ChessBase Magazine 161 – 'Uneasy lies the head...

by ChessBase
9/30/2014 – ...that wears the crown. After the runaway success early this year Magnus Carlsen is slowing down a bit.' This issue of ChessBase Magazine deals with the Norway Chess, the Poikovsky Karpov and the Capablanca Memorial tournaments. But there is also a wealth of opening training, including some surprise lines, to explore. Review by Prof Nagesh Havanur.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


ChessBase Magazine #161

Review by Prof Nagesh Havanur

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. After the runaway success early this year Magnus Carlsen is slowing down a bit. Not for lack of determination, though. It’s just that the world champion’s rivals are stealing a march on him. So it was Sergey Karjakin who won the 2nd Norway Chess Tournament ahead of Carlsen. In this issue the winner himself annotates his game against Kramnik. But what happened to Carlsen?

Simen Agdestein, his friend and former coach wrote, “In general he didn’t look very inspired in Stavanger. He felt, the pressure, he said, of the Norwegian press believing it’s just a walk in the park winning such a tournament. It certainly isn’t, not even for a World Champion.”
By his own admission Carlsen’s play was uneven. In some games he missed his chances and in others he just managed to survive. Still he had not lost hope. When the penultimate round began he was level with Karjakin and he just had to beat Peter Svidler, the Russian grandmaster to draw ahead.

For a while it appeared, he was going to make it. With precise, principled play he managed to outplay Peter Svidler and it only remained to cash his chips. As Peter himself admitted later, he was close to capitulation. Nevertheless, he decided to play on. After all no one has won a game by resigning. Then it happened. Magnus miscalculated and his opponent was only too quick to seize his opportunity. He initiated a terrific counterattack forcing Magnus to defend with all the ingenuity he is known for and earn a draw. The cut and thrust battle is annotated by GM Roiz in this issue.

