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This month's Flank report features some very interesting games from a theoretical point of view.

Download PGN of May '13 Flank Openings games

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Réti - 2 b3 [A04]

First, we feature yet another game featuring rising star Gawain Jones, who easily dispatches his 2700 rated opponent. With 3..e5! Black correctly takes the center:

and I'm rather sceptical of White's chances after that, as any attempt to break out with d4 will always be met by ...e4! driving the knight back, see Cheparinov, I - Jones, G.

Capablanca System without c4 [A07]

More quieter waters were explored in the game Kramnik, V - Vitiugov, N where Black chose the somewhat rare 8..Bd6?!:

More common and probably superior is the development of the bishop to c5. Kramnik built up slowly and never let Vitiugov out of his grip.

Top level torture was the order of the day in Morozevich, A - Kasimdzhanov, R where Black set himself up for such an experience with the compliant 4..Bxf3?!:

In my view this is a strategic mistake, although I'm not sure Mr Hodgson and others would agree! It was not so easy to pinpoint Black's mistake after that, as Morozevich treated his many fans to a positional master class.

Capablanca System with c4 [A11]

Black adopted a more aggressive and successful strategy in the game Harikrishna,P - Quesada Perez,Y, creating a passed pawn and holding on to it. But Harikrishna's 17.Rd1?! was unfortunate (17.Be3 is better):

and after the smart response 17...Nd4! killing White's play, Black already held the initiative, something he did not relinquish for the rest of the game.

4...dxc4 [A11]

A game where Black attempted to hang on to the all-important c-pawn, was Kaidanov, G - Holt, C, where both players followed a line that has been very popular lately - essayed by no less a player than Timman! The complications after 9.Nxc6! are very sharp indeed:

and no doubt the player who is prepared to put the hours in at home will come out on top.

Pseudo-Grünfeld 5 Qb3 [A16]

Jakovenko, D - Sutovsky, E saw a line in the Anti-Grünfeld that has become very popular lately, where White is trying to hack away on the kingside. Sutovsky wisely chose to meet white's threats with the unpretentious 13...h5:

as 13...Qd7 14.Qh4 g5?! had already ran into a prepared attack with 15.Bxg5! in an earlier game. Nevertheless, after 13...h5, 14.Rg1! retained serious attacking chances. A draw was a fair result in the end, but I'll be very surprised if we don't see some further developments in this variation in the near future.

Pseudo-Grünfeld 5 h4 [A16]

Another Anti or Pseudo Grünfeld game, Shimanov, A - Mchedlishvili, M, saw White demonstrate equally evil intentions with a rapid advance of his h-pawn. Black elected to take on c3, but surely critical is 6...Nc6!:

No doubt we will be keeping an eye on this line in future.

Hedgehog - Double Fianchetto Variation with ...Nc6 [A30]

In Ramirez, A - Ivanov, A Black rather carelessly failed to open the c-file when he had the chance. Ramirez seized on this mistake by closing the position with 9.d5!:

After which not only was the knight expelled to a miserable position on the side of the board, but the bishop on b7 was blunted. Black ended up in a miserable Benoni-type position, and Ramirez was not long in finishing him off.

Symmetrical Four Knights 6 g3 Qb6 [A33]

Finally, we look at Morozevich, A - Grischuk, A. Moro is getting a lot of experience in this line of the English, and in this game he was to choose the mainline 9.Qe2, but he later tried to improve on this with the very interesting sacrifice 9.c5!?:

He later lost this game against Topalov, but if you check the notes it wasn't because of the opening. In general this line is very sharp, and needs a lot of investigation.

Till next time, Danny.

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