Classic Pawn Structure, Part 4b

Classic Pawn Structure, Part 4b

| 14 | Opening Theory

This is the second part of an article (Classic Pawn Structure, Part 4a) that pointed out some structural similarities between the Sicilian Wing Gambit, the French Wing Gambit, and the Benko Gambit. However, the main focus quickly moved to the Sicilian Wing Gambit itself and whether or not it’s worth playing.

In Part 4a, I gave the following breakdown of the material:

  1.  Lower-rated uses it as a surprise vs. higher-rated (and fail)
  2.  Lower-rated uses it vs. higher-rated (success!)
  3.  Higher-rated players use it to wipe out fish competition
  4.  Avoiding the main lines by just playing chess 2...b6 or 2...e5
  5.  Repeat users 

We have already gone over the first three on that list, which means we’ll focus on the final two.



This is a line that high rated players often choose. Why? Here’s the logic: White is trying to build a sharp attacking position, which might give the lower rated guy a chance for a lucky knockout. Black avoids this scenario and instead keeps the game in positional stasis, knowing that his far superior chess understanding should give him every chance of a safe victory.

  White avoids 3.bxc5

A chop-dance on c5 with a quick ...g6 for Black

More c5 chop-dancing

The great Ulf Andersson



This sharp, very reasonable move hasn’t been played that often, but in my opinion it’s full of promise!


2...e5 3.Nf3 Nf6!

2...e5 3.Nf3 Nc6

2...e5 3.bxc5


Okay, I wanted to title this, “Repeat Offenders,” but why joke when these brave souls not only show courage, but also score serious successes with this gambit system? If you want to play this opening and you are looking for a Wing Gambit hero, here’s a list of potential heroes.

Note that giving boards to all these games would take forever, so I’m only going to give boards for the first two players and the game scores without boards for rabid Sicilian Wing Gambit fans (consider it bonus material).


Shirazi is the International Master that lost in five moves in the U.S. Championship way back in 1984, but that silly blunder didn’t stop him from continuing his love affair with the Wing Gambit. In general, his ideas in the Wing Gambit are interesting and important, though at times he tosses out some crazy lark that burns the eyes and soul.

If you want to play this opening you MUST study Shirazi’s games!


Shirazi fights against 2...b6

The following board features two games that Shirazi played against the same grandmaster in the same year! Both were very hard-fought and interesting.

His experience vs. 3...d5

An important group of games that show Shirazi's handling of what I consider to be the main line. At times he embraces bizarre creative flights of fancy, but his main weapon against 3...d5 is critical and a must know for either side.

Off the mainline paths

Are you ready to have your mind blown?



Nanu Gambit (seriously!)

This guy keeps on playing the Wing Gambit against strong players, and though the big guns usually drag him down, he does score some impressive upsets. He also has a lot of courage, since he’s into a strange line known in some circles as the “Nanu Gambit.” (That name reminds me of the old Mork and Mindy show, where the alien greeted everyone with “Na-Nu Na-Nu!”)

1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.c4 Qe6 and now instead of Shirazi’s 7.d4 (which has given him good results), Shivananda plays the Nanu Gambit: 7.Bd3 e4 8.0-0 Qf6 9.Bxe4 Qxa1 10.Re1, though in the games I’ve seen, nobody has taken him up on his offer. After 10…Be7 11.Qb3 Qf6 White has a huge lead in development but Black’s up a rook. I’ll let the reader decide whether or not this is any good.


However, I’ll add this: various forums (some years ago) got into a Nanu frenzy and came out with all sorts of analysis. Instead of hunting that down, I’ll give you the game that started it all, and the first example (as far as I know) where someone actually took the rook.

Where’s Stefan Buecker when you need him?


Okay, back to Shivananda!

Black says “NO” to White’s “Nanu” rook offer

Chopping on a3

Shivananda vs. 2...b6

Overall, the games have huge assessment swings, when either side can fall off the edge if it blinks at the wrong time. Mass experimentation seems to be the rallying cry when one plays the Wing Gambit, and creativity is given free rein.

A lot of players will enjoy using this opening, and there’s no doubt that there’s a lot to be discovered on both sides of the board.

Enjoy the bonus (repeat users) material that follows!


