Rare Weapon against the Leningrad Dutch

GM Grigor Grigorov of Bulgaria was kind enough to send me the following interesting article, enjoy!
Hello dear reader!
I have the pleasure to introduce you in the extremely interesting Leningrad system in Dutch defense. The flexible pawn structure in this variation makes the arising positions very difficult to be analysed with a computer. One needs deep understanding in order to treat correctly such types of positions. That's why the Leningrad system is the favourite choice of creative players like Nakamura, Bartel and Malaniuk.
In the present article I would like to share with you my favourite weapon against this dangerous system. The variation that I am going to show you is not only positionally sound, but also it's less popular than the main lines. My practice shows that the majority of the players are not well prepared against this rare line. You can also seize the opportunity to cause nightmares to your opponents.
The main position arises after the moves:
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)

[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Dutch Defense"]
[Black "7.Re1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO "A81"]
[Annotator "Grigor Grigorov"]
[PlyCount "33"]
[Source "ChessBase"]
[SourceDate "2000.11.22"]

1. Nf3 f5 2. d4 Nf6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. Nbd2 d6 7. Re1 {[%cal
Ge2e4] Diagram [#] We have reached the main crossroad of this rare line. By
his last move white prepares the advance e2-e4 after which the rook will be
able to excerce pressure along the semi-open "e" file. I would like also to
emphasize on the fact that white hasn't played yet the move c2-c4 and and he
has the possibility to restrict the "g7" bishop by means of c2-c3.} Ne4 {The
main move in this position. Black takes radical measures against the pawn
advance. He wants to open the "f" file for his rook after possible exchange of
the knights. Before we continue it's necessary to take a look at other
possible continuations.} (7... Nc6 {[%cal Ge7e5] Very interesting idea. Black
not only prepares the e7-e5 advance but also increases the pressure over the
"d4" pawn. The main drawback of this move is that the knight is placed in
front of the "c7" pawn. As a consequence, the "c" pawn can no longer
participate in the fight for the center by c7-c6. Furthermore, as it will
become clear later, in some cases whis could use the restricted mobility of
black's Queen In genearal, you must think twice before placing your knight in
front of the "c7" (c2) pawn!} 8. e4 $1 {In order to use the "bad" position of
the knight, white should play very eneretically.} {The move} e5 {Allows white
to obtain the favourable pawn structure which we have already discussed.} ({
After} 8... fxe4 9. Nxe4 Nxe4 (9... Bg4 10. c3 Qd7 11. Qb3+ Kh8 12. Nfg5 $36 {
1/2-1/2 Steinmacher,J-Denk,J/Forchtenberg 2003/EXT 2004 (12)}) 10. Rxe4 {
Diagram [#] We reach an extremely important postion where black has 3 options:
Bf5, d5 and e5. Let's analyse them separately.} e5 {Diagram [#]} (10... Bf5 11.
Re1 {The move} Bg4 {is almost always well met by} (11... e5 {This option leads
by force to highly favorable for white endgame.} 12. dxe5 dxe5 13. Qxd8 Raxd8
14. c3 {We have a typical position where black has problems due to the
weakness of the "e5" pawn and the restricted mobility of the black's
dark-squared bishop. In such positions, our plan include 3 main stages: 1)
blockade of the "e5" pawn by means of Ng5-e4 and Be3. 2) exchange a pair of
rooks along the "d" file. 3) Launch a queenside expansion ( b2-b4, a2-a4 )
which will be supported by the minor pieces.} e4 {Black couldn't afford
himself to wait anymore.} 15. Ng5 Ne5 16. Nxe4 Nd3 17. Rd1 $1 h6 {Not only
preventing the move Bg5 but also planning to double the rooks along the "d"
file. Fortunately, white finds an interesting way to undermine the stability
of black's knight.} 18. f4 $1 {[%cal Ge4f2] Planning Nf2 on the next move.} c5
{[%csl Rd3][%cal Gc5c4] Very interesting idea. Black tries to support their
knight at any price!} ({The move} 18... Rfe8 {Doesn't offer black enough
compensation. Play might continue:} 19. Nf2 Bf8 {[%cal Gf8c5]} 20. g4 $1 Nxc1
21. Raxc1 Bc8 22. Ne4 $16 {White is just pawn up}) 19. Nf2 c4 (19... Nxf2 $2
20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Kxf2 Rd1 22. Bxb7 $18 {[%cal Gb7f3] White threatens to play
Bf3 after which the game is over.}) 20. Nxd3 Bg4 $1 21. Rd2 cxd3 22. Be4 Bf5 (
22... Be2 23. Bxg6) 23. Bxb7 {White's plan is very simple - he wants to play
Rd1, Bd2 and Bf3 with completely winning position. Black's compensation for
the missing pawns doesn't seem to be sufficient. His only decent idea is to
transfer the dark-squared bishop on the "a7-g1" diagonal but white has enough
ressources to prevent this plan.} Rfe8 24. Kf2 Bf8 25. b4 $1 $18) (11... Qd7 {
Quite a typical idea in such structures. Black activates his queen and at the
same time wants to prepare e7-e5 advance by means of Rae8. Also in some cases
he could try to exchange the white-squared bishops by playing Bh3.} 12. c3 {
This move forces black to lose important tempo in order to parry the threat
Qb3+} Kh8 {Diagram [#]} 13. d5 $1 {Typical idea in such kind of structures.
