26

CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
BASIC CONCEPTS
All good chessplayers understand the basic ideas which un-
derlie good opening play. They are not always easy to articulate,
and it must never be forgotten that principles often come into
conf lict, and should never be followed unthinkingly. Consider them
as mere guidelines or good advice, and try to follow them as often
as you can.
STRATEGIC GOALS IN A HYPERMODERN OPENING
White’s primary goal in a hypermodern opening is to move
pieces onto their best squares as quickly as possible. Move order is
important only in how it affects the ability to place pieces in a
desired position. The main battle is postponed until the
middlegame, and the two sides can, to some extent, ignore each
other in the Réti until both positions are established.
In this section, we will look at the role of the center in the
Réti, and present a target position which represents the optimal
formation for the most common variations. Then we will take a
look at the role of each piece in the Réti Opening.
The Center
Because we are dealing with a hypermodern opening, the cen-
ter is not going to be occupied by our own forces. Instead, we are
willing to let Black establish a strong center which will act as a
target for our operations in the middlegame.
The assault on the center cannot begin until all pieces have
been developed. Most of the pressure will come from long range,
along the diagonals. With no open files in the center, the rooks
will have little say in the discussion.
27
BASIC CONCEPTS
In the opening, White is not concerned with attacking the
center directly, but at the same time Black cannot be allowed to
work freely in the middle of the board. It is very important to keep
the Black pawns from advancing too far. They can be allowed
onto e4 and d4, but no further.
Ideal Formation
The basic formation of the Réti is a double fianchetto with
kingside castling and a pawn at c4 supported by another at d3. In
many cases, White can set up the formation seen in the diagram
below. White’s position is very solid and there are only two small
f laws. The pawn at b3 is a little weak, defended only by a knight.
The pawn at e2, though harder to get at, has no support at all.
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
There is a certain elegance and efficiency in White’s plans.
Each piece has moved exactly once and has arrived at its ideal
position. The king has some breathing room and all of the pieces
except for the rook at a2 have some f lexibility. About the only
criticism that can be leveled against White’s play is that it is con-
fined to the first four ranks. No enemy territory is conquered.
This gives Black time to choose a defensive formation without
worrying about immediate threats.
To understand the position better, let’s look at the role of each
individual piece. Of course, White must alter the formation in
response to certain Black strategies, so this section only applies to
those positions where the ideal formation is used. The alternative
28
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
use of pieces in specific variations will be discussed in the Defen-
sive Formations chapter.
King
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The king should be safely castled on the kingside, no matter
what sort of defense Black mounts. Castling should be accom-
plished in the first ten to twelve moves. The king generally stays at
g1 until the endgame, though it may move to g2 to recapture if
Black exchanges light-squared bishops there. The king is defended
by the bishop and knight at f3, but the knight at d2 can come to f1
to provide extra defense for h2.
Once the rook moves from f1, the weakness of the pawn at f2
should be kept in mind. As we will see later, Black can effectively
ram the e-pawn down the file to e3 if White is not careful. Then
the pawn at f2 either moves or is captured, and the pawn at g3
loses support.
29
BASIC CONCEPTS
Queen
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White has two different plans for the queen. In the purest
Réti formations, it is stationed at a1. From this square it supports
operations on the long diagonal and on the a-file. In the main
lines, White often gains control of one of these important lines
and this can be the main source of offensive action. Alternatively,
it can go to c2, working on the c-file and the light squares in the
center.
Rooks
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
In the main line, the rook advances from a1 to a2 to make
room for the queen. Sometimes the defense of the second rank,
30
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
especially e2 and f2, is necessary, and the rook can also usefully
transfer to b2, c2, or d2 should opportunities arise on one of those
files. There is usually a need to keep one rook on the c-file, as that
file can be opened if White captures, for example, a pawn at d5 or
b5. Another popular approach is to double rooks on the c-file.
The kingside rook can also move to e1 to support the advance
of the e-pawn. If Black exchanges pawns so that the d-file is open,
one or both rooks may find a home there. So be prepared to be
f lexible in placing your rooks, and study the use of rooks in the
illustrative games and strategy sections below.
Bishops
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The cornerstone of the Réti is the fianchetto of both bishops.
Each will work on a long diagonal and simultaneously stand guard
over important squares in the base camp. This is both a strength
and a weakness in that if the bishops leave the board, there is
important work that cannot be done. For this reason, White does
not part with either bishop until the endgame, unless there is a
compelling reason to do so.
31
BASIC CONCEPTS
Knights
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The kingside knight operates from f3, sometimes leaping to
e5 as part of an attack, or to prevent the advance of Black’s e-
pawn. The other knight is usually placed at d2, so that it does not
get in the way of the queen and bishop battery on the queenside,
or hinder rooks from operating cleanly on the c-file. In the Réti
Accepted, the knight has a different role, moving to a3 to recap-
ture at c4, where it eyes e5, d6 and other useful squares.
Pawns
________
¤A+ææ}AM|
j±j±j±j±|
·´´´´|
´´´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
32
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
The unbroken chain usually remains intact throughout the
opening unless Black captures one of the pawns. The a-pawn an-
chors an advance of the b-pawn. Moving the b-pawn up the board
is a strong maneuver which can cause great weaknesses in the
Black position if there is a pawn at c6. The role of the c-pawn is to
guard d5, sometimes capturing an enemy pawn there to open up
the c-file.
Hypermodern strategy indicates that the central pawns remain
at the second or third rank, except when going to e4 has tactical
or positional justification. The f-pawn rarely moves, as it would
expose the king and also weaken the e3-square. The kingside
fianchetto mandates that the g-pawn be at g3, and it is wise to
keep the h-pawn home in support, though sometimes it needs to
go to h3 to kick out an annoying enemy piece.
33
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
TYPICAL STRATEGIES
AND TACTICS
In this section we examine typical strategic and tactical de-
vices available to both sides. These patterns can often turn up in
the early middlegame, so it is a good idea to pay close attention to
these positions as well as those you encounter as you work your
way through the illustrative games.
The examples are presented in full so that you can observe
some of the transpositional move orders and trace the buildup of
the position. Each diagram illustrates a specific tactical device.
Study these carefully as you go along so that you can increase your
strength and advantage with these openings.
Let us first turn our attention to the strategies and tactics for
White, and after, we will look at these issues from the other side
of the board, so we understand what Black is thinking when faced
with our Hypermodern ideas.
STRATEGIES AND TACTICS FOR WHITE
For the most part, White is concerned with queenside activity
in the Réti and the related lines discussed in this repertoire. The
center must not be neglected, however.
There are three different pawn breaks, where White uses a
pawn to confront an enemy pawn and threaten to cause structural
damage or advance into a more favorable position. The three
breaks are at e4, b4 and d4. We’ll look at those first. We’ll then
consider the situation at e5, an important battlefield. The power
of the fianchettoed bishops is then explored, after which two weak-
nesses in Black’ s position are considered.
34
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
The e4-break
For some reason, the e4-break seems to inspire bad play by