Georg Windhausen (2486) – Christophe Pauwels (2547), email 2010: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nf6 6.0-0 Nxe4 7.axb4 Nf6 8.Nxe5 Bxb4 9.d4 0-0 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.c3 Be7 13.Bg3 Nxe5 14.Bxe5 d6 15.Bg3 Bf5 16.Qf3 Bg6 17.Nd2 Qc7 18.Rfe1 Bh5 19.Qd3 a6 20.Bc4 Rfe8 21.f4 Kg7 22.Ba2 Bg6 23.f5 Bh7 24.h4 b5 25.Rf1 Qc6 26.d5 Qc8 27.Bb1 Nd7 28.Ne4 f6 29.Ra2 Qb7 30.Re2 Ne5 31.Bxe5 dxe5 32.d6 Red8 33.Qh3 Rxd6 34.hxg5 hxg5 35.Kf2 Qd7 36.Nxd6 Bxd6 37.Rh1 Kh8 38.Rd2 Rd8 39.Qh5 Qe7 40.Ke2 Qb7 41.Ke1 Qa7 42.Ba2 e4 43.Rxd6 Qe3+ 44.Kf1, 1-0.

Georg Windhausen (2486) – Christian Mokrys (2515), email 2010: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.c4 Qe6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.0-0 e4 9.Re1 Qf6 10.Bxe4 Qxa1 11.Qb3 Qf6 12.axb4 Qf4 13.d4 Qc7 14.Bd5 Nc6 15.c5 Be6 16.Nc3 Nf6 17.Rxe6 fxe6 18.Bxe6 b5 19.g4 a5 20.g5 Nd7 21.Nd5 Qb7 22.Bf4 a4 23.Qe3 a3 24.Nc7+ Kd8 25.Nxa8 Qxa8 26.Qe4 a2 27.Bxa2 Rf8 28.Be6 Rxf4 29.Qxf4 Nxb4 30.h3 Qa1+ 31.Kg2 Qa8 32.Qf5 g6 33.Qf4 Nd5 34.Qf7 Nc7 35.Bxd7 Kxd7 36.Kg3 Qe8 37.Qxh7 Kc8 38.h4 Ne6 39.h5 gxh5 40.Qe4 Nc7 41.Ne5 Qg8 42.g6 Qb3+ 43.Kh2 Qd5 44.Qf4 Ne8 45.Qf5+ Kc7 46.Qf4 Ng7 47.Nc4+ Kb7 48.Ne3 Qc6 49.Nf5 Bf8 50.Ng3 Ne6 51.Qxf8 Nxf8 52.g7 Qf6 53.g8Q Ne6 54.Qh7+ Kc8 55.Qg8+ Kc7 56.Qh7+ Kb8 57.Qg8+ Kc7, 1/2-1/2.

Georg Windhausen (2486) – Daniel Perry (2487), email 2010: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.axb4 d6 6.exd6 Qxd6 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.c3 Bg4 9.d4 e5 10.b5 Nxd4 11.cxd4 e4 12.Bc4 Qb4+ 13.Nbd2 exf3 14.0-0 Nc3 15.Qc2 Ne2+ 16.Kh1 fxg2+ 17.Kxg2 Qe7 18.f3 Nf4+ 19.Kh1 Bh3 20.Rg1 Ne2 21.Ba3 Nxd4 22.Qa4 Qd7 23.Bb2 Bc5 24.Rg5 Ne6 25.Bxe6 Bxe6 26.Rxc5 Qxd2 27.b6+ Qd7 28.Qf4 Qd3 29.Rc7 Qf5 30.Qa4+ Kf8 31.Qa3+ Kg8 32.Rg1 g6 33.Rc5, 1-0.

Georg Windhausen (2478) – Norbert Reichel (2334), Germany 2007 (email): 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.c4 Qe6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.0-0 Nc6 9.Re1 Qd6 10.Bf1 Be7 11.axb4 Bg4 12.Nc3 0-0 13.h3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 a6 15.Ba3 Qd7 16.Qg3 Nd4 17.c5 Nc2 18.Rxe5 Bd8 19.Rg5 g6 20.Bb2 Nxa1 21.Nd5 Nxd5 22.Rxd5 Qe7 23.Bc4, 1-0.


