Category Archives: Schandorff

Playing 1.d4 The Queen’s Gambit 2012-Verifying Schandorff

Repertoire Against the Semi-Slav
Schandorff proposes the Bg5 complex against the rock solid Semi-Slav in Playing 1.d4 vol2-Schandorff(Quality Chess 2012). In the analysis of

Hracek,Z (2628) – Elsness,F (2506)
18th European Teams Porto Carras GRE (1.12), 03.11.2011

Schandorff’s proposes 15…Kb8 as a key defensive novelty which remains untested to TWIC 852.  I found a key improvement for black in the notes to black’s 18th move.

Black to Play


Now black played 18…Bb7 but 18..Nb8 manages to hold.

Hracek,Z (2628) – Elsness,F (2506)
Semi-Slav Anti-Moscow Gambit[D43]
18th European Teams Porto Carras GRE (1.12), 03.11.2011

Position 1
After 21…ed,white has a wide choice of captures. What do you suggest for white?

White to Play



Verifying Schandorff Playing 1.d4 Indian Defences

Schandorff proposes the Saemisch against the King’s Indian but black can transpose into a Maroczy Bind. The repertoire plan revolves around game #24 where in the main line, Schandorff goes against common practice and proposes trading dark bishops for an attack.

Here is the key game.

Moiseenko,A (2715) – Guseinov,G (2625)
Maroczy Bind via King’s Indian[E81]
8th World Teams Ningbo CHN (5), 21.07.2011
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 c5 7.Nge2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Qd2 Bd7 10.Be2 a5 11.0–0 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 Bc6 13.Kh1 Nd7 14.Bxg7!? Kxg7 15.f4
The basic idea is to get an kingside attack going. White has Nd5 and Re3-h3 in mind(with Qh6) and either central pawn break f5 or e5 is possible.

Critical Position 1
White has just attacked the queen with 19.Rb3. What do you suggest for black?

  • 19…Qd8
  • 19…Qc7
  • Something else

 Black to Play


Critical Position 2

A sharp rook ending has arisen after 29…d5. Black has two mobile center pawns for counterplay.
Q1 How do you assess the position?
  • Black has enough counterplay to hold
  • The position is unclear
  • Black is slightly better
  • Black is clearly better
  • White is slightly better
  • White is clearly better
  • White is winning

Q2 What should white play now?

White to Play

Verifying Schandorff:Grunfeld Russian System 7..Na6

Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defences(Quality Chess 2012) presents a wealth of repertoire ideas. Here let’s take a closer look at the Russian System against 7…Na6 in the Grunfeld.

Schandorff  recommends 15.a3!? against the Prins(7..Na6) and analyzes an old correspondance game to support this idea.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0–0 7.e4 Na6 8.Be2 c5 9.d5 e6 10.0–0 exd5 11.exd5 Re8 12.Rd1 Bf5 13.d6 h6 14.Bf4 Nd7 15.a3

Let us see the key game (#39 in Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defences).

Ihlenfeld,Eckart (GER) – Bekemann,Uwe (GER)
Grunfeld Russian System 7…Na6 [D97]
Germany BFM corr BdF, 1998
The fast advance of the d-pawn is a double-edged sword. The pawn has a disruptive cramping effect but can itself become a target.

Position 1
Here I am proposing an novelty for black as an improvement. In the game black played 16…Nb8 but I think black can do better. What do you propose?
-Stay with 16…Nb8
-Play a different(better) move

Black to Play

Veriying Schandorff: The Benko Gambit 5.f3

GM Schandorff proposes the line 5.f3 for the task of beating up the Benko Gambit in Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defences(Quality Chess 2012). There is a key sacrificial (12.Nfd5!?) idea at the heart of the active 5…e6 response that needs close checking.

He devotes three games to this idea and has some far reaching analysis that I checked as part of the analysis of the following recent game.

Croad,N (2255) – Samhouri,B (2244)
5.f3 e6[A57]
40th Olympiad Open Istanbul TUR (7.43), 04.09.2012[Yip]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.f3 Key point. This line is not so popular but Schandorff believes it is due for a comeback.[Yip] 5…e6 The most challenging defence.[Yip] 6.e4 exd5 7.e5 Qe7 8.Qe2 Ng8 9.Nc3 Bb7 10.Nh3 c4 11.Nf4 Qc5 Diagram

Key point. This is a fantastic idea that is analyzed in games 59-61 in Playing 1.d4: Indian Defences by Schandorff(Quality Chess 2012). This sacrificial idea is one of the backbone ideas behind the f3 repertoire.

