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Garry Kasparov vs Alexey Vladislavovich Yermolinsky
Olympiad (1996), Yerevan ARM, rd 13, Sep-30
Mexican Defense: General (A50)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Nov-12-03  seoulmama: There is something distinctive about Kasparov's use of passed pawns - he seems to always use them merely for distraction, and very rarely does he try to actually promote them. Interesting approach indeed...
Nov-12-03  AdrianP: <seoulmama> I agree... it's an illustration of the 'principle' "the threat is (often?) stronger than the execution"; who said that Nimzowitsch? Tarrasch?
Nov-14-03  seoulmama: Adrian, I believe it was Nimzowitsch.
Aug-16-04  Kaspy2: Yermo is a solid practitioner of this "black knights tango". If Kaspy plays 3.Nf3 it must be the strongest move, better than 3.d5 (center grab), g3 solid fianchetto or Nc3 (fluid - kinda risky). Black is kept from breaking into the center with e5.
Aug-16-04  Kaspy2: you actually see the black knights do their tango here ! ;)
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: There must be some alternatives to 5..a6
Mar-09-07  BadTemper: <IMlday>
if i ever get to play kasparov or topalov in a simul or something, i have a continuation (and novelty) variation i have saved and worked on for black after 3 Nf3. It's good. Very yummy. I have worked on and this opening quite a while and have enough to write an opening book on it, but will not publish it. It is my pet and would take quite a bit for me to give up the ghost.
Sep-06-10  hedgeh0g: I imagine ...Qf5 g4! is the finish here.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <IMlday> - <There must be some alternatives to 5..a6 > One would think so - but this game seems to have set the whole line in stone, and it's been played at least a dozen times since at GM level, most recently between Akobian and Stripunsky (2011).

White's 4.a3 - the Petrosian approach, closing off access to b4 and preparing later queenside expansion - looks very good in this position, and preferable to 4.Nc3 Bb4 which is a fairly normal Nimzo-Indian where Black has play.

But Black's ...a6 has much less point. Without the N on c6, a Slav-style structure with ...c6 and ...a6 makes sense, but here the Nc6 has nowhere good to go.

5...Ne4 looks interesting. White can't really take it, and after 6.e3 f5!? transposes to a Stonewall. The more restrained 6...Be7/6...Bd6/6...Nxc3 are also playable. White could play g3 and Bg2 instead, maybe with 6.Qc2 first, but Black seems OK.

Jul-13-11  rannewman: Domdaniel, after 6.Qc6 the only logical replay is 6... f5 and the knight on C6 looks misplaced. I guess the point of a6 is to fight over for the tempo that white is trying to gain with the queen gambit, BxC4. What I mean is, black is trying to make non commital but possibly usful move, so he can wait before clearing matters in the center after white moves his white bishop to E2 or D3. A6 can be useful becuse if white don't protect his C4 he might need to clear the tension in the center (which he does) since DXC4 followed by B5 is threatend. I guess he might also be planing to answer E3 with DXC4 followd by B5 anyway, altough your idea of stonewall structure might be more apealing to black after white has commited himself with E3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Domdaniel: <rannewman> I agree that ...a6 prepares ...b5, but with a Knight on c6 the c-file looks weak. Though I've seen a couple of games in this line where Black was able to exchange that Knight and play ...c5, with a good game.

Overall, as White, I think it's easy to underestimate systems with an early ...Nc6. I even won a few games with 1.Nf3 Nc6 2.a3!? with a Reversed Alekhine after 2...e5 3.d4.

The problem with that idea is that White does well after 3...e4 4.d5, when a3 is useful in the Alekhine-style structure that develops. But after 3...exd4 White has nothing.

And yet the alternatives are 2.d4 d5, with a Chigorin, or 2.e4 e5 with a standard e-pawn opening. 2.c4 and 2.g3 can also be met with ...e5, and a regular English.

And yes, the Nc6 *looks* misplaced in the Stonewall setup, but it's hard to exploit it. Given a chance, Black can move it away and play ...c6, with a normal Stonewall.

I don't think either IM Day or myself really meant that ...a6 was *bad* -- just that surely there are other good plans for Black in that position.

Jul-13-11  Shams: 4...d5 is not the move here; black should play a KID-ish setup with a little center.

As with all things Tango, first see what Bologan does to have an idea how to handle things:

Sasikiran vs Bologan, 1999

Jul-13-11  rannewman: I might be digging too much into it but with a3 being played Kn a5->c4 looks good to me (ofc after making sure white can't play e4 with advantge) when c5 is easy to play.

But more to the point, I was actually looking for this postion at the opening explorer right now (should feet with the opening of the day with 5.a3 insted of 4.a3) but can't find it for some reason : (

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