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Table of Contents

Title page and Bibliography

Key To Symbols

Part 1. Deviation from the Main Road

Chapter 1 - 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 (w/o 3.d4)

Chapter 2 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 (w/o 3.c4) 3.a3; 3.Nc3; 3.Nbd2; 3.c3
Chapter 3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 b6
Chapter 4 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6
Chapter 5 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6
Chapter 6 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5


Part 2. Miles, Averbakh & Botvinnik Variations 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6

Chapter 7 - 4.Bf4 Bb7

Chapter 8 - 4.e3 Bb7 116
Part 1
Part 2
Chapter 9 - 4.Nc3 Bb4 w/o 5.Bg5
Part 1
Part 2
Chapter 10 - 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6

Part 3. The Petrosian System4.a3 Bb7

Chapter 11 - Rare; 5.Nc3 d5 w/o 6.cxd5 5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.g3; 7.Bg5; 7.e4; 7.Nxd5; 7.Qa4+; 7.Bd2
Chapter 13 - 5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.e3 g6
Chapter 14 - 5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3

Part 4. The Nimzowitsch Variation 4.g3 Ba6

Chapter 15 - Rare; 5.Qb3 Nc6

Chapter 16 - 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5
Chapter 17 - 5.Nbd2 Bb7
Chapter 18 - 5.Qc2 c5
Chapter 19 - 5.b3 Bb4+

Index of Variations

Evgeniy Solozhenkin

Play The Queen’s Indian Defence

Chess Stars

Technical Editor: IM Sergei Soloviov

Cover design by: Rustam Taichinov
Copyright © Evgeniy Solozhenkin 2018
Printed in Bulgaria by “Chess Stars” Ltd. - Sofia
ISBN13: 978 619 7188 21-9



Ефим Геллер “Новоиндийская защита”, Физкультура и спорт 1981

Miniatures in the Queen’s Indian by C.Hansen, Russel Enterprises 2016
Play the Queen’s Indian by A.Greet, Everyman Chess 2009
Queen’s Indian Defence by Mikhail Gurevich, Batsford 1991
Queen’s Indian Defence by J.Aagaard, Everyman Chess 2002
The Petrosian System against the QID by A.Beliavsky& A.Mikhalchishin, Chess Stars 2008
The Queen’s Indian by J.Yrjola & J.Tella, Gambit 2003
The Queen’s Indian move by move by Lorin D’Costa, Everyman Chess 2015
Winning with the Queen’s Indian by Z.Ribli & G.Kallai, Batsford 1987


Chess Informant
Chessbase online database
ChessOK Correspondence Database

Correspondence Database
FICGS DataBase
GameKnot Database
ICCF Database
LSS Database
Mega Database
OM Golem Database

Key to symbols

= Equality or equal chances

² White has a slight advantage

³ Black has a slight advantage

± White is better

µ Black is better

+– White has a decisive advantage

–+ Black has a decisive advantage

∞ unclear

© with compensation

„ with counterplay

ƒ with initiative

‚ with an attack

… with the idea

™ only move

N novelty

! a good move

!! an excellent move

? a weak move

?? a blunder

!? an interesing move

?! a dubious move

+ check

# mate

Back in time, when I was a child, I saw a film in which there was a scene with playing chess. After
several initial moves, a mature lady, who was hardly a good player, told her much younger adversary: I
will play the Caro-Kann Defence, but please be so kind as not to prevent it, please!

I remembered often that scene from the film in my childhood. I had the feeling that I needed to enlarge
my opening repertoire with Black in response to 1.d4, so I studied the theory of the Nimzo-Indian
Defence and the Queens Indian Defence and began to play 1...Nf6 2.c4 e6. I was studying the QID
following the magnificent book of grandmaster Efim Geller, which had been published in the Soviet
Union in the year 1981. Having begun playing it, it happened that many of my opponents started the
game with the moves 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3, creating the positional threat e2-e4, or with the move-
order 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6, without playing c2-c4, either for a while, or not at all. During all these moments
I was almost about to repeat the words of that lady from the film: What are you doing? You are not
allowing me to play the QID. This order of moves has not been analysed in our book!

At the beginning of the game, the transfer to positions from another opening happens quite often in the
contemporary theory. The Rubinstein-Zukertort system, the London system, the English Opening, the
Nimzo-Indian Defence, these are the openings in which the placement of the pawns and the pieces
(naturally the plans as well...!) require an approach from the player to be well prepared against any move-
order from the opponent. In that case, no one can prevent you from playing the QID.

It seems that neither author has tried before to accomplish that task and in the theoretical books there
have been analysed only positions after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6. This particular book is an
attempt to analyse the modern theory after all move-orders.

Evgeniy Solozhenkin
St Petersburg,
November 2018

Chapter 1

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 (without 3.d4).

White began to play like this during the 20ies of the past century. Later, the popularity of this method of
playing gradually increased. White really reduces, by playing like this, Black’s choice of possibilities. If
there arise positions from the English Opening, then Black would not have the possibility to choose the
line 1.c4 e5. If he wishes to play the Queen’s Indian Defence and chooses 2...e6, then after 3.Nc3,
White’s threat 4.e2-e4 would force Black to counter this immediately, so he should refrain from 3...b6.
Naturally, the order of moves 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 cannot prevent Black from playing variations from the
Queen’s Gambit, or the Catalan Opening after 2...e6 and 3...d5, but if this is not a part of his plans, then
he must think seriously what line he would choose in response.

2...b6!? 3.g3

About 3.d4 e6 – see Chapters 7-19.

Following 3.Nc3 Bb7, there will arise transposition to a line we plan to analyse later in this book.
About 4.g3 c5 5.Bg2 g6 6.0-0 Bg7 – see Chapter 6.
4.d4 e6

5.e3 Bb4 – see Chapter 10.
5.a3 d5 – see Chapters 11-14.
5.Qc2 Bb4, or 5.Bf4 Bb4 – see Chapter 11.
In reply to 5.Bg5, Black plays 5...Be7 and after 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4, he follows with 7...c5.

The point is that after 8.d5?, Black has the standard tactical strike 8...Nxd5!µ Jeraj – Savon, Bled 1991.
8.dxc5 bxc5 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 d6 11.Qc2 Nbd7 12.Rfd1 Qb6 13.Rd2 Rfd8 14.Rad1 Rab8 15.h3 a6
16.Bg3 Nf8∞ Dreev – Carlsen, Moscow 2007. There has arisen a typical pawn-structure in which Black
can easily protect his relative weakness on d6.
8.Be2 cxd4 9.Nxd4 (9.exd4 0-0 10.0-0 d5 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Re1 Nc6=; 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.0-0

d6 11.Rfd1 Nbd7 12.Bg3 e5 13.Qd2, Torbica – Bagaturov, Novi Sad 1989, 13...Ne4!?∞) 9...a6 10.0-0
Nc6 11.Nf3 0-0 12.Qd2 Qb8 13.Rfd1 Rd8 14.Rac1 d6 15.Qc2 Qa7 16.a3 Rac8= Carlsen – Aronian,
Elista 2007.
8.Bd3. After this move Black must react in the same fashion as after 8.Be2: 8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 (9.exd4 0-0
10.Bc2 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qd3 g6 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Bb3 Qb4+ 16.Qc3 Qxc3+
17.bxc3 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Nc6³ Azmaiparashvili – Aronian, Saint Vincent 2005) 9...0-0 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Rc1
Ne4 12.Be4 Bxh4= Dreev – Ionov, Moscow 2007.


If Black plans to build up his opening repertoire with the idea to play mostly variations with the
development of his bishop to the a6-square, then he should not place it now to b7, because in response to
3...Bb7, White will play 4.d2-d4 and Black’s plans will be thwarted. So, in order to preserve the
possibility to play variations with the development of his bishop on a6, after this order of moves by
White, Black will have to comply with the necessity to enter lines from the English Opening.


About 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.Bg2 – see 4.Bg2.

4...Bb7 5.0-0

About 5.d4 cxd4 6.Qxd4 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.0-0 d6 – see variation E2.
5.Nc3 g6 6.d4 (6.0-0 Bg7 – see 5.0-0) 6...cxd4 7.Qxd4 Bg7 8.0-0 d6 – see variation E2.
5.b3 g6 6.Bb2 Bg7 7.Nc3 (7.0-0 0-0 or 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 0-0 9.0-0 – see 5.0-0) 7...0-0 8.0-0 Na6 – see
variation A.

5.d3 g6 6.e4 (6.0-0 Bg7 – see 5.0-0) 6...Bg7 7.Nc3 (7.0-0 0-0 – see 5.0-0) 7...0-0 8.h3 Nc6 9.Bg5 h6
10.Be3 e6 11.Qd2 Kh7 12.0-0 d5 13.cxd5 exd5 14.exd5, McNab – Dvoyris, Cappelle-la-Grande 1994,
14...Na5!³, preventing d3-d4.


We prefer this line and not the positions arising after 5...e6 6.Nc3 Be7, in which White, as a rule, plays
either 7.Re1 (against which Black either tries to free immediately his position with the move 7...d5, or
remains inside the “hedgehog” pawn-structure with 7...d6 8.e4 a6 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Qc7), or chooses
the line: 7.d4 cxd4 8.Qxd4, in which, as it is well-known, there is plenty of theory. All there schemes are
analysed in details in a book, which was recently published – “The Hedgehog vs the English/Reti”, by
Igor Lysyj and Roman Ovetchkin.


About 6.d3 Bg7 – see variation D.

About 6.d4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Bg7 8.Nc3 d6, or 8.Qh4 h6 9.Nc3 d6 – see variation E2.
6.e3 Bg7 7.d4 0-0 8.Nc3 (8.Re1 e6 9.b3 d5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bb2 Na6 12.Nc3 Qe7 13.Rc1 Rfd8 14.Ba3
Ne4„ Korchnoi – Nogueiras, Thessaloniki 1988; 8.d5 b5!? 9.Re1 bxc4 10.e4 d6 11.Nfd2 Nbd7 12.Nxc4
Ba6„ Kreizberg – Rodshtein, Tel Aviv 2003) 8...Ne4 9.Bd2 cxd4 10.exd4 Nxd2 11.Qxd2

11...Bxf3! Black uses often this resource when he trades his bishop for the enemy knight and then exerts
pressure with his knight against the enemy central pawn. 12.Bxf3 Nc6 13.Ne2 e6 14.Rac1 Rc8 15.Rc3
Ne7= Macieja – Sargissian, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010.
We will also analyse the fianchetto of White’s bishop 6.b3, with which he postpones the development of
his knight on b1. 6...Bg7 7.Bb2 0-0

8.Re1 Nc6 9.e4 d6 10.d4 Nd7 11.Qd2 e5!? 12.dxc5 dxc5 13.Nc3 Re8= Duda – Almasi, Germany 2017.
8.d4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 (9.Qxd4 d6 10.Rd1 Nbd7 11.Nc3 Nd5 – see variation E2) 9...Bxg2 10.Kxg2 d5
11.cxd5 Qxd5+ 12.Nf3 Qb7 13.Nbd2 Rd8 14.Qc2 Na6 15.Rad1 Rac8 16.Qb1 Nc5= Calotescu –
Ionescu, Bucharest 2005.
8.d3 d5 9.cxd5 Qxd5 10.Nc3 Qd7 11.d4 cxd4 12.Qxd4 Qxd4 13.Nxd4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Rc8 15.Rfd1

Nc6= Kamsky – Moussard, Bastia 2017.
8.e3 d5. Black plays analogously to the previous variation (If he wishes to reach a much more
complicated position, he might continue with 8...d6 9.Nc3 Nbd7 10.d4 Ne4 11.Rc1 Nxc3 12.Bxc3 Be4
13.Qe2 a6 14.Rfd1, Karjakin – Dubov, Moscow 2018, 14...b5!?„). 9.cxd5 Qxd5 10.Nc3 Qd7 11.d4
cxd4 12.Qxd4 Qxd4 13.Nxd4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2, Meyer – Hellwege, Germany 2002, 14...Rc8=


We will analyse now: A) 7.b3 B) 7.e3, C) 7.Re1, D) 7.d3 and E) 7.d4.

A) 7.b3

As a rule this move leads to numerous exchanges and a symmetrical drawish endgame.

7...0-0 8.Bb2 Na6

This is just one of the few possibilities for Black to create some chances for a fight in response to 7.b3.
The simplest way for Black to equalise is the immediate line: 8...d5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxg7 Kxg7
11.cxd5 Qxd5 12.d4 Na6 13.Nh4 Qd7 14.dxc5 Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Nxc5=
Black can make a draw even in a more exquisite fashion, for example: 8...Nc6 9.d4 (If White refrains
from d2-d4, he might pay dearly: 9.d3?! d5 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Qd2 Nc7! This is a typical situation in
similar positions with a space advantage. Black must preserve more minor pieces on the board. 12.Rac1
e5 13.Rfd1 Qe7 14.e3 Rad8 15.a3 Ne6 16.Qc2 Ncd4!µ Heyme – Solozhenkin, Hersonissos 2015)
9...Nxd4 10.Nxd4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 cxd4 12.Qxd4 d5 13.cxd5 (13.Nxd5? Nh5 14.Qd2 e6µ) 13...e6
14.Rfd1 Nxd5 15.Qxg7+ Kxg7 16.Nxd5+ Kh6 17.Nf6 Qc7 18.Ng4+ Kh5 19.Nf6=


The moves 9.Rc1 and 9.e3 transpose to positions which we have also analysed, but after different move
9.d3 d5 10.Nxd5 Nxd5 11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.cxd5 Qxd5 13.d4 (13.Qd2 Qd6 14.Qb2+ Qf6 15.Qxf6+
Kxf6= Granda Zuniga – Rodriguez Cespedes, Spain 1990; 13.Nh4 Qd7 14.Bxb7 Qxb7 15.Qc1 f6
16.Qb2 e5= Zemerov – Dvoyris, Russia 1996) 13...Rfd8 14.dxc5 Qxc5 15.Qc1 Rac8 16.Qb2+ Qc3=
Merdinjan – Szekely, Bulgaria 1978.

9...e6 10.Rc1

The move 10.d5 leads to a complicated position of a Benoni type, which is in favour of Black, if he
wishes to obtain a complicated fight with mutual chances. 10...exd5 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxg7 Kxg7
13.cxd5, Campos – Vassalo Mauricio, Zarate 1985, 13...f5!?∞
10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.b4 (11.Qc2 Qe7 12.Rfd1 Rfd8 13.Rac1 Rac8= Kosic – Pavlovic, Podgorica 1993)
11...Nce4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Be5 d5 14.Rc1 dxc4= Smejkal – Savon, Halle 1974.
10.e3 d5

11.Ne5 Ne4 12.Rc1 (The line 12.Qe2, Radjabov – Grischuk, Astana 2012, would enable Black to exploit
the placement of the enemy queen for an intermediate move 13: 12...f6!? 13.Nd3 dxc4! 14.bxc4 Nxc3
15.Bxc3 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 cxd4 17.exd4 Re8 18.Nf4 Qd7 19.Rfe1 Rac8 20.Nxe6 Nc7=) 12...Qe7 13.Qe2
Nxc3 14.Bxc3 dxc4 15.Bxb7 Qxb7= Schneider – Hardicay, Hungary 1994.
11.cxd5 exd5. Black is ready to enter a position with an isolated pawn in order to reach a complicated
double-edged fight. (Naturally, it is also possible for him to choose 11...Nxd5, but this would lead to total
simplifications: 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Ne1 Qd7 14.dxc5 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Bxg2 16.Bxg7 Bxf1 17.Bxf8 Be2
18.Rd2 Kxf8 19.Rxe2 Nxc5= Holmqvist – Bjarnehag, Sweden 1996.) 12.Rc1 Qe7 13.Ba3 Rfd8 14.Re1
Ne4„ Glaninac – Bogdanovski, Skopje 2011.
11.Qe2 Qe7 12.Rfd1 Rfd8 13.Rac1 dxc4 14.bxc4 (14.Qxc4 Rac8 15.Qe2 Nb4 16.a4 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Bxg2
18.Kxg2 e5³ Bruk – Yudasin, Israel 1994) 14...Ne4 (14...Rac8= Karpov – Kasparov, Moscow (m/11)
1984) 15.Nb5 Nb4 16.Ba1, Spraggett – Sax, France 1989 (16.a3 Nc6 17.Ne5 Na5 18.f3 Nf6∞ Pribyl –
Wojtkiewicz, Liechtenstein 1997) 16...Nc6!? 17.Ne5 a6 18.Bxe4 Nxe5 19.Nc3 Bxe4 20.Nxe4 Nc6
21.dxc5 Bxa1 22.Rxa1 f5 23.Nd2 bxc5=



About 11.e3 Qe7 12.Qe2 Rfd8 13.Rfd1 dxc4 – see 10.e3.

11.Ne5 Qe7 12.cxd5 Nxd5 (White will not lose time in this position and will not weaken his camp with
the move e2-e3, so capturing with the pawn for Black is not so interesting in this case, as in the line, we
have already analysed before: 12...exd5 13.Nd3!?∞ Andersson – Rodriguez, Biel 1985. We must mention
in the meantime that it would not work for Black to play here 12...cxd4?, because of 13.d6 Qxd6
14.Bxb7±) 13.Nxd5 Bxd5= Polugaevsky – Sax, Budapest 1975.


11...exd5!? 12.dxc5 (There arises a more complicated position with hanging pawns after 12...bxc5
13.Na4 Qe7∞ Taimanov – Tal, USSR 1983.) 12...Nxc5 13.Nb5 Qd7 14.Nbd4 Nfe4 15.Rc2 a5„ Csom –
Ftacnik, Prague 1985.

12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Ba3 Rc8 14.Qd3 Nb4 15.Bxb4 cxb4∞ Csom – Ftacnik, Denmark 1985.

B) 7.e3

White prepares the occupation of the centre with the move d2-d4. Black must react; otherwise, after d4-
d5, he would present his opponent with too much space and his bishop, having already occupied the b7-
square, would be restricted by his opponent’s pawn-chain. If there arises on the board an Indian pawn-
structure, this bishop on b7 would become Black’s most problematic piece. As a rule, in similar position
after d2-d4, Black exchanges immediately on d4 and fights back in the centre outright with d7-d5. White
is trying to play Nf3-e5 as quickly as possible and to exert pressure on the long diagonal and on the e-
file. We will see that it is possible for Black not to be so much in a hurry to exchange on d4, in order not
to open this file and not to enlarge the scope of action of his enemy dark-squared bishop.

7...0-0 8.d4 d5!?

It would be also reliable for Black to play here 8...Ne4, for example: 9.Ne2 Nc6 10.Nf4 Rc8 11.Re1 e6
12.Bd2?! (12.b3=) 12...Nxd2 13.Qxd2 cxd4 14.exd4 Ne7 15.Rac1 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Nf5 17.d5 e5 18.Ng2
Nd4³ and he even seized the initiative in the game Geller – Prokojowczyk, Sochi 1976.
By playing 7.e3, White was hoping for the line: 8...cxd4 9.exd4 d5?! 10.Ne5ƒ, for example: 10...e6
11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.cxd5 exd5, Harika – Zhao Xue, Beijing 2014, 14.f4±


Here, it deserves attention for Black to fortify his centre without exchanging on d4.



Black is not afraid that there might appear hanging pawns in his position after 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.cxd5
exd5. Here, he does not need his dark-squared bishop for the protection of his c5-pawn. He can defend it
easily with his other pieces. His fianchettoed bishop is eyeing now the unprotected enemy knight on e5
and can also threaten the other knight on c3 if White plans to complete his development with the move
b2-b3. Beside that, the bishop on g7 may support Black’s d-pawn, if he advances the thematic move d5-


This move is more precise than 10...Na6, Schmittdiel – Hargens, Germany 1990. Meanwhile, in this
game Black also develops his queen to the e7-square.


Black can create counterplay on the file, on the diagonal and against the enemy weaknesses if White
continues to maintain the tension: 11.Bb2 dxc4 12.bxc4 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qb7+ 14.Kg1 Rd8 15.f4 Nc6
16.Qf3 Na5„
11...Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bxd5 exd5 14.Bb2 Nd7 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Rc1 Rac8 17.Qe2 (If White
tries to control the blocking d4-square, this would not prevent Black from occupying space on the
queenside: 17.Qd2?! c4ƒ) 17...cxd4 18.Bxd4 Bxd4 19.exd4=

C) 7.Re1

The idea of this move for White is to play at first e2-e4 and only then to advance d2-d4, after which the
trade of the light-squared bishops would become impossible. There would arise on the board a position of
a Maroczy type with all the minor pieces and naturally, this might create additional problems for Black,
since he has less space.

7...0-0 8.e4 Nc6!

Following the standard development 8...d6?! 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4², Black might end up with an inferior
position and a difficult game after the opening.


The pawn-sacrifice 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Nxe4 would be hardly correct: 12.Qe3, Rego –
Iturrizaga Bonelli, Lisboa 2017, 12...Bxc3! 13.bxc3 f5³
After the quiet development 9.d3, White might even fail to equalise due to the vulnerability of his central
d4-square: 9...d6 10.h3 (10.a3 Nd7 11.Rb1 Nd4 12.h4 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Ne5„ D.Barlov – Jeremic,
Valjevo 2011) 10...Nd7 11.Be3 Nde5 12.Qd2 Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Nd4 14.Bg2 Qd7 15.Ne2 f5ƒ Danilov –
Ionescu, Bucharest 1998.

9...Ne8 10.d4

After the more academic move 10.d3, White might end up in an inferior position: 10...Nc7 11.a3 Rb8
12.Rb1 d6 13.Bf4, Kulon – Pap, Pardubice 2015, 13...Ne6³

Now, there follows a series of forced moves, which leads to simplification of the position: 10...Nxd4
11.Nxd4 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 cxd4 13.Qxd4 d6 14.Bf4 dxe5 15.Qxd8 Rxd8 16.Bxe5 f6 (It is not likely that
Black may have problems after 16...Bxe5 17.Rxe5 e6 18.c5 Nf6 19.cxb6 axb6 20.Rb5 Rd6= Magalashvili
– Kuljasevic, Turkey 2014.) 17.Bf4 g5 18.Be3 Nd6 19.c5 (19.b3?! f5ƒ; 19.Nd5 Nf5=) 19...Nc4=
Kempinsky – Agdestein, Warsaw 2014.

D) 7.d3

After 7.d3, White refrains from operations on the central files and chooses the more popular plan for the
English Opening to develop his initiative on the queenside with a2-a3, Ra1-b1 and possibly Bc1-d2 and
finally b2-b4, or the plan with activity on the kingside with e2-e4, Nf3-h4, f2-f4, g2-g4 etc. It would be a
universal counter measure for Black to follow the receipts of the inventor of the Queen’s Indian Defence

– Aron Nimzowitsch – active actions in the centre with the pawn-advance d7-d5.

7...0-0 8.e4

8.a3 d5 9.cxd5 (9.Ne5 Nbd7³) 9...Nxd5 10.Bd2 Nc6 11.Rb1 Nd4. Black is tremendously active in the
centre and it would be White who needs to trade accurately pieces in order to avoid ending up in an
inferior position. 12.Nxd4 cxd4 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Rc1 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qd5+ 16.Kg1 Qe6 17.Re1 Rfc8=
Heinzel – Topolevsky, corr. 1998.
8.Bd2 d5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Qc1. The exchange of the dark-squared bishops here is much rather a
prophylactic operation for White in this position, since it does not weaken much the shelter of the enemy
king. Black has a freer game and may even have chances of obtaining a slight edge. (10.Rb1 Nc6 11.a3
Nd4 – see 8.a3) 10...Nc6 11.Bh6 Rc8 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Qg5 e6 14.Qxd8 Rfxd8 15.Rac1 h6³
Javakhadze – Urkedal, Turkey 2009.
8.Bf4. White develops his bishop actively in order to control the e5-square after the move d7-d5.
Meanwhile, this does not change Black’s strategy. 8...d5 9.cxd5 (9.Ne5 e6 10.Qd2?! Nh5 11.cxd5 exd5
12.Rad1 Re8³ Balleer – Chomicki, ICCF 2012) 9...Nxd5 10.Be5 f6 11.Qb3 e6 12.Bxb8 Rxb8 13.d4 f5
14.Rad1 Qe7 15.Qa3 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bd5„ Froewiz – Bluebaum, Bad Ragaz 2016.
8.Bg5 h6 9.Bd2 (9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Qd2 Bg7 11.e3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nc6=; 9.Bf4 d5 10.Ne5 e6„) 9...d5
10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Qc1 (11.Rc1 Nc6 12.a3 e6=) 11...Kh7 12.h4 e6, Yatsenko – Andreikin, Moscow 2008,
13.h5 g5∞


After this move White cannot advance quickly d3-d4 even after losing a tempo.


Following 9.d4? Nxd4 10.Nxd4 cxd4 11.Qxd4, Black can counter that with a simple tactical operation
11...Nxe4µ If White decides to prepare at first this pawn-advance, then Black will have enough time to
continue with one of the following two plans. He can play quickly in the centre with e7-e6 and d7-d5, or
continue with a strategy of restriction (d7-d6, Nf6-d7), aiming to control maximally the d4-square.
9.a3 d6 10.Rb1 Nd7 11.Ne2 (11.Bd2 e6 12.b4 Nd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4=) 11...Nd4 12.Nfxd4 cxd4 13.Nf4
Amigo Roman – Rodriguez Perez, Valladolid 1989, 13...a5!? 14.b3 e6„
9.Be3 Ng4 10.Bd2 d6 11.Ne1 (11.a3, Korchnoi – Psakhis, Moscow 2001, 11...Nge5!?„) 11...f5 12.exf5
gxf5 13.h3 Nf6 14.Nc2 Qd7„ Costisa – Ionescu, Manila 1992.
9.Bf4 d6 10.Qd2 Ng4 11.h3 Nge5 12.Ne1 Nd4 13.Be3, Bareev – Anand, Monaco 2004 (13.Bh6 Bxh6
14.Qxh6 f5„ Litmanowicz – Porat, Helsinki 1952) 13...f5ƒ
9.Ne1 d6 10.f4 Nd7 11.Be3 Nd4 12.Nf3 a6 13.Rf2 e6„ Ghorbani – West, Elista 1998.
9.Bg5 h6 10.Bf4 (10.Bxf6?! Bxf6 11.Nd2 Bd4³ Radevic – Atalik, Belgrade 2014; 10.Be3 e6 11.Qd2
Kh7 12.d4 Na5„ Dzagnidze – Zhao Xue, China 2015) 10...d6= Radjabov – Le Quang Liem, Beijing
9.Nh4 d6 10.f4 e6 11.Be3, Vaganian – Kuzmin, Leningrad 1974. Here, Black had to prepare to counter
his opponent’s active actions with the line: 11...Re8!? 12.Bf2 (12.Kh1 d5! 13.cxd5 exd5 14.e5 d4µ)
12...h6 and after the straightforward attempt 13.f5?!, White might even end up in an inferior position
following 13...exf5 14.exf5 g5µ
9.Rb1 e6 10.h3 (10.Bg5 h6 11.Bd2 d5„ Hoeschele – Cicak, Germany 2004; 10.e5 Ng4 11.Ne1 Nh6
12.b4?! cxb4 13.Ne4 Nxe5 14.Bg5 Qc7µ Meyer – Ulybin, Whinterthur 2009) 10...d5„ Huebner –
Timman, Montreal 1979.

9...e6! 10.Be3

White is already prepared to play 11.d4, but Black begins his fight for the centre a move earlier.

10...d5! 11.exd5 exd5 12.d4 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Na5 14.b3 (The position becomes completely equal after
14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.b3 Rc8= Sunye Neto – Miles, Amsterdam 1985.) 14...dxc4 15.Bxb7
Nxb7 16.Qf3 Nc5 17.Rad1 Qc8 18.Bg5 Qb7 19.Nc6 Rac8 20.Rd6 (The move 20.Ne7+? would enable
Black to enter a position with a non-standard material ratio and an advantage: 20...Qxe7 21.Nd5 Nxd5
22.Bxe7 Nxe7µ) 20...Ne8 21.Ne7+ Kh8 22.Qxb7 Nxb7 23.Rdd1 (23.Nxc8?! Nexd6 24.Nxd6 Nxd6
25.Be7 Rc8 26.Bxd6 cxb3! 27.axb3 Rxc3µ) 23...Rc5 24.Ncd5 cxb3 25.axb3© Wojtkewicz – Palkovi,
Poland 1988. White is a pawn down, but his pieces are very active. Still, if Black manages to centralise
his knights, he might even succeed in realising his extra pawn.

E) 7.d4

This is White’s most popular move. After the forced exchange, there arises a Maroczy pawn-structure,

but with the difference that White has not played yet the move e2-e4, while Black has already developed
his bishop on b7. This leads to some nuances in the possibilities of both sides. Now, after White’s
thematic move Nc3-d5, if Black captures this knight with his bishop, he will have to consider the
possibility of White’s knight on f3 to penetrate to the c6-square, via d4 and a possible positional bind of
his position, because his pawn is not on b7 anymore. White’s choice is also restricted with what pawn to
capture on d5, since his pawn is still on the e2-square. It often happens that after the unavoidable
exchange on d5 with the c-pawn, there will arise a trade of the major pieces on the opened c-file with a
transfer to an equal endgame. From the point of view of Black organising counterplay, besides the
simplifications on the c-file, we have to mention the freeing b6-b5 move for him, which as a rule
provides him with good counter chances on the queenside.


We will analyse now E1) 8.Nxd4 and E2) 8.Qxd4.

E1) 8.Nxd4 Bxg2

The move 8.Nxd4 is not considered to be dangerous for Black; nevertheless, he must play precisely in
some positions.

9.Kxg2 0-0 10.e4

Or 10.Bg5 Nc6 11.Nxc6 dxc6 12.Qxd8 Rfxd8 13.Rad1 Kf8= Euwe – Capablanca, Germany 1928.


White’s pawn on c4 is always a target for Black in similar pawn-structures. White does not have a bishop
on the f1-a6 diagonal, like in the “hedgehog” schemes, since it is already absent from the board. This

circumstance enables Black to organise very effective counterplay by attacking the pawn on c4.
We will deal now with E1a) 11.b3 and E1b) 11.Qe2.
It is not so good for White to choose here 11.Qd3?! Nc6 12.Nxc6, Rosen – V.Moiseev, Germany 1992,
12...dxc6! and Black wins tempi for his development due to the fact that White’s queen is on the d-file.

E1a) 11.b3

This move was tested in the World Championship Match between Karpov and Kasparov in the year 1984
and it was interesting that the opponents played it for both sides.
Black has here a resource after which he enter favourably interesting tactical complications.

11...Nxe4! 12.Nxe4 Qe5 13.Qf3

13.Bb2? Qxe4+ 14.f3 Qb7 15.Qd2 d5µ Bonay Toscas – Sarosy, corr. 1987.



14.Bg5, Sion Castro – Suba, Pamplona 1997, 14...Nc6 15.Rad1 Qb2 16.Rd2 Qa3∞ White still needs to
prove that he has compensation for the sacrificed pawn.
14.Be3 Qe5 15.Rad1 (15.Nf6+?! Bxf6 16.Bf4 Qc5 17.Qxa8 Bxa1 18.Rxa1 Nc6µ Nelson – Dufur, ICCF
2005) 15...Qc7 16.Bf4 Qc6³ A.Kharitonov – Gavrikov, USSR 1983.
14.Ba3 Nc6 15.Rad1 Qe5 16.Rxd7 (16.Rd5?! Qc7 17.Rfd1 Rad8 18.Qd3, Shumiakina – Donchenko,
USSR 1986, 18...d6!?³) 16...Qa5 17.Bxe7 Ne5 18.Qd1 (18.Rd5 Nxf3 19.Rxa5 Rfe8= Loginov – A.
Ivanov, USSR 1984) 18...Nxd7 19.Qxd7 Qxa2 (19...Rfb8 20.a4©) 20.Bxf8 Rxf8 21.Re1 Qxb3 22.Nd6

Qc3 23.Re7 Qf6= Karpov – Kasparov, Moscow (m/13) 1984.

14...Qe5 15.Bf4

In this position, in the game Kasparov – Karpov, Moscow (m/20) 1984, the opponents agreed to a draw,
but the fight could have been continued.

15...Qe6 16.Nf6+ Bxf6 17.Qxa8 Nc6 18.Qb7 g5


19.Rfe1?! Qf5 20.Bxg5 (20.Be3 Rb8 21.Qa6 Bc3 22.Red1 Qe4+ 23.Kg1 Ne5µ) 20...Bxg5 21.Rbd1
Rd8µ Filho – Barata, corr. 1992.
19...Qf5„ Black has full compensation for the exchange, for example: 20.Be3, Vadasz – David,
Zalaegerszeg 1992 (20.Bc1 h5!?„; 20.Bd2 h5!?„) 20...h5!? 21.f3 Qd3 22.Bf2 h4„

E1b) 11.Qe2 Nc6


12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.Bf4 Qb7 14.Rfd1 Rfd8 15.Rxd8+ Rxd8 16.Be5 Qc8 17.Rd1= Veingold – Kengis,
USSR 1984.
12.Ndb5 Qb7 13.Nd5 (13.Rd1 a6 14.Na3, Giffard – Garamian, France 2006, 14...d6 15.Be3 Nd7
16.Rac1 f5!?„) 13...a6 14.Nbc3 d6 15.Be3 Nd7 16.Rac1 e6 17.Nf4 Nc5= Zolnierowicz – Pokojowczyk,
Poland 1984.



13.Bd2 e6 14.Rac1 Qb7 15.Kg1, Wuensch – Budde, corr. 1986, 15...b5!„

13.b3 b5!? 14.cxb5 axb5 15.Nxb5 Qb7 16.Bb2 Nxe4! 17.Bxg7 Nf6! 18.Qf3 Kxg7 19.a4 d5!³, with
excellent chances of obtaining an advantage thanks to his powerful central pawns, Sandstorm –
Thorsteins, Finland 1984.
13.Bf4 d6 14.Rac1 (14.Rad1 Qb7 15.f3 b5„ D.Smith – Tidemann, corr. 1998) 14...Qb7 15.Nd5 Nd7
16.b3 Rfe8 17.f3 e6 18.Ndb4 Nce5 19.Rfd1 Nc5 20.Ne3 (20.Rxd6? a5µ) 20...Rad8∞ Loginov –
A.Ivanov, Moscow 1983.


In this position it would be difficult for Black to advance d6-d5, because of the placement of White’s
knights, which prevent this. It is not good for Black to exchange b7-b5, since this would provide White’s
knight with the b4-square. Still, the rarely encountered placement of White’s knight on the e3-square in
the “hedgehog” positions (having come there from the c2-square) enables Black to accomplish
successfully another freeing move – f7-f5 and he should be striving for that in a position of this type.


14.Rad1 Rfc8 15.Bf4 Ne5 16.Bxe5 Qxe5 17.f4 Qc7 18.Ne3 d6 19.Qd3 Qb7„ Vitols – Presado, corr.
1997. White’s position in the centre is weakened. It would be good for Black to follow the same plan for
counterplay, including the move f7-f5, for example after Nf6-e8. Meanwhile, he might manage to
advance later b7-b5 as well.

14...d6 15.Rac1

The additional defence of the centre has enabled Black to attack quickly the enemy c4-pawn, which
would force White to trade his c-pawn for Black’s d-pawn: 15.f3 h6 16.Be3 Ne5 17.Na3 (17.b3 b5³)
17...Rfc8 18.Rac1 Nxc4 19.Nxc4 Qxc4 20.Qxc4 Rxc4 21.Rxd6 b5= Kaidanov – Kengis, USSR 1984.

15...h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Qd2 Ne5 18.Ne3 Qb7 19.f4 Nc6„ A.Petrosian – Adorjan, Riga 1981.

E2) 8.Qxd4 d6!

This order of moves in necessary. It would be too risky for Black to castle immediately, because of
White’s possibility Qd4-h4, Bc1-h6, Nf3-g5 and eventually Bg2-h3, after which one of his minor pieces
may penetrate to the e6-square and Black will have great problems with the protection of his king.
See some recent examples in which Black failed to cope with his defensive problems: 8...0-0 9.Qh4 d6
10.Bh6 Nbd7 11.Rfd1 Rc8 12.b3 Nh5 (12...Rc5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.Rac1 Qa8 15.Ne1 Bxg2 16.Nxg2
Rfc8 17.Ne3 a6 18.Ncd5 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 e6 20.Qd4+ e5 21.Qd2 Re8 22.Rc3 Re6 23.Rd3± Nikolic –
Sutkovic, Sarajevo 2016) 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.e4 Rc5 15.Nd5 Re8 16.Nd4 Kg8 17.Nf5 Bxd5 18.exd5 Rc7
19.Re1 Nb8 20.Re3 Nf6 21.Nh6+ Kg7 22.Rae1 Nbd7 23.g4 Nf8 24.g5 Nh5 25.Qd4+ f6 26.Bf3 Nd7
27.Bxh5 gxh5 28.Nf5+ Kf8 29.gxf6 Ne5 30.f4 1–0 Yuffa – Sivuk, Moscow 2016.
There is another move for Black, which proved to be not so reliable – 8...Nc6?! Here is a classical
example on this subject: 9.Qf4 Rc8 10.Rd1 d6 11.b3 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxa1 13.Ba3 Bg7 14.Nfg5 0-0
15.Nxh7! Kxh7 16.Ng5+ Kg8 17.Qh4 Re8 18.Bh3 Kf8 19.Ne6+!! Kg8 (19...fxe6 20.Bxe6 Ne5 21.Qh7
Nf7 22.Bb2+–) 20.Ng5 Kf8 21.Ne6+ Kg8 22.Nxd8 Rcxd8 23.Bg2 Bf6 24.Qh6 e6 25.h4 d5 26.h5 Bg7
27.Qg5 dxc4 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.bxc4 gxh5 30.Bb2 e5 31.Bd5 Rd6 32.Qxh5 Rd7 33.Qf5 1–0 Ribli –
Kouatly, Luzern 1985.


This is the most popular set-up for White: Rf1-d1, Bc1-e3, Ra1-c1, followed by the removal of his queen

away from the long diagonal.
About 9.Qh4 h6 10.Rd1 Nbd7 – see 9.Rd1.
9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 0-0 11.Rfd1 Nd5 12.Qd2 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Nf6= Feng – Azarov, USA 2016.
9.Bg5 Nbd7 10.Rac1 Rc8 11.b3 h6 12.Be3 0-0 13.Qd2 Ng4 14.Bf4 e5„ Sperandio – Fedeli, ICCF 2010.
It might be also interesting for Black to try here the not so sharp move 14...Kh7!?
9.Be3 Nbd7 10.Rac1 Rc8 11.b3 0-0 12.Qd2 Ng4 (12...Nc5!?) 13.Rfd1 Nxe3 14.Qxe3 Rc5 15.Nd4 Bxg2
16.Kxg2 Re8 17.Nd5 e6 18.Nc3 Qa8+ 19.Kg1 Nf6 20.Qf3 Qxf3 21.exf3 d5= Forslof – Steiger, ICCF



10.h3 Rc8 11.Be3, Gomes – Swathi, New Dehli 2008, 11...a6„

Black can counter 10.Qh4 with 10...h6!

11.Qh3 Rc8 12.Nd2 Bxg2 13.Qxg2, Nikolic – Baragar, Zagreb 1987, 13...Ng4!?„
11.Ne1 Bxg2 12.Nxg2, Valsecchi – Kuljasevic, Trieste 2013, 12...Ne5„
11.Nd5 Rc8 12.Rb1 Rc5 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Qg4?! Bashkite – Novikova, Spain 2001, 14...g5µ
11.Be3 Rc8 12.Rac1 Kf8! (Black defends his bishop and creates threats on the long diagonal.) 13.Nd4?
(13.b3 g5 14.Qd4 Ne4ƒ) 13...Bxg2 14.Kxg2 g5 (Black’s pawn and knight manage to win the enemy
queen anyway.) 15.Qh3 (White is also forced here to part with a rook as well 15.Bxg5 hxg5 16.Qxg5
Bh6–+ Sowray – Kaiumov, Hastings 1999.) 15...g4 16.Qh4 Ne5–+
11.Nd4 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 g5! 13.Qh3 g4 14.Qh4 Ne5 15.Nd5 Qc8! 16.b3? (White had to comply here with
the loss of a pawn with 16.Nxf6 Bxf6 17.Qh5 Qxc4³ and seek compensation due to the weakened
position of Black’s king on the kingside.) 16...Nxd5 17.cxd5 Ng6 18.Qh5 Bxd4 19.Rxd4 Qc3–+ Wang
Yue – Karjakin, Beijing 2013.

10...Rc8 11.Rac1

11.b3 a6 12.Rac1 0-0 13.Qd2 (13.Qh4 Rc7 – see 11.Rac1) 13...Ng4! (It would be more difficult for
Black if he reacts in another fashion: 13...Ne4 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Bh3² Shchekachev – Roser, France
2009; 13...Re8 14.Bh3 Rc7 15.Ne1² Iturrizaga Bonelli – Fedorchuk, Spain 2011.) 14.Bf4 (14.Bd4?! Bh6!
µ) 14...Nc5 15.Be3 (15.h3? Nxf2! 16.Kxf2 Bxc3µ) 15...Nxe3 16.Qxe3 Re8 17.Bh3 e6 18.b4 Nd7
19.Ne4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Qc7 21.Qd3 Ne5= Iturrizaga Bonelli – Zhao Xue, Gibraltar 2013.

11...0-0 12.Qh4 a6 13.b3


Now, Black has the possibility to prevent radically the attacking march of the enemy pawn g3-g4 with the
move 13...h5. This is however played rarely, possibly because he is reluctant to present the g5-square to
his opponent, which can be occupied by White’s knight for active operations against the enemy king. It is
possible that theory might develop in this line as well. 14.Bh3 Rc7 15.Ng5 Re8 (Black has hardly full
compensation for the sacrificed pawn following 15...Qb8 16.Bxd7 Nxd7?! 17.g4±; 16...Rxd7 17.Bxb6
Ng4 18.h3± Malakhov – Grischuk, Elista 2007.) 16.Bxd7 (16.Qf4!? Jirovsky – Stocek, Czech Republic
2005, 16...Rf8!?∞) 16...Qxd7 17.f3?! b5„ Morrison – Pantsulaia, Greece 2011.

We will analyse now E2a) 14.Ne1, E2b) 14.Bh6, E2c) 14.Bh3 and E2d) 14.g4!?

The move 14.Bg5, after 14...Re8 15.e4 b5 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 bxc4=, has led to an equal position, due
to the fact that Black obtains a juicy target to attack –the c4-square, Vallejo Pons – Almasi, Hungary

E2a) 14.Ne1 Qb8!

Black is planning to advance b6-b5.


15.g4. We will analyse this non-standard idea in this position on move 14 as well. It might seem that
Black’s reaction 15...h6 might be too risky for him; nevertheless, it is a possible decision here (just like
15...b5 16.g5 b4!∞) 16.h3 (White does not have real chances of checkmating his opponent here: 16.Bxh6
Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Nxg4 18.Qh4 Ngf6∞) 16...g5 17.Qg3 b5„
15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.cxd5 Nf6 17.Rb1 b5 18.Bg5 Re8 19.e4, Pigusov – Ravi, Moscow 2004 and here, Black
has good chances of preventing g3-g4 with the move 19...h5!?, for example: 20.h3 Nh7 21.Be3 e6„
15.Nd3 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 b5 17.Nb4, Yevseev – Grigoyan, Cannes 2014, 17...Qb7+ 18.f3 Re8∞ Black
exerts pressure and will have chances of opening the c-file, so he obtains a good game.
15.Bg5 Rfc8 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.cxd5, Pigusov – Iljin, Moscow 2004, 17...Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Rxc1 19.Bxc1
Qc7 20.Bd2 Nf6=
15.Bh6 Bxh6 16.Qxh6 b5 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.cxd5 Rfc8 19.Nd3 (19.Rxc7 Rxc7 20.Qf4 Rc3= Mustonen –
Kriksciunas, ICCF 2005) 19...a5 20.e4?! b4 21.Bh3 Ba6 22.Bxd7 Rxd7 23.Rxc8+ Qxc8 24.Rc1 Rc7³
Rakhman – Sasikiran, Doha 2003.

15...Ba8„, planning either b6-b5, or Nd7-c5-e4, Vaganian – Psakhis, Moscow 2002.

Besides that, it deserves attention for Black to try 15...h5!?, preventing radically the move g3-g4. It is
connected with a pawn-sacrifice, though... 16.Bxd7 Rxd7 17.Bxb6 Ng4©

E2b) 14.Bh6 Qa8


15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.cxd5 Rxc1 17.Bxc1 Nf6 18.e4 Qc8 19.Nd4 Qc3 20.Bh6 Bxh6 21.Qxh6 Qb2 22.Qc1
Qxc1 23.Rxc1 Rc8= P.-H.Nielsen – Solozhenkin, Sweden 2003.

15...Kxg7 16.Qd4

The move 16.Ne1 cannot create problems for Black: 16...b5 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.cxd5 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Nf6
20.e4 Rc8= Karpov – Gelfand, France 2002.

16...b5 17.g4

17.cxb5 axb5 18.Nxb5 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Qxa2 20.Nc3 Qa3³ Topalov – Kramnik, Wijk an Zee 1999.


17...b4?! 18.Nd5 Bxd5 19.cxd5 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Qxd5, Kuznecov – Buonet, ICCF 2001, 21.g5²

18.h4 b4 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.cxd5 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Qxd5 22.g5 hxg5 23.hxg5 Qxd4 24.Nxd4 Nh7. The
inclusion of the moves 17...h6 and 18.h4 provides Black with the h7-square for his knight from where it
might attack the enemy g5-pawn. 25.Rc7 Nc5 26.Rxe7 Nxg5=

E2c) 14.Bh3 Qb8


15.Ne1 Ba8 – see 14.Ne1.

15.Bg5 Re8!? 16.Nd5 (16.Nd2, Eljanov – Sasikiran, Ningbo 2011, 16...Ba8!? 17.a4 h5=) 16...Bxd5!?
17.cxd5 Rxc1 18.Rxc1 Qb7 19.Qc4 (19.Bxd7 Nxd7 20.Qc4 Nc5 21.b4 b5 22.Qc2 Na4 23.Qc6 Qxc6
24.Rxc6 Nc3 25.Bd2 Nxd5 26.Rxa6 Bc3= Tratar – Ekeberg, Pula 2006) 19...Nc5 20.Bxf6 b5 21.Qc2
Bxf6 22.b4 Na4= Borisovs – Czegledi, ICCF 2012.
15.Bh6 b5 16.Bxg7 (16.Nd5?! Nxd5 17.cxd5 Nf6 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.e4 Bc8³ Jirovsky – Hracek, Czech
Republic 2003) 16...Kxg7

17.Nd5?! Bxd5 18.cxd5 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 Rc8 20.Rc6 Qb7 21.Rxc8 Qxc8 22.Qg5 Qc2 23.Bxd7 Qxe2!µ
17.cxb5 Bxf3 18.exf3 Ne5 19.Bg2 (19.Kg2?! Qb7 20.Qf4 axb5µ) 19...Rfc8 20.Qd4 axb5 21.f4 b4
22.fxe5 dxe5 23.Qxe5 Rxc3 24.Qxb8= Weber – Schnabel, ICCF 2007.
17.Bxd7 Rxd7 18.cxb5 axb5 19.Qb4 Rc8 20.Nxb5 Rc5!? 21.a4 Ba6= Topalov – Karjakin, Astana 2012.

15...e6 16.g5 Ne8


17.Bd4 b5 18.Bxg7 Nxg7 19.Ne4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 bxc4 21.bxc4 Nc5 22.Qe3 Rb7„ Skeels – Dos Santos,
17.Bg2 b5 18.Ne4 bxc4 19.bxc4 d5 20.cxd5 Bxd5 21.Nc5 Nxc5 22.Bxc5 Nd6 23.Rb1 (23.Bxd6 Rxc1
24.Bxb8? Rxd1+ 25.Bf1 Rxb8–+) 23...Qxb1 24.Rxb1 Rxc5© Aronian – Kramnik, Saint Vincent 2005.
17.Ne4 b5 18.cxb5 (18.Bg2 bxc4 – see 17.Bg2) 18...axb5 19.Bd4 Rxc1 20.Rxc1 Qa8 21.Bxg7 Nxg7
22.Nxd6 Bxf3 23.exf3 Ne5 24.Bg2 Qa3µ


The Maroczy type of pawn-structure has been transformed into a “hedgehog” pawn-structure. Still, just
like before, White does not have a base in the centre, since the e4-pawn is still there.
Naturally, Black must take into account the tactical intricacies of this position, for example: 17...Nc5
18.b4 Nd7 19.Nxe6!? fxe6 20.Bxe6+ Kh8 21.f4ƒ Andersen – Bromann, Svendborg 2016.
Still , his position is very solid and this would provide him with a very good game if he manoeuvres


18.Ne4 Qe7 19.Nf3 d5„

18...Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qc8 20.Ne4 Qb7 21.f3 b5„

E2d) 14.g4

This is a principled move and Black must play very precisely after it.


This move was played first by grandmaster Sergey Karjakin and it replaced the formerly played move
14...h6. Karjakin’s invention is what Black’s hopes are based on in this position in recent times. After the
advance of White’s pawn to the g4-square, Black is not afraid anymore of the pin Bg2-h3. If White plays
g4-g5, then Black’s knight will retreat to h5 and the diagonal will be opened for his bishop on g7, while
White must worry about Black’s freeing pawn-advance b7-b5, because White’s knight on c3, after the
removal of Black’s knight from the f6-square, will be hanging after capturing on b5.
Here, the move 14...b5?! is not so good: 15.g5 Nh5 16.Nd5 Bxd5 17.cxd5² and Black’s knight at the
edge of the board will be a liability for him in the middlegame, Hamdouchi – Solozhenkin, France 2001.


This position is very important in this variation and White has tried in practice the following possibilities:
About 15.h3 Re8 16.Nd4 – see 15.Nd4.
15.Bd4, Pineda – Santana, Managua 2014, 15...h6!?∞
15.Kf1 Re8 (15...b5!? 16.cxb5 Nxg4„) 16.g5 Nh5 17.Nd4 Bxg2+ 18.Kxg2 Qc7∞ Al.Loginov – Hacker,
ICCF 2014.
15.Nd4!? Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Re8 17.h3 Qc7 18.f3 Qb7 19.Bh6, Iotov – Hacker, ICCF 2015, 19...Nf8!?∞
15.Bh3 b5 16.cxb5 Qa5 17.Bd2 Bxf3 18.exf3 axb5 19.g5 b4 20.Na4 (20.gxf6 Bxf6 21.Qe4 bxc3
22.Bxd7 Rcd8= Jakovenko – Karjakin, Sochi 2012) 20...Ne5 21.Bg2, Banusz – Sargissian, Warszawa
2013, 21...Nh5!?„



The move 16.Bh3 is not so energetic: 16...b5 17.Qg4 Ne5 18.Nxe5 Bxe5 19.c5 Qa5 20.b4 Qa3„
Khuseinkhodjaev – Vavulin, Voronezh 2016.

16...Rc7 17.Ng3 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Qa8∞ Topalov – Karjakin, Khanty-Mansiysk 2014.

The final position is not so easy to evaluate. The last word about the line with 14.g4 has not been said yet.
The entire variation with the double fianchetto for Black is not so easy for him to play, but on the other

hand his position seems to be quite solid. The transfer of White’s queen to the kingside creates
prerequisites for Black to organise counterplay on the queenside.
The new idea of Sergey Karjakin enables Black to play confidently at the present stage of the
development of the theory of this variation, but it is still quite obvious that White’s potential possibilities
in the centre and on the kingside should not make Black too optimistic. White will evidently look for
improvements in this position in the future.

Chapter 2

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 (without 3.c4)

In this chapter we will analyse some rarely played moves for White: A) 3.a3, B) 3.Nc3, C) 3.Nbd2 and
D) 3.c3.

A) 3.a3

This modest move does not contain great strategical value. Still, it is played often by amateurs...
I believe, White wishes to play at first a2-a3, then c2-c3 and to develop his dark-squared bishop only
later. This prevents Black from playing Qd8-b6, since White can counter that with b2-b4, for example:
3...c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Bf4 Qb6?! 6.b4²


We will analyse now: A1) 4.Nc3, A2) 4.g3 and A3) 4.Bg5.
About 4.c4 Bb7 – see Chapters 11-14.

A1) 4.Nc3

If the development of White’s knight in front of the c-pawn in the closed openings is connected with
some concrete short-term idea (occupying of the centre, an attack against the weakened enemy
queenside...), this is a possible decision. In general however, if he does it just out of general reasoning,
this is usually a positional mistake. Now, Black can exploit this and obtain an advantage in the centre.



White has again the positional threat e2-e4.

5.Bf4 Be7 6.e3. (The only way for him to improve his position in the centre is to play 6.Nb5, preparing
c2-c4. Naturally, the tempi he has lost would not contribute to the increase of his advantage, but just the
opposite 6...d6 7.c4 Ne4!³) 6...0-0 7.Bd3. (After the prophylactic line: 7.h3 c5 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.0-0 d5=,
Black would obtain some advantage in the centre, Farrand – Miles, Brighton 1972. Following 8.Nb5
cxd4 9.exd4 a6=, White will have to retreat his knight to its initial square in order to avoid the worst.)
7...c5 8.0-0 (Now, once again, the active knight-sortie would be countered by Black in a standard fashion:
8.Nb5 cxd4 9.Nc7? dxe3! 10.fxe3 d6 11.Nxa8 e5 12.Bg3 e4–+). In this position, besides Black’s
habitual pawn-advance 8...d5=, he might try to obtain the two-bishop advantage: 8...Nh5!?³
5.e3 Be7 6.Bd3 d5. Black is preventing e3-e4. He has not developed his knight to c6 yet, so he can
undermine the enemy centre with c7-c5, contrary to his opponent, who does not have the pawn-advance
c2-c4, having played Nb1-c3 beforehand. 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1 c5 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 a6. This is a typical
situation, during the transfer from the opening into the middlegame, when White has developed his
knight on c3, in front of his c2-pawn. If he remains idle, doing nothing, then Black will increase calmly
his advantage on the queenside by playing b5, Rc8, Nb6, c5-c4. If White begins active actions in the
centre, Black would at least obtain for free the two-bishop advantage. 11.e4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Ne5 13.exd5
Nxd3 14.Qxd3 Nxd5³
5.g3 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c5 8.Bg5 cxd4!? 9.Nxd4 d5!³ Black has managed to exchange his c-pawn for
the enemy central pawn and has played d7-d5, ensuring an advantage in the centre. If White fails to trade
the enemy d5-pawn, he will have difficulties in the middlegame. 10.Re1 Qd7!? If White’s task is to trade
the enemy central pawn, as we have already mentioned before, in order to equalise, then Black must try

his best in order to prevent that. His previous move has been aimed at countering e2-e4. If White persists
and really plays 11.e4?! then Black will transform his positional and space advantage into a material
advantage thanks to an intermediate tactical trick: 11...dxe4 12.Nxe4 (It is slightly better for White to
choose here 12.Ndb5 a6 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qxd7 Nxd7 15.Nd6 Bxc3 16.bxc3 Bd5 17.c4 Bc6³) 12...Nxe4
13.Bxe7 Nxf2!? 14.Qd2 Qxe7 15.Qxf2 Bxg2 16.Qxg2 Nd7µ

5...d5 6.e3 Be7


7.Ne5. If White wishes to occupy this central square without trading the knights, he must play this now
and after 7...Nbd7, to support his knight with the move 8.f4. The exchange on e5 will open the f-file for
him and that would provide him with additional attacking possibilities against the enemy king. After f2-
f4, the e4-square will be weakened. As a rule, Black solves the problem with the enemy knight on e5 by
deploying its counterpart on the e4-square. 7...0-0 (Naturally, the move 7...Nbd7? would be a blunder due
to the vulnerability of the c6-square: 8.Bb5!±) 7...0-0 8.f4. White has not determined the placement of his
king yet, so Black preserves the possibility to castle queenside. The universal counterplay for him is the
immediate attack against the enemy centre. 8...c5! 9.Qf3 Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Qg3 f6
13.Nc4 Nc6 14.0-0-0 Rfd8µ White’s centre is in ruins and his kingside attack has not even started yet.


Black prevents e3-e4.

Well, even after 7...0-0, this pawn-advance is not so good for White: 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.e4 c5 10.e5 Be7
11.0-0 Nc6³

8.Ne5 Nxe5 9.dxe5


If, after the exchange on e5, White will be forced to capture with his d-pawn, then it is often better for
Black to retreat to d7 than to cover the diagonal of his light-squared bishop with the move Nf6-e4.
It is weaker for Black to play the straightforward line: 9...Ne4?! 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Bxe4 dxe4 12.Qg4! 0-
0-0 13.Nxe4 h5 14.Qf4∞ He is a pawn down and must still prove that he has compensation for it.
10.Bf4 (The exchange 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.f4 d4ƒ will even worsen White’s position, because it would be
bad for him to choose 12.exd4?!, in view of 12...Bxg2 13.Rg1 Qh4µ) 10...g5 11.Bg3 h5 12.h3 a6³,
followed by c7-c5, Qd8-c7 and an attack against the enemy e5-pawn.

A2) 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5

White does not have a pawn on c4, so he is incapable of playing d4-d5 with a positional bind. This
facilitates considerably Black’s task to organise counterplay.


White enters a position of the type of the English Opening.

Or 6.0-0 Be7 7.Re1 0-0 8.c3 d5=, with excellent prospects for Black in the middlegame, Dawidow –
Kruszynski, Poland 1995.
6.c3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bg5 (8.Nbd2 d5 9.Ne5 Nc6= Limp – De Souza, Rio de Janeiro 1999) 8...d6. White
has refrained from a fight in the centre and has lost several tempi for pawn-moves, so Black has several
ways of development, either with d7-d5, or with d7-d6, forcing his opponent to forget about occupying
the e5-square in the second case. 9.Ne1 Nc6 (It is also quite possible for Black to trade the bishops here
9...Bxg2 10.Nxg2 Nbd7, followed by d7-d5=) 10.Nd3 Qc7= Gomez Peco – Baches Garcia, Madrid
6.dxc5 bxc5 7.0-0 (7.c4 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Bf4 Na5! The weakening a2-a3 will turn out to be
horrible for White, because he will have great problems with the weakened b3-square in a few moves.
11.b3 d5 12.cxd5 Nxd5!? 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Nd2 g5!? 15.Be5? Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qd5+ 17.Nf3 f6µ Faraci
– Grapulli, Italy 2016; 15.e4!∞) 7...Be7 8.Bf4 d6 (White has postponed the advance of his bishop-pawn
so that after 8...d5, he could play 9.c4 and only then to develop his knight on c3 exerting pressure in the
centre. 9...0-0 10.cxd5 exd5 11.e3 Nbd7 12.Nc3 Nb6∞, the position is approximately equal.) After the
move 8...d6, White would not have that possibility. 9.c4 0-0 10.Nc3 Qb6 11.b4, Duc Hoa Nguyen –
Irwanto, Kuala Lumpur 2006, 11...Nbd7∞

6...cxd4 7.0-0

The move 7.Qxd4 enables Black to win some extra tempi for development. 7...Nc6 8.Qf4 (8.Qd1 Be7
9.Nc3 0-0 10.0-0, De Freitas – Borges, Sao Sebastiao 2013, 10...Na5ƒ; 8.Qc3 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.b4 Rc8
11.Bb2 d5„) 8...Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nc3 (10.e4?! d5„) 10...Rc8 11.b4 (11.Rd1?! Na5µ) 11...a5!? 12.b5

Nb8 13.Bb2 d6∞ Now, according to the rules, (for example – because of the weak c5-square), the arising
“hedgehog” pawn-structure would enable Black to organise counterplay in the middlegame.


Black has also a very good position if he chooses 7...Be7 8.Nxd4 Bxg2 9.Kxg2 Qc8, followed by Nb8-

8.Bxf3 Nc6 9.b4 Rc8 10.Bb2, Deschepper – De Vogelaere, Belgium 2009, 10...a5!?„

A3) 4.Bg5 Bb7 5.Nbd2 d5 6.e3 Be7


As a rule, if White’s pawns are fixed in the centre d4 – d5 and his knight is on the d2-square, this is
worse for him, in comparison to the situation with a knight on c3, because the knight on d2 is restricted
by the enemy pawn on d5.
After 7.Ne5, Black should play in the same fashion as in the variation A1 (7.Ne5): 7...0-0 8.f4 c5 9.c3
Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nxe4 dxe4„

7...0-0 8.Be2 Nbd7 9.0-0 h6 10.Bh4 c5=

White cannot do much in this position and there will arise soon an exchange of the c and d-pawns,
followed by further simplifications.


After 11.Rb1, Black’s simplest reaction would be 11...dxc4 12.Nxc4 Ne4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7=

11...Rc8 12.cxd5

12.h3 Ne4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nxe4?! After an exchange on e4, White might even end up in a worse
position. 14...dxe4 15.Nd2 f5³ Dayanova – Nemec, Maribor 2012.



If there arise “hanging pawns after 13.dxc5 bxc5, White may even have more problems. We have already
mentioned that the placement of his knight on d2 impedes the perfect coordination of his pieces. 14.b3
Re8 15.a4 Qb6³

13...a6 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.Nb3?!

The transfer of White’s knight from d2, via b3, to a5 would not improve considerably his position.
It is better for White to ensure here the d4-square for his other knight even at the price of creating a
passed pawn for the opponent: 15.b4!? c4 16.Nd4=

15...Qb6 16.Na5 Ba8 17.Rb1, Karttunen – Bulski, Helsingor 2007. After 17...g5! 18.Bg3 Qe6 19.b4 g4!
20.Nh4 c4³ Black prevents the enemy knight from appearing on the d4-square. He weakens his kingside
pawn-structure, but White’s minor pieces are completely discoordinated and his knights have no good
squares at all.

B) 3.Nc3 d5!

White has restricted his own possibilities, while Black, on the contrary, is ready to begin to fight for the
centre with the move c7-c5.


White plans to advance e2-e4, transposing to the French Defence.

His alternatives can be interesting only if White is building an opening repertoire for blitz games and not
all of them are applicable, though....
4.e3 c5 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 7.0-0 Be7³
4.Bf4 Bb4 5.Qd3 (5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5³; 5.e3 Ne4 6.Qd3 c5 7.dxc5 Qa5ƒ) 5...c5 6.dxc5 Ne4 7.Nd2
Nxd2 8.Qxd2 Nc6 9.a3 Bxc5 10.e3 a6 11.0-0-0 0-0 12.Kb1 b5ƒ Thys – Whitted, ICCF 2016.
4.a3 c5 5.dxc5 Bxc5 6.Bg5 Nc6 7.e3 h6 8.Bh4 a6 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 Be7 11.Re1 b5„
4.g3 c5 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.0-0 Be7 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Bg5 Be7 9.Re1 0-0 10.e4 Nxe4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Bxe7
Qxe7 13.Rxe4 Rd8 14.Qe2 b6= Sirobaba – Andriuschenko, ICCF 2010.


The more sensible move 4...Be7 enables White to simplify the position a bit (which, objectively
speaking, would be his best decision...): 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.e4 0-0

7.Bd3 c5 8.dxc5 (8.e5 Be7 – see 7.e5) 8...Nd7 9.e5 (9.exd5 Nxc5 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.0-0 Rc8 12.Qd2
Qb6©) 9...Be7 10.h4, Losev – Nikolenko, Moscow 2012, 10...h6³
7.e5. This is a pseudo-active move. Now, White’s centre would be undermined before he would manage
to create any real threats on the kingside. 7...Be7 8.Bd3 c5 9.h4 h6! (9...Nc6? 10.Bxh7+! Kxh7 11.Ng5+
Kh6 12.Qd2+– Godoj – Hoermann, Berlin 2014) 10.dxc5 (The super-aggressive move 10.g4 would only
worsen White’s situation: 10...cxd4 11.Ne2 f6 12.exf6 Bb4+ 13.Kf1 Qxf6 14.Rh3 e5-+ Schallopp –
Shwarz, Nuremberg 1883.) 10...Bxc5 11.g4 Qb6 12.Qd2 Bd7 (12...Bxf2+? 13.Qxf2 Qxb2 14.Kd2+–
Charousek – Maroczy, Budapest 1895) 13.g5 (13.h5 f6„) 13...h5„, with a very complicated fight in
which White’s initiative will gradually ebb away.
7.Qd2 c5 8.exd5 (8.dxc5 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Bxb2 10.Rb1, Rolen – Carlsson, Sweden 2007, 10...Bf6³ and
here, besides 8...dxe4, Black can try an interesting pawn-sacrifice for the initiative: 8...Nd7!? 9.exd5
Nxc5 10.dxe6 Bxe6„) 8...exd5 9.dxc5 (9.0-0-0 c4 10.Ne5 Na6 11.g4 Nc7 12.Rg1 Ne6 13.Ne2 Bg5!
14.f4 Nxf4! 15.Nxf4 Qf6–+ Brendel – Zlochevskij, Germany 1991) 9...Qe7+ 10.Qe3 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3
Qxe3+ 12.fxe3 Be6 13.Nd4 Rc8 14.Rb1 Nd7 15.Rxb7 Nxc5 16.Rb5, Ljubojevic – Kovacevic, Chorley
1977, 16...Ne4 17.Bd3 Nxc3 18.Ra5 Rc7=
7.exd5. This compromising exchange might be White’s best decision from the practical point of view in
order to avoid ending up in an inferior position. 7...exd5 8.Qd2 Re8+ 9.Be2 Nc6 10.0-0-0 Bf5 11.Bd3
Qd7 (11...Be4!?) 12.Bxf5 Qxf5 13.Rhe1=
Naturally, here arises a simple question – why play 3.Nc3 so that later White must fight for equality?
This is in fact a rhetorical question. If he has played like that, maybe Black must choose a reliable move,
which would prevent his opponent from simplifying the position. The move 4...Bb4 would be the right
decision for him.


5.Qd3 0-0 6.0-0-0 (6.a3 Be7!? 7.e3 b6 8.0-0-0 c5³) 6...Nbd7 7.a3 (7.e4? Bxc3 8.Qxc3 Nxe4!µ; 7.h3 c5
8.dxc5 Qa5 9.Nd2 Nxc5 10.Qd4 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 Qxc3 12.bxc3 Nce4µ; 7.h4 c5 8.dxc5 Nxc5 9.Qd4
Qa5! 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Qxf6 Bxc3 12.bxc3? Qa3+ 13.Kb1 Ne4-+; 12.Qxc3 Qxc3 13.bxc3 Ne4³)
7...Bxc3 8.Qxc3 Ne4 9.Bxd8 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Rxd8 11.e3 c5³, with an advantage for Black in this
endgame thanks to White’s compromised queenside pawn-structure.
5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5. In general, White advances e2-e4-e5 in the French Defence, while here there is
nothing like that. Black has very good counterplay against his opponent’s weakened queenside pawn-
structure and has the edge in the arising position. 7.dxc5 (7.c4 dxc4 8.e3 Nc6 9.Bxc4 Qa5+ 10.Qd2
Ne4³; 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Ne5 Nd7 9.Nxd7 Bxd7 10.e3 0-0 11.Bd3 Ba4³; 7.e4 Qa5 8.exd5 Nxd5³; 8.Bxf6
Qxc3+ 9.Nd2 gxf6 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Nxd7µ) 7...Nbd7 8.Be3 e5!µ



6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Bxd7+ Nbxd7 8.Qd3 Qa5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Ne4³
6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Qa5 8.Bxf6 Qxc3+ 9.Nd2 gxf6 10.dxc5 Nd7 11.Bb5 a6µ
6.Be2 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.0-0 0-0 9.Ne5 Nd7 10.Ng4 Qe7 11.f3 Nf6 12.Nf2 b6³ Rehm – Krebs, Gemany
6...Nbd7 7.Be2 Qa5 (7...0-0!? 8.0-0 Bxc5=) 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Qxc3 10.Bxf6 gxf6!? (10...Nxf6
11.Qd4² Sunachev – Prokishev, Russia 2013) 11.Qd4 Qxc5=

C) 3.Nbd2

Akiba Rubinstein liked to play this move back in the years 1929-32. This classic master connected
always the development of the knight on d2 with a2-a3 and then b2-b4 (following the exchange of the
pawns on c5), or with b2-b3, with a fianchetto of his dark-squared bishop in both cases. Later, that move
began to be connected with the development c2-c3, Bf1-d3, that is with preparatory moves to occupy the
centre with e3-e4. The adequate responses in the centre (d7-d5, c7-c5) are Black’s most reliable plan in
this line.

3...c5 4.e3

About 4.c3 d5 5.e3 Nc6 – see 4.e3.

4.e4 cxd4 5.e5 (It is obvious that after 5.Nxd4 d6=, the hasty move Nbd2 forces White to play a Sicilian
Defence set-up with not so actively placed pieces.) 5...Nd5 6.Nxd4 (6.Bc4 Nb6 7.Nxd4 d6 8.Bb5+ Bd7
9.Qe2 a6 10.Bxd7+ N8xd7 11.exd6 Bxd6 12.N2f3 Qc7= Varga – C.Balogh, Budapest 2000) 6...d6
7.exd6 (7.Bb5+ Bd7 8.exd6 Bxd6 9.Ne4 Be7 10.c4, Starcevic – Perunovic, Belgrade 2012, 10...Nf6=)
7...Bxd6 8.Ne4 Be7 9.Qg4 g6 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Qe2 Qb6 12.c3 Bxb5 13.Qxb5+ Nd7= Rantanen –
Agopov, Finland 2014.



About 5.c3 d5 6.Bd3 Bd6 – see 5.Bd3.

Following 5.c4?! cxd4 6.exd4 d5³, there arises on the board a position from the Panov attack in the Caro-
Kann Defence, but with a bad knight for White on d2 instead of on the c3-square.
5.a3. This plan was preferred by Rubinstein. 5...d5 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.b4 Be7 8.Bb2 0-0 (8...a6?! 9.c4 dxc4
10.Nxc4 b5 11.Qxd8+ Bxd8 12.Nd6+ Ke7 13.Nxc8+ Rxc8 14.Bd3 Bc7 15.Ke2², with the two-bishop
advantage, Rubinstein – Golmayo de la Torriente, Prague 1931) 9.c4 b6 10.Bd3 (If White simplifies the
position in the centre, in order for Black to avoid some rather unpleasant pins on the central files, he
should try to reduce the material and particularly to trade White’s bishop on the long diagonal. He does
not have any lead in development in this position, so Black has sufficient time to accomplish an exchange
operation, to connect his rooks and to equalise completely. 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Qb3 Bf6 12.Bc4 Bxb2
13.Qxb2 Qf6 14.Qb1 Rd8 15.0-0 Bb7 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.Qb2 Rac8 18.Rac1 Nf6= Ibragimov – Kaufman,
Philadelphia 2004.) 10...Bb7 11.0-0 Rc8 12.Qe2 a5! This is standard counterplay for Black in similar
pawn-structures. After 13.b4-b5, his knight will retreat temporarily, but he will obtain the c5-outpost for
his pieces and the prospects of his dark-squared bishop on the f8-a3 diagonal will improve considerably.
13.b5 Nb8 14.Rfd1 Nbd7 15.cxd5 Bxd5 16.Bc4 Nc5 17.Rac1 Na4„ Obukhov – V.Szabo, ICCF 2009.



After 6.0-0, in response to 6...Bd6, or 6...Be7, White has a choice what plan to choose: 7.c3, transferring
to the Colle system, or 7.b3, transferring to the Zukertort system, or 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.c4. Therefore, from
the practical point of view, Black can deprive his opponent of that choice and play 6...c4 7.Be2 b5 8.c3
Bb7 9.b3 Be7 10.a4 a6 11.bxc4 bxc4 12.Qc2 0-0 13.Ba3 Bxa3 14.Rxa3 Qc7 15.Rb1 Rfb8= Muse –
Macieja, Germany 2009.
6.b3. This move leads to the Rubinstein attack. We will analyse the position arising after the moves
6...Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.Bb2 b6 9.Ne5 Bb7, in Chapter 3.


The development of Black’s bishop to the d6-square would not be the right decision for him if White’s
bishop had been on the g5-square, pinning Black’s knight. Then he should defend against the pin. In
positions in which his knight is not pinned, as a rule, this more active development of the bishop is
advantageous, since it supports the freeing pawn-advance e6-e5.


About 7.Qe2 0-0 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.e4 Qc7 10.0-0 b6 – see 7.0-0.
About 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Bd6 9.Bb2 0-0 10.0-0 b6 or 9.a3 0-0 10.0-0 a5 – see variation C3.
7.e4 cxd4 8.cxd4 dxe4 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Bxe4 Qa5+ 11.Bd2, Meyer – Kirschbaum, Regensburg 1995,


We will have a look now at: C1) 8.e4, C2) 8.Re1 and C3) 8.dxc5.
8.Qe2 Qc7. This is a flexible move. (It is also popular for Black to choose here 8...e5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.e4,
Kramnik – Aronian, Berlin 2015.) 9.e4 (9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.e4 b6 – see variation C3; 9.h3 e5 10.dxe5 Nxe5
11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Nf3 c4 13.Nxe5 Qxe5 14.Bc2 Bf5³ Dalponte – Khenkin, Arco 1998) 9...cxd4 10.cxd4
e5 11.exd5 Nxd4 12.Nxd4 exd4= Reti – Spielmann, Vienna 1921.

C1) 8.e4 cxd4 9.cxd4


Black can also obtain a very good position in two other ways. It is a matter of choice for him.

1) 9...Nb4 10.Bb1 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Be7 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.a3 Nd5 14.Qd3 g6 15.Bh6 Bg7 16.Bxg7
(16.Bg5 Qd6 17.Re1 b6 18.Ne5 Bb7 19.Qh3 Rac8 20.Be4 Rc7³ Cobb – Lalic, England 2000) 16...Kxg7
17.Ba2 b6 18.Qe4 Bb7 19.Qe5+ Qf6³ Borngaesser – Beliavsky, Groningen 1971.
2) 9...dxe4 10.Nxe4 Be7. As it often happens, there has arisen a position rather typical for another
opening. In this situation we have a position from the Tarrasch system of the French Defence after the
moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.Bd3 c5 5.c3 Nc6 6.Ngf3 cxd4 7.cxd4 dxe4 8.Nxe4 Be7 9.0-0 0-0

Now, as a rule, White chooses between the following possibilities:

About 11.Nxf6+ Bxf6 12.Be3 Nb4 – see 11.Be3.
11.Nc3 b6 12.a3 Bb7 13.Re1 Rc8 14.Bc2 Na5 15.Qd3?! Bxf3! 16.Qxf3 Nc6µ Savicevic – Sedlak Serbia
11.Be3 Nb4 12.Bb1 (12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Be4 Nd5 14.Qb3 b6 15.Bxd5 Qxd5 16.Qxd5 exd5 17.Rfe1 Bf5
18.Rac1 Rfc8= Kocovski – Armas, La Coruna 1995) 12...b6 13.a3 Nbd5 14.Ne5 (14.Qd3 Bb7 15.Re1
Rc8 16.Ne5 Nxe4 17.Qxe4 f5 18.Qd3 Bf6„ Fougerit – Heinz, France 2015) 14...Bb7 15.Ng5 h6 16.Nh3
Bd6„ Chapman – Hammes, Germany 2003.
10.dxe5 (10.exd5 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 exd4 12.Nf3 Bg4 13.Bg5 h6ƒ Lynch – Short, Mulcahy 1974)
10...Nxe5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.exd5 Qxd5 13.Nf3 Re8 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.Qf3 Be6 16.Qf4 Qd5=

C2) 8.Re1 e5!


9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.e4. Without the prophylactic move h2-h3, this opening of the diagonal with a rook on e1
is a risky operation for White and he must consider the possible enemy counterattack against the f2-
square. 10...Ng4!? 11.Rf1 (11.Re2?! f5!µ This is on the one hand a surprising strike, but in fact, it is
rather typical. Black’s f-pawn advances to organise the pawn double-attack e5-e4 at the very centre of the
board. White’s rook on e2 will come eventually under an attack after the elimination of his knight on f3,
or his bishop on d3. 12.h3? fxe4 13.hxg4 exd3–+; 12.exd5 e4 13.Bc2 exf3 14.Nxf3 Ne7µ) 11...Be6
12.exd5 (12.h3?! Nxf2 13.Rxf2 f5!µ; 12.Nb3? Nxf2 13.Rxf2 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 dxe4-+) 12...Bxd5 13.Qc2
h6= Stubbs – Grabner, ICCF 2009.
9.e4 cxd4 10.cxd4 (10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nc4 Bg4 12.Be4 Bc7³ Kelemen – Berta, corr. 1994; 11.cxd4 exd4
12.Nb3 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Ndb4³) 10...Bg4! 11.h3 (11.exd5 Nxd4 12.h3 Bh5 13.g4 Bg6 14.Bxg6
fxg6 15.Nxd4 exd4 16.Nb3, Raedeker – Westerinen, Dresden 2006, 16...Nd7µ; 11.dxe5 Nxe5 12.Be2
Nxf3+ 13.Bxf3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Re8µ Croce – Palmiotte, corr. 1960) 11...Bxf3 12.Nxf3 dxe4 13.Bxe4
Nxe4 14.Rxe4 f5 15.Re1 e4 16.Ng5 Qf6³ Schwarz – Glienke, Germany 2008.

9...Nxe5 10.Nxe5 Bxe5


11.h3 Re8 12.Nf3 Bc7 13.c4 Be6³ Cane – Perez Rodriguez, corr. 2000.
11.Nf3 Bc7 12.c4 dxc4 13.Bxc4 Ne4 14.Qc2 (14.b3 Ba5! 15.Rf1 Bc3 16.Rb1 Qxd1 17.Rxd1 Bf5 18.Bb2
Rad8ƒ) 14...Qe7 15.Bd3 Bf5 16.b3 Rad8 17.Bb2, Sarana Hungeling – Maksimenko, Germany 1996,
17...Rd5 18.Red1 Rfd8ƒ
11...Qc7 12.h3 Be6 13.exd5 Bh2+ 14.Kh1 Bxd5 15.Nf3?! (15.Ne4=) 15...Bf4³ Nieke – Plankert, ICCF

It is very interesting how the ideas in the opening are closely connected in the contemporary theory. We
can compare the position, we have analysed above, with one of the lines of the Meran variation (with

colours reversed) after move 16. Black’s actions in that variation in fact repeat the methods of play for
White in this game: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 e5
9.cxd5 cxd5 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 h6 13.Be3 exd4 14.Bh7+ Kh8 15.Bxd4 Nf6 16.Bf5

16...Qa5 17.Bxc8 Rfxc8 18.Qb3 Qd5 19.Rfd1 Qxb3 20.axb3 Ne4 21.Rxa7 Rxa7 22.Bxa7 Rc2 23.Bd4
Bc5 24.Ne1 Re2 25.Bxc5 Nxc5 26.b4 Na4 27.b3 Nc3 28.Kf1 Rb2 29.Rd7 f6 30.g3 b5 31.Nd3 Rb1+
32.Kg2 Rxb3 33.h4 h5 34.Nf4 Rxb4 35.Nxh5 Re4 36.Rxg7 Re5 37.Rc7 Nd5 38.Rc8+ Kh7 39.g4 b4
40.Kg3 Kg6 41.Rb8 Re4 42.Rb5 Nc7 43.Rb6 Ne6 44.f3 Re1 45.Nf4+ 1–0 Solozhenkin – Komarov,
Reggio Emilia 1998.

C3) 8.dxc5 Bxc5


About 9.Qc2 h6 10.e4 b6 or 9.Qe2 Qc7 10.e4 b6 – see 9.e4.

9.b4 Bd6 10.Bb2 (10.a3 a5 11.b5 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Bxe5 13.Bb2 Qe7 14.Qc2, Grachev – Khairullin, 2012,
14...b6 15.c4 Bxb2 16.Qxb2 Bb7 17.cxd5 Bxd5=) 10...b6!? (The seemingly natural move 10...e5 might
turn out to be pseudo-active here: 11.e4 Bg4 12.Re1²) 11.Rc1 Bb7 12.b5 Ne5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.Nf3 Bd6
15.c4 Rc8 16.cxd5 Rxc1 17.Qxc1 Nxd5 18.Rd1 Qe7= Jeute – Salzmann, ICCF 2015.


Black does not plan to play e6-e5, since it might lead to the weakening of the white-squared complex in
his position and develops his bishop on the long diagonal. This enables White to advance e4-e5, but
Black is perfectly prepared to play this favourable pawn-structure for him resembling the French


About 10.e5 Ng4 11.Qe2 Qc7 – see 10.Qe2.

10.Qc2 h6 11.exd5 Nxd5=


In this position White has the possibility to organise a direct attack against the enemy king, but Black has
sufficient defensive resources:


Following 11.exd5 exd5!?, Black wins tempi thanks to the placement of the enemy queen on the e-file

and can even create counterplay: 12.Nb3 Re8 13.Qc2 Ne5 14.Nxe5 Qxe5 15.Nxc5 bxc5 16.c4?! Ng4
17.f4 Qd4+ 18.Kh1, Goc – Smolka, ICCF 2009, 18...dxc4!µ

11...Ng4 12.Bxh7+

White can also try to exploit the position of the enemy knight on g4: 12.b4 Be7 13.Re1, but even then
Black’s position is acceptable. 13...f6 14.exf6 Bxf6 15.Bb2? Nxb4µ Schroeder – Gorb, Germany 2014.

12...Kxh7 13.Ng5+ Kg8 14.Qxg4 Qxe5

In this position Black has adequate resources to parry the attack against his king.


15.Qh5 Qf5 16.Ndf3 (16.g4 Qg6 17.Qxg6 fxg6 18.Nb3 Be7 19.Nd4 Nxd4 20.cxd4 e5ƒ Kashefi –
Rastbod, Teheran 2016) 16...Ba6 17.Rd1 Bd3! 18.g4 Qg6 19.Qxg6 Bxg6 20.h4 Rfe8 21.h5 Bc2 22.Rd2
Be4³ Fenollar – Gonzales Garcia, Barbera del Valles 2011.
15.Nb3 Be7!? (Following 15...Bd6 16.Qh3!? Qf5 17.Qxf5 exf5=, Black will have to compromise his
pawn-structure and that diminishes his chances of obtaining an advantage.) 16.Nf3 (16.f4 Qf6 17.Be3
Qg6 18.Qd1 Bxg5 19.fxg5 Ne5³ Illetsko – Ciucurel, ICCF 2004; 16.Bf4 Qf6 17.Qh5 Qh6 18.Qxh6
gxh6 19.Nf3 Kg7 20.Nbd4 Nxd4 21.Nxd4 f6³ Camanel del Corral – Lucki, ICCF 2011) 16...Qd6
17.Nbd4 (17.Bg5 f6 18.Bd2 e5³; 17.Re1 e5 18.Qg3 f6³) 17...Nxd4 18.Nxd4 f5³, followed by e6-e5 after
any retreat of the enemy queen and Black maintains an advantage in the centre and has excellent
prospects of obtaining an edge.

15...Qf6 16.Qh5

16.Qh4?! After logical developments, this move would lead to a clear advantage for Black. 16...Qg6

17.Re1 e5 18.b4 Bd6 19.b5 Nd8 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Rxe5 f6 22.Rxd5 fxg5 23.Rxg5 Qf6 24.Be3 Nf7µ
Malbasic – Anokhin, ICCF 2016.
16.Rd1 Ba6 (This move preserves more chances for Black to seize the initiative than 16...e5, for example:
17.Qh4 Bf5 18.Rxd5 Rad8 19.Rxd8 Rxd8 20.Be3 e4 21.Bxc5 bxc5 22.Ne1 Qe5 23.Nc2 f6 24.Nh3 Rd2
25.Ne3 Be6 26.Ng4 Qf5 27.Ne3= Staroske – Baranowski, ICCF 2010.) 17.Qa4 Bb7 18.Qc2 g6³

16...Qh6 17.Qxh6 gxh6 18.Nh3 Kh7 19.Nf4 Ba6 20.Re1 Rac8³ Parameswaran – Zarnicki, Yerevan

D) 3.c3

This move is played regularly by the British grandmaster Mark Hebden. After 3...c5, as well as after
3...b6, not to speak about the rarely played moves for Black 3...d5 and 3...Be7, Hebden has played always
4.Bg5, so there arises a reasonable question – why he clarified immediately his intentions with the move
Why does not he choose the order of moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5? This would have been more
logical, moreover that after 3...b6 and 3.Bg5, White will have the additional possibility 4.e4.
As an answer to this question, I will try to suppose that with the move 3.c3, Mark is trying to avoid the
line, which is chosen as a rule by Vladimir Kramnik in response to 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 and that is:
3...h6 4.Bh4 d6!? (see Chapter 5).

3.c3 b6 4.Bg5

About 4.Bf4 Bb7 – see Chapter 4.

4...Bb7 5.Nbd2

About 5.e3 Be7 6.Nbd2 h6, or 6.Bd3 c5 7.Nbd2 h6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6, or 8.Bh4 Nc6, or 8.Bf4 Nh5 9.Bg3
Nxg3 10.hxg3 Nc6 – see 5.Nbd2.


The most popular plan for White in similar positions is the preparation to occupy the central e4-square
with his pawn (either after e2-e3 and Bf1-d3, or after Qd1-c2). As a rule Black prevents that by playing
d7-d5. Then, White occupies immediately the e5-square with his knight and prepares active actions on
the kingside. He can castle later on the queenside.


