Max Lange Attack

This opening is named after the German analyst Max Lange, who developed its ideas in the mid-nineteenth century. The Max Lange leads immediately to sharp tactical play. With open lines, diagonals and commonly castling on opposite sides, both players have to be constantly aware of weaknesses in both their opponent's and their own position. A single slip can easily prove fatal. In this kind of variation the better prepared player usually wins - and quickly! Some of the tactics available at times come like a bolt of lightning out of the blue and players of all standards will enjoy being able to play some of the 'flashy' moves available.

After 1 e4 e5 2 £tf3 £\c6 3 i.c4 this chapter will split into three parts depending on Black's response. Part 1 looks at the Max Lange Attack itself (3...<£f6 4 d4 exd4 5 0-0 £c5), in Part 2 we investigate the Anti-Max Lange (3...<&f6 4 d4 exd4 5 0-0 £>xe4) and Part 3 considers the Koltanowski Variation (3...i.c5 4 0-0 £if6 5 d4!?).

Part 1: The Max Lange

1 e4 e5 2 £>f3 ®c6 3 iLc4 £tf6 4 d4 exd4 5 0-0 JicS 6 e5 (D)

Here Black has two possibilities, the second of which is played far more frequently and has the better reputation:

Inferior is 6...£ie4, when 7 J&d5! f5 8 exf6 <&xf6 9 i.g5 ±e7 10 &xf6! Axf6 11 Sel+ £ie7 12 &e5 £.xe5 13 th5+ g6 14 Wxe5 Sf8 15 thdl c6 16 &c4! d6 17 <&xd6+ <&d7 18 i.e6+ "¿>c7 19 £sxc8+ with mate next move is an old game of Morphy's.

Black attempts to put pressure on White's pawn on e5.

Others fail to impress:

a) 7 h37! £\gxe5 8 <&xe5 <&xe5 9 Bel d6 10 f4 d3+ 11 <&h2 Wh4 12 fxe5 dxc2 13 exd6+ Jkz6 14 Exe6+ fxe6 15 d7+ &e7 16 Wxc2 ±d6+ and Black is winning (Steinitz).

b) 7 Axf7+? <&xf7 8 &g5+ <&g8 9 Wxg4 d5! is better for Black.

d) 7 c3!?d5!(7...dxc3?8^51^7 9 ±g5 with advantage) 8 exd6 #xd6 9 5el + &e6 10 &xe6 fxe6 11 b4 &b6 12 fb3 0-0-0 13 fixe6 #d7 14 h3 h5! and Black's position is very strong, Estrin-Smyslov, Moscow Ch 1946.

e) 7 Set d3! 8^.xf7+'Sff8! 9^xd3 £xf2+ 10 &fl i.xcl 11 ±g5 £sxh2+ 12 &e2 £lxf3 13 &xd8 £)fxe5 14 We3 £\xf7 15 JLxc7 .&h4 16 £sc3 b6 is good for Black because his rook and minor pieces outweigh White's queen, Saligo-Perlilev, USSR corr. 1959-60.

After 7 £.14 > Black can try: Al: 7...0-0 8 A2: 7...d6 8

7...0-0 8 h3 <£h6 9 &xh6! gxh6 10 c3 d5 11 &b3! dxc3

ll...jtf5 may be best, though White is on top after 12 <£jxd4!.

Now Nugteren-Messer, corr. 1996 continued 13...<&h8 (13...&e7 14 #d3! and Black cannot stop $Lc2 coming) 14 Wd3 Bg8 15 <&f6 Bg7 16 <&h5 Sg5 17 £sxg5 Wxg5 18 Sac 1 #xh5 19 Exc5 Af5 20 Wb5 Sg8 21 e6 #xh3 22 i.d5 fxe6 23 i.xc6 bxc6 24 Wxc6 Wd3 25 Wxc7 We4 26 f3 We3+ 27 Bf2 d3 28 We5+ ^xe5 29 2xe5 Sd8 30 5d2 h5 31 Sa5 Sd7 32 &f2 &g7 33 <&e3 <&f6 34 g4 1-0.

