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Next month Tom and I are planning on doing a survey of the Advanced Caro-Kann and so this month we decided to look at a wide selection of other lines.

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

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Scandinavian Defence 3...Qa5 [B01]

It's well known that Vassily Ivanchuk can play every opening on the planet and in Dominguez Perez-Ivanchuk, the Ukrainian genius tried the 3...Qa5 Scandinavian and reached a normal position after 11...e6 where most players would be happy to draw:

However, Chucky pushed for more...

3...Qd6 [B01]

Instead Geller - Kovalenko saw Black trying out the 3...Qd6 line. Kovalenko has played this a lot recently with good results (including a win over Ivanchuk that might have inspired the previous game in the update). However Geller chooses a critical way of playing against Kovalenko's 5...Bg4 and here after 12.d5! Black was in trouble:

Alekhine's Defence - Four Pawns Attack [B03]

The Four Pawns Attack still seems to constitute a theoretical problem for Alekhine players. In Bromberger - Teske Black tried the 5...Bf5 sideline, avoiding exchanging in the centre immediately. We have previously seen 6.Nf3 on ChessPublishing but Bromberger chose instead to develop the other knight. Teske should really have taken the opportunity to return to the mainline. Instead he tried to play creatively but after 7...g5?! 8.g4! was very strong:

A painful loss for Black.

Modern Defence - 4 Be3 [B06]

This month we've focused quite heavily on the Modern.

In Boguslavskyy - Bacrot we again see the higher rated player as Black seeking to complicate and after White misses his best chance they reach this rather strange position where it looks as though White should be better but maybe it's not so clear:

Gopal - Smirin was an interesting opening but the rest of the game (it was some sort of rapidplay) contained plenty of mistakes - still, it's well worth seeing as it contains a lot of important ideas for the line.

Modern Defence 4 Bg5 [B06]

4.Bg5 remains a very topical treatment of the Modern. Perunovic - Shanava saw Black trying 4...c6, a move we hadn't previously covered in any depth. Perunovic plays a critical line and following 10.e5:

we believe he should have had some edge, although he later erred which resulted in a highly complicated position.

3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 [B06]

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Bc4 is a sensible line against the Modern that Vachier Lagrave has used very successfully:

In Vachier Lagrave-Bacrot White won very quickly and even if it was only rapid it's well worth a look. In the notes we also have the young Frenchman's quick win over Fressinet.

Classical Pirc [B08]

The next game features the relatively quiet line 1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Be2 Nf6 5.Nc3 c6 6.0-0 0-0 7.Re1 but soon a critical position is reached after 12.d5:

Black chooses 12...Bf6 but we also examine 12...Qb6. See Iordachescu - Shanava for details.

Caro-Kann - Two Knights 6.Be2 [B11]

Finally we have a look at a game in the Two Knights with 6.Be2, which is starting to get quite fashionable:

In Ibragimov - Dreev the experienced Russian tried 6...Bc5!? attempting to cut across White's plan and reached a very pleasant position before a bizarre blunder.

That's all for this month, Gawain and Tom.

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