6.h3 0-0 7.Bf4 d5 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Ne5 Nxe5 10.Bxe5 Bd6 11.Bb5 Bxe5 12.dxe5 Nd7!? (In the game
Hebden – Greet, England 2007, Black played 12...Ne4 13.0-0 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 f6=, which was also
possible for him, but the move 12...Nd7!? was much more interesting...) 13.Bxd7 Qxd7 14.Nf3 a5„
6.Bxf6 Bxf6 7.e4. This occupation of the centre is the essence of White’s idea to trade his bishop
immediately for the enemy knight, without waiting for h7-h6. The centre is not fixed yet, so it would be
obvious that Black can and should attack it with his pawns. 7...d6 8.Bd3 Nd7 9.Qe2 (9.0-0 e5 10.Nc4 g6
11.Ne3 0-0 12.Qa4 a6 13.Rfe1, Kulakov – Kravtsov, Moscow 2006, 13...exd4!? 14.cxd4 c5³; 14.Nxd4
Re8 15.Qc2 Nc5„) 9...e5 10.d5 (When White maintains the tension in the centre, without blocking it, he
should remember that there is a risk of opening it at any moment, which would increase considerably the
scope of action of the enemy dark-squared bishop, which has no opponent on the board, for example:
10.Ba6, Dietz – Scheringer, Germany 1995, 10...Bxa6 11.Qxa6 exd4 12.cxd4 c5„ 13.Nc4?! 0-0 14.d5
Qe7³) 10...a5!? Black plays this move in order to avoid the trade of the bishops after Bd3-a6. 11.Bb5
Be7 12.Nc4 0-0= 13.Bxd7?! Qxd7 14.Ne3, Kelly – Andor, Hungary 2001, 14...Ba6 15.c4 b5„
6.h4. This is one of the original ideas of Mark Hebden, which has mostly a psychological effect. It does
not create any real problems for Black after 6...c5 7.h5 h6. (In one of Mark’s games his opponent ignored

the march of White’s h-pawn and Hebden, a bit illogically, did not continue to advance it. In fact, in this
particular case, the march of the h-pawn cannot cause any considerable weakening of Black’s king shelter
on the kingside: 7...d6 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Bf4 Qc7∞ Hebden – Bradford, England 2007; 9.h6 g6=) 8.Bf4 d6
9.e3 Nbd7 10.Bd3. In two of the games of the British grandmaster his opponents chose different plans
obtaining quite acceptable positions. So, the advance of White’s h-pawn did not prove to be promising
for him. 10...cxd4 (10...Qc7∞ Hebden – Nagle, Dos Hermanes 2003) 11.exd4 e5!?„ Hebden – Fish,
Lausanne 2001.
6.Qc2 d5. White is reluctant to part with his two-bishop advantage, so it would be unreasonable for Black
to give up the centre. 7.e3 (White can also try to occupy immediately the e5-square with the move 7.Ne5,
but he has not completed his development yet and fails to stabilise comfortably on this outpost. 7...0-0
8.e3 Nbd7 9.f4 h6 10.Bh4?! Nxe5 11.fxe5 Ng4µ; 9.Ndf3 c5 10.Be2 Nxe5 11.Nxe5, Svaljek – Abergel,
Pula 2006, 11...Ne4!? 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0 f6 14.Nf3 Rac8„) 7...Nbd7 8.Bd3 h6

9.Bf4 c5 10.Ne5 Nxe5 11.Bxe5, Shilnikov – Brunov, Russia 2011, 11...0-0 12.0-0 Ng4 13.Bg3 a6 14.h3
Nf6 15.Be5 Nd7 16.Bg3 b5„; 14.a4 Qd7!? 15.h3 Nf6 16.Nf3 c4 17.Be2 Ne4 18.Ne5 Qe8 19.Bh2 b5
20.f3 Nd6∞ White cannot advance his central pawns without compromising his position, while the march
of his kingside pawns is double-edged.)
9.Bh4 c5 10.0-0 0-0

11.Ne5?! Nxe5 12.dxe5 Ng4! 13.Bg3 Bh4! Black attacks consistently his opponent’s weak e5-pawn.
14.Bf4 g5 15.f3 Bf2+! 16.Rxf2 Nxf2µ Simpson – Vijayalakshmi, England 2002.
11.Rfe1 Rc8 12.Rad1 c4!? 13.Bf1 (13.Be2 Bd6„) 13...b5 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Nd7 16.Bg3, Lajos –
Hajdu, Hungary 1993, 16...a5ƒ
11.a4 Rc8 12.Qd1 Ne4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.a5 c4 15.Be2 b5„
11.Rac1 Rc8 12.Qb1 a6 13.b4 c4∞ Buckley – Arkell, England 2011.
11.Qb1 Rc8 12.Re1 Re8 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Bxe7 Rxe7 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.Rxe4 Nf6= Nygaard
– Hansen, Trondheim 2007.
11.Rae1 c4 12.Be2 Qc7 (12...Bd6!? 13.Bg3 Bxg3 14.hxg3 Qc7„) 13.Bg3 Bd6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.e4
Nxe4 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2 b5 18.Nxe4 Qf4 19.Bf3 Rab8= Spassky – Reshevsky, Amsterdam 1964.



About 7.Bh4 c5 8.Bd3 Nc6 – see Chapter 5, variation B2.

Following 7.Bf4, White parts with his bishop without obtaining anything meaningful in return. 7...Nh5
8.Bg3 Nxg3 9.hxg3 c5 10.Bd3 Nc6 11.Qe2 d5 12.Bb5 Bf6 13.Ne5 Bxe5 14.dxe5 Qc7 15.f4 a6= Hebden
– Hillarp Persson, Oslo 2010.

7...Bxf6 8.Bd3 c5


9.Qe2 Nc6 10.a3 (White has also tried to obtain an advantage by castling queenside: 10.0-0-0 Qc7
11.Kb1 d5 12.dxc5?! bxc5 13.e4 0-0µ, with a clear-cut plan for actions for Black on the b-file,
Hecimovic – Stocko, Croatia 2015.) 10...d5 11.b4 0-0 12.b5 Na5 13.h4 Re8 14.Ne5 cxd4 15.cxd4 Bxe5
16.dxe5 f6 17.Nf3 Qc7 18.Qb2 Rec8 19.0-0 Nc4 20.Bxc4 dxc4 21.exf6 Bxf3 22.gxf3 c3ƒ Kamsky –
Ljubojevic, Belgrade 1991.


Black has stopped the advance of his enemy pawns. Now, he plans to castle and to follow that with d7-d5
and e6-e5, seizing eventually the initiative.


10.a3, Michos – Macieja, Greece 2014, 10...0-0 11.b4 d5=

10.Qe2 Qc7 11.Ba6 Bxa6 12.Qxa6 0-0 13.Rac1 Rac8 14.g3 Qb8 15.Rfd1 d5 16.a3 Rc7 17.b4 Qc8=
Limp – Disconzi da Silva, Rio de Janeiro 2003.
10...Be7 11.Ne5 (11.Bc2 d5 12.Ng3 0-0 13.Ne5 Bd6= Hodgson – Benjamin, San Francisco 1998) 11...0-
0 12.Qh5 f5

13.Ng3 Nxe5 14.dxe5, Pytel – Romanov, France 2010, 14...Qc7 15.Rad1 c4 (It would be too risky for
Black to choose here 15...Qxe5?!, because of 16.e4ƒ and suddenly, it turns out that White is better.)
16.Bc2 Rad8 17.f4 Qc6 18.e4 d6∞ Black’s two-bishop advantage might become a telling factor in the

Chapter 3

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3

Akiba Rubinstein used to play this order of moves after which, as a rule, there arose a system, which was
later named after him (the Rubinstein system). Black was fighting for the centre with d7-d5, against
which White usually developed in the following way: Bd3, Nbd2, b2-b3, Bb2, a3, 0-0. He wishes to
build the “Pillsbury triangle” – a knight on e5, supported by the pawns on d4, e3, f4 and then to realise
the plan of Frank James Marshall, connected with the transfer of his rook to the kingside via the f3-
square. Still, the advantage of the Queen’s Indian Defence is that Black does not need to be in a hurry to
play d7-d5, if this is not favourable for him and thus to deprive White of the possibility to realise the
above mentioned plan.

3...b6 4.Bd3

About 4.c4 Bb7 – see Chapter 8.

About 4.Nbd2 Bb7 5.Bd3 c5 – see 4.Bd3.
The line: 4.b3 Bb7 5.Bb2 enables Black to develop according to the scheme d5 and Bd8-d6, as well as to
try the set-up c5 and Bf8-e7.
4.Be2 Bb7 5.0-0 Be7 6.c4 (Following 6.b3 0-0 7.Bb2 c5, White will hardly manage to continue the game
without the move 8.c4 and after 8...d5 9.Nc3 dxc4, there would arise transposition to the variation with
6.c4.) 6...0-0 7.Nc3 d5

8.cxd5. White has already placed his bishop on e2 and is not threatening to occupy the centre with e3-e4,
so it would be logical for Black not to close the diagonal for his light-squared bishop and to capture on d5
with a piece: 8...Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Bxd5 10.b3 (10.Qc2 c5 11.e4 Bb7 12.Rd1 cxd4 13.Nxd4 Qc8= Pogonina
– Goryachkina, Sochi 2017; 10.Ne5 Bf6„ Alekseev – Lysyj, Russia 2016) 10...Nd7 11.Bb2 c5 12.Rc1
Rc8= Moussard – Garamian, France 2015.
8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.e4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 c5 12.Bf4 Nf6 13.Bd3 c4 14.Bxc4 Bxe4 15.Qe2 Rc8„
De Dreux – Zherebukh, Leeuwarden 2009.
8.b3 c5 9.Bb2 dxc4 10.bxc4 (10.Bxc4 Nc6 11.Qe2 cxd4 12.Rfd1 a6 13.Nxd4 Qc7= Flohr – Ilivitzki,
USSR 1954) 10...cxd4 11.exd4 Nc6= Levushkina – Makoveev, Moscow 2017.

4...Bb7 5.0-0

About 5.c4 d5 – see Chapter 8, variation E.

About 5.b3 c5 6.0-0 Be7, or 6.Bb2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0, or 5.Nbd2 c5 6.0-0 Nc6, or 6.c3 Nc6 7.0-0 Qc7, or
6.b3 Be7 7.0-0 Nc6, or 7.Bb2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 – see 5.0-0.


It is logical for Black to play here 5...d5, so that after c2-c4, to develop his bishop on d6 and to reach
positions, which we analyse in Chapter 8. Still, it is quite obvious that after this order of moves White
does not need to be in a hurry to advance c2-c4 and places his knight on e5. After this, contrary to the
development according to the scheme c5, Nc6, Be7, 0-0, Rc8, he would not have the resource d7-d6, with
which he ousts the enemy knight from the central e5-square.

About 6.c4 Bd6 – see Chapter 8.

6.Ne5 Bd6 7.f4 0-0 8.Nd2 c5 9.c3 (9.b3 Nc6 10.Bb2 Rc8 – see 6.b3; 9.Qf3 Nc6 10.c3 Ne7 11.g4 Rc8
12.g5 Nd7 13.Qh5 g6 14.Qh3 Nf5 15.Ng4 f6„ Mucoz Moreno – Fleetwood, ICCF 2012.) 9...Nc6

10.Rf3 (10.Qf3 Ne7 – see 9.Qf3) 10...Ne7 11.Rh3 Ne4 12.Qh5 h6 13.Ndf3 Nf6 14.Qh4 Nf5„ Moran –
Laven, ICCF 2014.
6.b3 Bd6 7.Bb2 0-0 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Ne5 (9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.c4 dxc4 12.Nxc4 Qe7 13.Rad1
Rfd8= Kramnik – Oparin, Zurich 2017) 9...Nc6 10.a3 (10.f4 Rc8 11.a3 Ne7 – see 10.a3) 10...Rc8 11.f4

The move 12.Qe2 does not prevent 12...Ne4! 13.Nxe4 (13.c4 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 cxd4 15.exd4 Nf5 16.Rae1
Re8 17.Qf2 Qh4!³ Jensen – Rasmussen, ICCF 2015; 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Ndc4 Ba6³ Batchimeg – Koneru,
Sarjah 2014) 13...dxe4 14.Bc4 cxd4 15.exd4 Nf5 16.a4 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Qc7³ Sandipan –Ganguly, Dubai
12.Qf3 b5! 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Rae1 (14.b4 Bb6 15.Bd4 Ne4 16.Nb3 f6 17.Bxb6 axb6 18.Ng4 Nf5³
Opychaneyj – Frendzas, ICCF 2015; 14.Qh3 Nf5 15.Kh1 Ne4 16.Nxe4 dxe4 17.Bxb5 Nxe3 18.Nd7
Nxf1 19.Qg4 f6³ Stefanova –Hou Yifan, Beijing 2014) 14...Nf5 15.Qh3 Ne4³ Krasenkow – Yu
Shaoteng, Wijk aan Zee 2002.

We will analyse now: A) 6.c4 and B) 6.Nbd2.
About 6.b3 Be7 7.Bb2 0-0 8.Nbd2 Nc6 – see variation B.
6.c3 Nc6 7.e4 (7.Nbd2 Qc7 – see variation B) 7...cxd4 8.e5 Nd5 9.cxd4 d6= Togan – Vitan, Romania
2017. There has arisen a position from another opening – the Alapin variation from the Sicilian Defence
with an extra tempo for Black, which has happened because White has advanced e2-e4 in two moves.

A) 6.c4 Be7


About 7.Nbd2 0-0 – see variation B.
7.b3 0-0 8.Bb2 cxd4 9.exd4 d5

About 10.Nbd2 Nc6, or 10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Nbd2 Rc8 – see variation B1.
10.Ne5 Nc6 11.Nxc6 (11.f4 dxc4 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.bxc4 Qc7 14.h3 Qb7 15.Qc2, Ortiz – Marquez
Rueda, Colombia 2010, 15...b5„) 11...Bxc6 12.Nd2 Qd7 13.Nf3 Qb7 14.Re1 dxc4 15.bxc4, Bellon –
Campos Moreno, Barcelona 1989, 15...Bxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 Rfd8 18.d5 Kf8³
10.Nc3. The placement of White’s knight on c3, contrary to its development on d2, prevents him from
controlling reliably the c4-square and Black can exploit this. 10...Nc6

About 11.Re1 Rc8 12.Rc1 dxc4 – see 11.Rc1.

11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Bc4 Qh5 14.Ne5 Qxd1 15.Rfxd1 Nb4 16.f3 Rfd8³ Avrukh – Smirin,
Israel 2009.
11.Qe2 dxc4 12.bxc4 Nb4 13.Bb1 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Rc8 15.Ne4, Krasenkow – Spoelman, Wijk aan Zee
2008, 15...Nh5³
11.Rc1 Rc8 12.Re1 (12.Qe2 Nb4 13.Bb1 dxc4 14.bxc4 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Bd6 16.Ne4 Bf4 17.Rcd1 Nxe4
18.fxe4 Qh4 19.f3 Rxc4!µ Frog –Malakhov, Russia 1995) 12...dxc4 13.bxc4 Na5 14.Ne5 Nd7 15.Nxd7
Qxd7 16.d5, Giertz – Kritz, Biel 2003, 16...Nxc4!? 17.dxe6 Qe8∞


White is threatening 8.d5, so Black cannot remain idle.


The position is simplified after 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Nxc6 dxc6 10.b3 Qc7= Priehoda – Mikhalchishin,
Czechoslovakia 1988.


Strangely enough even strong grandmasters (Lautier, Korobov, Tiviakov, Wang Hao...), have chosen in
this position the move 8...0-0, enabling White to to play the seemingly rather unpleasant move 9.d5. As a
rule, Black replied with 9...Na6 10.Bf4 d6 and here, White could have based his hopes not on Black’s
weak pawn-structure (after the exchange on e6), but on his space advantage: 11.Re1 e5 12.Bd2 Nc5
13.Bc2 Rc8 14.Bf5 Ncd7 15.b3 g6 16.Bc2 Re8² Halkias – Gholami, Doha 2016. Naturally, in response
to 10.Bf4, Black can try 10...Nh5 11.Be3 Nf6 and complying with the possible repetition of the position
to suggest to White to prove that he has a real advantage.


About 9.b3 0-0 10.Bb2 Nc6 – see 7.b3.

9.Qe2 0-0 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.a3 Na5!?„ Dvoretska – Guda, Ukraine 2001.
9.Re1 0-0 10.a3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nc6 12.Ba2 Qc7 13.Be3 Rad8„ Lobron – Wilder, USA 1987.
9.Bg5 dxc4 10.Bxc4 0-0 11.Qd3 (11.Qe2 Nc6 12.Rad1 Nb4 13.Ne5 Rc8 14.a3 Nbd5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5
16.Bc1 Nf6= Nei – Szabo, Beverwijk 1966) 11...Nc6 12.a3 Nd5 13.Bxd5 Bxg5 14.Be4, Eljanov –
Balogh, Wawsaw 2005, 14...f5„


After 9...exd5, White obtains a clear advantage with a rather simple play: 10.Bb5+ Nbd7 11.Ne5 0-0
12.Bc6 Qc8 13.Nxd7 Nxd7 14.Nxd5 Bd6 15.Bxb7 Qxb7 16.Qf3± Przezdziecka – Berescu, Kavala


If Black had at his disposal several tempi in reserve, he could have completed his development and would
have maintained an advantage thanks to his excellent blockade against his opponent’s isolated pawn. He
does not have these tempi however, so White is trying to create immediate threats on the kingside. The
move 11.Bb5+ is already on the agenda...
The direct attempt 10.Bb5+ cannot bring real advantage to White. 10...Bc6

11.Qa4 Qd7 12.Ne5 (12.Bxc6 Nxc6, or 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Bxc6 Nxc6 – see 11.Bxc6) 12...Nxc3!
13.Qc2 Qd5 14.Bxc6+ Nxc6 15.Nxc6 Qxc6 16.bxc3 (16.Qxc3 Qd5³) 16...Rc8 17.Bd2 0-0³ Leskovar
Raimondi – Bruzon Batista, Mar del Plata 2012.
11.Bxc6+ Nxc6 12.Qa4 Qd7 13.Nxd5 Qxd5 14.Be3 (14.Ne5?! b5 15.Qa6? Nb4 16.Qa5 Nc2 17.Rb1
Nxd4µ Koellner – Timar, corr. 1994) 14...0-0 15.Rfc1 b5 16.Qb3 Nb4 17.Qxd5 Nxd5³ Bisguier –
Seirawan, Greenville 1980.
11.Bc4 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nd7 13.Bb3 (13.Bf4 0-0 14.Re1 b5 15.d5 Nb6 16.dxc6 Nxc4 17.c7 Qxd1
18.Raxd1 Rfc8= Brousek – Volek, ICCF 2007) 13...0-0 14.Re1 Bd6= Mamedyarov – Macieja, Spain



Black has no problems after 11.Re1 Nd7, for example: 12.Bd2 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Nb4 14.Be4 Bxe4 15.Rxe4
Nd3„ Larsen – Tal, Brussels 1987; or 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bf4 Nxe5 14.Bxe5= Ivkov – Panno, Palma de
Mallorca 1972.
Following 11.Qg4 Nf6 12.Qh4 Ne4, there arises transposition to the main variation, but Black has an
even stronger line: 11...f5!? 12.Qe2 Nc7 13.Rd1 Nc6 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Bf4 Bd6 16.Be5, Hebden –
Dundee, Scotland 2017, 16...Qe7 17.Rac1 Rac8=


Now, the next few moves are practically forced for both sides. White must sacrifice a pawn with the idea
to organise an attack on the kingside having in mind that Black has not completed his development yet.
After 11...g6 12.Qh3 Nc6 13.Bh6 Nxd4 14.Bxf8 Bxf8 15.Nxf7!? Kxf7 16.Qxh7+ Bg7 17.Qxg6+ Kf8∞,
Black will have to defend a position with a very unsafe king and he cannot be envied, Hobusch –
Adamski, Germany 2014.


It is rather dubious for White to choose here 12.Qh3 Qxd4 13.Re1 Nc6 14.Nxc6 (14.Nb5 Qb4 15.Bg5
Nxe5 16.Rxe5 Rfd8!µ Nguyen – Hoang, Vietnam 2017) 14...Bxc6 15.Bg5 h6 16.Rad1 Qc5 17.Bf4 Qh5µ
Danielian – Abdyjapar, Moscow 2015.

12...Ne4 13.Qh3 Qxd4 14.Bf4

The tactical operation 14.Nxf7 Rxf7 15.Bxe4 Bxe4 16.Qg4 Nc6 17.Qxe4 Qxe4 18.Nxe4 Nb4=, would
lead to complete equality, Jussupow – Macieja, Germany 2006.

14...Nf6 15.Ne2

15.Bg3 Nc6 16.Nb5 (16.Rae1 Nxe5 17.Bxe5 Qg4 18.Bxh7+ Kh8 19.Qxg4 Nxg4 20.Be4 Bxe4 21.Rxe4
Nxe5 22.Rxe5 Bf6 23.Re3 Rfd8³ Lucas – Postny, Budapest 2000) 16...Qxb2. Black sacrificed the
exchange and obtained quite sufficient compensation for it. 17.Nd7 h6 18.Nxf8 Rxf8© Hebden –
Eggleston, England 2008.


This move enables Black to hold the position, while his alternatives provide White with the possibility to
develop his initiative.


16.Ng4?! Otterstaetter – Mueller, Germany 2008, 16...Nbd7µ

After 16.Rad1 Ba6, Black can try to simplify the position if White does not create concrete threats 17.b3
Qe8 18.Nc4 Bxc4 19.Bxc4 a6 20.Nd4 Nc6³ Machelett – Hoffmann, Germany 2007.
16.Rfd1 Ba6 17.Nd4 Bxd3 18.Rxd3 Qe8 19.Rc1 Na6∞
16.b3 Qe8 17.Bg5 Ne4 18.Bf4 f5 19.Bc4 Bc5= Khalifman – Lobron, Groningen 1993.
16.Rfc1 Na6!? 17.Rc4 Qa5 18.Nd7 Rfd8 19.Nxf6+ Bxf6 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Ng3, Kovalenko –
A.Horvath, Bastia 2014, 21...Bd5!? 22.Rc2 Nc5∞
16.Rac1 Ba6 17.Nc4 Rd8 18.Bc7 Rc8 19.Be5 Nbd7 20.b3 Qb4 21.a3 (21.Bb2 Bxc4 22.Bxc4 Qa5³
Stefanova – Basso, Doha 2014) 21...Qc5 22.b4 Qd5 23.Nf4 Qb7 24.Bxf6 Nxf6 25.Nxe6!? Bxc4
26.Bxc4 b5 27.Be2 fxe6 28.Qxe6+ Kf8 29.Bf3 Qd7 30.Qxd7 Nxd7 31.Bxa8 Rxa8 32.Rc7 Nb6 33.Re1
Bf6= Chatalbashev – Kristjansson, Bulgaria 2003.



17.Nf4?! Nbd7! 18.Bxg6? Nxe5! 19.b3 Qa3–+ Payen – Dumitrache France 2004.
17.Bh6 Rd8 18.Nf4 Rd6!∞
17...Nbd7 18.Rc7 (18.Nc3?! Qd4³) 18...Nxe5 19.Rxe7 Nxd3 20.Bxf6 Nf4 21.Qg4 Nxe2+ 22.Qxe2 Qf4
23.Be5 Ba6= Sanner – Dasiewicz, ICCF 2006.

B) 6.Nbd2


It is useless for Black to play here 6...Be7, because if he manages to to advance d7-d5 under favourable
circumstances, then he may deploy advantageously his bishop on the active d6-square.
If Black plays immediately 6...d5, then White will counter that with Ne5 and f4.
Black must react somehow against c2-c3; otherwise, White will be threatening e2-e4. With a knight on
c6, Black may have the additional possibility after the exchange on d4 to follow with Nb4 and then Ba6.


About 7.c4 Be7 8.b3 cxd4 9.exd4 d5 10.Bb2 0-0 – see variation B1.
7.a3 Be7 8.c3. This move is played with the idea to follow with 9.e4. The pawn on a3 is necessary in
order to avoid Black’s knight-sortie Nb4 after 9.e4 cxd4 10.cxd4 (8.b3 0-0 9.Bb2 Rc8 – see variation B2)
8...d5 9.Ne5 (9.Qe2 0-0 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.e4 Qc7= Drazic – Milanovic, Serbia 2011; 9.b4 0-0 10.Bb2 c4
11.Bc2, Faibisovich – Yakovich, Czech Republic 1994, 11...Bd6=) 9...Nxe5 10.dxe5 Nd7 11.f4 c4
12.Bc2 Nc5= Mohlrok – Lobron, Germany 1992.
7.c3. Black’s knight has been already developed on c6, so the play will be different from what we have
already analysed in the variation with 6.c3. 7...Qc7!?

The idea of the move 7...Qc7 can be seen in the variation 8.e4?! cxd4 9.cxd4 Nb4 10.Bb1 Rc8³
Rotenstein – Saemisch, Berlin 1932. Therefore, instead of 5...Be7, Black preferred the move 5...c5,
saving time in order to organise faster counterplay on the c-file.
8.Re1 Be7 9.e4 (9.a3 d5 – see 8.a3) 9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 Ne5 11.Bc2 Ng6= Colle – Euwe, Amsterdam
8.a3 d5 9.b4 (9.Re1 Be7 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 cxd4 12.cxd4 0-0= Kocher – Medina Garcia, Madrid 1943)
9...Be7 10.Bb2 c4= Guimard – Sunye Neto, Porto Vehlo 1988.

8.Qe2 Be7 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.e4 d5 11.Re1 0-0 12.e5 Nd7 13.Nf1, Vlasenko – Solozhenkin, St Petersburg
2004, 13...a5. Black can try to advance eventually this pawn all the way up to the a3-square. 14.Ng3
Rfb8„ This is the right rook to place here, since he might need the f8-square for his knight on d7, from
where it would protect the important h7-square.

7...Be7 8.Bb2

About 8.a3 0-0 9.Bb2 Rc8 – see variation B2.

About 8.c4 0-0 9.Bb2 cxd4 10.exd4 d5 – see variation B1.


We will analyse now: B1) 9.c4 and B2) 9.a3.

9.dxc5 bxc5 10.e4 d6 (10...d5!? 11.e5 Nd7„) 11.Re1 Qc7 12.a3 a5 13.e5 dxe5 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Bxe5
Qc6 16.f3 a4∞ Onischuk – Lautier, Biel 1996.

B1) 9.c4 cxd4 10.exd4

White would not achieve much after 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 d5= Ushenina – Hou Yifan, Beijing 2014.

10...d5 11.Rc1

11.Qe2 Rc8 12.Rad1 Re8 13.Rfe1 Bf8 14.Qe3 g6 15.Ne5 Bg7∞ I.Ivanov – Spraggett, Montreal 1981.
11.a3 Rc8 12.Qe2 Re8 13.Rad1 Bf8= Atabayev – Leko, Doha 2016.


We will deal now with the moves: B1a) 12.Re1 and B1b) 12.Qe2.

B1a) 12.Re1 Re8 13.a3

13.Ne5 dxc4 (Following 13...Bf8 14.Ndf3 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Rc7?! 16.c5! bxc5 17.Bb5², White managed to
with the exchange in the game Karpov – Andersson, Tilburg 1980.) 14.Nxc6 Rxc6 15.bxc4 Rc7=, with
the possibility to improve later his position with Qd8-a8, Rf8-d8 and Be7-b4, Dobosz – Kosten, Naestved

13...Bf8 14.c5

White can prepare the pawn-advance c4-c5 with 14.Nf1 g6 15.Ne3 Bg7 16.c5, Khairullin – Bukavshin,
Khanty-Mansiysk 2015 and here, Black had to react with 16...Nd7! Due to the pin on the long diagonal,
this move would have forced in fact White to capture with his b-pawn after the exchange on c5 and that
would have been definitely in favour of Black. White’s defence of the bishop with the move 17.Qd2?!
would not be adequate after 17...Na5!ƒ


Now, White will have problems to occupy additional space on the queenside.


The move 15.Bc3 enables Black to create a powerful pawn-tandem in the centre and leads to a very
complicated position: 15...bxc5 16.dxc5 d4 17.Bb2 e5 18.Ng5 Rc7, Kramnik – Nisipeanu, Dortmund
2016. Many commentators and in particular grandmaster Mikhail Krasenkow, instead of the not so good
move 19.Bc4?!, have suggested here 19.Nde4 Nxe4 20.Nxe4. I believe that after 20...Bc8„, followed by
Bc8-e6, Rc7-b7, Black has quite sufficient counterplay.


This is another precise prophylactic move for Black, covering the diagonal of the pin.
16.b4 (16.cxb6 Qxb6 17.Qe2 Rc7 18.Rc3 Rec8, Hulak – Arnason, Bor 1984) 16...axb4 17.Bxc6 Bxc6
18.axb4 Qc7 19.Nf1 Qb7 20.Bc3 Bb5„ Vl.Kovacevic – Kutuzovic, Zadar 1995.

B1b) 12.Qe2 Re8 13.Rfd1 Bf8


About 14.Qe3 g6 15.h3 Bg7 – see 14.h3.

White’s alternatives, which have been tried in this position, lead to a complicated fight with sufficient
counterplay for Black.
14.g3 g6 15.Ne5 dxc4 16.bxc4 Bg7 17.Bc2, Fedoseev – Bacrot, Yerevan 2014, 17...Re7!„ 18.Ba4?
14.a3 g6 15.c5 e5!? (It would be rather dubious for Black to choose here 15...bxc5 16.dxc5², but he can
try instead 15...a5 16.Bb5 Nd7„ The juxtaposition of the rook and the queen on the e-file provides him
with additional possibilities to organise counterplay.) 16.Nxe5 bxc5„
14.Ne5 dxc4 15.Ndxc4 Nb4 16.Bb1 Nbd5 17.Ne3 (17.Qf3 Rc7 18.g3? b5 19.Nd2 Nc3–+ Merzliakov –
M.Makarov, St Petersbourg 2009) 17...Re7∞ Vaisman – Suba, Romania 1978.
14.Bb1 g6 15.Nf1 (15.Ne5 Bh6!„; 15.Qe3, Ionov – Tomashevsky, Russia 2011, 15...Ng4 16.Qe2
Nh6„) 15...Bg7 16.Ne3 Qd6∞ Halikas – Fridman, Warsaw 2010.
14.Nf1 g6 15.Ne3 Bg7 16.c5 (16.Bb1 Rc7 17.Ne5, Urday – Leitao, Sao Paolo 1997, 17...dxc4 18.bxc4
Nxe5 19.dxe5 Nd7=; 16.Ne5 dxc4 17.Bxc4, Khenkin – Prasad, Netherlands 2012, 17...Nb4=) 16...Nd7
17.Bb5 and here, Black has a deflecting tactical resource in order to diminish White’s increasing pressure
17...a6! 18.Bxc6 (After capturing of the pawn, White’s queen will be deflected from the protection of the
bishop on b2: 18.Bxa6?! Bxa6 19.Qxa6 bxc5µ) 18...Bxc6 19.b4 Ba4„ Le Quang Liem – Kramnik,
Dortmund 2011.

14...g6 15.Qe3

White manoeuvres and improves the placement of his queen.

15...Bg7 16.Ne5


His main positional threat is c4-c5, so Black decides to liquidate it, because after the exchange of the
pawn c4-c5 is already not so strong, because there arises a weak d5-square in White’s camp and the
appearance of a semi-open d-file. Black prefers to enter a pawn-structure with hanging pawn than to have
to consider the threat c4-c5 all the time.

17.bxc4 Qe7 18.Ndf3 Nxe5 19.Nxe5 Nd7= Pedersen – Tisdall, Denmark 1983.

B2) 9.a3

White has defended against Nc6-b4 and postpones for a while the attack of the enemy centre with the
move c2-c4.


This is Black’s most popular reaction in this position. This move was played for the first time by the
Polish master and chess composer David Przepiorka against Akiba Rubinstein in the tournament in Liege
in the year 1930.


About 10.c4 cxd4 11.exd4 d5 – see variation B1.

10.Ne5 cxd4 11.exd4 d6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6=
10.Re1 Re8 11.Qe2 cxd4 12.exd4 Bf8 13.Rac1 Ne7= Faghirnavaz – Tiviakov, Iran 2016.

10...Re8 11.Rfd1

Following 11.Rad1, just like after 11.Rfd1, Black should better refrain from 11...Bf8?!, because of
12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Ng5! e5, Smyslov – Ribli, London 1983, 14.f4! h6 15.Qf3ƒ and he should better prefer
the more accurate response 11...cxd4 12.exd4 Bf8 13.Rfe1 g6= Prusikin – Volzhin, Lausanne 2008.
11...cxd4! (11...Bf8?! 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Ng5ƒ Jussupov – Sigurjonsson, Reykjavik 1985) 12.exd4 Bf8=
Kovacevic – Lobron, Indonesia 1983. White’s active attempts c2-c4, or Nf3-e5 will be countered by
Black in a standard way: d7-d5, or d7-d6. He has plenty of resources for manoeuvring like: g6, Bg7,

Chapter 4

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4


This book deals with the Queen’s Indian Defence, so we will leave to other authors the analysis of the
possible transition now to the rather popular presently London system: 3...c5 4.e3 Nc6 5.c3 d5 6.Nbd2
We have to remember that chess players include the Queen’s Indian Defence in their opening repertoire
just because they are reluctant to have a fixed pawn-structure in the centre, including the move d7-d5,
since that leaves the e5-square free for White’s king’s knight. We have already mentioned the plan of
Frank Marshall: Bd3, Ne5, f2-f4, Rf1-f3-h3, Qd1-h5. Having in mind all this, we will analyse a plan for
Black in which he controls this key-square with his pawn on d6.


About 4.h3 Bb7 5.e3 Be7, or 4.Nbd2 Bb7 5.e3 Be7, or 5.h3 Be7 6.e3 c5 – see 4.e3.
4.c3 Bb7 5.Nbd2 (5.e3 Be7, or 5.h3 Be7 6.e3 c5 – see 4.e3) 5...Be7 6.Qc2 with the idea e2-e4. (6.e3 Nh5
7.Bg3 c5, or 6.h3 c5 7.e3 0-0 – see 4.e3) 6...Nh5

The move 7.e3 is not consistent with White’s idea to occupy the centre with his king’s pawn and does not
create any problems for Black: 7...Nxf4 8.exf4 c5 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Bd3 Qc7 11.f5 e5 12.0-0-0? (12.c4
Nc6„) 12...d5µ Christensen – Greger, Denmark 2009.
7.Bg3 f5. After this move White fails to realise his intentions to occupy the centre with his e-pawn
(Black’s alternative here might be 7...0-0 8.e4 d5 9.Bd3 g6∞). 8.e3 c5 9.Be2, Zotikishvili – De Schower,
Belgium 2017, 9...0-0 10.0-0-0 Nc6 11.Kb1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.exd4 Nf6∞


We will analyse now: A) 5.Be2 and B) 5.Bd3.

Naturally, White can begin here with 5.c3, 5.h3, or 5.Nbd2, since all these moves are a part of his plan.

The moment he plays Be2, or Bd3, there arises transposition to variation A, or B accordingly.
About 5.h3 Be7 6.Nbd2 (6.Be2 0-0 – see variation A; 6.Bd3 c5 – see variation B) 6...c5 7.c3 (7.Bd3 0-0
– see variation B; 7.Be2 0-0 – see variation A) 7...0-0 8.Be2 (8.Bd3 cxd4 – see variation B) 8...d6 9.0-0
Nbd7 – see variation A.
5.Nbd2 Be7 6.c3 (6.h3 c5 – see 5.h3; 6.Be2 Nh5 – see variation A; 6.Bd3 Nh5 – see variation B)
6...Nh5 7.Bg3 d6 8.Bd3 c5 – see variation B.
5.c3 Be7 6.h3 (6.Nbd2 Nh5 7.Bg3 c5 8.Bd3 d6, or 6.Bd3 Nh5 7.Bg3 c5 8.Nbd2 d6 – see variation B)
6...c5 7.Nbd2 (7.Bd3 0-0 – see variation B; 7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 d6 – see variation A) 7...0-0 8.Be2 (8.Bd3
cxd4 – see variation B) 8...d6 9.0-0 Nbd7 – see variation A.

A) 5.Be2 Be7

Black prepares the move Nf6-h5 with the exchange of the active enemy bishop.
It is also possible for him to play here immediately 5...Nh5, but then he will have to lose time in order to
go back with his knight to f6: 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Qxe7 8.0-0 d6 9.Nfd2 Nf6 10.Bf3 c6 11.c4 0-0 12.Nc3
c5 13.Nde4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Bxe4 15.Nxe4 Nc6 16.d5 Na5 17.Qd3² Burmakin – Smith, Hungary 2015.
White has obtained a slight space edge.


The move 6.0-0 enables Black to trade his knight for the enemy bishop. After White has already castled
kingside, this exchange is not favourable for him and Black will have no problems at all. 6...Nh5 7.Bg3
Nxg3 8.hxg3 0-0 9.c4 d5=
6.Nbd2 Nh5 7.Bg3 d6 8.c3 Nd7 9.0-0 (9.Qc2 c5 10.Bd3 h6∞) 9...0-0 10.Qc2 g6 11.Rfd1 Nxg3 12.hxg3
c5 13.Rac1 a6 14.e4 b5„ Saleh – Akopian, Dubai 2000, with excellent prospects for Black to begin
active actions on the queenside.

6...0-0 7.0-0

About 7.Nbd2 c5 8.c3 d6 9.0-0 Nbd7, or 8.0-0 d6 9.c3 Nbd7 – see 7.0-0.


White does not have the positional threat e3-e4 anymore, so this pawn-advance is quite natural for Black.
He would not have any problems even if he chooses 7...d5=, though...


About 8.Nbd2 d6 9.c3 Nbd7 – see 8.c3.

8.dxc5 bxc5 9.c4 d5 10.Nc3 Nbd7 11.Qb3 Qb6= Meduna – Nun, Czechoslovakia 1987.
8.c4 cxd4

9.exd4 d5 10.Nc3 Nc6„ B.Socko – Durarbayli, Warsaw 2014. After the exchange of the c and d-pawns,
there arises a standard position with an isolated pawn for White in which he has made the not so useful
move h2-h3 and the placement of his bishops on f4 and e2 is not so active as the usual deployment on g5

and d3. On the contrary, all Black’s pieces are perfectly placed in a pawn-structure of this type.
9.Nxd4 a6 10.Nc3 d6. There has arisen a position with a “hedgehog” pawn-structure, but due to the
placement of White’s pawn on e3 (instead of on e4), he does not control completely the centre. Black has
all the chances, after he completes his development, to accomplish quite comfortably the freeing pawn-
advance d6-d5. 11.Nf3 Qc7 12.Rc1 Nbd7 13.b4 Rac8 14.Qb3 Rfd8 15.Rfd1 h6 16.Bg3 Qb8 17.Nd4 Qa8
18.f3 d5= Farago – Adorjan, Sarajevo 1983.


White does not have the direct threat to occupy the centre with the move e3-e4, so it would be logical for
Black to take the e5-square under control.


9.a4 a6 10.Bh2 (10.Nbd2 Nbd7 – see 9.Nbd2; 10...cxd4!? 11.exd4 Nbd7 12.Re1 Re8 13.Bd3 Bf8 14.Bh2
Qc7∞ Burmakin – Zeller, Germany 2014) 10...Nbd7 11.Qb3 Qc7 12.Na3 Bc6 13.Rfd1 Rfd8 14.Nd2
Qb7= Kamsky – Ivanchuk, Beijing 2012.



10.Rc1 Qc7∞
10.Re1 Rc8 11.Rc1 a6 12.a4 Qc7 13.Bh2 Qb8 14.Bd3 Qa8∞ Nagel – Raddatz, Germany 1998.
10.Bh2 Rc8 11.Qa4 a6 12.Rad1 b5 13.Qc2 Qb6„ Juergens – Brameyer, Germany 2010.
10.Qc2 Rc8 11.Rad1 Qc7 12.Bg3 Rfd8 13.Rfe1, Milkova – Hiebler, Slovakia 2017, 13...Qb8∞

10.Nc4 Ne4 11.Nfd2 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Nf6 13.dxc5 Ne4 14.Qd1 d5 15.Nd6 Nxd6 16.cxd6 Bxd6 17.Bxd6
Qxd6= Linnanen – Sjugirov, Rogaska Slatina 2011.
10...a6. This is a standard and in fact a forced reaction for Black against his opponent’s positional threat
a4-a5, against which here, he would reply quite favourably with b6-b5. 11.Nc4 (11.Rb1 Qc7 12.Ne1
Rfd8 13.Bf3, L.Saric – Shariyazdanov, Opatija 2013, 13...b5„) 11...Ne4 12.Qb1 Qc7 13.Rd1, Smelov –
Korotylev, Sochi 2011, 13...Bc6=

B) 5.Bd3 Be7


About the move 6.0-0 the same can be said as about 5.Be2: after White has castled kingside, the
exchange of Black’s knight for White’s bishop on f4 would not be advantageous for him and Black will
have no problems at all: 6...Nh5 7.Bg3 Nxg3 8.hxg3 c5 9.c3 0-0 10.Nbd2 d6 11.Qe2 Nd7 12.Rfd1 Qc7
13.Rac1 Rfe8„ Marza Vendrell – Grigoriants, Barcelona 2009.
6.c4 c5. White cannot acquire additional space with the move d4-d5, so in principle this is a good move.
7.dxc5 bxc5 8.h3 d6 9.Bh2 e5 10.Be2 (White is forced to lose this tempo, since Black was threatening a
fork with his pawn.) 10...0-0 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Nc3, Romanov – Zakhartsov, Sochi 2016, 12...Ne4= The
existing weakness on d5(d6) is compensated by the isolated position of White’s dark-squared bishop and
Black’s future counterplay on the b-file.
If Black creates the threat to exchange his knight on f6 for White’s bishop on f4 without weakening
Black’s pawn-structure with the move g7-g5, as a rule, this is considered to be advantageous for him and
quite deservedly so. Still, there remain some fine points in this situation as well. 6.Nbd2 Nh5 7.Bg3 c5
8.c3 d6 9.Qe2 Nd7!? (It seems that Black’s play would be more difficult if he chooses a plan with a
transfer to the pawn-structure from the French Defence. 9...a6 10.e4 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nc6 12.a3 d5 13.e5 0-

0 14.0-0 Qd7 15.Rfe1 Rfe8 16.Qe3 Nxg3 17.hxg3 f6?! Kamsky – Almasi, Beijing 2011, 18.exf6 Bxf6

10.0-0-0 h6 11.dxc5 Nxg3 12.hxg3 bxc5∞ Vocaturo – Szekeres, Sibenik 2007. Black preserves the
possibility to castle queenside, in order to avoid the eventual dangers after the possible opening of the h-
10.Ba6 Bxa6 11.Qxa6 Qc7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rfd1 Rac8 14.Bh4 Bxh4 15.Nxh4 d5= Kireev – Velicka,
Karvina 2012.
10.Ne4 Nxg3 11.hxg3 h6 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Ned2 d5= Romi – Capablanca, Paris 1938.
White has an interesting alternative here, but it is obvious this might turn out to be rather risky for him
10.0-0-0!? a6 11.Kb1 b5∞ Urosev – Marsak, Vojvodina 2008.
10.0-0 Nxg3 11.hxg3 0-0 12.e4 cxd4 13.cxd4 e5!? 14.d5 Nc5 15.Bc4, Zhao Xue – Saduakassova, Doha
2016, 15...a5!? 16.a3 a4=

6...c5 7.c3

About 7.0-0 0-0 8.c3 d6 – see 7.c3.

7.Nbd2 0-0 8.0-0 (8.c3 cxd4 – see 7.c3) 8...cxd4 9.exd4 d6

10.c3 Nbd7 – see 7.c3.
10.Re1 Nbd7 11.a4 a6. This is Black’s automatic reaction against a2-a4. Now, White does not have the
positional threat a4-a5, since Black would counter it with b6-b5. 12.Bh2 h6 13.a5 b5 14.c4 bxc4 15.Nxc4
Qb8 16.Ra3 Bd5 17.Nfd2 Rc8 18.Rb3 Qc7= Kamsky – Sjugirov, Sochi 2017.
10.Bh2 Nbd7 11.Re1 Re8 12.c3 a6 13.Rc1 Bf8 14.a4 g6 15.Bf1, Grischuk – Aronian, Beijing 2014. Here,
the most precise reaction for Black would be not to play with his rook on a8, eliminating the protection of
his pawn on a6, but to choose instead 15...Bc6 16.Qb3 Qc7=, followed by Qc7-b7, having in mind also
the possibility Bf8-h6.
10.a4 a6 11.c4. White’s too active advance of his bishop-pawn enables Black’s undeveloped knight to
join in the fight for the control over the key b4-square: 11...Nc6! 12.Qb3. This position was reached in
the game Naiditsch – Ponomariov, Riyadh 2017 and Black played here 12...d5 13.c5 Nd7∞ He could
have prepared at first the advance of his central pawn with 12...a5 13.Rac1 Nb4 14.Bb1 d5³




8...cxd4. It is premature for Black to exchange on d4 before White has developed his knight to d2,
because it would be obvious that he would be able then to develop his knight to a more active position.
9.cxd4 d5 10.Nc3 a6 11.Rc1 Nc6 12.Qe2 b5, Kamsky – Adams, Philadelphia 2011 and after 13.Rfd1²,
followed by a2-a4, White would maintain a slight edge.

9.Bh2 Nbd7 (9...Nc6 10.Qe2 Rc8 11.Nbd2 h6 12.Rfd1 d5∞ Grachev – Ivanchuk, Moscow 2008)
10.Nbd2 cxd4 11.exd4 Qc7 12.Re1 Rfe8 13.a4 a6 14.Qb3 Bf8= Shen Yang – Zhukova, Riyadh 2017.
9.Qe2 Ne4! (Black must prevent his opponent from occupying the centre 9...Nbd7?! 10.e4², while after
9...cxd4 10.cxd4∞, as we already know, White would have the possibility to develop his knight on the
c3-square.) 10.Nbd2 Nxd2 11.Nxd2, Kanakaris – Halikas, Greece 2009, 11...Nd7 and now, if White
occupies the centre, Black will exploit the fact that his opponent does not control the central d4-square
with his knight on f3: 12.e4 cxd4 13.cxd4 e5=
9.Nbd2 cxd4 10.cxd4 (10.exd4 Nbd7 – see 8.Nbd2) 10...Nc6 11.Bg3 Nb4 12.Be2 d5 13.a3 Nc6 14.Rc1
Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Rc3 Rfc8 17.Qb1 Ne7 18.Rfc1 Qd8= Kir.Georgiev – Jakovenko, Israel 2015.


This is the last moment for Black to transpose to the set-up that we analyse. He must develop his queen’s
knight on d7, so that after Nd2-e4xf6, he would have the possibility to recapture there with his other
knight, reducing the possibilities for White to begin effective active actions against Black’s king.
If he develops his knight on c6, then in order to prevent White from occupying the centre with the move
e3-e4 in the nearest future, Black must play d7-d5 and this would lead to something we have already
mentioned before. White will have the possibility to follow a plan in the middlegame, connected with the
occupation of the e5-square. You can see the dangers for Black in this case if you follow the game
Carlsen – Tomashevsky, Wijk aan Zee 2016: 8...Nc6 9.0-0 d5 10.Qe2 Bd6 11.Rfe1 Ne7 12.Rad1 Ng6
13.Bxg6!? hxg6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.Ne5 g5 16.f4!? gxf4 17.Rf1! Nd7 (17...fxe3 18.Rxf6!‚) 18.Qh5 Nf6
19.Qh4 Qd8 20.Rxf4 Ne4?! 21.Nxe4 Qxh4 (21...dxe4? 22.Qh5+–) 22.Rxh4 dxe4 23.dxc5 bxc5 24.Rd7±


9.cxd4 d5 10.0-0 Nc6 11.a3 Rc8 12.b4 Bd6 13.Ne5 Ne7 14.Qa4 Ne4 15.Bxe4 dxe4 16.Qxa7, Kamsky –
Leko, Beijing 2012, 16...Bd5© Black has sacrificed a pawn and has created the threat to trap the enemy
queen after f7-f6 and Rc8-a8, so White must react very accurately.

9...d6 10.0-0

About 10.Qe2 Nbd7 11.0-0 Re8 – see 10.0-0.



11.Qe2 Re8

12.Rfe1 a6 13.a4 Qc7 14.Bh2 Bf8 – see 11.Re1.

12.Ne4 Qc7 13.Nxf6 Bxf6 14.Be4 e5„ Fierro Baquerro – Yermolinsky, USA 2003.
12.Bh2 Bf8 13.Rad1 Qc7 14.Rfe1 a6 15.Ne4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4 Nf6 18.Qd3 b5= Al Marandi
– Grabinsky, USA 2018.

11...Re8 12.a4

About 12.Qe2 Bf8 13.Bh2 a6 14.a4 Qc7, or 12.Bh2 Bf8 13.Qe2 a6 14.a4 Qc7 – see 11.Re1.
12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Bxe4 Bxe4 14.Rxe4 Nf6 15.Re2 b5 16.a4 a6 J.Garcia – Esplana, Peru 2000.
12.Qc2 a6 13.a4. In these lines the manoeuvre Be7-f8 is not the only one that Black has. Sometimes,
from the f8-square, his knight might follow the route Nd7-f8-g6. 13...Nf8 14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bxe4
16.Qxe4 d5 17.Qe3 Ng6 18.Bg3 Bd6= Gutierrez Olivares – Alvarado Ascanio, Spain 2016.


Naturally, Black must be prepared to counter a4-a5 and now he will have b6-b5 against it neutralising
completely White’s actions on the queenside.

13.Bh2 Qc7

This is the key position of this variation. Black must not play risky moves. He should manoeuvre in this
situation just like in the “hedgehog” pawn-structures. This is what he can do:
Be7-f8, g7-g6, Bf8-g7(h6);
Rac8, Qc7-b8-a8;
Nd7-f8-g6, Nf6-d5 and then Ndf4.
During his manoeuvres and evaluating the manoeuvres of his opponent, Black must think constantly
about when to begin his main counterplay, connected with the pawn-advance e6-e5.


14.Qb3 Bf8 15.Re2 Bc6 16.c4 Qb7 17.Rae1 d5!³ This is the ideal set-up for Black, after which White
will have no compensation for the isolated pawn in his position, Kamsky – Carlsen, Moscow 2008.

14.Qc2 Nf8 15.c4 a5 16.Re3 Rac8∞ Zimmer – Ruzele, Schwaebisch Gmuend 1995.
14.Rc1 Bf8 (Here, in response to 14...Nf8, White has the powerful argument 15.c4, with the threat to
exploit the pin on the h2-b8 diagonal with the move c4-c5.) 15.Nc4 Bc6 16.Nfd2 b5 17.axb5 axb5
18.Ne3 Qb7„ Maes – Lai, Netherlands 2016.
14.Ne4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bxe4 16.Rxe4 Nf6 17.Re1 b5 18.axb5 axb5 19.Qd3 Qc6= Knezevic – T.Horvath,
Pancevo 1985.
14.Ng5 h6 15.Nge4, Kosic – Drasko, Belgrade 1994, 15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 e5„
14.Nc4 Bf8 15.Ne3 Bc6 16.Nc2, Sklyarov – Sammalvuo, Finland 2016, 16...e5„
14.c4 Bf8 15.a5 bxa5 16.Nb3 (16.Qa4, Golubov – Jakovenko, Moscow 2016, 16...e5„) 16...e5! 17.Bf1
Bxf3 18.Qxf3 exd4 19.Rxe8 Rxe8 20.Nxd4 Qb6³ Gledura – Hera, Bad Ragaz 2016.



15.Ng5, Grachev – Riazantsev, Khanty-Mansiysk 2013, 15...e5!? 16.Qf1 h6 17.Nge4 Nxe4 18.Bxe4
Bxe4 19.Nxe4 exd4 20.cxd4 Qc2„

15...g6 16.Nfd2 Qc6∞ Kovacevic – A.Kovalyov, Benidorm 2009.

Chapter 5

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6

We will analyse now: A) 4.Bxf6 and B) 4.Bh4.

It is also possible for White to play here 4.Bf4, but it is hardly reasonable for him to provoke the
prophylactic move for Black h7-h6: 4...c5 5.e3 b6 6.Nbd2 Bb7 7.h3 Nc6 8.c3 Be7 9.Bd3, Deviatkin –
Durarbayli, Konya 2012, 9...d5=

A) 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 5.e4

It is logical for White to occupy the centre with his pawns after he has given up his bishop for the enemy
knight. Still, after the exchange on f6, he can follow some other plans, which do not include the move e2-
5.e3 b6 6.Bd3 Bb7 7.Nbd2 g5!?

We will see soon that Black’s pawn-move often leads to good counterplay for him in this type of
8.Rg1 Nc6 9.c3 g4 10.Ne4 Qe7 11.Ne5 h5³ Zuttis – Zontakh, St Petersburg 2003.
8.Ne4 Qg7 9.Qe2 g4 10.Nfd2 f5 11.Ng3 h5ƒ Shadarevian – Sunye Neto, Dubai 1986.
8.Qe2 Nc6 9.c3 g4 (9...0-0-0) 10.Ng1 h5 11.h3 Bh6 12.hxg4 hxg4 13.Qxg4 0-0-0© Rey – Atakik, USA
5.Nbd2 d6 6.c3 (6.e4 Nd7 – see 5.e4) 6...Nd7

7.Qc2 b6 8.e3 Bb7 9.0-0-0 g5 10.h3 Bg7 11.Be2 0-0-0 12.Kb1 Kb8„ Gritsenko – Gnatovsky, Kiev

7.a4 g5!? 8.g3, Vaganian – Plaskett, Hastings 1982, 8...Be7!? 9.Bg2 Qg7!„, threatening g5-g4.
7.e3 Qd8 8.Bc4 (8.Be2 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qc2 b6= Benjamin – Hjartarson, Szirak 1987; 8.Bd3 Be7
9.Qe2 c5 10.g4 cxd4 11.exd4 Nf6 12.0-0-0 Bd7 13.Ne4 Qa5 14.Kb1 0-0-0 15.Nxf6 Bxf6 16.Nd2 Bg5=
Nestorovic – Djukic, Sarajevo 2014) 8...Be7 9.Qc2 a6 10.Nf1 b5 11.Be2 Bb7 12.a4 c6 13.Ng3 0-0 14.0-
0 Nb6= Casagrande – Rogers, Biel 1996.
7.g3 g6 (7...g5!?∞) 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.a4 a5 11.Nc4 (11.e3 e5„; 11.Qb3 e5 12.e4 Nb6 13.Nc4
Nxc4 14.Qxc4 Qe7 15.Rad1 Be6 16.d5 Bc8 17.Nd2 h5„ Kosten – Adams, London 1990) 11...Qe7
12.e4 b6 13.Re1 Ba6 14.Qb3 e5∞ Thesing – Razuvaev, Berlin 1987.

5...d6 6.Nc3

6.e5?! dxe5 7.dxe5 (7.Nxe5 Bd6³) 7...Qf4 8.Qd2 (8.Nbd2 Nd7 9.Qe2 Qa4 10.Nb3 Nb6 11.h4 Bd7
12.h5 Be7³ Kalugin – Balashov, Russia 2001) 8...Qxd2+ 9.Nbxd2 Nc6 10.c3 g5 11.Nc4 Bg7 12.h3 b5
13.Ne3 Rb8³ Hart – Dzhindzhichashvili, USA 1984.
6.Bd3 Nc6 7.c3 Bd7

8.Na3. It is logical for White to develop his queen’s knight in this way in order to leave the d2-square for
the retreat of his king’s knight after Black advances g5-g4. White is also not in a hurry to determine yet
the future placement of his king. 8...g5 9.Nc4 h5 10.Ne3, Piket – Thorsteins, Dortmund 1989, 10...g4
11.Nd2 Bh6 12.Qe2 0-0-0 13.0-0-0 Kb8∞
After 8.0-0, Black can begin immediate active actions on the kingside: 8...g5 9.Nbd2 g4 10.Ne1 h5 11.f4
(11.f3?! g3! 12.hxg3 h4‚) 11...0-0-0„
6.Nbd2 Nd7

After 7.Bd3, Black’s move 7...g5!? would be even more effective, because after g5-g4, he would be
threatening not only to send the enemy knight back to the g1-square, but also to capture the pawn on d4.
There might follow 8.c3 g4 (8...e5!?) 9.Ng1 h5 10.h3 Bh6!„ Monteleone – Ortega, Rome 1991.
7.c3 g5!? (7...g6, Psakhis – Makarichev, USSR 1983 and Black will calmly develop his pieces according
to the scheme: Bf8-g7, b7-b6, Bc8-b7, a7-a6, Qf6-e7. He will castle later depending on White’s actions
and will fight for the initiative with the move e6-e5.) 8.Nc4 (8.h3 h5 9.Bd3 g4 10.hxg4 hxg4 11.Rxh8
Qxh8 12.Ng1 e5ƒ Cibulka – Turov, Ohrid 2009) 8...g4 9.Nfd2 h5 (9...e5!?) 10.h3 (10.Bd3 e5 11.Nb3
Bh6 12.0-0 Qg5!?„, followed by Nd7-f6, 0-0, h5-h4) 10...Bh6 11.Bd3 e5 12.Ne3 Nb6 13.dxe5 Qxe5³
Silman – Browne, USA 1987.
6.c3 Nd7 7.Bd3

This order of moves, in which White postpones the development of his knight on b1, makes Black’s plan
with g7-g5 less attractive for him, because White would not need to lose time for the preparation of a
square for his knight on f3, since the d2-square is free. It would be reasonable for Black to develop his
pieces with g7-g6, ending up in a position of the type of the Pirc Defence.
7...g6 8.Nbd2 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Re1 (10.Nc4 e5„; 10.Qe2 e5„) 10...e5! 11.a4 (11.Nc4 Re8 12.dxe5
dxe5 13.Ne3 c6= Sosna – Petr, Czech Republic 2006) 11...Qe7 12.Qc2 (12.a5 exd4 13.cxd4 c5„
Mantowani – Jenni, Switzerland 2008; 12.Nc4 exd4 13.cxd4 c5 14.e5 dxe5 15.dxe5 Nb6 16.Nxb6 axb6
17.Qb3 Rd8 18.Ra3 Qc7 19.Bb5 Be6 20.Qc2 Bf5= Zakharov – Nogga, ICCF 2015) 12...Nf6 13.Bf1 Bg4
14.h3 Bd7 15.Qb3 Rab8 16.Qa3 Rfe8= Azaladze – Gelashvili, Tbilisi 2007.


Black has exchanged the enemy bishop, but lags in development and has given up the centre, so he
should be very careful how to solve his opening problems in the next few moves. Now, he must decide
whether to play 6...Nd7, or 6...g5. Here, in comparison to the variation from the Trompowsky Attack –
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.e4 h6 4.Bxf6 Qxf6, White’s knight is already on f3, so Black should not be afraid of
the plan in which White advances f2-f4, creating a powerful centre.
Following 6...g5 7.e5 Qe7, White can exchange immediately in order to avoid the closing of the centre,
8.exd6!? cxd6 castling later queenside, hoping to open advantageously the centre with d4-d5, or to
prepare a favourable breakthrough on the kingside with h2-h4. 9.Qd3 Nc6 10.0-0-0ƒ


About 7.h4 a6 8.Qd2 Qd8 9.0-0-0 b5 – see 7.Qd2.

White can occupy the centre after 7.Nb5 Qd8 8.c4 Be7 9.Bd3. Naturally, Black should react against this
as quickly as possible: 9...a6 10.Nc3 c5 11.dxc5 (11.d5 Bf6∞) 11...Nxc5= Metcalfe – Lovering ICCF
7.d5 c6 8.dxe6 fxe6 9.Bd3 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qd2, Gradl – Winz, ICCF 1999, 11...e5³
7.Qe2 Qd8 8.0-0-0 Be7 9.h4 c5 10.Qe3 a6 11.Rh3 Qa5„ Nguyen Duc Hoa – Le Tuan Minh, Vietnam
7.Be2 a6 8.0-0 g5!? 9.Qd3 Bg7 10.Rae1 g4ƒ Taylor – Kerr, ICCF 2001.
7.Bc4 a6 8.a4 g5 9.h3 h5 10.Ne2 b6 11.Qd3 Bb7 12.0-0-0, Kunz – Razuvaev, Geneve 1995, 12...b5„
7.Bd3. Besides the plan with a7-a6 and g7-g5, with the white bishop on this square, Black can try a plan
including the change of the pawn-structure. 7...c6 8.0-0 e5 9.d5, P.Horvath – Palkovi, Hungary 1993,

7...a6 8.0-0-0 Qd8!

Black is playing now something like a version of the Uitelky system. White lacks his dark-squared
bishop, while Black lags in development. With his last move he is prepared to counter the advance of any
of his opponent’s central pawns after which Black will naturally close the centre. The absence of the
bishop impedes White to open the position on the kingside after h2-h4 and g2-g4. During the time he
would be preparing to open the position, Black will complete his development.


9.Be2. What might happen if White regroups calmly his pieces? Black will develop according to the
scheme: b7-b5, Bc8-b7, c7-c5, Qd8-a5(c7) and can castle queenside with an excellent position. 9...b5
(9...c5 10.Kb1 Qc7 11.Rhe1 Be7 12.g4 b5 13.dxc5 Qxc5³ Borges – Tsuboi, Brasil 2010) 10.h4 c5
11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.e5? Schneider – Sadilek, Austria 2012, 12...b4µ
After 9.e5 d5, there would arise the pawn-structure of the French Defence, but with White’s dark-squared
bishop absent from the board, which is doubtlessly in favour of Black. 10.Bd3 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 (It is
possibly even stronger for Black to play here 11...Bxc5³) 12.Ne2 (12.Kb1 b5 13.Nd4, Horvath – Miles,
Yucatan 1999, 13...b4!? 14.Nce2 Nxd3 15.Qxd3 Bc5³) 12...b5 13.Ned4 Bb7 14.h4 Qc7 15.Kb1,
Chernyshov – Adhiban, Olomouc 2010, 15...Ne4 16.Qe3 Bc5ƒ
9.g3 b5 10.d5 e5 11.Nh4. White plans to advance f2-f4, but Black is not afraid of this, since he will
create threats on the queenside faster. 11...Be7 12.Ng2 Nc5³ Tosic – Kosanovic, Serbia 2011.
9.Ne1. This is another way for White to advance f2-f4 and to occupy the centre with his pawns. 9...c5
10.f4 (10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.Nd3 Qc7 12.f4 Be7 13.Kb1 b5³ Marzolo – Kosten, France 1999) 10...b5 11.Nf3
Qa5 12.Kb1 Bb7 13.d5 0-0-0 14.g3?! b4 15.Ne2 exd5 16.exd5 Nb6µ Pira – Solozhenkin, Paris 1999.
9.Bd3 Be7 10.h4 b5 11.g4 c5 12.d5 e5 13.Rdg1 c4³ Stefanova – Gurevich, Antwerpen 1997. The
development of the bishop has provided Black with additional time to develop his initiative.
9.Kb1 c5 10.h4 b5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Qe3 Qb6 13.Nd4 Bd7 14.e5 b4 15.Nce2 d5 16.Rh3 Rc8 17.Qf4

Be7 18.Qg4 Rh7³ Even after this seemingly ugly move, Black has better prospects in the middlegame,
Cifuentos Parada – Van der Wiel, Eindhoven 1992 (Instead of 18...Rh7, it might be even stronger for
Black to choose here 18...g6!?).

9...b5 10.g4

After 10.a3 Be7 11.Kb1 c5, White can try to occupy the centre in another way with 12.e5?, but this
would be hardly effective, though... 12...dxe5 13.dxe5 Bb7³ Nadal – Marquardt, ICCF 2011.



11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Qd4 Qb6 13.a3 Rb8³

11.d5 e5 12.Bh3 (12.g5 hxg5 13.Nxg5 Be7 14.Bh3 Nb6³) 12...g6 13.g5 h5 14.Bxd7+ Bxd7 15.Ne2
Bg7³ Djordjevic – Martirosyan, Poprad 2016. White’s play has reached its dead end, while Black has all
the chances of opening the position of the enemy king.
11.Bg2 Bb7 12.d5 e5 13.g5 Qa5 14.Kb1 c4 15.Ne2, Fiorito – Panno, Buenos Aires 1995, 15...Qxd2
16.Nxd2 Nc5³, with an obviously better endgame for Black.

11...Qa5 12.Kb1, Finegold – Benjamin, USA 2010, 12...b4!? 13.Ne2 c4„

B) 4.Bh4

Now two plans deserve attention for Black: B1) 4...d6 and B2) 4...b6.

B1) 4...d6

This move is preferred by Vladimir Kramnik. Black prepares the exchange of his knight for the enemy
bishop after g7-g5 and Nf6-h5. Later, he may develop his counterplay with f7-f5, or with c7-c5,
depending on circumstances. Black can also castle later on either side of the board, even on the kingside.


5.c4 g5 6.Bg3 Nh5 7.Nc3 (7.e3 Bg7 8.Nc3 f5 – see 7.Nc3) 7...Bg7 8.e3 (8.e4 c5 9.d5 exd5 10.Qxd5,
Ivakhinova – Gasanov, Moscow 2007, 10...Nc6 11.0-0-0 Qa5„) 8...f5 9.Nd2 Nxg3 10.hxg3 0-0,
followed by c7-c5„, Arkell – Boudre, Hastings 1987.
5.h3 b6 6.e3 Bb7 7.Nbd2 Nbd7 8.Bd3 Be7 9.0-0 c5 10.c3 0-0 11.Bg3 d5 12.Ne5 (12.Re1 Ne4 13.Bh2
Bd6= Ballmann – Cvitan, Switzerland 2012) 12...Ne4= Kivimaki – Ionov, Crete 2017.
5.Nbd2. This development of the knight, having seen the plan Black has chosen, preserves for White the
possibility to occupy the centre with the move e2-e4. The defect of this decision is that Black can attack
the enemy centre with f7-f5, or with c7-c5, creating threats faster against White’s pawn on d4 and the
bishop on g3. 5...g5 6.Bg3 Nh5

7.e3 Bg7 8.Bd3 Nd7 9.c3 Qe7 – see 5.e3.
7.e4 Bg7 8.c3 0-0!? Black plans to advance quickly f7-f5. 9.Bc4 (9.Bd3 f5 10.h3, Jenni – Carlsson,
Gothenburg 2005, 10...d5 11.exd5!? Nxg3 12.fxg3 exd5 13.0-0 Qd6„) 9...Nd7 10.0-0 Kh8 11.d5 Nb6
12.Nd4 Nxc4 13.Nxc4 Nf4∞ Meduna – Buturin, Czech Republic 1995.
5.Nc3. This is another possibility for White to prepare e2-e4. The placement of his knight on c3 however,
provides Black with another motif for counterplay – the flank attack with b7-b5. 5...g5 6.Bg3 Nh5

7.e3 Bg7 8.Nd2 Nxg3 9.hxg3 a6 10.Be2 Nd7 11.g4 d5 12.Bf3 c5 13.Nb3 0-0„ Cicak – Agrest, Sweden
7.e4 Bg7 8.Qd2 (8.Bb5+ c6 9.Ba4 Nxg3 10.hxg3 Nd7 11.Qd3 a6 12.Bb3 b5 13.a4 Bb7 14.0-0 0-0³
Garcia Palermo – Caruana, Italy 2010; 8.Bc4 a6 9.Ng1 Nxg3 10.hxg3 b5 11.Be2 Bb7 12.Bf3 c5³

Summermatter – Wahls, Luzern 1989) 8...Nxg3 9.hxg3 g4 10.Ng1 (10.Nh4 Qg5=) 10...Qg5= Van Hooff
– Silva Filho, ICCF 2011.

5...g5 6.Bg3 Nh5


7.Nfd2. This is a standard manoeuvre in similar positions, forcing Black to clarify his intentions
concerning his knight on h5. Here however, it is not so good for White, because it impedes his
harmonious development. If his queen’s knight occupies the c3-square, then his pawn would be deprived
of it. In fact, it belongs there in order to fortify his centre. 7...Nxg3 8.hxg3 Bg7 9.c3 Nd7 10.Be2 (10.e4
c5„) 10...a6 11.a4 0-0 12.g4 c5 13.a5 d5 14.Nf1 b6„ Antoniewski – Yemelin, Czech Republic 2016.
7.c4 Bg7 8.Nc3. White chooses a free development, but it is obvious that after c7-c5, his centre would be
more vulnerable. 8...0-0

After 9.Qc2 f5 10.0-0-0, there arises a position from the variation 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Bg5 0-0
5.e3 d6 6.Nf3 h6 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Nh5 9.Qc2 f5 10.0-0-0 e6, but with an extra tempo for Black and
excellent prospects for him to organise counterplay, for example: 10...Nc6 11.Be2 Bd7 12.Nd2 Be8!?„
9.Be2 f5 10.0-0 (10.Nd2 Nxg3 11.hxg3, Kozak – Buturin, USSR 1995, 11...c5„) 10...Qe7 11.Nd2 Nxg3
12.hxg3 g4 13.Rc1 h5„ White’s pawns are doubled, so Black has chances of opening quickly the h-file
and creating threats on it against the enemy king.
9.Nd2 Nxg3 10.hxg3 Nd7 11.Be2 c5 12.Nb3 Qe7 13.Qd2 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Nb6 15.Rd1 Bd7 16.0-0 Rfd8
17.Rfe1 Be8 18.e4 Rac8 19.b3 a6 20.Qe3 Nd7 21.Rd2 Ne5 22.f4 Nc6 23.Nf3 g4 24.Nh4 h5 25.Red1, Bu
Xiangzhi – Bocharov, Moscow 2010, 25...Qc7!?∞

7...Bg7 8.Nbd2 Qe7 9.c3 Nd7


10.0-0 0-0 11.Ne1 (11.Re1 f5 12.Nc4 Ndf6∞ Sosna – Vesselovsky, Czech Republic 2012; 11.a4 f5 12.a5
Ndf6 13.a6 b6 14.e4 f4 15.e5 Nd5 16.Qe2 Rb8 17.Bh4 gxh4 18.Bg6 Nhf6 19.exf6 Bxf6∞ Jacquin –
Knoll, ICCF 2002) 11...Nxg3 12.fxg3 c5³ Dzagnidze – Bojkovic, Turkey 2002.
10.Ng1 Nxg3 11.hxg3 e5 (11...b6!? 12.Qf3 d5 13.g4 Bb7 14.Qg3 0-0-0 15.0-0-0 e5„ Przezdzieka –
Yemelin, Warsaw 2009) 12.Ne2 d5 13.Bf5 c5∞ Krichev – Arnaudov, Bulgaria 2010.

10...a6 11.0-0-0

11.a4 b6 12.Be4 Rb8 13.c4 f5 14.Bc6 0-0³ Kozhabekov – Sjugirov, St.Petersburg 2014.

11...b5 12.Nb3 Rb8 13.Kb1 0-0 14.Nfd2 f5„ Ipatov – Kramnik, Turkey 2013. Black’s pawn-structure
has been weakened, but despite this he will create easily counterplay against the enemy king. White’s
bishop on g3 is vulnerable and that thwarts his quick pawn-offensive on the kingside.

B2) 4...b6

This set-up is attractive for Black, because it does not include the move g7-g5, which weakens his
kingside. Still, he will not organise counterplay so easily in comparison to the variation with 4...d6.


About 5.e3 Bb7 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 c5 8.Nbd2 Nc6 9.c3 0-0 – see 5.Nbd2.
5.c4 Bb7

About 6.e3 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 (7.Nbd2?? g5 8.Bg3 g4 9.Ne5 Ne4–+) 7...g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 – see Chapter 10.
6.Nc3 Be7 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4 Nc6 11.Bc2 (11.Rc1 d5 12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Bg3 Bd6=
Gelfand – Leko, Monte Carlo 2007) 11...d5 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.cxd5. Now, Black can sacrifice a pawn and

organise counterplay with: 13...Nb4! 14.dxe6 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Nxc2 16.Qxc2, Carlsen –Leko, Hungary
2008, 16...Bxd4 17.Qe4 Qg5„

5...Bb7 6.e3 Be7 7.Bd3 c5 8.c3 Nc6

We are choosing a set-up with a knight on c6 as our main line after the move 4...b6.

9.0-0 0-0


10.Rc1 cxd4 11.exd4 (11.cxd4 Nh5 12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Qe2, Andreikin – Iljin, Sochi 2015, 13...d6 14.g3
Nf6 15.e4 Rc8=) 11...Nh5 12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Re1 Qc7 14.Ne5 Nf4 15.Bf1 d6= Siebrecht – Zagrebelny,
Dortmund 2000.
10.Re1 d5 11.Qe2 Ne4 12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Ba6 Bxa6 14.Qxa6 Nxd2 15.Nxd2, Broomfield – Erwich,
Dublin 2000, 15...Qc7=
10.Ne5 cxd4!? (10...d6 11.Nxc6. The exchange of these knights deprives Black of the advantage that his
knight on c6 is more active than its counterpart on d2. 11...Bxc6 12.e4 cxd4 13.cxd4²) 11.exd4
(Following 11.cxd4, Black can win a tempo with 11...Nb4 12.Bb1 d6 13.Nd3 Nc6=) 11...Nd5 12.Bxe7
(12.Bg3 Nxe5 13.dxe5. Black’s knight has been removed from f6 and White does not have time to
prevent his opponent from equalising completely with the move 13...d6=) 12...Qxe7 (12...Ncxe7!?
13.Qg4 d6 14.Nec4 b5 15.Ne3 f5 16.Qf3 Qd7„ Coleman – Shariyazdanov, Dubai 2002) 13.Nxc6 Bxc6
14.Be4 Nf6 15.Bxc6 dxc6 16.Qf3 c5= Lomako – Neverov, Russia 2010. The position has been
completely simplified.
10.e4 cxd4. White’s advantage in the centre is compensated by Black’s preferable placement of his
knight in comparison to its white counterpart. 11.cxd4 (11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.cxd4 Nd5 13.Bxe7 Nxe7

14.Rc1 f5!?„) 11...Nh5 (It is not so good for Black to choose here 11...Nb4 12.Bb1 Ba6 13.Re1 Nd3
14.Bxd3 Bxd3 15.Ne5 Ba6 16.Qa4 Bc8 17.Ndf3 g5 18.Bg3 Bb7 19.d5ƒ Eriksson – Engman, Sweden
2007.) 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.g3 (13.Re1 Rac8 14.a3 Nf4 15.Bf1, Becker – Zagres, Germany 2010, 15...d5!?
„; 13.Rc1 Nf4 14.Bb1, Banicevic – Rej, Australia 2008, 14...d5!? 15.e5 Nb4„) 13...d6 14.a3 Rfc8=
10.Qe2 cxd4 (It is also quite possible for Black to counter his opponent’s intention to occupy the centre
in a standard fashion with: 10...d5 11.Rad1, Harika – A.Muzychuk, Khanty-Mansiysk 2014, 11...Ne4!?
12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Ne5 f6!?=)

11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.exd4 Qc7 13.Rfe1 g6 14.Rad1 Bg7 15.h4 Ne7 16.h5 g5 17.Ne5 Nd5 18.g3 d6 19.Ng4
Rae8 20.Ne3 Nxe3 21.Qxe3 f5³ Sretenskij – Lerner, St Petersburg 1997.
11.cxd4 Nb4 12.Bc4 a6 13.a3 Nbd5 14.Rfc1 d6 15.Bd3 b5 16.h3 Qd7= Sieciechowich – Markowski,
Poland 2014.
11.exd4 Nh5 (Black should better avoid 11...Nd5 12.Bg3²) 12.Bxe7 (12.Qe4?! f5 13.Bxe7 fxe4 14.Bxd8
exf3 15.Bc7 fxg2 16.Rfe1 Ne7 17.Be4 Bxe4 18.Nxe4 Nf4 19.Bxf4 Rxf4 20.Kxg2 Raf8µ Winter –
Digalakis, ICCF 2012; 12.Bg3 f5∞) 12...Nxe7 13.g3 (13.Be4 Nf4=; 13.Qe5 Nf6=; 13...Ng6!?=)
13...Nf6 14.a4 a6 15.Ne4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Qc7 17.Ne5 d6 18.Nd3 Rfc8 19.Rfe1 Nd5= Garcia Palermo –
Ye Jiangchuan, Tripoli 2014.


In principle, Black can choose between two basic plans in this pawn-structure:
1) He can fight for the centre by advancing his queen’s pawn (We will analyse this in the main line.)
2) He can exchange on d4 and then he can play with either a “small centre” after d7-d6, or can leave his
pawn on d7, compensating in both cases his abstinence of fighting for the centre with active actions on
the c-file and the mobility of his minor pieces: 10...cxd4 11.cxd4 (11.exd4 Nh5 12.Bg3, Epishin –
Smirin, Vilnus 1988, 12...Nxg3 13.hxg3 d6=) 11...Nd5 12.Bxe7 Ncxe7 13.Qe2 Rc8 14.Rfe1 Rc7=
Radjabov – Perunovic, Berlin 2015.
White’s move 10.a2-a3 is an obvious preparation of occupying additional space on the queenside with the
move b2-b4, so a logical reaction for Black would be to play 10...d6, fortifying the c5-square, for
example: 11.Qe2 Nh5 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Ba6 Nf6 14.Bxb7 Qxb7 15.Rad1 Rfd8 16.Rfe1 Rac8 17.h3 a6
18.Nf1 Na5 19.Ng3 cxd4 20.exd4 Nc4 21.Rb1 b5³ and Black started quietly to outplay his opponent in
the game Beletic – Carlsen, chess.com 2017.


If White plays the prophylactic move 11.Qb1, preventing the enemy knight from occupying the e4-
square, Black in his turn can thwart his opponent’s actions on the queenside with the move 11...a5∞
11...Ne4 12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Qc2 cxd4 14.cxd4 Rc8 15.Qb2 (15.Qb1 Nd6=) 15...f6 16.Rfc1 Qd7 17.Bf1
Nd6 (17...Nf5 18.a4 Nfd6 19.a5 Bc6= Mihajlovskij – Zubov, Minsk 2006) 18.b5 Nf7 19.Rxc8 Nxc8
20.Rc1 Ncd6= Franke – Short, Germany 1987.

Chapter 6

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5

The strategical justification of Black’s third move is that if now White tries to fight for the centre with the
move c4, then (after Black’s counter undermining move c7-c5) there would arise exchanges of White
“central” c and d-pawns for Black’s not so “central” b and c-pawns and this would be unfavourable for
Black has a very good alternative here to the move 3...b5, which we analyse in our book, and this is the
line: 3...c5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.0-0 cxd4 (5...Qb6∞) 6.Nxd4 Qb6∞
We will analyse in details now: A) 4.Bg5, B) 4.Qd3 and C) 4.Bg2.
The move 3...b5 looks a bit like provocation. White can counter it in numerous different ways and some
of them attack immediately the b5-pawn:
For example: 4.a4 b4 5.c4 (5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 c5 – see variation C3) 5...bxc3 6.bxc3 c5 7.Bg2 Bb7 8.0-0
Be7 9.Ba3 0-0 10.Qb3 Qc7 11.dxc5 Nc6 12.Nbd2 Rab8= Stefanova – Cramling, Khanty-Mansyisk
Or 4.e4?! Nxe4 5.Bxb5. (White plays analogously to the semi-correct line: 1.d4 b5?! 2.e4 Bb7 3.Bxb5
Bxe4 4.Nf3. In it however, Black’s bishop on e4 will be attacked by White with tempi, so Black would
lag in development in his attempt to preserve the bishop. Still, he has good compensation, because he has
exchanged a flank pawn for the enemy central pawn. Here, Black has a knight on e4, while White’s
bishop is misplaced on b5, because the long diagonal has been weakened by the move g3.) 5...Bb7 6.0-0
Be7 7.Re1 0-0 8.Bd3, Bezgodov – Gabrielian, Voronezh 2010, 8...Nf6!? 9.c4 c5„
Or 4.Na3 a6 (It would be more logical for Black to restrict the enemy knight at the edge of the board than

to send it back to the centre: 4...b4 5.Nc4 d5 6.Nce5∞) 5.c4 Bxa3. This is the exceptional case when it is
advantageous to exchange your opponent’s misplaced piece. Black obtains an advantage in the centre and
compromises White’s queenside pawn-structure. 6.bxa3 bxc4 7.Qa4 0-0 8.Qxc4 Bb7 9.Bg2 d6 10.0-0
Nbd7 11.Bd2 Bd5 12.Qc2 c5 13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.Nd4 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qd7³ Eidelson – Tsirulnik, Ukraine
2012. White does not have sufficient compensation for his disrupted pawn-structure.
4.e3 a6 5.Bg2. The inclusion of the moves e2-e3 and a7-a6 is not in White’s favour. Now, his bishop
cannot go to the g5-square. 5...Bb7 6.0-0 Be7 7.a4 b4 8.c4 bxc3 9.Nxc3 0-0 10.Qe2 a5 11.Rd1 Na6
12.e4 Nb4„ Lodhi – Vokhidov, Tashkent 2016.
4.c4 bxc4 5.Qa4 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.Qxc4 d5 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.0-0 c5³ Lybczynski – Bartel, playchess.com
2008. Black has realised the main idea of the line with b7-b5. He has an advantage in the centre and good
prospects on the c-file. White will be incapable of countering that.
About 4.c3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5 6.0-0 Be7 – see variation C4.
4.Nbd2 Bb7. Black creates a threat in the centre (White would counter 4...c5?! with the powerful
argument 5.e4ƒ) 5.Nb3. After Black has lost tempi to prevent the pawn-advance e2-e4, White thwarts c7-
c5. 5...d6. Still, Black wishes to advance c7-c5 after the preparatory move Nb8-d7. 6.Bg2 (6.a4 b4 7.a5
Be7 8.Bg2 0-0 – see 6.Bg2) 6...Be7 7.a4 b4 8.a5 (8.0-0 a5 9.c4 Nbd7 10.Ne1 Qc8 11.d5, Van der
Sterren – Grooten, Rotterdam 2000, 11...0-0 12.e4 exd5 13.cxd5 c6„) 8...0-0 9.0-0 Na6 10.Bg5 Qc8
11.c3 bxc3 12.bxc3 c5„ Tukmakov – Kelecevic, Baden 1997.

A) 4.Bg5

Now, just like in the Queen’s Gambit, White completes at first the development of his queenside pieces
with Bg5, Nbd2, to be able later to occupy the centre with e2-e4 before Black has managed to realise his
standard counterplay with c7-c5.



About 5.Bg2 c5 – see variation C.

5.Bxf6 Qxf6 6.Bg2 c5 7.0-0 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxg2 9.Kxg2 a6 10.c3 Bc5 11.e3 0-0 12.Nd2 d5 13.N2b3,
Drasko – Romanishin, Italy 2014, 13...Nd7 14.a4 bxa4 15.Rxa4 Rfc8 16.Qa1 e5 17.Nf3 Be7 18.Rd1



About 6.Bg2 c5 – see variation C, 5.Bg5.
6.Bxf6. This move enables White to realise his main idea (at least from the point of view of logic) – to
occupy the centre. Still, Black obtains very good counterplay by undermining it. 6...Bxf6 7.e4 c5 8.e5
Be7 9.dxc5 (There arises a rather unusual pawn-structure for this variation after 9.Bxb5 cxd4 10.0-0 Qb6
11.Bd3 0-0 12.Re1, Huebner – Veingold, Finland 2009, 12...Bd5∞) 9...Bxc5 10.Bd3 f5 11.Qe2 Qb6
12.Rg1 Nc6ƒ Ramakrishna – Laxman, India 2014.
6.e3. White’s bishop has already been developed to an active position to the g5-square and the advance of
his e-pawn does not block it anymore. 6...a6 7.c3 (White does not achieve much with active actions on
the queenside: 7.a4 b4 8.Nb3 d6 9.Bg2 Nbd7 10.c3 bxc3 11.bxc3 Ra7 12.0-0 Qa8 13.Re1 h6 14.Bxf6
Nxf6 15.Nh4 Bxg2 16.Nxg2 0-0 17.Qd3 c5³ Topalov – C.Ionescu, Varna 1994.) 7...c5 8.Bd3 (8.a4 b4=)
8...d5 9.Ne5 h6 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Nef3 Nd7 12.a4 c4 13.Bc2 f5∞ Lysyj – Vavulin, Kolomna 2016.
White’s two minor pieces, his knight on d2 and his bishop on c2 do not have the possibility to exert
pressure against the enemy position and it is quite obvious that he would be incapable of exploiting
Black’s compromised kingside pawn-structure.

6...c5 7.dxc5

About 7.e3 a6 – see 6.e3.

About 7.Bg2 Na6 – see variation C, 5.Bg5.



Following 8.a3, Black must capture the pawn 8...Bxc5 and after 9.e4 Qb6 10.Qe2, he should try to
organise counterplay on the queenside 10...b4„ As it often happens in similar positions, preserving the

pawn on c5 with the move b2-b4 enables Black to organise effective actions on the long diagonal.
Following 8.Bxf6, Black would remain a pawn down for a while, but his super-active bishops and the
absence of a dark-squared bishop in White’s camp, which precludes him from countering his opponent’s
pressure on the dark squares, provide Black with full compensation for the pawn. In addition, he is very
likely to regain his pawn very soon, for example: 8...Bxf6 9.e4 b4 10.cxb4 axb4 11.Qc2 Qc7 12.Bd3
Na6 13.Nb3 Be7 14.0-0 Nxc5 15.Rfc1 Rc8„

8...h6 9.Bf4

White’s queenside has been weakened, so it is obvious that he should better avoid 9.Bxf6 Bxf6µ, while
after 9.Be3, Black will chase his bishop with 9...Ng4©

9...Nc6 10.a3 g5! 11.Bd6 g4!

Black chooses this non-standard decision, because White has failed to complete the mobilisation of his
kingside. The absence of his bishop on g2 hurts him. 12.Nh4 axb4 13.cxb4 Bxd6 14.cxd6 Nxb4„

B) 4.Qd3

White continues his attempts to exploit the weakening of Black’s queenside and he does it this time with
the help of his queen. His bishop will be developed normally on g2. The placement of his queen on d3
would help him to attack the pawn-formation in the centre with the move c2-c4.

4...a6 5.Bg2

5.e4 Bb7 6.e5 Nd5 7.Bg2 d6 8.0-0 c5 9.dxc5 dxc5= Pantev –Ninov, Bulgaria 2017.
5.Bg5 Bb7 6.Nbd2 (6.a4 b4 7.Bg2 Be7 – see 5.Bg2) 6...d5 7.Bg2 c5 8.c3 Nbd7 9.0-0 Be7= Deforel –
Yepez Gutierrez, ICCF 2004.
5.a4 b4 6.e4 (6.Bg2 d5 7.0-0 a5= Chekhov – Chernin, USSR 1983) 6...Bb7 7.e5 (7.Nbd2 d5 8.exd5 Bxd5
9.Bg2 c5 10.0-0 Nc6 11.dxc5 Bxc5= Alekseev – Pantsulaia, Novi Sad 2009) 7...Nd5 8.a5 c5 9.dxc5 Nc6
10.Nbd2 Qc7 11.Nc4 Bxc5 12.Bg2 h6 13.h4 Rc8∞ Kurajica – Van Hooland, Seville 2009. The position
resembles very much the Paulsen variation in the Sicilian Defence. As a plan for Black we can suggest
the transfer of the knight from c6 to f5. The simplifications on the c-file can create the prerequisites for
the tactical threat Bc5xf2, winning a pawn and the possibility to trade the queens. If White supports his
knight on c4 with the move b2-b3, then he will weaken the c3-square and Black’s knight might go there
at some moment creating eventually tactical threats.



6.c4?! White’s queen is on d3, so it would be logical for him in principle to undermine Black’s pawn-
structure. Still, the vulnerable placement of White’s queen enables Black to win tempi and to maintain an
edge. 6...Be4 7.Qb3 Nc6! He attacks immediately the d4-square and wins tempi at the same time. 8.Qd1
Bb4+ 9.Nc3 bxc4µ Siebrecht – Ikonnikov, Vissingen 2004.
6.Be3. White’s bishop may come under attack by the enemy knight on this square. After an exchange, the
opening of the f-file would not be sufficient to compensate the doubling of his pawns. 6...Be4 7.Qd1,
Shcherbakov – M.Makarov, Slovakia 2000, 7...Be7 8.Nbd2 Bb7 9.c4 Ng4„
6.Nbd2 c5 7.c3 (Following 7.e4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 d6 9.0-0 Nbd7„, there arises a transfer to one of the lines
of the
Scheveningen variation in the Sicilian Defence in which all Black’s pieces would be deployed on their
usual correct squares, while White’s queen on d3 and his knight on d2 cause disharmony in his set-up.)
7...d5 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.a4 Bd6 10.Qc2 (After capturing of the pawn 10.axb5, Black has the intermediate
move 10...c4!„) 10...0-0 11.axb5 axb5 12.Rxa8 Qxa8 13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.Nd4 Qa6 15.N2b3 Rc8„
Kozlov – Mamrukov, ICCF 2013.
6.0-0 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5. Black has not played Bf8-e7, so he captures the enemy pawn at once, winning a
tempo for the completion of his development. 8.a4 (8.Bg5 d5 – see 6.Bg5) 8...b4 9.Be3 Bxe3 10.Qxe3 0-
0 11.c3, Kantsler – Vaisser, Frunze 1987, 11...bxc3!? 12.Nxc3 d5„
6.a4 b4. This is Black’s standard reaction against White’s flank undermining move.

