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Hello everybody,
It's my pleasure to give you my first update on the 1.e4 ... column, I've decided to mainly focus on several games in the Caro-Kann. I also included a few interesting, but not so common variations into the mix.

Download PGN of June ’16 1 e4 ... games

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Scandinavian 3...Qd6 Variation: 5...a6 6.g3 Bg4 [B01]

Zhou, Y - Grafl, F features a new move for this site, 8.Bf4!?, immediately posing a difficult question to the queen:

Later Zhou utilised his strong centre pawns and the poor positioning of the black queen to great effect. The attack includes a crowd-pleasing queen sacrifice followed by a pawn march.

Alekhine's Defence 4.Bc4 Nb6 [B03]

Kiewra, K - Zhou, J is a rarely played sideline featuring 4.Bc4 instead of the usual c4 and Nf3. I think it is a good sideline to consider if one is looking to throw the opponent onto unfamiliar ground early on.

In the game White ran into difficulties defending his a4-pawn and soon found himself in a worse position. I suggest 9.Nc3 as a better option to the move he played in the game.

Pirc Defence: 4.Be3 a6 5.a4 [B07]

Harikrishna, P - Mamedyarov, S included a move not yet examined on this site, 5.a4:

Black's 7th move is not so common and White's plan to swap light squared bishops and control the d-file soon gave a very comfortable advantage.

Caro-Kann: Two Knights Variation 3...Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 [B11]

There were three games in the Two Knights this column with White trying different ideas.

Bartel, M - Ruck, R features an idea which has been gaining popularity: 6.Qg3

I quite like this idea of disrupting Black's natural development. In the game White chose a plan involving 9.Qh3 but didn't get any advantage. I believe White can still find improvements here if he is to play like this again.

Maze, S - Andreikin, D examines a very solid option for Black. White's 7.Qe3 still doesn't give him any hopes of an advantage:

By placing the queen on the active d5-square and marching his h-pawn, Black was able to provoke a queen swap and equalise comfortably.

Dominguez Perez, L - Grischuk, A features a Black piece setup which is not so common but easy to play.

After smoothly developing his pieces, Grischuk was able to fully equalise with the pawn break ...e5. White could consider an improvement such as Qd3 on move 11 instead.

Caro-Kann Advance 3...c5 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.a3!? [B12]

Sethuraman, S - Fossan, A shows the idea of 5.a3!?, which is common enough after 4...e6 but can also be played after 4...Nc6:

Unable to prove that the pawn on e5 can be taken safely, most Black players opt to transpose back to lines with ...e6.

Caro-Kann Classical 7...Nf6 8.Ne5 [B19]

Kuzubov, Y - Mamedyarov, S shows another game where Mamedyarov has been able to comfortably hold in this variation.

In the game White allowed Black to castle long and didn't achieve any advantage. Instead, I believe 13.e6 is the most critical option.

Till next time, Moulthun

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