Modern Variation g

1

e4

2

e5

£id5

3

d4

d6

4

«>13

g6 (61)

The fianchetto of the bishop on re is a sensible alternative to the pin of the knight on f3. Black hopes to increase pressure along the al-h8 diagonal, while leaving deployment of the bishop on c8 to a later time. On the other hand, f7 is now weak and White can try to exploit this to his advantage. A 5 c4 B 5 £.c4! C 5 ¿hg5

5 £.e2 £.g7 6 0-0 0-0 7 £.g5 h6 8 c4 hg 9 cd g4 10 &g5 de 11 i.xg4 #xd5 ? Suer-Jansa, Athens 1969.

It is important to remember that variation A2 often arises by transposition from 4 c4 £>b6 5 ed cd 6 &f3 g6. A1

7 Af4 lead to an unclear position after 7 ... i.g4(7 ... £ic6!? and 7 ... 0-0 are reasonable alternatives) 8 h3 £.xf3 9 #xf3 <£ic6, Maric-Despotovic, Yugoslav Ch 1968. 7 Ae2 transposes below.

Perhaps Black should consider

7 ... Ag4 8 h3 AxO 9 WxO. In any event, Black can simply play 7 ... 0-0!, when White has nothing better than to tranpose to A2 with

8 Ae2

There are two promising alternatives:

a) 8 e6!? fe 9 h4 e5 10 d5 &b8 11 h5 Af5 12 <£g5 ± Christoffel-Tartakower, 1946.

8

...

0-0

9

e6!

fe

10

h4

e5

11

d5

White has a strong attack, H.Perez-Volman, corres 1972. A2

6 ed cd

7 Ae2

Black has nothing to fear from:

a) 7 b3 Ag7 8 Ab2 0-0 9 Ae2 (9 Ad3 e5! +) 9... £>c6 10 0-0 e5 =.

b) 7 £ic3 Ag7 8 Ae3 0-0 and now: bl) 9 a4 d5 10 c5 £>c4 11 Axc4 dc 12 Ae6 is a reasonable plan for Black. 9 ... a5 and 9 ... Ag4are the alternatives.

b2) 9 #d2 allows 9 ... Ag4, threatening to double White's pawns. 9 ... is also playable. b3) 9 Scl tries to get in d5 without allowing doubling of the c-pawns. Black can play 9 ... d5 10 c5 £)c4 11 £>xd5 £ixe3 12 £>xe3 Wa5+ with compensation for a pawn.

c) 7 Ae3 Ag7 8 Wd2 Ag4 9 &g5 (9 Ah6 0-0 10 ha4 e5! + Messing-Gipslis, Belgrade 1968) 9 ... h6 10 £>e4d5! 11 £>c5 £)xc4 12 Axc4dc 13 ,0-0 b6 T Mukhin-Rogjulis, USSR 1976.

d) 7 h3 Ag7 8 &c3 0-0 9 Ae3 *hc6 10 2c 1!? (10 Wd2 allows Black to equalise with 10 ... d5!, e.g. 11 c5 &c4 12 Axc4 dc 13 0-0 Af5, Karklins-Manetti, Lone Pine 1972)

10 ... d5 (10 ... Af5 11 d5! ±Pytel-Liebert Debrecen 1969, or 10 ... e5

11 de de 12 c5 £)d7 13 Ac4 h6, Modr-Neckar, Prague 1983) 11 c5 ¿hc4 12 Axc4 dc 13 0-0 b6 (13 ... Af5 14 b3 Ad3 15 2el ¿hxd4 16 Ôxd4 Axd4 17 be ± Gipslis-Ciocaltea, Bucharest 1968). We consider the position after 13... b6 to be fully equal.

White can delay castling, of course, but he gains nothing thereby, as in similar variations discussed above:

.0 8 b3 £ic6 9 £b2 0-0 10 Öbd2 ( lanosevic-Ghizdavu, Nis 1972)

10 ... d5! 11 c5 Öd7 intending ... <mxc5 with an equal game.

b) 8 i.e3 0-0 9 #d2 see Illustrative < iame Dominguez-Tatai in Chapter 1.

c) 8 £ic3 0-0 9 £.e3 £ic6 and now: 11) 10 2cl d5 11 c5 £ic4 12 £.xc4 de + Walther-Larsen, 1961.

