Kupreichik Variation

The system that is signified by 5 SLe3 is known as the Kupreichik Variation. For a long time it has been regarded as a doubtful continuation, with Lewis in 1835 suggesting S...«^,.. jLd7 and ..JIc8 as the antidote. In modern tournament practice the Byelorussian is predestined to add his name to the line, due to his large number of games that have proved it to be a viable weapon. The primary idea is to avoid the main lines by delaying the development of the king's knight

Game 35 Kupreichik-Farago

Passau 1993

1 e4

2 d4

3 e5

4 c3

e6 d5

c5 &c6

5 £e3 (105) A committal but solid continuation. It looks rather simplistic to over-protect d4 with the bishop but there is no clear way for Black to take advantage of the situation. Now Black is obliged to enter relatively

XliliPl AB nil

unknown territory as early as move five.

The other rare moves should be quite harmless:

a) 5 f4 cxd4 (5...«fb6 6 £>f3 &h6! 7 b3 cxd4 8 cxd4 £b4+ 9 *f2 5}f5 10 iLb2 h5 ? Cohnen-Harber-ditz, 1940) 6 cxd4 1fb6 7 £>f3 £d7 8 £>c3 Bc8 9 Bbl £b4 10#d3 a6 11 a3 £e7 12 b4 &a6 13 £e3 &f5 14 Af2 15 g4 £fo5? 16 OaA +-Capablanca-Paredes, Havana 1901.

b) 5 #g4 cxd4 6 cxd4 Wb6 7 E>£3 £h6 8 #f4 £>f5 9 £d3 £>cxd4 -+ Weiss-Haberditz and Kellner, corr. 1933.

c) 5&e2f66f4fxe57dxe5€th6 8 £ig3 £d7 9£e2fb6100-0 0-0-0 11 c4?! £>d4 12 f5 £>hxf5 13 &xf5

exf5 14 cxdS £a4 15 b3 (15 Wxa4 &xe2+ 16 *hl £>xcl 17 Bxcl Sxd5 -+) 15...4öxe2+ 16 Wxe2 £b5 17 WD £xfl 18 *xfl Wb5+ 19 *f2 Wb4 20 £e3 f4! 21 Wg4+ Bd7 22 £xf4 h5 23 WO Bf7 0-1 Romero Hoimes-Korchnoi, Pamplona 1990.

6 Wd2 cxd4

The backbone of the variation rests on its ability to deal with the flexible 6..JLd7. Kupreichik has formulated a way to handle the situation by making the most of the deployment of the queen and bishop. After 7 play might proceed:

a) 7...&C8 8 dxc5 £xc5 9 £xc5 Wxc5 10 Wg5 £>ge7!? (10...*f8 ±) 11 £>bd2 (11 Wxg7?! Bg8 12 Wxh7 d4! ¥) 11...0-0 12 £d3 Wb6!? (12...f6? 13 exf6 Bxf6 14 £ie4 ±; 12...h6 13 Wg3 t) 13 £xh7+ *xh7 14 Wh5+ *g8 15 £>g5 Bfe8! 16 Wf7+ *h8 17 Wh5+ *g8 18 ftdO (18 0-0 4öxe5!) 18...Wb5! (18...Wxb2 19 Wh7+ *f8 20 0-0 with unclear play) 19 0-0-0 (19 Bdl d4! 20 cxd4 £>b4!; 19 Wh7+ 4>f8 20 Wh8+ £>g8 21 Wh5 £fo6 22 £>h7+ *e7 23 Wh4+ 4?f7 24 5if5! with unclear play) 19...Wc4! 20 g3 Wa2 = Kupreichik-Dolmatov, Yugoslavia 1992.

b) 7...cxd4 8 £xd4!? (8 &xd4 E>xe5 9 £>b5 £c5; 8 cxd4 &.M {8..Jk8 9a3?^a5 10Ba2Wb3 11 £c3 Bxc3! 12 bxc3 Wbl+ -+ Morris-Schaffner, Bern 1991} 9 &c3

10 Bel Bc8 is unclear) 8...^kd4 9 £>xd4 &e7 10 Ad3 11 £tf3 with unclear play.

c) 7...f6 8 Ad3 fxe5 9 &xe5 (9 dxe5?! £>h6 100-0£>f7 11 Af4 Ae7 12 Bel 0-0-0 ? Wcsterinen-Ulybin, Benidorm 1993)9...£>f6 100-0£d6 11 f4 0-0 and the position is equal according to Ulybin and Lysenko.