7...d6 8 exd6 £xd6 9 Sel+ <&f810 &xd6+ Wxd6 11 c3! Wc5

11...^.fS 12 cxd4 5d8 13 £b5! g6 (not 13...£ixd4?? 14 <&xd4 #xd4 15 ffxd4 Exd4 16 Se8#) 14 &xc6 Wxc6

15 £ic3 £tf6 16 5c 1, when White is better, Rossolimo-O'Kelly de Galway, Trcncianske 1949.

12 <£>xd4! ^xc4 13 <£ixc6 Black has problems.

7 exf6 dxc4 8 2el+

8 fxg7 2g8 9 Eel+ (or 9 &g5 ±c'J 10 £xe7 &xe7! 11 &bd2 2xg7 12 £sxc4 ile6 13 Sel and Black is better, Foltis-Stulik, Czechoslovakia 1940) 9...iLe6 10 £sg5 #d5 11 Wg4 0-0-0 12 £ixe6 fxe6 13 2xe6 2xg7 14 2g6+ 2gd7 and Black has the upper hand.

Now Black can run the gauntlet with 8...<£>f8 or play the natural 8...jte6. Bl: 8...<&f8 8 B2: 8...iie6 9

9 iig5! gxf6

9...#d7 10 £h6!! gxh6 11 #d2 wins outright and 9...#d6 10 &bd2 &f5 11 £sxc4 is good for White.

11 £sxd4?! £xd4 12 c3 &e5! 13 Wxd8+ £ixd8 14 f4 £ic6 15 fxe5 fxe5

16 Se3 f5 17 £ia3 Ac6 18 Sg3+ &f7 19 Sg7+ &f6 20 2xc7 &g6 and Black is winning.

Black now should choose between: Bll: U...£.f5 9 B12: ll...JLf8 9

1 l...&g4? 12 £se4 b6 13 c3 <£>e5'? 14 5!! ilxdl 15 £>d7! £.e7 16^exf6+ i.xf6 17 Se8+! #xc8 18 <&xf6# (1-0) Kazic-Vukovic, Yugoslavia 1940 shows what can happen in the Max Lange if Black plays what looks like a sensible move but it doesn't quite work!

B11)

ll..Jtf5

Sensibly trying to exchange off the dark-squared bishops to give his king a little more breathing space.

13 Wd2!

Now:

a) 13...&g7 14 &g3! iLxh6 15 ^xh6 &xc2? loses to 16 &h5.

b) 13...&xh6 14 #xh6 £xe4 15 Hxe4 f5 16 Ef4 #d5 17 <&h4 <&e7 18 £>xf5!.

c) 13...Ag6 14 &xf8 &xf8 15 1ih6+ &g8 16 £)h4 gives White excellent attacking chances.

d) 13...£ie5 14 <&xd4! &xe4 15 Sxe4 WdS 16 Sael Se8 17 &xf8 Sxf8? 18 Sxe5! fxe5 19 #g5# (1-0) Rautenburg-Nurnberg, Germany 1949.

B12)

It's far more logical to exchange off the dark-squared bishops straight away than interpose the moves 11 ... Ji.f5 and 12 £\e4, as this only enhances White's attacking possibilities.

12 JLxf8

12 &xd47 $Jxd4> 13 #xd4 #xd4 14 Se8 #d6 15 £se4 i.f5! 16 £)xd6 Sxe8 is winning for Black.

The position at the end of this line is hard to evaluate. Black is two pawns up but has his kingside pawn-structure shattered. With White's lead in development his attacking chances should not be underestimated.

This is Black's most logical choice. He blocks the check while developing his light-squared bishop to a sensible square and gets one move closer to w fSAü Ü 8

queenside castling (a common feature of the Max Langc). However, it is also a target for attack because of the pin down the e-file. This, combined with the tenderness of Black's kingside, not only at g7 but surprisingly enough at f7, means that Black must tread carefully to avoid falling for one of the many tactical tricks White has at his disposal.

Best, as after 9 fxg7 Sg8, 10 &g5 &e7! 11 &xe7 ®xe7 12^xd4 0-0-0 13 c3 2xg7 is fine for Black, Bernstein-Wade, Amsterdam 1961, while 10£\g5 ®d5 gives Black more flexibility than the main line.

