The Latvian Bayonet by GM Magesh and GM Arun

The Latvian Bayonet by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM gmarunchess
11 | Opening Theory

This week we shall study another interesting early g2-g4 idea in the Slav Defence. To play against the Slav Defence Meran is not everybody's choice. The side that comes up with a new idea has a better chance of winning the game. For white players who want to avoid the Meran and still want to play a dynamic game, this system is a good idea. 

Many strong aggressive players like Kasparov, Shirov, Carlsen, Mamedyarov added this system to their repertoire against the Slav Defence. Black has numerous ways to counter this system and we shall see some of the recent games in this system.

Our first game is between Carlsen and Anand. In this game Black played an unsuccessful improvement and after a few inaccuracies white had a comfortable edge.


Black could have saved the game with 20. Rxg8 Rxg8 but after 20. ... Nxg8 Black really never got any chance. Carlsen displayed a fine technique. Our next game is between Carlsen and Aronian and this time Carlsen is on the receiving end. Watch out for the 13.  Nxg5 c5 played by Anish Giri a few weeks back; it deserves serious attention.

In this game after the exchange of queens White's position became really difficult to defend and once again it was a brilliant execution by Aronian. Our next game is Ivanchuk-Leko. This time Black managed to hold off white's early aggression and soon white was caught with his weak kingside. But Black misplayed his opportunities and missed a winning game.

The white player aims for a middlegame struggle since his kingside is exposed. He cannot play a positional chess in the middle game. He has to attack and go for the enemy king or else try to create some weakness in the enemy camp for the endgame. But on the other hand Black would be more then happy if he enters an endgame due to his superior pawn structure. He has to hold off White's aggression and try to consolidate his postion and utilize the enemy's exposed kingside. 
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