Carlsen's new idea in the Sicilian with 3.Bb5+

11/7/2021 – In his first opening video for ChessBase Magazine Markus Ragger takes up an idea that the World Champion tried out at the FIDE World Cup this summer. In the Moscow Variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4) White almost always recaptures the d4-pawn with the queen. Carlsen played 5.Nxd4 against Wojtaszek instead and answered 5...Nf6 with the remarkable 6.0-0. In the new ChessBase Magazine Markus Ragger explains the potential of the new concept in a half hour video. From simple stumbling blocks (why can't Black just win the pawn with 6...Sxe4?) to tricky double attacks and positional exchange sacrifices, everything is possible! Here's an excerpt from Ragger's analysis.

ChessBase Magazine 204 ChessBase Magazine 204

"Special" on Judit Polgar with analyses and videos on strategy and endgame. Demchenko, Sarana, Erdos, Grandelius, Saric et al. comment on games from the European Individual Championship. Opening videos by Ragger, King and Marin. Plus 11 opening articles

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Carlsen's new idea in the Sicilian with 3.Bb5+

Markus Ragger checks 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nf6 6.0-0

The Reference Function of ChessBase 16 as often gives a direct indication of how "new" - and how popular! - Carlsen's continuation is:

Quantitatively, 6.0-0 is (still) second choice. The fashion index, however, signals more than clearly that this is all the rage in the sideline with 5.Nxd4 Nf6. Carlsen's experiment against Wojtaszek has meanwhile been taken up by the top GMs Vachier-Lagrave, Firouzja and Esipenko, among others.

In his half-hour analysis Markus Ragger first explains why Black should not capture the unprotected  pawn on e4: 6...Nxe4 is followed by 7.Re1, and when the knight retreats to f6, 8.Nf5 follows with an already decisive attack on d6. And also the attempt to protect the knight with 7...d5 backfires after 8.c4 Nf6 9.Nf5 (again with the threat 10.Nd6).

Austria's number 1 then goes into detail about various alternatives for Black: The developing moves 6...e6, 6...g6, 6...e5 as well as the main variation 6...a6 are on the programme. Ragger presents exciting ideas for White in all variations and makes you want to try out the new positions in practice!

Video analysis by Markus Ragger from ChessBase Magazine #204 (Excerpt)

Running time of the complete video in CBM #204: 29:32 min 

More opening videos in ChessBase Magazine #204

Daniel King: Recent trend in the Queen’s Gambit Exchange Variation

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Be7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Nge2 Re8 10.Qc2 Nbd7 11.f3 b5

The Exchange Variation of the Queen’s Gambit is very popular with many d4-players of all levels. In fact for White this opening has some basic advantages to offer: you are guaranteed a sound pawn structure and there are no sharp critical variations which you have to know in great detail. Here it is much more about finding the correct plan, the correct strategy. In his video he presents a new idea for Black which Alireza Firouzja recently successfully employed against Wesley: in a standard position Firouzja continued with 11...b7-b5. Previously this move had been judged anti-positional. But today’s engines agree with him! “Very interesting counterplay!”

Mihail Marin: Ruy Lopez Breyer Variation

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.b3

Marin’s analysis of the variation begins with a game played by the “heroine” of this issue: using the encounter Polgar-Spassky (1993) the openings expert first explains why in his view this variation above all seems attractive for White. He then goes on via other games to describe how the evaluation of the line – not least on account of varying engine evaluations– has moved over decades sometimes in one direction and sometimes in the other.

ChessBase Magazine #204

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