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This month we will focus on several games played in Norway Chess and Dubai Open. We look at a few QGD’s, a few Slavs, a few Catalans, as well as one Queen’s Gambit Accepted.

Download PGN of June ’23 1 d4 d5 2 c4 games

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Exchange Slav 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3 a6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Nge2 [D10]

In Mamedyarov - Carlsen, Norway Blitz, after 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.Bf4 Nc6 6.e3 a6 7.Bd3 Bg4 8.Nge2 e6 we see Mamedyarov go for the push 9.h3:

White managed to pose problems to Carlsen and it succeeded in their fast-paced encounter.

Quiet Slav Variation 4.e3 Bg4 5.h3 Bh5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Ne5 [D11]

In Domalchuk-Jonasson - Basso, Munich Open, following 4.e3 Bg4 5.h3 Bh5 6.g4 Bg6 7.Ne5 Nbd7 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qb3, Black played the aggressive and spirited 9...e5:

While it didn’t work out well for him in the game, it remains an interesting practical try for the risk-loving Black player.

Quiet Slav Variation 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Be4 7.f3 Bg6 8.Bd2 [D12]

4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nh4 Be4 7.f3 Bg6 8.Bd2 Be7 9.Qb3 Qc7:

In Gukesh - Giri, Norway Chess, we saw White go for 10.0-0-0. Castling queenside lead to a chaotic encounter in which neither player was able to avoid committing inaccuracies.

Queen’s Gambit Accepted 3.e4 e5 4.Nf3 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Nf6 [D20]

In Firouzja - Mamedyarov, Norway Chess, Black went for the interesting 5...Nf6:

While it came with a certain dynamic risk, Black was indeed able to equalize though he would go on to lose the game in the end.

QGD, Accelerated Ragozin 3...Bb4 4.cxd5 exd5 [D31]

In Yu Yangyi - Bluebaum, Chesskid Cup, after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4, Black tried the aggressive 5...c5:

While he ended up losing the game, it doesn’t seem to be so bad for the Black player if he can play precisely.

QGD, Semi-Tarrasch 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.a3 [D40]

In Gukesh - Nakamura, Norway Chess, following 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.e3 Nf6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.a3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 a6 8.0-0 b5, White retreated the bishop with 9.Bd3:

The positions this lead to didn’t pose Black many problems and Nakamura was able to get a comfortable (albeit slightly inferior) position from which he eventually won.

Catalan 4.g3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 [E03]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Bg2 b5:

In Yu Yangyi - Erigaisi, Dubai Open, White retreated to the dubious square b3 with 8.Qb3 and was systematically crushed. The variations in this 5.Qa4+ sideline look uninspired at best and bad at worst.

Closed Catalan [E08]

In an email to our staff, a subscriber asked me to analyze the position following 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c6 7.Qc2 b6 8.Rd1 Bb7 9.Bf4 Nbd7 10.Ne5 Nh5 11.Bd2 Nhf6 12.cxd5 cxd5 13.Nc6 Qe8 as it has seen an upward tick in popularity at the correspondence level.

I looked at some variations and tried to uncover some subtle ideas for players to find practical success, , see Subscriber Question.


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If you have any questions, then please post a message at the 1 d4 d5 Forum, or subscribers can email