbe7
8 .tbS+ lbd7 9 0-0 a6 1 0 .ie2 gS
I I g4 gf 1 2 gf lbxfS 1 3 lbxfS fe
1 4 lbc3 %tg8+ I S h I 'iVgS Such a
position does not yield to calculation.
In the variation 4 lbd2 we tum our
attention to the game Rublevsky Dreev (Dagomis 2004). Here, after
4 ... e6 S ltJb3, Black surprisingly early

273

Jllustrative Games

moored to a drawing haven: S ...cS!?


(theory knows only the move
S ... lDd7 - see page 75) 6 de .ixcS
7 lDxcS 'iWaS+ 8 c3 'iWxcS 9 lD3 lDe7
1 0 'iVa4+ lDbc6 I I .ie3 'iWaS
1 2 'iWxaS lDxa5 1 3 .ibS+ lDac6
1 4 lDd4 .ig6 1 5 d2 Wd7 1 6 I:thc l
I:thc8 1 7 c4 de 1 8 llxc4 a6.
4 e6 5 lDd2 In the variation 5 c3
he continues the established idea of a
pawn break on the king's flank: f7-f6,
and on f2-f4 - g7-g5. For example:
5 ... f6!? 6 f4 'iWb6 7 'iWb3 g5 !? 8 ef g4!
9 f7+ xf7 I 0 h3 lDf6 I I .te2 lDbd7
1 2 lDd2 'iWxb3 1 3 ab h5 1 4 hg lDxg4
I S .ixg4 .ixg4 (Jenin - A. Vajda,
Winterthur 2004) or 5 ... 'ifb6 6 'iWb3
lDd7 7 lDd2 f6!? 8 f4 gS !, and then:
9 ef g4! 1 0 f7+ xf7 I I h3 lDgf6
1 2 .if2 .id6 1 3 hg lDxg4 1 4 g3 c5
1 5 .ie2 c4 16 'iWxb6 ab (Karpov Dreev, Reykjavik 2004);
9 lDg3 gf I 0 .txf4 .ih6 I I .ixh6
lDxh6 1 2 ef lDxf6 1 3 .ie2 lDe4
14 lDxe4 .ixe4 1 5 0-0 llg8 1 6 g3 (it
is precisely this move that we
recommended in the annotations to a
similar position from the game
Grischuk - Leko on page 84)
1 6 ... lDf7 I 7 lDd2 .if5 1 8 'iWxb6 ab 1 9
.ih5 .ig6 2 0 .ig4 e7 (Aiekseev Dreev, Moscow 2004). Black has no
difficulties.
5 ... lDd7 In the game Shirov Dreev (Tallinn 2004) the players at
once left main line theory: 5 ... .ig6
6 h4!? f6 7 h5 .i f7 8 lDg3 lDd7
9 .id3 lDh6 I 0 'iWe2 lDg4 I I .if4 fe
1 2 de lDc5 1 3 lDg5 lDxd3+ 1 4 cd
lDh6 1 5 lDxf7 lDxf7 1 6 ...g4 'iVd7
1 7 lD3 0-0-0 with a complicated
struggle.

6 f4 This variation has truly made


gigantic strides with assessments
and accurate move orders being
continually refined.
Thus, the former main move 6 . . . h5
(see page 79), looks like it is going
out of fashion. Here is a characteristic
example: 7 lDg3 lDh6 8 g3 a6 9 c3
llc8 I 0 b4 i...e7 I I h3 .tg6 12 .ie2 a5
1 3 a3 b5 1 4 0-0 lDb6, and Black is
left with a dull defence (Svidler Erenberg, Internet 2004 ). Events
turned out better for Black in the
game Svidler - Dreev (Internet
2004): 6 ... i...g6 7 lDgf3 lDh6 8 h3 lDf5
9 .tf2 h5 1 0 .id3 c5 I I de .ixc5
1 2 1i'e2 'ifb6 1 3 lDb3 .ixf2+ 14 'ifxf2
'it'e3+ 1 5 1i'xe3 lDxe3 16 .ixg6 fg,
but even here in the end it was White
who celebrated success.
Most principled is the variation
6 cS!? 7 lDgf3 'ifb6 To the game
Kasimdzhanov - Anand, in which
was we met 8 ...c I (see page 79),
should be added the game Shirov Gustafsson (Germany 2004): 8 llb I
lDh6 9 lDb3 c4 I 0 lDbd2 .ig6 1 1 h3
lDf5 1 2 .if2 h5 1 3 g3 'iVa5 etc.
But Morozevich, distinct from
Kasimdzhanov and Shirov, does not
intend to defend b2 ...
8 .ie2!? lDh6 9 h3 1i'xb2 10 c4
.ic2 (Morozevich considered that it
is necessary to start with 1 O...'iVc3)
1 1 'iVc t 'ifc3 1 2 'it>f2! tDrs 13 lDn
lDxe3 14 lDxe3 cd 15 lDxc2 d3 (as
Bareev acknowledged after the game,
he intended 1 5 ...i...c5 long before, but
did not notice 1 6 cd! d3+ 1 7 lDe3)
16 lDe3 xc l 1 7 l:lhxcl d4

