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Hello everyone,
Summer is always rich in strong events and so I had a wide choice of games this month. Note the Scotch is becoming popular and so I analysed no less than three games featuring this opening, and don't miss Gajewski Variation Mark II!

Download PGN of July '12 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish with 9.d4 - Central Attack [C91]

In the game Sutovsky, E - Kamsky, G, Golden Classics Amsterdam 2012, the two opponents continued their discussion of the 9.d4 system which they started last year in Ningbo.

In the position given above White surprised Kamsky with 12.h3, but he was up to the task and proved that White has to keep the light-squared bishop to avoid problems with the e4-pawn. Nevertheless, an interesting fighting game.

Gajewski Variation II [C88]

The game Kotronias, V - Halkias, S 30th Greek Cup 2012, featured a new and rather surprising move in a well-known position. Halkias repeated an innovative idea from the Polish GM Gajewski, who introduced an improved version of his very own system.

After the relatively rare 8...Na5 on the previous move Black continued with 9...d5!? Earlier this idea was tested with the h-pawn on h3. After the pawn sacrifice Black obtains a similar initiative to the Marshall attack. This improved version of the Gajewski variation is interesting and requires more practical tests, which I'm expecting to see in the very near future.

Berlin with 4.d3 [C65]

Caruana, F - Kramnik, V Dortmund 2012, saw White come well prepared for Kramnik's recent idea from the Kramnik-Aronian match 2012:

Here after 7...Ne7 he played the principled 8.d4. After some good play in the opening Kramnik went astray with ...Kh8, came under pressure and never managed to recover. Instead 18...h6 was critical. A well played game from the 20-year-old tournament winner.

Scotch 4...Nf6 [C45]

Karjakin, S - Kramnik, V Dortmund 2012, saw another important game from Kramnik, this time in the Scotch.

Vladimir introduced 17...d5! in the diagram position. It seems that this move fully equalizes and so White has to look for alternatives earlier. The ball is in White's court.

Scotch 4...Bc5 [C45]

Caruana - Naiditsch featured the popular line with 5.Nb3, which Black answered with 5...Nf6 instead of the fashionable 5...Ne7.

Here the German GM introduced an interesting novelty, 9...d5, but his following play was far from ideal, Black had to play 11...Qd6 with equality.

In the game Muzychuk, A - Ivanchuk, V Golden Classics Amsterdam 2012, White introduced an early novelty in the position of the following diagram:

Anna played 9.Qg3, but the novelty turned out to be unfortunate and after three consecutive mistakes White collapsed. A surprisingly quick win from Ivanchuk, and consequently White's novelty is unlikely to find followers.

Giuoco Piano with 5.d4 [C54]

Jobava, B - Kamsky, G Golden Classics Amsterdam 2012, saw the system with 5.d4, which is relatively rare these days.

Here Kamsky introduced an early novelty, 9...Bg4, and after the subsequent 11.exf6?! he took the initiative. A fascinating game, although the opening line with 7.Be2 doesn't seem to promise any advantage. Nevertheless more practical tests would be useful.

Giuoco Piano with 5.d3 [C54]

In the game Jobava, B - Sasikiran, K Black played a rare move order with 4...Bb6, though the game soon transposed into the line with 4...Nf6 5.d3.

Black introduced the interesting novelty 11...Nf4 in the rare position above. After some good play in the opening the players exchanged mistakes in a complex position, but White was the last to err and so Black won. White should have played 23.Rb3 with slightly the better chances.


See you next month, Victor.

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