Openings Workshop 2008

Interesting... much more general questions than previous years. There may be a theme of these questions, about the tension between seeking opportunity and accepting risk. So here goes...

How should you play against 1...Nf6 when you want a Stonewall Attack?

The Stonewall Attack is 1.d4 d5 with 2.e3/3.Bd3/4.f4, intending to clamp down on the centre then attack on the King's-side with moves like Nf3/O-O/Ne5/Qf3/Qh5/Bxh7+...

This can be very dangerous if Black castles into it, although if you can see it coming in time it's easy enough to dodge (Bf5/g6/O-O-O). If Black replaces 1...d5 with 1...Nf6, White's system may come to nothing, pointing in the wrong direction.

The common solution is for White to play 2.Nd2, threatening to take over the centre with e2-e4, which may provoke Black into playing 2...d5, when we can return to our standard system with relief. If Black doesn't play ...d5 then you can either stick to your guns with e3 and f4, or carry out your threat to play e4. It's not a bad idea to have a second string system, like the Colle, that you can switch to in case of move order problems.

Delaying castling or castling queenside in the London System?

It's unusual. Johanssen remarks in his book with Kovacevic that:

"Although queen's-side castling is relatively rare in the London system, it may sometimes pay to keep the option open."

...which is about as much use as a rubber crutch. There are some games in that same book where Queen's-side castling appears:

Blatny P. - Chernishov K. [D05]

Winants - Mohandesi [A45]

Popov N. - Makarichev S. [A90]

These suggest that the times you might consider queen's-side castling are:

If there is an open h-file

When you wish to throw up your King's-side pawns

When your opponent is aiming at the King's-side in a similar manner

I always liked Pillsbury's guidance:

"Castle because you will or because you must; but not because you can." -- Harry Pillsbury.

See http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/castling for general advice on delayed castling.

Click on [...] to see games list.

[Event "Stare Mesto"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1992.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Blatny, Pavel"]
[Black "Chernishov, Konstantin"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A46"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "1992.??.??"]

1. d4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. Nf3 e6 4. Bf4 Nc6 5. e3 Be7 6. Nbd2 Nh5 7. Bg3 b6 8. Nc4
Nxg3 9. hxg3 d6 10. d5 Nb8 11. Qd3 h6 12. O-O-O O-O 13. dxe6 Bxe6 14. Nxd6 Nd7
15. Qb1 Qc7 16. Nf5 Bf6 17. g4 Rfd8 18. g5 hxg5 19. Ne7+ Kf8 20. Nd5 Bxd5 21.
Rxd5 Ne5 22. Nxe5 Bxe5 23. Qe4 Rxd5 24. Qxd5 Rb8 25. Rh8+ Ke7 26. Rxb8 Qxb8 27.
Bc4 f6 28. Qf7+ Kd6 29. Qe6+ Kc7 30. Qe7+ Kc6 31. a4 Qc7 32. Qe8+ 1-0

[Event "FRA-chT2 0304"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2003.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Winants"]
[Black "Mohandesi"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D00"]
[PlyCount "87"]

1. d4 Nf6 (1... d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 Bg4 4. f3 Bf5) 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bf4 d5 4. e3
Bf5 5. f3 5... Nf6 {transposes} 6. c4 c6 7. Nc3 e6 8. Qb3 b6 9. g4 Bg6 10. h4
h6 11. O-O-O Be7 12. Bg3 Bd6 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. Nh3 Qg3 15. Be2 Qxh4 16. Rdg1
$44 16... dxc4 17. Qd1 Nh7 18. g5 hxg5 19. Nxg5 Qf2 20. Qd2 Nf8 21. Nce4 Rxh1
22. Rxh1 Qg2 23. Qe1 Nbd7 24. Rg1 Qh2 25. f4 Bxe4 26. Nxe4 Ng6 27. Bxc4 Ke7 28.
Qf1 Rf8 29. Bxe6 Nxf4 30. Bc4 b5 31. exf4 bxc4 32. Ng3 c3 33. Rg2 cxb2+ 34.
Kxb2 Qh7 35. Re2+ Kd8 36. Ne4 Kc7 37. d5 Rb8+ 38. Ka1 cxd5 39. Qc1+ Kd8 40. Nd6
Nf6 41. Nxf7+ Kd7 42. Ne5+ Ke8 43. Qc6+ Ke7 44. Qc7+ 1-0