White's play is now based on the backward pawn on "e7".} Ne5 14. Nxe5 Bxe5 15.
Be3 {[%cal Ge3d4] White's plan is fairly simple: After the exchange of the
dark-squared bishops he will seize the opportunity to build a tremendous
pressure against the "e7" pawn. Despite of the wide choice of moves, black is
doomed to passivity.} Bf6 {[%cal Ga8e8,Gb7b6,Ge7e5] Black tries to get rid of
their weakness on "e7" by playing e7-e5 as soon as possible. In order to
achieve this advance, he should remove his pieces from the long diagonal ( b6,
Rae8 and only then e7-e5). Although, white gains valuable time to organise his
invasion along the "e" file. For instance:} ({after} 15... Bh3 16. Bxh3 Qxh3
17. Bd4 Qf5 18. f4 $1 {White is almost winning.} Bf6 $2 {Loses on the spot.} (
18... Bxd4+ $142 {is somewhat better although white's advantage is still close
to decisive. For example:} 19. Qxd4+ Qf6 20. Rxe7 Qxd4+ 21. cxd4 $16) 19. Rxe7
Rae8 20. Bxf6+ Qxf6 21. Rxc7 $18 {1-0 Szekely,P-Simons,R/Rosmalen 1993/EXT
2002 (50)}) (15... c5 $6 {prevents the exchange of the bishops but allows nice
tactical trick.} 16. Bxc5 $1 Bxc3 17. Bd4+ Bxd4 18. Qxd4+ Kg8 {Now it's time
to make use of the awkward position of black's bishop.} 19. h3 $1 {[%csl Rf5]
[%cal Gg3g4] Preparing the advance g3-g4. The pawn on h3 is intouchable
because of the unprotected position of the "e7" pawn.} Qd8 (19... Bxh3 20. Bxh3
Qxh3 21. Rxe7 Rf7 22. Rxf7 Kxf7 23. Qf4+ {followed by Qd6}) 20. Re3 {[%csl Re7]
[%cal Ga1e1,Ge3e7,Gd4h4,Gh4e7]} Rf7 21. Rae1 a6 22. Qh4 Kf8 23. g4 Bc2 24. Rc3
Qa5 (24... Ba4 {doesn't help either.} 25. Rf3 $1 $18 {black couldn't defend
simultaneously "h7" and "e7" pawns.}) 25. Qh6+ Kg8 26. Qd2 {Black resigns in
view of the threat Rc8. 1-0 Bogdanovski,V-Nikac,P/Niksic 1994/EXT 98 (26)}) ({
After} 15... a6 16. Bd4 Bxd4 17. Qxd4+ Kg8 {White executes his typical plan
without facing any difficulties.} 18. Re3 $1 Rf7 19. Rae1 $16 {Diagram [#]
Despite of the fact that white's advantage is obvious, I would like to give
you some useful tips which will help you to convert your advantage in such
type of positions. As you could see, black has enough ressources to defend the
weakness on e7. That's why we should try to create a second weakness in
black's camp. In order to achieve that, we should take the following actions:
1) Exchange white-squared bishops by means of Be4 in order to make use of the
weakened "e6" square. 2) Place the rook on e6 while the queen should on e4.