Black at times, as the position unravels quickly. The advance of a
pawn to e4 to confront a Black pawn at d5 is effective when the
Black knight at f6 has to stand guard at f6 because of pressure on
the pawn at g7. White often has a queen at a1 and bishop at b2,
and even when Black has castled, the pawn at g7, can be weak.
Here is a simple example, where Black has delayed castling
too long.
HEINE VS. FOX
Dortmund Open, 1991
New York System
1.Nf3 d5; 2.c4 c6; 3.b3 Bf5; 4.g3 Nf6; 5.Bg2 e6; 6.0–0 Nbd7;
7.d3 h6; 8.Bb2 Bh7; 9.Nbd2 a5; 10.a3 Bd6; 11.cxd5 cxd5.
________
¤´ææ´M|
´±´A´±j+|
·´}±Aj|
j´±´´|
´´´´|
__´_´¨_|
´¨__´_|
|´·´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The position is deceptively calm, but the potential advance of
the e-pawn has been underestimated by Black. 12.e4! The threat
of e5 is very real. 12…Bc7?! 12…dxe4 would have been smarter.
After 13.dxe4 Black could then play 13…Bc5, but even so White
has a nice game after 14.Qe2, after which the rooks can take up
useful positions on the c-file and d-file.
13.exd5 Nxd5? It was necessary to play 13…exd5, even though
Black would have a rotten position after 14.Re1+. 14.Bxg7 Rg8;
15.Bd4 Bxd3. Otherwise White is simply up a pawn with a good
position. 16.Re1 Kf8. Or 16…N7f6; 18.Ne5! Bxe5; 19.Bxe5 Ng4;
20. Nf3. 17.Ne4 Ba6? Suicide. 17…Bxe4 was forced, but in any
case White has a tremendous game. 18.Qd2. Black resigned.
35
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
The h-pawn is lost.
Life is rarely that simple, of course. In our next example Black
has taken care of castling, but the same strategy proves effective
for White.
DONCEVIC VS. LUTGARDA GONZALEZ
Corte Ingles, 1989
New York System
1.c4 c6; 2.Nf3 Nf6; 3.g3 d5; 4.b3 Bf5; 5.Bg2 e6; 6.0–0 Nbd7;
7.Bb2 Bd6; 8.d3 0–0; 9.Nbd2 h6; 10.cxd5 cxd5.
________
¤´æMæ´|
j±´A´±j|
·´}±Aj|
´´±´+´|
´´´´|
´_´_´¨_|
_´¨__´_|
|´·´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Black has prevented the advance of the e-pawn to e4. Or has
he?
11.e4!? dxe4 Black bites at the bait. Instead, 11…Bg4 was in-
teresting. 12.dxe4 Bxe4; 13.Nxe4 Nxe4; 14.Nd4!
________
¤´æMæ´|
j±´A´±j|
·´}±´j|
´´´´|
´¨A´´|
´_´´_|
_´´_´_|
|´·´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
36
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
White is down a pawn, but the pin on the long diagonal is
sufficient compensation by itself. 14…Ndf6; 15.Re1 Nc5; 16.b4!
Ncd7.
________
¤´æMæ´|
j±´A´±j|
·´}±Aj|
´´´´|
_¨´´|
´´´_|
_´´_´_|
|´·|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Perhaps now Black expected White to capture at b7. There is
a much stronger move, however. 17.Nxe6! fxe6; 18.Qxd6 Rb8;
19.Qxe6+ Kh8; 20.Rad1 Qb6; 21.Qxb6 axb6; 22.Re7! Black re-
signed.
Our third example shows the strategy in use from a pure Réti
formation. Here the queenside battery comes to life and the weak-
ness at g7 is once again exposed.
37
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
DALY VS. MCDONNELL
Ireland Championship, 1991
New York System
1.Nf3 Nf6; 2.g3 d5; 3.Bg2 Bf5; 4.c4 e6; 5.0–0 Be7; 6.b3 0–0;
7.Bb2 Nbd7; 8.d3 c6; 9.Nbd2 h6; 10.a3 a5; 11.Ra2 Re8; 12.Qa1
Bd6.
________
¤´æ¤´æ´|
´±´A´±j|
·´±}±Aj|
j´±´+´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
|´¨__´_|
\´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Black’s bishop at d6 invites White to play e4, since the e5-
square is weak, and so is g7! 13.e4! dxe4; 14.dxe4 Nxe4; 15.Nxe4
Bxe4; 16.Bxg7. The barrier is destroyed. Black is already in trouble.
16…Bf8; 17.Bxf8 Nxf8; 18.Rd2 Qb6; 19.Qf6 Bg6. 19…Qxb3;
20.Ne5 Bg6; 21.Ng4! Kh7; 22.Be4! is crushing, because 22…Bxe4
is answered by mate in two. 23.Qxh6+ Kg8; 24.Nf6# 20.Ne5 Red8.
20…Qxb3 transposes to the previous note. 21.Rfd1 Rxd2; 22.Rxd2
Qxb3.
________
¤´´Aæ´|
´±´´±´|
·´±´±\+j|
j´¨´|
´_´´´|
_÷´´_|
´|_´_|
´´´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
38
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
Now Black will have the resource of a check at b1, but that
isn’t enough. 23.Bf1 Qc3. 23…Qxa3; 24.Ng4 Kh7; 25.Nxh6! a4
(25…Kxh6; 26.Rd4 leads to checkmate.) 26.Nxf7 Bxf7; 27.Qxf7+
Kh8; 28.Rd4 wins. 24.Rd3 Bxd3. 24…Qa1! would have saved Black,
though White does have compensation for the pawn. 25.Qxf7+
Kh8; 26.Qf6+ Kg8; 27.Bxd3. With the Black queen at a1 this would
not have been possible. 27…Qc1+; 28.Kg2 Qg5; 29.Qf7+ Kh8;
30.Ng6+! Black resigned, having nothing better than 30…Nxg6;
31.Bxg6 Qxg6; 32.Qxg6.
The b4-break
When Black has a pawn at a5 or c5, White can undermine the
pawn structure by playing b4. If Black captures, then a useful file
is opened. If Black does not capture, White can choose to capture
or advance the pawn to b5, securing important space on the
queenside. The b4-break doesn’t usually lead to an immediate win,
but it can have some dramatic effects.
PALATNIK VS. SHERZER
Chicago, 1992
New York System
1.Nf3 Nf6; 2.g3 d5; 3.Bg2 Bf5; 4.c4 e6; 5.0–0 c6; 6.b3 Nbd7;
7.Bb2 Be7; 8.d3 0–0; 9.Nbd2 a5; 10.a3 h6; 11.Rc1 Bh7; 12.Rc2
Ne8; 13.Qa1 Bf6; 14.Rfc1.
________
¤´æAMæ´|
´±´A´±j+|
·´±´±}j|
j´±´´|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨_|
´|¨__´_|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
39
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
The exchange of pieces and queens does not reduce the ad-
vantage White enjoys because of his control of more queenside
territory. 14…Bxb2; 15.Qxb2 Qf6; 16.b4! Qxb2; 17.Rxb2 axb4;
18.axb4.
________
¤´´AMæ´|
´±´A´±j+|
·´±´±´j|
´´±´´|
__´´´|
´´_´¨_|
|¨__´_|
´|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Even in the endgame White can play effectively on the
queenside, as seen in this example. The position is by no means
winning, but the burden is on Black to defend precisely.
18…Nd6; 19.Nd4 dxc4. 19…e5! is a better defense. 20.c5 Nf5;
21.Nxf5 Bxf5; 22.e4 dxe4; 23.dxe4 Be6 is pretty solid, and Black
will make good use of the a-file. 20.dxc4 Rfd8; 21.c5 Nf5; 22.Nxf5
Bxf5; 23.Nc4 Ra7; 24.e4 Bg6; 25.Rd2. An excruciating pin, which
leads to the win of material. 25…Ra4; 26.Nb6 Rxb4; 27.Rxd7
Rxd7; 28.Nxd7 Bxe4; 29.Bxe4 Rxe4; 30.Rb1. Black resigned.
The d4-break
When Black has a pawn at e5 or c5, White can advance the d-
pawn to d4 and create a crisis in the center. When there is an
enemy pawn at e5, White must calculate the consequences of Black
advancing to e4, keeping the center blocked. A further complica-
tion here, seen later in the section on Black strategies and tactics,
is the possible advance of the pawn to e3.
40
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
OSTL VS. ARNOLD
Eppingen, 1988
New York System
1.Nf3 Nf6; 2.c4 g6; 3.b4 Bg7; 4.Bb2 0–0; 5.e3 d6; 6.Nc3 e5;
7.d3 Re8; 8.Be2 c6; 9.0–0 d5; 10.cxd5 cxd5; 11.Rc1 a6; 12.Na4
Nc6; 13.a3 Re7; 14.Rc2 Bd7; 15.Nc5 Be8; 16.Qa1 Qd6; 17.Rfc1
Rd8.
________
´M+´æ´|
´±´M±}±|
±´AæA±´|
´¨±j´|
_´´´|
·_´__¨´|
´|´´___|
\|´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White can establish control over e5 by advancing the d-pawn.
While this strategy is not always effective it is a useful plan when
Black is fianchettoed on the kingside.
The plan is to seal the center and play on the queenside.
18.d4!? e4; 19.Ne5 Nb8; 20.a4. From e5, the knight exerts
inf luence at c6. White’s queenside advance is therefore more ef-
fective. 20…Qb6; 21.Ba3 Nfd7; 22.Nexd7! Bxd7; 23.b5. The dis-
covered attack on the rook enables White to open up the queenside.
23…Ree8; 24.bxa6 bxa6; 25.Rb2 Qa7; 26.Nb7! The Black queen
is trapped on the a-file. 26…Rc8; 27.Bc5. Black resigned. 27.Nd6
Rxc1+; 28.Qxc1 Rd8; 29.Rb7 wins.
Pressure at e5
The e5-square is one of the most critical in the Réti. If Black
can establish a strong pawn there, then White will have difficulty
in denying counterplay in the center and on the kingside. White
wants to control e5 with a knight at f3, a bishop at b2, and a queen
at a1. Nevertheless, Black can usually arrange the advance of the
41
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
e-pawn supported by a rook on the e-file, a bishop at d6, and a
knight at d7. When the pawn arrives at e5, White can sometimes
expose it to attack by eliminating the pawn at d5 (if necessary)
and bringing a knight to c4.
WEYERSTRASS VS. VAN DER
Laren (Training), 1988
Semi-Slav Formation
1.g3 Nf6; 2.Bg2 e6; 3.c4 d5; 4.Nf3 c6; 5.b3 Be7; 6.Bb2 Nbd7;
7.0–0 0–0; 8.d3 Re8; 9.Nbd2 Bd6; 10.e4 e5; 11.exd5 cxd5; 12.cxd5
Nxd5; 13.Nc4 Qe7?
________
¤´+´¤´æ´|
j±´Aæ±j±|
·´}´´|
´´Aj´|
´¨´´´|
´_´_´¨_|
_´´_´_|
|´·´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
An obvious move, defending the pawn, but White has a win-
ning combination. Instead, Black should have dropped the bishop
back to c7 or b8 and then supported the e-pawn with …f6.
14.Nfxe5! N7f6. Or 14…Nxe5; 15.Bxd5!; 15.Nxf7! Kxf7;
16.Bxd5+ Nxd5; 17.Qh5+ Kg8; 18.Qxd5+ Be6; 19.Qxd6 Bh3;
20.Qxe7 Rxe7; 21.Rfe1. Black resigned.
The Bishop Awakens
The bishop at b2 can often seem to be passive, not hitting any
particularly useful target. In the worst case, it is hemmed in by
