BISHOP'S OPENING | DIMOCK TOURNAMENT | URUSOV GAMBIT | TWO KNIGHTS DEFENSE | LINKS
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The Queen Check (or Modern Variation)

Black's best defense is 5....d5 6.exd5 Qe7+! putting an awkward question to White's King. White has three choices, but only 7.Kf1 is worth serious consideration, when White gains a pawn to compensate for his misplaced monarch.

QC1) 7.Qe2
QC2) 7.Be2
QC3) 7.Kf1

Position after 6....Qe7+

Introduction
The Gambit Line
The Main Line
The Lolli Attack
The Queen Check
Early Divergences
Links & Acknowledgments
Games in PGN Format

QC1) 7.Qe2?!

QC1a) 7....Qxe2+! 8.Kxe2 Nb4 9.Na3 Nbxd5 =+

QC1b) 7....Nb4!? 8.Qxe7+ Bxe7 9.d6 cxd6!? (9....Nxc2+ 10.Kd2 Bf5 11.dxe7 Nxa1 12.Na3 Bg4 13.b3 h6 14.Nf3 Ne4+ 15.Ke1 Nd6 was unclear in Poletayev-Rozinov, USSR Correspondence 1955 - though if anyone can improve here it is Black, while 9....Bxd6 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Bb3 Bf5 =+ may be better than the game continuation since it avoids damaged pawns) 10.Bxf7+ Kf8 11.Bb3 d5 12.a3 Nc6 13.O-O h6 14.Nf3 Bg4 15.Nbd2 a5 16.Ba4 Rc8 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Nxd4 c5 19.N4b3 Bd6 20.f3 Bf5 21.c3 Kf7 22.Re1 Rhe8 23.Rxe8 Rxe8 24.Nf1 Bc2 25.Nbd2 c4 =+ 26.g3 Bc5+ 27.Kh1 Re2 28.Ra2 Re1 29.Ra1 Bd3 30.Kg2 Re2+ 31.Kh3 Rf2 32.b4 cxb3 0-1 Parker-Tebb, Hastings 1995.

QC2) 7.Be2 Nxd5 8.O-O h6 (8....Be6?! 9.Re1 O-O-O 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Bg4 Kb8 12.Rxe6 Qf7 13.Bg5 += Nordsieck-Cygon, Germany 1991) 9.Nf3 (9.Bc4!? hxg5! =+) 9....Qf6 =+ 10.Nbd2 Bf5 11.Nb3 O-O-O 12.Nfxd4 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 Qxd4 14.Nxd4 Bh7 15.c4 Nb4 16.Be3 Be7 17.Rad1 Bf6 18.Nb5 a6 19.Nc3 Bd3 20.Bxd3 Nxd3 21.Bc1 Rhe8 22.Nd5 Nxc1 23.Rxc1 Bxb2 24.Rc2 Bd4 25.g3 c6 26.Nf4 Kc7 27.h4 Re4 28.Kg2 Be5 29.Kf3 Red4 30.Ne2 Rd3+ 31.Kg2 Rd2 32.Rfc1 Bb2 33.Rxd2 Rxd2 34.Re1 Bf6 35.Nf4 Rxa2 36.Nh5 Kd6 37.Nxf6 gxf6 38.c5+ Kxc5 39.Re7 b5 40.Rxf7 b4 41.Rxf6 b3 42.Rf5+ 0-1 Sokolsky-Keres, Moscow 1949.

QC3) 7.Kf1 (In return for losing the right to castle, White gains a pawn) 7....Ne5 (7...Na5?! 8.d6! cxd6 9.Bxf7+ Kd8 10.Bb3 += or 10.Qe2 +=; 7...Bg4?! 8.f3 Ne5 9.Qxd4 Nxc4 10.Qxc4 Bf5 11.Nc3 0–0–0 12.Bf4 ±) 8.Qxd4 Nxc4 (8....h6!? 9.Ne4 Nxc4 10.Nxf6+ Qxf6 11.Qxc4 Bd6 12.Qe2+ Kf8 13.Nc3 Bf5 14.Be3 Qg6 15.Rc1 a6 16.Qd2 Kg8 17.Ne2 Re8 18.Ng3 Bd7 19.c4 h5 20.Qc2 Qxc2 21.Rxc2 h4 22.Ne2 h3 23.g3 Bf5 24.Rc1 += Szabo-Kostic, Ljubljana 1938) 9.Qxc4

Black now has three common choices:

 

QC3a) 9....Bd7?! (This move allows White to retain the extra pawn with only a few technical problems to solve) 10.Nc3 h6 11.Nf3 Qb4 12.Qe2 Be7 13.a3 Qc5 14.Be3 Qd6 15.b4 O-O 16.Bc5 ± Qf4 17.Bxe7 Rfe8 18.Re1 a6 19.Kg1 Bg4 20.h3 Bh5 21.Qd2 Qc4 22.Bxf6 gxf6 23.Kh2 +- Rad8 24.Re3 Bg6 25.Rhe1 Rxe3 26.Qxe3 b5 27.Ne4 Kg7 28.Ng3 Qxc2 29.Nh4 Qa2 30.Nhf5 1-0 Tella-Salo, Moscow 1995.