[Event "URS-ch otbor"]
[Site "Rostov on Don"]
[Date "1976.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Popov,Nikolay"]
[Black "Makarichev,Sergey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "A80"]
1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 3.Bf4 Nf6 4.e3 b6 5.Nbd2 Bb7 6.Bd3 Be7 7.h3 0-0 8.c3 Ne4 
9.Qe2 d6 10.0-0-0 Nd7 11.Rhg1 Ndf6 12.g4 Kh8 13.c4 b5 14.gxf5 exf5 15.Ng5 Nxg5 16.Bxg5 bxc4 
17.Bxf5 Nd5 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Qh5 g6 20.Bxg6 c3 21.Ne4 cxb2+ 22.Kxb2 Rab8 23.Ka1 Nb4 24.Nc3 Be4 
25.Rd2 Bxg6 26.Rxg6 Rxf2 27.Rxf2 Qxe3 28.Rg8+ Rxg8 29.Qf3 Rg1+ 30.Kb2 Qxf2+ 0-1

Playing Black against 1.d4?

See separate pages and separate blogs

What about 1.e4 c5 2.c4?

I was surprised to find 800 games played in recent years where this move was played, with a normal spread of results (55% to White). I wouldn't play it as White because I would find it difficult to make any play against the locked centre after 2...Nc6 and 3...e5. However, out of the 800 games, this scheme was rarely chosen by the defenders, presumably because Black also wants to leave enough play to win, hoping also to leave open the option of transposing into a favourite version of the Sicilian. If that's so, White might be able to sneak across into a version of the Maròczy Bind; for example, lots of Black players went 2...g6, which probably leads to the best-known version of the Bind. I'd prefer 2...e6, even though 2...g6 is in my repertoire.

Why is the Bind so uncomfortable for Black? Because lots of the appeal of the Sicilian depends on having a half-open c-file, a minority attack with ...b5 and the chance of blowing up the centre using your extra central pawn with ....d5; once White plays c4, all that goes out of the window.

I keep getting caught out in common gambit openings...

Here's a player getting caught out:

[C21] Danish gambit - fork, 2000

1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 d5 6.Bxd5 Nf6 7.Nc3 Nxd5 8.Nxd5 c6?? 9.Nf6+ gxf6 10.Qxd8+ Kxd8 11.Bxf6+ ...

Full marks to Black for having the courage to take on White's opening and accepting the gambit, but this involves definite risks if you forget (or never knew) the traps in each variation. Most gambits have traps like this. Let's have a list of gambits:

Vienna Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 (3...exf4? 4.e5)

King's Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4

Danish Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3

Göring Gambit 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3

Scotch Gambit 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 and 5.c3

Evans' Gambit 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4

The best way to avoid problems depends on your taste: "...d5 is the antidote to the venom in most gambits" as they say, but you will struggle to play that against the Evans. I recommend to start with:

Vienna Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5!

King's Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf5 3.Nf3 Be7 4.Bc4 Nf6! 5.e5! Ng4 and 6...d5

Danish Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 d5!

Göring Gambit 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 d5!

Scotch Gambit 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4!

Two Knights' 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5!?

All of these lines need some study, but I hope this is a shove in the right direction.

P.S. The game I found where Black got Danished... was won by Black (Berry)!

Is the Benoni any good?

Sometimes! The type of Benoni usually played is the Modern Benoni with ...e6xd5. This is a high-stakes opening where you really can't busk it in the sharper lines, you have to study and learn... and all the lines are pretty sharp... That said, it's a fine way to unbalance the game and so play for a win as Black.

I've recently recommended to Charlie that he play the Benoni, but delay the exchange. (I believe our very own Andy Pickering was a fan of this approach.)

Two reasons for choosing to delay:

After ...e6xd5 and cxd5, White has a standard way of arranging their pieces which usually includes Nf3-d2-c4, where the Knight frees the f-pawn to move, and from c4 it supports e4-e5 and puts pressure on d6. If Black delays ...e6xd5, then clearly White is going to have to find something else to do for a while, and there is a view that Black can more easily find useful things to do [trying to arrange ...b5 with Na6-c7,Rb8,Bd7] than White.

The main line Modern Benoni has a problem, which is the Taimanov Attack (Flick-Knife Attack) with 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4! Bg7 8. Bb5+!. e.g.

Kasparov G. - Nunn J. [A67]

Black faces a serious attack and has found no clean way to equalise; White is taking risks too, so if White falters at all the counter-attack will be swift and terrible... but many players of the Benoni prefer these days to play it only after White has played Nf3 (e.g. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5). Delaying the exchange avoids this difficult line (and maybe some others).

The lines without ...e6 are slower and stodgier; Black often plays ...e5 when the lines divide according to whether you plonk the Bf8 on g7 or e7 (when it usually goes next to g5). These lines are more solid but harder to play for a win.

