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Hi, I'm GM Marian Petrov, a professional chess coach, theorist, and former Bulgarian champion, as well as the winner of many open tournaments around the world. I graduated from the National Sports Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria, with a Bachelor's degree in Chess Pedagogy.
I play for teams in different countries, and in the UK I was a member of Wood Green a couple of times.
I am the author of 'Grandmaster repertoire - the Modern Benoni', and I've also written for NIC, ChessBase, and Chess Informant. For me it is a big pleasure to join this wonderful website. I will try to bring you some interesting games and also to entertain you.
We start with some new games in the Slav after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6.

Download PGN of November ’21 1 d4 d5 2 c4 games

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Slow Slav vs Catalan 4 g3 Bf5 5 Nc3 e6 6 Nh4 [D11]

Ponomariov, R - Jobava, B was a mix of the Slow Slav and the Catalan and Jobava went for an optimistic new idea, 8...b5 to defend his pawn:

It actually might not be so bad had he followed this with 9...Nbd7, but after he went 9...Bb4 and 10...Bxc3 White had a clear advantage. A few moves later he had a nice center and a pair of bishops and was soon in full control.

Geller Gambit 5 e4 b5 6 Be2 e6 7 a4 [D15]

The next two games were in the Slav Defense, Geller Gambit, where White meets 4...dxc4 not with 5 e3 but with 5 e4 and after 5...b5 he simply develops by 6 Be2:

Gelfand, B - Movsesian, S was an extremely interesting line in which we soon had 4 queens on the board after only 11 moves!!

This was still some theory, although a very rare line, and the novelty arrived with 12 Nd2. It seemed that Black should have an edge but he could not find the best move 15...Qf5 and was soon under pressure. In the end White's h-pawn was a very important factor and he won an impressive game!

In Zhou, J - Cori, J Black played the same line but he met 7.a4 with 7...Bb7 rather than 7...b4 as in the previous game. Following 8 axb5 cxb5 9 e5 he introduced the new idea 9...Ne4:

After a few moves Black had a fine position and he even took over the initiative in the middle game. In the end White made some mistakes and Black won.

Main Slav 5...e6 [D16]

Cheparinov, I - Goryachkina, A again saw a Slav but this time the line with an early 4...dxc4 and only then 6...c5, giving White the a2-a4 move for free. The game was a lot like a QGA, White had a position with an isolated pawn and he played Ne5 followed by f2-f4:

Here Black played the novelty 14...Ne4 but Ivan found the very nice idea 15 f5! and he took over the initiative. Soon White had a big advantage and after a long battle managed to win the game.

Marshall Gambit 8 Be2 Na6 9 Ba5 b6 [D31]

Sonis, F - Abasov, N saw the popular Marshall Gambit against the Triangle setup where White offers his d-pawn with 4 e4 in order to gain the initiative. Here he choose the most popular line with 9 Ba5 but then, instead of 12 Nf3, he went 12 0-0-0:

Then both players followed the main line and White has opted for a newish idea involving b2-b4 and b4-b5. It looked like he had strong pressure but Black managed to exchange many pieces and transformed the position into a better endgame where he eventually won.

Tarrasch Variation 4 cxd5 exd5 5 Bg5 f6 [D32]

Indjic, A - Mamedyarov, S saw a rare deviation from a mainline Tarrasch where White goes for an early 5 Bg5 and Black replies 5...f6:

Soon Black played ...g5, then ...g4, and took the central pawn. The position was very sharp but Black was well prepared and managed to develop nicely after 12...Nh6. After that he had the advantage but allowed White to come back into the game and for a long time it was equal until finally White went wrong and lost.

Vienna Variation 6 Bg5 h6 7 Bxf6 Qxf6 8 Bxc4 c5 9 e5 [D39]

Mamedyarov, S - Nisipeanu, D was also an interesting duel where Black tried a new idea, 11...Be7. He then decided to delay castling in order to start his counter play earlier with 13...Qa5:

He got an unclear position and maybe should have played ...g5 at some point. Instead, after 15…Bg5 White gained the upper hand and after that Black made a further mistake by giving his d-pawn and soon lost.

Botvinnik Variation 16 Na4 Qa6 [D44]

Obregon, C - Hungaski, R featured the Botvinnik system. We know that here most of the lines are very long and more or less forced. In one of the main lines, instead of the old move 16...Qb5, Black went for 16...Qa6:

After some more moves they have followed the main line here and reached a position where Black has sacrificed an exchange and White usually has a small edge with ideas like Rd1 or b3. But as soon as Black deviated a bit with 25...Kb7 White was tempted to double his rooks and attack on the a-file. After that he missed the counter play Black has got with 32...Rg8 and lost the game.

GM Justin Tan should be back again next month, Marian

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