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Welcome to the October update. We're spoilt for choice this week with so many games played and six of the eight featured are from the Olympiad. This includes two losses by Magnus Carlsen; I wonder if that's a first for ChessPublishing? I've also included my first round game in which I tried out an idea we looked at last month.

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

Scandinavian Defence

We start off with a look at the fashionable ...Qd6 Scandinavian in Bologan - Tiviakov:

Here Bologan comes up with an interesting pawn sacrifice that puts the Dutch Scandinavian expert under pressure.

North Sea Defence

Adams - Carlsen saw the very rare North Sea Defence, 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Nf6!? 3.e5 Nh5:

This is certainly not what you expect the World Number One to be playing! He survived the opening but never managed to equalise and England won a nice game on board one.

Caro-Kann - Two Knights Variation

Moving onto the Caro Kann. Firstly we'll have a look at one of my games from the Olympiad. In Jones - Long I tried copying an idea in the Two Knights that I annotated last month. The opening went a little wrong when I forgot the theory but here I came up with a strong sacrifice retaking the initiative:

Advanced Caro Kann

Sjugirov - Carlsen sees the World Number One's second loss in this update. Following the highly theoretical 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Carlsen played the unusual 5...Bb4+:

The line has been played by some strong players but this game was definitely not an advert for the system.

Karjakin - Eljanov retraced the steps of an earlier Eljanov game in the 5...c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 variation. Again Black chose to take on b2 immediately but thanks to some strong preparation from White reached the following position by force:

Black will need to rethink this variation.

Fantasy Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 is becoming highly fashionable and in Ivanchuk - Jobava we see the Ukranian switching colour. Following 3...Qb6 he came up with the novelty 4.a3!? After a crazy set of moves the following position was reached:

White has traded his queen for all of Black's kingside pieces. Be sure to check it out!

Panov-Botvinnik Variation

Naiditsch - Eljanov saw White persevering with 6.Bg5 against 5...Nc6. His new idea of 12.Bd3 shouldn't be a theoretical refutation:

but Eljanov slipped up and lost in just 22 moves.

Classical Caro-Kann

Finally we move onto what is arguably the mainline of the entire Caro-Kann:

Corrales Jimenez-Stellwagen saw White decide to keep the queens on here with 17.Qf1.

However this never looked very threatening and Black built up a quick attack very quickly. Stellwagen's final move is worth a check!

I hope you've enjoyed this month's batch and I'll see you all again soon.


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