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February 2002 Update - 1.e4....

Caro - Kann Defence

Alekhine's Defence

Please note that, in keeping with our new system based around eBooks and ChessPub.exe, we have decided to discontinue the JavaScript 'pop-up' games.

All this month's new games are easily downloaded in PGN format using ChessPub.exe, open ChessPub.exe, put the date on, say, 8th March 2002, and then click on '1 e4...', over on the right. All these games should appear (and the new ChessPub Guides, too)!

You can also enter the specific ECO code if you are only interested in a particular opening. The updated eBooks can be found at the eBooks Download Page.

You can also download the February '02 1 e4 ... games directly in PGN form here: Download Games

What do you think of the new eBooks? Where else can you get over fifty (very) recent books for less than $100?!

Caro - Kann Defence


The 2.d3 line of the Caro doesn't look very exciting, but it has appealed to some of the most daring attacking players of the 20th century. The big point is that it keeps the tension and denies Black the opportunity for the kind of clear and simple development that Caro players usually like.

In Stein - Birbrager we see Black play some natural moves but then get pounded by a series of hammer blows. Vintage Stein. And in Stein - Portisch Black plays 'sensibly' but imprecisely and presents White with a nice edge.

Stein's 8.b4 (Stein - Haag) is a noteworthy idea which crops up a lot in the ...g6 lines. He probably got the idea after the 1968 Candidates play-off in which he first played c3 with a later b4 against Hort. Here we see it in a more refined form. In Ljubojevic - Pfleger we see a similar idea, but with Ljubojevic putting his bishop on e2. This is not a very scary-looking move but it certainly has its points. White's early development is faster and should Black play ...dxe4 at some stage, the bishop is better on the f1-a6 diagonal.

Black's simplest and most classical response to 2.d3 is to put his pawns on d5 and e5 and then back them up with simple development. White has tried a number of different ways to eke out an edge, though none of them have enjoyed very notable success. In the Ljubojevic - Dzindzihasvili game we see the simple approach, Ljubojevic adopting his 'Philidor Attack' formation.

Gyula Sax has his own way of treating the 4...Bd6 and 5...Nf6 set-up, and that's to prevent Black from bringing his other bishop out to g4 (7.h3) and then put pressure on e5 (Sax - Martin). It doesn't really set the world on fire but Black needs to respond accurately. Another Ljubojevic speciality is to put his queen on e2, creating immediate pressure against the e5 pawn. In Ljubojevic - Karpov it was good enough to beat a former World Champion.

Alekhine's Defence


The King's Indian Attack is even playable against Alekhine's Defence. Whilst it is obviously not an attempt to refute Black's play, it produces a controlled positional game and contains a drop of poison should Black be careless. There is no shortage of playable replies, my personal preference being 2...c5 as in Thomas - Alekhine.

2...e5 is certainly a sound answer to White's second move, and Csom - Cooper only barely deserves to be in this section rather than 1.e4 e5. This game develops along the lines of a Philidor Defence with colours reversed, the calm Istvan Csom gradually outplaying his opponent. 2...d5 (Zaichik - Dreev) may be the move which is most in the spirit of the Alekhine, but it gives White a lot of space on the kingside. As someone who has played 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 as Black, this is something I'd like to play for White.

Keep your questions coming in, I'll attempt to address the most popular issues.

Nigel Davies


Caro - Kann Defence

Alekhine's Defence