Black pawns and has no scope at all. The lack of scope can dictate
strategy, as White can adopt extreme measures, sometimes even
sacrificial ones, to bring new life to the old cleric.
42
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
MILANOVIC- RANDJELOVIC
Becici, 1993
Semi-Slav System
1.Nf3 d5; 2.c4 e6; 3.g3 Nf6; 4.Bg2 c6; 5.b3 Nbd7; 6.Bb2 Bd6;
7.0–0 0–0; 8.d3 Re8; 9.Nbd2 e5; 10.e4 Nc5; 11.Qc2 dxe4; 12.Nxe4
Ncxe4; 13.dxe4 Bg4; 14.Nh4 Qc8; 15.c5 Bc7; 16.Nf5.
________
¤´÷´¤´æ´|
j±}´±j±|
·´±´A´|
´_j¨´|
´´_´+´|
´_´´_|
_´·´_´_|
|´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White has a good position, but there are no immediate threats.
Black should not weaken the protective pawn barrier. The conse-
quences are fatal!
16…g6? Perhaps Black thought that the distant bishop at b2
poses no danger, because the pawn at e5 is in the way, and is
solidly supported by a bishop and a rook. Appearances can be
deceiving! 16…Qe6 was the correct move. 17.Nd6! Bxd6; 18.cxd6
Bh3? Black has no time for such luxuries. 18…Nh5; 19.Qd2 a5
was a more dynamic possibility. 19.f4!
________
¤´÷´¤´æ´|
j±´´±´±|
·´±_A±´|
´´j´|
´´__´|
´_´´_+|
_´·´´´_|
|´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
43
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
This is the key to bringing the bishop at b2 into the attack.
19…Bxg2; 20.Kxg2 Nd7; 21.fxe5 Nxe5. The long diagonal is still
blocked, but White has a strong initiative. 22.Rf6 Ng4? Black for-
gets how necessary the knight was at e5! 22…Qd7; 23.Raf1 is not
a lot of fun, but may be best. 23.Qc3!
________
¤´÷´¤´æ´|
j±´´±´±|
·´±_|±´|
´´´´|
´´_´A´|
´_\´_|
_´´´¹_|
|´´´|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The diagonal leads to victory. 23…Rxe4?; 23…Nxf6?? 24.Qxf6
mates quickly. 23…Ne5 was necessary, though after 24.Raf1 Qd7;
25.Rxf7 Qxf7; 26.Rxf7 Kxf7; 27.d7 Nxd7; 28.Qg7+ Ke6; 29.Qxh7
and the h-pawn will advance. Or 27…Re7; 28.Ba3 Re6; 29.Qd2
Rd8; 30.Qg5! Rxd7; 31.Qf4+ Rf6. The king cannot retreat because
of Qf8#. 32.Qxe5 and White should win.
24.Rxg6+. Black resigned.
Weakness at b7
Black’s position is usually vulnerable at b7 if the bishop has
left its home square of c8 and headed out toward the kingside.
The pawn can be attacked on the diagonal, on the b-file, or from
a knight at c5 or a5. Black usually takes measures to protect the
pawn, by placing a pawn or piece at c6, and the b-file is closed at
the start of the game. In some variations White opens the b-file
by a recapture at c4, but there is one variation where the pawn at
b7 is exposed early in the game. This is the deferred form of the
Réti Gambit where Black captures at c4 on the third move.
44
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
POLULJAHOV VS. DOROSHKIEVICH
Novosibirsk, 1995
Réti Gambit Deferred
1.c4 e6; 2.g3 d5; 3.Nf3 dxc4; 4.Na3 Bxa3; 5.bxa3 Qd5; 6.Bg2
Nf6; 7.0–0 0–0; 8.Bb2 Rd8; 9.Qc2 Nc6; 10.Rac1 Qh5; 11.Bxf6
gxf6; 12.Qxc4 e5; 13.d3 Be6; 14.Qc2 f5? Black cannot afford to
weaken the kingside like this. Now the a1–h8 diagonal can be ex-
ploited. 15.Qb2!
________
¤´M´æ´|
j±j´±´±|
·´A´+´´|
´´j±´÷|
´´´´|
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¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White has the optimal Réti pressure at b7. The queen directly
attacks the pawn, and the bishop at g2 is ready to participate once
the knight moves out of the way. 15…e4 Black hopes to seal the
diagonal, relying on the bishop to get to d5 to provide additional
defense.
16.Qxb7! Bd5! Black was counting on this move, but White
was ready with a crushing reply. Taking the knight wasn’t much of
an alternative: 16…exf3; 17.Bxf3 Qh3; 18.Rxc6 is hopeless for
Black. 17.Rxc6!! Rab8. Taking the rook is possible, but risky.
17…Bxc6; 18.Qxc6 exf3; 19.Bxf3 Qg6; 20.Qxc7 Rab8; 21.Qxa7
gives White more than enough compensation for the exchange.
18.Qxc7 Bxc6; 19.Qxc6 exf3; 20.Bxf3 Qg6. At least Black has
saved the a-pawn, but White is still much better and went on to
win.
45
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Weakness at f7
The traditional weakness at f7 can sometimes be exploited in
the Réti, especially when a knight at g5 combines forces with a
queen on the a2-g8 diagonal. I’ll illustrate this with one of my
own recent victories.
SCHILLER VS. SNYDER
Mechanics’ Institute Masters, San Francisco, 1998
Symmetrical Variation
1.Nf3 Nf6; 2.c4 c5; 3.b3 g6; 4.Bb2 Bg7; 5.e3 0-0; 6.Be2 Nc6;
7.0-0 b6; 8.Na3!? Bb7; 9.Nc2 d5; 10.cxd5 Qxd5; 11.d3 Rad8;
12.Qb1 Rfe8; 12…Ba6; 13.e4 Qe6; 14.Ne3 is not very clear. Per-
haps Black can play 14…Nxe4; 15.Bxg7 Kxg7; 16.dxe4 Bxe2;
17.Qb2+ Nd4; 18.Nxd4 cxd4; 19.Qxe2 dxe3; 20.Qxe3 with an
uninspiring position, though White controls a bit more space.
13.Rd1 e5; 14.e4 Qe6; 15.Bc3 Nd7. 15…Nd4; 16.Ncxd4 cxd4;
17.Bd2 is a reasonable alternative. 16.a3 Nd4; 17.Ncxd4 cxd4;
18.Bd2 Nc5; 19.b4! Na4?! This looks strong, but the a2-f8 diago-
nal is weaker than it looks. 19…Nb3!? 20.Ng5 Nxd2; 21.Nxe6 Nxb1;
22.Nxd8 Nc3 is the only way to avoid dropping the exchange im-
mediately, but 23.Nxb7 Nxe2+; 24.Kf1 Nc3; 25.Nd6 (25.Rdc1 Bf8!
traps the knight at b7.) 25…Rd8; 26.Nc4 Nxd1; 27.Rxd1 b5; 28.Nd2
Rc8; 29.Ra1 Rc3; 30.Ke2 Bh6 is certainly no worse for Black.
19…Nd7; 20.Rc1 Rc8; 21.Ng5 Qe7; 22.Qb3 Bh6; 23.h4 was pos-
sible.
20.Rc1 Rc8; 21.Ng5! Rxc1+; 22.Qxc1 Qd7.
________
´´¤´æ´|
j+´÷´±}±|
·j´´±´|
´´j¨|
A_j_´´|
_´_´´|
´´´___|
|\´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
46
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
23.Qc4! This is awkward to meet. Black should probably pas-
sively defend f7. 23…Rc8; 24.Qb3 Nc3?; 24…Bc6; 25.Bg4!! is a
variation on the theme seen in the game. 25…Qxg4; 26.Qxf7+
Kh8; 27.Ne6 Rg8; 28.f3! Qh5; 29.Nxg7 Rxg7; 30.Qf8+ Rg8; 31.Qf6+
Rg7; 32.Qxc6 wins. 24…Rf8 is ugly, but probably best. White is a
little better after 25.Rc1. 25.Bg4!! Qxg4; 26.Qxf7+ Kh8; 27.Qxb7
Re8; 28.Nf7+ Kg8; 29.Nd6! Rd8. 29…Rf8; 30.Bxc3 dxc3; 31.Qd5+
Kh8; 32.Nf7+ wins. 30.Qf7+ Kh8.
________
´M´æ|
j´´·}±|
·j¨´±´|
´´j´|
_j_´÷´|
_A_´´|
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|´´¹|
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31.Bh6! Bxh6; 32.Qf6+ Kg8; 33.Qxd8+ Bf8; 34.Qe8 Qf4;
35.Qe6+ Kg7. 35…Kh8; 36.Qxe5+ Qxe5; 37.Nf7+ Kg7; 38.Nxe5 is
simple enough. 36.Ne8+ Kh6; 37.Qh3+ Kg5; 38.Qxh7 Qg4; 39.f3
Qe6; 40.h4+ Kf4; 41.Nc7. 41.Kf2 can be played immediately, but
Black can prolong the struggle with 41…Nd1+; 42.Rxd1 Qa2+;
43.Kg1 Ke3. 41…Qd6; 42.Kf2! White forces mate with the g-pawn,
so Black resigned.
Trapped Queen
In defending the queenside, Black can sometimes find the
queen in an uncomfortable position. The disadvantage in control
of space leaves the queen with less f light squares. Sometimes, there
is simply no way to evade attack by White’s forces.
47
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
TARUFFI VS. CAPPELLO
Reggio Emilia, 1978
New York System
1.c4 c6; 2.b3 d5; 3.Bb2 Nf6; 4.Nf3 Bf5; 5.d3 e6; 6.g3 Nbd7;
7.Bg2 h6; 8.0–0 Be7; 9.Nbd2 0–0; 10.a3 a5; 11.Qc2 Bh7; 12.Rfb1
Qc7; 13.b4 Rfc8; 14.Qb3 axb4; 15.axb4 Ne8; 16.Rc1 Qb6; 17.Bc3
Bg6; 18.d4 Nc7; 19.c5 Qb5; 20.Bf1 Be4; 21.Ne1!
________
¤´¤´´æ´|
´±AA}±j|
·´±´±´j|
´÷_±´´|
__+´´|
´·´´_|
´¨___|
||¨´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Black’s queen is in deep trouble, and there is no place to run,
so Black resigned.
Premature Queenside Break by Black
The advance of a Black pawn to b5 is not a bad plan, as long as
the b-file is still occupied by a White pawn. When Black exchanges
the pawn at d4 for the pawn at c4, White recaptures with the b-
pawn, except in the Réti Accepted, when there is not yet a pawn at
b3. This structure creates a problem for Black, as the pawn at b7
is weak. One natural remedy is to advance it to b5, but as we see,
this too has its drawbacks.
48
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
SCHWARTZMAN VS. HERRMANN
Dortmund, 1989
New York System
1.c4 c6; 2.Nf3 d5; 3.b3 Bf5; 4.g3 Nf6; 5.Bb2 e6; 6.Bg2 h6;
7.0–0 Be7; 8.d3 0–0; 9.Nbd2 a5; 10.a3 Nbd7; 11.Re1 Bh7; 12.Bc3
dxc4; 13.bxc4 Qc7; 14.Qc1 Rfc8; 15.Qb2. Black plays an inferior
plan, trying to exchange a pair of rooks. This robs Black of a use-
ful defensive piece. 15…Ra6?; 16.Rab1 Rb6; 17.Qa1! Rxb1;
18.Rxb1.
________
´¤´´æ´|
´±æA}±j+|
´±´±Aj|
j´´´|
´_´´´|
·_´_´¨_|
´¨__´_|
\|´´¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White is going to add to the pressure on the b-file, but Black
should not over-react. 18…b5? Passive defense with 18…a4 followed
by …Nc5 would have been better. 19.Nd4! Bf8; 20.Nxc6. Black
resigned.
STRATEGIES AND TACTICS FOR BLACK
Black’s strategic goals vary depending on the defensive for-
mation. It is hard to generalize, but there is one theme that must
be understood by both sides, and that is the effects of an advance
of Black’s e-pawn to e5, e4 or even e3. There are three squares
that can become vulnerable in the Réti: e2, b3 and f2. Each of
these squares lacks sufficient support to withstand an organized
