by Gary Lane in OPENING LANES
There is nothing better in a chess opening than to set a trap and have your opponent fall for it. What they don’t mention on the DVDs and books is the heartache when you don’t find the winning move.
It is worth knowing how to make the most of your advantage, as Khozaima Khairulla from Australia can attest. He e-mailed the following extract from a recent Internet game: “1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5 6 Nxf7 Kxf7 7 Qf3+ Ke6 8 Nc3 Nce7 9 d3? after which I proceeded to lose. I am just an amateur player, and I do not have an engine to check this. But I was wondering what the best reply is to 7…Ke6. The king looks nice and exposed, but catching him is a difficult proposition. I checked on the Internet and 6 Nxf7 is not all that good, but what is the best way to proceed? I found this on some blog: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5? 6 Nxf7 Kxf7 7 Qf3+ Ke6 8 Nc3 Nb4 9 Qe4 c6. The king can now wander to safety on either side.”
It is annoying to be on the verge of a winning game and not find the right move. There are so many openings traps that it is difficult to keep track of each one, but this is one you need to know if you want to beat the Two Knights. I can understand the frustration of not quite being able to clinch victory, because when I was starting out in chess this line was played by a number of players defending with black. It took a while, but I eventually found the answer is 6 d4. Here is a recent example:
Capucine Saucey-Kevin Seewer Saint-Chely d’Aubrac 2008
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5?
6 d4! This is definitely the best move in the position, despite the fact that 6 Nxf7 has been played more often. The first time I realised that it was the key to numerous victories at junior level is when I saw Bobby Fischer recommend it in My 60 Memorable Games. It was just a throwaway line in the game Fischer-Bisguier, when he writes in a note on move five, “On 5...Nxd5 6 d4! (6 Nxf7!? is the Fried Liver Attack) is so strong that 5...Nxd5 is practically extinct.” If a world champion such as Fischer says it is the best move, then it is easy for me to recommend it. Just for the record, let’s take a quick look at 6 Nxf7 Kxf7 7 Qf3+ Ke6 8 Nc3 Nce7 9 d4, and now: a) 9...Qd6? 10 Qe4? (10 Bg5! is great for White, when 10...c6 11 0–0–0 gives White a tremendous attack) 10...c6 11 f4 Kd7 12 dxe5 Nxc3 13 bxc3 Qg6 14 Qd4+ Ke8 15 0–0 Bh3 16 Qf2 Nf5 17 Bd3? Bc5! 0–1, D.Cazzaro-H.Oges, La Fere 2007. b) 9...c6! 10 Bg5 Qd6? (10...h6 is probably best) 11 0–0–0! Kd7 12 dxe5 Qxe5 13 Bxe7 (13 Bf4! is crushing in view of 13...Qf5 14 Bxd5 cxd5 15 Nxd5 winning comfortably) 13...Bxe7 14 Nxd5 Bg5+ 15 Kb1 Kd8 16 Rhe1 Qxh2 17 Qf7 1–0, G.Ballan-F.Audinette, Creon 2008. 6...exd4 If 6...Nxd4, then 7 c3 is very strong. The advantage of opening the e-file is that now White is able to sacrifice on f7 in the knowledge that Re1+ is extremely strong if the king comes to e6. 7 0–0 Be7 Also possible is a) 7...Bc5 8 Nxf7! (as usual in this variation the knight sacrifice on f7 works wonders) 8...Kxf7 9 Qf3+ Ke6 10 Re1+ Ne5 11 Bf4 Bd6 12 Qxd5+ Ke7 13 Qf7 checkmate 1–0, F.Harmel-A.Labat, Condom 2005. b) 7...Be6 8 Re1 Be7 (or 8...Qd7 9 Nxf7! Kxf7 10 Qf3+ Kg8 11 Rxe6 1–0, R.Huerta-J.Ballinas, Cuidad del Carmen 1997) 9 Nxe6 ( I prefer the more accurate 9 Rxe6!, when 9…fxe6 10 Nxe6 Qd7 11 Bxd5 wins) 9...fxe6 10 Rxe6 0–0 11 Qh5 Nf4? (this loses in dramatic fashion, 11...Ncb4 is the best chance, but 12 a3 is very strong) 12 Rh6+! Kh8 13 Rxh7 checkmate 1–0, U.Baumgardt-L.Van Dijk, Internet 2004. 8 Nxf7 Kxf7 9 Qf3+ Ke8 Or 9…Ke6 10 Re1+ Ne5 11 Bf4 with a tremendous position. 10 Bxd5 Rf8 11 Bxc6+ bxc6 12 Qxc6+ Bd7 13 Qc4
