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Black has also tried keeping watch over the critical e5-square by developing the king's bishop on d6 In combination with £sg8-f6 this would be asking for trouble as White has the dangerous threat of advancing e4-e5 to fork the two minor pieces Consequently e7 is a good square for the knight, when a future £ie7-g6 adds further pressure to e5 To this end, there is also the possibility of f7-R>

Mortensen-U.Nielsen

Vejle ¡994

1 e4 c5 2 £>f3 e6 3 d3 <£c6 4 g3 d5 5 5)bd2 Ad6 6 k.gl £)ge7 7 0-0 0-0 8 2el *c7

For 8 ic7 see Yudasin-Luther, below With the text Black brings a third piece to monitor e5 Another way to do this is with 8 f6 The slight weakening of e6 and the a2-g8 diagonal is not too serious, although in some cases Black would prefer to return the pawn to f7

a) 9 exd5 exd5 10 dW aims to create a target in the shape of the isolated or backward d5-pawn Black must also keep an eye on the e6-square Taking on d4 (or allowing d4xc5) cedes the d4-square and the d-file, so 10 c4 is virtually forced, after which Bancod-Sza-kolczai, Lenk 1993, continued 11 b3 cxb3 12 axb3 Ag4 13 £ifl Wb6 14 c3 Hac8 15 £)e3 with only a slight edge to White due to his better pawn formation b) More in keeping with this variation is 9 c3

b I) 9 Wc7 10 d4'-> cxd4 11 cxd4 £>b4 12 e5 fxe5 13 dxeS Ac5 14 £)b3 b6 15 a3 <S)o6 16 <^bd4 worked out well for White in the game Zolmerowicz-Haba, Pardubice 1994

b2) 9 id7 10 a3 a5™ (for 10 Wc7 11 We2 see the note to White's 10th move) II d4 cxd4 12 exd5 (D)

Initiating a central skirmish with d3-d4 does seem to be an effective treatment of this position The pawn on f6 is not really appropriate any more

We are following Ljubojevic-De la Villa Garcia, Pamplona 1996 Now 12 dxc3? loses to 13 £)c4 and 12 £>xd5 13 £k4 Ae7 14 cxd4 leaves Black cramped, so there followed 12 exd5 13 £)xd4 £ixd4 14 cxd4 Wb6 15 £>bl' with a pull for White in a risk-free position While Black stands only a little worse in these lines it is logical to avoid any potential suffering caused by nudging the f-pawn forward It is worth trying to complete development without creating unnecessary weaknesses, defending e5 with a pawn only after White has spent time increasing his own influence on the key square

9 c3 Ad7

Preparing typical queenside expansion 10 #62 continues the fight for e5 Then after 10 f6 II a3 Black has a choice a) II Hae8 12b4b6 13 d4' (D) This position arose in Fischer-DiCamillo, East Orange 1957 Black's solid line of pawns lacks flexibility, restricting the defender to a waiting game, and when the challenge does come White will inevitably enjoy more space in which to operate

13 cxd4 14 cxd4 dxe4 15 £)xe4 £)d5 16 ¿b2 Wb8 17 £ifd2 and now Black made his uncomfortable position much worse with 17 £k!87 18 £>xd6 Wxd6 19 b5' Ac8 20 a4 #d7 21 Aa3 etc Notice how White gradually expanded on the queenside, beginning with the thematic 12 b4

b) 11 a5 rules out the desired b2-b4 but leaves a hole on b5 in the process Consequently Smith and Hall's 12 a4' looks like the most punishing long-term response, when the crafty idea of returning the queen's knight to base on bl on the way to a3 will remind Black of his positional carelessness bl) 12 Hfe8 13 &bl fiabS 14 £la3 &a7 15 Ah3''? (don't forget the potential liability on e6) 15 -£)g6 16 d4* (D)

This move is becoming a familiar feature Despite his prophylactic approach Black is still busy trying to cover the small but noticeable cracks in his position bl 1) Best now is 16 cxd4 17 £lxd4 dxe4 (17 e5-> 18 £xd7 Wxd7 19 €)db5 highlights the significance of the b5-square, but 17 is playable) 18 #xe4

£>f8 when Black is passive but not badly off Once again the f6-pawn is more of a hindrance than a help bl2) Instead of the practical

16 cxd4 the game Komliakov-Dumitrache, Bucharest 1995, saw Black mistake the diagram position for the beginning of a complex middlegame from which he could steal the initiative Unlortunately, in his ambitious assessment of the subsequent battle Black failed to appreciate the consequences of withdraw- ing the support of the d5-pawn 16 e5 17 Axd7 fxd7 18 dxc5 £xc5 19 Sdl1 Vg4 (19 »xa4 invites trouble on the a-file, eg 20 Hxd5 b6 21 b4') 20 Sxd5 ¿Lxaji 21 2xa3 and now Black resorted to the unsettling 21 £)h4, but after the calm 22 £)d4 Wh3 23 gxh4 exd4 24 cxd4 txh4 25 f3 the 'attack' had fizzled out and he was back to the reality of being a pawn down for nothing b2) 12 Eae8 13 £>bl dxe4 14 dxe4 e5 15 £la3 5la7 16 2dl Ae6

