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3.f3 Anti-Grünfeld [E60]
In Nakamura, H - Bok, B we look at a line that is a bit of a 'grey area' in opening theory.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3!? This is generally seen as an Anti-Grünfeld, but if Black does not go for 3...d5, it's classified as a King's Indian. 3...e6!? 4.e4 c5 5.d5 d6 6.Ne2 Bg7 7.Nec3:
The position is an irregular King's Indian (E60) because it could not really arise from a natural Samisch move order - White never played Nb1-c3. The main difference is that the b1-knight can now go to d2, or even a3. The theory is very young, and different ideas could be developed. Bok's play is very logical.
Fianchetto Yugoslav Variation 7.dxc5 [E60]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 c5 7.dxc5 dxc5 8.Ne5!? is an independent try which is only possible when both queen knights are still at home:
This approach was recommended in the popular book 'Wojo's Weapons' by IM Dean Ippolito and NM Jonathan Hilton. It is a repertoire series bases on the games of the late GM Aleks Wojtkiewicz, a GM who I had the privilege of hanging out with a bit in his last years.
A more common position arises after 8.Nc3 Nc6.
In Hammer, J - Nakamura, H Black went for 8...Qc7!? This looks like a good try. In the game White’s position just disintegrated.
Panno Uhlmann's line 7...e5 8.dxe5 [E62]
6...Nc6 7.Nc3 e5 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Qa4 is a nuisance for Black. After 10...h6 11.Rfd1 Black has tried every square for his queen, but problems persist. See Howell, D - Daulyte, D.
Panno 8.Bf4 Bf5 [E63]
6...Nc6 7.Nc3 a6 8.Bf4 Bf5 is a normal enough idea, but rather surprisingly, we have never covered it before:
9.Rc1 Ne4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.d5 Nb8 was certainly playable for Black in Iturrizaga, E - Paragua, M.
Yugoslav Gambit 6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc3 d6 [E65]
The gambit 6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Nc6 8.Nc3 d6, which often arises from the English Open, has been gaining some traction. After 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Bxc6 Rb8 11.Bg2 Qa5 12.Qd2!? is likely computer inspired. White wins quickly in Meier, G - Kovalev, V.
Averbakh Variation Mainline 6...c5 7.d5 e6 [E75]
The line 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 c5 7.d5 e6 has been considered to be too passive due to some old games, but if Black plays precisely he should be perfectly fine. 8.Qd2 exd5 9.exd5 Qb6 10.Nf3 Bf5:
Now 11.0-0 is a perfectly normal looking move which one may expect to meet from time to time in practice. It is quite harmless, however. We look at how Black should react, and also update the critical line 11.Nh4 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.f3 in the notes; see Kovalenko, I - Radjabov, T.
Classical - Petrosian/Makagonov 6.h3 [E92]
6.h3 e5 7.d5 a5 8.g4 Na6 9.Be3 Nc5 10.Nd2 c6 11.Be2 Bd7 Ne8 brings us to a fashionable line in the Makagonov:
Rodshtein is a specialist, so I was surprised to see 13.Nb3 cxd5 (a risky decision which seems to confuse White) 14.exd5?! in Rodshtein, M - Naiditsch, A. Black quickly took over the initiative and never let up.
9.Ne1 Mainline [E99]
7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 10.Nd3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bd2 g5 13.Rc1 Ng6 14.c5 Nf6 15.Nb5 Rf7 16.Ba5 b6 17.cxd6 cxd6 18.Be1 g4 19.fxg4 Nxe4 20.Nb4 a6 21.Bf3 Ng3! is known from Ragger-Nakamura, which we looked at a few months ago. Now 22.Nc6!? leads to a position is so complicated that it's hard to prepare for (and remember!) everything:
Ragger, M - Maze, S is not for the faint-hearted.
Until next month, David
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