ForumHelpSearchMy ProfileSite InfoGuests InfoRepertoireLinks
The Chess Olympiad is the main focus here, as all the games are from this event. There is a good reason why these games are so interesting - the Olympiad is one of the biggest events and players are obviously trying to show their best here, while fighting for medals for their respective countries. Many lines have been tested, and some new ideas have appeared as well.

Download PGN of October ’18 1 d4 d5 2 c4 games

>> Previous Update >>

Queen’s Gambit Exchange 4.cxd5 exd5 5 Bf4 [D31]

In Sargissian, G - Meier, Geo, after the initial moves, Black played 5...c6 which is a popular line and there followed 6.e3 Bf5 7.g4 Be6 8.Qb3!?:

A move that was also used by Kramnik, but Black found a good way to create counterplay. I think that 8.h4 is still the critical option here.

QGD Ragozin 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.Qa4+ [D38]

In Radjabov, T - So , W White played a solid line which starts with 7.Qa4+ Nc6 8.e3 0-0 9.Be2:

Radjabov came up with an improvement in a position that looked solid for Black, but it was never that easy. Black needs to readjust his play a bit in this line.

Semi-Tarrasch 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 [D41]

We had some very interesting games from the Olympiad in this line, obviously the Semi-Tarrasch is now a very popular line.

In Mamedyarov, S - Ding Liren there followed 7...cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.Bb3:

Now Ding Liren played 15...Re8, exactly the same as he did in the Candidates this year against the same opponent, but Mamedyarov played much better this time.

Semi-Slav Botvinnik, Smyslov's 10...Be7 [D44]

In Melkumyan, H - Shankland, S, after 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bg5 an old idea of Smyslov's re-emerged: 10...Be7

A move that only recently came back into focus again. This game shows that some things are not yet entirely clear here.

QGD Classical line 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 0-0 7.e3 Nbd7 8.Rc1 c5 [D63]

In L'Ami, E - Yu Yangui we have the main line of this system, which is also covered in my book on the QGD, so after 8.Rc1 c5 9.dxc5 Nxc5 10.cxd5 g5 11.Bg3 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 13.Qxd5 exd5:

In the main game White tried a new move without any success, this line is really strong, at least according to the current theory.

Catalan Opening 4...dxc4 5.Bg2 c5 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Qa4 [E04]

Now we came to the Catalan where we have three games once again.

In Sargissian, G - Harikrishna, P Black played 4...dxc4 5.Bg2 c5 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Qa4 Bd7 8.Qxc4 cxd4 9.Nxd4 Rc8 10.Nc3 Nxd4 11.Qxd4 Bc5 12.Qh4 h6!?:

An unusual reaction but it's not possible to dismiss it. Black seemed to be doing OK in the game, more practical games are needed to be able to make a firm conclusion.

Catalan Opening Mainline 7.Qc2 b6 [E05]

In Bosiocic, M - Bacrot, E Black preferred 4...Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 b6 8.Bg5 Nd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Nbd2 b5!?:

Another position that is recently under the microscope and once again Black didn't experience any problems in the opening.

Catalan Opening Mainline 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 c5 [E05]

Our last game is Rodshtein, M - So, W. Here we have a completely new approach to one of the main lines in the Catalan, which is not something that we see every day. Not just in the main game but also in the other games given in the notes are some things to look deeper into in the future. After 4...Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Nbd2 Black played 10...b5!?:

A highly interesting approach, and possibly a line that can replace the more traditional 8...Bd7, potentially it is that big. I added some games in the notes, of course, so there is some material for a deeper look. In the main game So had the initiative all the way, but White managed to escape with a draw.

Till next month, best wishes Milos.

>> Previous Update >>

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