10 h3 d5 11 c5 &c4 12i.xc4dc 13 0-0 jLf5! transposes below; 13 b3 #a5 14 2cl Sd8 15 0-0 (I'etkevich-Zukhovitsky, USSR !969) 15 ... £e6

e3) 10 h4?! i.g4! 11 d5 £.xf3 12 gf '.> ie5 13 £d4 #c8 + Jovic-Suba, Novi Sad 1974.

14) 10 #d2 d5 11 c5 £ic4 12 £.xc4 de 13 d5 £>b4 14 0-0 £f5! T Rozvan-Ghizdavu, Romania 1971;

11 0-0 also favours Black, who can play ... Ad3 and... £ixd4.

8 ... 0-0 9 £>c3 Others can be dismissed lightly, and generally transpose into the main lines anyway: .0 9 b3 ¿hc6 10 £b2 (10 &c3 Ag4!?) 10... d5! 11 c5 £)d7 12 £ic3 (12 #cl e5 13 de £idxe5) 12 ... e5 13 de (13 £ixd5 e4! 14 £id2 £ixc5) 13 ... <Sdxe5 14 £>xe5 i.xe5 15 ¿13 Ae6 and Black has a fine game.

b) 9 ±e3 £ic6! 10 £ibd2 (10 &c3 transposes to lines with 9 Öc3) 1(1... d5 (an interesting alternative is 10 ... £.f5, e.g. 11 d5 &e5 12

i.d3! 13 £.xd3 £ixd3 14 2bl £)d7 = Moijzis-Pribyl, Hradec Kralove 1977-8) 11 c5 fodl 12 Wb3 (12 £lb3 e5 13 de £}dxe5 =) 12 ... e5 13 de (Black equalises easily on 13 #xd5 ed 14 &xd4 £ixd4 15 £.xd4 &xc5!) 13 £idxe5 14 £ixe5 £ixe5 15 2fdl (Nicevski-Jansa, Athens 1969) 15 ... d4 16 £ic6 (16 ... i.e6!?) with an even game, as 17 #a4 fails to 17 ... £.d7!

c) 9 h3 £>8d7!? (9 ... &c6! is perhaps better: 10 jLe3 d5 11 c5 &c4 12 i.xc4 be 13 &a3 £.e6 14 #e2 &a5! 15 2fdl b6 = Krnic-Begovac, Sombor 1976. 10 h3 transposes back to the text)

10 Ae3 (10 £ic3 e5 11 &b5 Wei gives an unclear position with chances for both sides) 10 ... e5

11 de £ixe5! 12 £ixe5 £xe5 13 £>c3 &.e6 = Krnic-KovaCevic, Sombor 1976.

10 h3

10 3 allows Black to success-

fully deploy the bishop on c8:

10 ... ¿g4! 11 b3 (11 d5 Axf3 12 jLxf3 £le5 is completely equal)

11 ... d5 (Black might wish to investigate 11 ... h6, e.g. 12 #d2 &h7 13 «lei jLxe2 14 «lxe2 e5 15 f4? ed 16 «lxd4 d5! + Alexander-Tartakower, 1939) 12 c5 «lc8 (12 ... Axf3 13 Axf3 e5 14 «le2 e4 15 £g5! f5 16 £h3 ± Slipak-Darcyl, Bratislava 1983 and now:

15 Axf3 «I8e7 16 «le2 «lf5 = Schmidt-Jansa, Marianske Lazne 1962) 14 ... £xe2 15 «lxe2 «l8e7

b) 13 e6 14 Sadl «i8e7 15 «lh4 jfc.xe2 16 «lxe2 b6! Kuijpers-Kavalek, Beverwijk 1967.

c) 13 h3 £xf3 14 Axf3 e6 =/? see Illustrative Game Toran-Korchnoi in Chapter 1.

d) 13 b4! a6 14 Sbl (14 a4 «lxb4!; 14 Wb3 e6 15 Sfdl «i8e7 16 b5 «la5 17 #b4 ab 18 «lxb5 «iec6! + Zuidema-Hort, Orebro 1966; 14 Wldl e6 15 2fdl «i8e7 = Westerinen-Hort, Leningrad 1967) 14 ... e6 15 a4 «l8e7! 16b5ab 17 ab. Now Radev-Panbuckian, Bulgarian Ch 1975, continued 17 ... «Ia5 18 b6, where the game would have been double-edged after 18 ... jk.xf3!, but 17 ... jLxf3 seems more precise, although it is likely to transpose to the game.

