After watching the exciting game Giri-Aronian, played in Monaco and won by black with 7...Nc6 8.d5 Ne5?!, I wanted to present an overview of the variation 7...Nc6. There was an earlier discussion about this move because Neil McDonald analysed it, not very convincingly, in his quite nice book

**'Play the Dutch' ** (Londen 2010).

Here is the game Giri-Aronian, analysed by Raspje (R) and Rybka4 (R4):

**1. d4 f5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. O-O O-O 6. c4 d6 7. Nc3 Nc6 **({Still playable.} 7... c6 {or}) (7...Qe8 {can be tried.})

**8. d5 Ne5?!**(8... Na5 9. b3 (9. Qa4 c5 10. dxc6 Nxc6 11. Rd1!? Qb6!? (11... Ne4?! 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Ng5 Nd4 14. Be3! Nf5 15. Bf4! e3 16. Bd5+ Kh8 17. Nf7+ Rxf7 18. Bxf7 Bxb2 19. Rab1 exf2+ 20. Kxf2 Bd4+ 21. Rxd4! Nxd4 22. c5 with an attack {R4.}) 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Ne5 (13... Qb4!?) 14. Nd4 Bd7=) 9... Ne4?! (9... c5! 10. Bd2! (10. Bb2 a6 11. a4 {Reich-Bjelacac, Internet 2004} Qb6!12. Nd2 e5 with counterchances {R4.}) 10... h6 11. e4!? {R.} (11. Qc2 g5 12. h4 (12. e4 fxe4 13. Nxe4 Bf5 14. Nxf6+ Rxf6 15. Qc3 b6 unclear {McDonald.} 16. Qe3 Qf8 17. Rae1 Re8 18. Bc3 Rf7 19. Bxg7 Qxg7 20. h4 g4 21.Nd2 e5 22. Ne4 Nb7 unclear {R, R4.}) 12... g4 13. Ne1 a6 14. Nd3 (14. a4 e5) 14...b5! with counterchances) 11... fxe4 12. Nh4 Qe8! {R4.} 13. Nxe4 g5 unclear) 10. Nxe4 Bxa1 11.Neg5 c5 12. e4 Bg7 13. Nh4 with an attac {McDonald, and I agree. The statistics alsoshow this variation is awful for black.})

** 9. Nxe5 dxe5 10. c5 Kh8?! ** (10... e4!? {was played a few times by female player Hoang Thanh Trang, although after10.Qb3.} 11. Bf4! (11. Qb3 e6! 12. Rd1 exd5 13. Nxd5 Be6 14. Nxf6+ Qxf6 15.Qxb7 Qf7 with compensation{R4, R. The bishop on g2 is no hero.}) 11... e6 12. d6 cxd6 13.cxd6 with an obvious advantage) (10... e6 11. Bg5!(11.dxe6 c6) (11. d6 cxd6 12. cxd6 Ne8 13.Be3 Qxd6 14. Qa4 e4 15. Rfd1 Qe7 16. Rac1 with compensation {R4, R.}) 11... h6 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. Nb5 Qf7 14. d6 cxd6 15. Nxd6 Qc7 16. Rc1 e4 17. b4 Bd7 18. Qb3 with the advantage {R4, R.})

** 11. Qb3 h6 12. Rd1 g5 13. Bd2! **{Strong play by Giri. The bishop isdefending the kingside and can always go to a5.}

**a6 14. Be1 Qe8 15. d6 exd6 16.cxd6 c6? **({?, according to Aronian. Now white is practically winning. Butthere doesn't seem to be a reasonable alternative:} 16... cxd6 17. Rxd6 e4 18.Na4 Bd7 19. Nc5 Bc6 20. Ne6 Rf7 21. Bc3 and wins) (16... Rf7 17. Rac1 cxd6 18. Rxd6 Bf8 19. Rd8 Qxd8 20. Qxf7 Qe7 21. Qxe7 Bxe7 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. Bxd5 Bd6 24. Ba5

e4 25. Bc7 with a large advantage {R4, R.}) 17. Na4 e4 18. Nc5 f4 19. Bc3 e3 20. Bxf6 Rxf6 21. d7 Bxd7 22. Nxd7 exf2+ 23. Kf1 Re6 24. Nb6?!{"The worst move I have ever seen"- Viktor Korchnoi

...still a great feeling for the game.} (24. Rd2 b5 25.gxf4 gxf4 26. Kxf2 and wins)

** 24... Re3 25. Qc4 Rb8 26.Rd7? ** (26. Bf3)

** 26... fxg327. hxg3 Qh5! 28. Kxf2 Rbe8 29. Re1 Qh2 30. Qg4 R3e6 31. Rd3?? ** (31. Rf7 Kg832. Rxg7+ Kxg7 33. Nd7=)

** 31... h5 32. Qxg5 Rf6+ 33. Rf3 Rxf3+ 34. Kxf3 Rf8+**

35. Ke3 Qxg2 36. Kd3 Qf2 37. Rh1 Qd4+ 38. Kc2 Qxb2+ 39. Kd1 Qb1+ 40. Kd2 Qxh1

0-1 An impressive schwindle by Lev. Aronian! He might become world champion one day

...

I looked at this many times over the years and never found a completely satisfactory solution. Somehow 10.c5 is never recommended in the books, but is it quite annoying. A few years ago I had a completely lost position agains a lower-rated junior at the Copenhagen open, but managed a total swindle in the end.

But, I think 12...g5 is not the most accurate move-order.