Okay Gawain kicks us off this month with a fairly uninspirational (from White's point of view!) fianchetto variation. It's Malakhov-Naiditsch; two very strong players but I can't see too many takers for the first player's approach here. Black though, well he played rather well!
Hastily moving on to the Yugoslav Attack and in a 9 0-0-0 (or could be 9 g4) ...Bd7 system that was once very trendy White plays an interesting move that encourages some further amusing material imbalance options in Kaforos-Seegert.
Although I do prefer annotating exciting Dragon encounters with sacrifices left, right and centre, I do know that there is an element of our subscribership that has more of an interest in the truth as told (i.e. in their games) by the World's elite. As we aim to please I therefore selected the not exactly edge of your seat stuff Leko-Radjabov.
We're talking 9 0-0-0 d5 and a once considered sideline that appears to be causing White no end of headaches:
As I elaborate on in my annotations this month, White is struggling to prove any advantage here and that could be one reason why the trend is currently for those more ambitious to cross swords and mix it with the 9 Bc4 big boys!
Alas Timofeev-Porat isn't exactly a barrel of laughs either but it is theoretically important and sees another strong player unable to prove any sort of advantage in the Chinese variation and concede a relatively short draw to a lesser rated (but still strong!) player.
Nikolova-Vocaturo encapsulates the usual complications of your average Soltis variation, with 17 Qe2:
in a game which again doesn't prove theoretically testing to Black and that just leaves us with ...
Andreikin-Mamedov which is basically representative of this month's update. Two very strong players. White attempts an improvement on previously trodden paths but Black ultimately remains untroubled!
Okay see you all back here the same time next month! Best wishes.
Chris (and Gawain!)