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Lots of Caro-Kanns this month, with the majority of games coming from Dortmund and the FIDE World Cup. But first we start off with a Scandinavian...

Download PGN of September '13 1 e4 ... games

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Centre Counter - 3...Qd6 [B01]

In Edouard - Danielsen Black plays the solid 5...c6 and, instead of the usual 6.Ne5, White plays more slowly with 6.h3. However, it turns out to be rather effective as after 11.0-0-0 White already has a promising initiative:

so Black should seek improvements before this point.

Caro-Kann - Two Knights Variation, 3..Nf6 [B11]

We're used to seeing Maxime Vachier Lagrave on the White side of the Caro-Kann, but here we see him as Black in an entertaining encounter in the complicated 3...Nf6 line against the Two Knights. A key position is reached after 6...e6:

and now, in Dominguez Perez-Vachier Lagrave, White chooses the tricky 7.Nfg1, but it's not necessarily the best move.

Caro-Kann Advance - 3...c5 [B12]

We have a trio of games for you this month in what is becoming a very fashionable variation against the Advance. First off we have two games with Khenkin as Black after 4.Nf3 cxd4:

In Andreikin - Khenkin White recaptures with 5.Qxd4!? but after 5...Nc6 6.Qf4 e6 7.Bd3 Nb4! Black easily equalised before a blunder later on cost him the game.

Because of this I prefer the logical 5.Nxd4 which is covered in Naiditsch - Khenkin. This time Khenkin plays an inaccurate move early on and he quickly comes under a lot of pressure, and eventually he loses again. Despite these two losses Black seems to be OK, at least from a theoretical point of view, in this line.

3...c5 has more success this month in the hands of rising star Dmitry Andreikin. After 4.dxc5 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.c3 e6 7.Be3 he holds a very comfortable draw in Svidler - Andreikin with 7...Nge7:

He also manages to draw again with Svidler in a rapidplay tiebreak game, this time with 7...Bxf3 but, as you can see in the notes, I find this move less convincing.

Caro-Kann Advance - Short Variation [B12]

Vachier Lagrave is back on the White side of the Caro where he scores a good win with 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.0-0 Bg6 7.a4!?, gaining space on the queenside:

Subscribers will remember that for a long time Maxime was going for the aggressive 4.h4 in the Advance, but it seems he's switched back to a more mainline approach - see Vachier Lagrave-Shabalov.

Next we see Black making a mistake I had previously covered in my notes to an earlier game for this site (Ponomariov-Grischuk).

This position after 10.dxc5 requires very careful handling from Black and after 10...Nc6?! White plays my recommendation of 11.b4! and goes on to win a miniature in Adhiban - Burmakin.

Caro-Kann - Classical 4...Bf5 mainline, 7...Nf6 [B19]

At this year's Dortmund Michael Adams had probably the best performance of his career, winning the tournament ahead of Kramnik with 7/9. In our final game we see one of his wins in the tricky 7...Nf6 Classical mainline. A key position is reached after 13.e6:

In Adams - Khenkin Black correctly declines to capture the pawn, instead preferring 13...Qd5, but a few moves later he goes wrong and ends up suffering, a pawn down against an in-form Mickey.

See you next month, Tom.

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