Chess

SORTING THROUGH the primordial slime in my office, I recently uncovered a pile of second-hand books to shelve, including one called Modern Chess Brilliancies, written by Larry Evans in 1970, presumably slightly after the game introductions Evans wrote for Fischer's seminal My Sixty Memorable Games.

As I flicked through, I was struck by the sea-change in chess over the past generation, especially a comment on one of Dragoljub Velimirovic's trademark gore-splattered attacks against the Sicilian Defence in the variation that later came to bear his name.

Black played 16 ...0-0? in the diagram and as you can see he got slaughtered -at the end if 24 ...Kxe7 25 Rxg7+! etc.

Evans, rightly according to today's theory too, said that 16 ...Bb7! 17 f6 gxf6 18 Rhe1 Bxd5 19 Rxd5 Rg8! is the only defence and cited a game, Gheorghiu vs Hamaan Vrnjacka Banja 1967, in which Black eventually won after 20 h4.

Evans wrote: "This illustrates the growing importance of prepared analysis. In great secrecy, players vivisect whole variations at home. The last word, however, still has not been uttered on this remarkable line. It will be tested . . . until laid to rest in a footnote in the next edition of Modern Chess Openings (MCO)."

Two things especially date this - the "growing" and Evans's mention of MCO - nowadays there are numerous specialist monographs and the standard source is the five hefty volumes of the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings (this line comes under B89).

Not being an expert, I don't know the theoretical status at the moment though in a large database I did find no fewer than 58 games that reached the diagram! A good way to sift through these is to look for players you trust and one reasonably safe line looks to be (16 ...Bb7! 17 f6 gxf6 18 Rhe1 Bxd5 19 Rxd5 Rg8!) 20 gxf6 Nxf6 21 Rf5 Ng4 22 Bg5 Ne5 23 Bxe7 Qxe7 24 f4 Nd3+! 25 cxd3 Qxe2 26 Rxe2+ Kf8 with quite a good ending as played by Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Black vs Bartlomiej Macieja) at the World Junior in 1997

White: D. Velimirovic

Black: J. Sofrevski

Yugoslav Championship Titograd (!) 1965

Sicilian Defence

Velimirovic Attack

1 e4 c5

2 d4 cxd4

3 d4 cxd4

4 Nxd4 e6

5 Nc3 d6

6 Be3 Nf6

7 Bc4 Be7

8 Qe2 a6

9 0-0-0 Qc7 10 Bb3 Na5

11 g4 b5

12 g5 Nxb3+

13 axb3 Nd7

14 Nf5 exf5

15 Nd5 Qd8

16 exf5 (see

diagram)

16 ...0-0?

17 f6 gxf6

18 Bd4 Ne5

19 gxf6 Bxf6

20 Rhg1+Bg7

21 Bxe5 dxe5

22 Qxe5 f6

23 Ne7+ Kf7

24 Qh5+ 1-0

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee