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Hi Everyone. This month had a lot of games in a variety of lines, I have analysed games in the Alekhine, the Modern and the Caro-Kann. There were some lines that had to be updated immediately as important Grandmaster games had just been played.
I hope you find it enjoyable and instructive!

Download PGN of April ’18 1 e4 ... games

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Alekhine 4.Nf3 dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Be2 Bf5 [B04]

I’ve covered one of the more popular lines in the Alekhine and also paid a lot of attention to the possible sidelines here. White often gets the Fort-Knox structure where he is a little better, but Black is solid. That can happen after 6.Be2 Bf5 7.0-0 Nd7 8.Nf3 e6 9.c4 N5f6 10.Nh4:

Check out Berkes, F - Yuffa, D.

Alekhine’s Defence Four Pawns Attack 4.c4 Nb6 5.f4 [B03]

I cover this f4 line here, which I think is the most principled line against the Alekhine. I feel that the reason you see the Modern variation with 4.Nf3 more often is simply because the Alekhine is often a surprise opening, and White would rather play a simpler variation. The main position of the f4 line would be 5..dxe5 6.fxe5 Nc6 7.Be3 Bf5 8.Nc3 e6 9.Nf3 Be7 10.Be2 0-0 11.0-0 f6 12.exf6 Bxf6:

I had some interesting ideas here, check out Jones, G - Tahbaz, A

Modern Defence 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.c4 e6 [B06]

One of our readers asked me to cover this line which has become more popular recently. One of the main positions is 4.Nc3 Ne7 5.Nf3 d5 6.e5:

and Black has a few options here, see the notes to Yu Yangyi - Dubov, D.

Caro-Kann Defence Advance Variation 3...Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nd7 6.Nf3 [B12]

Black has two options in this line. He can either transpose back into the Nf3-Be2 Short Variation, or aim for an early ...c6-c5, 6..c5 7.dxc5 a6:

Black chose this move order for a reason in Anand, V - Caruana, F.

Caro-Kann Defence Advance 3...c5 4.dxc5 e6 [B12]

We covered this line the previous update. There were two recent games here, so it’s safe to say that this line is popular! The position after 5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.Bd3 Ne7 7.0-0 Ng6 8.a3 might be the new Tabiya everyone needs to study:

Check out Vitiugov, N - Anand, V.

Caro-Kann Exchange Variation 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Bg4 [B13]

This line seems quiet, but Black needs to pay attention to White's ideas here, or he can get into a worse position. Especially after 7.0-0 e6 8.Qe1 where Black has to play 8..Nf6 This doesn’t look like a very hard move to find, but Black should know what to play if White responds with 9.f3 Bh5 10.Qh4:

Check out Alekseev, E - Arutinian, D.

Classical Caro-Kann Defence 4...Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 e6 [B19]

I have made my fondness for this line quite apparent. Here I analyse the sidelines that could occur after 8.Ne5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nd7 , but these sidelines are not too challenging. The game continued 11.f4 Be7 12.h5 and White is just several tempi down on the main line Caro-Kann:

Have a look at Plat, V - Laznicka, V.

See you soon, Ashwin.

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Please post you queries on the 1 e4 ... Forum, or subscribers can email me at