Jogo que aconteceu neste Metz Open 2015, com uma das linhas mais populares do Benko Gambit:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.Nf3 Bg7 8.g3 d6 9.Bg2 Nbd7.
After nine moves of the Benko Gambit it is White to play !
White players unknowingly would go for 10.0-0 here, and then Black would reply with 10…Nb6! White wanted to now to develop his bishop on c1, but it was impossible as Nc4 would be very irritating. At the same time the natural move 11.Rb1, which intended b3, was met by 11…Bc4! with an attack on the a2 and d5 pawns. Black would equalise in this manner. Later White realised that it was a mistake to begin with 10.0-0 and instead started playing 10.Rb1!
Now 10…Nb6 is no longer dangerous as it can be met with 11.b3! with no pressure down the a1-h8 diagonal. This little subtlety helped white players to pose black considerable problems in the Benko Gambit. Ever since this move 10.Rb1 was found it has become one of the main ways of playing against the Benko. And why am I suddenly sharing this Rb1 story with you? Because this line is called…
….the Epishin Variation after the famous Russian grandmaster Vladimir Epishin, who was playing in Metz.
Born in 1965, Epishin was one of the elite players during the 90s. His rating was as high as 2669. He was the second of the Anatoly Karpov during the years 1987-1996. And how many of us can boast about having an opening variation named after us? It was a great opportunity to see him in action. Thoroughly concentrated and dedicated to the game Epishin scored 5.5/9, finishing sixth in the tournament.
Pictures by Amruta Mokal
Analyses by Dennis Wagner and Jacek Stopa