Staking a claim to central tenitoiy and simultaneously putting pressure on d4.

10 &ge2

White now reveals his intention to plant the knight on e2 rather than the usual O. This has the benefit of supporting c3 and introduces the possibility of advancing the kingside pawns.

11 0-0 ike7

Not 11...0-0 12 £xf5 exf5 13 £>xd5 &xd2 14 £xb6 Axe3 15 &xd7 +-.

12 a3

With his development completed White undertakes action to put pressure on Black, initially by forcing the trade of the bishop.

13 bxc3 0-0

14 Babl Wc7

This is the type of position White was aiming for with 5 iLe3. Unlike other Advance positions, the knight on e2 opens up different possibilities, while Black has already made a limited concession by transferring the queen's knight to the kingside as an extra defensive measure. The transparent threat of 16 g4 is sufficient to start a strong initiative on the flank.

16 Af4 &g6

17 Axf5 exf5 (106)

18 Axh6!

In a seemingly peaceful position White decides to lash out with a bold sacrifice. The reasoning is that the lack of co-ordination amongst Black's pieces allows the slow &g3-h5 to be a powerful menace to the exposed king.

19 Wxh6 Wc6

20 WgS

The immediate 20 &g3 fails to 20...&xe5, so a more restrained response is required, which also introduces the prospect of h4.

After 21...f6!? 22 exf6 Bxf6 23 &h5 (23 Hxb7 #xb7 24 #xf6 Hf8 is unclear) 23...Hf7 24 f4 Bg8 25 Hf3 2*7 the position is unclear according to Kupreichik.

23 h4

With this move White shows that, although he has no immediate mate threat, Black is paralysed to the extent that the attack can at least restore material equality.

24 Sbcl #c4

25 Bfel lfd3

26 Se3 Wd2

27 an

A necessary precaution to prevent Black's queen becoming a nuisance.

29 h5 ah6

Unfortunately for Black, 29..JEkc3

allows 30 hxg6 fxg6 31 &g4! fxg4 32 #f6+ *h7 33 Wxe6 Bxe3 34 «T7+ (±'h6 35 #f4+ g5 36 Wf6+ *h7 37 Wf7+ *h6 38 fxe3 which Kupreichik assesses as winning for White.

30 hxg6 Bxg6

The situation has become much clearer. White enjoys a superior pawn structure, an extra pawn and the attack is still raging. Black has to contend with sheltering the exposed king while trying to maximize the value of his active queen.

34 Wi4 Sg4

35 Vfh2

Having conducted a little dance with the queen for the benefit of the clock, White is obliged temporarily to retreat.

36 2xe4

There is a more precise way to preserve the initiative: 36 &f4!? Sxe3 37 &xe6t fxe6! 38 Hi8+ *e7 39 Wxc8 Sxc3 40 Wb7+ *f8 41 Wb8+ *g7 42 Wxa7+ ¿f8 43 #xb6 ficl 44 Wd8+ *g7 45 Wf6+ *h7 46 Wh4+ ± Kupreichik.

37 ftf4 fic6

Kupreichik points out that Black can put up a stout defence by means of 37...ffxc3! (37...e3 38 &e6 ±) 38 H18+ ¿e7 39 «16+ ¿d7 40 £>xe6 (40 £>xd5 JiLxd5 41 «d6+ ¿e8! 42 «xd5 e3! =) 40...fxe6 41 «T7+ ¿d8 42 «xe6 «xd4 43 «d6+ ¿c8 44 e6 e3 with an unclear position.

It is necessary to avoid the deadly 39 «<18+ *g7 40 «g5+ *h7 41

£>xe6 with a discovered attack on the queen.

39

€Ui5

¿d7

40

Qf6+

¿c7

41

¿b7

42

«e7+

¿a6

43

Sxd6

44

exd6

&(107)

White's extra exchange gives him a clear advantage. A forlorn gesture to prolong the game by a series of checks is Black's best chance, but faced with a strong passed pawn the prospects for a draw are bleak. The game concluded as follows: 45 fxe3 «xe3+ 46 *h2 «h6+ 47 ¿g3 «g6+ 48 ¿£2 «c2+ 49 ¿gl «xc3 50 «h4 «xa3 51 «f4 «a4 52 ficl ¿b5 53 «fl+ ¿b454«el+sfeb5 55 «e2+ ¿a5 56 Wb2 «b4 57 fial+ ¿b5 58 «xb4+ ¿xb4 59 ttxa7 *c4 60 d7 1-0.

