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Hi Everyone! Sorry for the delay! Black had many interesting ideas this month to try and equalise and also play for more. I hope you find the material helpful.

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

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Nimzowitch Defense 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 [B00]

An interesting fresh idea with a familiar theme:

Black doesn’t mind playing most Pirc positions with the knight on c6, but has a specific idea in mind if White wants to aim for the more critical f4 or f3 lines. Check out Padmini, R - Fedoseev, V.

Alekhine’s Defence 4.Nf3 g6 5.exd6 [B04]

This game transposes into a popular line of the Alekhine, although Black had a few options to avoid it by bringing his knight to the f6 square instead of the b6 square here:

Check out Liang, A - Gareev, T.

Pirc Defence 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 (B07)

Kovalev, V - Tukhaev, A is a very interesting game played in the 4.Bg5 line of the Pirc. This is an interesting line that certainly deserves more analysis.

The positions are often difficult to play for both sides and both sides were far from accurate here.

Pirc, Austrian Attack 5...c5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 [B09]

This line was mentioned in a previous Chess Publishing update. I check this position out again in Tran Tuan Minh - Sethuraman, S:

it seems as though the position remains complicated and with chances for Black.

Caro-Kann, Fantasy Variation 3.f3 e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bf4 Ne7 6.Nge2 [B12]

One of the more fun lines for White. White maintains the pawn centre but makes the weakening f3 move. Black played 6...b6?! here:

but this is not so effective as when White’s queen is on d3, as Black would prefer to get ...Bc8-a6 in with tempo. See Li Chao - Vaibhav, S.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 4.Nd2 e6 5.Nb3 Nd7 6.Nf3 Ne7 7.Be2 Nc8 [B12]

This interesting move is explained and analysed. One of Black's biggest problems in the Advanced Caro Kann is that it is difficult to develop the kingside. Most kingside development setups have some drawback that White exploits. Setups with ...Ne7-f5 often take a few moves to setup (with either ...Be7-g6 or ...h7-h6-Bf5-h7 required) and have to deal with g2-g4. An early ...c6-c5 is often tricky because Black opens the centre with the kingside undeveloped. This move 7...Nc8 allows Black to develop the kingside normally, but the drawback is that the c8 square is a strange square for the knight:

Have a look at Wan Yunguo - Wang Yue.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 5...c5 6.Be3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ne7 8.0-0 Nbc6 9.Bb5 a6 10.Bxc6 Nxc6 11.Nxf5 exf5 [B12]

This line is one of the more popular attempts against the Nf3-Be2 setup of the advanced Caro-Kann:

This pawn structure looks strange but is very similar to an Isolated Queen's Pawn structure. Black should be doing fine, but often needs to play accurately to defend, which he managed in Borisek, J - Dreev, A.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.a3 Ne7 7.b4 Bb6 [B12]

Another game in this very popular variation. This time I focus on games with the immediate ...a7-a5 plan:

It certainly looks playable, and Black has his chances. This idea certainly deserves more practical tries, see Durarbayli, V - Ganguly, S.


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