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Dear Readers, This month we mainly have Caro-Kann games, but a Scandinavian also found a way in. It seems that those two are the most popular openings in my section at the moment.

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

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Scandinavian Defence 3.Nc3 Qd6, 6.h3 [B01]

The Scandinavian is a popular opening, and the positions tend to resemble the Caro-Kann. Tiviakov is an expert on this opening, but this time, in Guseinov - Tiviakov, he was far from establishing equal chances for Black.

After 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.h3:

This little move posed problems, an interesting line.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 Short System 5...Ne7 6.0-0 Nd7 7.Nh4 Be4 [B12]

In our next game, Hevia - Shabalov from the American Continental, we have 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0-0 Nd7 7.Nh4 Be4 8.Nd2:

This position is not considered so good for Black, and despite Black's success in this game the overall evaluation has not changed.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 Short System 5...f6!? [B12]

Jobava continues to look for early surprises, and he is not unsuccessful with such a strategy, at least not in the Caro Kann.

After 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 f6 6.0-0 he twice tried the move 6...fxe5!?. In the game Caruana - Jobava from the Grand Prix, Caruana played 7.Nxe5:

It seems that Jobava had enough play throughout the whole game.

In Vachier - Jobava we see a slightly different approach by White with the move 7. dxe5

This game was very interesting and complex, and in the final stages Vachier managed to apply some pressure but didn't find clear cut moves and the game ended in a draw.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 4.h4 Qc7!? [B12]

Potapov - Jakovenko is yet another Advanced line in the Caro-Kann, but this time 4.h4 Qc7!?:

Black was doing fine all the way and even missed a win at some point. Interesting stuff: avoiding ...h6 or ...h5 but developing another piece instead.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...Bf5 Short System 5...c5 6.Be3 cxd4 [B12]

I've commented many games of Laznicka as Black in the Advanced line and this time, in Smirin - Laznicka, he was doing OK from a theoretical point of view, but later slipped away at some point and lost.

Another Advanced line, but this time featuring the main line 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 cxd4 7.Nxd4 Ne7 8.Nd2:

Smirin deviated from well known paths on move 12 and achieved nothing, but still he kept playing reasonably well and got the full point.

Caro-Kann 4...Bf5 Capablanca System 11.Bd2, 13.Kb1 Qb6 [B19]

Dragnev - Ruck brings us a main line Capablanca System, only this time we have 13..Qb6, so after 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0-0-0 Be7 13.Kb1 Qb6:

This is a recently popular line and for the moment it seems that Black has counterplay. Not so many examples so it is a bit early to reach a more conclusive verdict, but the positions are solid and offer chances.

Till next month, best wishes Milos.

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