8 White Deviations on Move Four

It was Nimzowitsch who first proposed the daring sortie 4 Wg4 in an effort to disrupt Black's development by attacking g7. The drawback is that the queen can become a target and the pawn chain to support eS is broken.

The intention of 4 is to develop rapidly while preserving eS in an effort to restrict the activity of the opposing forces. It has been adopted by a number of players who have a penchant for aggressive off-beat lines such as Hodgson and Velimiro-vi6.

With 4 dxcS White conjures up an ambitious attacking scheme. It was originally promoted by Steinitz and attracted the attention of Keres and Reshevsky.

These three options are usually employed as surprise weapons.

Game 36 Hector-King London 1991

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 eS c5

The immediate 4...cxd4 tends to transpose to the game, although there is an independent line: 5 &f3 f5!? 6 Wg3 £>c6 7 Ad3 Ad7 8 0-0 Wc7 9 Bel (9 a3 intending b4 is a suggestion by ECO) 9...£>ge7 10 a3 0-0-0 11 b4 h6 12 h4 g6? 13 £>bd2 $b8 14 &b3 ± Basman-van Seters, Bognor Regis 1964.

The unusual move 5..Ma5+ has been tested: 6 c3 cxd4 7 <&xd4 fS (7...&xe5 8 Wg3! intendingAf4 and £>b5) 8 «til Qxd4 9 «M4 Sie7 10 ¿Lf4 Qc6 11 Wd2 Ae7 12 Ad3 0-0 13 0-0 Ad7 14 WelWcl IS Bel Bf7 16 Acl f4 17 <&d2 gS 18 b4 Bg7 19 &b3Bf820f3£e821 Ab2 a6 22 a4 Ag6 23 Axg6 Bxg6 24 b5 Qa5 25 &xa5 WxaS V2-V2 Hector-Dokhoian, Copenhagen 1991.

The decision to exchange knights on d4 also offers Black no advantage: 5...ftge7 6 iLd3 &xd4 7 £>xd4 cxd4 8 0-0 4ic6 9 Bel Wc7 10 Af4 Wb6 11 £kl2 &b4 12 a3 £>xd3 13 cxd3 Ad7 14 Becl Ab5 15 %3 Wa6 16 &b3± Turci-Bukal, Reggio Emilia 1987/88.

A rather passive continuation, allowing White to support the strong-point of eS. The idea of the text is to blunt an attack against g7 while making room for the bishop to put pressure on eS. The whole process is too slow and compromises the king-side pawn structure.

There are a number of options available, but the critical line is to instigate immediate threats to eS:

a) 6...£>ge7 7 0-0 &g6 8 Bel Wc7 9 Wg3 JicS 10 h4 ± Nimzo-witsch-Szekely, Kecskemet 1927.

bl) 7...£>ge7 8 0-0 &g6 9 h4 Wcl 10 Bel Ad7 11 a3 0-0-0 12 b4 a6 13 h5 £>ge7 14 Ad2 h6 IS a4 gS 16 bS f4 17 Wg4 &b8 18 c3 Be8 19 cxd4 *d8 20 Bel Wb6 21 aS Wa7 22 b6 Wa8 23 Bc7 £>f5 24 €ic3! Ae7 25 £>xd5 &xd4 26 &xd4 exd5 27 #xd7+! 1-0 Nimzowitsch-Hikans-son, Kristianstad 1922.

b2) 7...iLd7 8 0-0 £)ge7 9 h4 Wc7 10 Bel h6 11 €kbd2 0-0-0 12 &b3 a6 13 Ad2 <±>b8 14 £>c5 &c8 IS fcxd7+ Wxd7 16 Babl £>b6 17 b4 £>c4 18 bS axb5 19 BxbS 1T7 20 Bebl Bd7 21 Acl k€l 22 ¿Lb2 g5 23 £xc4 gxh4 24 Wh3 dxc4 25 &xd4 £>xd4 26 ¿xd4 Bg8 27 WO £f8 28 Ae3 Bg7 29 Ba5 Wg6 30 Aa7+ *c8 31 Ac5 BdS 32 Ba8+ 1-0 Trapl-Backwinkel, Bundesliga 1992.

c) 6..Mc7! 7 0-0 (7 &f4 &b4 8 Qxd4 &xd3+ 9 cxd3 Wb6! 10£>b3? Vb4+ 11 &ld2 g5! 0-1 Smolkin-Matiukhin, corr. 1988) 7...&xe5 8 &xe5 «xe5 9 Af4 &f6!? (9...#f6 10 Ag5 Ve5 11 £>d2 with unclear play according to Short) and now:

c2) lOW&'WhS T. c3) 10 Ab5+ Ad7 11 Axd7+ *xd7 12 Vg3 VE5! intending ...€>h5 gives Black a clear advantage.

