Saturday, 12 April 2014

Chess Reviews: 236

A Cutting-Edge Gambit 
against the Queen's Indian
By GM Imre Hera and FM Ufuk Tuncer
174 pages
New in Chess
Yesterday, we looked at an interesting book for 1 e4 players in need of an original way of meeting the Caro-Kann Defence. Today's book is for ''left-handed players'' (1 d4!) who would like to develop a serious initiative against the Queen's Indian Defence. Hardly an easy task and the initiative comes at the price of a pawn sacrifice.

The line starts 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 b6 4 g3 Ba6 5 Qc2 c5 and now 6 d5! is the book's recommendation.

This can lead to very complicated play, a world away from the normal Queen's Indian scenarios. So much so that GM Shirov is happy to contribute a foreword, praising the scope for ''fascinating chess, great complexity, chances to create fantastic attacking possibilities.''

The first part of the book deals with Black's ways of declining the pawn sacrifice, none of which seem to rob from White the lion's share of the fun. So Black may as well take the plunge and accept the gambit with 6 ...exd5 7 cxd5 Bb7 8 Bg2...

...and now to choose between the two main moves, 8 ...Bxd5 and 8 ...Nxd5. White is hoping to see the former option appear on the board. Formerly popular, 8 ...Bxd5 is now dubious, according to the authors. 9 Nc3 offers ''a durable initiative'' as none of the bishop moves offer equality. The pick of the bunch - 9 ...Bc6 - leaves White very well placed after 10 e4.

So that just leaves 8 ...Nxd5 and over half of the book is devoted to coverage of this important move. Play usually continues 9 0-0 Be7 10 Rd1 and now 10 ...Qc8 and 10 ...Nc6 are both placed under the analytical microscope, with the latter being presented as the main line of the whole variation. It gives rise to some brain-twisting complications and the authors admit 10 ...Nc6 ''caused a lot of difficulties for us.''

Fast forward a few moves (you'll have to buy the book to follow the trail) and we reach this complex position, which proved a tough nut for the authors to try and crack.

Readers can have fun analysing the complications arising after the best move, 18 Ne5!

If strong tournament players find the above snippets appealing, and they are prepared to work very hard with the material given in the book, then A Cutting-Edge Gambit against the Queen's Indian could make a valuable addition to a 1 d4 armoury. Inexperienced players will be overwhelmed by the depth of analysis, especially when confronted with improvements on move 18.

I didn't know anything at all about the 6 d5 gambit before I studied this book. It opened my eyes to dynamic way of injecting life into one of the most solid of all defences to 1 d4. Even the World Champion, Magnus Carlsen, has played this way!

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