How Short defused the Advance Variation

2/14/2007 – Of the Caro-Kann, that is, which was considered an attacking system. But in the early 1990s British GM and 1993 World Championship finalist Nigel Short devised a system that starts off quietly. The fireworks come later, with quiet moves following unexpected violent ones. Let our Playchess lecturer Dennis Monokroussos show you the key game.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Is the Advance Variation against the Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5) an attacking system? It is on many of its most popular interpretations (e.g. 3…Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4), but in the early 1990s British GM and 1993 World Championship finalist Nigel Short devised a slower system (4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 followed by 0-0, c3 and Be3 in some order). You might expect that since this week’s game, Short-Ljubojevic, Amsterdam 1991, demonstrates that variation in action, the play will be comparatively quiet. And you’d be right…up to a point.

The play starts with relative quiet, as both sides develop in peace, fix the pawn structures and start to build for play on opposite sides of the board. But the fireworks do come, and when they do, the results are impressive! What’s especially unusual about the game is the interplay between unexpected violent moves and even more unexpected quiet moves. The overall effect is powerful, yet despite the virtuoso nature of Short’s performance, I think those of us who play the Advance Caro-Kann, the Advance French, or the King’s Indian Attack can learn a thing or two for our own games.

Hope to see you there – same time as always, Thursday night at 9 pm ET.

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Friday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in the Chess Media System room of Playchess:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

 


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