QC3b) 9....Qc5
In this position, where the Knight has not yet been forced to retreat from g5, White can play to retain the pawn in a challenging ending by immediately exchanging Queens with 10.Qxc5! or he can return the pawn for speedy development after 10.Qe2+ Be7 11.Be3. Both options are probably about equal, but the Queenless middlegame positions following 10.Qxc5! hold out more hope for a White edge due to his extra pawn.

QC3c1) 10.Qe2+ (After this retreat, White generally must surrender the pawn at d5) 10....Be7

QC3c1a) 11.Nc3?! Nxd5 12.Nge4 Nxc3 13.Nxc3 Be6 14.Be3 Qc6 15.Qf3 Qxf3 16.gxf3 O-O-O =+ Stillger-Pavlovic, ICC 2000

QC3c1b) 11.Ne4!? Nxe4!? (11....Qxd5 12.Nxf6+ gxf6 13.Nc3 Qc6! 14.Qb5! Bd7 15.Qxc6 Bxc6 16.f3 O-O-O 17.Be3 Bb4 =) 12.Qxe4 f5! 13.Qd3 O-O = with the idea of attacking with f4, and Black should have sufficient compensation for the pawn. In any event, this does not look like a good attempt at playing for an advantage as White.

QC3c1c) 11.c4?!
This move does not really protect the d-pawn, but it does give White some tactical play and control of the center. Black has two strong responses, however, in 11....Nxd5 or 11....b5!, both of which give at least equality.

QC3c1c1) 11....Nxd5

QC3c1c1a) 12.Nxf7? O-O (or 12....Rf8 13.Ng5 Bf5 14.a3 Bd3 0-1 Kovalevskaya-Tereshkova Minsk 1996) 13.Ng5 Rxf2+! 14.Qxf2 Qxc4+ 15.Qe2 Qxc1+ 16.Qe1 Qxg5 -+ 17.h3 Ne3+ 0-1 Persson-Bergljung, SWE Correspondence 1980

QC3c1c1b) 12.Na3 Nf6 (12....Nb4! is better) 13.b4! Qc6 (14....Qxb4? 15.Nb5 threatens both Ba3 and Nxc7+ and wins material) 14.Bb2 Bf5 15.Rd1 a6 16.h4 h6 17.Nf3 Qe6 18.Nd4 Qxe2+ 19.Kxe2 = Vogt-Sauermann, Correspondence 1967

QC3c1c1c) 12.Ne4 Qc6 13.Bg5

QC3c1c1c1) 13....Bxg5 14.Nxg5+ Kf8

QC3c1c1c1a) 15.Qe4 Nb4 16.Nc3 Qxe4 17.Ngxe4 Bf5 18.f3 Bxe4 19.Nxe4 Ke7 20.Ke2 Rhd8 21.Rhd1 Rxd1 22.Rxd1 Rd8 23.Rxd8 Kxd8 24.a3 Nc6 1/2-1/2 Sax-Smejkal, Budapest 1975.

QC3c1c1c1b) 15. cxd5 Qc1+ 16.Qe1 Qxg5 17. Nc3 (17.Qb4+?! Qe7 18.Qxe7+ Kxe7 19.Nc3 Bf5 =+ Goedkoop-Vadum, EUR Correspondence 1996) 17....Bd7 18. Qe3 Qxe3 19. fxe3 f5 20. Kf2 Kf7 21. Rac1 Rhe8 22. Rhd1 c5 23. dxc6 Bxc6 24. Ne2 Rac8 25. Rc5 g6 26. Rdc1 Rcd8 27. Nd4 = Kiritsenko-Dobrowolsky, Karvina 1992.

QC3c1c1c2) 13....Nf6! 14.Nbc3 Be6 15.b3 O-O-O 16.Nxf6 gxf6 17.Nb5 Bc5 18.Bf4 Bf5 19.Qh5 Qe4 =+ 20.Qf3 Qxf3 21.gxf3 Bh3+ 22.Ke2 Rhe8+ 23.Be3 f5 24.b4 Bxb4 25.Nxa7+ Kb8 26.Rhb1 Rd2+ 27.Ke1 Rxa2+ 28.Kd1 Rd8+ 29.Kc1 Ba3+ 0-1 Norqvist-Blomstrom, Ronneby SWE 1998.

QC3c1c2) 11....b5! 12.b3 (White does not get full equality with 12.Be3 Qxc4 13.Qxc4 bxc4 14.Nc3 Bf5! due to Black's two Bishops and chances of pressuring White's queenside pawns, either immediately with a5 and Rb8 or after preparation with h6, Bd6, Kd7, and Rhb8; meanwhile, Black's pawn at c4 is strongly placed on a white square and easily defended by Bd3+) 12....Nxd5! (not 12....bxc4? 13.Ba3! Bg4 14.f3 Bf5 15.bxc4 Bd3 16.Qxd3 Qb6 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 18.Nd2 +- Manthe-Levin, Chicago 1990, but also good is 12....O-O!? 13.Ba3 b4 14.Bb2 Nxd5! [the Knight at g5 is attacked now that the Bishop at e7 is unpinned] 15.Ne4 Qb6 16.Nbd2 Nf4 17.Qe3 Qxe3 18.fxe3 Nd3 19.Bd4 c5 20.Ke2 cxd4 21.Kxd3 dxe3 22.Kxe3 f5 0-1 Ruiz-Navarro, Spanish Correspondence 1995) 13.Ba3 b4! (One point of 11....b5: the pawn now cramps White's queenside development) 14.Bb2 Nf4 15.Ne4 Qf5 16.Qf3 Bb7! 17.Nbd2 O-O-O 18.g4 Qg6 19.Qxf4 Rxd2 20.Nxd2 Bxh1 21.Re1 Bg5 0-1 Fink-Maric, Correspondence 1959.