A21 11 b3 A22 11 Ae3 A23 11 Af4

11 a3 is a move which bears watching. Riabchenouk-Gudrikis, Lieppe 1972, saw 11 ... d5 12 c5 «lc4 13 b3 «I4a5 14 Ae3 b6 15 cb ab 16 Scl Wd7V. 17 £b5 #d6 18 b4 ±, but Black can improve with 16 ... Wb6.

11 jLg5 is a new try which did not make much of an impression in Cuasniciu-Darcyl, Buenos Aires 1983: 11 ... h6 12 £h4 g5! 13 Ag3 e5! 14 de de 15 Scl e4 and Black stood slightly better.

11 b3 d5

12 c5

12 Ae3 comes into consideration here. As usual in such positions, Black can just answer 12 ... dc with good play against the hanging pawns, e.g. 13 be «la5.

13 «la4 &e4! 14 A.b2 transposes to the text, but 13 Ae3 is clearly inferior: 13 ... £>xc5! 14 £>xd5 £ie6 15 Bel ®xd5 16 Ac4 Wa5 17 Ad2 #xa2 18 b4 #b2 19 Ac3 #a3 T Dubinsky-K.Grigorian, USSR 1971, or 15 £>c3 £>exd4 16 Bel £lxe2+ intending ... #a5 T Pelitov-Bobotsov, Bulgaria 1968.

Black stands better. Minev-Bobotsov, Varna 1968, continued 15 de £ldxe5 16 £lxe5 £lxe5 with a clear advantage for Black. Ml

11 Ae3

This is the most popular continuation in contemporary praxis.

12 c5

Other moves also give Black a good game:

a) 12 b3 dc 13 be e5! 14 de £lxe5 15 £lxe5 Axe5 or 14 d5 e4!

b) 12 cd £>xd5 13 &xd5Wxd5 14 ®a4 ®d6 15 a3 Sfd8 + Garcia-

Jansa, Moscow 1968.

13 Axc4 White has no choice:

a) 13 Acl saves the bishop but at high cost: 13 ... b6! 14 g4 Ac8! with better chances for Black, Janosevic-Hort, Skopje 1968. Even worse is 14 cb £ixb6 15 Ab5 ttd6 16 Bel Af6! 17 Ah6 Bfc8 + Buyukgokrscu-Radashkovich, Tees-side 1974.

b) 13 #b3 £>6a5 14 Wb4 b6! 15 Ag5 h6 + Mikhalchishin-Bobotsov, Athens 1968.

White cannot afford to weaken his centre further with 14 d5: 14 ... £sb4 15 Ad4 Ad3! interrupts the communication of his pieces. After 16 Axg7 ^xg7 17 Sel Bc8! Black had the better game in Pelitov-Orev, Sofia 1962. 14 ... eS!

An alternative is 14 ... Ad3,e.g. 15 Bfdl e5, but the authors feel that the text is the best option.

15 Efdl Black is clearly better on 15 de Ad3! 16 Efdl &xe5, while the complications of 15 d5 £ld4! should turn out well for Black. 15 #xc4ed 16 Efdl Ae6-seeour notes to Sigurjonsson-Alburt.

17 JL\d4 Axd4!

19 &xf2 WW. Black is slightly better. For further discussion see Illustrative Game Sigurjonsson-Alburt in Chapter 1. A23

12 jte3!

On 12 Eel Black should stick with 12 ... e5 13 Ae4 e4! 14 £>d2 Ee8 15 &b3 (15 g4 #h4!) 15 ... d5!, as in Karpov-Vaganian,

USSR 1969. After 12 #d2! g5! White can hope for no more than equality by 13 Ae3! d5 14 c5 £>c4 15 ¿.xc4 dc, Faibisovich-Bagirov, Kiev 1970.

