mannetje: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6 7. Nc3 a6 8.d5 Na5
"This is basicly the only move. 8..Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 blocks the bishop on g7 and it doubles the pawns. After 8...Na5 the opening is called the Yugoslav attack. A long time ago people used to laugh and say Na5 is badly placed. Later we (the chess world) found out that black has sufficiant dynamic recources, as seen in this game."
"In fact after Nd2 c5 is allmost forced because white's threat was b4, just catching the knight on a5. In order to understand what I will be telling you for the next 15 minutes, you have to keep this knight in mind. The structure is quite sollid for black. If Na5 manages to get into play one way or the other (find a decent sqaure or sacrafice it under good conditions) black is fine. If not, this knight is doomed to be on a5 or b7 or d8. It will not get any other sqaurs and black would be lost."
"Developping move, protects Nc3 (witch would be hanging after let's say 10.b3 Nxd5)
"A sollid move. Not only preparing Bb2, dut also giving firm support to c4, to keep Na5 out. You would think nothing can happen to white to enable the knight to enter at c4. However, in this opening it is not even a miracel, but more of a tradition for black to play Nc4."
"If black now plays some develloping moves like Bd7, Qc7, Rfc8 white will consolidate (Rac1, Nd1, e4, Ne3 etc) and it is not so clear what black is doing. This position calls for immidiate action. Black simply doesn't have time for such luxaries as slow, simple moves. In my oppinion black is forced to play:
attacking the knight on d2, in order to put some pressure on c4. I admit it seems a little unorthodox, but it is the whole idee of this system. In order to keep the sructure it is either something realy ugly white can do, like Ncb1, or play
after wich concrete messures continue:
13...bxc4 14. bxc4
(of course it would be principly wrong for white to allow 14.Nxc4 Nxc4, when the Na5 is exchanged, and black would be just fine) 14...e5
Black continues to put some pressure allong the c1-h6 diagonal. In this position white has many choises, like 15.Rab1 or 15.dxe6 (main line). As Neverov told me afterwards, he wanted to choose somthing that would be little-known to me, something out of the modern ways. He remembered that Botvinnik, in this position some fifty years ago against Donner, played
He thought that Botvinnik simply could not be wrong. The move prepares Nd1, when te pawn on c4 and the bishop on b2 are protected, bishop c3 is protected and black doesn't have counterplay. So this is one of the tricks white uses in this position to hold his position together. In order to survive black must make some quick action.
15...exf4 16.gxf4 Nh5
Putting another knight on the edge of the board would useually be a silly idee. Unless it works. And in this very case it simply does work. The f4 pawn is attacked, and there is not much white can do but
after witch I retreat my biship to g7:
This is basicly one of the essences of modern chess: you put one of your knight to a5, the other one goes to h5 and the bishop moves from g7 to h6 to g7. And for some strange reasson it worked. Why does it work? In fact we do not know. We'll probably never know. This game is just to complex for us to understand every single detail. What happens in this game is that white continues with his plan.
If you look at this position you can see c4 is strategicly weak, but protected well enough for the moment. I allways find it surprising that white somehow loses the fight for the vital square e4. In fact withe's knight (d2), queen, rook(e1) and bischop (g2) are all pointing at e4, yet white loses the fight.