3) Create second weakness on the kingside using h4-h5 pawn contact.}) 16. Bd4
Rae8 17. Re3 b6 18. Qd2 e5 $1 19. dxe6 Rxe6 20. Rae1 Rxe3 21. Qxe3 Qg7 22. Bxf6
Qxf6 23. Qe7 $1 $16 {1-0 Schulz,K-Zysk,R/Germany 1992/GER-chT (30)}) ({It
looks tempting to play} 11... Nb4 $2 {Diagram [#] but white has a powerfull
response at his disposal.} 12. Nh4 $1 Qd7 ({The "c2" pawn is untouchable:}
12... Nxc2 $2 13. Nxf5 Nxa1 14. Nxg7 Kxg7 15. Be3 $18) (12... Bxc2 $2 13. Qd2
$1 {[%cal Ga2a3] with the idea to attack the knight by a2-a3.} Nd3 14. Rf1 Nxc1
15. Qxc2 $18) 13. Nxf5 Qxf5 14. Re2 $1 {[%cal Gc2c3]} c6 15. c3 Nd5 16. Qb3
Rab8 17. Bd2 $16 {[%cal Ga1e1] The strong pair of bishops and the weakness on
"e7" gives white an obvious advantage. Now he is planning to play Re1}) 12. c3
{with the idea Qb3+ followed by Ng5} Kh8 {Allowing white to grab the bishop
pair but there are is nothing better.} (12... e6 $6 {Prepares the move Qf6
which allows black to make use of the weakened "f" file. Fortunately, that
idea doesn't work because white can use the unprotected position of the bishop
on g4 to transfer his rook on the kingside.} 13. Re4 $1 Bf5 14. Bg5 {[%cal
Ge4h4,Gd1d2,Gg5h6,Gf3g5] Typical for this variation intermediate move. White's
plan is quite logical - Rh4, Qd2, Bh6 followed by Ng5. For instance:} Qd7 15.
Rh4 Rae8 16. Qd2 {[%cal Gg5h6]} Qc8 17. Bh6 Re7 18. Re1 Bxh6 19. Qxh6 Nd8 20.
Ng5 $16 {1/2-1/2 Geisler,R-Jugelt,T/Germany 1994/GER-chT2 (35)}) (12... Qd7 $2
{is losing immediately after the typical:} 13. Qb3+ Kh8 14. Ng5 {Because after}
Nd8 {[%csl Rg4] White make use of the restricted mobility of the black-squared
bishop.} 15. f3 $1 Bf5 16. g4 h6 17. gxf5 hxg5 18. Bxg5 Bf6 19. Bxf6+ Rxf6 {It
seems that black has parried all the threats but white has at his disposal the
following hidden rook transfer along the 3rd rank.} 20. Re3 $1 gxf5 21. f4 $1
$40 c6 22. Rh3+ Kg7 23. Rg3+ Rg6 24. Rxg6+ Kxg6 25. Qg8+ $18 {1-0 Szekely,
P-Theocharides,C/Athens 1997/EXT 2001 (29)}) 13. h3 Bxf3 {Otherwise white
plays d4-d5. After:} 14. Bxf3 e5 15. dxe5 Bxe5 16. Bg2 Qd7 17. Be3 Rae8 18. Qa4
$14 {[%csl Ge3,Gg2] We reach an open position where the potential of the
bishop pair is extremely high. Ѕ-Ѕ Schulz,K-Vokac,M/Prague 1987/EXT 97 (65)})
(10... d5 {Diagram [#]} 11. Rh4 $1 {Very important moment. The reader already
knows that the rook could be very well placed on h4 - from here it controls
the "g4" square and at the same time participates in the kingside attack.
That's exactly the move that I have chosen in my game against GM Michal
Krasenkow from Poland.} (11. Re1 {doesn't work here because of:} Bg4 12. c3 e5
$1 {and black is complitely fine.}) 11... Bf5 $1 {The best way to play this
position! Krasenkow wants to put his bishops on e4 and f6 and only there to
play e7-e5.} (11... Rf5 12. c3 e5 $2 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Bf4 $1 (
15. Be3 $2 c6 16. Bd4 Re8 17. Bxg7 Kxg7 18. Qd2 $14 {1/2-1/2 Lytchak,
A-Reinderman,D/Groningen 1996/EXT 98 (31)}) 15... Rf5 16. Be4 $1 $18) 12. c3
Bf6 13. Ng5 $1 $146 ({In the game I played:} 13. Bg5 {and after:} Be4 14. Bxf6
exf6 15. Nd2 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 {We have reached an equal position which I managed
to win after some inaccuracies made by my opponent. The strong knight jump was
found only in the analysis.}) {After:} 13... e6 {What has a forced way to
obtain a pair of bishops in slightly better endgame.} 14. Nxh7 Bxh4 15. Nxf8
Be7 16. g4 Qxf8 17. Qe2 $1 {It's good to activate the queen before we capture
the bishop. Now white is planning to play Qe3 and Bh3 after taking the bishop.}
Be4 18. f3 $14 {White a slight edge.}) 11. Bg5 $1 {Once again we have this
typical intermediate move. As I have mentionned in my comments to the move 7...
