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Hi Everyone. Sorry for the delay in this month’s update, I was busy with a tournament, but I’ll be on time in April! This month I am looking at a few lines in the Caro-Kann and even a couple of games in the extremely rare 1.e4 Nc6!
I hope you find it enjoyable and Instructive!

Download PGN of March ’18 1 e4 ... games

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Caro-Kann Advance 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 [B12]

The 3...c5 line of the advance Caro-Kann definitely deserves more analysis. The game Volokitin, A - Van Foreest, J went into an Advance French Structure, where White had an extra tempo on the dxc5 line:

It’s unclear if this is significant, but the resulting positions are quite interesting.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 5...f6 [B12]

This move seems absurd, but it appears to be quite playable:

It has already been played in a similar position after 5...Nd7 6. 0-0 f6, and in Van Foreest, J - Jobava, B I examine both positions and make my case for why I think the direct 5...f6 may be more accurate.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation 3...Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.Be3 Qb6 7.Nc3 Nc6 [B12]

One of the deepest lines of the Advanced Caro-Kann. I checked out the recent game Shirov, A - Lupulescu, C where Black seemed to have forgotten his preparation, but still managed to survive. I also spend some time on a very interesting side line that could occur after 8.Na4 Qa5+ 9.c3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Ne7:

Even here Black needs to be accurate. The alternative attempt by Liem after 12.Qb3 definitely deserves more analysis

Caro-Kann, Korchnoi Variation 5...exf6 [B15]

This move has recently become popular. This line was thought to be better for White after the Bd3-Ne2 setup, but practise has shown that Black has his chances in this setup. The main Tabiya of this line would seem to be after 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 8.Qc2 and then 8...Re8+ 9.Ne2:

Black has two main moves here. The pawn sacrifice 9...f5 or the aggressive 9...h5, see the analysis in Zawadska, J - Duda, J.

Scandinavian 2...Nf6 3.d4 Bg4 [B01]

This line of the Scandinavian was used in spectacular fashion by Magnus Carlsen in the Pro Chess League. I demonstrate some of the lines after 4.f3 Bf5 5.c4 e6 6.dxe6 Nc6:

White already has to be careful here. In the game Vaibhav, S - Carlsen, M a strong Grand Master got a lost position by move 8!

Nimzowitsch Opening 3.e5 [B00]

It’s always nice when both sides are out of book in the first 10 moves. Here, they basically got a new position by move 3. White held the advantage for most of the game, but he wasn’t able to find a way to break through Black’s set up. If Black can find better ways to play, I don’t see why 1...Nc6 shouldn’t be used more often in tournament practice, see Anand, V - Rapport, R.

Classical Pirc 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 [B08]

While this is a Pirc opening, I am analysing this position from the 1...Nc6 perspective. My point being that 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 d6:

can be used as a Pirc attempt where Black can avoid the f3 and the f4 lines.

Carlsen’s play is again extremely interesting in Hansen, E - Carlsen, M.

See you soon, Ashwin.

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