Alburt, lev & dzindzichashvili & perelshteyn chess openings for black, explained (2005)
A Complete Repertoire "A musi for every chess ptayer," -Anatoly Karpov,
"Chess Openings, Expiained is rich in ideas, practical andto the point. A must for every chess player." -Anatoly Karpov 1ZthWortd Champion Chess Openings for Black, A Comalete Reaertoire by Lev Aiburt, Roman Dzindzichashvili, and Eugene Perelshteyn with AI Lawrence
Publishred b ~ :Chess Inforrnatian and Research CenterPO. Box 534, Cracie Station, New York, New York 10028Telephone: 212.794.8706!or otdt?rtIIgI~f~rfinairiDin, see page 552. pleasegliseiribution m otte Ibook traae by:W.W. Norton, 500 Fifth Avenue, New York, New YorkSaaftEditing & Design OutExcel! Corporation Al Lawrence, President Email: OutExcel@aol.comCreutive Director Jami L. Anson, Jadesign Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgEditorial Consultants Gary Colvin Peter Kurzdorfer Daphne LawrenceTechnical Assisiant Igor YagolnitserCover Design Jarni L. Anson, JadesignIllustrations Kathleen Merz, JadesignPhoto Credits Jami L. Anson Nigel Eddis Brian Killigrew U.S. Chess FederationQ Copyright 2005 by Lev Alburt, Roman Dzindzichashviii,and Eugene Perelshteyn. AI1 rights reserved. 1 1-883323-2-8Library01 Gongress Catalog Gard Nuniber: 2005902460Printed in the United States of America.
Note to the ReaderY ou should be able to read a chess book without squinting, without forever flipping pages back and forth to find the relevant diagram, and without trying to keep a 12-move variation in your head.With the publication of Just the Facts! in 2000, we began an award-win-ning book design that makes it fun for you to get the most out of theunique chess instniction we feel we offer. Chess Openings for Bdack,Eqlained continues to employ our well-received approach. First of all,there are a wealth of diagrams, the video-playbacks of chess. hdeed,there are more than 1,400 of them, to allow you to keep track of the posi-tions, even without a board and set. Second, we use color to emphasizeimportant points and to give your eyes some varie@ Third, wheneverpossible, we make sure that the diagrams on a page-spread relate to themoves on that spread, elirninating the need for back-and-forìh page--ing.Additionally, we employ proven instnictional techniques--sueh as fore-casting important ideas in a chapter and ending each chapter wjth brief"puzzles" to mark those ideas in your rnemory. In fact, in producingChess Openingsfor Black, Explained, we used many techniques to makefollowing along and leaming easier and more fun.Look for blue diagrams and blue boxes that call your attention to themost important positions and most interesting ideas. This highlightedinformation will be especially worth revisiting and, sometimes, evencommitting to memory.The most important, or "main"lines are clearly set off in bold type.Diagrams related to main lines are larger than analysis and side-line dia-grams, which are clearly Iabeled "AMLYS~S."Chess Openingsfor Black, Explained uses the now universal algebraicsystem of chess notation. For more on notation, see page 6. Our thanh to the US.Chess Fedemtion for the use of thephotos throughout this book. The U.S. Chess Federation is the membership organizationfor chess players of al1 levels,@m beginner to grandmastet: For information on USCF membership, please go to m..uschess.org. Thanks also to the World Chess Hall of Fame. For information OPIHall membership, glease go to wwnr worldchesshalIoffame.org.
4 Chess Openingc for Black, ExplainedTable of ContentsChess Openings for Black, ExplainedA Complete RepertoirePart I: In troductioiz Chapter l . The Authors and thc Book Chapter 2. How to Use This Book ~ 1 ,Chapter 3: How to Study OpeningsPart II: Defending against I. e4 21 t: Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole fIistory of 1. e4 22 The Accelemted (aitd Hyper-Accelerated) Dragon 56 Chapter 5 : Introduction and Main Line 56 Chapter 6: Seventh-move Sidelines 86 , Chapter 7: Sixth-move Sidelines 96 Chapter 8. Defendirig Against 4. Qxd4 110 Chapter 9: . Third-move Sidelines 124 The Maroczy Bind Chapter 10: Introduction and 7. Be3 Chapter 11: 7. Be2 with Be3 and Qd2 Chapter 12: 7. Be2 with Bg5 and Qd2 Chapter 13: 7. Be2 with 0-0 and Qd3 (or Qe3) - Chapter 14: 7. B Chapter 15: 7. Nc2 The Anti-Sìcilians J 92 Chapter 16: The Closed Sicilian 192 Chapter 17: Grand Pris Attack 204 *- Chapter i 8: The AIapin Variation and Smith-Morra Gambit 218 Chapter 19: Wing Gambit and 2. b3 230 1: agairzst I . d4Part 1 1 Defe~zding 239 . Chapter 20: The Developnient of rhc Closed Opcnings 240 Nhtzo-irt dìan Defense Chaptcr 7 I - Introduction and 1 a3 . Chapter 32 4. Qc2
Table of Contents 5 Chapter 23: 4. e3 and 5. Bd3 282 4+ Chapter 24: 4. e3 and 5. Ne2 298 + Chapter 25: 4. f3 306 Chapter 26: 4. g3 3 12 9 Chapter 27: 4. Bg5, the Leningrad System 320 + Chapter 28: 4. Qb3 330 O Chapter 29: 4. Bd2 334 Bogo-Indìarz 338 9 Chapter 30: Introduction and 4. Bd2 with 6. Bg2 338 9 Chapter 3 1: with 4. Bd2 and 6. Nc3 354 Q Chapter 32: with 4. Nbdi 364 I . d4 n)itlzoutan early c4 3 70 4,Chapter 33: Torre Attack, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bg5 370 9 Chapter 34: London System, 1. d4 Nf6 2. N B e6 3. Bf4 380 9 Chapter 35: Fianchetto, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 386 Chapter 36: Colle System, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 394 9 Chapter 37: Veresov Opening, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bg5 402 O Chapter 38: The Trompowsky, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 410 O Chapter 39: Blackmar-Dieiner Gambit, 1. d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3. e4 422Part I E Defending against I. c4 and other first moves 429 O Chapter 40: English, Part I-Introduction and Symmetrical English 430 + Chapter 41: English, Part 11-White Plays e3 and d4 438 + Chapter 42: English, Part 111-White Refrains from d4 448 9 Chapter 43: Birds Opening, 1. f4 466 O Chapter 44: Sokolsky, 1. b4 474 + Chapter 45: The Rest-Knights-First and the Fianchettoes 480Part E Illustrative Games 489 9 Chapter 46: Illustrative Garnes-Ideas into Action 490Conclusion 538Table of Maiiz Liizes 539
6 Chess Openings for Biack, Explained hess players around the world use "notation," a universal sys-C tem for reading and writing chess. Tts easy to l e m , and once you know it, youll be able to decipher quickly any book ornewspaper article on chess. The vertical columns of squares that run up and down theboard are called fifes and are lettered. The horizontaf. rows ofsquares that run sideways are called ranks and are numbered. Theintersection of a file and rank gives a square its n m e . Lets lookat a board that gives the "address" of every square: To make writing and reading fast, each piece is assigned a sin-gle letter. In English, we use these: King = K Knight = N Queen = Q Rook- R Bishop = B Pawn = the file its on So, the move "Qe5" rneans that the queen moves to the e5-square. Captures are marked with an "x," as in "axb5," whichmeans that a pawn on a4 captures a pawn or a piece on b5. Another special convention: Although the word "exchange"means to trade, "Exchange" (with a capita1 " E ) means the tradeof knight or bishop for a rook. A player who rnanages this &ade"wins the Exchange."
