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Hello everyone,
In October I finally played in a tournament and it turned out to be a success, with a clear first place in the Unive Open, which took place in the small Dutch town of Hoogeveen. I decided to share with you a couple of my games from this tournament, and the rest of the update is high level chess and important opening novelties, as usual.

Download PGN of October '14 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish - The Aronian Variation/Delayed Cozio Defence 4...Nge7 [C70]

The game Adams,M-Van Foreest,J Poker Stars IoM Masters 2014, featured the rather rare Delayed Smyslov defence.

In the diagram position the young Dutch player followed Houdini's recommendation 9...Nb4, which had been earlier tested by the GM Johannessen. However, he came under some pressure and after blundering with 17...f6 everything was over. An easy win for the top English player, while Black's opening line looks dubious and the ball is back in his court. Probably Black should prefer 9...Nxd5.

Spanish - The Open Keres Variation with 9.Qe2 Be7 [C81]

In the game Hansen, E - Mikhalevski, V the young Canadian GM surprised me with a rare move, which he saw in a recent game of Michael Adams.

White has just played 16.Nd4, which I had already faced back in 1991. Despite losing that game I remembered that my position was good. However, White turned out to have a major improvement ready in 17.Na3! My reaction wasn't good and I found myself in a passive and worse position, and I only managed to escape thanks to a nice tactical blow (see 33...Rd1!! in my annotations to 32.Nxb4) Adams' idea of 17.Na3! seems to set Black problems.

Spanish - The Exchange Variation with 6...Qd6 [C68]

The Uzbek FIDE ex-World Champion surprised the 7-time Russian Champion in Kasimdzhanov, R - Svidler, P Baku FIDE GP 2014, with a rare line.

White's novelty came here, as early as move eight, with 8.Nb1. Black's reaction was logical, but wrong and soon White obtained a serious edge. Black saved the game with some great defence, but his opening play was far from perfect. Instead, after White's interesting novelty 8.Nb1 Black should play 8...Ng6.

Spanish - The Berlin Wall endgame with 9.h3 Bd7 [C67]

The modern line with 10...Be7 occurred in the game Kasimdzhanov, R - Radjabov, T Baku FIDE GP 2014.

In the position given above Radjabov introduced a new idea, 15...b5, but was unable to equalise. Fortunately for him White erred with 22.Rf1? (instead of 22.Nxc6) and Black was able to escape with a draw. An interesting game, where the critical moment is after White's 15.Rd3, when I would recommend going with Grischuk's 15...h6.

Spanish - The Breyer Variation 15.a4 Nb6 [C95]

The game Caruana, F - Roiz, M 30th ECC Open 2014, featured a pretty rare line in the following diagram position:

Here Black played the provocative 15...Nb6, instead of the main line 15...c5. However, Black's 18...Qb8 was inaccurate and he found himself under serious pressure. The provocative 15...Nb6 didn't work out well, though the line itself looks playable - I believe 17...exd4 is critical, and I expect it to be tested in practice.

Spanish - Anti-Marshall with 6.d3 [C84]

In the game Anand, V - Aronian, L 7th Grand Slam Master 2014, Black repeated the opening line from his recent game against Caruana. Anand was the first to deviate and soon the players reached the diagram position below:

Here Aronian played 15...Bd8 (instead of the 15...a5 from Dominguez Perez, L - Tomashevsky, E/Baku AZE 2014) and then introduced a novelty on the next move with 16...Ne7. Good play by both players led to a logical finale, although I have the impression that White's play could be more ambitious. Black seems to equalise without visible problems, but I won't be surprised to see more games in this line as in my opinion White hasn't exhausted his options yet. The key position is the one after White's 15.Nd5.

Scotch Four Knights with 10.h3 [C47]

Kramnik's line with 10.h3 was tested in the game Morozevich, A - Navara, D 30th ECC Open 2014.

The number one Czech player introduced the new idea 15...c5 in the diagram position. The play was equal for a long time, but both players started to err towards the time-control: 32...Rf5?!, 36.a4?, 37.f3? 40.Rxb6? and Black won the game. An interesting fighting game! Navara's 15...c5 deserves attention and retains roughly equal chances.

Two Knights/Bishop's Opening with 4.d3 h6 [C55]

Finally I want to show my game against a young Dutch player. The game Van Foreest, L - Mikhalevski, V featured a rather rare line of the Two Knights with 4...h6.

Here I played the extremely rare 8...a6, and slowly outplayed my less experienced opponent, taking advantage of his inaccurate 15.0-0?!, 22.d4?! and 25.Kg2?! The game showed that 4...h6 is a reasonable alternative to the main lines.


See you next month, Victor.

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