17 £ki2 <5iec8 18 £)ac4 with an easy game for White, Lagrotteria-Kiev-ehtz. Fori i 1992 Black has nothing to show for the holes on b5 and d5, prompting White to accentuate his opponent's trouble on the light squares — 18 2d8 19 £>e3 <&b6 20 £ldc4 £lxc4 21 £lxc4 £)c8 22 Afl' ¿e7 23 flxd8 Bxd8 24 Ag4 etc c) II Sac8 is Zapata-Lautier, Novi Sad Olympiad 1990 White played the odd 12 £ib3?\ when 12 !fb6 forced the knight back to d2 Lautier offers 12 b4 b5 with equality, which seems like a reasonable evaluation, though 13 exd5 exd5 14 bxc5 J.xc5 15 c4 puts the onus on Black to prove that — yet again — White cannot make too much of the permanent weakness on e6

10 Bac8»? 11 *e2 f6 transposes to V in the note to White's 10th move

It is imperative that White injects some venom into his game before Black simply takes over the queen-side KIA players tend to be guilty of playing too quietly in the late opening/early middlegame stage, when really there is plenty of scope for White to profit from his flexible setup by pushing one or more of his centre pawns Here White is happy to accept an isolated d-pawn in return for more space and, ironically, a grip on the queenside The point is that with the aggressive 10 b5 Black neglected the c5-square, and now White can seek to exploit this important feature because two of his pawns are ready to clamp down on the potential entry point Also worth consideration are 11 We2 f6 12 d4 and 11 b4»'>

12 cxd4 dxe4

The price that White has had to pay for his extra territory and planned occupation of c5 is the surrender of the d5-square From this safe haven directly in front of the isolated pawn Black's knight keeps watch across a sizeable section of the playing arena, forcing White to pay particular attention before embarking on any plans which involve making irrevocable positional concessions One factor which does favour White is the location of the black bishops, getting in the way on the d-file so that at least Black is unable to exert uncomfortable pressure on the d-pawn — an inconvenience which often proves too much of a distraction in IQP situations

16 b4

Mortensen decides that it is still correct to persevere with the original tempting strategy of creating an outpost behind enemy lines Of course it was necessary to weigh up the consequences of planting the pawn on b4 — c3 and c4 suddenly become targets for Black's pieces, as does the b-pawn itself after a timely a7-a3 It is crucial now that White make the most of his pluses in order to put his opponent under maximum pressure and thus prevent an unfortunate reversal of roles

White has managed to win the first serious battle of the game, something which brings with it an important psychological significance Note that the d4-pawn — which has thus far been perfectly safe from attack on the d-file — supports e5 as well as c5 Combined with the king's rook and knight this gives White control of e5 and the kingside to add to his ostensibly iron gnp with the queen's rook and knight on the other wing Being contained on both sides of the board is not a pleasant prospect and, believing that his impressive knight on d5 is not getting the action it deserves, Black endeavours to break out with a perfectly natural move

At first glance it is difficult to appreciate why this is a mistake I would guess that most titled players would suggest this thrust if asked to find Black's best continuation in the diagram position The b4-pawn is attacked (and subsequently the far-flung knight is being undermined), White's attention is drawn away from the kingside (where Black, you will notice, does not have too many defenders) and Black even has a rook ready to get to work on the a-file Surprisingly White is better equipped to deal with this challenge on his queenside, and the answer is to be found on the other side of the board

18 bxa5 &xa5

Notice that the capture on a5 has drawn the knight far, far away from the kingside It soon becomes clear that with the calm 17 Ae7 or 17 Af8 Black would have remained uncomfortably cramped but would have been much better prepared to deal with a kingside strike

19 4ig5!