It is now clear that the simple Bel and £.f4 will safeguard e5, so Black decides to try to limit the scope of the queen.

8 Wg3 Wb6 Black is keen to lend support to the extra pawn. However, White is in no hurry to restore material equality, but instead intends to complete development and further compromise the opposing kingside with the thrust h4.

While Deviations on Move Four ¡29

9 a3 a5

co-ordination amongst his forces, which is largely due to the lack of space to manoeuvre.

The pawn is taboo because after l4...Wxb2? the reply 15 £>b5 0-0 16 fifbl picks up the queen.

15 &b5 dxc3

16 bxc3 Wc5 (110)

Now that Black has been induced to play 9...a5, White is eager to post a knight on b5 as ...a6 is not an option. Also, the threat to invade on d6 would disrupt Black's efforts to employ his dormant kingside pieces.

11 h4

A familiar feature of the Advance Variation is this pawn thrust, which seeks to add pressure to the attack by keeping open the option of h5.

13 £ia3 JiLg7

14 Af4

The plan for White is relatively straightforward with the knight heading for b5 and a desire to oust the intruding knight on g4. The main theme is to secure e5, which will act as a pivot for the rest of White's forces. Black has to rely on the extra pawn as compensation for the lack of

17 fifel

The e-pawn requires extra reinforcements because the king's knight must move to facilitate f3, which would further force Black on to the defensive.

18 &fd4 Qf7

19 ffacl Sae8

A more prudent try is 20...Qgh6, although Black remains congested with little chance of counterplay.

21 Sxe5 &xe5

22 Axe5 f4

23 Wei He7

Game 37 Short-Bareev

Tilburg 1991

1 e4

2 d4

3 eS

e6 d5 c5

cxd4

5 i.d3f///j White can also follow a different path:

a) 5 &xd4 £>c6 6 £>f3 &ge7 7 Ad3 Og6 which is assessed as equal by Pachman.

b) 5 «rxd4 <öc6 6 Wf4 and now: bl) 6...f5 7 Ad3 &ge7 8 0-0

&g6 9 Wg3 Ae7 10 fiel 0-0 11 a3 &b8?! 12 £>bd2 aS 13 £>b3 &a6 (Keres-Euwe, Zanvoort 1936) 14 Axa6 Bxa6 IS £g5 ±.

b2) 6..Mc7 7 0x3 a6 8 Ad3 ftge7 9 0-0 Og6 10 Wg3 OsgxeS 11 &xe5 &xe5 12 fiel f6 13 &xd5! exd5 14 f4 Ac5+ IS ¿hi Ae6 16 fxeS £5 17 &e3 with a small advantage for White; Velimirovi6-Khol-mov, Yugoslavia-USSR 1975.

This is an unusual move which prepares 6...Wb6 as a strong reply to 6 Af4, when it would not be so easy for White to justify jettisoning the b-pawn. The move-order difference is important because, compared to normal lines, it is more difficult for White to develop swiftly: a) 5...&C6 6 0-0 and now: al) 6...ftge7 7 Af4 £>g6 8 ¿g3 (8 Axg6!?) 8...Ae7 9 &bd2 (9...0-0 10&b3 He8 11 Bel Wb612 h4 OXA 13 Afl d3 14 cxd3 Ad7 15 hS <bf8

16 a3 0x6 17 d4 ± Heyken-Geveke, Bundesliga 1992) 9...£5 with a further division:

all) 10 exf6 gxf6 11 &h4! OgeS 12#h5+ *d7 13 Ab5! We814We2 a6 15 Axc6+ Qxc6 16 c4! dxc3 17 bxc3 «T7 18 Badl Bd8 19 OScA AcS 20 Oe3 £>e721*hl*e822c4 with an edge for White; Spraggett-M.Gurevich, Havana 1986.