[Event "Lucerne Olympiad "]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1982.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Kasparov, G."]
[Black "Nunn, J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A67"]
[PlyCount "41"]
[EventDate "1982.??.??"]
[Source "ChessPublishing"]
[SourceDate "2004.12.12"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+
Nfd7 9. a4 Na6 10. Nf3 Nb4 11. O-O a6 12. Bxd7+ Bxd7 13. f5 O-O 14. Bg5 f6 15.
Bf4 gxf5 16. Bxd6 Bxa4 17. Rxa4 Qxd6 18. Nh4 fxe4 19. Nf5 Qd7 20. Nxe4 Kh8 21.
Nxc5 1-0

What are the Dos and Don'ts of the Scandinavian with 2...Qxd5? What plans should each side follow?

"This fine defence..." -- Jonathan Speelman

"...Sucks all the life out of the position." -- Anon.

Many of us associate the Scandinavian with some devastating Fischer miniatures from the 1960s. But since Larsen re-established this defence as an option for GMs at Montreal 1979...

Karpov A. - Larsen B. [B01]

Spassky B. - Larsen B. [B01]

...it has had a dedicated following, resulting in its ultimate achievement, successful use in a World Championship match by Anand, when Kasparov couldn't show anything against it, even though he won in the end. (However, Anand did not repeat his experiment!)

Kasparov G - Anand V [B01]

The Scandinavian 2...Qxd5 is particularly difficult to get a handle on because the unforcing nature of most of the variations. After the exchange of pawns we have a 'structure' rather like the French Rubinstein or main line Caro-Kann, in which lines Black has given up their stake in the centre and can be said to have made another concession, either blocking in the Bc8 with ...e6 or playing the unnecessary ...c6. After ...Qxd5 and ...Qa5 (say) Black has supposedly lost time but has made no commitments with their pawns, which means they can adopt a very natural development scheme.

It's often said that exposing the Queen on d5 'wastes time', but after Nc3, Qa5 each side has developed one piece, so I don't see it: however, White is still ahead in development because they start first. White can maybe get another free hit against the Queen by Nf3-e5-c4 or Bd2/Ne4, and that's when White gains time to improve their position (not to develop).

Hmm, plans... It's not possible to 'read' the structure to generate moves in such a straightforward way as, say, the French Advance. [For these reasons, I dislike playing against it and I don't think I'd ever take it up!] It's hard to talk in general terms, it's more about specific piece arrangements and move orders and whether they make any progress, but let's have a go. [In his magisterial two-volume review of the strategies behind chess openings, John Watson pointedly avoided talking about any variations with wPd4 and bPe6/bPc6, rather devoting 7 pages to common themes from the French/Caro/Scandinavian.] Deep breath:

White normally gets in d4 and operates on four ranks. Black holds back on the first three ranks, not wanting to open up lines while they are behind in development, and must avoid weaknesses – which I guess is a plan of sorts.

White has advantages in space and development but these are each hard to make use of because of the lack of tension in the position and because these advantages can evaporate with time and exchanges. So, White needs to avoid exchanges, to keep active, to make problems...

Next level down: the Scandinavian is what I call a light-square defence, leaving White with a pawn on d4 and control of e5 but disputing the centre at d5 and e4. Perhaps the ultimate for Black is to play ...Bb4, ...Bxc3, ...Nb6, ...Qb5 with a grip on all the light squares.

If White gets enough oomph, it may be they can blow up the position with d4-d5. Black usually restrains the white d-Pawn with ...c6, when it starts to look a bit like a Caro-Kann, with White's Queen's Knight on c3 instead of e4.

Black wants to play ...e6 and play the Bf8 somewhere, but before playing ...e6 the Bc8 should be developed. Black can't hang around, as Bc4 in combination with Ne5 will force ...e6. The Bishop when on g4 or f5 then can become the target of attacks, either by h3/g4/Ne5 or Ne5/g4. This can lead to some very sharp play with both sides making committal moves, as in the famous game Anand-Lautier.

Anand V. - Lautier J. [B01]

Black has some choice over the timing of ...Nf6, ...c6 and ...Bf5, depending on which ideas they wish to avoid or allow. [Ian Rogers tried hard with ...Bg4 but these days ...Bf5 holds sway.] So, delaying ...Bf5 gives you the option of ...Be6 against 6.Ne5; while delaying ...Nf6 avoids White's Bd2/Ne4/Nxf6, making a mess of Black's pawns.

