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Hi everybody!
The Wijk ann Zee tournament gave me a lot of new material to look at, so much that it was impossible to examine all the novelties in just one update. So it will take a few months to exhaust them all, but this time I concentrated most of my efforts on the Scotch and the Möller/Archangel line of the Spanish. Olivier

Download PGN of January '07 1 e4 e5 games

Scotch Opening [C45]

In the game Sadvakasov - Mamedyarov White tried a new idea with 8 Na4 but the answer 8...Bb4+! appears to refute the whole concept:

The strong Indian Grandmaster lost to a sub 2300 ELO player in Valmana - Canto - Harikrishna. He got caught in a very dangerous position just after the opening, was clearly lost, and had to sacrifice a piece in the diagram position:

Later White started to make mistakes and Harikrishna could even have turned the tables but he missed his chance and lost a very dramatic game.

White used a tricky move order in the opening of Nedev - Tkachiev:

In reply Black did not play the most precise moves, and Nedev played a very interesting plan of attack. In the tactics that followed both players made mistakes, but Black made the last one.

Steinitz Variation [C66]

In Hou - Yifan - Jonkman White played the Spanish with d3 to avoid the Berlin wall, then play transposed into a Steinitz Defence:

She soon sacrificed a pawn for an attack. Black did not defend accurately and got crushed.

Archangel [C78]

In Negi - Spoelman Black suffered a crushing defeat against the young Indian prodigy Negi, who found a big improvement on one of Anand's games:

A fantastic attacking display!

Hou - Yifan - Shen Yang was a nice game between two of the most talented women in the world, involving 7...d5:

Hracek - Delchev is another look at 7...d5, and later, in a well known position, Delchev found a clear-cut plan to make a solid draw without any trouble.

Open Variation [C83]

White played an old idea of Botvinnik in the Open Spanish, 11 Qe2, and was very successful with it in Vachier - Lagrave - L'Ami:

It is often a good idea to play old lines, rather than follow fashion, and the talented young French player is well aware of this.

See you next month, 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.