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Dear Readers,
This month we have many interesting games in all of the openings that I cover, although the Caro-Kann dominates, of course, by its sheer popularity. The majority of the games are taken from the European National Team Championship, which was held in Reykjavik - such events usually bring lots of interesting games.
I hope you will enjoy this month's update.

Download PGN of December '15 1 e4 ... games

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Caro-Kann Advance 3.e5 c5 [B12]

We start our survey with the Caro-Kann.

In Adams - Jobava from the European Teams we saw 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.c4 e6 7.Nc3 Bb4:

Jobava again shows his talent at finding counter play in offbeat lines. This is definitely an important game.

Movsesian - Paichadze is also from the European Teams, but this time White opted for 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3, the game continuing 5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Bc5 7.b4 Bb6:

An interesting game overall, and an important one for further study for both sides.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 Short System 8...g5 [B12]

Kosteniuk - Gunina is again from the European Teams. This important game was in the more usual 3...Bf5 Advance line, and following 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.0-0 h6 7.Nbd2 Ne7 8.Nb3 g5!? we have:

Very sharp, indeed, and perfectly reasonable judging from the game, as Black had nice play all the way and was even winning at some point. Definitely an important line.

Caro-Kann Classical 4...Bf5 mainline 11.Bd2 [B19]

Goossens - Houska is yet another game from the European Team Championships, and this time we have a classical approach from White. The main line or, even better to say, one of the Main lines of the Capablanca because Black developed so many ideas recently that it is not clear which line is the Main one now, so 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 g6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Bd6!?:

I think these are my first comments on this particular line, and my first impressions are that the line looks very solid.

Caro-Kann - Exchange Variation 6.Ne2!? [B13]

An interesting side line was used in the game Savic - Draganic, Kragujevac GM, pure positional play, something that can't be underestimated. After 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 White played 6.Ne2!?:

Interesting stuff and worth a look.

Pirc Defence 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.f4 [B07]

In Brkic - Gagunashvili we are back in the European Teams, but this time we deal with a Pirc and after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Bg5 Bg7 5.Qd2 c6 6.f4 0-0 7.Bd3 the move 7...Qb6:

In my opinion Black doesn't have easy play here.

Scandinavian Defence 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 [B01]

The Scandinavian is the favorite opening of GM Savic, but in the game Siva Mahadevan-Savic Kragujevac GM closed, he had a tough time. The line played in this game goes as follows: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Be2 Nc6 5.d4 0-0-0 6.c4 Qf5 7.Be3 Bxf3 8.Bxf3 Nxd4 9.Bxd4 Qe6 10.Be2 Qe4 11.0-0 Rxd4

After 12.Qa4! Qxe2 13.Qxa7, first suggested on the Forum, it seems that the White attack is super strong.

Alekhine's Defence Exchange 5...cxd6 [B03]

In Stojkovska - Yermolinsky Belgrade Trophy, we have an Alekhine. It seems that very few players are ready to go for this opening nowadays but Yermolinsky is one of them. After 1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 0-0 9.b3 Nc6 10.d5 Ne5 11.Be2 f5:

Black didn't do badly in the game, but the system itself raises a lots of questions in the sense that is not easy to equalize with black.

Best wishes for Christmas and the holidays.

Till next month, Milos.

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