Monday, 9 April 2007

Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation: Kasparov/Botvinnik

Typical plans in the Queen's Gambit Exchange Variation for White used to involve either a minority attack with the queenside pawns, or castling queenside and an assault on the Black king. An attacking system pioneered by Botvinnik and then Kasparov, showed that a third approach is also possible: castling kingside and still playing to attack the Black king.

In yesterday's round 6 game at the European Chess Championships, Sophie reached the standard setup after 11 moves in the Kasparov/Botvinnik line:
Queens Gambit Exchange Variation Chess Opening
White intends to play e4, and attack on the kingside either by opening lines directly, or forming a spearhead after e4-e5 followed up by f3-f4-f5. Allowed time, White will prepare this advance by retaining the dark square bishop (Bg5-h4-f2), and swinging the queen rook to support the centre (Ra1-d1). Typically, Black looks to disrupt the White game quickly before he has had time for these preparatory moves and attempt to show that the centre is weak. Often this involves moves like Nf6-h5, swapping the g5 bishop before it has a chance to retreat, and forcing White into an early e3-e4.

From the position, Sophie's opponent played 11. ... g6, which in combination with 10. ... Nf8 is quite slow, and should have allowed Sophie to preserve her dark square bishop and achieve the measured preparation of e3-e4. Instead, Sophie's 12. Nf4?! was not really in keeping with the line, and allowed Black to initiate favourable complications with 12. ... Nh5.

Sophie Seeber - Galina Schmirina, European Championship Rd. 6
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. Qc2 Be7 7. e3 O-O 8. Bd3 Nbd7 9. Nge2 Re8 10. O-O Nf8 11. f3 g6 12. Nf4?! Nh5 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nfxd5 cxd5 15. Nxd5 Qg5
Sophie Seeber vs Galina Schmirina European Chess
16. Bc4?

Here White must play 16. Nc7. Unbelievably this line has all been played before, a game in the Bundesliga resulted in a quick draw after Qxe3 17. Qf2 Qxd3 18. Nxe8;

16. ...
Be6 17. Qb3? Bxd5 18. Bxd5 Qxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Rxe3 20. Rfe1 Rxe1+ 21. Rxe1 Rd8 22. Bxb7 Rxd4 23. Re7 Rd7 24. Rxd7 Nxd7 25. b4 Kf8 26. a4 Ke7 27. Bd5 Nf4 28. Bb3 f6 29. Kf1 Kd6 30. g3 Nd3 31. b5 Kc5 32. Bg8 Nf8 33. Ke2 Nb2 0-1

For comparison, here's Grandmaster Yuri Yakovich scoring a quick win against a fellow Grandmaster after 11. ... g6?!, and Garry Kasparov failing to win the position in a simultaneous display:

Yuri Yakovich - Baburin,Alexander, Russian Ch. 1988
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Be7 7.Qc2 Nbd7 8.Bd3 0-0 9.Nge2 Re8 10.f3 Nf8 11.0-0 g6 12.Kh1 Ne6 13.Bh4 Ng7 14.Bf2 c5 15.dxc5 Bxc5 16.Bh4 Bxe3 17.Bxf6 Qxf6 18.Nxd5 Qg5 19.Nc7 Bh3 20.Nc3 1-0

Garry Kasparov - Miguens Rodriguez, Galicia Simul. 1991
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 Nbd7 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Nge2 Re8 9.Qc2 c6 10.0-0 Nf8 11.f3 g6 12.Rad1 Ne6 13.Bh4 Ng7 14.Bf2 Be6 15.Kh1 Bd6 16.e4 dxe4 17.Nxe4 Nd5 18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.Qd2 Bf5 20.Bc4 Nb6 21.Bb3 Be6 1/2

Sophie's opponent in today's 7th round is Kristina Apanaviciute from Lithuania.

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Chess Tales by Roger Coathup: A collection of online articles about chess and chess players.