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Hello everyone,
This time my attention was divided between a number of top events, but as usual we've got a lot of interesting opening ideas and novelties for you.

Download PGN of November '13 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish - The Marshall Attack [C89]

The game Karjakin, S - Inarkiev, E 66th RUS-ch 2013, saw a rare reappearance of the Marshall Attack at the highest levels. The players followed the game Stellwagen, D - Harikrishna, P/Wijk aan Zee NED 2008 for the first 28 moves with a slight deviation on move 20, which later led to a transposition.

In the diagram position Black introduced the move 28...g6 and equalised without any visible problems. The game confirmed that the Marshall remains a safe choice against the Spanish and so the ball is still in White's court.

Closed Spanish with 6.d3 [C88]

In the game Adams, M - Aronian, L 6th Final Masters 2013, instead of the more popular 10...dxe4 Black applied an old idea of Lilienthal's, 10...d4:

In the diagram position Adams answered with the almost unexplored 11.h3. The players exchanged inaccuracies on the 22nd move, but then it was only Adams who continued to err and he allowed Black to seize the initiative, win a pawn and then convert it into a win. It's not surprising that the 10...d4 line is gaining popularity and I'm expecting to see it in more high-profile games.

Berlin with 4.d3 [C65]

A popular deviation from the Berlin endgame, 4.d3, was seen in the game Svidler, P - Andreikin, D, 66th RUS-ch 2013.

In the rare diagram position, which was reached after only 9 moves, Black introduced the novelty 9...Nb8 (in order to simplify the position), instead of the earlier played 9...a6. However he didn't achieve his goal, and soon the position started to resemble a King's Indian where Black is under pressure. The inaccurate 21...Nh5?! allowed Svidler to increase his advantage and later he had no problems bringing home the full point - a great positional win from the 7-time Russian Champion. The line with 7.c4 promises a slight, but long-term advantage and so I would recommend Black either go for 5...Be7 or 4...Bc5.

Berlin with 6.dxe5 Nxb5 7 a4!? [C67]

In Andreikin, D - Kramnik, V, 66th RUS-ch 2013, the players reached the following important position:

Quite surprisingly Kramnik's novelty 14...Rc8 turned out to be a mistake and let White obtain an extra pawn after some forced play. Andreikin converted his small material advantage, but not without some help from the former World Champ.

Berlin Wall 9.h3 Bd7 [C67]

The game Giri, A - Nakamura, H, FIDE GP Paris 2013, followed the game Caruana, F - Adams, M Dortmund 2013 (see the August update) for the first 15 moves and reached the diagram position:

Here Giri introduced a good novelty, 16.c4 and obtained a slight edge. 19...Bh6 was critical, as after Nakamura's 19...fxe6 White was better and only his inaccuracy on move 30 allowed Black to escape with a draw. The line which occurred in the game leads to a very tense position, while Giri's novelty is a serious improvement over the previous game, so I'm expecting to see more practical tests of this fascinating line.

Bishop's Opening 3...c6 [C24]

The game Almasi, Z - Fridman, D 17th Corsican Circuit Final 2013, saw a very rare continuation early in the game.

The Hungarian GM played 4.Qe2 here. Black defended decently before committing a mistake (16...Bg6?! instead of 16...Ne6) and from this point his position went downhill. A nice positional squeeze from the Hungarian GM, but nevertheless, the opening line with 4.Qe2 is hardly a dangerous weapon.

The King's Bishop's Gambit 3.Bc4 d5 [C33]

A surprising opening line was seen in the German derby Naiditsch, A - Fridman, D, 17th Corsican Circuit Final 2013.

In the diagram position White played the rare move 6.Bb3?, which is a mistake and leads to Black's advantage. The players then exchanged mistakes before White blundered with the suicidal 15.Nb5?? Instead 6.Nf3 is necessary as in the recently annotated game Shimanov, A - Kamsky, G/Tromso NOR 2013 (see September). A surprising disaster for the number one German player - don't play the King's Gambit if you don't know your lines!

Petroff with 5.Nc3 [C42]

An important opening novelty was seen in the game Caruana,F-Wang Hao, 7th Kings tournament 2013.

In this well-known position the top Chinese player played the novelty which he introduced earlier this year against Nakamura, 8...b6. Caruana was the first to deviate with 12.Ng3 instead of the 12.h4 from Nakamura,H-Wang Hao/Sandnes NOR 2013. The players exchanged mistakes on moves 14th and 15th respectively and White obtained a pleasant edge, but in time trouble White was the last to err. The new idea of Wang Hao, 8...b6, looks interesting and seems to equalise, although accuracy is required.


See you next month, Victor.

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