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Hello everyone,
Autumn is a busy season, especially for the top players, and this year we see all of them in action. In this update we also have a surprising annotator - Ponomariov, who annotated two of his games for us - yours truly just had to translate them from Russian.

Download PGN of November '10 1 e4 e5 games

The Breyer Variation [C95]

In the diagram position Black has just recaptured on b5 with the c-pawn in Shirov, A - Carlsen, M Grand Slam Final Masters 2010, which is the latest trend in this line:

An interesting game and important for the theory of the 16...cxb5 line, which deserves more serious investigation.

Marshall Attack [C89]

Sjugirov, S - Akylbekov, N 39th Chess Olympiad 2010, saw the old-fashioned Marshall Attack:

This position, which arose after 15...Nxf2, has been known for almost one hundred years since the very famous game Capablanca,R-J-Marshall,F New York 1918. Here White decided to deviate from that game with 16.Re3, instead of Capablanca's 16.Re2, though the latter also seems to lead to White's advantage. However, White's 17th move was already a serious mistake and allowed Black to seize the initiative. It seems that the line with 11...Nf6 may mostly serve as a surprise weapon, as it did in the current game, and that White has many good options which allow him to obtain an advantage.

Open Variation [C83]

Balogh, C - Mikhalevski, V 39th Chess Olympiad 2010, saw a well-known theoretical line in the Open Variation with 9.Be3:

This theoretical position has already been well-known for some time. Usually Black solves his opening problems as was the case in the current game, which once again proved that the 10...Nc5 line is a safe bet for Black.

The Berlin Wall [C67]

Shirov, A - Anand, V Grand Slam Final Masters 2010, saw a very rare move in the popular diagram position below:

Here Shirov played 11 b3 instead of 11.Ne2. Despite some excitement towards the end this was a pretty easy draw for Black, and probably White should look for other plans on move 11.

Another game in The Berlin was sent to us by Ruslan Ponomariov, Svidler, P - Ponomariov, R FIDE Grand Prix 2010.

With his opening choice in this game Black tried to surprise White, but the latter was ready and answered Ponomariov's 12...Kc8 (see diagram position) with 13.a4!. However, later he started to err, and Ruslan outplayed his opponent surprisingly quickly and went on to win the game.

Anti-Berlin [C65]

Carlsen, M - Anand, V Grand Slam Final Masters 2010.

In the Anti-Berlin with 4.d3 the players obtained a position which is typical of the Two Knights. In the diagram position Black introduced the strong novelty 13...c5 and soon obtained a good position. However, only Carlsen's inaccuracy 33.Nc5 gave Black realistic chances for a win. A very interesting game, while the novelty 13...c5 seems to equalise.

Four Knights [C49]

In Nisipeanu,L-D-Ponomariov,R 4th King's Tournament 2010, Black has just played 7...Ne7, which is an old and not very popular line, but according to Ponomariov it's interesting and indeed it worked extremely well in this game:

17.d4? was probably the only mistake, but it was enough for Ponomariov. It seems that the line with 7...Ne7 has chances to become fashionable.

King's Gambit [C30]

You don't see this old opening played at the top level very often, nevertheless it's always fascinating to see it appearing on the board, and in the Ivanchuk, V - Nakamura, H, 9th Cap d'Agde 2010, rapid match it appeared twice!

After a very aggressive opening with 2..Nc6 and 3...f5 a quiet symmetric position arose on the board:

Ivanchuk outplayed his opponent thanks to various slight inaccuracies, but nevertheless the line looks playable for Black.


See you next month, Victor.

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