ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello all. My apologies for the delay to this month's update. I had meant to write it before the London Classic started but my preparation ran overtime. I've tried to make it up with a look at some interesting developments.

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

>> Previous Update >>

Scandinavian Defence

I start this month's coverage with Hamdouchi - Boe. Following 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 White delays developing his king's knight and instead tried 5.Bd2 which has scored very well. Black lost a lot of time and here:

13.d5! proved decisive.

Vachier Lagrave-Tiviakov saw the young Frenchman go for a quiet path with 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qd7 6.h3:

The position was very close to equality but White always had the easier game and ultimately crashed through on the queenside.

Alekhine's Defence

We move onto the Four Pawns Attack against the Alekhine; White's sharpest try. In Velimirovic - Cmilyte, they played down the sharpest line when the legend playing White tried the old 11.Bxb6:

but his position wasn't very convincing.

Caro-Kann - Advance Variation

The rest of the update centres on the Caro-Kann.

Navara - Shimanov saw the amiable Czech Grandmaster try 4.h4 h6 5.g4 Bd7 6.h5. grabbing space on the kingside. The game followed logical lines until the following position was reached:

Here Shimanov found 14...f5! fighting back on the kingside.

Short Variation

Black has been suffering a little recently in Eljanov's pet lines so in the game Shirov - Eljanov he went for 6...Nd7 (after 5...c5 6.Be3). However Shirov drummed up a large initiative and his position after 15.Rad1! was very strong:

Panov-Botvinnik Attack

Kovacevic - Ivanisevic followed a game that has been played many times before but is nonetheless interesting to investigate. Black opted for 6...Qa5!? that looks a decent try if Black is happy with a draw:

Classical Caro-Kann

So - Harikrishna followed the current mainline of the 4...Nd7 variation.

Here White played 17 Qg4, which was mentioned as a possible improvement by John Watson in the archives. Black failed to equalise but I've pointed out a couple of different tries for him that give Black a decent game.

Finally Radjabov - Eljanov looks at 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nh3!? which hasn't been looked at previously. I try to give a fairly inclusive examination of this sideline. Black played the opening well and had comfortable equality out of the opening:

However it's illustrative to see how Radjabov put pressure on Black's position.

That's it for this month and I hope you enjoy going over the games; perhaps in a quiet moment on Boxing Day. It just remains for me to wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I promise next month's update will be back on time!

All the best, Gawain

>> Previous Update >>

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