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Welcome to the September 1 e4 Others Update.
This month amongst other delights we see a text book win by Wesley So in the Caro-Kann and a game Petrosyan-Petrosian which, despite the names of the players, is anything but a placid positional struggle. We’ll start with Nimzowitsch’s lesser known Defence.

Download PGN of September ’17 1 e4 ... games

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Nimzowitsch: 1 e4 Nc6 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 Nf6 4 Nc3 Bg4 5 Be3 e6 [B00]

In an earlier update Jonathan Tisdall described 2...d6 as 'stodgy'. In this month’s game Black takes some risks to make it exciting, namely he answers 6.Bb5 with 6....d5!?:

He wins an attacking game against a much higher rated opponent. But, alas, for anyone looking for a refutation of 1 e4, if White had responded correctly then Black would have ended up with a slightly worse a stodgy position.

I should also mention there are eight games with the alternative 5...e5 played by its leading advocate IM Zvonimir Mestrovic in the ChessPub archives: a happy find for anyone who likes to explore the offbeat. Meanwhile check out Rublevsky, S - Usmanov, V.

Scandinavian 3...Qd8 [B01]

A plan attractive in its simplicity: the black queen eats half of White's pawn centre and then runs all the way home. I’m pleased to be able to mention a game played in 1475 in the notes. Unfortunately these days every idea attracts some heavyweight theory. A critical position is reached after 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nf3 a6 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 c5:

Black plays in the most uncompromising manner: not satisfied with a solid but somewhat passive move like 5...e6 he launches an attack first on the white bishop and then on d4. In a previous update we examined 8.dxc5 here. Now it is the turn of 8.a4!?:

White has the chance to probe in the resulting endgame. The conclusion is that Black is OK but he has to play more precisely than in Fedorchuk, S - Narciso Dublan, M.

Alekhine Exchange 5...cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 0-0 9.b3 [B03]

Here 9...Bf5 is one of Black’s better tries, when 10.d5 clamps down on the centre:

White plans to exploit his space advantage once he has completed his development. The most fighting response is 10...e6, hoping to slay the white kingside pieces in their beds. Black has to be prepared for his bishop to be trapped after 11.g4 Bxc3+ 12.Rxc3 Be4 13.f3:

Does Black have enough for the material? You can check out the analysis to Hoijatova, A - Sevdimaliev, U.

Modern Defence with c3 and Bd3 3 c3 [B06]

White wants a solid and safe game after 3...d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bd3 etc. This is anathema to an attacking player like Alexander Morozevich, who prefers to play provocatively with 3...Nf6. The point is to avoid an early ...d7-d6 so that the d-pawn can be used to counterattack after 4 Bd3 0-0 5.Nf3 d5:

First, we had the Modern (1...g6) then the Alekhine (3...Nf6) and now the Grunfeld (5...d5) all in one game. It works out well in the illustrative game due to White’s over cautious play. The critical response 6.e5 is investigated in the notes to Azimova, K - Morozevich, A.

Modern Defence 3.Nc3 a6 4.Be3 b5 5.Qd2 Bb7 6.f3 d6 7.h4 [B06]

Black has developed some sophisticated methods to take on the 150 Attack with Be3 and Qd2. After an accelerated move order with 3...a6 we reach a standard position after the moves 7...h6 8.0-0-0 Nd7 9.Nge2:

Black’s 7...h6 is prophylaxis against a future Bh6: with good reason Black prizes the Indian bishop. In contrast to lines with ...h7-h5 he keeps g5 guarded against any possible incursion by White involving Ng5, when the horse would be practically immovable. If White attacks with h4-h5 he hopes to 'slide past' the pawn with ...g6-g5 keeping lines closed. You can see how things might turn out in Petrosyan, M - Petrosian, TL.

Pirc: Austrian Attack 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be3 [B09]

Now 6.Be3 was played at the World Cup 2017 by Ernesto Inarkiev:

At first this looks a rather clumsy move as it leaves the bishop exposed to attack by ...Ng4. On the other hand it deters Black's counterthrust ...c7-c5. Also, the bishop is ready if necessary to retreat to g1. Of course, this would interfere with castling kingside. But no matter, as Inarkiev intends to house his king on the queenside. After 6...b6 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bg1 c5 9.Qe2!? sets Black some fresh problems in Inarkiev, E - Mchedlishvili, M.

Caro-Kann Advance Variation 3...c5 4.dxc5 Nc6 [B12]

Now 5.f4 is a new move for ChessPub:

It reminds me of Short-Eljanov given in a recent update which began 1.e4 c6 2 f4 d5 3.e5. White bolsters his e5 point but leaves his light squares looking unloved. Furthermore, the bishop on c1 is shut in and he isn't developing anything. Still, the pawn on e5 cramps the black kingside and gives White certain dynamic chances. Black is struck down when he is careless in Saric, I - Kucuksari, K.

Classical Caro-Kann Mainline 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 [B19]

I was impressed by Wesley So’s smooth win as Black in the Caro-Kann against an unambitious opponent in round one of the World Cup 2017. This went 11.Bf4 Qa5+ 12.Bd2 Bb4 13.a3?!:

A new move for ChessPub, but not a good one. White has a space advantage so he should be looking to build up an attack in the middlegame, not head for an endgame. After 13...Bxd2+ 14.Qxd2 Qxd2+ 15.Nxd2 Ngf6 Wesley So wore down the white position step by step. Enjoy Ruiz, C - So, W.

That’s all for now. I hope you enjoyed the update. Good luck with your own chess and have fun watching the World Cup and other tournaments.

All the best, Neil.

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