Chigorin Defense:

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.10.09"] [Round "?"] [White "Chigorin Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "D07"] [Annotator "kestenberg,tal"] [PlyCount "14"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 Nc6 {The Chigorin Defense. Black prefers rapid development over all else, choosing to counter attack white's center rather than reinforce their own. A dymanic opening, black is willing to part with positional advantages, the center, bishop pair, etc for counterplay.} 3. cxd5 $5 {There are many ways for white to get a good position against black's defense, but some are more complicated than others, the exchange variation can be a simple way to fight for a stable advantage. It's principled, black offered white a center pawn for a c pawn, a generally favorable trade, and they chose not to fortify their center, so white takes advantages of this, and removes black's pawn from the center.} Qxd5 {In return for giving up the center black mobilizes quickly, counterattacking white's center} 4. e3 $1 {This modest looking move is the best way to defend the center} (4. Nf3 $143 {developing is natural but plays a bit into black's hands, for example compare the following with the main line...} e5 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Bd2 Bxc3 7. Bxc3 {and here black could take advantage of white's knight and try} e4 $5 8. Ne5 e3 $5 $13 {a disruptive pawn sacrifice}) 4... e5 $1 {Black must strike at the center to justify their decision to give it to their oppenent and create counterplay. Beacuse the knight blocks the c pawn, the natural attacker of the center, black must do so like this.} 5. Nc3 $1 {the natural move, attacking the queen is best.} (5. dxe5 $143 $2 {is dubious as and gives white no opening advantage} Qxd1+ 6. Kxd1 Nxe5 $15 {is more than ok for black}) (5. Nf3 {is also less precise and allows black a fine game, for example:} exd4 6. exd4 Bg4 7. Nc3 Bb4 8. Be2 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Qc4 $1 $11 {[%cal Gc4f1,Gc4c3] was seen in 1/2-1/2 (16) Marshall, F-Capablanca,J Lake Hopatcong 1926 and the players made a quick draw}) 5... Bb4 {pinning the knight to avoid the loss of time and centralization. black musn't slow down now retreating and must keep up the energeric play, otherwise white will easily consolidate their position and be left with the long tem advantage. } 6. Bd2 Bxc3 {this is very much in the spirit of black's defense, black is willing to part with the bishop pair, a long term positional concession, to continue the rapid mobilization of their forces.} 7. bxc3 $1 {the solid choice, white stregnthens their center. They will develop the pieces under it and look to expand it. White, in return for aquireing the static advantages in the position, lags behind in development but should they consolidtate they'll be able to count on a stable advantage} (7. Bxc3 {is the alternative, but it is far less simple. Play can become sharp, and the white player must be well prepared for the complications. A theory heavy, computer friendly position I'd rather avoid. I'll give a breif idea of how play could continue and get messy.} exd4 8. Ne2 $1 {white must recapture in the center like this to avoid compromising their positional advantage} (8. Nf3 $6 Bg4 $1 $15) 8... Nf6 $1 ( 8... Bg4 $5 {leads to a possible sacrificial line tried by the most notorious top level chigorin player, Morozevich} 9. f3 O-O-O 10. Nxd4 Nf6 $5 {black, perhaps not completely soundly, offers a piece for counterplay against the king in the center 1-0 (54) Topalov,V (2700)-Morozevich, A (2723) Frankfurt 1999}) 9. Nxd4 O-O {and in this, the main position for the Bxc3 variation, theory has shown that white must try} 10. Nb5 $1 {[%cal Gb5c7,Gc3f6,Gd1d5] to play for advantage, but the game is far from clear after black sacrifices the c pawn with...} Qg5 $1 $13 {[%csl Rd1,Re1][%cal Gf8d8,Gc8g4,Yg5g2,Yg5e3,Gf6e4, Gf8e8] there is a lot of potential counterplay for black and still plenty of work to do if white wants to claim an opening advantage. 0-1 (48) Rogozenco,D (2531)-Morozevich,A (2756) Istanbul 2000 EXT 2001 (Rogozenco,D)}) 7... -- { A short tabiya for this line, at this point the defender has a few playable options. White is behind in development but they have long term advantages, see the example games for an idea of how to develop, consolidate, and grow white's advantage} (7... exd4 {the capture in the center takes the pressure off white who can comfortably develop, e.g.} 8. cxd4 Nge7 (8... Nf6 {as in 1-0 (32) Alekhine,A-Cordoba,H Barcelona 1928 could also be met} 9. Ne2 $5) 9. Ne2 $5 {A good way to develop, the knight avoids getting pinned on f3 and heads to the queenside for a tempo against the queen.} Bg4 10. Qb3 $5 {with the long term advantages in the position it is in white's favor to exchange queens} Qd6 11. Nc3 O-O 12. h3 Be6 13. Ne4 Qd5 14. Qxd5 Bxd5 15. Nc3 $14 {white avoided trouble and is significantly better in this endgame, I'll include the rest of this win by Kortchnoi, but black doesn't put up the best resistance} f5 $6 16. Nxd5 Nxd5 17. Bc4 Rfd8 18. Rb1 Rab8 19. g4 $1 Kh8 20. gxf5 Nce7 21. Bd3 c5 22. e4 Nb4 23. Bxb4 cxb4 24. d5 Nc6 25. Be2 Ne5 26. Rxb4 {1-0 (26) Kortschnoj,V (2617)-Freise,E (2018) Berlin 2001}) (7... Qd6 {is an alternative to the main line but not a solution for black. Qd6 is a prophylactic move, a regular motif in the chigorin defense; black removes the queen from the potential attack of the pawns, this way, when the pawns come forward black wont have to move the queen but can instead capture on d4. the problem is that white takes control over e4, develops, prepares, and then advances the pawn later} 8. Bd3 Nf6 9. f3 {white has control of e4 and will be able to play e3-e4 after completing development. I'll add one high level example} O-O 10. Ne2 Be6 11. O-O {a typical setup for white agains black's ...Qd6 idea in this line, white will prepare the centers advance} Rad8 12. Qc1 Nd7 13. Be1 Qe7 14. Qb1 Nb6 {black is helpless to stop white's center and scrambles to come up with play} 15. Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bd3 Na5 17. e4 $16 {but it's of no use when white's center rolls} Nac4 18. f4 f6 19. f5 Bf7 20. Rf3 {white is winning, and now that the center is under control they focus their attention on the kingside} Kg8 21. Rh3 exd4 22. cxd4 c5 23. d5 Ne5 24. Bc2 Nbc4 25. Nf4 b5 26. Qb3 Ng4 27. Qg3 Nce5 28. Bd1 {black had enough 1-0 (28) Kasparov,G (2805)-Ivanchuk,V (2700) New York 1995}) ({The most popular option is for black to simply continue development with} 7... Nf6 {afterwhich white has their choice of prosmising continuations, I like...} 8. f3 $5 {in preparation to play e4 or c4} (8. c4 {using the black pieces for tempi to grab space in the center is a tempting option} Qd6 9. d5 Ne7 (9... Nb8 $5 {might be a better try in this situation, one game saw...} 10. Qb1 Na6 11. Bd3 Nc5 12. Ne2 c6 $1 {when black was fighting to tear apart white's center before they were prepared to defend it} 13. e4 b5 $1 $132 { 1/2-1/2 (37) Jussupow,A (2636)-Beliavsky,A (2618) Germany 2000}) 10. Qb1 $5 { /\ Bb4 \/ ...Ne4} O-O 11. e4 {11.Bb4!? ...c5 to force a pawn to occupy c5 and 11.Nf3!? were interesting alternatives here} Nd7 12. Bd3 Nc5 13. Ne2 f5 14. O-O {white managed to complete development but black had good play in 1/2-1/2 (50) Khalifman,A (2655)-Morozevich,A (2630) Amsterdam 1995}) (8. Qb3 $5 {offering the queen exchange, which is better for white with the long term advantages in the position, deserves some attention, and white maybe able to gain a modest advantage with it.} {on} Qd6 {white can play the notable maneuver} 9. Bc1 $5 { /\ Ba3 to redeploy the unopposed bishop with a tempo}) 8... e4 $5 {otherwise white simply gets control of e4, by advancing the pawns or, in case of ...Qd6, Bd3} (8... Qd6 9. Bd3 {/\ Ne2 transposes into the ...Qd6 line}) (8... O-O { is now well met by white's expansion in the center} 9. e4 (9. c4 {this often reaches the same positions as e4} Qd6 10. d5 {and now black has nothing better than} Ne7 11. e4 {a transpostion}) 9... Qd6 10. d5 Ne7 11. c4 {white has a strong center, and can complete development by bringing the knight to the queenside with Ne2-c3, with Nh3-f2} Nh5 {has the idea to block the center with ...c5 and play on the kingside, an alternative that was played by GM Morozevich } (11... Nd7 {this is black's most popular plan here, to use the c5 square for the knight and/or make way for the f pawn} 12. Ne2 (12. Nh3 $5 {/\ Nf2 is a very solid way to develop, for example...} Nc5 13. Nf2 f5 14. Bb4 $14 {½-½ (42) Bareev,E (2655)-Conquest,S (2585) Budapest 1996}) 12... b6 (12... f5 { right away maybe more critical} 13. Nc3 Qg6 $5 {white needs to carefully consolidate} 14. Qe2 Nf6 15. Qe3 {[%cal Ge3g5] 0-1 (29) Hoang,T (2426)-Antal,G (2457) Budapest 2002 CBM 089 (Dautov)}) 13. Nc3 {[%cal Yg1e2,Ye2c3]} a6 14. Be2 Nc5 15. O-O f5 16. Be3 $14 {Having maintained their long term advantages white got a good game in... 1-0 (36) Dautov,R (2615)-Miladinovic,I (2535) Yerevan 1996 CBM 055 (Dautov), and continued with a2-a4-a5} Bd7 17. a4 Ng6 18. a5) 12. Qb3 c5 13. Ne2 f5 14. Nc3 b6 15. Bd3 Ng6 16. g3 $14 {after some natural moves white stood better in 0-1 (40) Piket,J (2632)-Morozevich,A (2745) Wijk aan Zee 2001 CBM 081 (Dautov)}) 9. c4 (9. f4 $6 {makes white's development task more difficult, most likely transposing into the line with c4 after...} O-O 10. c4 Qd6) (9. Ne2 $6 {also doesn't solve white's problems as black can open the position before white is ready} exf3 $5) (9. Qb3 $5 {angling for a favorable endgame was played in an excelent game which I'll show as a because it demonstrates white's trumps, not so much for theoretical purposes though it remains very playable} Qd6 {as we know black doesn't want to exchange queens because they're relying on dynamic counterplay in the middlegame} ({or} 9... Qf5 10. Qb5 $5 {insisting} Qe6 11. Nh3 $14) 10. Qb1 $5 (10. Ne2 $5 {would also be okay here}) 10... Bf5 11. Ne2 Bg6 12. Qb3 (12. Qxb7 $13) 12... O-O 13. Nf4 Na5 14. Qb4 Nc6 15. Qxd6 cxd6 $14 {white has consolidated, now the stong center and bishop pair come to life} 16. h4 $1 exf3 17. gxf3 Nh5 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Rg1 Rac8 20. c4 Ne7 21. Rb1 