ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
This month we have a variety of ideas from the English Defence, the Dutch, and finally the Blumenfeld Gambit. With both positional games and highly tactical ones.
We start our survey with the English Defence where we have 4 games, an interesting mixture of ideas and lines involving possible transpositions to other openings.

Download PGN of October ’23 Daring Defences games

>> Previous Update >>

English Defence 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.f3 [A40]

In our first game, Gholami Orimi, Mahdi - Karthik, V4, after 1.d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.e4 Bb7 4.Nc3 Bb4 White opted for 5.f3:

White played an intriguing novelty a few moves later which lead to an interesting battle and gained the much better chances due to inaccurate opening play from Black. However, overall, with more precise play in the opening phase, Black should be fine.

English Defence 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Qc2 Qh4 [A40]

In our second game, Shakirov, Marat - Grischuk, A, we have the same line as in game 1, but on move 5 White preferred 5.Qc2 and after 5...Qh4 we have this famous old line:

This is still going strong, so catching opponents out in this way can be recommended.

English Defence/Queen's Indian 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 g6 [A40/E12]

Next, in Oganian, M - Afanasiev, Nikita we have 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Nf3 g6 6.d5 Bg7 with a very interesting position and complex play ahead of us:

White went for a setup with 7.e4 now, so we entered a mixture of a sort of Queen's Indian and a sort of King's Indian.

TAQID 3.a3 Bb7 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d5 Bd6 [A50]

Sarana, A - Firouzja, Alireza is a bit different because Black decided to use a hyper-modern development, placing a bishop on d6:

White went for 6.g3, which is not the most precise move order, but I analyze the better alternative in the notes.

Leningrad Dutch 7...Qe8 8.b3 e5 [A87]

The next three games involve important Dutch lines, mostly the Leningrad System.

In Smirnov, P - Vlasenko, M Black opted for 7...Qe8 and White answered with 8.b3:

I first thought that Black can get easy equality here, but it turns out that’s its more complicated than that. The game itself went badly for Black at an early stage, but there are obviously better options in this interesting system.

Dutch Leningrad 7...c6 8.d5 e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 10.b3 Qe7 [A88]

In Golod, V - Aizenberg, Benny we see the very popular 7...c6:

White went for 8.d5 and after the usual 8...e5 9.dxe6 Bxe6 he played 10.b3. Interesting and important stuff for both sides.

Dutch Leningrad with ...e6 [A90]

Finally in this part of the survey, we have a mixture of lines which is popular from a practical point of view. In Knaak, R - Marin, Mi, after the initial moves 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.b3 d6 8.Bb2 Qe7:

I didn’t like the plan White used in this game, Rainer soon entered a passive position, therefore in the notes I analyzed other alternatives which are better choices.

Blumenfeld Gambit Declined 5.Bg5 exd5 6.cxd5 h6 7.Bxf6 Qxf6 8.Nc3 [E10]

The final game is a sharp possibility in the Blumenfeld Gambit that is known from the past but considered dubious, it seems that players have started to re-investigate it.

After the initial moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 b5 5.Bg5 exd5 6.cxd5 Black opted for the less played, but it seems interesting, 6...h6 and after 7.Bxf6 Qxf6:

This worked like a charm for Black, so I also analyzed other, probably better, main moves for White in the notes, see Drygalov, Sergey - Caruana, F.

Till next month, best wishes Milos.

>> Previous Update >>

If you have any questions, either leave a message on the Daring Defences Forum, or subscribers can email me at