White is a pawn up, but the bonus is that Black has a rotten position with the king badly exposed. 13...c5 14 Re1 Rc8? 15 Bg5! Rf7 16 Bxe7 Qa5 Of course 16...Rxe7 allows 17 Qg8 checkmate. 17 Na3 Bf5 18 Bd6+ 1–0
This was one of the opening traps I featured in my latest book The Greatest Ever Chess Tricks and Traps, although I used old Fischer games from his simultaneous displays in the 1960s to illustrate how White wins. In the book I try to make sure that the reader has a good chance of getting his trap on the board by proposing tricks that happen within ten moves and still offer a decent position if avoided by the opponent. In the Two Knights section I noticed that 6...Bb4+ is the best chance for Black and I used the following game to illustrate the point:
StepahneZafirov-Louis Deslile Montreal 2004
1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 e5 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Ng5 d5 5 exd5 Nxd5? The main line runs 5…Na5! 6 Bb5+ c6 7 dxc6 bxc6 8 Be2 h6 9 Nf3 (9 Nh3!? looks odd, but has been successfully tried by stars such as Bobby Fischer and Nigel Short) 9...e4 with roughly equal chances. 6 d4 Bb4+ 7 c3 Be7 8 Nxf7! It is easy to play spectacular chess when you can remember the right move. Here Zaifirov is following the excellent role model of a game L.Barden-W.Adams, Hastings 1950. 8...Kxf7 9 Qf3+ Ke6 10 Qe4! This is the move that makes life hard for Black. In the past people have tried to make 10 0–0!? work in White’s favour, but 10…Na5 11 Qg4+ (perhaps 11 Bd3 is worth considering) 11...Kf7 12 Qf3+ Ke6 is not what White wants. 10...b5 Also possible is a) 10...Qd6 11 f4 Na5 12 f5+ Kf7 13 Bxd5+ wins. b) 10...Bf8 11 0–0 Nce7 12 f4 c6 13 fxe5 led to a strong initiative in L.Barden-W.Adams, Hastings 1950. c) 10...g6 11 f4 Na5? (when you have a lousy position, it is easier to blunder because you are so demoralised) 12 Qxe5+ Kf7 13 Bxd5+ 1–0, I.Heine-J.Jagtenberg, Hengelo 1996. 11 Bb3!? This is not the best, but Zafirov can be excused for not knowing all the nuances. After all, the position favours White, so even if you go slightly wrong, it is Black who has to do all the hard work of finding accurate defensive continuations. The line 11 Bxb5 Bb7 12 f4 is the best way to seek an advantage. 11...Bb7 12 Bf4 Instead, 12 dxe5 is met by 12…Na5, when it is not clear how White should proceed. 12...Na5? It is understandable that Black wants to exchange the powerful bishop on b3, but the queen’s knight is needed to defend e5. Maybe 12...Rf8!? should be preferred in view of the variation 13 Bxe5 (13 Bg3!?, intending to castle kingside, keeps the attack going) 13...Nxe5 14 Qxe5+ Kf7 is good for Black because there is no obvious way for White to make the most of the pinned knight on d5. 13 Bxe5 Kf7 14 Bxc7! An easy tactic to add another pawn in the box to make up for the sacrificed piece. 14...Qxc7 15 Bxd5+ Bxd5 16 Qxd5+