Let's have a look at the quiet main line variation:

Lutzenberger R. - Turcan M. [B01]

Black has been experimenting with 3...Qd6; this keeps the Queen in play but obviously restricts the Bf8 and may offer White another free hit with Ne4 or Bf4. There are other sidelines like 5...Nc6, 5...Ne4 and 4...e5 which are tricky to meet if you haven't seen them. White can also mix it up by delaying Nf3 in favour of Bc4, or playing an early Bd2/Ne4.

Advice for White? There's no consensus in books for our level: Keene/Levy ignored 5...Bf5 in 1994; Gufeld (1996) gives the quiet main line; Collins recommends the sharp main line as played by Anand; Dzindzhi (2007) suggests Kasparov's 6.Ne5, a move order also favoured by Baker (1998); and Emms (who must have some sort of grasp of this opening, having written about it several times) recommended 6.Bd2/7.Ne4 in 2001 without considering it a cosmic mind-blower in 2004. Emms' 2004 book includes the direct try 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Bc4 Bf5 6.Bd2 e6 7.Qe2 Nf6 8.d5 cxd5 9.Nxd5 Qd8 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.0-0-0 Nc6 12.Bc3! which he thinks is better for White.

Nigel Short went through a creative phase when playing against the Scandinavian, and we can perhaps borrow his idea of delaying d4:

Short-Rogers

Short-Oll

Or 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.d3 followed by Nge2, 0-0, Ng3 and perhaps f2-f4-f5 (Sodjerg). And if you really can't bear it, you can try 2.Nc3 or 2.d4 dxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.f3.

Click on [...] to see games list.


[Event "Tilburg"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1992.??.??"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Short, Nigel"]
[Black "Rogers, Ian"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "1992.??.??"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Be2 Bg4 6. h3 Bh5 7. b4 Qb6 8.
O-O c6 9. Rb1 e6 10. b5 Qc7 11. d4 Bd6 12. bxc6 bxc6 13. Ne5 Bxe2 14. Qxe2 O-O
15. Nc4 Nbd7 16. Nxd6 Qxd6 17. Rd1 Nb6 18. Rb3 Rfe8 19. Qf3 Nbd5 20. Na4 Qc7
21. c4 Ne7 22. Nc5 Nf5 23. Bf4 Qa5 24. Be5 Qxa2 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Ne4 Kh8 27.
Nxf6 Rg8 28. Nxg8 Rxg8 29. Rb7 Qxc4 30. Rxf7 a5 31. Qh5 Ng7 32. Qe5 Qd5 33. Rb1
h6 34. Qf6 Qg5 35. Qxg5 hxg5 36. Rbb7 Kh7 37. Ra7 Kg6 38. g4 Ne8 39. Rfe7 Kf6
40. Red7 Kg6 41. Rxa5 Nf6 42. Re7 Nd5 43. Rxe6+ Kf7 44. Rxc6 Nf4 45. Ra7+ 1-0

[Event "Parnu Keres mem A"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1996.??.??"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Short, Nigel"]
[Black "Oll, Lembit"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "1996.??.??"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Be2 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. h3 Bf5 7. O-O Nbd7 8.
d4 e6 9. Nh4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Bf4 Rd8 12. a3 Nb6 13. Be5 Nbd5 14. Nxd5
exd5 15. b4 Qb6 16. c4 dxc4 17. Bxc4 Be7 18. Qc2 Kf8 19. Rae1 Nd5 20. Re2 Bf6
21. Rfe1 Kg8 22. Re4 Rh4 23. Bxd5 cxd5 24. Rxh4 Bxh4 25. Bc7 Rc8 26. Re8+ Rxe8
27. Bxb6 axb6 28. Kf1 Ra8 29. Qb3 Rd8 30. Ke2 Bf6 31. Kd3 Kf8 32. Qa4 1-0

[Event "Credit Suisse Biel SUI"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1997.??.??"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Anand, V."]
[Black "Lautier, J."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2765"]
[BlackElo "2660"]
[PlyCount "49"]
[EventDate "1997.??.??"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Bc4 $5 6... Bf5 7. Ne5
e6 8. g4 Bg6 (8... Be4 $6 9. O-O $1) 9. h4 Nbd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. h5 Be4 12.
Rh3 12... Bg2 $5 13. Re3 $1 13... Nb6 14. Bd3 Nd5 15. f3 $1 15... Bb4 16. Kf2
$1 16... Bxc3 17. bxc3 Qxc3 18. Rb1 Qxd4 19. Rxb7 Rd8 20. h6 $3 20... gxh6 $2
21. Bg6 $1 21... Ne7 22. Qxd4 Rxd4 23. Rd3 $1 23... Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Kxd8 25. Bd3
1-0