Here’s an 18-year old Ukrainian IM giving the Wing Gambit a try:

Olexandr Bortnyk (2516) – Pavlo Vorontsov (2413), Somov Memorial 2014: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 (3…bxa3 4.d4 d6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 e5 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nxa3 0-0 10.f4 Bg4 11.Be3 Nh5 12.Qb3 Na5 13.Qa2 b6 14.Nc4 exf4 15.Nxf4 Nxf4 16.Bxf4 Rc8 17.Nxa5 bxa5 18.Qd2 Be6 19.Rfb1 Bc4 20.e5 dxe5 21.Bxe5 Bg5 22.Qc2 Bxd3 23.Qxd3 Re8 24.Qf5 g6 25.Qh3 Qe7 26.Qf3 f6 27.Rxa5 fxe5 28.Rxe5 Qf7 29.Qxf7+ Kxf7 30.Rxg5 Rxc3 31.Ra5 Rc7 32.d5 Rd8 33.Rf1+ Kg7 34.Rfa1 a6 35.h3 Rd6 36.Kf2 Rcd7 37.Rd1 Kf6 38.Kf3 Ke5 39.Re1+ Kf6 40.Rf1 Rxd5 41.Ke4+, 1/2-1/2, Olexandr Bortnyk (2474) – Zhonghan Ma (2412), World Championship (under 18) 2013) 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.c4 Qe6 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.Bd3 Bd6 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Re1 0-0 11.axb4 Nxb4 12.Bf1 Qf5 13.Bxe5 Bxe5 14.Rxe5 Qc2 15.Nc3 Qxd1 16.Rxd1 Nc6 17.Re3 Bg4 18.d4 Rac8 19.Nb5 Rfd8 20.c5 b6 21.Nd6 Rc7 22.h3 Bxf3 23.Rxf3 bxc5 24.dxc5 Ne4 25.Re1 Nxd6 26.cxd6 Rcd7 27.Bc4 g6 28.g4 Rf8 29.Rf6 Rb8 30.g5 Nd8 31.h4 Rb6 32.Kg2 Rbxd6 33.Bb5 Ne6 34.Bxd7 Rxd7 35.Re4 Kg7 36.Rf3 h6 37.gxh6+ Kxh6 38.Ra3 Ng7 39.Rea4 Nf5 40.Rxa7 Nxh4+ 41.Kh3 Rxa7 42.Rxa7 Nf3 43.Kg2 Nh4+ 44.Kg3 Nf5+ 45.Kf4 Kg7 46.Ke5 Nh6 47.Kd6 Kf6 48.Kd7 Kg5 49.Ke7 f5 50.Ra4 f4 51.f3 Nf5+ 52.Ke6 Nh4 53.Ra5+ Kh6 54.Ra3 Kg5 55.Ke5 Ng2 56.Ra2 Nh4 57.Ke4 Kh5 58.Kxf4 g5+ 59.Ke4 Kh6 60.Ra8 Kh5 61.Rh8+ Kg6 62.f4 Nf5 63.Rg8+ Ng7 64.fxg5 Kf7 65.Ra8 Kg6 66.Kf4, 1-0.



Now for something completely different. We are going to take a look at a form of team chess where people can use a computer during the game. One such “player” is called Windpower and, surprisingly, “it” is a big fan of the Wing Gambit! 