7.Nbd2 c5 8.0-0 d5 9.dxc5 Nbd7 10.Nb3 Nxc5 11.Nxc5 Bxc5 12.Nd4 0-0 13.Nb3 Be7 14.a5 Qc7³
Popchev – Vyzhmanavin, Sochi 1989.
7.0-0 c5 8.c3 bxc3 9.bxc3 d5 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.c4 cxd4 12.Qd4 Bc5= Burmakin – Postny, Stockholm
7.c4 Be7. Black is reluctant to capture en passant in order not to allow the enemy knight to occupy the
c3-square. 8.0-0 d6 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 c5 11.e3. The absence of a knight on c3 precludes White from
playing the cramping move d4-d5. 11...0-0 12.Nbd2 Re8= Kurajica – Polugaevsky, Sarajevo 1987.
7.Bg5 Be7 8.Nbd2 h6 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.Nb3. If Black had played carelessly d7-d5, then White’s plan to
occupy the c5-square with his knight would have been very unpleasant. Now, the resource d7-d6 covers
the c5 and e5-squares and refutes White’s strategy. 10...a5 11.Nc5 Bc6 12.0-0 0-0 13.e4 d6 14.Nb3
Qd7„ Golubenko – Cori Tello, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010.



About 7.c3 d5 8.0-0 Nbd7 – see 7.0-0.

7.0-0 d5 8.c3 Nbd7 9.Nbd2 Be7 10.Rad1 0-0 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Rfe1 Qb6„ Velten – Favarel, France
7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.c3, Pantev – Filip, Bulgaria 2010, 8...d5„
7.a4, Arnaudov – Petkov, Bulgaria 2009, 7...c4!? 8.Qd2 d5„
7.e4, Tibensky – Manik, Slovakia 2008, 7...Qa5+!? 8.Bd2 Qc7 9.e5 Ne4„

7...Bxc5 8.0-0 d5 9.a4

9.Nfd2 Nbd7 10.e4, Speelman – Kurajica, Dortmund 1981, 10...Qc7!?³

9...b4 10.Nbd2 Nbd7 11.c4 bxc3 12.bxc3 0-0 13.c4. After attacking Black’s centre White can hardly
rely on obtaining more than equality. In fact, he must play precisely to reach it. 13...h6 14.Be3, Fressinet
– Maze, France 2007, 14...Bb4!?„

C) 4.Bg2 Bb7


About 5.Qd3 a6 – see variation B.

About 5.b3 c5 6.0-0 cxd4 – see 5.0-0.

5.c4 bxc4. White will regain the pawn, but will have nothing real to compensate Black’s advantage in the
centre. 6.Qa4 c5 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Nxc4 d5 10.Nce5 Nbd7 11.0-0 Bb6³ Bialas – Hecht, West
Berlin 1982.
5.Nbd2 c5 6.c4 (About 6.0-0 cxd4 – see variation C2; 6.c3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 – see variation C4a.) 6...bxc4
7.Nxc4, Granda Zuniga – Fedorchuk, Spain 2011, 7...d5 8.Nce5 Nbd7 9.0-0 Be7=
5.a4 b4 6.c4 (6.0-0 c5 – see variation C) 6...c5 7.d5 (7.0-0 cxd4 – see variation C3) 7...exd5

8.Nh4. This is a temporary (sometimes not only temporary...) pawn-sacrifice, which is very popular in
numerous lines of the Queen’s Indian Defence. 8...g6! Black does not allow the enemy knight to come to
the f5-square and the d5-pawn will be lost anyway (his c-pawn is not on c7 anymore...). The pawn-
structure has become “Indian” Black’s bishop on b7 does not beautify his position, but his b-pawn is
already on b4, depriving the enemy knight of the c3-square. White’s knight on h4 does not have good
prospects and all this provides Black with good counterplay. 9.cxd5 Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.e4 d6 12.Re1 a5
13.Nd2 Nbd7 14.Nc4 Nb6 15.Bf1 Re8 16.f3 Nxc4 17.Bxc4 Nd7³ Margulis – Shabalov, USA 2008.
About 5.c3 c5 6.Bg5 (6.0-0 Be7 – see variation C4) 6...Be7 – see 5.Bg5.
5.Bg5 c5

About 6.0-0 d5 – see 5.0-0 c5 6.Bg5 d5.
6.Nbd2 Be7 7.0-0 (7.c3 Na6 8.0-0 0-0 – see variation C4) 7...0-0 8.dxc5 (8.c3 Na6 – see variation C4)
8...Na6 9.Nb3 Rc8 10.Nfd4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Nxc5 (11...b4=) 12.Nxb5 Qb6 13.Nc3 d5© Andrianov –
Letreguilly, Cannes 1995.
6.c3 Be7 7.dxc5 (7.0-0 Na6 8.Qd3 Rb8 9.Bf4 Be4 10.Qd1, Sumets – Belezsky, Germany 2012, 10...d6!?
– this move is played with the idea to trap the enemy bishop after 11.Nbd2 Ba8 12.Re1 Nd5³) 7...Bxc5
8.0-0 h6!? 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Qc2 (11.e4 Qe7 12.Qe2 d6∞) 11...d5 12.e4 Nd7= Gonzalez
Perez – Hernandez Leon, Las Palmas 2009.
6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.c3 (7.0-0 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bxg2 9.Kxg2 a6 10.c3 Bc5 11.Nb3 Be7 12.Qd3 0-0 13.N1d2 d5
14.e4 Rd8= Groszpeter – Palkovi, Hungary 1989) 7...Qd8 8.0-0 Be7 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.a4 bxa4 11.Qxa4 0-
0 12.Nbd2 d5= Kengis –Psakhis, Jurmala 1987.


We will analyse in details now: C1) 6.Bg5, C2) 6.Nbd2, C3) 6.a4 and C4) 6.c3.
6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Nbd2 (7.a4 b4 – see variation C3) 7...0-0 8.c4 (8.Nb3 Bb6 9.a4 bxa4 10.Rxa4 d5³
Meskovs – Miezis, Jurmala 2014) 8...bxc4 9.Nxc4 d5 10.Be3 Bxe3 11.Nxe3 Nc6³ Markovic – Masic,
Yugoslavia 2004. White is very unlikely to coordinate the actions of his knight on e3 with his other
minor pieces.
6.Be3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bxg2 8.Kxg2 a6 9.Nd2 Nd5. White’s bishop on e3 is vulnerable. 10.a4 b4 11.N2f3
Nxe3+ 12.fxe3 Be7 13.e4 0-0 14.Qd3 Qb6 15.Rad1 Ra7„ Muelle – Robert, ICCF 2012.
6.Nc3 a6 7.Bg5 cxd4!? (This is stronger for Black than 7...h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.d5ƒ Mateo – Caruana,
Dresden 2008.) 8.Qxd4 Be7=
6.Bf4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bxg2 8.Kxg2 Qb6. Black’s queen protects the b5-pawn and enters the actions. It can
occupy the long diagonal after the exchange of the bishops. 9.Qd3 (9.Nb3 Be7 10.Be3 Qc7 11.c3 0-0
12.Kg1 Nc6³ Webster – McCorry, England 2016) 9...a6=
6.b3 cxd4 7.Bb2 Be7 8.Bxd4. White preserves the light-squared bishops on the board hoping that after
d7-d5 this would be in his favour. 8...Nc6 9.Bb2 d5 10.c4 dxc4 11.bxc4 b4= Pohjola – Sulskis, Jyvaskyla
6.e3 Be7 7.b3. White has already played e2-e3, so it would be logical for him to fianchetto his bishop in
order to develop harmoniously his pieces. Still, this does not promise him anything positive. On the
contrary, Black has better deployment in the centre and more space on the queenside so his position is
preferable. 7...0-0 8.Bb2 d5 9.Nbd2 Nbd7 10.Ne5 Qc7 11.Nxd7 Nxd7 12.dxc5, Kryakvin –
Tsyhanchuk, Taganrog 2013, 12...Nxc5³
6.c4 bxc4 7.Qa4. White plays in the spirit of the Catalan Opening. There is an important difference,
though... Black has not played d7-d5, but his bishop has already occupied the long diagonal, neutralising
the activity of its counterpart. Therefore, White will be incapable of realising the main ideas of the
Catalan Opening. 7...cxd4 8.Nxd4 (8.Qxc4 Be7 9.Nxd4 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 0-0 11.Nc3 Qb6 12.Nf3 Nc6

13.Na4?! Qb7 14.Nc5 Bxc5 15.Qxc5 Rfc8µ Born – Aseev, Neu Isenburg 1992) 8...Bxg2 9.Kxg2 Be7
10.Nd2 c3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.Ba3 Bxa3 13.Qxa3 d5 14.Rab1 Qd7 15.N2b3 Ne4„ Hancu – Chader Pour,
Istanbul 2012.
6.Na3 b4 (The move c7-c5 has already been played, so after 6...a6 7.c4, Black would not have the
resource 7...Bxa3, which has already been analysed in a similar position before.) 7.Nc4 d5 8.Nce5 Nbd7
9.c4 (9.c3 a5!?„) 9...Be7 10.cxd5 Bxd5

White should better refrain from 11.e4?! Nxe4 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Ne5, Cosma – Pecorelli, Spain 2003,
13...Qb7 14.Qg4 h5!µ
The move 11.Nxf7!? leads to wild complications. 11...Kxf7 12.Ng5+ Kg8 13.e4∞ There may arise the
following developments: 13...Bc4 14.e5 Ne8 15.Qc2 Bxf1 16.Nxe6 Bxg2! 17.Nxd8 Bd5! 18.Nc6! Bxc6
19.Qc4+ Kf8 20.Qe6 Bb5 21.Qf5+ Kg8 22.Qe6=
11.Ng5 0-0 12.e4?! (12.Bxd5!? Nxd5 13.Nc6 Qe8 14.e4 N5b6∞) 12...Bb7 13.Nexf7. Now, White is
already forced to sacrifice a piece, obtaining for it two pawns and a powerful knight on e6. There arises a
position which is very difficult to play with both sides. 13...Rxf7 14.Nxe6 Qb6 15.d5, Harutjunian –
Chkhaidze, Tbilisi 2009, 15...Ba6! 16.Re1 Ne5„

C1) 6.Bg5 d5!?

Black plays this move with the idea to develop later his knight on d7 and to capture on c5 with this
knight, while after 7.dxc5 he would be able to recapture on c5 with his bishop without losing a tempo.


It deserves attention for White to play here 7.a4!? b4 8.a5!? Nbd7 9.a6 Bc6. Following 10.Ne5 Nxe5
11.dxe5, Black has the resource 11...h6!∞

7...Nbd7 8.a4

About 8.Nbd2 Be7 9.a4 b4 10.cxb4 cxb4 – see 8.a4.

8.Ne5 Be7 9.Bxf6, Guid – Mikhalchishin, Slovenija 2011, 9...Bxf6 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.dxc5 Qc7 12.b4
8.Nbd2 Be7 9.a4 (9.Ne5 0-0 10.e3 h6 11.Nxd7 Nxd7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Qe2 b4= Damlianovic –
Macieja, Bled 2002) 9...b4 10.c4 (10.cxb4 cxb4 11.Nb3 h6 – see 8.a4) 10...0-0 11.Rc1 Rc8 12.cxd5 Bxd5
13.Re1, Grivas – Maric, Greece 1997, 13...h6 14.e4 Bb7³


In response to a2-a4, this move, restricting the knight on b1, is Black’s best decision.


9.a5 Rc8. Black frees the a8-square for his bishop if White plays a5-a6. 10.Nbd2 Be7 11.Ne5 0-0
12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Nf3 bxc3 14.bxc3 Ba6³ Neumann – Markos, Czech Republic 2006.
9.Ne5 Rc8 10.cxb4 cxb4 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Bxf6 gxf6. White has managed to compromise his opponents
kingside pawn-structure, but has no squares for penetration, while if he opens the centre with the move
e2-e4, he would only weaken the d4-pawn without any compensation. 13.Nd2 Be7 14.e3 Ba6 15.Re1 0-0
16.Nb3 f5= Koentges – Dittmar, ICCF 2013.

9...cxb4 10.Nbd2

10.a5 Be7 11.Qa4 Rc8 12.Ne5 0-0 13.a6 Ba8 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.Nd2 Qb6= Piket – Lautier, Monte Carlo

10...Be7 11.Nb3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.a5 (13.Qd3 0-0 14.Rfc1 a5 15.e3 Ba6 16.Qd1 Qb6 17.Bf1 Rfc8
18.Bxa6 Qxa6 19.Qf1 Qxf1+ 20.Kxf1 Rxc1+ 21.Rxc1 Nb6 22.Nc5 Rc8 23.b3 Nd7 24.Nd3 Rxc1+
25.Nxc1 Be7= Huebner – Prusikin, Switzerland 2006) 13...Ba6 14.Re1 0-0= Papaioannu – Macieja,
Turin 2006. White’s plan is to fortify somehow his outpost on c5 and if his opponent does not control the
e5-square to penetrate via it to the c6-outpost, creating threats against the pawn on a7. Black must prevent
this and try to deflect the enemy rook from the protection of the pawn on a5, creating the threat to win
that pawn. I believe, this is a position with dynamic balance.

C2) 6.Nbd2


Black can also play here 6...d5, followed by Nb8-d7, while after a2-a4, he usually replies with b5-b4.
In this case however, after the exchange on d4, White is faced with a very difficult choice. He must either
capture immediately and then the position would be simplified after the trade of the light-squared
bishops, or he might regain the pawn after the manoeuvre Nd2-b3xd4. This is however connected with a
loss of time in a situation in which there has arisen transposition to the Scheveningen variation of the
Sicilian Defence in which the time factor is always very important.


7.Nxd4 Bxg2 8.Kxg2 Qb6=

7...Be7 8.Nbxd4 a6 9.c3

9.Bd2. This move is played with the idea to follow with Qe1 and Bb4, or Ba5. This is however too
straightforward and strategically bad. 9...0-0 10.Qe1 Nc6 11.Nxc6 (Now, White cannot play the move
11.Ne5?, which would have been possible with his queen still being on the d1-square. 11...Nxd4
12.Bxb7 Nxc2µ) 11...Bxc6 12.Bb4 a5 13.Bxe7 Qxe7³ Prociuc – Voloshin, Alushta 2010.
9.a4 b4. There has arisen a position from variation C3c, except that instead of 0-0, Black has played the
not so useful move a6. This does not change much however, the evaluation of the position. White will cut
off the enemy b4-pawn from its eventual support (the a-pawn), or might exchange it with his c-pawn,
which is also not so important. His position will be worse in the centre in both cases. 10.Bd2 (About
10.a5 0-0 – see variation C3, 7.Nbd2; 10.Bf4 0-0 11.Nb3 Bd5 12.Nbd2 Nc6³ Bogdan – Farago,
Hungary 1998.) 10...0-0 11.c3 bxc3 12.Bxc3 Ne4³ Surendran – Fominyh, India 2006.

9...0-0 10.a4 bxa4 11.Qxa4 d6 12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Nb3 (13.Bg5, Salama – Bjornsson, Reykjavik 2009,
13...Nbd7 14.Nb3 Rfb8 15.Na5 Be4„; 13.Qa5, Oettinger – Loew, Bad Wiessee 2006, 13...Qc8!?„)
13...Nbd7 14.Na5 Nc5 15.Qa3 Be4 16.Nd4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 d5=

C3) 6.a4 b4


About 7.c3 Be7 – see variation C4c.

7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.c3 0-0 9.Nbd2 bxc3 10.bxc3 Na6 11.Nb3 Rc8 12.Nxc5 Nxc5 13.Ba3 Qc7³ Huebner –
Aronian, playchess.com 2004.
7.Nbd2 cxd4 8.Nb3 Be7

About 9.a5 0-0 10.Nbxd4 a6 – see 9.Nbd4.

9.Qxd4 Nc6 10.Qd3, Mazja – K.Arkell, Vienna 2013, 10...Qc8!?³
9.Nfxd4 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 0-0 11.Qd3, Celander – Akesson, Stockholm 2003 (11.Bg5, Helbig –
O.Romanov, Germany 2007, 11...d5³) 11...d5³
9.Nbxd4 0-0 10.a5 (10.b3. If White refrains from the exchange of his c-pawn for the enemy b-pawn, he
would not achieve much either: 10...Na6 11.Bb2 Nc5³ Tenelsen – Miezis, Dusseldorf 2004; 10.Bg5 h6
11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Rc1 d5³ Duratti – Miezis, Lausanne 2005.) 10...a6 11.Bd2 Nc6 12.c3, Votava –
Volosin, Czech Republic 2006, 12...Nxa5 13.cxb4 Nc4³
7.a5. White does not allow his opponent to fortify his b4-pawn and squeezes the enemy knight on b8 to
protect the a6-square. 7...Na6 8.c3 (8.Nbd2 Be7 9.c3 0-0 – see 8.c3) 8...Be7

9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.c4 (10.cxb4 Bxb4 11.Bd2 Be7³) 10...Rc8 11.b3 Be7 12.Bb2. Now, after White’s a5-
pawn has been advanced too far and has been cut off from the rest of his forces, Black has the possibility
to try to capture it: 12...Rc5³ Romanishin – Labuckas, Katowice 1995.
9.Bg5 h6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Nbd2 0-0 12.e4 d5 13.e5 Be7³ Quechtati – Pira, Cannes 1990. White does not
have attacking pieces on the kingside, while Black has seized the initiative on the queenside.
9.Nbd2 0-0 10.cxb4 (10.Nb3 bxc3 11.bxc3 Rc8 12.Ba3 Ne4³ Spiric – Ostojic, Belgrade 2010) 10...Nxb4
11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nb3 Be7 13.Be3 Bd5³ Vo Thi Kim Phung – Batchluun, China 2016. Now, you can see
the consequences of White’s a-pawn being too far from the base. His queenside has become vulnerable
after Black has seized the control over the b4-square.


If 7...bxc3, then after 8.Nxc3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 d5 11.Bf4 a6, Lputian – Minasian, Yerevan
1999, White plays 12.a5!. After his queen comes to a4 (followed by the occupation of the c6-square with
his knight), or with a knight on a4 (and later Na4-b6), Black’s lag in development might hurt him


8.Nbd2 Be7 9.Nb3 0-0 10.Nbxd4 Nc6 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.Bxb7 Rb8 13.Bg2 Nxc4 14.b3 Na5 15.Bb2 d5µ
Napoli – Feretti, Italy 2013.
8.Qxd4 Nc6 9.Qd3 Be7 10.Nbd2 (10.e4 d6 11.Bf4 Ng4∞ Montes Gutierrez – Marholev, Spain 2007)
10...0-0 11.b3 d5= Petenyi – Stocek, Slovakia 2015. Black has accomplished the freeing d5-move and
can occupy eventually later the outpost on c3.

8...Bxg2 9.Kxg2 Be7


10.Nd2 0-0 11.N2f3 Na6 12.Bf4 Qc8 13.Rc1 Nc5„ Jerez Perez – Campos Morena, Terrassa 1999. In
his further actions, Black can follow the plan we have already described in our notes to the main line with
the move 10.b3.

10...0-0 11.Bb2 Na6 12.Nd2 Nc5„ Fuchs – Adamski, Hassloch 1998. Black transfers his queen to b7
and plays d7-d6, deploying later his rook in the centre. He can follow that with a transfer of his bishop on
g7, after the preliminary move g7-g6, and then he can think about advancing his pawns in the centre.

C4) 6.c3 Be7

After 6...d5, Black weakens the a4-e8 diagonal, so Black must consider under some circumstances
White’s possibility Nf3-e5, for example: 7.a4 b4 8.a5 bxc3 9.Nxc3 Na6 10.Ne5! Nd7, Kamsky –
Yudasin, USA 2011, and here, White could have seized the initiative with the line: 11.Nxd7 Qxd7
If Black plays here 6...Na6, then he would present his opponent with the possibility to attack the b5-pawn

immediately, saving a tempo for Bc1-g5, because after Nb8-a6, Black would not have the defensive
resource a7-a6. 7.Qd3 Qb6 8.Bg5 Ne4, Sorri – Zapletal, corr. 1988, 9.Bf4²

We will deal now in details with: C4a) 7.Nbd2, C4b) 7.dxc5, C4c) 7.a4 and C4d) 7.Bg5.
About 7.Re1 0-0 8.Nbd2 (8.Bg5 Na6 – see variation C4d) 8...d5 – see see variation C4a.
7.b3. This fianchetto of the bishop, which is in fact fruitless for White, is very seldom used in this line,
because the long diagonal has been already closed by the move c2-c3. 7...0-0 8.Bb2 d5 9.Ne5 Nc6
10.Nd2 Qb6 11.Ndf3 Rfc8 12.a4 bxa4 13.Rxa4 cxd4 14.cxd4 Ne4³ Tantsis – Mastrovasilis, Greece
7.Qb3 Qb6 8.a4 bxa4 (After the standard response b5-b4, Black queen on b6 will be attacked with tempi
after a4-a5, as well as following Nb1-d2-c4.) 9.Qxa4 cxd4

After 10.cxd4 0-0 11.Nbd2, Lys – Zwardon, Karwina 2012, Black can try to restrict the enemy knights
with the line: 11...d5!? 12.Ne5 Rc8! 13.Ndf3 Ba6³
10.Qxd4 Bc5 11.Qa4 0-0 12.Nbd2, Wittje – Fuchs, Germany 2018, 12...a5 13.Nb3 d6 14.Nxc5 Qxc5
15.Be3 Qc7∞
Following 10.Nxd4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 0-0 12.Nd2 d5 13.N2f3 Nbd7 14.Be3, Al Saffar – Mohamed,
Baghdad 2010, there might arise a forced draw after repetition of moves: 14...Qxb2 15.Rfb1 Qxc3
16.Rc1 Qb2=

C4a) 7.Nbd2 0-0 8.Re1

About 8.dxc5 Bxc5 – see variation C4b.



9.a4 bxa4 (The move 9...b4 also seems here good for Black: 10.cxb4 cxb4 11.Nb3 a5 12.Ne5 Nbd7
13.Nd3 h6= Cech – Szymanski, Budapest 1998.) 10.Qxa4 Nc6 11.e3 Qc7 12.b3 a5 13.Bb2 Rfb8ƒ
Kowalczyk – B.Socko, Poland 2016.
After 9.Nb3 Nbd7 10.Bg5 Rc8 11.e3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Qe2 Qb6³, Black has a bishop-pair and good
prospects for effective active actions on the queenside, Barros – Barientos, Colombia 2012.
9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Nb3 Bb6 11.Nbd4 a6 12.a4 bxa4 13.Qxa4 Nbd7 14.h3 Qc7³ Zuluaica – Hevia,
Columbia 2014.

9...cxd4 10.cxd4 Qb6 11.e3 Rc8

Black plans to attack the enemy knight on e5 with the move Nc6. After an exchange there, with a rook on
c8, he will have the choice with what to capture. For example, after Qxc6, Black will have the possibility
to penetrate to the c2-square. If he captures with his bishop and White’s second knight comes to e5, from
the f3-square, then Black will have the possibility to retreat with his bishop to e8, without closing the
rook on f8, since it would be already on the c8-square. Later, after playing b5-b4, he will activate his
bishop, transferring it to the f1-a6 diagonal, via the b5-square.

12.Nd3 b4 13.Nb3 Nbd7³, followed by a7-a5, Jalloul – Zhu Chen, Abu Dhabi 2013.

C4b) 7.dxc5 Bxc5


About 8.a4 b4 – see variation C4c.

8.Qd3 a6=, with the set-up d7-d5, 0-0, Nb8-d7, Hirsch – A.G.Panchenko, Germany 2006.
8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Nb3 (9.a4 b4 10.Nb3 Be7= Reznicek – Fedorchuk, Chrudim 2003) 9...Bb6!? This is a
seldom played move in comparison to 9...Be7, but still, it is quite possible. The pin after Bc1-g5 is not
dangerous for Black due to White’s pawn on g3, so Black can get rid of it at any moment with the move
h7-h6. Naturally, his bishop is more active on b6 than on e7. Well, in response to a2-a4, he cannot play
now b5-b4, but his bishop is functional on an important diagonal and this is his compensation. 10.Bg5
(10.a4 bxa4 11.Rxa4 d5 12.Rh4?! Nbd7³ Manukian – Kavutskiy, Los Angeles 2012) 10...d5 11.Nbd4 a6
12.a4 bxa4 13.Qxa4 Nbd7 14.Nd2 h6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.e3 Qc7 17.Rfe1 e5³ Black has established
control over the centre and this provides him with an edge, S.Schmid – Fedorchuk, Dubai 2005.
8.b4 Be7 9.a4 (9.Nd4 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 Qb6 11.a4 bxa4 12.Qxa4 0-0 13.Qb5, Pribyl – Hosticka, Karvina
1989, 13...Nc6!„) 9...bxa4 10.Qxa4 0-0

If White does not advance immediately his c-pawn, he may have problems to do it later: 11.Rd1 d6
12.Nd4 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qc8 14.f3 Rd8 15.Ra3 Nd5 16.Qb3 Nb6 17.Qa2 Rd7 18.Nd2 d5µ and Black
fixes the backward enemy pawn on c3, Pribyl – Chandler, Germany 1991.
11.Nbd2 d5 12.Nd4 Qc8 13.Bb2, Bae – Schweizer, Bern 2014, 13...Nbd7 14.Rfc1 Nb6„
11.c4 Qc8 12.Nbd2 d5 13.Bb2, Kogan – Seirawan, USA 1984, 13...Nbd7! 14.Rfc1 (14.c5?! a5ƒ)
14...Nb6 15.Qa2 dxc4 16.Nxc4 Bd5 17.Nxb6 axb6=

8...0-0 9.Qd3

Following 9.Nbd2 d5 10.Nd4 a6 11.a4, Ajith – Joshi, India 2008, it deserves attention for Black to try a
positional pawn-sacrifice – 11...Nbd7!? 12.axb5 axb5 13.Rxa8 Bxa8 14.N2b3 Be7 15.Nxb5 e5ƒ



10.Nbd2 d5= Gago Pedreny – Caruana, Spain 2006.

10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.Ng5 Qxg5 12.Bxb7 Ra7 13.Be4 f5„ Maeder – Standke, ICCF 2002.
10...b4 11.cxb4 (After 11.Qc4 Be7, White can compromise his opponent’s kingside pawn-structure, but
the safety of Black’s king is not endangered by that. 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.cxb4 Nc6∞) 11...Bxb4 12.Ne5 d5=
Azmaiparashvili – Michalchishin, USSR 1981.

C4c) 7.a4 b4


About 8.a5 Na6 – see variation C3.

8.Bg5 Na6 – see variation C4d.
8.Nbd2 cxd4 9.cxb4 Bxb4= Khechumyan – Anastasian, Budapest 1999.
8.dxc5 Bxc5

About 9.a5 0-0 – see 8.a5.

9.Ne5 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 Qb6 11.Nd3 Na6 12.a5 Qb7+ 13.f3 Be7 14.e4 Rc8 15.Ra4 d5µ Adly – Aronian,
Turkey 2010. This is another example that it is much more difficult for White to play the position after
3.g3 b5. Its evaluation is close to equal around White’s move ten, but becomes horrible for him in the
vicinity of move fifteen.
9.cxb4 Bxb4 10.Bd2 Be7 11.b4 0-0 12.b5 (12.Na3 d5 13.Nd4 Ne4³ Meijers – Stark, Germany 2012)
12...a6 13.Nc3 d5„ Adly – Arab, Doha 2011.



9.Bf4?! 0-0 10.Nbd2 Nd5 11.Rc1 Nc6 12.Nb3 Nxf4 13.gxf4 Na5 14.Nc5 Bc6 15.Qd3 Rc8 16.e3 d6
17.Ne4 h6³ Houdek – Celbr, ICCF 2004.
9.a5 0-0 10.Bg5 (10.Nbd2 d5 – see 9.Nbd2) 10...h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.Nbd2 d5 13.Nb3 Ba6 14.Nc5 Bb5
15.Qd2 Na6 16.Nxa6 Bxa6 17.Rfc1 Rc8= Smirin – Kosten, Tilburg 1992.
9.Bg5 0-0 10.Nbd2 d5 11.Bxf6. White is reluctant to let the enemy knight to occupy the e4-square and
thus reduces the eventual protection of the c5-square, since he plans to go there with his knight from d2
via b3. (11.Qb3 Nc6 12.Rfc1 Qb6 13.e3 Na5 14.Qd1 h6 15.Bf4 Rfc8= Jirovsky – Fedorovsky, Germany
2006) 11...Bxf6 12.Nb3 Nd7 13.Qd2 a5 14.Rfc1 Ba6 15.e3 Bc4 16.Qd1 Qb6= Duca – Anton, Romania



10.a5 d5 11.Ne5 (11.Nb3 Ba6! 12.Ne5 Nfd7! 13.Be3 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Nc6 15.f4 Rc8 16.Kh1 Bc4 17.Nd4
Nxd4 18.Bxd4 Bc5„ Kravtsiv – Moiseenko, Berlin 2015) 11...Nfd7 12.Nd3 Ba6! The transfer of this
bishop to the open diagonal compensates the weakness of the c5-square. White’s pieces are not
coordinated in view of the delay of the development of his bishop on c1, so Black maintains the
advantage. 13.Qa4 Qc7 14.Re1, Nikolaevsky – Bronstein, USSR 1978, 14...Nc6³
10.Nc4 a5 11.Nfe5?! Bxg2 12.Kxg2 d6 13.Nd3 Qc8 14.Nd2 Qb7³ Leroy – Eperjesi, Budapest 1994.
White has no compensation for his lag in development and Black’s superior pawn-structure on the
10.Re1 d5 11.a5 (11.Ne5 Nbd7 12.Ndf3 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Ne4 14.Be3 Qa5= Clarke – Short, England
1977) 11...Nbd7 12.Nb3 Ba6 13.Bg5 Rc8 14.Nfd2 h6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.Bf1 Qc7 17.Qb1 h5ƒ Solnicki –
M.Socko, Warsaw 2012.


White’s knight has gone from d2 to b3 and does not support now the occupation of the centre with the
move e2-e4, so Black is not obliged to play for a while d7-d5 and can advance his queen’s pawn just a
square forward in order to control the c5 and e5-squares.

11.Ne1 Bxg2 12.Nxg2 Nbd7 13.Qd3 d5

Now, it is the right moment for Black to prevent his opponent from the occupation of the centre.


14.Bf4 Qb6 15.Rfc1 Rfc8 16.Ne3 Nh5 17.Ng4 Nxf4 18.gxf4, Portella – Da Costa, corr. 1988, 18...Rc7=

14.a5 Qc7 15.Bg5 Rfc8 16.Rfc1 Qb7 17.f3 h6 18.Bf4, Skotorenko – Lofgren, corr. 1985, 18...Rxc1+
19.Rxc1 Rc8=

This position was reached in the game Petrosian – Polugaevsky, USSR 1977.


Black must consider seriously White’s actions on the c-file and his possible manoeuvre Qd3-a6
enhancing them. (Black could have failed to equalise in the above mentioned game after 14...Ne4
15.Bxe7 Qxe7 16.Rfc1 Rfc8, because here, Petrosian had to prefer 17.Qa6²)

15.Rfc1 Nb6 16.Nc5 Nc4 17.b3 Bxc5 18.dxc5 Ne5„

C4d) 7.Bg5 Na6

This is the best move for Black after which he manages to protect his c5-pawn and to keep his d-pawn at
its initial place, at least for a while.


About 8.e3 0-0 9.Nbd2 h6 – see 8.Nbd2.

8.Re1 0-0 9.Qd3 Qb6 10.e4 h6 11.Bf4 cxd4 12.Nxd4 b4ƒ Laird –Davidovic, Sydney 1990. Black has
allowed his opponent to occupy the centre, but has organised quickly counterplay on the queenside.
8.Qd3 Qb6 9.Nbd2 (9.a4 bxa4∞) 9...cxd4

10.cxd4, Rodriguez – Obers, Gibraltar 2008, 10...Nb4!? 11.Qb3 Bd5„

10.Nxd4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 b4! This is the right move for Black. (11...Rb8?! 12.b4² Simic – Ostojic,
Yugoslavia 1985) 12.Nc4 Qb7+ 13.f3 0-0 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Nd6 Qb6 16.Nb3 Be7∞

10.Qxd4 Nc5 11.e4 d6 12.Rfe1 h6 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Qe3 0-0³ Chiburdanidze – Panno, Aruba 1992.
There has arisen a position resembling the Sicilian Defence, but rather unfavourable for White.
10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.cxd4 Nb4 12.Qb3 Be7 13.a3 Nc6. Black improves the placement of his knight with
tempo and thus solves his only problem. 14.e3 0-0 15.Rfc1 Rfc8= Zubov – Karpov, Calatrava 2007.
8.a4 b4

9.Qd3 bxc3 10.bxc3 cxd4 11.Bxf6 (If White does not exchange the enemy knight, then it might come
later to the c3-square, creating great problems for him: 11.cxd4 Nb4 12.Qd1 0-0 13.Nbd2, Leutwyler –
Adamski, Giessen 1994, 13...Nfd5 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Nb3 Rfc8³) 11...Bxf6 12.cxd4 Nb4 13.Qd2 a5=
Chiburdanidze – Stefanova, Niksic 1997.
9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.a5 (10.cxb4 Nxb4 11.Nc3 d5= Haldemann – Schweizer, Bern 2014; 10.Ne5 Bxg2
11.Kxg2 Qc7 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Ng4 f5 14.Nf6+ Ke7 15.Nh5 Rhg8∞ Cuevas Fernandez – Akinci, Spain
2008) 10...0-0 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Qxd7 Rab8! White has not completed his development, while Black
exerts powerful pressure against the c3-square, so he can follow with this pawn-sacrifice. The best that
White can do is to give it back immediately: 13.Nbd2 Rfd8 14.Qa4 bxc3 15.bxc3 Qxc3 16.Ne4 Qb4
17.Nxc5 Qxc5 18.Rfc1 Qb4 19.Qxb4 Nxb4 20.Ne5 f6 21.Bxb7 Rxb7 22.Nc6 Nxc6 23.Rxc6 Kf7
24.Rac1 Ke7= Le Roux – Fedorchuk, Paris 2015.
9.Nbd2 0-0 10.Ne5 (10.Nc4 bxc3 11.bxc3 d5 12.Nce5 Ne4 13.Qb3 Rb8³ Weemaes – Vlassov, France
1996; 10.Rc1 bxc3 11.bxc3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e4 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Qb3 a5³ Janev – Matlakov,
Chennai 2011; 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.e4 d5 12.e5 Be7 13.Nb3 Balogh – Likavsky, Slovakia 2005, 13...Rb8ƒ)
10...Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Rc8= Ponfilenok – Andreikin, St.Petersburg 2007.



9.a4 b4 10.Re1 h6 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.e4 bxc3 13.bxc3 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Rb1 a5³ Curado – Mirzoev,
Seville 2011. Black’s knight has occupied an important outpost, so this provides him with an advantage.
9.Qb1. White is preparing the pawn-advances e2-e4 and b2-b4. 9...cxd4 10.cxd4 h6. Black does not need
to be in a hurry to play d7-d5, in order not to weaken the c5-square, since White’s knight on d2 might go
there. 11.Bxf6 Bxf6 12.e3 Qb6 13.a3 Rac8 14.b4 Nb8 15.Nb3 Rc7 16.Rc1 Rxc1+ 17.Qxc1 Rc8 18.Qd1
Bd5= Rohde – I.Gurevich, USA 1998.
9.Ne5 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 Qc7

11.Nef3, Meinz – Kritz, Altenkirchen 2005, 11...Rfc8!? 12.e4 d5 13.e5 Ne4=

11.e3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.f4 d6 14.Ng4 Be7 15.f5 Qc6+ 16.Qf3 Qxf3+ 17.Rxf3, Andersson – Seirawan,
Reykjavik 1991, 17...exf5 18.Rxf5 g6 19.Rf3 Kg7=
11.Ndf3 d6. Now, once again it is very good for Black that his d-pawn can oust the enemy knight from
the important central square. 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Ng4 Be7 14.Ne3 d5= Israel – Morley, ICCF 2008. Here,
the same pawn restricts White’s knight on e3.
9.Re1 h6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6

11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Nd4 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qb6 14.N4b3 Na4 15.Qb1 d5³ Slutzkin – Razuvaev, Geneve
11.a3 Rc8 12.e3 Qb6 13.Rc1 d6 14.b4, Ftacnik – Lein, Hastings 1980, 14...Nb8 15.Nb3 cxd4 16.cxd4
Qa6 17.Na5 Be4 18.Qd2 Nc6=
11.e4 d5 (11...cxd4!? 12.cxd4 Qb6 13.Nb3 d5 14.e5 Be7 15.a3 Rfc8 16.Bf1 Nb8 17.Nc1 a5ƒ
Maharramzade – Pigusov, Linares 1997) 12.e5 Be7 13.a3 c4 14.Nf1 Nc7 15.Ne3 a5„ Buchmann –
Wegener, Germany 2006. Here, we can see another possible strategy for Black in the variation with 3.g3
b5. He complies with the formation of a pawn-structure like the French Defence, but the point is that his
actions on the queenside are much faster than White’s eventual kingside operations.
9.Qb3 Rb8 10.Qxb5 (10.Rad1 cxd4 11.Nxd4. It is logical for White not to close the d-file if his rook has
occupied it on his previous move. 11...Bxg2 12.Kxg2 Nc5 13.Qc2 Qb6ƒ Paunovic – Psakhis, Mondariz
1997. Black’s knight has been centralised and has entered the actions with tempo, while White has no
centre. Black’s prospects in the middle game are potentially preferable.) 10...Bxf3 11.Qxa6 Bxg2
12.Kxg2 Rxb2 13.Qxa7 (13.Nb3, Sifuentes – Marin, Spain 2002, 13...Qc8!?³ 14.Qxa7?? Qc6+ 15.Kg1
Ra8–+) 13...cxd4 (13...Nd5?! Lechtinsky – Plachetka, Sumperk 1984, 14.Rfb1! Rc2 15.Qa4 Rxc3
16.Bxe7 Qxe7 17.Ne4 f5 18.Nxc5±) 14.cxd4 h6 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Ne4 Rxe2 17.Nxf6+ Qxf6 18.Qxd7=
Rb8 19.Qc6 Rbb2= Prie – Degraeve, France 1997.
9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.e4 (10.e3 Qb6 11.a4 b4 12.Qe2 d5. As it often happens in this variation, after the

inclusion of the moves a2-a4 and b2-b4 and Black advancing d7-d5, his game is simpler and easy to
understand and he gradually maintains an edge. 13.Rfc1 Rfc8 14.Bf1 Rab8 15.Qd1 h6³ Ataman –
Pantsulaia, Konya 2010.) 10...cxd4 11.cxd4 Qb6. White has practically nothing to compensate the
absence of his bishop-pair. His pawn-centre is under attack and is not dangerous for Black anymore.
12.e5 Be7 13.Qe2 d6 14.exd6 Bxd6 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Rad1 Nb4 17.a3 Nd5³ Huebner – Kulaots, Estonia
9.a3!? Here and later, this move marks White’s intentions to advance b2-b4 and after an eventual
exchange of the pawns, to transfer his knight along the route d2-b3-a5, maintaining an advantage on the
queenside. 9...Rc8 10.Re1. (After the realisation of the key-idea behind the move a2-a3 and that is 10.b4,
Black plays 10...cxd4 11.cxd4 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e3 Qb6 14.Nb3 d6 15.Na5 Be4 16.Rc1 Nb8 17.Nd2
Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Nc6 19.Ndb3 Nxa5 20.Nxa5 Rc7 21.Rxc7 Qxc7 22.d5 Rc8= Speelman – Macak,
England 2007.) 10...cxd4 11.cxd4 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e3 d6 14.Qb1 (14.Qe2 Qb6 15.Rec1 Nb8 16.Ne1
Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Nd7 18.Nd3 Be7 19.Qf3 Nf6 20.Nb4 d5= Rubinetti – Soppe, San Martin 1993) 14...Qb6
15.Qd3 Nb8 16.Rac1 Nd7 17.h4 Be7 18.Nh2 d5 19.Bf1 b4 20.a4 a6∞ 21.Nhf3 Bd6 22.Qb3 Qa5 23.Bd3
Nb6 24.Bc2 Nc4³ Gouveia – Kasparov, Rio de Janeiro (simultan) 1996. Black has seized the initiative.

9...h6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6


11.Ne1 Bxg2 (White wishes to obtain a much more complicated position, so he is reluctant to trade the
bishops: 11...d5!? 12.Nc2 Qb6 13.b4 c4 14.a4 bxa4 15.Rxa4 Nc7 16.Qa1 a6 17.e4 Rad8∞ Polaczek –
Gelashvili, Heraklio 2007.) 12.Kxg2 Qb6 13.Nd3 Rfc8 14.Qf3 d5= Ansell – Griffiths, Ireland.
11.a3!? Qb6 12.b4 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rfc8 14.Nb3 d6 15.Na5 Be4 16.Rc1 Rxc1 17.Qxc1 Qd8. There will be
no winner in the fight for the c-file, so the position is simplified: 18.Qd2 Rc8 19.Rc1 Rc7! 20.Ne1 Bxg2

21.Kxg2 Qa8+ 22.Kg1 Bd8= Pisk – Bernasek, Czech Republic 2014.



12.Ne5 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 d6 14.Nd3 b4 15.Nf4 Rab8 16.Rab1 Qc6+ 17.Qf3 Qxf3+ 18.Nxf3 Rfc8=
Soreghy – Timkin, ICCF 2011. The manoeuvres of White’s knights have proven to be completely
12.Rfd1 cxd4 13.cxd4 Rac8 14.Nb3 d6 15.Qd2 e5 16.Rac1 Rxc1 17.Rxc1 Rc8= Velikov – Chandler,
Dubai 1986.
12.Rfc1 Rfc8 (12...d5!? 13.a3 c4 14.e4 Nc7∞) 13.a3 cxd4 14.cxd4 Rxc1+ 15.Rxc1 Rc8 16.Rxc8+ Bxc8
17.Ne4 Be7 18.Ne5 d6 19.Nc6 Bf8 20.Nc3 Nc7 21.d5 Bd7 22.Nd4 e5= Sorokin – Vaisser, Palma de
Mallorca 1989.
12.a3!? This is a very clever plan. White wishes to isolate the enemy knight on a6 and to occupy
additional space on the queenside by transferring his knight to a5. Black must try to centralise his knight
and to seek simplification of the position on the c-file in order to avoid problems. 12...Nc7 13.b4 d6
14.Nb3 cxd4 15.cxd4 Rac8 16.Rac1 Nd5 17.Qb2 Ne7 18.Na5 Be4 19.Nd2 Bd3!? Sosonko – Plachetka,
Stockholm 1997 (19...Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Nd5=) 20.Rfd1 d5 21.Nf3 Bc4∞, with good prospects for Black in
the middlegame.



Black should not be afraid of 13.a5 Qc7 14.Rfc1 bxc3= Benjamin – Hellers, Stockholm 1990.
After 13.Ne5, Black might even manage to seize the initiative. 13...Bxg2 14.Kxg2 d6 15.Nd7 (15.Ng4
Be7 16.e4 cxd4 17.a5 Qb7 18.cxd4 Rfc8 19.Rfc1 d5 20.e5 b3! 21.Ne3 Nb4 22.Rxc8+ Rxc8 23.Nxb3
Rb8© Bartsch – Koch, ICCF 2014) 15...Qc6+ 16.Kg1 Qxd7 17.Qxa6 Rfc8 18.Rfc1 Rab8 19.dxc5 d5ƒ
Ris – Bocharov, Dresden 2007.

13...d5 14.a5 Qd6

Black play would be more complicated after 14...Qd8 15.cxb4 cxd4 16.b5!? dxe3 17.bxa6 exd2 18.axb7
dxc1=Q+ 19.Rxc1 Rb8 20.a6 Qb6 21.Bf1ƒ


The move 15.cxb4 would not work with a queen on d6, since following 15...cxd4 16.b5 dxe3 17.bxa6,
Black would have the intermediate line: 17...Bxa6 18.Qxe3 Bxb2µ

15...dxe4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.Qxe4 bxc3 18.bxc3 Rac8=, with complete equality, Ivanchuk – Timman,
Belgrade 1995.

Chapter 7

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Bf4

This move has been played numerous times by the English grandmaster Anthony Miles since the year
He introduced many original ideas in it and thanks to them the line was very popular at the end of the
70ies and the middle of the 80ies of the past century. In particular, in the year 1979 the move 4.Bf4
became a part of the opening repertoire of the future grandmaster Smbat Lputian. Close to the end of the
80ies Black found reliable ways of equalising and the Miles variation ceased to be a frequent guest in the
grandmaster practice at the top level.

4...Bb7 5.e3

About 5.Nc3 Bb4 – see Chapter 9, variation A.

5.a3. The absence of a pawn on e3 makes the realisation of Miles’s idea impossible (see our notes to 5.e3
c5). 5...c5 6.d5?! (White should better play here 6.e3, for example: 6...Be7 7.Nc3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 a6=
Mahler – Yuan, Berlin 2011.) 6...exd5 7.Nc3 d4µ
After 5.h3, it would be logical and strong for Black to play here 5...Bb4+. White postpones the
development of his kingside and this provides Black with excellent counterplay. 6.Nbd2, Ryskin –
Roizman, Minsk 1979 (6.Nfd2, Tuominen – Salo, Finland 2014, 6...c5 7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 cxd4 9.Qxd4
Nc6 10.Qd3 d5 11.e3 d4ƒ) 6...c5!? 7.a3 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 cxd4 9.Qxd4 0-0 10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Qd6 Rc8 12.e3
Na5„, Black has chances of seizing the initiative thanks to his lead in development.
5.Nbd2. This move for White in the Queen’s Indian set-ups marks his reluctance to fight for the control

over the d5-square and as a rule, makes it possible and preferable for Black to fight quickly for the centre
with the move c7-c5. 5...c5 6.dxc5 (6.e3 cxd4 7.exd4 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.a3 d5 10.Rc1 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nc6
12.Be3 Rc8³ Berenstein – Andersen, Germany 2002.) 6...bxc5=, followed by the set-up Be7, d6, Nbd7,
Mann – Stajcic, Hungary 1994. The absence of a white knight on c3 provides Black with the possibility
to think about the plan to isolate the enemy bishop on f4 with the moves h7-h6 and e6-e5. On the other
hand, he must consider in similar situations the possible enemy manoeuvre Nd2-b1-c3.


After 5...c5?! 6.d5 exd5, Miles had invented the move 7.Nc3!

This is an original idea which turns Black’s natural reaction 5...c5 into a “dubious” move. White

sacrifices a pawn, but establishes complete control over the centre and this might impede the harmonious
development of Black’s kingside pieces.
7...Be7 8.cxd5 d6 9.e4 0-0 10.Bd3 a6 11.a4± Vorobiov – Berkovich, Teplice 2006. In this Benoni
Defence pawn-structure both of Black’s bishops are misplaced and this provides White with an
7...d6 8.cxd5 Be7 9.e4 0-0 10.Nd2 Re8 11.Be2 Bf8 12.0-0 Na6 13.Bb5 Nd7 14.Qg4 Nab8 15.Qg3 a6
16.Bxd7± Lputian – Vaganian, Yerevan 1980.
7...a6 8.cxd5 d6 9.e4 Qe7 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.Nd2 Ne5 12.Bg3 h5 13.Bh4 Ng6 14.Bg5± Miles – Hort,
Tilburg 1978.
7...dxc4 8.Nb5 Na6 (8...Nd5?! 9.Bg5 Nf6 10.Bxc4 a6 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Nc3 Nc6 13.Bd5 Qc7 14.Qb3 0-
0-0 15.Rd1ƒ Romualdo – Centi, ICCF 2006) 9.Bxc4 Be7 (9...d5? 10.Qa4 Nd7, Izoria – Naiditch, Turkey
2006, 11.0-0-0 dxc4 12.Rxd7 Qxd7 13.Ne5+–) 10.Nd6+ Bxd6 11.Qxd6 (11.Bxd6 b5∞) 11...Ne4?!
12.Qe5+ Qe7 13.Qxg7± Karthikeyan – Narayanan, India 2015.
The other popular reaction for Black here is 5...Bb4+ 6.Nfd2!?

This is the idea of Anthony Miles. The knight on b1 will go to the c3-square and will not be pinned by
the enemy bishop on b4. (If White prefers the more natural defence against the check 6.Nbd2, then Black
will retreat with his bishop Bb4-e7 and then will advance c7-c5 quite comfortably. The absence of a
knight on c3 will preclude White from occupying space with the move d4-d5, for example: 6...Be7 7.Bd3
c5 8.0-0 0-0 9.h3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nc6= Andreikin – Zhigalko, Israel 2012; or 9.Qc2 Nc6 10.a3 h6
11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Ne4 Nxe4 13.Bxe4 d6 14.Rfd1 f5„ I.Sokolov – Tiviakov, Hilversum 2006.) 6...0-0
7.a3 Be7 8.Nc3

After 8...c5?!, Anthony has suggested a sacrifice, which is analogous to the variation with 5...c5 – 9.d5!
exd5 (If Black closes the position, then he will need to lose tempi for the improvement of the placement
of his light-squared bishop. All this time, he has lost, leads to a clear advantage for White: 9...d6 10.e4 e5
11.Be3 Bc8 12.Be2 Ne8 13.Bg4± Meduna – Inkiov, Baile Herculane 1982.) 10.cxd5 Bxd5 (10...Nxd5?
11.Qf3+–) 11.Nxd5 Nxd5 12.Qf3 Nc7 (After 12...Nxf4 13.Qxa8, Black has only minimal compensation
for the sacrificed material after 13...Ne6 14.Qxa7 Bf6 15.Rb1 d5 16.Bb5± Schroll – Schlosser, Austria
2003, as well as following 13...Qc7 14.Qe4 Ne6 15.Bc4± Benkovic – Nikac, Budva 2003.) 13.Qb7!
After this penetration of White’s queen into the enemy camp, Black will fail to coordinate his pieces.
13...d6 14.Ne4 Qd7 (14...g5 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.0-0-0 Qe7 17.Rxd6+– Witkowski – Enders, Dresden
1981; 14...Nd7, Miles – Donaldson, USA 1979, 15.Nxd6 Ne6 16.0-0-0 Nxf4 17.exf4 Bf6 18.Bc4 Bd4
19.Nxf7 Rxf7 20.Qd5+–; 14...Qc8 15.Qxc8 Rxc8 16.Nxd6 Bxd6 17.Bxd6 Nc6 18.Rd1± Giorgadze –
Razuvaev, USSR 1979) 15.0-0-0 Qc6 (15...Ne6 16.Qxd7 Nxd7 17.Nxd6 Nxf4 18.Nf5!±) 16.Nxd6
Qxb7 17.Nxb7 Ne6 18.Bg3 a6 19.Bc4± Miles – Timman, Wijk aan Zee 1979. White has not only the
advantage of a bishop-pair in this endgame, but he also controls the d-file.
8...d5 9.cxd5 (9.Be2 c5 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.Bf3 Nc6 12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Nxd5 exd5=, followed by Qd7,
Rad8, Kogan – Maze, Isle of Man 2003. If White attacks the pawn on c5 with the moves Rac1, Nb3,
Black will react with c5-c4 and after Nb3-d4, will increase the pressure on the diagonal with Be7-f6,
obtaining quite sufficient counterplay.) 9...Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5

11.Qc2 c5 12.dxc5 Bxc5 13.Bd3 (The pseudo-active move 13.e4?! can only lead to problems for White
after 13...Qf6! 14.Bg3 Rc8µ; following 13.Ne4, Black bases his hopes on quick development: 13...Nd7!
14.Rd1 Qc8 15.Bd3, Miles – Unzicker, Johannesburg 1979, 15...f5!? 16.Nd6 Bxd6 17.Bxd6 Rd8 18.0-0
Nc5 19.Bxc5 Qxc5=) 13...h6 14.Bh7+ Kh8 15.Be4 Nc6 16.0-0 Rc8 17.Rfd1, Meduna – Augustin, Praha
1980, 17...Ne7!? 18.Qa4 a5=
11.Rc1 c5 12.dxc5 bxc5= (After 12...Bxc5 13.Bc4, Miles – Huebner, England 1979, Black does not have
a bishop on e7, so capturing of the pawn 13...Bxg2 would lead to a loss of an exchange for him: 14.Rg1
Bb7 15.Bh6∞). This is the position (after 12...bxc5) that will have to be played by Black if he chooses
5...Bb4+. White’s pawn is already on a3, so he cannot have the pawn-structure a2-b3, neutralising the
pressure of his opponent’s rooks on the b-file. Black will probably manage to hold this position, but will
hardly rely on achieving more than that.

After 5...Be7, we will analyse in details A) 6.Bd3 and White’s main choice B) 6.h3, aimed at preserving
his bishop.
About 6.Nc3 Nh5 7.Bg3 d6 8.Bd3 Nd7, or 7.Bd3 Nxf4 8.exf4 Bf6 – see 6.Bd3.
After White’s alternatives, Black will play Nf6-h5 trading the enemy bishop:
6.a3 Nh5 7.Bg3 0-0 8.Be2 c5 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.0-0 Nxg3 11.hxg3, Jokmin – Obrien, ICCF 2012, 11...d6
12.Nc3 Nd7³
6.Be2 Nh5 7.Bg3 (7.0-0 Nxf4 8.exf4 0-0 9.Nc3 Bf6 10.Qd2 d6 11.Rfe1 Nd7=) 7...d6 8.0-0 Nxg3 9.hxg3
0-0 10.Nc3 Nd7= Hilton – Bonavena, ICCF 2002.
6.Nbd2. Black often provokes this move, by playing 5...Bb4+ and then retreats with his bishop 6...Be7. It
is obvious that now he has an extra tempo. 6...Nh5 7.Bg3 0-0 8.Bd3 c5 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.0-0 Nxg3
11.hxg3 d6 12.Qc2 h6 13.Rfd1 Nc6 14.a3 f5!? 15.Rab1 a5³

A) 6.Bd3 Nh5


7.Be5?! d6 8.Bg3 Nd7³ There has arisen a position from the variation 7.Bg3 d6, but with an extra tempo
for Black.
About 7.0-0 Nxf4 8.exf4 Bf6 9.Nc3 Bxf3 – see 7.Nc3.
7.Nc3 Nxf4 8.exf4 Bf6 9.0-0 (9.Be4 d5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bc2 0-0 12.0-0 c5 13.Re1 g6 14.Ne5 Na6
15.Qd2 cxd4 16.Qxd4 Nc5 17.Rad1 Ne6 18.Qd2 d4 19.Nb5 Bxe5 20.Rxe5 Qf6³ Epishin – Granda
Zuniga, Spain 2015.) 9...Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Nc6 11.d5 Nd4 12.Qh3 g6= This idea with capturing Bxf3, Nc6
and an attack against the weakened d4-square was tried in the game Ar.Smirnov – Khalifman, Tallinn
2015, without the inclusion of the moves 8...Bf6 9.0-0. In this line now, White cannot castle queenside
and Black has an excellent position.

7...d6 8.Nc3 Nd7


9.Rc1 g6 10.a3 0-0 11.0-0 f5!? 12.Nd2 c5³ Gausel – Wells, Norway 1983.
9.Qe2, Beim – Polak, Austria 2008, 9...0-0 10.0-0 f5ƒ
9.e4 0-0 10.0-0 c5 11.d5 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Bf6 13.Rb1 Qe7. Black’s game here is much easier and he
gradually seizes the initiative: 14.Kh2 Rae8 15.Rh1 g6 16.Qd2 Bg7 17.Kg1 Bc8 18.Nb5 exd5 19.exd5
Ne5³ Gerzina – Farago, Ljubljana 1998.
9.Be4 c6 10.Nd2 Ndf6 11.Bf3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 d5 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.Rc1 0-0 15.Be2, Jaster – Pieniazek,
Rostock 1988, 15...Ne4=
9.d5 e5 10.Nd2 g6 11.f3 Nxg3 12.hxg3 f5 13.g4 Bh4+ 14.Ke2, Vokac – Chan, Marianske Lazne 2016,
9.0-0 g6. Black ensures additional protection if he plays later at some moment f7-f5. 10.h3 (10.Be4 Nxg3
11.fxg3 c6! We are already familiar with this move preserving for Black his two-bishop advantage. 12.a3
f5 13.Bd3 0-0 14.Qe1 e5ƒ J.Markowski – Pedersen, ICCF 2000). White would not achieve much if he
opens the f-file. Black’s superior pawn-structure and his bishop-pair will be telling factors in the
forthcoming fight. 10...Nxg3 11.fxg3 0-0 12.Rc1 Bf6 13.Rc2 Bg7 14.Rcf2 Qe7 15.Kh2 a6 16.Qe2 Rae8
17.Bb1 f5 18.a3 c5ƒ Spassky – Karpov, Montreal 1979.


We will see that in this line Black often plays g7-g6, closing the b1-h7 diagonal and preparing f7-f5.


10.b4 0-0 11.0-0 f5 12.c5 Nxg3 13.fxg3 dxc5 14.bxc5 Nf6 15.Qb3 Nd5 16.Rae1 Rb8³ Huyunh Huu
Thanh – Tran, Vietnam 1999.
10.e4 Nxg3 11.hxg3 e5 12.d5, Picazo Lopez – Gago Podreny, Spain 2008, 12...Nc5 13.Be2 a5 14.0-0-0
Bc8 15.Nd2 Bd7 16.Kb1 h5∞
10.Rd1 f5 11.Be2 Bf6 12.b4, Chiburdanidze – Cmilyte, Elista 2004, 12...0-0 13.0-0 Qe7 14.Nd2 Nxg3
15.hxg3 c5„
10.d5 e5 11.Be2 c6 12.dxc6 Bxc6 13.0-0 0-0 14.b4 a5 15.a3 f5„ Urlau – Dorer, ICCF 2005.
10.0-0-0 a6. If White castles queenside, Black should better change his plan a bit and have in mind the
counterplay, connected with the pawn-advance b6-b5 (If he advances f7-f5, he might have problems in
some variations: 10...f5 11.h3 Nxg3 12.fxg3 Bg5 13.Kb1 Qf6 14.Nb5 Ke7 15.e4± Fries Nielsen –
Stefansson, Stockholm 2003.) 11.Kb1 (11.h3 Nxg3 12.fxg3, Volf – Sakelsek, Ljubljana 2006, 12...0-0
13.g4 b5!? 14.cxb5 axb5 15.Bxb5 c5©) 11...0-0 12.h4 (12.Ne2 b5! 13.cxb5 axb5 14.Bxb5, Szeberenyi –
Balogh, Budapest 2001, 14...c6 15.Bd3 Qa5 16.a3 Rfb8ƒ) 12...Ndf6 (12...b5!? 13.Bh2 bxc4 14.Bxc4
c5∞) 13.e4 Ng4 14.Qe2 c5 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.e5!? Nxg3 17.fxg3, Lputian – A.Ivanov, USSR 1979. Here,
Black has to prevent his opponent’s actions on the h-file with the move 17...h5„


Black does not allow the enemy queen to come to c6, which could have happened after the exchange of
the bishops.
Meanwhile, Black would have counterplay even if that had happened: 10...Bxe4 11.Qxe4 0-0 12.Qc6 a6
13.a4 Ra7 14.a5 Nb8 15.Qe4 c5„ Miles – Andersson, Amsterdam 1978.

11.Nd2 d5 12.Bf3 Nxg3 13.hxg3 0-0 14.0-0-0 Bf6 15.Kb1 Rc8, with the idea 16...b5 17.c5 e5, 16.Qb3
a6 17.g4, Borovikov – Carlsson, Pardubice 2002. 17...b5„

B) 6.h3 0-0


7.Be2 d5 8.cxd5 (8.0-0 Nbd7 9.Nc3 c5 – see 7.Nc3) 8...Nxd5 9.Bh2 Nd7 10.0-0 c5 11.Nc3 a6 12.Rc1
b5= Dushenok – Gavrilov, Olomouc 2002.
7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 (8.Nc3 c5 – see 7.Nc3) 8...c5 9.dxc5 (9.Nc3 cxd4 – see 7.Nc3; 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Bg3
Nd7 11.Nc3 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Bf6= Nadj – Tavcar, Ljubljana 2001) 9...bxc5 10.Qb3 Qb6 11.Nc3 Nc6
12.Qxb6 axb6 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 exd5 15.Ne5 c4 16.Bf5 Bf6 17.Nd7 Bxb2 18.Rab1 Rxa2 19.Nxf8
Kxf8© Giffard – Pira, Evry 2001.



8.a3 c5 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 cxd4 11.exd4 Nc6 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Ba2 Na5³, Black completes his
development and has achieved the ideal set-up of his pieces in a fight against his opponent’s isolated
8.Qc2 c5 9.dxc5 (9.Rd1 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Nc6 Rc8„) 9...bxc5
10.Rd1 d4„
8.Bd3 c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.Nxd4 (10.exd4 Nc6 11.Rc1 Nb4 12.Be2 dxc4 13.Bxc4 Rc8 14.Ne5 Nbd5³
Mikhalchishin – Tonon, Nova Gorica 1998) 10...dxc4 11.Bxc4 Nbd7 12.Bh2 Nc5 13.Qe2 Bd6= Rivas
Maceda – Schoch, ICCF 2015.
8.Be2 Nbd7 9.0-0 c5

There has arisen a position from the Queen’s Gambit, but in a comfortable version for Black in which
White’s move h2-h3 is much rather a loss of time for him than an improvement of his position. This
position was reached after a move-order from the Queen’s Gambit in the game Karpov – Giorgadze,
Moscow 1979: 1.c4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bf4 0-0 6.e3 b6 7.Be2 Bb7 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.h3 c5.
Black had no problems at all after 10.Bh2 a6 11.a4 Rc8 12.cxd5 Nxd5=
10.dxc5 Nxc5 11.Rc1 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Qxd1 13.Rfxd1 Rfd8 14.Nd4 Rac8 15.Ndb5, Nikolic – Heinemann,
Germany 2013, 15...Rxd1+ 16.Rxd1 Na4=
10.Rc1 cxd4 11.Qxd4 Bc5 12.Qd1 dxc4 13.Bxc4 a6 14.Qe2 b5 15.Bb3 Qe7= Laza – Kaszur, Hungary
8.Rc1 c5

9.Be2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 dxc4 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Ndb5 e5 13.Bg3 a6 14.Nd6 Bxd6 15.Qxd6, M.Ivanov –
Picard, Copenhagen 2009, 15...b5∞
9.cxd5 cxd4 10.Qxd4 (10.Nxd4?! Nxd5 11.Bh2 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nd7µ Strzelczyk – Izdebska, Biala
Podlaska 1994. White has no compensation for his compromised pawn-structure.) 10...Nxd5 11.Nxd5
Qxd5 12.Qxd5 Bxd5 13.a3 Nd7=
9.dxc5. Here, it deserves attention for Black to sacrifice a pawn with: 9...Nbd7!? (9...bxc5= Druska –
Zpevak, Czech Republic 2017) 10.cxb6 (10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.cxb6 Bb4+ 13.Nd2 Qxb6
14.Bc7 Qb7 15.a3 Rfc8©) 10...Nxb6 11.cxd5 Nbxd5 12.Be5 Nxc3 13.Bxc3 Ne4 14.Be2 Nxc3 15.Qxd8
Rfxd8 16.bxc3 Bd5©

8...Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Qxd5


10.Qa4?! White ignores his development and this will only increase his problems: 10...c5 11.Rd1 cxd4
12.Rxd4 Qc5 13.Rc4 Qf5 14.Rc1 Bc6 15.Qc4 Qa5µ Vitinik – Rodin, Vladivostok 1995.

10...Bb4+ 11.Kf1 (11.Nd2? Qxg2–+) 11...Bd6! 12.Bxd6 Qxd6 13.Ne5 c5 14.Rc1 Na6 15.Bf3 Bd5.
White wishes to avoid the difficulties he might have in a middlegame, connected with the loss of his
castling rights, and enters a clearly worse endgame: 16.Bxd5 Qxd5 17.Qb3 Qxb3 18.axb3 cxd4 19.exd4
Nb4 20.Rc4 a5 21.Ke2 Rad8 22.Rhc1 h6³ Pavlicu – Ristea ICCF 2014.

It also deserves attention for Black to give the other possible check 10...Qa5+!?

If White keeps the pawn after his opponent’s queen has already abandoned the d-file, this provides Black
with an important tempo for the development of his initiative. 11.Kf1?! c5 12.dxc5 Rd8 13.Qe1 Qxc5
14.Rc1 Qd5µ Rastenis – Dorfman, Klaipeda 1980.
11.Nd2. It is not easy for White to make a decision to sacrifice a pawn, because he would not have
compensation for it anyway. 11...Bxg2 12.Rg1 Bd5 13.Bh6 Bf6 14.a3©
10.Bxc7 Bb4+ 11.Nd2 Nc6 12.a3 (12.Rg1 Rac8 13.Bg3 e5µ; 12.Bd3?! Rac8 13.Bg3 Qxg2 14.Ke2 Rfd8
15.Rh2 Qd5µ 16.Qh1? Nxd4+! 17.exd4 Qxd4 18.Qb1 Bxd2–+ Dubowski – Adamski, Poland 1986)
12...Bxd2+ 13.Qxd2 Rfc8 14.Bg3 (14.Bf4 Na5 15.Rd1 Nb3 16.Qb4 Rc2 17.f3 Rxb2 18.Bc4 Qa5³)
14...Na5 15.Rd1 (15.Qb4 Rc2 16.Rd1 Rac8µ) 15...Nb3 16.Qb4 Rc2 17.Bd3 (17.f3 Rac8ƒ 18.e4? Qg5
19.Bf2 Rxb2 20.h4 Qc1!–+) 17...a5! (17...Qxg2? 18.Rf1 Rxb2 19.Qc3+–) 18.e4 (18.Qxb6? Qxg2 19.Rf1
Rxb2–+) 18...axb4 19.exd5 Rxb2 20.axb4 Bxd5 21.0-0 h6³
10.a3. White avoids the loss of his castling rights and postpones his castling for a move. This enables
Black to create problems for his opponent. 10...c5 11.dxc5 (11.Bd3 cxd4 12.exd4 Nc6 13.Be3 Rfd8³;
13.0-0 Nxd4 14.Bxh7+ Kxh7 15.Qxd4 Rfd8 16.Qxd5 Bxd5³) 11...Qxc5!

Naturally, before White has completed his development, Black will avoid the exchange of the queens in
order to win a tempo with the move Rd8. He would comply with entering an endgame under the most
favourable circumstances, either when White loses the possibility to castle (His king will come under an
attack then on the d-file...), or when after the exchange of the queens the coordination of White’s pieces
would be disrupted.
12.Be2 Rd8 13.Qb1 Ba6! 14.Bxa6 Qa5+! 15.Kf1 Qxa6+ 16.Kg1 Nd7 17.Kh2 Nc5 18.b4 Nd3 19.Bg3
Bf6³ Meduna – Lerner, Lvov 1981.
12.Rc1 Qa5+ 13.Qd2 Qxd2+ 14.Nxd2 (14.Kxd2 Rd8+ 15.Bd3, Lathajm – Ankit, Novi Sad 2015,
15...Nd7! 16.Bc7 Rdc8 17.b4 a5ƒ) 14...Na6 15.f3 (15.b4 Rac8 16.Rc4 Bd5! 17.Rxc8 Rxc8 18.Kd1 Nc7
19.e4 Bc6 20.Bd3 Nb5 21.Nb1 f5ƒ) 15...Rac8 16.Kd1 Nc5ƒ Dushenok – Gavrilov, Russia 2004.
12.Bd3 Rd8 13.0-0 Ba6 14.Ne5 (14.Nd4 Bxd3 15.Qxd3 Nc6 16.Rac1 Nxd4 17.Rxc5 Nf3+ 18.gxf3
Rxd3 19.Rc7 Bf6 20.Rb1 Rb3³; 14.b4!? Qc3 15.Be4 Rxd1 16.Rfxd1 Nc6 17.Rdc1 Qb3 18.Bxc6 Rf8
19.Nd4 Qd3∞) 14...Bxd3 15.Nxd3 Qb5 16.Qf3! White can maintain equality only after this tactical
resource. 16...Nc6 17.Rfd1 Rac8 18.a4 Qb3 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.Bxe5 f6 21.Rxd8+ Rxd8 22.Bc3 a5=


This move creates more practical problems for White than 10...c5, for example: 11.e4 Qd7 12.dxc5 Rd8
13.Ne5 Qd4 14.0-0 Nc6 (14...Bxe4 15.cxb6 axb6 16.Bxe4 Qxe4=) 15.Ba6! Bxa6 16.Nxc6, Devcic –
Zarnicki, Buenos Aires 1994, 16...Qxc5 17.Nxd8 Rxd8=


This is the only move for White after which he would not be obviously worse.
11.Kf1 c5 12.dxc5 Rd8 13.Ne5 g6 14.Qg4 Bf6 15.Be2 Nc6 16.Nd3 bxc5µ Saric – Fish, Germany 2005.
11.Ke2?! c5

12.Qc2? Nc6!? (12...cxd4!) 13.Bxh7+ Kh8 14.Be4 (Following 14.a3 f5, White’s pieces would be
completely discoordinated and the resource Bb7-a6 would force White’s king to remain stranded in the
centre. 15.Bg6 Ba6+ 16.Kd1 Rad8–+) 14...cxd4 (Black wins faster with the line: 14...Nb4 15.Qb1 Ba6+
16.Kd1 cxd4 17.exd4 f5! 18.Bxa8 Qb5 19.Re1 Nd3–+, but it is obvious that the variation is too

complicated.) 15.exd4 Rac8 16.Qd2 Nxd4+ 17.Nxd4 Qxd2+ 18.Kxd2 Bxe4 19.f3 Bb7µ Niemand –
Orlyansky, corr. 1982.
After 12.Qe1 Qa4 13.b3 Qe8³, it cannot be seen how White will coordinate his pieces.
12.dxc5 Rd8 (Black can try to develop his initiative in another interesting way: 12...Nc6!? 13.a3 bxc5
14.Qc2 Rfd8 15.Bc4 Qb6 16.Rhd1 Na5ƒ Dybowski – Dabek, Poland 1985) 13.Qd2?! (13.Bd6 Bxd6
14.cxd6 Nc6 15.Qd2 Nb4 16.Bc4 Qc5ƒ) 13...Ba6 14.Ne1, Lputian – Andrianov, Jurmala 1983,
14...Qxc5 15.Rc1 Qh5+ 16.g4 Qd5µ

11...c5 12.0-0 cxd4


The placement of Black’s queen is rather precarious and this provides White with compensation for the
sacrificed pawn. He is threatening Nd2-c4.


The game might end up with repetition of moves after 13...Nc6 14.Nc4 Qa6 15.Ne5 Qa5 16.Nc4=,
while following 15.Nd6 b5!, the position would be balanced if both sides play accurately: 16.Bxb5 Qb6
17.Qe2 d3 18.Qxd3 Rfd8 19.Bxc6 Bxd6 20.Bxd6 Qxc6 21.Rfd1 Qxe4=

14.a4 bxa4 15.Rxa4 Qd8 16.Qb3 Qb6 17.Qa2 Nc6 18.Nc4 Qd8 19.Qb3 Qd7 20.Ne5 Nxe5 21.Bxe5
Bc5 22.Rd1 Bc6 23.Rc4 Bb6 24.Bc2 Bb5 25.Rb4 Be2 26.Rd2 d3 27.Bxd3 Rfd8 28.Rxe2 Qxd3
29.Qxd3 Rxd3= Marquardt – Antunes, ICCF 2015. The material ratio has been restored and the position
has become completely equal.

Chapter 8

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e3

White refrains from playing with his queen’s bishop with the idea to complete quickly his development
and to try later to occupy the centre with the move e3-e4. Black must make up his mind how to fight later
for the centre – with c7-c5, or with d7-d5. We will recommend to you the line with d7-d5, since it has
proved its reliability. After that he must decide where to place his dark-squared bishop – to e7, or to d6?
We will analyse the different possibilities.


Now, we will deal with: A) 5.Nbd2, B) 5.Be2, C) 5.a3, D) 5.Nc3 and E) 5.Bd3.

A) 5.Nbd2

White has developed his knight to d2, so his bishop will be placed on b2.


The knight is already on d2, so he cannot deploy it on c3 anymore, so after c7-c5, White will hardly
manage to play d4-d5, even with a pawn-sacrifice, because he will be incapable of exerting serious
pressure against the centre and particularly against the d5-square. All this means that he will lose a part of
his advantage in the centre after the exchange of his central d-pawn for the enemy c-pawn.


Better is 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 cxd4 9.exd4 (9.Nxd4 Na6 10.Bb2 Nc5 11.Bc2 d5= Svorjov –
Veingold, Vantaa 1994) 9...d5 10.Bb2 (10.Qe2 Nc6 11.Bb2 Rc8 – see 10.Bb2) 10...Nc6 – see Chapter 3,
variation B1.
About 6.b3 Nc6 7.Bb2 cxd4 8.exd4 d5 9.Bd3 Be7 10.0-0 0-0 – see 6.Bd3.
Following 6.Be2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.b3 cxd4 9.exd4 d5 10.Bb2 Nc6, there arises a position from the
variation with 6.Bd3, except that White’s bishop is on a more passive placement. He has no idea what to
do in the middlegame with a bishop on e2, so he corrects the deployment of the bishop at the price of
losing a tempo. 11.Bd3. All this is quite sufficient to evaluate the move 6.Be2. 11...Rc8 12.Rc1 (Black
will have no problems even if White places his rooks on other files: 12.Qe2 dxc4 13.bxc4 Qc7 14.Rad1
Rfd8 15.Rfe1 Qf4„ Alatorsev – Aronin, Moscow 1949.) 12...Re8. Now, Black must improve the
placement of his dark-squared bishop: 13.Re1 Bf8 14.Nf1 dxc4 15.bxc4 g6 16.Ng3 Bg7„ White has
played the careless move 17.Ne5?!, because he had no other way of improving reasonably his position,
but now, he is faced with serious problems: 17...Nxe5 18.dxe5 Nd7 19.Be4 Ba6!µ Lagha – Golombek,
Leipzig 1960.


6...bxc5!? 7.b3 g6 8.Bb2 Bg7 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 d6 11.Qc2 Qe7 12.Ne1 Nc6= White has no chance of
exerting pressure against the enemy pawn in the centre, Mithil – A.David, India 2016.

7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 9.a3 a5 10.b3 Qe7 11.Bb2 Rfd8 12.Qc2 h6 13.Nb1 d5 14.Nc3 d4 15.exd4 Nxd4
16.Nxd4 Bxd4 17.Rad1 e5 18.Na4 Rab8 19.Bxd4 exd4³ Kelecevic – Bunzmann, Zuerich 1999. Black
has gradually seized the initiative.

B) 5.Be2

In this line White’s bishop on e2 is not well placed just like in the line: 5.Nbd2 c5 6.Be2. It deprives the
queen and the knight on c3 of the e2-square and does not control the e4-square. White has no pluses at all
if he places his bishop on e2.

5...d5 6.0-0

About 6.Nc3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 – see 6.0-0.
6.cxd5 exd5 7.0-0 Bd6 8.b3 Qe7 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Nbd2 (10.Nc3 a6 11.Rc1 0-0 12.Bd3 Rfe8 – see 6.0-0)
10...0-0 11.Rc1 c6!? (The development of the knight on d2 enables White not to worry about Black
occupying more space on the queenside if he plays the standard move c7-c5. He cannot push his c-pawn
any further, for example: 11...a6 12.Rc2, Clarke – Chandler, England 1981, 12...c5 13.Qa1 a5 14.a4∞
White’s pressure on the a1-h8 diagonal makes the centralisation Nf6-e4 impossible, because of the
exchange on c5 and the g7-pawn would be hanging.) 12.Qc2 Rfe8 13.Rfe1 a5„ Beliavsky – Martinovic,
Croatia 2017.



After 7.b4, the difference of the placement of White’s light-squared bishop would be irrelevant, because
it would be deployed later on c4: 7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 – see 5.Bd3.
7.cxd5 exd5 8.b4 (8.Nc3 0-0 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 a6 11.Rc1 Qe7 – see 7.Nc3) 8...0-0 9.Qb3 Qe7 10.a3,
Akselrod – Maletin, Novosibirsk 2002 (After 10.b5 a6„, the compact pawn-structure cannot be
preserved.) 10...c6 11.Nc3 Nbd7 12.Bb2 b5!?³, followed by the transfer of the knight to c4. This is a
basic idea for Black in positions with a Carlsbad pawn-structure.

7...0-0 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2


If Black advances c7-c5 immediately: 9...c5 10.cxd5 exd5, then after the thematic move Nf6-e4, he
would need to consider the fact that after the exchange on c5, his d-pawn would be hanging.

10.Rc1 Qe7

After the standard moves have been made, White does not have anymore the plan with 11cxd5 exd5


Here, just like in the variation 5.Nbd2 c5 6.Be2, White loses a tempo in order to coordinate his pieces:
11.cxd5 exd5 12.Bd3 Rfe8 13.Nd2, Stoliar – Tolush, Moscow 1957, 13...c5 14.Ne2 g6 15.Nf4 Rac8„
11.Na4 dxc4 12.bxc4 Rfd8. The absence of White’s bishop on d3 enables Black to deploy his rooks
without being afraid of White’s reaction against the move c4-c5: 13.Qb3 Rab8 14.Nc3, Karlsson –
Chandler, Hahinge 1988, 14...c5. Now, if White tries to occupy additional space with the move 15.d5?!,
then he will have to face threats due to Black’s dangerous queenside pawn-chain: 15...exd5 16.Nxd5
Nxd5 17.cxd5 b5µ
11.h3 Ne4. Now, it seems that the placement of White’s bishop on e2 is advantageous for him after all,
because after Nf6-e4, he can capture on e4 with his knight without being afraid of a pawn-fork. Still, this
circumstance would not change the general evaluation of the position. Black has more than just an
acceptable game. 12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Ne5, Kovalevskaya – Pogonina, Sochi 2016, 13...Bxe5 14.dxe5 Rfd8
15.Qc2 Qg5 16.Qc3 Nc5 17.Rcd1 Nd3„
11.Qd2 Rfe8 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Bd3, Przezdziecka – Azarov, Warsaw 2008, 13...Ne4 14.Qe2 f5 15.Rc2 g6
(It seems attractive for Black to try the plan connected with Re8-f8, g7-g5, followed by actions on the
kingside. He must be prepared however to counter his opponent’s plan: 15...Rf8 16.Rfc1 g5 17.Na4 g4
18.Ne5!ƒ, White’s knight on e5 is untouchable, because Black’s pawn on c7 is hanging and White can
break on the c-file.) Therefore, Black must do at first some preventive actions on the queenside, for
example: 16.Rfc1 c6∞, followed by b6-b5, a6-a5-a4.
Black can counter another possible logical set-up by his opponent with an exchange on c4 and then c7-
c5: 11.Rc2 Rfd8 12.Qa1 Rac8 13.Rfc1 dxc4 14.bxc4 c5„ Hellmayr – Singer, Austria 2013.


Black must exploit immediately the fact that White’s queen has occupied a square on the c-file. All this is
because his bishop has occupied the e2-square depriving his queen of it.

12.Rfd1 c5


White finds a place for his queen on the queenside.

13.Nd2 cxd4 14.exd4, Plomp – Sergejev, Denmark 1993, 14...Bf4!? 15.g3 Bh6³
13...dxc4 14.bxc4 cxd4 15.Rxd4?! Matveeva – Shinkevich, Russia 2008 (White had better give up a
pawn here with the idea to exploit the weakening of Black’s queenside: 15.exd4!? Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Rxc4
17.Be2∞) 15...Bb8 16.Rcd1 h6³

C) 5.a3 d5


This position resembles the Petrosian system – 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3.

About 6.Bd3 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3 c5, or 6.Be2 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nc3 Nbd7, or 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Nc3 Be7,
or 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 c5 – see 6.Nc3.
6.b4. It would be logical for White to justify immediately the move 5.a3. 6...dxc4. Black should not allow
c4-c5. 7.Bxc4 Be7 8.Nbd2 (8.Nc3 0-0 – see 6.Nc3) 8...0-0 9.Rb1 Nbd7 10.0-0 Rb8 11.b5 c5 12.bxc6
Bxc6 13.a4 Qc7 14.Bb2 Qb7 15.Rc1 a6= Petrosian – Spassky, Moscow 1963.
6.b3 Bd6. White has already determined the placement of his knight’s pawn, so he will not play b3-b4
with a loss of a tempo. Accordingly, Black does not need to worry about the possibility c4-c5, with an
attack against his bishop, and he develops it to a more active position. 7.Bb2 0-0 8.Bd3 c5 (8...Nbd7 9.0-
0 Ne4= Franco Valencia – Vazquez, Columbia 2017) 9.0-0 Nc6 10.cxd5 exd5. White’s knight has not
been developed yet, so it can go to the d2-square without covering the a1-h8 diagonal for his bishop. So,
he will be able to protect additionally the d4-square. 11.Nbd2 Re8∞
6.Nbd2 Nbd7

7.b4 c5 8.bxc5 bxc5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 Rc8 12.cxd5 Bxd5 13.Bb2 Qe7= Kui – Jankovics,
Hungary 2003. Black has more space and White will have to neutralise his opponent’s initiative.
7.cxd5. After White has determined the placement of his queen’s knight this move is not logical. Black’s
pawn on d5 will restrict its mobility: 7...exd5 8.b4 Bd6³
7.Be2 Bd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b4 (9.cxd5 exd5 10.b4 Re8 11.Bb2 Rc8 12.b5 c5 13.bxc6 Bxc6= Muehlbauer –
Scherb, Germany 2012) 9...c5 10.bxc5 bxc5 11.cxd5 Bxd5. Once again the absence of White’s bishop on
d3 will enable Black to exchange on d5 and White will not have the possibility to occupy the centre with
his pawn. 12.Bb2 Rb8 13.Qc2 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Qa5= Dzwonkowski – Collazo, corr. 1997.


If Black tries to transpose to the Petrosian system, which will be analysed in Chapter 13, and plays 6...g6,
then after 7.cxd5 Nxd5, he will be successful. White however, does not need to exchange and can play
stronger: 7.b4!? Bg7 and now either 8.c5 Ne4 9.Qc2∞, or 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Nxd5 Bxd5
11.Qc2∞ with very complicated positions in both cases.
If 6...Bd6, then White plays 7.b4. Now, if Black does not wish to allow the move c4-c5 with tempo, he
will have to exchange on c4: 7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-0 9.0-0 c5, Marek – Spassov, Germany 2005, 10.dxc5
bxc5, but with his bishop on d6 White can play 11.Nb5 attacking it. 11...Be7 12.Qxd8 Bxd8= It might
seem that Black is not in trouble yet, but he must worry about his opponent’s possibility Nb5-d6 with the
penetration of White’s knight inside the enemy camp.


7.b4 dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-0 9.0-0 (9.Rb1 Nbd7 10.0-0, Taimanov – Averbakh, Leningrad 1985, 10...c5 11.bxc5
Qc7„) 9...Nbd7 10.Bb2 (10.Re1 c5! 11.bxc5 bxc5 12.Rb1 Nb6 13.Bf1 cxd4 14.Qxd4 Rc8=) 10...c5
11.dxc5 bxc5 12.b5 Qc7 13.Be2 Ng4 14.g3, Jamagidze – Dzagnidze, Georgia 2003, 14...c4!?„ and
Black’s knight cannot be attacked: 15.h3? Nxe3!–+
7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Nbd7. The placement of White’s knight on e2, in comparison to the d3-square, has some
peculiarities. Now, after the capturing c4xd5, Black can take on d5 with his knight and after the trade of
the knights he will capture on d5 with his bishop, so White will not be able to occupy the centre with the
move e3-e4. 9.cxd5 (The move c7-c5 will provide Black with counterplay if White plays something else:
9.b4 dxc4 10.Bxc4 c5„ Bue – Vigfusson, Reykjavik 2013; or 9.b3 c5 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Rc1 cxd4 12.exd4
Ne4 13.Bd3 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Bd6„; 12.Nxd4 dxc4 13.Bxc4 Ne5 14.Be2 a6= A.Gomez – Valderrama,
Cuba 2015.) 9...Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Bd2 (Black will counter 11.b4 with 11...c5„) 11...c5 12.Rc1
Bb7 13.b4 Mikhalchishin – Janjgava, Manila 1992, 13...Bd6=

7.Bd3 0-0 8.0-0 (8.cxd5 exd5 – see 7.cxd5; 8.b3 Nbd7 9.0-0 c5 – see 7.cxd5) 8...c5

Following 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2, Black will obtain a comfortable position by occupying the centre with
Nf6-e4, for example even immediately: 10...Ne4= Arencibia – Borges, Cuba 2004.
9.Re1 Nbd7 10.b3 (10.cxd5 exd5 – see 7.cxd5) 10...Rc8 11.Bb2 Ne4 12.Rc1, Djakova – Nikolov,
Bulgaria 2005. Here, Black had to improve his position without changing the pawn-structure: 12...Bd6!?
9.dxc5 bxc5 (It is also quite possible for Black to play here 9...dxc4 10.Bxc4 Bxc5 11.b4 Be7 12.Qxd8
Rxd8= Taimanov – Bilek, Dortmund 1961). Now, due to Black’s resource d5-d4, White has nothing
more reasonable than 10.cxd5 exd5 – see 7.cxd5.
9.Qe2. He decides to deploy his rook on d1. 9...Nc6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.exd4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Na5 13.Ba2
Nd5 14.Ne4 Rc8 15.b4 Nc6 16.Bb2, Carrabeo Garcia – Campora, Seville 2003. Black controls the
blocking d5-square, but his play against his opponent’s isolated pawn is not easy at all with all the minor
pieces present on the board. Here, it deserves attention for him to try the plan with an exchange of his
knight on c6 for White’s centralised knight: 16...Nb8!? 17.Rac1 Nd7 18.Bb1 Rxc1 19.Rxc1 N7f6= It is
well known that the protection of the isolated pawn becomes more difficult with every exchange of a
9.cxd5 cxd4!? (9...exd5 – see 7.cxd5)

10.Nxd4 Nxd5 11.Qc2 Nf6 12.Rd1 Nbd7 13.b4, De Nucci –Mareco, Brasilia 2010, 13...Ne5 14.Be2
After 10.exd4 Nxd5, there arises on the board an improved version for Black of a variation of the Panov
attack in the Caro-Kann Defence in which he has already solved the problem with the development of his
queen’s bishop and preserves his control over the d5-square. He can later develop his knight to d7.
11.Ne4 (11.Re1 Nd7 12.Bc2 Rc8 13.Qd3 g6 14.Bh6 Re8 15.Ne4 N5f6 16.Nc3 Qc7 17.Bb3 Rcd8
18.Qe2?! Ng4!µ Olesen – Dokhoian, Copenhagen 1991) 11...Nd7 12.Re1 h6 13.Ne5 Rc8 14.Bd2 N5f6
15.Nxf6+ Nxf6³, with a clear-cut plan for Black for actions against the enemy isolated pawn,
Harikrishna – Zhao Xue, Dos Hermanas 2005.


