Openings Workshop 2010

The simpler and more specific queries were dealt with first:

Some introductory remarks

Some signs of trouble:

EG: Two recent dismal examples - Exeter Chess Club [D10]

A problem in the Stonewall Attack

Maybe the answer is a different system!

EG: Stonewall Attack - Dilemma [D05]

Defending against the King's Gambit

Some ideas for Black

EG: King's Gambit - Suggestions for Black [C35]

The Sicilian for beginners

The Sicilian is not for beginners!

EG: Starting out with - the Sicilian [B92]

The Slav for beginners

Learn at least a few moves of an opening to play against 1.d4

EG: Queen's Gambit - Slav for Beginners [D48]


There is no guaranteed route to happiness...

EG: Approaching the - Benoni [A43]

The Reversed Sicilian

If the Sicilian is the best defence, why isn't the English the best opening?

EG: English Opening - Sicilian Reversed [A29]

Defences that work against 1.d4 and 1.c4

The Tarrasch and the Stonewall Dutch

EG: English Opening - Stonewall Dutch T. [A90]

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

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Two recent dismal examples"]
[Black "Exeter Chess Club"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C44"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "13"]

{I was recently provoked by watching these two examples of opening play.} 1. d4
(1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 2... Nc6 {Exhibit B:} 3. d3 $6 {It seems White has no other
aim than surviving the opening.  There are  three or four 'goals' of the
opening that are usually quoted:  1 Get your pieces out  2 Get at least a
stake in the centre, and   3 Get castled.    Purdy added:  4 Get your Rooks
into play.  I suggest a fifth:   5 you must *set your opponent problems*.   
 In this Wimbledon week, I might use a tennis analogy: are you trying to get
the ball over the net, or are you trying to get the ball to within an inch of
the baseline?  Lastly, when choosing a system, you should also   6 aim for
positions that you understand better than your opponent, or, which are easier
to play for your side than the opponent's.  We will return to this point
repeatedly.} 3... Bc5 4. Be2 Nf6 5. O-O) 1... d5 2. c4 2... c6 {Slav Defence.}
3. Nc3 {Exhibit A:} 3... Bf5 $2 {Now, you don't need to know a lot to survive
in the opening as a club player, but you need to know more than 2 moves of the
main line of your opening.} 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. Qxb7 1/2-1/2

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Stonewall Attack"]
[Black "Dilemma"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D00"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "19"]

1. d4 d5 (1... Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. e3 c5 4. c3 d5 5. f4 {(Aagaard) and White can
hope that this is even better than the usual Stonewall, because the
dark-squared Bishop is outside the wall of pawns.}) 2. e3 Nf6 3. Bd3 ({
Tchigorin's idea is so good, it may be you should change plan here and head
for the Colle System.} 3. Nf3 3... c5 (3... Bf5 4. c4 {
is the Slow Slav, as seen in various Kramnik-Topalov games.}) 4. c3 Nc6 5. Bd3
e6 6. Nbd2 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Qe2 Re8 9. dxc5 {Avoiding an isolated Pawn.} 9...
Bxc5 10. e4 {This move liberates the poor Bc1 and opens up lines for White's
centralised pieces.}) (3. f4 3... Bf5 {and White is already struggling.}) 3...
c5 (3... Nc6 {Tchigorin's excellent idea.} 4. f4 (4. c3 4... e5 $1) 4... Nb4 $1
5. Be2 (5. Nf3 Nxd3+ 6. Qxd3 {is Soltis' suggestion.}) 5... Bf5 6. Na3 c5 7. c3
7... Nc6 {and Black is at least equal but White can still play.}) 4. c3 Nc6 5.
f4 e6 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. Ne5 Qc7 9. Nd2 Re8 10. g4 {
The Stonewall Attack at its best: White has a strong attack (Fine).} 1/2-1/2

