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Hello everyone,
I hoped to base this update on the strong Russian Championship, but it was a rather dry tournament with innumerable draws. Nevertheless, it still gave me some food for thought, and Svidler's last round win over Grischuk is obviously a big highlight of this update.

Download PGN of August '12 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish Marshall Attack [C89]

The game Saric,Iv-Adhiban,B Biel Festival 2012, featured an interesting new idea in the evergreen Marshall Attack.

In the diagram position given above White played 17.f3 instead of the common 17.Nd2. Probably Black should have transposed to 17.Nd2 by means of 17...Bf5. Instead he chose 17...Bh3 and was slowly outplayed. This interesting opening idea 17.f3 obviously deserves further practical tests.

A dubious line of the Marshall with 9...e4?! occurred in the game Bogdanovic, S - Kozakov, M 6th Mukachevo Summer Open 2012.

In the diagram position White played the inaccurate 12.Bf4?! instead of Shirov's 12.Qf3. However Black committed a serious mistake with 15...Re8? and never recovered from it. A crushing win from the young Ukrainian player! However the line which was chosen by White in this game (12.Bf4) isn't convincing.

Spanish with 6.d3 [C84]

Grischuk, A - Svidler, P 65th ch-RUS Moscow 2012, saw a rather popular line, which has been recently tested by a few top players. The players reached a crossroads after 11...Be6:

Here White has tested at least three different lines at the top level, but Grischuk preferred the fourth one, 12.Qe2. After White's inaccuracy on move 16 Black prepared, and then executed, a very interesting positional piece sacrifice and seized the initiative. A brilliant win from the 2011 Russian Champion. However the opening line requires further practical tests, I would recommend White deviating with 16.Rb1.

The Open variation with 6...Be7 [C84]

Morozevich, A - Radjabov, T 7th Mikhail Tal Memorial 2012, saw Black tryying a rather uncommon line with 6...Be7, which has recently been prepared by the Azeri player.

The critical position, which can be seen in the diagram, has been known for more than 100 years! Here Morozevich chose the positional 11.b3, though Lasker's(!) 11.Nc3 still seems to be the most principled continuation. Nevertheless, a well played game by both players.

The Berlin Wall [C67]

Grischuk, A - Karjakin, S 65th ch-RUS Moscow 2012, saw the young Russian player experimenting with a very rare line and getting into trouble early in the game.

White has just met the inaccurate 13...Rad8 with 14.Bg5 and Black found himself in a deep trouble. Karjakin escaped with a draw, but I'm pretty sure that Black's opening experiment won't be repeated.

Scotch Four Knights 10 a3 [C47]

The game Nabaty, T - Mikhalevski, V Weekend tournament Israel 2012, featured a rare move in a quiet line of the Scotch.

In this well known position White suddenly played 10.a3, instead of the common 10.Bg5. I think I reacted pretty well and slowly outplayed my young opponent, who had recently won a strong Open tournament in Pardubice. 10.a3 may serve as an opening surprise, but I doubt it can set any opening problems.

Four Knights - Rubinstein Variation 5 Bc4 [C48]

Svidler, P - Karjakin, S 65th ch-RUS Moscow 2012, saw a pretty rare appearance of the Four Knights in a top event.

In the position given above White played an old and rare, but pretty logical line of Frank Marshall's, 7.Na4. A well played game by both players, and even though the opening line with 5.Bc4 shouldn't present a problem it's not without poison.

Italian [C53]

In the game Herman,Ma-Kamsky,G Washington International 2012, we see a rare line of the Italian.

Here, instead of the almost automatic 6.Bb3, White played 6.Bg5. Kamsky reacted pretty well, although his 10...Nh5 isn't necessary. The line with 6.Bg5 doesn't present any problems and can't be recommended.


See you next month, Victor.

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