8 Chess Openings for Biack, Explained Chapter I The Authors & the BookT his book provides you with a complete repertoire for Black, no matter what rea-sonable first move White makes.Two of your t k e e authors areinteinational grandmasters andrepeat winners of the U.S.Championship. The third andyoungest of the three of us,Eugene Perelshteyn, is already anIM and, as I mite, is playing inthe 2005 MonRoi Internationalin Montreal. This volume con-tains every secret the authors Eugeoe Perelshteynhave compiled over decades ofresearch in the recornmended you should first understand whatopenings. No theoretical novelty the book is designed to do. Part I(TN) will be withheld from you. of our five-part volume makes Such information is normally this point clear.revealed only to world champi- It helps if you understandonship contenders, who hire top who the authors are and whattheoreticians, like Roman Dzin- they bring to you thats unique.dzichashvili, for that purpose. Im a three-time U.S. ChampionBut shared TNs are only one of turned chess instructor. Mythis books unusual offerings. books, including the Compre- To derive the most benefit, hensive Chess Course: frorn
Chapter 1 : The Authors 8 t h e Book Y games to go in a match played in Anands home turf, India, for the right to play the world champion. Rornan is extremeIy gener- ous in sharing his ideas. Perhaps thats because he knows he can always create new, equally important ones! In the 1984 U.S. Championship, Roman gave me a t001 to handle the "Anti-Benko" move order: l . d4 Nf6 2. Nf3. He suggested 2. ... e6 3. c4 a6!?. This paradoxicaI rnove (later christened the "Dzindzi-Indian") remains unrefuted, and can be very useful in the hands of devot-beginner to master, which I co- ed Benkomenoni players. It tookauthored and published, are me less than an hour to grasp theamong the best received chess ideas behind this amazing sys-instruction in the U.S. tem-and 90% of the credit goes CM Roman Dzindzi- to Romans innate abiIity to sin-chashvili ("Dzindzi" to his many gle out and emphasize essentials,fans) has been one of the prime and to convey his knowledge ofmovers and creators of modern rnoves and ideas in a logical,opening theory for the past 40 easy-to-Iearn, easy-to-rememberyears. His advice and help has and practical way.been sought, with rewarding Every chess player shouldresults, by such greats as Boris know how good it feels to go intoSpassky, Vktor Korchnoi, a game conlpletely confident inAnatoly Karpov and Gata his opening repertoire, and itsKamsky. even better when you have an In fact, Romans revolution- important novelty or ONO up yourary reassessment of the rnain line sleeve. Not surprisingly, X playedof the Scandinavian Opening very weil in this tournament. Andallowed American Gata Kmsky with 3. ... a6 (first looked uponto win a game (with Black) and as compietely ridiculous), Ithen the match against world scored Z1/2 out of 3 versus Jimcharnpionship contender Vishy Tarjan, Lany Christiansen andAnand. At that ttme, Cata was Yasser Seirawan-a11 top GMs.losing by two points with two Such a result (with Black!)
for Black, Explainedcouldnt help but catapult me into GM opponents.clear first place-my first U.S.Championship crown. Puttlrig It ali togmther Just the Facts!, the seventh Importantly, the Dzindzi- and final book in the Comprehen-Indian wasnt a surprise novelty sive Chess Course, is one of thefor one game (or one tournament) fastest-selling endgame books ofonly. A year later, in another U.S. ali time. It was selected by theChampionship, Christiansen tried Chess Journalists of America asto smash my position with a the best book of 2000-2001.homemade, aggressive line. ButDzindzis and my analyses held. I Comprehensive Chess Coursegot an equal position (but one Executive Editor Al Lawrencethat was very sharp, and very built special features into thatfamiliar to me), eventually win- series-and now into this book.ning. Many opponents soon gave These features make these booksup trying to dea1 with Dzindzis especially easy to learn from. Alimovation and switched to other is a former teacher with advancedopenings! degrees in curriculum and instruction. Additionally, Al is a Romans teaching talents former Executive Director of thearent limited to GM chess-as U.S. Chess Federation and cur-the enonnous popularity of his rently the volunteer Executive"Romans Fonuns" and "Labs" Director of the World Chess Hallvideos attests. Dzindzis TNs, of Fame in Miami. (In his "real"ideas and, crucialfy, the convinc- job, hes in charge of devetopinging way he presents them, shouldhelp readers of this book feel asconfident as I did during the 1984 U.S. Championship. As aresult, youll win many importantgames-whether youre playing afriend at home or competing inthe U.S.Masters! Youll find in this book manygames played by Romans studentand our co-author, EugenePerelshteyn. He helped Rommwith opening research, checkedtheir co-discoveries with comput-er programs and tested some ofthem, with success, against top
Chapter 1 : The Autl?ors & the Book Ilnew products for Excalibur ers self-reliant;Electronics, Inc.). To reveal al1 the theoretical Al is the author of 12 books secrets, oRen five to 10 yearsand scores of articles of his own before they get Into the openingon a variety of subjects. He reference books;writes on chess with great style To do al1 this with respectand unique perspective. h fact, for the other demands on &ehe was voted 2000-2001 Chess readers time.Journalist of the Yem. HOW we seiected iiThe new serles: mese oaieniingsADbrrrt"sChess The criteria we used to selectOmenllngis an opening for the repertoire are: ARer Nikolay Krogius and Icornpleted the endgame book It7scompletely sowd, evenJust the Facts!, only one part of up to the super-GM level;the gme, the operhg, remained It rewards ideas rather thanto be explained. (It wasnt w i t h rote memorkation-thus its the-the scope of the Course to tackle ory can be reduced to a relativelyopening theory i detail.) n smali and completely understand- Many of you are already able portion;familiar with Pirc Alert!: A We gave preference toComplete Defense against 1. e4, openings rich in our TNs!which I co-authored with thePircys nnumber one practitioner, Who shouid readGM Alex Chernin. In Chess tnis book3?iOpenings for Bkack, Expfained Players of al1 strengths, fromand its White companion volume, beginners to super-GMs, willRoman, Eugene and T provide profit from this book. Here areyou with a soli4 effective and some who will benefit most:interconnected repertoire for both * Anyone who already playsWhite and Black-plus reviews some of the recomended open-of al1 other openings from both ings-for you this book will besides points of view. like having the persona1 openìng Following in the tradition of notebook you a1ways wmted;Pirc Alert!, our goal was: Anyone who has to play To convey the overall against these lines;understanding of openings in Anyone who wants to devel-such a way that it makes its read- op a cornprehensive, coherent
12 Chess Openings far Black, Expiained cussing various replies to it, and then concentrating on our chosen line, the Hyper-Accelerated Dragon. Rornan and Eugene have contributed greatly to the theory J of this opening. Much of their C analysis has never been pub- lished previously, nor even played. We also provide you with reliable, yet in some cases little- known, systems to counter more and more frequent Anti-Sicilians. 1 Part 111 provides readers with Lev Alburt a "five-star" defense against l. d4. We offer tbe venerableand completely rnodern, compet- Nimzo-Bogo compfex, the mostitive reperioire for BIack, with- popular choice among theout gaps in his understanding; worlds elite for more than half a Anyone who wants to century. 8ut even there youlIacquire back-up openings to find numerous new and boldunderstand on a very high level; ideas! Any player who wants to Part 1V deals with I. c4 andknow what it means to master the rest of mites first rnoves.openings Iike top professionals Again, we review al1 of Blacksdo. main options. Our recomrnenda- tion: I . ... c5, foilowed by theStructure and kings bishop fianchetto. Thiseontent line shows how inter-connection In Chess Upenings for Black, works-positions we seek are theExplained,we provide you with a same Maroczy-Binds weve stud-complete repertoire for Black. ied in depth in Part 11.The companion volume does the Part V consists of carefullysame thing for White-based on chosen and instructively annotat-1. e4. ed sample games. Part 11 of this book deals Your repertoire will indeedwith defending against 1.124, dis- be coherent-and complete!
