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Georg Mohr: tempo: 6Nd4 7.Qd4 d6.

An ideal move order? Yes and no! Black


has succeeded strategically but White can
THE MAROCZY PAWN develop his bishops. He will develop his
STRUCTURE: dark-squared bishop to an active g5 square,
The withdrawal of the knight because he does not need to protect the
knight on d4. After Qd2 he will put his
from the center light-squared bishop to d3 and he will start
to prepare the play on the kingside.
The strategy of the withdrawal of Whites The move 5Bg7 has its advantages. It is
knight from the center is as rule very allowing the withdrawal of the knight
unpleasant for Black. White can move the 6.Nc2 which for a long time believed to be
knight to three different squares: to c2, less dangerous due to Black not developing
from where the knight will return into play the knight on the kingside. The practice
in different ways (over a3 to b5, over e3 to showed that Black has a good counter play
d5) to b3, from where is supporting the against the plan with the withdrawal of the
move c4-c5, to e2 (an often withdrawal in knight to c2 with the move f7-f5. He can
Moscow Variation of the Sicilian). develop the knight to h6 and as soon as
Why is this withdrawal unpleasant for possible play f7-f5 (with the already
Black? Especially because White has more developed knight he would need to lose yet
space and Black wants to exchange pieces another move to withdraw, usually to d7)
to gain space. Due to that Black is or he can play f7-f5 and only then develop
generally exchanging early (Nd4) against the knight. White players later on found
the Maroczy pawn structure. But good chances for the development of the
everything has its advantages and initiative.
disadvantages. It is true that Blacks bishop Most of the players prefer to defend the
can move to (Bd7-c6): from where it will knight 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3. Black finds
be able to put pressure on the center and himself on a new crossroads. He can
also to present a threat to the e4-pawn. But exchange a pair of knight with the help of a
on the other hand Black is releasing typical maneuver 7Ng4! 8.Qg4 Nd4 and
tension in the center because of the White does not have a better move than
exchange (Nc6 is pressuring on d4) and 9.Qd1, meanwhile Black can move to an
White, which often has problems with the active square 9Ne6. He can decide for
development, because of the unprotected a classical continuation 7d6 8.Be2 0-0
knight, can choose between playing on the 9.0-0 Bd7 with the idea 10Nd4 and
kingside and in the center. 11Bc6. White play the unpleasant
Let us see a typical psychological battle in 10.Nc2 (or 10.Nb3 with the idea c4-c5),
our variation! which destroys Blacks plans and due to
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 g6 5.c4 that the experts improved the move order
The first critical moment. Black is afraid for Black. After d4 Black takes already in
that White will move the knight as soon as the 9. move: 9Nd4 10.Bd4 and only
possible (Nc2). What to do? The taking after that 10Bd7. White needs to move
5Nd4 6.Qd4 is too early because of the the knight to the c2 square earlier and that
weakness on the long diagonal 6Nf6 brought to new researches of the positions
7.e5!). So Black arrives to the first after the immediate withdrawal 6.Nc2!
crossroads. Many chess players choose the Firstly let us have a look how White can
move 5Nf6, which forces White into effectively defend himself against the early
6.Nc3 that leaves Black with a significant f7-f5.

