1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.d4
One of the most popular symmetrical systems in the English Opening. It can be reached after another order of moves - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 - if White does not want to start a discussion on the Modern Benoni (3.d5). Therefore in theory this system is sometimes called "Anti-Benoni".
4...cxd4 5.Nxd4 e6 6.g3 Qb6
A more popular move than the immediate
; and 6...a6
are seen only rarely.
In this position there are three paths for White: the not too promising retreat of the knight ;
the modest but venomous reply 7.Nb3, to which this and the following game are
devoted, and the active thrust 7.Ndb5 which is discussed in the game placed
immediately after these two.
7...Ne5 is recognised as more reliable and is examined in the next game. Also played are;
However, for a long time, at least in those years, the counterattack in the
centre was considered the most effective way. Black sacrifices a pawn, but
taking it means handing over a serious initiative to the opponent.
8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Nxd5
Now arises a typical position with an isolated pawn. Black's pieces have a fair amount of freedom, and I had to grow quite a bit older before exploiting the pluses of my position. In the encounter G. Kasparov - A. Karpov (Moscow 1984, World Championship Match, 24th Game) there followed
a variation for those who do not like to fight against an isolated pawn. I preferred 10...Be7
( Now in reply to to 10...e5
White could centralise his knight 11.Nd2
1/2-1/2 Tal,M -Ivanovic,B /Niksic 1983. True, he has wasted too much time and the chances of the sides here are approximately equal.
) and after 11.0-0
( In any case in the next four games of the same match, in the 26th, I decided in favour of
(instead of 11....0-0). Play continued 12.Be3
White has a minimal advantage, but Kasparov decided to take the pawn, and after 20.Bxa7
again followed an agreed draw - there are opposite coloured bishops, and the pawn has no significance.) 12.Be3
( For those who like thrills we can recommend the queen sacrifice
White retains the initiative with a material balance.( Adorjan,A -Zysk,R Dortmund 1984)) 14...Bd7
we agreed a draw. However 17.Rab1 creates some pressure on the queenside.
In our first match Kasparov no longer returned to the English Opening. Thus it was possible to draw the conclusion that the move 9.Bg2 was "neutralised" and the exchange 9.Nxd5 is White, only chance of fighting for the initiative.
Too dangerous is 10.Qxd5
For that time - a new move. Previously
followed automatically here. However, the premature exchange of dark-squared bishops, with an "isolani" favours White. After 11.Bd2
( the move 11...a5
only increases Black's woes: to the weak pawn is added a second weakness - a5)) 12.0-0
White threatens a doubling of rooks on the d-file followed by an exchange of queens.
In the game K. Spraggett - M. Chandler (Commonwealth Championship 1985) play continued
( Also quite good is 18.Rc1!
not driving the bishop to f5, for example 18...Ne5?
followed by Rc7) 20.Rxd8
and there is insufficient compensation for the pawn. (Smejkal,J -Cebalo,M Yugoslavia 1986)) 18...Bf5
White has a noticeable advantage, while the exchanging operation 21...Bxg2
will not rid Black of his difficulties.
Again it is too dangerous to capture on d5: 11.Bxd5?
By provoking f7-f6, White obtains the better chances. However, he still needs to find the right deployment of his pieces.
suggests itself, but after 13...d4
Black has the upper hand.
Possible, however, is; 13.Bf4
and if now 15...g5?
with advantage to White.
Follows the simple
capturing the c5 square. In the event of;
already strong is 14.Be3!?
( on 16...Bh3
possible is 17.Qa4!?
distinct from variations pointed out in the previous annotation, no good is; 16...c5?
with an obvious advantage for White) 17.Nxe6
is insufficient for equality 15.Bxc6+
15.Nd4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Bc5 17.Qd2 Qd6 18.b4 Bb6 19.Bd4 Bf5 20.Rac1 Be4 21.Bh3 Rfe8 22.Rfd1 Re7 23.a3 Kf8 24.Qb2 Rc7 25.Rxc7 Qxc7 26.Rd2 Rd6 27.Bg2 Re6 28.e3 Ke7 29.h4 a6?!
Despite the series of exchanges, the isolated pawn still paralyses Black's activity. However, now he misses the possibility of achieving virtually full equality: 29...Bxg2
( not at all dangerous for Black is 31.Bxb6
30.Bxb6 Qxb6 31.Rd1 Qc7 32.Qd4 Qc4 33.Qa7 Qc7 34.Rd4 Kf7?
Correct was 34...Bxg2
with a probable draw. However, Korchnoi could not stand the tension and in the end his "isolani"
Of course, no better is 35...Bxd5
36.Kxg2 Qc6 37.Qc5
Transferring to a winning rook endgame. Of course, no good is 37.e4?!
with a draw.
The rest is clear. White has an extra pawn which he easily realises.
38...Re7 39.Kf3 Ke6 40.Ke4 Kd6+ 41.Kd4 Kd7 42.g4 Re8 43.e4 b6 44.Rd5+ Ke7 45.e5 Rf8 46.Rd6 b5 47.Rxa6 fxe5+ 48.Kxe5 Rxf2 49.Ra7+ Kf8 50.h5 Rf3 51.Kd4 Rf4+ 52.Kc5 Rxg4 53.Kxb5 Rg5+ 54.Kc6 Rxh5 55.b5 Rh6+ 56.Kc7 Rh3 57.b6 Ke7 58.b7 Rc3+ 59.Kb6 Rb3+ 60.Kc6