274

Illustrative Games

18 ll!d5! Weaker is 1 8 lllxd4 de


1 9 lt:lb5 because of 1 9 . . . b4 !
20 lt:lc7+ We7 2 1 lt:lcd5+ ed
22 lt:lxd5+ We6 23 lt:lxb4 g5!? with
an unclear game (here and later we
utilise Morozevich's annotations).
18 ...lt:le5!? 19 lt:lxd4?! (he could
have captured the rook on a8) 19 ed
20 13 d2 21 l:tc2 lt:ld3+ 22 We3
lbe I 23 llxd2 lt:lxfJ 24 xfJ de
25 lt:lb5 lidS 26 .:txd8+ xd8
27 .:td l+ We8 28 lt:lxa7+ Wc7
29 lt:lb5+ b6 30 l:tb I e6 31 a4
A move on the way to a precipice.
Leading to a draw is 3 1 lt:ld4+ 'it'd5
32 .:td l .
3 t ....ic5 32 llcl Wd5 33 lt:lc7+
'iifd4 34 lld 1 + 'iti>c3 35 lld7?
(stronger is 35 a5 Wb3 36 llb l + 'lta4
37 lt:ld5 l:td8 38 We4 .:td7 39 f5)
35 Wb3 36 lt:ld5 b6 37 a5 ba
38 l:txti c3 The head-spinning
complications do not cease even in a
profound endgame. Here by means of
38 ...l:td8 39 We4 c3 40 .:tc7 .ib4
4 1 lt:le3 a4 Black could seriously
make life complicated for his
opponent.
39 1le7 .ib4 40 e6 l;tdS 41 e7 (bad
is 4 1 'i!?e4 l:.xd5 ! 42 Wxd5 c2)
41. .ixe7 42 .:txe3+ Wb2 43 l:le7
.irs 44 lt:lb6 Wb3 45 llb7 a4 46 'lte4
Agreed a draw.
..

..

I f, in the principal variation I e4 c6


2 d4 d5 3 e5 .if5 4 .ie3 e6 5 lt:ld2
lt:ld7 6 f4 c5 !? 7 lt:lgf.3 'iib6 things are
suddenly not so good for Black,
already at hand is a comfortable
deviation: an immediate 6...'iib 6!?
7 11fc l (on 7 lt:lb3 not 7 ...lt:lh6 - see
page 79 - but 7 ... a5 ! 8 a4 .ib4+ 9 c3
.ie7 I 0 lbf3 h5 I I .ie2 lt:lh6 1 2 h3
.ie4 1 3 0-0 lbf5, Yagupov - Galkin,
Tomsk 2004) 7 ... h5 8 lt:lgf3 lt:lh6
9 .ie2 .ie7 1 0 c3 c5 I I o-o .:tc8 1 2
de xeS 1 3 lt:ld4 lt:lg4 with an
excellent game (Rublevsky - Lastin,
Budva 2004). It is possible that this is
a more accurate order of moves for
Black.
No.8
E.SUTOVSKY
I.ROGERS
Calvia 2004
I e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .irs 4 e4 e6
5 lt:le3 lt:le7 6 a3 de 7 .ixe4 lt:ld7
8 lt:lge2 lt:lb6 9 b3 This most
important pos1t1on,
from
the
theoretical point of view, could be
reached by a different order of
moves: 5 ...lt:ld7 6 a3 de 7 .ixc4 lt:le7
8 lt:lge2 lt:lb6 9 .ib3.
9...lt:led5 10 lt:lg3 .ig6 II h4!? A
new plan. As shown in the theoretical
section (page 9 1 ), White breaks
down the opponent's bastion by
I I 0-0 e7 1 2 f4 11fd7 1 3 lt:lce4 0-0
1 4 .ic2 .if5 1 5 lt:lxf5 ef 1 6 lt:lg3 g6
1 7 lt:lxf5 ! But grandmaster Emil
Sutovsky goes his own way...
l l .. h6 A little earlier was played
the game Sutovsky - Izoria (Agia
Pelagia 2004). In it Black defended in