2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5

Windpower (2377) – Dieb Fritz (2427), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2007: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Nf3 e5 6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 Be7 (7…Bd6 8.Na3 Nc6 9.Bc4 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nge7 11.Nb5 Bb8 12.d4 exd4 13.Nbxd4 Nxd4 14.cxd4 0-0 15.0-0 Qd5 16.Re1 Bd6 17.Rb1 Bd7 18.Bd3 Bc6 19.Be4 Qh5 20.Bxc6 Nxc6 21.Rxb7 Qd5 22.Qa4 Rfb8 23.Rxb8+ Rxb8 24.Bd2 a5 25.Rc1 Nb4 26.Re1 h6 27.h3 g5 28.Rd1 Kh7 29.Bc3 Rc8 30.Be1 Rc4 31.Qb3 Kg7 32.Ra1 Bc7 33.Bc3 Qc6 34.Bd2 Qe6 35.Bc3 Kg8 36.Re1 Qc6 37.Bb2 a4 38.Qe3 Nd5 39.Qe4 Qe6 40.Qb1 Qg6 41.Qxg6+ fxg6 42.Ba3 Rc3 43.Ra1 Kg7 44.Kf1 Bf4 45.Ng1 Rc2 46.Nf3 Nf6 47.Ne1 Rc4 48.Bc5 Ne4 49.Ke2 Nxc5 50.dxc5 Be5 51.Ra2 Kf6 52.Kd3 Rd4+ 53.Ke3 g4, 1/2-1/2, Windpower (2404) – Traka (2452), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2007) 8.Na3 Nc6 9.Nb5 Qd8 10.d4 e4 11.d5 exf3 12.dxc6 bxc6 13.Qxf3 Bd7 14.Nd4 Bf6 15.Nxc6 Qc7 16.Nd4 Rc8 17.Bd2 Ne7 18.Bd3 0-0 19.0-0 Rfe8 20.Rfb1 Nc6 21.Nb5 Qd8 22.Bf4 Ne5 23.Bxe5 Rxe5 24.Nd6 Rb8 25.Rd1 Qc7 26.Ra6 Re7 27.c4 Be5 28.Nxf7 Rxf7 29.Bxh7+ Kxh7 30.Qxf7 Bxh2+ 31.Kh1 Be8 32.Qf5+ Kg8 33.g3 Bxg3 34.fxg3 Qxg3 35.Qd5+ Bf7 36.Qg2 Qh4+ 37.Qh2 Qe4+ 38.Qg2 Qh4+ 39.Qh2 Qe4+ 40.Qg2 Qh4+, 1/2-1/2.


2...cxb4 3.a3 e5

Windpower (2465) – Bruckmann (2438), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2008: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 (5.Bc4 Nf6 6.Qe2 Bc5 7.axb4 Nxb4 8.d3 0-0 9.0-0 d6 10.c3 Nc6 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bh4 a6 13.Nbd2 Bd7 14.Nb3 Ba7 15.d4 Rc8 16.Nc5 Bxc5 17.dxc5 dxc5 18.Rfd1 Rc7 19.Rd6 Qe7 20.Rad1 Kh7 21.Bxf6 gxf6 22.R6d2 Rg8 23.Kh1 f5 24.exf5 Bxf5 25.Qe3 e4 26.Qf4 Bc8 27.Rd6 Rg6 28.Rxg6 fxg6 29.Re1 g5 30.Qe3 Bf5 31.Nd2 Rd7 32.Bf1 Kg7 33.Kg1 Rd5 34.h3 Qe5 35.Nc4 Qf4 36.g3 Qc7 37.Nd2 Qe7 38.Bc4 Re5 39.g4 Bg6 40.Ba2 b5 41.Bb1 a5 42.Nxe4 a4 43.f3 a3 44.Kg2 b4 45.cxb4 cxb4 46.Rd1 Bf7 47.Qc1 Rd5 48.Rf1 Nd4 49.h4 b3, 0-1, Windpower (2502) – Ibermax (2560), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2007) 5…Nf6 6.0-0 Qb6 7.Bc4 Bd6 8.axb4 Bxb4 9.c3 Bc5 10.Na3 a6 11.Nc2 Be7 12.d4 d6 13.Ne3 0-0 14.Nd5 Nxd5 15.exd5 Na5 16.Bd3 Qc7 17.dxe5 dxe5 18.Qc2 g6 19.c4 b6 20.Re1 Bb4 21.Rxe5 Bg4 22.Bb2 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Nb7 24.f4 f6 25.Re3 Rf7 26.Rg3 Bf8 27.Bf5 Qxf4 28.Rg4 Qc7 29.Be6 Nc5 30.Re1 Bd6 31.Bxf6 Nxe6 32.Rxe6 Bxh2+ 33.Kg2 Bd6 34.Rxg6+ hxg6 35.Qxg6+ Rg7 36.Bxg7 Qxg7 37.Rxd6 b5 38.Qxg7+ Kxg7 39.c5 b4 40.Rb6 Kf7 41.c6, 1-0.