[Event "2nd Norway Chess 2014 "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.06.12"] [Round "?"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A25"] [WhiteElo "2753"] [BlackElo "2881"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. c4 {The English Opening} e5 {Aggressive play threatening to disrupt White's development with Nf3 by the advance...e4. Its drawback is that it would allow White to exert pressure on d5.} (1... Nf6 {developing a piece is the most flexible response.}) 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 f5 {A non-standard move and an early declaration of war} (3... Nf6 {is the usual move here.}) 4. d3 Nf6 5. g3 Bb4 6. Bg2 {GM Roiz writes, "This move is connected with a definite strategic risk, since White's Queenside pawn structure becomes less flexible, while the bishops are not so strong in such closed positions."} ({Roiz recommends instead } 6. Bd2 O-O 7. Bg2 d6 8. O-O) 6... Bxc3+ {Rupturing White's pawn formation, the Hyper-modern way.} 7. bxc3 d6 8. O-O O-O 9. Rb1 Qe8 {Initiating attack in the style of Dutch Defence.All these moves have been seen before.} 10. Qb3 $6 { Roiz and and almost all commentators criticise this move. But Svidler must have thought, he had pressure on b7 and the threat of c5 would enable him to break up Black's pawn chain.} ({After the thematic} 10. c5 d5 {Black has a mobile pawn centre and active play. Nevertheless, it is preferable to the text after which White drifts into an inferior position.}) 10... b6 {"Beginning the siege of doubled pawns on c-file with ...Na5." -Roiz. Meanwhile White discovers that he has no target on light squares, although both c5 and Nh4 are available for him.} 11. Nh4 Na5 {The threat on f-pawn prevents...Bb7.} 12. Qa3 $2 {Preparing 13.Be3 and 14.c5 with play on dark squares. But Black's attack comes first.} (12. Qc2 {could have got the queen to defend the vulnerable d3 point, although even here Black has the better game after} Rb8 13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxf6 Rxf6 $15 {as shown by Roiz.}) 12... Rb8 13. Be3 $2 (13. f4 $6 {would be met by} e4) (13. Bg5 h6 14. Bxf6 Rxf6 15. Qb2 {followed by Qc2 was still available. However, Black has the more harmonious position as shown in the previous variation.}) 13... f4 $1 14. gxf4 Qh5 {with the White pawn on g3 this move was not possible on account of Bf3 attacking the queen.} 15. Nf3 {White is threatening 16. fxe5 dxe5 17.Rb5.} Bh3 16. Bxh3 Qxh3 17. Kh1 Rbe8 18. Qb2 e4 $1 19. Ng5 Qh5 $19 {Roiz concluded,Black is already winning. You can't believe it happening in a grandmaster game.} 20. dxe4 ({It's too late to return with the queen to defend with} 20. Qc2 Ng4 21. h3 h6 $19) ({Roiz gives} 20. Rg1 exd3 21. exd3 h6 {After} 22. Ne4 Nxe4 23. dxe4 Qf3+ 24. Rg2 Nxc4 25. Qb3 Qxe4 26. Rd1 d5 27. Rd4 Qf3 28. Kg1 c6 29. Rg3 Qe2 $19 {There is no way of defending e4 and f4 points after which White position collapses.}) 20... Ng4 21. Nf3 Nxc4 22. Qb3 Rxe4 23. Rg1 d5 {Roiz mentions that unpinning the knight thus was not necessary.} ({Instead he gives} 23... Rfxf4 24. Bxf4 Nxf2+ 25. Kg2 Nh3 { winning. But that would still take a few more moves. Carlsen's move is easier, enabling the knight also to participate in the attack.}) 24. Qb5 Rfxf4 $6 { Going for mate. But he has missed White's defence.} ({The simple and direct route is} 24... Ncxe3 $1 25. fxe3 Nf2+ 26. Kg2 Nh3 $19 {as mentioned by Roiz. Here is a fun variation.} 27. Rgd1 Rxe3 28. Qxd5+ $2 Qxd5 29. Rxd5 Nxf4+ 30. Kf2 Rxe2+ 31. Kf1 Nxd5 32. Kxe2 Nxc3+ 33. Ke1 Nxb1) 25. Bxf4 Nxf2+ 26. Kg2 Rxe2 27. Kf1 {"That's the point.Suddenly White is able to make use of the g-file." -Roiz} Ne4 {Magnus reluctantly changes track.} ({He had calculated the near-decisive} 27... Qxf3 {but overlooked} 28. Rg3 $1 {Now} Qe4 29. Qd7 Qxb1+ 30. Kxe2 Qc2+ 31. Kf3 Qe4+ 32. Kxf2 Qxf4+ {only draws by perpetual check.}) 28. Rxg7+ $1 {seizing the opportunity with both hands} ({Not} 28. Kxe2 $4 Nxc3+ 29. Kf2 Nxb5 30. Rxb5 c5 $19) 28... Kf8 $6 ({Paradoxically enough, the safer course was accepting the sacrifice.} 28... Kxg7 $1 29. Qd7+ Qf7 30. Qg4+ Qg6 31. Qd7+ Kh8 32. Qd8+ Qg8 33. Qxg8+ Kxg8 34. Kxe2 Nxc3+ 35. Kd3 Nxb1 36. Bxc7 Nba3 $17 {Black is better and Magnus in form would havr tried to grind a win out of this position.}) 29. Kxe2 Nxc3+ 30. Kf2 Nxb5 31. Rbg1 Nc3 $2 ({Instead Roiz suggests} 31... Nbd6 $1 {a deep move bringing the knight to the centre of action.} 32. Rg8+ Ke7 33. R1g7+ Kf6 34. Rxc7 d4 $1 {Black has sacrificed the first pawn. Now he sacrifices the second, making an escape route for the king.} 35. Rf8+ Ke6 36. Nxd4+ Kd5 37. Nf3 Ne4+ 38. Ke2 Nc3+ 39. Kf2 Ne4+ $11) ({If he had moved in the other knight with} 31... Ncd6 $2 {his king would have perished in the crossfire of White pieces.} 32. Rg8+ Kf7 33. R1g7+ Kf6 34. Bg5+ Kf5 35. Re7 Ne4+ 36. Ke1 {Now Black faces the threat of 37.Re5+ Kg4 38.Bh6+ winning the queen.} Kg4 37. Ne5+ Kh3 38. Nd3 Qxg5 39. Nf2+ $1 (39. Rxg5 $2 Nxg5 40. a4 Nd4 41. Rxc7 Kxh2 42. Rxa7 h5 43. Rb7 h4 44. Rxb6 h3 45. a5) 39... Kg2 40. Rxg5+ Nxg5 41. Rg7) 32. Rxc7 $2 (32. Rg8+ $1 Kf7 33. R1g7+ Kf6 34. Rxc7 Ne4+ 35. Kg2 Kf5 36. Rf8+ Kg6 37. Re7 $18) 32... Ne4+ 33. Ke1 $1 {A marvellous move abandoning the knight to resume attack} ({Had he defended the knight with } 33. Ke2 $2 {the tide would have turned after} Nc5 $1 34. Rc8+ Kf7 35. Rc7+ Kf6 36. Rc6+ Ne6 37. Rg5 Qe8 38. Nd4 Qxc6 39. Rf5+ Kg6 40. Rg5+ Nxg5 41. Nxc6 Kf5 $17) 33... Nc5 $1 {Diamond cuts diamond! Threatening 34...Nd3+ winning the bishop} ({Not} 33... Qxf3 $4 34. Bh6+ Ke8 35. Rg8+ $18) 34. Rc8+ Kf7 35. Rc7+ Kf8 36. Rc8+ Kf7 37. Rc7+ Kf8 {A disappointment for Magnus, but wonderful entertainment for public!} 1/2-1/2