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "King's Gambit"]
[Black "Suggestions for Black"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C35"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "14"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 ({You don't have to take the pawn, you can just support it.
} 2... d6 $6 {obstructs the Bf8, but there is a trick:}) (2... Bc5 $1 3. Nf3 (
3. fxe5 $4 3... Qh4+ 4. g3 Qxe4+ 5. Ne2 Qxh1) 3... d6 {
and Black can develop naturally, with about an even game.}) 3. Nf3 3... Be7 {
Cunnigham's Defence is my recommendation.} (3... g5 4. h4 4... g4 {is the main
line.  It's probably the best, most cchallenting line for Black -- the one
closest to the baseline -- but it may be too difficult and unnatural for us to
play well.}) 4. Bc4 $1 (4. d4 $2 4... Bh4+) (4. Nc3 $5) 4... Nf6 $1 5. e5 $1 (
5. Nc3 $6 5... Nxe4 $1) 5... Ng4 6. d4 (6. O-O d5 7. exd6 Qxd6) (6. h3 $2 6...
Bh4+ $1) 6... d5 7. exd6 7... Qxd6 {
and Black has a reasonable game with no obvious problems.} 1/2-1/2

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Starting out with"]
[Black "the Sicilian"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A00"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "13"]

1. e4 1... c5 {Sorry, but I don't think the Sicilian is much of an opening for
beginners. Yes, it's a great defence, probably the best defence to 1.e4, used
by all the top players, but it's not easy to understand. If we think about the
three opening goals, 1 Get your pieces out 2 Get at least a stake in the
centre, and 3 Get castled... ...which of these are supported by Black's first
move? None! and if we follow one of the main lines:} (1... e6 2. d4 2... d5 {
French Defence.} 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 5... Qb6 {
This consistent attack on d4 by Black is easy to understand.} 6. Be2 cxd4 (6...
Nh6 $2 7. Bxh6 7... Qxb2 $2 8. Be3 Qxa1 9. Qc2 {and the Queen is lost}) 7. cxd4
Nh6 8. Bxh6 $2 8... Qxb2 $1) 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 5... a6 {
Najforf Variation.} ({Black can develop the Bf8 aggressively with} 5... g6 {
The Dragon Variation. Kasparov showed that this variation can survive at World
Championship level in 1993 against Anand, but you have to be sure you can
handle White's clockwork attack in the Yugoslav variation:} 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3
O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 {
"Weak players even beat Grandmasters with it" -- Fischer.} 9... Bd7 (9... Nxd4
10. Bxd4 Be6 11. Bb3 Qa5 12. O-O-O b5 13. Kb1 b4 14. Nd5 Bxd5 15. Bxd5 Rac8 16.
Bb3 (16. Bb3 {"He wont get a second chance to snap off the Bishop! Now I felt
the game was in the bag if I didn't botch it. I'd won dozens of skittles games
in analogous positions and had it down to a science: pry open the KR-file, sac,
sac ... mate !" Fischer,R-Larsen,B/Portoroz 1958/1-0 (31)}) 16... Rc7 17. h4
Qb5 18. h5 Rfc8 19. hxg6 hxg6 20. g4 a5 21. g5 Nh5 22. Rxh5 gxh5 23. g6 e5 24.
gxf7+ Kf8 25. Be3 d5 26. exd5 Rxf7 (26... a4 27. d6) 27. d6 Rf6 28. Bg5 Qb7 29.
Bxf6 Bxf6 30. d7 Rd8 31. Qh6+ {1-0 Fischer,R-Larsen,B/Portoroz 1958. White's
play is easy to understand, but how to improve Black's defence?})) 6. Be2 6...
e5 {How many of White's moves are easy to understand? How many of Black's
moves did you predict? Perhaps only 4...Nf6 is at all easy to grasp. It's hard
to get a feel for the Sicilian, hard to know when to make all those subtle
little pawn moves, easy to get confused, and easy to fall behind in
development. Compared to the main lines of the Italian Game, or the French,
you have to bring in more advanced ideas for Black. In other words, I think
it's an opening that is easier for White to play than for Black, especially at
club level.} 7. Nb3 {leaving the f-pawn free is more usual. I think I'd make
sure I had the hang of the simpler opening ideas first, and choose simpler
openings, before adding the Sicilian to your repertoire.  If you insist, then
I suggest looking at the Four Knights variation; that seems to be the easiest
to understand.} ({Why is this a main line? Why isn't Black losing because of
the weak, backward d-pawn? Again, I think this is a good reason to avoid the
Sicilian until you are well beyond the beginner phase, but let's have a go. A
pawn is weak if and only if it can be attacked. There is no simple sequence by
which White can threaten to win the d-pawn:} 7. Nf3 7... Be7 8. Be3 ({
Try again:} 8. b3 8... Bf8 9. Ba3 Be7 (9... Qa5 $1) 10. Qd2 Bf8 11. O-O-O {
Very good, we have a threat to the d-pawn! But tracking back, Black has many
ways to defend, and remember, this has been with Black playing the daft
Bf8-e7-f8. In reality, Black will be ganging up on e4 just as fast as White
can attack d6. There is more to say here, but I hope that goes some way to
explaining the mysteries of the backward d-pawn in the Najdorf.}) 8... Bf8 9.
Qd2 Be7 10. O-O-O 10... Bf8 {All very good but that d-pawn is still solid.})

