Monday, March 24, 2014

Glek Four Knights and Paulsen Vienna Bibliography

The Four Knights, Glek System
The Glek Four Knights (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 - C46) may not guarantee White an opening advantage but it does lead to an interesting game.   It is worth comparing the Paulsen / Mieses Variation of the Vienna Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6/Nc6 3.g3 - C26) which will often transpose, though we should note that Black has more options after 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6!? 3.g3, including 3...h5!? and the infrequently mentioned 3...f5!? transposing to a Vienna Gambit with colors reversed after 4.exf5 d5 5.g4 (losing a tempo, but this is still probably best -- see Tim Harding's Kibitzer columns #96 and #97 on the Pierce Gambit if you want to play this way); and after 2...Nf6 3.g3 Black can try the Ponziani reversed with 3....c6!? (which White might want to meet with 4.Qe2 as I discuss below).  The Vienna move order thus gives Black more options and does not promise more for White, since the option of Nge2, while playable, usually does not offer White as much chance for advantage as Nf3 (even if it leaves the f-pawn free to advance).  Glek's move order via the Four Knights is therefore probably most accurate, though amateur players will have equally good results with either method.  

In the material below, I consider both the Four Knights and Vienna move orders.  I generally play this variation myself as a way of reaching the types of positions I often play as Black in my Black Fianchetto System in the Open Games (see Part One and Part Two) and in the King's Indian Defense.  Treating the Glek System like a "reversed" opening allows me to "just play chess" in territory that will likely be more familiar to me than to my opponent.

The resources I have found most helpful for learning the Glek System are Igor Glek's two-part theoretical survey of his line in New in Chess Yearbooks 42 and 43 and Jan Pinski's coverage in The Four Knights.  There are several games collections, including 
 at 365Chess-C46, 365Chess-C26Igor Glek Playing the Four Knights,  and Glek 4 Knights (4.g3).  As always, I welcome additions and corrections from readers.


"Maneuvering for GMs" by Valeri Lilov, (July 15, 2013).  A 21.5 minute video on the Four Knights Game: Glek Variation (C26), featuring the game Igor Glek - Arno Zude, Vienna 1996.  Membership required.

Secret Weapon Four Knights Game by Valeri Lilov, ChessBase DVD (2013).  Covers all lines in the Four Knights, including the Glek System, in video format.  

"Mamedyarov wins first Geneva Masters," ChessBase (July 2, 2013)
Annotations to the game Mamedyarov - Kramnik, Geneva Masters 2013.

Scotch Four Knights Glek Variation [C26] by Abby Marshall, ChessCafe PDF (2012).  If you are looking for a good short introduction to the Glek, look no further.  And it is free to download.  It is possible that this article will disappear behind a firewall in the coming website revision at ChessCafe.

The Four Knights: Move by Move by Cyrus Lakdawala, Everyman Chess (2012): 259-291.
I have not seen this book, but based on my experience with other books in this series I would say this is probably not a bad introduction to the Glek for amateur players.

"Not so Harmless! - Part II" by Alexander Finkel, New in Chess Yearbook #102 (2012): 131-138.
You can download the games from this volume from the Archives page.  This article covers the line 
1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Nc6 (usually to be followed by 7...Bc5, as 7...Bd6 would transpose to lines covered in Part I). White usually plays 7.Nf3 transposing to the Glek System and follows with either an open d2-d4 push or a more strategic d2-d3 idea, but Finkel also discusses the Nge2 option.  The most important theoretical games in this line were played by Igor Glek, Hrvoje Stevic, and the author.  According to Finkel, the lines with 6...Nc6 and 7...Bc5 give Black the best chance of fighting for the initiative.

"Not So Harmless! - Part I" by Alexander Finkel New in Chess Yearbook #101 (2011): 105-112.
You can download the games from this volume from the Archives page.  This article covers the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bd6, when White usually plays 7.Nf3 transposing to the Glek System.

"The Greatest Bullet Game Ever Played" by Bryan Smith, (December 23, 2009).  A 21.5 minute video analyzing the bullet game Hawkeye vs. The-Joker (2001), featuring the Vienna Game: Paulsen Variation (C25).  Membership required.

"Clean Tricks and Creative Attacks," ChessBase (2008)
A ChessBase review and ad for "1.e4 for the Creative Attacker" by Nigel Davies, which features the Glek Variation.  As part of the presentation, you can download the opening of the Glek section on video (.wmv format).  You can find the games from the book online at Chessgames.

Beating the Open Games, 2nd edition, by Mihail Marin, Quality Chess (2008).  I only have the first edition.  Thanks to FM James Vigus for pointing out this source I had left off the original bibliography.

Beating the Open Games by Mihail Marin, Quality Chess (2007): 93-97.  Marin recommends 4...Bc5 5.Bg2 (5.Nxe5?? Nxe5 6.d4 Bxd4! -+) 5...d6 6.d3 a6 7.O-O, with the main analysis citing the games Glek - Sokolov, Mainz 2003; Glek - Zaja, Austria 2004; Polivanov - Smirnov, Lvov 2002; and Glek - Zeier, Baden Baden 2002, with many additional games in the notes.