But there still remains the question, why did Magnus play the way he did? He wrote, “A week ago I would have said that a missed win would never be as painful as an outright loss, but my penultimate game against Svidler came close. He botched up the opening and with the black pieces I had perfect co-ordination and could win material in many ways. Instead I went for an illusionary mate, having missed his Rg3 defense.”

He had a small consolation, winning the blitz event that preceded the tournament. But the greater satisfaction lay in his winning the FIDE Rapid and Blitz Championships at Dubai. This was a great series with stalwarts like Caruana, Anand, Nepomniachtchi and Nakamura competing and the standard of play was high. The games are not included in this issue. Hopefully, they would find their way into the next MegaBase.

Two other important events are covered by this issue. The Poikovsky Karpov Tournament was won by Alexander Morozevich ahead of Jakovenko and Bacrot. The Capablanca Memorial Tournament at Havana was won by Wesley So ahead of Bruzon Batista and Dominguez Perez. Surprisingly Vassily Ivanchuk came last. For once the Ukranian failed to capture the first prize in his favorite event.

A modern pawn sacrifice in the Winawer

There are 13 opening articles ranging from Caro-Kann to Queen’s Indian. Among them I would single out Igor Stohl’s survey on French Winawer dealing with a topical variation. Here is a glimpse of the same with some additional commentary.