al2) 10 h3 0-0 11 Bel Qh4 12 Axh4 Axh4 13 Ob3 Ad7 14 £>xh4 Wxh4 15 Ab5 Bac8 16 &xc6 Bxc6

17 &xd4 Bc4 18 c3 b5 19 a3 a5 20 Wd3 Bfc8? 21 £>x£5 1-0 Hodgson-Ree.Wijkaan Zee 1986.

a2) 6...f6 7 «62 £xe5 (7...«fc7 8 Af4?! (8 £b5!?} 8...g5! 9 Ag3 g4 10^h4f5 Ilf3^h6 12^M2i.g7i Bryson-ZUger, Manila OL 1992; 7...f5 8 &bd2 £>ge7 9 Ob3 ±) 8 £>xe5 £>xe5 9 Wxe5 &f6 10 Af4 AcS 11 Ab5+ *f7 12 £kl2 Ad7 13 Ad3 g614 Oi3 Be8 15 WgS <&h5 16

Axg6+ hxg6 17 0*5+ ¿g8 18 «rxg6+ £>g7 19«T7+ ¿h8 20 Ah6 Bg8 21 &xd7 Ae7 22 £>e5 £f6 23 Bfel 1-0 Bator-Ottenklev, Stockholm 1986.

8 a3 aS 9 &b3 Ab6 10 Ab5 Ad7 11 a4 &ge7 12 &bxd4 = Trapl-Miiller, Bundesliga 1991/92) 8 Ofo3 £>g6 9 Qbxd4 (Keres suggested that 9 Bel kel 10 &bxd4 0-0 11 c4 is slighUy better for White) 9...Ae7 10 ¿Lb5 £d7 11 c4 a6 12 cxd5 axbS 13 dxc6 bxc6 14 H>3 Wc8 IS Ag5 h6 16 Axe7 ¿xe7 17 Bfcl H>7 18 h4 Bhc8 19 hS $tf4 20 £>xf5+ exf5 21 Wb4+ cS 22 «W4 ± Binham-Hajek, Vienna 1991.

9 Wcl 0-0 10 b4 a6 11 Bel f6 12 exf6 Axf6 13 Qbd2 Ve8 14 &b3 Wf7 15 Wd2 Be8 16 Be2 Wg7 17 Bael b6 18 £g5 with a slight plus for White; Kobelev-Lobach, USSR 1988.

a5) 6.. JLc5 7 Af4 (7 £>bd2 £>ge7 8 Oto3 Ab6 9 Af4 Qg610 £g3 intending 11 h4 is slightly better for White according to Keres) 7...Qge7 8 &bd2 &g6!? 9 Ag3 Ad7 10 0A>3 Wb6 11 Bel Bc812h4± Spraggett-I.Ivanov, Canada 1986.

a6) 6...«b6 7 Bel Ogt7 8 a3 Og6 9 h4 f6 10 exf6 gxf6 11 c4 dxc4 12 Axc4 e5 13 h5 Ogc7 14 Qbd2 fcf5 15 0*4 Ae7 16 b4 Ad7 with unclear play in the game Kin-lay-Formanek, London 1977.

a7) 6...Ad7 7 Af4 (White can follow the same plan as in the illustrative game, so Kogan-Djurhuus, Oakham 1992 continued 7 Bel &ge7 8 a3 0\g6 9 b4 Wc7 10 We2 f6 11 exf6 gxf6 12 b5 0*e7 13 £>xd4 e5 14 fh5 0-0-0 15 &b3 ¿b8 16 a4 Bg8 17 a5 with an unclear position) 7...Bc8 8 £>bd2 £ib4 9 &b3 £>xd3 10 Wxd3 h6 11 £>fxd4 a6 12 c3 0*7 13 Ad2 0*614 f4 Wb615 Ae3 »c7 16 Bael i Heur-Tonningen, Germany 1992. b) 5..Mb6 6 0-0 and now: bl) 6...&d7 7 &bd2 0*7 8 Ofo3 0*6 9 Bel g6 10 Af4 Äg7 11 Wd2 0-0 12 h4!? Wc7 (12...f6?! 13 exf6 0)xf6 14 Ad6 Be8 15 Ac5 ±) 13 Ve2 f6!? 14 exf6 Vxft 15 Wxe6+ Bn 16 fxg7 £>de5!? 17 Vte8+ ¿xg7 18 BxeS £h3? (18...Bf8 19 WxfS+i ¿xf8 20 BxdS was judged by Keres to be better for White; 18..jLg4! 19 Wxa8 &xe5 20 Oxe5 WxfZ+ 21 ¿hi Wxh4+ '/2-'/2 Strauss-Müller, West Germany 1964) 19 Wxa8 2>xe5 (19...Jixg2 20 Bf5!) 20 We8 0*6 21 Wxf7+ ¿xf7 22 £>g5+ ¿f6 23 Oxh3 Wxh4 24Belg5 25&d2«rh6 26 0>f3 f4 27 £>fg5 Wh5 28 £>xh7 ¿g7 29 0X4 Wh6 30 Og5 Wd6 31 <&h5+ *f8 32 Be6 Wb4 33 Ag6 0*7 34 Bf6+ ¿g8 35 Ah7+ 1-0 Keres-Stihlberg, Warsaw 1935.

