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Greetings and welcome to another update where we have some high-powered chess for you this month.

Download PGN of December '04 1 e4 ... games


The first game comes from the 4NCL (the British professional league) and features an attempt by Black to find the ultimate move-order in the Hippopotamus Modern. By playing 1...b6 and 2...Bb7 followed by a few queenside moves (...d6,...Nd7) many of White's outright attacking systems are avoided. One thing is for sure though; my 7...Bg7?:

was a blunder. Simply better was 7...a6! with a playable game.

Alekhine's Defence

There has been a lot of comment in the Forum about the Alekhine and so I have three games for you this time.

In the first Nogueiras gets a passive position after 5...exd6:

He seemed to be OK but 21 c5! clarified the issue; Black is worse - see Game 2.

In Game 3 Baburin treats us to a delightful attack, but 6 c4?:

is a very poor choice against Black's trendy system.

6 Bc4 is better and features in our third Alekhine, Potkin - Kopylov. Nevertheless it's my impression that Black has some problems to solve in this line and particularly after 6...Bf5 had White played 7 Qf3!:


On then to the Caro and some very big names.

Of course we have the final Kramnik - Leko game and I've tried to assemble notes from all over the world for you. I must say that the Chess Today newspaper was very helpful in this process and I can thoroughly recommend this publication.

Then we have Morozevitch - Ivanchuk from the Olympiad and one glance at the Diagram after 11 g4!?:

will tell you what sort of game this was. Pure entertainment!

The third Caro is Shabalov - Vallejo, again from the Olympiad, which is an excellent positional display by White. 25 Nc6!:

highlighting the remoteness of the Black Bishop on h7, shows the main theme of that game.

I am indebted to Bogdan Lalic who closes the set for us with one of his recent games from the Bundesliga. The notes are his, the prose is mine. His contribution is valued, see Game 8.

Thanks for subscribing to ChessPublishing and I wish you all a great Christmas and New Year.


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