assault by Black’s pieces, but fortunately they are relatively hard to
get at. White must also avoid allowing the pieces to become en-
tangled or stuck in unproductive positions.
49
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
Black Plays on the e-file
One of Black’s best strategies is to advance the e-pawn to e4,
where it confronts the White pawn at d3, or even to e3, pointing
to the weakness of the pawn at f2. This latter plan is especially
effective when White has moved the h-pawn, because then when
the f-pawn leaves, the pawn at g3 is vulnerable.
FEUSTEL VS. GRAF
Bad Worishofen, 1993
New York System
1.Nf3 d5; 2.c4 c6; 3.b3 Nf6; 4.Bb2 Bf5; 5.g3 e6; 6.Bg2 h6;
7.0–0 Nbd7; 8.d3 Bc5; 9.Nbd2 0–0; 10.h3 Bh7; 11.a3 a5; 12.Ra2
Qb6; 13.Qa1.
________
¤´´Mæ´|
´±´A´±j+|
æ±´±Aj|
j}±´´|
´_´´´|
·__´_´¨__|
|´¨__´´|
\´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
When White adopts the a-file strategy Black often finds it hard
to come up with a useful move. White slowly prepares the b4-
break. 13…Ne8; 14.Bc3 Be7; 15.b4 axb4; 16.axb4 Rxa2; 17.Qxa2.
50
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
________
´´AMæ´|
´±´A}±j+|
·æ±´±´j|
´´±´´|
__´´´|
´´_´¨__|
·´¨__´´|
´´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White has more space and control of the a-file. Black’s forces
are poorly coordinated. 17…Bf6. 17…Bxb4?; 18.Rb1 c5; 19.cxd5
exd5; 20.Qxd5 Nef6; 21.Qc4 wins a pawn after exchanges at b4.
17…dxc4; 18.Nxc4 Qc7; 19.Ra1 gives White a strong queenside
initiative and complete control of the a-file.
18.c5 Qc7; 19.Nd4? White practically forces Black to expand
in the center. This is hypermodernism taken one step too far! White
should have been content to play more quietly with 19.d4 although
Black can still advance with 19…e5 since 20.dxe5 Nxe5; 21.Nxe5
Bxe5; 22.Bxe5 Qxe5; 23.Nf3 Qc3 is certainly nothing to brag about
for White.
19…e5. The hypermodern invitation is accepted at last! Black’s
center is certainly impressive. Can White cope with the advancing
e-pawn?
20.N4b3 e4! The most consistent move. 20…d4; 21.Bb2 is about
equal, but White does still have the a-file. 21.d4 e3! White’s kingside
will be critically weakened, especially the pawn at g3. The break
must be played immediately. Otherwise White will seal the center
with e3 and then go to work on the queenside. 22.Nf3 exf2+;
23.Kxf2. Necessary, to protect the g-pawn. 23…Be7; 24.Qa5 Qb8!;
25.Ra1 Nef6.
51
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
________
æ´Mæ´|
´±´A}±j+|
·´±´Aj|
\_±´´|
__´´|
´¨´´¨__|
´´_¹´´|
|´´´|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
The simple threat of …Ne4+ is difficult to meet. 26.Nfd2 Nh5;
27.Nf1. White thinks this maneuver saves the g-pawn, but it doesn’t.
27…Nxg3!; 28.Nxg3 Bh4; 29.Kf3. White resigned without wait-
ing for the checkmate at g3.
LARSEN, F VS. WELLING
Lugano Open, Switzerland, 1986
Capablanca System
1.c4 c6; 2.Nf3 d5; 3.b3 Nf6; 4.Bb2 Bg4; 5.d3 e6; 6.Nbd2 Nbd7;
7.g3 Bc5; 8.Bg2 0–0; 9.0–0 a5; 10.a3 Qe7; 11.Ra2 e5; 12.h3 Bh5;
13.Qa1.
________
¤´´Mæ´|
´±´Aæ±j±|
·´±´A´|
j}±j´+|
´_´´´|
__´_´¨__|
|´¨__´´|
\´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
52
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
White has taken too long, and Black is ready for action in the
center. 13…e4!; 14.dxe4 dxe4; 15.Nd4 e3!; 16.N2f3 exf2+; 17.Kh2.
The g3-square remains weak, nevertheless. 17…Bg6; 18.Nh4 Nh5;
19.Bf3.
________
¤´´Mæ´|
´±´Aæ±j±|
·´±´´+´|
j}´´A|
´_¨´¨|
__´´´__|
|´´_j¹|
\´´|´|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
19…Nxg3!; 20.Kxg3 Bd6+; 21.Kg2 Qxh4; 22.Rxf2 Nf6;
23.Qh1. White’s position is ridiculous, and Black swiftly breaks
through. 23…Ne4; 24.Bxe4 Qxe4+; 25.Nf3 Bc5; 26.e3 Qxe3. White
resigned. How fitting that the weakness at e3 provides the final
blow.
Weakness of e2
The pawn at e2 is often left unguarded, and Black can take
advantage of this by direct pressure on an open e-file or with a
knight attack from f4 or d4. If the e-pawn then advances, the pawn
at e2 is weak.
53
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
SPINDELBOECK VS. PALAC
Graz Open, Austria, 1995
Réti Gambit Deferred
1.Nf3 d5; 2.c4 e6; 3.g3 dxc4; 4.Qa4+ Nd7; 5.Bg2 a6; 6.Qxc4
b5; 7.Qc2 Bb7; 8.0–0 c5; 9.d3 Ngf6; 10.Nc3 Rc8; 11.b3 Be7; 12.Bb2
0–0; 13.Rac1 Qb6; 14.Nd2 Bxg2; 15.Kxg2 Nd5; 16.Qb1 Rfe8;
17.Qa1 Bf8; 18.a3 Qb7; 19.Kg1 e5; 20.h3 Re6; 21.Nde4 f5; 22.Ng5
Rg6; 23.Nf3 Nf4; 24.Nh4 Be7; 25.Nf3.
________
´¤´´æ´|
´÷´A}j±|
±´´´¤´|
´±jj±´|
´´A´|
·__¨_´¨__|
´´__´|
\|´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Black has an aggressive position even though the only advanced
piece is under attack. The knight is safe for the moment, because
the g-pawn is pinned. More importantly, the e2-square has been
neglected and Black wins by simply chasing the knight at c3. 25…b4.
White resigned.
Weakness at b3
When both the a-pawn and c-pawn have moved, the b-pawn
loses its valuable protector and can often become a backward pawn.
This can be an easy target for Black’s operations. I used this to
gain a victory over an International Master at a recent tourna-
ment.
54
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
REY VS. SCHILLER
Wilkerson International, San Francisco, 1998
New York System
1.c4 c6; 2.Nf3 d5; 3.b3 Nf6; 4.Bb2 Bf5; 5.g3 h6; 6.Bg2 e6; 7.0-
0 Nbd7; 8.d3 Be7; 9.Nbd2 0-0; 10.a3 a5; 11.Qc2 Re8; 12.Rfe1
Bf8; 13.e4 dxe4; 14.Nxe4 Nxe4; 15.dxe4 Bh7; 16.Rad1 Qc7;
17.Nd4 Rad8; 18.Qc3 Nc5; 19.Qe3.
________
´M¤}æ´|
´±æ´±j+|
·´±´±´j|
jA´´|
´_¨_´´|
__´\_|
´´_´_|
´´||¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
Black has an ideal defensive formation. The bishop at f8 de-
fends g7, so there are no tricks on the diagonal. There is a strong
knight at c5, tying White down to the defense of b3. The b-pawn
is actually very weak, and Black was able to exploit this.
19…e5!; 20.Ne2? White underestimated the power of the sac-
rifice of the e-pawn. 20.Nf5 was necessary, though Black would be
happy with the position after 20…Qb6; 21.Rxd8 Rxd8; 22.Bxe5
Qxb3; 23.Qxb3 Nxb3. 20.Nc2 b5 gives Black the initiative.
20…Rxd1!; 21.Rxd1 Rd8; 22.Rxd8 Qxd8; 23.Bxe5 Qd1+; 24.Bf1
Nxb3; 25.Nc3 Qd2!
Black has recovered the pawn, and the remaining queenside
pawns are weak. It took a while, but Black eventually won.
Weakness at f2
In most openings the f-pawn is the weak spot in the king’s
defense, whether castled or not. In the castled position, the pawn
has the support of both king and rook. In the position below,
55
TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS
White even has the queen helping out, and Black is only attacking
with three pieces. Nevertheless, the weakness is exposed with
deadly efficiency.
KISS VS. SCHARNBECK
Postal, 1987
New York System
1.Nf3 d5; 2.g3 Nf6; 3.c4 c6; 4.b3 Bf5; 5.Bg2 e6; 6.Bb2 Nbd7;
7.0–0 h6; 8.d3 Bc5; 9.Nbd2 0–0; 10.Qc2 Qb6; 11.e3 a5; 12.a3
Bh7; 13.Ne5 Nxe5; 14.Bxe5 Ng4; 15.Nf3.
________
¤´´Mæ´|
´±´´±j+|
·æ±´±´j|
j}±´´|
´_´´A´|
__´__¨_|
´·´_´_|
|´´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White seems to have the f2-square sufficiently defended, with
queen, rook and king facing queen bishop and knight. But White
has a weakness at d3, too. Black takes advantage by sacrificing at
e3.
15…Bxe3! The bishop cannot be captured because then the
knight gets to e3 and forks queen and rook. 16.Bd6. 16.Bxg7 Bxd3!;
17.Qxd3 Nxf2 and White has nothing better than 18.Qxe3 Qxe3;
19.Rae1 Nh3+; 20.Kh1 Qxb3; 21.Bxf8 Rxf8; 22.Bxh3 Qxa3 with
four healthy pawns and the queen for the rook and minor pieces.
16.Ra2 dxc4; 17.bxc4 Nxe5; 18.Nxe5 Rad8!; 19.Rb2 Qc5;
20.fxe3 Qxe3+; 21.Qf2 Qxe5; 22.Rxb7 Bxd3; 23.Re1 Qc3; 24.Bxc6
Bxc4 and Black has two extra pawns. 16…Bxf2+; 17.Rxf2 Bxd3;
18.Qxd3 Qxf2+; 19.Kh1 dxc4; 20.Qe4 Rfd8; 21.Qxg4 Rxd6;
22.Qxc4 Rad8. White resigned, since Black has three extra pawns
and threats on the back rank.
56
CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER
Artificial Piece Placement
Another way for White to get into trouble is to place pieces in
positions which are not comfortable in the Réti system. For ex-
ample, it makes little sense for White to transfer the bishop from
g2 to c2. Most players do not deliberately place pieces on bad
squares. They arrive at their unfortunate locations usually as part
of an attacking or defensive maneuver. In our example, White
uses g4 for the knight and pays a price.
RESCHKE VS. HABA
Wuerzburg Open, 1992
New York System
1.c4 c6; 2.b3 d5; 3.Bb2 Bf5; 4.Nf3 e6; 5.g3 h6; 6.Bg2 Nf6;
7.0–0 Be7; 8.d3 0–0; 9.Nbd2 Nbd7; 10.Qc2 Bh7; 11.e4 dxe4;
12.Nxe4 Nxe4; 13.dxe4 Nc5; 14.Rad1 Qb6; 15.Ne5 Rad8; 16.Bd4
Qc7; 17.Ng4.
________
´MMæ´|
j±æ}±j+|
·´±´±´j|
´A´´|
´_´_´¨´|
´_´´_|
_´·´_´_|
´´|´|¹|
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
White has no real threats and the position of the knight at g4
is truly strange. Black takes advantage instantly. 17…f5!; 18.Be5
Qb6; 19.exf5 exf5 and the knight cannot retreat. 20.Qc3. 20.Ne3
f4. 20…fxg4; 21.Bxg7 Rxd1; 22.Rxd1 Ne4. White resigned.