SL.tfdS

Necessary ~in view of the following lines:

a) 9...Wxf6?7 10 £)xe6 fxe6 11 1^5+12#xc5 1-0 Heider-Platz, Cologne 1920.

b) 9...#d6? 10 £ixe6 fxe6 1L fxg7 Hg8 12 #h5+ &d7 13 <&d2! Wei 14 £)e4 jk.b4 15 Ji.g5 is very strong for White as in Yuchtman-Kim, Tashkent 1950.

c) 9...iLb6?! 10£>xe6 fxe611 Wg4! is unpleasant to meet.

d) 9...0-0?10fxg7Ee8(10...&xg7 11 Sxe6! h6 12 Sxh6! &xh6 13

&xf7++ wins) 11 Wh5 &xg7 12 Wxh 1+ 13 Sxe6 wins.

e) 9...g6!? narrowly fails to lOttS: W$1 (10...&d7 11 £lxf7! ^.xf7 12 Wg4+^d6 13 jilf4+winning; 10...0-0 11 Exe6! fxe6 12 f7+ &h8 13 £)xe6 Wtl 14 i.g5! Wx.il 15 £>xc5 is just good for White, Felic-Veksei. coir. 1920) 11 Sxe6+ fxe6 12 f7+ &e7 13 <&e4 Wd5 14 ilg5+ <&f8 15 Wf6 and Black can throw in the towel. 10 £jc3

Gaining a tempo on the black queen while developing a piece and at the same time exploiting the pin on the e-file (10...dxc3?? 11 Wxd5) !0...Wf5 11 £ice4 (D) Better than either 11 g4 or 11 <£ixe6 immediately as White would still have to deai with the knight hanging on c3 thereby giving Black more flexibility.

After 11 £\ce4 Black has six replies worth consideration, of which the second half make up the bulk of analysis. B21: 11...0-0? 11 B22: ll...gxf6? 11 B23: ll..Jk.b4?! 11 B24: ll...iLb6!? 11 B25: ll...J2.f8 12 B26: 11...0-0-0! 14

Black castles 'into it'.

12 fxg7 Sfe8

I2...<4?xg7 13 £>xc5 Wxc5 14 Exe6! h6 15 fixh6! winning.

Black can pack up his bags and go home!

This wins material by force. 12...«Te5

Black can save himself from further embarrassment by resigning.

While the idea of Black getting his dark-squared bishop out of the way is commendable, it happens to fall short of the mark.

12 c3 dxc3 13 bxc3 AaS 14 g4 Wg6 15 £ixe6 fxe6 16 f7+! &xf7 17

19...^7! might leave the position murky but I would rather be White than Black.

20 Sxc6!

White wins.

Up to move twenty we had been following a blindfold simultaneous game(!) of Koltanowski which concluded 20 Se8? 1Sd7 21 Sxf8+ &xf8 22 i.a3+ £ie7 23 fid 1! Wxg4+ 24 *f 1!! «xg5 25 Sd5! Wh4 26 Sh5! W6 27 fif5! and Black resigned. A game that really impressed me - in particular the move 24 <&fl!! as 24 &hl? would have meant that 25 fid5? could have been met by 25...1'xd5+!. However, 20 Sxc6! seems to win outright and after 26 fih5! in the game quoted Black could have made sure White didn't have it all his own way with 26...Axc3! 27 We6 «Tf6 28 fif5 &e8! 29 Sxf6 i.xf6 when White has to take the draw to avoid being worse with 30 Axel Axel 31 Wc8+ &d8 32 We6+, etc. However, the game shows the way Black can go 'down the tubes' when he is constantly under pressure to find all of the right moves just to survive!

B24)

Again Black tries to keep his dark-squared bishop. However, by accurate play White can still demonstrate a strong initiative.

12 fxg7

12 £sg3 was also thought to be promising, e.g. 12...^613 £>xe6fxe6 14 Sxe6+ &d7 15 £>h5! Hhe8 16 £>f4 Wn 17 Wf3 with attacking chances,

Chigorin-Charousek, Budapest 1896 although after 17...Bxe6! 18 «d5+ &c8 19 <£)xe6 d3! it's not clear White is any better at all.

Forcing Black to pick a square for his queen before exchanging on e6.

The main aim of this move is to prevent Black from castling. Last century G.Abels analysed this position in depth, concluding that White has a distinct edge due to his attack, and practice seems to concur with this.

15...h6 is met by 16«ff3! hxg5 17 £>f6+ &f7 18 Sxe6! Exg7 (18...<&xe6 19 Sel+ £>e5 20 #d5+ mating) 19 Sael winning.