Key Position 1
White is indicating an attack with his last move. White has the strong bishops and mobile pawns for the piece while black has trouble getting the queenside pieces to coordinate. What do you think black should do? Here I am proposing  a small improvement for black. Maybe you will find it too.

Black to Play


Verifying Schandorff-Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defences

Schandorff proposes 4.e3 against the Nimzo-Indian with 5.Nge2 in Playing 1.d4 The Indian Defences(Qualith Chess 2012).

His key games are,

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Game Line Tournament Year
1 4…Nc6 Botvnnik Taimanov Moscow(4) 1952
2 4…c5 Botvnnik Smyslov Moscow(5) 1952
3 4…0-0 Botvnnik Keres Hague/Moscow 1948
4 4…b6 Aronian Istratescu Antalya 2004
5 4…b6 Ugge Hall Corr 2003
6 4…c5 Popov,S Savic Mataruska Banja 2007
7 4…c5 Najer Mitenkov Moscow 1996
8 4…c5 Sasvari Kunzelmann Corr 2005
9 4…0-0 Iljushin Murzin Togliatti 2001
10 4…0-0 Ivanisevic Gyimesi Bihac 2010
11 4…0-0 Ponomariov Kramnik Wijk aan Zee 2003
12 4…0-0 Astroem Yarshenko Corr 1997

I verified game 4 where Schandorff proposes the aggressive 8.Qf3/9.g4 plan. White imposed a sharp game in the 2004 Aronian stem game. I found some independant improements and present these findings.

My first outing with 4.e3 did not go so well so now additional work must be done to upgrade my knowledge level. This analysis is part of  the hoped for ‘cure’.

Aronian,Levon (2645) – Istratescu,Andrei (2587) [E45]
EU-ch 5th Antalya (11), 27.05.2004[Yip]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 b6 5.Nge2 Ba6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.Nxc3 d5 8.Qf3 A very direct approach that exploits the absence of Bb7.[Yip] 8…0–0 9.g4!? (diagram) 

Bayonet type attacks are common the Open Sicilian but not so much in the Nimzo-Indian.

Position 1
White has the bishop pair deep in the ending. How should white make progress?
White to play

Noteboom(D31) Analysis-Verifying Schandorff

Here is a preliminary look at GM Schandorff’s anti-Noteboom repertoire idea in Playing 1.d4 The Queen’s Gambit 2nd Ed(Quality Chess 2012).

The first edition suggested the 8.Rb1 sideline but in the 2nd edition, Schandorff has presented a more positional idea in the main line-13.c5!?

I looked at Schandorff’s proposed TN(21.d5!) and his other ideas. Now I’m happy I get the basics and this will have to do for now.

Lomineishvili,Maia (2401) – Melnikova,Yana (2171) [D31]
EU-ch (Women) 5th Dresden (2), 22.03.2004[Yip]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bb4 6.e3 b5 7.Bd2 a5 8.axb5 Bxc3 9.Bxc3 cxb5 10.b3 Bb7 11.bxc4 b4 12.Bb2 Nf6 13.c5 The idea is to play Bb5-a4 to blockade the queenside passed pawns (Diagram) 

Position 1
Black has just played 18…Ne4 to extend the light square blockade idea to the center.
Q1-What do think of black’s idea?
Q2-How should white react?

White to Play

Playing the Queen’s Gambit 2nd Ed

Playing the Queen’s Gambit
The second edition is out from Quality Chess.

The big question is what’s the difference? More games have been added and the analysis strengthended.
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1st Ed 2nd Ed
Pages 248 320
Games 66 77

Breakdown by Chapter
10 new games have been added. The big difference is also in the line against the Noteboom(D31) where a more positional main line has been added while keeping the older 8.Rb1 recommendation.
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Ch Year 1st Ed 2nd Ed
1 QGD Wojtaszek Fressinet Wijk aan Zee 2011 New
2 QGA Aronian Stevic Plovdiv 2010 New
3 Slav Topalov Anand Sofia(m/8) 2010 New
4 Semi-Slav Nakamura Smeets Wijk aan Zee 2011 New
Hansen,E Yang,D Lubock 2010 New
Shyam Siddharth Visakhapatnam 2011 New
Hracek Elsness Port Carass 2011 New
Anand Shirov Wijk aan Zee 2011 New
8 Minor Lines Shirov Kaczmarek Warsaw(rapid) 2008 New
Lomineishvili Melnikova Dresden 2004 New