[Event "Openings Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Queen's Gambit"]
[Black "Slav for Beginners"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "D17"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "19"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 {The Queen's Gambit challenges Black to do something about
their stake in the centre. No defence is perfect:} 2... c6 {takes away the
best square of the Nb8. If Black could have a happy fantasy about how to
develop, it might go: c7-c6, Ng8-f6, Bc8-g4, Nb8-d7, e7-e6, Bf8-d6 and O-O.
Every piece has a decent square to go to, it all makes sense, it all looks
solid and is easy to remember. Well, back in the real world, it's hard to make
this work. When you move your Bc8, you can get hit by Qb3. Let's have a look:}
(2... e6 {stops the Bc8 from developing easily in many lines, but after} 3. Nc3
3... c5 {(Tarrasch) White's best chance to put pressure on Black's game is} 4.
cxd5 4... exd5 {when the Bc8 is free again.}) ({Black can take the c-pawn, but
it's not a real gambit: White can get the pawn back after} 2... dxc4 {
by something like} 3. e3 {because if, for example} 3... b5 $6 4. a4 4... c6 $2
5. axb5 5... cxb5 $4 6. Qf3 $1 {Even if Black doesn't try and hang on to the
pawn, taking the c-pawn gives up the centre, so it's more usual to defend it.})
3. Nc3 {Black can't develop with Bf5 without problems.} (3. Nf3 {
is the more usual move order, avoiding ...e5} 3... Nf6 (3... e6 4. Nc3 4...
dxc4 {is the Abraham-Noteboom variation, a direct attempt to make trouble on
the Queen's-side.}) 4. Nc3 {Black has tried to get some mileage out of
deferring a decision about the two different strategies at move 4 by playing} (
{If White plays more quietly with} 4. e3 {
Black can have hopes of the original scheme of development with} 4... Bf5 {
while keeping a pawn on d5.}) 4... a6 {
(Chebanenko) and this now is the most fashionable line of the Slav.}) 3... Nf6
(3... Bf5 $2 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Qb3 {wins a pawn.}) (3... e5 $5) 4. Nf3 {
Our original development plan doesn't work, so, we need a new idea or two here.
One thing in Black's favour here is that the c-pawn is still hanging. Because
we have already played ...c6, there might be a real threat to take it and keep
it after ...dxc4 and ...b5. While Black has a pawn on c4, White isn't going to
play Qb3, so we have one main line of the Slav that goes:  The other idea is
to give up on moving out the Queen's Bishop on the c8-h3 diagonal, and instead
park it on b7.} 4... e6 {The Semi-Slav: definitely threatening ...dxc4} (4...
Bf5 $6 5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Qb3 {
is still awkward: it may be that Black's best move is} 6... Bc8 {
which was not what we wanted.}) ({The right way to get in ...Bf5 is} 4... dxc4
5. a4 5... Bf5 {In this line, you have the time to get your pieces onto the
desired squares, although again you have had to give up the d5 pawn, giving
White the idea of playing e4. But it still seems that Black can defend here
perfectly well.}) 5. e3 {now White's Bc1 is blocked} ({Because the Meran also
seems to be a good way for Black to play, White has tried to avoid the whole
line by} 5. Bg5 {the Anti-Meran Gambit pioneered by Botvinnik, with the idea of
} 5... dxc4 ({To avoid this line and get a quieter game Black started playing} 
5... h6 {
and to make the game more lively again White has been playing a gambit with} 6.
Bh4) 6. e4 b5 7. e5 h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nxg5 hxg5 10. Bxg5 10... Nbd7 {
All very sharp and theoretical!}) 5... Nbd7 6. Bd3 6... dxc4 {The Meran Variati
on, making White lose a move compared with the Queen's Gambit Accepted} 7. Bxc4
b5 8. Bd3 {and now} 8... a6 {holding up the b-pawn and preparing ...c5} (8...
Bb7 {Wade's Variation leads to similar play:} 9. O-O (9. e4 b4) 9... a6 10. e4)
9. e4 9... c5 {
and Black can get sorted with ...Bb7, so White may react sharply with} 10. e5 {
Both the Slav and the Sicilian have been seen in World Championship matches,
so why do I recommend only the Slav to you?  I guess I think that you're in
with a chance of working out, or just guessing, some of the right moves in the
Slav, even if you don't know the theory.  In the Sicilian, the moves are more
often unnatural for a club player.} (10. d5 {Reynolds' Variation}) *

