Hague B. - Ledger A.

England 2009


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e5 4. Nc3 d6 5. e4 Be7 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 a6 8. a4 Nbd7 9. f4?!

This is certainly the move White wants to make , but here it is rushed. White should patiently prepare f2-f4 by playing Nge2 and 0-0 first:

9. Nge2! Rb8 (9... Nh5 10. O-O g6 11. Bh6 Ng7 12. Qd2 Nf6 13. h3 Kh8 14. f4 exf4 15. gxf4 Ng8 16. Bxg7+ Kxg7 17. e5 Thorbergsson, F-Kristjansson,B/Reykjavik 1970 (24)) 10. O-O b6 (10... Ne8 11. h3 b6 12. b3 Nc7 13. Qd3 Bf6 14. Be3 Re8 15. Ra2 Nf8 16. Rb1 Forintos,G (2450) -Ciocaltea,V (2465)/Bar 1977) 11. Be3 Ne8 12. h3 Nc7 13. Qd3 Re8 14. f4 Bf6 15. Rab1 h5 16. f5 Bg5 17. Bf3 h4 18. gxh4 Bxe3+ 19. Qxe3 Qxh4 20. Kh2 b5 Eventually! 21. Rg1 bxc4 22. Rg4 Qh8 23. Rbg1 Nf6 Johannessen,L (2342) -Royset,J (2249)/Langesund 1999

9... exf4 10. gxf4 Ne8 11. Nf3 Bh4+!

Black takes direct advantage of Hague's inaccurate move-order.

12. Kf1 Bf6 13. Qd3 g6 14. Bd2 Ng7 15. Kf2 Nh5 16. Bh3?

A further mistake. White should artificially castle:

16. Rhf1 Re8 17. Kg1 after which it is unclear whether his large centre is strong or merely a target. After the further 17... Bg7 18. Rae1 Nf8 19. e5 Bf5 the game is very unclear

16... Re8 17. Kg2 Bxc3!

Unexpected and very strong. The e4 and g4 squares both creak and Hague's King starts to feel the heat.

18. bxc3 Ndf6 19. e5

19. Bxc8 Qxc8 threatens both . ..Qg4 and ...Nxe4.

19... Bxh3+ 20. Kxh3 Qd7+ 21. Kg2 Qg4+ 22. Kf1 Nxf4 23. Bxf4 Qxf4

Simple fare. After 24 exf6 comes 24...Re3.

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Spiridonov N. (2373) - Tchoubar V. (2390)

Sakharov Memorial 1st/Kiev (7) 2002


1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Be7!?

I am on the verge of completing a video for Chesscube about this modest variation. If you are considering building a balanced opening repertoire having a solid option like this is always useful. An added bonus of the 3...dxe4 move-order is that it can be used against either 3 Nc3 or 3 Nd2. Black sets out his stall very modestly and makes his position extremely difficult to crack.

5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Nbd7 7. Qe2 O-O 8. Bd2 c5!

Somewhere along the line, Black has to free his position with either ...c7-c5 or...e6-e5

9. O-O-O cxd4 10. Nxf6+ Nxf6 11. Ne5

White can often be tempted to overreach.

11... Qd5!

From here, the Queen radiates power

12. Kb1 Bd6

12... b6 13. g4 Bb7 14. Rhe1 Rac8 15. g5 Nd7 is not bad either

13. f4 Bd7 14. c4 Qc5 15. Nxd7 Nxd7 16. g4 Qb6 17. Qe4 g6 18. f5 e5 19. fxg6 hxg6 20. Bh6 Rfe8 21. Rhf1 Nc5

Basically, White has never had enough compensation.

22. Qf3 Qc7 23. Bc2 e4 24. Qh3 d3 25. Bb3 Bf8 26. Be3 Bg7 27. Qg2 a5 28. Qf2 b6 29. h4 a4 30. h5 axb3 31. a3 Na4 32. h6 Bxb2 33. h7+ Kh8 34. Bg5 Re6 35. Rd2 Bg7

I'm sure the new video will soon be available. Watch out for it in the shop!

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