275

lllustrative Games

another way: l l . ..h5 1 2 ltJce4 il.e7


1 3 'irt3 'irc7 1 4 il.d2 0-0-0 1 5 il.a5
f6! ? with a complicated struggle over
the whole board.
1 2 hS il.h7 1 3 liJce4 f6 14 ef gf
1 S 'ire2 e7 16 il.d2 0-0-0 1 7 a4
liJd7 1 8 aS a6 1 9 0-0 eS!? Not to be
outdone by his opponent in ingenuity.
Nevertheless more natural is 1 9 ... f5
20 ltJc3 'irh4, and upon the consent of
both players a draw could be agreed
by repetition of moves: 2 1 'iVxe6?!
ltJxc3 22 il.xc3 il.g8 23 'it'g6 il.h7
(23 ... il.xb3 24 d5) 24 'irt7 i.g8 etc.
20 de 'irxeS 2 1 llfe1 fS 22 il.xdS!
'irxdS 23 il.c3 l:lg8 24 liJf6 liJxf6
2S il.xf6

The impression that White has out


calculated his opponent is a delusion:
2S f4! (25 . . . il.b4 26 l:led l )
26 il.xd8 Now no chances of victory
remain.
Moreover,
even
the
alternative 26 l:ad l il.d3 27 l:xd3 !
'iVxd3 28 1i'e6+ 'ird7 29 'ihg8 .i.e7 !
30 'irc4 il.xf6 3 1 'it'xf4 il.xb2
32 'it'xh6 il.c3 very quickly also leads
to a draw.
26...fg 27 il.b6 gf+ 28 'it'xfl il.b4
29 lle2 il.e4 30 l:lae1 !? Despite the
loss of the exchange, Black also risks
nothing in the endgame after
30 'ife3 !? .i.xg2 3 1 'ife8+ llxe8
..

32 l:xe8+ d7 33 l:d8+ e6
34 1:txd5 i.xd5.
30...il.xe1 3 1 'ifxe1 'ifgS 32 'ii'd 2
'it'xd2 33 llxd2 il.dS 34 il.e3 il.n
3S i.xh6 il.xhS 36 il.e3 .i.t3 37 h2
il.dS Agreed a draw.

No.9
V.KRAMN I K - P.LEKO
Brissago 2004
1 e4 c6 2 d4 dS 3 eS Jus 4 h4 h6
S g4 il.d7 6 liJd2!? A fresh idea! On
the one hand, undoubted proof of the
crisis in the theoretical variation 6 h5
(page 98), and on the other con firmation of the fact that the
search for new ideas in chess is
practically never-ending.
6...cS 7 de e6 8 ltJb3 .i.xcS 9 lt::!xcS
'iVaS+ 10 c3 'it'xcS 1 1 lL\13 ( I I f4
il.b5) l l ...lbe7 Avoiding the trap:
I I . . .il.bS'! 1 2 i.e3 'ifc6 1 3 liJd4
winning a piece. It is interesting that
both players did not consider the idea
h6-h5 as a positional threat. In this
case, of course, it is no good spending
time on 6 h5 ...
12 i.d3 lLlbc6 1 3 i.e3 'ifaS
14 'ifd2 tt'lg6 Also directly bad is
1 4 . . . h5 1 5 gh l:.xh5 1 6 ltg I , but,
in the opinion of grandmaster
Zvjaginsev, Black should decide on
the pawn sacrifice d5-d4 - at once or
after a prel iminary 14 . . .l:tc8. In the
last variation it is useless to blockade
the pawn by 1 5 il.d4 in view of
1 5 ... lLlxd4 1 6 lLlxd4 tt'lc6.
1 5 il.d4 lLlxd4 1 6 cd 'it'xd2+
17 xd2 liJr4 18 llacl hS 19 l:thgl
il.c6 20 gh tt'lxh5 21 b4 a6 22 a4!?

