Expert Repertoire against Ragozin and Vienna
In his first opening project for Modern Chess, GM Gyula Pap builds repertoire against two of the most popular and reliable openings - Ragozin Defence and Vienna Variation. From the perspective of the ambitious tournament player, this repertoire provides a lot of value. GM Pap goes for relatively unexplored directions where he comes up with in-depth analysis. Psychologically, your opponents will have a hard time fighting against the suggestions in this opening course.
Additionally, as all new Modern Chess products, this product comes with a Memory Booster. The booster is designed to help you better remember the important points in each chapter. All the testable lines have been carefully selected by our GM team.
Now, let's take a brief look at the different chapters of the database.
After the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4, we reach the starting position of the Ragozin Defence.
Ragozin has become very popular in recent years. Many players from the absolute top of the chess world have it in their repertoire. Carlsen, Aronian, Giri, So, Ding Liren, just to name a few players who employ this opening regularly.
Chapter 1 - 5.Qa4 Nc6 6.a3 Be7/d6
In this position the most principled and best move for black is 6...Bxc3+, with retreating the bishop, objectively Black shouldn't be able to achieve equality. In his analysis, GM Pap demonstrates why Black cannot solve his problems with passive moves such as 6...Be7 and 6...Bd6.
Chapter 2 - 6...Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 0-0
Even though this move has been played by many strong players, such as So, Aronian and Grischuk, GM Pap considers it a very risky decision. His main line goes 8.Bg5 h6 9.Bh4.
At this point, Black has a choice between 9...Bd7 and 9...g5. According to the author, White has chances to fight for an advantage in both cases.
Chapter 3 - 6...Bxc3 7.bxc3 Bd7
Black breaks the pin and has ideas like ...Nxd4 and ...Ne5. At this point, GM Pap suggests playing 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Qc2
In his analysis, the author tries to prove that White's bishop pair and good central control provides him with an edge.
Chapter 4 - 6...Bxc3 7.bxc3 Ne4
This strong move was suggested by GM Davorin Kuljasevic in his Ragozin Repertoire. GM Pap recommends 8.e3!?. Here is how the author justifies his choice:
"This is my try to improve White's play since all the analyses GM Kuljasevic did on the other moves are very convincing and give Black great play. His main move for White in that database is 8.Qc2 claiming that the queen is not doing much on a4 anymore. I see it a little bit differently, while a4 is definitely not the best square for the queen, it does prevent the b6-Ba6/Na5 idea, which can give Black a lot of counterplay."
From the next chapter, GM Pap starts dealing with the Vienna Variation - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 dxc4
GM Pap introduces the Vienna Variation in the following way:
This is normally an opening for titled players because of its nature. White has the possibility to enter many sharp and forced lines, which very often only lead to a draw, which is completely fine for high level, but at lower levels, we don't really want to remember 25 moves in order to make a draw. I tried to find new ways in almost all lines, so instead of letting Back show his homework, we'll try to pose fresh problems to him.
Chapter 5 - Vienna Variation - Sidelines
In this chapter, the author deals with Black's sidelines after 5.e4. The main focus of the chapter is the move 5...c5. Additionally, GM Pap examines the very rare 5...a6. The analysis in this chapter proves that White has an advantage in the arising positions.
Chapter 6 - 5...b5
This is the latest discovery in the Vienna variation. It was almost not played at all till 2016, which is really something special, since we are only at move 5, and the move is not bad at all. The main specialists of this move are Nakamura, Duda, young GM's Xiong and Maghsoodloo and recently even the next challenger of Carlsen, Nepomniachtchi has started playing it.
At this point, Pap suggests the rare 6.Nxb5!?. The main line goes 6...Nxe4 7.Bxc4 Bb4+ 8.Kf1
Here is how the author explains his choice:
This is the drawback of the line I have chosen to recommend, we can't castle. On the other hand, the character of the game will be completely different from the one, that Black is aiming for with b5. An extra fact I like here, that this position was reached only 3!!! times so far, so it's higly unlikely that your opponent won't be surprised seeing this position.
Chapter 7 - 5...Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.0-0 - Black Takes Twice on c3
In this chapter, the author takes a look at the lines, where Black is not going to take only one but even two pawns! Even though the positions arising after 7...Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bxc3 are covered as well, the better way to accept the challenge is 7...Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nxc3
The entire concept looks very risky for Black. White enjoys better development and a strong pair of bishops. In his annotations to the current chapter, GM Pap shows how exactly we should develop the initiative in such positions.
Chapter 8 - 5...Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.0-0 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Bd6
The less popular and the more risky bishop retreat. Black is not controlling the g5 square now, which is quite crucial regarding White's attack. At this point, the author suggests 9.Bd3!? which has been played only twice so far. The analysis shows that White has very decent attacking prospects in this position.
Chapter 9 - 5...Bb4 6.Bxc4 Nxe4 7.0-0 Nxc3 8.bxc3 Be7