In the Petrosian system, after the moves 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5, as a rule, White prefers to capture on d5
immediately – 6.cxd5, so that after 6...exd5, he can have the possibility 7.g3. In the position, we are
analysing, the move e2-e3 has already been played, so Black captures on d5 with his pawn and it would
not be logical for White to play g2-g3 anymore.


This is a standard decision for White in this pawn-structure. He provokes c7-c6 with this intermediate
check and then goes back to d3 with his bishop. Following c7-c6, the long diagonal has been closed for
Black’s bishop on b7. So, it cannot take part in the fight for the control over the e4-square and he cannot
centralise his knight with Nf6-e4.
8.Bd3 0-0 9.b4 (9.0-0 c5 –see 8.Bb5+ c6 9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 c5) 9...Nbd7 10.0-0 a6 11.Bb2 Bd6 12.b5
axb5 13.Nxb5 Be7= Goganov – Sjugirov, Moscow 2015.
8.Be2 0-0 9.b4 Nbd7 10.0-0 Re8 11.Rb1 a6. Later, Black should defend the e5-square against the
penetration of White’s knight there and should prepare the centralisation of his knight Nf6-e4. 12.a4 Bd6
13.b5 axb5 14.axb5 Ne4= Grachev – Swiercz, Bulgaria 2012.

8...c6 9.Bd3 0-0


After 10.Ne5, Black plays immediately 10...c5! He should not put up with the enemy knight on e5 and if
he does not have the possibility to deploy his knight on e4 and to oust White’s knight from the e5-square
with the move f7-f6, then Black should undermine the enemy centre with c7-c5 and to exert pressure
against it with Nb8-c6. 11.0-0 Nc6 12.Qf3, Kalinin – Talla, Rybnik 2008, 12...Qd6!? 13.Qg3 Qe6 14.f4
cxd4 15.Nxc6 Qxc6 16.exd4 Ne4ƒ
If White plays 10.b4, then he must consider permanently his opponent’s undermining resource 10...a5.
11.b5 (11.Rb1 axb4 12.axb4 b5!? Now, after White’s standard reaction 13.e4, the presence of his king in
the centre enables Black to inflict a tactical strike: 13...dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Bxb4+! 16.Rxb4
Qe7„) 11...c5

12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Bb2 Bd6 14.Ne2 Re8 15.Ng3 c4 16.Nf5 Bf8 17.Bc2 Rc8 18.Bc3 g6 19.Ng3 Bd6µ
Shariafetdinov – Al.Pavlova, Russia 2004. Now, contrary to White, Black’s kingside actions, including
the advance of his rook-pawn h7-h5-h4, are quite real.
12.Ne5 Nbd7 13.0-0 Qc7. Here, White cannot hold on to his outpost on e5 due to Black’s threats on the
c-file: 14.Nxd7 Nxd7=
12.dxc5 bxc5. White has obtained a protected passed pawn and it would be very powerful in an eventual
king and pawn ending. Still, this is too far from the present developments and this factor is not so
decisive yet. It is more important that Black controls the centre and his excellent blocking knight on b6
will not only protect his centre, but will also impede White’s possible queenside initiative. 13.0-0 Nbd7
14.Bb2 Bd6 15.Rc1 Qe7= Johansson – Mikalsen, Stockholm 2012.



If Black plays passively, White can establish a positional bind in the centre and on the kingside, for
example: 11.Re1 Nbd7 12.h3 Rc8 13.Bd2 Re8 14.Rc1 Bd6 15.Nb5 Bb8 16.Rc2 c4 17.Bf1 Bc6 18.Nc3
b5„ Soursos – Zagrebeny, Greece 2011.
11.dxc5 bxc5 12.b3 Nbd7 13.Bb2 Re8 14.Rc1 Rc8 15.Re1 Bd6= Duessel – Berczes, Gemany 2012.
Black’s set-up is ideal for a pawn-structure with hanging pawns. In addition, White’s pawn on b3 might
become vulnerable on the b-file under some circumstances.

11...Nbd7 12.Bb2 Bd6 13.Ne2 Qe7 14.Ng3 g6= Bevilacqua – Martinez, Italy 2011. The future transfer
of Black’s knight from f6 to e4 has become quite obvious. Later, he can improve his position in several
ways and he can also fortify his centre with the move f7-f5.

D) 5.Nc3 d5

Here, Black can play 5...Bb4 (see Chapter 9, variation B4) and enter types of positions typical for the
Nimzo-Indian Defence, that could be arised in the Queen’s Indian Defence, when his bishop goes to the
b4-square and pins the enemy knight on c3.


About 6.a3 Be7 – see 5.a3.

6.Be2 Bd6 – see 5.Be2.
6.Bd3 Bd6, or 6.b3 Nbd7 7.Bb2 Bd6 8.Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 a6 –see 5.Bd3.

6...exd5 7.Bb5+

This is the idea of the development of the knight on move five, delaying the actions with the bishop on
f1. White provokes the move c7-c6 and goes back to d3 only after that. As a result, the long diagonal is
covered for Black’s bishop on b7, so his control over the e4-square is diminished and his knight on e4 is
not so well protected.
About 7.Bd3 Bd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 a6 – see 5.Bd3.
7.Be2 Bd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 a6 11.Rc1 Qe7 – see 5.Be2.
7.Bd2 a6 8.Rc1 Bd6 9.g3 0-0 10.Bg2 Nbd7 11.0-0 Re8= Taimanov – Dzindzichashvili, Moscow 1972.

7...c6 8.Bd3

Now, where should Black develop his bishop – on d6, or on e7? We will analyse both possibilities: D1)
8...Bd6, D2) 8...Be7.
In the first line Black’s task is simpler, but he can hardly rely on achieving a lot. In the second line the
position would be much more complicated and both sides may make mistakes, so this factor provides
Black with more chances of outplaying the opponent in the middlegame.

D1) 8...Bd6 9.0-0

9.Ne5. Now, I will summarise the general principles for Black how to react if White tries to build up the
“Pillsbury’s triangle” (This is a structure in which the knight is placed on e5 and is supported by the
pawn-chain d4-e3-f4.). Black must advance c7-c5 (or c6-c5) before the development of his queen’s
knight and then it is placed on c6 exerting pressure against the d4-square. This forces White to exchange
sometimes on c6, so his strong knight disappears off the board without Black making any serious
positional concessions. 9...0-0 10.0-0 c5 11.f4 (11.Nb5 Be7 12.b3 a6 13.Nc3 Nc6 14.Bb2 cxd4 15.exd4
Nxd4 16.Bxh7+ Nxh7 17.Qxd4 Bc5 18.Qd2 Re8„ Zabotin – Lysyj, Sochi 2017) 11...Nc6

12.Qa4?! cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.Qxc6 Rc8 15.Qa4 dxc3 16.bxc3 Bc5µ Skomorokhin – Anand, Corsica
12.Ne2 Ne4 13.Bd2 (13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Ng3 cxd4 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Qxd4 Bc5³ Adly – Zhigalko Dubai
2014) 13...Ne7 14.Ng3 Nxd2 15.Qxd2 f6 16.Nf3 c4 17.Bc2 b5³ Chepukaitis – Ionov, St Petersburg
12.Qf3 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.exd4 Re8 15.f5 Ne4 16.f6 (16.Be3 Qh4 17.g3 Nxg3 18.hxg3 Bxg3
19.Rf2 Rxe3 20.Qxe3 Re8 21.Qf3 Bxf2+ 22.Qxf2 Qg4+ 23.Kh2 Qh5= Doettling – Iljushin, Greece
1999) 16...Qxf6 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.Qxf6 gxf6 19.Rxf6 Re6 20.Bg5 Rxf6 21.Bxf6 Re8= Kovacs – Szabo
Hungary 2005.



White can exploit the relative minuses of the placement of the enemy bishop on d6, compared to its
deployment on e7, only if he opens the position. He can try to seize the initiative with tempo, having in
mind the defencelessness of the g5-square and the possible threats against the enemy queen on the c-file
(after its forced transfer to the c7-square). White can increase his pressure by centralising actively his
knight and by bringing his queen’s rook to the d-file.
It is accordingly less logical for him to try a quiet manoeuvring game, connected with b2-b3, Bb1-b2,
Ra1-c1. The placement of the bishop on d6 enables Black not to lose time for the improvement of the
position of his queen, since it can go immediately to e7. 10.b3 0-0 11.Bb2 Qe7 12.Qc2 (12.Rc1 Ne4„)
12...Rfe8 13.Ne2 Ne4 14.Ng3 g6∞ Gasanov – P.Smirnov, Azerbaijan 2014. Black’s plan includes the
advance of his f and h-pawns.

10...dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 0-0


13.Qc2 Nf6 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bh4 Rc8 16.Rfe1, Karavade – Pratyusha, UAE 2015, 16...g5 17.Bg3 Nxe4
18.Qxe4 Bxg3 19.hxg3 Kg7=


If Black plays 13...Be7, he might face problems: 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Re1 Qd6 16.Ne5 Nf6 17.Bf3 Nd5
18.Qa4! f6 19.Nc4 Qd7 20.Qa3! Rfe8 21.h3 Nc7 22.Rxe8+ Nxe8 23.Re1 Qxd4 24.Qe7+– Solozhenkin
– Ve.Sergeev, St Petersburg 2005.

14.Rc1 h6 15.Bh4 a5!

He plays a prophylactic move in advance against the possible problems on the c-file, if White advances


After the thematic pawn-break 16.d5, besides the basic reaction 16...c5, Black has an additional defensive
resource: 16...Nc5 17.dxc6 Bxc6 18.Bxc6 Qxc6 19.a3 (The move a7-a5, played by Black in advance,
prevents White from winning a piece with the move 19.b4.) 19...a4=

16...Rac8 17.Re1

If White plays 17.d5 now, then Black cannot play 17...Nc5, but it would be quite sufficient for him to
continue with 17...c5 18.b4 axb4 19.axb4 c4³

17...Rfe8 18.Bf5

18...Rb8! White has no resources to improve his position. The vulnerability of Black’s pawn on c6 is just
relative in this situation, because White can hardly attack it with any of his minor pieces. 19.Rc3 Kf8
20.Rce3 Rxe3 21.fxe3 c5„ Kovalenko – Agopov, Reykjavik 2015.

D2) 8...Be7 9.0-0

About 9.Ne5 0-0 10.0-0 c5 – see 9.0-0.


After 9.0-0, White has two basic plans. The first is to play Nf3-e5, followed by f2-f4. The second plan is

to complete the development with b3, Bb2, Rc1 and then to transfer the knight to the kingside Nc3-e2-g3.
It would be irrelevant what order of moves Black might choose – to castle first, or to develop his knight
Following 9...Nbd7, it seems that Black may have problems playing this position. 10.Ne5!? 0-0
(10...Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.f4 g6 13.e4 d4 14.Ne2² Chatalbashev – Dimitrov, Bulgaria 2005) 11.f4 c5
(It would too dangerous for Black to refrain from creating counterplay. White will use his g-pawn to
break through Black’s defence, will open a file and will organise an attack against the enemy king:
11...Re8 12.Qf3 Nf8 13.g4 N6d7 14.g5 f6 15.gxf6 Bxf6 16.Rf2 Qe7 17.Bd2 Ne6 18.Rg2± Malaniuk –
Lubczynski, Poland 2007.) 12.Qf3

In positions in which White’s knight, supported by his d and f-pawns has occupied the central e5-square,
Black is already under pressing. In reply, for example, to the standard move 12...Rc8, White can play
13.Qh3 (threatening to win the game immediately after 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.Bxh7+) 13...h6?! 14.Bf5±
with powerful pressure. Therefore, Black must try to parry his opponent’s initiative as early as possible.
For example, he must try to cover the b1-h7 diagonal with the move Nf6-e4, even at the price of
sacrificing a pawn.
12...cxd4 13.exd4 Ne4!? (13...Nxe5 14.fxe5 Ne4 15.Be3 f5 16.Ne2² White has a strong passed pawn,
while Black’s light-squared bishop has been restricted, so White can use the opened c-file in order to
trade soon the major pieces and this would provide him with an advantage.) 14.Nxd5 (14.Nxe4?? dxe4
15.Bxe4 Nxe5–+; 14.Qh3 Ndf6=) 14...Nxe5 (14...Bxd5 15.Bxe4 Bxe4 16.Qxe4 Nf6 17.Qd3² Black has
blockaded perfectly the enemy pawn on d5; nevertheless his compensation for the sacrificed pawn is
probably insufficient.) 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.fxe5 Nc5 17.Qh3 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 Qe6, Malaniuk –
Rodriguez, Luzern 1997. Here, it deserved attention for White to play 19.Qg3, with the idea 19...f6
20.Bh6 Qe7 21.Rf5!±


10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nbd7 12.Nxf6+ (12.Re1 c5=; 12.Nc3 c5=; 12.Ng3 c5 13.Nf5 cxd4 14.Re1 Re8=)
12...Nxf6 13.Bg5 c5 14.Re1 cxd4= A.Dimitrov – Halkias, Greece 2014.
10.Ne5 c5! We have already mentioned that Black’s best way to fight against the enemy knight on e5,
supported by the “Pillsbury triangle” is the immediate move c7-c5, followed by the development of the
knight on c6, which would exert pressure against the pawn on d4. The presence of White’s bishop on its
active position on d3 impedes his capability to protect effectively the pawn on d4.

11.Qf3 Nc6! 12.Qh3 (12.Qg3 Bd6 13.f4 cxd4 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.exd4 Re8³, with an advantage for Black
thanks to the outpost on e4 and the bad prospects of White’s dark-squared bishop; 12.Ng4 Nxg4

13.Qxg4 Bf6 14.Ne2 g6 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.Bb5 c4³ Bouroutzakis – Gruenberg, Germany 2006; 12.Nxc6
Bxc6 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Rd1 Qc8 15.e4 dxe4 16.Nxe4, Payen –Fayard, Paris 2008, 16...c4!? 17.Bc2 Rb8³;
12.Rd1 Qd6 13.Ng4 Nxg4 14.Qxg4 Rad8 15.b3 Bc8 16.Qe2 cxd4 17.Nb5 Qe6= Dizdar – Krageli, Bled
2005) 12...g6 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.b3 Re8= Harikrishna – Anton Guijarro, Riyadh 2017.
11.f4. This is the only possibility for White to preserve the construction of the “triangle”. 11...Nc6
12.Ne2 (12.Rf3 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.exd4 Ne4 15.f5 Bf6 16.Be3 Qd7³ I.Popov – Sjugirov, Russia
2009; 12.Qf3 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.exd4 Re8 15.f5 Ne4 16.Bf4 Bf6 17.Ne2 Qd7³ Jussupow –
Fedorchuk, Wroclaw 2014). White has reduced his control over the e4-square and Black exploits this
immediately: 12...Ne4!„, followed by f7-f6.
11.b3 Nc6 12.Nxc6 (12.Bb2 cxd4 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.exd4 Qd7 15.Rc1 Bd6 16.Qf3 Rfe8= Cs.Horvath –
Farago, Amantea 2014) 12...Bxc6 13.Ne2 (13.Bb2 cxd4 – see 12.Bb2). This is the only way for White to
preserve the tension on the board with chances of obtaining an edge. Still, Black’s pieces are well placed,
he has no weaknesses and has obtained a quite acceptable position. 13...Rc8 14.dxc5 (After 14.Bb2,
Black can sacrifice a pawn with the idea to weaken the shelter of the enemy king: 14...c4!? 15.bxc4 dxc4
16.Bxc4 Bxg2 17.Bxf7+ Rxf7 18.Kxg2 Qd5+ 19.Kg1 Ne4©) 14...bxc5= Udovcic – Matanovic,
Yugoslavia 1959.

10...Nbd7 11.Bb2

11.Ne5. The inclusion of a developing move for Black – castling, and the not so useful move for White
in a structure with the “Pillsbury triangle” – b2-b3, makes the move 11.Ne5 much less effective here than
10.Ne5. 11...Nxe5 12.dxe5 Nd7 13.f4 Nc5 14.Bc2 f5∞


After this move, even with a loss of a tempo (which is not so important here), Black can coordinate

effortlessly his forces. After he places his major pieces on the semi-open e-file, he will manage to support
the typical centralisation with Nf6-e4.
It is less precise for Black to play here 11...Re8, because of White’s already familiar plan to improve his
position: 12.Ne5 Bd6 13.f4 c5 14.Qf3 cxd4 15.exd4 Bb4, Kramnik – Aronian, Khanty-Mansiysk 2014
and here, he did not need to prevent the trade of the bishop for the knight, for example: 16.Rac1 Bxc3
17.Bxc3 Ne4? 18.Bb5± The placement of Black’s rook on e8 makes the f7-square vulnerable, after the
possible queen-sortie Qf3-h5, following Nf6-e4.


The plan with the transfer of the knight to g3 was used often by grandmaster Vladimir Malanjuk
throughout his professional career in his attempts to obtain an advantage for White in the variation with
4.e3. He was trying to create a powerful protected passed pawn in the centre on e5, or to force his
opponent to weaken his dark squares after g7-g6 and f7-f5. Later, he was trying to open the game with f2-
f3 and e3-e4. This plan varied sometimes depending on Black’s reaction. He should not be too slow to
react in the centre with the move c7-c5.
12.e4 dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Nf6 15.Bc2 c5 16.dxc5 Bxc5 17.Ng5 h6 18.Qxd8 Rfxd8 19.Bxf6
gxf6 20.Ne4 Bxe4 21.Bxe4 Rac8= Bellon Lopez – Karavade, Gibraltar 2017.
The inclusion of rook-moves on the e-file, would not change the evaluation of the pawn-break in the
centre e3-e4. Black frees his position and equalises. 12.Re1 Re8 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Rxe4 Rxe4
16.Bxe4 Nf6 17.Bc2 c5= Solozhenkin – Yemelin, Finland 2012.
It is interesting for White to try here 12.Nd2, with the idea to push e4 and to capture later with his knight.
Naturally, Black should continue with his thematic line. White’s knight on d2 is not so well placed,
because the enemy pawn on d5 restricts its mobility. 12...c5 13.Nb5 Be7 14.Nc3 Re8= Llorach –
Evstigneev ICCF 2011.

12.Qe2 Qe7= A.Maric – Cmylite, Turkey 2007. The deployment of White’s queen on the e-file will
obviously impede its opening.
12.Nh4. White might occupy the f5-square, but if this happens, it would be only temporary. 12...Re8
13.Nf5 Bf8 14.Rc1, Petrosian – Taimanov, Zuerich 1953 and here Black can obtain an excellent position
by attacking the enemy knight on g3 with his rook-pawn: 14...g6 15.Ng3 h5„
12.Rc1 Re8

13.Ne2 Qe7 14.Ng3 g6 15.Qe2 Ba3= Gelfand – Karpov, India 1995.

13.Qc2 Qe7 14.Ne2 g6 15.Ng3 h5„ Bareev – Vallejo Pons, Monaco 2005.
13.Qe2 a6 14.Rfd1 Qe7 15.Na4, Chatalbashev – Kolev, Sofia 2004, 15...g6!?=
13.Nd2 c5 14.Nb5 Bb8 15.Qf3 a6 16.Nc3 cxd4 17.exd4 Nf8„, Black plans to attack the d4-pawn with
the move Nf8-e6, Uhlmann – Stahl, Leipzig 1951.
12.Qc2 Rc8

13.Ne2 Re8 14.Ng3 c5. White has already played with his knight and his queen and now he must lose
additional time in order to protect his queen against the opening of the c-file, so Black can try this pawn-
advance, besides the plan with g7-g6, Nf6-e4, f7-f5 (or h7-h5). 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.Bf5 Rc7„ Vyzmanavin
– Karpov, Tilburg 1993.
13.Rac1 Re8 14.Qb1 Qe7 15.Ne2 Ne4 16.Ng3 g6 17.Rfe1 h5„ Harikrishna – Almasi, Beijing 2008. In
this line Black’s play should remain similar to his standard plan.
13.Rfe1 Re8 14.e4 dxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Nf6 17.Bf5 Rc7 18.d5!? (18.Rxe8+ Qxe8 19.Ne5?!
White’s knight on e5, supported by the “Pillsbury triangle”, and Black’s knight on e4, supported by his
isolated d5-pawn, are quite different, moreover that the e-file is opened. White will be very soon
convinced of that. 19...c5 20.Qd3 Re7 21.Re1 g6 22.Bh3 Nd5 23.Rf1 Nf4 24.Qd2 Nxh3+ 25.gxh3 h5µ
Polugaevsky – Karpov, Roquebrune 1992.) 18...Rxe1+ 19.Rxe1 g6 20.Qc3. The subsequent play of both
sides is nearly perfect, since two correspondence players are facing each other, being perfect computer
operators. It shows that the final position is a draw. Still, if we have in mind practical players, not
supported by computers, then the subsequent play is rather difficult for both sides and can be full of
mistakes. 20...cxd5 21.Re8+ Qxe8 22.Qxf6 Rc1+ 23.Bxc1 Qe2 24.Qd8+ Bf8 25.Bd2 Qd1+ 26.Be1,
Perez Lopez – Juarez de Vena, ICCF 2014, 26...d4 27.Qxd4 Bxf3 28.Qxd1 Bxd1 29.Be4 Be2=

12...Re8 13.Ng3 g6


14.Nd2 Qc7 15.Re1 Rad8 16.Rc1 Qb8 17.Qc2 Re7 18.Ngf1 Rde8 19.f3 Nh5 20.Qb1 c5∞ Malaniuk –
Ivanchuk, Warsaw 1999.
14.Rc1 Qe7 15.Qe2, Gelfand – Karpov, Sanghi Nagar 1995, 15...a5!? 16.a4 Ne4 17.Rc2 f5„

14...Ne4 15.Nd2 f5 16.Ngf1 Qh4 17.Re2 Qh6 18.f3 Nef6 19.Qc2, Malaniuk – Vyzmanavin, Pardubice
1993. Here, Black must try to advance the thematic move c7-c5 as quickly as possible: 19...Rac8 20.Rae1

E) 5.Bd3 d5

In general it depends on the choice of the player whether he will play later 6...Bd6, or 6...Be7. In the first
line Black’s task is simpler, but he would not be able to rely on achieving much. In the second variation
the arising positions are more complicated and both players may make mistakes, so Black has many more
chances of outplaying his opponent in the middlegame.


About 6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0, or 6.cxd5 exd5 7.0-0 Bd6, or 7.b3 Bd6 8.Ba3 Bxa3 9.Nxa3 0-0 10.0-0
Qe7, or 7.Nc3 Bd6 8.0-0 0-0 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 a6 – see 6.0-0.
6.b3 Bd6 7.0-0 (7.Ba3 Bxa3 8.Nxa3 0-0 – see 6.0-0) 7...0-0 8.Bb2 Nbd7 9.Ne5 (9.Nc3 a6 – see 6.0-0;
9.Nbd2 Ne4 – see 6.Nbd2) 9...c5 10.Nd2 cxd4 11.exd4 dxc4 12.Ndxc4 (12.bxc4? Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bxe5µ)
12...Be7= Littlewood – Ki.Georgiev, Coventry 2005.
6.Nc3 Bd6

7.0-0 0-0 – see 6.0-0.
7.Qa4+ Nbd7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ne5 a6 10.f4 c5„ Arribas – Santos Ruiz, Spain 2015.
7.Qc2 dxc4 8.Bxc4 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.e4 Nc6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Rd1 Qe7 13.Bh4 g5! 14.Bg3 Nh5 15.a3,
Fedoseev – Zhigalko, Saint Petersburg 2010, 15...Nxg3!? 16.hxg3 g4 17.Nh2 Qg5ƒ The absence of
White’s dark-squared bishop has reduced considerably his attacking prospects and has made Black’s
initiative much more effective.


Strangely enough, Black has played only very seldom the variation: 6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 c5, which might
seem a reliable line in the spirit of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. I believe that White, in his fight for the
advantage, must try to exploit the lag in development of Black’s kingside and seek a dynamic solution in
this position, for example: 8.Nc3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 a6, Solozhenkin – Shipov, Elista 1994, 10.e4!?ƒ


7.b4 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.a3 (9.b5, J.Hansen – Agdestein, Norway 1985, 9...a6!? 10.bxa6 Bxa6=)
9...Qe7 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Re1 c5„ Pachman – Lengyel, Beverwijk 1965.
7.cxd5 exd5

About 8.Nc3 0-0 – see 7.Nc3.

8.b3 0-0 9.Ba3 Bxa3 10.Nxa3 Qe7 – see 7.b3.
8.Qa4+ Nbd7 9.Ne5 0-0 10.f4 a6 11.Nc3 c5„ Martinez Duany –Bruzon Batista, Merida 2014.
8.b4 0-0 9.Qb3 Qe7 10.b5 (10.a3 Nbd7 11.Nc3 a6 12.Bb2 Rfe8 13.Bf5, Rombaldoni – Njili, France

2009, 13...b5!?„) 10...c5 11.bxc6, Vaganian – Khalifman, Russia 2003, 11...Nxc6=
7.b3 0-0

8.Ba3. This plan would lead to White’s queen’s knight roaming too much over the board in the process of
improving its position. 8...Bxa3 9.Nxa3 Nbd7 10.Nb5 a6 11.Nc3 c5 12.cxd5 Nxd5= Epishin – Cuenca
Jimenez, Spain 2018.
White realises sometimes this plan after the preliminary exchange of the pawns. 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ba3 Bxa3
10.Nxa3 Qe7 11.Nb5 a6 12.Nc3 Nbd7 13.Rc1 g6 14.Na4 (14.Re1 Rfe8 15.Bf1 c5= Iordachescu –
Almasi, Reykjavik 2015) 14...Rfc8 15.Qd2, Krupenski – Bradzionis, Vilnius 2017, 15...c5=, with the
positional threat c5-c4, while if White tries to establish control over the queenside with 16.dxc5 bxc5
17.Qa5, then Black can counter that with 17...d4ƒ, his hanging pawns advance and the f3-square becomes
7.Nbd2 0-0 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2 Ne4. Now, Black will support his knight on e4 with the move f7-f5.

10.Qc2 f5 11.Ne5 (11.cxd5 exd5 12.Ne5 c5!? 13.f3 cxd4! 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.Bxd4 Rac8 16.Qb2 Nc5ƒ
Hammes – Farago, Germany 2003) 11...Bxe5 12.dxe5 Ndc5 13.Be2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 dxc4 15.Qxd8 Rfxd8
16.Bxc4 Ba6 17.Bxa6 Nxa6 18.Rfc1 c5³ Antoniewski – Jackova, Chech Republic 2005.
10.cxd5 exd5 11.Ne5 Qe7 12.f4 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 Nf6 14.Qe2 Ne4= Malakhov – Predojevic, Croatia
10.Ne5 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Bc5= Kogan – Kovalenko, Corsica 2017.
10.Rc1 Qe7 11.Qe2 (11.Qc2 f5 12.Rfd1, Leitao – Ionov, Wijk aan Zee 1999, 12...c5„; 11.Ne5 Nxd2
12.Qxd2 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bb4 14.Qc2 dxc4! Nakamura – Nepomniachtchi, USA 2017, 15.Bxh7+ Kh8
16.Be4 cxb3 17.axb3 c5=) 11...f5 12.Ne5

If White builds the “Pillsbury triangle” when his opponent’s knight is on d7 and his pawn is on f5, then

Black must exchange the knight on e5. Still, he must try to do that under favourable circumstances, in a
position, when the pawns are not exchanged on d5 and the capturing on e5 would not lead to the
appearance of a protected passed pawn for White. It can also be seen that if Black develops his queen on
e7, the exchange on d5 becomes in a way senseless, since after it the move Nf3-e5 becomes impossible,
since that square is well protected by Black. 12...c5 13.f4 cxd4 14.exd4 Nxe5 15.fxe5 Bb4 16.Nb1 Qh4
17.cxd5 Bxd5 18.Bc4 Rad8 19.Bxd5 Rxd5„ P.Short – Griffiths, Dublin 2010.


It would be a bit risky for Black to play in the spirit of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted: 7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-
0 9.Qe2 c5 (He must prevent e3-e4-e5.) 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.e4 Nbd7 12.a3 Rc8 13.Bf4 Qe7 14.Rad1 Rfd8
15.h3 Nh5 16.Bh2 Qf6 17.Ba6 Bxa6 18.Qxa6 Nf8 19.e5 Qf5 20.b4 Be7 21.Nd4 Qg6 22.Ncb5+–


Following 8.Re1, Vekshenkov – S.Ivanov, Sochi 2004, Black’s most precise reaction would be 8...dxc4
9.Bxc4 c5=
8.Qe2 Nbd7 9.e4 (9.b3 a6 10.Bb2 Ne4 – see 9.b3) 9...dxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Bxe4 Bxe4 12.Qxe4 c5
13.Bg5 Qc7 14.Rad1 Rfe8 15.Rfe1 f6 16.Bc1 Rad8 17.d5 Ne5= Alvarez Ibarra – Mendoza Contreras,
Spain 1992.
8.cxd5 exd5

About 9.b3 Nbd7 – see 8.b3.
9.Ne5 c5 – see variation D1, 9.Ne5.
9.Nb5 Be7 10.Qc2 c6 11.Nc3 Nbd7 12.b3 Rc8 13.Bb2 Bd6 – see variation D2, 12.Qc2.
9.Qc2 a6 10.e4 dxe4 11.Nxe4 Nxe4 12.Bxe4 Bxe4 13.Qxe4 Nd7 14.Bg5 Re8!? (Black can also try to
parry his opponent’s initiative with the line: 14...Qe8 15.Qf5 Qe6 16.Qxe6 fxe6 17.Rfe1 Rfe8∞
Alexandrova – Lagno, Varna 2002 and although this endgame is close to equality, the above mentioned
game shows that Black’s defence in it is far from easy.) 15.Qc2 (15.Qc6 Nf6 16.Rfe1 Qd7= I. Ivanov –
G.Kuzmin, USSR 1975) 15...Qc8 16.Bh4 Qb7 17.Qb3 Nf8 18.Rfe1 Ne6= Parker – Rowson, England
8.Qc2 c5 (Black is reluctant to give up his light-squared bishop for the enemy knight: 8...dxc4 9.Bxc4
Bxf3 10.gxf3 Nbd7, Khlian – Azarov, Russia 2007, 11.f4², or to allow the enemy pawn-advance in the
centre: 8...a6 9.e4² Khlian – Lysyj, Sochi 2006.) 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nb5 Be7 11.b3 (11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Rd1
Nc6 13.a3 Qb8 14.b3 a6 15.Nc3 Ne5ƒ Tibensky – Razuvaev, Czechoslovakia 1990) 11...Nc6 12.a3 a6
13.Nc3 Rc8 14.Bf5 Rc7 15.Bb2 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.exd4 Bd6 18.Qd3 Re8 19.a4 Ne4³ Alexandrova
– A.Maric, Spain 2001. The difference between White’s dark-squared bishop and Black’s light-squared
bishop is that he has a centralised knight and his bishop supports it, while White does not have anything
like this. After an exchange on e4 and capturing there with a pawn, the scope of action of Black’s bishop
increases. This, as well as his centralised knight, provides him with an advantage.

8...Nbd7 9.Bb2

9.Nb5 Be7 10.Bb2 c5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Be2 a6 13.Nc3 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 Rc8= Cyborowski – Nikolic,
Germany 2008.
9.cxd5 exd5 10.Nb5 (10.Bb2 a6 – see 9.Bb2) 10...Be7 11.Ne5 (11.Ba3 Bxa3 12.Nxa3 Qe7 13.Nb5 c5=)
11...a6 12.Nc3 Bd6 13.f4 Ne4 14.Bb2 Ndf6 15.Rc1 Nxc3 16.Rxc3 Ne4 17.Rc2 f6= Lein – Kir.Georgiev,

Canada 1986.


It cannot be said that Black’s plan, connected with the immediate move c7-c5, is bad. Still, we would
prefer as a basic plan for him, lines in which he postpones this move. The dangers that he might face are
best illustrated by the following game: 9...c5 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Rc1 Qe7 12.Qe2 a6 13.Rfd1 Ne4
14.Qe1!? Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Nf6 16.Bf5 Rfd8 17.Ne5 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Ne4 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Rd6!ƒ
Solozhenkin – Agopov, Finland 2002.

We will analyse now E1) 10.cxd5 and E2) 10.Rc1 (without the subsequent exchange c4xd5).
10.a4 c5 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Qe2 (12.Rc1 Qe7= Leko – Kraemer, Germany 2018) 12...Re8 13.Rfd1 Qe7
14.Rac1 Ne4 15.Bb1 Rad8∞ Guijarro – Zhigalko, Tallinn 2016. White’s move a2-a4 has reduced his
possibilities in the middlegame. Now, after the exchange on c5 and Black’s recapturing there with his
knight on d7, White’s pawn on b3 would be hanging.
10.Qc2. This move is a bit risky. 10...dxc4!? 11.bxc4 Bxf3 12.gxf3 c5 13.d5 (Following 13.Ne4, Black
can force a draw if he so wishes: 13...Nxe4 14.fxe4 Bxh2+ 15.Kxh2 Qh4+, draw, Geller –Averbakh,
USSR 1953.) 13...exd5 14.cxd5 b5 15.Be2 c4 16.Ne4 Nxe4 17.fxe4 Qe7 18.f4 f6³ Short – Hou Yifan,
Bangkok 2012.
10.Qe2 Ne4 11.Rad1 Qe7

12.Bb1 f5=
12.Qc2 f5 13.Ne2 dxc4 14.bxc4 c5= Rogozenco – Khalifman, Germany 2001.
12.Nd2 f5 13.f3 Nxc3 14.Bxc3 c5= 15.e4?! cxd4 16.Bxd4 dxe4 17.fxe4 Nc5³ Kretchetov – Gareyev,
USA 2014.
12.Nb1 dxc4 13.bxc4 e5!? (Here, the standard move 13...c5= is also possible.) 14.Qc2 exd4 15.exd4 Ng5
16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.g3 Qh5 18.Nd2, Huebner – Dzindzichashvili, Wijk aan Zee 1979, 18...Rae8 19.Ne4
Bb4 20.a3 Ba5„

E1) 10.cxd5 exd5


11.Qc2 Qe7

12.Ne2 Ne4 13.a4 f5 14.b4 c6, Hovhannisyan – Ter Sahakyan, Armenia 2015, 15.b5 axb5 16.axb5 c5„
12.Nd2. Now, besides White’s basic plan (Rc1, Ne2-g3, Ne5), he can try to advance as quickly as
possible e3-e4. 12...Rfe8 13.Rfe1 c5! 14.e4 cxd4 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.exd5 Qh4 17.Nf3 Qh5 18.Bxd4
Bxd5 19.Be4 Rac8 20.Qd3 Bb4= Krishna – Erigasi, India 2017.
11.Bf5. This manoeuvre is often used by White and it impedes the development of his opponent’s rook to
the c8-square. After it, Black must be permanently on the alert about the possible exchange on d7, which
might deflect his knight on f6 from the protection of the d5-square. 11...g6 12.Bh3 (White would hardly
achieve much with the exchange 12.Bxd7 Qxd7 13.Ne5 Qe7 14.Ne2 c5„) 12...Qe7 13.Ne2 (13.Qc2,
Magerramov – Rausis, Abu Dhabi 2003, 13...Ne4!∞) 13...Ne4 14.Bxd7 Qxd7 15.Ne5 Qe7. Here,
Black’s pieces are not overburdened, so White cannot create direct threats by exchanging on d7. 16.Rc1
f6 17.Nd3 Rae8 18.Re1 Qg7 19.b4 Qh6 20.Ng3 Qg5 21.a3 h5ƒ Kovalevskaya – Mkrtchian, Novi Sad
11.Ne2 Qe7 12.Ng3 g6 13.Rc1 Ne4

Here, in comparison to the order of moves 11.Rc1 Qe7 12.Ne2 Ne4 13.Ng3 f5, White has forced his
opponent to play g7-g6. This is not however any serious achievement for him. Black will play f7-f5 on
his next move and White’s extra tempo would not be sufficient to create immediate threats on the c-file,
connected with a positional exchange-sacrifice.
14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.Nd2 b5! 16.Qe2 Nb6 17.Rc2 Rae8 18.Rfc1 f5µ Tsiganova – A.Maric, Istanbul 2000.
After the moves Nb6-d5 and f5-f4, Black’s initiative develops effortlessly, while his c7-square has been
reliably protected, so White cannot break even with an exchange-sacrifice.
14.Re1 f5 15.Re2, Bruzon Batista – Karjakin, Cuernavaca 2006. Black can make at first some
prophylactic moves, defending indirectly on the sixth rank against the enemy penetration on the
queenside and begin to prepare later a pawn-offensive on the kingside. 15...Rf6 16.Rec2 c6„, followed
by Raf8 and g6-g5.
14.Qc2 Rac8 (Black should better not allow 14...f5 15.Ne5∞) 15.Qe2 b5! He does not need to be afraid
of the weakening of the c5-square, since White will hardly manage to exploit this effectively. 16.a4 c6
17.Rc2 f5 18.Rfc1 h5 19.Nf1 h4„ Alekseev – Maletin, Khanty-Mansiysk 2015.
14.Rc2 f5 15.Qe2, Harikrishna – Gormally, London 2001 (15.Ne2 g5„ Nisipeanu – Oparin, Gjakova
2016). Here, Black can follow the already familiar scheme – prophylactic on the sixth rank and
preparation of a pawn-offensive on the kingside. 15...Rf6 16.Rfc1 c6„, followed by a6-a5, Ra8-f8, g6-g5.



About 12.Qc2 Ne4 13.Ne2 Rac8 – see 12.Ne2.

12.Re1. White wishes at first to ensure the safety of his king, by transferring his bishop to the g2-square
and then to create a battery of his major pieces on the c-file and eventually to sacrifice the exchange for
the enemy c-pawn in order to penetrate the enemy queenside and to settle the issue there. 12...Ne4 13.Bf1
f5 14.g3 Rae8 15.Rc2 g5 16.Qc1 Rf7 17.Bg2 h6 18.Rd1 c6! 19.Ne2, Malich –Dautov, Germany 1992,
19...Qe6!ƒ This is a useful prophylactic move. Now, White cannot sacrifice the exchange on c6, because
of the discovered attack at the end of this variation: 20.Rxc6? Bxc6 21.Qxc6 Bxg3!–+ After the
prophylactic operation, Black will double his rooks on the f-file and will advance f5-f4.
12.Qe2 Ne4

13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Nd2 b5 15.a4 b4 16.Na2 a5 17.Nc4 Nf6³ Gunina – Kovalenko, Moscow 2013.
13.g3 f5 14.Ne1 g6 15.Rd1 b5 16.f3 Nef6 17.Ng2 Rae8 18.Rfe1 c5³ Hlas – Berezjuk, Slovakia 2000.
13.Ne1 Rfe8 14.Nd1 c5„ O.Vovk – Nakhbayeva, London 2011. Now, if White ousts the enemy knight
from the e4-square with the move 15.f3, what he had prepared with his move 13, then Black will simply
retreat 15...Ng5„ and will transfer then his knight to e6. White will fail to create a mobile pawn-centre
with the move e3-e4.
12.Bf5 g6 13.Bh3 Ne4 14.Nxe4 (14.Bxd7, Yildiz – Kanmazalp, Turkey 2014, 14...Nxc3! 15.Rxc3 Qxd7
16.Ne5 Qe7 17.Rc2 f6 18.Nd3 a5³ Black plans to redeploy his pieces with the idea to begin active
actions on the other side of the board.) 14...dxe4 15.Nd2 f5 16.Nc4 Bd5 17.Nxd6 Qxd6³ Reeh – Adams,
Germany 2010. White’s bishops are restricted by pawns and the position is blocked, so Black’s prospects
are preferable in this middlegame.
12.Rc2 Ne4 13.Ne2 c6!? Black had better wait for the move Ne2-g3 and play f7-f5 only later. (If he
plays 13...f5 with an enemy knight on e2, then White might have the resource: 14.Qa1 Rae8 15.Ne5
Bxe5 16.dxe5 Nec5 17.e6! Nxe6 18.Nd4 Nxd4?! 19.Rxc7ƒ; 18...Ndc5 19.Ba3© Arutinian – Olszewski,
Poland 2008.) 14.Qa1 Rae8∞ Kouvatsos – Georgiadis, Greece 2011.


Here, contrary to the position arising after 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 exd5 7.Bb5+ c6 8.Bd3, Black’s pawn is on
c7 and does not prevent the control of his bishop on b7 over the e4-square. Therefore, the importance of
the actions of his dark-squared bishop increases even more, since it defends against the possible
penetration of White’s major pieces to the c7-square.


About 13.Rc2 c6 – see 12.Rc2 Ne4 13.Ne2 c6.

13.Nf4 g5!? 14.Nh5 f5 15.b4 c6 16.a4 b5!?³ Artemiev – E.Levin, Sochi 2017.
13.Bb1. White frees in advance the d3-square for his knight, in order to be able to place it there from f4
after Ne2-f4 – g7-g5. Black can place his pawn on a5, in order to prevent his opponent’s actions,
connected with b2-b4 and f6, not allowing the enemy knight to go to e5. Later, his actions would depend
on the arising circumstances. 13...Rae8 14.Nf4 a5 15.Re1 c6 16.Nd3 f6, Dizdar –Kotsur, Dubai 2003,
17.Nd2 f5!? 18.Nf3 Rf6 19.Nde5 Bxe5 20.dxe5 Rh6ƒ
13.Qc2 Rac8 14.Ng3 f5 15.Qe2 Ra8 16.Rc2 (16.Bc2, Solozhenkin – Pedersen, Gent 2008, 16...Rf6„)
16...Rf6 17.Rfc1 c6 18.Nd2 (18.Qf1 a5 19.a4 Raf8 20.Ra1 Rh6 21.Qc1 Rf7! 22.Ba3 c5 23.Bb5 Nf8
24.Qe1 Ng6ƒ Sher – Hansen, Copenhagen 1996) 18...a5 19.a4 Raf8„


Black’s most promising plan here is for operations on the kingside, including the advance of his pawns
there and in particular of the g-pawn. Therefore, it would be less logical for him to defend against
14.Ng3-f5 with 13...g6 (see 11.Ne2 Qe7 12.Ng3 g6 13.Rc1 Ne4).
What should be the correct plan for White if Black just plays passively? At first, White should double his
rooks on the c-file after which he will have the powerful positional threat Nf3-e5. If the knight is
exchanged, Black’s dark-squared bishop will be absent from the board, so White can try to penetrate to

the c7-square, regaining the pawn, which has been temporarily sacrificed on e5. Besides that, he can
remove both his knights from the third rank and advance f2-f3, ousting the enemy knight on e4 away
from the centre.


14.Re1 Rf6!? (As for the pawn-advance g7-g5, Black must prepare it very well. Playing it immediately
14...g5, Schmidt – Einwiller, Germany 1997, would not be his best decision. 15.Re2!? g4 16.Bxe4 fxe4
17.Ne5 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Bxe5 19.Bxe5 Qxe5 20.Rec2 c5 21.Qxg4+ Kh8 22.b4∞) 15.Re2 Raf8 16.Rec2 c6
(This is prophylactic against the above mentioned threat – 17.Ne5.) 17.Qe2 a5 18.Ba6 (18.Rxc6? Bxc6
19.Rxc6 Bxg3–+; 18.Rf1 Rh6 19.Qd1 Qe8 20.Bxe4? fxe4 21.Ng5 Ba6 22.Re1 Bd3–+ Bodicker – Van
Foreest, Amsterdam 2016) 18...Ba8!?„ White is in a situation in which he has no clear-cut plan,
connected with Nf3-e5, so he loses his direction in this position and Black obtains powerful counterplay
against the enemy king on the h-file.
14.Rc2 Rf7! This defence of the c7-pawn is prophylactic on the seventh rank against the eventual move
Nf3-e5 (after the doubling of White’s major pieces on the c-file. 15.Re1 (15.Qa1 Re8 16.Rfc1 c6 17.Re1
g6 18.Ree2 h5„ Adler – Jenni, Switzerland 2003) 15...g5 16.Nd2 (16.Qe2 g4 17.Nd2 Qe6 18.Ndf1?!
Ndf6 19.f3 h5!µ Borne – Tiviakov, Banyoles 2006; 18.Nh5 Qh6ƒ) 16...Raf8 17.Qe2, Bruzon Batista –
Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee 2005, 17...Nb8!?∞ (17...a5!?∞).



15.Rfd1 g6 16.Nf1, Danner – Felsberger, Austria 2012, 16...g5! – analogously to the line: 15.Rfe1 g6
16.Nf1 g5.
15.Rfe1 g6! We have already mentioned that Black must advance his g-pawn only at the right moment.
Now, his last move indicates his intention to attack the enemy knight on g3 by advancing his h-pawn. He
postpones the development of his rook, to be able after the possible move Qc2-e2, not to lose tempi for
the protection of his a6-pawn. 16.Nf1

16...g5! This is the right moment for this move! 17.Qe2 g4 18.N3d2 (18.Bxe4 fxe4 19.Ne5, Romanov –
Shomoev, Russia 2014, 19...Rg7!ƒ) 18...Qh4 19.Rc2, Malaniuk – Psakhis, Moscow 1992, 19...Nxf2!

20.Qxf2 Bxh2+ 21.Nxh2 g3 22.Qf4 gxh2+ 23.Qxh2 Qxe1+ 24.Nf1 Qd1 25.Rd2 Qg4 26.Qxc7 Nc5
27.Qxb6 Nxd3 28.Rxd3 a5µ


The move 15...g5 cannot be justified: 16.Rc2 g4 17.Bxe4 fxe4 18.Ne5 Bxe5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Bxe5
Qxe5 21.Qxg4² Batchimeg – Hou Yifan, Geneve 2013.

16.Rc2 c6. We have seen this prophylactic on the sixth rank numerous times. 17.Rfc1, Bartos –
Roesemann, Teplice 2010, 17...a5!?„ The position is closed, so White’s extra tempo (Black’s rook has
come to the f6-square in two moves, via f7...) is not so important for the evaluation of this situation.
Black has defended reliably against his opponent’s possible penetration on the c-file and can create
serious problems for White on the kingside.

E2) 10.Rc1 Qe7


About 11.cxd5 exd5 – see variation E1.

11.Ne2 dxc4 12.bxc4 Bxf3 13.gxf3 c5ƒ Hassan – Tregubov, Manama 2009.
11.Bb1 dxc4 12.bxc4 c5= Svoboda – Stefek, Morava 1997.
11.Rc2 Ne4 12.Ne2, Maiorov –Garcia Palermo, Tortoreto 2015, 12...dxc4 13.bxc4 f5∞
11.Re1 Ne4 12.Qc2 (12.Ne2, Pavlovic – Rausis, Gausdal 2007, 12...dxc4 13.bxc4 c5=) 12...f5 13.Ne2 c5
14.cxd5 exd5 15.dxc5 bxc5„ Fedorovsky – Adams, Germany 2016.
11.Qe2 Ne4

12.cxd5 exd5 – see line E1.
12.Rc2 f5 13.Rfc1 Rf6 14.g3 Rh6 15.Na4?! dxc4 16.bxc4 c5³ Shengelia – Gajewski, Czech Republic
12.Nd2 f5 13.cxd5 exd5 14.f3 Nxd2 15.Qxd2 Qh4 16.f4 Qe7 17.Qe2 g6³ Mecking – Vescovi, Sao
Paulo 2000.
12.Na4 f5 13.Ne5 dxc4 14.bxc4 (14.Nxc4 Bxh2+! 15.Kxh2 Qh4+ 16.Kg1 Rf6ƒ) 14...Nxe5 15.dxe5 Bb4
16.f3 Nc5 17.Bc2 Rad8³ Kharlov – Sveshnikov, Dubai 2003.
12.Rfd1 f5 13.a4. White wishes to play a4-a5 and after capturing and c7-c5 to win the enemy bishop on
d6. Black can ignore for the time being the advance of the enemy a-pawn and try to create threats on the
kingside. (13.Na4, Kacheichvili – Sokolov, Plovdiv 2003, 13...dxc4!? 14.bxc4 c5 15.Rb1 Rae8 16.Ba1
Bc7=) 13...Rf6 14.a5 Rh6. White is threatening Ne4-g5. 15.g3 g5!ƒ B.Kovacevic – A.Kovacevic, Zadar

11...dxc4 12.bxc4 Ne4

Black plays most often in this position the move 12...c5, preventing radically the intentions of his
opponent to advance c4–c5. This is also a possibility for Black and the theoretical discussion might
continue like this: 13.Ne5 Rfd8 14.f4 cxd4 (14...b5!?) 15.exd4 b5 16.c5 (16.cxb5? axb5 17.Bxb5 Nxe5
18.fxe5 Bxe5µ) 16...bxa4 17.cxd6 Qxd6 18.Qxa4 Rac8= Tanda – Sharland, ICCF 2009.


13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 c5 15.Rfd1 f5 16.Bc2 Rad8 17.Qe2 Rf6ƒ Morley – Pierre, ICCF 2016.
13.Qe2 f5 14.Nc3 (14.Rfd1, Portisch – Nikolic, Tunis 1985, 14...c5!? 15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Bc7 17.f3
Bc6 18.Bc2 Ng5∞) 14...Rf6 15.g3 Rh6 16.Bb1, Danner – Almasi, Budapest 1993, 16...Ng5ƒ Black has
not played c7-c5 yet and the diagonal has not been closed, so it would not be so strong for White to play
here 13.Ne5, because of 13...Nxe5 14.dxe5 Ba3³

13...bxc5 14.Ne5

This is a standard pawn-sacrifice for White. Now, after every possible exchange of his knight on e5, he
will manage to break on the queenside. He will restore the material balance in the process.

14...Rfd8 15.Nxd7 Rxd7


The move 16.Bxe4 would provoke total exchanges: 16...Bxe4 17.Nxc5 Bxc5 18.Rxc5 Qxc5 19.dxc5
Rxd1 20.Rxd1 f6= Jussupow – Khalifman, Germany 1994.
In response to 16.Qc2, Flear – Hrdina, London 2016, there may suddenly arise wild complications if
Black decides to sacrifice a piece: 16...cxd4 17.Bxe4 Bxh2+ 18.Kxh2 Qh4+ 19.Kg1 Bxe4 20.Qd1 Rd5
21.Rc5 dxe3 22.Rxd5 exf2+ 23.Rxf2 Bxd5©


This piece-sacrifice is not obvious at all.

17.Kxh2 Bc6!

Now, its motif becomes clear. The d-file is overburdened and White will be pinned on it.


The move 18.Be5 might lead to a position with a non-standard material ratio. 18...Rad8 19.Qg4 f5
20.Bxe4 fxg4 21.Bxc6 Rd2 22.Kg1 h5 23.g3 Rf8 24.Nc3 Rdxf2 25.Rxf2 Qxc5 26.Rxf8+ Kxf8 27.Bxg7+
Kxg7 28.Ne2 Qxe3+ 29.Kf1 Qa3 30.Rc2 Kh6³ Now, White must rely on perfect coordination of his
pieces and the disrupted pawn-structure of his opponent in order to fight for a draw.

18...f5 19.Bxe4

19.Qe2 Bxa4 (It might be even stronger for Black to choose here 19...Rad8!? if he wishes to fight for a
win.) 20.Bxe4 Qh4+ 21.Kg1 Qxe4 22.f3 Bb5 23.fxe4 Bxe2 24.Rf2 Bd3 25.c6 Rf7 26.exf5 exf5 27.Rd2
Be4 28.Rd7 Re8 29.Rc5 h6 30.Re5 Rxe5 31.Bxe5 Bxc6 32.Rxc7 Rxc7 33.Bxc7= Boege – Hamann, ICCF

19...fxg4 20.Bxc6 Rf8 21.Bxd7 Qxd7

A rook and two minor pieces are usually stronger than a queen, but Black’s prospects are preferable in
this particular position.


The move 22.Rc4 is hardly better for White: 22...h5 23.Rd4 Qb5 24.Kg1 g3 25.f3 Qe2µ Marjamaki –
Tikas, ICCF 2005. He is likely to fail to coordinate his pieces.

22...Qd2 23.Nd1 h5 24.Kg1?

Now, White’s defence breaks.

It is understandable that it would be very difficult for him to hold this position. He could have prolonged
the fight with 24.Rh1 h4 25.Rc4 Qe2 26.Rf4 Rxf4 27.exf4 Qd3 28.Rg1 g3+ 29.fxg3 Qxg3+ 30.Kh1 Qxf4
31.a3 Qg3 32.Rf1 h3 33.gxh3 Qxh3µ

24...h4 25.Rc4 Qe2–+ Hasanagic – Kaas, ICCF 2005. White has no satisfactory defence against the threat

Chapter 9

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4

In this chapter we will analyse in details: A) 5.Bf4, B) 5.e3, C) 5.g3, D) 5.Qc2 and E) 5.Qb3.
5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ba6!?

7.Ne5 d6 8.Qa4+ Kf8 (8...c6!? 9.Nf3 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 b5!?„) 9.Nd3 Qd7 10.Qb3 Nc6. Black has
lost his castling rights, but has created a direct threat against the enemy pawn on c4. White decides to
protect it, but this only worsens his situation. 11.c5 bxc5 12.dxc5 Rb8 13.Qc2 d5³ Karagiannis –

I.Sokolov, Corfu 1991.
7.Nd2 d5 (7...Nc6 8.e4²) 8.cxd5 exd5 9.e3 Bxf1 10.Nxf1 0-0 11.Ng3, Schlattmann – Lodde, Germany
2006, 11...c5= This is a standard position for the Rubinstein variation in the Nimzo-Indian Defence, but
without the light-squared bishops, which is in favour of Black.
7.Qb3 Nc6 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 Na5 10.Qa2 Ne4µ Vanlint – Punnett, England 2012. This is a position with
the pawn-structure of the Saemisch variation in the Nimzo-Indian Defence, but with strange and time-
consuming manoeuvres of White’s queen.
7.e3 Nc6 8.Bd3 Na5 9.Nd2 c5 10.0-0 0-0 11.Qe2 d5 12.cxd5 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 Qxd5 14.e4, Faraj –
Neverov, Amman 2008, 14...Qc6= White has no chances of obtaining an advantage with the light-
squared bishops absent from the board.
7.Qa4 0-0 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.e4 Qg6 11.Nd2 c5 12.g3 d5„ Kisuze – Ssegwanyi, USA 2012.
5.Bd2 Bb7

6.e3 0-0 – see variation B2.

6.g3 0-0 – see variation C.
6.Qc2 0-0 – see variation D.
6.Qb3 c5 7.a3 Bxc3 (The move 7...Ba5?! does not work for Black with a white bishop on d2: 8.dxc5 Na6
9.cxb6 Nc5 10.Qc2± and Black does not have the possibility 10...Be4.) 8.Bxc3, Mrkonjic – Csonka,
Szombathely Savaria 2002, 8...cxd4!? 9.Bxd4 (9.Nxd4 Na6 10.f3 0-0 11.Rd1 d5 12.e3 Qe7=) 9...0-0
10.e3 d6 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.0-0 e5 13.Bc3 Ne4 14.Rad1 Qe7=
6.a3 Bxc3 7.Bxc3 Ne4

8.Qd3 0-0 9.g3 Nxc3 10.Qxc3. Here, Black does not need to fortify his centre with the move f7-f5, but
can undermine instead the enemy centre: 10...c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Bg2 a5 13.0-0 Qe7= Babu – Arun
Prasad, India 2010.
8.Rc1 0-0 9.e3 c5 10.Be2 d6 11.0-0 Nxc3 (Without this, White’s bishop will avoid being exchanged with
the move Be1.) 12.Rxc3 Nd7 13.dxc5 Nxc5= Mirzoev – Adams, Turkey 2010. White can hardly achieve
anything meaningful in this position.
8.Qc2 f5 9.g3 (9.Nd2?! Nxc3 10.Qxc3 0-0 11.e3 d6. The diagonal for Black’s bishop has been opened,
so White will have to play 12.f3 Nd7 13.Bd3?!, so Black can counter that by attacking the weakened
squares in the enemy camp with 13...Qg5!µ Hohlbein – Chandler, Germany 2003.) 9...0-0 10.Bg2 Nxc3
11.Qxc3 d6 12.0-0 Nd7 13.Nd2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Qf6 15.f4 c5„

A) 5.Bf4 Bb7

We have already mentioned in Chapter 5 that Tony Miles, after 4.Bf4 Bb4+ in the variation named after
him, preferred here the move 5.Nfd2. Now, Black’s knight comes to the e4-square and besides White’s
knight on c3, his bishop on f4 also becomes vulnerable, since it can be attacked after g7-g5 and h7-h5.


6.Nd2 0-0 7.e3 d6 8.Qb3 c5 9.Be2 Nc6 (9...cxd4!?„). The careless move 10.0-0? (10.dxc5 dxc5=)
enabled Black to maintain the advantage with 10...e5µ in the game Reuters – Petersen, Lyngby 1991.
6.a3. This move does not seem logical, since it is in fact a loss of a tempo. White will have to develop his
queen sooner or later anyway. Naturally, that move has not been played at the top level. 6...Bxc3+ 7.bxc3
d6 8.e3 Nbd7 9.Bd3 0-0 (It is also good here for Black to follow the already familiar plan including
fortifying the knight on the e4-square: 9...Ne4 10.0-0 Qe7 11.Qc2 f5 12.Nd2 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 g5 14.Bg3
h5 15.f3 h4 16.Be1 0-0-0³ Rousseaux – Bollore, France 1999.) 10.Qc2 Re8. Black is threatening e5-e4
with a pawn-fork. 11.Bg5 (11.e4 e5 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.0-0 Nf8³ and he has a clear-cut plan for
actions on the kingside, Gajdosik – Topolovsky, Slovakia 2014.) 11...h6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Be4, Varadi –
Kormos, Hungary 2002, 13...Bxe4 14.Qxe4 e5 15.Qc6 Qd8 16.0-0 Nf6 17.Rad1 Qd7 18.Qxd7 Nxd7³
Black can still try to play for a win in this endgame with the idea to exploit his opponent’s doubled pawns
on the c-file.
6.Qc2 Ne4 7.Nd2 (7.e3 0-0 – see 6.e3) 7...Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nxd2 9.Bxd2 Qh4 (9...f5!?„) 10.g3, Hevio –
Gareev, chess.com 2017, 10...Qh5 11.d5 0-0 12.Bg2 d6 13.Be3 f5 14.0-0 e5³ White has finally solved
his problems with the development, but has paid a dear price for that. Black has an excellent centre and a
powerful outpost on e5. White has no real plan for actions, while Black’s kingside offensive will run
6.Rc1 Ne4

7.d5 0-0 8.Bd2 Nxd2 9.Qxd2, Filgueira – Quiroga, Buenos Aires 1993, 9...Na6„
7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 0-0 9.e3 f5 10.Be2 d6 11.0-0 Nd7 12.d5 e5 13.b4 a5„ Gormaz Lietor – Tejedor
Ariza, Madrid 2009.
7.Nd2 Qf6. The covering of the file by pinning the knight would lead to an early double attack. White
can still preserve the material balance, but might lose his castling rights. 8.Be3 (8.e3 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Nxf2
10.Kxf2 g5„ It is possibly better for White to choose here 8.Ndxe4 Qxf4 9.a3 Qxe4 10.axb4 Qg6
11.Nb5 Na6∞) 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bd6 10.f3 Qg6 11.Bf2 f5 12.h4 Bg3„ Fernandez Garcia – Cao
Armillas, Madrid 2013.
7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 d6 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Nd2 f5 12.f3 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 e5 14.Bg3 Qe7= Ren –
Tan, China 2014. There has arisen on the board a typical position for the Queen’s Indian Defence and the
Bogoljubow Defence, but in an excellent version for Black. White’s doubled pawns diminish his
possibilities to organise counterplay on the queenside.
6.e3 Ne4 7.Qc2 (about 7.Rc1 0-0 – see 6.Rc1; 7.Qb3 a5 – see 6.Qb3) 7...0-0

8.Be2. White cannot obtain any advantage by placing his bishop on a less active position. Black should
deploy his pieces just like after 8.Bd3. 8...f5 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6 11.Rab1 Nd7 12.c5, Aronian –
Nakamura, Beijing 2012. Without this pawn-sacrifice, White has no chances of achieving anything
meaningful. Still, this sacrifice is not always justified. Here, Black must counter with the intermediate
line: 12...g5!? 13.Bg3 dxc5 14.Bc4 (14.Ne5? Nxg3–+) 14...Qe7∞
8.Bd3 f5 9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 d6 (If Black has castled kingside, the idea for him to chase after the enemy
dark-squared bishop might not be so good: 10...g5 11.Bg3 h5 12.h4 g4 13.Nd2 Nxg3 14.fxg3²) 11.c5
(11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 Nd7 13.f3 e5 14.Bg3 Qe7 15.Rae1 Rae8 16.Qc2, Amezcua Luria – Hernandez
Guerrero, Mexico 2015, 16...e4³, White has ended up with a backward pawn on the e3-square.) 11...bxc5
(Black can continue to play without any risk, if the standard pawn-sacrifice is declined, for example:
11...Qe7 12.cxd6 cxd6 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 e5 15.Bg3 Nc6= Spassky – Lutikov, Leningrad 1960, but
possibly, his best decision would be to accept it.) 12.Qb3 Qc8 13.Bxe4 fxe4 14.Ng5 Ba6!³ Visser –
Henke, ICCF 2012.



7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 d6. Now, thanks to the move a7-a5, Black has the possibility to fix the enemy
queenside with a5-a4 and deprive his opponent of any possibilities there. Still, at first, he usually
completes his development. 9.e3 Nbd7

10.h3 Qe7 11.Be2 Ne4 12.Qc2 0-0 13.0-0 e5 14.Bh2 Ng5 15.d5 Nxf3+ 16.Bxf3 a4³, with the same idea
to fix White’s queenside, Nogue – Illescas Cordoba, Barcelona 2013.
10.Bg5 0-0 11.Bd3 h6 12.Bh4 a4 13.Bc2 Ra5 14.Nd2 Qa8 15.f3 c5 16.0-0 Rc8, planning 17...d6-d5,
Ganbaatar – Vyzhmanavin, USSR 1990.
10.Bd3 0-0 (If Black occupies the central square with his knight and fortifies it with his f-pawn in a

standard fashion 10...Ne4 11.Qc2 f5, Christiansen – Portisch, Mar del Plata 1981, then, after the opposite
sides castling, he must consider both d4-d5, as well as h2-h3 and g2-g4.) 11.0-0-0 Qe7 12.h4 d5 13.Kb1
c5„ Navara – Ju.Polgar, Prague 2010. Black’s pawn-shelter in front of his king has not been
compromised, moreover that White needs additional time to prepare g2-g4. All these circumstances make
Black’s chances of attacking the enemy king preferable.



8.Be2 d6 9.Rd1 Nd7 10.0-0 (10.h3 0-0 11.0-0 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Qe7 13.Ne1 e5 14.Bh2 a4 15.Qc2 Ng5
16.Nd3 f5„ Conquest – Fedorchuk, Port Elizabeth 2013) 10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 g5! 12.Bg3 h5. White must
consider this chase against his dark-squared bishop always when it does not have the leeway to the h2-
square. 13.h4

In response to the inaccurate move 13...Rg8?!, White follows with the standard pawn-sacrifice in this
structure: 14.c5! dxc5 (14...g4 15.Nd2 Nxg3 16.fxg3 dxc5 17.Bb5 Qe7 18.dxc5±) 15.Bb5ƒ and White
seized the initiative, because Black failed to solve the problems with the pins on the diagonal and the d-
file in the game Mamedyarov – Karjakin, Astana 2012.
13...Qe7 14.c5 g4 15.Nd2 Nxg3 16.fxg3 dxc5 17.Bd3 (17.Bb5 0-0-0µ) 17...f5µ Elsness – Akesson,
Stockholm 1996. White has no compensation for the sacrificed material.


There is no problem with what to capture on c3 in analogous positions, with the knight, or with the
bishop. Black must capture with the bishop and then support his knight with his f-pawn, exerting pressure
in the centre. If he captures with his knight, then he loses the fight for the centre and will hardly manage
to undermine the enemy centre later: 8...Nxc3?! 9.bxc3 Be7 10.e4² Korchnoi – Huebner, Merano 1980.

9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nd7


White’s standard pawn-break would be fruitless here: 11.c5 e5 12.Bxe4 Bxe4 13.Bg5! (13.Ng5?! Bg6
14.dxe5 dxe5 15.Rfd1 exf4 16.exf4 0-0 17.c6 Nc5 18.Rxd8 Nxb3 19.Rxf8+ Kxf8 20.axb3 Bc2 21.b4 a4µ
Groszpeter – Portisch, Hungary 1991) 13...f6 14.cxd6!? fxg5 (14...Bxf3 15.gxf3 fxg5 16.Qe6+ Kf8
17.Qf5+ Ke8 18.Qe6=) 15.Qe6+ Kf8 16.dxc7 Qe7 (16...Qxc7? 17.Nxg5 Bg6 18.Qxg6!+–) 17.Qg4 Bb7
18.Nxg5 Re8∞
11.Qc2 f5 12.Nd2 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 g5!? (13...e5 14.Bg3 e4 15.Be2 0-0= Ostenstad – Grotnes, Oslo 1985)
14.Bg3 h5 15.f3 Qf6ƒ, followed by castling queenside with good attacking prospects against the enemy


After 11...Qe7, White continued with the already familiar pawn-break 12.c5!? and Black did not react in
the best possible way: 12...0-0?! (After 12...dxc5 13.Bxc7, he probably failed to find the variation 13...c4!
14.Bxc4 Rc8 15.Bg3 a4 16.Qxa4 Nxc3 17.Qb3 Nxd1 18.Rxd1 0-0³) 13.cxb6 (13.cxd6!?²) 13...Nxb6
14.c4² Kogan – Palac, Lisbon 2000.

12.Ne1?! g5! 13.f3 Nec5µ Agdestein – Nikolic, Oslo 1996.

B) 5.e3 Bb7

We will analyse now: B1) 6.a3, B2) 6.Bd2, B3) 6.Be2, B4) 6.Bd3.
About 6.Qc2 0-0 – see variation D.

B1) 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3

There has arisen transfer to a position, which is much more often reached in the Nimzo-Indian Defence.
The following developments are quite typical.

7...0-0 8.Bd3 Ne4 9.Qc2 f5 10.0-0


Paul Keres treated this position rather originally, but hardly in the best possible way: 10...Nd6 11.Ne5
Nc6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.f3 Bb7 14.Qe2∞ Rubio Aguado – Keres, Mar del Plata 1957.
Black has another double-edged alternative in this position, as well as in similar positions: 10...Rf6
11.Ne1 Rh6 12.g3 (but not 12.f3 Qh4 13.h3? Ng5µ Purgimon Diaz – Izeta Txabarri, Andorra 1987).
Black’s attacking attempt has failed, so he must remove his rook away from the X-ray juxtaposition with
the enemy dark-squared bishop. 12...Rf6 13.f3 Nd6 14.a4∞ Sollbrandt – Hellsten, Helsingborg 1991.

11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2


Black can refrain from preventing his opponent’s actions in the centre with e3-e4, but then he would need
to repeat the moves: 12...Nd7 13.e4 Qh4 14.exf5 Bxg2! 15.Kxg2 Qg4+ 16.Kh1 Qf3=

13.f3 Nd7 14.Rae1

The forced lines are not in favour of White, for example: 14.Be1 Qh5 15.e4 f4∞, or 14.e4 fxe4 15.fxe4
e5 16.Be3 Nf6 17.Bf2 Qg4 18.Rae1 Rae8= Laky – Kedrik, Slovakia 2014.

14...Rf6„ Rajesh – Stany, Chennai 2009.

B2) 6.Bd2 0-0


7.Be2 d5 8.0-0 dxc4 (8...Nbd7? 9.Nxd5!+–) 9.Bxc4 Nbd7 10.Qe2 (10.Rc1 a6 11.a3 Bd6 12.Qe2 c5
13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.b4 Nce4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Rfd1 Nxd2 17.Rxd2 Qe7 18.Rcd1 Rfd8³ Varga – Portisch,
Hungary 1994) 10...c5 11.Rfd1 (11.a3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Ne4 13.Rac1 Qe7 14.Rfd1 Rfd8 15.Ba6 Bxa6
16.Qxa6 Nxc3 17.Rxc3, Tal – Hort, Wijk aan Zee 1982, 17...e5!? 18.Qb7 Qe8=) 11...cxd4

12.Nxd4 a6 13.Be1 Qe7 14.a3 Bd6 15.f3 b5 16.Ba2 Rac8 17.e4 Rfd8 18.Rac1 Bb8 19.Bf2 Ne5„
Gligoric – Smyslov, Amsterdam 1954.
12.exd4 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7. As it often happens, there has arisen a position from the Nimzo-Indian
Defence, but after another move-order. (It is reached much more often following 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3

Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.0-0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.Qe2 b6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.exd4 Bxc3 12.bxc3
Qc7 13.Bd2 Bb7). 14.Bd3 Rfe8 15.Re1 Rac8 16.Rac1 Qd6 17.Ba6 Qd5 18.Bxb7 Qxb7 19.c4 Qa6
20.Rc2 h6= M.Gurevich – Chernin, Jurmala 1983.
7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Ne4 9.Rc1 f5 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0

11...Nxc3. Black deprives his opponent of the possibility to preserve the bishop. 12.Rxc3 Nd7 13.Qe2
e5„ Herding – Koetter, Germany 2006.
11...Nd7 12.Be1!? c5 13.Be2 Qe7 14.Nd2 Ng5, Isajevski – Khismatullin, Russia 2004 (14...Nef6 15.f3
Rae8 16.b4 e5 17.d5 e4 18.f4 cxb4 19.axb4 b5 20.Bh4 bxc4 21.Nxc4²). Here, White could have
restricted the enemy knight on g5 with the line: 15.f3 Rae8 16.b4²


White has not played a2-a3, so Black can choose another strategy. With the move d7-d5 he does not
allow his opponent to occupy the centre with his pawns, while after a2-a3, Black will retreat with his


8.a3 Bd6 9.b4 (9.Qc2, Fridman – G.Giorgadze, Latvia 2016, 9...dxc4!? 10.Bxc4 Nbd7 11.e4 c5 12.e5
cxd4 13.exf6 dxc3 14.fxg7 cxd2+ 15.Qxd2 Kxg7 16.Qxd6 Rc8 17.Be2 Nf6 18.Qg3+ Kh8 19.0-0 Rg8„)
9...dxc4 10.Bxc4 Nbd7 11.Nb5 a6 12.Nxd6 cxd6 13.b5 axb5 14.Bxb5 Ne4 15.Bb4 Ndf6 16.Bd3 Qd7
17.0-0 Rfc8= Ivkov – A.Sokolov, Sochi 1983.
8.0-0 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nbd7

10.Rc1 c5 11.a3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Ne4 13.dxc5 Nxc3 14.Rxc3 Nxc5= Smyslov – Ljubojevic, London 1984.
10.a3 Bd6 11.Qe2 c5 12.Ba6 Bxa6 13.Qxa6 cxd4 14.exd4 Qc8 15.Qd3 Qb7„, with excellent prospects

against White’s isolated pawn, Reich – Naiditsch, Germany 2004.
10.Qe2 c5! 11.Rfd1 (11.a3 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Ne4 13.Rac1 Qe7 14.Rfd1 Rfd8 15.Ba6 Bxa6 16.Qxa6 Nxc3
17.Rxc3, Tal – Hort, Wijk aan Zee 1982, 17...e5=) 11...cxd4 12.exd4 (12.Nxd4 a6 13.Be1 Qe7 14.Rac1
Rfc8= Langeweg – Sunye Neto, Amsterdam 1983) 12...Rc8 (12...Bxc3!? 13.bxc3 Ne4 14.Be1 Rc8
15.Rac1, Tal – Psakhis, Tallinn 1983, 15...Nd6∞) 13.Bd3 Nb8 14.a3 Bd6 15.Ne5 (15.Nb5 Nc6 16.Bg5
Be7=) 15...Nc6= Razumov – Somogyi, ICCF 2011.



9.Rc1 a6 10.0-0 Bd6. Now, Black follows the same set-up as in the line with: 9.0-0. 11.Ne5 c5 12.f4 Nc6

13.Ne2 Ne7 14.Ng3 Ne4= Chernikov – Farago, Gmunden 2007.
13.Na4 c4 14.Bb1 b5 15.Nc3, Sandipan – Agdestein, Warsaw 2014, 15...Ne7!? 16.Qf3 Bb4„, followed
by an exchange on c3 and the occupation of the e4-square.
13.Ng4 Be7 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.b3 Nb4 17.Bb1, Sandipan – Ma, China 2017, 17...a5!?
18.Na4 c4 19.Nc5 Bc6 20.a3 Na6=
13.Qf3 cxd4 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.exd4 b5 16.Na4, Bodzyn – Dickhoff, Dresden 2003 (16.f5 b4 17.Ne2
Bb5³ Koop – Roiz, Dresden 2015) 16...Ne4!?„
13.Be1 cxd4 14.Nxc6 (14.exd4 Nxd4 15.Bh4 Ne6 16.Qf3 Nc5∞ Li Chao – Zhigalko, Doha 2016)
14...Bxc6 15.exd4 Bb7 16.Bh4 Re8 17.Qc2 h6= Ashwin – Dragun, Chicago 2018.


After Black’s natural reaction 9...Nbd7 10.Rc1 a6 11.Ne5 Bd6 12.f4 c5 13.Qf3ƒ, White can build the
Pillsbury’s triangle with a knight on e5, supported by his pawns, Tikkanen – Cramling Sweden 2011. We
have already mentioned that the best way for Black to fight against the Pillsbury’s triangle would be to
develop his knight on c6. Therefore, he should better delay the development of his queen’s knight and
save at first his dark-squared bishop against an exchange.


10.Rc1 c5!? (10...a6 – see 9.Rc1)

11.Ne5 Nc6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Na4 c4 15.Bb1, Kharitonov – Polugaevsky, Sochi 1981. If
White develops his knight on c3, then his knight will remain at the edge of the board – on the a4-square.
If White’s knight comes back to c3, then his bishop will remain restricted on the d2-square. So, at least
one of his minor pieces will be deployed unfavourably. If Black plays accurately, White will fail to
transfer his bishop to the d4-square and to came back with his knight to c3, exerting pressure against the
central squares: 15...Qc7! 16.h3 Rab8 17.Bc3 Bh2+ 18.Kh1 Be5³
11.Nb5 Be7 12.Ne5 a6 13.Nc3 Nc6 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.dxc5 bxc5 16.Na4 c4 17.Bc2 Rb8 18.Bc3 Bd6

19.Bd4, Tan Zhongyi – Ju Wenjun, China 2018, 19...Re8!?=, with his last move, Black sets up a trap for
his opponent: 20.Nc3? Rxb2 21.Nxd5 Bxh2+! 22.Kxh2 Qxd5µ and White cannot capture the enemy
rook on b2 due to the checkmating threat on the g2-square.

10...c5 11.f4 Nc6 12.Ne2

After 12.Qf3 cxd4, White will be forced to exchange the pride of his position – the centralised knight on
e5. 13.Nxc6 Bxc6 14.exd4 Qd7 15.f5 Rfe8 16.Bg5 (16.Bf4, Garcia Palermo – Karpov, Mar del Plata
1982, 16...Bxf4 17.Qxf4 h6 18.Rac1 Re7=) 16...Ne4 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.Qg4 Kh8„ V.Georgiev –
Ibragimov, Chicago 2002.

12...Ne4 13.Bc3 Ne7 14.Ng3 Rc8 15.Qe2

15.Qg4 f5 16.Qh3 Rf6∞

Here, in the game Batsiashvili – l’Ami, Wijk aan Zee 2016, White suddenly sacrificed a pawn: 15...c4!?
16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Nxc4 Ba6 18.b3 f5∞ 19.Rfc1 Nd5 20.Be1?! g5 (20...Ba3!? 21.Rc2?! Nxf4!µ) 21.fxg5
Qxg5„ with good compensation for it due to his good prospects on the kingside.

B3) 6.Be2 Ne4


7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.0-0 d6 11.a4 Nc6 12.Nd2 Na5 13.Nb3 Nxb3 14.Qxb3 a5
15.Rfe1, Tataev – De Firmian, New York 1991, 15...Qe7³, followed by e6-e5.
7.Qb3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Ng5 9.d5 Nxf3+ 10.Bxf3 0-0 11.a4 d6 12.a5 Nd7! This is a positional exchange-
sacrifice for Black with the idea to have a powerful knight on c5 and the possibility to attack White’s
weak pawns. Black maintains the advantage. 13.a6 Nc5 14.Qb5 Bc8 15.dxe6 Bxe6 16.Bxa8 Qxa8 17.0-0
Qe4µ Dybowski – Solozhenkin, Poland 1993.

7...0-0 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 f5


10.Ne5 d6 11.Nd3 Nd7 12.f3 Nef6= F.Portisch – A.Horvath, Zalakaros 2002.

10.Ba3 c5 11.Nd2 Nxd2 12.Qxd2 d6 13.Rad1 Qe7 14.Rfe1 Nc6 15.d5 Ne5„ (Black’s careless move
15...Na5, after 16.Bb4!ƒ, enabled White to obtain an advantage in the game Fedoseev –Perunovic, Novi
Sad 2016).

10...c5 11.f3 Nd6 12.Ba3 Qc7 13.Rd1 Ba6„, with good counterplay for Black in the spirit of the
Saemisch variation in the Nimzo-Indian Defence, Naiditsch – Almasi, Reykjavik 2015.

B4) 6.Bd3

This position can also be reached in the Nimzo-Indian Defence after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3
Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Bd3 Bb7 6.Nf3.


Black’s typical reaction in similar positions is the move 6...Ne4, but it might not equalise for him if
White is ready to play actively and is not afraid to sacrifice a pawn 7.0-0!

Now, it is tremendously risky for Black to accept the pawn-sacrifice: 7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bxc3 9.Rb1 Nc6
10.Rb3 Ba5 11.e4 Ne7 12.d5 Ng6 13.Nd4 Qe7, Gligoric – Larsen, Lugano 1970, 14.Ba3! d6 15.f4©
7...Bxc3 8.bxc3 0-0 9.Ne1. This is a standard retreat of White’s knight with the idea to oust the enemy
knight on e4 away from the centre with the move f2-f3. 9...f5 10.f3 Ng5 11.c5! Nc6 12.Rb1² Lukas –
Istratescu, Hungary 2008.

7.0-0 c5

We will deal now with: B4a) 8.a3, B4b) 8.Bd2 and B4c) 8.Na4.
Following 8.Qe2 Bxc3 9.bxc3, the pawns will be transformed into the classical structure for the Nimzo-
Indian Defence. 9...Be4 10.Nd2 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nc6 12.e4 d6 13.f4 e5 14.d5 Na5 15.fxe5 dxe5∞

Hammer – Sedlak, Greece 2012.

B4a) 8.a3

This move leads to positions from the Saemisch variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

8...Bxc3 9.bxc3 Be4 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Nd2 Bg6


12.f3 d5 13.Nb3 Rc8! 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Qd2 (15.Bd2 cxd4 16.cxd4, Wong – Teplitsky, Bled 2002,
16...Nce7!? 17.e4 Nc3 18.Bxc3 Rxc3 19.Qd2 Rc7 20.Rfc1 f5„) 15...cxd4 16.cxd4 a5!„ Inkiov –
Adamski, Bulgaria 1977.

12...Rc8 13.a4 Ne4 14.Bb2

14.Qe1 d5 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Ba3, Li Xueyi – Guo Qi, China 2015, 16...c4! 17.Bxf8 cxb3 18.Ba3
(18.Bb4?! Nxb4 19.cxb4 Nc3µ) 18...Na5©


Black is preventing 15.f2-f3. On the other hand White will be tempted to advance his f-pawn.


This position was reached in the game Lutsko – Dydyshko, Minsk 2002. 15...cxd4!? 16.cxd4 (Following
16.exd4 Qxc1 17.Rfxc1, the queens will be exchanged and White will not have the idea to chase after the
enemy queen. 17...Rfd8 18.f3 Nd6 19.c5 bxc5 20.Nxc5 Na5= and Black can either play for blockade of
the c4-square, or begin actions on the b-file after Rc8-b8.) 16...d5 17.f3 dxc4 18.Bxc4 Nb4 19.fxe4 Bxe4
20.Rf2 Bd5µ

B4b) 8.Bd2

White is preparing a2-a3, so that after the exchange he can capture with his bishop, avoiding the
compromising of his queenside pawn-structure. Black should better preserve his dark-squared bishop on
the board.



9.Nxd4 Nc6 10.Nxc6 (10.a3 Ne5 11.Be2 Be7 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.Qa4 a6 14.f4 Nc6 15.Bf3 Qc7= Barbero –
Andruet, Montpellier 1987) 10...dxc6 11.Qc2 Bd6, Buehl – Salman, USA 1998.

9...d5 10.cxd5

10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 (11.bxc3 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nbd7 13.Re1, Abayeva – Ajrapetian, Russia 2014,
13...Ne4=) 11...dxc4 12.Bxc4, Nakamura – Carlsen, chess.com 2016, 12...Nd5 13.Rc1 Nc6=

10...Nxd5 11.Qe2

About 11.Re1 Nd7 12.Qe2 Bd6 – see 11.Qe2.



12.Rad1 Bxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Qe4 N5f6 15.Qe3 Ng4 16.Qf4 Qxf4 17.Bxf4 Rac8= Froewis –
Bogdanovich, Minsk 2017.
12.Rfe1 Bd6 13.Rad1 Rc8 14.Qe4 N7f6 15.Qh4 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Be7³ Bolbochan – Keres,
Buenos Aires 1954.
12.Qe4 N7f6 13.Qh4 Nxc3 14.bxc3 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Be7 16.Rae1 g6³ Bodiroga – Bisi, Gabicce Mare
12.Nxd5 Bxd2 13.Qe4 g6 14.Ne7+ Qxe7 15.Qxb7 Bf4 16.Be4 Qd6 17.Qxa8 (17.g3 Nf6! 18.gxf4 Rab8
19.Qc6 Qxf4µ) 17...Rxa8 18.Bxa8 g5! 19.g3 g4 20.Ne1 Bg5 21.Nc2 Nf6„ Isigkeit – Marek, ICCF

12...Bd6 13.Ba6

13.Be4 N7f6 14.Bb1 Nf4 15.Bxf4 Bxf4 16.Rcd1 Rc8 17.Ne5 g6 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Bxe4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4
Qh4 21.g3 Bxg3µ Shalamberidze – Yemelin, Tallinn 2014.

13...Bxa6 14.Qxa6 Nxc3 15.Rxc3 h6 16.Rfc1 Nf6 17.Rc4 Nd5 18.Qb7 Qb8= Zhou – Harikrishna,
China 2016.

B4c) 8.Na4

White is threatening to attack the enemy bishop with the move 9.a3 and forces his opponent to clarify his
intentions in the centre.

8...cxd4 9.exd4 Re8

Black prepares the f8-square for the retreat of his bishop, so that later he might fianchetto it to the g7-


10.c5 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Nc6 12.Be3 (12.Qd1 Nxd4 13.Bxh7+ Nxh7 14.Qxd4 bxc5 15.Nxc5 Qb6³
Korchnoi – Ivanchuk, Monte Carlo 1993) 12...e5! 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Qd1 Nfg4 15.Bd4 bxc5 16.Bxe5

Nxe5 17.a3 Ba5 18.Nxc5 Qh4 19.Be2 Rac8 20.Rc1 Bb6„ Ogaard – Adorjan, Gjovik 1983.
10.Bf4 Bf8 11.Re1 (11.Rc1 Nc6 12.Re1 Ne7 – see 11.Re1; 11.Nc3 Nc6 12.d5 exd5 13.cxd5 Nb4 14.Bc4
Ne4 15.a3 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Ba6„) 11...Nc6 12.Rc1 Ne7 13.Nc3 Ng6 14.Bg5 Be7 15.a3 Rc8 16.b4,
Debashis – Karjakin, Doha 2016, 16...Nd5!?=
10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nc6. Black has accomplished a standard operation. He has exchanged
his bishop for the enemy knight on f3 and has developed his knight to c6 attacking the weakened d4-
square. The inclusion of the moves 10...h6 11.Bh4 was necessary for Black in order to deprive White of
the possibility to protect his pawn with Bg5-e3. 13.Bxf6 (13.Qe3 Be7 14.Bg3 Rc8 15.Rac1 Nh5=
Peuraniemi – Harjula, corr. 1995) 13...Qxf6 14.Qxf6 gxf6 15.d5 (15.Be4 f5 16.Bxc6?! dxc6 17.Nc3
Rad8 18.Rad1 Rd7 19.Rd3 Red8 20.Rfd1 Be7³ Visier Segovia – Portisch, Las Palmas 1972) 15...Ne5
16.Be2 Rac8 17.a3 Bf8 18.Rac1 Ng6 19.dxe6 dxe6 20.Rfd1 Red8= V.Georgiev – Mikhalchishin, Bled



Here, after d7-d5, White will reply with c4-c5 and his occupation of additional space on the queenside
may be very unpleasant for Black. Therefore, he must change his strategy. He begins to undermine
White’s queenside.
11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 Bxf3 13.Qxf3 Nc6 (Black plays analogously to the variation 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4
Bxf3.) 14.Qe3 Be7 15.Bg3 Nh5 16.Rfd1 Nxg3 17.hxg3 Bg5„ Garriga Cazorla – N.Petrov, Spain 2016.
11.Bf4 Bxf3. This move is played with the same idea. 12.Qxf3 Nc6 13.d5 (13.Qe3 Rc8 14.Rfd1 g6
15.Rac1 d5 16.c5 bxc5 17.dxc5 Qa5 18.Bc2 e5 19.b4 Qa6 20.Bg5 Nd4∞ Weiss – Albano, ICCF 2015;
13.Qh3!? d5 14.Be5 h6∞) 13...exd5 14.cxd5 Ne5 15.Bxe5 (15.Qd1?? Nxd3 16.Qxd3 Re4–+ Yu Yangyi

– Carlsen, Doha 2015) 15...Rxe5 16.Nc3 Bd6 17.Nb5 Qe7=

Black might be tempted to advance his queen’s pawn two squares forward with the idea to obtain a
position with an isolated pawn for White, but this might lead to a situation that Black would be incapable
of controlling: 11...d5 12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Bxh7+!? Kxh7 14.Ng5+ Kg6 (Now, his king cannot come back
14...Kg8, because of 15.Qh5+– and is forced to go forward.) 15.Qf3 f5 16.h4∞
If Black prepares the move d7-d5 with 11...h6, then his bishop would remain on the f8-square and his
position would not improve.
Therefore, he prefers in this position to complete at first his development and then to fianchetto his
bishop and only after that to advance not d7-d5, but d6-d5. 11...d6 12.Re1 Nbd7 13.Bf4 g6 14.h3 a6
15.Bg3 d5!= Predke – Vitiugov, Russia 2017.
11.Re1 d6. Our notes to Black’s strategy, applicable to the move 11.Nc3, are quite true for this line as

About 12.Nc3 Nbd7 13.b4 Rc8 – see 12.b4.
12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.Nc3 h6 14.Bh4 Be7 15.b4. Black was ready to advance the freeing move d6-d5, so
White prevented it. 15...Rc8 (15...d5?! 16.c5±) 16.Rc1 a6 17.Nd2 Qc7 18.Nb3, Semkov – Stoika, Croatia
1988. White has extra space, so Black must try to find freeing moves, or to exchange pieces. Here, it
deserved attention for him to opt for 18...Ne4!? 19.Bxe7 Nxc3 20.Rxc3 Rxe7=
12.b4 Nbd7 13.Bb2 (13.Nc3 Rc8 14.Bb2 a6 – see 13.Bb2) 13...Rc8 14.Nc3 (14.Rc1 Rc7 15.Nc3 a6 – see
14.Nc3) 14...a6

15.Rc1 Rc7 16.Nd2 g6 17.Bf1 Qa8 18.Qb3 Rec8 19.Nd1 Bg7 20.Ne3 h5 21.Rcd1 Rb8 22.Nb1 d5
23.Nc3 (23.c5 bxc5 24.dxc5 Bc6„ and Black has the direct threat Nd7xc5, as well as the positional
threats e6-e5, d5-d4 occupying space in the centre) 23...dxc4 24.Nxc4 Nd5„ Urkedal – Rasmussen,

Istanbul 2012.
15.h3 g6 16.d5 e5 (After 16...exd5=, followed by exchanges on the e-file, Black’s play would be simpler,
but his chances of seizing the initiative will diminish too.) 17.Nd2 Nh5 18.g3 Ng7 19.h4 f5 20.Bf1
Be7„ Manolache – Iordachescu, Bucharest 2003.
15.Bf1 Qc7. This is a typical manoeuvre for the “hedgehog” pawn-structure. Black improves the
placement of his queen and increases the pressure on the long diagonal. 16.Nd2 Qb8 17.Rb1 Qa8„
Izoria – Tiviakov, Bled 2002.


