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Hello everyone,
This update will be fully dedicated to the 39th Chess Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk, where the top players battled in a wide variety of king pawn openings.

Download PGN of October '10 1 e4 e5 games

Marshall Gambit [C89]

The old main line of the Marshall attack occurred in the game Vachier - Lagrave, M - Adams, M Olympiad 2010.

In this important diagram position Black introduced the virtually new idea 18...Rae8 and equalised easily. The game proved that Black's novelty deserves further practical tests.

Breyer Variation [C95]

Karjakin, S - Tomashevsky, E Olympiad 2010.

In this well-known position Tomashevsky played the rare move 16...Rac8 (instead of 16...g6) and came under some pressure. The position would have been just slightly worse after 23...Nxe4, but instead two consecutive mistakes led to a disaster. A very good performance from Karjakin, but probably Black has to prefer ...g6 on move 16 or even on move 15.

In Vachier - Lagrave, M - Beliavsky, A Olympiad 2010, White played the rare 14.Bg5, which is recently gaining some popularity thanks to Gashimov's efforts:

White managed to set Black some problems, but although he was under pressure throughout the game he defended pretty well and held the position. This game proved that the 14.Bg5 line may become a serious weapon versus the Breyer.

Closed Ruy Lopez with 6.d3 [C84]

In Navara, D - Aronian, L Olympiad 2010, the players followed the game Carlsen, M - Svidler, P Gjovik 2009 for 13 moves:

In the diagram position Black introduced the novelty 13...Na5. Navara reacted correctly, but then made a few inaccurate moves, which Aronian exploited in good positional style. Black's novelty leads to a complicated position and deserves further investigation.

Berlin Defence [C67]

Ghaem Maghami, E - Navara, D Olympiad 2010, saw a sharp line of the Berlin:

Here White introduced an interesting new idea: 11.b6 instead of 11.c3, and obtained some initiative for a pawn. Later White committed some inaccuracies, which allowed Black to first stabilize the position, and then to take the initiative himself. The opening line chosen by White in this game is tricky, but in case Black knows his theory White's compensation will only suffice for equality.

Scotch [C45]

The game Carlsen, M - Sulskis, S Olympiad 2010, featured an extremely rare, but interesting line in the well-known position of the following diagram:

Here Sulskis played 10...Qb4+, which he had himself introduced two years ago against Muzychuk,A. In reply Magnus had prepared the novelty, 12.Qe4, which Sulski answered with the sharp 12...f5. However, he erred in the complications (15...Bb4?!), came under pressure and eventually lost. Despite Black's loss in this game the line looks playable - he can improve upon his play here by means of 15...Bh3!

Max Lange Attack [C55]

In Short, N - Fressinet, L Olympiad 2010, White played a sharp Max Lange Attack which was popular in the 19th century. One of the critical positions arose after 13.Nh4+:

Here Black played the natural 13...Kf7? which turned out to be a mistake. Instead Black should have played the unbelievable 13...Kh5!!, with equality!

In addition 9...f6 might be inaccurate. In general, a very interesting game, and hopefully it will bring more interest to these old, well-forgotten lines!

Four Knights [C48]

Motylev, A - Radjabov, T Olympiad 2010, saw a sharp line in the Four Knights.

This position first appeared in Vallejo Pons, F - Domiguez, L Guernavaca 2006. In that game White played 13.c3, which led to a draw after some complications. Motylev tried to improve on Vallejo's play with Renet's suggestion 13.0-0, which the latter recommended on the pages of ChessPublishing. Radjabov was well-prepared and reacted correctly. One inaccuracy from Motylev gave Black slightly the better chances, though the position remained very sharp, but 25.Bxe5? turned out to be a decisive mistake based on miscalculation. A very interesting game and very important for the theory of the 6.Nxe5 line. Right now the ball is in White's court and it seems that a draw is the best he can hope for.


See you next month, Victor.

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