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 1


Voitsekehovsky S. : Aronian L. which is not weaker than the opponents
Minsk 1998 light-squared bishop.
13Nf5 14.Nc3 d6 15.Bd3 Nfd4 16.Nd4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 g6 5.c4 Qd4 17.Qd4 Nd4 18.000 Nc6 19.Rhe1
Bg7 6.Nc2 Nh6 7.Bd2! Whites play is simple: he will put pressure
This move is allowed by last development on the central lines, on the backward
of the knight: 7Bb2? 8.Bh6 Ba1 9.Na1! pawns d6 and e7.
Due to that Black often chooses 6d6, 1900 20.f3 Bf5 21.Be4 Be4 22.Ne4
where White fights against 7f5 with a Rf5 23.Kb2 Re5 24.f4 Rh5 25.Rh1 Rf8
simple development 7.Bd3! 26.g3 a5 27.a3 Rhf5 28.Rd2 Nb8 29.Re1
Very interesting is a recommendation of P. b5!?
H. Nielsen 6Qb6, after which White Of course Black wanted to get some
cannot come up with a good defence of the counter play but the outcome will be good
b2-pawn. After logical move 7.Nc3 for White.
Black takes 7Bc3!? 8.bc3 Nf6 and tries 30.Nc3 bc4 31.Re7 g5 32.fg5 Nc6 33.Rc7
to play without his pair of bishops against Rf2 34.Ne4 Rd2 35.Nd2 Rf2 36.Rc6 Rd2
the weak Whites pawns. In practice White 37.Kc3 Rh2 38.Kc4 Rg2 39.Rd6 Rg3
players have more success. They can 40.Rd5 a4 41.ba4 Kf7 42.Re5 Ra3 43.a5
develop a strong initiative with the dark- Ra1 44.Kb5 Rb1 45.Kc6 1:0.
squared bishop, for example: 9.Bd3 d6
10.Ne3 00 11.00 Ne5 12.Nd5 Nd5 The young Levon Aronian definitely
13.cd5 Qa5 14.Be2 Qc3 15.Rb1 Qc7 16.f4 learned a lot from the defeat and due to
Nd7 17.Bb2 f6 18.Qd2 Nc5 19.Qe3 e5 that he later on probably started to play this
20.de6 Be6 21.f5 gf5 22.ef5 Ba2 23.Ra1 variation with white pieces.
Bd5 24.Qd4 Qc6 25.Ra3 Nd7 26.Rd1 Rae8
27.Bh5 Re5 28.Qd2 Rf5 29.Rg3 Kh8 Aronian L. : Vorobiov E.
30.Qh6 Rg8 31.Bg6 Rg7 32.Bf5 Qb6 Moscow 2004
33.Bd4 1:0, Eljanov : Zubarev, Harkov
2001. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd4 4.Nd4 g6 5.c4
7f5 8.ef5 Nf5 9.Bc3! Qb6 10.Qd2 Bh6 Bg7 6.Nc2 Nf6 7.Nc3 00 8.Be2 d6 9.00
11.Qd5 Bg7 12.Bg7 Ng7 13.b3 Nd7!?
XIIIIIIIIY An interesting plan. Black wants to take
9r+l+k+-tr0 Bc3 and set up the blockage on the dark
squares. The plan is practically stolen
9zpp+pzp-snp0 from the English Opening: 1.c4 c5 2.Nc3
9-wqn+-+p+0 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cd5 Nd5 5.Bg2 Nc7 6.Qb3!?
9+-+Q+-+-0 (a provocation White is waiting for Nc6)
9-+P+-+-+0 6Nc6 7.Bc6!? bc6 8.Qa4. White even
gave up a tempo, because he believes in his
9+-+-+-+-0 pawn structure. There is no reason for
9PzPN+-zPPzP0 Black not to act the same way
9tRN+-mKL+R0 Most of the players do not like the
xiiiiiiiiy positions with the destroyed pawn structure
and because of that they almost
White has a slight advantage. His pawns
automatically respond with:
are more connected and without
10.Bd2 Nc5 11.b4!?
weaknesses. The exchanges in the center
A very interesting pawn sacrifice.
brought to life a light-squared bishop,
Especially because 11.f3 Qb6!? 12.Kh1