Nf5 $2 22. Rxb7 Nxh4 23. Kf2 Rb8 24. Rb3 Rb6 25. Bd3 Rfb8 26. Rgb1 Kf8 $2 27. Bb4 Ke7 28. Bxd6+ {1-0 (28) Smirin,I (2698) -Vallejo Pons,F (2630) Leon 2001 CBM 086 (Dautov)}) 9... Qd6 10. Qb1 $1 { A noteworthy multipurpose move, with this white gets developed. The Qb1 eyes e4, and the b line. After black plays ...Bf5 to guard the e pawn white has the idea to continue with f4, to close the center in hopes of completing development; white is then in time to develop with the Ng1 as it may gain a tempo against the bishop when it goes to to g3, or d4 after white plays d5} ( 10. f4 {makes white's development task difficult, for example, after the natural moves} O-O 11. Ne2 Re8 $5 {white faces some sacrifical counterplay should they continue to develop their N as planned} 12. Ng3 Nxd4 $1 $132 { 0-1 (58) Giannoutsos,P-Botsari,A (2330) Halkida 1997}) (10. Ne2 {also gives the defender hopes for counterplay before white can develop properly} O-O 11. Ng3 Re8 $132 12. f4 {and now an attempt to close the position would be met} Nxd4 $1 {transposing into the previous note}) 10... Bf5 {the bishop isn't stable here for the moment but what else?} (10... exf3 11. Nxf3 {only helps white}) 11. f4 ({it is possible to play} 11. Ne2 $5 {first, and then f4, with similar play} Bg6 (11... O-O 12. f4) 12. f4 O-O 13. d5 Ne7 14. Nd4 {Bb4 is also worth considering} a5 15. Be2 Nf5 16. Qb2 h5 17. Nxf5 Bxf5 18. Bc3 $16 { and white had a sizeable advantage that they converted without much friction. 1-0 (36) Saric,S (2472)-Miladinovic,I (2566) Paracin 2011}) 11... O-O (11... Nxd4 $6 {doesn't work} 12. exd4 e3 13. Qb5+ $1 {precise} Bd7 14. Bb4 $1 Qxf4 15. Qe5+ $1) 12. Ne2 $1 {white is in time to develop} Rfe8 (12... h5 13. d5 $1 {/\ Bb4 & Nd4 is the other way for white to complete development in some situations.} Ne7 14. Bb4 $1 {a good diagonal for the bishop} Qd7 15. Nd4 { and a good square for the knight!} Bg6 16. Be2 $16 {white clearly stands better } c6 $6 {a desperate pawn sacrifice, not an uncommon occurance in the chigorin defense!} 17. dxc6 bxc6 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. Nxc6 Qc5 20. Nd4 Rab8 21. Qc1 { black didn't have enough for their pawn and white went on to score the full point in...} Ng4 22. h3 Nh6 23. g4 Qe7 24. Kf2 Rfc8 25. Kg3 f6 26. Rb1 Rxb1 27. Qxb1 Bf7 28. Rc1 g5 29. Rf1 Kh7 30. Kg2 f5 31. fxg5 Qxg5 32. Nxf5 Nxf5 33. Rxf5 Qe7 34. Qf1 Bg6 35. Rb5 {1-0 (35) Avrukh,B (2625)-Miladinovic,I (2563) Istanbul 2000 EXT 2001 (Dautov)}) 13. Ng3 {white gains an important tempo, avoiding ...Nxd4 tricks} ({Not} 13. Nc3 $2 {blundering} Nxd4 $1 $19) 13... Bd7 14. Be2 Rad8 15. Bc3 $14 {white is consolidating} Ne7 16. Qxb7 $16 {now white feels comfortable taking the b pawn, note that taking the b pawn when it was first offered would have been too greedy as white was already underdeveloped} Nc6 $6 17. Qb2 $18 {white has the material and the compensation, the rest is a matter of technique for a strong grandmaster} Rb8 18. Qd2 Bg4 19. Bxg4 Nxg4 20. O-O Qg6 21. h3 Nh6 22. Qf2 Nb4 23. f5 Qc6 24. Nh5 f6 25. Qg3 Re7 26. Rab1 Na6 27. Rxb8+ Nxb8 28. d5 Qd6 29. Nxf6+ Kf7 30. Qg5 gxf6 31. Qxh6 Nd7 32. Qxh7+ Ke8 33. Qh8+ Kf7 34. Rf4 Qc5 35. Bd4 {1-0 (35) Radjabov,T (2476)-Antal,G (2405) Budapest 2000}) *
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [SourceDate "2016.03.19"] {WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION} 1. g4 e5 2. f3 Qh4# {PLEASE EXCUSE MY BLUNDERS!} *