Hunting the Tiger

by ChessBase
11/6/2022 – With 10 opening articles, ChessBase Magazine #210 covers the usual broad spectrum of variations: From the English Opening á la Caruana (1.c4 e5 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Be7) or the Sicilian O'Kelly Variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 a6 Part I: 3.d4/3.c3) to the Catalan (with the unconventional move 7.Qd2). In his contribution, Patrick Zelbel provides a concept against the Modern Defence (1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3), which is especially popular at club level and in which the move 4...a6 has become firmly established thanks to the Swedish GM Tiger Hillarp Persson. Our author begins the hunt for the tiger with 5.g4!? and thus makes it immediately clear where the journey is heading. "If Black plays the most natural moves, they easily finds themself in trouble", Zelbel writes in his conclusion. So you should definitely give this a try. Take a look!

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Tiger's Modern 4...a6

Patrick Zelbel hunts Black with 5.g4!?

'Tiger's Modern' is a popular opening among club players aiming to get double-edged positions with Black from the beginning of the game. Black enjoys a range of standard plans which, if White doesn't gain an opening advantage, can often be carried out in the middlegame. With the help of modern engines, there are ways in which White can achieve a better position from an objective point of view against the black setup with 4...a6. My goal, however, is to suggest a variation which is practical and easy-to-learn - 5.g4!?, putting Black under pressure right from the start.

The idea

The idea of my recommendation is very clear: take space on the kingside, follow up with h2-h4-h5 and place the bishop on g2. With this, White opposes the future bishop on b7 (as it is normal for Black after 4...a6 followed up with 5...b5 and 6...Bb7 basically against anything White does). The question is how Black reacts to the white h-pawn advance. We will see that against ...h5 or ...h6, White has nice ways to open the kingside and profit from the slow black development on the queenside.

Theory

A) In the first game we will see how White opens up the position after 5...b5 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.h4 h5.

This is a very natural choice for Black, as they don't want to allow the h-pawn to advance to h5 and h6. White´s idea is not to close with 8.g5, but to open up the kingside: 8.gxh5! Rxh5 9.Bf3! Rh8 10.h5 when a nice point is 10...gxh5 11.e5!,

trading the white-squared bishops and bringing the queen into the game. White has a massive attack, and the line seems very good. A typical game was my win at the German blitz championship in Zelbel,P - Schulz,K 1-0.

B) The second natural option for Black is to answer with 7...h6. I recommend 8.g5 hxg5 9.h5! again opening-up the kingside:

The pawn sacrifice is only temporary, as White will get the g5-pawn back. But the important thing is to trade the rooks on the h-file and activate the queen. Then White has the centre and can castle queenside, while Black still has some moves to make before their king will get to a safe place. 9...gxh5 10.Rxh5 is covered in Ivic,V - Ristic,N 1-0 as well as the interesting alternative for Black, 9...b4.

C) Alternatives to 7...h5 and 7...h6

If Black is not happy with lines A) and B), they have to allow White to push their h-pawn and develop. 7...Nd7 (and alternatives) 8.h5 is covered in Caruana,F - Sevian,S 1-0. The most played move now is 8...c5 but then White can push 9.h6.

White has an obvious advantage, with much more space and better development, and so has a huge score out of this position.

D) Alternatives to 5...b5

In view of the problems Black faces after 5.g4!?, they are already trying some other plans against our aggressive approach. 5...Nc6 is something completely different to the standard Tiger ideas, but in Solomon,K - Rombaldoni,D 0-1 I give you one option to play with White. More natural looks 5...Nf6 attacking the g4-pawn against which I replied 6.h3:

In case of 6...0-0 7.Bg2 we have a Pirc type of position where White should have a nice middlegame and Black did not achieve their ...b7-b5 advance. So 6...h5 is the most direct move, when in Zelbel,P - Meng,R 1-0 I scored a beautiful win with 7.e5!?.

But 7.g5 Nfd7 8.f4 looks also impressive, with full central control.

Conclusion: If you haven´t found a solution against Tiger´s Modern, just try 5.g4!?. If Black plays the most natural moves, they easily finds themself in trouble. So Black should avoid the open positions and search for some new way against 5.g4!?, but anyway, with White you will get your opponent out of their comfort zone early on, and also send the message that you are going for an aggressive game by your fifth move!

You can find the complete article with all games and analyses by Patrick Zelbel in the current ChessBase Magazine #210!

ChessBase Magazine #210

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Highlights of CBM #210

A rich training programme awaits you in ChessBase Magazine #210! The editors have put together a selection for you as a special recommendation on the Start page:

Chess Olympiad 2022: Review with analyses of more than 20 participants and Ivan Sokolov's contribution "Steps to Gold" - "Special" on the new World Championship candidate Ding Liren: exclusive collection of 18 annotated games + contributions on strategy and endgame - "The Indian Gambit": Daniel King presents a fresh and exciting idea in the English Opening: 1.c4 e5 2.Sc3 Sf6 3.Sf3 e4 4.Sg5 c6!? (Video) - "Practical Tips for the Tournament Player" Episode 3: How to play against a stronger opponent (Video by Jan Markos + small collection of exercises) - "Full Throttle in the Open Spanish": Robert Ris examines the highly topical Dilworth Variation and much more.