Black has begun to undermine his opponent’s pawn-chain immediately, without the inclusion of the
move d7-d6 and White cannot ignore this, for example by playing 12.Bb2, since his pawn on b4 is
attacked by Black’s bishop on f8.


12.Bd2?! axb4 13.axb4 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Nc6. This is a rather non-standard double attack. 15.Rfb1 Nxd4
16.Qe3 e5µ Swayams – Vidit, Chennai 2013.
12.Bg5?! axb4 13.axb4 h6 14.Be3 Bxb4 15.Rb1?! Bxf3 16.gxf3 Nc6µ Salem – Sethuraman, Chennai
12.c5 axb4 13.axb4 bxc5 (13...Bxf3!? 14.Qxf3 Nc6 15.cxb6 Nxd4∞ Parente – Solovyov, ICCF 2013)
14.dxc5 d6 15.Bb2 dxc5 16.Nxc5 Rxa1 17.Bxa1 Bxc5 18.bxc5 Qc7= Hasselmeyer – Marek, ICCF 2012.


The move 12...d5? is to be avoided, just like before, in view of 13.c5±


About 13.h3 Nbd7 14.Be3 Rc8 – see 13.Be3.

13.Nd2 Nbd7 14.Nb3 e5 15.Bb2 (15.d5 g6 16.Be3 Nh5 17.g3 Rb8∞ Telepnev – Sadowski, ICCF 2015)
15...Rc8 16.Re1 g6„ 17.c5? dxc5 18.dxe5 c4 19.exf6 Rxe1+ 20.Qxe1 cxd3µ Hernandez – Nisipeanu,
Merida 2003.
13.Re1 Nbd7 14.Bg5 (14.Bb2 Rc8 – see 13.Bb2) 14...h6 15.Bh4 Be7 16.Nd2 Rc8 17.Bf1 d5³ Sadler –
An.Kovalyov, Barcelona 2011. White has no compensation for his isolated pawn.
13.Be3 Nbd7

14.h3 Rc8 15.Rc1 e5 16.Be2, Pogonina – Millet, Riga 2017 (with the idea 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Nxb6)
16...exd4!? 17.Nxd4 d5=
14.Re1 Rc8 15.Rc1 e5 16.Bf5, Khismatullin – Rozum, Kazan 2015, 16...g6! 17.Bh3 Bxf3 18.gxf3
(18.Qxf3?! exd4 19.Bxd4 Rxc4µ) 18...Rb8 19.Nc3 exd4 20.Qxd4 Ne5„
14.Nd2 Rc8 15.Nb3 (After 15.Rc1, Babula – Stocek, Czech Republic 2004, Black had an interesting
tactical possibility: 15...d5! 16.c5 bxc5 17.dxc5 d4! 18.Bxd4 Nxc5 19.Nxc5 Bxc5 20.Bxc5 Qxd3ƒ)
15...e5 16.d5, Mikhalik – Nisipeanu, Czech Republic 2013, 16...g6!?∞

13...Nbd7 14.Re1

About 14.Rc1 Rc8 15.Re1 g6 – see 14.Re1.

14...Rc8 15.Rc1


Black can also play here immediately 15...d5 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Nd7 18.cxd5 Rxc1 19.Qxc1 Bxd5=
Perkins – Wells, London 1992, but this is just to equalise. Therefore, it would be sensible for him to
postpone for a while this thematic move and improve his position at first.
16.h3 (16.Rc2 d5 17.Ne5 dxc4 18.Bxc4 Rc7 19.Qe2 Bd5 20.Bxd5 Rxc2 21.Qxc2 Nxd5 22.Qc6 Nxe5
23.dxe5 Re7!³ Kenneskog – Blomqvist, Stockholm 2016.) 16...d5 17.Nd2 dxc4 18.Nxc4 Nd5 19.Be4
Rc7 20.Qd2 Qb8 21.Bd3 Rec8= Bruzon Batista – Carlsen, Mexico City 2012.

C) 5.g3 Bb7


6.Qb3 c5

It is bad for White to play here 7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 cxd4 9.Qxd4 Nc6 10.Qc3 0-0 11.Bg2 Rc8 12.b3 d5µ
Balog – Herpai, Hungary 2005, as well as 7.Bg2 Nc6 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.0-0 Na5 10.Qc2 Nxc4 11.Bg5 0-0
12.Rad1 Rc8 13.e4 h6 14.Bc1 d5µ Hoelzl – Baumegger, Austria 2008.
7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.Bg2 Nc6 9.Qd1 Ne5 10.b3 0-0 11.0-0 Nxf3+ 12.Bxf3 Bxf3 13.exf3, Pasztor – Szelenyi,
Hungary 2000, 13...d5=
6.Bd2. White plays this rather modest move with the idea to preserve the elasticity of his pawn-structure.

6...0-0 7.Bg2 d6 8.0-0 Nbd7

9.a3 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Ne4 11.Qc2 (11.Be1 f5=) 11...Nxc3 12.Qxc3 Qe7 13.Rad1 Nf6 14.Rfe1 Rfd8
15.Qe3 Qe8 16.b3 Rab8= Von Holzhauzen – Saemisch, Hannover 1926.
9.b3 a5 10.Qc2 Qb8. This is another interesting idea in similar pawn-structures, connected with the
preparation of counterplay on the queenside with the move b7-b5. 11.Rfe1 Bxc3 12.Bxc3 Be4 13.Qd1,
Varga – Gritsak, Greece 2002, 13...b5!?„
9.Qc2 Bxc3 10.Bxc3 Be4 11.Qd2 Qe7 12.b3, Dizdarevic – Kuraica, Jahorina 2018, 12...a5. The retreat
of the knight to f3 would lead to White losing his two-bishop advantage. As a rule, in this pawn-structure
he removes his bishop from the long diagonal to h3, or to f1 and only later retreats with his knight
preparing f2-f3 and e2-e4. 13.Bh3 Here, it would be best for Black to retreat 13...Bb7„ and later,
depending on the situation, to play in the centre, or on the kingside with Nf6-e4 and f7-f5, or on the
queenside with the move a5-a4.
9.Rc1 a5

10.a3 Bxc3 11.Bxc3 a4=
10.Nb5, Tkachiev – Wirig, France 2013, 10...Qb8!?∞
10.d5 Nc5 11.Nh4 Re8 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Bxb7 Nxb7 14.Qc2 Nc5 15.Rcd1 Qd7 16.Bc1 Bxc3 17.Qxc3,
Gozzoli – Bagheri, France 2004, 17...Qa4„
10.Bg5 Bxc3 11.Rxc3 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Ne1 Bxg2 14.Nxg2 Re8 15.f3 d5= Stone – Gligoric, New
York 1988.

6...0-0 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.bxc3 d6

Black will counter later, as usual, his opponent’s pawn-centre with the moves e7-e5, or c7-c5.


9.Ne1 Bxg2 10.Nxg2 Nc6 11.Qd3 Qc8 12.Rd1 Qa6 13.e4 Na5 14.Ne3 c5= Miladinovic – Liss,
Singapore 1990.
9.Ba3 Nbd7 (9...c5 10.d5!?∞) 10.Rb1, Vasileiou – Panagiotakos, Greece 2017, 10...Re8 11.Re1 e5„
9.a4 Nc6 10.Nd2 Na5 11.Bxb7 (11.e4 e5 12.Re1 Re8 13.Ba3 c5= Beliavsky – Markoja, Slovenia 2016)
11...Nxb7 12.Nb3 Qd7 13.Qd3 d5 14.f3 Qc6 15.cxd5 exd5 16.Bg5 Rfe8= Vaisser – Kosten, France
9.Re1 h6 10.Bf1 Re8 11.a4 a5 (Here, it deserves attention for Black to try another standard reaction
against the advance of his opponent’s rook-pawn – 11...Nc6!?) 12.Nh4 e5 13.dxe5?! dxe5 14.Qxd8 Rxd8
15.Ba3 Nbd7³ Harikrishna – Grischuk, Foros 2006.
9.d5 Nbd7

After 10.Bg5 exd5 11.cxd5 Bxd5 12.Re1, Li Chao – Mamedyarov, China 2016, 12...Qc8µ, White has no
compensation for the sacrificed pawn.
10.Nh4 Nc5 11.f4, Valencia Himenez – Lopez Santana, Barcelona 2016, 11...Qe7!?, so that after
12.Qd4?!, Black can capture the pawn on e2: 12...exd5 13.cxd5 Qxe2µ
10.Nd4 Ne5 11.dxe6 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 Qe8 13.exf7+ Qxf7 14.Qb3 Nxc4µ and Black maintains the
advantage thanks to his superior pawn-structure, Kazhgaleev – Ivanchuk, Almaty 2008.



10.a4 a5 11.Qb3 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Nd2 (13.c5 dxc5 14.dxc5 Rb8=) 13...Bxg2 14.Kxg2, Nikcevic –
Perunovic, Montenegro 2004, 14...e5 15.e4 Qe7 16.Rfe1 Qe6∞
10.Re1 h6 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.Nd2 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 e5 14.e4, Kolnsberg – Schmitzer, Germany 1993,
10...Bxg2 11.Kxg2 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Qc2 (13.e4 e5 14.f4 Re8 15.Qf3 Qd7 16.a4 a5 17.h3 Qc6 18.d5
Qd7 19.f5 Qe7 20.g4 Nd7 21.Qg3 f6 22.h4 Kf7 23.Qe3 Rh8∞ Purtseladze – Muzychuk, Georgia 2009)
13...c5 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.Ne4 Ne8= Srebrnik – Epishin, Nova Gorica 2000.

D) 5.Qc2 Bb7

We will analyse now in details: D1) 6.Bd2, D2) 6.Bg5, D3) 6.e3 and D4) 6.a3.
After 6.Nd2 c5!? 7.a3 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nc6³, there arises a position from the Saemisch variation in the
Nimzo-Indian Defence, but in a favourable version for Black.

D1) 6.Bd2 0-0 7.a3

7.e3 d5 8.a3 Be7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 c5 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Ne5, Everet – Vaganian, Groningen 1999,
12...c4!? 13.Be2 Nxe5 14.dxe5 Nd7 15.f4 Nc5„

7...Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Ne4


9.e3 f5 10.Bd3 d6 11.0-0-0 (Following 11.0-0?!, Black can exploit the defencelessness of the enemy
knight on f3: 11...Nxc3 12.Qxc3 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Qh4‚ Hackbarth – Kraenzle, Germany 2005.) 11...Nd7
12.h4 Qe7 13.Ne1 e5 14.f3 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 e4 16.Be2, Ivakin – Kopylov, Irkutsk 2011, 16...c5!?„


This is a more aggressive move for Black in this position in comparison to the usual reply 9...f5.


10.Bg2 Nd7 11.Nd2 Nxc3 12.bxc3 c5 13.cxd5 Bxd5 14.e4 Bb7 15.0-0 Rc8= Maki Uuro – Rytshagov,
Finland 1992.

10...exd5 11.Bg2 Re8 12.0-0 Nd7 13.e3 c5 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.Nd2 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Rb8 17.Rfb1 Qc7=
Fridman – Christiansen, Germany 1999.

D2) 6.Bg5 h6


About 7.Bh4 g5 8.Bg3 Ne4 – see Chapter 10.

7.Bxf6 Qxf6

8.e4 Qg6 9.Nd2 0-0 10.f3 f5 11.0-0-0 Nc6 12.Ndb1?! fxe4 13.fxe4 Qg5+ 14.Qd2 Qxd2+ 15.Rxd2 e5µ
M.Mukhin – Fanaskov, Russia 2008.
8.0-0-0. White’s castling queenside in similar positions is usually connected with the advance of his g-
pawn. In this line his attacking resources on the kingside prove to be insufficient. 8...Bxc3 9.Qxc3 d6
10.Qc2 Nd7 11.Rg1 (11.e4?! Qf4µ) 11...0-0 12.Rd2 c5 13.g4 Qf4 14.Rg3 cxd4µ Mikhailovsky –
Baboshin, Russia 2010.

The move 8.a3 enables Black to organise counterplay thanks to his better development. 8...Bxc3+ 9.Qxc3
0-0 10.g3 (10.e3?! Bxf3 11.gxf3 Qxf3 12.Rg1 Qf6 13.Bg2 c6 14.0-0-0 d5 15.cxd5 cxd5 16.Kb1 Nd7
17.Qc6 Rfd8µ Bouslimi – Sethuraman, Potriccio 2015. It might seem that White would organise an
attack on the open g-file, but this is an illusion. He has no initiative and no compensation for the
sacrificed pawn.) 10...c5 11.Rd1, Strathof – Ploman, Germany 2005, 11...Nc6ƒ



8.a3 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 d6 10.Nd2 d5!? This is a popular resource in Black’s fight for the centre. He loses a
tempo, but his decision is more than justified. 11.e3 Nbd7 12.f3 Re8 13.Bd3 e5! 14.0-0 exd4 15.exd4
dxc4 16.Nxc4 Nd5= Riazantsev – Grischuk, Berlin 2015.

8...c5 9.a3

9.Be2 cxd4 10.exd4 d5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.0-0 Nc6³ Rudovskaya – Kravtsiv, Kiev 2005. White has no
compensation for the positional defect of his position – the isolated pawn.
9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Be2 Nc6 11.Rd1 Rc8 12.0-0 Qe7 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 f5 15.Qd3 d6„ Reiter –
Saemisch, Reichenberg 1936.
9...Bxc3 10.Bxc3 cxd4 11.Bxd4 (11.exd4?! Bxf3³) 11...Nc6 12.Bc3 d5 13.Rd1 Qe7= Maceda –
Menundoz Rodriguez, ICCF 2015.

D3) 6.e3


After 6...Ne4, Black must consider the possibility 7.Bd3 f5 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 0-0 10.Nd2 Nxd2
11.Bxd2 d6 12.e4 f4 13.e5ƒ Borsuk – Abdulla, Rijeka 2010.

7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Ne4 9.Qc2

9.Qd3 d5!? It is better for Black to attack the c4-square than to play f7-f5. 10.b3 c5 11.Bb2, Gavrikov –
Drasko, West Berlin 1989, 11...dxc4! 12.bxc4 b5µ


We will analyse now: D3a) 10.Be2 and D3b) 10.Bd3.
About 10.b4 Nd7 11.Bb2 f5 – see variation D4.

D3a) 10.Be2 Nd7 11.0-0

11.b4 f5 12.Bb2 Ng5. This is a typical reaction by Black. He exploits the vulnerability of the g2 and e3-
squares. 13.Qd1 f4!? 14.0-0, Akobian – Venkatesh, 2005, 14...fxe3 15.fxe3 Nxf3+ 16.Bxf3 Bxf3 17.Rxf3
Qg5 18.Rg3 Qe7=

11...f5 12.b4

12.Ne1 c5!? 13.f3 Ng5 14.dxc5 (14.b3, Yu Yangyi – Alekseev, Ryiadh 2017, 14...cxd4 15.exd4 e5„)
14...bxc5 15.b4 Qe7 16.Bb2 e5 17.Rd1 Rf6 18.Nd3 Rg6„ Lysyi – Solozhenkin, Riga 2014. Black has
counter chances on the kingside and preserves his control over the position in the centre and on the



13.Bb2 Rh6 14.d5 e5. White must play carefully; otherwise, his king might come under a sudden
dangerous attack: 15.Bd3 Ndf6 16.Ne1 Qe8 17.Qe2 Bc8, Zhao Xue – Safarli, Moscow 2006 and here,
Black could have created great problems for his opponent with a rook-sacrifice: 17...Qg6! 18.f3 Rxh2!!
19.Kxh2 Qh6+ 20.Kg1 Ng3 21.Qd2 Rf8 22.Nc2 Qh1+ 23.Kf2 Qh4 24.Kg1 g5! 25.Bc3 Ng4! 26.fxg4
The move 13.Ne1 enables Black to bring immediately all his major pieces closer to the enemy king.
13...Rh6 14.g3 Qg5 15.Ng2 Ndf6∞ Holt – Kraai, Las Vegas 2009. Now, White must watch carefully
about the possible knight-sacrifice on g3, after f2-f3.



14.dxe6 Rxe6 15.Bb2 Qe7³ Landgren – Wellin, Sweden 2012.

14.dxc6 Bxc6

White must be very careful about the activation of the enemy rook on the sixth rank. For example, after
15.Bb2 Rg6, he might be faced with serious problems: 16.g3 (16.Rad1 Qe7 17.g3 e5 18.Nd2 Qh4!
19.Bf3 Qh3! 20.Rfe1 Rh6 21.Nf1 Nxg3!–+ Korobov –Zhigalko, Baku 2012; 16.Rfd1 Qe7 17.Ne1 Qh4!
18.Bf1 Ng5µ Kir.Georgiev – Grishuk, Heraklio 2007) 16...e5 17.Rfd1 Qe7 18.c5 bxc5 19.Bc4+ Kh8
20.Bd5 Bxd5 21.Rxd5 Ndf6 22.Rdd1 Ng4µ Freitag – Can, Graz 2014. White has no compensation for
the sacrificed pawn and Black has seized the initiative.

15.Nd4 Bb7 16.f3 Rg6! 17.Nxe6 Rxe6 18.fxe4 Bxe4 19.Bd3 Qh4 20.Rf4, Dobrov – Hracek, Greece
2017, 20...Qe1+ 21.Rf1 Qh4=

14...Rg6 15.Rad1

15.dxe6 Nf8∞
15.Nd2?! exd5 16.Nxe4 dxe4³ Zhao Xue – Hou Yifan, Sochi 2007. White does not have an adequate
plan for his actions after the pawn-sacrifice.



16.bxc5?! Ndxc5 17.dxe6 Nxe6 18.Rfe1 N4g5µ Peng – Chiburdanidze, Bled 2002.
16.Ne1 exd5 17.cxd5, Khurtsidze – Paichadze, Tbilisi 2016, 17...Rc8!? 18.b5 Qg5„
16.Qb3 Rf8 17.Ne1, Li Shilong – Wang Hao, China 2009, 17...exd5 18.cxd5 Qh4 19.Qa4 Ndf6„.

16...Rf8 17.Ne1 exd5 18.cxd5 Ne5 19.Ng2, Koneru – A.Muzychuk, Ohrid 2009, 19...Rc8„

D3b) 10.Bd3 f5


After 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Nd2 (12.b4 c5 13.Bb2 Ng5 – see 11.b4) 12...Qh4 13.f3 Ng5, Black’s initiative is
very dangerous, for example: 14.Rf2 Rf6 15.Nf1 Rg6 16.Kh1 c5ƒ Buonanno – Buiano, Napoli 2016, or
14.f4 Nh3+! 15.gxh3 Rf6 16.Nf3 Rg6+ 17.Kh1 Qxh3 18.Qe2 Nc5!! Huss – Kosteniuk, Silvaplana 2003
and here, after 19.dxc5 Rg3–+, White cannot cover with d4-d5.
He usually plays the move 11.b3 with the idea to castle queenside, so he advances his pawn not too far
away from the future position of his king. This determines Black’s strategy. He does not need to hurry
with the move Ne4-g5, but should try instead to open files on the queenside as quickly as possible.
11...Nd7 12.Bb2 c5 (12...Ng5 13.Nxg5 Qxg5 14.0-0-0∞ Ve.Sergeev – Rodionov, St Petersburg 2003)
13.0-0-0 b5!ƒ Brito Rondon – Nieto Rodriguez, Santo Domingo 2016.

11...Nd7 12.Bb2

12.0-0 c5 13.Bb2. White has castled kingside and his bishop does not protect the e3-square anymore, so it
is high time Black made the standard retreat of his knight away from the e4-square – 13...Ng5!?


If White develops his bishop not on e2, but on d3, then Black, as a rule, has the counter attacking
resource Ne4-g5. After the trade of the knights and capturing on g5 with the queen, when White’s bishop
has already been developed on b2, he would not have the defensive resource f2-f3, because his e3-pawn
would be hanging. Therefore, after 12...Ng5, White will be forced to react in the following fashion 13.d5
Nxf3+ 14.gxf3∞ Black’s pawn-structure e6-f5 will be destroyed and there will arise on the board a very
complicated position with promising chances for White.
12...a5. This undermining move is another possible resource for Black. 13.0-0 (Following 13.b5, White
loses his control over the c5-square and after 13...Ng5, the move 14.d5 would not work, because of
14...Nc5³) 13...axb4 14.axb4 Qe7, Kramnik – Nikolic, Monte Carlo 1998, 15.d5!? e5 16.Rfc1 Ndf6

13.0-0 Ng5

This is the ideal situation for Black’s manoeuvre Ne4-g5, i.e. after White has castled kingside.


In response to 14.Ne1, Black can obtain an excellent game in a tactical fashion: 14...cxd4 15.exd4 Nh3+
16.Kh1 Nf4„ Tavadian – Toria, Armenia 1983.

14...Qxg5 15.f4 Qg6 16.Rae1

The pawn-sacrifice 16.d5?!, is insufficient for White to maintain the initiative in this situation: 16...exd5
17.Rf3, Baliuniene – Priedite, Greece 2014, 17...Rf7 18.Rg3 Qe6³

16...Rac8! 17.e4 fxe4 18.Bxe4 Bxe4 19.Qxe4 Qxe4 20.Rxe4 cxb4 21.Rxe6 Rxc4³ Krupenski –
Johansson, Sweden 2013.

D4) 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3 0-0


There has arisen a position from the variation with 4.Qc2 in the Nimzo-Indian Defence, but with an
already developed knight on f3, which deprives White of two possible promising plans. One of them is
connected with the move f2-f3, creating the threat to occupy the centre with e2-e4. The other plan is
connected with the manoeuvre Ng1-e2-c3, following e2-e3 and the freeing of the c3-square by his queen.
Now, Black’s task to equalise and to create adequate counterplay becomes much simpler.
About 8.e3 Ne4 – see variation D3.
8.g3. White lags in development, so it would be reasonable for Black to seek immediate clashes in the
centre. Having all this in mind, his move-candidates would be: 8...d5, or 8...c5. We will choose the
second possibility: 8...c5!? 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Bg2 a5 11.b3 d6 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Bb2 Ra6³ Flear – Spraggett,
Andorra 1993.
8.b4 d6 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.e3 Ne4

11.Qd3 f5 12.Be2, Drozdovskij – Pushkov, St Petersburg 2012, 12...Rf6 13.0-0 Rh6„
In response to 11.Qb3, it deserves attention for Black to choose 11...Qf6!? (instead of the standard move
11...f5∞ Short – Alekseev, Havana 2010) 12.Be2 (12.Bd3 Ng5„) 12...Qg6„
11.Qc2 f5

12.Be2 Ng5 – see variation D3a.

12.Bd3 c5 – see variation D3b.
12.d5 Qe7 13.Nd4 exd5 14.cxd5 Bxd5 15.Bc4 Bxc4 16.Qxc4+ Qf7 17.Qxf7+ Rxf7 18.f3 c5 19.Nb5 a6
20.Nc7 Rc8 21.Nxa6 Nef6 22.Rd1 Ne8³ A.Rychagov – Alekseev, Russia 2006.



9.e3 Nbd7

10.Nd2 h6 – see 9.Nd2.

10.Bd3. This move is not so popular, because White presents his opponent with the possibility Bb7xf3
and this weakening of the pawn-structure might hurt him any time to the end of the game, even in the
ending. 10...h6 11.Bh4 c5 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Rfd1 Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nd5!? 15.Bxd8 Nxc3 16.Rdc1 Rfxd8
17.Rxc3 cxd4 18.exd4 e5!³ Ferraz – Kraemer, Barcelona 2014.
10.Be2 Rc8 11.Bh4 (After 11.0-0?!, Black has a standard tactical resource to simplify the position

11...Ne4 12.Bxd8 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Rfxd8 14.Rfd1 e5 15.Ra2 Re8 16.Nd2 f5„ Klug – Wygle, USA 1997.)
11...c5 12.dxc5 (12.0-0 Ne4!?=) 12...Nxc5 13.0-0 Nfe4 14.Qe1 Qd7 15.Rd1, Kakageldyev – Vescovi,
Bled 2002, 15...f5=

9...Nbd7 10.f3


If Black plays 10...Rc8, then after 11.Bd3 (Following 11.f3 c5 12.dxc5 Rxc5, White’s bishop on g5 will
be attacked with tempo and this would be favourable for Black.) 11...Bxg2 12.Rg1 Bb7∞, Black can
simply capture a pawn without any bad consequences for his position. On the other hand, White’s dark-
squared bishop has not been ousted from the h6-square and can take part in an attack against Black’s
king. After the inclusion of the moves 10...h6 11.Bh4, this would become impossible.
10...h6 11.Bh4 Rc8 12.b4 (12.f3 c5 – see 10.f3) 12...e5 13.f3 Re8 14.Bf2 exd4 15.Qxd4 Ne5 16.Be2 c5
17.bxc5 dxc5 18.Qc3 Rc7 19.0-0 Rd7 20.Nb3 Nd3³ Galliamova – N.Kosintseva, Kazan 2012.

10...h6 11.Bh4 Rc8!?

Black wishes to capture on c5 with his rook after c7-c5 – d4xc5.


12.e3 c5

13.Bd3 d5 14.cxd5?! cxd4 15.Qxd4 e5ƒ Butsenko – Zavgorodniy, Lvov 2002.

13.b4 Re8 14.Qb2, Grigore – Brunello, Brescia 2009, 14...cxd4 15.Qxd4 e5! 16.Qxd6 Re6 17.Qd3 e4
18.Nxe4 Bxe4 19.fxe4 Qe8µ
13.Qb3 cxd4 14.exd4 e5 15.d5 Nc5 16.Qd1 b5!„ Krivoshey – Polak, Slovakia 1998.
13.Be2 d5 14.dxc5 Rxc5 15.b4, Vlatkovich – Marinkovich, Belgrade 2005, 15...Rc6! 16.Qb2 dxc4

17.Bxc4 Qc7„ The battery R+Q, with the rook in front of the queen makes the construction of the knight
on d2 and the bishop on b4 rather unstable.
13.dxc5 Rxc5 14.b4 Rc7!? 15.Qb2, Johannessen – Baklan, Germany 2007, 15...Qc8!? 16.Bd3 (16.Be2
b5! 17.cxb5 Rc2 18.Qd4 Nd5 19.0-0 Qc3!„) 16...Nh5 17.0-0 g5 18.Bf2 f5 19.Rac1 g4„

12...c5 13.Bd3

It is not good for White to choose here 13.d5 exd5 14.Bxf6 (14.cxd5 Nxe4!µ) 14...Nxf6 15.cxd5 Re8
16.0-0-0 c4!ƒ Rossen – Svane, Helsingor 2012.
Following 13.dxc5, Black’s rook would join in the actions, as we have already mentioned: 13...Rxc5
14.Qd4 Ne5 15.0-0-0 Qe7∞

13...d5! 14.exd5

14.e5 Ne4! 15.Bxd8 Nxc3 16.Be7 Rfe8 17.Bd6 dxc4 18.Bxc4 cxd4!µ Hoang – P.Horvath, Budapest

14...exd5 15.0-0


In principle, it would be the same after 15...dxc4 16.Bxc4 (16.Nxc4 cxd4 17.Qxd4 Nc5 18.Qxd8 Rcxd8
19.Be2 Rfe8 20.Rfe1 g5 21.Bg3 Nh5 22.Bf2 Nf4= Van Wely – Leko, Wijk aan Zee 2008) 16...cxd4
17.Qxd4 Nc5 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.Qxf6 gxf6 20.Rfd1 Na4 21.Rab1 Rfd8= Carlsen – Anand, San
Paolo/Bilbao 2011.

16.Qxd4 Nc5 17.Bxf6

The move 17.Bf5 would not bring White any advantage either: 17...Ne6 18.Bxe6 fxe6 19.Rfd1 Qe8
20.Bxf6 Rxf6 21.Re1 Qg6 22.Rac1 Kh7 23.cxd5 exd5 24.Rxc8 Bxc8 25.Re5 Be6= Stieger – Seelig,
ICCF 2007.

17...Qxf6 18.Qxf6 gxf6 19.Bf5 Rcd8 20.Rfe1

20.b4 dxc4 21.Nxc4 Nb3 22.Rae1 Ba6 23.Re4, Varga – Pasztor, Nyiregyhaza 2005, 23...h5! 24.Rfe1
Nd4 25.Ne3 Bd3 26.Rf4 Ne2µ

20...Ba6 21.Rac1 dxc4 22.Nxc4 Nb3 23.Rc3 Nd4 24.Bh3 Rfe8= Kramnik – Kasparov, Linares 1998.

E) 5.Qb3

This move was popular during the 80ies of the past century. White tries to prevent the enemy actions
against his pinned knight on c3. Black is reluctant to exchange on c3 immediately, before White has
played a2-a3. As a result, there arise original variations in which Black can exploit in some lines the
rather early sortie of the enemy queen to a vulnerable position. He may have the resource Nb8-c6-a5 with
the possible win of the c4-pawn.


This is Black’s best move.

We will analyse now: E1) 6.g3, E2) 6.Bf4, E3) 6.Bg5, E4) 6.a3.
About 6.dxc5 bxc5 7.g3 (7.a3 Ba5 – see variation E4) 7...Nc6 – see variation E1.
6.Bd2 0-0 7.0-0-0 Nc6 8.e3 Na5 9.Qa4 Ng4! 10.Be1 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Qc7µ Semcesen – Palac,
Schwarzach 2008.
6.d5 Bb7

After 7.Bd2 0-0 8.Rd1 d6 9.e3 exd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd2+ 11.Nxd2 Bxd5 12.cxd5 a6³, Black reaches an
excellent position of the “Indian” type.
Following 7.e4!?, Black must play carefully: 7...Nxe4 8.Bd3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 Nf6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 exd5
(Here, for example the rather optimistic approach 11...g5?! 12.Bg3 exd5, after 13.0-0-0ƒ, might end up

quickly in a catastrophe for Black.) 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.cxd5 d6∞
7.Bg5 exd5 8.cxd5 Bxd5 9.Bxf6 (9.Qc2 Be4 10.Qb3 Nc6 11.0-0-0 Bxc3 12.Qxc3 d5µ) 9...Bxc3+
10.Qxc3 Qxf6 11.Qxf6 gxf6µ Pasalic – Kalajzic, Bosnjaci 2010. White does not have compensation for
the pawn.
6.e3 0-0

7.Bd3 Bb7. Black exerts pressure against the f3-square. 8.0-0 Nc6 (8...Bxf3!? 9.gxf3 Nc6„ Pacheco –
Panno, Neuquen 1986) 9.a3 Na5 10.Qc2 Bxc3 11.Qxc3 cxd4 12.exd4 (12.Nxd4 Rc8 13.b3 d5„)
12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Rc8 14.b3 Nh5ƒ I.Sokolov – Eljanov, Sarajevo 2009.
7.Be2 Ne4

8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 Ba6 10.Qc2 f5 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.Ba3 Na5³ Terzic – Kurajica, Sarajevo 2010.
8.Bd2. White preserves the elasticity of his pawn-structure, but his control over the centre diminishes. He
would need to lose some time to regain it. 8...Nxd2 9.Nxd2 Nc6 10.a3 Ba5 11.Nf3 (11.d5 Ne7 12.0-0
Bxc3 13.bxc3 e5 14.a4 a5 15.Rab1 Rb8=) 11...cxd4 12.exd4 Ba6 13.0-0 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 Rc8 15.Rfe1
Ne7= Brown – Lein, USA 1982.

E1) 6.g3 Nc6


After 7.d5?, Black will manage to attack the enemy c4-pawn: 7...Na5 8.Qa4 Nxc4 9.dxe6 fxe6 10.Bg2
Bb7µ and White has no compensation for it.
7.a3 Ba5 8.dxc5 bxc5 9.Bg2 Rb8 10.Qc2 Nd4 11.Nxd4 cxd4 12.b4 dxc3 13.bxa5 Qxa5³ Komljenovic –
Maletin, Benasque 2010.

7...bxc5 8.Bg2 Ba6

Black attacks the weak enemy c4-pawn.

9.0-0 0-0


White sacrifices the c4-pawn with the idea to seize the initiative.
10.Ng5? Nd4µ
10.Na4?! d5 11.a3 Bxc4 12.Qc2 Ba5 13.b3 Bb5 14.Nxc5 Rc8 15.b4 Bb6 16.Bb2, Litinskaya –
Zatonskikh, Romania 1998 (16.Bg5 Bxc5 17.bxc5 h6 18.Be3 Bc4 19.Rab1 Ng4 20.Bc1 Qa5µ Kainz –
Winter, ICCF 2001) 16...Bxc5 17.bxc5 Qe7³
10.Nb5 d5. This is the same undermining move like in the previous variation. 11.Qa4 Qa5 12.Qxa5
Bxa5 13.a4 Rfd8= Tugsavul – Izotov, ICCF 2007.
10.Rd1 Na5 11.Qa4 Bxc4 12.Ne5 d5 13.e4 d4 14.Nxc4 Nxc4 15.a3 Nb6 16.Qa6 Bxc3 17.bxc3 e5 18.a4
Qc8 19.Qb5 Rb8 20.cxd4 Nbd7³ Barbeau – I.Ivanov, Quebec 1987.
10.Bg5 h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Ne4 Qe7 13.Rfd1 Rab8 14.Nd6 Nd4 15.Nxd4 cxd4 16.Nb5 Bxb5 17.cxb5
Bc5= Debachis – Moiseenko, Doha 2014.

10...Na5 11.Qa4 Bxc4 12.Bd6 Re8 13.Ne5 Rc8 14.Rfd1, Silman – Brown, New York 1987, 14...Bxc3!?
15.Nxc4 Nxc4 16.Qxc4 Bd4 17.Qb5 a6 18.Qb7 Ng4 19.e3 Be5 20.Qxa6 c4∞

E2) 6.Bf4

In this line Black must consider the possibility of his opponent castling queenside, so it would be a good
plan for him to try to open the c-file as quickly as possible with the move d7-d5.

6...0-0 7.e3

About 7.a3 Ba5 – see variation E4.

It would be too risky for White to choose here 7.dxc5 bxc5 8.0-0-0?! Nc6 9.e3 Bxc3 10.Qxc3, Konev –
Roslov, corr. 1991, in view of 10...Nb4! 11.Kb1 Bb7 12.a3 Be4+ 13.Ka1 Bc2 14.Rc1 Ne4 15.Qe1 a5ƒ


Black must play carefully if White refrains from castling queenside.


He should better avoid here 8.0-0-0?! Nc6 9.dxc5 Bxc3 10.cxd5 Nxd5 11.bxc3 Qf6ƒ
White’s plan to castle queenside after an exchange on c5 is not good for him either. Here, just like in the
previous variation, Black can create rapidly counterplay against the enemy king with excellent prospects:
8.dxc5 bxc5 9.0-0-0 Bxc3 10.Qxc3 Qb6 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qc2, Deidun – Arsenault, ICCF 2009,
8.a3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3, Kosmisis – Liakos, Greece 2010, 9...Ba6„

8...Nbd7 9.cxd5?! Nxd5 10.Bg5 Qc7³ Dreev – Ivanchuk, Linares 1995.

E3) 6.Bg5 Bb7


7.dxc5. After this capture in the variation 5.Qb3 c5, we must at first analyse the possibility of a pawn-
sacrifice with 7...Na6!? (Black can also play here 7...Bxc5 and later, he may play analogously to one of
the variations of the Nimzo-Indian Defence: 8.e3 0-0 etc. – see 7.e3 0-0 8.dxc5 Bxc5.) 8.e3, Va.Shishkin
– Berescu, Romania 2006 (8.cxb6 Qxb6 9.Bxf6 Nc5 10.Qc2 Be4 11.Qd2 gxf6 12.Nd4 d5„) 8...h6!?
9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Ne4 11.cxb6 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 axb6©
7.a3 Ba5

About 8.e3 0-0 – see 7.e3.

8.Rd1 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 (Black will obviously counter 9.Qxc3 with the move 9...Ne4!=) 9...Qe7 10.d5 d6
11.e3 Nbd7 12.Be2 h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Ne4 15.Nd2 Nxg3 16.hxg3 Kf8∞ Gunavan – Timman, Bali
8.0-0-0 Bxc3 9.Qxc3 Ne4 10.Bxd8 Nxc3 11.bxc3 Kxd8 12.d5 Ke7 13.e4 d6 14.Bd3 (14.e5 dxe5
15.Nxe5 Rd8= Szeberenyi – Berczes Budapest 2003) 14...Nd7 15.Rhe1 Rad8 16.a4, Gretarsson –
Hjartarsson, Leeuwarden 1995 (16.Kc2 g5!?„) 16...a5!?„, followed later by g7-g5.
8.dxc5 Na6! We are already familiar with this idea. 9.c6 (Capturing with the pawn 9.cxb6?! would lead
to problems for White after: 9...Nc5 10.Qc2 Be4 11.Qd1 Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Qxb6 13.Nd4 e5 14.Nb5 d5
15.f3 Rd8 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.fxe4 dxc4 18.Qb1, Antei – Viviani, ICCF 2012, 18...Nb3µ) 9...Bxc6 10.Qc2
Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Nc5. Naturally, Black must not allow his opponent to isolate his knight from the actions
with the move b2-b4. 12.Nd2 0-0 13.f3 Rc8 14.b4 Na4 15.Qd4 d5 16.cxd5 Bxd5 17.e4 Bb7 18.Qxd8
Rfxd8= Marek – Nowak, Poland 2010.
7.0-0-0. When White’s rook is on d1, after he has castled queenside, there always arises a simplifying
operation, because his rook comes under an attack by the enemy knight. 7...Bxc3 8.Qxc3 (After 8.bxc3,
Barsov – Istratescu, Greece 2001, the shelter of White’s king would be weakened: 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 Nc6
10.e3 0-0 11.Kb1 Na5 12.Qa3 h6 13.Bh4 Rc8 14.Rc1 Ba6 15.Nd2 d5 16.cxd5 Bxf1 17.Rhxf1 Qxd5³)
8...Ne4 9.Bxd8 Nxc3. His rook is under attack, so White does not have time to retreat with his bishop
and to preserve his two-bishop advantage. 10.bxc3 Kxd8 11.d5 Ke7 12.e4 (12.d6+ Kf6³) 12...d6 13.Bd3
(13.e5 dxe5 14.Nxe5 Rd8³ Kouvatsos – Mchedlishvili, Rethymno 2003; 13.dxe6 fxe6 14.e5 d5 15.Nh4
g5 16.Nf3 h6³ Grandelius – Hillarp Persson, Sweden 2009) 13...Nd7 14.h4, Mateuta – Brajovic,
Bucharest 1999, 14...Rae8!? 15.a4 Kd8=
7.Rd1 0-0 (Following 7...Bxc3+, White captures with the pawn 8.bxc3∞ and then evacuates his king to
the kingside, preventing his opponent from attacking it.) 8.e3 cxd4

9.Rxd4 Be7 10.Be2 h6 11.Bf4 Nc6 12.Rd2, Taboada – Isaacson, ICCF 2009, 12...Na5!? 13.Qa4 Rc8ƒ

After 9.Qxb4, Black has again the possibility to simplify advantageously the position with Nf6-e4:
9...Na6 10.Qa3 dxc3 11.Qxc3 Ne4 12.Bxd8 Nxc3³
9.exd4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 (After 10.Qxc3, Black has the powerful argument 10...Ne4³) 10...Qc7! 11.Bxf6
Bxf3! 12.gxf3 gxf6 13.Qc2, Alterman – Gelfand, Tel Aviv 1999 (13.Qa3 Nc6 14.Qc1 Ne7 15.Qh6
Ng6∞ Black has quite sufficient resources to protect reliably his king, while the vulnerability of his
kingside pawn-structure may hurt White. 13.Qb5, Kund – Helbich, ICCF 2006, 13...f5³) 13...Kh8!?„


Black is not in a hurry to play h7-h6, so that White’s bishop is not removed from the g5-square. This
makes the idea to deflect the enemy queen to the c3-square quite effective having in mind the double
attack after Nf6-e4.


8.d5?! exd5 9.0-0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 dxc4 11.Bxc4 d5 12.Qc2, Bartel – Palac, Warsaw 2013, 12...Qc8!?µ
8.0-0-0?! cxd4 9.exd4 Bxc3 10.Qxc3 d5 11.Kb1 Ne4 12.Bxd8 Nxc3+ 13.bxc3 Rxd8³
8.Bd3 cxd4 9.Qxb4 Na6 10.Qa3 dxc3 11.Qxc3 Nc5 12.Bc2 Rc8 13.Qd4 h6 14.Bxf6 Qxf6 15.Qxf6
gxf6= Poluljahov – Dokhoian, Igalo 1994.
8.dxc5 Bxc5 (The already familiar move 8...Na6 is quite possible here as well: 9.Be2 Bxc3+ 10.Qxc3
Nxc5 11.Qd4 Nce4 12.Bh4 d5 13.0-0 dxc4 14.Qxc4 Rc8 15.Qa4 a6= Jaracz – Gelashvili, Dos Hermanos
2004.) 9.Be2 Be7 10.0-0 Na6 11.Rad1 Nc5 12.Qc2 Nfe4 13.Bf4 (13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nd2 Nxc3 15.Qxc3
a5= Sindelar – Stika, ICCF 2006) 13...Nxc3 14.Qxc3 d6= Atakisi – Muzyka, ICCF 2007.
8.a3 Ba5

9.Be2 cxd4 10.exd4 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 (11.bxc3 h6 12.Bh4 Nc6 13.0-0 Na5 14.Qb4 Ba6„) 11...Ne4
12.Bxd8 Nxc3 13.Be7 Re8 14.Bd6 Ne4= Obukhov – Yemelin, Russia 2003.
9.Rd1 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qe7 11.Be2 d6 12.0-0 h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Ne4 15.Nd2 Nxg3 16.fxg3 f5 17.Bf3
Bxf3 18.Rxf3 Nc6= Marinov – Stalmach, ICCF 2013.
9.dxc5 Na6 10.c6. This move deflects the enemy bishop to the c6-square, covering the c-file for Black’s
rook. (10.Qc2 Bxc3+ 11.Qxc3 Nxc5 12.Bxf6 Qxf6= V.Milov – Nisipeanu, Santo Domingo 2003)
10...Bxc6 11.Qc2 Bxc3+ 12.Qxc3 Nc5 13.Bxf6 (13.Nd2 a5 14.Be2 d6 15.Bxf6 Qxf6 16.Qxf6 gxf6=
Ivanisevich – Iordashescu, Bulgaria 2013) 13...Qxf6 14.Qxf6 gxf6 15.b4 Ne4 16.Nd4 Rfc8= Korobov –
Khairullin, Sochi 2016.

8...cxd4 9.Qxb4

9.exd4 Nc6 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.bxc3 (11.Qxc3 Ne4!³) 11...Rc8 12.Nd2 (12.Rad1 Na5 13.Qb5 Bc6 14.Qb4
Bxf3 15.gxf3 Qc7 16.Bxf6 gxf6 17.Kh1 Kh8 18.Rg1 Nc6 19.Qa3 Rg8„ Klauser – Pelletier, Switzeland
2002) 12...Na5 13.Qa4 h6 14.Bh4 Ba6 15.Rfe1 g5!? 16.Bg3 d5„ Korobov – Alekseev, Istanbul 2003.

9...Nc6 10.Qa3 dxc3 11.bxc3?! (11.Qxc3 Ne4 12.Bxd8 Nxc3 13.Bxb6 Nxe2 14.Bc5 Rfc8 15.Kxe2
Na5=) 11...h6 12.Bh4 Rc8³ Mamedyarov – Eljanov, Shamkir 2016.

E4) 6.a3 Ba5


This is White’s most principled move. Black has no chances of exploiting effectively the pin of the
enemy knight on c3. The pin of his knight on f6 and potentially vulnerable placement of his bishop on a5
forces him to begin risky actions.
7.Bf4 0-0 8.e3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 (9.exd4 d5³) 9...Ne4 10.Qc2 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Bb7 12.Rd1 Na6 13.f3 Nec5

14.Nb5 Bc6 15.Be2 Re8 16.0-0 e5„ Mamedyarov – Vallejo Pons, Beijing 2011.
7.e3 0-0 8.Be2 Ne4 9.d5 (9.0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nc6 11.Ne5 Na5 12.Qc2 Bb7 13.f3 d6! 14.Nd3 Nf6³
Sorensen – Ottensen ICCF 2012. There has arisen on the board an excellent version for Black of the
Saemisch variation in the Nimzo-Indian Defence.) 9...Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Ba6 11.Bb2 Qe7 12.Rd1 Re8
13.Bd3 Nd6∞ Seirawan – Timman, Hilversum 1990.
7.dxc5 bxc5 8.Bf4 (White’s task would be more difficult after his alternatives 8.e3?! Nc6 9.Bd2 0-0
10.Be2 d5 11.0-0 d4ƒ Scharrer – Alekseev, Berlin 2006; 8.Be3?! Ne4 9.g3 Nc6 10.Bg2? Rb8 11.Qc2
Rxb2–+ Garcia – Palermo, Mar del Plata 1982; 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4 Qb6 10.Qxb6 axb6³) 8...Nc6 9.0-0-0 0-0
10.e3, Krysa – Real de Azuro, Villa Martelli 2018, 10...h6 (This move is aimed at the prevention of Bf4-
g5.) 11.Kb1 Bc7„
7.Bd2 0-0 8.e3 (8.0-0-0 Ba6 9.e3, Miles – Prasad, Kolkata 1994, 9...d6!? 10.Kb1 Nbd7∞) 8...d5! This is
Black’s best decision, having in mind White’s possibility to castle queenside.

9.0-0-0. This is a principled decision, but hardly the best for White. 9...Nc6 10.cxd5 (10.Qc2 cxd4
11.exd4 dxc4 12.Bxc4 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 Qxd4 14.Bd3 Bb7 15.Be3 Qh4 16.b4 Rfc8 17.bxa5 Nd5 18.Bd4
bxa5µ Thys – Abdesalem, ICCF 2012) 10...exd5 11.Qa4, Pakleza – Gajewski, Poland 2017, 11...Bb7ƒ
9.cxd5 exd5 10.Be2 Nc6 11.0-0 c4 12.Qc2 Bg4„
9.Rd1 Nc6 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.Bd3 Rb8 12.Qc2 Ba6 13.0-0 dxc4 14.Be2 Qe7 15.Na4 Rfc8=
Woelfelschneider – Ball, ICCF 2013.
9.Be2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 e5 11.Nf3 d4 12.Nd5 Nc6 13.Rd1 Bxd2+ 14.Nxd2 Bf5 15.Bf3 Rc8 16.0-0 Bd3∞
Zunkovic – Dedina, ICCF 2015.

7...h6 8.Bh4

8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.e3 Nc6 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Nxd4 12.Rxd4 Bb7 13.Qc2 Bxc3 14.Qxc3 Rd8 15.f3 0-0

16.Be2 e5 17.Rd2 d5=

8...g5 9.Bg3 g4 10.Nd2

10.Ne5? cxd4–+

10...cxd4 11.Nb5

11.Ncb1 Ne4 12.Qd3 Bxd2+ 13.Nxd2 Nxg3 14.Qxg3 Bb7 15.Qe5 Rg8 16.Qxd4 Nc6 17.Qd3 f5 18.0-0-
0 Qc7³ Degtiarev – Chuchelov, Dresden 2007.


The placement of the bishop on a5 and the queen on b3, preventing the blocking of the enemy bishop
with the move b2-b4, enable Black to create counter threats.


White fails to equalise after 12.Nd6+ Nxd6 13.Bxd6, Karibekov – Dzhumabayev, Astana 2007,
13...Bxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Nc6µ, Black is threatening Qf6 and e6-e5, ousting the enemy bishop from d6 and
even threatening to capture it in some lines.
12.0-0-0 Bxd2+ 13.Rxd2 Nxd2 14.Kxd2 0-0 15.Nc7, Disconzi da Silva – Leitao, San Paulo 2001,
15...Qg5+ 16.Ke1 Bb7 17.Nxa8 Bxa8„, with better prospects for Black in the forthcoming middlegame
due to the unsafe situation of White’s king.



13.Rd1 Nxd2 14.Rxd2 Bxd2+ 15.Kxd2 Bb7 16.Bd6+ Kg7 17.Qg3 Nc6 18.Qxg4+ Qg5+ 19.Qxg5+
hxg5 20.Nxa8 Bxa8= Gretarsson – Adams, Reykjavik 2003.
13...Bxd2+ 14.Rxd2 d6! (14...Nxd2?! 15.Qb4+ Kg7 16.Qxd2 Nc6 17.Nxa8 e5 18.e3ƒ Llacsahuanga –
Requejo, Lima 2012) 15.Nxa8 Nxd2 16.Kxd2 e5 (After 16...Nc6?! 17.h3ƒ, White’s rook will join in the
actions on the h-file.) 17.h3 Na6∞ It is rather difficult to play this position with both sides. Still, Black
has very good chances in this rather irrational middlegame.

Chapter 10

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6


White can play here 4.Bg5, without Nb1-c3, so that after 4...Bb4+ to continue with 5.Nbd2 (5.Nc3 h6 –
see 4.Nc3) 5...Bb7

Following 6.e3 h6, White will be forced to exchange his bishop 7.Bxf6 (It would be a standard blunder

for him to choose 7.Bh4?, because of 7...g5 8.Bg3 g4! 9.Ne5 Ne4µ, and Black would win a piece,
Zuniga – Schweitzer, Santiago 1998.) 7...Qxf6 8.Be2 0-0 9.0-0. Black has several possible set-ups here
and he can try for example this: 9...Rd8 10.a3 Bf8 11.b4 d6 12.e4 Nd7 13.Qc2 g6 14.Nb3 c5=
6.a3 Be7. In similar positions, after White develops his knight on d2, and not on c3, Black can preserve
his dark-squared bishop, retreating it to e7 (often even without the move a2-a3, which forces him to do
that), so that he can advance c7-c5 on his next move. White’s knight on d2, contrary to its position on the
c3-square, does not support now the cramping pawn-advance d4-d5. 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 c5 9.0-0 h6 10.Bh4
cxd4 11.exd4 d5 12.Rc1 Nbd7„ Flak – Lysyj, Warsaw 2010.

4...Bb4 5.Bg5 h6


6.Bf4 Bb7 7.e3 Ne4 8.Qc2 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 d6 10.Bd3, Pipponen – Tuovinen, Finland 2003, 10...f5=
6.Bd2 Bb7 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nb5 Be7 12.Ne5 c5 13.Rc1 a6 14.Nc3 Re8
15.f4 Nc6! We know already that in this pawn-structure Black must develop his knight on the c6-square
in order to exert pressure against d4, to force his opponent to protect this square and to impede his
kingside initiative to run effortlessly. 16.Ne2 Rc8 17.Bf5 Rc7= Dolgov – Kopelevich, ICCF 2014.
6.Bxf6 Qxf6

7.a3?! It cannot be recommended to White to double his pawns voluntarily, moreover with a loss of a
tempo (a2-a3), without any obvious compensation. 7...Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Bb7 9.e3 0-0 10.Be2 d6 11.0-0 Nd7
12.a4 a5 13.Qb3 Rfe8³ Poleschikov – N.Kovaliov, Russia 2009.
7.e3 Bb7 8.Be2 c5 9.a3 cxd4 10.Qxd4 (10.exd4 Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Nc6 12.0-0 0-0 13.Nd2 Na5³)
10...Bxc3+ 11.bxc3 Nc6 12.Qxf6 gxf6³ Moeckel – Farago, Saarlouis 2000.
7.Rc1 Bb7 8.a3 (8.e3 0-0 9.Bd3 d6 10.0-0 Bxc3 11.Rxc3 Nd7 12.Bb1 Rfd8 13.Ne1 c5 14.f4 d5„ Ozturk
– Halikas, Greece 2009) 8...Bxc3+ 9.Rxc3 0-0 10.g3 (10.e3 d6 11.Be2 Nd7 12.0-0 Qe7 13.Nd2 e5 14.d5
a5 15.e4 a4 16.Rg3 Nc5„ Ragozin – Simagin, Moscow 1955) 10...d6 11.Bg2 Nd7 12.0-0 a5 13.Qc2
Rfe8 14.Rd1 Rad8 15.b4 axb4 16.axb4 c5 17.Qb3 Be4= Bezold – Onischuk, Germany 1998.
7.e4 Bb7 8.Bd3 c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.Nb5 Qd8 11.Nbxd4 Nc6 12.Nxc6 Bxc6 13.Ne5 Bb7 14.Bc2 Qc7
15.Qh5 0-0 16.Rad1 Rad8∞ Gavilan Diaz – Arizmendi Martinez, Barbera del Valles 2011. White’s
initiative has reached its dead end and Black is very likely to seize it acting on the weakened dark

6...g5 7.Bg3 Ne4


This is White’s best move.

8.Nd2?! Nxc3 9.Qc2, Bourget – Le Goff, Angers 2016, 9...Nxa2 10.Rxa2 f5 11.Be5 0-0µ
8.Qb3 Bxc3+ 9.bxc3 d6 10.e3 Nd7 11.0-0-0 Bb7 12.Nd2 Nxg3 13.hxg3 Qe7 14.f3 0-0-0 15.Bd3 h5
16.Rh2 h4„ Moiseenko – Ivanchuk, Warsaw 2005.
8.Qd3 f5 9.Be5 (9.h4 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nxg3 11.fxg3 g4 12.Nd2 d5!„ Vallejo Pons – Aronian, Bilbao
2014) 9...Rg8 10.d5 (Without this move White’s dark-squared bishop might be trapped by Black’s
kingside pawns: 10.e3 d6 11.Bg3 Bb7 12.Be2 h5µ McCullough – Zhang, Canada 2010.) 10...Na6 11.a3
Nac5 12.Qc2 Bxc3+ 13.Bxc3 Bb7 14.Rd1 g4ƒ Sedlak – Volokitin, Serbia 2010.
8.Rc1 Bb7. This is Black’s most reliable move. It is considered that by playing 8...h5, chasing after the
enemy bishop on g3, he emphasizes the imprecision of his opponent’s move 8.Rc1, in comparison to
8.Qc2. Still, the positions arising after 8...h5 are tremendously sharp. It might be much more difficult for
Black to play them, in comparison to those arising after 8...Bb7.

9.d5 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 Qe7 12.Qd2 f6 13.e3 Na6 14.Nd4 Nc5 15.Nb5 d6∞ Moiseenko –
Krivoruchko, Alushta 2008.
9.e3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 d6 11.Nd2 (11.Bd3 Nd7 12.0-0 f5 13.Nd2 h5 14.Bxe4 fxe4 15.f4, Vasile – Rubinas,
ICCF 2003, 15...exf3 16.Nxf3 h4 17.Qd3 Rh6!µ, followed quickly by Qd8-e7, 0-0-0 and Black develops
initiative on the kingside.) 11...Nxg3 12.hxg3 Nd7 13.g4 Qe7 14.Qa4 Kf8 15.Rh2 c5 16.Be2 Kg7
17.Kf1 Nf6„ Vakhidov – Riazantsev, Dubai 2014.
9.Nd2 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 d6 12.e4 Nd7 13.Bd3 (After 13.Qa4 Qe7, the typical pawn-sacrifice
14.c5?! would not help White to develop initiative 14...dxc5 15.Ba6 Bxa6 16.Qxa6 Kf8 17.0-0 cxd4
18.cxd4 c5 19.d5 Ne5 20.Rcd1 Rd8µ Hracek – Efimenko, Warsaw 2016.) 13...Qe7 14.Qa4 (14.Nf1,
Yemelin – Tunik, St.Petersburg 2009, 14...0-0-0 15.Ne3 Kb8„) 14...Kf8 15.f3 Kg7„ Kohlweyer –
Narciso Dublan, Badalona 2014. If White castles kingside, then he will have to consider that Black can
open quickly files there. If he leaves his king in the centre, then Black will advance f7-f5. White must
also consider the possibility that his opponent might open the game with the help of the move g5-g4.
Black’s counterplay is quite real in all the variations.



9.0-0-0 Bxc3 10.bxc3 Qe7 11.Kb2 d6 12.Nd2 (12.h4 Rg8 13.hxg5 hxg5 14.Nd2 Nxg3 15.fxg3 Nd7
16.e4 0-0-0³ Krasenkow – Hellsten, Greece 2004) 12...f5 13.f3 Nxd2 14.Rxd2 Nd7 15.e3 0-0-0„
Fernandez Cano – Campins Machado, Spain 2015. Black’s counterplay is based on the pawn-advances
h6-h5, g5-g4, attacking the f3-square.
9.a3 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 d6 11.e3 Nd7 12.Bd3 f5 13.0-0 Qf6 14.h3 h5 15.Nd2 Nxd2 16.Qxd2 h4 17.Bh2
g4µ Van Hecke – Docx, Brasschaat 2012. Black is opening the shelter of the enemy king before his
opponent and his own king can be evacuated to the queenside at any moment.
With the move 9.d5 White is trying to cause immediate dis-coordination among the enemy pieces.
9...Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 Na6 12.e4 Nc5 13.0-0-0 g4 14.Nd4 Qg5+ 15.Kb1 0-0-0 16.Nb3 d6
17.Nxc5 dxc5 18.Qd2 Rdg8= Gareev – Bartel, USA 2011.
9.Be5 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Rg8

11.Nd2 f5 12.f3 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 d6 14.Bg3 Nd7 15.e3 Qe7 16.a4 h5 17.h3 h4 18.Bf2 a5 19.Bd3 0-0-0³
Hillarp Persson – Rowson, England 1999. After White’s obvious castling queenside, Black can choose
between two plans. He can play Rd8-f8, Qe7-f7, preparing the pawn-advance e6-e5. He can also try to
improve the placement of his king Kc8-b8-a7, then play Bb7-a6, c7-c5, Rd8-c8 with the idea to begin to
exert pressure against the enemy pawn on c4.
11.d5 exd5 (11...f5!? 12.Nd4 Na6∞ Dreev – Ivanchuk, Moscow 2007) 12.cxd5 Bxd5 13.Rd1 Bb7 14.e3
(14.Nd4 d6 15.Bg3 Qf6 16.f3 Nxg3 17.hxg3 Nd7 18.Qf5 Rg6³ L’Ami – Hoeksema, Wolvega 2008)
14...d6 15.Bd3. It might seem that Black loses, because after 15...Nc5 16.Bh7, White’s bishops chase
after the enemy king’s rook, but Black has a surprising tactical resource. 16...Qe7! 17.Nd2 (17.Bxg8
Be4! 18.Bxd6 cxd6 19.Qe2 Kf8 and White’s bishops gets suddenly trapped: 20.Bxf7 Qxf7 21.0-0 Bxf3
22.Qxf3 Qxf3 23.gxf3 Ke7µ) 17...Qxe5 18.Bxg8 Bxg2 19.Rg1, Berube – Arsenault, Quebec 2011,
19...Bb7! Black provides additional protection of the e4-square against the possible attempt by White to
deploy his knight on d2 there. 20.Qh7 Qf6µ
9.Nd2. White suggests an exchange and forces his opponent to clarify his intentions concerning the
bishop on g3. After its trade the h-file would be opened. So, Black will have to prepare castling
queenside and to worry about the future protection of his temporarily backward h6-pawn. 9...Bxc3
10.bxc3 Nxg3 11.hxg3 d6

About 12.e3 Nd7 – see 9.e3.
12.a4 a5 13.e4 (13.c5?! Malakhatko – Simantsev, Kiel 2014, 13...dxc5 14.dxc5 Nd7 15.cxb6 cxb6³)
13...Nd7 14.Be2 Qe7 15.Rb1 0-0-0 16.Bf3, Onischuk – Karjakin, Baku 2015, 16...e5!?∞
12.g4. This plan for White is quite obvious. He fixes the enemy backward pawn and after castling
queenside intends to attack it with his rooks on the h-file. If he manages to transfer his knight from d2 to
the g3-square then it would seem that Black’s chances of creating counterplay would diminish even
more. Still, he would sacrifice the h-pawn and obtain some counterplay after all. 12...Nd7 13.a4 a5
14.Ne4 Qe7 15.Ng3 0-0-0 16.f3 Rdf8! 17.0-0-0 h5! 18.Rxh5 (Following 18.gxh5 f5 19.e3 Rh6 20.Bd3 f4
21.Ne4 Rfh8„, Black will regain quickly the sacrificed pawn.) 18...Rxh5 19.Nxh5 f5 20.gxf5 exf5,
Siikaluoma – Overton ICCF 2009, 21.Ng3 g4© and White will have problems to develop his queenside.
12.e4 Nd7 13.Be2 (13.Bd3 Qe7 14.a4 a5 15.Nf1 0-0-0 16.Ne3 h5 17.Rb1 Rdg8 18.Qe2 h4„ Kadimova
– Docx, Belgium 2003) 13...Qe7 14.Qa4, Tikhonov – V.Smirnov, Minsk 2008. This is a well-familiar
manoeuvre in similar positions with the idea to prevent Black from castling queenside. If he tries to
prepare it with the move a7-a5, then, after he plays 0-0-0, White has the rather unpleasant piece-sacrifice
Nd2-b3xa5, followed by the quick penetration of his major pieces on the b-file with an attack against the
enemy king. Still, Black can play the move 14...a5∞ in this position, because it would be very risky for
White to castle kingside, since Black can organise rapidly an attack against White’s king by advancing
h6-h5-h4. He will have then to castle queenside and the entire plan with the sacrifice of the knight on a5
would not be so effective as in the lines with 0-0, or when White keeps his king in the centre.

9...Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 d6


11.Rd1 Nd7 12.d5 Ndc5 13.Bd3, Jelsen – Pratyusha, Vietnam 2012, 13...Nxg3 14.hxg3 Qf6³
11.Be2 Nd7 12.0-0 h5 13.h3, Lorscheid – Narciso Dublan, Barcelona 2012, 13...Nxg3 14.fxg3 g4
15.Nh4 Qg5ƒ
11.d5 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Qf6 13.Nd4 Nd7, S.Kanep – Cmiel, Spoleto 2017, 14.Nb5 Kd8!?∞
11.h4 g4 12.Nd2, Ovchinnikova – Fradkin, USSR 1966, 12...Nxg3 13.fxg3 Nd7 14.e4 Qf6 15.0-0-0 e5„
11.a4 a5 12.Nd2 Nxg3 13.hxg3 h5 14.Rh2 Nd7 15.Bd3, Bui – Kristjansson, Budapest 2002, 15...Nf6
16.f3 (White defends against 16...Ng4.) 16...Qe7 17.0-0-0 0-0-0 18.Rdh1 Kb8∞ There has arisen a
position with dynamic balance. Now, if White tries to win a pawn, because of the pin, then Black will
have a tactical counter argument: 19.g4 h4 20.g3 Rh6 21.gxh4 Rxh4 22.Rxh4 gxh4 23.Rxh4?! (23.Rh3
Rh8 24.Kb2 e5„) 23...Nd5!µ
11.0-0-0 Nd7 12.Nd2, McKay – Lawson, Scotland 1986 (12.d5?! Ndc5 13.Bd3 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Qf6
15.Nd4 0-0-0 16.e4 h5³ Poulton – Hauchard France 1997. Black has an “eternal” knight on c5 and he
should be better in positions with a similar pawn-structure, having in mind the equal material.) 12...Nxg3
13.hxg3 Qe7∞ Later, Black will castle queenside and will try to get rid of his backward pawn by
advancing h6-h5-h4.
11.c5. He must always consider this possible pawn-sacrifice, but in this line it does not provide White
with sufficient initiative to compensate it. 11...bxc5 12.Bb5+ Nd7 13.Rb1 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Ke7!? This is a
non-standard protection of the bishop on b7. 15.0-0 (15.e4 Rb8 16.0-0 c6 17.Bd3 Qc7, Groeppel –
Richter, Hamburg 1999) 15...c6 16.Be2 Qc7 17.dxc5 Nxc5³ Spassky – Martinovic, Palma de Mallorca
1968. White’s compensation for the sacrificed pawn is insufficient.
11.Nd2 Nxg3 12.hxg3 Nd7

13.f3 Qe7 14.Bd3 0-0-0 15.a4 a5 16.g4, Duda – Dragun, Ljublin 2013 (White must impede immediately
the development of Black’s kingside initiative; otherwise, this task might become much more difficult for
him later: 16.Rb1?! g4! 17.f4 h5 18.Be4 d5 19.Bd3 h4µ Keres – Smyslov, Parnu 1947.). Here, Black’s
most reliable plan to try to equalise is 16...h5 17.gxh5 g4 18.0-0-0 gxf3 19.gxf3 Rh6 20.Rh2 Rdh8
21.Rdh1 Nf6=
13.Rh2 Qe7 14.Be2 0-0-0 15.Bf3 f5

16.a4 a5 17.Rb1 Bxf3 18.gxf3 h5 19.Ke2 h4„ Miles – Etmans, Utrecht 1986.
16.Bxb7+ Kxb7 17.a4 a5 18.Nb3 Ka7!³ Malakhatko – A.Kovalyov, Calvia 2007. White’s idea to try to
open the position of the enemy king with the move c4-c5 might backfire, because Black has his typical
counterplay in similar positions, connected with the standard pawn-advances e6-e5 and h6-h5-h4.

16.Rb1 h5 17.Qa4. We know already this manoeuvre and it forces Black to be very precautions about the
safety of his king. 17...a6! 18.Bxb7+ (18.Nb3 Bxf3 19.gxf3 Nb8„) 18...Kxb7 19.Nb3 Ka7 20.Qc6
(20.c5 Nf6!? 21.cxb6+ cxb6 22.c4 Rc8∞) 20...Nf6∞ Schmitzer – Bohme, ICCF 2011. If now White
plays 21.c5 (21.Na5 Rb8µ), then Black has the resource 21...Rb8!µ and White’s initiative would reach its
dead end, because his rook on h2 would be completely isolated from the actions.



About 12.Rd1 Nd7 13.0-0 Qf6 – see 12.0-0.

12.h3 Nd7 13.Bh2 Qe7 14.0-0-0 0-0-0 15.Ne1 Kb8 16.f3 Nef6 17.Bg3 h5³ Agdestein – Shengelia,
Rhodes 2013. Naturally, the two-bishop advantage is irrelevant in a position in which a single pawn has
not been exchanged yet. Black has the edge, because of his powerful bishop on the long diagonal and
White’s compromised pawn-structure.
It seems rather dubious for White to choose here 12.Bxe4 Bxe4 13.Qe2 Nd7 14.0-0 Qf6 15.Nd2 Bb7
16.f3 h5 17.e4 f4 18.Bf2 e5 19.Rfb1, Csatari – Z.Horvath, Hungary 1986, 19...g4 20.fxg4 hxg4 21.Qxg4
12.0-0-0 Nd7 13.Ne1. White is preparing f2-f3. 13...Qe7 14.f3 Nxg3 15.hxg3 0-0-0 16.e4 fxe4 17.Bxe4
(It is anti-positional for White to choose here 17.fxe4?!, because of 17...e5³) 17...e5! 18.Bxb7+ Kxb7
19.Qe4+?! Vrecion – Horak, Mlada Boleslav 2014, 19...d5!!ƒ Black’s queen will penetrate to the a3-
square and White’s king will have certain problems.

The idea behind White’s last move can be seen if Black captures the offered pawn: 12...g4 13.Nd2 Nxd2
(13...Nxg3 14.fxg3 Bxg2 15.Rg1 Bb7 16.e4„) 14.Kxd2 Bxg2, Kopylov – Brynell, Germany 2010,
15.Rh2 Bf3 16.e4∞ Still, in this line Black can seize the initiative with a counter pawn-sacrifice: 16...e5
17.exf5 Nc6ƒ
12...Qf6!? 13.0-0-0 Nd7 14.hxg5 hxg5 15.Rxh8+ Qxh8 16.d5 exd5 17.cxd5, Anastasian – Grosar,
Yerevan 1996. Here, Black must collect the “correct” pawn: 17...Bxd5µ
12.a4 h5!? 13.h4 g4 14.Nd2 Nxd2 15.Kxd2 Bxg2 16.Rhg1 (The inclusion of the moves 12.a4 h5 would
free the h6-square and this circumstance would not be in favour of White in comparison to the variation
with 12.h4 – 16.Rh2 Bf3 17.e4 Qf6 18.exf5 Qh6+ 19.Ke1 exf5 20.Bxf5 0-0µ) 16...Bf3 17.d5, Korchnoi
– Timman, London 1980 (17.e4 f4µ) 17...Na6!? 18.dxe6 Nc5 19.Bxf5 Qf6 20.Bf4 0-0µ Now, Black has
deployed perfectly his minor pieces and the vulnerable placement of White’s king will surely hurt him in
the future middlegame.
12.c5!? This sharp move will lead to a position in which a mistake by either side might turn out to be
decisive. 12...bxc5 (The eventual dangers for Black may be well illustrated by the following variation:
12...dxc5?! 13.Ne5 Nxg3 14.hxg3 Bxg2?! 15.Rh2 Bb7 16.Qe2 g4 17.e4±) 13.Qb3 Bd5 (13...Qc8?!
14.Bxe4 Bxe4 15.dxc5ƒ; 14...fxe4 15.Nd2 cxd4 16.cxd4 Bd5 17.Qc2 Nc6 18.0-0 Qa6 19.Nxe4± Bareev
– Salov, USSR 1987) 14.c4 Nxg3 15.cxd5! (15.hxg3 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Nd7³ Borulya – Shliahtich, USSR
1988) 15...Nxh1, Shirshov – Bubnov, Russia 2013, 16.dxe6! g4 17.Qd5 gxf3 18.Qxa8 d5 19.gxf3 Ke7
20.Ke2 Nxf2 21.Kxf2 Qd6∞ After a series of computer moves, it still remains unclear, just like before,
who is better after these wild complications.
12.0-0 Nd7

13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 h5 15.f3 Qf6 (It would be reasonable for Black not to be in a hurry to play
15...h4, after 16.Be1 Qf6 17.e4, Imburgia – Favaloro, Italy 2016 and here, if Black follows the scheme
with 17...f4, then after 18.h3∞, his attacking actions on the kingside would reach its dead end.) 16.e4 f4
17.Bf2 0-0-0 18.a4 a5 19.Qe2 g4µ Booth – Mulligan, ICCF 2015.
13.Rad1 Qf6 14.Nd2 Nxd2 15.Qxd2 0-0-0 16.f3

It is essential to advance the pawns correctly in a pawn-structure of this type. After the imprecise move
16...e5?! 17.Qc2 f4 (17...Rdf8 18.c5 dxc5 19.Bb5ƒ) 18.Bf2 h5 19.Be4 g4 20.exf4 exf4 21.Be1 gxf3
22.Bxb7+ Kxb7 23.Qe4+ Kb8 24.Rxf3 Rhf8 25.Bd2 Rde8 26.Qd3², Black lost the elasticity of his
pawn-structure in the game Hohlbein – Dunsbach, Germany 2004.
It is better for Black to play here 16...h5ƒ and later Rdg8 and g5-g4. Following e3-e4, he would not opens

files, but would close the position with the move f5-f4 and then will open the adjacent g-file.


After the more natural line: 12...Nd7 13.Bxe4 fxe4 14.Qxe4 Qf6 15.0-0 0-0-0 16.Qxe6 Qxe6 17.dxe6,
Black will not have the possibility 17...Bxf3, because of the intermediate capture on d7.

We will analyse now A) 13.Nd4 and B) 13.Bxe4.

About 13.h4?! Qf6 14.Bxe4 fxe4 15.Qxe4 Qxc3 – see variation B.

A) 13.Nd4 Nac5 14.0-0

14.Nxe6 Nxe6 15.dxe6 Qf6 16.f3 Nxg3 17.hxg3 0-0 18.e7 Rf7 19.Kf2 Re8 20.Rh5 Rexe7 21.Rah1 Qe6
22.Qd2 Rf6³ Ward – Howell, Wales 2017. White’s queenside has been weakened.
14.f3 Nxd3+ 15.Qxd3 Nc5 16.Qc2 Qf6 17.dxe6 f4 18.exf4 (18.Bf2 g4!µ) 18...gxf4 19.Bf2 (The piece-
sacrifice is not sufficient even for equality: 19.Bxf4 Qxf4 20.Qg6+ Kd8 21.0-0 Qg5 22.Qf7 Qe7
23.Qg6, Maloberti – Woellermann, Isle of Man 2017, 23...Qh7! 24.Qf6+ Kc8µ, followed by Bb7-a6 and
Kc8-b7.) 19...0-0-0 20.0-0, Dzagnidze – Kosteniuk, Beijing 2011, 20...Rde8! 21.Rfe1 Rhg8 22.Qf5?
Qxf5 23.Nxf5 Bxf3µ
14.dxe6 Qf6 15.f3 Nxd3+ 16.Qxd3 f4! (Black should better avoid here 16...Nc5?! 17.Qxf5 Qxf5
18.Nxf5 Nxe6 19.e4² K.Grigoryan – Ochsner, Barcelona 2016) 17.exf4 Nc5 18.Qe2 gxf4 19.Bf2 0-0-0
20.0-0 Rde8 21.Kh1 Rhg8 22.Rg1 Nxe6³ Stengelin – Kubicki, corr. 2013. His pawns are perfectly placed
and he has chances of exerting pressure later against White’s king position.


Black has a reasonable alternative here – 14...Qe7!? 15.f3 Nxd3 16.fxe4 (16.Qxd3 Nc5 17.Qc2 0-0

18.dxe6 Qh7! His only weakness on f5 has been protected, while White’s bishop cannot defend his e6-
pawn. 19.e4 f4 20.Bf2 Rae8³ Bacrot – Topalov, Nanjing 2010.) 16...Nc5 17.e5 (It may look like it would
be dangerous for Black if White chooses 17.exf5?! exd5 18.f6 Qe4 19.f7+ Kd7 20.Qe2 Raf8µ, but in fact
he ends up in a worse position in this line, Saabo – Klauno, ICCF 2012.) 17...0-0 18.exd6 cxd6 19.Rad1
Rad8 20.dxe6 Be4 21.Qe2 Rf6 22.Rd2 Nxe6 23.Nb5 Ng7 24.Rfd1 Ne8∞ S.Spasov – Davidov, ICCF


15.Bxe4 fxe4 16.f4 0-0-0 17.dxe6, Tan Zhongyi – Ju Wenjun, China 2016, 17...h5!„


But not 15...Nxd3? 16.fxe4 Nc5 17.e5 dxe5 18.Nxe6 Nxe6 19.Rxf5+–
16.hxg3 0-0 17.dxe6 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 c5! Now, in order to regain his pawn, Black must create some
weaknesses in his position, but White is incapable of exploiting this effectively. 19.Nb5 (19.e7 Rf7
20.Nb5 Rxe7 21.Qxd6 Re6 22.Qc7 Re7=) 19...Rad8 20.Nc7 Qe7 21.Nd5 Qxe6 22.Rfe1 Bxd5 23.cxd5
Qf6= Rashkovsky – Lerner USSR 1986.

B) 13.Bxe4 fxe4


It is weaker for White to play here 14.Nd2 Qe7 15.Qxe4 Nc5 16.Qg6+ Kd7 17.dxe6+ Nxe6 18.f3 Rag8
19.Qc2 h5³ Akobian – Friedel, Chicago 2008, as well as 14.Nd4 exd5 15.cxd5 Nc5 16.0-0 Bxd5 17.f4
Bc4 18.Rf2 Qd7 19.fxg5 hxg5 20.Rf6 0-0-0µ Vl.Petkov – Iordachescu, Bulgaria 2013.

14...Qf6 15.0-0

15.h4 Qxc3+ 16.Ke2 Nc5 17.Qg6+ Ke7 18.Rac1 Qf6µ Nakamura – Anand, Wijk aan Zee 2011.
15.Qd4, Berube – Larochelle, Canada 2010, 15...Qxd4 (15...e5?? 16.Nxe5+–) and against any capture
Black will follow with 16...exd5³
15.Qxe6+ Qxe6 16.dxe6 Nc5 17.h4 (17.0-0 Bxf3 18.gxf3 Nxe6³ Izoria – Palac, Kusadasi 2006)
17...Ke7 18.0-0-0 Nxe6 19.Rdg1 g4 20.Nd2 Nc5 21.f3 Rhg8= Kuhne – Novikov, ICCF 2014. White will
advance e3-e4, restricting the scope of action of the enemy bishop on b7 and equalising.



White’s alternatives would only worsen his position.

16.Rfd1 Nc5 17.Qg4 Rdg8µ
16.Nd2 h5 17.f4 Nc5 18.Qd4 Qg6µ
16.Qg4 Kb8³
16.Qd4 Qxd4 17.cxd4 exd5 18.Nd2 h5³

16...Qxe6 17.dxe6 Bxf3! 18.gxf3 Nc5


Now, if White takes care about the future prospects of his bishop, then it would be reasonable for Black
to try to prevent that: 19.e4 Nxe6 20.Rfe1, Porper – Friedel, Edmonton 2008, 20...Rhf8 21.e5 d5!³; or
19.f4 gxf4 20.Bxf4 Nxe6 21.Bg3 h5 22.f4, Tregubov – Maletin, Russia 2009, 22...Rdg8 23.Kh1 h4
24.Be1 Nc5³

19...Nxe6 20.hxg5 hxg5 21.Kg2 Rhf8


22.Rh1 Rf5 23.Rh6 Re8 24.Rah1 Rc5 25.f4 gxf4 26.exf4, Bergmann – Lemanczyk, ICCF 2013, 26...Kd7³

22...Rf5 23.Rd5 Rdf8 24.Rxf5 Rxf5 25.Rh1

25.Kh3 Rxf3 26.Kg4 Rf8=

25...Rc5 26.f4 gxf4 27.exf4 Kd7 28.Rh7+ Ke8 29.Kf3

29.Kh3 Nf8 30.Rg7 Ne6= Wang Yue – Leko, Nice 2009.

29...Nf8 30.Rg7 Ne6= Wang Yue – Adams, Baku 2008.

Neither side has any reasons here to avoid the repetition of moves. If White’s rook abandons the
penultimate rank, then Black will capture on c4 and will cope with the enemy f-pawn. Later, he will have
the stabilising resource Kf7.

Chapter 11

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7


About 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Nc3 d5 – see variation E.

5.Bf4 c5 – see Chapter 7.
5.e3 d5 – see Chapter 8, variation C.
5.g3 c5

White often sacrifices a pawn in similar positions with the move 6.d5, but in this particular case it would
not be justified: 6...exd5 7.cxd5 Bxd5 8.Bg2 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nc3 Bb7µ
6.e3. When White plays e2-e3 and g2-g3 at the same time in any line of the Queen’s Indian Defence, it
usually means that he has lost any chances of obtaining an advantage in the opening. In fact, that would
often lead to problems for him. In this line, the factor of a loss of time (The move a2-a3 is a loss of time
and a negative factor for White’s development.) would also lead to the restriction of White’s dark-
squared bishop after 6.e3. 6...Be7 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 cxd4 9.Nxd4 (9.exd4 d5³) 9...Bxg2 10.Kxg2 Qc8
11.Qe2 Nc6 12.Nf3 Qb7 13.Nbd2 Ne5 14.Kg1 Nxf3+ 15.Nxf3 Rac8 16.b3 d5³ A.Schneider – Werner,
Germany 2016.
6.dxc5 bxc5. White has already played a2-a3, so it would be logical for Black to capture with the pawn in
order to open the b-file and to try to organise counterplay on it. White will be incapable of building the
pawn-chain c4-b3-a2 in order to neutralise Black’s pressure on the b-file, since his pawn is already on a3.
7.Bg2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3, Remman – Malin, Norway 1997, 9...Ne4!? 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Bf4 Qb6
12.Qd2 Rd8„, preparing d7-d5.
6.Bg2 cxd4 7.Qxd4 Nc6 8.Qf4 d5 9.Nbd2 Bd6 10.Qh4 Be7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Qa4 0-0 13.e4 Nf6 14.0-0
a6„ Shadura – S.Volkov, Russia 2018. Black has excellent prospects in the middlegame, having in mind
White’s disrupted piece-coordination (Bc1, Nd2).


We will deal now in details with: A) 6.Bf4, B) 6.Qa4+, C) 6.e3, D) 6.Qc2 and E) 6.Bg5.
About 6.cxd5 Nxd5 – see Chapters 12-14.
6.b3 dxc4 7.bxc4 c5. White has not managed to play 8.d5 (after which Black would not have
compensation for the sacrificed pawn...), so in order not to remain simply with a compromised pawn-
structure, White will have to enter a position with hanging pawns and this would enable Black to organise
counterplay. 8.e3 Be7 9.Bb2 0-0 10.Bd3 cxd4 11.exd4 Nc6 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Re1 Na5 14.Ne5 Nd7 15.Qe2
Nxe5 16.dxe5 a6 17.Rad1 Qc7 18.Qg4 g6 19.Ne2 Rfd8 20.Nf4 Kh8³ Panov – Anokhin, ICCF 2011.
6.g3 dxc4! It is now reasonable for Black to transfer to positions from the Catalan Opening. It turns out
that White has played a2-a3 and also the not always useful early development in the Catalan Opening of
his knight to the c3-square, so Black has practically solved one of his main problems. He has neutralised
his opponent’s pressure on the long diagonal, since his bishop is already on the b7-square. It is not
amazing that he has no difficulties at all and will obtain a more promising position. 7.Qa4+ (If White
does not capture the pawn 7.Bg2, then Black would play 7...a6³, followed by b6-b5.) 7...Nbd7 8.Qxc4
(8.Bg5, Marechal – Dutreeuw Eupen 2003, 8...c5 9.Qxc4 cxd4 10.Qxd4 Bc5„) 8...c5 9.Bg2 cxd4
10.Qxd4 Bc5 11.Qa4 (11.Qd3 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Bxg2 13.Rg1 Bb7 14.Qb5+ Kf8∞ Szczepanski –
Lyukmanov ICCF 2007) 11...0-0 12.0-0 a6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Nxf6 15.Ne5 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qc7 17.Nf3
b5 18.Qf4 Bd6 19.Qe3 Rac8 20.Rfd1 Bc5 21.Qf4 Qb6 22.e3 Qb7 23.Kg1 Rfd8³ De Guzman – Gamboa,
Manila 1992.

A) 6.Bf4 Bd6


7.Bxd6 cxd6 8.e3 (8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 Bxd5 10.e3 0-0 – see 8.e3) 8...0-0 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5
11.Bd3 Nd7 12.e4 (12.0-0 Rc8 13.Qe2 Bb7, Haraldsson – Depasse, ICCF 2015, 14.e4 Rc7 – see 12.e4;
14.Rfc1 Qe7=) 12...Bb7 13.0-0 Rc8 14.Qe2 Rc7 15.Rfc1 Qb8= Dutta – Trivedi, ICCF 2015.
7.Bg3 0-0 8.e3 c5 9.dxc5 bxc5

10.Qb3 Bc6 11.Rd1 Bxg3 12.hxg3 Nbd7 13.g4 h6 14.g5 hxg5 15.Nxg5 Qa5 16.Qc2?! d4!µ Krasenkow
– Psakhis Poland 1997.
10.cxd5 exd5 11.Be2 Re8 12.0-0 Bxg3 13.hxg3 a5 14.Rc1 Nbd7 15.Bb5 Rc8 16.Re1 Qc7 17.Qc2 Red8=

Hauser – Diaz, ICCF 2015.

It would be difficult to maintain the tension and to avoid the trade of the bishops at the same time: the
move 10...Nd7 would be impossible due to the defencelessness of the bishop on d6, while after
10...Nc6?, White will have the resource 11.cxd5 exd5 12.Nxd5, for example: 12...Nxd5 13.Qxd5 Bxg3
14.Qxd8 Bxf2+ 15.Kxf2 Nxd8 16.Rhd1 Ne6 17.Bc4² Riepe – Markus, ICCF 2002, or 12...Bxg3
13.Nxf6+ Qxf6 14.hxg3 Qxb2 15.Rb1 Qc3+ 16.Qd2 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Rfd8+ 18.Kc3² Graf – Momeni,
Dubai 1996.
10...Bxg3 11.hxg3 Re8 12.0-0 (12.Qc2 h6 13.Rh4 Nbd7 14.0-0-0 Rb8 15.Rdh1 Nf8„ Suermann – Zens,
ICCF 2001) 12...Nbd7 13.Rc1 a5 14.Qc2 h6 15.Rfd1 Rc8 16.cxd5 exd5 17.Bb5 Re6= Bukowski –
Sgherri, ICCF 2016.