Chapter l : The Authors & the Book 13 Some Chess Symbols n chess literature, the assessment of an entire position is frequent- I ly expressed with one of a number of symbols. &re are the most common: +- White has a decisive advantage. +: White has a clear advantage. & White has a slight advantage. = The chances are equal. 3 Black has a siight advantage. T Black has a clear advantage. -+ Black has a decisive advantage. Individua1 moves of a game can also be assessed with spbols: !! A very good move ! Agoodmove ? A weak move ?? A blunder !? An interesting or provocative move, often involving some risk ?! A dubious moveFor DVDs on playirtg better chess, go i chessondvd.com. o
74 Chess Openings for Black, Expiained Making the most of your timeY ou can count on this book as you are preparing for a touma- your prirnary souce of chess rnent or a specid game.) Or if opening knowledge for a you7re researching Erom Whitesvery long time. It will guide you point of view, you may want to gothrough the moves, ideas and sur- to a chapter on a specific varia-prises of a recommended network tion. Taking the materia1 out ofof related openings-defenses order shouldnt make any differ-that have never been refbted and ente in the benefits you derive, asthat offer you a rich source of cre- long as you ultimate& read theative resources. whole book, and as long as you Besides making the book rich do read each chapter itself inin chess knowledge, including sequence. The reasons willpreviously secret theoretical nov- becorne clear as you take a lookelties, we wanted to make it easy at the special features we7vebuiltto learn Erom-and to help you in to help you learn and remem-remember and apply what you ber.learned. Saecllal features Youll learn and understand arrd how to use themthe typical positions, the key On the left-hand pageideas, and the relative value of before each chapter, youll findthe pieces in each line. "Some Important Points to Look You can read and study this For." The page contains a verybook sequentially, as it is laid out. short preview of the chapter toOr you can take the chapters out put the upcorning information inof order, studying first a variation context. Then youll see a seriesthat you have reason to be inter- of briefly explained diagrams,ested in immediately. (Perhaps touchstones for the most impor-
Chapter 2: How to Uso This Book 15tant ideas youre about to study. often making it possible to studyPreviewing the most important without a board.ideas will prepare you to better Main lines are given in boldunderstand thern when you meet and clearly separated fiom andysis.them in the context of the chap-ter-and will increase your abili- Its easy to identiQ main-V to remember them. line positions. Main-line dia-Additionally, there wilI be an grams are large throughout. Aflindex of the chapters main lines. other positions, whether pure * Throughout the book, the analysis or side-gmes, are srnall-most important positions are er and labeled c c ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~highiighted in blue. This forrnat Every chapter offers a briefnot ody caHs your special atten- s m a r y of its main ideas.tion to them, but makes the Carefully reading the summaryprocess of reviaving what youve aRer studying a chapter will helplearned much quicker and more you remember the key points.effettive. Every chapter is followed * The most important ideas by "Memory Markers," centrallyand guiding prhciples are set in important positions that chal-Sarge type within boxes, what art lenge you to lock in the conceptsdkectors refer to as "call-outs," youve learned and encouragealso highlighted in blrie, with thesame efEect. you to use these ideas in new positions, as youll want to do in hportantly, moves and the your own games.diagram they relate to are nearlyalways placed on the same page- We want this book to be yourspread! Although a painstaking complete reference for yourprocess for the page designer, this entire playing career. We intendlayout p ~ c i p l e keeps you h m to update the book whenever nec-having to flip back and forth fkom essary.mwes tu diagrams. We want to help to make your There are many diagrams opening studies as simple and asand they are in the right places, well organized as possible!
16 Chess Openings for Btack, Explained opening are really a bit of aY ou7ve decided to choose a serious opening repertoire. romance. Even a tyro in such a Your idea is first to find a relationship can rise on occasionpromising game-starting scheme, to the role of super-hero to rescueto l e m it, and to stick with it. So his rnaiden in distress.you hit the reference books. We al1 know club players who will take on a11 opponentsPemosianSs and al1 debaters on the topic ofcornplalnt their favorite starting rnoves, After hours or even days, HOW these lucky-in-love piay- dowhats your finding? See if this ers find their beloved begin-sounds familiar: "When X study nings? Most often, it takes ptaceWhite, its always equal. When l[ as it did with Al. He happeaed tostudy Black, its always worse!" see an old game with the CenterJust so you understand that we al1 Counter Defense. For no com-hit this wail, regardless of rating, pletely Iogicaf reason, the moon-the complaint is in this instance light struck the board. Al wasvoiced by none other than world smitten. The fact that the firstchampion Tigran Petrosian. dates--early victories-were fun clinehed the relationship.Oaianlng romance Even on a very top leve1 of Ils a lucky player who fulds play, these same "romtic" fac-an opening system he loves to tors can play a part. I becamerely on, loves to protect &om known for my reliance on Ale-those who would inflict harm on khines Defense. Despite the pre-it with their new, villaìnous ideas. vailulg opinion that after 1. e4, A player and his favorite the move 1. ... Nf6 is not quite
Chapter 3: How to Study Openings 17correct, I played "my" Alekhine although demanding a significantconsistently at the highest levels, advantage is usuaily iinrealistic.with rewardhg results. C. With Black, we want an Its worth noting that both Al equal position, or if it is slightlyand I elected to take lesser ana- worse for us, we at least want alyzed openings that offered a position we know how to hold.shortcut-sidestepping much of For example, a player who emu-the normal preparation. lates attacking genius M i a i l Tal may be happy with a materia1 deficit in exchange for anSwitehing sundtome attack-even if, theoretically, it Many amateurs spend too doesnt fùlly compensate him.much time trying to memotizevarious opening moves. (Thatsai4 none of us wants to reach Opeslngs afernove 12 with such a steeply up- schEromhmnlchill battle that al1 the strategy and Dont waste your time withtactics in our head wont get us to the fantasy of the "tailor-made"the top.) Getting caught up in the repertoire vi- sometimes hearswitching syndrome-jumping about that will bring out yourfrom opening to openhg, memo- b e r , winning you with just therizing and getting discouraged, right openings. Certainly, anand never making much use of al1 experienced chess teacher can help you to improve much fasterthe time youve invested-is as and absorb important principlesimpractical as it gets. more thoroughly than you could Lets take a look at the basic on your m However, in any .points to consider when choosing major opening, you cant play in aan opening repertoire. way that will guide you only to tactical terrain while preventingSet reasonaàle goais positional games, or vice versa. Baning blunders from ow Try staying in a "solid" Caro-opponents, what should we ex- Kann against someone whopect from a satisfactory opening? wants to pry the g m e open for an attack. Even Mkhail Botvinnik A. Regardless of its theoreti- couldnt do it in 1960 against Tal.cal assessment, we want a posi- Or try playing the Sicilia for ation we know how to play. sharp, aitacking game against an I. With White, we want a 3 expert in Whites c3 system, andposition that is at least equal; we youll likely find yourself in aprefer to retain some advantage, positional shuggle. Some varia-
78 Chess Openings for Black, Explainedtions of the French are passive, Petrosian: "Why did youwhile some are dowmight coun- play such terrible moves? Eventerattacks. Some foms of the you should understand these areRuy Lopez are positional; some bad."are wild and hoary. Some Giuoco Gregorian: ""Iad to win toPianos are hardly pianissirno. quali@.Your opponent can play theQueens Gambit like the draw- Pemsian: Wake a note. Itsprone Carl Schlechter or like the much easier to play for a wincheckmate-obsessed Fra& Mar- from an equd position than frornshall. a bad position!" Openings are schizophrenic.Whatever opening you play, you Spend only 25% ofrisk getting a position that doesnt your chess tlmematch your own attitudes about studylng theaggression or passivity. Still, in openingssome extreme cases, consider the Opening study just doesntplusses and minuses of your play, deserve to be so all-consuming,indeed of your style. If you are a especially for nonprofessionals,pawn-toving Korchnoi fan, dont for two basic reasons:Play the ~ e n k Gambit! o 1. There are lots of other areas to study in chess that will make a more drarnatic differentePeuosPans Rule in your resuits-just one com- Sometimes winning is the pelling example is the study ofonly acceptable outcome. In such tactics.a situation, should you adopt ax d d opening, swinging for the 2. There have been rnanybleachers fiom the first move? grandmasters who became prominent, even world-class m e great Petrosian ofien players, using an opening systemcounseled the young and talented rouniUy condernned as at leastRussian-Amenian master Karen slightly inferior.Gregorian. Once Gregorianretumed from an important qual- As a nrle of thumb, youi w g tournament and showed should spend about 25% of yourPetrosian a last-round garne in chess study time on the openings.which the young man had playedsome dubious opening moves as Shouild you learn aBlack and lost. Petrosian cross- second openlna?examined him: You dont really have to leam
