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Welcome to another update. This time I decided to skip the Caro-Kann and instead have a look at the Scandinavian and the Modern. Don't worry; we'll be back to the Caro-Kann next month, when I'm planning on having a look at the topical Short System of the Advanced. We continue to have high rated players defending our systems and I have a couple of Kramnik's games annotated for your pleasure.

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


We start off with Velicka - Dausch, where White tried to hold onto the extra pawn with 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Bb5+ but Black had achieved good compensation by the following position:

and indeed here White gave back the pawn with 8.Bc2.

Then I move onto a couple of games in the topical 3...Qxd6. First up we have Boros - Motylev where the strong Russian essayed 5...g6:

Boros tried the critical 6.Nb5 but the opening was a success for Black.

Next there's 5...c6. Bulski - Stopa followed a game we have already seen on this site until the diagrammed position where Stopa attempted 12...Qe6:

Although he only drew, Bulski managed a great position out of the opening.


That's it for the Scandinavian this week and we move onto the Modern that I've looked at quite deeply this month. First up we have Tirard - Bauer where the French GM played 3...a6!? which I predict will become more popular:

I then move on to a more common line of the so-called Tiger's Modern. Gormally - Shoker was the more conventional more order with 3...d6 and a critical position was reached following 6.h4!:

Dominguez - Kramnik is the first of the two Kramnik games we investigate this week. Kramnik kept faith with the unusual line he played against Smeets in Wijk aan Zee and again reached a very promising position and had control of the position after 12...c5!:

In Karjakin - Kramnik we see the line that must be critical to the whole of the Modern, the Austrian Attack:

Kramnik actually reached this position twice in the Amber Rapid tournament. In the first, Smeets got his revenge with 9.Qe1, which I examine in the notes. Karjakin played the more restrained 9.h3 and also took the full point.

In Boskovic - Rakhmanov, Black attempted to play ...a6 against the Austrian Attack setup and the game resembled a Hippopotamus and then a French:

Here Black found 26...Ncxe5! blowing open the position to decisive effect.

Finally we look at a true Hippopotamus in Panchanathan - Illingworth where Black should have been very happy with his opening:

I've added other recent Hippo games in the notes.

That's all for now. I hope you enjoy the games and I wish you every success in your own games.

Gawain Jones

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