16...Kg6 After 16...Kf8?, 17 Qxa8+ wins a rook; while 16...Kf6 17 Qf3+ Kg6 18 0–0 and the exposed black king is a big liability. 17 g4!? I would be tempted to add another pawn to my collection with 17 Qxb5, but White chooses to threaten checkmate in two moves that forces Black to think carefully. 17...Qf4! Instead, 17...Qc8? 18 Qh5+ Kf6 19 g5+ Ke6 20 0–0 Kd7 21 Re1 gives White a clear advantage; and 17...Bg5 18 Qf5+ Kh6 19 h4 wins easily. 18 Qh5+ Kf6 19 Nd2 Bd6?! Dsille needed to find a few top moves such as 19…Rae8 20 0–0–0 Qg5, when he has stopped the attack and of course Ne4+ is not possible because of the pin. 20 g5+ Qxg5?? This mistake is likely the result of time-trouble, because it gives the game away. The position after 20...Ke7 21 Qe2+ is uncomfortable for Black, but he should survive with equal opportunities. 21...Kf7! (21...Kf8?! 22 Qxb5 is good for White because the black rooks are not coordinated) 22 Qxb5 and now he would have to find the superb line 22...Rhe8+ 23 Kd1 Rab8! in order to generate some counterplay. 21 Ne4+ Kf5 22 Qxg5+ Kxe4 23 f3+ Kd3 24 Qd2+ Kc4 25 Qe2+ Kd5 26 Qe4+ Kc4 27 Qe6+ Kd3 28 Qe2# 1–0
Micah Smith from the USA wrote, “I have a question about the London System. In the King’s Indian after 1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 Bg7 4 e3 d6 5 h3 0-0 6 Be2 and now 6...Nbd7 is usual, but what should White do against 6...Nfd7? This move allows Black to play ...e5, ...f5, and launch his kingside attack a lot quicker than after 6...Nbd7. The main plan against 6...Nbd7 is to attack on the queenside with c4, b4, Rc1, and c5, but if White tries to adapt this plan against 6...Nfd7, play can become very unclear after a continuation such as 7 0-0 e5 8 Bh2 Nc6 9 c4 f5 10 Nc3 g5. 7 e4 has been suggested against 6...Nfd7. What are your thoughts on this variation?”
I think 6…Nfd7 is a line that has to be treated seriously, although it looks as if it gets in the way of the rest of the pieces, the rapid advance of the kingside pawns can be irritating for White.
Daniel Moldovan-Vladislav Nevednichy Romanian Championship, Targoviste 2001
1 d4 Nf6 2 Nf3 g6 3 Bf4 The bishop moving to the f4-square is a prelude to White playing the London System. 3…Bg7 4 e3 0–0 5 Be2 d6 6 h3 Nfd7!?
This is the idea that interests Mr. Smith. The king’s knight retreats to allow Black to safely advance the e-pawn two squares. It can be argued that the drawback is that Black has moved a piece twice in the opening, so his development is not as good as it could be and that the d7-square is no longer available for the queen’s knight. 7 0–0 I have to say I don’t think much of 7 e4, because 7…c5 allows Black to equalise comfortably. The advance of the e-pawn might try to make a mark on the centre, but is easily undermined. Indeed, it is difficult to trace hardly anyone who thinks it is a good idea. 7…e5 8 Bh2 Qe7!? The queen often shifts to the e-file in such positions to support the advance. However, there is an argument that one should not commit the queen to a particular square until later. For instance, if you play ...h6 and ...g5 to start a kingside attack, you might wish to play ...Qe8-h5, which would now mean you have wasted a developing move. The main alternative is 8…Nc6, when 9 c4 is suggested by Mr. Smith and 9..f5 10 Nc3 g5 11 dxe5 Ndxe5 12 Nxe5 dxe5 13 Qxd8 Nxd8 14 e4 led to equal chances in A.Payen-F.Nijboer, Koszalin 1998. I think White should prefer the solid 9 c3, when Black might play a) 9…f5 and now: a1) 10 b4 an early sign that Black wants to gain space on the queenside in the traditional manner of advancing the pawns 10…e4 11 Nfd2 Nf6 12 b5 Ne7 13 c4 c5 14 Nc3 Be6 15 Rc1 Rc8 16 Qc2 with roughly equal chances, M.Rivas Pastor-K.Movsziszian, Albacete 2005. a2) 10 Nbd2 Kh8 11 dxe5 dxe5 12 Bb5 Qe7 C.Gabriel-J.Gustafsson, German Team Championship 2002. a3) 10 Na3 e4 11 Nd2 Nf6 12 f3 Ne7 (12…d5!? 