b2) 6...&C6 7 a3 O^gtl 8 b4 0%g6 9 Bel Ae7 10 Ab2 a5?! 11 b5 a4 12 &bd2 OaH 13 Axd4 Ac5 14 Axc5 WxcS 15 c4 dxc4 16 £ke4! «(15 17

&d6+ *e7 18 &xc4 Wc5 19 -fi.xg6 hxg6 (19...#xc4 20 «U6+ *e8 21 fiadl fxg6 22 Wd8+) 20 Wd6+ #xd6 21 exd6+ 1-0 Nimzowitsch-Leonhardt, San Sebastian 1912.

White can also follow another course: 6 £f4 &d7 (as noted above, 6..;fb6 is logical) 7 0-0 Qc6 8 £>bd2 £>c5 9 &b3 £>xd3 10 Wxd3 Ae7 11 fcfxd4 0-0 12 Wg3 with equal chances; Heyken-Luther, Bun-desliga 1990/91.

7 Sel

Short has suggested 7 £xg6 hxg6 8 Hrxd4 £k:6 9 Wf4 as a way to obtain equal chances.

The start of a dubious plan to advance the queenside pawns and molest Black's queen's knight, in order to lessen the pressure on eS and allow the d4 pawn to be captured.

A better scheme of action is 8 £>bd2 and We2.

9 b4 Wc7

There is no immediate concern about the effect of bS, so Black is content to pile up the pressure on eS.

10 We2 Ae7

A distinctly ambitious attempt to instigate play on the kingside. It would be more sensible to keep faith with the original plan by 12 $)xd4, when Black would be only slightly better.

Black misses a chance to fully exploit White's mistake. The critical reply is 12...&xg5 13 &xg5 &c4 when another pawn leaves the board, giving Black a clear advantage.

It is feasible to give up the right to castle in this position as the king is under no immediate danger and can seek sanctuary on f8 as soon as the king's rook has become centralized.

In his analysis to the game (upon which these notes are based) Short demonstrates the problems that arise after 14 Axc4 Wxc4 IS Wxc4 dxc4 16 Qxd4 2hc8 17 a4 flc5 18 Qf3 a6!; this is in Black's favour because of White's vulnerable queenside pawns.

15 h4

A more exact line is IS £ibd2! ahc8(I5...£>xd2 16 Wxd2 £xd3 17 H>4+! with unclear play) 16 £>xd4 Aa6 17 &2f3 when Black has only slightly the better chances.

16 &bd2

After 16 hS, Black has a tactical reply available: 16...&gxe5 17^xeS WxeS 18 Axc4 (18 WxeS &xe5 19 SxeS Axd3 20 cxd3 flcl+ 21 *g2 Hac8 -+) 18../txe2 19 &xe2 Aa4! 20«M2Axc2-+.

A superior try is 16 &xd4 Aa6 17 f4 although Black still has an edge.

17 Wxd2 Axd3

18 cxd3 lfc3

To a large extent Black has managed to snuff out White's resistance by exchanging pieces in an attempt to capitalize on the extra pawns. The White strategy is now to try to confuse matters with a kingside lunge.

The most precise way to fend off the attack; alternatively 20...&e7? 21 h6 gives White good prospects against the exposed king.

25 fiadl Wa6

It is not advisable to snatch the rook due to 27 &f5 with mating threats, but 26...&xe5! seals White's fate. For example: 27 BexeS exd5 28 £>f5 Wf6 or 27 BdxeS Wxd6 and in both cases the attack has fizzled out, leaving Black with a devastating pawn advantage.

A remarkable move. Black overlooks a crafty response, so his whole game collapses.

