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Hello everybody,
In this update I will just focus on the Caro-Kann as it seems that this opening is currently even more popular than the Sicilian at a high level. A rock solid opening like the Caro-Kann requires a simply huge effort from White to build up any chances to fight for an advantage.
Most of the games are in the Advance Variation, but I also included one game after 3.f3 which leads to a gambit type of chess which is popular with players who prefer razor sharp complications.

Download PGN of August '11 1 e4 ... games

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Caro-Kann Defence Advance - Short Variation 3...Bf5 4 Nf3 [B12]

Almost all the games are in the Advanced line starting with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5. The most popular choice here is 4.Nf3, and there are some very interesting recent games that I have analyzed and I will share my thoughts on them with you here.

Games 1-4 Svidler - Postny, Adams - Kolbus, Ma Qun-Ni Hua, and Maze - Ni Hua all belong to the following interesting and sharp line, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Nc6:

Black pressures d4 and also threatens to capture on b2. In the first three games White castled and offered the b-pawn, while in the 4th game the Frenchman preferred 8.Bb5.

Game 5, Polgar J-Prohaszka, belongs to the setup 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nd7 6.Nf3 Ne7 7.Be2 Nc8:

This can also arise via the 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 move order, should White continue 6.Nd2-b3, and is a rather flexible and solid approach from Black.

In the game White demonstrated an excellent plan and quickly obtained a winning position, which she then concluded with a flourish.

Game 6, Leko - Roiz, starts 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0-0 and now Black played 6..c5:

Black later grabbed a pawn but found himself in a very unpleasant situation.

While in Zhigalko - Jobava we have the 5..Bg6 set up, with Black refraining from the ...c5 break in the opening:

Black tries to resurrect this line with an improvement, but although he managed to make a draw I am not convinced that it is enough.

3.f3 [B12]

Finally, in Hector - Fridman we have a sharp and open Sicilian type of game which I am sure will be applauded by many who like to see such chess in this opening.

Here is the position after 10.Bc4:

The poor black king was soon forced to wander around the wrong side of his queenside pawns.

I hope you will enjoy the analysis and at the same time find something useful for your opening play.

Till next month, Milos.

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