BASIC CONCEPTS

In the opening, White is not concerned with attacking the center directly, but at the same time Black cannot be allowed to work freely in the middle of the board. It is very important to keep the Black pawns from advancing too far. They can be allowed onto e4 and d4, but no further.

Ideal Formation
The basic formation of the Réti is a double fianchetto with kingside castling and a pawn at c4 supported by another at d3. In many cases, White can set up the formation seen in the diagram below. White’s position is very solid and there are only two small f laws. The pawn at b3 is a little weak, defended only by a knight. The pawn at e2, though harder to get at, has no support at all.

cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v,./9EFJMV

There is a certain elegance and efficiency in White’s plans. Each piece has moved exactly once and has arrived at its ideal position. The king has some breathing room and all of the pieces except for the rook at a2 have some f lexibility. About the only criticism that can be leveled against White’s play is that it is confined to the first four ranks. No enemy territory is conquered. This gives Black time to choose a defensive formation without worrying about immediate threats. To understand the position better, let’s look at the role of each individual piece. Of course, White must alter the formation in response to certain Black strategies, so this section only applies to those positions where the ideal formation is used. The alternative
27

CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER

use of pieces in specific variations will be discussed in the Defensive Formations chapter.

King

cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v,./9EFJMV
The king should be safely castled on the kingside, no matter what sort of defense Black mounts. Castling should be accomplished in the first ten to twelve moves. The king generally stays at g1 until the endgame, though it may move to g2 to recapture if Black exchanges light-squared bishops there. The king is defended by the bishop and knight at f3, but the knight at d2 can come to f1 to provide extra defense for h2. Once the rook moves from f1, the weakness of the pawn at f2 should be kept in mind. As we will see later, Black can effectively ram the e-pawn down the file to e3 if White is not careful. Then the pawn at f2 either moves or is captured, and the pawn at g3 loses support.

28

. In the main lines. In the purest Réti formations. Rooks cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v. it can go to c2. 29 . White often gains control of one of these important lines and this can be the main source of offensive action. the rook advances from a1 to a2 to make room for the queen..BASIC CONCEPTS Queen cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v. From this square it supports operations on the long diagonal and on the a-file. it is stationed at a1. working on the c-file and the light squares in the center./9EFJMV White has two different plans for the queen. Alternatively./9EFJMV In the main line. Sometimes the defense of the second rank.

for example. The kingside rook can also move to e1 to support the advance of the e-pawn. 30 . Each will work on a long diagonal and simultaneously stand guard over important squares in the base camp. c2. and the rook can also usefully transfer to b2. one or both rooks may find a home there. unless there is a compelling reason to do so..CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER especially e2 and f2. is necessary. For this reason. there is important work that cannot be done. Another popular approach is to double rooks on the c-file. This is both a strength and a weakness in that if the bishops leave the board. as that file can be opened if White captures. or d2 should opportunities arise on one of those files. Bishops cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v. White does not part with either bishop until the endgame. If Black exchanges pawns so that the d-file is open. So be prepared to be f lexible in placing your rooks. a pawn at d5 or b5. and study the use of rooks in the illustrative games and strategy sections below./9EFJMV The cornerstone of the Réti is the fianchetto of both bishops. There is usually a need to keep one rook on the c-file.

the knight has a different role. d6 and other useful squares... or hinder rooks from operating cleanly on the c-file.BASIC CONCEPTS Knights cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v./9EFJMV 31 . sometimes leaping to e5 as part of an attack. moving to a3 to recapture at c4. Pawns cuuuuuuuuC (rhb1kgn4} 70p0p0p0p} 6wDwDwDwD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v. or to prevent the advance of Black’s epawn./9EFJMV The kingside knight operates from f3. The other knight is usually placed at d2. so that it does not get in the way of the queen and bishop battery on the queenside. where it eyes e5. In the Réti Accepted.

as it would expose the king and also weaken the e3-square. sometimes capturing an enemy pawn there to open up the c-file. Moving the b-pawn up the board is a strong maneuver which can cause great weaknesses in the Black position if there is a pawn at c6. though sometimes it needs to go to h3 to kick out an annoying enemy piece. and it is wise to keep the h-pawn home in support. except when going to e4 has tactical or positional justification. Hypermodern strategy indicates that the central pawns remain at the second or third rank. 32 .CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER The unbroken chain usually remains intact throughout the opening unless Black captures one of the pawns. The a-pawn anchors an advance of the b-pawn. The f-pawn rarely moves. The role of the c-pawn is to guard d5. The kingside fianchetto mandates that the g-pawn be at g3.

The three breaks are at e4. so it is a good idea to pay close attention to these positions as well as those you encounter as you work your way through the illustrative games. after which two weaknesses in Black’ s position are considered. The power of the fianchettoed bishops is then explored. b4 and d4. we will look at these issues from the other side of the board. 33 . so we understand what Black is thinking when faced with our Hypermodern ideas. where White uses a pawn to confront an enemy pawn and threaten to cause structural damage or advance into a more favorable position. The examples are presented in full so that you can observe some of the transpositional move orders and trace the buildup of the position. and after. There are three different pawn breaks. however. Each diagram illustrates a specific tactical device.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS In this section we examine typical strategic and tactical devices available to both sides. The center must not be neglected. We’ll then consider the situation at e5. Let us first turn our attention to the strategies and tactics for White. We’ll look at those first. STRATEGIES AND TACTICS FOR WHITE For the most part. an important battlefield. White is concerned with queenside activity in the Réti and the related lines discussed in this repertoire. Study these carefully as you go along so that you can increase your strength and advantage with these openings. These patterns can often turn up in the early middlegame.

Nbd2 a5. 4. 16. and even when Black has castled. can be weak. 11. 3. 7. 20.e4! The threat of e5 is very real. 18. 17. after which the rooks can take up useful positions on the c-file and d-file.c4 c6.Bb2 Bh7. 13.a3 Bd6.0–0 Nbd7. FOX Dortmund Open.exd5 Nxd5? It was necessary to play 13…exd5.g3 Nf6. 1991 New York System 1.b3 Bf5.Nf3 d5. 19. 15. 2. 5. the pawn at g7. Or 16…N7f6. Here is a simple example. 17…Bxe4 was forced.Re1 Kf8. 12.Ne5! Bxe5. but in any case White has a tremendous game.Re1+.Bg2 e6.. the e4-break seems to inspire bad play by Black at times. 34 .dxe4 Black could then play 13…Bc5. 8.Bxg7 Rg8. 12…Bc7?! 12…dxe4 would have been smarter. 9. where Black has delayed castling too long.cxd5 cxd5.Qd2. Otherwise White is simply up a pawn with a good position. even though Black would have a rotten position after 14./9EFJMV The position is deceptively calm.Ne4 Ba6? Suicide. HEINE VS.Bd4 Bxd3. cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1kDw4} 7DpDnDp0b} 6wDwgphw0} 50wDpDwDw} &wDwDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2wGwHP)B)} %$wDQDRIw} v. 18. 14. The advance of a pawn to e4 to confront a Black pawn at d5 is effective when the Black knight at f6 has to stand guard at f6 because of pressure on the pawn at g7.d3 h6. After 13.Bxe5 Ng4. but even so White has a nice game after 14. White often has a queen at a1 and bishop at b2.Qe2. as the position unravels quickly. 6. but the potential advance of the e-pawn has been underestimated by Black. 10.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER The e4-break For some reason. Nf3. Black resigned.

Bg2 e6. 5. 4.g3 d5. Or has he? 11. Instead. cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1w4kD} 70pDnDp0w} 6wDwgphw0} 5DwDpDbDw} &wDwDwDwD} 3DPDPDN)w} 2PGwHP)B)} %$wDQDRIw} v. 6.. 13.Nf3 Nf6./9EFJMV 35 . Life is rarely that simple.cxd5 cxd5. 14. LUTGARDA GONZALEZ Corte Ingles. 11…Bg4 was interesting. of course. 9.Nd4! cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1w4kD} 70pDnDp0w} 6wDwgpDw0} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDwHnDwD} 3DPDwDw)w} 2PGwDw)B)} %$wDQDRIw} v. 8. 10.b3 Bf5. but the same strategy proves effective for White. 7.e4!? dxe4 Black bites at the bait.d3 0–0. 3. 2..c4 c6.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS The h-pawn is lost.dxe4 Bxe4. 1989 New York System 1. 12.Nbd2 h6. In our next example Black has taken care of castling. DONCEVIC VS.Bb2 Bd6.Nxe4 Nxe4.0–0 Nbd7./9EFJMV Black has prevented the advance of the e-pawn to e4.

21.Nxe6! fxe6. 18. but the pin on the long diagonal is sufficient compensation by itself. 14…Ndf6.Re1 Nc5. Here the queenside battery comes to life and the weakness at g7 is once again exposed. however./9EFJMV Perhaps now Black expected White to capture at b7. 22.b4! Ncd7.Qxb6 axb6.Rad1 Qb6.. 20. Our third example shows the strategy in use from a pure Réti formation. 36 . cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1w4kD} 70pDnDp0w} 6wDwgphw0} 5DwDwDwDw} &w)wHwDwD} 3DwDwDw)w} 2PGwDw)B)} %$wDQ$wIw} v.Qxd6 Rb8. 15. 16. 17.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER White is down a pawn.Re7! Black resigned. There is a much stronger move.Qxe6+ Kh8. 19.

15..TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS DALY VS. 11. since the e5square is weak.Nbd2 h6. 9. 23.Ng4! Kh7. 12.Ne5 Red8. Black is already in trouble.Ne5 Bg6.a3 a5. 1991 New York System 1. 21. 24.d3 c6.Be4! is crushing.0–0 Be7.Nf6# 20. 20…Qxb3 transposes to the previous note. 17. because 22…Bxe4 is answered by mate in two. 16.Qa1 Bd6.g3 d5.Rxd2 Qxb3. 7.b3 0–0. 21.Nf3 Nf6. 22. 6. 10. MCDONNELL Ireland Championship. 18. 5.Rfd1 Rxd2.Bg2 Bf5.Nxe4 Bxe4.Ra2 Re8./9EFJMV 37 . 4. The barrier is destroyed. 20. cuuuuuuuuC (rDwDwhkD} 7DpDwDpDw} 6wDpDp!b0} 50wDwHwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)qDwDw)w} 2wDw$w)B)} %DwDwDwIw} v. 19…Qxb3.Bb2 Nbd7.Qf6 Bg6./9EFJMV Black’s bishop at d6 invites White to play e4.dxe4 Nxe4.Rd2 Qb6. 19.e4! dxe4. 22.Qxh6+ Kg8.Bxf8 Nxf8. 8. 14. 3.Bxg7. 16…Bf8. 2.. cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1rDkD} 7DpDnDp0w} 6wDpgphw0} 50wDpDbDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2RGwHP)B)} %!wDwDRIw} v.c4 e6. and so is g7! 13.

