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Dear Readers,
This is my final update, at least for the time being, as I am currently too busy with other projects - I am sure that you will enjoy Gawain's work from now on.
I hope readers will enjoy this update and find many useful ideas.

Download PGN of January '12 1 e4 ... games

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Scandinavian Defence 3...Qd6, 5...g6 [B01]

Hess, R - Tiviakov, S, Groningen 2011, is another 3...Qd6 Scandinavian. Last month I focused mainly on 5..a6 and 5..c6, but this time we will see a third idea, 5...g6, the 'Czebe Variation':

Here White plays the very nice manoeuvre N-b5-a3-c4 and eventually to e5.

Modern Defence 4 Be3 [B06]

In Dominguez Perez, L - Kamsky, G, Beijing CHN 2011, we have the Be3 line, with White quickly castling queenside, which is widely considered to be the most dangerous system against the Modern:

this game certainly adds weight to that.

Caro-Kann Defence Advance - 4 h4 [B12]

The next 3 games deal with the Caro-Kann Advanced line 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4, which is gaining popularity again:

While in both Howell, D - Kjartansson, G, Hastings ENG 2012, and Vachier Lagrave, M - Laznicka, V, San Sebastian ESP 2012, Black played 4...h5, instead in Vachier Lagrave, M - Grischuk, A, Beijing CHN 2011, we see 4...h6, difficult to say which is objectively best.

Panov Attack- 5...Nc6, 7...h6 [B13]

Shyam, S - Griffiths, R, Hastings ENG 2012, is a Panov Attack 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5, featuring the fashionable 6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 h6!?:

where grabbing the d4-pawn proved dangerous for Black.

Smyslov- 4...Nd7 [B17]

While Korneev, O - Reuss, A, Schwaebisch Gmuend GER 2012, is a main line, or to be more precise, one of the main lines of the Smyslov System:

this game came as a nice opportunity for me to reply to one of the ChessPublishing subscribers who wrote to me about a specific position that arose here. White's later plan is simple and effective, and worth remembering.

Classical 4...Bf5 mainline 15 Qd3 [B19]

Lundin, J - Arjun, B, Stockholm SWE 2012, features a main line in the Classical or Capablanca System:

Look out for some very interesting analysis from our ChessPublishing forum ( which hasn't yet been played.

Wishing you all the best, Milos.

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