Tag Archives: Ootes

How to Trap a Heffalump

A heffalump, for the uninitiated, is an elephant-like creature from the Winnie the Pooh series of children’s books. I think it was also used by Simon Webb in Chess for Tigers, although I forget the details of his use.

After my 3rd round save, I had 2.5/3 and was unceremoniously sent packing off the stage. Back in the main hall with hundreds of players, I felt a bit like a slow-moving creature with a big target on my back. In both the 4th and 5th rounds, I found my opponents to be rather ambitious in their preparation while I foolishly fell into their traps. My 4th round game featured FM Lars Ootes (2315, Netherlands) with the black pieces.

(FEN: r1bqr1k1/pppn1pbp/3p2p1/3Pp2n/2P1P3/2N1BN2/PP2BPPP/R2Q1RK1 w - - 1 10)

Recently this King’s Indian setup with 6…Nbd7 and 7…e5, followed by the seemingly illogical transfer of the Bg7 to e7 (via f8) and the Nf6 to g7 (via h5) has become popular. Black often loses more time because his rook has to move to e8 and then back to f8 (to support his kingside attacking ambitions) in most cases. Strong GMs like Radjabov and Bologan have played it with success, although in my view, the reasonably good score of the opening is more due to some practical considerations than any objective merits.

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