[Event "wcc (PCA)"]
[Site "New York"]
[Date "1995.10.03"]
[Round "14"]
[White "Kasparov G"]
[Black "Anand V"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "81"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Ne5 6... Be6 $5 7. Bd3
(7. Nc4 $5 {Baker}) 7... Nbd7 8. f4 g6 9. O-O Bg7 10. Kh1 10... Bf5 $1 11. Bc4
e6 12. Be2 h5 13. Be3 13... Rd8 $1 14. Bg1 O-O 15. Bf3 Nd5 16. Nxd5 exd5 17.
Bf2 Qc7 18. Rc1 f6 19. Nd3 Rfe8 20. b3 Nb6 21. a4 Nc8 22. c4 Qf7 23. a5 Bf8 24.
cxd5 cxd5 25. Bh4 Nd6 26. a6 26... b6 $2 27. Ne5 Qe6 28. g4 $1 28... hxg4 29.
Nxg4 29... Bg7 $6 30. Rc7 Ne4 31. Ne3 $1 31... Bh3 32. Rg1 $1 32... g5 33. Bg4
$1 33... Bxg4 34. Qxg4 Qxg4 35. Rxg4 Nd6 36. Bf2 $1 36... Nb5 37. Rb7 Re4 38.
f5 $1 38... Rxg4 39. Nxg4 Rc8 40. Rd7 40... Rc2 $2 41. Rxd5 1-0

[Event "Montreal"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "1979.04.27"]
[Round "12"]
[White "Karpov, Anatoly"]
[Black "Larsen, Bent"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2705"]
[BlackElo "2620"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "1979.04.??"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bd2 (5. Nf3 {
Spassky,B-Larsen,B/Montreal (17)/1979/1-0/ main line}) 5... Bg4 (5... c6) 6.
Be2 Bxe2 7. Ncxe2 $146 7... Qb6 8. Nf3 Nbd7 9. O-O e6 10. c4 $1 10... Be7 (
10... Qxb2 11. Nc3 $44) 11. b4 $5 11... O-O 12. a4 c6 (12... Bxb4 $2 13. a5 $18
) (12... a6 13. Qb3 Ne4 14. c5 Qc6 15. b5 axb5 16. axb5 Qd5 17. Qxd5 exd5 18.
Bf4 $36) 13. Qc2 13... Qc7 { e5} 14. Rfe1 b6 (14... e5 $6 15. Ng3) 15. a5 15...
Rfb8 $10 16. a6 $2 (16. Reb1 16... e5 $6 17. dxe5 Ng4 18. e6) 16... b5 $1 17.
c5 Nd5 18. Nc1 Re8 19. Nd3 Rad8 20. g3 Bf6 21. Re4 Nf8 22. h4 $6 22... Rd7 23.
Kg2 23... Red8 $6 24. g4 $6 24... Re8 25. g5 Bd8 26. Nfe5 Rde7 27. Bf4 { e5}
27... Qc8 28. Bg3 f6 29. Nf3 Rf7 30. Qd2 30... fxg5 $5 (30... Ng6 $5 31. h5 (
31. Rae1 fxg5 (31... Qxa6)) 31... Nge7) 31. Nxg5 (31. hxg5 $142 31... Rf5 $6 (
31... Ng6 $5 32. Nfe5 32... Rf5 $1 (32... Nxe5 33. Bxe5 { f4})) 32. Nde5 Bc7
33. Nh4 $1 $13) 31... Rf5 $17 32. Ra3 Ng6 33. Nf3 Ref8 34. Nfe5 Nxe5 35. Rxe5 (
35. Nxe5 Bc7 36. Nf3 36... Bf4 $40 { Qe8}) 35... Rf3 36. Ra1 $6 (36. Qe2 R3f6 (
36... Nxb4 37. Nxb4 $1 37... Rxa3 38. Rxe6) 37. Re4 Bc7 38. Bxc7 Qxc7 39. Rxe6
$2 39... Rxf2+ $1 40. Qxf2 Rxf2+ 41. Kxf2 41... Qh2+ $19) 36... Bxh4 37. Qe2 (
37. Bxh4 Rxd3 38. Qxd3 $2 38... Nf4+ $19) (37. Rxd5 37... exd5 $1 38. Bxh4 Qg4+
39. Bg3 39... Qe4 $19) 37... Bxg3 38. fxg3 38... Qd7 { 39...Qf7} 39. Qxf3 Rxf3
40. Kxf3 Nxb4 41. Rd1 (41. Nxb4 41... Qxd4 $17) 41... Qxd4 (41... Nxa6 $5 { Nc7
}) 42. Re4 Qd5 43. Nf2 43... Qh5+ $19 (43... Qxc5 $19) 44. Kg2 (44. g4 Qxc5)
44... Nd5 45. Rxe6 45... h6 $1 46. Rd3 (46. Rde1 Kh7 47. R1e5 Qf7 48. Rxc6 $2
48... Ne3+ 49. Rxe3 $2 49... Qd5+ $19) 46... Kh7 47. Rf3 b4 48. g4 (48. Rxc6
Ne3+ 49. Rxe3 49... Qd5+ $19) 48... Qg5 49. Kg3 Qc1 50. Nh3 (50. Rxc6 Qg1+ 51.
Kh3 51... b3 $19) 50... Qc4 51. g5 h5 52. Re8 h4+ 53. Kg2 b3 54. Rb8 Qe2+ 55.
Nf2 Ne3+ 0-1

[Event "Montreal"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "1979.05.03"]
[Round "17"]
[White "Spassky, Boris V"]
[Black "Larsen, Bent"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[WhiteElo "2640"]
[BlackElo "2620"]
[Annotator "ChessBase"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "1979.04.??"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 (5. Bd2 {
Karpov,An-Larsen,B/Montreal (12)/1979/0-1/}) 5... Bf5 (5... Bg4) 6. Bd2 Nbd7 (
6... c6 7. Bc4 e6 8. Qe2 Bb4 (8... Nbd7 {game}) 9. O-O-O Nbd7 10. Ne5 $14 10...
Nxe5 11. dxe5 Nd5 12. Bxd5 exd5 (12... cxd5 13. Qb5+) 13. g4 Be6 14. f4 O-O-O
15. a3) 7. Bc4 c6 8. Qe2 e6 (8... Bxc2 9. Nb5 9... Qd8 $2 10. Nd6#) (8... Qc7
$5 9. Ne5 e6 10. g4 $2 10... Nxe5 (10... Bxc2 $2 11. Nxf7 Kxf7 12. Qxe6+ Kg6
13. Qf7#) 11. dxe5 Nxg4) 9. d5 $1 9... cxd5 10. Nxd5 10... Qc5 $6 (10... Qd8
11. O-O-O) 11. b4 (11. Bb4) 11... Qc8 12. Nxf6+ gxf6 (12... Nxf6 13. Bb5+ Ke7 (
13... Nd7 $2 14. Ne5 $18) 14. Nd4 Bg6 15. O-O { f4-f5}) 13. Nd4 Bg6 14. h4 h5
15. f4 Be7 16. Rh3 Qc7 (16... O-O 17. f5 exf5 18. Rg3 $1 (18. Qxe7 $2 18... Re8
19. Nxf5 19... Qxc4 $19) 18... Kh7 19. Nxf5 { Ne7,Qe3}) 17. O-O-O Qb6 (17...
O-O-O 18. f5 $1) 18. Be1 O-O-O 19. Nb5 $1 19... Nb8 20. Rxd8+ $1 (20. Bf2 Rxd1+
21. Kxd1 Qd8+) 20... Kxd8 (20... Rxd8 21. Bf2 $19) (20... Qxd8 21. Nxa7+ Kc7
22. Rc3 $1 $18) 21. Bf2 Qc6 22. Bxa7 Nd7 23. a3 $1 23... Qe4 (23... b6 24. Rc3
Qe4 25. Qf2 Qb7 26. Be2 $18) 24. Be3 Bf5 25. Rg3 Qc6 (25... Bg4 26. Bb6+) 26.
Nd4 Qa4 27. Nxf5 $1 27... Qxa3+ (27... exf5 28. Bd4 $1) 28. Kd1 Qa1+ 29. Bc1
Bxb4 (29... exf5 30. Ra3 $1) 30. Bb5 Nb6 31. Qe4 Qa5 32. Qxb7 { Rd3+} 1-0

[Event "Switzerland ch-12"]
[Site "corr"]
[Date "1986.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hugentobler, Patrik (SUI)"]
[Black "Welti, Manfred (SUI)"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "1986.??.??"]
[Source "Chess Mail Ltd"]
[SourceDate "2005.07.27"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 Bf5 6. Bc4 e6 7. Bd2 c6 8.
Qe2 Bb4 9. Ne5 Nbd7 10. Nxd7 Nxd7 11. a3 Bxc3 12. Bxc3 Qc7 13. d5 cxd5 14. Bxd5
O-O 15. Bf3 Rac8 16. g4 Bg6 17. h4 Qc4 18. Qxc4 Rxc4 19. O-O-O Nb6 20. Rd4 Rfc8
21. Rhd1 Rxd4 22. Rxd4 e5 23. Rb4 e4 24. Bxe4 Bxe4 25. Rxe4 Nd5 26. Bd2 f6 27.
b3 Nc3 28. Bxc3 Rxc3 29. Re7 a5 30. Rxb7 Rf3 31. Ra7 Rf4 32. Rxa5 Rxg4 33. Ra4
1-0

What about the Four Knights' Game with 4.g3 (Glek Variation)?

Some White players are prepared to give up the fight for the advantage in the Ruy Lopez and just get into a reasonable position which suits their style and look forward to outplaying their opponent around moves 25-40. One opening that is used for this purpose is the Four Knights' Game, where Gunsberg's 4.a3 and Glek's 4.g3 have been played. John Nunn's "New Ideas" reviews some of the early experiments with both moves. There is no 'answer' for Black, because there is no 'question' being put, other than, can you survive the middlegame against me?

I think the earliest g3 was Nimzo, but here's the main man these days, Igor Glek.

Glek I. - Wells P. [C47]

One response that you might save for a rainy day in Exmouth is 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Nxe4?! 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 e4 7.Ng1 Bc5, with some attacking chances. I've managed to lose to this idea in Blitz... Here's a game from a chap who sounds like an Indian computer facing the reincarnation of the spirit of defence...

Sengupta Deep - Petrosian T. [C47]

Click on [...] to see games list.

[Event "Ostende"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1993.??.??"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Glek, Igor"]
[Black "Wells, Peter"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C46"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "1993.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4 (4... Nxe4) 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. d3
Bd7 8. Nh4 h6 9. Nf5 Bxf5 10. exf5 d5 11. g4 Re8 12. g5 hxg5 13. Bxg5 Bxc3 14.
bxc3 Qd6 15. Rb1 e4 16. Rxb7 Ne5 17. h3 Ned7 18. Qd2 Qc6 19. Rb4 Re5 20. Qf4
Rae8 21. c4 Qd6 22. Rbb1 dxc4 23. dxe4 Nc5 24. Rfd1 Qa6 25. f3 Qxa2 26. Bxf6
gxf6 27. Qh6 Nd7 28. Kh1 1-0

[Event "Wch U20"]
[Site "Kochin"]
[Date "2004.11.20"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Sengupta, Deep"]
[Black "Petrosian, Tigran L"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C47"]
[WhiteElo "2359"]
[BlackElo "2539"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2004.11.20"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2005.01.01"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 6. Nc3 d4 7. Ne4 f5 8.
Neg5 e4 9. Bc4 exf3 10. Bf7+ Kd7 11. Be6+ Ke8 12. Bf7+ Ke7 13. Bb3 Kf6 14. Nf7
Qe8+ 15. Kf1 d3 16. Qxf3 Nd4 17. Qxd3 Nxb3 18. Nxh8 Qc6 19. Kg1 Nxa1 20. b3
Qxc2 21. Qd4+ Ke6 22. Qxa1 Bd7 23. Bb2 Bc6 24. h3 Bc5 25. Bxg7 Bxf2+ 26. Kh2
Qe4 27. Qf6+ Kd5 28. Rc1 Re8 29. Rc4 Bg1+ 0-1

Classical or Hypermodern?

Gligoric S. - Miles A. [D25]

Lilienthal A. - Kortschnoj V. [D86]

The eternal debate... I recommend avoiding hypermodern approaches until your chess is good all round; because of their amorphous nature, you have to be prepared to play a variety of positions. So, after 1.e4 g6, White has a number of systems available, most of which are very flexible, and Black has a hard time deciding whether to challenge the centre by ...c5, ...d5, ...e5 or all three, while making sure that White doesn't break through with d5, e5, f5, h5 or all five.

Having said that, I know Jonathan W has been playing the Alekhin and Grünfeld: "I have to adopt unusual openings, as otherwise I tend to get into trouble with more experienced players who know the familiar ones that little bit better than me.".

Perhaps these defences are not so variable in their themes as the Modern. I dunno, for a while I was playing nothing but hypermodern openings... On your own head be it!

I have a piece on this issue elsewhere: http://exeterchessclub.org.uk/content/hypermodern-approach

Click on [...] to see games list.

