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ZUKA with Qe7
07-19-2013, 06:59 PM
Post: #1
ZUKA with Qe7

Page 80, it is suggested to play 16. a3

I played this linein fast games but it seems that blacks have no particular problems and close to equality. What's wrong with 16. g3 ? I tried it with more success.
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07-20-2013, 07:51 PM
Post: #2
RE: ZUKA with Qe7
Hi, Artimystic.

First, I'd be very interested in seeing any complete games you have from this position. It's always nice to see someone taking a line I suggest out to the 16th move, and I'm curious to see how things progressed in practice for you.

You raise a good question that speaks to a point I do not discuss in this chapter. There are two points, in fact.

1. White is trying to win the flexibility battle: improving his position without giving Black a target until Black commits enough that White can clarify things to a clear advantage.
2. White will likely play Rd2 and g3, but cannot do so too early or else Black can play ...f5!

Point 1 directly informs point 2. Basically, if Black commits too early in terms of the location of his Knights and Q-Bishop, then White can show him up. However, if White commits too early, then Black has tactical resources allowing him to equalize.

In this case Black has to decide whether to go after K-side operations (the critical line discussed in the chapter), or admit there is nothing there and attempt to defuse things with ...b6, ...Bb7, and contesting the d-file.

By playing 16.a3, White slightly improves his position and waits for Black to fully commit to K-side play or equivocate with, say, 16...b6.

The tactical reason why White should avoid playing 16.g3 instead is that it complicates his d-file play should Black play 16...b6!

In general, as soon as Black signals an interest in fianchettoing his Q-Bishop, which allows him to double his Rooks on the d-file, White wants to double up first so he can control where exchanges occur there. Unfortunately 16.g3 b6 17.Rd2? allows 17...f5!! owing to lack of protection on g3 coupled with the unfortunate position of White's King and d2-Rook. White wants to meet 17...f5 with 18.exf5 fxf5 19.Qxf5, but in this line this would be a disaster after 19...Nxg3 20.fxg3 Ng5 21.Qc2 Nxf3+, forking King and Rook.

16.a3 allows White to maintain his flexibility. If Black plays ...Nh5, then the above tactic is no longer available. If Black plays ...b6, White has multiple promising ways to proceed, including the straightforward b4 and c5 or a combination of Rd2/Rcd1/Qa4.

Hope to see some of your games!

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08-04-2013, 03:19 AM
Post: #3
RE: ZUKA with Qe7
Hi David

Thanks for the reply. As previously said, it were blitz games of 15 min (real games) so I have not written them. I faced this line 2 times and my opponents played 16... b6 but not ... f5 which was convincing me, and not explian in your book. Thanks.

I just played 16. a3 against Rybka which plays the line with 20... Dxe (page 81 of your book). This line is better for white. So I think I will play 16. a3 in the future. Thanks for the advices.

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