Bishop and Knight Conflicts

In this section, for fun, let's first look at some older (but still modern-era) examples.

Geller - Spassky

USSR Cht (Moscow) 1959

!&D&f62c4g63d4&g745k30-05e4d6 6 ±e2 c5

Many years later, Spassky was on the other side of very similar issues: 6... Jtg4 7 JLe3 £lfd7 8 0-0 £>c6 9 d5 Axf3 10 &xf3 £>a5 11 Ae2 Axe3! ? (turning it into a pure two bishops ver-

An idea that has got lost in the shuffle. Normally in such positions Black plays for ...b5 with moves such as ...a6, ...Hb8, and ...£ic7. He hasn't enjoyed much success thereby. Spassky's move initiates central action.

Perhaps Geller doesn't see what's happening or reacts too quickly. He proceeds 'themati-cally' to open up the position for the bishops, but it turns out that the knights are given more freedom to find useful posts. A poor alternative is 12 Ae2?l Axc3i 13 bxc3 We7 with a solid game. But 12 Scl or 12 Wd2, both preventing the doubled pawns, retains a solid advantage. Then Black has no way to transform the central sus two knights game) 12 bxc3 e5 13 dxe6?! situation and secure posts for his knights. In

(this opening up of the game hurts White; better was 13 Sbl b6 14 Wd2) 13...fxe6 14 f4 b6. As in our main game, White now has trouble mak- which the open lines will come of themselves.

many cases White can gradually increase his space advantage on both sides of the board after ing progress. Black doesn't miss his g7-bishop much, but White's doubled pawns are a real negative. 15 Wei We7 16 Wg3 2ae8 17 Sael?! ®g7 18 Acl (18 Scl) 18...&c5 19 ®e3 Wdll 20 h4 V2-V2 Spassky-Ziiger, Zurich 1984. In fact, Black stands very well indeed as he can win either the c- or a-pawn after 20...®c6! (or

20...Wa4) 21 e5 ®a4 22 h5 &xc4 23 »g3 &e4 24 Wg4 ¿hcd.2!.

7 0-0 Ag4 8 d5 ¿hbdl 9 h3 ±xf3 10 Ax£3 £>e8 11 Ae3 e6!? (D)

In general it will be very difficult to contest that expansion. We therefore see little of Black's set-up today.

This allows doubled pawns, but other moves aren't convincing given this new pawn-structure; e.g., 14 Wd2 £>e5 15 Ae2 £ic6! intending

Prophylaxis against f5.

17 Ae2 foh5 18 4>h2 fof6 and ...5ad8 is fine terrific book 64 Great Chess Games: Master-

fox Black.

"1

pieces of Postal and Email Chess.

1 c4 £>f6 2 d4 e6 3 £k3 ±b4 4 a3 £xc3+ 5 bxc3 c5 6 e3 £>c6 7 Ad3 e5

An alternative to the far more popular plan of ...0-0, ...b6, .. Jta6, ...£>e8 (when necessary), ...£\a5, etc.

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