276

lllustrative Games

The culmination of the game and


also the whole world championship
match.
22 'it>d8? Things are also bad for
Black after 22 ...xa4 23 .l:lc7 i.c6?
24 lLlg5 0-0 25 'it>e3 b5 (25 ... llac8
26 llxc8 l:lxc8 27 i.e2) 26 .i.h7+
'ith8 27 .i.c2! g8 28 .i.d I But
22 ... .i.xa4 23 llc7 i.b5 ! leaves him
chances of a successful defence.
Now, however, Leko's position
quickly deterioriates.
23 lLlg5! .i.e8 24 b5 lbf4 25 b6!
liJxd3 26 'it'xd3 l:.e8 27 l:l.xe8+ xeS
28 l:te l+ .i.c6 29 lLlxn lhh4
30 lbd6+ d8 31 l:tgl l:lh3+ 32 c.t>e2
lla3 33 l:lxg7 l:lxa4 34 f4! (pawns
don' t matter!) 34 l:la2+ 35 'itO
D.a3+ 36 g4 l:td3 37 fS! D.xd4+
38 g5 ef 39 f6 D.g4 40 .l:le7 D.h4
41 lL'IIi+ Black resigned two moves
before mate: 4 1 . . .c.t>e8 42 D.c8+ 'it>d7
43 .l:ld8 mate.
..

No. I O
J.WEGERLE - D.YEVSEEV
Cappelle le Grande 2004
I e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 i.f5 4 liJe3 e6
In 'the most interesting sideline'
4 ... a6 ! ? worth considering is the
game Delchev - Dautov (Calvia

2004): 5 i.e3 e6 6 g4 i.g6 7 liJge2 cS


8 de liJd7, and now not 9 b4, as was
played in the game Smirnov Burrnakin (see page 1 1 7), but the
gambit 9 lLld4 !? After 9 . . . i.xc5
10 i.g2 h5!? (I O ... liJxe5? I I liJxe6! )
I I 1We2 hg 1 2 0-0-0 liJe7 1 3 h3 gh
1 4 .i.xh3 .i.xd4 1 5 xd4 llh 7
1 6 i.g4 liJfS 1 7 .l:lxh7 .i.xh7 1 8 f4
c!Dxd4 1 9 .l:lxd4 'iVb6 the compens
ation for the pawn, so to speak, is not
obvious...
In the quiet variation 4 ...h5 5 .i.d3
i.xd3 6 1Wxd3 e6 7 lbf3 we mention
two wins by the young Russian
grandmaster Pavel Smirnov. In both
cases the plan of transferring the
knight to g3 brought him success:
7 ...lLlh6 8 0-0, and then:
8...c!Df5 9 c!De2 !? c!Dd7 1 0 c!Dg3 g6
I I c!Dx f5 gf 1 2 i.gS ifb6 1 3 b3 i.e7
1 4 'ife3 i.xg5 1 5 1Wxg5 1fd8 1 6 'ifg7
<l;e7 1 7 lbh4 (Smimov - Parikh,
Chenai 2004);
8 ... c!Dd7 9 c!De2 ! ? i.e7 1 0 b3 c!DfS I I
c4 ifb6 1 2 c!Dg3 de 1 3 be lbxg3
1 4 fg! 0-0-0 1 5 l:tb I (Smimov E.Danielian, Erevan 2004).
However Pavel's victories in no
way cast aspersions on the concept of
the whole system with 4 ... h5. Since
instead of 7 ... c!Dh6? ! we recommend
(page 1 2 1 ) 7 ...'iVb6 8 0-0 1fa6! 9 'ti'd l
c!De7 I 0 lL'Ie2 h4! - precisely with the
aim of preventing the transfer of the
knight to g3.
5 g4 i.g6 6 c!Dge2 f6 7 c!Df4 fe
8 c!Dxe6 'fle7 9 c!Dxf8 ed+ 10 .i.e2 de
1 1 lLlxg6 hg 12 'ild3 lLlf6 Today the
pendulum of this forcing variation
has swung noticeably Black's way.
Thus, after 1 3 'ti'xc3 we already see