Nc6, black queen lacks good squares. White's pressure could be very dangerous.}
Qe8 12. dxe5 dxe5 $8 {Black is forced to accept the inferior pawn structure.}
13. Rh4 {White is willing to play c3 Qd5+ and Re1 after which his advantage is
undisputable. For instance:} Bf5 14. c3 e4 15. Qd5+ $1 Rf7 16. Re1 $1 {[%csl
Re4][%cal Re1e8,Gf3d2,Gd2e4]} Qf8 17. Nd2 h6 18. Be3 g5 19. Rxe4 $1 {This
quality sacrifice ensures total domination on the light squares.} Bxe4 20. Nxe4
$16 {1-0 Hoffmann,M-Hoang Thanh Trang/Budapest 1999/CBM 72 (34)}) (8... f4 {
Quite an original pawn sacrifice which couldn't be accepted immediately in
view of 9...Nh5. Black is planning to increase the pressure over "d4" pawn by
playing simple moves like Bg4, Nh5 and e5. White couldn't waste time!} 9. d5 $1
{The only way to fight for an advantage!} Nb8 {This solid move also fails to
equalize. White's plan is to tranfer the knight on d2 to d4.} ({After} 9... Nb4
{White makes use of the vulnerable position of black knight.} 10. gxf4 $1 Nh5
11. Nf1 Bg4 {It seems that black finally has sufficient counterplay bur white
is in time to execute the following blow:} (11... Nxf4 $4 {Is impossible due
to:} 12. Bxf4 Rxf4 13. Qd2 $18 {[%csl Rb4,Rf4][%cal Gd2f4,Gd2b4] Winning a
piece}) 12. f5 $1 Be5 {Diagram [#]} (12... gxf5 {doesnt work in view of:} 13.
h3 Bxf3 14. Bxf3 Nf6 15. exf5 $16 {With Ng3, Re6 and Bg5 to follow}) 13. Qd2 $1
{[%cal Gd2b4,Gd2g5] Very deep idea - white not only attacks the knight but
also is preparing a queen transfer to g5!} Bxf3 14. Bxf3 c5 15. Bxh5 gxh5 16.
c3 Na6 17. Qg5+ Kh8 18. Qxh5 $18 {The game is over. 1-0 Heinbuch,D-Gupta,M/
Germany 1992/GER-chT2 (24)}) (9... Ne5 {Creates defects in the pawn structure
which could be exploited in a very interesting way.} 10. Nxe5 dxe5 11. Nc4 Nh5
12. b3 $1 {[%csl Re5][%cal Gc1b2,Gb2e5,Gc4e5] It's already very difficult for
black to defend the "e5" pawn - Bb2 is coming.} b5 {Eliminates the threat but
weakens the queenside.} 13. Na5 {[%cal Ga5c6]} c5 ({After} 13... Bd7 {White
can make use of the weakness on c5} 14. Nb7 {[%cal Gb7c5] With the idea Nc5})
14. Nc6 Qd6 {Diagram [#] Black has defended everything and he intends to
continue with Bd7. Unfortunately for him white hasn't said yet his last word!
His plan is to open a line on the queenside.} 15. a4 $1 b4 16. c3 $1 Bd7 17.
cxb4 cxb4 18. Bb2 fxg3 19. hxg3 Rf7 20. Rc1 $16 {White's advantage is beyond
any doubt. By playing Qd2 he will force black to defend the b4 pawn by a7-a5.
Only then the queen will go to b6 square and the rooks will be doubled along
the "c" file. 1-0 Gruber,T-Effert,K/Zell 1991/GER (34)}) 10. Nb3 fxg3 11. hxg3
Ng4 12. Nbd4 c5 13. dxc6 Nxc6 14. c3 $14 {[%cal Gd1b3,Gd4e6] White retains an
edge due the space advantage and the weakened light squares in black's camp.