[Event " "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "A modern pawn sacrifice in the Winawer"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "C18"] [PlyCount "48"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Ne7 7. Qg4 {A sharp and dangerous line that has been debated for decades} Qc7 8. Qxg7 Rg8 9. Qxh7 cxd4 10. Ne2 Nbc6 11. f4 dxc3 (11... Bd7 {is the older line.}) 12. Qd3 (12. h4 {deserves attention and Black can equalize only with precise play.} d4 $1 ({Or } 12... Bd7 13. h5 O-O-O 14. Qd3 Nf5 15. h6 Rg6 16. h7 Rh8 17. Be3 {so far Leko-Bartel, Dortmund 2012 Now Black should play} Nxe3 18. Qxe3 Rg7 19. Qxc3 Rgxh7 20. Rxh7 Rxh7 $11 {Leko}) 13. h5 Bd7 14. h6 {already "threatening" 17. Qxg8 Nxg8 19. h7 winning.} O-O-O 15. Qd3 Kb8 $11 {A line deeply analysed by GM Emanuel Berg}) (12. Nxc3 {This is rarely played on account of counterplay that follows. Perhaps it needs a reappraisal.} a6 {A careful move, not permitting Nb5 or Bb5.} (12... Nd4 $6 {is not satisfactory on account of} 13. Bb2 Bd7 14. O-O-O Ndf5 ({Not} 14... Qb6 $6 15. Qd3 Ndf5 (15... Nef5 16. Nxd5 $1) 16. Ne4 $1 dxe4 17. Qxd7+ Kf8 18. Qa4 $16) 15. Nb5 Bxb5 (15... Qb6 16. Nd4 O-O-O 17. Qh3 { The queen is out of play and she has to quit any way on account of the threat of ...Rh8.} Kb8 18. g4 Nxd4 19. Bxd4 $14) 16. Bxb5+ Kf8 17. Bd3 {A necessary retreat getting away from ...Qc5 and ...Qe3+. It also prepares Bxf5 if the queen is going to be trapped.} (17. Qh3 Qc5 $1 18. Bd3 Qe3+ 19. Qxe3 Nxe3 20. Rd2 Nxg2 $11) 17... Rc8 ({Not} 17... Ng6 $6 18. Bxf5 Rh8 19. Bxg6 Rxh7 20. Bxh7 f5 21. Bg6 $16) 18. Rd2 $14) 13. Bb2 {It's better to safeguard the knight this way rather than 15.Bd2. The move keeps the d-file ready for operation by the White rook and queen after 0-0-0.The bishop also provides additional cover for the king and the a-pawn after queenside castling.} Bd7 14. O-O-O O-O-O 15. Qh4 $1 {A fine suggestion by GM Ftacnik in ChessBase. The queen retreats without coming in the way of other pieces and prevents ... Na5-c4.} Kb8 16. Qf2 Na5 17. Kb1 Rc8 {Now White is at crossroads. He can play 18.Bd3 and has to lose a tempo with Bxc4 if Black plays...Nc4. Or he can play 18.Rg1, but it does not help h4 advance as it does when the rook is on h1. This line needs further tests.}) 12... d4 {This is the line analysed by GM Stohl in the current CBM issue.} 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Bd7 15. Rg1 Nf5 (15... O-O-O $4 16. Qxa7 $18) 16. Qf2 Qc6 (16... Bc6 $6 {would be premature on account of} 17. g4) 17. Bd3 $1 ({If} 17. g4 Qe4+ 18. Qe2 ({Not} 18. Be2 $2 Nd4) 18... Qd5 $11) 17... Qd5 18. Rb1 Bc6 19. Rb3 O-O-O 20. Rxc3 Kb8 21. g4 (21. Qc5 Rxg2 22. Qxd5 Rxg1+ 23. Kf2 Rdg8 $1 24. Qd8+ {forced} Rxd8 25. Kxg1 Rg8+ 26. Kf1 Nh4 $44) ({Or} 21. Rc5 Qa2 22. Rxc6 $5 bxc6 23. Qc5 Rxd3 $1 (23... Qd5 $2 24. Qxd5 cxd5 25. Kf2 $16) 24. cxd3 Rxg2 25. Rxg2 Qxg2 $11) 21... Nd4 22. Rg3 Qh1+ 23. Bf1 b6 (23... Rxg4 $2 24. Rxg4 Nf3+ 25. Rxf3 Bxf3 26. Qg1 Rd1+ 27. Kf2 Rxc1 (27... Qxg1+ 28. Rxg1 Rxc1 29. Kxf3 $18) 28. Qxh1 Bxh1 29. Bd3 $18) 24. Bb2 Be4 $44 {as in Leko-Caruana, Dortmund 2012} ({Again not} 24... Rxg4 $2 25. Rxg4 Nf3+ (25... Qe4+ 26. Be2 Bb5 27. f5 $1 Nxc2+ 28. Rxc2 Qxc2 29. Rd4 $18 {Leko}) 26. Rxf3 Bxf3 27. Qg1 Rd1+ 28. Kf2 Rd2+ 29. Ke3 Rxc2 30. Qxh1 Bxh1 31. Bd4 Rxh2 32. Rg8+ Kb7 33. Rg7 $18) *

What can White do in this variation? I believe, he can deviate before with 12. h4 or 12.Nxc3 and take his chances.

