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Greetings everyone!

I am pleased to say that we are back on track now with a high-powered April Update. An update of contrasting fortune.

Download PGN of April '05 1 e4 ... games

Scandinavian Defence

We kick off the show with a complete demolition of Black's position in the Modern Scandinavian, where 7 c5!:

turns out to be a very strong move indeed, see Game 1.

Alekhine's Defence

Then, in Game 2 comes an unfashionable variation of the Alekhine where 7...e6?:

is utterly crushed. We won't be seeing much of this move again.

John Cox, author of the recently published Everyman book Starting Out; The Alekhine, is back again this month as guest annotator for Alekhine's Defence:

Moreno - Schulze is another win for White in the Voronezh main line, with a reasonable how-not-to-play demonstration from Black.

In this position 15...h6 is not the right move.

In Sarakauskas - Baburin the Russian-Irish Alekhine expert introduces another wrinkle in his favourite ...exd6 Exchange, delaying ...Be7 in favour of ...Nc6 and ...Bf5!?, which might be quite important for those who venture 4...Nc6 against the main line 4 Nf3.

White wins but Baburin clearly had better in the complications and had enough faith to repeat his idea.

Degraeve - Bauer sees a rare outing at 2600+ level for that very 4 Nf3 Nc6:

White ducks the challenge and takes play into the ...exd6 Exchange, but soon reveals a lack of familiarity with the variation (an unexpected effect of Bauer's surprise choice of opening, perhaps) and goes wrong, allowing Bauer to win a typical ..exd6 Exchange game.


Pirc/Modern Defence

Moving to the Modern, observe some fine play by Rahman in Game 6, highlighting how the Modern can be used as a winning weapon against slightly weaker opposition

Then check out Kuloats move 6 Qe2!?:

, adding fuel to the fire in the 150 attack, see Game 7.

The Pirc has varied fortune in this update too.

Nakamura - Smirin is a crush by White, who is willing to run a risk after 6 e5:

However, I believe White's play to be unsound and I'll show you why.

Then comes a superb game by Morozevich as he demolishes Kramnik of all people with Black in the Austrian. It appears that 6...c6!:

is an elastic and satisfactory answer to the problems posed by 6 Be3, see Game 9.


To the Caro and the same mixed bag.

Danny Gormally produces a brilliancy for us, admittedly only from an open tournament and Black does play 8...g5?!:

which only accelerates his downfall. But some fine attacking play from White in Game ten.

And then to close Shirov - Anand, featuring a horrible blunder from White. I won't spoil the surprise.

Thanks for viewing - see you next in May


Please post you queries on the 1 e4 ... Forum, or subscribers can write to me at if you have any questions or queries.