Not having to be concerned about threats to his d-pawn or a liberating pawn break gives White the luxury of being able to switch his attack from one area to another Setting up camp on c5 was not necessarily directed at generating queenside play — the e6-pawn is suddenly under intense scrutiny

Forcing the issue by challenging

White to enter a new, brutal phase of the game by sacrificing on e6, as the outcome is by no means clear Anyway, the text has more appeal than the alternatives a) 19 Ae7 20 £igxe6' fxe6 21 2xe6 ta7 (21 JXd6 22 Axd5) 22 Axa5 Wxa5 (22 Axc5 23 Axd8 Sxd8 24 Bxc5) 23 Axd5 Hxd5 24 Bxe7

b) 19 AfB 20 £lgxe6' fxe6 21 Bxe6 Slc6 (21 Wa7 22 flxe8' Bxe8 23 Axd5+ £h8 24 AxaS) 22 2xe8 Bxe8 23 Axd5+ 4>h8 24 QA1

c) The only way to prevent the sacrifice on e6 is by removing one of the knights — 19 Axc5 20 dxc5 Wc7 21 Wc2 g6 22 £)e4 with a clear advantage

White continues to strip away Black's kingside defences. There is no hurry to win back the invested material by taking one of the rooks. In fact White's pieces are doing so well they should stay in the game as long as possible. Note the ease with which they slot into place. Now 22...gxh6 runs into 23 J«Lxa8 ttxaS 24 #13 Ha? 25 »xf6, so instead Black tries to keep what is left of his king's shield intact.

With all the excitement we almost forgot that White's queen has yet to join in the action, and the text prevents entry — for the moment at least — to the kingside. After 23. Cb8 for example, 24 J.xf6 gxf6 25 »g4+ <£h8 26 #h4+ <&g8 27 Wxf6 leaves the black king with no support, and White even has a collection of pawns for the piece.

Mission accomplished, the bishop returns to base. Trading is inconsistent: 24...£xf3 25 #xf3 Edd7 (25...2e8 26 Axf6 gxf6 27 Wg4+ wins for White because the rook will be hanging on e8.) 26 AxflS gxfó 27 2c8+.

25 i.xf6 gxf6

27 Ah5

Making way — finally — for the queen to deliver the killer blow.

Otherwise White pins the queen.

29 JL\n 2xf7

30 2c8 ttd7

32 2h8 1-0

Y udasin-Luther

Leningrad 1989

1 e4 e6 2 d3 d5 3 Íld2 c5 4 £igf3 £ic6 5 g3 ÍLd6 6 ÍLg2 £ige7

The drawback of Black's setup is that he is restricted somewhat in flexibility of development, and the lack of influence on e4 in turn gives White more choice of how to continue.

8 Sel

Also possible is 8 £ih4 followed by 9 f4, as in the game Dolmatov-Lautier, below.

Black does not want to be troubled by a future e4-e5 push, and from c7 the king's bishop may more safely observe e5.

9 c3

Another alternative is 9 exd5 exd5 10 c3, although this would restrict White's choices and unleash the black queen's bishop. In the game Kaidanov-Motwani, Dublin 1991, White advanced both his wing pawns as far as they could go: 9 h4!? e5 10 exd5 &xd5 11 £lc4 Ag4 12 c3 £sb6 13 #c2 2e8 14

£>e3 Ad7 15 a4 h6 16 a5 £>c8 17 a6 b6 18 h5 with an unclear position. Such a policy as Kaidanov's always runs the risk of wasting four or five moves, after which Black may simply ignore the far-flung pawns and concentrate on play in the centre. Note that 9 e5? ®g6 rounds up the e-pawn.

Less ambitious alternatives are

10 .-A.b6? is not at all in keeping with the spirit of the variation, since the bishop will have made several moves to reach this poor square.

11 e5

White does not relish being in a cramped position resulting from ...e6-e5.

The rook must vacate the hl-a8 diagonal.

12 cxd4 cxd4

13 Ag5

13 h4 comes to mind, intending h4-h5 and perhaps even h5-h6. After I3...£te6 White could continue 14 h5 QgxeS 15 £ibxd4, or try the more brutal 14 ^g5 with the idea of 15Wh5.

13...Ab7 at once loses the d-pawn after 14 Axe7 and 15 &bxd4.

14 2cl Ab7

An interesting 'waste' of a tempo, putting so much pressure on the enemy d-pawn that Black must create a hole on c5 in order to keep it. White also has a worthy — and probably better — alternative in 15 g4, providing a home for the queen's bishop on the h2-b8 diagonal after a subsequent Ac 1 -f4, over-protecting the e-pawn.

Now 17 Axe7 2xe7 18 £>c5 Ac8 (or l8...Aa8) is slightly better for Black, as is 17 Ad2 £>g6 18 £)c5 Ac8 19 <&a6 Axa6 20 2xc6 Ab7. White therefore throws down the gauntlet and leaves his bishop on gs.

The passive 17...Ac8 falls in with

White's plans: 18 Ah4! followed by bringing the queen to f4 or queen-side expansion with a2-a3 and b2-b4 is better for White. Incidentally White need not fear 18...g5 as 19 Axg5 hxg5 20 £ixg5 gives him an advantage.

White continues to follow the complicated course. Unwise would be 18 Axe7 2xe7 19 2*6 ttc8 20 £}xc7 2exc7, leaving all of Black's forces wonderfully placed.