277

lllustrative Games

deviations from past equalising Fedorov - Naer (page 1 44), does not
continuations such as 1 3 . . . liJbd7 convince us that White even has an
(page 1 44 ). The latest word is the equal game!
game Bromberger - Erenburg
1 8 liJe4! 19 g5 ( 1 9 xc4 liJxc3+)
(more
accurate
is
(Budapest 2004): 1 3 . . .0-0! ? 1 4 e3 1 9 .liJed2
liJe4 1 5 'iVb3 liJa6 1 6 l:.d I liJxf2 ! 1 9. . .l:lf8) 20 l:lb4? White misses his
1 7 x f2 l:lae8 1 8 lld2 .lltx f2 ! last chance: 20 c5 ! , and not
1 9 'it>xf2 liJc5 2 0 'iVa3 liJe4+ with possible is 20 ... 'ifxc5? because of
decisive threats. Black's attack makes 2 1 'ife6+ <li>h7 (2 I .. .f8 22 l:r.xb7)
a strong impression but the most 22 g6+ 'iii'h6 23 'iff5!
strik ing thing is that instead of
20 l:le8 21 e3 liJxe3 22 fe 'ifxe3
16 ...liJxf2 ! , there is another, no less 23 'iff2 'iVxe3 24 'ifd4 Without
beautiful solution: 1 6 ...ltJac5 1 7 'ifa3 waiting for 24 ... liJf3+, White
'iVh4 1 8 0-0 ( 1 8 xeS llxf2 ! ) resigned.
In no time the mighty variation
1 8 . . .liJe6 1 9 f3 liJg3 ! 20 hg 'iVxg3+
7 liJf4 will require urgent repairs!
2 I <li>h I <li>t7!
In general 1 3 'ifxc3 is probably
unplayable!
No. I I
13 'iVxg6+ <li>fB Petersburger Denis
S.MAMEDYAROV
Yevseev - acknowledged legislator of
L.JOHANNESSEN
fashion in this variation - has always
Izmir 2004
preferred this retreat to the 'main'
I e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 f5 4 liJe3 e6
1 3 ...d8 (we recall his games against
Kumosov and Kobalia - page 1 44), a 5 g4 g6 6 liJge2 e5 7 h4 h5 8 liJf4
fact that leads us to a definite h7 9 liJxhS liJe6 1 0 de xeS
I I b5!? 'iVe7 12 xe6+ 'ifxe6
conclusion ...
13 'iffJ Hardly a very 'hot' position
1 4 be liJbd7 1 5 e3 liJe4 1 6 l:.b 1
in the 7 ... h5 variation.
liJeS 1 7 'iVfS+ <li>g8
13 ...<itf8 (in the theoretical section
more attention was given to
1 3 ...0-0-0 - see the game Topalov Gelfand on pages 1 92- 1 93) 14 g5!?
A novelty. In the game Sakaev Bareev (an analysis of which is on
pages 1 92- 1 93) White was in the
mood for a better endgame and
therefore played the ' retreat' 1 4 liJg3. But Shakhryar Mamedyarov
- one of the brightest contemporary
1 8 d4?! A novelty and one of grandmasters - always plays for
very poor quality. However, also mate!
1 4 ... b4 There is no doubt
1 8 llxb7 !? 'iVxb7 19 'ifxe5 'iff7 20 c4
l:te8, encountered in the game that Mamedyarov studied the
..

..

..

278

Illustrative Games

consequences of 1 4 ....id4 1 5 0-0


.ixe5 1 6 l:tae I .i.xc3 1 7 be .ie4 and,
in all probablity, assessed them in his
favour.

No. l 2
A.SHABALOV - B.MACIEJA
lntemet 2004

1 5 0-0 .ixc3 16 be .ixc2?! Played


with excessive optimism. More
circumspect is 1 6 . . . .ie4 1 7 'ife3

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .irs 4 .!Dc3 e6
5 g4 .ig6 6 .!Dge2 c5 7 .ie3 cd
8 .!Dxd4 .ib4

.ig6.

17 c4! Attack on the entire front!


Not possible now is 1 7 ...'ifxc4 in
view of 1 8 'ifa3+ e8 1 9 .!Dxg7+
d7 20 'ifd6+ c8 2 1 'ifd8 mate.
17 .!Dh6 1 8 .!Df6! (Mamedyarov in
his element - the blows come one
after the other!) 1 8...'iVa4 19 ltacl
gf! Under such pressure, Black is
completeley disorientated and loses
..

without a struggle. He should return


the knight to g8.
20 'ifxf6 g8 21 .ixh6 lth7
22 'ifg5+ h8 23 cd ed 24 ltfel .te4
25 'iff4 'ifa3 26 e6! f5 Hopeless is
26. . . fe 27 'iff6+ g8 28 'ifxe6+ .:lf7
29 1lxe4! de 30 'ifg6+ h8 3 1 'ifxf7,
but 26...'iff3 would be a little more
tenacious.
27 'ife5+ q;g8 28 ltc7! l:hc7
29 'ii'xc7 Black resigned.