12 ... e5 is also playable here, since 13 $Lg5 is not possible.

13 b3

13 c5 £>c4 15 £xc4 dc 15 #a4 and now not Hort's 15 ... #a5, because of 16 Wxc4. This position is similar to one in which the black f-pawn has not advanced, and the best treatment seems to be 15 ... e5, answering 16 de with 16 ... Ad3 17 Efdl (17 Efel g5) 17 ... #e8 18 Af4 g5 with a slight advantage for Black. On 15 #d2 Ad3 16 Bfel g5 17 b3 f5! Black has a fine position.

14 be Ec8!

15 Eel Qa5

17 Af4 g5

17 ... e5, Belyavsky-Jansa, Sukhumi 1972, is also quite playable.

18 ... Wdl 19 £xc4 (19 Eel!?) 19 ... £>xc4 20 #e2 #e6! led to equality in Karpov-Vaganian, USSR 1969, but White might try 19 Eel!?

19 JLxc4 £lxc4

Black has achieved equality.

White should now play 20 cb and not 20 We2 be! T Karpov-

A.Petrosian, USSR 1971. B

5 i.c4! (69) Another of Karpov's recommended lines, and one which is extremely popular.

After 5... c6 6 0-0 (6 ed #xd6! is about equal, Short-Vaganian, Lvov 1984) White has some advantage, e.g. 6 ... Ag7 7 ed ®xd6 8 Hel 0-0 9 Ag5 £g4 10 £>bd2 Se8 11 £b3 h6 12 Ah4 £id7 13 c4! &f4 14 c5! #xd4?! 15 2e4 with a material gain in Tal-Ljubojevic, Wijk aan Zee 1973. If 6 ... Ag4, White continues normally and maintains an advantage.

5 ... de 6 de! is very strong for White. P.Cramling-Alburt, Reykjavik 1984, saw 6 ... c6 7 £)c3 £e6 8 £ig5 Ag7 9 f4 £>d7 10 £xd5 cd 11 Ae3 £>b6 12 £lxe6 fe with a decisive advantage.

6 ... a5 is not very impressive after 7 a4, e.g. 7 ... Ag7 (7 ... d5

8 0-0 jk.g7 transposes to the main line) 8 £>g5 e6 9 f4! de 10 fe c5

11 O-O 0-0 12 c3 cd 13 cd £>c6 14 £rf3 f6 15 ef ± Kavalek-Alburt, USA Ch 1981. 15 &c3 also comes into consideration. 7 e6!? should not lead to an advantage for White if Black plays correctly, e.g. 7 ... jLxeô 8 Axe6 fe 9 £>g5 £>c6! 10 £>xe6 #d7 11 We2 *f7 (or 11 ... £>d8 12 fcxffl Sxf8 13 £>c3 £>c6, Gavric-Chekhov, Banja Luka 1983)

A new idea is 6 ... £ic6, as7e6is not very effective: 7 ... fe 8 £ig5 Ag7 9 Axe6 Sf8 10 d5 £>d4 110-0 Jixe6 12 de with an unclear position in Gubnitsky-Muraxveri, USSR 1983, but Black can just play 7 ... d5 8 a5 £>c4.

7 £>g5 White should probably interpolate 7 a4, since after 7 ... a5 the line is even stronger. Note that Black gets into trouble if he tries 7 ... de 8 a5 £>d5 9 de c6 10 0-0 0-0 11 We2 Wc7 12 2a4 b5 13 Sh4

with a strong attack, Fichtl-Soupal, Trinec 1972. Others:

a) 7 e6 is inappropriate here. Radoiiic-Cafferty, Hammersmith 1971, continued 7 ... £e6 8 Axe6 fe 9 £>g5 Wd7 101lf3 &f6! with an extra pawn.

b) 7 £lbd2 is also ineffective, despite an impressive pedigree: Spassky-Fischer, game 13, Reykjavik 1972, saw Black obtain a meaningful advantage with 7 ... 0-0 8 h3? a5 9 a4?! de 10 de £>a6 11 0-0 £>c5.