A risky capture, perhaps, but more promising than 18...2c8 19 £)xc7 2xc7 20 Ad2, when White has a clear advantage thanks to his potentially active and unchallenged dark-squared bishop.

19 5ixg5 g6!

The game is now reaching boiling point. 20 £ixb8 would be the first of a sequence of exchanges decisively favourable to White after 20..,lfxb8

21 »f3 £>xe5 22 #xa8 £sxd3 23 fixc7 #xa8 24 £xa8 <&xel 25 Bxa7. However, 21..,Bf8 should help hold Black's game together, although 22 #g4!? does maintain the pressure. This line could be White's best try for advantage, as in the diagram position Black seems to have a saving resource.

The bishop returns to the king-

side. After 20...<¡feg7 White has a number of interesting ways to continue: 21 #f4 Sf8 22 £lxc7 txc7 23 #xf7+!! Bxf7 24 £ixe6+ <£>g8 25 £ixc7 looks good, and 22 £)xb8 Wxb8 23 ¿xc6!? £)xc6 24 Wf6+ <&g8 25 2xc6! £xc6 26 £>xe6! fxe6 27 #xg6+ $h8 28 #h6+ <¿>g8 29 Wxe6+ and 30 Wxc6 gives White an armada of pawns and an initiative for the piece.

21 Wh3

White is in danger of trying too hard with 21 2xe5, since 2I...4Dxe5

!Th8+ (24 *h6+ is the last chance to draw) 24...£kg8 25 Wxe5 2c8 wins for Black.

21 ...SfefB could be asking for trouble after 22 f4!? i.g7 23 2xe6!? 2b6! 24 £»5.

22 ^xb8 Wxb8

23 2xe6

White once again powers into his opponent's position, but Black is ready.

24 Wxe6+

Not 24 tfh7+ if)S 25 £ke6+ £f7 26 *xg7+ <£xe6 27 Ah3+ <i>d6 28 *flS+ &c7, when Black has escaped.

A fitting result to a good spirited and entertaining game.

Dolmatov-Lautier

Poland 1991

1 e4 c5 2 $H3 e6 3 d3 4 g3 d5 5 £lbd2 Jkd6 6 Ag2 &ge7 7 0-0 0-0 8 &h4!?

White adopts the hostile plan of pushing the f-pawn which Fischer used to great effect in a crushing victory over Ivkov in 1966 (see below).

Much attention has been given to alternatives recently.

a) 8...b5 begins the queenside counter even before White has touched his f-pawn! Its first outing at international level was in the game Nevednichy-Saltaev, Tiraspol 1994. Play went 9 f4 c4 10 e5 £c5+

12 cxd3 ¿La 6 though I would not say that having the pawn on b5 has helped Black) 12 dxc4 bxc4 (12...dxc4?! hands White the e4-square on a plate and leaves the bishop on a6 with little future) 13 c3 Wb6 14 fh5 (D)

squares. A.David-Rodgaard, Moscow Olympiad 1994, is typical: 10 exd5 exd5 11 Bel b6 12 c3 Wd7 13 £ib3 Ab7 14 d4! c4 15 £id2 Bfe8 16 £)fl b5 17 and, apart from fixing the black pawn on d5, White had engineered a situation in which the knight serves a purpose on h4. The g2-bishop is free to exert pressure on the long diagonal while the knights monitor the f5-square. Luxembourg's top player now switched to the queenside: I7...5id8 18 a4 a6 19 b3 (D)

White has good prospects on the kingside, which is just as well considering the progress Black has made on the other flank. After 14...g6 15 Wg5 Bad8 16 <Sdf3 the threat of Wg5-h6 followed by 5M3-g5 forced I6...£tf5 17 Qxfi exf5 18 #h6 Ae7, when 19 Bel should have been answered by 19...d4!? with a complex straggle ahead, e.g. 20 cxd4 £ixd4 21 Ae3 Wxb2 22 Babl Vc3. Instead 19...Ac8 20 Ae3! Wc7 (20...Vxb2? 21 Ac5! Axc5 22 £>g5) 21 Badl Sfe8 22 Ac5! Axc5 (22...f6 23 exf6 Axf6 24 Bxe8+ Bxe8 25 £lg5 hits d5) 23 &g5 Ae6 (23...ft 24 Axd5+! Bxd5 25 exf6 Bxel+ [or 25,..Bdd8 26 2xd8 Bxd8 27 Be7J 26 Bxel Bd8 27 Be7) should have led to a nice win for White due to 24 £ixh7 Ae7 (24...f6 25 £ixf&+ *f7 26 *h7+) 25 £>f6+ Axf6 26 exf6 etc.

Black can also prepare to meet f2-f4 with his own f-pawn:

bl) 9...f6 makes sure that Black has e5 covered, so White does best to turn his attention to the light

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