Chapter 3:How to Study Openings 19a second opening to surprise your that an opening is evaluated byopponents. There are enough the results of a few key games,choices within most openings to and these games were won by theailow opportunities to catch your stronger player.opponent off guard. Nowadays, Long ago as a young expert, Ieven most top players unabashed- took up a certain system in thely specialize in a f m openings- Sicilian. I stuck with the variationnormally just enough to cover the as I rose through the ranks. As aopponents possibilities. A fa^, master, I contributed to the sys-like Kasparov, seem eneyclopedic tems theory, drawulg and evenin their opening choices, but aRer defeating fmous grmdmasters.all, they have tearns of re- So I kept playing it. Later, mysearchers and theoreticians. own analysis unearthed one h e Actually, the best thing about that I worried about-a series ofknowing a second opening is not moves that feft Plhite with anthat you can use it as a surprise edge fiom the opening. But noweapon, but that you team the one played it against me, orideas and themes of diEerent agahst anyone else.types of positions. But once Then in 1971, in the semifi-again, frorn the point of view of nals for the Soviet championship,rea1 people with jobs to do arid I played Black against a 20-year-lawns to cut, a second opening old grandmaster named Anatolycoverhg the same ground may Karpov, then already coached bysteal t h e from other important renowned opening-theoreticianareas of your chess development. Semyon Furman. Grpov opened with 1. e4, and I was soon in theH iiP me world mt n t f d i a r territory of rny trustychama gets an edae Sicilian. And then suddenly I wasagalnst wour in the line I had hoped I woddfavorite 1 n 3e never see in a tournament game! Vilè can hold our favorite Karpov had played the bestopenings to too high a standard, moves for White and gotten aor even blme them for defeats small edge. I defended well, butthat take place long afier the the game was adjourned withopening phase. Ridiculous as it Karpov retaining this edge.sounds, we often wind up reject- Another six-hour session saw theing a possibility because it ends game adjourned a second time, inin a loss against a top GM or even a lost position for me. I was dis-a world champion. This is a gusted, feeling that everyonecoroflary to the cynical outlook would now play the same line
20 Chess Openings for Biack, EXpfainedagainst me! So I gave it up. Sometimes what you find I know now that my aban- may be a tactical trick. Perhapsdoning the system altogether was with best play your find petersa very premature reaction. After out to equality (or for Black, aall, Karpov went on to dominate slightly worse position) faster than the main line. But an oppo-top-leve1 chess unti1 Kasparov nent seeing it for the fkst timearrived on the scene. The line w i U likely sfip into a bruta1 trap,Karpov played to get a small edge or he rnay panic in the face of thewould not be to everyones taste, unknown.nor within most GMs abilities tomaintain and convert to a win. The chances are extremelyTrue, I went on to a new, fnutfkl high that this book w i U give you"relationship" with Alekhines the best opening foundationDefense, but perhaps for the youve ever had. Youll under-wrong reasons. stand the ideas we present so well that youre likely to be surprised The next time you are tempt- at the innovations you come uped to switch your opening with on your own. And in thebecause the latest Informant process of trying to find bettergame shows how the world and more interesting moves, youchamp beat a tournmmt tail- will of course constantly increasegater in 40 moves-think it over. your understanding of your open-There isnt a line that wouldnt ings and of chess.look bad insuch a match-up. Andwhen you lose in the city champi- Let m e bookonship to a smartly played mating do tne restattack by the ultimate winner, Under different circum-dont msh to blame the opening. stances, Id have much more toThe reason for your loss may Iie say about how to study openings,elsewhere. how to look for TNs and for shortcuts, those effettive side-Horne anamis lines. I would explain the tech- Whatever your playing niques for cutting your job downstrength, nothing will in-iprove to size, how to gather and assessyour opening results more than material, how to organize andhome preparation-your own what to memorize. But the fact iswork in your own home over your that Complete Openings forown board. (For the serious who Btack, Explained does al1 of thishave the opportunity, persona1 for you.chess trainers can be a tremen- And Im sure youre eager todous advantage, of course.) get started!
22 Chess Openings for Black, ExplainedIn this chapter we review Blacks choices againstWhites most popular first move, 1. e4. Symmetry, but White 1s + Scandinavian: cutting on the move and attacking. the Gordian knot. See Diagram 2. See Diagram 32.a% French: preparing ... d5. %- Caro-Kann: preparing See Diagram 43. ... d5. See Diagram 44. -$- The assymetncalV Pirc: development first. challenge in the center. center later. See Diagram 54. See Diagram 60.
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 23 Chapter 4Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn Btacks Choices Against 1. e4 aking connections makes more encompassing motive for a us srnarter. In this chap- chess piayer to know a lot in gen- ter, youre about to con- eral, The now gratingiy unimagi-nect with severa1 centuries of native phrase (its become a cog-chess opening development. It s nitive oxymoron) "thinking outwhat we used to call "back- of the box" means to convey thatground infomation," Its tenibly creative solutions are found byunderrated by too many people- seeking breakthroughs not on thethose in a rush to learn only whatthey "need" to know. Thats an slide under our immediate,irony, because what some may microscopic concentration. Asee as unrelated knowledge is Renaissance man of both mathe-crucial to any creative process. matics and the libera1 arts wrote:The box below gives you five The creative mind isspecific reasons for knowing a mind that Zoob forsomething about everything in unexpected Zikeness.the openings. Noreover, theres a -Jacob Brono~*ski Fiue Reasons lo Know Sornething Rbout EverYthingin the Ghess 09eflings 1. You need fo huve some infonnation in arder to make meaningful choices. 2. Tmnspositions (shiftingfim one opening to another) tuke place frequently. 3. Ideas from one opening can be applied fo orher operrìngs. 4. Sornetimes you mach a position in un opening ~4th "colors twersed"-for example. when Whiteplays the Engìish (i. c4) and Black responds with i. ... e5, both players can find thernselves in a "Reversed Sicilian" 5. You can impmve your ovemllplay by pmcticing in diferent kinds of iniddlegamepositions resultingjn>mvarious openings.
24 Chess Openings for Black, Ekpiaimd To be creative, we need to be A human being should becapabf e of making surprising able ?o change a diapeccomections through a whole uni- plan an invusio~, Butcherverse of ideas. But weve lived a hog, con a sta@, design afor some time in an age of the buiiding, wrìte a sonnet,expert. In o m jobs and even in bafance accounts, bzliid aour hobbies, we specialize. As wali, set a bone, comfortchess players, we are "e4-play- the dyi~sg, take orders,en" or Ld4-players-yOr pexhaps give ordrrrs, cooperate, actyoure a Colle expert. Specializa- alone, solve equations,tion makes sense, of course. anabze a new pmblem,Done correctly, it can &e the pitch rnanure, pmgram amost of ow tirne, and it can computer, cook a basiyinstili us with cdxdence. meal, $&t effìcientIy, die galiantly, Specialization isIs ssecialization iust for insects. -fiober$A. Neinlein,for fnseetsl @m The Notebooks So having a wide general of Lazanis Longknowledge makes you a betterplayer, but specializing in chess Daunting expectations fromis a s h v d skiI1. Our maves on Heinlein, who learned to playthe chessboard permit us to chess at four, even before hedirect the stnrggle. The yin and could read! But we agree wlth histhe ymg of needing to know a lot general idea. A good chess play-while l e e n g to restrict the er should be able to conduct myrange of possibilities is not really phase of the game competently,a contradiction. P&ps an engi- wherever it takes him.neer-turned-sci-fi-icon said it Were not going to arguebest : against specialinng i certain n I . They are the most immediate& dangerous. 2. fiu lIface them mosf often. 3. You ll get practice making combinationr and defending against combinotzons, wwhich abound in the open games.
