No time to study opening theory? Shock your opponent with an SOS!
With an SOS you deviate early (usually before move 6!) from regular lines in mainstream openings. So you will reach positions you have actually studied without having memorized tons of stuffy theory, while gaining time on the clock! And you will have fun watching the horror on your opponent's face...
SEE FOR YOURSELF HOW AN SOS CAN SHOCK AND CONFUSE!
Every month, the editor of the SOS Secrets of Opening Surprises book series, IM Jeroen Bosch, annotates a game which was recently played with an SOS-variation.
SOS Game of the Month: September 2012
See also SOS-10, Chapter 10, page 72
The World Juniors ended in a victory for Alexander Ipatov of Turkey, who finished on 10 points, just as Richard Rapport of Hungary. In the final round Ipatov drew with Aleksandr Shimanov of Russia, to take the title.
Earlier in the tournament Shimanov employed a Caro-Kann SOS which merits our attention.
Here's the complete text of this game analysis:
Athens Wch-jr 2012
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6
The main line is 3...Bg4 but the text is more provocative.
The only serious reply.
White continues his development and does not seek to refute Black's provocative play.
• 5.Ne2 Qb6 6.d4, and now:
— 6...e6 is the main line, as given by Khenkin in SOS–10. Black was doing fine in recent practice: 7.g3 (7.Ng5?! Nxg5 8.Bxg5 Qxb2!
9.c3 h6 10.Bd2 Qb6 11.Rb1 Qc7 12.Ng3 c5 13.Bd3 Nc6 14.Qg4 Bd7, Black is slightly better, Wlezien-Brattain, Vancouver 2012) 7...c5 8.Bg2 Bd7!? 9.0–0 Bb5 10.Re1 Nc6 11.c3 Be7 12.Be3 Ba6 13.Nd2 Nxd2 14.Qxd2 cxd4 15.Bxd4 Qa5 16.f4 Bxe2 17.Rxe2 Nxd4 18.cxd4 Qxd2 19.Rxd2 Rc8, and Black was slightly better in Zude-Turov, Zurich 2011.
— Worse is 6...c5?! 7.dxc5 Qxc5 8.Ned4 Nc6 9.Bb5 Bd7 10.0–0 e6 11.Be3, and White is better. Enjoy the following spectacular game: 11...Qb4 12.c4 Qxb2 13.cxd5 Nc3
14.dxe6! Nxd1? 15.exd7+ Kd8 16.Raxd1 (16.Rfxd1!, winning) 16...Nxd4 17.Nxd4 Bc5 18.Bc4 Bxd4 19.Bxd4 (the position is winning) 19...Qc2 20.Bxf7 Kxd7 21.Bc5+ Kc6 22.Be3 Kb5 23.Rb1+ Ka6 24.Rfc1 Qa4 25.Rc4 Qa3 26.Bc1 Qa5 27.Bd2 Qa3 28.Rc3 Qa5 29.Bc4+ b5 30.Bxb5+ Qxb5 31.Ra3+ Kb6 32.Be3+ 1–0, Svetushkin-Landa, Rijeka 2010.
• 5.Nb1 Qb6! 6.Qe2 Bg4 7.d3 Nc5 8.Nbd2 e6 9.h3 Bh5 was equal in Chudinovskikh-Lenic, Rijeka 2010.
• 5.Nxe4 dxe4 6.Ng5 Qd5! 7.d4 exd3 8.Bxd3 Qxe5+ 9.Be3 h6
10.Qh5?! g6! 11.Bxg6 hxg5 12.Bxf7+ Kd8 13.0–0–0+ Bd7 14.Qg4 Rh4 15.Qxg5 Qxg5 16.Bxg5 Rg4 was another game in the World Junior. Black is winning - and won - in Larmuseau-Galopoulos, Athens 2012.
• 5.h3!? e6 6.d4 c5 7.Bd3 Nxc3 8.bxc3 c4?! (8...Nc6) 9.Be2 Be7 10.h4 Nc6 11.h5 h6 12.g3 Qa5 13.Qd2 Bd7 14.Nh4 0–0–0, with a complicated game, Bologan-Mchedlishvili, Plovdiv 2012.
• 5.Be2 Nxc3!? 6.bxc3!? c5 7.0–0 Nc6 8.Re1 e6 9.a4 Be7 10.d4 is about equal - Black won after 10...c4 11.Qd2 Bd7 12.Ng5 Qa5 13.Nh3 0–0–0 14.Ba3 Bxa3 15.Rxa3 f6 16.exf6 gxf6 17.Nf4 e5 18.Nh5 Rhf8 19.Rd1 Kb8 20.Raa1 Bf5 21.Ng7 Bc8 22.Nh5 Bf5 23.Ng7 Bc8 24.Nh5 Rf7! 25.Rab1 a6 26.Bf3 Bf5 27.Rb2?
27...Nxd4! 28.Rdb1 Nxf3+ 29.gxf3 d4 30.Rb4 Qd5 31.Qd1 d3 32.cxd3 Bxd3 33.R1b2 Rg8+ 34.Ng3 f5 0–1, Fedorchuk-Eljanov, Kiev 2012.
