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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Zukertort System-An Anti-Sambuev Defence

Here is an important game from Hungarian Team Ch 2012-13. The opening is the Zukertort System, one of the pet lines of Canadian Champion GM Bator Sambuev.

GM Bator Sambuev at the 2009 PWC Toronto Open Chess Championship

The Opening Sequence
The following white formation should look quite familiar to anyone to has had black against Sambuev.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 d5 4.Bd3 c5 5.b3 Nc6 6.0–0 Bd6 7.Bb2 0–0 8.Nbd2 b6 9.Ne5 Bb7

White has the simple plan of f4 and then the kinside attack begins with Qf3-h3 for example. So how should black defend? The Balogh game shows a nice defensive method and the key ideas.

Kosic,D (2517) - Balogh,C (2668) [D05]
TCh-HUN 2012–13 Nagykanizsa HUN (1), 16.09.2012

Critical Position 1
Black has initiated a nice defensive method against the Zukertort with ..Ne7 intending ...Ng6. What should black play now though?

Black to Play

Critical Position 2
Black has played 13..Nxc5 challenging the key Bd3 attacking piece. But there is a catch-White has 14.Bxh7+. What do you make of the sacrifice? Is it sound or just a big bluff? The evaluation here is critical to black's defensive method.

White to Play

Critical Position 3
White is really going after the king. Evaluate 20.g4. Does it work or not?

White to Play

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