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Hello, This month I included two recent games in the Advanced Caro-Kann and I also made a small Survey on the 3...Qd6 Scandinavian. The Scandinavian has gained a lot of popularity in recent years so I decided in was time to have a deeper look. For easier viewing I made it into four games.
I hope you will all enjoy the present work, and I wish you all happy forthcoming holidays.

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

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

Same players, same opening! Game one, Gashimov - Grishuk, Sport accord games China 2011, followed their game from the European Teams (see November's update) up till move fifteen, when White improved with 15.Qd2!?:

White stops Black from castling immediately, as this would be met by 16.Bxh6!, winning.

Game two, Karjakin - Le Quang Liem, is from the same event and features the interesting 8.Nd2!?:

Which we have examined on several occasions just recently. In this game Black unusually fianchettoed his king's bishop, and despite the result this seems reasonable.

Scandinavian Defence 3...Qd6, 5...c6 [B01]

The next four games are concerned with the trendy 3...Qd6 Scandinavian with 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 and first 5...c6:

A critical position arises after the further 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nc4 Qc7 8.Qf3 Nb6 9.Bf4:

Here in Kotronias - Tiviakov, Vrachati GRE 2011, Black repeated the 9...Qd7 he had played against Bologan (see the PGN Archive), but although White immediately deviated Black was also in trouble here according to my analysis.

9...Qd8 might be the more solid choice, and we take a look at this in Smeets - Feygin, Netherlands 2007. Compare this with Gawain's previous analysis, both in Huschenbeth,N-Dranov (in the June update), and in Bologan-Tiviakov (from last December).

Scandinavian Defence 3...Qd6, 5...a6 [B01]

5...a6 is the subject of the next two games:

Now 6.g3 is one of many choices for White but in my opinion is the most logical one.

After 6...b5 in Korneev - Galego, Vila Nova de Gaia POR 2010, the following position was soon reached:

Here White improved on the Steiner-Brustkern game in the PGN Archive with the powerful move 12.Bxc7!, threatening to trap the black queen with Bb6.

In Solak - Schartz, Porto Carras GRE 2011, we consider 6...Bg4, possibly the mainline, and the problems Black has holding the typical knight v bishop ending with shattered kingside pawns.

Till next month, Milos.

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