2...cxb4 3.a3 e6

Windpower (2465) – Dom (2450), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2008: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e6 4.axb4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 Nf6 (6…d6 7.Bd3 Nf6 8.Ne2 Nc6 9.0-0 0-0 10.Nd2 Qc7 11.h3 b6 12.f4 a5 13.Ba3 Ba6 14.Bxa6 Rxa6 15.c4 Rfa8 16.d5 Nb4 17.Nd4 e5 18.Nb5 Qc8 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Bb2 Nd7 21.Qe2 Bg5 22.Nf3 Bf4 23.Kh1 Qc5 24.g3 Bxg3 25.Ng5 Qe7 26.Qg4 h6 27.Nxf7 Qh4 28.Nxh6+ Qxh6 29.Qxg3 a4 30.Nc7 Nc2 31.Ra2 Qh7 32.Kh2, 1-0, Windpower (2465) – Ciron (2502), PAL/CSS Freestyle 2008) 7.Bd3 b6 8.e5 Nd5 9.Qg4 g6 10.Bh6 Nc6 11.Ne2 d6 12.f4 Bb7 13.Qh3 Qd7 14.Nd2 0-0-0 15.Ne4 Nxf4 16.Bxf4 dxe5 17.Bh6 exd4 18.0-0 dxc3 19.Bb5 c2 20.Rac1 f5 21.Nf2 Qd5 22.Nc3 Qb3 23.Ba4 Qc4 24.Rxc2 Nd4 25.Rcc1 Kb8 26.Bg7 Ba3 27.Rcd1 Qxc3 28.Bxd4 Qxh3 29.gxh3 Rhf8 30.Bg7 Rxd1 31.Rxd1 Rc8 32.Bd7 Rc2 33.Be5+ Ka8 34.Bxe6 a5 35.Rd8+ Ka7 36.Nd3 Ka6 37.Bb3 Rc8 38.Rxc8 Bxc8 39.h4 Be7 40.Bg8 h6 41.Bg7 Bxh4 42.Ne5 Bd8 43.Nxg6 h5 44.Nf4 h4 45.Kf2 Bc7 46.Ke3 h3 47.Bf6 b5 48.Bh4 b4 49.Bg3 a4 50.Nxh3 Bxg3 51.hxg3 b3 52.Kd2 b2 53.Kc2 a3 54.Ba2 Kb5 55.Kb3 f4 56.Nxf4 Bf5 57.Kxa3, 1/2-1/2.



This gentleman, born in 1965 in Moldova, is perhaps the world’s most ardent fan of the Wing Gambit. If you want to play this opening, or if you want to study the Black side, I recommend you look closely at International Master Zajarnyi’s games.

2...cxb4 3.a3 e5

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2415) - Valeriy Neverov (2540), [B20] Swidnica 1998: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 Nf6 (5...d6 6.axb4 Nxb4 7.c3 Nc6 8.Qb3 Qe7 9.d4 h6 10.0-0 Nf6 11.Nbd2 g5 12.Bb5 Nd7 13.Nc4 g4 14.d5 Rb8 15.Ba3 Qf6 16.Nh4 Na5 17.Nxa5 Qxh4 18.Nc4 Qf6 19.Bc1 Be7 20.Rxa7 0-0 21.Bxd7 Bxd7 22.Rxb7 Ba4 23.Qb4 Rxb7 24.Qxb7 Bc2 25.Ne3 Bxe4 26.Nxg4 Qh4 27.Nxh6+ Kh7 28.g3 Qf6 29.f3 Bd3 30.Ng4 Qh8 31.Qxe7 Bf5 32.Nh6, 1-0, Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2355) - Sten Podgursky (2260), Bucharest 1996) 6.Ng5 d5 (Amazing! We have a strange Wing version of the double e-pawn Two Knights Defense! Though White loses this game, it certainly deserves a second look.) 7.exd5 Nd4 8.axb4 h6 9.Nf3 Nxf3+ 10.Qxf3 Bxb4 11.0-0 0-0 12.Ba3 Bxa3 13.Rxa3 Qd6 14.Qb3 a6 15.Nc3 Rb8 16.Rb1 b5 17.Qb4 Rd8 18.Ba2 Bb7 19.Qxd6 Rxd6 20.d3 Rc8 21.g3 Rd7 22.Rb4 Rc5 23.d4 exd4 24.Rxd4 Rdc7 25.Ne4 Rxc2 26.Nd6 b4 27.Ra5 Rxa2 28.Nxb7 b3 29.Rb4 Re7, 0-1.

