Hot novelty in Marshall attack

Mar 15, 2009, 7:13 AM |


I want to bring to your attention a game I played recently at It features the well-known Marshall attack and a very new and interesting move made by my opponent. I'm speaking about this line:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d4 Bd6 13. Re1 Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Re4 g5 (see the diagram below)
















Black is a pawn down, but White is under a powerful attack. In this position, the moves encountered until now where 16. Qf3, 16.Qf1 or 16. Qe2. Basically White is trying to defend.

My opponent found the calm, excellent move 16.a4. The idea is that White will force the exchange of one pair of rooks and thus Black's attacking potential is significantly reduced. Black will not have control over the e file and White's defense seems to be easy. White can force further exchanges (moves 22-24) and Black will soon find himself defending a worse position, with a central pawn down.

You can see the whole game below, I had no idea how to deal with this novelty and I was swept away after 12 moves. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.