c) Should White choose 7 0-0, Black ought to do likewise, instead of 7 ... de 8 £>xe5 0-0 9 Af4 £s8d7 10 #e8 11 #e3 with advantage to White in Kostro-Pribyl, Czechoslovakia 1973. After 7 ... 0-0, Black can look forward to a good game, e.g. 8 Se 1 de 9 £ixe5 c5! 10 c3?! cd 11 cd £ic6! 12 £ixc6 be 13 £>c3 e6 14 ¿e3 £ld5 with advantage to Black, Nicevski-Pribyl, Lublin 1974.

d) White can try to resolve the situation in the centre by playing

7 ed cd and now Hort suggests

8 c3!?, which leads to an equal game. White can claim no more than equality after 8 0-0 0-0 9 Bel £g4 10 h3! Axf3 11 ttxf3 £>c6, Zinn-Grunberg, Leipzig 1973. Queenside expansion proved costly in Robatsch-Ljubojevic, IBM 1972: 8 a4 0-0 9 a5 £>6d7 10 0-0 £>c6 11 a6 ba 12 Sel Bb8 13 £>c3 &f6

e) 7 #e2 is more popular than it deserves to be. Of course if Black ignores the danger he gets squashed: 7 ... 0-0 8 e6 d5 9 ef+ Bxf7 10 £ig5 Bxf5 11 &e6 £xe6 12 #xe6+, Janosevic-Rogulj, Yugoslav Ch 1979. Black should just continue normally with 7 ... £ic6 8 0-0 0-0 9 c3 £g4 10 Af4 ttd7 (10 ... de is an interesting alternative: 11 de ttc8 12 £>bd2 Wf5 13 Ag3 Bad8 led to an unclear position in Pavlovich-Tarjan, USA 1973) 11 £ibd2 ttf5! 12 ¿Lg3 Ah6! This is a complicated position in which Black's chances are no worse. Klovan-Alburt, Yerevan 1975, continued 13 e6!? Axd2 14 ef+ &g7 15 #xd2 i.xf3 16 gf e6 17 Bael £>d8 18 Be4 lhd5.

f) Finally, White might consider the new idea 7 £f4 0-0 8 #e2 a5 (8 ... £ic6 is better, in our opinion) 9 a4 £ic6 10 £>bd2 de 11 £xe5 with an unclear position in Gurgenidze-Ermolinsky, USSR 1982.

This is the standard continuation. Also possible is 7 ... e6, as in Shamkovich-Alburt, USA Z 1981, which continued 8 #f3!? 0-0 9 Wh3 h6 10 £>f3 de 11 de £>c6 12 Axh6 £lxe5 13 £lxe5 £xe5 with an unclear position. 8 f4 is better.

8 f4

White should try to build a perfect pawn structure, following Capablanca's device of limiting the scope of opposing bishops through staunch pawn formations. Alternatives are:

a) 8 0-0 0-0 9 Sel £ic6 10 c3 f6 is fine for Black, Parma-Gheorghiu, Skopje 1968. No more effective is

9 c3 f6 10 ef ef 11 ¿Le6, Korensky-Smejkal, Sochi 1973.

b) 8 £e3 £ic6 9 £ic3 f6! 10 ef ef 11 £if3 £ia5! = Zhuravlev-Shmit, USSR 1970.

c) 8 a4 f6 9 ef ef 10 ®e2+ Wtl 11 Wnel &xe7 leaves Black with at least an equal endgame, Hasin-Smyslov, USSR Ch 1971.

8 ... f6 If Black takes time out to castle, White will be able to establish a small but lasting advantage: 8 ... 0-0 9 0-0 f6 10 £>f3 *hc6 11 c3 fe 12 fe Ag4 13 Sf2 e6 14 £\bd2, Alburt-Kakageldyev, Daugavpils 1974.

10 c3 (10 a4!?) 10 ... &a6!?(10 ... 0-0 11 0-0 Af5 12 ®bd2 ± Lukin-Shusterman, USSR 1974) 11 Wz2 0-0 12 Ae3 £g4 13 £sbd2 fe 14 fe c6 with a better position for White, Pospech-Dotlacilom, Czechoslovakia 1983. White is better in all of these variations thanks to his superior pawn structure, which is effective against the fianchetto formation adopted by Black. If

Black tries to redeploy his bishop his kingside pawn structure will be weak. Therefore Black must strive for equality through careful defence.