7...h6 8.Bh4

8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Qa4+ Nd7 11.g3 a6 12.Bh3, Bartel – Tiviakov, Germany 2010, 12...Rd8
13.0-0 b5 14.Qc2 0-0=


White has gone to the g5-square with his bishop in two moves and Black has done the same with his
bishop to go to the e7-square, so both sides are with parity in this aspect. There has arisen a theoretical
position on the board of the Tartakower-Makogonov-Bondarevsky variation in which White has played
the not so useful move a2-a3.

9.e3 0-0


10.b4 dxc4 11.Bxc4 c5= Fuch – Kotan, Stare Mesto 2004.

10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Bxe7 Nxe7 13.Rd1 Qc8 14.Nb5 a6 15.Nc3 c5 16.Be2 cxd4 17.Rxd4
Nd5 18.0-0 Nxc3 19.Qxc3 Qxc3 20.bxc3 Bc6= Savchenko – Aghasaryan, Moscow 2014.
10.Bd3 c5 11.dxc5 Ne4!? 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.c6 Bxc6 14.Bxe4 dxe4 15.Nd4 Bb7 16.0-0 f5 17.b4 Nd7
18.Qb3 Ne5 19.c5 Rf6 20.cxb6 axb6 21.Rad1 Kh7ƒ Valencia Ciordia – Hitzegard, ICCF 2015.
10.cxd5 Nxd5. Here, just like in the Queen’s Gambit, it would be useful for Black to capture with the
knight, exchanging the bishops on the e7-square. In this way his queen comes to a better position with
tempo and Black connects his rooks, preparing the development of one of them to the d8-square – in
juxtaposition with White’s queen. 11.Bxe7 Qxe7

12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bd3 Nd7 14.e4 (14.Rc1 c5 15.dxc5?! Nxc5 16.Bc4 Rad8µ Ling – Zarsky, Ostrava
2007) 14...Bb7 15.0-0 c5ƒ
12.Bd3 Nd7 13.0-0 c5 14.Rc1 Rfd8 15.Bb1, Kabelka – Zalesky, Kouty nad Desnou 2015 (15.Qe2 Nxc3
16.bxc3 cxd4 17.cxd4 Qxa3 18.Rc7 Bxf3 19.gxf3 Qd6µ Wasilevsky – Januszkiewicz, Poland 2015.
Black has no compensation for the sacrificed pawn.) 15...Nxc3 16.bxc3 (After 16.Rxc3 Qf6!µ, it would
be very difficult for White to protect the f3 and d4-squares.) 16...cxd4. If White tries to justify here the
move 15.Bb1 and plays 17.Qd3, then Black does not need to be afraid of the attack against the h7-square:
17...Qxa3! 18.Qh7+ Kf8 19.Qh8+? Ke7 20.Qxg7 Rg8–+

10...Nbd7 11.cxd5


11...Nxd5!? 12.Bxe7 (If White wins a pawn here 12.Nxd5 Bxh4 13.Nxc7, Sathyanandha – Gibson,
England 2007, 13...Bxf3 14.gxf3 Rc8 15.Nb5 Qg5©, then there would arise a position in which Black
will have obvious counterplay against the enemy king as compensation for the sacrificed pawn.)
12...Nxe7= (Black cannot play here 12...Qe7, since after 13.Nxd5, his c7-pawn will be under the attack
of White’s rook, developed on the c1-square.).


12.Be2 c5 13.0-0 Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.dxc5 Nxc3 16.Rxc3 bxc5 17.b4 (17.Qc2 Rab8= Andersson –
Short, Thessaloniki 1988) 17...c4 18.Nd4, Grabarczyk – Narciso Dublan, Ohrid 2001, 18...Nf6 19.Qa4
(19.Bf3 Qd7∞) 19...Ne4 20.Rcc1 f5„

12...c5 13.0-0 Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7


In all the lines in which White does not exchange on c5, Black follows a plan, which is quite typical for
this pawn-structure from the Queen’s Gambit: c7-c5-c4, b6-b5, a7-a5, with active actions on the
queenside, since Black has pawn-majority there.
15.Bb5 Ndf6 16.Ne5 Rac8 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Qe2 Rfd8 19.Rfd1 c4 20.f3 Nd6 21.Ba4 b5 22.Bc2 a5„
Cardilli – Dervishi, Padova 2006.
15.Bb1 Nxc3 16.Rxc3 c4 17.Qc2 g6 18.Qe2 Rfe8 19.Nd2 b5 20.Qg4 a5„ Gerhardt – Moedinger,
Germany 2000.
15.Qe2 Nxc3 16.Rxc3 c4 17.Bb1 b5 18.Qc2 g6 19.Nd2 f5 20.Re1 a5„ Kichubaev – Kress, Russia 2004.

15...bxc5 16.Bb1

16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Nd2, Adam –Stammberger, corr. 1992, 17...Ne5!? 18.Ndxe4 Rfd8 19.Qa4 Bc6 20.Qa6
Bxe4 21.Nxe4 Nd3 22.Rc4 Nxb2 23.Rc2 Qxe4 24.Rxb2 c4³
16.Bb5 Ndf6 17.Nxe4 Nxe4 18.Bd3 f5 19.Re1 a5 20.Nd2 Rf6 21.f3 Nxd2 22.Qxd2 c4 23.Bb1 Kh8
24.Qd4 Re8= Malaniuk – Polak, Graz 1999. The vulnerability of the d4 and d5-squares in Black’s
position is compensated by White’s weakness on e3.



17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.Nd2 Ba6 19.Nc4 Rab8= Netzer – Edouard, France 2012.
17.Qc2 Rac8 18.Rfd1 Rfd8 19.Nxe4 Nxe4 20.Qa4 a6= Relange – Onischuk, Greece 2002.
17...Rfd8 18.h3, Bylino –Takacs, Hungary 2005 (18.Rfd1?! Ng4 19.Rc2 Rab8 20.h3 Ngxf2! 21.Rxf2
Nxf2 22.Kxf2 d4µ Acosta – Diaz Hollemaert, Mardel Plata 2000) 18...Rd6!? 19.Rfd1 Ng5!?∞

B) 6.Qa4+ Qd7


7.cxd5 Qxa4 8.Nxa4, Matviishen – Martirosyan, Yerevan 2015, 8...Nxd5=

7.Qb3 dxc4 8.Qxc4 a6 9.Bg5 Be7 10.Rd1 0-0 11.e3 (11.Qd3 Rd8 12.e4 Qe8 13.Qc2 h6 14.Be3 c5!= San
Segundo – Lalic, Benasque 1993) 11...Qc8! 12.Be2 Nbd7= San Segungo – Salov, Madrid 1994.
7.Qc2 dxc4 8.e4 (8.e3, Khalifman – Ivanchuk, Reykjavik 1991, 8...Bxf3 9.gxf3 b5³) 8...b5 9.Bf4 a6
10.0-0-0 Be7 11.g4 Bd6! 12.Bg5 h6 13.Bxf6 (13.Bh4 Bf4+ 14.Kb1 Qe7 15.e5 Bxf3 16.exf6 gxf6 17.Rg1
Nd7µ Greenfeeld – Korchnoi, Beersheba 1992) 13...gxf6 14.d5 Qe7 15.Bg2 Nd7µ Ivanisevic –
Tiviakov, Leon 2001.

7...Nbxd7 8.Nb5 Bd6!

White’s two-bishop advantage would be compensated by Black’s lead in development and his dominance
on the c-file in the nearest future.


About 9.Nxd6+ cxd6 10.cxd5 Bxd5 – see 9.cxd5.

9.cxd5 Bxd5 10.e3 Ke7 11.Bd2, Christiansen – Korchnoi, Linares 1985, 11...a6!? 12.Nxd6 cxd6 13.Rc1
9.e3 dxc4 10.Bxc4 0-0 11.Nxd6 (11.b3 Be7!„) 11...cxd6 12.b3 Rfc8 13.Bd2 Ne4 14.Ke2 Ndf6 15.Rhc1
Nxd2 16.Kxd2 Ne4+ 17.Ke2 Rc7= Dreev – Gelfand, Linares 1997.


White has lost time and his pieces are discoordinated (The queens are off the board, but the development
of both sides has not been completed yet, so we can say that the game is still in the opening stage.), so
Black must try to open the position as quickly as possible, ignoring that he might have some weaknesses
– in this case a backward pawn on d6.


10.e3 exd4 11.exd4 0-0 12.Nxd6 cxd6 13.f3 Rfc8 14.b3 Nf8 15.Bb2 Ne6 16.Rd1 Rc7 17.Kf2 Rac8=
Keber – Cacamas, ICCF 2015.

10...exd4 11.Nxd6+ cxd6 12.Bb2 Ne4 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Bxd4 Nc5 15.b4 Ne6 16.Bb2 e3!„ Carlson –
Nora, ICCF 2012. With his last move, Black makes a cramping pawn-sacrifice.

C) 6.e3


Black is reluctant to play 6...Bd6, because of 7.b4, while his quiet development is also impossible in view
of the threat c4-c5, so he must react somehow...
The move 6...dxc4 is not attractive either. White will develop his bishop to the c4-square at once and that
would be a concession for Black as well.


7.Be2 0-0 8.0-0 Nbd7

After 9.b4 dxc4 10.Bxc4, Black will obtain a position, similar to the one arising in the line with 7.b4, but
with an extra tempo for him, which naturally is hardly acceptable to White. 10...c5³
Here, in order for White not to present his opponent with a tempo, he may choose 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Nxd5
Bxd5 11.Bd2 c5= Mikhalchishin – Janjgava, Manila 1992.

7...dxc4 8.Bxc4 0-0 9.0-0 c5 10.dxc5 bxc5 11.Qxd8 Rxd8 12.b5 a6 13.Bb2 axb5 14.Bxb5 Nc6=
Ovsejevitsch – Bokros, Zalakaros 2010.
Black should not have problems even if he allows his opponent to block the position: 7...0-0 8.c5. He will
play 8...c6 and then a7-a5 and Bc8-a6, analogously to one of the lines of the variation with Bf4 in the
Queen’s Gambit. In these lines White’s dark-squared bishop remains restricted by the pawns inside his
own camp and that should be in favour of Black. White has already played b2-b4, so Black can allow his
opponent to go with his bishop to the c4-square at once (7...dxc4 8.Bxc4). His counter attack against the
enemy centre with the move c7-c5 will solve all the problems for Black.



8.b4 0-0 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.0-0 c5 11.bxc5 bxc5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.Qa4 a5 14.Bd2 c4∞ Alcaraz Lopez – De la
Cruz Montero, Barcelona 2017.
8.Bd3 0-0 9.0-0 Nbd7 10.b4 (10.b3 Ne4 11.Ne2 Bd6 12.Bb2 Qe7 13.Ng3 f5 14.Re1 a6 15.b4 g6 16.Qc2
h5³ Skomorokhin – Sjugirov, Russia 2015. The correct method of playing with Black in similar pawn-
structures has been analysed by us in Chapter 8.) 10...c5 11.bxc5 bxc5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Be2 Rc8 14.Nb5
a6 15.Nbd4 Nfe4= Cohen – Placnikova, Reykjavik 2016.

8...c6 9.Bd3

We already know this maneuver, with the intermediate check on b5. Black is deprived of the support of
his bishop on b7 when his knight occupies the e4-square, but now, he would not need to lose time for the
move a7-a6, in order to regroup his forces with Be7-d6 and Qd8-e7.

9...0-0 10.0-0 Nbd7


11.b3 Bd6 12.Bb2, Knollhuber – Hacker, Germany 2000, 12...Qe7„

11.Ne5 c5 12.f4

We already know that Black’s best way of fighting against “the Pillsbury’s triangle” is to develop his
knight on c6 in order to exert pressure against the d4-square. This practically forces White to exchange
the pride of his position – his knight on e5. Here however, Black has already played Nd7, but White fails
to provide the e4-square with additional protection (for example with the move Qd1-f3), therefore, Black
can play immediately 12...Ne4! 13.Qf3 Ndf6„ Luukkonen – Sammalvuo, Tampere 1999.

11...a5 12.Rb1

12.b5 c5 13.Bb2 Bd6 14.Na4 Re8 15.Bf5, Hoeg – Romsdal, Copenhagen 2002, 15...c4„, followed by
Bb7-c8, in order not to overburden Black’s queen with the protection of his knight on d7 and the pawn on
b6, planning to continue with g7-g6 and Nf6-e4.

12...axb4 13.axb4

There has arisen a pawn-structure, which is identical to the one in the lines of the Tartakower-
Makogonov-Bondarevsky variation, but with White’s dark-squared bishop restricted inside his camp,
which is definitely in favour of Black.

13...Bd6 14.e4. White must play this move; otherwise, he might come under a positional bind following
Qe7, Re8, Ne4, f5 etc. 14...dxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Nf6 17.Bg5, De Greif – Idrovo, Quito 1975,
17...Qe8!? 18.Bd3 Nd5 19.Re1 Qc8=

D) 6.Qc2 c5


7.Bg5 cxd4 8.Nxd4, Dreev –Tkachiev, Biel 2002, 8...dxc4!? 9.e3 (9.Qa4+ Nbd7 10.Qxc4 a6³) 9...Qc8!
10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Qa4+ Nd7 12.Bxc4 a6³
7.dxc5 d4! (Here, Black should play very carefully: 7...bxc5?! 8.cxd5 exd5 9.e4! d4 10.e5 dxc3 11.exf6
Qxf6 12.Bb5+ Bc6 13.0-0!± Rombaldoni – Parligras, Plovdiv 2013.) 8.Nb5 Bxc5 9.b4, Swapnil
Rombaldoni – Narayanan, Anogia 2014, 9...a6! 10.bxc5 bxc5. White’s knight on b5 has no squares to
retreat to at the moment, so he must sacrifice temporarily a piece. 11.Nc3 dxc3 12.Qxc3 0-0 13.Bb2
Nbd7 14.e3 Rb8! Now, thanks to the b-file, Black can somehow worsen the placement of the enemy
pieces and will create quite sufficient counterplay, compensating White’s bishop-pair. 15.Be2 Qb6
16.Ra2 (Black was threatening here 16...Bxf3 and 17...Qxb2.) 16...e5 17.0-0 Ne4„



About 8.e4 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Nd7 – see Chapter 14.

8.Bg5 Be7 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nxd5 exd5 11.e3 (11.dxc5 bxc5 12.e3 0-0 13.Bd3 g6 14.0-0 a5 15.Rfe1 Nd7
16.e4 d4 17.Rac1 Rfc8 18.Qd2 a4∞ Larsen – Miles, Tilburg 1981) 11...0-0 12.Bd3 g6 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.0-
0 Nd7= Seirawan – Timman, Amsterdam 1992.

8...Bxc5 9.Bg5 f6 10.Bd2 0-0


11.e4 Nxc3 12.Bxc3 a5 13.Rd1 (13.Bc4 Qc8 14.Qe2 Ba6 15.Bxa6 Qxa6 16.Qxa6 Nxa6 17.Ke2 e5
18.Rhd1 Rfd8 19.Rac1 a4= Benjamin – Korchnoi, Jerusalem 1986) 13...Qc8 14.Bd3 Na6 15.0-0 Kh8
16.Rfe1 e5 17.Nh4 Qc6 18.Qe2 Nc7 19.Nf5 g6 20.Nh4 Rad8= Vyzmanavin – Lautier, Sochi 1989.

11...Nd7 12.Bd3 f5 13.0-0 Nxc3 14.Bxc3, Korotylev – Tomashevsky, Sochi 2017, 14...Bd6!∞ Here, the
game might end with repetition of moves after 15.Qe2 Nc5 16.Bc4 Bxf3 17.gxf3 Bxh2+ 18.Kxh2

E) 6.Bg5 Be7

We will deal in details now with the moves: E1) 7.Qa4+ and E2) 7.e3.
About 7.Rc1 0-0 8.e3 h6, or 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Nxd5 Bxd5 10.Rc1 0-0 11.e3 Rc8 – see
variation E2.
7.Qc2 0-0 8.e3 Nbd7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 c5 11.0-0 Ne4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7= Mikrut – Pieniazek, Poland
7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.cxd5 exd5

9.e3 0-0 – see variation E2.
9.g3 0-0 10.Bg2 c5 11.0-0 Na6 12.e3 Nc7 13.Rc1 Qe7 14.Qd2 Rfd8„ and Black keeps up his sleeve the
already familiar idea c5-c4, followed by active actions on the queenside, Cramling –Hou Yifan, Istanbul
9.Qb3 0-0 10.Rd1 Re8 11.e3 (11.g3? c5! 12.dxc5? d4–+; 12.Bg2 Nc6 13.dxc5 Ba6 14.0-0 Bc4 15.Qc2
Bxc3 16.Qxc3 Bxe2 17.cxb6 Qxb6³ Krasenkow – Wojtkiewicz, Poland 1995) 11...c6 12.Bd3 Na6 13.0-
0 Nc7 14.Rfe1 Ne6 15.Bb1 g6 16.Ba2 Bg7= Mamedyarov – Karjakin, Khanty-Mansiysk 2009.
9.Qa4+ c6 10.g3 (10.e3 0-0 11.Bd3 c5 12.Rd1 c4„ Yanvarjov – Naumkin, Moscow 1988) 10...0-0
11.Bg2 Re8 12.0-0

12...Na6. This is another interesting idea for Black in similar pawn-structures. His knight goes to the c7-

square, via a6, and later, after c6-c5, if the d5-square has been provided with additional protection, the
knight will go to e6 in order to exert pressure against the d4-square. 13.Rfd1 Nc7 14.Rac1 g6 15.e3 Bg7
16.Ne1 (16.b4 Qd6 17.Qb3 Ba6 18.Bf1 Bxf1 19.Kxf1 b5 20.a4 a5!„ Van Wely – Ljubojevic, Monte
Carlo 1998) 16...Qe7 17.Nd3 Red8 18.b4 Qe8∞ Bhambure – Eljanov, Sharjah 2018.

E1) 7.Qa4+ Bc6!?

Naturally, after this move Black’s bishop is forced to occupy a square where it impedes the coordination
of the rest of his pieces and can be attacked eventually later with tempo after Nf3-e5. Still, White will
also lose time for the retreat of his queen. Now, a part of Black’s strategy in the opening after the move
7...Bc6 would be to exchange on c4 before White has advanced his e-pawn, so that he would not be able
to take on c4 with his bishop. If he captures on c4 with his queen, Black will retreat his bishop from c6
and will fight subsequently for the centre with the move c7-c5. If after the exchange on c4, White does
not regain immediately his pawn and plays instead e2-e3, or e2-e4, with the idea to regain it comfortably
later with Bf1xc4, then Black, thanks to the placement of his bishop on c6, will manage to protect his
pawn on c4 with the move b6-b5. There would arise a position with mutual chances.


8.Qc2 dxc4 9.e3 (9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.e3 b5 11.a4 a6 12.axb5 axb5 13.Rxa8 Bxa8 14.Nxb5 c5 15.Qa4 Nd7
16.Nd6+ Ke7 17.Nxc4 Qc7„ Ellis – Mateka, ICCF 2010; 9.e4 b5 10.Be2 Nbd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rad1 a6∞
Relange – Palac, Budapest 1996) 9...b5

10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.d5 (11.a4 b4 –see 10.a4) 11...Bxd5 12.0-0-0, Gelfand – Tiviakov, Elista 1998, 12...c6!?
13.e4 Qb6© and Black will have a powerful centre for the sacrificed piece.
10.Ne5?! a6 11.a4 0-0 12.Be2 (12.axb5 axb5 13.Rxa8 Bxa8 14.Nxb5 c5³) 12...Bxg2 13.Rg1 Bb7
14.axb5 axb5 15.Rxa8 Bxa8 16.Nxb5 c5³ Van Wely – Dautov, Germany 1995.
10.a4 b4 11.Bxf6 (11.Nb1?! Bxf3 12.gxf3 c5 13.dxc5 Nbd7³ Van Wely – Tiviakov, Groningen 1997)
11...gxf6 12.Nb1 Bxf3 13.gxf3 c5 14.dxc5 Nd7 15.Bxc4 (15.c6, Mamedyarov – Karjakin, Doha 2016,
15...Nc5 16.Bxc4 Qb6∞) 15...Nxc5 16.Nd2 Rc8 17.Rg1 (17.Rd1 Qc7 18.f4?! f5 19.Rg1 Bf6³ Bagirov –
Aroshidze, Batumi 2002) 17...Qc7∞ Lputian – Podgaets, Biel 1997.

8...dxc4 9.Qxc4 0-0


10.g3, Van Wely – Onischuk, Poland 1999, 10...Bb7!? 11.Bg2 c5 12.dxc5 Qc8=
10.Rd1 Nd5 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.g3 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Bd5 14.Bg2 Nd7 15.0-0 (15.Qxc7 Rac8 16.Qf4 Rc2©)
15...c5= Gelfand – Akopian, Cape d’Agde 1996.
10.e3 Bb7 11.Be2 Nbd7 12.0-0 (12.Rd1 h6 13.Bh4 Qc8= Korotylev – Kasparov, Moscow 2004) 12...c5
13.Rfd1 Nd5= A.Mikhalevski – Gyimesi, Tel Aviv 2001.
10...Bxf6 11.e4 Bb7 12.Rd1, Korotylev – Carlsen, Moscow 2007 (12.e5 Be7 13.Rd1, Bacrot –Beliavsky,
France 1999, 13...a6∞) 12...a6!? 13.Be2 Nd7 14.0-0 c5 15.dxc5 b5!„ Here, thanks to the dynamics in
this position, Black manages to preserve the flexibility of his pawn-structure. After the retreat of White’s
queen to b3, or to d3, Black will capture immediately the pawn on c5 and will restore the material
balance. If White’s queen retreats to the a2-square, then Black will do that a move later after 16...Qe7. In
all the variations Black will have the two-bishop advantage and White will not have adequate
compensation for that.

E2) 7.e3

After this move we have again on the board a version of the Tartakower-Makogonov-Bondarevsky
variation in which the inclusion of the move a2-a3 is not necessary for White. The organisation of
Black’s counterplay should be connected mostly with the preparation of the attack against the enemy
centre with the move c7-c5.

7...0-0 8.Rc1

8.Be2 Nbd7 9.0-0 h6 10.Bh4 c5 11.dxc5 (11.Rc1 Rc8 12.cxd5 Nxd5 13.Bxe7 Qxe7= Bachmann –
Votruba, Germany 1990) 11...bxc5 12.Qc2 Qb6= Tjomslang – Agdestein, Norway 2014.

8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.cxd5 exd5

10.b4 c5 11.bxc5 bxc5 12.Rb1 Qa5 13.Qd2 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Nc6 16.Qd2, Brhel – Jurcik,
Slovakia 2008, 16...d4!ƒ
10.Qb3 Re8 11.Rd1 c6 12.Bd3 Nd7 13.0-0 Nf8 14.Rfe1 Ne6= Petursson – Hjartarson, Reykjavik 1985.
10.Be2 c5 11.0-0 Nc6 12.dxc5 Bxc3 13.bxc3 bxc5 14.Rb1 Rb8 15.Qa4, Huss – Kelecevic, Wintherthur
2006, 15...Ba8!?=
10.Bd3 c5 11.0-0 g6 12.Rc1 Nc6 13.Bb1 c4„ Adianto – Karpov, Cap d’Agde 1998.
8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bxe7 (9.Nxd5 Bxg5 10.Nc3 Nd7 11.Bc4 Bf6= Lysyj – Korobov, Russia 2015) 9...Qxe7

10.Bd3 Nd7 11.0-0 c5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Rc1, Cramling – A.Maric, Belgrade 1999, 13...Rfd8=

10.Rc1 Rc8 11.Bd3 c5 12.0-0 Nd7 13.Nxd5 Bxd5 14.Ba6 Rd8= Krechetov – Aseev, St Petersburg 1996.
10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Rc1 (11.Bd3 Rc8 12.Rc1 c5 – see 11.Rc1) 11...Rc8 12.Bd3 (12.Bc4 Bb7! 13.0-0 c5=
Istratescu – Navara, France 2011) 12...c5 13.dxc5 (13.0-0 Nd7 14.Ba6?! Rd8 15.Qe2 Bxf3 16.Qxf3 cxd4
17.exd4 Nf6³ Nieksans – Bernotas, Riga 2017) 13...Rxc5 14.Rxc5 Qxc5 15.Ng5 (15.Qb1 h6 16.0-0 Nd7
17.Rc1 Qd6= Petrosian – Polugaevsky, Moscow 1969) 15...h6 16.Ne4 Qe7 17.0-0 Nd7 18.Nc3 Bb7
19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Nxe4 Nc5= Dreev – Matlakov, Sochi 2017.
8.Qc2 c5 9.dxc5 (9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Nxd5 Bxd5 12.Bd3 g6 13.dxc5 Rc8 14.Qe2 Rxc5=
Cipolla – Besozzi, ICCF 2016) 9...bxc5 10.Rd1 Nbd7 11.Be2 h6 12.Bh4 Qb6= Riazantsev – Guijarro,
Riyadh 2017.
8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nbd7 10.0-0 c5 11.Qe2 Ne4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Bxe7 (13.Bf4 cxd4 14.exd4 Nf6=
Djuric – Pilgaard, Esbjerg 2005) 13...Qxe7 14.Rfd1 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 cxd4= Kamsky – Karjakin, Tashkent



9.Bf4 c5 10.cxd5 (10.dxc5 bxc5 11.cxd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.Be2 Nd7=) 10...cxd4 11.Qxd4
(11.exd4?! Nxd5³) 11...Nxd5 12.Nxd5, Liang Chong – Li Zunian, Suzhou 2006, 12...Qxd5=
9.Bh4 Nbd7 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bd3 Ne4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.0-0 c5„ Malaniuk – Polak, Graz 1999.

9...Bxf6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bd3 c5 12.0-0 Na6


White’s attempt to checkmate the opponent on the a2-g8 diagonal with the move 13.Bb1, Omar – Le
Quang Liem, Riyadh 2017, would not work after 13...Re8 14.Qd3 g6= and there would be no way in
sight how White could break Black’s defence.

13...cxd4 14.exd4 Bxe5 15.dxe5 Nc5 16.Re1 Re8

Black has an isolated pawn indeed, but in connection with the resources d5-d4, Qd8-g5 and Nc5-e4, he
has more than sufficient possibilities to organise meaningful counterplay.


17.Nb5 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 Ba6 19.Qb3 Rc8! 20.f4 (20.Rxc8 Qxc8 21.Nd6? Rxe5!–+) 20...Rxc1 21.Rxc1
Bxb5 22.Qxb5 g5! 23.Rd1 gxf4= M.Szabo – Czegledy, ICCF 2012.
Grandmaster Karjakin recommended here to White 17.Bf1 a6 18.Rc2² I believe it would be stronger for
Black to choose 17...Qg5, for example: 18.Nxd5 Rxe5=, or 18.b4 Ne4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.Rc7 Re7!?
21.Qd6. There might follow this variation: 21...Rae8 22.g3 Rxc7 23.Qxc7 Re7 24.Qb8+ Kh7 25.Qxa7
Qd2! 26.Re3 Qd8! 27.a4 Bc6 28.Qa6 Rxe5 29.a5 Qd1 30.Kg2 Rf5 31.Qxb6 Qd2 32.Re2 e3+ 33.Qxc6
Rxf2+ 34.Kh3 Rxe2 35.Bxe2 Qxe2 36.Qe4+ g6 37.Qf4 Qh5+ 38.Kg2 Qe2=

17...d4!„ Carlsen – Karjakin, Wijk aan Zee 2012.

Chapter 12

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5

Capturing with the pawn on d5 used to be popular for Black at the top level during the 80ies of the past
century. Gradually however, it has come to the situation that almost nobody plays like this in the
contemporary tournament practice. This is because after exd5, White can follow many different plans and
all of them have their nuances. Accordingly, it would take a lot of efforts and energy for Black to be
thoroughly prepared against all of them.
In this chapter we will analyse: A) 7.e4, B) 7.Nxd5, C) 7.Qa4+ and D) 7.Bd2.
About 7.Bg5 Be7 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 – see Chapter 11, variation E.
7.g3 c5

8.dxc5?! Burkhardt – Amann, Germany 2002, 8...Nxc3 9.Qxd8+ Kxd8 10.bxc3 Bxc5³
8.Bg2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.Qc2 Nd7 12.0-0, De Silva – Ranmith, Sri Lanka 2014,
8.Nxd5 Bxd5 9.Bg2, Kosasih – Zaw, Jakarta 2001 (9.Be3, Richtmann – Seuffert, Germany 1996,
9...Nc6!? 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bxc5 bxc5 12.Bg2 Qa5+ 13.Qd2 Qxd2+ 14.Kxd2 Ke7³, followed by Ra8-
b8, or Rh8-b8 and White will have problems on the b-file.) 9...Nc6!? 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Qa4. It might
seem that in connection with the threat 12.e4, Black might have difficulties, but he has a tactical
possibility to hold the position: 11...Rc8! 12.e4 b5! 13.Qxb5 (13.Qc2? Nd4µ) 13...Bxe4„

A) 7.e4

White saves time for the preparatory move 7.Qc2 and advances e2-e4 at once.
Objectively speaking, we must put this sign – ?! to this move. Still, in the pre-computer era, this move,
introduced into the tournament practice back in the year 1983 by the grandmaster from Saint Petersburg
Sergey Ivanov, led to a short-lived mini-revolution in the Petrosian system...

7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bxe4 9.Ne5

It becomes clear that now, White is threatening Qd1-g4, attacking the enemy g7-pawn and the bishop on
e4. If Black retreats his bishop to g6, defending simultaneously both attacked targets, then White will
play Bf1-b5+ and Black will be forced to lose his castling rights after which White would have real
compensation for the sacrificed pawn. Instead of the attack Qg4, it might be even stronger for him to play
Qd1-h5 and Black might have great problems with the protection of his f7-pawn.


Black however, during the next 1984 year, managed to demonstrate the correct reaction in the game
Davies – Levitt, Brighton 1984.
The first game in which that line was tested S.Ivanov – V.Fedorov, St Petersburg 1983 continued like
this: 9...Bd6 10.Qg4 Bg6 11.Bb5+ Kf8 12.Bg5 Qc8 and here White could have played 13.Nxg6+ hxg6
14.Qf3 c6 15.Bd3 Kg8 16.h4ƒ


White’s alternatives would not equalise for him either:

10.Bb5+? c6 11.Be2 Bxg2–+
10.Qa4+? c6 11.d5 (11.Bd2 Bd6 12.Nc4 Bc7 13.Qb4 a5 14.Qb2 Nd7µ Nittschalk – Ster, ICCF 1999)
11...Bd6 12.Nxf7 (12.Nxc6 0-0µ; 12.Nf3 Qf6µ; 12.g3 Qf6µ) 12...Kxf7 13.dxe6+ Kxe6 14.Be2 Kd7–+
Nogueiras – Beliavsky, Thessaloniki 1984.
10.Qe2 Bd5 11.c4 Bb7 12.Bb2 Be7µ
10.Be2 Bd6!? 11.Bf3, Beroun – Molnar, Brno 1984, 11...c6µ
10.Be3 Bd6 11.Qd2 h6 12.Bf4 0-0 13.Qe3 Bb7 14.Bd3 Nc6 15.g3 Qe7 16.Be4 Na5 17.h4 Bxe5 18.dxe5
Bxe4 19.Qxe4 Nb3 20.Ra2 Nc5µ Jaeschke – Brunner, Berlin West 1987.


After this precise move, White will have problems.


11.Rg1, Aoiz Linares – Veingold, Barcelona 1992, 11...Bb7µ

11.f3 Bb7 12.Qa4+ c6µ
11.Bb5+ c6 12.f3 cxb5 13.fxe4 Nd7 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.0-0 Rc8 16.Qf3 e5! 17.Qf5 Qxf5 18.Rxf5 Bd6!µ
Mikhalevski – A.Sokolov, Biel 1992.
11...c6 12.f3 Bd5 13.Qd1 (13.c4 b5 14.cxb5 Bd6!µ) 13...f6 14.Ng4 c5 15.Bb5+ Bc6 16.Bc4 cxd4
17.Bxe6 (17.cxd4 Bd5µ) 17...Bc5µ Staniszewski – Stempin, Polska 1984.

B) 7.Nxd5 Qxd5!

This is a special case when Black’s queen will be super comfortable in the centre of the board in the
middlegame, since White can attack it neither with his pawns, nor with his pieces. Later, Black’s queen
may go to h5 and together with his bishop on d6 – they may create threats against the enemy pawn on h2
if White castles kingside.


8.g3?! This seemingly natural, developing move leads by force to positions with non-standard material
ratio in which White must play very precisely in order to have chances of equalising. 8...Nc6

9.Bg2 Nxd4 10.Nh4 Qa5+ 11.b4 Bxb4+ 12.axb4 Qxa1 13.Bxb7 Rd8 14.0-0 (14.Kf1, S.Ivanov –
Anastasian Saint Petersburg 1994, 14...Qc3!?ƒ) 14...Nf3+ 15.Nxf3 Rxd1 16.Rxd1 0-0µ Black’s queen

with two pawns is stronger than White’s three minor pieces.
9.Be3 0-0-0 10.Bg2 e5 11.dxe5 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 13.Kxd1 Nxe5 14.Bh3+ Kb8 15.Nxe5 Bxh1
16.Nxf7 Rg8 17.f3 Be7 18.Ne5 Kb7 19.Bf5 Bf6 20.Be4+ Kc8 21.Bf5+ Kb7= Uberos Fernandez –
Jones, ICCF 2016.
8.e3 Bd6 9.Qc2 (9.Bd3 0-0 10.0-0 Qh5 11.e4 Rd8„) 9...0-0 10.Bd3 Qh5 11.Be4 Bxe4 12.Qxe4 Nd7
13.Qc6 Rad8 14.0-0 e5= Fedorovtsev – I.Smirnov, St Petersburg 2005.
8.Qc2 c5 9.dxc5 Qxc5 10.Qxc5 Bxc5 11.e3 (11.b4. The defect of this active development and
occupation of additional space is that White creates a target for the immediate undermining of his pawn-
structure as very effective counterplay for Black. 11...Be7 12.Bb2 0-0 13.e3 a5!„) 11...Nd7 12.b4 Bd6
13.Bb2, Kreiling – Feltzer, Germany 2004, 13...Ke7!? 14.Bxg7 Rhc8 15.Bb2 (15.Be2?! Rg8³) 15...a5!„

8...Bd6 9.Bxd6 Qxd6 10.e3 0-0 11.Bd3 Nd7 12.0-0


Black protects his queen and prepares an attack against the enemy centre with c7-c5.
But not 12...c5?! 13.dxc5 Nxc5?? 14.Bxh7+–

13.Qc2 h6 14.Be4 Bxe4 15.Qxe4 c5 16.Rfd1, Nutiu – Parligras, Romania 1999, 16...c4!„

C) 7.Qa4+ Nd7


8.Bg5 Be7 9.Bxe7 Nxe7 10.e4 0-0 11.0-0-0 a6 12.Qc2 Qc8 13.g3 c5„ Diaz – Short, Lugano 1985.
8.Ne5 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bd6!

If Black’s bishop has already been developed to the e7-square, then the occupation of the c6-outpost with
White’s knight would lead to the exchange of Black’s bishop and White would obtain the two-bishop
advantage. Meanwhile, if Black exchanges the enemy knight with his bishop on b7, White will control in
addition the light squares. But if Black develops his bishop to d6, then he will retreat with the queen and
White’s knight would become unstable, since Black would be threatening for example: a7-a6 and b6-b5.
10.Nc6?! Qc8 11.e4 a6 12.c4 e5! 13.dxe5 Bxc6! 14.Qxc6 Bxe5 15.Ra2 0-0 16.Be2 Nc5³ Petronic –

Ostojic, Belgrade 1989. White has obtained the two-bishop advantage indeed, but has paid a very dear
price for that. He lags in development, has lost the coordination of his pieces and his queenside pawn-
structure has been compromised.
10.Bf4 Bxe5 11.Bxe5 0-0 12.Bg3, Maisuradze – Shchekachev, Paris 2004, 12...e5!?„
10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.Qxd7+ Kxd7 12.f3 f5 13.e3 c5 14.Bd3 Rhf8 15.a4 e5= Dzagnidze – A.Muzychuk,
Khanty-Mansiysk 2014.



9.e3?! a6 10.Be2 c5 11.dxc5 (11.0-0 b5 12.Qc2 Rc8 13.Qb1 Be7 14.b3 cxd4 15.Nxd4 Nc5³ Navrotescu
– Thorsteins, Kiljava 1984) 11...b5! This resource enables Black to preserve the flexibility of his pawns-
structure and we are already familiar with it. Here, it is also important that Black will regain the pawn on
c5 with his knight, which had been pinned before, and that would enable him to create immediate threats
against the weakened b3-square. 12.Qc2 Nxc5³
9.g3 Be7 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 c5 12.Bf4 cxd4 13.Qxd4 Bf6 14.Qb4 Rc8= Reshevsky – Christiansen, Los
Angeles 1984.
9.Ne5 Bd6„ 10.Nc6? Qh4µ
9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Bxd6 (10.Ne5 Bxe5 11.Bxe5 0-0 12.Bg3 c5„ A.Guseinov – R.Gasanov, Yerevan 1986;
10.Bg3 0-0 11.e3 a6 12.Bd3 h6 13.Qc2 Bxg3 14.hxg3 c5 15.Bh7+ Kh8 16.Be4 Nf6 17.Bxd5 Qxd5
18.dxc5 Rfc8 19.Rd1 Qxc5 20.Qxc5 Rxc5= Burkart – Kohlweyer, Germany 1990) 10...cxd6 11.e3 0-0
12.Be2 Qc7 13.0-0 Rfc8 14.Ba6, Rajkovic – Ogaard Gausdal 1984, 14...Bb7 15.Rac1 Qxc1 16.Bxb7

9.Bg5 Be7 10.Bxe7 Qxe7

11.e3 0-0 12.Bb5, Dobrov – Kovacevic, Vojvodina 2016, 12...Rad8!? 13.Rc1 (13.Qxa7 Nc5! 14.dxc5
Ra8 15.cxb6 Rxa7 16.bxa7 Qf6µ) 13...c5 14.Qxa7 (14.Bxd7 Bxf3 15.gxf3 Rxd7 16.dxc5 bxc5„)
14...Bxf3 15.gxf3 Qd6 16.Qa4 Ne5 17.Be2 cxd4³
11.Ne5 f6 12.Nc6 (12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Qxd7+ Kxd7 14.f3 Kd6 15.e4 Bb7 16.Rc1 Rhc8 17.Kd2 c5
18.dxc5+ Rxc5 19.Rxc5 Kxc5 20.Ke3 e5= Erdeus – Modzelan, Gorzow 1987) 12...Qd6 13.Rc1, Glek –
Agzamov, Tashkent 1984, 13...f5!? 14.e3 (14.f3 f4„) 14...f4„
11.Rc1 0-0!

12.Rxc7?! It is too risky for White to capture this pawn. 12...Nc5! This “unpinning” in a tactical fashion
leads to a transfer into an endgame in which White’s lag in development becomes quickly a telling factor

due to the opened c-file. 13.Rxe7 Nxa4 14.Kd2 (14.b3 Bxb3 15.Nd2 Ba2 16.e4 Rfc8µ Bonin – Adorjan,
New York 1986) 14...Rfc8 15.Ng5 Bb3 16.g3 Rc2+ 17.Ke3 Bd5 18.f3 Nxb2µ Azmaiparashvili –
Kramnik, Cape d’Agde 2003.
12.e4?! Bxe4 13.Rxc7 Rfc8!! (13...Nc5 14.dxc5 Qxc7 15.Qxe4 Qxc5© Azmaiparashvili – Macieja,
Greece 2006) 14.Rxd7 Qf6 15.Qd1 Qf4 16.Nd2 Bc6µ
12.e3 c5 13.Bb5 Nf6 14.dxc5 bxc5 15.0-0 Rab8= Buhmann – Cvitan, Pula 2003.

9...c5 10.e4 Bb7


11.Be3, Malaniuk – I.Novikov, USSR 1986, 11...Rc8!? 12.Qd2 c4 13.Qc2 Be7 14.Be2 0-0 15.0-0 b5„
11.Bf4 cxd4 12.Rd1 a6 13.Rxd4 Bc5 14.Rd2 Qc8 15.Bd3 Be7 16.Qb1 Nc5 17.Bc2 a5 18.0-0 (18.b3 0-0
19.0-0 Rd8 20.Rc1 Rxd2 21.Nxd2 Qf8 22.e5 h6= Tsatsalashvili – Kazimova, Batumi 2010) 18...a4
19.Nd4 0-0 20.e5 g6= G.Orlov – F.Levin Leningrad 1989.

11...exd5 12.exd5


Following 12...Bxd5?!, Black might face problems on the d-file and the a4-e8 diagonal after: 13.Be3 Be7
14.0-0-0 Be6, Riemersma – Pieniazek, Arnhem 1987, 15.Bc4ƒ

13.Bg5 Qc7 14.Bc4 0-0 15.0-0 Ne5= L.B. Hansen – Podgaard, Espergarde 1987.

D) 7.Bd2

There is a similar idea for White in the Gruenfeld Defence. He prepares capturing on c3 with his bishop
(after e2-e4 – Nd5xc3). Still, this is an open position and the factor of time (and accordingly the

development) is very important. So, here Black succeeds in creating sufficient counterplay.

7...Be7 8.Qc2

About 8.Qa4+ Qd7!? 9.Qc2 0-0 10.e4 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 c5 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Rd1 Qc7, or 13.Ne5 Qc7 – see
8.Nxd5 Qxd5 9.Rc1 c5 10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bc3 0-0 12.Qxd5 Bxd5 13.e3 Nd7 14.b4 Be7 15.Ba6 Nb8!.
Without this resource for Black, White’s control over the c-file would provide him with a stable
advantage in this endgame. Now, Black would have his standard counterplay by attacking the enemy
pawn-structure on the queenside. 16.Be2 a5„ Almeida Quintana – Arencibia Rodriguez, Santa Clara

8...0-0 9.e4 Nxc3 10.Bxc3 c5


11.0-0-0?! It is rather risky for White to castle queenside having in mind the open c-file: 11...cxd4
12.Nxd4 (12.Rxd4 Qc7 13.e5 Nd7 14.h4 Rfd8³ Murdzia – Pieniazek, Poland 1996; 12.Bxd4 Qc8!
13.Bc3 Na6ƒ Van Baal – Hohn, Germany 2007) 12...Qc7 13.Kb1 (13.Bd3?! Nd7 14.Nb5 Qf4+ 15.Kb1
a6 16.e5 g6 17.Nd6 Bxg2 18.Rhg1 Bd5µ Moscoso –Chevalier, corr. 1996) 13...a6 14.f3 Nc6= Pert –
Geirnaert, Athens 2001.
11.Rd1 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Qc8 13.Be2 Nc6 14.Nf3 Qc7 15.0-0 Rad8= Rustemov – Fedorchuk, Lorca 2006.


It is essential to understand that in the Petrosian system, after White has played a2-a3, he cannot build
anymore the pawn-structure a2-b3, with the idea to neutralise his opponent’s pressure on the b-file.

Therefore, this pressure might be only compensated by the relative weakness of Black’s queenside pawns
after his b-pawn goes to the c-file.
I believe that Black solves thus his problems easier than in the line: 11...Bxc5 12.Rd1.


12.Ne5 Qc7 13.Rd1 (13.Nc4?! Nc6 14.Rd1, Moor – Jenni, Zug 2001, 14...Nd4!? 15.Bxd4 cxd4 16.Rxd4
f5! 17.exf5 exf5 18.Ne3 Qxc2 19.Nxc2 Rac8 20.Bc4+ Kh8 21.0-0 Bf6µ) 13...Bf6 14.Nc4 Bxc3+
15.bxc3 Nd7= Acs – Sax, Hungary 2007.
12.Bb5 Qb6 13.Qa4 a6 14.Bd3 Bc6 15.Qc2 Bb5 16.0-0 Rd8 17.Rfd1 Nc6= Jobava – Anastasian,
Kusadasi 2006.
12.Bd3 Nd7 13.0-0 Qc7 14.Rfe1 Rfd8 15.Rad1 h6 16.Rd2 Rab8= Atalik – Epishin, Lake George 2005.
12.Be2 Nc6 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.Qa4 Rfd8 15.0-0 h6 16.Rfe1 Rac8= Santiago – Leitao, Brazil 2016.
12.Bc4, Hebert – Stefansson, New York 1989, 12...Bf6!? 13.Rd1 Bxc3+ 14.Qxc3 Qc7„

12...Qc7 13.Bd3

13.Qa4 (After 13...Nc6, White is preparing the advantageous exchange 14.Ba6.) 13...Rc8 14.Be2 Qf4
15.Nd2 Bf6 16.g3 Qh6 17.0-0 Nc6= Dreev – Epishin, Vicente Bonil 2005.


White has at his disposal only one really dangerous plan for Black in this position: to play e4-e5,
followed later by a transfer of his queen to the e4, or g4-squares, creating pressure against the shelter of
the enemy king. Therefore, Black develops his queen’s knight in a way to leave the long diagonal free for
his light-squared bishop, so that after e4-e5, he may have the possibility to exchange Bb7xf3.

14.0-0 Rfd8


15.b3, Grunberg – Sachdev, Paks 2007, 15...c4!? 16.Bxc4 Bxa3=
15.Qe2 Bf6 16.Rc1 Qb6 17.Nd2 (17.Rfe1 Bd4 18.e5 Bxc3 19.Bxh7+ Kxh7 20.Ng5+ Kg8 21.Qh5 Nxe5
22.Rxe5 Bxe5 23.Qxf7+ Kh8 24.Qh5= Conquest – Stohl, Germany 1999) 17...Bxc3 18.Nc4 Qc7
19.Rxc3 Nb6 20.Rfc1 Nxc4 21.Bxc4 Rd4 22.Bb5 Rad8 23.Rxc5 Qb6 24.b4 a5 25.bxa5 Qxa5 26.a4 Bxe4
27.Rc8 h6= Macciagodena – Selestini, ICCF 2016.

15...h6 16.Bb5

16.h3 Bf6 17.e5 Be7 18.Bh7+ Kh8 19.Be4 Rab8 20.Qa4 Bxe4 21.Qxe4 Nb6 22.Nd2 Qb7 23.Qg4 Bf8
24.Ne4 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Nd5= Korotylev – Epishin, Moscow 2004.
16.Rd2 Rab8 17.Bf1 Bf6 18.Re3 Ne5 19.Rxd8+ Rxd8 20.Nxe5 Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Qxe5 22.f3 Rd6!, Draw,
Atalik – Epishin, Lake George 2005. Later, there may arise the following developments: 23.Rc3 Rb6
24.Rxc5 Qd4+ 25.Qf2 Qxf2+ 26.Kxf2 Rxb2+ 27.Kg3 Rb3 28.Ra5 Bxe4 29.Rxa7 Bd3=
16.Qe2 Bf6 17.e5 (17.Bxf6?! Nxf6 18.e5 Nd7 19.Bc2 Bxf3 20.Qxf3 Nxe5 21.Qg3 Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Rc8µ
Beinoras – Sulskis, Kaunas 2015) 17...Be7 18.Bb1, Almeida Quintana – Filip, Oviedo 2008, 18...Nb6„



17.Ba5 Nb6 18.Bxc6 Qxc6= Tihonov – Maiorov, Minsk 2006.

17...Nb6 18.Rxd8+ Rxd8 19.Qa5 Bxb5 20.Qxb5 Qd7 21.Qa6 Qa4 22.Qb7 Qd7= Jovanic – Kveinys,
Pula 2005. Black’s isolated c5-pawn can hardly be a serious weakness in the subsequent developments.

Chapter 13

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3

White plans to prepare the occupation of the centre with Bf1-d3 (or Bf1-b5-d3) and e3-e4, forming a
mobile central tandem of pawns, which must be attacked by Black if he wishes to obtain counterplay.
The only way for him to do that is to push c7-c5. Therefore, in order to create pressure against the enemy
centre (in this particular case – against the d4-square), he must prepare in advance the development of his
bishop to g7.


White has already lost a tempo for the move a2-a3 and plans later to lose another tempo for the move e3-
e4, so it is quite reasonable for Black to play in the spirit of the Gruenfeld Defence. With his bishop on
b7 and the played move e7-e6, following c7-c5 (or c7-c6-c5, after the check with the bishop on b5)
would prevent White from occupying additional space with the move d4-d5.
We will analyse in details now: A) 8.h4, B) 8.Nxd5 and C) 8.Bb5+.
8.g3. It is not logical for White to play at first 7.e3 and then – 8.g3. Black obtains easily an excellent
position. 8...Bg7 9.Bg2 0-0 10.0-0 Nd7 11.Ne2?! c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Rb1 Rc8 14.b4 Ne4³ Rinne –
Multala, corr. 1986.
8.Qc2. Naturally, it would not be reasonable for White to play at first e2-e3 and then Qd1-c2. 8...Nxc3
9.bxc3 Bg7 10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Rd1 Qc8 13.Bb2 c5 14.c4 cxd4 15.exd4 Rd8 16.Rab1 Qc7„
Falanga – Goti, Italy 1996.
8.Bc4. This move is not so purposeful and does not create any problems for Black. 8...Bg7 9.0-0 0-0

10.Qe2 c5 11.Rd1, Fernandez – Delgado, ICCF 2004, 11...cxd4 12.exd4 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qc7 14.Bg5
8.Be2. This modest move does not prepare e3-e4, does not contribute to the development of White’s
initiative and is just developing. Black can realise effortlessly his basic plan, connected with the pawn-
advance c7-c5. 8...Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bd2 (10.Qc2 Nd7 11.Rd1 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Qc8 – see 8.Qc2) 10...Nd7
11.Rc1 c5 12.Nxd5 Bxd5 13.Bc3 Qe7 14.dxc5 Bxc3 15.Rxc3 Nxc5= Manzanaris Campillo – Gago
Padreny, Spain 2007.
8.Qa4+ c6 9.h4 (9.Bd2 Bg7 10.e4 Nxc3 11.Bxc3 0-0 12.Rd1 Nd7 13.Bd3, Manolache – Rusev,
Cambados 2007, 13...Qc7 14.0-0 Rfd8 15.Rfe1 c5„; 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.b4 Bd6 11.Be2 0-0 12.0-0 Qe7
13.Qb3 Nd7 14.Bb2 b5„ Rajkovic – Kurajica, Subotica 1984) 9...Bg7 10.h5 Nxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.hxg6
hxg6 13.e4 c5 14.Bd3 cxd4 15.cxd4 Qd7!? 16.Qxd7 Nxd7= Burger – Petursson, Saint John 1988.
8.Bd2 Bg7

9.Nxd5 Qxd5!? 10.Rc1 (10.Qc2 0-0! 11.Qxc7. If White does not capture this pawn, then Black will play
c7-c5, Rf8-c8, organising effective counterplay. 11...Rc8 12.Qf4 Nd7 13.Be2 Rc2 14.Bc3? Rxe2+
15.Kxe2 Ba6–+; 12.Qg3 Nd7 13.Be2 Nf6©) 10...0-0! 11.Rxc7 (11.Bc4 Qd6 12.0-0 Nd7 13.Qe2 c5=
Kolanek – Sherwood, ICCF 2012) 11...Bc6! 12.Bb4 Re8∞ Rowson – Brunello, Verona 2006. Now,
White is forced to part with an exchange, obtaining a pawn for it and some compensation.
9.Rc1 0-0 10.Be2. (Following 10.Bb5 c6 11.Ba4, Black can develop his knight in such a way as to
support the pawn-advance c6-c5, without the threat of it being exchanged by White’s bishop on a4.
11...Na6!? 12.b4 c5„ Kostritsa – Topchy, corr. 1991.) 10...Nd7 11.0-0 c5= Winkelmann – Schuurmann,
Dresden 2007. After the passive development of White’s bishops on e2 and d2, he cannot even think
about obtaining an advantage in the opening.
8.Bd3 Nxc3!? It is reasonable for Black to exchange here immediately on c3 in order to avoid the
variation 8...Bg7 9.Nxd5 exd5, in which he cannot already develop his bishop on the d6-square. 9.bxc3

Bg7 10.a4!? (10.h4 0-0 11.h5 Nd7 12.Ra2 Nf6 13.hxg6 hxg6 14.Re2 c5 15.e4 Rc8 16.Kf1 cxd4 17.cxd4
Rc3„ Geiser – Ziegler, ICCF 2012; 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rb1, Raev – Rusev, Bulgaria 2008, 11...c5!? and the
move 12.dxc5 is already bad for White, because Black has the tactical possibility 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Qg5+
14.Kh1 Qxc5³) 10...0-0 11.0-0, Tkachiev – Van der Wiel, France 1999 (Following 11.a5, Black has the
rather non-typical resource 11...e5!„). Here, it deserves attention for him to try 11...Nc6!?, impeding
White’s actions on the queenside. 12.e4 Na5 13.Ba3 Re8 14.Qe2 Qc8„, followed by c7-c5.

A) 8.h4

It is often assumed that the presence of a black pawn on g6 is a signal for White’s h-pawn to advance. In
the contemporary opening theory, the variations with h2-h4 are very popular in the openings in which
Black fianchettoes his dark-squared bishop: the Pirc Defence, the Gruenfeld Defence etc.

8...Bg7 9.h5 Nd7 10.Bd3

10.Nxd5 exd5 – see line B.

10.h6 Bf6 11.Ne4 Be7 12.Ng3 0-0 13.Bb5 c6 14.Ba4 b5 15.Bc2 c5 16.0-0 Rc8 17.Qe2 a6 18.e4 N5b6
19.Rd1 cxd4 20.Nxd4 Qc7„ Klebel – Andersen, Augsburg 1991.
10.Qa4, Klatt – Michael, corr. 1987, 10...0-0 11.Bb5. It is logical for White to justify in this way the idea
Qd1-a4. Black can counter this however, with a small tactical operation 11...Nxc3 12.bxc3 Nc5! 13.Qd1

10...Nxc3 11.bxc3


With this move Black waits for his opponent to clarify his intentions in order to choose his strategy later
depending on circumstances.
11...e5 12.e4 Qe7 13.h6 Bf6 14.0-0 0-0 15.Re1 Rfd8, Li Chao – Tomashevsky, Sharjah 2017, 16.a4ƒ
11...Nc5 12.Bb5+ c6 13.Bc4 Ne4 14.Qc2 c5 15.Bb5+ Kf8 16.h6 Bf6 17.Bd3 Nd6, Whitehead –
Razuvaev, Saint John 1988, 18.Qe2²
12.0-0 (12.e4 Nc5!„; 12.h6 Bh8„; 12.Bb2 c5„) 12...Bxf3! 13.Qxf3 Ne5„

B) 8.Nxd5


The move 8...Qxd5, which we have analysed in the previous chapter, but without the inclusion of the
moves 7.e3 g6, is not good for Black now. White would counter it with 9.Qc2 Bg7 (The move 9...Bd6,
after the already played g7-g6, would leave Black’s kingside weakened...). Black has not managed to
castle yet and does not have the active resource Rf8-c8, so White can simply grab a pawn with 10.Qxc7
0-0 11.Qc4² and Black’s compensation for it is rather questionable.
After the placement of Black’s pawn on d5, White cannot form the mobile pawn-tandem e4 and d4. If he
does not succeed in advancing e3-e4, then his bishop on c1 will not have the possibility to occupy the h6-
square and Black will deploy his bishop to the more active position on d6.


About 9.Bd3 Nd7 10.0-0 Bd6 11.b4 0-0 – see 9.b4.

9.Be2 Bd6 10.Bd2 0-0 (It would not be so precise for Black to choose here 10...Nbd7 11.Bb4 c5 12.dxc5
bxc5 13.Bc3 0-0 14.b4ƒ Eljanov – Bologan, Sarajevo 2005.) 11.0-0 (Following 11.Bb4 c5 12.dxc5 bxc5
13.Bc3 a5„, Black would prevent his opponent’s actions, connected with the pawn-advance b2-b4.)
11...Nbd7 12.b4, Eljanov – Ramesh, Dubai 2004, 12...Qe7=, followed by the usual transfer of the knight
in similar pawn-structures – Nd7-f6-e4.
After 9.h4 Nd7 10.h5, naturally, Black should not develop his bishop on d6, but should play instead
10...Bg7, for example 11.Bd2 (If White advances maximally his h-pawn with 11.h6, then after 11...Bf8∞,
Black’s bishop might be placed on the d6-square on his next move.) 11...0-0 12.Bd3 c5„ Ragger –
Bogner, Germany 2015.
9.Bd2 Nd7 10.Qa4 (Following 10.Bb4 Bg7 11.a4 c5, you can see the idea behind Black’s preparatory
move nine thanks to which he can now cover the a3-f8 diagonal and castle. 12.Ba3 0-0 13.Bb5 Re8

14.a5, Portisch – Palo, Kallithea 2002, 14...Re6!?„; 10.Rc1, Roiz – Sasikiran, Lublin 2011, 10...a6!?
11.h4 Bd6 12.h5 0-0 13.Bd3 Qe7 14.Qc2 Rac8 15.Bc3 Nf6 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.Ne5 Qg7∞) 10...a6 11.Rc1,
Portisch – Sosonko, Tunis 1985, 11...Bd6!? 12.h4 Qe7 13.h5 0-0 14.Bd3 Nf6 15.hxg6 fxg6„
9.b4 Nd7

It is considered that the move g7-g6 practically forces Black to develop his bishop on the g7-square;
otherwise, his king’s position would be vulnerable. Still, there are some exceptions to this rule. Here, for
example, we have reached the Carlsbad pawn-structure on the board. The placement of Black’s bishop on
d6 is more active, since it attacks the h2-square and supports the pawn-advances c5 and a5.
About 10.Bd3 Bd6 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qb3 a6, or 12.Bb2 Qe7 13.Qb3 a6 – see 10.Qb3.
10.Rb1 Bd6 11.Bd3 0-0 12.0-0, D.Paulsen – Schuster, Germany 1998, 12...Qe7„
10.Bb2 Bd6 11.Bd3 Qe7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rc1 (13.Qb3 a6 – see 10.Qb3; 13.Re1 a6 14.h3 Rfe8 15.Qc2,
Ensenbach – Franke, ICCF 2012, 15...Nf6!? 16.Ne5 c5„, followed by c5-c4.) 13...a6 14.Bc3 Nf6
15.Qe2 Ne4 16.Bb2 f6 17.Nd2 Kg7 18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Bc4 a5„ Zesiger – Jorgensen, ICCF 2015.
10.Be2 Bd6 11.0-0 (11.Bb2 a6 12.Rc1 0-0 13.Ne5 Re8 14.Nc6?! Bxc6 15.Rxc6 b5 16.Qb3 Nb6³ Shirov
– Van der Wiel, Wijk aan Zee 1993) 11...0-0 12.Bd2 a6 13.a4, Eljanov – Ramesh, Dubai 2004,
10.Qb3 Bd6 11.Bd3 (11.Be2 Qe7 12.0-0 Nf6 13.b5 0-0 14.a4 a6 15.Bb2 axb5 16.axb5, Andreikin –
Karjakin, Tromsoe 2013, 16...Ne4=) 11...0-0 12.0-0 a6 13.a4 (13.Bb2 Qe7 14.Rac1 b5!?„; 14.Rfc1 b5!
15.a4 c6! 16.Bc3 Nb6„ Kolek – Rulfs, ICCF 2015) 13...Qe7 14.Bd2 Nf6 15.b5 axb5 16.axb5 Ne4=
Timman – Kurajica, Indonesia 1983.

9...c6 10.Bd3


After 10...Bd6 11.e4 dxe4 12.Bxe4 Ba6 13.Bh6, White’s bishop penetrates inside the enemy position and
although the game transposes to some rather irrational lines, Black’s game would be much more difficult.
13...Qe7 14.Kd2! Kd8 15.Qc2 Qc7 16.Bg7 Re8 17.Rhe1 f5 18.Bf6+ Be7 19.Bxe7+ Rxe7 20.Bd3 Qf4+
21.Kc3 Bxd3 22.Qxd3 Nd7 23.Rxe7 Kxe7 24.Re1+ Kf8 25.Qc4± Black’s king is more endangered than
its counterpart.


About 11.0-0 0-0 12.b4 Nd7 — see 11.b4.

11.e4 dxe4 12.Bxe4 Ba6! White has immediate problems after this move, since his king loses its castling
rights. (It would also be quite reliable for Black to play here the calmer line: 12...0-0 13.0-0 Nd7 14.Bg5
Qc7 15.Rc1 Rfe8 16.Re1 c5= Kramnik – Anand, Linares 1993.) 13.Bd3 (13.Bg5 Qd6 14.Qd2 0-0 15.0-0-
0, Kozul – M.Gurevich, Belgrade 1988, 15...Nd7∞ Black’s chances of attacking successfully the enemy
king are not worse than White’s at all.) 13...Bxd3 14.Qxd3 0-0 15.0-0 Qd5 16.Be3 Nd7 17.Rac1 Rfe8
18.Qa6, Lobron – Timman, Brussels 1992, 18...Nf6!? 19.h3 Qb5=

11...0-0 12.0-0

12.Bd2 Nd7 13.0-0 (13.Rb1 Re8 14.0-0 Nf6 15.Qc2 Ne4 16.Rfc1 Rc8= Kasparov – Kramnik, Internet
2001) 13...Nf6 14.a4 (14.Qc2 Qe7 15.Rab1 Ne4 16.Rfc1 Rfc8 17.a4 Rc7 18.a5 Re8 19.h3 Bc8 20.Be1
Bf5„ Reichgeld – Chiani, ICCF 2014) 14...Ne4 15.Rb1 Qe7 16.Qc2 Rfe8 17.Rfc1 Rac8 18.Be1 Rc7
19.a5 Nd6„ Radjabov – Karjakin, Beijing 2013.

12...Nd7 13.Rb1 Re8


14.Qb3 a5!? 15.Bd2 a4„, followed by b7-b5 and Nd7-b6, Jonsson – Bruk, Groningen 1983.
14.Bb2, Medvedev – Sirobaba, corr. 1988. This placement of White’s bishop justifies completely Black’s
move 14...a5!?„ The capturing 15.bxa5 Rxa5„, would be hardly attractive for White, while after 15.Bc3,
Black would have two attractive plans. He must play either 15...a4, followed by b7-b5 and Nd7-b6, or
exchange on b4 and follow that with Nd7-f6-e4 with tempo.

14...a5 15.e4 axb4 16.axb4 dxe4 17.Bxe4 Nf6 18.Bg5 b5 (defending against b4-b5) 19.Ne5 Qd6
20.Qb3 Re6!= Vokac – Stefansson, Pardubice 2014. Black has defended his weaknesses and now, White
must think about his vulnerable squares.

C) 8.Bb5+ c6

We will analyse now: C1) 9.Ba4 and C2) 9.Bd3.
About 9.Nxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 Bg7 – see variation B.
9.Be2 Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.Bd2 Nd7 12.Rc1 Qe7 13.Qa4 a5! 14.Qb3 Rfd8 15.Rfd1 Rab8 16.Be1 Ba8
17.Qc2 c5= M.Kozakov – Vovk, Lviv 2016. Naturally, White cannot create any problems for his
opponent if he does not play actively.
9.Bc4 Bg7 10.0-0 0-0 11.e4 Nxc3 12.bxc3 c5 13.Bg5 Qd6 14.Qd3 (14.e5 Qd7 15.Qd3 Rc8 16.Rfe1 cxd4
17.cxd4 Nc6 18.Rac1 Na5 19.Bb5 Qd5 20.Ba6 Bxa6 21.Qxa6 Rc4= Reichgeld – Roeckendorf, ICCF
2014; 14.Re1 Nc6 15.e5 Qc7 16.Rc1 Na5 17.Bd3 Rac8 18.h4 cxd4 19.cxd4 Qd7„ Stocek – Wojtaszek,
Czech Republic 2011) 14...Nc6 15.e5 (15.Rad1?! Na5 16.Ba2 c4 17.Qe3 Qxa3 18.Bb1 f6 19.Bf4 Nb3³
Civtillo – Cornejo, ICCF 2007) 15...Qd7 16.Rfd1 h6 17.Bf6 Na5 18.Ba2 Bxf6 19.exf6 Qxd8 20.Ne5
Qxf6 21.Qh3, Matamoros – Roeder, Havana 1999, 21...Qg7∞

C1) 9.Ba4

Here, just like after the move 9.Bc4, White’s bishop does not support the pawn-advance e3-e4, so after
Black’s thematic move c6-c5, White’s pawn on e4 would need additional protection.



10.e4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 (It would be more reasonable for Black here to try to advance c6-c5 as quickly
as possible, than to try to keep the enemy king in the centre: 11...Ba6 12.h4∞ Kasparov –Timman,
Amsterdam 1991.) 12.0-0 (12.Bg5 Qd6 13.e5 Qc7 14.0-0 c5 – see 12.0-0) 12...c5 13.Bg5 Qd6 14.e5 Qc7
15.h4, Brower – Rizzo, ICCF 2001 (15.Re1 Nc6„; 15.Bb5 h6 16.Be3 Nc6 17.Qe2 Ne7 18.Ba6 Bd5
19.Rac1 Nf5„) 15...h6 16.Bf4 Nc6„

10...0-0 11.e4 Nxc3 12.bxc3 c5

Black’s pressure with his bishops, against the enemy central pawns (meanwhile, Black’s queen and soon

his knight will also join in the pressure against the pawn on d4) will soon force White to advance his e-
pawn, which would decrease the potential of his pawn-chain. White would not have the necessary power
to create meaningful threats on the kingside. After Black fortifies the position of his king with the
maneuver Nb8-c6-e7, White’s activity will be completely parried and Black will begin actions against his
opponent’s compromised pawn-structure.


About 13.Re1 Nc6 14.Bg5 Qd6 – see 13.Bg5.

13...Qd6 14.e5

14.Re1 Nc6 15.e5 (15.Bxc6 Qxc6 16.Ne5?! Qe8³ Scandone – Mamrukov, ICCF 2011; 15.Qd2 cxd4
16.Bxc6 Qxc6 17.cxd4 Rac8 18.Bh6 f6 19.Rac1 Qd7= Khenkin – Breder, Germany 2002) 15...Qc7

16.h4?! h6 17.Be3 (17.Bf6 Ne7 18.Bb3 Nd5µ; 17.Bf4 Ne7 18.Qe2, Greenfeld – Psakhis, Israel 2000,
18...cxd4 19.cxd4 Nf5µ) 17...Ne7 18.h5 Nf5 19.Bb3?! g5 20.Qe2 Rfd8 21.Red1 Rac8 22.Rac1 Qe7µ
Pelletier – Huzman, Biel 2000.
16.Qd2 Ne7 17.Rad1, Khenkin – Epishin, Netherlands 1998 (17.Bd1 Rac8 18.Be2, Popelka – Nierobisz,
ICCF 2005, 18...cxd4 19.cxd4 Qd7³) 17...h6!ƒ



15.h4, Khenkin – Lingnau, Senden 2001, 15...h6 16.Be3 Nc6³

15.Qd2 Bxf3 16.gxf3 Nc6 17.Rad1 Ne7 18.Rfe1 Rac8³ Najer – Epishin, Elista 2001.
15.Qd3 h6 16.Bh4 Nc6 17.Rfd1 Rac8 18.Bb5 cxd4 19.cxd4 Na5³ Loeffelbein – Lehnhoff, ICCF 2008.
15.Qe2 h6 16.Bf6, Soltau – Winge, ICCF 2004, 16...cxd4 17.cxd4 Ba6ƒ
15...Nc6 16.Qg4 h6 17.Be3?! (It would be more prudent for White to choose here 17.Bf6!? Ne7
18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Ne4 Rfd8„) 17...Ne7ƒ Kupreichik – Makarichev, USSR 1984.

C2) 9.Bd3 Bg7


About 10.Nxd5 exd5 – see variation B.

10.Ne4 0-0 11.0-0 Qe7, or 10.Na4 Nc7 11.0-0 0-0 – see 10...0-0.
10.Ne2 c5 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Qc2 (12.e4 Nf6!? 13.Nc3 0-0 14.0-0 Nc6 15.Na4 c4! 16.Bc2 Qc7³)
12...Nd7 13.e4 N5b6 14.Nc3 c4 15.Be2 Nc5³ Lobron – Karpov, Dortmung 1995.
10.e4 Nxc3 11.bxc3 0-0 12.Bg5 Qd7 13.Qd2 (13.0-0 c5 – see variation C2b) 13...c5 14.Bh6 cxd4
15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.cxd4 Nc6 17.Qb2 Nxd4 18.Qxd4+ Qxd4 19.Nxd4 Rfd8 20.Nxe6+ fxe6 21.Ke2 Rd4=
Pawlowski – Sievilainen, ICCF 2011.
10.h4. This method of playing against the king’s fianchetto has become very popular in the contemporary
opening theory and it is used in different openings. Black counters it often, according to the principles of
the founder of the hyper-modern style of playing Aron Nimzowitsch, with active counter actions in the
centre, without castling and allowing h4-h5, being afraid neither of the exchange of the rooks on the h-
file, nor of the penetration h5-h6. 10...Nxc3 11.bxc3 c5 12.h5 (After 12.e4 Nc6 and 13.Bb2 Qd7 14.0-0
cxd4 15.cxd4 0-0 16.e5 Rfd8 17.Rfe1 Rac8 18.h5, Bradbury – Levitt, England 1984, 18...Ne7„, as well
as after 13.e5, Rombaldoni – Tomashevsky, Baku 2016, 13...cxd4 14.cxd4 Qd5„, Black would have
excellent counterplay.) 12...Nc6

13.Rb1 Rc8 14.hxg6 hxg6 15.Rxh8+ Bxh8 16.dxc5 Bxc3+ 17.Ke2 Na5 18.cxb6 axb6 19.e4 Kf8= Muse
– Lau, Berlin 1984.
13.0-0, Tomashevsky – Carlsen, Dubai 2014, 13...0-0!?, following 14.dxc5?!, Black can even try to fight
for an advantage in the opening with a pawn-sacrifice, which is quite typical for similar pawn-structures:
14...Ne5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.cxb6 axb6 17.hxg6 hxg6 18.Rb1 Ra5³
13.Bb2 Qe7 14.Qe2 Rd8!? 15.hxg6 hxg6 16.Rxh8+ Bxh8 17.Rd1, Varga – D.Berczes, Budapest 2014,


We will analyse in details now: C2a) 11.Ne4 and C2b) 11.e4.

11.Ne2 c5! 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Qc2 Nd7 14.Rd1, Volodin – Kulaots, Tallinn 2008 (14.e4, Matsuura –
Crocitti, San Paolo 1998, 14...c4!?ƒ) 14...c4! 15.Bxc4 (15.Qxc4 N5b6ƒ) 15...Rc8ƒ
11.Qe2 c5 12.Nxd5 exd5 13.b3 Nc6 14.Bb2 cxd4 15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 Bxd4 17.exd4 Re8 18.Qb2
Qf6= Hernandez Carmenates – So Wesley, Calvia 2006.
11.Nxd5 exd5 12.b4. Without this move Black would advance c6-c5-c4 and will continue with actions on
the queenside following well-familiar examples. 12...a5. Here, contrary to one of the variations of the
Queen’s Gambit, White’s dark-squared bishop is restricted by his own pawns, so Black can organise
counterplay much easier. 13.Bb2 (13.Rb1 axb4 14.axb4 Qd6 15.Qb3 Nd7 16.Bb2 b5 17.Ra1 Nb6= Kuhn
– Hentschel ICCF 2001) 13...Nd7 14.Qc2 Qe7 15.Bc3 axb4 16.axb4 Rfc8 17.Qb2 Qf8 18.Nd2 Rxa1
19.Rxa1 Ra8 20.Rc1 Ra4 21.Bc2 Ra7 22.Bb1 Ba6 23.h3 Bb5 24.Bc2 Qa8„ V.Belov – Sagar, Mumbai
11.Na4 Nc7!? 12.Qe2 (12.e4 Nb5 13.Bxb5 cxb5 14.Nc3 Nc6„; 12.Qc2, Sulashvili – Zubarev,
Paleohora 2010, 12...c5!? 13.dxc5 Bxf3 14.gxf3 b5! 15.Nc3 Qg5+ 16.Kh1 Qxc5=; 12.b4 Nd7 13.Bb2 c5
14.dxc5 Bxb2 15.Nxb2 bxc5 16.Be2 cxb4 17.axb4 Nd5 18.Qb3 Qb6 19.Nc4 Qxb4= Borovikov –
Prasanna, Rethymno 2010) 12...Nd7 13.Rd1 Qe8 14.Bd2 e5 15.dxe5 c5 16.e4 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Qxe5
18.Bc3 Qe7 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Nc3 Rad8= Reshevsky – Olafsson, New York 1984.

C2a) 11.Ne4 Qe7


After 12.Bd2, White’s slow development enables Black to prepare at ease his freeing pawn-advance:
12...Nd7 13.Rc1 e5 14.Bb1 exd4 15.exd4 N7f6 16.Re1 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Qd6= Serrano Salvador – Sanchez
Galian, Parla 2008.

12...c5 13.e4 Nc7 14.Bg5

14.e5?! Bxf3 15.Qxf3 Nd5 16.dxc5?! White’s centre is under tremendous pressure and this mistake
worsens his situation even more... 16...Nd7! 17.cxb6 Nxe5 18.Qe2 Nxd3 19.Qxd3 axb6 20.Ne4 Qc7
21.Rb1 Rfc8 22.Rd1 Qc2³ Sanikidze – Gordon, France 2014. White must fight long and hard for a draw
in this position.
14.dxc5 Qxc5 15.Be3 Qe7 16.Qe2 (16.Bg5 Qd7 17.Qe2 h6 18.Be3 Nc6 19.Rfd1 Qe7 20.Rac1 Rad8
21.Qc2 e5 22.h4 Ne6= Wilkinson – Ellis, ICCF 2015) 16...Nc6 17.Bg5 f6 18.Be3 Kh8 19.Rac1 e5 20.b4
Ne6 21.Rfd1 Rfd8 22.Qa2 Ncd4= Hejazipour – Hakimifard, Iran 2013.

14...f6 15.Be3


Black should not be in a hurry to simplify the position, or to play actively rather prematurely: 15...cxd4
16.Nxd4 e5? 17.Ndf5! gxf5 18.Nxf5 Qd7 (18...Qf7 19.Bh6+–) 19.Qg4 Kh8 20.Rfd1 Ne8 21.Bc4 Qc7
22.Rac1 Nc6 23.Bd5±, Black’s position has been completely paralysed, Riazantsev – Khegay, Russia

16.Rc1 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Rad8 18.Nc6 Bxc6 19.Rxc6 f5! 20.exf5 exf5 21.Bf4 Kh8 22.Qe2 Qxe2 23.Bxe2
Nd5 24.Bg5 Nb8! 25.Rc2 Bf6= Sanikidze – Navara, France 2015. Black has neutralised completely his
opponent’s activity with an accurate play.

C2b) 11.e4 Nxc3 12.bxc3 c5


13.Be3 cxd4 14.cxd4 Nc6 15.e5?! (15.Bb1?! Rc8 16.Qd3 Rc7 17.Bg5 Bf6 18.Bxf6 Qxf6 19.e5 Qg7
20.Ba2 Rd7µ Castillo Gomez – Epishin, Sevilla 2000; 15.Qa4!?∞) 15...Ne7 16.Rc1 (16.Ng5 Nf5
17.Bxf5 exf5³) 16...Nf5³ Solar – Pfaff, ICCF 2006.
13.dxc5?! Here, just like in the Gruenfeld Defence, capturing the c5-pawn would lead to horrible results
for White. 13...Nd7!

Now, it becomes clear that after 14.cxb6 Nc5! 15.Bc2 axb6!, White’s pawns on e4 and c3 are hanging
and he does not have the defensive move Qd1-e2, because of the attack on the Bb7-a6 diagonal, so White
has serious problems.

14.Be3 Nxc5 15.Bxc5 bxc5³ Paz – Acosta, Mar del Plata 1991. He has no compensation for the
weakness on c3 and Black’s two-bishop advantage.
13.Bb2?! Nc6. Black is playing in the spirit of the Gruenfeld Defence – exerting maximal pressure
against the d4-square. Naturally, White’s bishop on b2 does not beautify his position and its
misplacement has a direct effect on the evaluation of the position. 14.Bc2 (14.dxc5 bxc5 15.Qe2 Rb8³
Gazola – Mello, Sao Paulo 2011) 14...Rc8!? With this move Black forces the enemy queen to protect the
d4-square and prevents its transfer to the more favourable position – the e2-square. 15.Re1 Qc7 16.Qe2.
Now, Black exploits the defencelessness of the bishop on c2: 16...Rfd8 17.Rad1 cxd4 18.cxd4 Nb4
19.Ba4 Ba6 20.Qe3 Nc2 21.Bxc2 Qxc2³



Here, White must play very accurately not to end up in an inferior position.
The move 14.Qe2?, after 14...cxd4 15.cxd4 Nc6, leaves White a pawn down and without any
compensation for it. 16.Bb5 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Qxd4µ Navin – Lalith, New Dehli 2013.
14.Bc2 cxd4 15.cxd4 Nc6 16.Ba4 Qd6³ White is helpless against his opponent’s pressure against his
central pawns.
14.e5 cxd4 15.cxd4 Na6!? 16.Qe2 Nc7 17.Rac1 Rac8 18.Be4 Bxe4 19.Qxe4 Nd5 20.h4 Rxc1 21.Rxc1
Rc8³ Krivenko – Kurukin, Moscow 2010.
The move 14.Ne5 is senseless now, because of 14...Qc7 and White would not have the attack against the
enemy king on the a4-e8 diagonal, since Black has already castled. 15.Bf4 Qe7 16.Qa4 g5 17.Be3
(17.Bg3 Rd8„) 17...Bxe5 18.dxe5 Rd8 19.Rfd1 Nc6 20.Ba6 Bxa6 21.Qxc6 h6 22.Qa4 Be2„ Debnar –

Giroux, ICCF 2010. White will have problems to attack the slightly weakened position of the enemy
king, while Black can organise pressure against the pawns on e4 and e5.
14.dxc5 bxc5 (Here, it deserves attention for Black to try a pawn-sacrifice, which is encountered in
similar positions in the variation with 4.f3 in the Nimzo-Indian Defence, as well as in the variation with
7.Bc4 in the Gruenfeld Defence: 14...Qc7!? 15.cxb6 axb6 16.Be3 Nd7©) 15.Qe2 Qc7 16.Rfc1 Nd7
17.Qe3 Rab8 18.h4 c4 19.Bc2 Nc5 20.Rab1 f6 21.Bf4 e5 22.Bg3 h5!³ Korobov – Wojtaszek, New Delhi
2012. White’s actions on the kingside have reached their dead end, while Black can develop his initiative
via the d3 and b3-outposts.
14...Nc6 15.dxc5 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxe5 17.g3 (Following 17.cxb6 axb6„, White might lose eventually
both his queenside pawns on a3 and c3.) 17...Rfc8 18.Be3 bxc5= Duchardt – Bouillod, ICCF 2014.

Chapter 14

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3

We will analyse now: A) 8.Qc3 and B) 8.bxc3.

A) 8.Qc3 h6

Black’s alternative here is the move 8...Nd7, which after 9.Bg5 Be7 10.Bxe7 Kxe7∞, would lead to a
position in which he would have to lose his castling rights in his fight for equality. This would mean that
his task of playing adequately this position would become much more complicated.


9.g3 Nd7 10.Bg2 Bd6. The move h7-h6 has already been played, so White’s aggressive developing move
Bc1-g5 has become impossible, so it would be reasonable for Black to develop his bishop to a more
active position than the e7-square. 11.0-0 0-0

12.Rd1 Nf6 13.Ne1 (13.b3 e5 14.dxe5 Bxe5 15.Qe1 Bd6 16.Bb2 Qe7= Liushnin – Kazantsev, ICCF
2014) 13...Bxg2 14.Nxg2 Qe7 15.Qf3 e5 16.Ne3 Qe6 17.d5 Qh3 18.Bd2 Rad8 19.Bc3 Rfe8∞ Molo –
Glinz, ICCF 2015.
12.b4 a5 13.b5 Rc8 14.Bb2 f5!?. This is a surprising decision and despite the weakness on e6 Black’s
blocking strategy on the light squares would enable him to obtain a quite acceptable position. 15.Nh4
Bxg2 16.Nxg2 Qe8 17.Qb3 Nf6 18.f3, Akwei – Huzita, ICCF 2016, 18...c5 19.bxc6 Rxc6 20.a4 Qf7„
9.b4. The fianchetto of the other white bishop would not create any serious problems for Black either.
9...Be7 10.Bb2 0-0 11.e3 (11.Rc1 c6 12.e4 a5 13.b5 cxb5 14.d5 Bf6 15.e5 Bg5 16.Nxg5 Qxg5 17.d6 b4
18.Qg3 Qxg3 19.hxg3 bxa3 20.Bxa3 Bc6!?∞, followed by Rf8-d8 and the advance of Black’s queenside
pawns.) 11...Nd7

Following 12.Bb5?!, Black will play 12...a5. Now, due to the placement of White’s bishop he would not
have the pawn-advance b4-b5, so he will have a choice. He must either compromise his queenside pawn-
structure, or allow the exchange on b4 after which his b-pawn might become a target for an enemy attack
after Black’s manoeuvre Nd7-f6-d5. 13.0-0 Nf6 14.bxa5 Rxa5 15.Bc6 Nd5 16.Qc2 Bxc6 17.Qxc6 Qa8³
Chigishev – Opryatkin, ICCF 2007.
12.Rd1 a5 13.b5 Rc8 14.Qb3 c6 15.bxc6 Bxc6 16.Bb5?! Bb4+! 17.axb4 Bxb5 18.bxa5 Bc4 19.Qa3
bxa5µ Karpov – Ju.Polgar, Wijk aan Zee, 2003. Black has cut off the evacuation of the enemy king to the
kingside even without sacrificing any material.
12.Be2 c5 13.dxc5 Bf6 14.Qd2 Bxb2 15.Qxb2 bxc5 16.b5 a6„ Bocharov – Bakre, Abu Dhabi 2004.
9.e3 Be7 10.Bb5+ c6

11.Be2 Nd7 12.0-0 Rc8 13.Rd1 (13.b4 c5 14.bxc5 bxc5 15.Bb2 0-0 Almeida Quintana – Ivanchuk,
Merida 2007, 16.dxc5 Bf6 17.Qb4 Bxb2 18.Qxb2 Nxc5=) 13...0-0 14.b4 (14.Qe1 Qc7 15.b4 c5 16.dxc5
bxc5 17.Bb2 Bd5 18.Rac1 Qb7 19.Bc3 Rfd8 20.bxc5 Bxc5 21.a4 Be7= Horst – Fuss, ICCF 2014) 14...c5
15.bxc5 bxc5 16.Bb2 Bf6= Vaganian – Adorjan, Dubai 1986.
11.Ba4 0-0 12.0-0 Nd7 13.Rd1 (13.e4 b5 14.Bc2 c5 15.Rd1 Qc7∞ Bareev – Ivanchuk, USSR 1987)
13...Qc7 14.b4 a5

15.b5?! c5 16.Ne5 Nxe5 17.dxe5 Rfd8„ Van Unen – Huuskonen, ICCF 2003. Now, thanks to the
resource c5-c4, Black can obtain an advantage on the queenside.
15.Bb2 axb4 16.axb4 Rfc8=, followed by Nd7-f6 and c6-c5, Melander – Pettersson, ICCF 2015.
15.Bd2 axb4 16.axb4 c5 17.Qc2 Rfc8 18.bxc5 bxc5 19.Rdc1 Nb6 20.dxc5 Bxc5 21.Bb3 Rxa1 22.Rxa1
Nd7= Yeremenko – Van der Houwen, ICCF 2005.


Black did not develop his bishop to e7, so this move was developing and also defensive. He is doing this
without losing a tempo which is also essential.


10.Bxd6 cxd6. White has delayed a bit his development and he cannot occupy the centre, so the
exchanging operations on the c-file have become unavoidable: 11.e3 0-0 12.Be2 Qe7 13.0-0 Rc8 14.Qd2
Nd7 15.Rac1 Nf6= Yermolinsky – Sivuk, Turkey 2016.
10.Bg3 0-0. Black’s plan is quite simple. He wishes to develop his knight on d7, to exchange on g3 and
to improve his chances of equalising in the centre by advancing c7-c5. The placement of his pawn on h6
enables him not to lose time for the protection of the h7-square. 11.e3 Nd7 12.Bb5 (12.Be2 Rc8 13.0-0
Bxg3 14.hxg3 c5 15.Rfd1 Qe7 16.Rac1 Rfd8= G.Horvath – Cioara, Zalakaros 1999; 12.Bd3 Bxg3
13.hxg3 c5 14.Rd1 cxd4 15.Qxd4 Nc5 16.Bc2 Qxd4 17.Rxd4 Rac8 18.0-0 Rfd8= Atalik – Lautier,
Batumi 1999) 12...Bxg3 13.hxg3 c6 14.Ba4 Rc8 15.Rd1 Qe7 16.0-0 Nf6 17.b4, Korobov – Gadimbayli,
Nakhchivan 2018, 17...c5„



11.e3 0-0 12.Bb5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Be7 14.Rd1 Qc8 15.Bd7 Qb8 16.0-0 c5 17.Ba4 b5! 18.Bc2 c4„
Grammatica – Kuhne, ICCF 2016. It is not easy for White to penetrate effectively with his rook on the
open file, while Black is ready to improve his position by creating a battery on the long diagonal with
Bb7-c6 and Qb8-b7.



12.0-0-0?! c5 13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.e3 Bd5µ

12.e4 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bc5 14.Be3 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 c5„

12...Qe7 13.e4 Rfd8 14.Be2 Rac8 15.Nd3 Bxf4 16.Nxf4 c5 17.d5 exd5 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Nf8„
Najer – Estermaa, Linares 2001. Later, Black must either manage to advance his queenside pawns a
square forward creating the pawn-chain c4-b5-(a6), or organise active actions against the enemy king
with Nf8-e6-f4 and Qe7-g5.

B) 8.bxc3 c5


9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Bg3 Qc7 11.e3 Nd7 12.Bd3 h6=

9.e3. This development may turn out to be a bit risky. After White places his queen on e2 and the obvious
development of his bishop on d3, Black may have the possibility to exchange on f3 with the idea to
exploit later his opponent’s compromised kingside pawn-structure. 9...Nd7

10.Bb5 a6 11.Bd3, A.Kuzmin – Adorjan, Moscow 1989, 11...Rc8!? 12.Qe2 (12.Bxh7? cxd4 13.exd4
Bxf3 14.gxf3 Nf6 15.Bd3 b5 16.Bd2 Nd5µ, with excellent counterplay for Black against his opponent’s
numerous weaknesses and his king stranded in the centre.) 12...b5„
10.Bd3 Qc7 11.0-0 (11.Qb1 Bd6 12.e4 Bf4= I.Sokolov – Van der Wiel, Hilversum 2007) 11...Be7 (It

deserved attention for Black here to try the above mentioned possibility to compromise White’s kingside
pawn-structure with 11...Bxf3!? 12.gxf3 Bd6 13.f4 Rc8 14.Qe2 c4 15.Bc2 0-0„, followed by f7-f5 and
the inclusion of the rook in the fight via the f6-square.) 12.Qe2 0-0 13.e4. White has lost a tempo for the
advance of his pawn to the e4-square and has not achieved anything much. 13...Rfd8 14.h4 Rac8
15.Ng5?! h6 16.Nh3 cxd4 17.cxd4 e5! 18.d5 Nc5µ Hauke – Dautov, Baden-Baden 1990.