QC3c1d) 11.Be3 (After 10.Qe2+, White must surrender the d-pawn eventually, so he may as well gain time for development in the process with these attacks on the Black Queen) 11....Qxd5 12.Nc3

QC3c1d1) 12....Qc6?! 13.Bd4! O-O 14.Qxe7 Qc4+

QC3c1d1a) 15.Ne2? (Surely this is putting too much faith in the defense of material, but Black's attack seems to yield only a draw.) 15....Bg4 16.Bxf6 Rae8 17.f3 gxf6 18.Qxf6 Qxe2+ 19.Kg1 Qd2!? (19....Qe3+ =) 20.fxg4 Re1+ 21.Rxe1 Qxe1+ 22.Qf1 Qe3+ 23.Qf2 Qc1+ 24.Qf1 Qxg5 (24....Qe3+ =) 25.h4 Qxg4 26.Rh3 Rd8 27.Kh2 Qd4 28.Qf5 Rd6 29.Qc8+ Kg7 30.Qxc7 Rg6 31.Qc3 += Rd6 32.h5 Kh6 33.Qxd4 Rxd4 34.Rf3 Rd7 35.Rf5 Kg7 36.Kg3 Rd2 37.Rc5 Kf6 38.Kf3 Ke6 39.g4 h6 40.Rc7 Kf6 41.a4 Rd4 42.b3 Rb4 43.a5 Rb5 44.a6 bxa6 45.Rxa7 Rb6 46.Ra8 Rc6 47.c4 Rb6 48.Kf4 Rxb3 49.Rxa6+ Kg7 50.c5 Rb4+ 51. Ke5 Rxg4 52.c6 Rc4 53.Kd6 Re4 54.Ra5 Kf6 55.c7 Re1 56.c8=Q Rd1+ 57.Rd5 1-0 Nagy-Nickl, Eger Hungary 1987.

QC3c1d1b) 15.Kg1! Qxd4 16.Rd1! Qf4 (The Queen must keep an eye on the f7 square, even if indirectly. If 16....Qc4? 17.Rd8! Nd7 18.Nd5!! Qxd5 19.Qxf8+ Nxf8 20.Rxd5 ±) 17.Rd8! Nd7 (not 17....Qc1+? 18.Nd1 Ne8 19.Nxh7 ±) 18.g3! Qf5 (or 18....Qf6 19.Nd5!) 19.Nd5 Qxd5 20.Qxf8+! Nxf8 21.Rxd5 ±

QC3c1d2) 12....Qf5! (12....Qa5!? 13.Bd2 =)

QC3c1d2a) 13.Bd2?! Qxc2 =+ 14.Rc1 Qxb2 15.Rb1 Qc2 16.Rc1 Qf5 17.Nb5 O-O! 18.Nxc7 Ba3!? 19.Rc3 Bb4 20.Rf3 Qb1+ 21.Qe1 Qxe1+ 22.Bxe1 Bxe1 23.Nxa8 Bd2 24.h4 Re8 25.g3 Bd7 26.Nc7 Re1+ 27.Kg2 Rxh1 28.Rd3 Rc1 29.Ne4 Rxc7 30.Nxf6+ gxf6 31.Rxd2 Bc6+ 32.f3 Rd7 33.Rf2 f5 0-1 Karaklajic-Lejlic, Banja Vrucica 1991.

QC3c1d2b) 13.Re1?! O-O! (The King must eventually escape the file. If 13....h6 14.Bd4! O-O 15.Qxe7 +=) 14.Bd4 c5! with a big plus for Black.

QC3c1d2c) 13.Nb5!? Nd5 14.Bd2 (14.c4?! Nxe3+ 15.Qxe3 Qxg5 16.Nxc7+ Kd7! 17.Qxg5 Bxg5 18.Nxa8 Kc6! and Black will recover the Knight with advantage) 14.....O-O! 15.Nd4!? Qg6 16.h4!? h6 17.c4 Nb6 18.h5 Qf6 19.Ngf3 =+/=. White continues to struggle with a relatively poor King placement, and Black's two Bishops should give him a slight plus. But White might hold his own with good play.

