3.h4 against the Gruenfeld and King's Indian

by ChessBase
6/2/2023 – The advance of the h-pawn on move three is certainly not in line with the basic rules of how to play the opening. But in recent years a number of world-class players have been successful with it, including Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. And just a weeks ago at the Superbet Chess Classic in Bucharest, Fabiano Caruana managed an impressive winning game with it on his way to winning the tournament against MVL. Sipke Ernst recorded a FritzTrainer on 3.h4 against the Grünfeld and King's Indian half a year ago. In the new CBM Extra #213 he provides an update with current material - you can see an excerpt of his analysis here!

3.h4 against the Gruenfeld and King's Indian 

Excerpt from Sipke Ernst's video analysis in CBM Extra #213

Complete video playing time in CBM Extra #213: 20 minutes

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ChessBase Magazin Extra #213

Opening videos

Nico Zwirs: Sicilian Najdorf Variation 

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7

Nico Zwirs presents a game by his young compatriot Thomas Beerdsen from the Tata Steel Challengers 2023 against Mishra Abhimanyu, the youngest grandmaster ever. Beerdsen chose the ambitious continuation 6.Bg5 against the Najdorf Variation, Abhimanyu decided to test an idea going back to Anish Giri with 10...h6 after 6...e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4. Beerdsen's actual innovation, however, is quite something: 13.a4! "An insane move" (Zwirs). White sacrifices a pawn from his own castling position out of nowhere!

Sipke Ernst: 3.h4 against the Gruenfeld (Update) 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.h4!?

The GM from the Netherlands published a FritzTrainer in August last year with a repertoire recommendation against the King's Indian and the Gruenfeld: the move 3.h4!? directly presents Black with concrete tasks. If you look at who have utilised this weapon before, it can't be entirely wrong: Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and many more! In this video Sipke Ernst offers an update to his video course from 2022 and examines variations after 3...Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 h5 6.Nge2 as well as after 3...Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.h5 0-0 6.hxg6 on the basis of the games Vachier-Lagrave against Saric and Muradli against Kramer.

Romain Edouard: "Critical Lines in the Dragon" - Part II

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5

Romain Edouard continues his four-part series on the Sicilian Dragon. This time after 9...d5 it's about the main move 10.exd5. Black recaptures the pawn with 10...Nxd5, and the exchange 11.Nxc6 bxc6 follows. Edouard first shows why White should not go for the pawn with 12.Nxd5 cxc5 13.Qxd5. Because Black counters with 13...Qc7 and gets excellent play against the white king thanks to the open lines and the bishop pair. White's main move is therefore 11.Bd4, which after 11...Bxd4 12.Qxd4 Qb6 leads to a Dragon which is rather tension-free, so White takes little risk here. On the other hand, Black should be able to keep the game balanced. In this video, Edouard shows what you need to know when playing with the black pieces!

In “The brilliancy" of this issue, Nijat Abasov shows how to take the initiative very effectively in the trendy Semi-Tarrasch with Black after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 cxd4 in the side line 6.Nxd4 (6.Qxd4 is the main move) with 6...Nxd5 7.Bd2 Be7 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2 e5!

The game lasted only 24 moves, but offers many charming positional pictures, e.g. the diagram after 21...Bb1!

Anish Giri, Nijat Abasov, Emanuel Berg, Romain Edouard, Spyridon Kapnisis, Adrian Mikhalchishin, Yago Santiago and many more comment.

In addition to Abasov’s brilliancy, the "Lucky bag" offers 45 other games with detailed commentary. Among others, Anish Giri, Emanuel Berg, Romain Edouard, Spyridon Kapnisis, Adrian Mikhalchishin and Yago Santiago have contributed analyses to this Extra.

And the Update service provides over 40,000 new games for your database!

Once again, practically the entire world's top players are represented!

The games of the Update Service are also included in the Mega Update Service 2023, which you can use with the programmes ChessBase 16/17 (and a corresponding subscription). 

New: ChessBase Magazine Extra #213

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