We will analyse now in details: B1) 10.Bd3 and B2) 10.Bf4.

Following 10.Bb5 a6 11.Bd3, the placement of the pawn on a6 is much rather in favour of Black and he
should continue to play in the spirit of the variations after the move 10.Bd3: 11...Qc7 12.Qb1 Be7 13.0-0
0-0 14.Be3, Gershon – Av.Bykhovsky, Israel 2015, 14...Rfb8„, while the move 11.Bxd7+ would lead to
a position in which Black would have the two-bishop advantage and pawn-majority on the queenside,
while White would be incapable of countering that with anything real: 11...Qxd7 12.0-0 cxd4 13.cxd4
Be7 14.Rb1 b5³ Csebe – Csonkics, Hungary 1992.

B1) 10.Bd3 Qc7!

This is Black’s most precise move and now White must remove his queen from its possible exchange.
After the inclusion of the moves 10...Be7 11.0-0 and 11...Qc7, White has the possibility 12.Qe2 and then
the penetration of Black’s queen to the c3-square, after the exchange on d4, would not be a double attack,
because White’s king has been already removed from the e1-square.


About 11.Qd2 Be7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Qe2 Rac8 – see 11.Qa2.

11.Qb2 Be7 12.0-0 0-0 13.a4 (13.Qe2 Rac8 – see 11.Qd2) 13...Rfd8 14.Qe2, Kashlinskaya – Shuvalova,
St Petersburg 2017. Here, Black had to postpone the exchange in the centre, leaving the d-file closed for a
while: 14...Rac8 15.Bd2 h6 16.Rac1 Nb8∞
11.Bb2. This, as well the following line, show that White has nothing to be optimistic about after the
trade of the queens. 11...cxd4 12.cxd4 Qxc2 13.Bxc2 Rc8 14.Bd3 Bd6 15.Ke2 Ke7= Mamedyarov –
Eljanov, Geneva 2017.
11.0-0 cxd4 12.cxd4 Qxc2 13.Bxc2 Rc8 14.Bd3 (14.Bb1 Be7 15.Bb2 0-0 16.Bd3 Rfd8 17.Rfd1 a6 18.a4
Nf6 19.e5?! Nd5³ Sukhareva – Kryakvin, Taganrog 2013; 14.Ba4 a6 15.Re1 b5 16.Bb3 Be7 17.a4 b4
18.a5 0-0 19.Bb2 Rfd8= Johansson – David, Balatonbereny 1988) 14...Be7 15.Bb2 0-0 16.Rfc1 Rxc1+
17.Rxc1 Rc8 18.Rxc8= Tukmakov – Sosonko, Wijk aan Zee 1984.
11.Qa2 Be7 12.0-0 0-0

13.d5?! After the transfer of White’s queen to a2, Black must consider the pawn-advance d4-d5, but in
this particular case this is not good for White: 13...exd5 14.exd5 Bf6 15.Bd2 Qd6 16.Bc4 a6 17.a4 Ne5ƒ
13.Bb2 b5! 14.Rad1 c4 15.Bc2 a5 16.Qb1 Rfb8„ Carlson – Janisch, ICCF 2013.
13.Qe2 Rac8 14.Re1 (14.Rd1 Rfd8 15.a4 Nb8=; 14.a4 Nb8 15.Be3 cxd4 16.cxd4 Nc6 17.Rac1 Qb8=
Hanel – Ludwig, ICCF 2012; 14.Bd2 Nb8 15.Rfe1 cxd4 16.cxd4 Nc6 17.Bc1 Rfd8 18.Bb2 Bf6„
Gerbich – Turkov, ICCF 2014) 14...Rfd8 15.Bd2 e5!? This is another way of playing this position with
Black, besides the plan with the exchange on d4 and the transfer of his knight to the c6-square via b8.
16.d5 c4! 17.Bc2 Ba6= Dreev – Anand, Madras 1991.

11...Be7 12.0-0 0-0


13.a4. This idea to attack immediately on the queenside seems a bit not well prepared by White. 13...Rfd8
14.a5?! bxa5 15.Rd1 cxd4 16.cxd4 Bb4 17.Bd2 Qb6³ Mraz – Serban, ICCF 2007.
13.Re1 Rfd8 14.Bb2 Rac8 15.Re3 Nb8„ Dankert – Lau, Germany 1985.
13.Be3 Rac8 14.Nd2 cxd4 15.cxd4 e5! 16.Nf3?! exd4 17.Nxd4 Nc5 18.Bc2 Bf6ƒ Janzeli – Sonis,
Trieste 2017.
13...h6 14.Be3 Rfd8 15.a4 (15.Nd2 Rac8 16.Rd1 Nb8 17.Ne4 cxd4 18.cxd4 Nc6„ Fedorowicz – Lau,
New York 1985) 15...Bd5 16.Nd2 cxd4 17.cxd4 Qb7 18.f3 Rac8 19.Qd1 Rc3„ I.Sokolov – Tiviakov,
Netherlands 2005.

B2) 10.Bf4 cxd4 11.cxd4 Rc8

We will deal now with: B2a) 12.Qb1 and B2b) 12.Qb3.

It would be rather dubious for White to choose here 12.Qd3 Be7 13.Nd2 0-0 14.Bg3. Every move from
his last three can be marked at least with the evaluation – ?!. He has only lost time and discoordinated his
pieces. It is quite understandable that Black obtains quickly a great advantage: 14...f5! 15.f3 Bg5 16.Bd6
Rf7 17.e5 Nf6µ Sotela Vargas – Soza, ICCF 2000.
After 12.Qa4 a6 13.Bd3 b5 14.Qb3, Black can solve all his opening problems in a tactical fashion.
14...Qf6 15.Bg5 Nc5 16.Bxb5+ axb5 17.Qxb5+ Bc6 18.Qe2, Franco Ocampos – Roeder, Havana 1999
(18.Qxc5 Bxc5 19.Bxf6 Bb6 20.Bxg7 Rg8 21.Be5 Bxe4„) 18...Qg6 19.dxc5 h6!?„

B2a) 12.Qb1 Be7 13.Bd3 0-0 14.0-0 Rc3


15.Rd1 Qa8 16.Rc1 Rxc1+ 17.Bxc1 Kh8!?„, preparing f7-f5, Pfaff – Schulz, ICCF 2008.
15.Bd2, Jankovic – Naiditsch, Kusadasi 2006, 15...Rxd3! Black obtains a pawn and excellent prospects
on the light squares as compensation for his exchange sacrifice: 16.Qxd3 Nc5 17.Qe2 Nxe4 18.Bb4
Nd6! 19.Rac1 a5 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.Rc3 Bf6©

15...Rxc1+ 16.Bxc1 e5!? 17.d5

After the move 17.dxe5?!, White’s last rank becomes vulnerable: 17...Nc5 18.Bc2 Bxe4 19.Be3 Qd5
20.Bxe4 (20.Bxc5 Bxc2 21.Qxc2 Qxc5³) 20...Nxe4 21.Qc2 Rd8 22.Re1 Bxa3 23.Bxb6 axb6=
T.Christiansen – T.Hansen, ICCF 2005.


Naturally, Black is not obliged to present his opponent with a protected passed pawn in the centre.

18.Bc4 Kh8 19.exf5

19.Bb2 Nc5! 20.Nxe5 fxe4 21.Qd1 Bd6 22.Qh5 Qf6 23.Bd4 Bxe5 24.Qxe5, Brandhorst – Samraoui,
ICCF 2004, 24...Qxe5 25.Bxe5 Bxd5 26.Bxd5 Rf5=

19...Nc5! 20.Nxe5 Bxd5 21.Bb2

21.Bxd5 Qxd5 22.Bf4 (22.Bb2 Na4 23.Nf3 Nxb2 24.Qxb2 Qxf5=) 22...Bf6 23.Qa2 Qxa2 24.Rxa2
Bxe5 25.Bxe5 Rxf5= Susla – Luers, ICCF 2014.

21...Bxc4 22.Nxc4 Nd3


23.Qc2 b5 24.Ne5 Nxb2 25.Qxb2 Bc5 26.Qc2 Qd4 27.Re1 Bxa3 28.g3 Qd5 29.Qe2 Rd8 (Black
prevents Ra1-d1.) 30.Rb1 a6 31.Ra1 Rc8 32.Ng4 Bc5 33.f6 Bd4 34.fxg7+ Bxg7 35.Rd1 Qf7= and after
some forced developments, the position has become equal, Koltzsch – Gronemann, ICCF 2013.

23...Nxf2 24.Nc6

But not 24.Kxf2? Bc5+ 25.Kf3 Qd5+ 26.Kg3 Bd6µ

24...Nh3+ 25.Kh1

Following 25.gxh3? Bc5+ 26.Kg2? White would be checkmated: 26...Qd2+ 27.Kg3 Qe3+ 28.Kg4 h5+
29.Kh4 Qf4+ 30.Kxh5 Rxf5–+

25...Nf2= Shikalov – Genzmann, ICCF 2003.

B2b) 12.Qb3


Accepting the pawn-sacrifice 12...Bxe4 would be too risky for Black. 13.Ba6 Bd5 14.Qe3 Rc2 (14...Ra8
15.Rc1±) 15.Qd3 Rb2 16.0-0 Rb3?! 17.Qc2 Rxa3?! 18.Rxa3 Bxa3 19.Qa4! Qe7 20.Ne5± Cova – Tozzi,
ICCF 2005.


The move 13.Nd2?! would weaken the d4-square: 13...0-0 14.Bd3 Bf6 15.e5?! Bg5 16.Bg3 Bxg2 17.Rg1
Bd5µ Letic – Koskinen, corr. 1987.



14.0-0 Nxe4 15.Qa4+ Bc6 16.Qxa7 Nc3 17.Ne5 Bd5 18.Rfc1 0-0³
14.Qa4+ Bc6 15.Bb5 Bxb5 16.Qxb5+ Qd7 17.Qxd7+ Nxd7 18.Ke2 0-0 19.Rhc1 f5 20.e5 h6 21.Rxc8
Rxc8 22.h3 b5„ Malinovsky – Goc, ICCF 2004. It is much easier to play this position with Black due to
his pawn-majority on the queenside and his control over the d5-square.
14.d5?! exd5 15.Rd1 0-0 16.0-0 dxe4! 17.Bxe4 Nxe4 18.Rxd8 Rfxd8 19.Re1 Nc5 20.Qa2, Miles –
Polugaevsky, Sarajevo 1987. Black has practically full material equivalent for the sacrificed queen. He
has two powerful bishops and a clear-cut plan to attack the weak enemy a3-pawn. It would be probably
even better for him not to give up his bishop for the enemy knight on f3, but to play instead 20...Bf6ƒ
14.Bb5+. After this move White is practically forced to sacrifice a pawn, but objectively speaking his
compensation for it would be insufficient. 14...Kf8! (It would be a serious mistake for Black to insist here
on castling: 14...Bc6? 15.Rc1±) 15.0-0 (If White does not sacrifice a pawn, his position would be a sorry
sight: 15.e5 Qd5!³) 15...Nxe4 16.Rac1 g5 17.Rxc8 Bxc8 18.Bc1, Khalifman – Anand, Moscow 1987
(18.Be5?! f6 19.Re1 Nd6 20.Bxd6 Qxd6 21.a4 g4 22.Nd2 Qxd4ƒ Wendt – Tiviakov, Calvia 2004)
18...Bb7!? 19.Ne5 Bd5 20.Qc2 f6∞
14.Qb1 0-0 15.Bd2 (15.0-0 Nh5!? This double-edged move is preparing f7-f5. 16.Bd2 f5 17.Qb3 Kh8
18.Rae1 Nf6„; 17.Re1 Nf6 18.exf5 Bxf3 19.gxf3 Qxd4 20.Rxe6 Bc5„ Chebykin – Hill, ICCF 2007.)
15...Ne8!? Black’s knight is headed for the c4-square in his attempt to organise active actions. 16.0-0
Nd6 17.e5 Nf5. Now, he must sacrifice a knight in order to neutralise White’s battery on the b1-h7-
diagonal: 18.Bxf5 exf5 19.Qxf5 Bxf3 20.Qxf3 Qxd4 21.Qb7 Qxe5 22.Qxa7 Bc5= Cramling – Karpov,
Spain 1996.

14...Bc6 15.Qb1 0-0 16.0-0 Qd7


17.e5?! Nh5! 18.Be3 (The pawn on h7 is untouchable: 18.Bxh7+? Kh8 19.Be3 Bxf3 20.gxf3 g6 21.Bxg6
Rg8–+) 18...g6 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Qxe4 Ng7 21.Qd3 Nf5³ Hrubaru – Baranowski, ICCF 2011. It has
already become obvious that White will be forced to defend passively.
17.h3 Qb7 18.Nd2 Rfd8 19.Be3 h6=
17.Rc1 Qb7 18.Re1 Rfd8 19.Bd2 h6 20.Bb4 Ba4 21.d5?! exd5 22.e5 (22.Ba6!? Qxa6 23.Bxe7 dxe4
24.Bxd8 Rxd8 25.Ne5 Rd5©) 22...Ne4 23.Nd4 Bc5³ Mariani – Schwenger, ICCF 2004.
17.a4!? Bxa4 18.d5 exd5 (18...Nh5!? Epishin – Tiviakov, Bratto 1999, 19.Be3 exd5 20.exd5 g6 21.Ne5
Qxd5 22.Nxg6 hxg6 23.Rxa4 Rc7∞) 19.exd5 b5 20.d6 Bxd6 21.Bf5 Qc7 22.Bxd6 Qxd6 23.Bxc8 Rxc8∞

17...Ba4 18.Bd2

18.Qb2 Rfd8 19.Rac1 h6 20.Bd2 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Qb7 22.Bf4 Bc6„

18.d5. In positions with a similar pawn-structure Black must always consider this possibility. 18...exd5
19.exd5 (Black must also have in mind here the move 19.e5, but here he should not be afraid of that:
19...Ne4 20.Bxe4 dxe4 21.Qxe4 Bc6 22.Qe2 Rfe8³) 19...Qd8!? (White was threatening Bd3-f5.) 20.Ra2
Bd6 21.Bxd6 Qxd6 22.Ng5 g6 23.Ne4 Nxe4 24.Bxe4 Rfe8 25.h3 (25.Ra1?! Rc3 26.Qb4 Qxb4 27.axb4
Rc4!. Now, Black wins a pawn thanks to the vulnerability of his opponent’s last rank. 28.Rxa4 Rexe4
29.Rd1 Red4 30.Raa1 Rxb4 31.d6 Ra4 32.Rac1 Kf8!µ Perrin – Malushko, ICCF 2012.) 25...Rc3 26.Qb4
Qxb4 27.axb4 Bb5³ Teverovsky – Dehaybe, ICCF 2011.



19.h3 Rfd8 20.Qb2 Qb7 21.Bf4 b5 22.Qe2 Rc3 23.Bc1 Rdc8„ Papin – Kovacevic, France 2014.
19.Bb4 Bxb4 20.axb4 Bb5 21.Bxb5 Qxb5 22.Rxa7 Rc4 23.Ra1 Rxb4 24.Qc1 e5= Giobbi – Blecha, ICCF

19...Rfd8 20.Bb4

20.h3 Qb7 21.Bb4 Bf8 22.Ne5 Rc7 23.Rab1 Rdc8 24.Bxf8 Rxf8 25.Qe2 Rd8„ Akdag – Mielke, ICCF
20.Bc3 Qe8!? Black’s queen can go not only to b7, when he must consider the transfer of White’s queen
to the e2-square with the subsequent threat Bd3-a6, but also to f8, from where Black will be eyeing the
a3-square. 21.Rac1 Rc7 22.Bd2 Rxc1 23.Rxc1 Bc6„


21.Rac1 (21.Qd2 Rdc8 22.Ba6 Rd8 23.Bd3= Jakovenko – Tomashevsky, Novi Sad 2016) 21...Rdc8
22.Ne5 (22.Rxc7 Rxc7 23.Ne5 Qd8 – see 22.Ne5) 22...Qd8 23.Rxc7 Rxc7 24.Bxe7 (24.h3 Nd7=)
24...Qxe7 25.Rc1 Rxc1+ 26.Qxc1 Nd7 27.Nxd7 (27.Nc4 Bb5=) 27...Qxd7= Black will follow with
Qd7-c6 transferring to an equal king and bishop ending, Kuta – Vesely, ICCF 2013.

Chapter 15

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6

The move 4...Ba6 was introduced into the tournament practice by Aron Nimzowitsch in his game against
Ernst Gruenfeld at the tournament in Breslau in the year 1925. This move follows completely the
principles of Nimzowitsch, which were practically revolutionary during those times. We can only
imagine what negative impressions were caused by the development of the bishop to the a6-square
among the opponents of Nimzowitsch, who had absolutely orthodox concepts about the set-up of a chess
position in the opening. This bishop-sortie is quite challenging even optically, since the bishop is placed
on a closed file, instead of being developed on the long diagonal as usual. White can easily protect his
pawn with the move 5.b3 and it might seem that Black has nothing better than to go back with his bishop
to the b7-square.
Still, the move 4...Ba6 was regularly tested in the tournament practice, although the move 4...Bb7 was
considered to be Black’s main line to the end of the 70ies of the last century. Nowadays however, his
hopes of organising active counterplay are connected mainly with the move 4...Ba6.


We will analyse the other popular lines for White: 5.Nbd2, 5.Qc2, 5.Qa4, 5.b3 in the following chapters.
5.Bg2?! This sacrifice of the pawn on c4, with the idea to deflect the enemy bishop to a unprotected
square, having in mind to accomplish an open attack against it and the rook on a8 on the long diagonal,
does not work. Black’s bishop can save itself and the threat by covering the long diagonal by occupying
the d5-square. 5...Bxc4

About 6.0-0 Be7 7.Nc3 c6 – see 6.Nc3.
The immediate move 6.Ne5, following 6...Bd5 7.Bxd5 Nxd5 8.e4 Nf6 9.0-0 Be7 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Nd3
d5µ, would lead to a standard position with a “French Defence” pawn-structure in which White would be
simply lacking his c-pawn, S.Nikolov – A.Nikolova, Sofia 2008.
6.Nfd2 Bd5 7.e4 Bb7 8.Nc3 d5 9.e5 Nfd7 10.f4 c5µ Rak – Kulczewski, corr. 1992. In the arising
“French” pawn-structure White has some initiative, but it is insufficient to compensate the sacrificed
6.Nc3 c6 7.0-0 (About 7.Ne5 Ba6 8.0-0 Be7 9.Re1 d5 – see 7.0-0.) 7...Be7 8.Re1 d5 9.Ne5 Ba6 10.Qa4,
Demircan – Brunello, Vienna 2015. White has created some pressure on the queenside and Black should
possible take here radical actions. 10...b5!? He has at his disposal now the intermediate move b5-b4, if
White attacks the centre with the move e2-e4. 11.Qc2 0-0 12.Bf4 (12.e4?! b4 13.Na4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4
dxe4 15.Qxe4 Qd5µ) 12...Nfd7 13.Nd3 b4 14.Na4 Bb5³
5.e3?! It happens always when White has already played g2-g3 and plans to fianchetto his bishop, that if
he has to lose time to play for some reason the move e2-e3, all that would not look so aesthetic... As a
rule, in the fight for the opening advantage White’s e-pawn should be advanced two squares forward.
Meanwhile, with a bishop on a6, Black will have the resource d7-d5 and after an exchange on d5, he
trades the light-squared bishops and White loses his castling rights. This would not be a great tragedy for
him if he manages to accomplish an artificial castling by transferring his king to the g2-square. Still,
White would need to lose some time for that and this would enable Black to complete the mobilisation of
his forces and to obtain a quite acceptable position. If White fails however to redeploy his king to the g2-
square, then he would lose the coordination of his pieces and might end up in an inferior position. 5...d5

6.cxd5 Bxf1 7.Kxf1 Qxd5! 8.Nc3 Qb7 9.Kg1 Nbd7 10.h3 h5 11.Qe2, V.Novikov – Sadovnichuk, Omsk
2009, 11...c5 12.Kh2 Bd6„
6.Qa4+ c6 7.Ne5?! dxc4³ 8.Nxc6? Qd7 9.Bg2, Santos – Monte, Brazil 2014, 9...Bb7–+
6.Nbd2 Bd6 7.Qc2 0-0 8.Bg2 c5„ Thiele – Beck, corr. 1994.
6.b3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Be7 8.Qc2 0-0 9.Bg2 Nbd7 10.0-0 c5„ Roos – Schafranietz, corr. 2013.
6.Ne5 Bd6! Black develops his bishop on this square, so that after Nbd7, White’s response Ne5-c6
would not lead to the exchange of the bishop. 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0, Rizmann – Kline, ICCF 2014, 8...Nbd7
9.f4 c5„


In general, this reaction by Black is rather non-typical for the Queen’s Indian Defence. In fact, this is an
example of a concrete approach to the solution of the problems in the opening. Here, in connection with
the threat Nc6-a5 and the win of the enemy pawn on c4, White must react accordingly and this would
thwart his active actions.
We will analyse now: A) 6.Bd2 and B) 6.Nbd2.

A) 6.Bd2 Bb7

After 5...Nb8-c6, besides Nc6-a5, Black has prepared the creation of another potential threat and it would
be even more dangerous for White. It has now become clear what it is. Black is threatening the killing
move – 7...Nc6-d4. White must react adequately.


7.Qd3?! d5 8.cxd5 Qxd5 9.Nc3, Itkis – Vajda, Olanesti 1997 and here, Black could have punished his
opponent for the manoeuvre Qd1-b3-d3, which was not in the spirit of this position, by accomplishing the
following operation: 9...Nb4 10.Qb1 Qf5 11.Qxf5 exf5 12.Rc1 (12.0-0-0 Ng4µ) 12...Nd3!µ
7.Bc3 Ne4

8.Qd1 d5 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bg2, A.Shneider – Iordachescu, Corsica 2000. It is understandable that White’s
loss of time Qd1-b3-d1 would likely be punished by Black. Here, it deserved attention for him to
continue with 10...Be7!?, followed by f7-f5, 0-0, Qd8-d7, with a stable position in the centre. In addition,
it would not be clear for White how to exploit the e5-outpost in the nearest future.
8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.bxc3 g6!? Now, there arises a pawn-structure typical for the King’s Indian Defence in
which has only minuses. At first, his queenside pawn-structure is compromised and he would be
incapable of organising any active actions there. 10.e4 Bg7 11.Bd3 0-0 12.0-0 d6 13.Nbd2 e5 14.d5 Ne7
15.Nb3 Bc8³ Hokamp – Farago, Senden 2004.
8.a3 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 Be7

10.e4?! Bf6 11.Qd3, Fominyh – Kunte, Kelamabakkam 2000, 11...g5!?ƒ
10.Qd3?! d5 11.cxd5 Qxd5! The manoeuvres of White’s queen have led to the slowing down of his
development, so Black can follow with something, which as a rule does not work. Here however, it does.
He can leave the long diagonal opened and attack later successfully the enemy centre. 12.e4 (12.Nc3
Ne5! 13.dxe5 Qxd3 14.exd3 Bxf3µ A.Ponomarev – Alvarez Villar, ICCF 2002) 12...Qd7 13.Nc3 Bf6
14.Rd1 0-0-0 15.d5 exd5 16.Nxd5 Bxb2 17.Qc2 Qe8 18.Qxb2 Rxd5 19.Bh3+ Kb8 20.0-0 Qxe4
21.Qxg7 Rhd8 22.Rxd5 Qxd5 23.Bg2 Nd4 24.Nh4 Ne2+ 25.Kh1 Qc4 26.Qf6 Bxg2+ 27.Nxg2 Rd3
28.Qh8+ Kb7 29.Qxh7 Rxa3µ Tosti – Goncalves, corr. 1998.
10.Bg2 Bf6 11.e3 (Black was threatening 11...Nxd4.) 11...Ne7 12.Qd3 (12.Qc2 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Nc3
Rb8„ Millstone – Hinterberger, ICCF 2006) 12...c5 13.Nc3 cxd4 14.exd4 Rc8 15.Nb5 (15.0-0 Ba6ƒ)
15...d5ƒ Ivanchuk – Ehlvest, Elista 1998.

7...Ne7 8.dxe6 fxe6 9.Bg2

9.Bc3 Ne4 10.Nbd2 Nxc3 11.Qxc3 Ng6 12.Bg2 Qf6 13.Qc2 Be7 14.0-0 0-0 15.Rad1 Qf5 16.e4 Qh5
17.Ne1 Ne5 18.Nd3 Nc6! 19.Nb3 e5 20.f4 a5ƒ Caruana – Karjakin, Sochi 2012.



About 10.Bc3 Ne4 11.0-0 Bc5 12.Nbd2 Nxc3 – see 10.0-0.

10...Bc5 11.Nc3

If White continues later to try to obtain an advantage in the opening, instead of playing accurately to
equalise, he may have real problems after this seemingly natural move.
11.Bc3 Ne4 12.Be5 (12.Nbd2 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Qf6 14.Qxf6 gxf6=) 12...d6 13.Bc3 0-0 14.Nbd2 Nfxg3!?
(14...a5ƒ Bunzmann – Bucher, Zurich 1999) 15.hxg3 Nxg3 16.Rfe1 e5‚, Black has good prospects of
checkmating the enemy king.
11.Bb4 Qe7 12.Bxc5 Qxc5. Black has no problems whatsoever. 13.Nbd2 0-0 14.Qd3 (14.Qc3 a5
15.Rac1 Nd6 16.Qd3 a4„ Kunin – Fauland, Austria 2012; 14.Rad1 a5 15.Qd3 Nd6 16.Qc3 Nf7 17.Ne1
Bxg2 18.Nxg2 a4 19.Nf4 Qe5 20.Qxe5 Nxe5 21.Nd3 Nc6= Williams – Villarreal, ICCF 2008) 14...Nd6
15.Rac1 Nfe4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.Qc3 a5= Kunin – Henrichs, Germany 2006.



12.Rad1 Qe8 13.Bg5 Ng4 14.Na4 Qh5 15.h4 Bxf2+! 16.Rxf2 Nxg3 17.Rxd7 Nxf2 18.Kxf2 Ne4+
19.Kg1 Nxg5 20.hxg5 Bxf3 21.exf3 Qxg5 22.Qd3 Rad8µ Landhans – Schroeder, ICCF 2013.
12...Qe8 13.Bg5?! This move is too optimistic. (White had to take instead some prophylactic actions, for
example: 13.Na4 Bd6„) 13...Ng4 14.h3 Nxf2! 15.Rxf2 Nxg3‚ Fominyh – Sakaev, Moscow 1999.

B) 6.Nbd2 Na5

Black frees with tempo the way forward of his c-pawn.


7.Qc2 c5

8.Bg2?! Rc8 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Qa4 Bb7 11.b4 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Bd4 13.Rb1 Nxc4 14.Nxc4 Rxc4 15.Qxa7
Bc3+ƒ Grivas – Vaganian, 1995.
8.e4 cxd4 9.e5 Ng8 10.Bd3 Qc7 11.0-0, Ligterink – Lautier, Cannes 1990, 11...Nc6!?„
8.dxc5 Bxc5!? With an already developed white queen on the c2-square, Black would like to play against
it on the c-file and is reluctant to close it with the line: 8...bxc5. 9.a3 Be7 10.e4 Rc8 11.e5 Nd5 12.Qa4
Nc7 13.Qd1, Valak – Vozda, ICCF 2007, 13...b5!?„
7.Qc3 c5 8.dxc5 bxc5

9.Bg2 Be7!? (After the immediate move 9...d5, White has the idea to exploit the placement of the non-
castled enemy king: 10.Qc2 Be7 11.Qa4∞ Kempinski – Banikas, Greece 2016) 10.e4 d5!„
9.e4 Bb7 10.e5 (10.Bd3 Nc6 11.a3 Qc7 12.0-0, Lysyj – Anisimov, Russia 2007, 12...a5„; 11.e5 Ng4
12.0-0 Qc7 13.Re1 Be7 14.h3, Morozevich – Karjakin, Beijing 2013, 14...Ngxe5!ƒ) 10...Ne4 11.Nxe4
(11.Qe3 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Nc6 13.Bg2, Morozevich – Aronian, Monaco 2007, 13...d5!? 14.exd6 Bxd6
15.0-0 0-0 16.Rad1 Qc7 17.Bc3 h6=) 11...Bxe4 12.Bg2 (12.Be2, Tkachiev – Palac, Croatia 2002,
12...Bb7!?„) 12...Nc6 13.0-0 Rb8

14.Ng5 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qc7 16.Re1 Be7 17.Nf3 Qb7=, followed by the move d7-d6 with complete
equality, Van Wely – Gelfand, Monaco 2005.
14.b3 Be7 15.Bb2 (15.Qe3 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Nd4 17.Be4 Qc7 18.Qe1. White protects indirectly his e5-

pawn, which cannot be captured, because of the move Bf4. 18...0-0 19.Be3 f5 20.exf6 Bxf6 21.Rd1 a5
22.Rb1 g6 23.Qd1 d6= Black’s powerful outpost on d4 compensates White’s two-bishop advantage.)
15...0-0 16.Qe3 Bg6 17.Rfd1 Qc7 18.Ne1 Rfd8 19.Nd3 d6= Gelfand – Almasi, Budapest 2003.
14.Re1 Bxf3 15.Bxf3 (15.Qxf3 Nd4 16.Qd3 d6 17.exd6 Bxd6=; 16.Qe4 Be7 17.Rb1 Qa5 18.a3 Qa6
19.b4 Qxc4 20.Bb2 Qc2! 21.Qg4 0-0= T.Schmidt – B.Shulman, ICCF 2011) 15...Nd4 16.Bg2 (16.Bd1?!
Be7 17.Be3 Qc7 18.Rb1?! Qxe5 19.Bxd4 cxd4µ Shirov – Gelfand, Bazna 2009. Here, it was a bit better
for White to have opted for 18.Bxd4 cxd4 19.Qxd4 Bc5³ and now, he had to give back his b-pawn in
order not to suffer greater material losses.) 16...d6 17.Bf4 Be7 18.Rad1 0-0 19.b3 Qb6 20.Qb2 a5=
T.Schmidt – Romm, ICCF 2011.

7...Bb7 8.Bg2

8.Bh3?! c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Rc8 11.Re1 Bc5 12.N4f3 Bc6 13.Qd1, Peric – Razuvaev, Geneve 1994,



9.0-0 Be7 10.Re1 (About 10.dxc5 bxc5 – see 9.dxc5; 10.a3 cxd4 11.b4 Nc6 12.Bb2 Qc7 13.Nxd4 Nxd4
14.Bxd4 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 0-0 16.Rac1 Rfd8= Heyken – Gruen, Germany 1986.) 10...cxd4 11.Nxd4 Bxg2
12.Kxg2 Qc7 13.e4 0-0 14.e5 Ng4 15.N2f3, Barlov – Polugaevsky, Zagreb 1987, 15...d6!?„

9...bxc5 10.0-0

10.Nb3 Nxb3 11.axb3, Fominyh – Lalic, Kolkata 2002, 11...a5!?„



11.e4?! This is a rather dubious pawn-sacrifice. 11...Nxe4 12.Nxe4 Bxe4 13.Ne5 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Qc7
15.Bf4 f6 16.Nf3 e5µ Heyken – Schussler, Malmo 1987.
11.Qc2 0-0 12.b3 Nc6 13.Bb2 h6 14.Rfd1 Qc7 15.Rac1 a5 16.Bc3 a4ƒ and Black organises the typical
queenside actions for this pawn-structure, Gareyev – Gnusarev, Calvia 2004.
11.Nb3 Nxb3 12.Qxb3 Qc8 13.Bf4 0-0 14.Rfd1 Rd8 15.Rac1 d6„, Black has in mind the standard
pawn-advance a7-a5-a4, Sygulski – Sunye Neto, Sifuentos 1985.
11.Re1 0-0 12.e4 d6 13.e5 Bc6 14.Qc2 dxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxg2 16.Kxg2, Barlov – Csom, Bern 1992.
White’s knight on e5 is much stronger than its counterpart on a5. Now, Black must attack immediately
his opponent’s centralised knight. 16...Nd7!? 17.Ndf3 Nxe5 18.Nxe5 Qc7 (preparing 19...Nc6) 19.Qe4
Rad8 20.Bf4 Rd4 21.Qe2 Bf6 22.Kg1 Qb7 23.Bd2 Nc6 24.Nxc6 Qxc6 25.Bc3 Rd7 26.Bxf6 gxf6=
Black must comply with the somewhat weakened shelter of his king.
11.Rd1!? 0-0 12.e4!? This pawn-sacrifice deserves attention. (About 12.Ne5 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qc7
14.Ndf3 d6 – see 11.Ne5; 12.Nb3 Nxb3 13.Qxb3 Rb8 14.Qa3 Qb6„ Fric – Di Alfonso, FICGS 2014.)
12...Nxe4 (If Black declines to accept the offered pawn-sacrifice 12...d6 13.e5 Bc6 14.Qc2 dxe5 15.Nb3
Qc7 16.Nxa5 Qxa5 17.Nxe5 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Qc7 19.Bf4², in the game Bacrot – Harikrishna, Linares
2014, there arose soon an endgame in which Black did not feel so comfortably.) 13.Ne5 Nf6 14.Ne4∞
d6 (14...Nxe4 15.Rxd7 Bc6 16.Nxc6 Qxd7 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.Bxe4 Nb7 19.Qa6 Rab8 20.Qxa7©)
15.Nxf6+ gxf6 (15...Bxf6?! 16.Nd7ƒ) 16.Bxb7 Nxb7 17.Nc6 Qd7 18.Nxe7+ Qxe7∞ White has some
compensation for the pawn here thanks to his pressure on the queenside and his opponent’s compromised
pawn-structure on the kingside. Still, Black should not be afraid of any direct threats.

11...Bxg2 12.Kxg2 0-0 13.Ndf3 Qc7


14.Bg5 Rfb8 15.Bd2 Nb7 16.Rad1 Rc8 17.Bg5 d6 18.Nd3 h6 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 20.Rd2 Na5 21.Rc1 Nc6„
Navara – Mareco, Tromsoe 2014.
14.Bd2 Nb7 15.Bg5 (15.Rfd1 Rfc8 16.Nd3 d6ƒ Avalyan – Gurvich, Voronezh 2017) 15...Rfc8 16.Bxf6
gxf6! 17.Nd3 Qc6 18.Qc2 Qe4= Korchnoi – Bakre, Gibraltar 2006.

14...d6 15.Bd2 Nb7 16.Nc6 Ne4 17.Nxe7+ Qxe7


18.Qc6?! f5 19.Bf4 Rab8 20.Qa6 e5³ Boidman – Morowietz, Germany 1996.

18.Rab1 f5„
18.Qc2 f5 19.b3 Nd8 20.Bc1 Nc6„ Timar – Rross, ICCF 2000.
18...f5 19.Nd2 (The move 19.a3 changes in principle neither the evaluation of the position, nor Black’s
strategy. He must just improve quickly the placement of his knight. 19...Nd8 20.b4 Nf7 21.Qc2 Rac8„
Beliavsky – Psakhis, Hungary 1992.) 19...Nf6 20.Nf3 e5„ Moiseenko – S.Zhigalko, Berlin 2015.

Chapter 16

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5

We will analyse: A) 7.0-0 and B) 7.dxc5.

7.e3. We have already mentioned in the previous chapter that e2-e3, after the played move g2-g3, does
not seem aesthetic at all and with it White complies indirectly with the fact that he has failed to obtain
any opening advantage. 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 Qc8!. Black is preparing a typical exchange operation in
the centre. (The immediate attempt 9...cxd4 10.exd4 d5 can be countered by White with the powerful
argument 11.Ne5² Black is pinned and is very unlikely to manage to hold on to his control over the d5-
square and to create an isolated pawn for his opponent.) 10.Rd1 cxd4 11.exd4 (11.Nxd4 Nc6 12.Nxc6
Bxc6 13.Bxc6 dxc6 14.Qc2 e5= Veleshnja – Sargsyan, Budva 2013) 11...d5 12.cxd5 (12.Ne5 dxc4
13.Bxb7 Qxb7 14.Qxc4 Rc8„ Mueller – Chuchelov, Goch 1991) 12...Nxd5 13.Bd2 Bc6 14.Qb3,
Mestnikov – Murzin, Moscow 2016, 14...Qb7!?„
7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 (8.Nh4?! Bc6. Now, the unprotected placement of White’s queen on the a4-square
would help Black to solve with tempo the problems with the defence of his own bishop on b7 and
indirectly with the pin as well. 9.Qc2 dxc4 10.e4 g6 11.0-0 Bg7 12.Qxc4 0-0 13.Nc3 Re8³ Donaldson-
Akhmilovskaya – Kulish, Moscow 1994.) 8...Bxd5 9.Nc3 Bc6 10.Qb3 Be7 11.Ne5 (11.0-0 0-0 12.Bf4
Na6 13.Rfd1 Nc7 14.Ne5?! Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Ne6 16.Qc4 Qb8 17.Nf3 Nxf4+ 18.Qxf4 Qxf4 19.gxf4 d6³)
11...0-0 12.Nxc6 Nxc6 13.0-0 Rc8 14.e4 d6 15.Qa4 Qd7 16.Rd1 Rfd8 17.Rb1, Karlsson – Jonsson,
Reykjavik 1993. Black’s backward d6-pawn is extra, but it is a real problem for him in similar positions.
He should not try to trade the queens, but should better strive the continue in a complicated middle game
– 17...Qb7!?∞

A) 7.0-0 cxd4 8.Nxd4

8.Rd1 Be7 9.Rxd4 (about 9.Nxd4 Bxg2 10.Kxg2 Qc8 – see 8.Nxd4) 9...Nc6 10.Rd1 Rc8. Black has won
a tempo due to the early rook-sortie of his opponent to the d4-square and begins a counter attack against
his enemy’s c4-pawn He is threatening the rather unpleasant move 11...Na5 and White must already play
very accurately; otherwise, he might face problems. 11.Ne5?! El Khechen – Rodriguez Cespedes,
Thessaloniki 1988 and here, Black could have seized the initiative with the line: 11...Nxe5!? 12.Bxb7
Rxc4 13.Qxa7 0-0 14.Bg2 Qc8ƒ

8...Bxg2 9.Kxg2 Qc8!?

There has arisen a “Hedgehog” pawn-structure on the board, but without the exchange of the bishops on
the long diagonal. Now, Black’s queen occupies the b7-square, instead of the bishop and from there it
exerts pressure and protects the rook on a8 against the eventual possibility Nd4-b5.
His last move is more precise than 9...Qc7, because under certain circumstances, Black would be
reluctant to have his queen under an attack with tempo after the move Nd4-b5. It would be possible even
if Black’s pawn would be on a6, because his knight on b8 would make the rook on a8 unprotected.


10.Nc3 Be7 11.e4 (about 11.Rd1 0-0 – see 10.Rd1; 11.Bf4 Qb7 – see 10.Bf4) 11...0-0 12.f3 d6 13.Be3
(13.Rd1 a6 – see 10.Rd1) 13...a6 14.Rac1 Qb7 15.Qc2. Before Black has attacked the pawn on c4, White
transfers his queen to a safe place. 15...Rc8 16.Qe2 Nc6 17.b3, Wisskirchen – Sorensen, corr. 1986,
Or 10.Bf4 a6 11.Nc3 Qb7+ 12.f3 Be7 13.e4 0-0 14.e5?! (14.Rfd1 d6 – see 10.Rd1) 14...Nh5 15.Be3,
Baikov – Shariyazdanov, Russia 2001, 15...d6„

10.f3 Nc6. After this order of moves for White, this is Black’s simplest decision. 11.Rd1 Nxd4 12.Rxd4
Qc6 13.Qxc6 dxc6= Ionov – Aseev, USSR 1988.

10...Be7 11.Nc3

About 11.f3 0-0 12.Nc3 a6 – see 11.Nc3.

11.Qb3. It is quite obvious that White’s queen is headed for the f3-square, so it would be reasonable for
Black to react immediately. 11...Nc6 12.Nxc6 Qxc6 13.Qf3 Rc8= U.Andersson – A.Sokolov, Bazna



12.e4 a6 13.e5?! (13.f3 d6 – see 12.f3) 13...Ng4 14.f4 Qb7µ

12.Bg5 (White is creating the threat 13.Ne4², which can be played for example as a response to the move
13...a6?!) 12...h6 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Ne4 Be7 15.f3 a6, or 15.Rac1 a6 16.f3 Ra7 – see 12.f3.
12.Ndb5, Timman – Ribli, Tilburg 1978, 12...a6!? 13.Nd6 Qc7 14.Qa3 (14.Bf4 Nh5³; 14.Nce4 Nxe4
15.Nxe4 b5! 16.cxb5 Qb7 17.Kg1 axb5ƒ) 14...Nc6ƒ White’s pinned knight on d6 is much rather a
problem for him.
12.Bf4 a6 13.Nf3 (13.f3 Qb7, or 13.e4 Qb7 14.f3 d6 – see 12.f3) 13...Nc6. Black cannot accomplish
now the set-up d7-d6 and Nb8-d7, but the development of the knight to c6 is not a problem for him. His
queen will go to the b7-square and cannot be attacked later by White’s rook on c1. 14.Kg1 (14.Rac1 Qb7
15.a3 Na5 16.c5 Rfc8 17.cxb6 Nc4 18.Qb3 Qxb6 19.Qxb6 Nxb6= Harikrishna – Kostenko, India 2003)
14...d5 15.Rac1 dxc4 16.Qxc4 Na5 17.Qa4 Qb7 18.Bd6 Bxd6 19.Rxd6 Rac8 20.Ne5 Ne4„ Laznicka –

Bologan, Istanbul 2012.


Black is preparing to counter the move 13.e4 with 13...d6 and White’s knight-sortie 14.Ndb5, attacking
the pawn on d6 would be impossible.


13.Qb3 Ra7!? 14.e4 d6 15.Qxb6 Rb7 16.Qa5 Qxc4 17.b3 Bd8! 18.bxc4 Bxa5 19.Na4 Rc8 20.Nb3 Bb4=
Puzone – Sgherri, ICCF 2016.
13.e4 d6 14.Be3 Ra7!? 15.Ndb5 Rd7 16.Na3 Rc7! 17.Bf4 Rc6 18.Rd2 Nbd7 19.Rad1 Ne5„ Galego –
Razmyslov, Burguillos 2007.
13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Rac1 (15.Ne4 Be7 16.Qb3 Qc7 17.Rac1 Nc6 18.Nb5?! Qe5³; 18.Nxc6
Qxc6 19.Qd3 d6= Ilincic – Berczes, Budapest 2005) 15...Be7 16.Ne4 Ra7 17.Nb5 Qc6 18.Nec3 Ra8
19.Nd4 (19.Nd6 Qc7 20.Ndb5 Qc6=) 19...Qb7 20.Qc2 Nc6 21.Nxc6 Qxc6 22.Qd3 Rfd8 23.a4 Rac8
24.b3 Ba3! 25.Rc2 d5 26.cxd5 exd5„ Cusiqanqui – Lyukmanov, ICCF 2016.


White’s queen is not placed so well in this position and this is in favour of Black, since if his opponent
plays b2-b3 in order to protect his c4-pawn, then he would need to remove in advance his queen to
another square, so he would lose additional time.

We will deal now in details with the lines: A1) 14.Nc2, A2) 14.e4 and A3) 14.Rd2.
14.Qb3 d6 15.Nc2 Qc7 16.Na4 Nbd7 17.Qb4 Rfd8 18.Bxd6 Bxd6 19.Qxd6 Qxc4 20.Nc3 Nd5„
Toenisson – Hudak, ICCF 2012.
14.Rac1 d6. Black is threatening the pawn double-attack e6-e5, so White’s bishop, which has been
developed to the f4-square, might turn out to be vulnerable in this “Hedgehog” pawn-structure. 15.Nc2
(15.Bg5 Rc8 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Ne4 Be7 18.g4?! Nd7 19.Rc3 Ne5 20.Qc2 b5ƒ P.Nikolic – Timman,
Netherlands 2004) 15...Rd8 16.Nb4, Petrienko – Budnikov, Katowice 1992, 16...Nh5∞

A1) 14.Nc2?!

This seemingly natural move is played by White with the idea to increase his control over the d6-square.
It provides Black however with many more possibilities to organise counterplay.



15.Ne3 Bc5 16.Nf1 Nc6 17.Rd3 Bf8„ Blanco Ronquillo – Papin, Caracas 2014.
15.Rac1 Nc6 16.Rd2 (16.Na3 h6!?„) 16...h6 17.Nd4, Nyzhnik – Epishin, Germany 2010, 17...Na5!?
18.b3 d6 19.Be3 Ng4ƒ
15.Rd2 b5! This move is played in the spirit of the Benko Gambit. 16.cxb5 d5!© Greet – Shabalov, Port
Erin 2005. White’s queen is on the a-file and his knight on c2 is cut off, so his situation has been clearly

15...Bxd6 16.Rxd6 b5 17.cxb5 axb5 18.Qb3, Toth – Csom, Rome 1979, 18...Nc6!? 19.Qxb5 Qc7
20.Rad1 Rab8„

A2) 14.e4 d6


15.Be3?! White has reduced his attack against the d6-square and this enables Black to organise
counterplay on the queenside without worrying about the protection of his pawn. 15...Rc8 16.Rac1
Nbd7³, followed by Nd7-e5, provoking the move b2-b3, after which White’s queen would be stuck on
the queenside and might become a target for an enemy attack, Xu Yinglun – Zhang Zhong, Al Ain 2015.
15.Nc2 Rd8 16.Nb4. This move is played with the idea to prevent the harmonious development of
Black’s queenside. He cannot develop at this moment his knight on b8, because White’s knight would
penetrate to the c6-square, via b4, while Black is reluctant to oust the enemy knight with the move a6-a5,
because of the fatal weakening of the b5-square. Still, if he manages to cope with the enemy pressure
against the d6-square, then his rook would be freed and it would manage to create pressure against the c4-
square. The misplacement of White’s knight on b4 might hurt him seriously then. Therefore, Black plays
16...h6! 17.Rac1 g5! 18.Be3 Rc8 19.Nd3 Nc6 20.Qc2 b5 21.cxb5 axb5ƒ Sueess – Mayer, ICCF 2011.

15...Rd8 16.Rd2

16.b4?! h6 17.Qb3 Nc6 18.Rab1 g5! 19.Be3 Ne5 20.h3 Rac8³ Dydyshko – Lerner, USSR 1982.

16...Nc6 17.Rad1

17.Qd1 b5!?„



After 18.b4?, White ends up a pawn down. 18...g5! 19.Be3 Ne5 20.Rd4 Nxc4!µ Oliwa – Pieniazek,
Poland 1997.
18.Qc2. White ensures the safety of his queen, but enables Black to free his position with the standard
pawn-advance in similar positions with the “Hedgehog” pawn-structure – b7-b5. 18...Rdc8 19.b3 b5
20.cxb5 axb5 21.a4?! b4 22.Na2 g5 23.Be3 g4ƒ Muzyka – Al.Pavlov, corr. 1996. The weakening of
Black’s pawn-structure is not so essential as the destruction of White’s pawn-chain.

18...Rdc8 19.h4 h6 20.h5 Na5 21.b3 Qc7 22.e5, Browne – Andersson, Buenos Aires 1978, 22...dxe5!?
23.Rd7 b5!„

A3) 14.Rd2 Rc8

This is a typical manoeuvre for this variation. The c8-square is occupied by Black’s king’s rook, so that
besides the pressure against the enemy c4-pawn, he can control additionally the c6-square and prepare the
pawn-advance d7-d6, followed by Nb8-d7.


15.e4 d6 16.Nc2 (16.Nde2 Ne8 17.Rad1 Nd7 18.e5?! Welin – L.Schneider, Malmo 1986, 18...g5
19.exd6 Bf6 20.Be3 Ne5µ; 17.Rc1 Nd7 18.Rcd1?! Chetverik – Tunik, Russia 2005, 18...g5! 19.Be3 Ne5
20.b3 g4µ) 16...Ne8 17.Na3. The retreat of the knight to c2, instead of to e2, enables White to protect his
c4-pawn without the move b2-b3, which would cut off the eventual retreat of his queen back to his own
camp. Still, the placement of his knight at the edge of the board has its drawbacks too... 17...Nd7„

15...d6 16.Nc2 b5!? 17.cxb5 d5!

This idea is similar to the Benko Gambit in which Black sacrifices a pawn in order to obtain an advantage
in the centre and to have the possibility to exert pressure on the a and b-files. We have already
encountered it earlier in this chapter.

18.Bxb8 axb5 19.Qxb5 Qxb5 20.Nxb5 Rcxb8 21.Nca3 g5© Bokros – Narkun, ICCF 2014. White’s
knights are unstable and he does not have a bishop to neutralise the pressure of the enemy bishop, while
Black dominates in the centre and has full compensation for the pawn.

B) 7.dxc5 Bxc5


About 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bf4 Na6 10.0-0 Be7 – see 8.0-0.

8...0-0 9.Nc3

9.Rd1 Be7 10.Nc3 Na6 – see 9.Nc3.


White exerts powerful pressure against the enemy centre on the long diagonal, on the semi-open d-file
and with his knight on c3, so Black should better refrain from the pawn-advance d7-d5. Following d7-d6,
his bishop would be restricted by his own pawns, therefore he should better evacuate it in advance to a
safer place.
Still, the main idea behind his last move is to free the c5-square for his knight, which would be
transferred there via the a6-square. The entire idea of Black’s development would become clear after
move 12.


10.Bf4 Na6

11.Rfd1 Nc5 – see 10.Rd1.
11.Rac1 Nc5 12.Qc2 Qc8 13.Nb5 (13.Rfd1 Nce4 – see variation B1) 13...Nce4 14.Nc7, Dlugy –
Browne, Berkeley 1984 (14.Qd3 d6 15.Be3 a6 16.Nc3 Rb8 17.Rfd1 Nxc3 18.Qxc3 b5„) 14...Rb8
15.Nb5 Ra8=
11.Rad1 Nc5 12.Qc2 Qc8

13.Nb5 Nce4 14.Nfd4 (14.Nd2 Nxd2 15.Bxb7 Qxb7 16.Rxd2 d5 17.cxd5 Nxd5 18.Qe4 Qa6 19.a4 Nf6
20.Qc4 Rac8= D.Gurevich – A.Ivanov, USA 1994) 14...a6 15.Nc7 Ra7 16.f3 g5! 17.Bc1 (17.fxe4!?
White sacrifices a piece and obtains compensation, but it is not easy to evaluate definitely the arising
position. 17...gxf4 18.Nd5 exd5 19.exd5 Nh5!?∞ Dlugy – Adorjan, New York 1987) 17...Nxg3
(17...Nd6? 18.c5±) 18.Ncxe6, Dlugy – Browne, USA 1984, 18...fxe6 19.hxg3 Nh5„

13.Rd4 d5. In the variation B2, we will analyse practically the same position, but with a white rook which
has come to the d4-square along the route f1-d1-d4. The placement of the other rook is also important
and it exerts influence on the manner in which Black would fight for obtaining an acceptable game. His
plans will be different in the arising lines. 14.Ne5 (14.Rc1 Nce4 – see variation B2a; 14.cxd5 Nxd5
15.Nxd5, De Groot – Svensen, corr. 1992, 15...exd5 16.Rc1 Ne6„) 14...Nce4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4
dxe4 17.Rd7, Khairullin – Malek, Germany 2011, 17...Bf6!? 18.Rfd1 Bd5 19.Qa4 Bxe5 20.cxd5 Bxf4
21.gxf4 exd5 22.e3 b5 23.Qxb5 Rb8 24.Qxd5 Rxb2 25.Qxe4 Rxa2=


Black fails here to build the typical “Hedgehog” positions with a7-a6, d7-d6, Nbd7 (He has lost a tempo
for Bc8-a6-b7.), while White exerts powerful pressure on the d-file. Still, Black can exploit the isolated
placement of the enemy queen on the a4-square and can regain the tempo by developing his knight on the
route a6-c5-(e4).


11.Bg5 Nc5 12.Qc2 Nfe4 13.Bxe7 Qxe7 14.Nxe4 Bxe4 15.Qd2 d5= Mohannad – Grover, Dubai 2013.
11.Nd4 Qc8 12.Bf4 (12.Bg5 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qb7+ 14.Kg1 Rfd8 15.Rac1 h6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.e3 Nc7
18.Rc2 a6„) 12...Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Nh5 14.Be3 f5„ Barber – Bogatyrev, ICCF 2016.
11.Be3 Qc8

12.Bd4 Nc5 13.Qc2 Nce4 14.Nd2 (14.Rac1 Rd8 – see 12.Rac1) 14...Nxc3 15.Qxc3 d6 16.Qd3 Bxg2
17.Kxg2, Hase – Keuter, ICCF 2007, 17...Nd7=
12.Ne5 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Rd8 14.f3 h6 15.Nd3 Nc5 16.Nxc5 bxc5 17.Bf2 Rb8 18.b3 a6 19.e4 Qc7„
Wimmer – Auch, ICCF 2009.
12.Rac1 Nc5 13.Qc2 Nce4 14.Bd4 Rd8 15.Qd3 (15.h3 Nxc3 16.Qxc3 Qc7 17.b4 d6 18.Qe3 Rac8=
Shaw – Pasierb, ICCF 2004; 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.Qb3 Qa6= Miton – Macieja, Rethymno 2003) 15...Nxc3
16.Qxc3 Qc7 17.b3 Rac8= Karpov – Ehlvest, Skelleftea 1989.

11...Nc5 12.Qc2 Qc8!

This is the key-move for Black in this variation. He does not need to be afraid of the penetration of the

enemy pieces to the d6-square. He has the resource Ne4, which would enable Black to control this
square. After the centralisation Nc5-e4 and the following exchange, he can capture on e4 with his bishop
and occupy later the comfortable b7-square with his queen.
We will analyse in details now: B1) 13.Rac1 and B2) 13.Rd4.
13.Ng5 Bxg2 14.Be5 Be4=
13.Be5 Nce4 14.Rac1 d6 15.Bd4 Rd8 16.b3 Bc6 17.Bxf6 Nxf6 18.Ng5 Bxg2 19.Kxg2 Qb7+ 20.Kg1 h6
21.Nge4 d5= Goganov – Makhmutov, Moscow 2011.
13.Ne5 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Qb7+ 15.f3 d6 16.Nd3 d5 17.cxd5 Nxd5, Khenkin – Buckels, Germany 2016,
18.Nxd5 exd5 19.Nf2 Ne6=
13.Ne1 Rd8 14.Bd6 Bxd6 15.Rxd6 Bxg2, Benjamin – Ljuboievic, Szirak 1987, 16.Nxg2 Nb7 17.Rd4
13.Bd6 Bxd6 14.Rxd6 Nce4 15.Rd4 Nxc3 16.Qxc3 Qc7 17.Qe3 d6 18.Rad1 Rfd8 19.b3 Rac8 20.h3 h6
21.Kh2 Rd7= Suvorov – Korovin, ICCF 2008.
13.Nd4 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Na6!? 15.Qd3 (15.b3 d5 16.cxd5 Nb4=) 15...Nh5 16.Bc1 f5 17.b3 Qe8 18.Kg1
13.Nb5 Nce4

14.Nfd4?! After this move White may become a victim to the typical tactical strikes for similar pawn-
structures, with a pawn-fork, when his bishop is on f4 and his knight is on d4. 14...Nxf2! 15.Kxf2 e5
16.Bc1?! (16.Bxe5 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Nxe5³) 16...exd4 17.Nxd4 Bc5µ
14.Nd6?! Nxd6 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Rxd6 Qc5 17.Qd3 (17.Rd2 Rac8 18.b3 b5ƒ) 17...Bd5 18.Qa3 Qxc4µ
Seirawan – Timman, Rotterdam 1989.
14.Nc7 Rb8 15.Nb5 Ra8= Rustemov – Grigoriants, Moscow 2006.

B1) 13.Rac1 Nce4

We will analyse now: B1a) 14.Nxe4 and B1b) 14.Nd4.

14.Ne1 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Bxg2 16.Kxg2, Li Ruofan– Zhao Xue, China 2007, 16...Qb7+ 17.f3 d5=
14.Ne5 Nxc3 15.Qxc3 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 d6 17.Nf3 Rd8 18.Nd2 Qc6+ 19.Qf3 Rac8= Anh Dung Nguyen –
Hjartarson, Turin 2006.
14.h3 Rd8 15.Nd4 (15.g4?! d6 16.Qd3?! Nxc3 17.Rxc3? e5 18.g5 Nh5 19.Bc1 e4–+ Bareev – Karpov,
Tilburg 1991) 15...Nxc3 16.Qxc3, Borges Matos – Rodriguez Cespedes, Cienfuegos 1997, 16...d6
17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Qf3 Qxf3 19.Nxf3 Rac8 20.b3 d5=

B1a) 14.Nxe4

White exchanges minor pieces, losing a tempo in the process, while Black’s bishop is centralised and his
queen occupies effortlessly the comfortable b7-square. All this cannot provide White with any opening



White can try to occupy the d6-square, making the enemy d7-pawn backward, or can make an attempt to
reduce the tension on the long diagonal by trading the light-squared bishops. All this can hardly create
any serious problems for Black in both cases.
After 15.Qa4 Qb7 16.Bd6?! Bxd6 17.Rxd6 Rfc8 18.Rcd1 Rc5 19.Ne1 Rac8ƒ, White will have problems
with the protection of his c4-pawn, Dvirnyy – A.Kovacevic, Croatia 2013.
15.Qc3 Qb7 16.Ne1 Bxg2 17.Nxg2 Rac8= Kolarov – Mednis, Varna 1958.
15.Qb3 Qb7 16.Ne1 (16.Bd6?! Bxd6 17.Rxd6 Rac8 18.Rcd1 Rc5 19.Qb4 Rfc8³ Khenkin – Davenport,
Germany 2014) 16...Bxg2 17.Nxg2 Rac8 18.Bd6 (18.Ne1 d5= Andersson – Timman, Bazna 2007)
18...Bxd6 19.Rxd6 Rc6 20.Rxc6 Qxc6= Andersson – Papp, Calvia 2005.

15...Qb7 16.Bd6

16.Ne1 Bxg2 17.Nxg2 d5 18.Ne3 Rfd8 19.cxd5 Nxd5 20.Qc2 h6= Karpov – Maceja, Poland 2003.

16...Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Rac8


18.Ne1?! Bxg2 19.Nxg2 Qa6³, with a double attack against the pawns on a2 and c4, Pushkov –
Obukhov, Sochi 2017.
18.Rd4?! Rfe8 19.b3, Datu – Barus, Tagaytay City 2011, 19...b5!?ƒ
18.Rc3 Rc5 19.Bf1 Bxf3 20.exf3 Rfc8 21.b4 R5c6 22.Qd4 Qc7 23.Rdc1 a5 24.a3 axb4 25.axb4 Qa7=
Kalinitschev – Dory, Germany 1990.

18...h6 19.Rd4

19.Ne1 Bxg2 20.Nxg2 Rc6 21.Qd4 Rfc8 22.e4 d6 23.a4 a6„ Movsziszian – Oms Pallisse, Spain 2002.
Black plans to continue with the pawn-advance b6-b5. White cannot prevent that and after his c4-pawn
disappears off the board Black will follow with d6-d5.

19...Rc6 20.Qf4 Rc5!

This is the ideal square for Black’s rook. His battery is not covered and the rook can be transferred to f5
in order to attack the enemy queen if necessary. The most important thing is that Black prepares the
counter attacking move b6-b5.


White’s permanent occupation of this weak square does not worry Black at all. His backward d7-pawn is
well protected and his major pieces do not need to operate on the d-file. He has completed his
development, his rooks have been connected and Black will soon manage to accomplish the thematic
pawn-advance b6-b5.

21...b5³ Dautov – Smirin, Daugavpils 1989.

B1b) 14.Nd4 Nxc3

The placement of Black’s knight on c3 and not on b5 makes the tactical operation with the temporary
sacrifice of the knight not so attractive for him: 14...Nxf2?! 15.Kxf2 e5 16.Bxe5 Ng4+ 17.Kg1 Nxe5
18.Bxb7 Qxb7 19.Nd5!²

15.Qxc3 a6


16.b3, Gelfand – Anand, Monte Carlo 2005, 16...Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qb7+ 18.Kg1 (18.Qf3 Ne4„) 18...Rfc8
19.Qd3 d5=
16.Nb3 Bxg2 17.Kxg2, Tregubov – Jorczic, Germany 2013, 17...Qc6+ 18.Kg1 (after 18.Qf3, Black will
follow with the standard reaction 18...Ne4„) 18...Rac8=
16.Qd3 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qb7+ 18.Qf3 (18.f3 d5!?„) 18...Ne4!?„ We are already familiar with this
resource for Black to cover the diagonal with his knight if White offers the exchange of the queens,
Zubarev – Sadvakasov, Kharkov 2003.
16.Bxb7 Qxb7 17.Qf3 Ne4 18.Nb3 f5 19.Qd3 Rfd8 20.f3 Ng5! It is not worth for Black to trade the
restricted enemy knight on b3 until the moment that White would be threatening the pawn-advance c4-c5.
21.Bd6 Bf6! 22.Rc2 Rac8 23.Rdc1 Nf7„ Horta – Valentine, ICCF 2002.
16.Bf3 d6 17.Nb3 Rd8 18.Qe3 Rb8 19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.f3 Rbc8 21.Qd3, Huebner – Dautov, Germany
1999, 21...d5=

16...Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qb7+


18.f3 d6 19.Nc2 Rfd8 20.e4 Nd7 21.Bxd6 (21.Ne1 Nc5 22.Qc2 b5„ Vekelis – Dobrica, ICCF 2012)
21...Bxd6 22.Rxd6 Nc5 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8 24.Qe3 Rd3 25.Qf4 h6© White’s pieces are dis coordinated,
while Black is dominant on the d-file and has the resource e6-e5, for example in reply to 26.Rc1-f1, so he
has full compensation for the sacrificed pawn.

18...Ne4 19.Nb3 f5 20.Nd2

20.Kg1 Rac8 21.Qd3 Rfd8 22.f3 d5! 23.cxd5 (23.fxe4? dxc4µ) 23...Rxd5 24.Qe3 Nc5= Dutu –
Bennborn, ICCF 2002.


After this move there arises by force a repetition of the position.

If Black wishes to play for a win, he might try here the line: 20...Rf7!? 21.Nxe4 fxe4 22.Qc3 Raf8∞

21.Nxe4 fxe4 22.Qg4 h5 23.Qxh5 gxf4 24.Qg6= Van Wely – Chuchelov, Germany 2003.

B2) 13.Rd4

With a white rook on d4, Black must try to transfer his knight from c5 to e4 and to follow that with a
bishop-sortie to c5 in order to attack the f2-square.


We will analyse in details now: B2a) 14.Rc1 and B2b) 14.cxd5.

About 14.Ne5 Nce4 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 dxe4 17.Rd7 Bc5 18.Rad1 f6 – see 14.Rad1.
14.Rad1 Nce4 15.Ne5 Bc5 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 dxe4 18.Rd7 (18.R4d2?! f6 19.Nd7 e3!ƒ Raznikov –
Kir.Georgiev, Plovdiv 2012) 18...f6 19.Qc3, Kempinski – Zarnicki, Buenos Aires 2006, 19...Re8!?∞
14.Nb5 Nce4 15.Nc7 Bc5 16.cxd5 Nxd5 17.Rxe4 Nxf4 18.Rxf4 Qxc7 19.Rc1 Rac8= Haluschka –
Moser, ICCF 2006.

B2a) 14.Rc1 Nce4 15.Nxe4

15.cxd5 Nxc3 16.Qxc3 Qxc3 17.Rxc3 Nxd5= Fridman – Sasikiran, Gibraltar 2011. White must still
work hard in this endgame in order to neutralise his opponent’s two-bishop advantage.

15...dxe4 16.Ne5 h6


The move 17.Rcd1 would lead immediately to a repetition of the position: 17...Bc5 18.R4d2 Bb4 19.Rd4
Bc5= Fridman – Ju.Polgar, Istanbul 2012.
17.g4 Bc5 18.Rdd1 e3!? 19.f3 Rd8„
17.h4 g5!? 18.hxg5 hxg5 19.Bxg5 Qc5 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Rd7 Bc8 22.Ng4 Bg5 23.Rdd1 f5 24.e3, Farago
– Petrik, Hungary 2014, 24...a5!? 25.Nh2 Ra7„
17.Rd2 Bc5 18.Qb3 a5 19.a4 Bb4 20.Rdd1 Rd8= Gauna – Montero, ICCF 2013.
17.Qc3 Rd8 18.Rcd1 Rxd4 19.Rxd4 Qe8, Khalifman – Leko, Wijk aan Zee 2002, 20.h3 Rd8„


Black should not be afraid of the weakening of the b5-square, since White’s knight on e5 would hardly
manage to go there.
In order to organise counterplay Black plans to attack that same knight, because its prospects are severely
restricted by the pawn on e4. On the other hand that pawn is doubled, so White would base his hopes on
his superior pawn-structure on the queenside. The exchange of all the major pieces would be in favour of
White, while Black should better try to preserve a couple of rooks on the board.

18.h4 Rd8 19.Rxd8+ Bxd8!

Black is planning Qc8-c5 and Bd8-c7 and we have already mentioned that before.


20.Qd2 Qc5 21.Nd7 Nxd7 22.Qxd7 Bc6 23.Qd2 Bf6 24.Be3 Qe7 25.a3 Qb7 26.b4 axb4 27.axb4 b5!=
Walczak – Lucki, ICCF 2012. This was a good example about how Black had to fight against his
opponent’s pawn-majority on the queenside.
20.Rd1 Bc7 (The move 20...Qc5? would not work here, because of the tactical strike – 21.Nd7 Nxd7
22.Rxd7 Bc6 23.Bxe4±) 21.Qc3 Qe8 22.Nd7 (22.b3 Rd8 23.Rxd8 Qxd8 24.Be3 Bd6 25.Bd4 Qc7
26.Bh3 h5 27.Bg2 Ne8= Schmidt – Fonio, ICCF 2012) 22...Bxf4 23.Nxf6+ gxf6 24.gxf4 Rd8 25.Rd4
(25.Qb3 Ba6 26.Bxe4 Rxd1+ 27.Qxd1 Bxc4= A.Efremov – Vik.Ivanov, ICCF 2011) 25...f5 26.b3 Bc6
27.e3 Rc8! 28.Rd6 Qe7 29.Qe5 Kh7 30.h5 Qh4„ Johanson – Ilyasov, ICCF 2013. Now, it is White who
must play accurately, so that Black’s actions on the g-file would not become threatening.

20...Qc5 21.Be3

About 21.e3 Bc7 22.Rd1 Re8 – see 21.Rd1.

21.Rd1 Bc7 22.e3 Re8 23.Bf1 g5 (23...Rc8∞) 24.hxg5 hxg5 25.Nd7 Nxd7 26.Rxd7 gxf4 27.Qf6 Rf8
28.Rxc7 Qxc7 29.Qg5=

21...Qc7 22.Qd4

22.Rd1 Be7 23.Bf4 Bd6 24.Qd4 Rd8. It might seem that Black blunders a pawn here after 25.Nxf7, but
following 25...Kxf7 26.Bxd6 Qc6 27.Qe5 Ne8, there arises a pin on the d-file and White must find a
very difficult path to the draw in order not to lose the game: 28.Qf4+ Kg6 29.Rd5! exd5 30.h5+ Kh7
31.Qf5+ Kg8 32.Qf8+ Kh7= Coklin – Geier, ICCF 2015.
22...Qe7 23.c5 (23.Rd1 Bc7 24.Qc3 Qb4=) 23...bxc5 24.Qxc5 Qxc5 25.Bxc5 Rc8 26.b3 Be7 27.Be3

Rxc1+ 28.Bxc1 Nd5 29.Bxe4 Nc3 30.Bd3 Nxa2= V.Kozlov – Blitsko, ICCF 2002.

B2b) 14.cxd5 Nxd5


15.Ng5 Bxg5 16.Bxg5 Nxc3 17.Qxc3 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 e5 19.Rc4 Qb7+ 20.f3 e4 21.Be3 exf3+ 22.exf3
Ne6= Andeer – Punzon, ICCF 2007.
15.Bg5 Nf6!? 16.Rc1 (16.Rc4 h6 17.Be3 Qe8=) 16...h6 17.Bf4 (17.Be3 Rd8 18.b4 Rxd4 19.Nxd4 Bxg2
20.Kxg2 Qb7+ 21.f3 Ncd7, Mareco – Almasi, Stockholm 2016) 17...Rd8 18.Rxd8+ Qxd8 19.Ne5
(19.Rd1, Lautier – Grischuk, Turin 2006, 19...Qe8=) 19...Bxg2 20.Kxg2 Rc8 21.Qd1 Qc7!? 22.b4 Qb7+
23.f3 Ncd7 24.Nxd7 Nxd7 25.a3 b5= Mamedyarov – Anand, Wijk aan Zee 2006.


In positions of this type, similar to this one, in which both sides have exchanged their c and d-pawns,
White’s chance of obtaining an advantage depends on whether he would manage to penetrate with his
rook to his opponent’s penultimate rank. In order to do that he must oust his enemy’s minor pieces, which
close the file. Still, Black has practically completed the mobilisation of his forces and he can manoeuvre
on the central squares and has later the counter attacking resource Qc8-a6, so he can parry easily all
White’s attempts to develop any initiative.


16.Ne1 Bxg2, Cs.Horvath – Palac, Kallithea 2002, 17.Nxg2 b5!?, preventing 18.Rd4-c4 and preparing
16.Rad1 Ne4! 17.Qd3 Qb7 18.Nd2, Van Wely – Leko, Wijk aan Zee 2004, 18...Nxf2! 19.Bxd5 Nh3+
20.Kf1 exd5 21.Be3 Ng5„
16.Rc1, Gelfand – Leko, Monte Carlo 2004, 16...Bf6 17.Be5 Nd7 18.Qd2 Qa6„

16...Bxg5 17.Bxg5

Or 17.Bxd5 exd5 18.Bxg5 Ne6 19.Qxc8 Raxc8 20.Rxd5, J.Houska – Yeke, ICCF 2007, 20...Nxg5
21.Rxg5 Rc2=

17...Bxg2 18.Kxg2 e5!


19.Rd5 h6!? 20.b4 (Or 20.Be3 Qb7³ and here White cannot fortify his position with the move e2-e4.)
20...Na6! 21.Qxc8 Raxc8 22.Bd2 f6 23.a3 Nc7 24.Rd7 Rfd8=
19.Rh4 Qc6+ (19...f5!?„) 20.Kg1 Qg6 21.Qxg6 hxg6 22.Be3 Rac8= Roiz – S.Zhigalko, Lublin 2011.

19...Qb7+ 20.f3

20.Kg1 Ne6 21.Be3 Rfd8 22.Rc1 Rd7 23.Qe4 Qxe4 24.Rxe4 f6= A.Kuzmin – Ravi, Kolkata 2002.

20...e4! 21.Be3 exf3+ 22.exf3 Ne6

We can now summarise the results of Black’s mini-operation, begun on move 18. If the queens remain on
the board, it would be tremendously difficult for White to exploit in this open position the slight
advantage of his bishop over the enemy knight, because the placement of his king is somewhat
weakened. The deployment of Black’s knight on the e6-outpost is just perfect, since the key c7-square for
the possible penetration of the enemy rooks is protected quite reliably.


23.Rc1 Rad8 24.a4 Rd5 25.Rc8 Rdd8= Arsovic – Perunovic, Serbia 2008.

23...Rac8 24.Rc1 Rxc4 25.Qxc4 h6 26.b4 Ng5 27.Qg4 Re8= Socko – Macieja, Germany 2007.

Chapter 17

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Nbd2 Bb7

It may seem that Black has lost a tempo, because his bishop went at first to the a6-square (White has
developed a piece in the meantime...) and then went back to b7. Still, White’s developed piece, his
queen’s knight, could have gone to c3 at once from its initial square, while now it would need two more
moves to go there. So, if he wishes to place it there, White would lose tempi. This will hardly happen, so
he is likely to continue the game with a knight on d2. White can now forget about the important resource
d4-d5, which is often very unpleasant for Black in the Queen’s Indian Defence in response to his attack
against the enemy centre with the c-pawn. White’s knight on d2 does not control the d5-square and
covers the influence over it of his own queen. Black can, if he so wishes, organise easily active
counterplay against the enemy centre with the possibility c7-c5.


6.Qc2. White is planning 7.e2-e4 and Black must counter that immediately with the move 6...c5.

7.e4?! cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5! Black ousts the enemy knight away from the centre, having in mind that after
the move 5.Nbd2, the harmony in White’s set-up has been disrupted. 9.N4b3 Be7 10.Bg2 Nc6. If in the
“Hedgehog” pawn-structure Black’s knight is on c6 and not on d7, this is a defect of his position, because
White has the tactical possibility Nc3-d5, e6xd5, c4xd5 and Black’s knight on c6 is pinned, because his
queen on c7 is hanging (It is usually developed there in the “Hedgehog” pawn-structures.) So, as a result,
White regains his piece after such tactical operation and creates a weakness for his opponent on c6. Now,
due to the fact that White’s knight has been developed to the d2-square and he does not have the threat
Nc3-d5, Black’s knight is perfectly placed on c6: 11.0-0 Qc7 12.Re1 Rc8 13.Qd1 Ne5 14.Bf1 h5!ƒ
Gevorgyan – Matevosian, Georgia 2016.
7.dxc5 bxc5. It is obvious that White plans to complete his development with the moves b2-b3 and Bc1-
b2 and then Black’s standard counterplay in similar pawn-structures with a5-a4 will not be hampered by
White’s knight on c3, since it has already been developed on the d2-square. On the other hand, the
placement of White’s knight on d2 would not enable Black to develop comfortably his pieces if he
wishes to capture on c5 with his bishop, because then, the fastest possible mobilisation of pieces, with the
idea to connect the rooks after Qd8-e7 can be countered by White with Nd2-b3, exchanging Black’s
important bishop. All these arguments are in favour for him to capture on c5 with the pawn. 8.Bg2 Nc6
9.0-0 Be7 10.b3 Qc7 11.Bb2 d6 12.Rad1 0-0 13.Ne4 Nxe4 14.Qxe4, Van der Stricht – Naiditsch,
Belgium 2002, 14...a5„



About 7.Qc2 d5 8.0-0 0-0, or 8.Ne5 0-0 9.0-0 c5, or 8.cxd5 exd5 9.0-0 0-0, or 9.Ne5 0-0 10.0-0 c5 – see
variation A.
7.e4. This is an interesting pawn-sacrifice, but very risky for White. The point is that it would not be
sufficient for him to sacrifice only a pawn. In this line he would need to sacrifice his queen as well.
7...Nxe4 8.Ne5 Bb4 9.Qg4 (9.0-0 Bxd2 10.Bxd2 0-0 11.Re1 f5 12.Be3 d6 13.Nd3 c5 14.Nf4 Qd7 15.d5
exd5 16.cxd5 Na6 17.Ne6 Rf7³ Burgarth – Shablinsky, ICCF 2012; 9.Qe2 d5! 10.cxd5 Qxd5! 11.Nd3
Bxd2+ 12.Bxd2, Timman – A.Sokolov, France 2012, 12...0-0 13.Rc1 Na6³) 9...0-0 10.Bxe4 f5 11.Bxb7.
This move is forced. White obtains seemingly more than sufficient material equivalent for his queen, but
his bishop is likely to remain trapped. 11...fxg4 12.Bxa8 c6 13.0-0 Qc8! You will see later why Black
plays this move in order to keep the enemy bishop trapped, contrary to the similar line with the same
purpose – 13...Qc7. 14.Ne4 Be7 15.Bg5 (Here, even if White tries to part with his bishop at the highest
possible price, he would not obtain full compensation for the lost material anyway: 15.b3 Na6 16.Bxc6
dxc6 17.Nxg4 c5µ Neves – Cvak, ICCF 2011.) 15...Bxg5 16.Nxg5 d6. If Black’s queen had been on the
c7-square, this move would have been impossible for him in view of White’s resource 17.Nxe6. 17.Nxg4
h6 18.Ne4 d5ƒ Bringsken – Blecha, ICCF 2007.


We will analyse in details now the moves: A) 8.Qc2 and B) 8.b3.
8.Nb3?! The way forward of White’s knight has been restricted by the pawn on b6, so its placement on
the b3-square is not very promising for him. It is just an unfortunate piece in this position. 8...a5!? 9.Bg5
h6 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.Qd3 d5 12.Rac1 a4!? 13.Nbd2 c5³, followed by Nb8-c6, Fedoseev – Harikrishna,
Doha 2015.
8.Ne1 Bxg2 9.Nxg2 d5 10.cxd5 Qxd5 11.Nf3 Nbd7 12.Be3 Qb7 13.Rc1 Rac8 14.Nf4 c5= Romanishin
– Lerner, Lvov 1981.
8.Re1 d5. Black prevents his opponent’s threat e4-e5. 9.cxd5 (9.Ne5 Nbd7=; 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 Ne4„
Epishin – Kruppa, USSR 1987) 9...exd5 10.Ne5 Re8 11.Qb3 a5 12.Nf1 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Qxd7ƒ with the
probable pawn-advances later a5-a4 and c7-c5, Rogozenko – Iordachescu, Kishinev 1998.

A) 8.Qc2 d5

This reaction by Black in reply to White’s intentions to occupy the centre is encountered in practice more
often that 8...c5 9.e4∞.

We will deal now with A1) 9.cxd5 and A2) 9.Ne5.
9.Rd1 Na6 10.a3 c5 11.dxc5 (11.cxd5 exd5 – see variation A1) 11...bxc5 12.Ne5, Crepsi Lopez –
Pogorelov, Spain 2009, 12...Qc7 13.Ndf3 Bd6 14.Nd3 d4„
9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 c5 11.Rac1 (11.cxd5 exd5 – see variation A1; 11.e3 Rc8 12.Rfc1 Rc7 13.Qd1 Qa8
14.Ne5 Rd8 15.Qe2 cxd4 16.exd4 dxc4 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Nxd7 Rcxd7 19.Nxc4 Rc7³ Mikavica –
Tukmakov, Zuerich 1994) 11...Rc8 12.Qb1 dxc4 13.Nxc4 b5 14.Ncd2 cxd4 15.Rxc8 Qxc8 16.Bxd4 Qa8
17.Rd1 Rc8 18.Qb2 a6= Kraidman – Ligterink, Manchester 1981.

A1) 9.cxd5 exd5


10.Nb3?! On this square White’s knight will come under an attack sooner or later either after c7-c5-c4, or
following a7-a5-a4. 10...Nbd7 11.Bf4 c5 12.Bh3 Re8 13.Rfe1 c4 14.Nbd2 b5ƒ McClain – Trivedi, ICCF
10.Rd1 Na6 11.a3 c5 12.Nb1 (After 12.dxc5, Black should better capture with his knight 12...Nxc5!?„,
since if he captures with his pawn 12...bxc5 13.Nc4 Re8 14.Bf4 Bf8, Haba – Ribli, Austria 2003, White
can play 15.Qb3², increasing his pressure on the queenside.) 12...Qc8 13.Nc3 Nc7 14.Nh4 g6 15.Bh6
Rd8 16.Nf3 Ne6„ Grischuk – Karjakin, Baku 2014.
10.b3 Nbd7 11.Bb2 c5 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.e3 a5 14.a4 Qb6„ Tsiganova – Shipov, Cappelle-la-Grande



About 11.dxc5 bxc5 – see variation A2.

11.Nb3?! The placement of the knight on this square in variation A is not so good for White. 11...Na6
12.Bf4 Re8 13.a3 Bd6³
11.Rd1 Nbd7 12.Ndf3 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Qc8 14.Bg5, Cruszcz – Wierzbicki, corr. 1993, 14...h6„
11.b3 Nbd7 12.Bb2 Rc8 13.Qd3 Re8 14.Rac1 (14.Bh3 Rc7 15.Rfd1 Bd6 16.Ndf3 Nf8 17.Rac1 Ne6
18.dxc5 bxc5 19.Nc4 Bf8 20.Be5 Rd7„ Dydyshko – Yudasin, USSR 1982) 14...Rc7 15.Rfd1 Nf8∞
Beliavsky – Psakhis, USSR 1980.



About 12.dxc5 bxc5 – see variation A2.

12.b3 Rc8 13.Bh3 Rc7 14.Bf4, Grachev – Shaposhnikov, Russia 2009, 14...Ne4!? 15.Nd3 Bd6„
12.Qa4?! Qe8! 13.Qxe8 Rfxe8 14.Bf4 Ne4! 15.Rad1 f6 16.Nd3 c4 17.Nc1 b5³ Eingorn – Vyzhmanavin,
USSR 1983.
12.Bh3?! White deprives his opponent of the resource Ra8-c8. Still, Black can improve his position in
another way, without exploiting the c-file and this is: Nf6-e4, Be7-d6, Qd8-e7. 12...Ne4 13.Be3 Bd6
14.a3 Qe7 15.Rfd1 c4³ Korchnoi – An.Sokolov, France 1985.
12.a3 Ne4 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Rd1 Qc8 15.Nd7 Qxd7 16.Qxe4 h6 17.Qc2 Bf6 18.e4 d4„
12.Be3 Rc8 13.Bh3 Rc7 14.Qd1 c4 15.Nd2 b5 16.a3 Bd6 17.Nb1 Re7 18.Nc3 Nc7 19.Bg2 Ne4„
Tischbierek – Karolyi, Budapest 1981.

12...Nc7 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.b4 Ne6 15.bxc5 Bxc5 16.Nd3 Bb6 17.Be5 Ne4 18.e3 Rc8„, followed by
Bb7-a6, f7-f6, Zaichik – Schneider, USSR 1983.

A2) 9.Ne5 c5 10.dxc5

About 10.cxd5 exd5 – see variation A1.



11.Nb3?! Qc7!„ Pomes – Rodriguez Cespedes, Terrassa 1999. Now, the move 12.Bf4 is impossible for
White due to 12...g5–+, so the coordination of his pieces has been disrupted.


White must create considerable pressure against the enemy hanging pawns in order to prove their
liability. His knight on d2 however, does not attack the centre and even covers the d-file.
Still, Black must consider his opponent’s possibility e2-e4 as an attempt to break his pawn-structure in
the centre and to ensure the c4-outpost for White’s knight.


This is a very popular construction for White in the Queen’s Indian Defence with the idea to coordinate
his pieces, exploiting the defencelessness of Black’s bishop on b7 and the pin of his d5-pawn.
Black must try to make use of the unstable placement of White’s knights. Thanks to their hanging, he can
begin a forced play, which might lead to a repetition of the position as a logical outcome of the game.
12.Nb3 Na6 13.Bd2 Bd6 14.Nf3, Yurin – Filipchenko, ICCF 2010, 14...Rb8!?„
12.e4 Qc7!? 13.f4 Nbd7 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.e5 Ng4 16.Nf3 Nh6„
12.Ndf3 Na6 13.Rd1 Qb6 14.b3 Rad8 15.Bb2 Nb4 16.Qf5 Bc8 17.Qf4 Ne4„ J.Horvath – Farago,
Hungary 1998.
12.Rd1 Qc7 13.Ndf3 Bd6 14.Bf4 Re8 15.Nd3 Nbd7 16.e3 Rac8 17.Rac1 Bxf4 18.Nxf4 Qb6= Oliveira –
Depasse, ICCF 2005.
12.b3 Nbd7 13.Bb2 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qb6 15.Rad1 Rfe8 16.Rfe1 Ng4 17.Bb2 Rad8 18.h3 Nf6 19.e4 d4
20.Nc4 Qa6 21.Bc1 Nd7 22.Bf4 Qe6 23.h4 Nb6 24.Bf1 Bf8 25.f3 Ba6„ Marculescu – Medvedev,
ICCF 2009.

12...Qc7 13.Bf4

This move is practically forced, just like Black’s next move.

13...g5!? 14.Bxg5 dxc4

White has dangerous initiative for the sacrificed piece. A mistake from both sides might be very costly


The move 15.Bxb7 looks very weak here: 15...Qxb7 16.Bh6 Nbd7 17.Bxf8 Nxe5 18.Bxe7 Qxe7³ Hexs
– Ramawolf, ICCF 2009.
15...Ne8 16.Bxe7 (16.Bh6?! Ng7 17.Qg4 Bf6µ) 16...Qxe7 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Rad1 Ng7 (If Black
wishes to play for a win, he might try the seemingly risky line: 18...Qe7!? 19.Qf3 Nc7∞ Reichgeld –
Hildebrand, ICCF 2008.) 19.Qf6 a5 20.Ng4 Re8 21.Nh6+ Kf8 22.Nf5 Nxf5 23.Qh8+ Ke7 24.Qe5+
Kf8= Leiber – Matt, corr. 1985.

B) 8.b3


Black has an alternative here – 8...d5. Still, in comparison to variation A, White has not determined the
placement of his queen yet. He will not develop it on the c-file, under the X-ray juxtaposition with the
enemy rook, but will prefer for it the e2-square, for example: 9.Bb2 Nbd7 10.Rc1 c5 11.e3 Rc8 12.Qe2
dxc4 13.Nxc4 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bxg2 15.Kxg2² Dubov – Korobov, Abu Dhabi 2018. It is possible that
Black may improve his play, but still, the best players in the world prefer to fight for a good position here
with the move 8 ...c5.


About 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Bb2 d6 – see 9.Bb2.

9.e3 cxd4 10.exd4 (10.Nxd4 Bxg2 11.Kxg2 Nc6 12.Nxc6 dxc6 13.Bb2 Qc7= Hertneck – Chernin,
Austria 1995) 10...d5 11.Bb2 Nc6 12.Qe2 Rc8 13.Rac1 Re8 14.Rfd1 Bf8 15.Nf1 dxc4 16.bxc4 Na5
17.Ne3 Ba6 18.Ne5 Nd7„ Epishin – Neverov, USSR 1985.



