ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello everyone,
My main accent in this update is on the Spanish this time, though I've also included one game in an ultra new line of the Scotch.

Download PGN of January '10 1 e4 e5 games

Marshall [C89]

I would like to start with a game from two of the leading Russian players, Svidler,P-Grischuk, 62nd ch-RUS, Moscow 2009, which featured a popular line of the Marshall with 15.Qe2, which was introduced a few years ago by Svidler himself.

Black has just played 16...Qf5, which was introduced by Aronian earlier in 2009. Here Svidler came armed with the interesting novelty 17.Nd2. However, Grischuk's reaction was very good and included an exchange sacrifice. In general, a very good game where both players were at their best. The ball is still in White's court, and probably he has to come back to 17.Be3 and look for improvements on move 20.

Less than two weeks before this game White did indeed test 17.Be3 and after 17...Rae8 18.Nd2 the game Ni Hua-Adams, Chess Classic, London 2009, saw a novelty:

In the diagram position Adams played 18...Re7, instead of Aronian's 18...h5, and equalised without any visible problems. 18...Re7 is an interesting novelty, but probably the real test of Black's idea would be 20.a4.

Open Spanish [C80]

An important novelty was introduced by Karjakin in Karjakin, S - Mamedyarov, S, World Cup 2009.

In the diagram position given above White surprisingly played 15.b4, instead of the almost automatic 15.Be3. Black's natural 17...Rfd8 turned out to be a mistake, which allowed White to achieve a clear advantage, and eventually Karjakin led the game to a win, though not without some difficulties. White's strong opening idea creates some problems for Black, so now the ball is in his court.

The game Adams, M - Short, N, Chess Classic, London 2009, featured the uncommon line 10...Nxb3, instead of 10...Be7 as in the game above:

Adams reacted with a rare line, but it wasn't best and soon Short was in full control. Black managed to set White serious problems, but Adams escaped with the clever tactic 40.e6. This game proves that the line with 10...Nxb3 is better than its reputation.

Archangel Variation [C78]

In Fedorchuk, S - Shirov, A, World Cup 2009, Shirov played his favourite line against the Ruy Lopez - the Archangel Variation. White played a relatively rare line with 10.a5, which was covered in some detail on our Forum, but Shirov was ready and the players followed the game Luther,T (2526)-Kazhgaleyev,M (2594)/Cappelle la Grande 2008, till they reached the following position:

In the aforementioned game White played 17.Bxa7, but instead Fedorchuk preferred the provocative 17.b4, which surprisingly worked just fine. In an attempt to prove that this idea was wrong Alexey sacrificed a piece and obtained decent compensation, however, first 21...e4 and then 26...Re6 allowed White to claim a clear advantage and soon Shirov had to resign. Nevertheless, it wasn't the opening that led to a Black loss, as he can try to improve on each move starting from move 13.

The game Naiditsch, A - Onischuk, A, World Cup 2009, featured the Archangelsk variation without 5...b5.

Here Naiditsch continued with Tal's 8.Bg5, which Onischuk answered by 8...h6 9. Bh4 exd4!, which is a line favoured by Israeli GM-elect Nabaty, who played it at least three times and scored 2.5 points. Two moves later Black introduced the novelty 11...Ne4 (instead of 11...Nh5) and seemed to equalise, but his awful mistake 18...g4?? (instead of 18...c6) led to an immediate disaster. Despite the quick loss in this game the line with 7...Ba7 looks playable, though Black has to be ready to play very sharp positions.

Berlin with 4...Bc5 [C65]

The first game of the Shirov, A - Fedorchuk, S, World Cup 2009 match saw a sharp line of the Berlin with 4...Bc5 and 7.d4, which was previously tested in the Topalov-Kamsky match, Sofia 2009.

This is the critical position, which arose after 10.Bf4, and transposed to Ivanchuk, V - Leko, P, Linares 1999. Probably Fedorchuk was unaware of that game and committed a serious mistake by playing 10...d5?, instead of Leko's 10...c6! Despite White's subsequent inaccuracy 14.Rd5 the game didn't last long and was finished by a decisive attack. 10...d5 leads to a difficult position for Black, while Leko's 10...c6 is absolutely necessary and requires more practical tests.

Scotch [C45]

Morozevich, A - Laznicka, V, World Cup 2009, is a good example of how fast the development of modern theory is nowadays.

The idea of the previous move 9. Bd2 was introduced at the beginning of November 2009 by Morozevich, and since then it was twice tested in the Li Chao-Sargissian match. So the current game was its fourth test in less than three weeks! In the aforementioned match Sargissian introduced a new idea for Black, 9...Rb8, which Laznicka tested on the very next day. Morozevich came prepared with a novelty, 10.Bd3 instead of Li Chao's 10.Bc4, but his inaccuracy on the next move, 11.Ne2?!, allowed Black to grab the initiative. Despite some inaccuracies this was a good technical win from the Czech GM. 9...Rb8 seems to help Black solve his problems in the Morozevich line with 9.Bd2, but the line requires more practical tests.


See you next month, Victor.

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