Better than 16 £>t'6+, when Black wriggles out.

Alternatives have been tried:

a) 16...h6? 17 £>f6+ &d8 18 Sxc6 £>c7 19 &xh6! ^xh6 20 #d5+! and White mates, Holzhausen-Zoge, Leipzig 1899.

b) 16...e5? 17 &f7 18 h4! with a very powerful attack, Chigorin-Teichmann, London 1899.

c) 16..."&d7 !? (the main alternative to the text-move) 17 £tf6+ <é»c8 18 Bxe6! Wxg5 19 h4! (19 Bxc6? &b8!) was analysed in detail by Sâmisch: cl) 19...Wxh4? 20 2e8+ mating. c2) 19...Wg6 20 h5«g5(20...1H'xc2 21 fd5!) 21 Bael 22 B6e5 «h4 23 Bc8 c6 24 lTf5+ &b8 25 h6! «xhô 26 We5+ &c8 27 «e6+ winning.

c3) 19...«a5 20 Se8+ £)d8 21 Ç]d5 c6 (21...Bd7 22 Wf5 Wxd5 23 Bxd8+ mates) 22 lff5+ Sd7 23 <^e7+ <&c7 24 #f4+ Bd6 25 £)f5 winning.

c4) 19...«fb5 20 a4 «c5 21 Bael £)d8 22 Be8 c6 23 Ble5 lfd6 24 «f5+ *b8 25 B5e6 «b4 26 lff4+ &c8 27 £)e4 i.c7 (27...a6 28 £)d6+ &b8 29 Çtf7+ &a7 30 £)xd8 wins) 28 lff5 &b8 29 Sxd8+! £.xd8 30 «e5+ Bc7 31 Be8 a5 32 Bxd8+ &a7 33 #xd4+ b6 34 Sxa8+ &xa8 35 «id 8+ &b7 36 £>d6+ &a6 37 «a8+ mating.

17 Sxf6 18 £.xf6 &d7 19 g5 Be8 20 «e2 <£>b4 21 Bedl!

White is well on top, Chigorin/Barto-lich-Shabsky/Tercshchenko, consultation game 1900.

B25)

Once more Black tries to retain his dark-squared bishop and at the same time guards g7. The drawback is that with his king still in the centre Black leaves himself open to a typical Max Lange tactical counter. The move 11 ...Af8 is a recommendation of Rubinstein and while play is complex, it takes a brave man to play this line as Black unless he is extremely well prepared to face the consequences.

...Black has to make the choice between:

B251)

After this White has two good choiccs. In the past 14 fxg7 has been advocated but recent examples seem to indicate that White has been doing well with...

...and judging from the positions he has got I have no reason not to go along with this.

Black can also try 14...Se8!'.\ in which case 15 g4! Wxf6 16 f4 ±d6 (I6...h6 17f5+&f7 18g5lfe7 19g6+ &g8 20 Af4 &d8 21 <S)xf8! and then 21...SW8 22 Wxd4 or 21...#xc1+ 22 Wxcl fixcl+ 23 fixel &xf8 24 &xc7 <£c6 25 &d6+ wins) 17 f5+ &f7 18 JLg5 is good enough.

Better than 15 Ad2 immediately, as in the game Hartl-Kovacova, Slovakian Ch 1994.

15...*a5 16 ±dl c3 16...Ab4 17 £.xb4 Wxb4 18 c3 dxc3 19 Wd7 Q&l 20 &f4+ *f7 21 We6+ wins.

16...lTb6 17 «f3 i.e7 18 #f5+ *f7 19 «h5+ &g8 20 «he Af8 21 #xf6 <&e7 22 Ah6 £.xh6 23 «xh6 1-0 Koltanowski-NN, Scotland blindfold simul 1937.

17 bxc3 dxc3 18 iLf4 &d6 19 Wd3+ 7

Now, rather than 20 Wc4 &g6 21 h4 h5 22 g5 iie5 23 £.xe5 £.xe5 24 Sadl &d6 25 Sd5 *b4 26 Wd3+ &f7 27 Hd4 Wa5 28 Bag8 29 ®c4+ <&f8 30 5xd6 Hxg5+ 31 hxg5 Wxg5+ 32 <4?fl b5 33 Hd8+ <&g7 34 W/xc7+ 1-0 Immer-Rothacher, Baden 1993, 20 £ixc7! is an even stronger continuation for White.

