Surprise in the London System

1/5/2022 – The new ChessBase Magazine #205 offers a wealth of ideas and recommendations for your repertoire. The topics of the eleven opening articles in the new issue range from the Benko Gambit (4.cxb5 a6 5.b6 e6), the French Tarrasch (8.0-0 g5!), the Ruy Lopez (5.Qe2) to recipes against the King's Indian (after 6.Be2). Sergey Grigoriants looks at a topic that will interest many chess fans: He presents an active repertoire against the London System! However, you have to be ready to sacrifice a pawn with 6...e5! and to continue playing "precisely and powerfully" afterwards. But that shouldn't be difficult for you after reading Grigoriant's article!

ChessBase Magazine 205 ChessBase Magazine 205

"Special" on Robert Huebner with analyses and videos on strategy and endgame. Firouzja, Oparin, Predke, Sevian, Vitiugov and others comment on their games from the Grand Swiss 2021. Opening videos by Kasimdzhanov, Ragger and Marin. 11 Opening articles

More...

An active way for Black!

Sergey Grigoriants shows 6...e5! in the London System

Our starting position arises following 1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.c3 Qb6 5.Qb3 c4 6.Qc2, and now 6...e5!.

The London System is one of the most popular openings nowadays. From beginner level up to super GMs (including the world champion Magnus Carlsen), everyone seems to be playing it. The main setup for White is easy to memorise: after getting out his bishop to f4, there follows e3, c3, Nf3, Nbd2, Bd3 etc. Also, there are numerous books and videos on this variation. The move 6...e5! which I am going to analyse is still a sideline, but with the help of a strong engine one can prove that Black usually gets great compensation for the sacrificed pawn. The whole thing is pretty new. In 2019, the strong grandmaster Evgeny Postny won more than one game with it. Meanwhile, we can see more of his colleagues following in his footsteps successfully: Smirnov, Bluebaum, Delchev - and I believe 6...e5! will be popular with 2700 players as well ...

In the diagram White has to capture: 7.dxe5.

Taking with 7.Bxe5 is not so common. Black will have compensation for the sacrificed pawn due to the bishop pair, while White will be mainly be trying to exploit the square weakness d4. 7...Bf5! A standard move of this variation, the white queen cannot take since this would leave the b2 pawn hanging. 8.Qc1 Nxe5 9.dxe5 f6!.

A very strong idea. Black is not trying to win back the sacrificed e5-pawn, but rather aims for fast development. His main point is to open up the f- file to generate counterplay, see Hasangatin,R - Triapishko,A 1/2.

After 7.dxe5, play continues 7...Bf5! 8.Qc1 (The bishop on f5 still cannot be taken: 8.Qxf5? Qxb2, and now we see the point of the 6...e5! move - the 5th rank is blocked and Qxd5 is not possible. White has still some tricks, but with precise play Black is just winning, see Povah,N - Fernandez Garcia,J 0-1) 8...g5!.

A powerful advance. Black's idea is to give up a flank pawn in order to win back the center pawn and then exploit the weak d3-square. Now two bishop moves are possible: A) 9.Bxg5 and B) 9.Bg3.

A) 9.Bxg5 

This is rarely seen in practice, however, it should not be underestimated. If White can complete development and retain the extra pawn, he will have the better position, so Black has to play dynamically: 9...Nxe5 10.Nd2 f6!.

A very clever move. Black blocks the g5-d8 diagonal to allow ...0-0-0 and at the same overprotects the e5-knight. 11.Bf4 Ne7! Black aims to put his knight on g6 to attack the bishop, and then if Bg3, play ...h7-h5. See Boschma,B - Garscha,F 1/2.

B) 9.Bg3 

In most of the games White retreats to this square. He wants to keep the e5-pawn protected, but the bishop on g3 will be not so safe after the next few powerful moves for Black: 9...h5!

Very aggressive. Black aims to attack the Bg3, gaining a space advantage on the kingside and preparing to fianchetto the dark-squared bishop on g7 in order to win back the central e5-pawn. Now White has two standard moves to give space for the g3 bishop: B1) 10.h4 and B2) 10.h3.

B1) 10.h4?

A popular continuation, but it is a mistake. After 10...g4 Black has a great space advantage and it is hard to develop for White. 11.Ne2 Nge7 12.Nd4 Bg7

and then Black will take on e5, while after trying to exploit the d3 weakness. He has a space advantage with a clearly better position, see Sadhwani,R - Yilmaz,M 0-1,

B2) 10.h3

The main move, White just creates space for his bishop on h2. The next moves are quite logical for both sides: 10...Bg7! 11.Nf3 g4 12.hxg4 hxg4 13.Rxh8 Bxh8 14.Nd4 Nge7.

This is the critical position of the line 10.h3. White has many possible moves, but his best way is to go for equality by preparing long castling: Na3, Qd2, take on f5 and then 0-0-0, see Vojta,T - Postny,E 0-1.

Summary

6...e5! against the London System is becoming more and more popular nowadays. I definitely suggest this line for Black, as it is dynamically a great option, moreover, this is the top engine recommendation meaning it is "completely correct". White is facing a lot of problems with his favourite London f4 bishop. Black should be aware that it's a real pawn sacrifice, but he has great compensation for it, provided he plays precisely and powerfully. I hope after reading this article you will happily - and successfully - employ 6...e5!.

You can find the complete article with all games and analyses in the new ChessBase Magazine #205.

