Just to recap, we have been looking at the variation:
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4 5.Nf3 Bc5 6.d4 Bb4 7.Bd2 Bg4 8.Bd3.
As for your question MNb on earlier deviations, both 7...Nxd2 8.Qxd2 Nc6 and 7...Nxd2 8.Qxd2 Bf5 (VorotnikovKuzmin 1997) look very reasonable to me. (IM Gary Lane likes 8...Bf5, see his book "Vienna game", 2000). As white you may encounter them, but as black I prefer 7...Bg4, which leads to more interesting positions in my opinion.
You can check the variations below. They are far from perfect and I expect many improvements, but this is how far I am at the moment. For the sake of clarity, I will follow the numbering of the variations as before.
C2] yes, good observation MNb, 11.Be3 is unpleasant indeed.
D] 8...Nxd2 9.Qxd2 Bxf3 10.gxf3 Qh4+ 11.Qf2 Qh6 looks playable, I need to check it further.
And now into deeper waters, the critical line:
C3] 8...Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qh4+ 10.g3 Nxd2
here we have 2 remaining alternatives (11.Qxd5 loses, we have discussed it):
_________________________ *C3b] 11.Qf5 Qxd4. I start to get the feeling that black is winning here, see the variations below. However, it is sometimes tricky. A further split (all with advantage to black):
**12.Qc8+ Ke7 13.Qxh8 (13.Qxc7+ Nd7) 13...Ne4
**12.Kxd2 white's minor pieces get pinned this way: 12...Nd7 13.e6 Nf6 14.exf7+ Kxf7 15.Rhf1 Rae8
**12.OOO and then:
***12...Bxc3 seems to draw with best play: 13.bxc3 Qxc3 14.Qc8+ Ke7 15.Qxh8 Nf3 16.Kb1 Qb4+ draw with perpetual checks
***12...Nc6 could be winning for black. It avoids tricks with e6 (as black could then castle queenside), and prevents Qc8+. Then: 13.Kxd2 g6 14.Qg5 OO favours black in my view.
_________________________ *C3c] 11.Kxd2 Qxd4 gives 3 possibilities:
**12.a3 perhaps the best. It is still unclear to me. Then 12...Bxc3+ 13.bxc3 Qc5 14.e6 (or 14.Rhf1!?) OO 15.exf7+ Rxf7 16.Bxh7+ Kf8 17.Qe2 (17.Qh5 Rf2+) 17...Nd7 18.Rhf1 Nf6 19.Bg6 Re7
**12.e6 OO looks good for black
**12.Rhf1 (the most likely of all variations in OTB games) OO 13.Rae1 Nc6 and black has the advantage (he can continue with Rae8 attacking e5 or play g6 when necessary).
So, that is all for now. As I said, these variations are not yet perfect (I am not a strong player). I appreciate any improvements (especially in variation C3c with 12.a3, the only one in fact which may keep 8.Bd3 playable for white). Let me know what you think.
Thanks a lot, feb