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Klima,Lukas (2285) [B20] Pardubice 1998: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bc4 bxa3 6.d4 (6.axb4 Bxb4 7.c3 was tried in Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Nino Khurtsidze (2464) Alushta 2000, but that line gives me a “improved Evans Gambit” vibe, and I wouldn’t touch it for Black with a 10 foot long pole.) 6...exd4 (6...Be7 7.c3 Na5 was seen in the game Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Olga Alexandrova (2400), Alushta 2000. Now 8.Bd5! seems strong since 8…Nf6 9.dxe5 Nxd5 10.exd5 is very nice for White, while 8...exd4? 9.Ne5 is crushing.) 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Ng5 Ne5 9.Bb3 h6 10.f4 hxg5 11.fxe5 Qc7 12.Bxg5 Qxe5 13.Bf4 Qc5 14.Qd3 Bd6 15.Nxa3 Bxf4 16.Rxf4 Rh5 17.Raf1 d6 18.Bd5 Qc3 19.Qb5+ Ke7 20.Nc4 Bd7 21.Qxb7 Rah8 22.R4f3 Qxc2 23.Rxf6 gxf6 24.Qc7 Rxh2 25.Qxd6+ Kd8 26.Qb8+ Bc8 27.Qd6+ Bd7 28.Qxf6+ Kc7 29.Qd6+ Kd8 30.Qb8+ Bc8 31.Qd6+ Bd7 32.Qb8+ Bc8 33.Qd6+ Bd7 34.Qf6+ Kc7 35.Qe5+ Kd8 36.Qf6+, 1/2-1/2.


2...cxb4 3.a3 d5

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2355) - Constantin Ionescu (2280), [B20] Bucharest 1996: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Bb2 e5 6.Nf3 Nc6 (6...f6 7.c4 Qd8 8.Be2 Nc6 9.0-0 Kf7? 10.Qb3 Be6 11.d4 exd4 12.Rd1 a5 13.Nxd4 Nxd4 14.Bxd4 Qc8 15.axb4 axb4 16.Rxa8 Qxa8 17.Bh5+ g6 18.Bf3 Qc8 19.Nd2 b5 20.Bd5 bxc4 21.Bxc4 Bxc4 22.Nxc4 Qe6 23.Ra1 Be7 24.Be3 g5?? [White’s pressure gave him an edge, but after 24...g5 it’s game over!] 25.Ra6, 1-0. 25...Qxa6 26.Nd6+ Kg6 27.Qf7+ Kh6 28.Nf5 is mate. Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Mihail Nekrasov (2260), Lvov 1999) 7.c4 Qe6 8.Bd3 Nf6 (8...Be7 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Re1 0-0 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rxe5 Qd6 13.Be2 Qc7 14.axb4 Bxb4 15.Na3 Bd7 16.Nb5 gave White an excellent position in Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Cicerone Spulber (2375), Techirghiol 1999; 8...Bd6 9.0-0 Nge7 10.Re1 f6 11.axb4 Nxb4 12.Be4 (12.Bf1!?) 12…0-0 and now instead of 13.d4, 13.Na3 seems perfectly okay for White. Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2380) - Valentin Raceanu (2277), Techirghiol 2000; 8...f6 9.0-0 Bc5 10.Re1 Nge7 11.axb4 Nxb4 12.Be4 Qxc4 13.d4 exd4 14.Nbd2 Qb5 15.Nxd4 Bxd4 16.Bxd4 0-0 17.Qb3+ Kh8 18.Bc3 Ned5 19.Bxd5 Qxd5 20.Bxb4 Qxb3 21.Nxb3 Rd8 22.Ba5 Rf8 23.Bb6 a6 24.Re7 Bf5 25.Nd4, 1-0, Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2315) - Romeo Milu (2440), Olanesti 1996) 9.0-0 Bd6 10.Re1 0-0 11.axb4 Nxb4 12.Bf1 e4 13.d3 exf3 14.Rxe6 fxe6 15.g3 e5 16.Qb3 Kh8 17.Nd2 a5 18.Nxf3 Ng4 19.Bg2 Bf5 20.h3 Nf6 21.Bxe5 Bc5 22.d4 Be7 23.Ne1 Be4 24.Bxf6, 1-0. 