Nxh6! a4 (25…Kxh6.g3 d5. 9.Qxg6. 14.Bb2 Be7.Rc1 Bh7. 5.Nxf7 Bxf7. though White does have compensation for the pawn.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER Now Black will have the resource of a check at b1.Rd4 wins. 23.Nbd2 a5. 27…Qc1+. 32. White can choose to capture or advance the pawn to b5.a3 h6.Nf3 Nf6.Rc2 Ne8. 1992 New York System 1.Rfc1.b3 Nbd7. securing important space on the queenside. 6.Rd4 leads to checkmate. 11. 28. SHERZER Chicago.Bg2 Bf5. 10.Rd3 Bxd3. If Black does not capture.Ng4 Kh7. 25. 24…Qa1! would have saved Black. but that isn’t enough. 24. 31. If Black captures. cuuuuuuuuC (rDw1n4kD} 7DpDnDp0b} 6wDpDpgw0} 50wDpDwDw} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)w} 2wGRHP)B)} %!w$wDwIw} v. 23…Qxa3./9EFJMV 38 .Bxd3.Qf6+ Kg8.Qa1 Bf6. but it can have some dramatic effects.Bxg6 Qxg6.Qxf7+ Kh8. 13. White can undermine the pawn structure by playing b4.. The b4-break doesn’t usually lead to an immediate win. then a useful file is opened.d3 0–0. With the Black queen at a1 this would not have been possible. 7. 4.Qf7+ Kh8.Ng6+! Black resigned.0–0 c6. 12. 27. 25.Qxf7+ Kh8.) 26. 28.Kg2 Qg5. 26. 27. having nothing better than 30…Nxg6. 8.Bf1 Qc3. 3.c4 e6. 30. 24. The b4-break When Black has a pawn at a5 or c5. PALATNIK VS. 26. 2. 29.

30. 21. 27. 25…Ra4. The position is by no means winning. seen later in the section on Black strategies and tactics.Nd4 dxc4. 39 . 14…Bxb2. The d4-break When Black has a pawn at e5 or c5. White can advance the dpawn to d4 and create a crisis in the center.dxc4 Rfd8. 22. 17. 22. 18. Black resigned.Rb1.c5 Nf5. as seen in this example. 25. A further complication here.Nxd7 Bxe4./9EFJMV Even in the endgame White can play effectively on the queenside. keeping the center blocked.axb4.dxe4 Be6 is pretty solid. 24. 28.Rxd7 Rxd7. cuuuuuuuuC (rDwDn4kD} 7DpDnDp0b} 6wDpDpDw0} 5DwDpDwDw} &w)PDwDwD} 3DwDPDN)w} 2w$wHP)B)} %Dw$wDwIw} v. 20.Rd2. 19.b4! Qxb2. 20. White must calculate the consequences of Black advancing to e4. 18…Nd6. but the burden is on Black to defend precisely.Qxb2 Qf6. 23. 29. An excruciating pin. When there is an enemy pawn at e5. 21.Nb6 Rxb4. which leads to the win of material. 26.Rxb2 axb4.Nc4 Ra7. 19…e5! is a better defense.Nxf5 Bxf5.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS The exchange of pieces and queens does not reduce the advantage White enjoys because of his control of more queenside territory. 16.c5 Nf5.e4 Bg6.Nxf5 Bxf5. 15.Bxe4 Rxe4.e4 dxe4. 23. is the possible advance of the pawn to e3. and Black will make good use of the a-file..

ARNOLD Eppingen. 8. 19. 3.c4 g6. Black resigned. 16.Rb2 Qa7. 29. 27. Pressure at e5 The e5-square is one of the most critical in the Réti. 10. 11. While this strategy is not always effective it is a useful plan when Black is fianchettoed on the kingside. 14. 4. 12. The plan is to seal the center and play on the queenside. 18.d3 Re8.Rb7 wins. 15.Qxc1 Rd8.b4 Bg7.Be2 c6. 13. 2. 9.Qa1 Qd6.Bb2 0–0.Nc3 e5. From e5. then White will have difficulty in denying counterplay in the center and on the kingside.a3 Re7. 7. 22. 20…Qb6. 24. 6. 26. The discovered attack on the rook enables White to open up the queenside. 5.bxa6 bxa6. a bishop at b2. 27.Nexd7! Bxd7.Ne5 Nb8.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER OSTL VS. Nevertheless.Nc5 Be8.Ba3 Nfd7. Black can usually arrange the advance of the 40 . and a queen at a1.cxd5 cxd5. 28. the knight exerts inf luence at c6.b5.a4.Nd6 Rxc1+. 17. 25.Bc5.Nb7! The Black queen is trapped on the a-file. 23./9EFJMV White can establish control over e5 by advancing the d-pawn..0–0 d5.Rc2 Bd7.d4!? e4. White wants to control e5 with a knight at f3.e3 d6. 1988 New York System 1. 23…Ree8. cuuuuuuuuC %wDw4bDkD} 2DpDw4pgp} 3pDn1whpD} &DwHp0wDw} 5w)wDwDwD} 6)wDP)NDw} 7wGRDB)P)} (!w$wDwIw} v. If Black can establish a strong pawn there. White’s queenside advance is therefore more effective.Na4 Nc6. 21.Rfc1 Rd8. 26…Rc8.Nf3 Nf6.Rc1 a6. 20.

as White can adopt extreme measures. 15.Nf3 c6. 9. 2. 41 . 10. 6. and a knight at d7.exd5 cxd5. WEYERSTRASS VS. to bring new life to the old cleric. 5. 15.b3 Be7. 14. 12. 20. In the worst case.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS e-pawn supported by a rook on the e-file.0–0 0–0. Black resigned. defending the pawn. 17.cxd5 Nxd5. it is hemmed in by Black pawns and has no scope at all. The Bishop Awakens The bishop at b2 can often seem to be passive. Instead.e4 e5. 18.Qxd5+ Be6.Nfxe5! N7f6.Bb2 Nbd7..Bxd5!. 11.d3 Re8. not hitting any particularly useful target.Bxd5+ Nxd5.Rfe1. VAN DER Laren (Training). 21.Qxe7 Rxe7. The lack of scope can dictate strategy.Qxd6 Bh3. 7. White can sometimes expose it to attack by eliminating the pawn at d5 (if necessary) and bringing a knight to c4.Qh5+ Kg8. 1988 Semi-Slav Formation 1. 3.c4 d5. 4. 19. Or 14…Nxe5. but White has a winning combination. 8. sometimes even sacrificial ones. a bishop at d6./9EFJMV An obvious move. When the pawn arrives at e5.Nxf7! Kxf7. 13. 16.Nbd2 Bd6. Black should have dropped the bishop back to c7 or b8 and then supported the e-pawn with …f6.g3 Nf6.Bg2 e6.Nc4 Qe7? cuuuuuuuuC (rDbDrDkD} 70pDn1p0p} 6wDwgwDwD} 5DwDn0wDw} &wDNDwDwD} 3DPDPDN)w} 2PGwDw)B)} %$wDQDRIw} v.

cuuuuuuuuC (rDqDrDkD} 70pgwDp0p} 6wDpDwhwD} 5Dw)w0NDw} &wDwDPDbD} 3DPDwDw)w} 2PGQDw)B)} %$wDwDRIw} v. Black should not weaken the protective pawn barrier. 15. 18…Nh5. 4.Nf3 d5.b3 Nbd7.. 2.Nh4 Qc8. 14.c5 Bc7. 19. 9.RANDJELOVIC Becici.cxd6 Bh3? Black has no time for such luxuries.Nbd2 e5.Qc2 dxe4. 11. 12./9EFJMV .CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER MILANOVIC.Nf5. 17. 18./9EFJMV White has a good position. Appearances can be deceiving! 16…Qe6 was the correct move.dxe4 Bg4.Nd6! Bxd6.Bb2 Bd6.0–0 0–0. but there are no immediate threats.Bg2 c6.Qd2 a5 was a more dynamic possibility.Nxe4 Ncxe4. 1993 Semi-Slav System 1. and is solidly supported by a bishop and a rook.e4 Nc5. The consequences are fatal! 16…g6? Perhaps Black thought that the distant bishop at b2 poses no danger. 5. 7. 6.d3 Re8. 3.f4! 42 cuuuuuuuuC (rDqDrDkD} 70pDwDpDp} 6wDp)whpD} 5DwDw0wDw} &wDwDP)wD} 3DPDwDw)b} 2PGQDwDB)} %$wDwDRIw} v. 8. because the pawn at e5 is in the way.c4 e6. 10. 16. 19. 13.g3 Nf6..

Qf4+ Rf6. 29. though after 24. Black usually takes measures to protect the pawn. 23. on the b-file. 21. 23…Ne5 was necessary. but may be best. 28. 30. or from a knight at c5 or a5.d7 Nxd7.Rxg6+.Qxh7 and the h-pawn will advance.. 32. 23…Rxe4?. 23…Nxf6?? 24. 22. 23. 25. 19…Bxg2. 31. The long diagonal is still blocked.Qxe5 and White should win.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS This is the key to bringing the bishop at b2 into the attack. by placing a pawn or piece at c6. 26.Rf6 Ng4? Black forgets how necessary the knight was at e5! 22…Qd7. In some variations White opens the b-file by a recapture at c4.fxe5 Nxe5./9EFJMV The diagonal leads to victory. 29.Qd2 Rd8.Kxg2 Nd7.Raf1 is not a lot of fun.Ba3 Re6. but there is one variation where the pawn at b7 is exposed early in the game.Rxf7 Qxf7. and the b-file is closed at the start of the game. Black resigned. 24.Qg7+ Ke6. 28. 43 . Weakness at b7 Black’s position is usually vulnerable at b7 if the bishop has left its home square of c8 and headed out toward the kingside.Rxf7 Kxf7. The pawn can be attacked on the diagonal.Raf1 Qd7. The king cannot retreat because of Qf8#.Qxf6 mates quickly. 20.Qc3! cuuuuuuuuC (rDqDrDkD} 70pDwDpDp} 6wDp)w$pD} 5DwDwDwDw} &wDwDPDnD} 3DP!wDw)w} 2PGwDwDK)} %$wDwDwDw} v.Qg5! Rxd7. Or 27…Re7. This is the deferred form of the Réti Gambit where Black captures at c4 on the third move. but White has a strong initiative. 27.

but White was ready with a crushing reply.d3 Be6. The queen directly attacks the pawn.Qxc6 exf3. 4. 7.Qxa7 gives White more than enough compensation for the exchange.Qxc4 e5.Qb2! uuuuuuuu (rDw4wDkD} 70p0wDpDp} 6wDnDbDwD} 5DwDw0pDq} &wDwDwDwD} 3)wDPDN)w} 2P!wDP)B)} %Dw$wDRIw} v.Bxf3 Qg6. 19. 15…e4 Black hopes to seal the diagonal. 17…Bxc6.g3 d5. 16. 18.Qxc6 exf3. DOROSHKIEVICH Novosibirsk. 14. 17.Nf3 dxc4. Taking the knight wasn’t much of an alternative: 16…exf3. 20.Bxf3 Qh3. At least Black has saved the a-pawn. 15. 19.Rxc6!! Rab8. relying on the bishop to get to d5 to provide additional defense. 9. Now the a1–h8 diagonal can be exploited.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER POLULJAHOV VS.Qc2 Nc6.bxa3 Qd5.Rxc6 is hopeless for Black. 18. 11. 21. but risky.Bb2 Rd8. 10.Na3 Bxa3. 5.Bxf3 Qg6.. 1995 Réti Gambit Deferred 1.Qxc7 Bxc6. 6. 18.Qc2 f5? Black cannot afford to weaken the kingside like this.Qxc7 Rab8. 17. 20. 8.0–0 0–0. 13. 12.Bg2 Nf6. 3. 44 .Bxf6 gxf6.c4 e6.Rac1 Qh5./9EFJMV White has the optimal Réti pressure at b7. but White is still much better and went on to win. Taking the rook is possible.Qxb7! Bd5! Black was counting on this move. 2. and the bishop at g2 is ready to participate once the knight moves out of the way.