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Approaching the "]
[Black "Benoni"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A43"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "11"]

1. d4 1... c5 {The Schmidt Benoni.} (1... Nf6 2. c4 c5 (2... e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. d5
) 3. d5 e6 (3... d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nf3 O-O 7. Be2 e6 8. O-O {The Deferr
ed Modern Benoni, as recommended by Marovic.  Black reasons that they can play
lots of useful moves yet (Re8, a6) but White wants to get on with playing
Nf3-d2-c4, which at the moment is impossible!  You have to reckon with White
capturing on e6, or recapturing on d5 with the e-pawn, but those ideas are not
a huge  threat to Black.}) 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 (5... g6 6. d6 $5) 6. e4 6...
g6 {The Modern Benoni.} 7. f4 (7. Nf3 Bg7 8. Be2 8... O-O {Black has a
Queen's-side majority; White has a majority in the centre and King's-side. 
White can hope to break through with e4-e5.  White will develop, then perhaps
manoeuvre with Nf3-d2-c4, a4, f5, Bf3, Rae1 and e4-e5.}) 7... Bg7 8. Bb5+ {
The Taimanov Variation or Flick-Knife Attack was a real blow to the Benoni, so
much so, that many Black players would only play it after 3.Nf3.}) 2. d5 {
The absence of a pawn on c4, and the move saved, favours White.  A Knight or a
Bishop can use the c4 square to good effect.} 2... d6 (2... Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. e4
Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. e5) 3. e4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. Bb5+ {is awkward:
Black doesn't want a Bishop in  the way on d7, and the Nb8 is supposed to go
Nb8-a6-c7 to support b7-b5.} (6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O Na6 8. Bf4 8... Nc7 {Black plan
s to play ...b5, but that can be prevented, when Black is struggling for a
plan.} 9. a4 b6 10. Re1 Bb7 11. Bc4 a6 12. Qd3 Qd7 13. h3 Rad8 14. Rad1 Qc8 15.
Qe3 Rfe8 16. Rd2 Qa8 17. Red1 e6 18. dxe6 Nxe6 19. Rxd6 Rxd6 20. Rxd6 Nxe4 21.
Nxe4 Bxe4 22. Bxe6 Rxe6 23. Rxe6 fxe6 24. Ng5 Bd5 25. Nxe6 Bxb2 26. Nc7 Qc6 27.
Qe7 {1-0 Maksimovic,B-Pavlovic,M/TCh-SCG Men 2004}) 1/2-1/2

[Event "Opening Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "English Opening"]
[Black "Sicilian Reversed"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A20"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "38"]