10 c3

ECO prefers 10 i.e3, which is Bagirov's main line. Bagirov gives only 10 ... A.g4 11 &bd2 Wdl 12 0-0 0-0-0, which led to interesting complications in Matulovic-Ljubojevic, Yugoslavia 1972. But what about the simple

10 ... £la5, intending to swing the knight to c4, as suggested by Yudasin? We think that this equalises easily.

10 ... 0-0 11 0-0 Af5 transposes to positions discussed below, but

11 ... Ag4 allows White to maintain a small advantage:

12 £\bd2 Wdl 13 h3! Axf3 14 £ixf3 ± Vaisman-Szmetan, Iasi 1978.

An interesting new alternative is 11 £sh4, e.g. 11 ... j^xbl (11 ... £>e4? 12 £id2 Ad3 13 #0 Aa6

14 f5 with a strong attack -Yudasin) 12 Sxbl f5 (12 ... 0-0 transposes below) 13 Ac2 e6 14

Wd7 (14 ... 0-0 15 g4! fg 16 £>g5 h6 17 £>xe6 Wh4 18 &e2 and 19 Wei! - Yudasin). This position was reached in the game Yudasin-Kakageldyev, Ivano-Frankovsk 1982. With 15 Ad3 White could have secured an advantage, since

15 ... a5 allows 16 &b5! and White will in any event be able to continue with a3, b3 and c4.

It does not seem that Black can attain full equality here:

a) 11 ... #d7 led to a bad position for Black in Karpov-Torre, Leningrad IZ 1973.

c) Best is 11... £ia5! 12 Ac2 Jlxc2 13 Wxc2 #d7 14 <Sbd2 f5 15 £lel ± Matanovic-Martz, Malaga 1973. White's edge is minimal.

12 £ih4 a) 12 a4!? a5 13 We2 Wd7 14 Ae3 fe (14 ... Axbl 15 Saxbl ±

Jansa-Begovac, Sombor 1976) 15 fe ± J.Szabo-Pribyl, Stary Smokovec 1972.

b) 12 2f2 Wd7 13 &bd2 (Bellin-Cafferty, Teesside 1972) 13 ... a5 is suggested by Hort but White is still better.

13 Exbl fe

14 fe 2xfl+

15 #xfl

White stands slightly better, Donchev-Pribyl, Bratislava 1983. C

By supporting the knight's central post Black takes the sting out of White's bishop deployment.

6 £.c4 Alternatives:

a) 6 WD is a primitive move which gets nowhere after 6 ... f6 7 ef (7 e6? fa5+! 8 &d2 ®b6 gives Black a big edge) 7 ... ef 8 &h3 AfS 9 £d3 &xd3 = Rohrl-Wallner, Austrian Ch 1977.

b) 6 c4 £ic7! (this exploits a further facet of 5 ... c6) 7 Wf3 f6 8 ef ef 9 &e4 jLg7! 10 i.f4 0-0! gives Black good play. 7 jLd3 led to easy equality in Bogdanovi6-Knezevic, Yugoslav Ch 1965: 7... Ag58f4de 9 de £>e6 10 £>xe6 &xe6.

c) 6 Wfe2 leads to an advantage for Black after 6 ... h6!, which robs White of the initiative, e.g. 7 £se4 Ag7 8 f4 0-0 9 £ibc3 £>xc3~ 10 £ixc3 c5 11 d5 e6! 12 Ae3 ed 13 ®xd5 ®c6, Bogdanovic-Kavalek, Sarajevo 1967.

d) 6 h4 is more interesting, but the position after 6 ... de 7 fe Wc7 8 f4 has not been tested. We think that Black stands well here after 8 ... f6!, and perhaps 7 ... f6 is good too.

Black is going to play this sooner or later, and by attending to it immediately he secures an equal game.

11 £sbd2 #c7 Hort stops here but Bagirov gives 12 h3 Axf3 13 ®>x.f3 e6. Black has nothing to worry about and can look forward to an interesting middlegame where his knights are useful in the semi-closed position. As is so often the case in the Alekhine, the pawn on e5 will require protection.

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