All opening articles in ChessBase Magazine #205

Petra Papp: Benko Gambit 4.cxb5 a6 5.b6 e6
Krisztian Szabo: Nimzowitsch Sicilian 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5
Robert Ris: Sicilian Najdorf 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7?!
Christian Braun: French Tarrasch 8.0–0 g5!
Evgeny Postny: Four Knights Rubinstein Variation 5.0-0
Renato Quintiliano: Italian with 6...d5 / 11.Bb3!
Lars Schandorff: Ruy Lopez with 5.Qe2
Sergey Grigoriants: London System 5.Qb3 c4 6.Qc2 e5!
Alexey Kuzmin: Gruenfeld with 7.Nf3/8.h3
Imre Hera: Queen's Indian 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5
Patrick Zelbel: King's Indian recipes against 6.Be2

ChessBase Magazine #205

Order now at the ChessBase Shop ! Available as a download or on DVD.

New: ChessBase Magazine #205

Highlights

On the front page of ChessBase Magazine #205 you will find the special recommendations of the editors - the highlights of the issue to click on and enjoy!

Analyses from the FIDE Grand Swiss 2021 by the winner Alireza Firouzja as well as from Grigoriy Oparin, Yu Yangyi, Alexandr Predke, Samuel Sevian, Nikita Vitiugov and others. A class of its own: Anish Giri comments on his spectacular Black victory over Abhijeet Gupta from the Chess Super League. Or how about a surprise weapon against the popular London System? Sergey Grigoriants explains the ideas and variations after 6...e5! Don't miss the interactive training sessions with Robert Ris!

Special: My favourite Huebner game

CBM authors comment on their favourite games of the former world-class player and candidate finalist. Exclusive collection of 16 games by Robert Huebner from 1970 to 2017.

Top games and master analyses

FIDE Grand Swiss 2021: Alireza Firouzja secured first place despite losing to Fabiano Caruana and thus qualified for the 2022 Candidates Tournament. Firouzja analyses his victory against Nijat Abasov. In addition, Grigoriy Oparin, Yu Yangyi, Alexandr Predke, Samuel Sevian, Nikita Vitiugov, and others comment on their best games.
European Team Championship 2021: Gold for Ukraine, silver for France, bronze for Poland. Radoslaw Wojtaszek analyses his winning h-pawn run against Victor Mikhalevski, and Ivan Saric shows how to hold a draw against an Alireza Firouzja in top form.

"All in one"

Here you can learn everything you need to know about a specific game. And all this on the basis of only one extensively annotated game! Spyridon Kapnisis makes you fit for the Sicilian Rossolimo Variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+!? bxc6 5.e5!). Igor Stohl presents early bayonet attacks in the Caro-Kann Exchange Variation and the Spanish Opening.

Opening videos

Gruenfeld expert Markus Ragger appoints the new 5...c5 as the main weapon in the variation with 5.Bd2. Rustam Kasimdzhanov reports on his experiment with the French Advance Variation. And Mihail Marin explains the Huebner System of the Nimzo-Indian Defence.

Markus Ragger: Gruenfeld Defence
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 c5
Rustam Kasimdzhanov: French Advance Variation
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Be2 cxd4 7.cxd4 Nh6 8.Bxh6 Qxb2 9.Nbd2 gxh6
Mihail Marin: Nimzo Indian Huebner Variation
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6

New ideas for your repertoire

CBM #205 offers many exciting ideas for your next games with 11 opening articles:

Petra Papp: Benko Gambit 4.cxb5 a6 5.b6 e6
Krisztian Szabo: Nimzowitsch Sicilian 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5
Robert Ris: Sicilian Najdorf 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qc7?!
Christian Braun: French Tarrasch 8.0–0 g5!
Evgeny Postny: Four Knights Rubinstein Variation 5.0-0
Renato Quintiliano: Italian with 6...d5 / 11.Bb3!
Lars Schandorff: Ruy Lopez with 5.Qe2
Sergey Grigoriants: London System 5.Qb3 c4 6.Qc2 e5!
Alexey Kuzmin: Gruenfeld with 7.Nf3/8.h3
Imre Hera: Queen's Indian 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 c5
Patrick Zelbel: King's Indian recipes against 6.Be2

Topical opening traps

"From cool to highly speculative" Our expert Rainer Knaak takes a close look at eight traps from current tournament practice, three of which he also presents in video format. Budapest Gambit, Sicilian, King's Indian and much more.

Move by Move

Let Robert Ris put you to the test. Together with the IM from the Netherlands, replay Nikita Vitiugov's spectacular game against Andreikin. Can you find the moves of the new Russian champion?

"Huebner's strategic skills”

How can Robert Huebner's style of play best be described? Mihail Marin has analysed many of Huebner's games from the Interzonals and sheds light on various elements of his playing style. The Romanian GM himself is surprised by the results of his analysis!

The Classic

Dorian Rogozenco presents the game between Botwinnik and the then World Champion Alekhine from the AVRO tournament in 1938. "An impressive game, in one direction from the start"!

Tactics: "Bishops unleashed!"

Train with Oliver Reeh's collection of 36 games, peppered with lots of training questions and three interactive videos! "My favourites" is best solved together with the International Master in the interactive format with video feedback!

Excelling in endgames: "Endgames by Dr. Robert Huebner" and much more.

Endgame expert Karsten Müller contributes three different articles to this issue. In addition to a selection of Robert Huebner's best endgames (incl. video), the GM from Hamburg presents highlights from the Hou Yifan Challenge 2021 and also deals in detail with letters to the editor.

ChessBase Magazine #205

Order now at the ChessBase Shop ! Available as a download or on DVD.

 

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