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Two guest annotators enhance this month's update. We have GM Alex Baburin, editor of the excellent Chess Today newspaper, showing how to play the Alekhine and GM Bogdan Lalic on the Caro Kann. I am very pleased to welcome them and to give Chess Today a hearty endorsement.

Download PGN of February '06 1 e4 ... games

Scandinavian Defence

We start with Topalov - Kamsky from Wijk-Aan-Zee, where I am at a loss to explain 10...g5?:

We move on with an excellent attack from Daniel Stellwagen against the Scandinavian in Game 2, but perhaps 6...h6?!:

was to blame.

Alekhine's Defence

Then Kasimzhanov shows how to deal with the Miles variation of the Alekhine in Game 3, e.g. 6 Bc4:

After this simple approach Black has it all to prove.

Baburin prefers 4...Bg4 5 Be2 c6:

, as you will see in Game 4, which has already been published in Chess Today on the 19th January.

Pirc/Modern Defence

Kobalia - Welling is an interesting Hippopotamus where Black has a very decent position out of the opening after 14 Be3:

Meanwhile Vysochin - Moliboga is another Modern where Black gets torched but the position after 7 Ke2:

looks anything but clear to me.


And then to finish, two Caro's. Both Advance Variations, both encouraging wins for Black.

In the first, Game 7, IM Hermann Grooten plays his patent 6...Bg6!? and in the second, Game 8, GM Lalic neutralises 4 Be3 with 7...c5!:

and his notes show how and why.

Till next time!


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