ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello again guys!
In my April update I've decided to concentrate solely on the Caro-Kann. I've noticed a lot of highly rated players have recently been playing the Fantasy and Panov-Botvinnik variations, and so most of the update is an in-depth look at these two. I also have one Two Knights in which White plays a stunning queen sacrifice that I couldn't resist showing, and finally, an interesting offbeat alternative for Black in the mainline.

Download PGN of April '10 1 e4 ... games

Caro-Kann Defence, Panov-Botvinnik Attack

We start with Naiditsch - Vuckovic. Vuckovic essayed 5...g6 and wasn't content to simply sacrifice one pawn.

In the diagram position he tried 10...b5!? which resulted in an interesting position.

Next up we have Barle - Fridman where Black tried 5...Nc6 instead. Barle went for 6.c5 but after Fridman's 6...e5! black immediately took the upper-hand:

I also investigate White's other sixth move alternatives.

The final Panov game features the mainline 5...e6 in Naiditsch - Nisipeanu. Again I give a comprehensive survey of the alternatives for both sides but the game continuation was with 6...Bb4 and the German played the unusual 9.a3. White quickly managed a very pleasant position and Black was teetering after 18.h4!:

Fantasy Variation

We move on to the Fantasy Variation which theory has never really held in high regard, but a lot of strong players have started playing it recently.

The first game features the unusual 3...Qb6 in Nepomniachtchi - Jobava which has attracted a lot of high level interest but Ian's 4.a4! seems to put pressure on Black's plan:

In the second we look at 3...e6, which is Black's most common reply. In Zyjaginsev - Grigoriants, White comes up with an interesting novelty and wins a miniature. See if you can spot the move which forced Black to resign here:

I also look at 3...g6 which is another common reply. Nabaty is somewhat of an expert on the Fantasy, and in Nabaty - Khairullin, his 6.a3!? seems to breath new life into this line for White:

and he won a great attacking game against his highly rated young Russian opponent.

Two Knights

That's it for my surveys. In the final two games of the update I look at Svetushkin - Landa where Black tries the slightly unusual 3...Nf6 against the Two Knights but was in for a nasty shock when in the following position White found a great move:

Caro Mainline

Finally we have a look at 4...h6!? in the mainline where if White plays on auto-pilot Black can look forward to a good game:

Have a look at what I think about this in Perez Ponsa-Deviatkin.

I hope you enjoy this month's update and don't worry - I'll be back with more Pircs and Moderns next month!

Gawain Jones

Please post you queries on the 1 e4 ... Forum, or subscribers can email me at