[February 11, 2019] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Gruenfeld Defense, Exchange Variation (Classical Main Line incl. Sokolsky Variation)

[Line 145 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Bc4 c5 8. Ne2 Nc6 9. Be3 O-O 10. O-O with 10… Bg4, 10… Qc7]

The point of interest of our Line 145 are two highly investigated options for Black, on move ten.

After 10… Bg4, move 11. f3 is almost the exclusive response, where 11… Bd7 is an interesting sideline, and we recommend it to club level players. The main choice is 11… Na5, where, apart from 12. Bd3, White can also go for 12. Bxf7+ Rxf7 13. fxg4 Rxf1+ 14. Kxf1 or 12. Bd5. The main line goes 12. Bd3 cxd4 13. cxd4 Be6, where both the Sokolsky Variation (14. d5 Bxa1 15. Qxa1) and 14. Rc1 Bxa2 15. Qa4 lead to complications.

Positions arising after 10… Qc7 are a bit less forced. White usually replies 11. Rc1, and Black now has two moves that should be enough to obtain roughly equal chances – 11… Rd8 and 11… b6.

[Diagram: White to Move] This intriguing position comes from the analysis of the game D. Dvirnyy – T. Sanikidze, Rijeka 2010. Black has strong threats, yet it’s White’s move and, to win the game, he has to make the most out of his two pawns on the 7th rank.

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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