Moves like Qb3 followed by Ne6 are always in the air. 1-0 Franke,H-Borngaesser,
R/Bad Neuenahr 1987/CBM 04 (99)}) 9. exf5 Bxf5 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. c3 {[%cal
Gf3g5,Gg5e4,Gd1e2,Gd2b3,Gb3c5,Gc1e3,Ga1d1,Gb2b4] The position on the board is
extremely difficult for black. As always white shoud block the e5 pawn by
Ng5-e4 and later prepare his queenside expansion by means of Qe2, Nb3-c5, Be3,
Rd1 and b4.}) (7... c6 {Diagram [#] Typical idea in Dutch defence. Black
ensures better control over the center and at the same time is planning to
prepare the advance e7-e5 by Qc7 or Qe8. The drawback of 7...c6 is that e7-e5
takes much more time while white is ready to break in the center.} 8. e4 fxe4
9. Nxe4 {Now black has huge problems caused by the weakened "e" file. White is
already threatening Neg5.} Nxe4 10. Rxe4 Bf5 11. Re1 {[%cal Gc2c3,Gd1b3,Gf3g5]
Black is almost helpless in front of the typical threat c3 followed by Qb3 and
Ng5. For example:} Nd7 12. c3 Kh8 13. Qb3 Rb8 14. Ng5 $1 Qe8 15. Ne6 Bxe6 16.
Qxe6 $16 {1-0 Szekely,P-Roy Chowdhury,S/Calcutta 1996/CBM 50 ext (52)}) (7...
Nh5 {Extremeley creative approach. Black is ready to meet e2-e4 advance by
f5-f4 and at the same time prepares e7-e5.} 8. h3 $1 {Very strong reaction
after which f4 is no longer possible due to g4. Now white is planning to play
e4.} Nc6 {Black prepares e7-e5 but doesn't control the "d5" square. As a rule,
in such kind of pawn structures white always tries to advance further his
central pawn when black is not controling the "d5" square.} ({The direct} 8...
e5 {fails to} 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. e4 {The e5 pawn is very weak. This variation
illustrates the rule that it's not advisible to break in the center while you
are behind in development.}) 9. d5 Nb4 10. e4 fxe4 11. Nxe4 {White's advantage
is tremendous. Now he wants to occupy the "e6" square by playing Neg5.} h6 12.
c3 Na6 13. Nd4 $16 {1-0 Huhndorf,A-Wolf,U/Germany 2002/EXT 2004 (28)}) ({
Another option for black is to play a Stonewall type of positions after} 7...
d5 8. c4 c6 9. b3 Nbd7 10. Bb2 $14 {We have reached highly unusual version of
the Stonewall system in Dutch defence. The main difference is that black's
black-squared bishop usually stands on d6 where not only controls the "e5"
square but also makes more difficult white's play on the queenside. In order
to use that drawback, white could play b4 as soon as possible. Later he may
chose the following plan: Rac1, Qb3, a4 and b5. Also it's important to
mention that due to the move g7-g6 black is no longer able to activate his
light-squared bishop using the route d7-e8-h5. Taking into consideration
these factors, we could conclude that white's position is better.}) 8. Nxe4
fxe4 9. Ng5 d5 10. f3 {White must attack the center before the development of
black's queenside.} Nc6 {The main move.} ({After} 10... exf3 11. exf3 {The "e"
file is too weak. White's immediate threat is Ne6. The play may continue:} Nc6
12. c3 Rf6 13. Nh3 {Now the knight will go to d3 via f4. Black's position is
strategically very difficult.} h6 14. Nf4 e6 15. Bh3 Qd6 16. Nd3 {Now} Qf8 {is
well met by the nice little trick} 17. Bf4 {with the idea:} g5 18. Bxc7 Rxf3
19. Nf4 $18) 11. c3 h6 12. Nh3 e5 13. dxe5 exf3 ({The move} 13... Nxe5 {
doesn't seem to promose enough compensation for the pawn.} 14. fxe4 c6 (14...
dxe4 15. Qxd8 Rxd8 16. Nf2 $16) 15. exd5 Qb6+ 16. Kh1 cxd5 17. Qxd5+ Be6 18.
Qd4 $1 Qa5 19. Nf4 Bf7 20. Qg1 $14 {With the idea Be3-d4. Ѕ-Ѕ Dydyshko,
V-Ibragimov,I/Azov 1991/CBM 25 (50)}) 14. exf3 Nxe5 15. Nf4 c6 16. Be3 Re8 17.
Bd4 $14 {I belive that white could claim a slight edge in this position. The
g6 pawn is weak and black knight is far from being stable. In the future
battle white will be trying to combine the threats against black's kingside
with pressure along the "d" file. 1-0 Schulz,K-Jahr,U/Porz 1989/EXT 97 (36)} *

GM Grigor Grigorov

1 comment:

Rogerio Kirschbaum said...

I don't see any advanrage for white here after 17 Bd4...