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Hello everyone,
This time I decided to base my update on games from the fascinating World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Dubai. Lots of wild chess and offbeat lines from the top GMs is always good fun.

Download PGN of July '14 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish - The Worrall System 5.Qe2, 6...Bc5 [C77]

I would like to start with Smirin, I - Mikhalevski, V ISR-ch Beer-Sheva 2014, which was played in the final round of the Israeli Championship 2014, and which allowed me to gain my first title of Israeli Champion.

In this already rather uncommon position I played the principled 9...d5. However, a few moves later I underestimated White's attacking potential (with 12...Nh7) and could have come under a strong attack had White found 20.Qg4. Fortunately he played the slow 20.0-0-0 and the game was eventually drawn. Black can deviate on moves 9-12, but anyway the line with 9...d5 requires more practical tests.

Smyslov System 3...g6, 8.Bxc6+ [C60]

This rare system occurred in the game Kamsky, G - Manvelyan, H National Open Las Vegas 2014.

In the well-known diagram position Kamsky applied the uncommon, but promising system with 8.Bxc6+, instead of the more popular 8.exd5. Later Kamsky's play can be improved by 11.Nc3 instead of 11.exf6, when White obtains a slight edge. 8.Bxc6+ is an interesting idea, which seems to promise White the better chances.

Scotch 4...Bc5 5.Nxc6 Qf6 6.f4 [C45]

The game Nepomniachtchi, I - Carlsen, M World Blitz Championship Dubai 2014, saw a very unusual idea from the Russian player.

Here, instead of the well-known 6.Qf3 or 6.Qd2, White played 6.f4. Magnus obtained an early edge and could have converted it without big problems, but started to go astray and White escaped with a draw. The numerous mistakes in this game can be explained by the limited time the players had, but the line with 6.f4 isn't dangerous for Black, to say the least.

Scotch 4...Nf6, 6.e5 Ne4 [C45]

In the game Caruana, F - Sokolov, I World Rapid Championship Dubai 2014, instead of the common 6...Qe7 Black again tried the rare system with 6...Ne4:

In this diagram position White reacted with the unusual 7.Qd4 (instead of 7.Qf3), having a new idea in mind (11.Nc3?!), which turned out to be incorrect and could have been refuted by 12...c5! Despite White's win the line with 7.Qd4 doesn't set Black any problems, so White should go with the main line 7.Qf3.

The Evans Gambit 5...Be7, 7.Bd3 [C51]

The following game Krivoruchko, Y - Karjakin, S World Rapid Championship Dubai 2014, saw the Ukrainian GM daring to try the Evans gambit against a top player.

Black was well prepared and White was the first to err with 15.h3?! here, instead of 15.g3. A surprisingly easy win for Karjakin. The opening line chosen by Black is a safe weapon against the Evans Gambit and promises at least equal chances.

Giuoco Piano 17...Qd3 [C54]

The game Movsesian, S - Bacrot, E World Rapid Championship Dubai 2014, saw a long theoretical line.

Here White introduced the new idea 18.Qh5, which doesn't seem to set Black any problems, as he was better throughout most of the game and only some mistakes towards the end could have changed the logical outcome. 18. Qh5 doesn't look like a serious improvement, the position remains equal and so the ball remains in White's court.

Vienna 2...Nf6 3.g3 d5 [C26]

The game Mamedyarov, S - Fressinet, L World Rapid Championship Dubai 2014, featured the relatively rare line with 7.d3:

In the position given above Black introduced the move 7...Be6, which has never been seen at the GM level before. White played slightly inaccurately, which allowed Black to seize the advantage and eventually win the game. A very convincing win from Fressinet - it has to be admitted that his idea of 7...Be6 looks good and promises equal chances.

Vienna with Bc4 [C28]

An interesting, but relatively rare line occurred in the game Grischuk, A - Tomashevsky, E World Rapid Championship Dubai 2014.

In the rather fashionable diagram position Grischuk tested 5.Nf3, instead of the more popular 5.Nge2 or 5.Bg5. The players followed an old game for the first 8 moves, and then Grischuk introduced a new move, 9.Re1, when 9.d4 is also of some interest. After mutual mistakes White won, but the line with 5.Nf3 is interesting and requires further practical tests.


See you next month, Victor.

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