ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
Hello everyone,
This update will take you back in time with a couple of ideas from the very end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century... Recently I played in two tournaments: The Corsica Masters and The European Club Cup and so the games in the current update are from these two tournaments, and include two of my own efforts.

Download PGN of November ’16 1 e4 e5 games

>> Previous Update >>

Spanish: a 108 year-old novelty in the early Chigorin with 8...Na5! [C90]

The game Leko, P - Ivanisevic, I 32nd European Club Cup Open 2016, amazed most viewers with Black's bold 10th move.

Here the Serbian player 'introduced' 10...g5!!?, which was played only once before, in 1908 by David Janowski! I was immediately attracted by the game, as were many more players in the tournament hall. Unfortunately, I didn't see Peter's facial expression when the move appeared on the board. Anyway, Leko reacted well with 11.d4! , but his next move 12.dxe5 may not be the most accurate (12.hxg4! As played by Maroczy looks stronger), even though he achieved a better position after Black's inaccurate 17...Rg8?! A very interesting fighting draw, 10...g5 is worth more attention than it has had these last 108 years!

Spanish - Marshall 12.d3 Bd6 13.Re1 Bf5 14.Qf3 Re8 [C89]

Our next game Volokitin, A - Van Foreest, L 32nd European Club Cup Open 2016, saw the rather popular line of the Marshall with 12.d3.

In the position given above the Ukrainian GM seemed to mix-up his move order and played 18.h4, instead of 18.g3 b4 19.h4, which was played by his countryman, Ivanchuk. Black reacted correctly with 18...Nf6! and after White's mistake 19.Bd1? (instead of the correct 19.Qd1 with equal chances) Black seized the initiative. A convincing win by the young Dutch player, who proved that 18.h4 doesn't promise any advantage, while 19.Bd1? is just bad.

Spanish - Exchange variation with 5.Nc3 [C68]

The game Soffer, R - Mikhalevski, V Kfar-Saba Open 2016, saw an old line of the Exchange Spanish.

Here Black has a choice between 9...Be6 and 9...Bd7. I preferred the latter, as did Carl Schlechter in 1899! I deviated from the game Lasker, E-Schlechter, C London 1899 with 11...Re8, which caused White to play the slightly inaccurate 12.f3, instead of 12.Nc3, though Black retains equality even in that case. Soon I seized the initiative, although not without some help from my opponent, and scored the full point. The line with 5.Nc3 doesn't promise any opening advantage, and Black can choose between 9...Be6 and 9...Bd7.

Spanish - Anti-Berlin 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.Be3 [C65]

Our next game Inarkiev, E - Kramnik, V European Club Cup Open 2016, featured the fourth most popular line, 6.Be3.

Kramnik has just played 10...c5, instead of the 10...Nf8 from Inarkiev, E - Aronian, L Mainz 2010. Inarkiev now introduced the novelty 11.Qc2, when two preceding games saw 12.a3. Vladimir reacted with the standard 11...Nf8, when instead 11...b6 deserved attention. White missed the critical moment, when he played 13.Rad1, instead of 13.d4, and Black started to take over after 15...Qe7 even though the first serious mistake came later, 22.Rd7? while 22.Na5 still promised good chances for a draw. A relatively easy win for the former World Champion. White's opening setup proved to be innocent and so the ball is in his court.

Spanish - Smyslov 4.c3 Bg7 5.d4 [C60]

Sometimes I experiment with ...g6 systems against the Spanish, like I did in the game Hansen, Mads - Mikhalevski, V Corsica Masters 2016.

Instead of playing 9...Ne7, which is likely to transpose to Aronian's system with an early ...Ne7, I decided to try 9...Nf6, which has never been seen before, and equalised quite comfortably. A disappointing loss after having a good position after the opening. So, the line with 9...Nf6 is worth checking.

Italian - Giuoco Piano 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 h6 7.Re1 0-0 8.h3 [C54]

The move 8.h3, which has never been seen on our pages before, occurred in the game Papp,G - Harikrishna, P European Club Cup Open 2016:

Harikrishna reacted with 8...a5!?, an interesting move, and after 9.Nbd2 a4! which had been seen mostly in online chess, while 9...Be6 would transpose into Karjakin, S -Tomashevsky, E Wijk aan Zee NED 2016/[Mikhalevski,V], which took place earlier this year. The game continued 10.Bb5 Bd7! offering a very interesting positional exchange sacrifice after 11.Bxa4. Instead, White played 11.Nc4 and after 11...Nb8 Black first equalised and then gradually outplayed his opponent. A rather convincing win by Harikrishna, which sets some opening problems for White due to the advance of the a-pawn to a4.

Scotch 4...Bc5 5.Nb3 [C45]

The game Dominguez Perez, L - Andreikin, D European Club Cup Open 2016, saw a popular line of the Scotch with 5.Nb3.

Here the Cuban GM followed Anish Giri's play in a recent rapid game with 9.f3, instead of the more popular 9.Qe2 and 9.Bd3. However, in fact the move had been known from the game Alapin, S - Janowski,D Vienna 1898! The Russian GM reacted with the bold 9...g5, which is interesting, but probably not the best. However, it worked really well in the game, as Lenier delayed 12.h4! with 12.0-0-0, which gave Black time to connect his rooks along the back rank. It wasn't too late for White to seize the initiative with 15.Nd5! However White passed on this opportunity with the dubious 15.Bf2?! and since then the game went downhill and Andreikin gradually outplayed his opponent. A well-played game by Andreikin, although White obtained some edge in the opening. So, Alapin's 9.f3 is worth more practical tests.

Scotch 4...Nf6 5.Nxc6 [C45]

In the game Radovic, J - Kryvoruchko, Y European Club Cup Open 2016, White played the very rare 9.h4?!, which led to the diagram position below:

Black's immediate reaction was good 9...0-0-0!, but after 10.b3 Re8?! was too slow, when the immediate 10...f6! promised Black the upper hand. An easy win for Kryvoruchko, although his opening play wasn't convincing(10...Re8?!, 13...d6?!). The immediate 10...f6! promises Black an advantage and so the line with 9.h4 is hardly a good weapon against the 4...Nf6 system.

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.