9 f4!? A surprising (as they say: 'in


its directness' ) move! You see
Black's defence - 7 ...cd and 8 . . ..ib4
- is just aimed at getting his light
squared bishop out of the cage
prepared by White (f2-f4-f5).
A.Shabalov, without paying attention
to the fact that the bishop g6 can go to
the e4 square, nevertheless stil l
advances the f-pawn!
Earlier theory was orientated
towards the game Shirov - Grischuk:
9 'ifd2 .!Dd7 1 0 a3 etc. (page 1 94).
9....ie4 10 .ib5+ .!Dd7 1 1 0-0
i.xc3 1 2 be .!De7?! White's plan is
not in doubt. So, in the present
position, it is worth considering
1 2 ... 'ifh4!?, and his knight can enter
the game via h6. All the same, the
complications after 1 3 f5 ! .!Dh6 1 4 fe
fe 1 5 .!Dxe6 .!Dxg4 1 6 .if4 do not tum
out in Black's favour.
The correct order of moves is this:
the intermediate 1 2 . . .a6!?, and only
after 1 3 .id3 - 13 ... 'ifh4.

279

Illustrative Games

1 3 f5! 0-0 1 4 f6! g6 1 5 fg


xg7?! A move that is hard to
explain. Upon 1 5 ...l:.e8 it would be
difficult to find a way to get at the
black king.
16 .i.xd7 'iVxd7 17 .i.g5 llfe8? The
last chance of salvation was by the
immediate flight: 1 7 . . . .U.g8! 1 8 'iVd2
'ifi>f8 1 9 .i.f6 e8 20 'ii'h6 f8.
1 8 'iVd2 g8 19 .i.f6 'ife8 20 h4 h6
2 1 h5 'iff8 22 hg .i.xg6 23 c;tJfZ!
Black resigned.
No. l 3
M.TSEITLIN
S.ERENBURG
Ashdod 2004
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 ..irs 4 f3 e6
5 .i.e2 N igel Short continues to
experiment with his own patent
variation 5 a3 . Here, for example,
after 5 ...d7 he chose the apparently
quite harmless 6 .i.d3 ! '? .i.xd3
7 'ifxd3 c5 8 c3 aS 9 0-0 c4 10 'iVe2
b5 1 1 g5 h6 1 2 h3 h5 1 3 .i.g5
.i.e7 1 4 f4 and ... all the same gained
a victory! (Short - Dreev, Reykjavik
2004).
5 e5?! 6 .i.e3! ed 7 xd4 e7
8 e4 be6 9 'ifa4 a6 10 ed. We tum
our attention to the game Alekseev Bareev (Dagomis 2004), in which
Black very adroitly entered a well
known position: I 0 a3 'ifaS+
I I 'ifxa5 xa5 12 0-0 de 1 3 xc4
xc4 1 4 .i.xc4 .i.e4! 1 5 llac l with a
quick draw. The usual order of moves
is 9 ...dc (instead of 9... a6) 1 0 a3
'iVa5+ I I 'ifxa5 xa5 1 2 xc4 xc4
1 3 .i.xc4 a6 1 4 lie I ..ie4 1 5 0-0, but
stronger is 1 4 fJ ! , not allowing the

bishop to e4 (this is given in detail on


page 240). The order of moves, found
by Bareev, has every chance of
becoming the main line in reply to
1 0 a3.
IO li)xd5 The game we analyse
brings turmoil to a question that
seemingly had already been resolved
by theory. And namely: in reply to
1 0 cd it gives as correct I O . . . b5 !,
since capturing on d5 leads by force
to the loss of a pawn. But, as we see
later, this does not bother Black at all!
11 xe6 1Wd7 1 2 li)e3 xe3 1 3 fe
be 1 4 .i.tJ l:.e8 1 5 'iVxa6 To this point
- everything as in the game Bologan
- Bareev (page 24 1 ; there White
played 1 5 e2). We recommend just
capturing on a6. What was Sergei
Erenburg thinking about?
1 5....te5 1 6 lld l 1fe7

1 7 l:.d6! I n the meantime it is


White who is thinking things over.
The rook is untouchable - 1 7 . . . .i.xd6
1 8 ed 'ifd7 1 9 li)a4 0-0 20 b6, and
this means that another pawn falls on
c6.
17 0-0 18 l:.xe6 'ifb8 19 llxe8
%1xe8 An astonishing position! On the
one hand, White has two extra pawns,
on the other - three pawns are under
fire. Black quickly establishes

280

Jllustrative Games

material equality and starts to play for


a win. It seems that the evaluation of
the move IO ... tLlxd5 has to be
revised...
20 0-0 xe3+ 2 1 h I .i.d4 22 D.e 1
xc3 23 be l:lxc3 The pawn islands,
undefended king - all point to the fact
that a difficult time awaits Black. And
he will not succeed in realising his
only trump - the passed a-pawn,
supported by the bishop.
24 as .:.d3 25 h3 h6 26 a4 b3
27 'ifa8+ h7 28 i.e4 (28 aS ...c3,
but now the game transfers to a
completely hopeless rook endgame)
28 ..,c3 29 i.xfS+ ef 30 .:.n xeS
3 1 1Wc8 1We6 32 'ifxe6 fe 33 a5 l:td6
34 l:lb1 g6 35 :lb6 .:.d t+ 36 h2
f6 37 'iPg3 g5 38 'iPf3 h5 39 a6 lla 1
40 e3 h4 41 d4 g4 42 <it>c5 g3
43 bS f4 White resigned.