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Vladimir Malakhov (2557), [B20] Lvov 1999: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Bb2 e5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.c4 Qe6 8.Bd3 bxa3 9.Nxa3 Bxa3 10.Rxa3 Nge7 11.0-0 f6 12.Re1 Qf7 (12...0-0 13.Bb1 Qf7 14.d4 gave White good play in Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2380) - Cicerone Spulber (2350), Techirghiol 2000, though Black managed to win.) 13.Qb1 Qh5 14.Be4 0-0 15.d4 exd4 16.Nxd4 Ne5 17.Rg3 Rd8 18.f4 Nxc4 19.Bd3 Nxb2 20.Rxe7 Nxd3 21.Rgxg7+ Kh8 22.Qxd3 f5 23.Rg5 Qh6 24.Ne6, 1-0.

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Denis Salinnikov (2403), [B20] Alushta 2000: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 d5 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Bb2 e5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.c4 Qe4+ 8.Be2 Nf6 9.0-0 bxa3 10.Nxa3 Bc5 11.Nxe5 (11.Re1? led to a disaster: 11...0-0 12.Bf1 Qf4 13.Bxe5 Nxe5 14.Rxe5 Bxf2+ 15.Kh1 Bg4 16.Rb5 Bd4 17.Ra2 Ne4 18.d3 Ng3+, 0-1, Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2405) - Jurij Zezulkin (2465), Polanica Zdroj 1997) 11...Nxe5 12.d4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 Qxd4 14.Bxd4 (White has a small edge here) 14...Nc6 15.Be3 0-0 16.Nb5 Bg4 17.f3 Bd7 18.Kf2 b6 19.Ra3 Be6 20.Rfa1 Rac8 21.Rc1 Nd7 22.Nxa7 Nxa7 23.Rxa7 Rc6 24.Rb1 Ne5 25.Rxb6 Rxb6 26.Bxb6 Bxc4 27.Bxc4 Nxc4 28.Bc7 Re8 29.Ra1 f6 30.Rc1 Ne5 31.Bxe5, 1/2-1/2.


The positional 2...b6

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2360) - Alexandru Kutnik (2190), [B20] Techirghiol 1999: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 b6 3.bxc5 bxc5 4.Nc3 d6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Rb1 Nc6 7.Nf3 g6 8.d4 Bg7 9.Be3 Nge7 10.0-0 0-0 11.dxc5 Na5 12.Qd3 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 d5 14.exd5 exd5 15.Qd3 Bf5 16.Qd2 Qd7 17.Nb5 Rab8 18.Nfd4 Nc6 19.Nd6 Be6 20.Rb3 Nxd4 21.Bxd4 Qa4 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Rfb1 Rbd8 24.Rb4 Qc6 25.Qd4+ Kg8 26.h3 Bc8 27.Re1 Be6 28.Reb1 Bc8 29.Rb8 Rd7 30.R1b5 Rdd8 31.Qf6 Qc7 32.Rb3 Qc6 33.Re3 Qc7 34.Re7 Rd7 35.Nxf7 Rxe7 36.Nh6 mate.


1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 bxa3

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Sergey Fuks (2236), [B20] Lvov 1999: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 bxa3 4.Nxa3 d6 5.d4 Nf6 6.Bd3 e5 (6...g6 7.Ne2 Bg7 8.c3 0-0 9.0-0 b6 10.f4 Bb7 11.e5 Ne4 12.Qc2 f5 13.exf6 Nxf6 14.f5 gxf5 15.Bxf5 Bc8 16.Nf4 Kh8 17.Ne6 Bxe6 18.Bxe6 Nbd7 19.Rf3 Qc7 20.Rh3 Rfd8 21.Bg5 Nf8 22.Rf1 d5 23.Bf5 Kg8 24.Bxf6 Bxf6 25.Bxh7+ Kf7 26.Bg6+ Kg7 27.Nb5 Qb8 28.Bh5 a6 29.Qf5 Qc8 30.Qf3 axb5 31.Qg3+ Kh8 32.Bf7+ Qxh3 33.Qg8 mate. Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2261) - Nikolay Zhornik (2377), Rodatychi 2006) 7.c3 Nc6 (7...Be7 8.Ne2 0-0 9.0-0 b6 10.f4 Bb7 11.Ng3 Nbd7 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Nc4 b5 14.Na5 Qc7 15.Nf5 Rfe8, Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2395) - Ludovic Rouillon (2133), Lvov 1999, and now White gets excellent play with 16.Nxb7 Qxb7 17.Qb3 and 16.d5 Bf8 17.Qe2 a6 18.Kh1) 8.Ne2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.c4 Ndb4 11.d5 Nxd3+ 12.Qxd3 Bb4+ 13.Bd2 Bxd2+ 14.Qxd2 Na5 15.Qb4 b6 16.Nb5 Nb7 17.0-0 a5 18.Qa3 Bd7 19.Nec3 Nc5 20.Nd6+ Kf8 21.f4 exf4 22.Rxf4 f6 23.Nce4 Nxe4 24.Rxe4 Kg8 25.Rae1 h5 26.Re7 Rh7 27.c5 bxc5 28.Nb7 Qc7 29.Nxc5 Rd8 30.Ne6 Qb6+ 31.Kh1 Bxe6 32.R7xe6 Qb5 33.d6 g6 34.Rxf6 Rg7 35.h3 a4 36.Qg3 Kh7 37.Re7 Rd7 38.Qxg6+, 1-0.


