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Hello everyone,
I've decided to entirely concentrate on the World Cup, which is at its final stages at the time of writing. As usual it was rich with new opening ideas and surprises, although only the most experienced players reached the top four. Nevertheless, the main heroine of this update is obviously Judith Polgar.

Download PGN of September '11 1 e4 e5 games

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Marshall Gambit [C89]

Zhao,Zhong-Yuan-Tomashevsky,E FIDE World Cup 2011.

The players followed the game Almasi, Z - Jakovenko, D/Khanty Mansiysk 2007 for the first 17 moves and in the diagram position Zhao tried to improve upon White's play by means of 18.c4. However, Black was up to the task and a few inaccuracies from White cost him the game. A brilliant win from the Russian GM. It seems that 13...Re8 solves Black's problems, and after this game 13.g3 will probably be put aside.

Chigorin System [C99]

The game Corrales Jimenez, F - Polgar, J FIDE World Cup 2011, featured the 14.a3 line and the players once again followed a previous game for the first 17 moves, this time the game Anand, V - Svidler, P/Wijk aan Zee 2005, up till 18.Qxd3:

Here Judith introduced a natural novelty, 18...Bb7 instead of Svidler's 18...Re8, and then White's inaccurate play on moves 21 and 23 allowed Black to seize the initiative and lead the game to a win. Despite Black's win it seems that White may hope for some advantage after 21.Be3. Nevertheless, a well-played game by Judith!

Open Variation [C83]

An interesting novelty was introduced by the top rated player in the World Cup, Sergey Karjakin, in a well-known position:

Here, in Karjakin, S - Polgar, J FIDE World Cup 2011, he suddenly played 21.f4!? with a very aggressive idea of attacking on the kingside. This was almost a perfectly played game by both players, in fact I can only mention two slight inaccuracies: Black's 24...gxf6 (24...Bd8!) and White's 26.cxd4 (26.Qe1!). It seems that after Karjakin's novelty, 22.g4!? is his best chance to fight for the advantage.

Berlin Wall [C67]

In the first game of the match, Polgar, J - Karjakin, S, FIDE World Cup 2011, Karjakin was also the first to introduce a novelty:

The position above occurred after 12.Ne4, and here Black played 12...Bd7, instead of either the 12...Be6 or 12...Nh4 which were tested earlier. Nevertheless, he was the first and the last to err. A great win for Judith Polgar, but for the sake of fairness it should be mentioned that Karjakin played way below his usual level. Anyhow, 12...Bd7 deserves further tests.

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

Ni Hua-Ponomariov,R FIDE World Cup 2011.

The above position resulted after 6...Nge7, which is becoming fashionable. Here White first played the very uncommon 7.Qe2 and after 7...0-0 introduced the novelty 8.Bg5. An interesting game despite, or thanks to, the innumerable mistakes towards the end of the game. However White's opening idea 7.Qe2 doesn't seem to set Black any problems.

Continuing from the previous diagram position, in Radjabov,T-De la Paz Perdomo,F FIDE World Cup 2011, White preferred the main line 7.Bg5 and soon reached the following position:

Here Black introduced a new move, 10...Kh8 instead of the 10...a5 of Rublevsky-Anand,V/Dortmund 2004. The idea turned out to be dubious and Radjabov won without visible problems. Instead of 9...d6, 9...a5 which was recently played by Kamsky, deserves further practical tests.

Scotch 4...Bc5 5.Nxc6 [C45]

Filippov,Anton-Bacrot,E FIDE World Cup 2011.

In the very rare diagram position given above White introduced the new move 11.Rg1, instead of 11.Rd1, but it doesn't seem to change much. The position remained equal for most of the game, till Bacrot committed a decisive mistake, 47...g5?, and soon fell into zugzwang and lost. Despite Black's loss in this game the uncommon 7...Qxf3 deserves attention.

King's Gambit [C34/C36]

Robson, R - Bacrot, E FIDE World Cup 2011, reached a mainline King's Gambit by a slightly unusual route (3...Ne7):

Here Bacrot introduced the novelty 11...Bf6 (instead of 11...Bg4, which was played in Grischuk, A - Hansen, L/Esbjerg 2000) and it worked out extremely well. White started to err and eventually lost the game. In the line which occurred in the game Black doesn't seem to experience problems. White can try to improve upon his play by means of 8.Bxd5, but even then Black's position is rather safe.


See you next month, Victor.

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