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 2


Qb2!? 13.Rb1 Bc3 looks promising for The opening of the a-file seems more
Black. logical, where Black is prevailing: 12...a5
11Ne6 13.a3 ab4 14.ab4 and only then 14Ned4
Critical is the taking: 11...Bc3 12.Bc3 Ne4 15.Nd4 Nd4 16.Be3. Black can continue
13.Bb2 (a new comparison with the actively 16e5, practice showed that the
English Opening is interesting and again most active continuation for White is
with the pieces of the opposite color: 1.c4 17.Nb5 Nb5 18.cb5 Be6 19.b6 f5 20.Bc4
c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.cd5 Nd5 5.Bg2 Bc4 21.Rc4 f4 22.Qd5 Kh8 23.Bd2 Qb6
Nc7 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.0-0 e5 8.d3 Be7 9.Nd2 24.Rfc1 with a good compensation.
Bd7 10.Nc4 0-0 11.Bc6 Bc6 12.Ne5). (Aalgard)
XIIIIIIIIY 13.Nd4 Nd4 14.Be3
9r+-wq-trk+0 In the position where the a-file is not
opened yet, the maneuver seems even
9zppsn-vlpzpp0 better. The bishop pair is not important
9-+l+-+-+0 because White can exchange the dark-
9+-zp-sN-+-0 squared bishops any time he wants.
9-+-+-+-+0 14Ne2 15.Qe2 b6 16.Rfd1 Bb7 17.Bd4
Bd4
9+-sNP+-zP-0 17f6 is possible, weaker seems to be
9PzP-+PzP-zP0 17...Rc8 18.Bg7 Kg7 19.e5.
9tR-vLQ+RmK-0 18.Rd4 Qc7 19.h4!
xiiiiiiiiy Again a typical plan with the attack on the
king. Look at the kingside where Black has
A very popular position almost equal to the
no pieces! He is facing the unpleasant
previous one. The only difference is that
choice: whether to let the h-pawn progress
Black cannot play b7-b5 and he is forced
or weaken himself even more with the
to withdraw 12Be8. This position was
move h7-h5.
played even by the World Champions!
19Rac8 20.h5 a6 21.Nd5 Bd5
You can imagine how much easier is the
position on the diagram where White can XIIIIIIIIY
move his bishop to the most logical square 9-+r+-trk+0
b2 13.Be6 (Black players also tried 9+-wq-zpp+p0
with 13...e5 14.Qe1 Qg5 15.Rd1 Be6 9pzp-zp-+p+0
16.Bd3 f5 17.f3 Nf6 18.f4 or 13...Qb6
14.a3 Be6 15.Ne3, in both cases with a 9+-+l+-+P0
strong initiative for White - Aalgard) 14.b5 9-zPPtRP+-+0
Ne5 (because of the move being practically 9+-+-+-+-0
lost, the commentators later recommended 9P+-+QzPP+0
14...Na5 15.Qd4 Nf6 16.Ne3 Qc7 17.Rac1
Qc5 18.Qh4 Rac8 19.Rfd1 or 14...Nb8 9+-tR-+-mK-0
15.Qd4 Nf6 16.g4 Qb6 17.g5 Qd4 18.Bd4 xiiiiiiiiy
Ne4 (18...Nfd7 19.Bf3) 19.Bf3 d5 20.Bg2, A typical position: considering the rules
again with the initiative for White) 15.Qd4 that we were following the best move for
Nf6 16.f4 Ned7 (16...Neg4 17.h3 Nh6 White would be the taking 22.Rd5!? But
18.g4) 17.g4 Qb6 18.f5 White won a piece even the taking with the e-pawn, which
and quickly won as in the game Svidler : was Aronians choice, is not bad in the
Tivjakov, Halkidika 2002. current position. White is combining the
12.Rc1 Ned4 positional play with the attack on the king

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 3


and opening the fourth rank for his rook 2.f3
for the possible transposition to the h-file. A typical move an additional defence of
At the same time the e7-pawn is weak. the e4-pawn. White wants to free from this
22.ed5 Rfe8 23.Re4 Qd7 24.Re1 b5 assignment his knight on c3, which is also
25.cb5 ab5 26.h6! Kf8 27.Qb2 f6 actively preventing the move b7-b5.
XIIIIIIIIY 2Rc8 3.Qd2
9-+r+rmk-+0 Possibly the strongest move is 3.Rac1 Ne5
4.Na3 Qa5 (preparing b7-b5) 5.Qb3! with
9+-+qzp-+p0 an unpleasant threat Bb6.
9-+-zp-zppzP0 3Re8 4.Rac1 Qa5 5.Rfd1
9+p+P+-+-0 The plan 5.Na3 Be6 6.Nab1 is interesting
9-zP-+R+-+0 but too slow, it did not bring success to
White in the game Gulko : P. H. Nielsen,
9+-+-+-+-0 Esbjerg 2000.
9PwQ-+-zPP+0 5Ne5
9+-+-tR-mK-0 Or 5Red8
xiiiiiiiiy XIIIIIIIIY
28.Re7! 9-+rtr-+k+0
The transposition to a winning endgame. 9+p+lzppvlp0
28Qe7 29.Re7 Ke7 30.Qe2 Kf7 31.Qb5 9p+nzp-snp+0
Rc1 32.Kh2 1:0.
9wq-+-+-+-0
Black can fight against the withdrawal of 9-+P+P+-+0
the knight to c2 with the plan a7-a6 and 9+-sN-vLP+-0
b7-b5, like love to play the Scandinavians 9PzPNwQL+PzP0
(in the past Bent Larsen and Ulf
Andersson, nowadays P. H. Nielsen). 9+-tRR+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
Short N. : Felgaer R. 6.b4! a typical trick, linked with the
Argentina 2001 placement of the queen and the undefended
XIIIIIIIIY e7-pawn: 6Nb4? 7.Nd5 Nc6 8.Qa5 Na5
9r+-wq-trk+0 9.Ne7 and 10.Nc8. Remains 6Qh5
7.Nd5 and White is better.
9zpp+lzppvlp0 XIIIIIIIIY
9-+nzp-snp+0 9-+r+r+k+0
9+-+-+-+-0 9+p+lzppvlp0
9-+P+P+-+0 9p+-zp-snp+0
9+-sN-vL-+-0 9wq-+-sn-+-0
9PzPN+LzPPzP0 9-+P+P+-+0
9tR-+Q+RmK-0 9+-sN-vLP+-0
xiiiiiiiiy 9PzPNwQL+PzP0
1a6
The weaker plan is 1Qa5? 2.f4 Rac8 9+-tRR+-mK-0
3.Rb1! a6 4.b4 Qd8 5.Qd3 and White was xiiiiiiiiy
much better in the game Short : Andersson, 6.b4
Wijk aan Zee 1990. Much better than 6.Na3 h5 7.Kf1 Ba4!?

