Thursday 19 March 2009

The Veresov System

At the club level you often get players who specialise in an offbeat opening, defending its soundness no matter what the current 'theoretical' opinion is. While these openings may be suspect at the highest levels, they often work at lower levels, mainly due to the strength of the opposition. I see plenty of Colle players, the odd Budapest or Nimzowitsch defender, and of course the Blackmar-Diemar Gambit arouses fierce passions in its adherents. I've spent 25 years playing the Traxler as Black, and have even shifted more and more towards 1.Nc3 as my weapon of choice.
However, there is one opening which I haven't seen anyone utilise on a regular basis is the chess circles I move in. The Veresov System (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5) doesn't seem to be a bad opening, but I can't recall seeing anyone play it in the tournaments I've played in. And I have no explanation for its unpopularity, especially given that the opening ideas seem pretty straightforward.
So in attempt to increase its popularity here is a short game from last year. White goes for rapid queenside castling with 4.Qd3 and after Black bites of more than he can chew with 13. ... Bxa3 , happily surrenders his queenside pawns in the knowledge that mate is not far away.

Ibba,I (2222) - Bieg Pagel,C (1988) [D01]
Capo d'Orso Open Porto Mannu Palau ITA (6), 21.05.2008

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bg5 e6 4.Qd3 Be7 5.f3 Nc6 6.0-0-0 0-0 7.e4 Nb4 8.Qd2 c6 9.a3 Na6 10.Bxa6 bxa6 11.Nh3 Rb8 12.Nf2 Qa5 13.Bxf6 (D)
13. ... Bxa3 14.Qg5 Bxb2+ 15.Kd2 Qxc3+ 1-0


Anonymous said...

I hate to give away bishops...

And I even more hate the moveorder 1.d4,Sf6 2.Sc3,d5 3.Lg5,e6 4.e4...

Off topic, a little secret...

1.d4,Sf6 2.Sc3,d5 3.Lg5,Lf5 4.f3,e6? 5.e4!,dxe4 6.fxe4,Lg6 7.e5...


Henrik Mortensen

Kevin Bonham said...

I played the Veresov in a game at Mt Buller in a misguided attempt to catch my rapidly improving junior opponent out with something a bit offbeat. However I did win the game - see I'm sure he wouldn't make that sort of mistake now!

Davies' book on the opening contains a lot of ideas for those looking for more than you can find in the footnotes of more general openings texts.