The second zwischenzug

by Karsten Müller
1/20/2015 – Every week ChessBase magazine author and renowned endgame expert Karsten Müller presents a remarkable or particularly instructive endgame in his blog. A click on the diagram opens a larger board. Test your endgame skills, improve and have fun.

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The second zwischenzug


 

Black to play. What would be your choice? (W: Kh7, Ra6, Pg7; B: Kf5, Rg2, Ph4)

 

 

Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by internationally renowned endgame expert Dr Karsten Müller in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, tactics, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

Click to go to the ChessBase Magazine page

Apart from his regular columns and video lectures in ChessBase Magazine there is a whole series of training DVDs by Karsten Müller, which are bestsellers in the ChessBase Shop.

 

ChessBase Magazine #163

 

Free Opening Article for Download!

Evgeny Postny: "Black has the choice" (Anti-Grünfeld with 5.Ld2 and 8.Qd2)

"The side variation 5.Bd2 has been enjoying a certain popularity among strong players, there is a whole series of 2700s who in recent years have tested out this setup with White. White would like to recapture on c3 with the bishop and then the fashionable move is 8.Qd2 (instead of 8.Nf3) and that is the subject of Evgeny Postny's article."

That is how Rainer Knaak describes the situation in the booklet of CBM 163. The article was written before the World Championship in Sochi. And what happened? In the very first Vishy Anand attacked World Champion Magnus Carlsen with this variation!

Postny presents two candidates - 8...c5 and 8...Nc6 (Carlsen's choice), explains the strategic ideas behind these moves, and concludes that both offer Black good chances to equalize.

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Introduction by Karsten Müller

 

All Opening Articles in ChessBase Magazine #163

 

Opening surveys


Illingworth: Reti Opening A11

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 d5 4.Nf3 g6 5.b3 Bg7 6.Bb2 0-0 7.0-0

This flexible setup allows one to decide at a later point whether to follow it up with d3 or with d4. Max Illingworth has studded his article with numerous rules of thumb so that it is to a great extent possible to avoid having to learn long theoretical variations.

 

Kuzmin: Benkö Gambit A58

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.e4 0-0 8.Nf3 Qa5


As Alexey Kuzmin explains, what we have here is a totally new approach to playing the Volga. Black does not want to take on a6 quickly in order to prevent White from castling with Ba6xf1. Instead of that he is even prepared to rapidly exchange his queen.

Stohl: Benoni A60

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 4.d5 cxd5 5.exd5 b5


The Fianchetto Variation may not be reckoned the strongest way to fight the Modern Benoni, but nevertheless White does have chances of getting an advantage. So, with 5...b5!? Black is trying to go his own way at an early point; Igor Stohl investigates how dangerous that is for him.

 

Karolyi: Dutch Defence A83

1.d4 f5 2.e4 fxe4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nc6 5.d5 Ne5 6.Qd4 Nf7 7.h4


Till now in this variation of the Staunton Gambit 7.Bxf6 was played – however it led to good results for Black. But as Tibor Karolyi demonstrates in his article, after 7.h4! Black has to face much greater problems. That represents a considerable upward revaluation of the move 2.e4.

 

Havasi: Modern Defence B06

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3 b5 6. Bd3 Bb7 7.Be3

At first White develops naturally with Bd3 and Be3. But as Gergö Havasi demonstrates in his analyses, you would require good knowledge of the theory specific to this variation in order to really get an advantage in the long run.

 

Krasenkow: Sicilian B22

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 e6

At the level of club players, the Alapin Variation 2.c3 is very popular. So Michal Krasenkow makes you acquainted with his own repertoire against it. Early on 4...e6 is a subtle move, since White can hardly reply 5.dxc5 (5...Qxd1+).

 

Sumets: French C11

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c6 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 Qb6 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 b6

After the strongest continuation 10.Bd2 c4 11.b4 there are two quite distinct lines: 11...Qa6 and 11...Nxb4. Andrey Sumets’ investigations prove that the knight sacrifice has a greater tendency to give Black satisfactory play.

 

Antic: French C12

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bh4 g5 7.Bg3 Ne4 8.Nge2

6.Bh4 provokes 6...g5, and White hopes to be able to go on and exploit the weakness. Dejan Antic deals with 8...h5 and 8...f5, before turning to the main move 8...c5. It appears that White cannot lay claim to any objective advantage.

 

Müller: King's Gambit C37
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.
Nc3

From the position in the diagram Black has several moves: 4...g4?!, 4...Bg7, the subtle 4...d6 and 4...Nc6, which leads to a position which is frequently arrived at via a transposition of moves. Karsten Müller introduces you to the subtleties and goes far beyond present theory.

 

Gormally: Queen's Gambit Accepted D24

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.e4 b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 e6 8.axb5

This is one of the sharpest variations of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. By playing 7...e6 Black returns the pawn immediately. Daniel Gormally acquaints you with both continuations: 8...Bb4 and Miles’ 8...Nb6.

 

Postny: Grünfeld Defence D85

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Bd2 Bg7 6.e4 Nxc3 7.Bxc3 0-0 8.Qd2

Nowadays 5.Bd2 is no longer a surprise way to meet the Grünfeld Defence. Evgeny Postny has worked intensively on the position in the diagram and come to the conclusion that there are several continuations for Black which give him a level game.

 

Marin: Nimzoindian E41

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6 8.0-0 e5 9.d5 Ne7

The so-called Hübner Variation (Mihail Marin mentions earlier games by Portisch in the 1950s) is not an easy one to defuse. Our Romanian author tries to do so with 10.Nd2 and in his extensive article he is able to show a slight plus for White.

 

Szabo: King's Indian E98

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Ne8 10.Be3 f5 11.f3 f4 12.Bf2 h5 13.c5 g5

Krisztian Szabo is a specialist in this sharp variation, which can be characterised in brief as follows: White is better, but Black wins. So the risk factor is extremely high for both sides.

 

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Karsten Müller, born 1970, has a world-wide reputation as one of the greatest endgame experts. He has, together with Frank Lamprecht, written a book on the subject: “Fundamental Chess Endgames” in addition to other contributions such as his column on the website ChessCafe as well as in ChessBase Magazine. Müller's ChessBase-DVDs about endgames in Fritztrainer-Format are bestsellers. The PhD in mathematics lives in Hamburg, where he has also been hunting down points for the HSK in the Bundesliga for many years.
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