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Welcome to the November Update.

Download PGN of November '04 1 e4 ... games

Scandinavian Defence

Straight into the games this month and we begin with an unusual line of the Scandinavian: 1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Qxd5 3 d4?! (I don't rate this move at all) 3...Nf6!? 4 Nf3 Bf5!?

I have ventured 4 ....Bg4 myself on more than one occasion but our featured game shows that there are other decent alternatives too.

Alekhine's Defence

Lower rated players contest an Alekhine in Game 2 which again is different e.g. 6 a4!?

and where Black wins in nice style. I don't understand the unpopularity of this opening at all. Black is surviving against 4 Nf3 and the Exchange Variation, so it really is time for a revival.

Pirc/Modern Defence

Moving to the Modern now and a game where Mamedyarov demonstrates all the good things about this provocative opening. His 10...c5:

is well worth noting as is the subsequent entombment of White's Bishop on b1 - see Game 3.

A Pirc follows, but the simplistic 5...Bg4?!:

is unlikely to solve the problems posed by the blunt 150 attack - see Game 4.

  • Scandinavian Defence
  • Alekhine's Defence
  • Pirc/Modern Defence
  • Caro-Kann

  • Caro-Kann

    Moving on to the Caro, an excellent display by Kotsur makes 1 e4 c6 2 c4 seem very good indeed. Take a look at the position after 12 Qb3:

    , an ideal tableau for White! Have a look at Game 5.

    The Advance Variation has been very popular at the highest level in recent times, possibly out of frustration at White's inability to get anything tangible after 3 Nc3. But Fedorov returns to the sharp 4 Nc3, 5 g4 and 6 Nge2 and gets cuffed by Gyimesi. As I point out in the notes, White sells his pawn structure down the river in this line; there is no plan B!

    Have a look at the position after 10...Bxc5:

    and you will see what I mean. If White's initial attack fails, he is going to lose, just as in Game 6!

    And if you aren't happy with the theory after 3...Bf5, then 3...c5:

    remains reliable and combative. Korneev provides a model display for us in our 7th Game.

    The final game sees Jovanka Houska in great form; her 20...Ne5!!:

    coming as a total shock to the young, ambitious Andrew Greet in Game 8.

    On with the show!

    Well, that's it for now! I hope you all have a great month!


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