1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 - Aggressive Repertoire against 2...e6, 2...c5, and 2...d5
We are happy to introduce the newest opening project by GM Mihail Marin - 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 - Aggressive Repertoire against 2...e6, 2...c5, and 2...d5.
This huge database includes 48 theoretical chapters, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version with almost 5h and 30min of running time. Additionally, at the end of the database, you will find 47 interactive test positions.
Below, you shall take a look at how GM Mihail Marin presents the course.
The starting position of the current survey arises after 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3
The systems examined in this database are logical complements to the previous databases, focusing on 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d4 and 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3, respectively. For more than a decade, I have advocated 2.g3 through all the channels (books, Video DVDs and not least my own games), the move order based on 2.g3, irrespective of White's first move.
Time has come to widen a bit my understanding. The lines examined here are more ambitious, aiming at putting Black under pressure at an early stage. Unlike the previous two English databases published by Modern Chess, we cannot talk about a complete repertoire. For instance, if Black wishes to play the King's Indian, nobody can stop him (Petrosian would add that we should not stop him, but this is subjective). Here is the map of the examined variations.
One of the three main moves is 2...e6.
Another major direction is 2...c5 3.Nf3
Against most answers, White can play 4.d4, transposing to the systems examined in the 1.c4 c5 database. Against most answers, White can play 4.d4, transposing to the systems examined in the 1.c4 c5 database. There are two moves with independent value, though - 3...e6 (If Black gets ambitious in the centre with 3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5, I recommend the equally ambitious 5.e4! yielding White the initiative in all the lines.) 4.g3 b6
This is the system we examine here, one of my favourite weapons with Black, the English Hedgehog. After 5.Bg2 Bb7 6.0-0 Be7, my suggestion is 7.Re1.
Decades of practise have convinced me that this is the only way of challenging the Hedgehog. I have played this system regularly but did not always win with White. On the contrary, I have frequently won with Black and lost only for reasons that are not connected with the opening. White needs a firm hand in order to maintain control.
Note that instead of 4...b6, I do not examine 4...d5, leading to either the Tarrasch or the Semi-Tarrasch defences. The former is not too popular nowadays, while our specific move order against the latter is more restrictive than the usual one, starting with 1.d4.
Another frequently played move is 2...d5 which is a proposal to transpose to a Gruenfeld, that we kindly decline. My main line goes 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nf3 g6 5.h4
Clearly our favourite move in this whole repertoire. Other systems have been tried here, but Black seems to be doing reasonably well in all of them.
Against 2...е6, my suggestion is 3.e4.
This ambitious move, gaining space in the centre, is known as the Flohr-Mikenas Attack. While the word "Attack" is self-understood, I should make some specifications regarding the godfathers of the system. It is true that starting with 1948, Vladas Mikenas has played it regularly, contributing to its development up to rather it acquired modern shapes. With Salo Flohr, things are circumstantial. He played it a few times in the '30s and books refer to his game with Kashdan in 1933, but the curious fact is that two years earlier he had this position with... black against Nimzovitsch! In fact, the first player using it regularly (that happened in the '20s and the '30s) was the German IM Carl Johan Margot Carls, who used to play only 1.c4. Many of his games maintain certain theoretical interests. According to the database, he was the second to play the "Flohr Mikenas Attack" after an old game played in 1903. (please refer to the next comment). Since Black needs to challenge White's territorial ambitions, play tends to become concrete at an early stage.