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Welcome to my March Update of 1.e4...
Another bunch of high rated games this month, in which I'm concentrating on the Caro-Kann but also have a couple of Pirc/Moderns and one Alekhine. Whilst last update I had four games from the Corus closed tournaments, now we have games from the strongest opens around the world, The super strong Russian tournaments Aeroflot and Moscow Open, the Gibtelecom Masters and the huge Cappelle la Grande Open.

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

Pirc/Modern Defence

In Shirov - Armstrong, the Latvian genius blows his low rated opponent off the board in one of the sharpest lines of the Austrian Attack. Theoretically speaking, Black should be fine but he has to happy to be attacked and remember the theory. Armstrong made a couple of errors and after 11.Qd3 the following position was reached which was already winning for White:

We had another miniature in Yudin - Ajrapetjan. White attempted an h3-g4 plan, which Adams adopted so successfully last month. Here, however, Black wasn't so obliging and things went wrong swiftly for White, culminating in the following position after just 15 moves where he felt he had to resign:

Caro-Kann Defence

We start off looking at some offbeat White alternatives. In Zvjaginsev - Khairullin, the king of offbeat openings went for 2.f4 but got no advantage out of the opening and Black had very good chances to win.

Abergel - Edouard saw 2.Ne2 in which Abergel is somewhat of an expert but a nasty surprise was in store and he was basically lost out of the opening:

The white d-pawns are potentially weak but more importantly they block any coordination between White's pieces and give Black a great outpost on d5.

And so onto more mainstream ideas for White. Amonatov - Shimanov was a topical line of the Short Variation. White tried to improve on the games of Leko in the archives, with 11.Qa4+:

and he won quickly, although theoretically Black doesn't have any fears.

Staying with the Advance Variation, Kryvoruchko - Battaglini was a 3...c5 line where White took the pawn and then played 5.a3!?:

Which could be a critical test of Black's play.

Geetha Narayanan Gopal-Kharitonov saw the true mainline of the Caro-Kann where White continues to set problems for Black with 14.Nf1. Kharitonov tried 14...Kh8 but by the diagram position he was struggling:

Alekhine's Defence

Finally for this month, we have Adams - Zhukova which went 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Nb6. Zhukova introduced a new move for the site on move 9 and reached a promising position although Mickey later got a good position with the strong exchange sacrifice 25.Bxh6!:

and should probably have won.

That's all for this month, check back in a month for a new update!

Gawain Jones

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