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 25ckess openings. In fact, this book What time does uouris alt about recommending cer- o~ening eloseltain lines that make it possible This book teaches you how toeven for amateurs to become true dea1 with any White openingopening experts. It offers brand- scheme. But we put l. e4 first fornew ideas that will put your a reason. UsualIy, l. e4 leads toopponents at a disadvantage. "open" games. Many chess train- But you should occasionally ers continue to recomend learn-play over games fiom openings ing the "open" games beforeyou yowself dont use. And you studying "closed positions-should certainly know at least the and for most of us, it makesbasics of al1 of the major open- sense. ARer all, 1. e4 is the mostings! popular opening move among arnateurs, and one of the mostIl trnne-efficient review popular moves among masters We are conscious of yow time and grandmasters.constraints. You have other things Some openings lead moreto do and are reading this ofien to open positions. Otherbecause you expect some time- openings usually bring on closedeAFicient return. You want to play middlegames. Its helpful tochess better, understand it bet- define the basics as we go along,ter-and win more games as so lets àraw the distinctionBlack. So weve given this chap-ter very serious thought, present- between open and closed inh g you with the most potent chess: Open positions offercomections to the basic ideas of unblocked lines of contactthe I. e4 openings, fkom Blacks between the opposing armies;perspective. closed dont. Take a look at the two columns below, Open Closed Open files Blocked Wes Open diagonals Blocked diagonals Fluid or absent center p- Blockd center Tactical Positiod Attacks Strakegy Gambits Bind Combinations Regrouping Fast Stow 1. e4 1. d4, 1. c ,1.NB 4
26 Chess Openings far Bfack, Explained ----p- Iri the colum~i the left we list on A S ~ M M ~ ~iZlc.eti,.rg t l ~ e W: hestwords that generally apply to irs shrrlhw tc,itilopen garnes; the column on the 1. e4 e5right describes closed gaines. Prior to the eiid of tlie 19thcentury, thc advent of Steiriitztheory and positional play, open-ing a chess game with 1, e3 wascie ~.lgeln-.But evcn now, nearlyal1 top grandmasters at Ieastoccasionally play 1. e4. Thismo-e still dominates the lowerrunps of the touniament circuit. apopularity which isnt surprisingsince 1. e4 best corresponds to Diagwnr Ithc threc rules of thurnb about .!/iei- l. ... 6. 5the openins phase. (See the box I . . . . e5 is Blacks rnost natura1at the bottom of this page.) reply (see "Three Rttfes of tlie Now lcts start our re.iew in Operii~ig,"below). Still, being aearnest to gctin soci3e perspectivc tempo ahead in these opcn begiil-cin the challenge of playing riitigs is an advantage. In openagainst 1 . e l . positions, an extra ]nove can be ii~~portant. Three Rules of the O~ening -1 1. Contr-nl rhe cenfer-(jrlrc$i~~~zh(t. orcl4pving it with pari~nsj; 3. Del~elop-biing ??OLO-piece,r ,fi-cmt tlieii. siarling positiorz onto sqirumsfifi.on? rtshich rhey excfrcise ir7flrrence »n thc" action (stai-r tz*itii the kingsidc piecr.~hccnu.~e thr next r.ziig); of 3 Casrle (r,sztal-+shol-t. si~zre crttt be accomnp/islzed tnost ir quick(~. sufkb). ntid
Chapter 4; Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 27 White can try for an edge with second moves, such as the Kings2. Nf3. Garnbit, 2. Nc3 (Vienna), 2. Bc4, 2. d4, or 2. c3. After 2. NB, theoretically best for Black is to develop with the pawn-protecting For over 100 years, this rnovehas been viewed as the only seri-ous try for an advantage. It notonly develops and prepares Diograrn 4castling, but it also attacks the After 2. ... Nc6e5-pawn. Championed by PaulMorphy, 2. NB eventually tri- Why not 2. ,.. Bd6, protectingumphed over the romantic 2. f4 a pawn while developing a king-(the Kings Gambit). side piece, a move many begin- ners make? been viewed as -3 Diagram 3 @ $3 King S Garnbit i Dont worry about side lines the i-. only serious Q; .:$now. From Blacks point of view,if you find youre comfortablewith 2 . ND,you can always goback to learn the right ways toequality against less challenging
28 Chess Openings for Black, Explained Diagram 5 Diagram 6 Bad defense: Black blocks Petrofs Definse his development! teern of theory from a "short cut" Because Blacks pawn is stuck to nearly the equa1 of 2. ... Nc6.on d7, it doesnt infiuence the In fact, because of its new-foundcenter, at least not for the near popularity, youll need to studyfuture. The move also bfocks the more! The more masters play anmost natura1 diagonal (c8-h3) for opening, the more ingeniousthe c8-bishop. (Fianchettoing tncks, traps and strategies theythis bishop isnt usually a good find. In other words, the more anidea in the 1. e4 e5 openings, opening is played, especially atbecause the bishop will be the top, the more "theory" pilesblocked by the well-protected e4- UP.pawn. Besides, getting the piece Dubious, or as their proponentsto b7 would take an extra move.) would say, "risky" and "enter- In the last fifteen years, as a prising" are the gambits 2. ... d5result of the attention of world and 2. ... f5. We show how tochampions Anatoly Karpov and handle them, as well as other sec-Vladimir Kramnik, and many ond moves for Black, in this vol-followers, Petroffs Defense, 2. umes counterpart, Chess... Nf6 has moved up in the es- Openings for mite, Expfained. "Aimost correct" is 2. ... d6, used by Philidor (and called the Petroffs Defense Philidor Defense). has moved up in .. . If youd like to study very little tha;eg$:gem - of .?. .?:L% ?, theory-or to have an offbeat theo.G .,,C. system in reserve for a show- down with an old foe who thinks thc:-$qnaI : .G;$. .. $3 he knows your repertoire, consid- er 2. ... Qe7.
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 29 The top 10 reasons for hauing an offbeat surprise opening alternative to defend against 1. e 4 1. You can surprise a familiar foe who thinks he h o w s al1 about your repertoire. 2. Even though he has the White pieces and is supposed to have the initiative, you can immedi- ately put your opponent in a defensive frame of mind. 3. Many of your opponents will make mistakes under pressure to find the "right" theoretical moves. 4. Your opponent may even decide its his job to "refute" an opening thats perfectly playable- leading to his making big mistakes in the first few moves! 5. He will likely bum up valuable clock-time cal- culating unfamiliar variations-imagine using your surprise in the last round of a fast-time-con- trol tournament, with a big prize at stake! 6. If news breaks during the middle of a tourna- ment that one of your favorite lines has been punc- tured by a new move from a Bulgarian grandmas- ter, you c m fa11 back on your spare-tire opening. 7. You won7t have to use it long anyway; such opening "refutations" generally last unti1 the "refiter" plays someone rated even higher! 8. You get to act blasé if someone plays your own surprise against you, rattling off the best response and stifling a yawn-hes yours for life! 9. You c m te11 everyone its the latest break- through idea from Kasparov and that the champion computer program Thresher confirms that it wins for Black against 1. e4. 10. Then youll get to find a good surprise against 1. d4.
30 Chess Openings for Black, Explained This systern was used occa- Diugrani 8sionally by Russian grandrnaster ~ f f e2. ... :(i r !: :tVictor Kuprcichik, a great attack- Now thc unpretentiousing player. Black intends to "knights-first" 3. Nc3fianchetto his dark-square bish-OP. There is no way to refute thisopening. Of course, with normal,good play, White should get asmall edge, but remember hiiothiogs: this leve1 of advantage isnot sigriificant except amonginternational competitors, and,secondly, White will be in unfa-miliar territory. And if he presses isnt without poison. but only iffor inore, he may end up invest- Black ptriys the natura1 3. .. .ing a lot of clock time, and being Bc5, altowing the archetypal (invery disappointed by the result! such positions) 4. Nxe5, with an Lets return to 2. ... ilc6, edge. (AAer 4. ... Nxe5, White has thc pawn fork 5. d4. Biack could play 4. ... Bxf2+. but after 5. Kxf2 Nxc5 6. d4 Ng6 7. Bc4, M i t e has a strong center and will so011castle by hand.)
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 31the book 23.eIdeas Behindthe ChessOpenings by theAmerican champion Reuben Fine held sway anddetermined the way we played openings. (Reuben Finewas a world-championship contender and a winnerof the 1938 AVRO super-tournament.) Here are his three tips on finding good movesin the opening. Whenever possible, make a good developing move that threatens something.d Two questions must be answered prior to making a move: 1. How it affects the center, 2. How it fits with the development of your other men. Deviate fiom "book" lines only for a reason.