13 c4 Bh6 with roughly equal chances, and 12…exf3 13 Bxf3 g5 14 Qb3+ Kh8 15 e4 f4 16 Rae1 gives White a slight edge) 13 fxe4 fxe4 14 Qb3+ Kh8 15 c4 Be6 16 Nc2 b5?! 17 Qxb5 Rb8 18 Qa5 (or 18 Qa4!? Rxb2 19 Rac1) 18…Rxb2 19 Qc3, when I prefer White, but Black eventually won in B.Alterman-B.Avrukh, Tel Aviv 1999. b) 9…h6 10 Nbd2 Qe7 11 dxe5 dxe5 12 Qc2 f5 13 a4 g5 (it looks scary for White, but Black really needs to add more pieces to the kingside to aid the onslaught) 14 Nc4 a5 15 Na3 Nc5 16 Nd2 e4 17 Nb3 Be5 18 Nxc5 Qxc5 19 Qb3+ Kg7 20 Rad1 Bxh2+ 21 Kxh2 Qe5+ 22 Kg1 Ne7 23 Nc4 Qc5 24 Qb5?! (the offer to exchange queens is tantamount to offering a draw, but 24 Qc2!? maintains the game as a contest, when 24…Be6 25 b3 is about level) 24…Qxb5 25 axb5 Be6 26 b6 cxb6 27 Nxb6 Rad8 28 Bc4 Kf6 29 Bxe6 Kxe6 30 Nc4 Nc6 31 Rfe1 b5 ½–½, S.Ledger-D.Mason, Swansea 2006. 9 c4 Moldovan prepares Nc3, when Black will have to worry about Nd5 at some point, attacking the queen. 9 a4 is another idea to stake a claim on the queenside: 9…Re8 (maybe 9…f5 is also worth consideration) 10 c3 Nf8 (this looks odd, but the logic is that the knight will emerge on g6 after a future ...g6-g5) 11 Na3 e4 12 Nd2 g5 13 Nb5!? (White is relying on the predict-a-move method to win, because Black is so committed to his plan of bringing his knight out to g6, the hope is that he will be oblivious to a clever trap) 13...Ng6? (13…a6 is necessary, when 14 Na3 leaves White with a slight edge) 14 Nxe4! Qxe4? (14…a6 15 Nxc7 Qxc7 16 Nxd6 is very strong, because White has three pawns for the piece and the knight on d6 is an excellent outpost) 15 Nxc7 Qe7 16 Nxa8 Na6 17 b4 Nh4 18 b5 1–0, O.Gladischev-N.Papenin, Sevastopol 2000. 9…Nc6 After 9…f5, 10 Nc3 c6 otherwise Nd5 is bothersome with equal opportunities. 10 Nc3 a5 If the Black strategy is to hold back the usual expansion plans of White on the queenside, then it can only do a temporary job. The question is whether exchanging queen’s rooks is an advantage after White engineers the continuation a2-a3 and b2-b4. 11 a3 Or 11 Nb5 Nb6 12 Rc1 Bf5 is level, while 11 Nd5 is more direct, when a sample line runs 11…Qd8 12 Rc1 Ne7 13 dxe5 dxe5 14 Qc2 with promising play. 11…Re8 12 Re1 I also like 12 Rc1 just to keep Black guessing about White’s true intentions in the centre, while also improving his pieces. 12…h6 It is difficult for Black to find useful moves. 13 Rc1 Qd8 An admission that the opening has been a failure, or, more to the point, the idea of placing the queen on e7, because it finally has to meekly retreat. If 13…e4 14 Nd2 Nf6, then the extra scope of the bishop on h2 is revealed upon 15 c5, with a good initiative. 14 Nb5 The knight hops to the useful b5-square, which is made possible now that Black has a pawn on a5, because in other lines ...a7-a6 is possible. Black now needs to watch out for the advance c4-c5. 14 Na4 is also possible to help advance the c-pawn and the line 14…exd4 15 exd4 Qf6 16 c5 Nxd4 17 Nxd4 Qxd4 18 cxd6 cxd6 19 Bxd6 Re6 20 Bc7 is encouraging for White. 14…b6 15 b3 White can just about afford to take his time because Black’s position is cramped. Then again 15 Rb1, intending b2-b4, seems logical, while 15…a4?! is easily rebuffed by 16 Nc3 successfully chasing the a-pawn. 15…Bb7 16 Qc2 Instead, 16 d5 Ne7 17 e4 is doubled-edged even if the bishop on b7 appears to be misplaced. 16…Na7