Special: Ding Liren

CBM authors analyse their favourite games of the top player from China. Look forward to an exclusive collection of 18 annotated games!

Top games and master analyses 

Chess Olympiad 2022: The major event of the year with 186 teams in the Open Tournament is the focus of this issue. Over 20 participants comment on their best games from Chennai in this issue, including Praggnanandhaa, Anish Giri, Wesley So, Arjun Erigaisi, Jules Moussard, Luke McShane, Pentala Harikrishna, Matthias Blübaum, Maxime Lagarde, Rasmus Svane, Viktor Erdos, the silver medal team from Armenia and the gold medallists in the women's tournament, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk. Moreover, the coach of the winning Uzbek team, Ivan Sokolov, presents highlights of his young team in his article "Steps to Gold".

Practical tips for the Tournament Player

How would you behave if you encountered a bear in the forest? Correct: You try not to panic. What you need is a plan. And it's the same in chess when you have to play against a much stronger opponent! In the third part of his series, GM Jan Markos presents three strategies for this kind of situation in the video and rounds off his contribution with a small collection of exercises.

Move by Move

The game Gukesh-Abdusattorov played a key role in the fight for medals in Chennai. Replay it in the interactive training format with IM Robert Ris!

All in one

New opening ideas explained on the basis of one game with detailed commentary. In this issue: King's Indian (Imre Hera) and English (Tanmay Srinath).

Opening videos

Daniel King presents a fresh and exciting gambit in the English Opening. Jan Werle explains positional ideas in the Rubinstein Variation of the Nimzo Indian. And Mihail Marin has come across the novelty 14...a5! in a game of the Benoni expert Aleksandar Indjic at the Olympiad.

Daniel King: English – "The Indian Gambit"
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 e4 4.Ng5 c6!?
Jan Werle: Nimzo Indian
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
Mihail Marin: Benoni
7.h3 Bg7 8.e4 0-0 9.Be3 Re8 10.Nd2 a6 11.a4 Nxe4 12.Ncxe4 f5 13.Be2 fxe4 14.Nc4 a5!

New ideas for your repertoire

ChessBase Magazine #210 covers the usual broad spectrum with 10 fresh opening articles:

Roven Vogel: English 1.c4 e5 2.g3 f5 3.Bg2 Be7
Martin Lorenzini: Scandinavian 3...Qa5 and 6.Ne5 (II)
Patrick Zelbel: Modern Defence 4...a6 5.g4
Petra Papp: Grivas Sicilian 4...Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6
Krisztian Szabo: Sicilian O’Kelly Variation (Part I) 3.d4/3.c3
Sergey Grigoriants: Philidor Defence 6.Bf4
Robert Ris: Open Ruy Lopez Dilworth
Evgeny Postny: Botvinnik Variation 12.h4
Alexey Kuzmin: Nimzoindian 4.e3 0–0 5.Bd3 d5 6.a3
Andrey Sumets: Catalan 5.Bg2 a6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Qd2

Opening traps

"From the London System to the Ruy Lopez". The expert Rainer Knaak presents eight traps with detailed analyses and three videos.

"Ding Liren‘s positional play"

Mihail Marin sheds light on aspects of Ding's play - his “typical rook lifts” and also his play with the pawns. Incl. video introduction and many training exercises.

New series: Modern Classics

Dorian Rogozenco starts his new series in a befitting manner - Bobby Fischer himself described the 7th game against Petrosian as the best of their 1971 Candidates Match.

Tactics: "Attacking Knights”

Oliver Reeh's yield from the Chess Olympiad is abundant: 41 games, peppered with many tactical exercises, await you. Don't miss the chance to solve his favourite combinations, move by move in interactive video format!

"Endgame highlights by Ding Liren" and much more!

This issue offers no less than four articles by Karsten Mueller. In addition to the article on Ding Liren, the expert also presents the most beautiful endgames from the 2022 Chess Olympiad. Moreover, Mueller provides a collection of training tasks and answers the letters to the editor in detail as usual.

ChessBase Magazine #210

 Order now in the ChessBase Shop !

ChessBase Magazine trial subscription with 33% savings advantage and thank you bonus!*

Try out ChessBase Magazine now! Order the ChessBase Magazine taster package!
Read ChessBase Magazine for 6 months (= 3 issues) for the special price of only 39.90 € (instead of 59,85 € for buying them individually). As a thank you, you will also receive 3 months ChessBase Premium Membership free of charge. 

*Bonus for new subscribers only, i.e. there was no CBM subscription for 12 months!

ChessBase Magazine one year subscription - plus original ChessBase USB stick with 128 GB *

Save twice with ChessBase Magazine: For the annual subscription to ChessBase Magazine you’ll pay only €99.70 per year (compared to €119.70 for the 6 individual issues).

* Bonus only for new subscribers, i.e. there was no CBM subscription for 12 months! As a new subscriber you will receive the original ChessBase USB stick with 128 GB

 


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