July 2002 Update - 1 e4 ....
Tony Kosten writes:
Hi, well as you know Nigel decided to leave the site last month, and until his replacement takes over (next month we hope) I have been drafted-in as a guest contributor.
To tie-in with my Flank Openings site I've decided to concentrate on recent games in the Panov Attack against the Caro-Kann this month, as not only is it a great way to handle the Caro if you play 1 e4, it is even better against Slav players if you play 1 c4 !
In fact, as you will see from the following games, not only can it arise from the 'traditional' 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 c4, and 1 e4 c6 2 c4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 d4, and the English 1 c4 c6 2 e4 d5 etc., plus 1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 c6 3 e4 d5 4 exd5 cxd5 5 d4, but also from 1 c4 c5, and maybe even 1 Nf3 Nf6 1 c4 c5 !
All this month's new games are easily downloaded in PGN format using ChessPub.exe, but to download the July '02 1 e4 ... games directly in PGN form, click here:
Following 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 c4 Nf6 5 Nc3, one of Black's most important (and certainly most natural) moves is 5...Nc6, when after 6 Nf3 (personally, I always preferred 6 Bg5, because I never thought that this ending offered White much) 6...Bg4 7 cxd5 Nxd5 8 Qb3 Bxf3 9 gxf3 e6 10 Qxb7 Nxd4 11 Bb5+ Nxb5 12 Qc6+ Ke7 13 Qxb5 Qd7 14 Nxd5+ Qxd5 15 Qxd5 exd5
An important ending is reached where White has a slight development advantage, pressure on the isolated a and d-pawns, and a potential queenside passed pawn, but his kingside pawns are shattered, and the black king may prove to be more of a strength than a weakness.
A lot of these endings appear drawish, and this is borne out both by Adams, M - Dreev, A with 16 0-0, and in Onischuk, A - Dreev, A where White tries the unusual 16 Bf4!?, in both cases Dreev swaps down to a drawish rook endgame, and his technique is sufficient to assure the draw.
Instead of 5...Nc6, 5...e6 is a similar, and solid choice. After 6 Nf3 Bb4 (6...Be7 is even more important but transposes to a Semi-Tarrasch, and is covered by Ruslan in his 1 d4 d5 site) 7 cxd5 Nxd5
White has to defend his c3-knight. The most ambitious move is 8 Qc2 when after 8...Nc6 White plays 9 Be2 in Kharlov, A - Izoria, Z, avoiding the sharp complications arising after 9 Bd3.
In Potkin, V - Asrian, K it is Black's turn to avoid the complications by playing 8...Qc7!? but he gets well-and-truly hammered!
Bareev prefers the solid 8 Bd2 in Bareev, E - Ljubojevic, L, Ljubo grabs a pawn, but then makes a slight error and is never able to castle - to his regret.
Again after 5...e6, White tries 6 c5!? in Morozevich, A - Bareev, E, but goes astray in the complications and Bareev again wins convincingly - this time with the black pieces!
Finally, one of Black's sharper choices is 5 g6, which virtually commits him to sacrificing his d-pawn although he often gets good play in return, see Gelfand, B - Morozevich, A.
Bye for now! TK