Apicella's Winawer

Manuel Apicella
French Winawer Variation - 7 Qg4 0-0 [C18] with IM John Watson

With seven games in the ChessPublishing Archives by Apicella using the 7 Qg4 0-0 8 Bd3 Nbc6 main line of the Winawer, it's particularly interesting seeing him defend the variation with 8...f5 in two games versus highly-rated opposition this month, drawing both and even achieving advantages. Landa-Apicella, Belfort 2012, reaches this familiar main-line position:

Diagram after 14...Qf8

Here Landa plays 15 Qc1 and a double-edged battle results.

In Naiditsch-Apicella, Belfort 2012, White had already played 0-0 and the position transposed to the one in the diagram with 15 0-0 included (due to Black's arguably better move order). Both games are instructive and I've tried to indicate the most important alternatives. Potentially this is a good way for Black to establish a safe and playable position in the 8...f5 line.

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