Sunday, February 17, 2013

A defensive wall of knights

I played against a Bojoljubow defense friday evening but failed to find the weak spot - and as it turned out, there was none. When I came home in the middle of the night, I started looking up the defense, and it seems the line my opponent played is not covered in Scheerer.

Guido De Bouver - Wilfried Gys
1.d4 Nf6 2.f3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 4.Nc3 exf3 5.Nxf3 g6 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.00 00 8.Qe1
I played 8.Ne5 some years ago the same opponent, and was very lucky to win after 8...Nc6, which gives black the advantage. Since then, I learned that Qe1 is better.

8...Bf5 9.h3
Maybe the immediate 9.Qh4 would be better.

The knight is normally played to c6, but black aims to create a defensive wall of knights.

10.Qh4 (diagram)

10...c6 11.Bh6 Qc7 12.Ng5 (diagram)
Completely equal, says my silicon assistant.

12...b5 13.Bd3 ?
13.Bb3 would have given white the advantage, but now black starts his counterplay.

13...Bxd3 14.cxd3 Qd6
Very good move - black is now clearly on top and I lost a piece a few moves later.

But how to play against this defensive wall of knights ? Let's look at the position after 9.Qh4 Nbd7 10.h3 (diagram above). We will look today at the line 10...c6 11.Bh6 (diagram) which was played in my game

a/ 11...Bxh6 12.Qxh6
...a1/ 12...b5 13.Bb3 Ne2 (=)
...a2/ 12...a5 13.g4 Bxc2 14.Rac1 b5 15.Ng5 (+=)
...a3/ 12...c5 13.Bb5 (=)
...a4/ 12...e6 13.g4 (+=)
...a5/ 12...Qc7 13.Ng5 (=)
...a6/ 12...Qb6 13.Bb3 (=)
...a7/ 12...Bxc2 13.Rf2 (=)

b/ 11...b5 12.Bb3 (=)

c/ 11...a5 12.g4 (=)

d/ 11...e6 12.Bb3 (=)

e/ 11...Qc7 12.Ng5 (as in the game)
...e1/ 12...e5 13.dxe5 (=)
...e2/ 12...e6 13.Bb3 (=)
...e3/ 12...Bxh6 13.Qxh6 (=)
...e4/ 12...b5 13.Bb3 (+=)
...e5/ 12...Qd6 13.Bb3 (=)

f/ 11...Qb6 12.Bb3 (=)

g/ 11...Bxc2 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Rf2 (=)

So we see that white must play very carefully in this line. There is no golden bullet to demolish black's defensive position as there are no apparent sacrifices. A tough nut for the attacker !


  1. This whole line in the Bogoljubow is a transposition to the Studier-Zilbermints Attack. The variation occurs after 5...g6 6 Bc4 Bg7 7 00 00 8 h3! c6 9 Qe1 Bf5 10 Qh4 b5 11 Bb3 Nbd7 12 Bh6!

    I have this heavily analyzed, the subject of an upcoming BDG book.

    1. Studier attack, yes we all know that. But Studier-Zilbermints ? Is that based on the thread of allowing the pawn capture on d4, combined with Kh1 ? So what about7.00 00 8.h3 Nc6 ?? h3 seems like a waste of time as attacker now has to deal with defending the d4 pawn ?

    2. You are confusing the Studier-Zilbermints with the Kloss Attack. Indeed, the Kloss Attack does go 8 Kh1. Regarding your suggestion of 7 00 00 8 h3 Nc6, White can play 9 d5, driving the Nc6 away.
      That said, your game did transpose to the Studier-Zilbermints.

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