The Macedonian Variation

A few days ago I received an email from Mr Paul Samson Topacio, a member of my Inner Circle, where he informed me of the existence of a Macedonian Variation in the English Opening.

I consider myself a well-educated and knowledgeable chess player, but this was a complete surprise as I didn’t know of such a thing. I knew that a long time ago the New In Chess Yearbook called the Macedonian Variation a line in the Taimanov Sicilian due to several victories by several Macedonian players, myself included:


But a Macedonian Variation in the English?

I asked him and Paul sent me the link where he discovered the name. In fact, it was’s German version that called the line Mazedonisch Variation! Check it out yourself. How they arrived at the name is a mystery to me. Perhaps the readers can help solve this enigma.

In the meantime I present short analysis of the Mazedonisch Variation. It is notable that the move 3 f4 was first played by the great Paul Keres in his match against Paul Schmidt in 1936. As I write in the comments, the move looks like it came from the King’s Gambit! Keres was famous for using the King’s Gambit, especially in his younger years, and this looks like an attempt to blend the English Opening and the King’s Gambit! Quite a brave and original idea…

After some analysis of the variation my conclusion is that the line is entirely playable, especially in faster time controls when Black doesn’t have the time to understand what’s going on!




Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Stevce
    Jan 24,2021 at 10:28 am

    Has anyone found the origin of this name and when it was first mentioned?

    • Feb 1,2021 at 1:15 pm

      I know nothing more than what I wrote in the post.

  • Paul Samson Topacio
    Dec 28,2017 at 5:38 pm

    Such a superb analysis! Thank you for your insight on this rather bizarre line named after your homeland!

    Also, you mentioned that ‘the variation is entirely playable especially on faster time controls, when Black doesn’t have the time to understand what’s going on.’ What really is going on here, and where can Black make a misstep?

    • Dec 29,2017 at 9:33 pm

      It’s not clear what is going on, I suppose that’s the whole point of the variation! 🙂

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