Important theoretical game from Gibraltar
The end of another risky line?
The game between grandmasters Sebastian Maze and Evgeny Solozhenkin in round 8 of the Gibraltar Open might very well signal the end of a popular, but risky, variation of the Caro Kann.
Black’s last move (6…Qb6!?) has been known for more than 20 years, with theoreticians having mixed opinions about its merits.
The Karpov-Podgaets‘ CaroKann opening series did not have a very positive view of it, and while they would not find any concrete continuation that could discourage Black players from playing it, they indicated that 7.c4 was the best chance.
Alexi Shirov, possibly the leading expert on this variation from the White side, would have nothing to do with it and championed 7.Nc3, but with discouraging results in recent times.
The Maze vs Solozhenkin game, therefore, is of great theoretical importance and might see 6…Qb6 disappear from praxis.
I give the game below, with some analysis and references to previously played games. I use the RPB plugin, so if you click on any move with your mouse a floating diagram will appear. You can also download the game at the end. Enjoy!
gm Maze,S – gm Solozhenkin,Y
White’s forceful and precise play makes a very good impression. You can download the pgn of the game HERE