32 Chess Openings for Were still only at move 3, andfor a while, White can contro1 theoptions. Lets look at 3. d4. Diagram I I 4Jrer 3. Bc4 The move 3. Bc4 was Mor- Diug~urnI O phys favorite and brought him Smtch Opening many exciting victories, as it then This move was felt to be ana- did nwnerous a~cionados the ofiyzed and played to death (mean- attack.ing to a draw) by the early twen- On the Olympus of super-tieth century. Theoreticians grandmaster play, 3. Bc4 contin-thought that White played his ues to be regarded, as it has beenimportant centra1 thrust too early, for most of the twentieth century,dissipating his fatent energy. But as being "exhausted" and draw-in the 1 9 9 0 ~ ~ Kasparovs victo- ish. But not arnong the mortals,ries with the Scotch put it back where it continues to be popular.into play. (See Fines advice on Still, you can more or less rely onthe previous page.) theory to provide you with the Other than the Scotch, two antidote to 3. Bc4. It c m be 3. ...most promising moves for White Bc5,in the main line ( 1 . e4 e5 2. Nf3Nc6-see Diagram 8) are 3. Bc4and 3. Bb5. The first choiceattacks the f7 square, Blacksmost vulnerable point before hehas castled. Diagrum l 2 Giuoco Piano questionably caIled Giuoco Piano (ftalian for the "Quiet GameN-sornetirnes the opening is called the Italian Game),
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 33unless White attacks with theEvans Gmbit, 3. b4. Bagran? 13 Diagram l 5 Evans Gambit Riq?Lopez Or Black can play 3. . .. Nf6, Whites third move attacks theappropriately called the Two knight, which defends the e5-Knights Defense. pawn. The rea1 problem is that there is a terabyte of theory in this time-honored opening. Espec- ially over the long-term, when you are rising higher and higher in the ranks of chess players, you7d need to remernber a lot to play against the Ruy. Even an Diagvam l 4 Two Kntghts Refinse historical review takes a bit of time. So settle back. Its weH- The most popular choice for * ,h your knowing.White is the positional 3. Bb5,initiating the famous Ruy Lopez ARer 3. ... a6,opening. Diagam 16 Ruy Lopez, Morphy S Definse
34 Chess Openings for Biack, Explainedthe "main line" for almost a hun-drcd years, you should be readyfor Bobby Fischers favorite, 4.Bxc6. (No, it doesnt win a pawn:after 4. .., dxca!, 5. Nxe5 cantbe recomrnended because of 5.... Qd4.) Diugrum I8 Afrer 4. Ba4 Other third moves for Black are viewed as somewhat inferior, but provide you a choice of short- Diagram 17 After 5. ... Qd4 cuts. Where are you, for exarn- ple, on the "greed" continuum? You need also to be ready for (See the graph below.)the more c o m o n 4. Ba4. RESPECT FOR MATERIAL, A CONTINUUM Bispuier .Uburt Bronne Karpov PetrosianiSerhnietdino Korchnoi 1 Shirari Healthy disresprcl Heaft. respeet C far materia1 for materia1 Take a look at the chart drop-dead combinations. Talabove. Since "conservatives" ground out some ingeniousare most often talked about as endgarnes. The table offersbeing "on the right," well fol- oniy generalizations, andlow that tradition. Please keep infomed opinions rnay differ.in mind that most great play- Where do you think youers can do al1 things well. would fall? Youll undoubtedlyPetrosian detonated some profit from playing over the
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History o Pushing the Kings Pawn f 35games of the great players Xncidentally, only 9. Nxe5 isnear your spot on the spec- correct here. An attempt to bothtrum. Pay attention t o the grab a pawn and exchangeopenings and sub-variations queens backfires: 9. Qxe5? Bg4!,they choose. See how you like and now every super-K wwil pre-thern. fer Black! After the exchange of If you fa11 sornewhere in the queens, Black enjoys bettervicinity of Tal and Morphy, development and threatens tothen consider playing the ruin Whites kingside pawn struc-Schliernann, 3. ... f5. ture. Back to Blacks third rnove. If, like Savielly Tartakover, you pre- fer to sacnfice your opponents pawns, you stili have short-cuts to cboose fiom: 3. ... Nge7 (planning to fianchetto); the immediate fianchetto 3. ... g6; and the clas- Diagrum 19 sic (and somewhat passive) 3. ... Ruy Lopez, Schliema~znVarìation d6, which c o m i t s Black to giv- Even if Kasparov, Karpov and ing up the center after 4. d4 exd4Korchnoi, fiom their places on 5. Nxd4.our "Respect for Materia1Continuum," think othenvise,clearly the initiative will matterfor you more than the loss of apawn in a position similar to theone after 4. Nc3 &e4 5. Nxe4Nf6 6. Nxf6+ Qxf6 7. Qe2 Be7 8.Bxc6 dxc6. Siegbert Tarrasch showed that White has some slight but per- sistent edge here, but he was, after ail, Tarrasch! Black can even get away with Diagran 20 moving the same piece twice Afer 8. ... d c x6 with 3. ... Nd4, Birds Defense.
36 Chess Openings for Black, Expiained If youve decided to pfay "the best" 3. ... a6 (see Diagram 16) then, as weve mentioned, besides studying 4. Bxc6, you should prepare a system against the classic 4. Ba4. There are some attrattive short-cuts to the main lines of theory (but cven the Diagrarn 22 short-cuts on a significant jour- Ruy Lopa, Bird S Defewe ney can be long!), such as the Perhaps youll put new life in "Open Variation"(Fine called itthe old system, as h d did the "Counter Attack Defense").with the Berlin Variation, proving After n o m d moves, 4. Ba4 Nf6i11 his 2000 World Champion- 5.0-0,ship match versus Kasparov thatthe endgame after 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3Ne6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. 0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Lliagram 25 Afier 5. 0-0 Diagram 23 Black captures a pawn. AJier 5. d45. ... Nd6 6. 3xc6 dxc6 7. dxe5Nf5 8. Qxd8+ a d 8 is okay forBlack. Lliagram 26 Ruy Lopez, Opcn Yariatìon Diagram 24 Rzcy Lopez, BerEin Defitse Or aft-er alteady l e d n g so
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 37much, maybe you want to study Afier the "classical" 7. ... d6,the "Charnpions Defense?" the the play continues:Chigorin Variation, tvhich grand- 8. e3 0-0 9. h3 Na5masters had in mind when theysaid, in the last part of the twenti- Were skipping some twists,eth century, that nobody can S U C ~aS f3re~ers ~aradoxicall~becorne a great player without good 9+ + - 7playing great Ruys. (And most 10. Bc2 e5 11. d4 Qc7world champions and chaIlengersdid play them, ofien from bothsides.) Let7s follow fromDiagram 25: This is the blueprint beginning of many great Ruys! (Chess glay- ers sometimes cal2 these classic theoretical starting places "tabi- as.") Diagram 27 After 7 Bb3 . Weke already connected to a 7. ... d6 lot of important history. Now lets rnove to the non-symmetri- Or 7. ... 0-0, if you want to lure cal answers to 1. e4.your opponent into the MarshallGambit after 8. c3 d5. Diugrarn 28 R1y Lopez, Marshall s Gambit
38 Chess Openiffgs for Black, ExplajnedSummarizing 1.- e5 I3 The light-suuarestrategy: Inzmediately challenging Whites Beginners may choose 1. ... centere5 because its natura1 and 1. e4 d5easy to understand (thereforemaking it easy to fuld reason-able follow-up moves). Theclassica1 main line after 1. e4e5 is the Ruy Lopez, and thestronger player you are, themore fiequently youll facethe Ruy. Still, some howl-edge against sharp systems,such as 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4, is required, in order to Diagram 32avoid panicking after 3. ... The Center Counter (Scutzdinavian)Nf6 4. Ng5. A basic tenet of fighting l. e4 is that if Black can play ... d5 without a drawback, he has equalized. So why not play 1. ... d5 right away? This attempt to cut through the Gordian knot of main lines was traditionally viewed by theory as weak. But the move was always underrated. Moreover, recently Diagram 30 After 4. Ng5 its been given new life. AAer the best response, 2. exd5, Black And to avoid a waste of time somewhat surprisingly has twolike 3. ... h6?. good rnoves: to recapture with the queen 2. ... QxdS, Diagmm 31 After 3. ... hb?
