The Gruenfeld Defense is one of the most reliable chess defenses for Black these days, and the evaluation of the Exchange Variation (4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3) keeps changing all the time. There is another system for white, however, which has maintained its vitality over many years. This is the Russian System, which involves placement of the white queen at b3, where it puts pressure on the light squares. The move Qdl-b3 can be played at the fourth or fifth turn, although, as we will see, it is more advantageously employed after the g1 knight has been developed at f3.
The Russian Variations are becoming more and more popular, however, as players tire of pitting home analysis against home analysis. There is every reason to believe that White can secure a small advantage by deploying his queen at b3. Many great prayers have employed this strategy, and some of their play is exhibited in the Games section of this book.
This little book is designed to give you all you need to pray the white side of the Russian Variations. It includes only those lines which are best for White.
About the Author(s)
Eric Schiller (born March 20, 1955 in New York City) is an American chess player, trainer, arbiter and one of the most prolific authors of books on chess in the 20th century. In 1974, Schiller was the Illinois Junior Champion. Schiller played for the University of Chicago team several times at the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Chess Championship. He was an organizer of the Hawaii International chess festivals 1994-98 including 1998 US Open California Champion 1995. Later that year, he appeared as a chess adviser for the music group Phish on some of the stops for their "Chess Tour" where they played an ongoing game of two chess moves per tour stop and some "band vs. audience" partial games as part of their stage performance. Schiller was an arbiter at several notable games and championships including the FIDE World Chess Championship 2000. While Vladimir Kramnik and Garry Kasparov opted not to participate in the event, they had both endorsed Schiller for this sensitive role during the planning stages.
As of April 2009, Schiller has a FIDE rating of 2166. He is also an International Arbiter and International Trainer. Schiller's expertise and publications in the Flohr-Zaitsev Variation made him a sought-after expert when Gary Kasparov used that opening at the second game at the World Chess Championship 1990.