17 Nxa7!? There is a golden rule not to exchange pieces if your opponent’s position is cramped. The secret to good chess is to know when to defy such sayings, but in this case I prefer 17 Nc3! and then peer despairingly at the poor knight on a7. 17…Rxa7 18 dxe5?! Moldovan needs to exert more control on the centre, so the logical move is to avoid the pawn exchange and opt for 18 Rcd1 in an effort to maintain the tension. 18…Nxe5 Black is happy to exchange his passive pieces. 19 Nxe5 Bxe5 20 Bxe5 Rxe5 After a series of exchanges, things have become clearer. The position is level and the rook on a7 can swiftly return to normal duties upon Ra8. 21 Rcd1 Qe7 22 Bf1 Ra8 23 Qc3 Re8 24 Rd2 f5 25 Red1 g5 26 b4 axb4 27 axb4 Bc6 28 Rd4 Qf6 29 g3 Kg7 30 Bg2 Bxg2 ½–½
It is worth returning to Mr. Smith’s idea of playing c2-c4 in this system. The twist being that White delays castling kingside to provide the further option of moving the king to the queenside.
Boris Grachev-Vladislav Tkachiev Rapidplay Moscow 2008
1 d4 d6 2 Bf4 g6 3 h3 Bg7 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 e3 0–0 6 Be2 Nfd7 7 Bh2 e5 8 c4
At least with a pawn on c4 the queen’s knight can be developed to c3, where it has the most influence in the opening. 8…Nc6 Or 8…e4 9 Nfd2 f5 10 Nc3 Nf6 11 b4 (11 0–0 is a reasonable option) 11…Nc6 12 Qb3 Ne7 13 b5 Be6 14 Qa3 g5 15 Nb3 Ng6 16 c5 f4 17 0–0–0 led to double-edged play, where I prefer Black in B.Grachev-E.Vorobiev, Moscow 2007. 9 Nc3 exd4 Also possible is a) 9…f5 10 0–0 Kh8 11 Rb1 g5 12 dxe5 (12 d5 Nb4 (12…Ne7? allows 13 Nxg5) 13 a3 Na6 14 b4 gives White a slight edge) 12…dxe5 13 b4 e4 14 Nd4 Nxd4 15 exd4 with roughly equal chances, J.Plaskett-A.Hunt, British Team Championship (4NCL) 2003. b) 9…Kh8 10 Qd2 a6 (10…Re8!? has also been tried) 11 0–0–0 b6 12 dxe5 (the danger of exchanging in the centre is that White’s edge tends to fizzle out unless there is an immediate tactic, so instead 12 h4 should be examined) 12...Ndxe5 13 Nd4 Bb7 14 Nd5 Nxd4 15 exd4 Nc6 16 Qf4 Ne7 (Black can take advantage of the queen having to defend the d4-pawn with 16…g5!, when 17 Qe3 Re8 18 Qd3 Nxd4 is good for Black) 17 Bf3 with equal opportunities, D.Luminet-N.Faybish, Antwerp 1998. 10 exd4 Nf6 11 0–0 Re8 12 Re1 A logical continuation to contest the e-file by adding a rook to e1. In the game Z.Ribli-W.Hug, Thessaloniki 1984, White tried 12 d5, when the players were in a peaceful mood: 12…Nb4 13 a3 Na6 14 Rc1 Bh6 15 Rb1 Bf5 16 Bd3 Bxd3 17 Qxd3 Nc5 18 Qc2 a5 19 Rfd1 ½–½ . 12…Bf5 13 d5 Now that there is a bishop on f5, there is more to be gained by making room on d4 for a white knight. 13…Nb4 14 Nd4 Bd7 Perhaps 14…Qd7, but 15 a3 Na6 16 g4 looks good for White. 15 a3 Na6 16 Bf3 Rxe1+ 17 Qxe1 I would assess the position as level, but admittedly it is Black who has to do all the hard work of activating his pieces to better squares. 17…Nc5 18 Qd1 a5 19 b4 axb4 20 axb4 Rxa1 21 Qxa1 Nd3 22 Qb1
