ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello everyone,
This time I decided to fill a few gaps and so you're going to see a few opening lines which haven't been covered on our pages yet. Otherwise everything is as usual - a lot of top level chess and some important novelties. I've also included two of my own recent games.

Download PGN of March '14 1 e4 e5 games

>> Previous Update >>

Spanish - The Smyslov Variation [C93]

The game Navara, D - Vokac, M TCh-Cze Zapad 2013-14, saw a rather rare appearance of the Smyslov Variation at a high level in modern chess.

In this important position Black played Spassky's 15...d5, which looks suspicious, and came under pressure. In my opinion 15...Nb6 has to be preferred.

Anti-Marshall with 8.h3 [C88]

The popular 8.h3 Anti-Marshall system occurred in the game Hansen, E - Tomashevsky, E Gibraltar Masters 2014.

The diagram position occurred after Tomashevsky repeated his novelty 13...Nb4, which he introduced in 2013 against Kamsky. In reply Hansen prepared the critical 14.Nxe5! but both players were well prepared and the first inaccuracy only came on move 20, when White played 20.c3 instead of 20.Re2. The latter would have set Black some problems. Nevertheless, Tomashevsky's novelty 13...Nb4 seems to promise equal chances, though it requires further practical tests.

Open - Keres Variation 9.Qe2, 12...Qd7 [C81]

In the game Tseitlin,Ma-Mikhalevski,V ISR-Tch 2014, I went for my favourite Open variation of the Spanish.

Here I decided to surprise my experienced opponent with the relatively rare 12...Qd7 and it worked extremely well as I obtained an early advantage - 13.Nc3 has to be preferred to the game's 13.Be3. 12...Qd7 is an interesting attempt to keep some winning chances, though objectively the main line with 12...Bc5 might be the safest option.

The Delayed Exchange Variation 5.Bxc6 [C77]

The game Dvir, O - Mikhalevski, V ISR-Tch 2014, featured the Delayed Exchange Variation of the Spanish with 5.Bxc6.

Here (after 8.0-0) I deviated from the game Nakamura, H - Carlsen, M/Wijk aan Zee 2010 with 8...Nd7 (instead of 8...0-0, which could just have led to a transposition had White played 9.b3). Instead he went for 9.Nc4, which resulting in a roughly equal position. Black's opening setup against 5.Bxc6 looks very reliable and can be recommended.

Berlin with 4.d3 Bc5 [C65]

In the game Antipov, M - Adams, M Gibraltar Masters 2014, Black tested the interesting line with 5...Nd4, which scores extremely well for Black.

Here White introduced the novelty 15.Nf5, but then later 20.fxe5 didn't allow him to equalise - 20.a3 should have been preferred. It's quite clear that Black experiences no problems in the line which occurred in this game, and Antipov's novelty 15.Nf5 doesn't change anything.

Scotch with 4...Nf6 [C45]

The game Salgado Lopez, I - Harikrishna, P Gibraltar Masters 2014, featured an early novelty in the following diagram position:

Black played 10...Nb6!? instead of either 10...Qb4 or 10...Bg7. White's mistake came as early as move 12 (12.g3) and allowed Black to take over the initiative. A very easy win for the Indian GM, who introduced an interesting and strong novelty.

Petroff with 5.Nc3 [C42]

An interesting theoretical discussion took place in the game Negi,P-Li Chao Graz Casino Open 2014.

In the diagram position (after 12.Qd4) Black introduced a dubious novelty and obtained a very risky position. White then spoiled a very promising position, and after mutual mistakes the game was drawn. The line with 8...Ne5 and 9...Nxf3 is very complicated, and each mistake can prove very costly. Nevertheless, it's very interesting and requires many more practical tests.

Ponziani or Reversed Hanham 3.Be2 [C44]

The game Jobava, B - Bok, B Tata Steel Challengers featured a pretty rare line.

Here White played 3.Be2 and soon obtained his favourite Hanham Variation with an extra tempo. Jobava initiated complications with a serious of hardly sound sacrifices, but Black succumbed to the pressure and collapsed rather quickly - the turning point was 18...Bc5? A fascinating game, which is typical for Jobava's style. 3.Be2 is not as bad as it may appear, and in fact it might be suitable for certain players, those who like to play the Philidor as black.


See you next month, Victor.

>> Previous Update >>

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