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Welcome to the June Update. It's summery here in England and as I write these words I am happily looking out over green fields and trees. I hope that life is treating you well wherever you are in the world.

On to the chess!

Download PGN of June '05 1 e4 ... games

Scandinavian Defence

First up we have Glek - Nakamura, a Scandinavian where the fearless American tries to overturn the theoretical verdict that Black is worse after 6 Bd2 Bf5 7 Ne4 Qc7 8 Nxf6+ gxf6:

He does not succeed in my view.

Alekhine's Defence

Then we see Hubner wiping away the Alekhine. 6 Qe2 was interesting:

and the subsequent attack very forceful, see Game 2.

John Cox, author of the recently published Everyman book Starting Out; The Alekhine, is back again this month as guest contributor for Alekhine's Defence:

In Rudd - Palliser, we see the swashbuckling Spielmann Gambit:

White steers clear of the crucial line at move seven and finds himself lost fairly quickly.

Varga tries the irregular and underrated 6...c5 7 d5 g6 system against the Four Pawns in Movsessian - Varga:

Movsessian goes straight down the main line and introduces a new plan which creates great complications. Black creditably survives only to lose a defensible position in one move when the danger seems almost over.

Kosten - Ferguson sees White innovate at move 8 against the Miles system, and frankly blow Black away after some embarrassingly poor play from Mark. I don't think this is going to refute the opening, but worth a look just the same.

In Mutschnik - Pitschka Black tries the bold 5...Nd7!? line:

White takes up the challenge and destroys Black in fine style, but Black this time is the one to avoid the main line for some reason.

My book Starting Out: Alekhine's Defence, by the way, was published back in February. Not the definitive work on the opening by any means, but I like to think worth a look for practitioners. Anyone who has a question about lines in the book can post a thread or email me through the site at and I'll do my best to answer.

Pirc/Modern Defence

Three Modern's and a Pirc flesh out the Update. None of these games one could describe as ordinary.

What do you think of Krasenkow's 4...e6!?:

against the Austrian? Check out his Black win in Game 7 and you might change your opinion!

Then comes Kengis reinforcing the status of 4...a6!:

as Black best anti-Be3 weapon in Game 8.

The final Modern, Game 9, sees the bizarre 1 e4 g6 2 h4!?:

Vlassov goes on to win a messy struggle with the White pieces.

The one Pirc Defence is similarly odd with 4 Be2 and 5 g4!?:

the featured system. Gary Lane dubbed this the Chinese Attack and it is certainly dangerous! Pirc players beware!


Two Caro's conclude.

In Game 11 Black has further problems to solve in the Advance variation. Check out Zhigalko's new move 8 Nb3:

Finally De Firmian-La Rota is one way traffic for White. Black tries the somewhat discredited 5...exf6 and ends with only suffering to show for his pains. The position after 19 Rhe1 speaks volumes:

That's it for now-see you in July!

Best Wishes, Andrew

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