1. c4 1... e5 {If the Sicilian is the top defence for Black, why isn't the
English the top opening?    Well, the Sicilian is a great counter-attacking
opening, when White attacks, but Black soon discovered that, although
furiously attacking the White position is ill-advised, you can get a good
position with few problems by playing sensibly.    The debate is still going
on at GM level about this line, but a lot of GMs rely on this system against
the English.  For a useful summary. Kotronias recommends this system in
'Beating the Flank Openings'; it's not bang up-to-date, but theory in this
line does not advance so quickly as in others.} 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5
Nxd5 5. Bg2 Nb6 (5... Be6 {Going for a reversed Yugoslav is no good: White can
see it coming and blow up the centre, with something like} 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O f6
8. d4) 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. a4 {
Playing an idea from the Accelerated Dragon.} ({
White can pursue an advantage through accurate Sicilian-style moves:} 8. a3
8... Be6 9. b4 O-O 10. Rb1 f6 11. d3 11... Qd7 $2 (11... Nd4 $1 {
is a plan against the Dragon, used by Karpov!}) 12. Ne4 $1 12... Nd5 13. Qc2
13... b6 $6 14. Bb2 Rac8 (14... a5 $6 15. b5 Na7 16. d4 $1 16... Nxb5 17. dxe5
Nxa3 18. Bxa3 Bxa3 19. Nd4 $16) 15. Rbc1 $1 15... Nd4 16. Bxd4 exd4 17. Qc6
Qxc6 18. Rxc6 Bd7 19. Nxd4 $1 19... Bxc6 20. Nxc6 Rce8 21. Rc1 f5 22. Nd2 Nf6
23. Nxa7 Bd6 24. e3 $1 24... c5 25. Nc4 Bb8 26. Nc6 b5 27. N4a5 cxb4 28. axb4
Nd7 29. d4 $1 29... g5 30. Nxb8 $5 30... Rxb8 31. Rc7 Nf6 32. Nc6 Rb6 33. Ne7+
Kh8 34. Nxf5 34... Ra6 {
Karpov,A-Hjartarson,J/Candidates qf1 1989/Candidates//1-0 (45)}) 8... a5 9. d3
O-O 10. Be3 Re8 11. Rc1 Bf8 12. Ne4 12... Nd4 $1 13. Nxd4 (13. Nfd2 $5) 13...
exd4 14. Bf4 c6 15. Nc5 Nd5 16. Bd2 Qb6 17. Nb3 Nb4 18. Bxb4 Bxb4 19. Nd2 19...
Bxd2 {Regis,D-Derrick,K/Exeter vs. Exmouth 2003/ -  (29)} 1/2-1/2

[Event "Openings Workshop"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "English Opening"]
[Black "Stonewall Dutch, Tarrasch"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "A10"]
[Annotator "DR"]
[PlyCount "24"]