QC3c2) 10.Qxc5! Bxc5 11.Nc3 +=/= (White has excellent prospects of making his extra pawn tell in the ensuing tactically sharp endgame. Black will try to turn his two Bishops and White's poorly placed King into compensation, but White should be able to overcome these deficits with careful and active play. White should especially keep in mind the possibility of returning the pawn at the right moment in order to gain a tactical or strategic advantage. In practice, though, Black has good chances, and close analysis may end up revealing that the position is basically equal with best play.) 11....Bf5 (Too passive for Black is 11....O-O 12.Bf4 Bb6?! 13.Nge4 Bf5 14.Nxf6+ gxf6 15.Na4 += Honfi-Hacsak, Budapest 1955; 11....h6!? 12.Nge4 Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bb6 14.c4?! [14.Be3! Bxe3 15.fxe3 Bf5 16.Nf2 O-O-O 17.e4 += or 16....Bxc2?! 17.Rc1 Bg6 18.Rxc7 ±] 14....Bf5 15.Nd2? [15.f3 O-O-O 16.Bd2 +=/=] 15....Bd3+ 16.Kg1 O-O-O! and Black had compensation for the pawn in Draica-Kiss, Szombathely 1993 but here White's play was entirely too passive. Black's best move may actually be the rare 11...Bb4! when White's best is 12.Bd2! and not 12.Nge4?! Nxe4 13.Nxe4 Bf5 14.f3 0-0-0 15.c3 Rxd5 16.Be3 Be7 17.Bd4 Bxe4 18.fxe4 Rg5 19.Kf2 Bc5 20.Rad1 Re8 21.Kf3 Bxd4 1/2-1/2 as in Hopfer-Gray Correspondence 1990, where Black missed opportunities for an edge.)

QC3c2a) 12.Be3?! Bxe3 13.fxe3 h6 14.Nh3 O-O-O 15.Nf2 Rhe8 16.Re1 Nxd5 17.e4 Nxc3 18.exf5 Nd5 =+ 19.Ne4 Re5 20.f6 gxf6 21.Ng3 Ne3+ 22.Kf2 Rd2+ 23.Kf3 Nxg2 24.Rxe5 fxe5 25.Nf5 h5 0-1 Shirov-Klovans, Riga 1986.

QC3c2b) 12.Bf4! O-O (12....h6?! 13.Re1+ Kf8 14.Nge4 +=; 12....Rc8?! 13.Re1+ Kf8 14.Nge4 Bxe4 15.Nxe4 Nxd5 16.Nxc5 Nxf4 17.Nxb7 += and Black has no compensation for the pawn; 12....Bb6 13.Re1+ Kf8 14.d6! +=; 12....Bxc2!?) 13.Bxc7 (13.h3?! Rfd8 14.Bxc7 Rd7 15.d6 Bxc2 =)

QC3c2b1) 13....Rac8?! 14.d6! Bxc2 15.Rc1 Bd3+ 16.Kg1 h6 17.Rd1!? Rfe8 18.Nf3 Be2 19.Rd2 Bc4 20.h3 Nd7 21.Kh2 Re6 22.Rc1 Ba6 23.a3 b5 24.b4 Bb6 25.Nd5 Kh7 26.Ne7 Rxc7 27.dxc7 Rxe7 28.c8=Q Bxc8 29.Rxc8 ± Nf6 30.Rcc2 Rb7 31.g3 Ne4 32.Re2 Nd6 33.Rc6 Nf5 34.Rd2 g6 35.Kg2 Re7 36.Kf1 h5 37.Rd5 Rb7 38.Rc2 Kg7 39.Rxb5 Rd7 40.Rd2 Rc7 41.Rbd5 Rc3 42.R5d3 Rc1+ 43.Kg2 Ra1 44.Ne5 Bc7 45.Nxf7 Bxg3 46.fxg3 Kxf7 47.Rd7+ Kf6 48.Rxa7 1-0 Eisinger-Hodakowski, Bad Neuenahr 1957

QC3c2b2) 13....Bxc2 14.Rc1 (14.Be5? Bd3+ 15.Kg1 Bxf7+! =+) 14....Bd3+ 15.Kg1

QC3c2b2a) 15....Rfc8 16.d6 h6 17.Nf3 Bf5 18.Rd1 Bb6 19.Bxb6 axb6 20.h3 Kf8 21.Nd4 Bd7 22.Kh2 Ra5 23.Rhe1 Nd5 24.Ndb5 Nxc3 25.Nxc3 Bc6 26.Re7 Rd8 27.Re3 Rf5 28.f3 Rf6 29.Red3 Re6 30.a4 f6 31.b4 Be8 32.d7! Bg6 33.Rd6 Ke7 34.R6d4 Rc6 35.Nd5+ Kf8 36.b5 Rd6 37.Nf4! Rxd4 38.Nxg6+ Kf7 39.Rxd4 Kxg6 ± 40.Rd6 Kf7 41.Kg3 Ke7 42.Rxb6! Rxd7 43.Kf4 Kd8 44.a5 Kc7 45.Re6 Rd4+ 46.Re4 g5+ 47.Kg4 Rd5 48.Re7+ Kc8 49.a6 bxa6 50.bxa6 Kb8 51.Re6 f5+ 52.Kh5 Rd2 53.g4 fxg4 54.fxg4 1-0 Pfleger-Kujpers, Olpe 1964.

