ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
A thematic month with a new and fascinating idea from Karjakin's laboratory. In two Hedgehog games he shows that he is one of the best prepared players in the world! Also, interesting ideas in games from tournaments in Asia, Poland and Cuba.

Download PGN of May '14 Flank Openings games

>> Previous Update >>

Réti 2 b3 [A04]

In Venkatesh - Vallejo Pons Black uses a good setup against the queenside fianchetto, he closes the diagonal, controls the center and gains some space:

This same plan was suggested before on Chess Publishing against a similar setup and one more time it proves effective. Later on 10.cxd5 was a bad idea, I think the position is quite interesting after 10.0-0.

Anti King's Indian 3 b4, 5...c6 [A15]

David - Vachier Lagrave was an interesting game in a line which is not so popular. White tries a quick expansion on the queenside:

but Black shows that there are also dangers on the other side of the board. The game finishes with some amazing fireworks.

Reversed Grand Prix Attack [A21]

In a reversed Grand Prix Attack position White chooses to start the game on the queenside before Black is able to castle:

9.c5 on the next move is interesting, but I'm not a big fan of 10.Bg5?!, see Almasi - Vallejo Pons.

King's English 3...Bb4 [A22]

Wen - Sasikiran really impressed me with the ease that White got the advantage. I don't think this idea of 8.Ne4!?actually leads to a concrete plus:

but Black needs to take care to not get into trouble.

Double fianchetto - Karjakin's 14...Ba8 [A30]

Nakamura - Karjakin was the first game with Karjakin's new 14...Ba8 idea in a well known position:

During one week three important games were played with this, and in all three games Black showed amazing preparation. Apparently the position is fine for Black, but it requires a lot of precision.

The idea behind this move is not so easy to guess. In some positions White has no time to play bxa6, since now the bishop won't be attacked. Another point is to wait for White to commit with some move on the kingside before starting counterplay on the other flank.

Bu - Sethuraman is the second hot game in this line, just one day after the novelty of the previous game. Apparently everybody is really well prepared in this position, so Black had no problems in playing a sequence of forced moves to equalize. Was everything book?

And here we have the third game in this variation, Mamedyarov - Karjakin, where Karjakin repeats the same idea with Black and in reply Mamedyarov tried the creative 18.g5:

... but Black was prepared almost until the end!

Symmetric 4 Knights 6 a3 Bc5 [A33]

Both players go for a slightly different kind of Maroczy in Wojtaszek - Areshchenko:

White played well and got some good opportunities in the middlegame, but he missed some tactics on the way. I think Black's rook belongs on e8 instead of d8.

Till next time, Alex.

>> Previous Update >>

To contact the author please go to the Flank Openings Forum, or subscribers can write directly to