The Budapest Gambit also figures among the surveys. I have reservations, though, in spite of the enthusiastic advocacy by Viktor Moskalenko who has written a whole book on this system. There are also four opening videos in this issue. Two of them are by Mihail Marin. The first on King’s Indian is fairly standard. But the second is a surprise: 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bd2

Apart from administering a mild shock to your opponent this line has the advantage of weakening his kingside. What if he treats it as a joke? He will have lowered his guard, and that’s an advantage.

This issue also carries a tribute to Dragoljub Velimirovic (1942-2014), a great attacking player from former Yugoslavia. He excelled in beating the Sicilian and a whole system, the Velimirovic Attack (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 intending 9.0-0-0), is named after him.

This issue also carries trademark sections with opening traps, tactics and endgame technique. Here is a fun position from tactics section compiled by Oliver Reech.

White to play and win

Solution to the Oliver Reeh tactics exercise

[Event "Asia Chess Cup "] [Site "?"] [Date "2014.05.22"] [Round "?"] [White "Moradiabadi, Eishan"] [Black "Pourramezan Ali, Amir Reza"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1n2qbk1/1r3ppp/1p3r2/1p2N3/3P3P/1Q2R1P1/1B3P2/4R1K1 w - - 0 29"] [PlyCount "19"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] {White played} 29. Ng4 $2 {obvious and wrong.} ({The right route was} 29. Ng6 $1 Re6 ({Now} 29... Rf3 {does not work.} 30. Rxe8 Rxb3 31. Rxf8#) 30. Rxe6 fxe6 31. Rxe6 Qf7 32. Ne5 $18) 29... Qd7 $2 {Black thinks, he is submitting to the inevitable.} ({He missed} 29... Rf3 $1 30. Rxe8 ({If} 30. Rxf3 Qxe1+) 30... Rxb3 $11) 30. Nxf6+ gxf6 31. d5 Qd6 32. Re8 Nd7 33. Qf3 h6 34. Qg4+ Kh7 35. Qf5+ Kg7 36. R1e4 Rc7 37. Rg4+ Kh8 38. Qh5 {and Black resigned. A comedy of errors!} 1-0

In the OTB database there are 578 recent games of which 89 are annotated. Tele-Chess fans have greater reason to rejoice. This issue offers a file of 1000 unannotated games and 39 annotated games. If you are an OTB player, make it a point to check out those annotations by CC GMs, Alvarez and Morgado. Who knows, you might strike gold before others do.

ChessBase Magazin 161 free opening survey - download a sample!

<img data-cke-saved-src="/Portals/4/files/news/2014/topical/products/cbm161-05.jpg" src="/Portals/4/files/news/2014/topical/products/cbm161-05.jpg" width="265" "="" height="380" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px; margin-bottom: 5px; width=" 320=""> 
Evgeny Postny: "A lot of blanks" (NimzoIndian with 4.f3 c5 5.d5 0-0 6.e4 d6)

If White wants to go for a sharp position against the Nimzo-Indian the move 4.f3 is always shortlisted. In this article IGM Evgeny Postny examines the many positions that may show up on the board after 4.f3 c5 5.d5 0-0 6.e4 d6.

Here 7.Nge2 is preferred by most experts, in particular Sergey Volkov, who is represented in the Mega database with countless 4.f3 games, plays this (till 2003 he still used 7.Bd2). Postny now considers four moves for Black: 7...Nh5, 7.exd5, 7...Re8, and 7...b5.

After the most frequently played move 7...b5 White then moves his knight away from e2. 8.Nf4 is intended to provoke 8...e5, but it is not clear whether that is really necessary and whether it is in White’s favour at all. Thus Rainer Knaak comes to the conclusion:

"There are still a lot of blanks in the theory of this variation. As Evgeny Postny writes, engines sometimes overrate Black’sprospects."