The quieter 27...Scd7 28 f4 Wxa3 would have reaped greater dividends.

Bareev capitulates immediately; the finish would have been 28 exfS (28...&xg4 29 Bxd8#) 29 flxd8+ *e7 30 Wxg7 $xd8 31 Wxe5 and White wins.

Game 38 J.Llttlewood-Brooks

Manchester 1985

1 e4 e6

2 d4 d5

3 eS c5

4 dxc5 2x6(114)

A necessary preliminary measure as other paths allow White the initiative:

a) After 4...£xc5 5 Wg4 &e7 6 b4 Ab6 7 Wxg7 Keres felt that Black had no real compensation for the pawn.

b) 4...£>d7 5 Qf3 Axc5 6 Ad3 &e7 (after 6...f6?! Reshevsky analysed 7 exf6 &gxf6 8 Ve2 We7 9 i.f4 0-0 10 0-0 with play on the e-file) 7 0-0 £>c6 8 Af4 Wc7 (8...0-0? 9 Axh7+ +-) 9 £>c3 a6 10 Sel n>6 11 Ag3 Wxb2 12 Qxd5! exdS 13 Sbl Wa3 14 e6 &f6 IS exf7+ *xf7 16 Ah4 ± Reshevsky-Vasconcellos, Boston 1944.

5 Qf3

If 5 Af4 Axc5 6 £d3, 6...fcge7 transposes to the illustrative game, but Harding pointed out a big improvement: 6...lTb6! 7 &c3 Wxb2 8 £>ge2 (8 &b5 &xe5! 9 <Öc7+ <±>d8 10 &xa8 &xd3+ wins for Black)

Other possibilities are:

a) 6...f5 7 0-0 £>ge7 8 a3 intending b4 and Ab2 which is slightly better for White according to Keres.

bl) 8...&f6 9 Af4 0-0 10 0-0 &e4 11 &xc6 bxc6 12 Ae3 Axe3 13 Wxe3 fcf6 14 &d2 (Becker-Ma-roczy, Karlovy Vary 1929) 14...Wb6! IS VeS £>g4 16 Wh5 &f6 with equality (Becker).

b2) 8...£>xe5 9 IHxeS &f6?! (9...«« = BCO) 10 ¿Lb5+ *f7 11 0-0 Wb6 12 Oc3 ± Nimzowitsch-Bogoljubow, Stockholm 1920.

7 Af4 Ad7

Black has also attempted to wrest an initiative from the alternatives:

a) 7...&g6 8 Ag3 0-0 9 0-0 f5 10 exf6 Wxf6 11 Oc3 *h8 12 Qe2 Ab6 13 iLxg6 Wxg6 14 &f4 Wg4 IS &d3 Ad7 16 a4 JLe8 17 €kfe5 Wf5 18 &xc6 bxc6 19 aS Ad8 20 Bel ± Todor£evi6-van Setters, Nice OL 1974.

bl) 8...Wxb2 9 <&bd2 Wb6 10 c4 h6 (10...0-0? 11 Axh7+) 11 Wcl (intending 12 cxdS exdS 13 Sbl) 1 l...£>b412 Ae2 Ad7 13 a3 <fta614 Sbl Wc6 IS JLg3! Qf5?! 16 cxdS exdS 16 e6>. fxe6 18 £>e5 &xg3 19 hxg3 Wc7 20 ftxd7 *xd7 21 H>2

&b6 (21..JBhg8 22 fifcl! Wb6 23 Wc2 Axf2+ 24 ¿fl) 22 Wxg7+ *d6 23 £fc4+ dxc4 24 Sfdl+ 1-0 Keres-Alexandrescu, Munich 1936.

b2) 8...£>g6 9 Ag3 (Keres assessed the position after 9 Wcl &xf4 10 Wxf4 Wxb2 11 &bd2 as reasonable for White) 9...Wxb2 10 £>bd2 £>gxe5! 11 £>xe5 £>xe5 12 fibl Wc3 13 Sb3 Wd4 14 &bS+ &d7 IS Axdl Axdl 16 £xb7 is unclear (Pachman).

10 &e2 The light-squared bishop is worth preserving for a future attack whereas the knight is soon ousted from its active post

11 &c3

White takes advantage of the omission of c3 to play the knight to a central post

There was a still a chance to opt for a more usual set-up: 11 c3 Qc6 12 &d3 0-0 14 &bd2 with a slight plus for White.

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