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 4


8.Re1 Bc6 with an excellent counter play his partner on c3 is already prepared for
for Black, Anand : Larsen, Roquebrune action (on b5 or d5).
1992 0:1. 2Nd7
The game would be practically decided The second logical possibility is 2Ne8
after 6.c5! and Black would be facing big with the play against the d4 square, for
troubles. example: 3.Rc1 (3.Nf3 Nf6!) 3Nd4
6Qd8 7.Na3 a5 8.b5 Be6 9.Na4 Nfd7 4.Nb3 Ne2 5.Qe2 a4! 6.Nd4 Nc7, like in
10.b6! and White had a huge advantage. the game Cvetkovic : Martinovic,
Yugoslavia 1991.
For some years was very popular a plan 3.Rc1 Nd7
with the withdrawal of the knight on b3 After the principled 3.c5 dc5 4.Bc5 Be6
and with the preparation of the move c4- 5.Nc4 Nd7 6.Be3 Rc8 the position is at
c5. We have in mind the next position: least equal for Black.
XIIIIIIIIY 4.Nb3!?
9r+-wq-trk+0 Korchnoi in his provocative style! The
knight that recently spent two moves for
9zpp+lzppvlp0 the maneuver Nd4-b3-d2 will in the
9-+nzp-snp+0 following two moves return over the same
9+-+-+-+-0 squares: Nd2-b3-d4! What an absurd
9-+P+P+-+0 action!
3b6 4.Nd4
9+NsN-vL-+-0 Anand probably did not understand
9PzP-+LzPPzP0 Whites play, though it was not so
9tR-+Q+RmK-0 unreasonable. What did achieve Black
xiiiiiiiiy while the Whites knight was dancing
around? He moved the a7-pawn and b7-
Black can choose between two plans:
pawn to a5 and b6, which has its pros and
1a5 with the play against the unusual
cons. The pawns did set up a blockage on
placement of the knight or 1b6 with
the dark squares but they made many light
placement of some kind of wall, which is
squares weak (b5, c6). The bishop did
preventing Whites planned move. The
move to c8 and left an important d7 square
first plan is concrete and the second one is
to the knight, which has a task on c5.
connected with a complicated strategic
After the return of the knight to d4 Black
play.
has no choice but to exchange a pair of
knights. Because of the weak light squares
Kortschnoj V. : Anand V.
it would be unforgivable for one of the
Wijk aan Zee 1990
knights to move to b5 and for the other one
to threat with moving to d5. And the fact is
1a5!?
that the knight on c6 is not playing a
The old rule says that the progression with
significant role in the position.
a rook pawn, with the unpleasant threat a5
4Nd4 5.Bd4
(a4), is always good against the placement
of the knight to b6 (b3) .
2.Nd2
It threatened 2a4 in 3a3 with the
destruction of the queenside and because
of that White gave up another tempo. The
knight on d2 is defending the e4-pawn and