Chapter 4: Gonnecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 39 But just how hportant is the loss of a tempo here? Diagram 33 Ajier 2. ... Qxd5or to play 2. ...Nf6. Diagram 35 Afrer 5. iLj7 And n o w Black brings out his light-square bishop before mov- ing his e-pawn. He can choose from 5. . .. Bg4, 5. ... Bf5, or even a preliminary 5. ... c6 (a useful move, sec~iringa retreat line for the queen). Far example: 5. ... c6 6. Bc4 Bg4. The legendary weakness of2. ... Qxd5, according to tradi-tional theory, was mites win ofa tempo with 3. Nc3. The verdictwas that Black exposed his queento early harassment, allowingm i t e to develop while BlackSmost powerful piece dodged bul-lets. Diagram 36 After 6. ... Bg4 In all these lines, Whites only hope for an edge lies in driving Blacks bishop back:
40 Chess Openings for Eés, oli the GM leve1 this choice winds up, again, plus- Hcse theory conttnues xvith owr-equa1 because Ilihite has thelines that in ~ h e end are razor- bishop pair. But among ania-sharp journcys through a tactical tcurs, knights arc oAen as good,tvoliderland. cfost non-special- if not better, than bishops.ists wouldnt dare enter, uneasy Blacks positioa is solid. Hc hasabout the i cakenirig" g 7 - 9 . no weaknesses and no bad A i ~ dwhere. with proper play, pieces-and no long lines todo eixn thrse best tnes end? rcniernber!"Plus-over-cqual"-.lhe smallest Lets Iook at Rlacks otheradsantage LVl~ite can havc. an choice in the Center Counteredge truly in~portant only on the aRer 3. esd5.highest Ievels of chess, ivheretechnique is near-perfect. Buteven there, cuch an edge is notdefinitive. hnd if your opponcnts do piayboth h3 and g4. and keep gettingan edge. corisider rhe siniple 7.. .. Bxl3. 39 Dit[gr,.lrrii~ ,ifiel-2.... Jrrstification for 2. . .. Nf6 lies in the line 3. c4 cf; 4. dxc6 (bct-
Chaptef 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 41ter is modest 4. d4, transferringinto the Panov-Botvhik line ofthe Caro-Kann) 4. ... Nxc6. Diagrarn 41 Afier 5. ci4 Or White can play the norma1 Diagrarn 40 3. d4. After 4. ...Nrc6 And Bhck stands better de-spite a missing pawn. Still, in Diagram 39s position,White can fight for an edge with3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Be2! Nxd5 5. d4. Diagram 42 A r 3. d4. &C The lighit-square strategy:Preparing ... d7-d.5 As we saw on previous pages, capturing on d5 with a piece givesWhite some advantage in the center, and the sornewhat better game. Twornajor openings, the Caro-Kann and the French, solve this problem bypreparing ... d7-d5 with a neighboring pawn move, in order to be ableto recapture on d5 with a pawn. Diagram 43 French
42 Chess Openiffgs for Black, Expianeci Lets look what will happen afier the natura1 2. d4 d5 in each case. Diagmm 45 Diagmm 46 French Caro-Kann Blacks ... e7-e6 opens a diagonal for his dark-square bishop and thusalso facilibtes early castling. The negative: the light-square bishop isrestricted by the e6-pawn and often winds up a bad "French" bishop,hemmed in by its own pawns. In the Caro-Km, the light-square bishopis free and will soon rnove to f5 or (after Whites Nf3) to g4. On the otherhand, ... c7-c6 doesnt forward Blacks deveiopment (except for open-ing the diagonal for his queen, which is less important than developingthe minor pieces), doesnt prepare for castiing short, and in somecases-where ... c6-c5 will be called for-loses a tempo. Still, as prac-tice shows, the Caro-Kam is at least as good as the French. Alreadyweve seen its singte but strong plus, keeping the light-square bishop"good." This benefit offsets the minuses. When playing the French, you must be ready to defend against Whitestwo main continuations, 3. Ne3 and 3. Nd2. Blacks position is solid. He has no weaknesses and no bad piece
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 43 Diagram 48 French, White uvoids rhe p i ~ t A "busyrnans" solution to leaming two lines above can bc found inPirc Alert!-o complete defttse against 1. e4, co-authorcd by LevAlburt and by the Pircs nurnber one practitioncr, CM Alex Chemin: ...3. dxe4 (the Rubinstein French) 4. Nxe4 Bd7. Diugram 49 Diagranz 50 Affrr 4. ... BJ7 Afipr 8. Ng3 The game usuafly continues 5. 8. ... BxB!, achieving a positionNf3 Bc6 6 . Bd3 Nd7 7.0-0 Ngf6 quite similar to Diagrarn 388. Ng3 (fiom the 2. .. . Qxd5 line of the Scandinavian). For a player with more time to study and more arnbition, lines of thc Frcnch gcneraliy offer sharp, unbalanced positions, an explo- sive mixture of stratcgics and tac- tics.
The Caro-Kann main line goes: Blacks planned 5. ... Ngf6??,1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Ne3 &e4 allowing 6. Nd6, "smothered"4. Nxe4. checkmate! D Cmming m the ceniers: m The Pirc, IModer~tand Alekhiae 1. e4 d6 Dzagram 51 After 4. Nxe4 This is a very solid, mostlypositional opening, pexfectly fit-ted to those sharing Petrosians Diagmrn 53 Pirc Defnsephilosophy: with Black, seeksafety first. Usually the game continues ... Both 4. BfS and 4. ...Nd7 2. d4 Nf6 (inviting the white(preparing 5. ... Ngf6) serve this knight to occupy a square ul fiontgoal. But be aware of neglecting of his pawn, as 3. Nd2, whiletactics even h such seemhgly possible, has the drawback ofsafe positions-for instanee, by blocking the bishop).playing (afker 4. ... Nd7 5. Qe2) Diagrorn 54 After 3. ...g6
Chapter 4: Conneding to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 45 Black is ready to fimchetto his 3. c4 Nb6 4. c5.bishop and th& to castle. HeHfight for the center later, a mod-ernist &ade OR. For more onchoosing the Pirc, see P r Alert!. ic The Modern Defense, 1. e4 g6, Black will, bowever, recoup some of these tempos soon by attacking Whites extended (sometimes wen over-extended) pawn center. Despite a life-long eRort by Lev Alburt, the theory Diagram 55 still (correctly) favors %%te, but %e Modern Defense only i the modern line: nis a flexible, less forma1 cousin 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 66 4. ND.(in some cases even a twin) of thePirc. Aiekhines Defense, 1. e4 Nf6, Diagmm 58 Afler 4. NfJ Diagmm 56 Al1 three major replies, Levs After I. ... N6 f 4. ... Bg4 and 4. ... g6, and GM Bagirovs 4. ... c6, seem io pro-is a true trimph of hyper-mod-ernism-Black provokes White mise White a small edge.to push (with tempo!) his centra1 The good news is that Whitepawns-as in the line 2. e5 Nd5 needs to know al1 &ree systems,
46 Chess Openings for Bfack, Explainedand Black only one. And "or- faux-pas openers result in a plus-mal," or simply "good" moves over-minus (a clear advantage foroften arent enough in sharp, White). Blacks opening goal isunbalanced Alekhine positions to equality.take White to safety, let alone to The minor openings: 1. ... a6,an advantage. 1. .., b6, 1. ,.. g5 are minor because they arent good, and thus cant be recommended except in an occasiona1 blitz game far surprise effect. (But we must admit that Tony Miles piayed 1. ... a6 in a toumament garne against then world champi- on h t o l y Karpov-and won!) Now we come to the defense we recommend against 1. e4, the This Nirnzovich Defense is apoor cousin of the Alekhine ... Sicilian Defense, 1. e5.Defense. Afkr 2. Nf3, Blacksbest move is definitely 2. ... e5.So, if you dont mind transposingkto the classic 1. e4 e5 lines, orif you on occasion want to con-fuse an opponent who is a KingsGambit aficionado, 1. ... Nc6 isa good choice. But youll have tostudy the fine 2. d4 e5 or 2. d4d5, where White should play firstaccmtely, then inventively, toassure just a very small edge insome unclear, "atypical" posi-tions. The Siciiian is currently Blacks most popular defense The graphic on page 48 plots, against 1. e4. In fact, its playedon the unsound-to-sofid continu- more often on al1 Ievels, fiom them, Blacks first-move responses club players to super-granhas-to 1. e4. You c m see that Blacks ters, than al1 other replies to I. e4