"The Obscure Glek" by Erik (2007)
Three of the author's own games, all of which show how dangerous the Glek can be against thoughtless play by Black.

Play 1.e4 e5!  A Complete Repertoire for Black in the Open Games by Nigel Davies, Everyman Chess (2005): 161-164.  Recommends 4...d6!? followed by a Black kingside fianchetto.  Sample games include Hector - Giorgadze, Lanzarote 2003; Ansell - Davies, British League 2005; Giorgadze - Illescas Cordoba, Mondariz 2002; Malaniuk - Kuzmin, Kharkov 2004; and Bosiocic - Loncar, Zadar 2003

"Sunday Chess Column" by Nigel Short, The Telegraph (December 26, 2004).  Analyzes the crazy looking 4...Nxe4!? in the game Sengupta - Petrosian, World Junior 2004.

"Gambit Lines in the Glek Variation" by Igor Glek, SOS-Secrets of Opening Surprises #2 (2004): 91-101.  Considers the dangerous gambits 4....Nxe4!? (when White can transpose to normal lines after 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nc3 d4 7.Bg2 dxc3 8.bxc3 as in Sedina - Carlsen, St. Vincent 2003) and 4...d5 5.exd5 Nd4!? (when 6.Bg2 is best as in Romanko - Zaiatz, Russia 2009 perhaps).

"When I Was Young" by Maxim Notkin, SOS-Secrets of Opening Surprises #2 (2004):  28-37.  Discusses the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 h5!? as in Dreev - Khalifman, Kirovabad 1984; Short - Kavalek, Prague 1990; Mieses - Marshall, Berlin 1908 (worth mentioning a later game in the same match too); Rosta - Halasz, Hungary tt 1992; Pestov - Notkin, Moscow 1994; Vorotnikov - Notkin, Moscow 1997; Finkel - Almasi, Bratislava 1993; and Finkel - Tseitlin, Beer Sheva 1997 (where Notkin suggests 8.Nd5!?).  White's best is definitely Finkel's idea of h3 to meet h4 with g4.

The Four Knights by Jan Pinski, Everyman Chess (2003): 131-184.    I discussed this book before in my coverage of the Spanish Four Knights, where I complained that the Glek System received more discussion than the traditional Spanish Four Knights (which I was playing at the time); but in this context, that suddenly becomes a plus.  This is one of the best overviews of the Glek besides Glek himself.  Main games include Pinski - Pedzich, Czestochowa 1998; Seger - Koch, Dortmund 2001;  Schmaltz - Romanishin, Franken 2001; Hector - Barkhagen, Skara 2002; Glek - Mikhalchishin, Dortmund 1998; Glek- Zeier, Baden-Baden 2002; Hector - Sokolov, Malmo 1997; Shaked - Leko, Tilburg 1997; Ganguly - Acs, Pardubice 2002; Glek - Inkiov, Porto San Giorgio 2001; Lima - Santos, Brazil 2000; Motwani - Christensen, Copenhagen 1991; Marinkovic - Yuneev, Leningrad 1989; Smyslov - Polugaevsky, Baku 1961; Shariyazdanov - Blauert, Calcutta 2002; Glek - Marcelin, Germany 2001; Harikrishna - Cvek, Pardubice 2002; Solovjov - Gavritenkov, Tula 1999; Hector - Timoshenko, Bled Ol 2002; Hector - Johannessen, Malmo 2002; Glek - Kroeze, Netherlands 1996; Kovalevskaya - Xie Jun, New Delhi 2000; Glek - Nikolic, Wijk aan Zee 1997; Glek - Vucic, Zillertal 1993; Hector - Hartman, Port Erin 1996; Belikov - Zaitsev, Moscow 1996; Glek - Grabarczyk, Griesheim 2002; Glek - Wells, Ostend 1993; Glek - Klovans, Willingen 2001; and Glek - Onischuk, Biel 1996.

"Theoretical Highlights from the 2003 British Championship" by Andrew Martin, JeremySilman (2003)
Analyzes the game Harikrishna - Haslinger, Br. Ch 2003.  From the Internet Archive.

"War Zone" by Jeremy Silman (2003)
Silman responds to a reader question about 4...Nxe4!? and analyzes a game with it.  White's simplest answer, as Silman points out, is "7.Bg2 dxc3 8.bxc3 when we've transposed back into the line 4...d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Bg2 Nxc3 7.bxc3."  The link I give is via the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine" as Silman's website revision has made these older articles hard to locate.

