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Hello everybody,
A good month for White, as some irregular openings meet punishing replies!

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

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Owen's Defence 1.e4 b6 [B00]

Motylev - Glek features one of the more important lines for the assessment of Owen's Defence (1.e4 b6), the pawn sacrifice with 8.0-0!:

Motylev borrows attacking plans from the French and, despite some inaccuracies due to the rapid time control, produces a nice attacking game.

Alekhine's Defence 4.Nf3 g6 [B04]

Vovk - de Firmian is a nice demonstration of White's chances in an important variation:

I like Vovk's simple treatment of allowing ...Bg4, gaining the bishop pair, and enjoying much easier play.

Alekhine's Defence: 4...dxe5 5.Nxe5 c6 [B04]

Wei - Zhou sees the 16-year old prodigy held to a draw with a move which has enjoyed some success, 10...Ne4!?:

White is always going to have an edge in the resulting positions, but trading a pair of minor pieces is sound strategy for the side with less space, and so far Black has held his own in these lines.

Hippopotamus [B06]

Howell - Gormally is a model demonstration of White's chances against the Hippo, where Black crouches on his back three ranks.

Howell uses the fact that he hasn't played c4 to execute a series of pawn breaks, resulting in a very favourable King's Indian position for White.

Pirc Defence, Austrian Attack 5...0-0 6.Bd3 Na6 7.0-0 c5 [B09]

Yu - Mamedyarov is a heavyweight battle in a key line of the Austrian Attack, where Black gets rid of his light-squared bishop with ...Bg4:

I'm more sympathetic to this trade than the casual ...Bg4 of Vovk - de Firmian, since White has taken on greater commitments and Black's light-squared bishop is hard to use in the resulting Benoni structures. A well played game by both sides shows some key ideas and ends in a deserved draw.

Caro-Kann: Advance with 3...Bf5 4.h4 h5 5.Bd3 [B12]

We examine two very different games in this line. In Morozevich - Gunina, Black opts for the compliant 7...Be7:

This was used by Navara to comfortably draw with Mickey Adams in this year's Tata Steel tournament, but White has a free ride on the dark-squares as Morozevich demonstrates.

Robson - Jacobsen features much sharper play, with Black grabbing a pawn on b2 and being met with 10.Rd1!?:

This had previously been tried by Morozevich but Robson plays it with a different idea in mind. The game is over quite quickly when Black blunders on consecutive moves, but I've tried to indicate in the notes where the debates might continue.

Caro-Kann Advance, Short Variation with 3...Bf5 4.Nf3, 8...g5 9.a4 [B12]

Swiercz - Kanarek features a new move for this site in a provocative line with ...g5, 9.a4:

Black doesn't use his c-pawn well, holding off on ...c5 for too long, and losing the game immediately by playing a careless ...c4.

Till next time, Sam

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