ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hi everyone, I am GM Ashwin Jayaram and I will be the contributor for 1.e4 Others from now on.
This month, I will be looking at the Modern with 3...d5!?, and some topical games from the Caro-Kann. I hope you find it enjoyable!

Download PGN of February ’18 1 e4 ... games

>> Previous Update >>

Modern 3.Nc3 d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nbd7 6.Nf3 [B06]

This sideline of the Modern is a very interesting attempt. The structure of this line is not like a typical Modern setup, but more similar to a Caro-Kann. The following position is an important position for this line: 6.Nf3 Nb6 7.Bb3 a5 8.a4 Nbxd5 9.Nxd5 Nxd5 10.0-0 0-0

This is a very interesting position to assess. White clearly has a slight edge because of his space advantage. The rook will go to e1 and the bishop to g5. Black is still solid and he can aim for the ...c5 break. The knight on d5 is also very well placed, and it can never be chased away because c2-c4 is very weakening.

This should be around equal, but more pleasant for White. Check out Gopal, G - Bliumberg, V.

Modern 3...d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nbd7 6.Bg5 [B06]

White also has other attempts to try and keep the pawn, and one such idea is 6.Bg5 threatening to take on f6. The following position could arise: 6...0-0 7.Nge2 Nb6 8. Bxf6 exf6 9. Bb3 a5 10.a4 c6:

Here, it is not possible to get the pawn back. So Black decides to accept that and plays for compensation. White often decides not to take on c6, and instead play for a structural advantage. Check out Lomasov, S - Ponkratov, P.

Black has other ways of playing for compensation after 6.Bg5. If Black doesn’t want to fracture his structure, he can try 6..Nb6 7.Bxf6 Bxf6 8.Bb3 c6 9.dxc6 Qxd4 10.Qxd4 Bxd4:

Again, Black decides to play for compensation, and with the bishop pair and open lines for the rooks, it is clear that he has some. However, a pawn is still a pawn! Check out Deepan, C - Aravindh, C.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 3...Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.c3 Nd7 7.0-0 h6 8.a4 [B12]

White also has many interesting attempts that are not the main lines of the Nf3-Be2 variation. This game analyses a positional pawn sacrifice after 8... Bh7 9. a5 Bxb1 10.Rxb1 Qxa5:

White gets the bishop pair and an ideal Caro-Kann structure, but there are no immediate plans, and Black can try for something with the extra pawn. Check out Gopal, G - Swapnil, S.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 3...Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.c3 Nd7 7.0-0 c5 [B12]

This is a rather forcing variation and is risky in its own way as Black is opening up the center when he is still not fully developed. White managed to find a way to pose a lot of questions for Black after 8. dxc5 Nxc5 9.Nd4 Bg6 10.b4 Nd7 11.f4:

And here, White is threatening to run over Black with g4 and f5. Black has some interesting replies, but he does have to be very careful. Check out: Le Quang Liem - Esipenko, A.

Caro-Kann, Two Knights Variation 3...Nf6 4.e5 Ne4 5.Ne2 Qb6 6.d4 e6 7.Ng3 c5 8.Bd3 [B11]

Black needs to be careful with the move order, White's most ambitious plan in this line is probably 8...Nxg3 9.hxg3 cxd4 10.a3 h6 11.g4:

This is a very unusual type of French position. White is a pawn down, although its not much of an extra pawn. Black is still quite solid, but White has some simple plans and its not always easy for Black to figure out what to do. Check out: Satyapragyan, S - Swapnil, S.

Here, after the alternative 9.fxg3, White has made his intentions very clear. He wants to run Black over on the f-file. There are many lines where one inaccuracy by Black can lead to a huge attack or even a forced loss. However, if Black survives the opening, he should get a very pleasant position with a better pawn structure.

Check out: Patel, A - Kharmakulov, D.

Caro-Kann, Classical Mainline 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Be7 13. Kb1 Qb6 [B19]

This is a popular alternative to the main lines with 13...0-0. Black can play simple moves and the onus is on White to get something substantive after 14.c4 Rd8 15.Bf4 0-0 16. Qc2 Rfe8:

It’s very easy for White to get into trouble, and he barely managed to excape. Check out: Duda, J - Esipenko, A.

All the best, Ashwin.

>> Previous Update >>

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