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Hello everyone,
This month we have a wide variety of different lines and openings with many top players in action.

Download PGN of May '11 1 e4 e5 games

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Marshall Gambit [C89]

After a long theoretical line the game Bromberger, S - Werle, J Schachbundesliga 2010-11, reached the diagram position below:

Previously White recaptured the bishop by means of 28.Qxf1, but here Bromberger introduced a new idea, 28.Kxf1, which also leads to equality. Although Black's reaction wasn't the best he still managed to hold the draw. 29...Qxg3 is the right way to go.

Breyer Variation [C95]

Another long theoretical line occurred in the game Robson, R - Kamsky, G US-Championships 2011:

White has just played 24.Ne2, which Black met with 24...Bc8 (instead of the previously played 24...Nf8 or 24...Bg7) and equalized easily. White may try to improve his play with 27.Ra7, but the position which arises after the opening is very complex and so it won't lose its popularity, while Kamsky's 24...Bc8 is a reasonable idea.

The Chigorin System [C99]

Topalov, V - Ivanchuk, V 20th Amber Rapid 2011:

With his last move (19...Rfe8) Black transposed to 18...Rfe8, and White introduced the novelty 20.d5. The inaccurate 22...Bb6? led to an unpleasant position and eventually White finished with a direct attack on the kingside. Instead 22...axb3 was necessary. In future Black can choose between this improvement and other more popular lines on the 18th move.

The Exchange Variation [C69]

In Motylev, A - Svidler, P TCh-RUS Premier 2011, Black has just played 5...Qe7, which is a very rare, but interesting line:

After 15.Qe3?! Black started to take the initiative, but with a clever exchange sacrifice White created counterplay and a draw was soon agreed. The line with 5...Qe7 looks playable and deserves further practical tests, but White should look for improvements on moves 9 and 10.

The line with 4...Nge7 [C70]

In Frolyanov, D - Svidler, P TCh-RUS Premier 2011, Svidler has just played 12...f5, which is technically a novelty:

White reacted imprecisely and soon had to think of equality - 13.Bb3+ was better. After further inaccuracies Black grabbed the initiative and led to the game to a win. A good positional win from Svidler who completely outplayed his opponent. The opening system with 4...Nge7 will no doubt see more practical tests at the high level.

Scotch 4...Nf6 [C45]

In Svidler, P - Hracek, Z 12th ch-EUR Aix-les-Bains 2011, Black has just played 16...Qxa6:

Here Svidler introduced an interesting novelty 17.Re1. Black soon erred with 18...Qb5?! (instead of 18...Qa3!) and White obtained a slight edge, which he gradually converted into a decisive one. This line is likely to occur again in the near future and then we'll have more information to evaluate it properly.

Shabalov, A - Hess, R ch-USA GpB 2011.

In the diagram position given above Black introduced the surprising novelty 10...Nb6. White's reaction was typical for these positions, but the mistakes on moves 16 and 17 led to a big advantage for Black, which the latter led to a win, although not without additional help from White. White should look for an improvement on either move 11 or 16, while Black's novelty deserves more practical tests.

Petroff [C42]

Hou Yifan-Wang Yue ch-CHN 2011.

This position arose after Gelfand's 22...Rc8, which HouYifan met with the novelty 23.Qxd6. It seems that Black has at least two reasonable moves to meet this novelty, one of which occurred in the game. Black equalized with a few accurate moves and even tried to play for a win, but White was also accurate and the game was eventually drawn. White's novelty 23.Qxd6 doesn't set Black any problems, so the ball remains in White's court.


See you next month, Victor.

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