The popular continuation, though 9 NxN NP X N also, quite clearly, gives White some advantage.

Of the five replies which theory considers for Black (9 . . . N-K2, 9 . . . B-K2, 9 . . . B-Q3 and 9 . . . P-QN4) this, undoubtedly, is the most solid.

10 NxN NPxN

11 N-N6

The tempting 11 Q-Q4 does not work on account of 11 . . . B-Q3 12 N-N6 R-Nl 13 N-B4 BxP+ 14 K-Rl P-Q4 15 P-K5 PxN 16 KxB R-Ql.

12 NxB KRxN

An innovation. Though, in all honesty, this move has already been seen some time ago in Leningrad events, but little known on a wider scale.

Previously 13 . . . R-Kl was always chosen. In connection with this it is important to have the knowledge of two circumstances: There is the black knight's lack of squares, which, for example, gave grounds for Geller, in the 39th USSR Championship, to start a blunt chase after it with 14 B-Q3 B-Q3 15 P-KN4!? The second, less striking consideration, is that the black rook on K1 can come under attack from the queen.

Black's last move has as its object the avoidance of such unpleasant consequences.

The best. After 15 P-KB4 P-K4 16 P-B5 RxP 17 P-N4 Q-R4 18 K-Rl B-B4 19 B-Bl RxRP 20 RxR QxR 21 P-N5 N-Kl 22 Q-R5 P-Q4 Black successfully defends himself.

The KRP, of course, is inviolate: after 15 ... B x P 16 P-KB4 B-N6 17 Q-B3 White wins quickly.

Winning back material with 15 . . .RxP, Black risks falling under attack: 16 B-Q4 R7-N1 17 BxN PxB 18 Q-R5.

16 P-QB3

16 P-KB4 does not promise anything more :16...BxNP17 R-QN1 P-Q4 18 P-K5 N-Q2 19 Q-N4, though, all the same, White does have some initiative on the K-side.

It is in just this way (with the black rook on Kl) that White, time and again, gets good chances in this variation.

18 P-KB4

The rook is untouchable: 18 QxR? BxBP! and Black mates or wins the queen.

19 QxR

19 PXB is wrong - 19 . . . Q-N3 and the advantage is in Black's hands.

The attempt to hang on to the exchange, 20 R-B3 N-N5, does not work in White's favour because of Black's many threats: 21 P-KR3 (21 Rl-Bl) 21 . . . B-B8!, 21 P-N3 N-K4 - highly unpleasant.

Finally the idea behind the innovation on move 13 is revealed! With

the rook on Ql, the threat against KB2 is not so deadly.

Black has a bad game after 21 . . . P-N4?! 22 P-N3 Q-Q3 23 B-K2 or 23 B-B2.

The black bishop cannot move because of mate.

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