You don't see that very often, in part because theory says Black cannot afford such a slow development of the Bishop with White opening up lines so rapidly. In fact, several books recommend that White play in gambit style with 5.Bg5 or 5.c3, though (as I indicate in my notes) these are not necessarily refutations. More dangerous, perhaps, is 5.Ng5!? which I have not seen discussed before, though the existing games greatly favor White. Weeramantry played the relatively straightforward recapture 5.Nxd4 and after 5...Bg7 6.Be3 Black uncorked a novelty with 6...Na5!? I was surprised that no one had ever played this before, since the position is far from unknown. I wonder if it is something Bisguier has analyzed or if he just thought it up at the board? In any case, it makes me want to take a closer look at the whole variation.
As I mention in my Review of Dangerous Weapons 1.e4 e5, I have experimented with an Open Game system for Black built around an early ...g6. Lines might include:
- 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 (The Smyslov Variation of the Ruy Lopez)
- 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 g6 (Three Knights)
- 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 (Scotch)
- 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 h6 5.O-O g6!? (Two Knights Defense, Closed Variation)
- 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.Qxd4 Nc6 4.Qe3 g6!? (Center Game)
If you like this system against 1.e4, you might also consider playing the King's Indian Defense as Black -- especially what some have called the Glek Variation of the Classical (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 O-O 6.Be2 e5 7.O-O exd4 8.Nxd4 Re8 9.f3 Nc6 10.Be3 Nh5), as seen in the game Van der Sterren - Glek, Germany 1994. After all, the two systems are not only thematically related but they can actually begin to converge on occasion, as in the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4!? Bg7 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.Be2 O-O 9.Be3 Re8 etc. -- though you are not likely to see that transposition from someone who plays 1.e4. In any event, it's nice to have an opening system that feels coherent.
I saw the Weeramantry - Bisguier game in the latest issue of Atlantic Chess News, which arrived in the mail just yesterday and includes several games from the U.S. Amateur Teams East. Chess Life (May 2008) also offers several interesting USATE games, including a remarkable loss by our club champion, NM Mark Kernighan, against a rising young star... I won't go into the details since I'm sure Mark is still smarting from that loss, but it is worth a look. I'll have to take another browse through the games file at NJSCF.