B252)

This is the critical follow-up to 1 l...jLf8. It seems far more sensible for Black to tuck his king away than to come forward to g6! Both sides need to play carefully now, as analysis shows: 14 g4!

14 £sxe6? Be8! 15 fxg7 £xg7 16 £sxc7 Bxel+ 17 Wxel £e5 18 &d5 <&f7 is good for Black.

14...#d5 15 £>xe6 &e5? 16 f7+ <&xf7 17 £jg5+ <£g8 18 Bxe5 ! #xe5

14...»xf6? 15 Bxe6 Wd8 16 «Ï3 Kd7 17 Be7!! winning, Sämisch-Rei-man, Bremen 1927.

15 fxg7

15 Bxe6!? is less clear and although the resulting positions are a total mess, with correct play Black should hang on.

15...jâ.xg7?! 16 Sxe6 £f6 17 £ie4 Bf8 18 Wf3 $g7 19 £g5 and Black is in severe difficulties.

Black gets too much play after 17

f3? i.c5 18 <£e4 Bf8 19 g5 <£e5 20 4}f6 &xf3+ 0-1 Kintzel-Steiner, Austria 1967. 17...Ac5

Wg7 24 h3 d3 25 c3 <£e5 26 &h2 i.xg4 27 hxg4 £\xg4+ 28 <Èh3 ! (better than 28 -&hl) 28...^e3 29 <£g6+ Wxg6 30 Sxi'8+ &g7 31 Wf3 winning - analysis by Koltanowski.

19 0h3 d3 20 cxd3 cxd3 21 £>f4 Wf7 22 Wxd3 Bd8

White has a won ending after 22...£)xe5? 23 «xd5 Wxd5 24 Öxd5 ÇM3+ 25 *g2 £\xel+ 26 Bxel.

23 WfSl

White's position is very strong, e.g. 23...Wxf5 24 gxf5 Af3 25 ¿Lc3 Bf8 26 Bxf5 27 £>xc5 Bxc5 28 Be3.

Best by test! Black immediately gets his king into safety and as far away as possible from the pin lurking down the e-file.

12 fxg7? 3hg8 13 g4 #e5! (making use of White's move-order) 14 <£>g3 Wxg7 15 Bxe6 fxe6 16 £ke6 We5 17 £\xd8 Bxd8 and Black is clearly better.

12 £ixe6!? fxe6 13 fxg7 Shg8 14 i.h6 £b6 15 Wf3! is unclear, as in Cohn-Przynski, Guatemala 1937 although Black may well equalize after 15...Wxf3. 12...We5

12...#d5 13 *bxc6 fxe6 14 fxg7 Bhg8 15 £>f6 Wd6 16 ibxg8 Bxg8 17 Ah6 d3 18 Wf3 &d4 19 «H is strong for White, Radulov-Anastasopulov, Sofia 1967.

13&xe6

a) 13 5tf37! Wd5 14 fxg7i.xg4 15 gxhSW Bxh8 16 h3 i.h5 17 i.f4 (17 £rf6!? «Txf3 18 &xh5 Wxh3 19 &g3 h5 20 Wf3 Sg8 21 Wxf7 Bxg3+! with a perpetual) 17...Bg8+ 18 i.g3 (18 ■Sbfl!? is not clear but is asking for trouble) 18...£\e5 19 <£xe5 i.xdl 20 £sf6 Bxg3+ 21 fxg3 d3+ 22 <&h2 d2 23 Se4 Wd8 24 Sxdl «xf6 25 Sxd2 #fl 26 Sg2 b5 27 b3 f6 28 £>c6 c3 29 a4 bxa4 30 Bxa4 &d7 31 £ia5 h5 32 Sf4 #dl 33 <5)c4 i.d4 34 h4 c5 35 Bf5 &e6 36 Sf4 f5 37 &h3 i.gl 38 £\a5 Wg4+ 0-1 Schoch-P.Littlewood, Winterthur 1986.

b) 13 f4?! d3+ 14 *g2 #d5 15 fxg7 Bhg8 16 cxd3 (16 f5? i.xf5! 17 gxf5 Bxg7 18 f6 Sg6 19 Wg4+ <4?b8 20 Sfl £\e5 and Black is winning, Bogdan-D.Dimitrache, Romanian Ch 1992) 16...cxd3 17 i.d2 Sxg7 and Black is better placed.

c) 13 fxg7 Bhg8 14 ^xe6 will transpose to the main line while attempts to improve for White with 14 £kc5 Wxc5 15 £ie4 lead to nothing special, e.g. 15...flfe5 16i.h6i.d5 17&g3Wf618 g5 Wf4 19 &h5 m5 20 £sg3 «f4 and the game Smolnikov-Trofimokh, corr. 1958-9 was drawn by repetition.