QC3c2b2b) 15....Rfe8 16.h3 (16.d6! or 16.h4 seem better) 16....h6 (16....Re7!? 17.d6 Rd7 [the Rook is a surprisingly effective blockader here] 18.Nce4 Bxe4 19.Rxc5 h6 20.Nf3 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Ne8 22.Kg2 1/2-1/2 Pfleger-Lengyel, Hamburg 1965 ) 17.Nf3 Rac8 18.d6 Nd7 19.Rd1 Be2 20.Rd2 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Re6 22.Kh2 f5 23.Rhd1 g6 24.a3 a6 25.b4 Ba7 26.Nd5 Kf7 27.Nf4 Re5 28.Rg1 g5 29.Nd3 Rd5 30.f4! Rg8 31.Ne5+! Nxe5 32.Rxd5 Nf3+ 33.Kg2 Nxg1 34.Rxf5+ Ke6 35.Re5+ Kd7 36.Kxg1 gxf4+ 37.Kf1 Re8 38.Rf5 ± Re4 39.Rf6 Rc4 40.Kg2 h5 41.h4 f3+ 42.Rxf3 Rxh4 43.Rf5 Kc6 44.f4 b5 45.Bd8 Rg4+ 46.Kf3 Rg6 47.Be7 h4 48.Rg5 Re6 49.f5 Re5 50.Kf4 Re2 51.Rg8 Rf2+ 52.Ke5 1-0 Stroeher-Husemann, ICCF 2000.

QC3c2b2c) 15....Rac8 16.d6 (16.Be5!? Rfd8 17.Bxf6! gxf6 18.Nge4 Bd4 19.Rd1 Bxe4 20.Rxd4 Rxd5 21.Rxd5 Bxd5 22.f3 Bc4 23.Kf2 Rd8 24.b3 Rd2+! = 25.Kg3 Be6 26.Rd1 Rc2 27.Rd3 a6 28.Ne4 Rxa2 29.Nxf6+ Kg7 30.Nh5+ Kg6 31.Nf4+ Kf6 32.Nxe6 Kxe6 33.Rd4 Ra3 34.b4 b5 1/2-1/2 Hanison-Woodward, English Correspondence 2000) 16....h6 17.Nf3 Ng4 18.Ne4!? Bb6! = 19.h3 Bxe4 20.hxg4 Bxc7 21.d7 Rcd8 22.Rxc7 f6 23.Kh2 Rf7 24.Rd1 Kh7 25.Rd6 Bc6 26.Nd4 Rdxd7 27.Rdxd7 Rxd7 28.Rxd7 Bxd7 29.Kg3 g6 = Carleton-Beach, Staffordshire 1973, 1/2-1/2 in 60 moves.

QC3c2b3) 13....h6 14.Nf3 Bxc2 15.Ne1 (This seems to misplace the Knight; 15.Rc1 Bd3+ 16.Kg1 looks more natural.) 15....Bf5 16.Rd1 Rac8 17.Be5?! (White gets distracted by the prospect of damaging Black's kingside pawns, when 17.d6! += was the only logical follow-through on his previous play.) 17....Rfd8 18.Bxf6 gxf6 19.g4 Bg6 20.f4?! (20.Rg1 or 20.h4, with the idea of getting the Rook into play, should keep a slight edge) 20....f5! 21.g5 Bb4! 22.h4 Bh5 23.Rd4 Bxc3 24.bxc3 Rxc3 = 25.Rh2 Rd6 26.gxh6 Kh7 27.Rc2 Ra3 28.Kf2 Kxh6 29.Nd3 Ra5 30.Nb4 Ra3 31.Nd3 1/2-1/2 Sax-Lengyel, Budapest 1973.

QC3c) 9....h6! =
This move drives back the White Knight at a moment when it cannot go to e4. Black thus makes it difficult for White to hold onto the d-pawn in the main line without making some other sacrifice. White has two choices: he can sacrifice a piece with 10.Nc3?! for rapid mobilization along the e-file or he can safely retreat with 10.Nf3 with a relatively equal game. Neither is completely without its problems, and players should investigate these lines for improvements. Personally, I might consider the piece sacrifice in over the board play against weaker opposition because Black must defend carefully in the ending lest the White pawns get rolling. But against a strong player, I do not trust it. The Knight retreat line puts White on the defensive generally due to his poorly placed King, but he should be able to at least hold his own with careful play. This is the toughest line for White in the entire Perreux Variation and is probably the main reason the line has fallen into disfavor.

QC3c1) 10.Nc3?! hxg5 (Black can hardly decline the offer since 10....Qc5 11.Qe2+ Be7 12.Nge4 Nxe4 13.Qxe4 O-O 14.Be3 Qb4 15.Qxb4 Bxb4 16.Nb5 Bd6 17.Nxd6 cxd6 18.Ke2 Bf5 19.c4 Rfe8 20.Kd2 ± allowed White to keep the pawn with a good game in Gebert-Kosak, Nakensdorf 1995) 11.Bxg5 unclear/=+
This piece sacrifice seems dubious and probably will not hold up to close scrutiny with a computer, but White has achieved fairly good results with it in practice. Black is put on the defensive and White can generally pick up enough pawns to compensate for the piece and make for a complex ending.

QC3c1a) 11....Qd7?! (the old "book move") 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.d6! (Better than the slower 14.h4 Kf8 15.h5 b5!? 16.Qxb5 Qxb5+ 17.Nxb5 Ba6 18.a4 Bc5 19.c4 Bxb5 20.axb5 Re8 = Eisinger-Weise, Leipzig 1953) 14....Qxd6 15.Nb5 += Qc6 16.Nxc7+ Kf8 17.Qxc6 bxc6 18.Nxa8 Bd6 19.Re4 Bb7 20.Ra4 Bxa8 21.Rxa7 Kg7 22.h4 c5 23.Rh3 Bd5 24.b3 Be5 25.Ra5 Rc8 26.c4 Be6 27.Re3 Kg6 28.Ra6 Rh8 29.g3 Rd8 30.Ke2 Bg4+ 31.f3 Be6 32.g4 Rh8 33.h5+ Kg5 34.Rc6 Bd4 35.a4 Re8 36.Re4 1-0 Eisinger-Schuster, Berlin 1953.