) 25…Rd8.Ng5 Qe7.e4 Qe6. 22. 18.a3 Nd4. SCHILLER VS.Nxd8 Nc3 is the only way to avoid dropping the exchange immediately. 28.Bd2 Nc5.0-0 b6. 13. 2.Ncxd4 cxd4. 8. SNYDER Mechanics’ Institute Masters.Nf3 Nf6.Qxe3 with an uninspiring position.d3 Rad8.Kf1 Nc3. cuuuuuuuuC (wDwDrDkD} 70bDqDpgp} 6w0wDwDpD} 5DwDw0wHw} &n)w0PDwD} 3)wDPDwDw} 2wDwGB)P)} %$w!wDwIw} v. 13.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS Weakness at f7 The traditional weakness at f7 can sometimes be exploited in the Réti.Na3!? Bb7.Rxd1 b5.Ng5! Rxc1+. 18.Qb3 Bh6.Nd2 Rc8.Nxe6 Nxb1.Ne3 is not very clear.Bxg7 Kxg7. 5.Bb2 Bg7. but the a2-f8 diagonal is weaker than it looks. 21. 20. 10.b4! Na4?! This looks strong.. though White controls a bit more space.Bd2 is a reasonable alternative.Bc3 Nd7./9EFJMV 45 .Be2 Nc6. 19.Rc1 Rc8.Ra1 Rc3. 7. 29. I’ll illustrate this with one of my own recent victories. 17.Ncxd4 cxd4. 21. 16.Qxc1 Qd7.e4 Qe6.Rd1 e5. 11. 19…Nd7. 26.Nc2 d5. 4. 17. 15. 19…Nb3!? 20.dxe4 Bxe2.Nd6 (25.h4 was possible. 9. Perhaps Black can play 14…Nxe4. 23. 22.Qb2+ Nd4. 16. 12…Ba6.Qxe2 dxe3. 21. especially when a knight at g5 combines forces with a queen on the a2-g8 diagonal.Nxd4 cxd4. 19.Rdc1 Bf8! traps the knight at b7. 27.Ke2 Bh6 is certainly no worse for Black. 25.b3 g6. 15…Nd4. 12. 30.e3 0-0. 24. 14.Nc4 Nxd1. 6.cxd5 Qxd5. 1998 Symmetrical Variation 1. 17. 20. 16. 14. 3.Qb1 Rfe8.c4 c5. 15.Rc1 Rc8. San Francisco.Nxb7 Nxe2+. 20. 22. but 23.Ng5 Nxd2.

Nc7. 29.h4+ Kf4. 33. 41…Qd6. 35.Qe8 Qf4.Qxd8+ Bf8.Nf7+ Kg7. 32.Ne6 Rg8. Trapped Queen In defending the queenside. 31.Qe6+ Kg7. cuuuuuuuuC (wDw4wDwi} 70wDwDQgp} 6w0wHwDpD} 5DwDw0wDw} &w)w0PDqD} 3)whPDwDw} 2wDwGw)P)} %$wDwDwIw} v. there is simply no way to evade attack by White’s forces. 41. Black should probably passively defend f7. 46 . but Black can prolong the struggle with 41…Nd1+. White is a little better after 25.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER 23. 29. 30.Qxh7 Qg4.Qf6+ Rg7. 32. 36.Qxb7 Re8.Bg4!! Qxg4.Bxc3 dxc3.Qh3+ Kg5. 28. 34. 36. 25. 24…Rf8 is ugly.Kf2 can be played immediately. 25. 42.. 31.Rc1. 29…Rf8. Sometimes. 23…Rc8.Ne8+ Kh6.Nxg7 Rxg7.f3 Qe6.Kf2! White forces mate with the g-pawn.Nxe5 is simple enough. 37.Qxf7+ Kh8.Nf7+ Kg8. 27.Nd6! Rd8. 30. 27. 26. Black can sometimes find the queen in an uncomfortable position. 25…Qxg4.Qc4! This is awkward to meet.Qf7+ Kh8. 38. 30.Qf6+ Kg8. 38.Nf7+ wins. 42. 39.Bg4!! is a variation on the theme seen in the game.Qb3 Nc3?. 41.Qxf7+ Kh8. 40. 28.Rxd1 Qa2+.f3! Qh5. 35…Kh8. but probably best. The disadvantage in control of space leaves the queen with less f light squares. 24…Bc6. so Black resigned.Kg1 Ke3. 26. 32. 37.Bh6! Bxh6. 24.Qxc6 wins. 43.Qxe5+ Qxe5.Qf8+ Rg8.Qd5+ Kh8./9EFJMV 31.

20. Premature Queenside Break by Black The advance of a Black pawn to b5 is not a bad plan. 21. CAPPELLO Reggio Emilia.b3 d5. 14. 5. 19. when there is not yet a pawn at b3.0–0 Be7. When Black exchanges the pawn at d4 for the pawn at c4. 47 .Bg2 h6. 9.g3 Nbd7.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS TARUFFI VS.axb4 Ne8. One natural remedy is to advance it to b5. except in the Réti Accepted.Qb3 axb4. 6. 13./9EFJMV Black’s queen is in deep trouble. and there is no place to run. 10.a3 a5. 4. 17.Ne1! cuuuuuuuuC (rDrDwDkD} 7Dphngp0w} 6wDpDpDw0} 5Dq)pDwDw} &w)w)bDwD} 3DQGwDw)w} 2wDwHP)w)} %$w$wHBIw} v. 7. 3. 11. as the pawn at b7 is weak. White recaptures with the bpawn. 1978 New York System 1. but as we see. this too has its drawbacks. 18.Qc2 Bh7.Nbd2 0–0. 15. 2.d4 Nc7. 16.d3 e6. so Black resigned..Bb2 Nf6. 8.Bc3 Bg6. This structure creates a problem for Black.Rfb1 Qc7. 12.Bf1 Be4.Rc1 Qb6.c4 c6.c5 Qb5.Nf3 Bf5.b4 Rfc8. as long as the b-file is still occupied by a White pawn.

STRATEGIES AND TACTICS FOR BLACK Black’s strategic goals vary depending on the defensive formation. but Black should not over-react. 17.Nbd2 a5. Black plays an inferior plan. 14. 3. 20.d3 0–0.. White must also avoid allowing the pieces to become entangled or stuck in unproductive positions.Rxb1. 15…Ra6?. trying to exchange a pair of rooks. 8. 48 . 7. 15.Qb2. 16. 6. There are three squares that can become vulnerable in the Réti: e2. 5. 4.Re1 Bh7. 11.Nf3 d5. It is hard to generalize. 12.a3 Nbd7. 9. Each of these squares lacks sufficient support to withstand an organized assault by Black’s pieces. b3 and f2.Bg2 h6.Nd4! Bf8. 18…b5? Passive defense with 18…a4 followed by …Nc5 would have been better. 2. e4 or even e3. This robs Black of a useful defensive piece. but fortunately they are relatively hard to get at.bxc4 Qc7./9EFJMV White is going to add to the pressure on the b-file.c4 c6.0–0 Be7.Bc3 dxc4. 19.g3 Nf6.Nxc6.Qa1! Rxb1. HERRMANN Dortmund. Black resigned.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER SCHWARTZMAN VS.b3 Bf5. but there is one theme that must be understood by both sides.Rab1 Rb6. 1989 New York System 1.Bb2 e6.Qc1 Rfc8. 10. and that is the effects of an advance of Black’s e-pawn to e5. cuuuuuuuuC %wDrDwDkD} 2Dp1ngp0b} 3wDpDphw0} &0wDwDwDw} 5wDPDwDwD} 6)wGPDN)w} 7wDwHP)B)} (!RDwDwIw} v. 13. 18.

0–0 Nbd7. 2. 15.Nbd2 0–0.. 12. because then when the f-pawn leaves. 8. FEUSTEL VS. 4. 16.c4 c6.h3 Bh7. This latter plan is especially effective when White has moved the h-pawn. 3./9EFJMV When White adopts the a-file strategy Black often finds it hard to come up with a useful move. 14. 17.b4 axb4. 13…Ne8.Qa1. the pawn at g3 is vulnerable.b3 Nf6.Bc3 Be7.Bg2 h6. pointing to the weakness of the pawn at f2. where it confronts the White pawn at d3.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS Black Plays on the e-file One of Black’s best strategies is to advance the e-pawn to e4. White slowly prepares the b4break.g3 e6.a3 a5. 7.Nf3 d5. 1993 New York System 1. 6.axb4 Rxa2. or even to e3. 49 . 11.Qxa2.Bb2 Bf5. 5. cuuuuuuuuC %rDwDw4kD} 2DpDnDp0b} 3w1pDphw0} &0wgpDwDw} 5wDPDwDwD} 6)PDPDN)P} 7RGwHP)BD} (!wDwDRIw} v. 9.d3 Bc5. GRAF Bad Worishofen. 13.Ra2 Qb6. 10.