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 5


XIIIIIIIIY 13.fg6 hg6 14.Bg5 a4 15.Qe3 ab3 16.ab3
9r+lwq-trk+0 Ra2 17.Rf2 Qe6 18.Bf3 draw.
9+-+nzppvlp0 Despite the good experiences with the
9-zp-zp-+p+0 move 1a7-a5, many players like the
9zp-+-+-+-0 setting up of the wall.
9-+PvLP+-+0
Polugaevsky L. : Ljubojevic L.
9+-sN-+-+-0 Monaco 1992
9PzP-+LzPPzP0 XIIIIIIIIY
9+-tRQ+RmK-0 9r+-wq-trk+0
xiiiiiiiiy 9zpp+lzppvlp0
5Bh6! 9-+nzp-snp+0
A very instructive moment. Black won a
tempo and for him is even more important 9+-+-+-+-0
to keep the dark-squared bishops. If not so 9-+P+P+-+0
Whites attack would become very 9+NsN-vL-+-0
dangerous. For example: 5Bb7 6.Bg7 9PzP-+LzPPzP0
Kg7 7.Qd4 Kg8 8.f4 Nc5 9.f5. Black
would not have enough pieces on the 9tR-+Q+RmK-0
kingside and Whites pieces would be able xiiiiiiiiy
to attack freely. (Nd5, Rc3-h3). 1b6
6.f4 Quite illogical move is 1Na5 2.Nd2!
After 6.Rc2 e5! 7.Be3 Be3 8.fe3 Nc5 with the threat b2-b4.
9.Bf3 Bb7 Blacks position would be at 2.f3
least equal. White tried many moves. After 2.a4 a5!
6Bb7 7.Be3 Nc5 8.b3!? Black would win yet another dark square
White already had problems. After 8.Bf3 on the queenside (b4) and Blacks knights
e5! does not work 9.Qd2 ef4 10.Bf4 Bf4 on c5 and b4 would be very unpleasant for
11.Qf4 Nd3. For this reason Korchnoi White, but the most consistent is the set up
decided for complications. with f2-f4, Be2-f3 and the play in the
8Ne4 9.Ne4 Be4 10.Qd4 Bc6 11.f5!? center. However White does not have a
Korchnoi understandably did not like the direct and clear plan in the center and due
endgame after 11.Qb6 Qb6 12.Bb6 Rfb8 to that the position is easier for Black,
13.Be3 a4, when only Black would be which is simply following the dark-squared
playing with his a5-pawn and b4-pawn. strategy, preparing the dark squares for his
The pawn sacrifice is quite unpleasant. In knights and directing them towards the
the case of Black taking on the challenge: dark squares (especially to c5).
11Be3 12.Qe3 Kg7 (it Polugaevsky chose a slow plan, connected
threatened13.Qh6), White would after with the conquering of the space and with
13.Rf4 achieve an unpleasant initiative, putting pressure on Black.
which is certainly not in Anands style. 2Ne8
11Bg7 12.Qb6 Qd7 With the idea 2Bc3.
Why not 12Qb6 13.Bb6 Rfb8 14.Be3 a4, 3.Qd2 Rc8 4.Rac1 Ne5 5.Nd5 e6!
with the transposition to the already known Whites knight does not have a good
position with an undoubted advantage for square to withdraw (because of the
Black? undefended c4-pawn) and Ljubojevic took

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 6


advantage of the favorable moment. It
would be very difficult for White to attack
the d6-pawn.
6.Nf4 Qe7 7.Rfd1 f5 8.ef5 Rf5
Even better would be 8gf5 9.Nd4 Ng6
10.Nh5
XIIIIIIIIY
9-+r+ntrk+0
9zp-+lwq-vlp0
9-zp-zpp+n+0
9+-+-+p+N0
9-+PsN-+-+0
9+-+-vLP+-0
9PzP-wQL+PzP0
9+-tRR+-mK-0
xiiiiiiiiy
10Bd4! 11.Bd4 (11.Qd4 e5 12.Qd2 f4)
11f4! 12.Bf2 (it threatened 12Qh4)
12Bc6 with an excellent play for Black.
The maneuver, which needs to be
remembered!
9.Nd4 Rf8
With a very complicated play and draw in
52 moves.

FIDE Surveys Georg Mohr 7