1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 d6 – video playing time: 28:24 min
When White started experimenting with 4.d3 in the Berlin Defence of the Ruy Lopez and this move became more and more a new fashion, Mihail Marin was disappointed that 4...Bc5 quickly established itself as Black's main answer. As a long-time Pirc player he had flirted with the move 4...d6 instead. Marin was all the more pleased that first Artemiev recently used this move successfully several times. And in the meantime Carlsen has also tried this continuation. In his video analysis, Marin examines a large number of variations that Black can choose from after 5.0-0 or 5.c3. After 5.0-0, for example, there are three attractive alternatives with 5...Bd7, 5...Be7 and 5...g6. In general, 4...d6 offers two practical advantages over the main move 4...Bc5: on the one hand, the variations are very solid, and on the other, Black’s play is characterised by a high degree of flexibility.
Christian Bauer: Alekhine Defence - Voronezh Variation
1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 0-0 9.b3 - video playing time: 15:29 min
In this variation of the Alekhine Defence, one intention of the move 9.b3 is to deprive the black knight on b6 of important squares, e.g. after 9...d5 10.c5 the square c4 is denied to him. Black has already tried out various continuations after 9.b3: 9...e5, 9...Nc6 and 9...Bf5 are the standard moves so far. In this video Christian Bauer shows a very fresh idea: Black plays 9...d5 and after 10.c5 continues with the knight sacrifice 10...e5! This innovation first appeared on the board in the 2021 French Championship. In his analysis Bauer deals with both the acceptance of the sacrifice with 11.cxb6 and the capture 11.dxe5. What's amazing is that although Black usually only gets a pawn for the piece, his position is found to be good by the engines! For White faces enormous problems in completing the development of his kingside.
GM Imre Hera's win against his compatriot Zoltan Almasi at the Hungarian Team Championship 2021 is “The brilliancy” of this issue. After a long break, Hera once again resorted to the London System and took the initiative after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 b6 4.e3 Be7 5.h3 c5 6.Nc3! "It's not every day that you win against a two-time Olympic silver medallist and 9-time Hungarian champion!"
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