ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
After discovering some new ideas in a line of the Réti that I've played quite a bit, this month's update is devoted entirely to this sharp line.

Download PGN of March '10 Flank Openings games

Réti Gambit [A11]

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.0-0:

Make no mistake, this is a very important line. Given the huge number of Slav Defence players around today Black is quite likely to meet the Réti with this ...c6 set-up. And White's sharpest line involves delaying b2-b3 and offering his c4 pawn as a gambit; in this way he will have the option of bringing his queen out to b3 or a4 when Black develops his Queen's Bishop.

Is this gambit sound? That I don't know. In my book on the Réti I recommended 5.Qc2, but the nonchalant 5.0-0 may well be White's best. This is the move I've played in my own games but after some negative experiences I became a bit disillusioned with the line.

The critical position arises after 5...Nbd7 6.Qc2 Nb6 7.Na3 Qd5 when 8.b3 seems to give White just about enough compensation:

In Grandelius - Kuipers White was doing fine until his sense of danger deserted him late in the game. Davies - Haslinger was not a particularly good effort on my part but provides a nice illustration of 8...Bf5.

I can't say I've done particularly well on the White side of this line as the highlight was probably my game against Michael Adams in which I tried 8.Nh4. In this game I had enough play, but my appetite for this variation diminished considerably after the Pert game given in the notes.

However, it seems that White can do a lot better with 8.Ne1, which at first sight looks like a very strange way to play after sacrificing a pawn:

Black then has four replies which I examine in approximate order of strength; 8...Bf5 is dealt with in Marin - Ris, 8...Qf5 fares little better in Pantsuaia - Sundararajan whilst the two better moves, 8...Qe6 and 8...Qd4 are examined in Marin - Laxnicka and Zueger - Gagunashvili respectively.

Finally this month there's the game Radjabov - Smeets, an electrifying game with 7.a4 which follows a critical line from an earlier update:

Games like this show that the Réti can be a very dangerous weapon in the right hands.

That's all for this time, see you next month. 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