1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e6

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2355) - Christophe Gilbert (2145), [B20] Bucharest 1996: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3 e6 4.axb4 Bxb4 5.c3 Be7 6.d4 d6 (6...d5 7.e5 Bd7 8.Bd3 h5 9.Nh3 a6 10.0-0 Nc6 11.Nf4 h4 12.Qg4 Kf8 13.Qf3 Rh6 14.Ng6+ Ke8 15.Bxh6 Nxh6 16.Nxe7 Nxe7 17.Nd2 and White had a winning game in Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2360) - Cosmin Parligras (2245), Techirghiol 1999 but he somehow managed to lose.) 7.f4 g5 8.Nf3 g4 9.Ng1 e5 10.Bd3 h5 11.Ne2 Bh4+ 12.g3 Be7 13.fxe5 dxe5 14.0-0 Nd7 15.Nd2 Ngf6 16.Nc4 Qc7 17.Bg5 Nxe4 18.Bxe7 Kxe7 19.Nxe5 Nxe5 20.Bxe4 Nc4 21.Nf4 Be6 22.Qe2 Nb6 23.Bd5 Rh6 24.Rad1 Qxc3 25.Bxe6 Qxd4+ 26.Rf2 Kf8 27.Bxf7, 1-0.


Other lines

Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2405) - Miroslaw Morchat (2225), [B20] Polanica Zdroj 1997: 1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 (2...e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.b5 Nd4 5.Nxe5 Qe7 6.Nc4 Qxe4+ 7.Ne3 Nf6 8.Nc3 Qe5 9.Bc4 d5 10.Ncxd5 Nxd5 11.Bxd5 Bd6 12.c3 Nf5 [11...Nxc2+? 12.Qxc2 Qxa1 13.0-0 Qe5 14.Bb2 is more than Black can handle] 13.Qf3 0-0 14.g3 Nxe3 15.fxe3 and White was better. Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2355) - Codrut Florescu (2295), Bucharest 1996) 3.a3 Nc6 (3…Nf6 4.e5 Nd5 5.axb4 Nxb4 6.c3 N4c6 7.d4 d5 8.Bd3 g6 9.Ne2 Bf5 10.Bxf5 gxf5 11.e6 fxe6 12.Nf4 Qd7 13.Qh5+ Kd8 14.Qf7 Kc8 15.Nxe6 Nd8 16.Nxd8 Kxd8 17.Ra5 and Black was busted and eventually lost. Anatolyi Zajarnyi (2415) – Pavel Chrz (2190), [B20] Pardubice 1998) 4.axb4 Nxb4 5.c3 Nc6 6.d4 d5 7.exd5 Qxd5 8.Na3 e6 9.Nb5 Bd6 10.Qg4 (White is already winning due to the double threats of 11.Qxg7 and 11.Bc4 Qxc4 12.Nxd6+) 10...Nce7 11.Qxg7 Ng6 12.Bd3 Be5 13.Nc7+ Bxc7 14.Bxg6 fxg6 15.Qxh8 e5 16.Qxh7 Bf5 17.Qxc7 Qxg2 18.Ra5 Qe4+ 19.Ne2 Qxh1+ 20.Kd2 Qc6 21.Rxe5+ Be6 22.Qxc6+, 1-0.



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