and one careless move 1 6 ...iL.e7? led


to an immediate rout: 1 7 lL!xd5! ed
1 8 .:.xd5 ! 'iVc8 1 9 i.xc6+! 'iVxc6
20 l:ld8+ lbd8 2 1 'iVxc6+ ffi
22 .i.xe7+ lL!xe7 23 'iVxa6 (Roiz Erenburg, Ashdod 2004).

No. l 4
A.VOLOKITIN - R.RUCK
Zele 2004
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .i.rs 4 tLltJ e6
5 .i.e2 c5 6 i.e3 cd 7 lL!xd4 lL!e7
8 i.g5!? In our theoretical analysis
we predicted good prospects for this
move. But no one would have
guessed that the prospects would
have been quite so good: in 2004 at
grandmaster level White won every
game in which this thmst of the
bishop was encountered!
8 1Wa5+ 9 lL!c3 i.g6 The
alternative - 9 ...lL!bc6 1 0 .i.b5 1Wc7
I I 0-0 .i.g6 1 2 'ifg4 a6 ( 1 2 .. .'ifxe5'!
1 3 .i.xe7) 1 3 .i.a4 1Wd7 (dangerous is
1 3 . . . b5 1 4 lL!cxb5 ! ab 1 5 .i.xb5)
14 .:.ad I lLlf5 1 5 lL!xc6 be 1 6 'iVf3.
.

10 b4! A stunning novelty! The


whole chess world, analysing two
games of Svidler against Epishin,
could not make a choice between
1 0 0-0 and I 0 lL!b3 (concerning this see pages 237-238), and meanwhile
the young Ukrainian grandmaster
Andrei Volokitin penetrated the
position far more deeply. Black has
serious problems with the c7 and d6
squares; generally speaking, it is not
excluded that the pawn sacri fice
cannot be accepted !
10 'iVxb4 Instead 1 0 . . .6 might
be suggested: I I lL!db5 lLlc8 (but not
I 1 .. .lL!ec6? 1 2 lL!a4! .i.xb4+ 1 3 c3 ).
1 1 lL!db5 'iVa5 12 .i.d2 ._,d8
13 lLld6+ d7 14 lL!xb7 1Wc7
15 lL!d6 lLlf5 More concrete is 1 5 ...
lL!ec6! ?, ' latching on' to the e5 pawn,
and if 1 6 lL!cb5 6 1 7 ..ie3, then
1 7 .. .'iVaS+ with a repetition of moves.
16 lL!cb5 1Wc5 17 lL!xf5 ..txrs
18 c3! .i.e7 The position has
stabil ised. It is noticeable that Black
does not succeed in evacuating his

28 1

Illustrative Games

king - 1 8 ...llJc6 1 9 e3, but this


means that he has to withstand a
direct attack. The way that Volokitin
attacks deserves the highest praise.
19 e3 'ifc6 20 0-0 c5 2 1 xc5
'ifxc5 22 c4! a6 23 cd! ab 24 llcl
'ikb4 25 i.xb5+! We7 (it is mate also
after the acceptance of the sacrifice:
25 . . .'iVxb5 26 de+ r3i;e7 27 'ifd6+ e8
28 llc8 mate or 26 .. .'xe6 27 'iVd6
mate) 26 d6+ d8 27 llc8+! And a
few moves before mate (27 ...r3;xc8
28 'iVc l + etc.) Black resigned.
No. l 5
A.VOLOKITIN
K.RASMUSSEN
Germany 2004
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 .trs 4 lDf3 e6
5 e2 lDd7 Recently this move has
quite surprisingly surpassed 5 ...lbe7
in popularity. In general the tendency
is the same: in directing his forces
towards an early advance c6-c5,
Black first and foremost reorientates
the development of his pieces. White,
for his part, does not intend to play
c2-c4 (or c3-c4) until the black pawn
leaves c6.
The situation is stalemate, but a
heated skirmish in the centre (the
pawn pair c4 and d4 for White against
c5 and d5 for Black) will replace the
multi-move manoeuvres of pieces,
' skirting around' the vulnerable
points in the centre.
6 0-0 g6 7 c3 (in the theoretical
section all our attention was given to
7 b3 or 7 lbbd2 followed by c2-c4)
7 lbh6 8 lba3 lbf5 1t is amusing that
..