19.Bxe5 Qxe5. 18. but White does still have the a-file. 17…Bf6. 20…d4. 23.Nxe5 Bxe5.Qa5 Qb8!. 19.Bb2 is about equal. 21.Rb1 c5.d4 although Black can still advance with 19…e5 since 20. 23. 18. 21. 23…Be7.Nf3 Qc3 is certainly nothing to brag about for White. 17…dxc4. 25.Ra1 gives White a strong queenside initiative and complete control of the a-file. 50 . 19.N4b3 e4! The most consistent move.Kxf2./9EFJMV White has more space and control of the a-file.cxd5 exd5. 21. The hypermodern invitation is accepted at last! Black’s center is certainly impressive.. 21.Ra1 Nef6. 22.Nf3 exf2+. to protect the g-pawn. Necessary. This is hypermodernism taken one step too far! White should have been content to play more quietly with 19.c5 Qc7.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER cuuuuuuuuC (wDwDn4kD} 7DpDngp0b} 6w1pDpDw0} 5DwDpDwDw} &w)PDwDwD} 3DwGPDN)P} 2QDwHP)BD} %DwDwDRIw} v.d4 e3! White’s kingside will be critically weakened. 17…Bxb4?. Black’s forces are poorly coordinated.Nxc4 Qc7. 20. The break must be played immediately. especially the pawn at g3. 19…e5.dxe5 Nxe5.Qxd5 Nef6. 18.Nd4? White practically forces Black to expand in the center. 24. 22. Otherwise White will seal the center with e3 and then go to work on the queenside.Qc4 wins a pawn after exchanges at b4. Can White cope with the advancing e-pawn? 20.

Bb2 Bg4. WELLING Lugano Open. 5./9EFJMV 51 . cuuuuuuuuC (rDwDw4kD} 7DpDn1p0p} 6wDpDwhwD} 50wgp0wDb} &wDPDwDwD} 3)PDPDN)P} 2RGwHP)BD} %!wDwDRIw} v.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS cuuuuuuuuC (w1wDw4kD} 7DpDngp0b} 6wDpDwhw0} 5!w)pDwDw} &w)w)wDwD} 3DNGwDN)P} 2wDwDPIBD} %$wDwDwDw} v. but it doesn’t.Nxg3 Bh4. 13. F VS.b3 Nf6. 8. 4.Nf1. White thinks this maneuver saves the g-pawn./9EFJMV The simple threat of …Ne4+ is difficult to meet. 28. 26.Nf3 d5. 6..Bg2 0–0. 27…Nxg3!.Ra2 e5..Kf3. 10.Qa1. 11. 3.Nbd2 Nbd7. 7. 1986 Capablanca System 1.c4 c6. 2.a3 Qe7. 27.h3 Bh5.d3 e6. 9. White resigned without waiting for the checkmate at g3.0–0 a5. Switzerland. LARSEN.Nfd2 Nh5.g3 Bc5. 29. 12.

Nf3 Bc5. 52 .Bf3.Qh1. 20. The g3-square remains weak.Kh2. 17.e3 Qxe3. White resigned.Kxg3 Bd6+. White’s position is ridiculous. How fitting that the weakness at e3 provides the final blow. 23. 21. 25.Bxe4 Qxe4+. 16. 15. 14. 18. and Black swiftly breaks through. 24.dxe4 dxe4.Nh4 Nh5.Kg2 Qxh4. 26. 22. and Black can take advantage of this by direct pressure on an open e-file or with a knight attack from f4 or d4. cuuuuuuuuC (rDwDw4kD} 7DpDn1p0p} 6wDpDwDbD} 50wgwDwDn} &wDPHwDwH} 3)PDwDB)P} 2RGwDP0wI} %!wDwDRDw} v./9EFJMV 19…Nxg3!. 19.. nevertheless. 17…Bg6. If the e-pawn then advances. Weakness of e2 The pawn at e2 is often left unguarded.Nd4 e3!.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER White has taken too long.R xf2 Nf6. 13…e4!. the pawn at e2 is weak. 23…Ne4.N2f3 exf2+. and Black is ready for action in the center.

Qb1 Rfe8.Nf3 Nf4. 17. 12.Qa1 Bf8. 11. the b-pawn loses its valuable protector and can often become a backward pawn.Kg1 e5.Bb2 0–0.0–0 c5.Kxg2 Nd5. 14. 25…b4. 20. 18. 7.Nd2 Bxg2. 8.g3 dxc4. 3.a3 Qb7.Nf3. 13.. The knight is safe for the moment. 25.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS SPINDELBOECK VS. 22. PALAC Graz Open. 1995 Réti Gambit Deferred 1.h3 Re6. 19. 9.c4 e6. Weakness at b3 When both the a-pawn and c-pawn have moved. because the g-pawn is pinned.Qc2 Bb7.Qa4+ Nd7. 4./9EFJMV Black has an aggressive position even though the only advanced piece is under attack.Rac1 Qb6.Qxc4 b5.Nf3 d5. 2. This can be an easy target for Black’s operations.Ng5 Rg6.Bg2 a6. More importantly. 6.Nc3 Rc8. I used this to gain a victory over an International Master at a recent tournament.Nh4 Be7. 53 . 10. 24. White resigned. 5.Nde4 f5. 16. the e2-square has been neglected and Black wins by simply chasing the knight at c3. 15.b3 Be7. Austria. 21.d3 Ngf6. 23. cuuuuuuuuC %wDrDwDkD} 2DqDngw0p} 3pDwDwDrD} &Dp0w0pDw} 5wDwDwhwD} 6)PHPDN)P} 7wGwDP)wD} (!w$wDRIw} v.

Nd4 Rad8.c4 c6. San Francisco. 18. In the position below. 12. 9. cuuuuuuuuC (wDw4rgkD} 7Dp1wDp0b} 6wDpDpDw0} 50whwDwDw} &wDPHPDwD} 3)PDw!w)w} 2wGwDw)B)} %DwDR$wIw} v. It took a while. 19…e5!. 5.. 54 .R xd8 R xd8. 7.Qc3 Nc5. The b-pawn is actually very weak. 24. 22.dxe4 Bh7. 6.Bg2 e6. and Black was able to exploit this.Ne2? White underestimated the power of the sacrifice of the e-pawn. though Black would be happy with the position after 20…Qb6.Nc3 Qd2! Black has recovered the pawn. 20…Rxd1!. 20.Rxd8 Qxd8.Nbd2 0-0.d3 Be7.Qe3.Bxe5 Qxb3. SCHILLER Wilkerson International. 14.Nf3 d5.Qc2 Re8.Rfe1 Bf8. The bishop at f8 defends g7. 10./9EFJMV Black has an ideal defensive formation. In the castled position. but Black eventually won. 16. whether castled or not.e4 dxe4.Qxb3 Nxb3. 13.g3 h6. 21.Rxd1 Rd8. 22. 19. the pawn has the support of both king and rook.00 Nbd7. 17. 25.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER REY VS. 8. 20.Bf1 Nxb3.Bxe5 Qd1+. 1998 New York System 1.b3 Nf6. 3. 2. 21.Nxe4 Nxe4. 20. Weakness at f2 In most openings the f-pawn is the weak spot in the king’s defense. 15. tying White down to the defense of b3. There is a strong knight at c5.Nc2 b5 gives Black the initiative. 23.Rad1 Qc7.Bb2 Bf5. and the remaining queenside pawns are weak. 23. so there are no tricks on the diagonal.a3 a5.Nf5 was necessary. 11. 4.

15. 16. KISS VS. 6.Kh1 dxc4. 21. and Black is only attacking with three pieces. 18.Kh1 Qxb3. 20.Bb2 Nbd7. 2. 10.Rae1 Nh3+. with queen.R xb7 Bxd3. Black takes advantage by sacrificing at e3. 5.c4 c6.Qxd3 Nxf2 and White has nothing better than 18. the weakness is exposed with deadly efficiency.Bxg7 Bxd3!.Bg2 e6. 23. 4. 16.0–0 h6..d3 Bc5.Ne5 Nxe5.Rxf2 Bxd3. 13.Nxe5 Rad8!./9EFJMV White seems to have the f2-square sufficiently defended.Bxe5 Ng4. 1987 New York System 1.Qf2 Qxe5.Rb2 Qc5. 15…Bxe3! The bishop cannot be captured because then the knight gets to e3 and forks queen and rook. 12.Bxc6 Bxc4 and Black has two extra pawns. 21. 20.Bxf8 Rxf8.Bxh3 Qxa3 with four healthy pawns and the queen for the rook and minor pieces.Qxc4 Rad8. 7. White resigned.Nbd2 0–0. rook and king facing queen bishop and knight. 16…Bxf2+. too. 55 .Ra2 dxc4. 19.Bd6. Nevertheless. 18. since Black has three extra pawns and threats on the back rank. 19.bxc4 Nxe5. 14.TYPICAL STRATEGIES AND TACTICS White even has the queen helping out.fxe3 Qxe3+.Nf3. 16.Qxd3 Qxf2+. 22.e3 a5.Re1 Qc3. 20. 17. 3.Nf3 d5. 11. 9. cuuuuuuuuC (rDwDw4kD} 7DpDwDp0b} 6w1pDpDw0} 50wgpGwDw} &wDPDwDnD} 3)PDP)N)w} 2wDQDw)B)} %$wDwDRIw} v. 17.g3 Nf6. 21.a3 Bh7. But White has a weakness at d3. SCHARNBECK Postal. 22.Qe4 Rfd8. 24.Qxg4 Rxd6. 19. 22.Qxe3 Qxe3.b3 Bf5. 17.Qc2 Qb6. 8.

RESCHKE VS.Nf3 e6. 4.d3 0–0.Bd4 Qc7.e4 dxe4. 7.Nxe4 Nxe4. 17…f5!..Qc2 Bh7. 12. Most players do not deliberately place pieces on bad squares. 20…fxg4. In our example. 11. it makes little sense for White to transfer the bishop from g2 to c2. 10. 8.Qc3.Bxg7 Rxd1. 15. 3. 5.Rad1 Qb6. 13. 6. White resigned. 56 . 20. 1992 New York System 1. 2.Bg2 Nf6.Ne5 Rad8.exf5 exf5 and the knight cannot retreat.Bb2 Bf5.g3 h6./9EFJMV White has no real threats and the position of the knight at g4 is truly strange. 17.Nbd2 Nbd7. 9. 21. Black takes advantage instantly. 18.b3 d5. White uses g4 for the knight and pays a price. For example.Ne3 f4. 16. They arrive at their unfortunate locations usually as part of an attacking or defensive maneuver. 22.dxe4 Nc5. 14. 20.Ng4.Rxd1 Ne4.CARDOZA PUBLISHING • ERIC SCHILLER Artificial Piece Placement Another way for White to get into trouble is to place pieces in positions which are not comfortable in the Réti system. HABA Wuerzburg Open.0–0 Be7. cuuuuuuuuC (wDw4w4kD} 70p1wgp0b} 6wDpDpDw0} 5DwhwDwDw} &wDPGPDND} 3DPDwDw)w} 2PDQDw)B)} %DwDRDRIw} v.c4 c6. 19.Be5 Qb6.

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