Download for free (CBV-file for ChessBase/Fritz)
Load the article from CBMagazine 161 (PDF)

All opening articles in CBMagazine #161

Langrock: English Defence A40
1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Bd3

Hannes Langrock used to be a convinced adherent of the English Defence, but he has now changed sides. In his article he presents a repertoire from the point of view of White. According to Langrock’s analyses Black is faced with a difficult task after 4.Bd3!.
Moskalenko: Budapest Gambit A52
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7

This variation is considered slightly better for White, but Viktor Moskalenko is of a different opinion. White may usually obtain the bishop pair, but Black has a sound position in which the pawns are placed on dark squares and appropriately he possesses the light-squared bishop.
Rotstein: Old Indian Defence A53
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.f3 e5

Somewhat surprisingly it is not quite so simple for White to manage a slight advantage for White after 3...Bf5. The most frequently seen move is 4.f3, but, as Arkadij Rotstein shows, Black obtains a satisfactory game after 4...e5.
Karolyi: Alekhine Defence B05
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 e6

In the second part of his repertoire against the old main variation (4...Bg4) Tibor Karolyi deals with the sub-variation 5...e6. White obtains a secure advantage in all lines and in our author’s opinion should above all avoid the move h3.
Havasi: Caro-Kann B11
1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3

This was played by Bobby Fischer, but Tibor Havasi is able to squeeze a few new subtleties out of the subject. But above all, the setup presented by the young Hungarian is extremely easy to learn and nonetheless not without its venom.
Antic: Sicilian Defence B40
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3

Michael Adams has played this several times with a good measure of success. So Dejan Antic calls it the Adams Variation. White firstly does without d3 and if need be he protects e4 with Qe2. Of course this is no way to force an advantage, but it does immediately set Black a few problems.
Szabo: Sicilian Defence B48
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f4

White has for a long time been successful with 8.0-0-0, but countermeasures have been found for Black. At present it is still possible to surprise one’s opponent with 8.f4. But according to Krisztian Szabo Black should not have any great problems keeping things on a level keel.
Stohl: French Defence C18
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 dxc3 12.Qd3 d4

Spurred on by the game Almasi-So (Capablanca Memorial 2014) Igor Stohl examines the modern variation with 12...d4. The results are absolutely heartening for Black and for the moment it is rather White who has to be thinking about improvements.
Krasenkow: Queen's Gambit Accepted D28
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.Qe2 a6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.0-0 Nc6 9.e4

In the second part of his investigations into 6.Qe2 Michal Krasenkow comes to the critical variation with 8...Nc6. In it Black has good chances for equality but he needs to know his theory well and must also play accurately in the early middlegame.
Sumets: Queen's Indian Defence E15
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bxd2+ 6.Qxd2 Ba6 7.b3

Andrey Sumets analyses the variations from White’s point of view. From the diagram the first move examined is 7...d5. But then one needs to have a good knowledge of the sharp 8.Nc3 d5 9.e4.
Postny: Nimzoindian E20
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 c5 5.d5 0-0 6.e4 d6

Magnus Carlsen sees himself having to meet the move 4.f3 “all the time”. At the Gashimov Memorial he played 4...c5, resulting in the position in the diagram. Evgeny Postny considers Nakamura’s 7.Bd2 to be simply a side variation with the critical line being 7.Nge2.
Marin: Nimzoindian E52
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Ne5

This natural setup for Black is still valid. Mihail Marin tries in his extensive article to show that White has at least the more pleasant game. And he manages to do just that.
Kuzmin: King's Indian Defence E83
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0-0 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nge2 a6 8.Qd2 Na5

The almost new 8...Na5 attacks a sensitive point in White’s camp – the pawn c4 – and at the same time it prepares ...b5, because if White captured twice the final move would be Na5-b3! So far White has not found a good countermeasure – a hard blow for fans of the Sämisch Variation.

Buy ChessBase Magazine in the ChessBase Shop...

Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register