Vienna Game by Gary Lane, Everyman Chess (2000): 105-117; 132-136.
Gary Lane provides some useful discussion of the Vienna with g3.  Oddly, he treats the 2...Nf6 and 2...Nc6 lines at a far remove from each other when they are clearly part of the same system.  Games include Glek - Kroeze, Holland 1996; Afinogenov - Yandemirov, Kstovo 1998; Stripunsky - Ippolito, New York 1999; Jedryczka - Dworakowski, Krynica 1997; Popov - Malaniuk, St. Petersburg 1995; Zdanevich - Ustinova, Rostov on Don 1996; Wahls - Ivanchuk, Las Vegas 1999
Short - Kavalek, Prague 1990; Finkel - Tseitlin, Beersheva 1997; and Schmittdiel - Smejkal, Polanica Zdroj 1991.

"Ponziani Reversed: Vienna Opening, Fianchetto Variation with 3....c6 by Ivanchuk" by Karel Van der Weide and Vassily Ivanchuk, New in Chess Yearbook #53 (2000).
Considers the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 c6, and now most of the games feature a quick d4 for White -- taking advantage of the fact that after 4.d4 exd4 5.Qxd4 the queen is not easily attacked since Black cannot play ...Nc6.  But it seems to me that a better way to take advantage of 3...c6 is by 4.Qe2! (as the queen cannot be threatened by Nc6-d4 here), as in my recommended line against the Ponziani for Black in "A Black Fianchetto System in the Open Games, Part One"; White will play d3, Bg2, Nf3, h3, O-O with a King's Indian Attack type of position.  Dmitriev - Kiselev, Poland 1994 offers a good illustration, as mentioned by Gary Lane (see above).  However, the article does not even consider this.  Sample games from the article include Wahls - Ivanchuk, Las Vegas 1999; Weiss - Hux, cr NCT-01 1991; Arnason - Benjamin, St. Martin 1992; Kholmov - Rozentalis, Sverdlovsk 1984; Mikhailov - Klompus, cr 1970; Watson - Shvidler, Beer Sheva 1987; Fernandez - Kobese. Ubeda 1998; Watson - Greenfeld, Hastings 1985; Watson - Rogulj, London 1982; Motwani - McKay, Scotland 1992; Watson - Shaw, London 1993; Polgar - Lima, Salamanca 1989; Galego - Camejo, Lisbon 1998; Sax - Westerinen, Budapest 1976; Arakhamia - Maric, Groningen 1997; Mariotti - Kortchnoi, Roma 1982; Vorotnikov - Zlotnik, Daugavpils 1978; Konstantinopolsky - Brglez, cr 1980; Soltis - Murey, Beograd 1988; and 
Watson - Nielsen, Thessaloniki 1988.

"Four Knights Opening: The Glek Variation 4.g3 - Part Two" by Igor Glek, New in Chess Yearbook #43 (1997): 184-201.

"Four Knights Opening: The Glek Variation 4.g3 - Part One" by Igor Glek,  New in Chess Yearbook #42 (1997): 190-218.  Glek offers a remarkably thorough treatment of his system in two theoretical articles in New in Chess Yearbook.  I think these articles were also put out as a monograph, at least in Germany, but I could not find any clear references to that in my research.  In any case, it was probably the exact same material that appeared in these two articles.  There is no better resource available for studying the Glek than Glek's own work.

New Ideas in The Four Knights by John Nunn, Henry Holt / Batsford (1993): 50-53.  Thoroughly annotates the game Kremenietsky - Beliavsky, USSR 1982.

"Vienna Game with 3.g3" by Leon Pliester, New in Chess Yearbook #18 (1990): 69-71.  Only analyzes the game Short - Kavalek, Prague 1990, and offers 16 additional games with very sparse or no notes.


Anonymous said...

Josh Waitzkin voice-annotated a couple/few Glek games in the old chessmaster software programs.

Michael Goeller said...

Thanks for the addition. Someone commented on my Monte Carlo French bibliography that he also discusses that line (which he played quite a bit too). I will have to check it out. I have Chessmaster but have never bothered to use it.

James Vigus said...

Thanks for the survey. It's perhaps worth adding Mihail Marin's chapter on the Glek System in Beating the Open Games (Quality Chess, 2008), 101-109. It would be interesting to know whether Glek's book Vierspringerspiel Glek Variante is really identical with the NIC articles. It seems to be scarce:

Michael Goeller said...

James -- Thanks for the addition of Marin, which I own and will add soon. He seems to have quite a significant amount of coverage. I do not know for sure that the Glek book is identical to the NIC Yb articles, but it was published around the same time and the NIC articles are presented in "book" format, complete with "Chapters." So I had assumed at the time that it was probably the same thing or only had minor additions (on the model of Lawrence Day's book on The Big Clamp).

I really have enjoyed your books, especially on the Pirc, and am glad to have you as a reader.

James Vigus said...

Thanks, Michael. I appreciate your bibliographies and enjoy browsing the game links. (The Pirc Fianchetto entry below looks extremely thorough to me.)

Anonymous said...

There is also a collection by Minev on the topic, which starts with the Glek stem game:

Michael Goeller said...

The Minev article can still be seen via the Wayback Machine: