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Welcome to another bumper update, with help from Alekhine expert John Cox.

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

Scandinavian Defence

We start with the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian and tackle the pesky 6 g3! line head on. Muhammed's 6...Bg4!:

in Game 1 looks the way to go, especially in view of the article in NIC Yearbook 76,which is a must-read if you want to play this variation.

Alekhine's Defence

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

In Game two Rozentalis tackles the 4PA in an old and discredited way and shows a very interesting new pawn sacrifice. White sensibly declines and reaches quite a reasonable position before being outplayed. Whether this game opens a new field for inquiry or was merely a practical punt by Rozentalis remains to be seen.

In Game 3 Mamedyarov handles the Miles variation the way the man himself used to, and obtains a reasonable position typical for these ....dxe5 lines in general. The main interest of the game perhaps is the thematic pawn sacrifice he makes and the subsequent play.

In Game 4 Kobalia has a slightly different way to handle the ...cxd6 Exchange:

Ikonnikov's reaction is not the most natural - which is not to say it's bad - and he emerges with a reasonable position before slipping and in the end having to hold a tough rook endgame.

In Game 5 Tiviakov runs yours truly over quite easily once ability rather opening knowledge becomes the deciding factor, but I've quoted the game just to encourage Alekhine fans by showing that contrary to their expectations 2700 players faced with minnows can't necessarily demonstrate any advantage against the opening, even after preparation.

Game 6 is not a great game, but I have used it to bring together some observations about the main line of the Voronezh and in particular the move order.

Finally Game 7 shows a much better way to deal with Tony Kosten's 8 Ng4 in the Miles variation:

White didn't necessarily play the best moves, but Black reached a winning position quite easily before messing it up and almost losing, and I repeat my prediction that this isn't going to threaten the viability of the opening.

Bye, John

Moving back to Andy, the fangs of 7 Ng5:

have all but been drawn by Alburt's 7...e6 as our theoretical offering, Game 8 shows.

Pirc/Modern Defence

OK, I know I am stepping on Glenn's toes again, but the move order 1 e4 b6 2 d4 Bb7 3 Bd3 g6!:

takes us immediately into Hippo or Modern territory. My recent game vs Bologan shows that there is considerable merit in this idea.

Yu - Annabardiev is another fianchetto disaster from the Black side, but what is Black doing blocking the position with the stodgy 14...d5??:

Sadvasakov - Dzumaev demonstrates the danger of 6 Be3! in the Austrian Attack. White is often willing to un-stereotypically part with his dark-squared Bishop in this line to speed up the kingside attack. Note the position after 14 h5:

horrible for Black!


Shirov - Erenburg is another outing of the interesting 4 Be3, and the further 6 Be2! is a Shirov refinement. White wants to play c2-c4! in one move and he does so shortly; 10 c4:

, with the initiative.

Nisipianu - Jobova is a high-level Panov and watch out for Black's excellent defensive play before the game goes pear-shaped towards the end due to the clock. Black is equal after 15...Nf6:

A correspondence game in one of the main lines of the Classical Caro finishes the show. It's obvious to me that most of this game was computer vs computer with two operators, but hey, who cares! 16 g4! is a good novelty!

That's about it from us for now - many thanks to John, and see you next month!


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