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Hello everyone,
This time I chose games from a variety of different tournaments, but there is still a lot of fascinating chess. The range of openings is also wider this time, including Nakamura's Evans' Gambit and Hector's Vienna Game.

Download PGN of June '12 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish - Zaitsev Variation [C93]

In Leko, P - Caruana, F 20th Sigeman&Co 2012, White tested the relatively rare 12.a3 line. Despite introducing a new move, 17...Nh5, the game still transposed to 17...Bg7.

Here the second novelty in this game, 20...Rc8, finally left known theory. After Leko's inaccuracy 22.Nf1 Black took hold of the initiative, but both players exchanged mistakes and the game was eventually drawn. A solid performance from both players, while the idea connected with 21...a5 is interesting.

Anti-Marshall 8.h3 [C88]

The game Svetushkin, D - Fressinet, L saw my recommendation 15.a4!? in the following diagram position:

However, White rapidly started to err with 19.Bc2 and soon Black had very strong initiative for the pawn, and converted his advantage into a win. A well played game by the French GM, though White's opening idea 15.a4 requires further practical tests.

Berlin Wall [C67]

Adams tried to trick his young opponent in Adams, M - Hess, R Chicago Open 2012, with a line which was tested twice in the Kramnik-Kasparov match. However Black was up to the task.

Probably White's 12.g4 here already helped Black to equalize and soon he had no problems whatsoever. A well played game, though the early 12.g4 is hardly a good attempt to play for a win.

Scotch 4...Nf6 [C45]

The game Wang Hao-Sasikiran,K Asian Nations Chess Cup 2012, saw Black repeat his own idea in the following position:

Sasikiran again played 11...Kb8, but the Chinese GM was ready and introduced a logical novelty, 12.f4. Black seemed to err with the provocative 13...Qf7 followed by 15...Nd5 and never had a chance to come back. A one-sided win from Wang Hao. Black shouldn't have sacrificed a pawn in the opening as the compensation for it was insufficient.

Scotch 4...Bc5 [C45]

In Giri, A - Navara, D Tch-FRA Top 12, Black tested Tomashevsky's pet line 6...d6.

Black was the first to introduce a novelty with 11...Bxe3, in the diagram position, but his next move was already inaccurate and he was slowly outplayed. A surprisingly easy win from Anish Giri. 11.g3 is an interesting idea, but it seems that Black is able to equalize if he plays 12...Nf5 instead of 12...Bg4. I hope practice will confirm this evaluation.

Italian - Evans Gambit [C51]

Nakamura, H - Hess, R ch-US 2012, saw White play the Evans Gambit.

In the position given in the diagram above White introduced an interesting idea, 9.Nbd2, and posed Black some problems which he couldn't solve. My evaluation of 5...Bd6 as dubious seems to be confirmed in the 6...Qe7 line at least. Probably Black has to prefer 6...Nf6.

Two Knights 4...Be7 [C55]

I decided to share one of my own games with you, Gelashvili, T - Mikhalevski, V Chicago Open 2012, which featured a new system for me.

I managed to surprise my opponent when I played 13...b5, which turned out to be a novelty, in the diagram position. However I later started to err, 23...Qa5 was inaccurate, and my next move 24...Ba4 was an outright blunder. Fortunately I was able to escape with a draw, but the position was already very difficult. A tough game, but 13...b5 seems to make sense.

Vienna Game 3.f4 [C29]

Hector, J - Caruana, F 20th Sigeman&Co 2012, was an interesting fight in a very old theoretical line which has been known since the middle of the 19th century!

Already here Black's 6...Bb4, which is an old line, and rather uncommon these days, could have come as a surprise to White. Hector's 8.Ne2 turned out to be a novelty, though his subsequent 9.Bxc6 doesn't look good. After 15.Nd2?! Black grabbed the initiative and didn't leave White many chances.

6...Bb4 is an interesting line, which requires more practical tests.


See you next month, Victor.

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