Line 389 belongs to “old-school” lines that have recently been revamped quite successfully. Even some rarely employed sidelines have returned to spotlight, e. g. the line from R. Fischer – F. Ólafsson, Havana (ol) 1966, which saw its revival at the top level fifty years after the original game was played: first in F. Caruana – Wei Yi, Wijk aan Zee 2016, and less than two months later in Hou Yifan – M. Muzychuk, Lviv (m/4) 2016.
After the most commonly played 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 White has a choice between 9. Nbd2 covered in our Line 390, and several alternatives, including 9. Be3, 9. c3 and 9. Qe2. The overall evaluation of these lines is that Black is able to equalize with precise play.
[Diagram: Black to Move] Hou Yifan – M. Muzychuk, Lviv (m/4) 2016. Black’s attack seems to have reached a point of impasse, but former Women’s World Champion Mariya Muzychuk finds an attractive way to inject some fresh life into it.
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