Initially it worked great, and indeed there is a lot to be said in its favour:
- White develops quickly and avoids any weakening pawn moves.
- It has a certain surprise value and is somewhat underestimated by theory.
- Play is often sharp with opposite castling.
- The move-orders 1...Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 and 1...d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 are equally valid - making it an almost universal system.
- Thanks to ChessBase all my opponents started spending their evening before the game preparing for the Veresov and most of the surprise value was lost.
- I started facing theoretical problems in several lines simultaneously and had no time to do the necessary repair between tournaments.
- There were no top players employing the opening regularly, so the supply of high-level ideas were too small.
- The good literature on the opening started to date and the new works were of low quality.
Yet I have not taken up the Veresov again. The main reason is that I have not found a line I am happy with after 3...Nbd7. It's really surprising that such a modest move should prove such a challenge. I used to play 4.f3 but have completely lost faith in that line. I also have experimented with 4.Qd2 which generally leads to the same kind of positions as 4.f3 and which 4.Qd3 which actually may give White a minimal advantage. Even 4.e4 I review from time to time. However, after reading Davies' book the move which interests me the most is 4.e3!?, planning a Stonewall set-up with f4, Nf3 and 0-0 against most of Black's replies. There is, however, one major problem: after the modest-looking 4...e6, Davies' suggestion 5.Qf3 seems to lead White into a difficult position after 5...Bb4 (Dia).
Eric Prie has something to say about this in his May column at Chess Publishing.
So I am still looking for something promising for White after 3...Nbd7. In the meantime I will improve my London-files in preparation for Bangkok Chess Club Open.