1. d4 ({Can White avoid the main lines of the Tarrasch and Stonewall, when
starting with the English?} 1. c4 1... e6 2. Nf3 (2. Nc3 2... d5 {
more or less obliges White to play the Queen's Gambit.}) 2... d5 (2... f5 3. g3
Nf6 4. Bg2 4... d5 {and it's a question of whether White can avoid the main
line of the Stonewall. The try has to be} 5. d3 Bd6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. e4
{when Black is going to end up with some sort of weakness, so Black has to
decide whether to allow or avoid this line.}) 3. g3 3... c5 {White will find
it hard to find anything better than the main line of the Tarrasch Defence. By
this route, Black does not need another opening system against the English.} 4.
Bg2 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. b3 {I've tried this many times but it's not easy to show
anything here for White; a system with ...d4 may be best for Black.}) 1... e6 {
It's striking how many of the top Dutch Stonewall players are also French
Defence players (Short, Williams in the UK, Glek and Gleizerov elsewhere).
There is something attractive about the familiar fixed pawn formations in each
defence, of course, but also going via 1.d4 e6 2.Nf3 f5 avoids a lot of the
wretched gambits and other clutter that you get thrown at you. In fact, if you
believe in the ...Bb4+ lines of the Dutch (the Dutch Indian), then you get to
avoid a good deal of this 'deviant' Dutch theory.} (1... d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3
3... c5 {Tarrasch Defence}) 2. Nf3 (2. c4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bxd2+
6. Qxd2 O-O 7. Nc3 7... d5 {Counter-intuitive, after the exchange of
dark-squared Bishops, but Glek has been happy to play this line more than once.
} 8. Nf3 c6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Qe3 Re8 11. b3 dxc4 12. bxc4 e5 13. d5 e4 14. Nd4
Ne5 15. Qg5 h6 16. Qf4 Nxc4 17. Nxf5 Bxf5 18. Qxf5 cxd5 19. Rfd1 Re5 20. Qf4
Qa5 21. Qc1 Rc8 22. Rb1 d4 23. Rxd4 Nb6 24. Rb3 Nbd5 25. Qb2 Nxc3 26. Bh3 Rc7
27. Kg2 Kh7 28. a4 Qc5 29. Rd8 Nxa4 30. Qa1 30... Nc3 {
0-1 Sergeev,V-Glek,I/Open 2004}) 2... f5 3. g3 3... d5 {Stonewall Dutch} (3...
Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d5 7. Nbd2 c6 8. Ne5 Nbd7 9. Nd3 9... Qe8 {
"Here we see White adopting the latest (1952!) and - as it seems - the most
effective, means of meeting the Stonewall. By placing his Knights on d3 and f3,
he keeps all the central points under observation, and makes Black's task -
the engineering of a Kingside attack - very difficult." -- Euwe andKramer} 10.
Qc2 {To relieve the Knight from guarding the c-pawn} 10... g5 (10... Bd6 {
helps White} 11. Nf3 Ne4 12. Bf4 12... Bxf4 13. gxf4 $1 {White holds all the
trumps. He can operate at will on the Queenside or on the open g-file}) 11. Nf3
Ne4 (11... h6 {Botvinnik}) 12. Rb1 $1 12... Bf6 13. b4 13... b5 {
Otherwise White plays Pb5} 14. c5 a5 15. a3 $1 {
Wisely White avoids the complications of bxa5} (15. bxa5 Rxa5 16. Nfe5 Bxe5 17.
dxe5 Qe7 18. f3 Nexc5 19. Bd2 Nxd3 20. Bxa5 20... N3xe5 {
Tolush .. favourable game to Black}) 15... axb4 16. axb4 g4 17. Nfe5 Nxe5 (
17... Bb7 18. Bh6 Bg7 19. Bxg7 Kxg7 20. f3 $16) 18. dxe5 Bd8 19. Bh6 Rf7 20. f3
$1 {It is apparent that the Black's Knight on e4 is not well placed} 20... Bg5
(20... gxf3 21. exf3 Ng5 22. h4) 21. Bxg5 Nxg5 22. fxg4 22... Rfa7 {
Black tries to stem the tide by means of a counterattack} (22... fxg4 23. Nf2
h5 24. Qg6+) 23. gxf5 exf5 24. Qd2 Nf7 (24... Ne4 25. Qh6) 25. Qf4 Ra2 (25...
Re7 26. Ra1 Rxa1 27. Rxa1 Nxe5 28. Nxe5 Rxe5 29. Bf3 {invasion on a-file}) 26.
Qe3 Qe7 27. Bh3 Ng5 28. Bxf5 d4 29. Qxd4 Rxe2 30. Bxc8 Raa2 31. Nb2 Rxe5 32.
Rbd1 Re2 33. Rd2 Rxd2 34. Qxd2 Ne4 35. Qf4 Rxb2 36. Be6+ $1 {interfering and
winning: Geller-Szabo, 1952. Games like this led to the abandonment of the
Stonewall until Black found the ...b6 system.}) 4. Bg2 4... Nf6 {is the main
line. "The Stonewall is one of only a few openings where Black achieves an
immediate advantage in space. Of course this is not free -- it is at the price
of weakening the dark squares. However, it is not easy for White to make use
of e5 -- occupation of this square frequently ends in a simple exchange of
pieces." "I have had to fight in this opening for both sides, and as a result
have formed the conclusion that it is easier for Black to play than White. In
any case,White usually has more difficulty in choosing a plan. His activity
often has to be varied, depending on his opponent's plan; he has to be
flexible in arranging his game, which is never easy." --KRAMNIK} (4... Bd6 {
is Tim's preferred move order, restraining Ne5 and asking White to find
something to do with the Bc1.} 5. O-O Nd7 6. c4 c6 7. Nc3 Ngf6 8. b3 O-O 9. Bg5
(9. Bb2 9... Qe8 $1) 9... Qe8 $1 {The key move, says Tim: it escapes the pin
and prepares to play ...Qh5. If Tim will forgive me, this is the old-fashioned
way of playing the line, but there is no doubt that at club level it can be
devastating. If you enjoy the Stonewall Attack as White, this must be an
appealing way to play. But the Geller game suggests that if White is smart
about manoeuvring, he can successfully defend the King's-side and attack the
Queen's-side.}) 5. O-O Bd6 6. c4 {White usually delays c4 until after castling.
The point is that after ...Bb4+ and White puts a piece in the way, White won't
be able any longer to exchange Bishops with Ba3. Glek has some views on this,
where he is happy with the trade on d2.} 6... c6 {There is nothing for White
on the King's-side, so should seek his chances on the Queen's-side.} 7. b3 $1 {
White threatens to exchange dark-squared Bishops with Ba3} (7. cxd5 7... exd5 {
and White has a minority attack against c6. Usually White arranges the pieces
in the very strongest positions before trying this plan, and that arrangement
is with Knights on f3 and d3. Black can try to avoid the minority attack by
recapturing on d5 with the c-pawn.}) (7. c5 $6 {is tempting for a moment but
deprives White of the best plan. This move makes more sense after Black has
played ...b6.}) 7... Qe7 $1 {Preventing Ba3 for the moment. Now, Black used to
go for a King's-side hack, but here the Queen is not on the road to h5. Still,
Black found that a Queen's-side fianchetto with ...b6 is perfectly OK; it's
not obvious that the Bb7 or Ba6 has worse prospects than the Bg2. So, White
came up with a trick to deter ...b6:} (7... O-O 8. Ba3) 8. Nbd2 (8. a4 8... a5
$1 9. Ba3 {
White has had to make an undesirable hole on b4 to get in the desirable Ba3.})
({The latest and best idea for White is} 8. Ne5 $1 {which deters} 8... b6 $2 (
8... O-O) (8... Nbd7) 9. cxd5 9... cxd5 {Avoiding a weak pawn on c6, but} 10.
Nc4 $1) 8... b6 9. Ne5 Bb7 10. Bb2 O-O 11. Qc2 Nbd7 12. Ndf3 12... Rac8 {= NCO}
(12... Rac8 13. cxd5 (13. Nxd7 Nxd7 14. Rac1 c5 15. dxc5 Bxc5 16. Nd4 Bxd4 17.
Bxd4 Ba6 18. Qd1 dxc4 19. bxc4 Bxc4 20. Bb7 Rb8 21. Bf3 b5 22. Bxa7 Rbd8 23.
Qc2 Ne5 24. Bb6 Rb8 25. Bd4 Nxf3+ 26. exf3 Bxf1 27. Rxf1 Rbc8 28. Qe2 Rc4 29.
Be5 Rfc8 30. h4 Qc5 31. Ba1 Rc6 32. Qd2 Qe7 33. Be5 h6 34. Kg2 Rc2 35. Qa5 R6c5
36. Re1 Rd5 37. Qa8+ Kh7 38. Bf4 Qd7 39. h5 Rd3 40. Qf8 Rxf3 41. Rf1 41... Rc8
{0-1 Rajkovic,D-Bareev,E/Vrnjacka Banja 1987/EXT 1997}) 13... cxd5 $1 {
This move suggests itself here (...Rxc2), but generally the weakness on c6 is
worse than the one on e6, so if you can play this way, do so.} 14. Qd3 Ne4 15.
Nxd7 Qxd7 16. Ne5 Qe7 17. f3 Nf6 18. Rac1 Nd7 19. Rxc8 Rxc8 20. Nxd7 Qxd7 21.
e4 dxe4 22. fxe4 Bxe4 23. Bxe4 fxe4 24. Qxe4 Be7 25. Re1 Bf6 26. Re2 Qd5 27.
Qxd5 exd5 28. Kf2 Kf7 29. Ke3 h5 30. h3 b5 31. Kd3 b4 32. Re1 Rc6 33. a3 bxa3
34. Bxa3 Ra6 35. Bb2 Kg6 36. Bc3 Ra3 37. Ra1 Rxa1 38. Bxa1 Kf5 39. Ke3 {
Van Wely,L-Kramnik,V/EU-ch U20 1990/EXT 2004/0-1 (63)}) *