13...fxe6 14 fxg7

14 i.g5!? h6! 15 fxg7 hxg5 16 gxh8#Sxh8 17 Wd6! gives Black good compensation - analysis by Estrin.

Best as 15 f4? d3+ 16 &fl ^d5 is good for Black.

15...i.b4? 16 f4 Wa5 17 £>f6 i.xel 18 Wxel Wxel+ 19 Bxel d3 20 c3 (even better is 20 cxd3 cxd3 21 f5! with

a won endgame) 20...£}e7 21 "¿>f2 Bd6 22 £ixg8 <£xg8 23 i.g5 and White is well on top, Carlier-Rate, Torcy 1991.

16 c3

The critical position is now reached. At this point Black has tried the following four different plans: B261: 16...i.b6?! 15 B262: 16...i.d6!? 15 B263: 16...i.e7 16

B261)

Black tries to preserve his dark-squared bishop while keeping it on the a7-gl diagonal. However, although this stops the advance of White's f-pawn, f2 itself is not under pressure and Black's f6-square is ripe for occupation by White's knight. Prokopchuk-Abashev, Russia 1993 continued 17 Wf3! ®d5 18 Wg2 £se5 19 £)f6 £tf3+ 20 &fl <£xel 21 Wxd5 exd5 22 Bxel d2 23 Bdl d4 24 £lxg8 Bxg8 25 Sxd2 d3 26 Bdl i.c5 27 Bel &d7 28 Be4 b5 29 Bf4 &e8 30 Bf5 1-0.

B262)

Now 21...d2! 22 5e4 yields approximate equality. Instead 21...Sde8?! 22 Ee4! b5 23 a4! a6 24 axb5 axb5 25 &g2! &d8 26 #f3 #g6 27 Ed4! c6 28 5xd8+ <&xd8 29 #xc6 1-0 was Mar-shall-Tarrasch, Hamburg 1910.

B263)

17 Wf3 was played with success in the game Marshall-Capablanca, New York 1910 but the text-move seems even better.

Blockading Black's d-pawn before developing his own kingside pawn majority.

18...£>b8?! 19 Be3 £)d7 20 g5 is strong for White.

Planning to hit the h6-bishop with

22 Eh3 &xh6 23 2xh6 Sxg7 24 h3!

White is a little better.

B264)

This advance is double-edged. Black hopes that the future vulnerability of the pawn on d2 wiil be outweighed by the fact that it ties up the white pieces, and so diverts White's attention from his own kingside play.

17 Se2

17 £sxd2? loses to 17...i.xf2+! 18 &xf2 ®xh2+, while the alternative 17

.&xd2 relinquishes the pawn on g7, which is just too high a price to pay. 17...Ed3

Almost invariably played because after 17...Ab6?! White can unpin his f-pawn with 18 &g2! with advantage, e.g. 18...Sd3 19 f3 &d8 20 Sxd2. 18 Wfl!

Clearing dl for his rook while bringing the queen around to a useful post on the kingside.

18 &g5?? loses to 18. JBW, as in Poignant-Rate, Torcy 1991.

18 £\xc5 is the main alternative to 18 Wfl, and leads to an approximately equal position after 18...#xc5 19Exd2 i)c5 20 Exd3 cxd3. This position has occurred several times with mixed results. White's extra pawn is counterbalanced by his kingside weaknesses, if White can avoid any nasty accidents then his endgame prospects arc good.