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whote History of Pushing the Kirigs Pawn 47combined! Not surprisingly, itspopularity corresponds with verygood results for Black. A searchof more than 100,000 garnesreveals that the Sicilian yieldsBlack the following statisticsversus the classic 1 , ... e5 and 1.... e6:Black won: 28.8% 25.4% 30.3%Black drew: 31.7% 35.9O/0 34.9%Black lost: 39.6% 38.6% 34.9% So the Sicilian won the mostgarnes and lost the least! How This induces Whites nexxtcan l. ... c5 compete with 1. ... move, as other moves allowe6 and l. ... e5, the logical, clas- Black to equalize easily-forsical choices? Afier all, I. ... c5 example, 5. Bd3 Nc6. Moves likedoesnt put a pawn in the center; 4. ... e6 will allow 5. c4, thedoesnt develop or help to devel- Maroczy Bind, not to be overlyop a piece (except for the queen, feared, as we will show, but a dif-which normally isnt supposed to ferent game than Black idealizes.be brought out eariy in the open-ing); and doesnt make castling 5. Ne3easier. The explanation is that to tfyfor an advantage, White has topiay d2-d4. Otherwise Black willmaintain at least an equa1 footingin the center. Diagrarn 62 ABer 5. Ne3 White is better developed and has more space. Black, however, has exchanged his bishops pawn
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 49for the m i t e queens pawn, andcenter pawns are usually worthmore. Besides, Black has poten-tially good play along the semi-open C-file. Therefore Whites rnost prorn-ising plan in the Sicilian is a11attack, while "Sicilian end-garnes" are known to favorBlack. Diagran8 64 Black has numerous choices in Sicilian Scheveningenthe Sicilian after 5. Nc3. Onepopular choice is 5. ... a6, the Yet another choice for BLackNajdorf. after 5, Nc3 is 5. ... Nc6. Di~~wunr 65 Diugram 63 Sicilian Najdof A f i e ~ ... jVc6 3. The idea of this move is to take But these three popular linescontro1 of b5-useful if Black require a defender to absorb a lotdecides to piay . ..e7-e5. of detailed information, and to rnaster a great nurnber of tactical Another move that Black oftenchooses is 5. ... e6, the and strategie ideas.Scheveningen ... Sirnpler to leam is the Sicilian
50 Chess Openings for Black, ExpiainedFour Knights: slightly better for White. Those who Iike it would most likely 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 lack Karpovs nearIy unerring4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Ne6 touch. Back to Blacks fourth move. After 1. e4 c5 2. NE3 e 3. d4 6 cxd4 4. Nxd4, Dtagram 66 @er 5 . Ncd This cail lead to a srnall advan-tage for White (i%) 6. Ndb5 after Diagrclnr 68Bb4 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. Nxc3 d5 Afier 4. Nxd49. exd5 exd5 10. Bd3 d4 11. Ne20-0 12. 0-0 Qd5 13. Nf4! Black can delay 4. ... Nf6 and pIay 4. ... a6, the flexible Kan, or < ... 4. Nc6, the Taimanov. In the Sveshnikov, Black first develops his queens knight: 1. e4 c5 2. NE3 Ne6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4. Co-author Alburt once hied todefend Blacks side versus then20-year-old Anatoly Karpov.Failing, Lev abandoned theSicifian. That was a mistake.Very few players like to playemerging endgames, this time 4. ... Nf6 (although Grand-
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History o Pushing the Kings Pawn f 51master Sveshnikov himselfnowadays prefers the immediate4. ... e5) 5. Nc3 e5!? Diagram 71, Afier 5- ... g6 The variation is called the Diagram 70 Dragon because Blacks pawn Sicilian Sveshnikov fonnation reminded some of the mysterious beast. Viewed as anti-positional at itscreation 35 years ago, today its Now White can choose some-very much the rage. what subdued lines, in which hell castle short. Well have a And of course, some players look at those in Chapter 7.love the supersharp Dragon: More dangerous for Black are 1 e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 . lines in which m i t e castles long4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Ne3 g6 and then launches an attack with h2-h4-h5, sacrificing that pawn for an open path to the enemy klng . One such opening tabia arises afier 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 0-0 8. Qd2 Nc6.
52 Chess Openings for Black, ENained doubt that Blacks castled posi- tion is coming under fire first. But imagine that, in the posi- tion in Diagram 72, Blacks d- pawn is still on d7-and it is Blacks turn to move (since he saved that tempo). In that case, Black would have an excellent game after 8. ... d5. This-an option to play ... d5 in one Diagmm 72 move-is the very reason for Afler 8. ...Ne6 choosing the Accelerated Dra- And now White follows up gon3 ourrecOmmendatiOn.with either 9.0-0-0 (where one ofthe main replies is 9. ... d5, nowjudged 1 or 9. Bc4. Black has )counter play, but there is no Summary: Blackk 1. ... e5 is the most logica1 response to 1. e#, and the easiest to grasp. The move 2. ... d5 can provide a time-saving "short-cut." Other assymetrical openings usually lead to com- plex, challengingplay.Among those, our choice is BlackL most successful reply: I . ... c5, the Sicilian.
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 53Some PraeticalAdvice If one of your lines has been refuted, or youre simply not too happy with it, dont despair. Search for a substitute. h d if youre quite happy with your "old" opening-say, the Pirc or Alekhine- dont abandon it. Go straight to Part 111, and study the Nimo. Dont worry too much about matters such as a "complete, inter-connected reper- toire." Yes, skipping parts of this book may create some problems later, but you will be well equipped to dea1 with those problems. For instance, playing the Symmetrical English requires in this book knowledge of the Maroczy Bind, described in severa1 Part I1 chapters. If you dont like the Bind, look for another line within the Symrnetrical English. Or choose another first move, another systern-say, 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 and if 3. Nf3, then 3. ... Bb4, Nirnzo-style. There are plenty of choices, and oppor- tmities, in the opening. We hope this book will help you make choices right for you.
54 Chess Openings for Black, Explainedfionnectingto the Whole HIstorY ofPushing the Rings Pawn
Chapter 4: Connecting to the Whole History of Pushing the Kings Pawn 55 Connectingto the Whole History of Pushingthe Kings PawnNo. 1 3. ..d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 (not 3. ... Nxe4? 4. Qe2). See Diagram 6 . .No. 2 4. ...Nxe4, and Black is at least equal. See note after Diagram 9.No. 3 The right answer here and in similar positions is to take away ... from the center: 5. dxc6! 6. Ne5 Qd4!, and Black is better. See Diagrarn 19.Aro. 4 ... Black achieves a better game with 2. c5. Also good is 2. ...Bf5, taking the bishop out before playing ... e6, but 2. ... c5, planning to pin the white knight with ...Bg4 (after NB), is even stronger. See page 38 and compare with the French.No. 5 7. h3. Why not 7. Bxfii-? Because after 7. ...Kxf7 8. Ne5+ Qxe5+, BIack has a piece for a pawn. See Diagrarn 36.No. 6 ... 7. Ng4! Thus it is better for White to secure the e3-bishop with 7. i .See page 52. 3
56 Chess Openings for Black, ExplainedChapter 5: The iiccelerated Dragon-lntro and Main LineThe Sicilian is Blacks most successful defense.Our recommended move order makes Whitesmost aggressive line against it risky after ... d5t. 8. ... o5!-one key ro BlackS Black no. pl-s 13. ... Nd7. successful p l q in this chapter. He isnt afraid to cxchangc dark- See Diagram 87. square bisliops. Scc Diagrani 104.: 9. ... d5-a typical brcuk- After 15. ... Bh6. Black prescrvcs tlirough. Sce Diagrarn 110. the bisliop pair. See Diagram 154. Outline o Variations f1 e4 e5 2 Hf3 06 3.64 cxd4ft Nid4 Hc6 5. Ne3 897 6. Be3 Hf6 7. Bc4 0-08 Bb3 a5 (56)IB351 . . .