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Happy new year to everybody!
This month we will mostly look at the Breyer and Chigorin, with a passing glance at the Bishop's Opening. Olivier

Download PGN of December '06 1 e4 e5 games

Bishop's Opening [C54/5]

In this Italian Game with d3 between two promising youngsters, Efimenko - Navara, Black found a very instructive positional idea when he manoeuvred the c6-knight to d6:

Navara had an edge all through the game and White suffered a lot to draw.

In Malakhov - Predojevic Black played very well and very nicely. The position was always unclear but Malakhov defended well, and later on Predejovic lost his way and White won. It is nevertheless a very instructive game.

Breyer's Variation [C95]

In the three next games, we will study a very important line of the Breyer in some detail. I haven't made an update on the subject before and so it was about time! Leko and Judit Polgar found some very important new ideas in it for White, but recently Mamedyarov, number 4 in the world, found an improvement for Black in the critical position and beat Polgar in a nice game. He renewed the experience against Shirov and Grischuk and gained two draws.

First, I decided to revisit Polgar,J - Spassky, Budapest 1993, so that I can explain the genesis and the ideas behind the line starting with 15 b3:

Later on in the game Spassky refused to take a piece, assuming that the resulting attack was too strong, but then Spassky's idea was refuted in a very nice way and White went on to win.

However, this is precisely where Mamedyarov decided to enter the argument in the next two games as he took the piece with 17...g5:

The game Shirov - Mamedyarov, which was played in the first round of the Tal memorial 2006, was the second time that Madyarov employed 17...g5 as he had already beaten J. Polgar with this move. So Shirov was not taken by surprise and had all his time to analyze the line in advance. Nevertheless, he only managed to get a perpetual check.

In the 5th round of the Tal Memorial Madyarov employed this line again, in Grischuk - Mamedyarov, and again White only gained a draw by perpetual. However, on the 25th move I think that White can improve the attack very strongly by playing 25 Bf5!:

I could not find any defence to this in my analysis, and, interestingly, in the 7th round Mamedyarov did not employ the same line again.

Chigorin [C96/8]

In Leko - Mamedyarov, our hero Mamedyarov employed the Keres line of the Chigorin instead of the Breyer, and had to fight against 12 d5 Nb6 13 Nbd2. If you remember in a previous update I published a lot of analysis after 13...f5!?, and concluded that White stays better. Here Black chose the less played 13...g6 instead, and got a slightly worse position where he managed to hold the draw after 14 b4!?:

The game Motylev - Mamedyarov was also a Keres line of the Chigorin, but with the more classical 12 Nbd2:

They entered one of the critical lines and Motylev's conception was completely refuted. At first glance it seemed that White was doing ok but within a few moves his position went downhill. A very instructive game to follow.

In Korneev - Postny Black tried to rehabilitate a very old line of the Chigorin with 12...Nc6:

Anyway White stood better after the opening. The reference game for this line remains Karpov-Spassky 1973!

Thanks for reading my work, and sorry for the delay. Olivier Renet

Please post your Kingpawn Opening queries on the 1 e4 e5 Forum, or subscribers can write to me at if you have any questions.