10.Rc1 Nbd7 11.Qc2 cxd4 12.Nxd4 Bxg2 13.Kxg2 Qc7= Kolbus – Palac, Biel 2007.
10.Qc2 cxd4 11.Nxd4 (11.Bxd4 Nbd7 12.Rfd1 Rc8 13.Rac1 Rc7 14.Qb2 Qa8 15.Ne1 Bxg2 16.Nxg2
Rfc8 17.Ne3 a6 18.h3 Qb7 19.Ng4 Ne8 20.Nf3 Nc5 21.Qb1 b5„ Kraidman – Panno, Israel 1976)
11...Bxg2 12.Kxg2 Qc7 13.Qd3 (13.e4 Nc6 14.N2f3 a6 15.Rad1 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 b5= Wittal – Rahde,
ICCF 2015) 13...Nbd7 14.f4 Rfe8 15.Qf3 d5! 16.Rac1 Qb7 17.cxd5 exd5= Ftachnik – Ivanchuk, Novi
Sad 1990.
10.dxc5 bxc5. There has arisen a pawn-structure, which is typical for the Queen’s Indian Defence. The
seemingly backward d6-pawn has been reliably protected and this can be balanced by the relative
misplacement of White’s knight on d2, instead of its being on the best possible c3-square. From there it
can be threatening the attacking sortie to the b5-square and can also accomplish prophylactic functions
against Black’s possible counterplay, connected with the pawn-advance a7-a5-a4. 11.Qc2 Nbd7 12.Rad1
(12.e4 Qc7 13.Rfe1 Rfd8 14.Rad1 h6 15.h3 Nh7 16.Nf1 Bf6= Adianto – Adorjan, Indonesia 1983)
12...Qc7 13.e4 (13.Ng5 Bxg2 14.Kxg2, Bischoff – Nagatz, Germany 1992, 14...a5!?„) 13...Bc6 14.Rfe1
Qb7 15.h3 a5„ Mamedyarov – Ponomariov, Moscow 2006.

10...cxd4 11.Nxd4 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 Qc7 13.e4 Nc6 14.N2f3

14.Qe2 Nd7!? 15.f3 a6 16.Nf1 Qb7 17.Ne3 Nxd4 18.Bxd4 b5„

14.Nxc6 Qxc6= Sosonko – Ribli, Amsterdam 1980.

14...a6 15.Nxc6 Qxc6 16.Nd4 Qb7 17.Qf3


I believe that the presence of the knights on the board is in favour of Black, particularly if he manages to
trade his c4-pawn and ensure the d5-outpost as a base for his knight. Accordingly, he should better avoid
the exchange of the knights. (In the game Andreikin – Karjakin, Baku 2014, there followed 17...Nd7
18.e5 Qxf3+ 19.Nxf3 Nxe5 20.Nxe5 dxe5 21.Bxe5 Rfc8=). 18.e5 (18.cxb5 axb5 19.e5 Nd5!=)
18...Qxf3+ 19.Kxf3 (19.Nxf3 dxe5 20.Nxe5 bxc4 21.bxc4 Rfc8=) 19...dxe5 20.Nc6 e4+! 21.Rxe4 Bc5
22.Re2 Rfc8 23.Ne5 bxc4 24.Nxc4 (24.bxc4 Rd8=) 24...Nd5=

Chapter 18

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 c5

We will analyse in details now: A) 6.Bg2 and B) 6.d5.

White can hardly achieve much after his alternatives.
6.e4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 (7.e5?! Bb7 8.Bg2 Ng4 9.Bf4 Qc7 10.0-0 h6 11.h3 g5 12.hxg4 gxf4 13.gxf4 Rg8µ
Kopasov – Manelyuk, Russia 2009) 7...Bc5

A similar position can be reached in the Petrosian variation. It can happen after the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4
e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Ba6 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Nc3 c5 7.e4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5. Naturally, there are some important
differences and here, they are in favour of Black. White has already played g2-g3, so he will develop his
bishop on g2. Black’s bishop has not returned to the b7-square yet and having in mind that it has no
opponent on the f1-a6 diagonal, after d7-d5 it can create threats either against the enemy rook on f1, or
simply attack the f1-square in case White has not castled kingside yet.
8.Nb3, Franco Raymundo – Gallego, Monzon 1987, 8...Nc6 9.Nxc5 bxc5 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 d5„
About 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Bg2 Nc6 – see variation A.

A) 6.Bg2 Nc6


7.e3? After this mistake, White simply loses a pawn. 7...cxd4 8.exd4 (8.Nxd4 Nxd4 9.exd4, Pieper –
Farago, Seefeld 2002, 9...Bxc4!–+) 8...Nb4 9.Qb3 Bxc4!–+ Truerauf – Medvegy, Germany 2000.
7.0-0?! cxd4 8.Rd1 Rc8 9.Qa4 (White would not equalise even if he regains his pawn: 9.Nxd4 Nxd4
10.Rxd4 Bc5 11.Rh4, Kostov – Tsekov, Sofia 2011, 11...b5 12.Nc3 Qb6 13.e3 bxc4³) 9...Na5 10.Na3
Bb7!? 11.Nxd4 Bxg2 12.Kxg2 Qc7 13.b3?! Ne4!µ, with an interesting double attack against the c3 and
c5-squares, Hang – Suarez Sedeno, corr. 1995.
7.Qa4 Bb7 8.d5 (8.dxc5 Bxc5 – see 7.dxc5) 8...exd5 9.cxd5 Nxd5 10.0-0 Be7 11.Rd1 Nf6 12.e4 0-0
13.Nc3 Qb8! 14.Bf4 d6 15.Rd2 a6 16.Re1 b5 17.Qd1 Ne5³ Black has gradually neutralised his
opponent’s pressure and has preserved his extra pawn, Silva – Spragett, Portugal, 2016.
7.d5 exd5 8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Qe4+? (about 9.0-0 Be7 10.Rd1 Bb7 – see variation B) 9...Qe7µ Obando
Guzman – Cardoso Cardoso, Medelin 2018.



8.Qa4 Bb7 9.0-0 Be7!?„ threatening 10...Na5, Velikov – Barczay, Zalaegerszeg 1970 (9...Rc8 – see 8.0-
8.a3 Rc8. Black is creating the threat 9...Nd4. After the exchange of the knights on the d4-square, having
in mind the unfavourable X-ray juxtaposition of White’s queen with the enemy rook on c8, his c4-pawn
is practically doomed.

9.Bg5? Nd4 10.Qc3 Nxf3+ 11.Bxf3 Bxc4µ

9.b4?! Bd4! 10.Ra2 Bxc4 11.Qxc4, Golda – Euler, Germany 2002, 11...Nxb4!? 12.Qxb4 Rxc1+ 13.Kd2
9.e3?! 0-0 10.0-0 Be7 11.Rd1 Qc7 12.b3, Drake – Farah, Argentina 1984, 12...d5ƒ
9.0-0 Nd4 10.Nxd4 Bxd4 11.Nd2 Qc7 12.e3 (12.Qd3 Be5 13.f4 Bd6 14.e4?! e5 15.b3 exf4 16.Bb2 0-0!
³ Valgeratsu – Lapidario, FICS 2003; 14.b3 Bc5+ 15.Kh1, Slimani – Ilandzis, Italy 1987, 15...d5!?
16.Bb2 dxc4 17.Nxc4 0-0„; 14.b4 Be7 15.b5 Bb7 16.Bxb7 Bc5+ 17.e3 Qxb7 18.Bb2 Ng4„ Goldenov
– Borisenko, Minsk 1952) 12...Be5 13.f4 (13.Qa4?! Behle – Morawietz, Porz 1994, 13...Bxc4 14.Nxc4
Qxc4 15.Qxa7 0-0!?³) 13...Bd6 14.Qd3 Be7 15.b3 d5 16.Bb2 dxc4 17.bxc4 Bxc4³ A.Sokolsky – Erburg,
corr. 1989.
9.Qa4 Bb7 10.0-0 (10.b4 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 – see 10.0-0) 10...0-0 11.b4 (11.Nc3 Be7 12.b4 a5 13.b5 Nb8
14.Bb2 Qc7 15.Nd2 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Qb7+ 17.Kg1 d6 18.e4 Nbd7 19.Qd1 Rc7= Matnadze – Virnik,
Greece 1999) 11...Be7 12.Bb2 (12.Rd1 a5 13.b5 Nb8„, followed by the transfer of Black’s knight to the
excellent c5-outpost) 12...Qc7 13.Nbd2 a5 14.b5 Nb8„, with the same idea – to follow with d7-d6, Nd7-
9.Nbd2 Be7 10.b4 (10.0-0?! Na5 11.b3 b5 12.Nd4 d5µ Ristic – Averkin, Yugoslavia 1991) 10...Bb7
11.0-0 Qc7 12.Bb2 d6 13.Rfd1 0-0 14.Qb3 Rfd8 15.Nf1 Ne5 16.Nxe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 dxe5= Tudor –
Andreica, ICCF 2015. After the exchange of the rooks on the opened d-file, White will fail to create a
passed pawn and to activate his minor pieces.

8...Rc8 9.Qa4

9.b3 0-0 10.Bb2 d5 11.Nbd2 Qe7„ Sapi – Karolyi, Budapest 1981.

9...Bb7 10.Nc3

10.a3 0-0 – see 8.a3.



11.Bg5 h6 12.Bxf6 (12.Bf4 Qe7 13.a3 a5 14.Rad1 Rfd8 15.Ne5, Anastasian – Brodsky, Moscow 1992,
15...d5!?„) 12...Qxf6 13.Ne4 Qe7 14.Rfd1?! (14.Nxc5 bxc5 15.Rfd1 d6=) 14...Rfd8 15.a3 Na5!?
16.Nxc5 Bc6! 17.Qc2 Qxc5 18.Rac1 Bxf3 19.Bxf3 Nxc4³ Grkinic – Di Tolla ICCF 1983.
11.Rd1 h6

12.a3 a5 13.Bf4 Qe7 14.h3, Abbes – Belouadah, Tunis 2007, 14...Nh5!?„

12.Ne1 a6 13.b4 Bxb4 14.Bxc6 Bxc3 15.Bxb7 Rc7 16.Bf3 Bxa1 17.Be3 Be5 18.Nd3 Bd6 19.Bxb6 Rxc4
20.Qxa6 Qc8 21.Bb7 Qb8 22.Ba7 Qc7 23.Bb6= Vik. Zakharov – Pasko, ICCF 2010.

12.Bf4 Qe7 13.Ne5? Mantovani – Beninsky, ICCF 2000, 13...Bxf2ƒ
12.Ne5 Nxe5 13.Bxb7 Nfg4! 14.Ne4 f5! 15.Nxc5 Rxc5 16.h3 (16.b3? f4!ƒ) 16...Qc7 17.Bg2 Rxc4
18.Qa6 Nf6 19.Bf4 d6 20.b3 Rc2 21.Rac1 Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Qb8= Becsenescu – Florea, ICCF 2010.
White’s bishop-pair and his dominance on the open file compensate his missing pawn.

11...Qe7 12.a3

12.Ne5 Bd4= Zs.Polgar – Rigo, Hungary 1983.

12.Rad1 Na5 13.Ne5, Compagnie – Nap, corr. 1986, 13...d6!? 14.Bxb7 Qxb7 15.Nd3 Nxc4 16.b3 Na5
17.b4 Bd4 18.Nb5 Nc4 19.Nxd4 e5 20.Bg5? Ne4!µ

12...Bd6 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.Rfd1 Qb8 15.Rac1 a6 16.Nd2 Ne5 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Qb4 Rc6=
Szczepaniak – Kowalczyk, ICCF 2016.

B) 6.d5

White sacrifices a pawn and sharpens the game.

6...exd5 7.cxd5

After 7.Bg2, Black should not be afraid to capture a second pawn: 7...Bxc4 8.Ne5 Bb5 9.Bxd5 Nxd5
10.Qe4 Qe7 11.Qxd5 Bc6µ



8.Bg5 Bxd5 9.Nc3 Bxf3 10.exf3 Be7 11.Bg2 Nc6 12.0-0 0-0 13.f4 h6 14.Bh4 Nd4 15.Qa4 a6!„
8.Nc3 Nxd5 9.Nxd5 (about 9.Bg2 Nxc3 – see 8.Bg2; 9.Qe4+ Qe7 10.Ne5 f5!µ Ismailov – Ivanilov,
Maralsay 2010) 9...Bxd5 10.Bg2 Nc6 11.0-0 Be7 12.Rd1 (12.e4 Be6 13.e5 0-0 14.Re1 Rc8 15.Qa4 c4ƒ
Lida Garcia – Rubinetti, Buenos Aires 2001) 12...Be6 13.Bf4 d5 14.Ne5 Nd4 15.Qd3 f6 16.Nf3 Nc6!³
Schuster – Contin, Argentina 1989. White has failed to develop his initiative and Black has managed to
preserve his extra pawn.
8.e4 Qe7! This is in fact a double-attack against White’s pawn-tandem in the centre.

9.Nbd2?! Nxd5 10.Bg2 (10.Bc4? Nb4 11.Qb3 d5 12.Bb5+, Guyot – Mueller, ICCF 1998, 12...Bc6µ;
10.a3, Khramkov – Medvid, Russia 2015, 10...f5!?„) 10...Nb4 11.Qc3, Papathanasiou – Fragaki,
Kallithea 2009, 11...Ba6 12.Bf1 d5ƒ
9.Nc3 Nxd5 10.Nxd5 Bxd5 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.a3? c4!–+
9.Bg2!? Qxe4+ (Now, after capturing 9...Nxd5?! and 10.0-0ƒ, Black risks much, since White does not
need to lose time for the move a2-a3. He will complete his development in the fastest possible way, while
Black’s lag in development and the absence of coordination of his pieces might hurt him seriously.)
10.Qxe4+ Nxe4 11.0-0 Bxd5 12.Re1 f5! 13.Nc3 Bc6 14.Nh4 (14.Ng5 h6 15.Ngxe4 fxe4 16.Bxe4 Bxe4
17.Rxe4+ Kf7 18.Bf4 Nc6 19.Rd1 d6 20.Bxd6 Rd8 21.Rf4+ Kg6= Monteiro – Rivas Maceda, ICCF
2015; 14.Bf4 Be7 15.Rad1 Bf6 16.Nd5 0-0 17.Nc7 d5 18.Nxd5 Na6 19.Bf1 Nb4 20.Nxb4 cxb4 21.Nd4
Bd7 22.g4 g5 23.Bc1 Nd6 24.Bc4+ Kh8 25.Ne6 Nxc4 26.Nxf8 Rxf8 27.Rxd7 Ne5 28.Rxe5 Bxe5=
Tanis – Laan, ICCF 2015) 14...Kf7! 15.Bf4 Nxc3 16.bxc3 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Nc6 18.Rad1 Rd8 19.Bc7 Re8
20.Rxd7+ Re7 21.Rdxe7+ Bxe7 22.Nxf5 Re8= Lysyj – Debashis, Moscow 2018.
9.Bd3. White has played g2-g3, but his bishop had to go to the d3-square, so the pawn-move has turned
out to be a loss of time and a weakening of his position. 9...Nxd5 10.a3. (White must lose a tempo for
this move, since Black was threatening 10...Nd5-b4.) 10...Nc6 11.0-0 Nc7 12.Nc3 Ne6 13.Be3 Qd8
14.Rad1, Mamedyarov – Gelfand, Wijk aan Zee 2006 (14.Rac1 g6 15.b4 Bg7 16.bxc5 bxc5 17.Nd5 Rc8
18.Rb1 Ncd4„ Nemec – Chaika, ICCF 2016) 14...g6!?∞
No doubt White has compensation for the pawn, due to his powerful pressure on the d-file, but Black has
a harmonious development and his king is safe, so the position is with mutual chances.



9.Qb3 Nc7 10.Ne5 d5 11.Nc3 Nd7 12.Bf4 (12.Qa4 Bd6 13.Nc4 Be7 14.Bf4 0-0 15.Bxc7 Qxc7
16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.Bxd5 Rab8 18.Qb5 Nf6 19.Bf3 Rfd8= Bokar – Sabaev, ICCF 2009) 12...Nxe5
13.Bxe5 Bd6! 14.Bxg7 Rg8 15.Bh6 Be5 (Black is preparing Qd8-d6 and 0-0-0.) 16.Qa4+ Qd7
17.Qxd7+ Kxd7 18.0-0-0, Harikrishna – A.Ivanov, Moscow 2007, 18...Rg6!? 19.Be3 Rd6=
9.Nc3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 (10.Qxc3?! d5 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Bg5 f6 13.Bf4 g5 14.Bd2 Bd6 15.Bh3 Qe7µ)
10...Bd6!? Black prevents the development of the enemy bishop to the f4-square. 11.0-0 Qe7 12.c4 Bc7
13.Bb2 f6 14.Rfd1 Be4 15.Qd2 Nc6 16.Nh4 0-0-0„ Yazgi – Phillipart, ICCF 2007.



10.Ne5 Qc7 11.Qe4 (11.Qf5?! Nf6 12.Bf4 d6 13.Bxb7 Qxb7 14.Nc4 Qc6 15.Rd1 d5 16.Ne5 Qe6µ
Hemam – Ruiz Blais, Khanty-Mansiysk 2010) 11...Nc6! Black parries his opponent’s initiative in a
tactical fashion. 12.Qxd5 Nd8!

13.Qd3 Qxe5 14.Bxb7 Nxb7 15.Nc3 0-0 16.Nd5 Bd6 17.Bf4 Qe6 18.Rfd1 Rfe8∞ Shengelia – Papp,
France 2008.
13.Qxd7+ White’s queen does not have an available square to retreat to in order to protect the knight on
e5, so it must come back. 13...Qxd7 14.Nxd7 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Kxd7 16.Rd1+ (16.Bd2 Bf6=; 16.e4 Bf6
17.f4 Bd4 18.Rd1 Re8 19.Kf3 Nc6 20.Nc3 Rad8 21.Be3 Kc8= Knol – Lupini, ICCF 2016) 16...Kc6
17.Nc3 Re8 18.e4 (18.Nd5 Bd6 19.Rb1 Ne6= Herrera – Salo, ICCF 2009) 18...Bf6 19.Bd2 Nb7 20.Rac1
Nd6 21.f3 Nc4 22.Bf4 Rad8= Nakamura – Baklan, Austria 2008.
10.Qe4 Bc6 11.Ne5 Nf6 12.Nxc6 Nxc6

13.Qf5 d5 14.Rd1 Rc8 15.Bh3 Ra8 16.Nc3 d4 17.Qf3 Ne5 18.Qb7 0-0 19.Bg2 Rc8= Ljubicic – Starke,
ICCF 2011.

13.Qd3 0-0 14.Nc3 Rc8 15.Rd1 Re8 16.Qa6 h6 17.Bf4 Bf8 18.Rd2 g5 19.Bd6 Bxd6 20.Rxd6 Qe7
21.Rd2 d5„ Pacher – Jurek, Marianske Lazne 2013.
13.Qa4. White attacks immediately the enemy knight on c6. 13...0-0 14.Nc3 (14.Rd1 Nd4 15.Nc3 b5
16.Qa6 b4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.Bxd5 Rb8 19.Bf4 Qb6 20.Qc4 d6 21.e3 Nb5 22.g4 Nc7 23.Be4 g6 24.Rd2
Rbd8 25.Qe2 d5 26.Bxc7 Aronian – Anand, Morelia/Linares 2008, 26...Qxc7=) 14...a6. Black does not
intend to protect the c6-square in his fight for comfortable equality and advantageous simplifications.
15.Bxc6 dxc6 16.Qxc6 b5 17.Bf4 Qc8 18.Qf3 Qe6= Pantsulaia – So Wesley, Dubai 2008.


We will analyse now: B1) 11.a3, B2) 11.Qa4 and B3) 11.Qf5.
11.Nc3 Nxc3 12.bxc3 Qc7 13.Ng5 (13.Bf4 d6=) 13...d6 14.Qf5?! Ne5 15.Bd5 Bxd5 16.Rxd5 g6
17.Qe4 0-0³ Mueller – Babula, Czech Republic 2018.

B1) 11.a3 Nc7 12.Nc3

About 12.e4?! 0-0 13.Nc3 d6 or 12.Bf4 Ne6 13.e3 0-0 14.Nc3 Nxf4 – see 12.Nc3.

12...0-0 13.Bf4

13.e4?! d6 14.b4 (14.h4, Glimbrant – Akesson, Sweden 2009, 14...Bf6 15.Bf4 Nd4³) 14...cxb4 15.axb4
Nxb4 16.Qb1 a5 17.Be3 Ne6³ Getz – Adams, USA 2011.
13.h4 h6 14.Qf5 Bc8!? 15.Bf4 d6 16.Qe4 Qd7 17.b4 Rd8 18.Rd2 Bb7 19.Ne5 Nxe5 20.Qxb7 Ng6
21.Be3 Qc8∞ Sutkus – Lucki, ICCF.
13.Qf5 Ne6 14.Nd5 d6 15.Be3 g6 16.Qb1 Re8 17.b4 Bf8 18.Ra2 Bg7 19.Rad2 Ncd4„ Fominyh –
Miroshnichenko, Mumbai 2009.

13...Ne6 14.e3 Nxf4 15.exf4 d6


Black will have to part with his extra pawn sooner or later. He must do that in order to parry his
opponent’s possible initiative.

16...Re8 17.Rad1 h6 18.Ne5

18.Qf5 Qc8 19.Qh5, Le – Sasikirian, Russia 2013, 19...Na5„

18...Nd4 19.Rxd4 Bxg2 20.R4d2 Bh3 21.Nb5 Qc8 22.Nxd6 Bxd6 23.Rxd6 f6!

Black cannot put up with his opponent’s centralised knight. The concrete calculations show that his
seemingly risky move is possible and is the best for him.


24.Rxf6. This spectacular move leads to the repetition of the position by force: 24...Qb7! 25.Qc4+ Kh7
26.Qd3+ Kg8= Cheparinov – Almasi, Porto Carras 2011.

24...Qf5 25.Qxf5 Bxf5 26.f3 Re2 27.R1d2 Rxd2 28.Rxd2 Kf8 29.g4 Be6 30.f5 Bc4= Fleetwood – De
Oliveira, ICCF 2012.

B2) 11.Qa4 Nf6


12.Nc3 0-0 13.g4 (13.Nh4 g6 – see 12.Nh4; 13.Bg5 h6 14.Qh4?! Tugui – Papin, France 2013, 14...hxg5!
15.Nxg5 Nh5!µ) 13...Nb4! 14.a3 (14.g5 Nfd5 15.Ne5?! Bxg5 16.Qxd7, Esipenko – Bykov, Russia
2018, 16...Nxc3! 17.bxc3 Bxg2 18.Kxg2 Bf6!ƒ) 14...Nbd5 15.Nxd5 Bxd5 16.g5 Bc6 17.Qh4 Ne8
18.Ne5 Bxg2 19.Rxd7, Shirov – Aronian, Elista 2007, 19...Qc8!„
12.e4 0-0 13.e5 Ne8 14.Nc3 Nc7

15.Qg4 Ne6 16.Ne4 (16.Be3 f6!? Black should better not wait until his opponent transfers his knight to
the d6-square, but should try to create active counterplay in the fastest possible way. 17.exf6 Bxf6 18.Rd2
Qe7 19.Rad1 Rad8„) 16...Kh8 17.Be3, Bhambure – Godbole, Mumbai 2014, 17...Qc7!?„

15.Bf4 Ne6 16.Be3, Sargissian – Beliavsky, USA 2008, 16...f6!? 17.Rd2 Qe8 18.Rad1 Rd8 19.Qg4 h5„
15.Be3 Qc8 16.Rd2 Na5 17.Nh4 Bxh4 18.Bxb7 Qxb7 19.Qxh4 Ne6

20.Rad1 Qf3! 21.Rxd7 Nc6. Black’s counterplay is based on the attack against the enemy e5-pawn.
22.R1d5 Rfe8 23.Qe4 Qxe4 24.Nxe4 Nf8 25.Rb7 Rxe5 26.Rxe5 Nxe5 27.Nd6 h6 28.Nb5 (28.Bf4?!
Nd3 29.Nxf7 Ne6 30.Be3 Nxb2 31.Ne5 Nd1³ Fichaud – Schmidt, ICCF 2013) 28...Nc4 29.b3 Nxe3
30.fxe3 Rd8 31.Rxa7 Ng6 32.Kf1 Rd2ƒ and Black has good practical chances of exploiting the
vulnerability of White’s king, Nordahl – Bolz, ICCF 2015.
20.Qg4 Nc6 21.Qe4 Rad8 22.Rad1 Qb8 23.f4 Ned4 24.b4 Qc8∞ Anaskikh – Nechaev, ICCF 2015.



13.Nc3 g6 14.Bg5 (14.Bh6 Re8 15.Rd2 Qc8 16.Nf3, Schekachikhin - Solozhenkina, St Petersburg 2017,
16...Nb4 17.a3 Nbd5 18.Nxd5 Bxd5 19.Rxd5 Nxd5 20.Ne5 Nf6 21.Bxa8 Qxa8 22.Nxd7 Nxd7
23.Qxd7 Bf6„) 14...Rb8 15.Bf4 Rc8 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Qf4 Na5 (Black should avoid here the trap
17...Nh5?? 18.Qxf7+! Kxf7 19.Bd5+ Kf6 20.Ne4+ Ke5 21.f4+ Nxf4 22.gxf4#) 18.Nf5 Bxg2 19.Nxe7+
Qxe7 20.Kxg2 Qe5„ Aronian – Nakamura, Moscow 2016. On the road of reaching this position, which
is quite acceptable for Black, both sides have interesting alternatives. It is very likely that theory will
develop intensely in this line.

13...d5 14.Nc3 Nd4

This is the best decision for Black. He gives back the extra pawn, but trades the dangerous enemy knight
on f5 and neutralises his opponent’s initiative.

15.Nxd4 cxd4


16.Qxd4 Bc5 17.Qa4 (17.Qh4 Ne4 18.Qxd8 Raxd8 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Be3 Bxe3 21.fxe3 Rxd1+ 22.Rxd1
Bc6= Radjabov – Harikrishna, Shamkir 2016) 17...Qe8 18.Qxe8 Rfxe8 19.e3 (19.a3 Ne4 20.Nxe4 dxe4
21.Bf4 Rad8 22.Rac1 a5= Bosiosic – Urkedal, Denmark 2017) 19...Rad8 20.Bd2 Ba6 21.Na4 Be2 22.Re1
(22.Rdc1 Ne4 23.Nxc5 bxc5 24.Ba5 Rb8 25.f3 Ng5, Haapamaeki – Fourie, ICCF 2017, 26.Kf2 Bd3
27.b3 c4„) 22...Bd3 23.Rec1 (23.Nxc5 bxc5 24.b3 c4= Schulteiss – Lehnhof, ICCF 2015) 23...Bd6
24.Bc3 Ne4 25.Bd4 f6 26.Nc3 Bb4„ Kilichenko – Jakovlev, ICCF 2014. Black’s pieces are very active
and White will hardly manage to exploit effectively the superiority of his pawn-structure.

16...Bc5 17.Rd3

About 17.Rd1 Qe8 18.Qxe8 Rfxe8 – see 16.Qxd4.

17...Qe8 18.Qh4

18.Be3 Qxa4 19.Nxa4 Bxe3 20.Rxe3 d4! 21.Rd3 Bxg2 22.Kxg2 Rfe8 23.Kf1 Rac8 24.Rxd4 Rc2 25.Nc3
Rxb2= Davtyan – Ghosh, UAE 2018.


Here, it deserves attention for Black to try a line, which leads to a position with a rather non-standard
material ratio: 18...Ne4!? 19.Be3, Najer – Almasi, Germany 2011, 19...Bxe3 20.Rxe3 f5 21.Rd3 Rd8
22.Rad1 Nxc3 23.bxc3 Qxe2=

19.Rd1 d4 20.Bxa8 dxc3 21.Bf3 Bxe2 22.Re1 Bxf3 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Be3 cxb2 25.Rb1, Wojtaszek –
Leko, Reykjavik 2015. Here, the best for Black was to choose 25...Rd8!? with the following exemplary
variation: 26.Bxc5 Be4 27.Ba3 Bxb1 28.Bxb2 Rd1+ 29.Kg2 Be4+ 30.Kh3 Bf5+ 31.Kg2 Be4=

B3) 11.Qf5 Nf6


12.Nc3 d6 13.Bf4 0-0 14.Rd2 (14.a3 g6 15.Qd3 Qd7 16.Bxd6, Block – Wingo, ICCF, 2008 16...Rad8=)
14...g6 15.Qc2 d5! 16.Ne5 Nd4 17.Qa4 Qe8 18.Qd1 Kg7 19.e3 Ne6„ Gatineau – Esipenko, Romania

12...g6 13.Qf4 0-0


14.Nc3. White achieves less with this move. 14...d6

15.Be3?! Re8 16.Nb5?! Nh5 17.Qh6 Bf8 18.Qg5 Rxe4µ Jayakumar – Gareyev, USA 2012.
15.e5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 dxe5 18.Qxe5 Qe8 19.Qc7?! Rc8 20.Qxa7 Qc6+ 21.f3 Rfe8³ Xiu
Deshun – Liu Guanchu, Beijing 2017.
15.h3 Nd7 16.Qh6 f6 17.Nb5 Nde5³ Bartos – Jurek, Chech Republic 2016.
15.b3 Nh5 16.Qd2 Bf6 17.Bb2 Ne5 18.Nb5 Bxe4 19.Nxe5 Bxg2 20.Nxd6 Bxe5 21.Bxe5 Bf3 22.Re1 f6
23.Re3 fxe5 24.Rxf3 Nf6 25.Re1 Qe7 26.Nc4?! e4 27.Rfe3 Rad8 28.Qe2 Qd7ƒ Swapnil – Bok, Bangkok



15.Qh6?! Nd4 16.Nxd4 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 cxd4

18.Rxd4 Qc7 19.Nc3 Qxe5 20.Rxd7 (20.Be3 Bf6 21.Rd5 Qe7 22.Bd4 Bxd4 23.Rxd4 f5 24.Rad1 Rf7=
Vavrak – Dydyshko, Slovakia 2007) 20...Qe6 21.Rd1 Rad8 22.Rxd8 Rxd8 23.Qe3 Ng7= Bacrot –
Karjakin, Dubai 2014.
18.g4 Rc8! 19.Rxd4 (After 19.gxh5? g5–+, Black traps the enemy queen. White will be incapable of
preventing the threat Rc6 without losing material.) 19...Ng7 20.Nc3, Aronian – Leko, Moscow 2006,

15.Qc4 Qc7 16.Bh6 Na5 17.Qe2 (17.Qc2 Rfe8 18.Nc3 Rad8 19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.Rxd5 Nc6 21.Qc4 Nb4
22.Rd2 d5ƒ Joppich – Napalkov, ICCF 2011) 17...Rfe8 18.Nc3 Rad8 19.Rac1 (19.Nd5 Bxd5 20.Rxd5
Nc6 21.Qc4 Ng7 22.Rad1 Nb4 23.Rd6?! Nf5 24.Bf4 b5!ƒ Seturaman – Mareco, Tromsoe 2014)
19...Bf6. There begins a forced play after this move: 20.Nb5 Bxf3 21.Qxf3 Qxe5 22.b4 cxb4 23.Nc7
Re7 24.h4 Bg7 25.Bg5 Bf6= Ruemmele – Alexander Horvath, ICCF 2012.

15...Qb8 16.Nc3

16.Bh6 Re8 17.Nc3 Nxe5 18.Nxe5 Bxg2 19.Nxf7?! Nf6 20.Qh4 Bc6ƒ Vovk – Melkumyan, Ukraine


Now, both sides exchange fierce blows like boxers...

There were several published games between the program for neuron sets AlpaZero and the chess
programme Stockfish. This position was reached in one of these games – 16...Re8 17.Nd5 Bf8 18.Bf4
Qc8 19.h3 Ne7 20.Ne3 Bc6 21.Rd6 Ng7 22.Rf6 Qb7 23.Bh6 Nd5 24.Nxd5 Bxd5 25.Rd1 Ne6 26.Bxf8
Rxf8 27.Qh4 Bc6 28.Qh6 Rae8 29.Rd6 Bxf3 30.Bxf3 Qa6 31.h4 Qa5 32.Rd1 c4 33.Rd5 Qe1+ 34.Kg2
c3 35.bxc3 Qxc3 36.h5 Re7 37.Bd1 Qe1 38.Bb3 Rd8 39.Rf3 Qe4 40.Qd2 Qg4 41.Bd1 Qe4 42.h6 Nc7
43.Rd6 Ne6 44.Bb3 Qxe5 45.Rd5 Qh8 46.Qb4 Nc5 47.Rxc5 bxc5 48.Qh4 Rde8 49.Rf6!

This spectacular idea to stalemate the enemy queen in this rather unordinary fashion was maybe the most
impressive moment in the chess duel between these computer programs. AlphaZero won that game later.

17.Nxe5 Bxg2 18.Nxd7 Qb7 19.Nxf8 Nf6


20.Qf4 Rxf8 21.Re1 Bd8„, Black defends against Re1xe7 and plans later to continue with Bg2-h1.

20...Bh1 21.f3 Qxf3 22.Rd2 c4 23.Nd7 Re8 24.Rf2 Bc5 25.Be3! Bxe3 26.Nxf6+ Kf8 27.Nd7+ Kg8=
Yuffa – S.Zhigalko, Moscow 2018. After a series of forced moves, there has arisen a situation in which

neither side has any serious reasons to avoid the repetition of the position.

Chapter 19

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3


This useful intermediate check does not allow White to develop his bishop on the long diagonal (on the
b2-square). If he still manages to do that, from the d2-square to c3, then it would deprive his knight of the
c3-square. So, Black’s check on b4 aims at (relatively, of course...) disrupting the coordination of White’s


It is quite obvious that the move 6.Nbd2?, reducing White’s control over the c3-square, cannot be good:
6...Bc3 7.Rb1 Bb7 8.Bb2 Ne4! 9.Rg1 Qf6 10.Bc1 g5 11.g4 Nc6 12.e3 Nb4µ Leonov – Gusev, Russia

6...Be7 7.Bg2

About 7.Qc2 d5 8.Bg2 0-0 – see 7.Bg2.

7.Bc3 d5 8.Bg2 0-0 or 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Bg2 Nbd7 – see variation B.
7.Nc3 d5 8.cxd5 (8.Bg2 0-0 – see variation C) 8...exd5

9.Bg2 0-0 – see variation D.
9.Bh3 0-0 10.0-0 c5 11.Re1 Nc6 12.Bg5 Nxd4 13.Nxd4 cxd4 14.Qxd4 h6 15.Bf4 Bc5„ Polak –
Nayhebaver, Slovakia 2016.
9.Qc2 c5 10.e3 (10.Bh3 Nc6 11.Be3 Bc8 12.Bg2 Be6 13.Rd1 h6 14.0-0 Rc8„ Gomez Esteban –
Thotsteins, Thessaloniki 1984; 10.Bg2 Nc6 11.Be3 Rc8 12.Rd1 0-0 13.0-0 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bb4„)
10...Bxf1 11.Kxf1 Nc6 12.Kg2 Rc8 13.Rac1 0-0 14.Qb1 Re8= Erturan – Mekhitarian, Albena 2013.


Now, we will deal in details with the moves: A) 8.Ne5, B) 8.Bc3, C) 8.Nc3 and D) 8.cxd5.

8.0-0 0-0. Here, the moves Nc3, Bc3, Ne5 and Qc2 are analysed in the separate variations, while
following 9.Re1, White is not threatening e2-e4, so he must follow one of the already mentioned ideas –
either to develop one of his minor pieces via the c3-square, or to play Nf3-e5. 9...Nbd7 10.Bc3 Ne4
11.Nfd2, Kolev – Panaiotov, Bulgaria 2004, 11...Nxc3!? 12.Nxc3 c6 13.e4 Rc8„
8.Qc2 0-0 9.0-0 c5

10.cxd5 exd5 11.Bg5, Khan – Hamid, Dhaka 2014, 11...Nc6„

10.Rd1 Nc6 11.Be1 Rc8 12.dxc5, Enkhtuul – Bernardi, Ortisei 2016, 12...bxc5„
10.dxc5 bxc5 11.Nc3 Nc6 12.a3 Rc8 13.Rfd1 Nd4 14.Qa2 Nxf3+ 15.Bxf3 d4„ Reshevsky –
Christiansen, USA 1984.
10.Ne5 Bb7 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Nc3 Nbd7 13.Nxd7 Qxd7 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Rfd1 Rfd8 16.Rac1 h6= Spalir
– Bartos, Czech Republic 2015.
10.Bf4 Nc6 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Nbd2 Rc8 13.a3 dxc4ƒ Ihsan – Ramesh, Dubai 2004. The juxtaposition of
Black’s rook on c8 and his opponent’s queen on c2 cannot be good for White at all.
10.Nc3 Nc6 11.dxc5 bxc5 12.Rad1 Rc8 13.Bf4 Qa5 14.Bd2 dxc4 15.Nd5 cxb3 16.Nxe7+ Nxe7 17.axb3
Qb5„ Wang Hao – Harikrishna, Danzhou 2016.

A) 8.Ne5 0-0

About 9.Bc3 Bb7 – see variation B.

9.Nc3 c6 10.0-0 Nfd7, or 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.0-0 Nfd7 – see variation C.

9.0-0 Bb7 10.Nc3

10.Bc3 Nbd7 – see variation B.

10.Qc2 c5 – see 8.Qc2.
10.cxd5 exd5 11.Nc3 Re8 – see variation D.
10.Bc1. White loses too much time on regrouping his forces and Black can equalise easily by opening the
position: 10...c5 11.Bb2 Qc8 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.e3 Rd8 14.Nd2 Nc6 15.Nxc6 Qxc6 16.cxd5 exd5 17.Rc1
Qe6 18.Re1 a5„ San Segundo – Chuchelov, France 2002.



Or 11.e3 c5 12.Qe2 Qc7 13.f4 Rfd8„ Sek – Bocharov, Vladivostok 2016.

11.f4 c5 12.e3 Rc8 13.Qe2 Ba6„ Todorov – Rusev, Bulgaria 2007.
11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Bc1 Rfd8 13.cxd5 Nxd5 14.Nxd5 Bxd5 15.Bxd5 Qxd5 16.Be3 Bf6„ Kelecevic –
Tukmakov, Switzerland 2002.
11.Bf4 Ne4 12.Rc1 (12.Nxe4 dxe4 13.Qc2 f5 14.Rfd1 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Bd6 16.Qd2 Bxe5 17.dxe5 Qe7
18.Qd7 Kf7=) 12...Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Ba3 14.Rc2 Nxc3 15.Rxc3 c6 16.Rc2 (16.e4 f6 17.Bf4 c5„; 16.Qb1
Bb4 17.Rc2 f6 18.Bf4 Rf7= Marez – Adams, ICCF 2016) 16...Re8 17.Qd3 a5 18.e4 Bf8 19.Rd1 dxc4
20.bxc4 c5= Muhl – Percze, ICCF 2014.

Black must solve the problem with the pin on the long diagonal; otherwise, he would not manage to
exchange the knight on e5.
The move 11...Ne4 is rather questionable. White’s knight on c3 is protected and his rook on c1 would
help his other knight on e5 to penetrate to the e6-square. 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Nxe4 Nxe5 (13...dxe4?
14.Nc6±) 14.dxe5 dxe4 15.Rc4!? Bd5 16.Rxe4! Bxe4 17.Bxe4 Rb8 18.Qc2ƒ White has full
compensation for the exchange-sacrifice, because his bishops are powerful and dangerous. In addition,
his pawn on e5 prevents his opponent from activating his bishop.
Black has an alternative here to the move c6 and that is the immediate attack against the enemy centre
with the move 11...c5. Following 12.Bf4, the most likely development would be a transfer to a position
with an isolated pawn: 12...cxd4 13.Qxd4 Bc5 14.Qd1 Nxe5 15.Bxe5 Rc8 16.cxd5 Nxd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5
18.Bxd5 Qxd5 19.Qxd5 exd5= Stronsky – Bucek, ICCF 2016. Naturally, this position would not provide
Black with chances of playing for a win.
11...c6 12.e4 (12.Bf4 Nh5 13.Be3 Nhf6. Black plans to capture on e5, which would have been
impossible for him with a knight on h5. That knight would be incapable of entering the actions in that
case. 14.f4 Rc8 15.Bf3 Ba3 16.Rc2 Qe7„ Weber – Skeels, ICCF 2016.) 12...dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe5
14.dxe5 Nxe4 15.Bxe4 Qc7 16.Qh5 g6 17.Qf3 Qxe5 18.Bxc6 Bxc6 19.Qxc6, Alfaro de Hombre –
Vegjeleki, ICCF 2016, 19...Rac8=
11.Bg5 h6

12.Bf4 c6!? 13.Qd2 Rc8 14.Rfd1, Hala – Mojzis, Czech Republic 2007, 14...g5„
12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.cxd5 exd5 15.Rc1 Rfe8 16.e3 a5. After the exchange of the knight on
f6, Black cannot advance c7-c5, because his pawn on d5 would not be sufficiently protected. He will
combine his queenside activity (particularly on the dark squares, weakened by White...) with the
prevention of the active actions of his opponent in the centre. The game continues in a calm and patient
fashion. 17.Qc2 Be7 18.Rfd1 Ba3 19.Rb1 c6 20.Ne2 Bd6 21.Nc1 Rac8 22.Nd3 Rc7= Onischuk –
Oparin, Moscow 2015.



About 12.Bf4 Re8 – see variation D.

12.Rc1 Re8 13.Bf4 Nf8 14.Bh3 c5 15.Nb5 a6. Now, there may begin tactical complications: 16.Nxf7!?
Kxf7 17.Bc7 axb5 18.Bxd8 Rexd8 19.Rc2 b4∞ Sanner – Osipov, ICCF 2015.
12.Bg5 h6!? Black is trying to reach a complicated position (12...Nxe5 13.dxe5 Ne4, Lane – Reshevsky,
USA 1983, 14.Nxd5! Nxg5 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Bxb7 Rad8 17.Qc2 Qxe5 18.e3 a5= Here, Black risks to
end up with a bad knight against a powerful bishop in an open position.) 13.Bxf6 Nxf6 14.Qc2 Re8
15.Rfd1 Qc8 16.e3 c6 17.Rac1 Ba3 18.Rb1 Bd6 19.f4 Bb4 20.Qc1 Qf5∞ Shulman – Vescovi, Buenos
Aires 2005.


In this situation, Black should not allow his opponent to occupy additional space on the queenside after
12...Ne4 13.Rc1 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 Nf6 15.b4∞ Schmidt Horst – Endsley, ICCF 2013.
13.Qc2 Re8 14.Rad1 Rc8 15.Nf4 c6 16.Rfe1 Bf8 17.Bc1 h6 18.e4 g5!? The calm game has suddenly
sharpened after White’s attempt to seize the initiative in the centre. 19.e5 (19.Nd3 c5!„) 19...gxf4
20.exf6 fxg3 21.hxg3 Rxe1+ 22.Rxe1 Qxf6 23.Bh3 Rd8∞ Rydholm – Nyvlt, ICCF 2009.

B) 8.Bc3 0-0


About 9.Ne5 Bb7 10.0-0 Nbd7, or 9.Nbd2 Nbd7 10.0-0 Bb7 – see 9.0-0.

9...Bb7 10.Nbd2

10.Ne5 Nbd7

About 11.Nd2 c5, or 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.Nd2 c5 – see 10.Nbd2.

11.Bb2 c5 12.Nc3 (12.e3 cxd4 13.exd4 Rc8 14.Nc3 Ne4, Razmyslov – Spraggett, Coria del Rio 2007,
15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Qe2 f5„; 12.Nd2 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Qd7 15.Rc1 Rac8 16.cxd5 Bxd5
17.Bxd5 Qxd5 18.Nf3 Qb7= Salov – I.Novikov, USSR 1986) 12...Rc8 13.e3 (13.Qd2 Ne4 14.Nxe4
dxe4 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Rad1 cxd4 17.Bxd4 Rfd8= Nguyen Duc Hoa – J.Gomez, Vietnam 2013)
13...cxd4 14.exd4 Ne4!? 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Qe2 f5 17.Nxd7 Qxd7 18.f3 exf3 19.Bxf3, Vita – Castaldo,
Bratto 1999, 19...Bxf3 20.Rxf3 Rfe8=


Black’s plan to organise counterplay is quite obvious. He must advance at first c7-c5 and then provoke
exchange operations in the centre.
White has here just one serious trump and that is the juxtaposition of the bishops on the long diagonal.
The possible pin impedes Black’s intentions to simplify the position.
On the other hand, the dark-squared complex on White’s queenside has been somehow weakened and the
eventual bishop-sortie Be7-a3 by Black, after White places his rook on c1, may thwart the coordination
of his pieces.


11.Rc1 Rc8 12.Rc2 c5 13.Ne5 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Nxe5 15.Bxe5, Askin – Gaffagan, USA 2012, 15...Qd7=
11.Re1 c5 12.e3 Rc8 13.Bb2 dxc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Nce5 cxd4= Villagra – Debashis, Doha 2012.
11.Qc2 c5 12.Rfd1 dxc4 13.Nxc4 b5 14.Nce5 Be4 15.Qc1 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qb6=
S.Kiselev – Razuvaev, France 1995.
11.Bb2 c5 12.Rc1 Rc8 13.e3, Ma Zhonghan – Wang Chen, China 2015, 13...dxc4 14.bxc4 Qc7=



12.Ndf3 Rc8 13.Bb2 dxc4 14.Nxc4 b5 15.Nce5 Nxe5 16.Nxe5 Bxg2 17.Kxg2 Qd5+ 18.Kg1 Rfd8
19.dxc5 Qxc5 20.Nd3?! Qh5ƒ Teijeiro Barros – Pogorelov, Spain 1996. As a result of the manoeuvring
Black leads in development and his rooks have already occupied the open files, making White’s queen
uncomfortable. In addition, he has lost his important asset, having removed his knight from the centre
under a pin.
12.Re1 Rc8 13.e4 cxd4 14.Bxd4 dxc4 15.Nxd7 Qxd7 16.Nxc4 Rfd8. Once again Black’s rooks have
occupied the right squares, while their white counterparts have not entered the actions yet. White has an
advantage neither on the long diagonal, nor in the centre. In the game, he is trying to solve his problems
by playing dynamically, but this only worsens his situation. 17.Bxf6 Qxd1 18.Raxd1 gxf6 19.e5?! Bxg2
20.Kxg2 b5 21.Nd6 Rc5µ Helbig – Chuchelov, Germany 1996.
12.cxd5, Tryggerstad – Alekseenko, Greece 2018, 12...Nxd5!?„
12.e3 Rc8 13.f4 cxd4 14.exd4 Rc7= Rashkovsky – Sturua London 1990.
12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Bb2 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 Nd7 15.Bb2 Bf6 16.Qc2 Bxb2 17.Qxb2 Qb6 18.Rfd1 Nf6 19.Qa3
Rac8= Kis – Botka, Hungary 1994.
12.Rc1 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Nxe5 14.Bxe5. We have already seen in some other lines that an exchange
operation of this type, when White allows it, leads to simplifications, reducing the tension on the board.
14...Rc8 15.Qc2 Ba3 16.Bb2, Huebner – Kramnik, Dortmund 1997, 16...Qe7=
12.Qc2 Rc8 13.Rfd1 cxd4 14.Bxd4 Nxe5 15.Bxe5, Z.Schneider – Palac, Feldbach 1997. Here, Black
could have tried a dynamic solution: 15...Ng4!? 16.Bc3 Qc7 17.Qb2 Rfd8. Now, after the careless move
18.h3?!, White would face immediately great problems 18...Nxf2! 19.Kxf2 d4µ



13.Nf3?! dxc4 14.Ne5 Qc7 15.Bxb7 (15.dxc5 Bxg2 16.Kxg2 Rfd8 17.Qc1 cxb3µ Drago – S.Ivanov,
Biella 2017) 15...Qxb7 16.dxc5, Miedema – Hoeksema, Dieren 2005, 16...Bxc5 17.Nxc4 Ne4µ, with the
idea Ng5-h3.
13.e3 dxc4 14.Nxc4 Bxg2 15.Kxg2 Qb7+ 16.Qf3 Qxf3+ 17.Kxf3 Nd5 18.Bb2 Rfd8= Pankratov –
Gagarin, Moscow 1994.

13...bxc5 14.cxd5 exd5

It would be difficult for White to create pressure against his opponent’s hanging pawns with a misplaced
knight on d2, so Black has no difficulties at all.


If White is reluctant to part here with his bishop, he risks to end up in an inferior position: 15.Rc1 d4
16.Bb2 Rfe8 17.Bxb7 Qxb7 18.Qc2 Bf8 19.Rfe1 Nd5ƒ Assumpcao – Leitao, Sao Paolo 2003.
15.e4 d4 16.Bb2 Rfe8„ Ilic – M.Mitkov, Yugoslavia 1994.

15...Bxf6 16.Rc1 Rac8


17.Ne4, Tryggestad – Alekseenko, Greece 2018, 17...Be7!? 18.Nc3 Rfd8∞

17...Rfd8 18.exd5 Bxd5 19.Nc4 Bd4= Quiroga – Mareco, Germany 2008. Naturally, Black’s pawn-
structure has been compromised here, but with a powerful bishop on d4, eyeing the f2-square, and with
major pieces present on the board, he can rely on having equality in the middle game.

C) 8.Nc3 0-0 9.0-0

About 9.cxd5 exd5 – see variation D.

9.Ne5 c6 10.0-0 Nfd7, or 10.cxd5 cxd5 11.0-0 Nfd7 – see 9.0-0.


We have already analysed the plan for Black in which he retreats his bishop to b7 and plays later Nbd7
and c7-c5. Here however, he can choose another plan. Its essence is that after White has placed his knight
on c3, Black can follow with 9...c6 and 10...Nbd7, with the idea to capture the pawn 11...dxc4, while
after Nf3-e5, he will be able to exchange on e5 without worrying about the d5-square.
If White is reluctant to sacrifice the pawn on c4 and exchanges on d5, then after capturing c6xd5, Black
will obtain an advantage on the queenside thanks to his much more active light-squared bishop and the
vulnerability of the dark squares in White’s camp. This would help Black to win the fight for the c-file in
connection with the resource Be7-a3.

We will analyse in details now: C1) 10.cxd5 and C2) 10.Bf4.
After 10.Qc2?! dxc4 11.bxc4 Bxc4 12.Rad1 (12.Ne5 Qxd4ƒ) 12...Nbd7 13.Rfe1 b5 14.e4 b4 15.Ne2
Bb5ƒ Naumkin – Estemera, Italy 2000, White’s compensation for the pawn is insufficient.
10.Re1?! This pawn-sacrifice would not provide White with meaningful initiative either. 10...dxc4 11.e4
cxb3 12.axb3 Bb7 13.Qc2, Koch – Roeder, Germany 1991, 13...Na6!?³
10.Rc1 Nbd7 (Black has an alternative here 10...dxc4 11.bxc4 Bxc4 12.Ne5 Ba6 13.Nxc6 Nxc6
14.Bxc6, Machan – Pulpan, Czech Republic 2017. The tactical possibility 14...Rc8 15.Qa4 Bb4! Enables
Black to equalise 16.Bf3 Ba5=) 11.Bf4 (11.cxd5 cxd5 – see variation C1) 11...Rc8 12.Qd3 (12.Nd2 Nh5
– see variation C2; 12.Re1 Re8 13.Qc2 Ba3 14.Rcd1 c5 15.e3 Bb4„ Jarabinsky – Pirhala, ICCF 2013;
12.Qc2 Ba3 13.Rb1 Qe7 14.Rfd1, Hiltunen – Schakel, ICCF 2012, 14...Bb4!?, impeding White’s pawn-
advance e2-e4.) 12...Nh5 13.Bd2 f5!? (13...Nhf6 14.Bf4 Nh5=) 14.Qe3 Rf6 15.Ng5 Nf8 16.Bf3 h6„
Sugulski – Danailov, Albena 1986.
10.Ne5 Nfd7. This is Black’s typical reaction in order to trade White’s centralised knight on e5. (Black
can also capture a pawn here: 10...dxc4 11.Bf4 cxb3 12.axb3 Bb7 13.e4 Na6∞ Monteiro – Sammut,
ICCF 2003. He occupies the b4-square with one of his minor pieces and aims at neutralising his
opponent’s initiative.)

About 11.Nxd7 Qxd7 12.cxd5 cxd5 – see variation C1.

11.cxd5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 cxd5 13.Rc1 Nd7 14.f4 Rc8 15.Be3, Tsarouha – Iskos, Greece 2006, 15...Rc7ƒ
11.f4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 dxc4. White would not achieve anything by sacrificing the c4-pawn: 13.Bf4 Nd7
14.bxc4 (14.Ne4 Rc8„) 14...Bxc4 15.Bxc6 Rc8 16.Bb7 Rc7 17.Bg2 b5„ Dutra Neto – Lapeginas, ICCF

C1) 10.cxd5 cxd5

In this variation, if White exchanges on d5 after his opponent has already played c7-c6, then Black
captures with his c-pawn, which increases the power of his bishop on a6 and weakens a bit the potential
of White’s bishop on g2. So, as a rule, this exchange is in favour of Black.


11.Qb1?! Nc6 12.a3 Rc8 13.Rc1 Re8 14.e3 h6 15.Qb2 Bd6 16.b4 Bd3 17.Ne1 Bc4³ O’Kelly de Galway
– Miles, England 1979.
11.a4 Nc6. After the exchange on d5, it becomes obvious that it would be reasonable for Black to
develop his knight on the freed c6-square where it has better prospects than on d7. 12.Bg5 (12.Nb5 Ne4
13.Bf4 g5 14.Rc1 Rc8 15.Be3, Kutsych – Kruglyakov, Ukraine 2008, 15...f6!? 16.h4 h6 17.Nd2 Nd6ƒ)
12...Rc8 13.Bxf6 Bxf6 14.Nb5 Qe7 15.Qd2 Bb7 16.g4 h6 17.Qf4 Rfd8 18.h4 e5 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Rad1
Nxf3+ 21.Qxf3 a6 22.Nd4 Bxd4 23.Rxd4 Qxh4µ Ju Wenjun – So Wesley, Iran 2007.
11.Qc2. It is hardly justified for White to place his queen under a pin on the opened c-file. Later, he will
have to redeploy it on one of the squares on the b-file and that would be a loss of time. 11...Nc6 12.Bg5
Rc8 13.Qb2 Ne4 14.Bxe7, G.Agzamov – I.Novikov, USSR 1984, 14...Nxe7!? 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Ng5
11.Bg5 Nc6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Qd2 Rc8 14.Rfc1 Be7 15.e3 Ba3 16.Rd1 Qe7³ Garsic – Brezmen, Czech
Republic 2011.
11.a3 Nc6 12.b4 Bc4 13.b5 Na5 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Nxc4 Nxc4 16.Nb1 Qd7 17.a4 Rc7³ Kraeussling –
Farago, Germany 1994.
11.Bc1 Nc6 12.Bb2 Rc8 13.Rc1 Bd6 14.Re1 Qe7 15.Bf1, Babin – Vdovichenko, Alushta 2010,
11.Re1 Nc6 12.e3 Rc8 13.a3 Ne4 14.Ne2, S.Ivanov – Bryzgalin, Russia 2002, 14...Qc7 15.b4 Bc4ƒ
White has played without any plan and this has enabled Black to occupy the central squares.

11.Rc1. White prevents his opponent from developing immediately his knight on the c6-square, like in
the other variations. 11...Nbd7 (11...Nc6? 12.Nxd5±)

About 12.Bf4 Rc8 – see variation C2.

12.a4 Ne4 13.Nb5?! Bxb5 14.axb5 Nd6³ Dolmatov – Veingold, Tallinn 1985.
12.Re1 Rc8 13.h3 b5!? This is another simple idea for Black to develop his initiative in this pawn-
structure. 14.g4? (Here, White can stop the advance of the enemy b-pawn in a tactical fashion; otherwise
he would end up in a very difficult position: 14.a3!? Bxa3 15.Ra1 Bb2 16.Rxa6 Bxc3 17.Bxc3 Rxc3
18.Rxa7 Qb8³) 14...b4 15.Nb1 (Black defends the c5-square quite reliably, so in response to 15.Na4, he
can play 15...Qa5³, eyeing the enemy a2-pawn and preventing the enemy knight from entering the
actions via the b2-square.) 15...Ne4 16.Bf4 Qa5µ Zhukov – Semenenko, St Petersburg 2007. The
weaknesses on a2 and a3 and Black’s centralised knight on e4 make White’s position rather difficult to



After 12.Bf4?! Nxe5 13.Bxe5 Nc6 14.Bf4 Rc8ƒ, White will have problems on the c-file, Straka –Jurek,
Czech Republic 2009.
12.f4?! Nxe5 13.fxe5 Nc6 14.Be3 Rc8ƒ Fuhrmann – Tischbierek, Dresden 1995. White has difficulties
on the c-file in connection with the weakening b2-b3.
12.Nxd5?! This is a spectacular move, but White would not obtain sufficient compensation after it
anyway. 12...exd5 13.Nxf7 (13.Bxd5 Nxe5 14.Bxa8 Qxd4 15.Bg2 Rd8 16.Bf4 Qc5!? 17.Qc1 Nbc6ƒ
Solmajer – Meglic, Ptuj 2015) 13...Rxf7 14.Bxd5 Nc6! 15.Bxc6 Nf6∞ Sivuk – Morchiashvili, Batumi
2016. It might seem that White has enough pawns as compensation, but Black’s position is preferable.
12.Nf3 Nc6 13.Re1 Rc8 14.e4 (14.Rc1 Nf6 15.Nb1 Ne4ƒ Chukaev – Antoshin, USSR 1956) 14...dxe4
15.Nxe4 Nb4ƒ Duran – Duany, Ourence 2014.

12...Qxd7 13.Re1 Nc6


14.e4?! dxe4 15.Bxe4 Rad8 16.d5 (White manages to advance d4-d5, but the pins on the d-file and the
h8-a1 diagonal hurt him.) 16...Nb4 17.Bf4 Bf6 18.Rc1 (18.dxe6 fxe6 19.Qxd7 Rxd7 20.Rac1 Rc8µ and
White loses his a-pawn.) 18...exd5 19.Bb1 Rfe8µ Leniart –Sulskis, Poland 2015.
14.e3 Rfc8 15.Bf1 Bxf1 16.Rxf1 Rc7 17.Nb5 Rb7 18.Nc3 Rc8„ Frank – Vadasz, Hungary 1998. It is
already quite obvious that Black is fighting for the advantage in this position.

14...Rac8 15.Bb2 Rc7 16.Rc1 Rfc8 17.Qd2

White’s queenside pawns are weakened and if he does not play carefully, he might overlook some tactical
tricks on this side of the board: 17.a3 Na5 18.Nb1 Rxc1 19.Bxc1 Qc6 20.e4? Nxb3!µ Emmenecker –
Lerch, France 2002.

17...h6„ Lodhi – Adianto, Dubai 1992.

C2) 10.Bf4 Nbd7


11.Ne5?! Nxe5 12.Bxe5 Rc8 13.cxd5?! cxd5ƒ Dzhugurian – Simantsev, Poland 2018.
11.Rc1 Rc8 12.Qd3 dxc4!? 13.bxc4 Nd5!? (Here, this idea is realised without the inclusion of the moves
11.Rc1 Rc8 – see 11.Qd3.) 14.a3 Nxf4 15.gxf4 Qc7„ Jonasson – Dambrauskas, ICCF 2014.
11.Qc2 dxc4 12.Nd2 cxb3!? Black can try here to accept the pawn-sacrifice. 13.axb3 Bb7 14.Nb5 (14.e4
b5!?„) 14...Nd5 15.Nxa7? Nb4µ Yanayt – Mitkov, USA 2011.
11.cxd5 cxd5 12.a4 (12.Rc1 Rc8 13.Qd2?! Nosorev – Kolosovskiy, Russia 2013, 13...Ba3ƒ) 12...Ne4
13.Nb5 (13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Ne5 Bb7 15.Nc4 f5 16.Nd6 Bxd6 17.Bxd6 Rf7 18.Rc1 Nf6 19.Ba3 Rc8
20.Qd2 Rfc7„ Haller – Nett, corr. 2011) 13...g5 14.Be3 Bb7 15.Nd2 Ndf6 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.f3 Nd6
18.Nxd6 Bxd6 19.f4 h6= V.Sorokin – Pivinsky, ICCF 2010.
11.Nd2 Rc8

12.Qc2?! Placing the queen on c2, when Black’s rook has already been developed on c8 and he will
follow with the immediate pawn-advance c6-c5, even with a loss of a tempo, is very risky for White.
12...c5 13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Bg5 h6 15.Bxf6 Nxf6 16.e3 Qe7³ Dusan Rajkovic – Stankovic, Serbia 2012.
White’s queenside pawn-structure is very likely to be in ruins soon.
12.Rc1 Nh5!? 13.Be5 (13.Be3 f5!?„) 13...Nxe5 14.dxe5 g6 15.e3 Ba3 16.Rc2 Qc7 17.f4, Miralles –
Mayer, France 1994, 17...Ng7 18.g4 Qe7 19.Qe1 b5„
12.e4 c5 13.exd5 (13.dxc5 d4! 14.e5 dxc3 15.exf6, Rajkovic – Radovanovic, Serbia 2012, 15...Bxf6ƒ)
13...cxd4 14.d6 dxc3 15.dxe7 Qxe7 16.Nb1 e5 17.Be3 b5„ Khruschinov – Kalashian, Moscow 2006.
12.a4 Bb4 13.Rc1 Nh5!? (With this move Black wishes to prevent e2-e4.) 14.Be3 Qe7 15.Na2 Bd6„
Dreev – Ganguly, Berlin 2015. White has no obvious ways of improving his position.


Black has also two possible alternatives here – 11...Rc8 and 11...c5.

12.bxc4 Nd5

It is now impossible for White to preserve his bishop on f4 and to prevent Nd5-b4, losing his c4-pawn, at
the same time.


13.Bd2?! Nb4 14.Qb1 Bxc4. Black manages to bring back his knight into the actions with the move
Nb4-d5 and White has no compensation for the lost pawn.
13.Nd2 Rc8 14.Qc2 Nxf4 15.gxf4 b5„ Jasnikowski – Tolnai, Poland 1987.
13.Ne4 Nxf4 14.gxf4 Qc7 15.e3 c5 16.Rac1 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Rad8„ Browne – Lombardy, Reykjavik

13...Nxf4 14.gxf4 Qc7 15.e3 Rad8 16.Rfd1 c5 17.Nb5 Qb8 18.d5 Bxb5 19.cxb5 exd5 20.Qxd5 Bf6
21.Rab1 Ne5 22.Qe4 Ng6„ Martucci – Van Bommel, ICCF 2008.

D) 8.cxd5 exd5


9.Nc3 0-0 10.Qc2?! (10.0-0 Re8, or 10.Ne5 Bb7 11.0-0 Re8 – see 9.0-0) 10...c5 11.Rd1 Nc6 12.Be3
(12.Bg5 h6 13.Be3 Qc8 14.0-0 Rd8 15.dxc5?! bxc5 16.Na4 Nb4 17.Qb2 d4 18.Bf4 Qe6ƒ Zhu Chen –
Lautier, Dubai 2002) 12...Rc8 13.0-0 cxd4 14.Nxd4 Bb4 15.Bh3 Nxd4 16.Bxd4 Rxc3 17.Bxc3 Bxc3
18.Qxc3 Bxe2³ Van Wely – Carlsen, Monte Carlo 2007.

9...0-0 10.Nc3

About 10.Re1 Re8 11.Nc3 Bb7, or 10.Bf4 Re8 11.Ne5 Bb7 12.Nc3 Nbd7 – see 10.Nc3.
10.Ne5 Bb7 11.Bc3 (About 11.Nc3 Re8, or 11.Bf4 Re8 12.Nc3 Nbd7 – see 10.Nc3.) 11...Re8 12.Nd2
Bd6 13.Qc2 Nbd7 14.f4 c5 15.Nec4 Bf8„ Halasz – Kislik, Hungary 2015.
10.Bc3 Re8 11.Qc2 (11.Ne5 Bd6 12.Nd3 Nbd7 13.Nd2 Ne4„ Laruelle – Latzke, Cannes 1997; 11.Bb2
Nbd7 12.a3 Ne4„ Ponomarev – T.Schmidt, ICCF 2004) 11...Bf8 12.Re1 Bb7 13.Nbd2 a5 14.Ne5 Na6
15.a3 c5„ Burmakin – S.Zhigalko, St Petersburg 2013.


We will not make a serious analysis of it, but still, we will mention another possible plan in this position,
which is quite original. It was analysed and played several times by Konstantin Aseev – a grandmaster
from Saint Petersburg. Its essence is that Black refrains from advancing his c-pawn for a while. He
retreats his bishop to b7, develops his knight on a6, places his queen on c8 and his rook on d8. Later, he
prepares a square for his queen on e6, with the preparatory move h7-h6 and there it can hardly be
attacked by White’s pieces. Meanwhile, we have to mention that after the manoeuvre of Black’s queen
c8-e6, White would not have the attacking resource Bg2-h3. After this improvement of Black’s position,
the deployment of his pieces is perfect for advancing c7-c5 and the possible appearance of hanging
pawns. Later, he can choose between several ways of developing his initiative. We are going to quote
here an entire game, which is a perfect illustration of Aseev’s plan: 10...Bb7 11.Qc2 Na6 12.Rfd1 Qc8
13.Bf4 Rd8 14.Rac1 h6 15.Nh4 Qe6 16.Nf5 Bf8 17.h3 c5 18.g4?! Rd7 19.e3 Rad8 20.Qb1 Ne4 21.dxc5
Nxc3 22.Rxc3 bxc5 23.Rcd3 Nb4 24.R3d2 a5 25.a3?! Nc6 26.Qb2 Kh7 27.Qc2 g6 28.Ng3 a4! 29.bxa4
Na5 30.Bf1 c4 31.Ne2 Nb3 32.Nd4 Nxd4 33.Rxd4 Bg7 34.R4d2 Rc8 35.Bg2 Rc5 36.Rb1 Qa6 37.Rb4
Bc6 38.h4 Ra5 39.h5 Rxa4 40.hxg6+ fxg6 41.Rxd5 Rxd5 42.Bxd5 Rxb4 43.Bxc6 Rb2 44.Qe4 c3 45.Ba4
Qe2 46.Bg3 c2 0–1 Polovodin – Aseev, St Petersburg 2000.


11.Bg5?! White places his bishop on g5 where it would be exchanged for Black’s knight on f6 and he is
doing this with weakened dark squares on the queenside. This is not a good idea at all. 11...Nbd7 12.Rc1
c6 13.Bxf6? Nxf6 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Re1 Bd6 16.f4 Bb4 17.Rf1 c5ƒ R.Smith – Chandler, New Zeland
11.Rb1 Nbd7. This move does not prevent the pawn-advance b2-b4. (Black’s move c7-c5, as it often
happens in Queen’s Indian set-ups, creates much more often problems for him instead of freeing his
position: 11...c5 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Ne5 Bb7 14.Bf4 Bf8 15.Rb2∞ Topalov – Karjakin, Moscow 2016. In
fact, Black does not need to be afraid of b2-b4.) 12.b4 Bc4 13.Bf4 Ne4 14.Nxe4 dxe4 15.Nd2 Bxa2
16.Bxe4 Bxb1 17.Qxb1 Nf6 18.Bxa8 Qxa8 19.e4 (19.Nf3 Bf8 20.Ne5 Nd5 21.Qb3 Re6 22.b5 Nxf4
23.gxf4 Qe4„ Mikhalik – Navara, Prague 2016) 19...Rd8 20.Be3 Ng4„ Nakamura – Karjakin, Moscow
11.a3 c5 12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Ne5 Bb7 14.Bf4 (14.Rc1 Na6 15.Nd3 Rc8 16.Bg5 Ne4 17.Bxe7 Qxe7
18.Nxe4 dxe4 19.Nf4, Cheparinov – Navara, Minsk 2017. Here, it would be more precise for Black to
take at first the control over the d5-square with tempo and only then to disrupt his opponent’s pawn-
structure: 19...Rcd8 20.Qc2 e3„) 14...Nbd7 15.Nc4 Nb6 16.Na5 Ba6 17.b4 Qd7!? (17...cxb4, Caruana –
Karjakin, Moscow 2016, 18.Nc6! Qc8 19.Nxe7+ Rxe7 20.axb4 Qxc3 21.Rxa6 Qxb4 22.Bg5ƒ) 18.Qb3
Qf5 19.b5 Bc8 20.Nc6 Bf8 21.a4 Be6 22.a5 Nbd7 23.Na4 g5! 24.Bd2 Nb8 25.Nxb8 Rexb8„ Sabaev –
Romm, ICCF 2016. Having exchanged the knight on c6, Black has eliminated his opponent’s main asset
and can fight now to organise counterplay.
11.Re1 Bb7

12.Bg5 Na6 13.Ne5 c5 14.e3 Nc7 15.f4 Ne6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Re2 Rc8 18.Rc2 g6 19.Rac1 Bg7 20.Kh1
cxd4 21.exd4, Strutinskaya – Mozharov, Sochi 2014, 21...f6 22.Nf3 Bf8ƒ
12.Ne5 Nbd7 13.Qc2 c5 14.Nxd7 Qxd7 15.e3 Rac8 16.Qd3, G.Agzamov – Kuzmin, USSR 1980,
12.Rc1 Nbd7 13.Bf4 c6= Flumbort – Groszpeter, Hungary 2015.
12.Qc2 c5 13.e3 Na6 14.a3 Nc7 15.Red1, F.Fernandez – Ruiz Gomez, Spain 2002, 15...Ne6„
12.Bc1 Ne4 13.Qc2 Nxc3 14.Qxc3 Nd7 15.Bf4 c5 16.Rac1 Nf6 17.Ne5 cxd4 18.Qxd4 Bc5 19.Qa1 Bb4
20.Red1 Ba3 21.Rc2 Rc8= Szszepaniak – Bartalini, ICCF 2015.
11.Rc1 Bb7

About 12.Ne5 Na6 – see 11.Ne5.
12.Qc2 Na6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.Rfd1 c6 16.e3 Qe7 17.Ne1 Rad8„ Titlianov – Aseev, USSR
12.Bf4 Na6. Black is in a fighting spirit. (12...Nh5 13.Bd2 Nf6=; 12...Nbd7? 13.Nb5±). 13.Qc2 (13.Ne5
h6 – see 11.Ne5) 13...h6 14.Rfd1 (14.Ne5 Ba3 15.Rcd1 c6=; 14.Qb2, Petran – Lucacs, Hungary 1986,
14...c6!? 15.a3 Nc7 16.b4 Ne6 17.Bd2 a5„; 14.Be5 Qd7 15.Rfd1 Qe6 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Qb1 c5„
Naumkin – Solomon, Biella 2012) 14...Ba3 15.Ra1 c6 16.Ne5 Nc7 17.Nxc6 Bxc6 18.Bxc7 Qxc7
19.Nb5 Qe7 20.Nxa3 Rac8 21.Qb2 Qxe2= Garcia Ilundain – Yudasin, Croatia 1997.
11.Qc2 c5

12.Rad1 Nc6 13.Be3 Rc8 14.Qb2 (14.dxc5 bxc5 15.Nxd5 Nxd5 16.Ng5 Bxg5 17.Rxd5 Qb6 18.Rxg5
Nd4! This resource enables Black to obtain a better position. 19.Qb2 Qf6ƒ Eingorn – Namgilov, Beijing
1991.) 14...h6 15.Rfe1 Bf8„ Potkin – Navara, Israel 2015.
12.dxc5 bxc5 13.Ne5 (13.Ng5 g6 14.Be3 Nc6 15.Qd2 h6 16.Nh3 Rc8 17.Bxh6 d4 18.Ne4 Nxe4
19.Bxe4 Qd6 20.Rac1 Qe6 21.Bg2 Qxe2„ Lauer – Schakel, ICCF 2013) 13...Bd6 14.Nc4 Nc6 15.Nxd6
Qxd6 16.Bf4 (16.Rfe1 h6 17.Bf4 Qe6= Zubov – Kryvoruchko, Ukraine 2014) 16...Qd7 17.Rfe1 Nd4
18.Qd1 (18.Qb2 Bb7 19.e3 Ne6 20.Be5 d4 21.Bxf6 Bxg2 22.Kg2 gxf6 23.Ne4 Qc6 24.f3 Ng5„ Fric –
Conner, ICCF 2012) 18...Ne4 19.Nxe4 dxe4 20.e3 Ne2+ 21.Kh1 Rad8 22.Qxd7 Rxd7 23.Bf1 Rd2„
Perez Lopez – Richardt, ICCF 2015.
12.Rfd1 Nc6.

13.Bf4 Rc8 14.Bh3?! Nxd4! 15.Nxd4 cxd4 16.Bxc8 Qxc8 17.Rxd4 Bc5 18.Qd2?! Itkis – Ioardechescu,
Kishinev 1998, 18...Qh3!ƒ
13.Bg5 h6 14.Bxf6 (14.Be3 Rc8 15.Qf5 g6, Zpevak – Nayhebaver, Banska Stiavnica 2015, 16.Qf4
Bd6!? 17.Qxh6 cxd4 18.Nxd4?! Ng4–+) 14...Bxf6 15.e3 cxd4 16.Nxd4 Nxd4 17.exd4 Rc8 18.Qd2 Bb7
19.h4 (19.Qd3 Qd7 20.h4 Re7 21.Re1 Rce8 22.Rxe7 Rxe7 23.Rd1 Re8= Bu Xiangzhi – Matlakov, Doha
2016) 19...Be7 20.Ne2 Bb4 21.Qxb4 Rxe2 22.Bf1 Rec2= L’Ami – Pavlidis, Netherlands 2015.
13.Be3 Rc8 14.Bh3 (14.Qf5?! g6 15.Qf4 Nh5 16.Qh6, Ivanchuk – Karjakin, Romania 2017, 16...Nxd4!
17.Ng5 Bxg5 18.Bxg5 f6µ) 14...Rc7 15.Qb2 Bc8 16.Bg2 Rd7 17.Bh3 Rc7= Johansson – Silva, ICCF


White’s hopes to obtain an advantage here are connected mostly with actions on the queenside. Having
this in mind, the move that he has already played b2-b3 is much rather in favour of Black, because White
does not have the manoeuvre Qd1-a4, taking the c6-square under control.
Now, Black must watch carefully about his opponent’s possible actions in the centre with e2-e4, if he
closes his bishop with the move c7-c6, while White can begin active operations on the kingside after he
fortifies his centre with the move f2-f4, followed by g3-g4.


12.Bf4 Nbd7 13.Rc1 Nf8. Black creates the positional threat Nf8-e6.

14.Bh3 c5„ Al Sayed – Debashis, Doha 2016.

14.Nb5 Ne6 15.Nc6 Qd7 16.Nxe7+ (16.Qc2?! Nxf4 17.gxf4 Bd6 18.e3 a6 19.Nxd6 cxd6 20.Nb4 a5
21.Nd3 Ba6ƒ) 16...Rxe7 17.a4 c6 18.Nc3 Nxf4 19.gxf4 a5„ Gelfand – Karjakin, Astana 2012.
14.Qd3 Ne6 15.Rfd1 c6 16.Be3 Nd7 17.Nf3 Nf6= 18.Bg5?! Nxg5 19.Nxg5 h6 20.Nf3 Bd6³ Gelfand –
Leko, Tromso 2014. Now, it has become very problematic for White to organise effective actions on the
queenside and in the centre, while Black can centralise Nf6-e4 and (or) a7-a5, followed by Bb7-a6.
14.Bg5 Ne6 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.e3 c6

17.f4 Be7. Black is preparing f7-f6. 18.f5 Nc7 19.Ne2 Ba3„ Kahl – Almeida, ICCF 2013.
17.Qh5 g6 18.Qg4 Bg7 19.Nd3 Ba6„ Pommrich – Mayer, ICCF 2006.
17.b4 Bxe5 18.dxe5 Nc7 19.f4 a5„ Cehajic – Futida, ICCF 2009.
17.Nd3, Petrosian – Korchnoi, Chiocco 1977. In the game Black continued with Qd6, Rad8 and Re7. We
think he had to prefer 17...Nc7, for example: 18.Re1 Be7 19.Ne2 a5„
12.a3 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Rc1 Na6 15.Nd3, Navara – Karjakin, Saint Louis 2017, 15...h6„
12.Bg5 Nbd7 13.f4 (13.Rc1 c6 14.f4 c5 15.e3 cxd4 16.exd4 Ne4 17.Bxe7 Rxe7 18.Qd3 Ndf6 19.Bh3
Nxc3 20.Rxc3 Qd6 21.Rfc1 Ne4 22.R3c2, Navara – Almasi, Croatia 2014, 22...Rf8!?=) 13...c5 14.Kh1
Ne4 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bxe7 Rxe7 17.Nc4, Sargissian – S.Zhigalko, Dubai 2014, 17...Ba6!?„
12.Bc1 Nbd7 13.Bb2 Bd6 14.f4 (14.Nd3 a5 15.Rc1 c6= Giri – Karjakin, Moscow 2016) 14...Ne4
15.Nxe4 (15.Qc2 Ndf6 16.Nd1?! Tanriverdi – Gharibyan, Prague 2016, 16...c5 17.Ne3 Rc8„) 15...dxe4
16.e3 Nf6 17.a3 (17.Rc1 Nd5„) 17...c5 18.Qe2 cxd4 19.Bxd4 Qe7 20.b4, Botvinnik – Padevsky,
Monaco 1968, 20...Qe6!?=
12.Qc2 c5 13.dxc5 bxc5 14.Rad1 Qc8

15.Bg5 Na6 16.Na4 h6 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.Nd3 c4 19.bxc4 dxc4 20.Bxb7 Qxb7 21.Nf4 Rac8 22.Nd5 Be5
23.e4 (It seems rather unpleasant for Black here the move 23.f4, but he has a tactical trick, which solves
comfortably the problem with his attacked bishop: 23...Nc7!³ leaving White with a compromised pawn-
structure.) 23...Nb4 24.Nxb4 Qxb4„ Wang Hao – Sasikiran, Guangzhou 2010. Now, White might have
problems with his knight displaced at the edge of the board.
15.e4 Bf8 16.f4 d4 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.exd5. The way the game Aronian – Navara, Saint Louis 2017
developed later, made us look for an improvement for Black. Here, it deserves attention for him to opt for
18...Nd7!?, for example: 19.Bh3 (19.Nc6 Nb6ƒ) 19...Re7∞ and if White captures the exchange, then his
king might be in trouble on the long diagonal.


We prefer this move as more reliable than 12...Nbd7 – see variation A.


13.Bg5 Ne4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.e3 c5 16.Nd3 cxd4 17.exd4 Rac8 18.Nb5 Rxc1 19.Qxc1 Nb4 20.Bxe4
dxe4 21.Nxb4 Qxb4 22.Qc7 Qxb5 23.Qxb7 Qb4 24.Qd7 Qe7= Gyimesi – Farago, Hungary 1999.
13.Be3 c6 14.f4 Bb4 15.Qc2 Rc8 16.Rfd1 Nc7 17.Qb2 Qe7 18.Nb1 Nb5 19.Bd2 c5, Berebora –
Dizdarevic, Solin 1994.
13.Nb5 c5 14.dxc5 (14.a4, Gunina – Mkrtchian, China 2016, 14...Ne4„) 14...bxc5 15.Qe1 Bf8„ Zhu
Chen – Chiburdanidze, Batumi 2001.



14.Qd3 Ba3 15.Rcd1 Bf8 16.h3 c5„ Petursson – Stefansson, Iceland 1998.
14.Qd2 Ba3 15.Rb1 Bf8 16.Rfd1 c6 17.Qb2 Nc7 18.b4 Ne6 19.Rbc1 Rc8 20.Be3 Bd6„ Houska –
Mekhitarian, Gibraltar 2014.
14.h4 c5 15.dxc5 Nxc5 16.Be3 Bd6 17.Bxc5 bxc5 18.Nc4 Bc7 19.Rc2 Rb8 20.Rd2 d4 21.Bxb7 Rxb7
22.Na4 Ne4„ Radjabov – Gelfand, Monte Carlo 2007.
14.Nd3 Bf8 15.Rc2 (15.Re1 c5 16.dxc5 bxc5 17.Na4 Rc8 18.Be5 Ne4 19.Bb2, Temirbayev –
Jumabayev, Astana 2012, 19...c4!? 20.Nf4 Qa5„) 15...c6 16.Qa1 Nb4 17.Nxb4 Bxb4 18.a3 Bf8„
Vescovi – Spraggett, Buenos Aires 2005.



15.Nc6?! Qd7 16.Nbxa7 Rxa7 17.Nxa7 Ra8µ Onischuk – Alekseev, Biel 2008.
15.Qc2 c5 16.Qf5 (16.Qb2 Nh5 17.Be3 Nf6 18.a4 Qe7 19.Nd3 Ne4 20.Rfd1 g6 21.Qb1 Red8„ Pravec
– Nyvlt, ICCF 2016) 16...Qe7 17.a3 Bc8 18.Qd3 Be6 19.dxc5 bxc5 20.Rfd1 Rac8 21.Nf3 Ne4 22.Nd2
c4 23.bxc4 Nac5 24.Qc2 Nxd2 25.Bxd2 dxc4„ Pommrich – Rudych, ICCF 2014.

15...c5 16.a3, Meier – Kramnik, Dortmund 2011, 16...Qe7!?„ Black plans to regroup his forces with
Red8, Qe8, Bc8, reducing the pressure on the h3-c8 diagonal.

Index of Variations

Chapter 1 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6

various 7
3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Bb7 various 8
5.0-0 g6 various 9
A) 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.b3 0-0 10
B) 7.e3 0-0 13
C) 7.Re1 0-0 14
D) 7.d3 0-0 16
E1) 7.d4 cxd4 8.Nxd4 18
E2) 8.Qxd4 21

Chapter 2 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6

A1) 3.a3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 29

A2) 4.g3 Bb7 32
A3) 4.Bg5 Bb7 33
B) 3.Nc3 d5 34
C) 3.Nbd2 c5 4.e3 Nc6 various 38
5.Bd3 d5 various 38
C1) 6.c3 Bd6 7.0-0 0-0 8.e4 39
C2) 8.Re1 40
C3) 8.dxc5 42
D) 3.c3 b6 44

Chapter 3 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 b6

various 48
4.Bd3 Bb7 5.0-0 c5 various 50
A) 6.c4 Be7 50
B) 6.Nbd2 Nc6 various 55
B1) 7.b3 Be7 8.Bb2 0-0 9.c4 56

B2) 9.a3 59

Chapter 4 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6

various 60
4.e3 Bb7 various 61
A) 5.Be2 Be7 61
B) 5.Bd3 Be7 63

Chapter 5 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6

A) 4.Bxf6 Qxf6 69
B1) 4.Bh4 d6 74
B2) 4...b6 77

Chapter 6 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5

various 80
A) 4.Bg5 Bb7 81
B) 4.Qd3 a6 84
C) 4.Bg2 Bb7 various 86
5.0-0 c5 various 88
C1) 6.Bg5 d5 89
C2) 6.Nbd2 cxd4 91
C3) 6.a4 b4 92
C4) 6.с3 Be7 94

Chapter 7 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Bf4 Bb7

various 105
5.e3 Be7 various 108
A) 6.Bd3 Nh5 109
B) 6.h3 0-0 111

Chapter 8 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.e3 Bb7

A) 5.Nbd2 c5 116
B) 5.Be2 d5 118

C) 5.a3 d5 120
D) 5.Nc3 d5 125
E) 5.Bd3 d5 134

Chapter 9 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4

various 147
A) 5.Bf4 Bb7 148
B1) 5.e3 Bb7 6.a3 Bxc3+ 153
B2) 6.Bd2 0-0 154
B3) 6.Be2 Ne4 158
B4) 6.Bd3 0-0 159
C) 5.g3 Bb7 166
D1) 5.Qc2 Bb7 6.Bd2 0-0 168
D2) 6.Bg5 h6 169
D3) 6.e3 0-0 170
D4) 6.a3 Bxc3+ 174
E) 5.Qb3 c5 various 178
E1) 6.g3 Nc6 179
E2) 6.Bf4 0-0 181
E3) 6.Bg5 Bb7 181
E4) 6.a3 Ba5 184

Chapter 10 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6

various 187
6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 188

Chapter 11 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7

various 199
5.Nc3 d5 various 200
A) 6.Bf4 Bd6 201
B) 6.Qa4+ Qd7 204
C) 6.e3 Be7 206

D) 6.Qc2 c5 208
E) 6.Bg5 Be7 various 210
E1) 7.Qa4+ Bc6 210
E2) 7.e3 0-0 212

Chapter 12 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5

various 215
A) 7.e4 Nxc3 216
B) 7.Nxd5 Qxd5 217
C) 7.Qa4+ Nd7 218
D) 7.Bd2 Be7 221

Chapter 13 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3 g6

various 225
A) 8.h4 Bg7 227
B) 8.Nxd5 exd5 228
C) 8.Bb5+ c6 various 231
C1) 9.Ba4 Bg7 231
C2) 9.Bd3 Bg7 233

Chapter 14 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3

A) 8.Qc3 h6 238
B) 8.bxc3 c5 various 241
B1) 9.e4 Nd7 10.Bd3 Qc7 242
B2) 10.Bf4 cxd4 244

Chapter 15 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6

various 249
A) 5.Qb3 Nc6 6.Bd2 Bb7 251
B) 6.Nbd2 Na5 254

Chapter 16 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5

various 258

A) 7.0-0 cxd4 259
B) 7.dxc5 Bxc5 264

Chapter 17 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Nbd2 Bb7

various 275
6.Bg2 Be7 various 276
7.0-0 0-0 various 277
A) 8.Qc2 d5 various 278
A1) 9.cxd5 exd5 278
A2) 9.Ne5 c5 279
B) 8.b3 c5 281

Chapter 18 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qc2 c5

various 283
A) 6.Bg2 Nc6 283
B) 6.d5 exd5 286

Chapter 19 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+

6.Bd2 Be7 various 296

7.Bg2 d5 various 297
A) 8.Ne5 0-0 297
B) 8.Bc3 0-0 300
C) 8.Nc3 0-0 9.0-0 c6 various 304
C1) 10.cxd5 cxd5 305
C2) 10.Bf4 Nbd7 307
D) 8.cxd5 cxd5 309

Table of Contents
Title page and Bibliography 3
Key To Symbols 5
Preface 7
Chapter 1 - 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 b6 (w/o 3.d4) 8
Chapter 2 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 (w/o 3.c4) 3.a3; 3.Nc3; 3.Nbd2; 3.c3 42
Chapter 3 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 b6 70
Chapter 4 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 90
Chapter 5 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bg5 h6 104
Chapter 6 - 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 b5 121
Chapter 7 - 4.Bf4 Bb7 160
Part 1 179
Part 2 208
Chapter 10 - 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 301
Chapter 11 - Rare; 5.Nc3 d5 w/o 6.cxd5 320
5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.g3; 7.Bg5; 7.e4; 7.Nxd5; 7.Qa4+; 7.Bd2 348
Chapter 13 - 5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.e3 g6 364
Chapter 14 - 5.Nc3 d5 6.cd Nxd5 7.Qc2 Nxc3 383
Chapter 15 - Rare; 5.Qb3 Nc6 402
Chapter 16 - 5.Qa4 Bb7 6.Bg2 c5 416
Chapter 17 - 5.Nbd2 Bb7 444
Chapter 18 - 5.Qc2 c5 457
Chapter 19 - 5.b3 Bb4+ 480
Index of Variations 513