[Event "Bugojno"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1978.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Gligoric, Svetozar"]
[Black "Miles, Anthony"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D25"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "1978.??.??"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Bxc4 e6 6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. Be2 Bd6 8.
e4 Bb4 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Nxf6 12. Ne5 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 O-O 14. O-O
c5 15. Rad1 cxd4 16. cxd4 Rc8 17. Rd3 Qa5 18. Rg3 Rc3 19. Nd3 Rd8 20. Qe3 Ne8
21. d5 exd5 22. e5 d4 23. Qe2 Qa6 24. f4 f5 25. exf6 Qxf6 26. f5 Qf7 27. Qd2
Nf6 28. Re1 Re8 29. Ne5 Qd5 30. Ng4 Rxe1+ 31. Qxe1 Ne4 32. Nxh6+ Kh7 33. Rg4 d3
34. Qxe4 Qxe4 35. Rxe4 d2 36. Rd4 Rc1+ 37. Kf2 d1=Q 38. Rxd1 Rxd1 39. Nf7 Rd2+
40. Kf3 Rxa2 41. h4 a5 42. Nd6 a4 43. g4 a3 44. g5 Rd2 45. Ne4 0-1

[Event "URS-ch21"]
[Site "Kiev"]
[Date "1954.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Lilienthal, Andor"]
[Black "Kortschnoj, Viktor"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D86"]
[Annotator "Moiseev"]
[PlyCount "94"]
[EventDate "1954.??.??"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "1999.07.01"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 O-O 8.
Ne2 Nc6 9. O-O Qd7 10. Ba3 $6 (10. Be3 b6 11. Qd2 Na5 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. Rad1 (13.
Bh6 $5) 13... Rad8 14. Bh6 c5 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Qg5 f6 17. Qg3 17... Kh8 {
Asanov,B-Cseshkovsky,V/URS/1985/} 18. h4 $5 $14) 10... Na5 11. Bd3 b6 12. Nf4
$6 (12. Rb1 Bb7 13. d5 c6 14. c4) 12... Bb7 13. Qe2 (13. e5 13... c5 $1) 13...
Rfd8 14. Rad1 e6 15. e5 $6 (15. Bb4 $142 15... Nc6 16. Ba3) 15... c5 $1 16.
dxc5 (16. Be4 Bxe4 17. Qxe4 Qa4 18. Bc1 cxd4 19. cxd4 19... Qxa2 $17) 16... Qc7
$1 17. cxb6 $6 (17. Rfe1 $142 17... bxc5 18. Qe3 $15) 17... Qxe5 $17 18. Qxe5
Bxe5 19. Ne2 axb6 20. Bc1 Bd5 21. Bg5 21... f6 $6 (21... Rdc8 $1) 22. f4 fxg5 (
22... Bxc3 $6 23. Bh4 $1 23... Bb2 24. Rd2) 23. fxe5 Nc4 24. Bxc4 (24. Nd4 Nb2
(24... Rxa2 $2 25. Nxe6 $1) 25. Rd2 Nxd3 26. Rxd3 26... Bc4 $19) 24... Bxc4 25.
Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Re1 Rd2 27. Ng3 Rxa2 28. Ne4 Bd5 29. Nf6+ Kf7 30. Nxd5 exd5 31.
Rb1 $2 (31. e6+ Ke7 32. Re5 Ra5 33. Kf2 (33. Re1 b5 34. Kf2 Ra6 35. Rb1 35...
Rb6 $19) 33... d4 $1 $19) (31. Rf1+ $1 31... Ke6 32. Rf6+ Kxe5 33. Rxb6 $17)
31... Ra6 $1 $19 32. Rb5 Ke6 33. Kf2 Kxe5 34. Kf3 (34. c4 34... Ra5 $1 35. Rxb6
35... dxc4 $19) 34... Ra3 35. Kg4 Rxc3 36. Rxb6 Rc2 37. Kg3 d4 38. Rb7 d3 39.
Rxh7 d2 40. Rd7 Ke4 41. Kg4 41... Rc4 $1 42. Rxd2 (42. Kxg5 42... Rd4 $19)
42... Ke3+ 43. Kxg5 Kxd2 44. Kxg6 Ke3 45. h3 Kf4 46. g4 Rc5 47. Kh6 Rg5 0-1


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Emms Attacking with 1.e4

Keene/Levy An opening repertoire for the Attacking Player

Alburt, Dzindzhikhashvili&Perelshteyn Chess Openings for White, Explained

Gufeld An opening repertoire for the Attacking Player

Plaskett The Scandinavian Defence

Emms The Scandinavian

Collins Attacking repertoire for White

Johanssen/Kovakevic The London System

Soltis The London System

Baker A startling chess opening repertoire

Keene/Jacobs An opening repertoire for White

Nunn New Ideas in the Four Knights

Psakhis The Complete Benoni

Evans Stonewalling

Fine The Ideas Behind the Chess Openings

Znosko-Borovsky How to play the chess openings

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