Instead:

a) 18...&b6!? 19 Sdi Exg7!? (the original idea behind 18...iLb6 was for Black to play the manoeuvre ...£id8-f7 with the idea of embarrassing the white h6-bishop, but alter 19...£id8, 20 £lg3! is good for White, e.g. 20..,©f6 21 g5 Wf4 22 Wh3! when the pressure on Black's pawns on d2 and e6 combined with threats of 23 g6! give White the advantage; or 20...®d5 21 2exd2 <£f7 22 Bxd3 cxd3 23 2xd3 when Black's trump card, his pawn on d2, has fallen) 20 £.xg7 Wxg7 21 Wg2 <£e5 22 2exd2 a5 23 2xd3 cxd3 24 Wg3? Wfg6 25 Wf4? &xg4 26 Va+ &d7 27 2xd3+ <&c6 28 2d6+ cxd6 29 Wxd6+ *b5 30 #d3+ *c6 31 Wd6+ V2-V2 Pieri-Yilmaz, Forli 1991. White could have maintained a distinct advantage by playing the calm 24 h3! or 25 h3!.

b) 18...JLe7!? 19 Bdl! (19 <£g3? Wd5 20 2dl £}e5! is good for Black as White's knight is misplaced on g3 in this position) 19...«dS will transpose back to the main line.

20 Wg2!? was considered good, the analysis continuing 20...5M3+ 21 <&fl <&h4 22 #gl Qfl 23 Wg3 £kl4?!. However, 23.,JLd6! may well be an important improvement, after which it seems that Black is better.

With a perpetual.

In conclusion the Max Lange Attack is extremely dangerous for Black to meet unless he is very well prepared. Although dating back to ihe eighteenth century new ideas i'or both sides are always being found. For example, the very last line quoted was thought to be good for White until I came across 23 &d6!. There is still a lot of scope for players to experiment and in my experience the belter prepared player will usually prevail.

Part 2: The Anti-Max Lange

1 e4 e5 2 <&f3 £sc6 3 &c4 £sf6 4 d4 exd4 5 0-0 £ixe4 (D)

Instead of developing his dark-squared bishop (by 5...jLc5), Black grabs a second central pawn! Often White regains the pawns and maintains a slight initiative due to his superior development.

6 2el

This is best, since 6 £>c3?!, while tricky, is basically unsound in view of 6...£>xc3! (6...dxc3 7 ¿Lxf7+!? &xf7

8 «d5+ &e8 9 2el i.e7 10 2xe4 is messier) 7 bxc3 d5 8 &b5 i.e7 9 £ixd4 i.d7 10 ¿he.2 a6 11 i.a4 <£a5, when Black is strongly placed.

6 Ji.d5? is also bad, as after 7 l.xc6 dxc6 8 <£xd4 &e7 Black is already clearly better due to his bishop-pair and extra pawn, Wiersma-Euwe, Amsterdam 1921. 6...d5

6...f5? 7 <£xd4 &c5? fails to 8 2xe4+ fxe4 9 ^h5+ followed by 10 WxcS.

9 i.fl c5 10 b4! and White is better.

7 £sc3!? holds no fear for Black if he is properly prepared while 7 ¿&xd4? £ixd4 8 ®xd4 i.e6 is just good for Black.

Now it is for Black to decide where he wants to put his queen for the ensuing middlegame. He has tried no fewer than five different squares, of which the last two seem both the most common and sensible: A: 8...Wc4? 18 B: 8...Wf5!? 18 C: S.-.WdS 18 D: 8...Hi5 18 E: 8..Ma5 19

»„McM 9 £d2! Stronger than the direct 9 Sx.e4+, 9...«ra6 10 £id5! Iia5 11 ;:4 ie6 ll...dxc3? 12 £>c4!. 12 £sb3 Wa4 13 ®xc7+ &d8 14 •5jixe6+ t'xe6 15 2xe4 White is well placed.

ll...JLd7? 12 Ah6! Bg8 13 Ad2 with advantage.

With approximate equality.

9...£.e6 10 <£xd4 <£xd4 11 Bxd4 Wc8 12 i.g5 i.d6 13 £le4 0-0? 14 <S}f6-H was good for White in Trin-gov-Rossetto, Amsterdam 1964.

10...0-0?! 11 &f4 and White has an edge due to his centralized pieces while Black still has to complete his development, Neimann-Letreguilly, French Cht 1989.

112f4 0-0

12 £ixc6 Wxdl+ 13 iixdl bxc6 14 Bc4

White should enjoy a long-term edge in the ending in view of Black's pawn-structure.

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