QC3c1b) 11....Qc5 (This is the new "book" move, but it might not be the strongest since the King is now forced to remain in the center of the board.) 12.Re1+ Kd8

QC3c1b1) 13.Qe2?! Be7 (Even better is probably 13....Bd7! 14.Ne4? Bb5! -+ Schlachter-Becker, Duschanbe 1957, though 14.h4 or 14.Qf3 are better tries for White here) 14.d6 Bxd6 15.Ne4 Re8 16.Nxc5 Rxe2 17.Nxb7+ Bxb7 18.Kxe2 Kd7 19.Bxf6 gxf6 20.f3 Re8+ 21.Kd2 Bf4+ =+ 22.Kd3 Rxe1 23.Rxe1 Bxh2 24.b4 Bg3 25.Rh1 Bd5 26.c4 Be6 27.Rh5 f5 28.a3 Kc6 29.Rh3 Be5 30.Rh1 a5 31.bxa5 Kb7 32.Rb1+ Ka6 33.Rb5 Bg3 34.Kd4 Bf2+ 35.Kc3 Be1+ 36.Kd4 Bf2+ 37.Kc3 c6 38.Re5 c5 39.Re2 Bd4+ 40.Kb3 Kxa5 41.Re1 Bd7 42.Rh1 Ba4+ 43.Ka2 Kb6 44.Rh7 f6 45.Rh5 Bc2 46.Rh1 Kc6 47.Rc1 Ba4 48.Rb1 Be5 49.Re1 Kd6 50.Re2 Bc3 51.Re3 Bd4 52.Re2 Bc3 53.Re3 Bd4 54.Re2 Be5 55.Re3 Kc7 56.Re1 Bc2 57.Rc1 Ba4 1/2-1/2 Estrin-Lilienthal, Moscow 1946.

QC3c1b2) 13.Qf4 Be7 (Franzen's suggestion of 13....Qd6!? might be better: 14.Re5!? [perhaps 14.Qd4] 14....Be7 [14....Bd7!? 15.Ne4 Qb4 16.Bxf6+ Kc8! is unclear] 15.Ne4 Qa6+ 16.Kg1 Re8 [16....Qe2?! 17.h3 Qd1+! 18.Kh2 Qg4 19.Qe3 Qd7 20.Qf3 =] 17.Nxf6 Bxf6! 18.h4 =+) 14.h4 (White intends to undermine the Knight at f6 with h4-h5-h6 while freeing his Rook for the attack. Weaker is the direct approach with 14.Ne4?! Qb5+ 15.Kg1 Qxb2 16.c3 Qb6! [16....Re8 17.d6! gives White too much play] 17.d6 cxd6 18.Nxf6 gxf6 19.Bxf6 Re8 and White has no real compensation for the piece and material is much reduced.) 14....Bd7 15.h5 Kc8 16.Rh4 Bd6 17.Qf3 Ne8 18.h6 gxh6 19.Bxh6 f5 20.Be3 Rxh4 21.Bxc5 Rh1+ 22.Ke2 Rxe1+ 23.Kxe1 Bxc5 with continuing complications in Carleton-Franzen, Correspondence 1991, which ended 1/2-1/2.

QC3c1c) 11....Qd8! (This appears to be the simplest approach, since the King ends up safely placed at f8.) 12.Re1+ Be7 13.Bxf6 gxf6 14.Nb5 Kf8 15.Nxc7 Rb8 16.Nb5 a6 17.Qf4 Bd7 18.Nc3 Bb5+! 19.Nxb5 axb5 20.h4?! (20.a3 Rc8 21.Qf5 Rc4 22.c3 Rch4 23.Rd1 =+ is better, though Black should do well in the long run with best play.) 20....Rc8 21.Rh3 Rc4 22.Qf5 Rcxh4 23.Rxh4 Rxh4 24.g3 Rh1+ 25.Ke2 Rxe1+ 26.Kxe1 Qc7 =+ 27.Qh7 Qe5+ 28 Kf1 Bc5 29 Qd3 Qxb2 30 Qf5 Qd4 31 c3 Qd1+ 32 Kg2 b6 33 Kh2 Qe2 34 Kg2 Qe5 35 Qc8+ Kg7 36 Qg4+ Kf8 37 Qc8+ Qe8 38 Qf5 Kg7 39 Qg4+ Kf8 40 Qf5 Qd8 41 Qh5 Qc7 42 Qf5 Ke7 43 f4 Qa7 44 Qe4+ Kd6 45 Qe2 Qa8 46 Qxb5 Qxa2+ 47 Kh3 Qxd5 48 c4 Qh5+ 49 Kg2 Qe2+ 50 Kh3 f5 51 Qa6 Qf3 52 Qa1 Kd7 53 Qa7+ Ke6 54 Qa1 Bd4 55 Qe1+ Kf6 56 Qc1 Bf2 57 Qc3+ Qxc3 0-1 Playa-Vasta, Mar del Plata 1991.