22…Ne5!? Tkachiev misses the clever 22…Qe7!, which is primarily based on the line 23 Qxd3 Qe1+ 24 Qf1 Qxc3 with the much better position. 23 Be2 Bc8 24 Bf1 Ne8 25 Ncb5 c6 26 dxc6 bxc6? 26…Nxc6 is essential ensuring a level position. 27 Bxe5 dxe5 Instead, 27…cxb5 28 Bxg7 Nxg7 29 Nxb5 leaves White a pawn up. 28 Nxc6 White is a pawn up, but more importantly he now has two passed pawns on the queenside. Black might huff and puff, but he can’t blow the White position apart. 28…Qd7 29 Nba7 Bb7 30 b5 f5 31 c5 The white pawns advance and Black does tries to distract him, but to no avail. 31…e4 32 Nb8 Qd4 33 c6 33 Qc1 is more precise, but I am sure by now that they are in time-trouble. 33…Qxa7 34 Qb3+ Kh8 35 Nd7
35…Bd4? A better chance is 35…Bxc6 36 bxc6 Qa8 and the fight goes on, but White is still on top. 36 Qf7! Bxf2+ 37 Kh1 Ng7 Or 37...h6 38 Qxe8+ Kh7 39 Qe7+ Kh8 40 Qf8+ Kh7 41 Nf6#. 38 Qf8# 1–0
Finally, Ravi Dahiwala from India has come across an old article of mine from September 2000. He writes “I am very inspired from your article on the French advance with 6 b4. I have beaten a computer games with this line and I would like to play this variation in my recent tournament, but I do not have enough analysis or games on this variation, especially after 6...cxb4 7 Bd3 Bd7 8 0-0 Rc8. How should I continue my game with best attacking chances?”
Ravi is referring to the line 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Qb6 6 b4, which was brought to my attention by Erwin van Pelt from The Netherlands. He wrote, “I have two questions about an interesting, I think, variation in the French Advance Variation. The variation goes this way: 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 c3 Nc6 5 Nf3 Qb6 6 b4!!?? I have never seen it in a theoretical book or any database. Here are some variations: a) 6…cb4 7 Bd3 bc3 8 Nc3 Bb4 9 Bd2 Nd4 10 Rb1 Qa5 11 Rb4 Nf3 12 Qf3 Qb4 13 Nb5 Qe7 14 Nd6 Kf8 15 0-0 f5 16 Bb4 Qh4 17 Bf5 and White is winning (Van Steenis-Geurink (+/– 2300), Groningen 1998); b) 6…cb4 7 Bd3 Bd7 8 0-0 bc3 9 Nc3 Nd4 10 Rb1 Nf3 11 Qf3 Qc7 12 Nb5 Qd8 13 Qg3 Bc6 14 Bg5 Qd7 15 Rfc1 a6 16 Nd4 g6 17 Nc6 bc6 18 Ba6 and White is winning. The best variation for Black is 6…cxd4 7 b5 Na5 8 Nd4 Bd7 9 Bd3 Rc8 and White has some play with his pawn on e5, but Black has good play against c3 and c4. To be honest, it is not my variation, but from my Staunton team mate, the very creative player Menno van Steenis (usually he plays like Tal or Shirov, sometimes like Uncle John) from Groningen. He has played many interesting games with this variation.”
Now more than eight years later, I can reveal exactly how many times it has been played at international tournaments: zero. Therefore, it is not to be trusted. If you really want to sacrifice a pawn in the Advance French, then I would recommend you have a closer look at the line: 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 c5 4 Nf3
4…Nc6 5 Bd3 cxd4 6 0–0
If anyone plays this gambit line successfully, then please let me know.
Opening Lanes is based in large part on readers’ questions. Do you have a question about a particular opening line? Baffled by a branch of the Benoni or Budapest? Submit your questions (with your full name and country of residence please) and perhaps Gary will reply in his next ChessCafe.com column...