ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
My apologies for the lateness with this update, I've just moved house and it took some time to get back in the saddle.

Download PGN of January '10 Flank Openings games

English Opening - Reversed Dragon [A29]

This line continues to prove popular at the highest level and Magnus Carlsen used it to defeat Vladimir Kramnik in his key victory in the London Chess Classic. Kramnik plays the mainline 16...a4!?:

but his passive follow-up lets White gradually assume the initiative, see Game 1.

Kiril Georgiev's pawn sac in Game 2 against Granda Zuniga has been played before, though knowing Granda's distaste for extensive opening preparation I guess his 14th move was worked out at the board. He should probably have settled for 16.bxc6 rather than his overly inventive 16.Nc4 and found himself defending a difficult endgame later on.

Reversed Sicilian with 4.g3 Nd4 [A29]

There have been a few recent games in this line and it is looking very solid for Black. Gelfand and Vachier Lagrave had something of a theoretical duel in it with Gelfand's later switch to 4.a3 rather implying that Black won the battle, see Game 3.

The 'dullitude' of this line was confirmed by Vitiugov - Grischuk with Black's 15...Qb4 making it even harder for White to achieve anything:

Reversed Sicilian with 4.a3 [A28]

Gelfand's failure to achieve anything after 4.g3 Nd4 saw him switch to 4.a3 in the key game of this mini-match. In the event he won rather easily, though largely thanks to Vachier Lagrave's 16...f5?:

After which White obtained a powerful initiative, see Game 5.

There was also an entertaining game with 4.a3 in the Korchnoi - Spassky tussle, with Korchnoi's 8.Bc4:

being rather worse than the recommendation of 8.Nxd5 Qxd5 9.Bd3!.

1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4 3.g3 [A21]

People have been queuing up to play this line against the predictable Normunds Miezis, though like Uhlmann and his French Defence he understands the position well. Maybe not well enough judging from Game 7, against Popov, though the position is certainly very difficult and complex. No doubt we haven't seen the last of Miezis' exploits in this line.

Flohr-Mikenas Attack [A18-19]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 is an interesting way to avoid the supersolid Nimzo and there are a few players who still enjoy playing it:

Jobava - Brunello saw White attempt to throw his opponent on his own resources with 8.Bd3 and this prompted an extreme reaction in 9...g5!?. It's difficult to believe this can really be good, but it certain led to some fun.

Reinderman - Werle followed theory for some 22 moves before White innovated with 23.a3!?:

This is quite a rare thing for a flank opening but is perhaps a sign of things to come. We won't be getting less theory unless we switch to Fischer-Random.

That's all for now, next update coming very shortly... Nigel Davies


Please remember to point out and send your games to me. Drop me a line at the Flank Openings Forum, or subscribers can write directly to