Gruenfeld Defense, Stockholm Variation

Hi, folks, it’s Ivan again. OK, let’s cut straight to the chase: my opponent plays the Gruenfeld Defense with fourth move 4. Bg5, and after my 4… Ne4, he is going to choose 5. h4.
First – the good news: He always plays the same variation.
And now, the bad news: CHOPIN’s tag, a Dangerous Line for Black, was a real eye-opener, but it made me realize that I’d been playing a poor line for quite a while.
OK, here’s the plan: I’ll keep following the line for a while to make him think that he got me, but then I’ll sidestep into a better subvariation.
This opening line was analyzed by Boris Avrukh, one of the world’s leading experts on the Gruenfeld Defense. The Line Summary provides a digest of the most important pieces of information. Immediately, I start searching for my opponent’s line of choice. Well, nice: the fifth move 5. h4 is not the best move for White.
Let’s check the Summary. Eh… Bummer, I’ve been playing c5 on the eighth move and then h6 on the twelfth – and that’s considered a Dangerous line for Black. OK, I’ve seen it before; Black can improve upon it, but I won’t be surprising my opponent – that’s for sure. However, this seems like an excellent alternative: a Dangerous line for White, which is also a Recommendation for Club Players. That’s it: I’ll try the fifth 5… Bg7 and then on the eighth move I’ll go for 8… Qa5.
OK, let’s click on this link with a Recommendation for Club Players. OK, interesting… I should, perhaps, click on the ”Tree“ icon for some stats and games. Oh, interesting – no top level games? Now, I’m sure it’ll be a surprise for him. I can get back to the viewer now.
Well, 8… Qa5 is considered to be equal; let me see it… <click on the plus sign next to 8… Qa5>. There’s an immediate branching here on the ninth move… <click on the plus sign next to 9. Qd2> …and I’ll play 9… Nd7… Wait, this is great – two more junctures, and both of them are bad for White, so he has to be careful! Even his best line is OK for me: <click on 15… Bxf6>; I have a pair of bishops and no visible weaknesses – I can play for a win there. Fine, I can close 9. Qd2 now <click on the minus sign next to 9. Qd2>, so let’s see what’s left in the main line…
We can go quickly through the moves here… Well, it’s an analysis based on a computer game from 2012… <click on 15. Bc4> Now that’s a jackpot for me – there’s no way that he’s seen that before. Cool, I think I’m prepared. <click on 22… Rxd8> …Yes, definitely – case closed!

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