QC3c2) 10.Nf3 =
The "safe" retreat should give an equal game, though White is more on the defensive here than in QC3c1 above. White gained nothing by 10.Qb5+?! Qd7 11.Qe2+ Be7 12.Ne4 Nxd5 13.Nbc3 Nxc3 14.Nxc3 Qc6 15.Qb5 Bd7 16.Qxc6 Bxc6 17.Be3 O-O-O =+ in Baker-Hanison, England 2000.

QC3c2a) 10....Bd7?! (Also weak is 10....Qd8?! 11.Nc3 Bd6 12.h3 O-O 13.g3 Bf5 14.Be3 Qd7 15.Kg2 Rfe8 16.Nd4 Bg6 17.Rhe1 += Playa-Herman, Argentina 1997) 11.Nc3 (Better is 11.Bf4! g5? 12.Nc3 1-0 Loubatiere-Mariette, Frankfurt 1975) 11....Qc5! 12.Qxc5 Bxc5 13.Be3 (Or 13.Bf4! O-O-O 14.Be5 Ne8 15.Rd1 Bg4 16.Ne4 Bb6 17.c4 f6 18.Bd4 Bxd4 19.Rxd4 Bxf3 20.gxf3 ± f5 21.Nc5 Nf6 22.Ne6 Rd7 23.h4 Re8 24.Rf4 g6 25.Nc5 Rd6 26.Rg1 Nh5 27.Rd4 c6 28.Nd3 b6 29.b4 cxd5 30.Rxd5 Red8 31.Rxd6 Rxd6 32.Ke2 Rd4 33.c5 bxc5 34.bxc5 Kc7 35.Ke3 Rd5 36.a4 g5 37.hxg5 hxg5 38.Rxg5 f4+ 39.Nxf4 Rxg5 40.Ne6+ Kc6 41.Nxg5 Kxc5 42.Ne4+ Kb4 43.f4 Ng7 44.Nd6 Kc5 45.Nc8 a5 46.Ke4 Kb4 47.Nb6 Kc5 48.Nd5 Kd6 49.f5 Nh5 50.f6 Ke6 51.Nf4+ Nxf4 52.Kxf4 Kxf6 53.Ke4 Ke6 54.Kd4 1-0 Schneider-Kirschbaum, Germany 1999) 13....Bb4 14.Bd4 Bxc3 15.Bxc3 Bb5+ 16.Kg1 O-O-O 17.Bxf6 gxf6 18.b3 Be2 19.c4 c6 += 20.Nd4 Rhe8 21.f3 cxd5 22.Kf2 Bd3 23.c5 a6 24.Rad1 Bg6 25.Rhe1 Rxe1 26.Rxe1 Kd7 27.b4 Bd3 28.Re3 Bg6 29.a3 h5 30.Kg3 Rg8 31.Kf4 h4 32.g3 hxg3 33.hxg3 Bb1 34.g4 Rg5 35.Re1 Bd3 36.Rh1 Re5 37.Rh5 Re1 38.Rxd5+ Kc7 39.Nf5 Bc4 40.Rd4 Be6 41.Rd3 Rc1 42.Nd6 a5 43.Nb5+ Kc8 44.Rc3 Rb1 45.Nd6+ Kc7 46.bxa5 Kc6 47.Nf5 Rd1 48.Ke4 Bd5+ 49.Kf4 Be6 50.Nd6 Rd4+ 51.Ke3 1/2-1/2 Louvert-Pervan, Paris 1991.

QC3c2b) 10....Qc5! 11.Qe2+ (White must return the pawn in this line, so this is better than 11.Qxc5 Bxc5 12.c4 [on 12.Nc3 Black can attack the pawns with Ng4, Bf5, or Bb4 because White can no longer play Nge4 now that the Knight at g5 has been forced to retreat] 12....Bf5 =+ 13.b4 [13.Ke2 O-O-O 14.Be3 Rhe8 15.Nc3 Ng4 16.Nd1 c6! =+ Emms] 13....Bxb4 14.Ke2 O-O 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Nbd2 Rfe8 17.Nd4 Nxe3 18.fxe3 Bg4+ 19.Kd3 Rad8 20.Rhe1 Bxd2 21.Kxd2 Re4 22.Kd3 Rde8 23.Rac1 R4e7 24.Rc3 Bd7 25.Ra3 a6 26.h3 Re5 27.Rb3 b5 28.cxb5 axb5 29.Nxb5 1/2-1/2 Wijns-Maxia 1985) 11....Be7

QC3c2b1) 12.c4?! Nxd5 (12....b5! is worth examining here -- for example: 13.b3 Nxd5 14.Ba3 b4 15.Bb2 Nf4! 16.Qe4 Qf5! =+) 13.Na3

QC3c2b1a) 13....Nf6 14.Be3 Qc6 (14....Qa5 15.Nb5 Be6 16.Nfd4 c6 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Nd4 Qe5 19.Nf3 Qe4 20.Bd4 Qxe2+ 21.Kxe2 O-O 22.Rad1 Rad8 23.Ne5 Rfe8 24.f3 Bd6 25.Bc3 Nh5 26.g3 Nf6 27.Rd3 Bxe5 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.Bxe5 += Kf7 30.Rc1 1/2-1/2 Vasseur-Ruch, Fr. Correspondence 1992) 15.Nb5 Bg4 16.Nxa7?! Qe4 17.h3 Bh5 18.Nb5 O-O 19.Nc3 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Qf5 21.Bxh6 Bb4 22.Be3 Bxc3 23.bxc3 Nh5 24.Rh2 Nf4 =+ 25.Qb2 b6 26.Qb1 Qe5 27.Qe4 Qxc3 28.Rc1 Qd3+ 29.Qxd3 Nxd3 30.Rc3 Rfd8 31.a3 Ra4 32.Ke2 Ne5 33.c5 b5 34.Rh1 Nc4 35.Ra1 c6 36.f4 Kf8 37.Kf3 Nxe3 38.fxe3 b4 39.Rc4 Rda8 40.Rd4 bxa3 41.Rd6 a2 42.Rxc6 R4a5 43.e4 Rb5 44.Rb6 Rxc5 45.Rb2 Rc3+ 46.Kg4 Rca3 47.h4 R8a7 48.h5 Ke7 49.Kf5 R3a4 50.e5 Ra8 51.Rb7+ Ke8 52.Rb2 Ke7 1/2-1/2 Hevert-Ruch, Fr. Correspondence 1996.

QC3c2b1b) 13....Nb4 14.Nb5 (14.Be3!? Qa5 15.Bd2 Qb6 16.Bxb4 Qxb4 17.Nb5 Kf8 18.Nxc7 Rb8 19.Rd1 Bg4 20.h3 Bxf3 21.gxf3 Bf6 22.b3 Qc5 23.Rd7 Qf5 24.Qd1 g6 25.Qd6+ Kg8 26.Nd5 1-0 Hervet-Chery, Fr. Correspondence 1994) 14....Be6 15.b3 Na6 16.Nfd4 Qb6 17.Be3 O-O 18.a4 c5 19.a5 Qd8 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Bd2 Bf6 22.Rd1 Qe7 23.g3 Nc7 24.Kg2 1/2-1/2 in Titov-Butze, Correspondence 1974.

QC3c2b2) 12.Be3 Qxd5 13.Nc3 Qa5! (13....Qf5?! 14.Nb5! Nd5 15.c4 Nxe3+ 16.Qxe3 ±, and suddenly it is an advantage to have retreated the Knight to f3!)

QC3c2b2a) 14.Qb5+ (The Queen exchange risks handing Black a long-term edge due to his two Bishops.) 14....Qxb5+ 15.Nxb5 Nd5 16.Rd1!? (16.Bd4 seems safer, keeping at least one of the Bishops, though after 16....f6! 17.c4 Bf5! Black is doing very well) 16....Nxe3+ 17.fxe3 Bd8 (White's compensation for the Bishop pair is his control of d4, his control of the d-file, and his generally freer game. Play is about equal, although White must maintain his central control or the Bishops can become dangerous. In Smith-Milicev, IECG 1995, White went on to lose after opening up the game with 18.c4 a6 19.Nc3 O-O 20.Ke2 f5 21.e4?! fxe4 22.Nxe4 Bf5 23.Ng3 Bc2 24.Rd2 Ba4 25.b3 Bc6 26.Rhd1 Be7 27.Rd3 b5 28.Nf1 bxc4 29.bxc4 Bd6 30.Ne3 Bxf3+ 31.gxf3 Bxh2 =+) 18.Kf2 O-O 19.Rd2 a6 20.Rhd1! Bf5 21.Nbd4 Be4 22.Ne2 c5 23.Nc3 Bf5 24.Rd5 Bxc2 25.R1d2 Bg6 26.Rxc5 Bb6 27.Rcd5 Rfe8 28.Re5 Rxe5 29.Nxe5 Bf5 30.Kf3 Bc7 31.Nd5 Bd8 32.h3 Rc8 (White has done an excellent job of controlling the central squares and keeping the Bishops from gaining open lines) 33.e4 = Be6 34.b3 Bg5 35.Rd3 Rc1 36.g3 Bxh3 37.Nf4 Rf1+ 38.Ke2 Bxf4 39.gxf4 Bg2 40.Nf3 Kf8 41.Ne1 Rg1 42.Kf2 Rf1+ 43.Ke2 1/2-1/2 Sandig-Walther, Correspondence 1962.

QC3c2b2b) 14.Re1 (White emphasizes his control of the e-file, which is his greatest strength in this position. Now the threat of 15.Bxh6! hangs in the air and if 14....b6 15.Bxb6!) 14....O-O! (14....Be6 15.Nd4 O-O-O! 16.Nxe6 fxe6 =) 15.Bxh6 Bb4 (15....Re8 16.Bd2 transposes, since 16....Ba3? loses to 17.Ne4!) 16.Bd2 (16.Be3? Bg4!? 17.Rd1 Rfe8 18.h3 Be6 19.Nd4 Bxc3 20.bxc3 Qxc3 21.Nxe6 Rxe6 22.Qd3 Rc6 =+ Anson-Schwartz, Luzern Women's Olympiad 1982) 16....Re8 17.Qb5 Bf5! 18.Qxb7!? (Black will continue to cramp White's game after 18.Qxa5 Bxa5 and will certainly recover his pawn. White should at least try to hang onto the material advantage to compensate for his poorly placed King.) 18....Bxc2 19.a3 = with complex play in which White's material advantage should compensate for his misplaced King.

 

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