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Hello everyone,
I've based this update on games from the recent 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015, one of the strongest tournaments ever held, and I've also added a couple of interesting games from a traditional blitz tournament in Moscow and one game from the strong open tournament in Abu Dhabi. You won't be lacking new opening ideas. Enjoy!

Download PGN of September '15 1 e4 e5 games

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Spanish. Anti-Marshall with 8.a4 [C88]

Our first game in this update is the encounter Nakamura, H - Aronian, L 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015.

The American GM was the first to surprise his opponent, but Aronian stayed calm, and slowly, but surely outplayed his opponent. A convincing victory for Aronian, who proved that the opening setup which occurred in this game promises Black comfortable play. White has to look for improvements.

Closed Spanish with 5.d3 [C84]

This system was reached in the game Caruana, F - Carlsen, M 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015, by transposition.

Fabiano introduced an interesting novelty in the diagram position, 13.Ba2. Both players were on top form for a very long time, but time trouble intervened in the game and Caruana was the last to err. Despite some mistakes towards the end it was a well-played game by both players. The novelty introduced by Caruana is interesting, but Carlsen managed to neutralise it. So, the ball is in White's court.

Spanish. The Deferred Steintz with 8.Bg5 [C76]

The game Almasi, Z - Sandipan, C Abu Dhabi Open 2015, featured a rare line with 8...Nf6.

Here the Indian GM tried to surprise his experienced opponent with 13...Re8, but it didn't allow him to equalise. Already his next move 14...Qc8? was a mistake and allowed White to claim a clear edge. A convincing victory for the Hungarian GM. The line with 8...Nf6 seems to favour White, so I would recommend the main line, 8...f6.

Spanish. Berlin Wall with 9.h3 h6 [C67]

In the game Vachier Lagrave, M - Topalov, V 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015, an old line of the Berlin endgame with 12.Nd4 occurred.

Now Topalov played 16...h4?!. Instead the immediate 16...Bf5 looks stronger. The French player built-up pressure and eventually Black's position collapsed. Maxim won a nice game, which shows that Black still has some problems to solve. One of the ways to solve them might be 13...f6. I hope to see this line in the near future.

Spanish. Berlin with 4.d3 [C65]

Another game of Topalov in the Berlin, Topalov, V - Caruana, F 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015, saw an identical sad result for the Bulgarian GM. The players followed the game Vachier Lagrave, M - Leko, P/Beijing CHN 2014, and reached the diagram position after Caruana's deviation on the 17th move:

Here White introduced the logical novelty 18.Bh4, instead of 18.Bxf6 from a game of lesser-known players. The ensuing position was very complicated from a positional point of view and Veselin was the first to go astray with 21.Bg3. The line which occurred in the game leads to very unbalanced positions, which are difficult to both play and assess. I wouldn't be surprised to see more games in this direction.

Spanish. Berlin with 5.Bxc6 [C65]

Another game which featured the Berlin with 4.d3 was Anand, V - So, W 3rd Sinquefield Cup 2015.

In the position given above Vishy went for a pretty rare line, 9.b3, but his opening choice wasn't justified as he soon obtained an inferior position. This game leaves us with mixed feelings, but the only thing that is clear is that White's opening strategy failed and so the plan with 9.b3 is unlikely to be repeated.

Spanish. The Exchange variation with 5...Bg4 6.h3 Bh5 [C68]

The game Novikov,St-Morozevich,A Moscow blitz 2015, saw an interesting line of the Exchange Spanish.

Here White reacted with 7.d3, when 7.g4 winning a pawn is the most critical continuation in this line. Black obtained a comfortable position and won the game, although not without some help from his opponent. This game proved that White's only chance to fight for an opening advantage is 7.g4.

Scotch with 4...Nf6 [C45]

Another blitz game from the Moscow tournament, Nepomniachtchi, I - Onischuk, Vl, Moscow blitz 2015, saw a clever move order from White with 10.g3.

Here Black decided to deviate from Ian's rapid game against Bacrot, who played 13...Bxa3, and went for 13...Bb4, which wins an exchange, but White's initiative turned out to be too strong. White's clever opening play seems to set Black problems. The ball is now in Black's court, and probably Bacrot's 13...Bxa3 has to be considered in more depth.


See you next month, Victor.

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