ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
This month I conclude my study of the 4...Nbd7! Veresov "from every angle" with the examination of an interesting gambit.

Download PGN of July '10 d-Pawn Specials games

The Veresov [D01]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nbd7! 4.Nf3 h6! 5.Bh4 e6 6.e4 g5 7.Bg3 Nxe4 8.Nxe4 dxe4 9.Nd2!?:

This is trickier than the 9.Ne5 I dealt with some time ago, with an interesting update by Veresov specialist IM Christoph SCHEERER last year.

It shares the same philosophy with the BDG (I also still have to finish the 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nxe4 BDG main line while updating 4.Nge2!); not only in the sense of the early offer of the e4-pawn, but also concerning it being full of dangerous pitfalls for the unprepared player of the black pieces.

To 'punish' it by achieving more than a pleasant, but somewhat prospectless, equality you cannot avoid a certain amount of complication with the risk and the preparation that go with it, that I only understood recently...

Thus in Game 1 Black opted for the quiet and standard 9...Bg7, which was then met by 10.h4 with the idea 10...Bxd4 11.c3, when the reply 11...Be5 eliminated White's 'Veresov bishop' with two pawns momentarily in the moneybag, and seemed to be the last word back in 1997 after 12.Nxe4 Bxg3 13.fxg3...

One year after, however, White hit upon the idea 12.Bxe5 Nxe5 13.Qa4+ which also failed after 13...Bd7 14.Qxe4? Nc6 in Game 2.

Instead the intermediate 14.Qd4! presents Black with some problems, forcing the sequence 14...Ng6 15.h5 e5 16.Qd5! which kept Game 3 balanced while it is clear that both sides had better be prepared for the possible heavy complications resulting from 16...c6 17.Qd6! Qe7 18.Nxe4... :

Note that White should certainly avoid the once published 16.Qxe4?! Bc6 17.Bb5? which loses to the stunning 17...Qxd2+!:

On the other hand, 15.Qg7 achieves nothing because of 15...Qe7 16.h5 Qf8 17.Qd4 Ne7 18.Nxe4 0-0-0!:

This is the refutation of this last attempt and, in spite of the loss of a generally vital pawn from his queenside castle, the black king soon appeared to be a lot safer than his white counterpart in Game 4 after 19.Qxa7 Nc6.

This obvious reply 10.c3 does not help White either, as Black is now enticed to hit upon the critical idea 10...f5! when, after 11.h4, the move 11...f4 locked the white bishop up for quite a while, but seriously weakened the extra e4-pawn in Game 5.

In fact 11...g4! is the appropriate reaction. In this way, without the h file open and having kept the right to castle, Black can quickly go kingside. This, together with the solid protection of his advanced pawn chain, amply makes up for the activation of the g3-bishop. The rest of the game after 12.f3? exf3 13.gxf3 h5 14.Qe2 Nb6:

appeared completely one-sided, with a disarming impression of effortlessness by Black in Game 6.

This digression does not overshadow the fact that Black can legitimately demonstrate some ambition after White showed the way towards equalization in game 3. And to achieve this, he has to take the bull by the horns right from the start with 9...f5!:

It is not a question of proposing two ways of playing according to your supposed style, as in some books: one 'positional' and one 'aggressive'. I was previously convinced that 9...Bg7 was 'the move', but when I analyzed my game 3 against Nègre more deeply for this update, I was obliged to change my opinion.

In Game 7 the piece sacrifice 10.Bc4 f4 11.Bxf4 gxf4 12.Qh5+ Ke7 13.Nxe4 proved insufficient for White, but only just:

But the quieter 10...Nf6! is enough to thwart any white initiative. And after 11.Be5 Bd6! 12.Bb5+ Kf7 in Game 8 it was clear that Black had improved his position while his opponent had been at a standstill with his development.

However, against 10.h4 f4! is the move this time because of the tempo lost by White, and the unavailability of the h4 square for the queen that caused Black some worries in game 7. In Game 9 Black quickly built a huge position after 11.Bh2 Nf6 12.c3 Qd5 13.Rg1 Bd7:

Illustrating the saying that states: "To develop a bishop, you just need to advance the pawn in front of him", as the dark-squared bishop was more active here on f8 than on g7!

See you soon, Eric