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Hello all,
Thus far I hadn't looked at the Alekhine in detail so I decided to remedy that with coverage of the theoretical updates of 2010. If you're not an Alekhine aficionado then don't worry, next month we'll be back to the Caro-Kann as well as investigating Naiditsch-Kramnik for updates in the Pirc.

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

Alekhine's Defence

We start this month's update with a look at perhaps the most critical test of the Alekhine, namely the Four Pawns Attack, which saw Black have further problems in a topical endgame:

In Bologan - Rozentalis, Black tried 16...Ne7 but failed to equalise.

We then move onto the Exchange Variation. In Smeets - Reinderman, White tried the unusual 6.h3:

Black shouldn't have had any problems but one inaccuracy and Smeets took over.

We then see Black's more aggressive recapture with 5...cxd6. In Hoffman - Khenkin, White tried the unusual 6.d5!?:

Khenkin surprisingly reacted with 6...g6, which has been condemned previously but, as we see here, matters are far from clear.

We then move on to 4.Nf3. In Kobalia - Narciso Dublan, we get a practical test of a long line of analysis, which has featured on ChessPublishing in the past:

White's deviation 15.dxe6 looks to put Black under some pressure. I have also included all the other recent developments in this critical test of 4...Nc6.

We move on to 4...g6. In Dgebuadze - Sadkowsky, White tried the old line 7.a4 and reached the typical chaos for the variation:

Perhaps of more theoretical importance is Nisipeanu-Reinderman, which is covered in the notes and perhaps puts 8...0-0 to rest following 5.Bc4 Nb6 6.Bb3 Bg7 7.Ng5 e6 8.Qf3.

Corrales Jimenez-Nogueiras Santiago deals with 6...d5!?:

A speciality of Hungarian Grandmaster Zoltan Varga, but I think White is doing well.

The final two games of the update focus on 4...dxe5 and 5...c6 which has become the mainline in recent years. In the first game we look at Efimenko - Nisipeanu in which the Romanian tried 6...Nd7 but never got close to equalising.

In the diagram position Efimenko came up with the surprising 16.g4!, winning material.

Finally I have a look at recent developments in 6...Bf5 in Fedorchuk - Shchekachev, which seems a much better bet theoretically.

That's all for this month. See you again in September!


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