White does not want to spoil the


opponent's pawn structure (by taking
on h6), and, for his part, Black offers
the very same invitation. An
invitation that was accepted by
Alexei Dreev: 8 ...xa3 9 ba 'iVa5
I 0 .i.xh6 gh I I 'ifc I lbb6 1 2 'iVb2
0-0 1 3 'iVb4 'iVxb4 1 4 ab a5 1 5 a3
lba4 1 6 llfc l lla7 1 7 h4 llfa8 - as we
see, with a quite comfortable game
(Naer - Dreev, Internet 2004).
9 lDc2 e7 A second game
between the same opponents also
turned out in Black's favour: 9 ... c5
1 0 lbce I cd I I cd 'ifb6 1 2 g4 lbe7
1 3 lbg2 h5 14 h3 hg 1 5 hg e4
1 6 lbg5 xg2 1 7 'it>xg2 f6 1 8 ef gf
1 9 lbtJ l:r.g8 20 lbh4 0-0-0 - his own
king is far better defended than the
opponent's (Naer - Dreev, Internet
2004).
10 lbcel 0-0 I I g3 (preventing the
exchange of knights on h4 which is
favourable for Black) ll ...cS 12 h3!?
A puzzling move; none the less the
explanation for it is very prosaic:
1 2 . . .h5 1 3 g4. In this way the d4
pawn will be sufficiently covered
from the king's flank.
1 2 ...cd. B lack made an experi
mental piece sacrifice in the game
lnarkiev - Bachin (Dagomis 2004):
1 2 . . . f6!? 1 3 g4 fe 14 gf xf5. Even if
he does not obtain full compensation
for it - 1 5 lbxe5 cd 1 6 cd lbxe5 1 7 de
xh3 1 8 lbg2 c5 1 9 'iVb3 f5
20 i.e3 etc - the threats to the white
king are still quite serious.
13 cd llc8 14 lbd3 h6 I S lDf4 .i.h7
16 d3 'ifb6 A loss of time - and the
root cause of defeat. After 1 6 ...lbb8

282

Illustrative Games

fol lowed by t:Dc6 the position is


equal.
17 a4! t:Db8

18 aS! 'Wd8 Possibly B lack


reckoned only on 1 8 . . .'ii'b4 1 9 l:.a4?
l:xc I ! , and right at the last moment
realised that after 1 9 ..id2 ! 'ifxb2
20 'ife2! t:Dxd4 (20...t:Dc6 2 1 llfb l )
2 1 ..ixh7+ 'it>xh7 22 'Wd3+ t:Df5 23 g4
his knight is lost.

19 ..id2 t:Dc6 More circumspect is


1 9 ...a6!?, and he should not fear the
pin on the b l -h7 diagonal: 20 'ifb l
'it>h8! 2 1 g4 t:Dh4.
20 a6 ba (the time had come to
leave behind dry defence: 20... b6)
2 1 llxa6 'it>h8 22 'ifa4 gS?! So,
finally, Black himself opens the
mating file on the king's flank for his
opponent; but otherwise the a7 pawn
would be lost without
any
compensation.
23 lbc6 :Z.xc6 24 'ifxc6 gf 2S ..txrs
..txrs 26 ..ixf4 ..ixh3 27 llat 'ifb8
28 'ifd7 ..igS 29 i.xgS hg 30 'ife7!
The mating pattern has become all
the more distinct.
30.....if5 31 'ilff6+ g8 32 jhgS+
..ig6 33 g2! 'iVxb2 34 :Z.h 1 Black
resigned.

283

Index to Games
(numbers refer to pages)

A.Morozevich - E.Bareev

268

R.Felgaer - A.Dreev

269

A.Morozevich - V.Bologan

269

S.Rublevsky - K.Asrian

270

S.Movsesian - D.Svetushkin

27 1

S.Movsesian - l . Khenkin

272

A.Morozevich - E.Bareev

273

E.Sutovsky - l .Rogers

275

V.Kramnik - P.Leko

276

1 0 J.Wegerle - D.Yevseev

277

II

278

S.Mamedyarov - L.Johannessen

1 2 A.Shabalov - B.Macieja

279

M .Tseitlin - S.Erenburg

280

13

1 4 A.Volokitin - R.Ruck

28 1

1 5 A.Volokitin - K.Rasmussen

282

284