The alternative is 5...Bg4 6.Be2 Nxc3 (here 6...e6 7.0–0 Be7 8.Be3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 0–0 10.c4 Nd7 led to a very sound position for Black in Skelton-Khenkin, Lubniewice 1998) 7.bxc3 e6 8.0–0 Be7 9.h3 Bh5 10.Ne1 Bg6 11.Nd3 Nd7 12.Nf4 Qa5 13.Bd2 Qa4! 14.Nxg6 hxg6. Now Black has a good game, and his position improved still further after 15.Bd3 c5 16.Qg4? c4 17.Bxg6? Nf8!, Veys-Turov, Lille 2012.
An interesting choice! Shimanov prefers to play a 'French Defence' with the bishop inside the pawn chain, rather than play the bishop to g4 to opt for a typical Caro-Kann approach. Shimanov reasons that with one pair of knights already exchanged, and more importantly with White's pawn chain already compromised, Black should have decent chances. Note that Black has preserved his dark-squared bishop - as opposed to the Winawer, where he has to give up his bishop to inflict damage on White's structure.
Alternatively 6...Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 (7...Bh5!? is perhaps answered by 8.e6!? fxe6 9.Be2, with good compensation for the pawn) 8.Qxf3 e6 9.h4!? h5 10.a4!?
10...Be7 11.Rb1 Qc7 12.c4 Nd7 13.Rh3 Rb8 14.c3 g6 15.Bd2 Nb6 16.c5 Nxa4 17.c4 Nxc5 (17...dxc4 18.Bxc4 b5 19.Bb3, and Black is a pawn up but the knight cannot enter the game anymore) 18.dxc5 Qxe5+ 19.Be2 Qc7 20.Qc3 e5 21.Qa5 b6 22.Rhb3 0–0 23.cxb6 axb6 24.Rxb6 Ra8 25.Ra6 Qxa5 26.Rxa5 Bxh4 27.cxd5 Rxa5 28.Bxa5 cxd5 29.Rb5!, and White eventually won in Vallejo Pons-Khairullin, Plovdiv 2012.
A useful move. In an old game from a Russian championship Black played the immediate 7...c5, and after 8.dxc5 Nd7 9.0–0 Nxc5 10.Nd4 Nxd3!? (10...Bd7) 11.cxd3 Bc5 12.Qg4 Kf8 13.Ne2 (13.Be3 b6 14.a4 also favours White) 13...h5 14.Qf3 g6 15.c4 dxc4 16.dxc4 Be7 17.Ba3 Bxa3 18.Qxa3+ Qe7 19.Qf3 White had a clearly better position (Kan-Ebralidze, Tbilisi 1937; White obtained a completely winning game, but blundered on move 40, spoiling his win into a draw).
8.0–0 c5 9.a4
9.dxc5 was a good alternative, opening up the game while White has a lead in development.
9...Nc6 10.Ba3 b6!? 11.Qd2 Bd7 12.Qe3 Rc8
Black is completely OK here. It is hard for White to attack anything.
13.Nd2?! cxd4! 14.cxd4 Nb4
14...Bxa3 15.Rxa3 Nb4 16.c3 Nxd3 17.Qxd3 0–0 is also fine for Black.
15.Rfc1 Be7 16.c3
It was riskier to play 16...Bg5 17.Qe2 Nxd3 18.Qxd3 Bxa4 19.Bd6, when White has enough for the pawn. Shimanov plays it positionally.
17.Qxd3 Bxa3 18.Rxa3 0–0 19.f4 a5
Fixing pawn a4 as a weakness. With so few light pieces left, Black's positional edge on the queenside is more important than White's (non-existent) edge on the kingside.
20.Nf1 Rc4 21.Rca1 Qe7 22.Ne3 Rc7
Play would have been much sharper after 23.f5 Qg5 24.Rf1 Rfc8 25.f6 b5!. This favours Black probably, but still White should have sought counterchances somewhere. In the game he is just outplayed.
23...Rfc8 24.Qb2 Qh4!
Suddenly approaching from the other side.
26...Rb7! 27.Qf2 b5! 28.axb5 Rxb5 29.Kg2 Rcb8
Black is obviously better, White's king is weak.
30.Rc2 Qg6, with a slight advantage for Black.
Making progress on the queenside.
31.g4? Qg6 32.Qc2 Qxc2+ 33.Rcxc2 Rb3
White has managed to exchange queens, but the ending brings no relief. Black's rooks are more active, he has a passed pawn, and his bishop is better than the knight.
34.Kf2 Bb5 35.Rcb2 Bd3 36.Rxb3 axb3 37.Rb2 Bc4
With a protected passed pawn Black is winning now.
38.Ke1 Ra8 39.Kd2 Ra1 40.Nd1 h5! 41.h3 h4
Now there is always the possibility of ...Bf1 to reckon with.
42.Ke1 Kf8 43.Rd2 Ke7 44.Kf2 Rc1