Monday, February 8 GM Nadya Kosintseva QGD Ragozin Defense, Part 7: Classical, But Not Boring Bd3, Part 1 (openings)
After Bg5 and e3 White develops the bishop on d3, it provokes Black to play c5-c4 and close the pawn structure in the center. In the first part we analyze what happens if after White’s Bf5 and then Black’s g6 moves, White gives up the white-squared bishop for the knight on d7 and starts to prepare a break in the center – e3-e4. Black should choose the right order of moves depending on an opponent’s actions and find evidence that the counter play on the queen side is enough to neutralize the White’s activity in the center.
Tuesday, February 9 IM Bill Paschall Steinitzian Classics Part 3 (openings)
A brilliant game by Steinitz both strategically and tactically. White essays the gambit which would later bear his name in the Vienna Opening. In the middlegame, black is completely outplayed from a strategic perspective and later demolished with a series of tactical blows. Black never really had a chance after chasing ghosts and misplaying the opening, where he wrongly gives up his white squared bishop and faces a daunting weakness on the f5 square and along the entire f-file. Notable is the vitality of the uncastled white king due to white’s superior central control.
Wednesday, February 10 FM Dennis Monokroussos Remembering Reti, Part 4: The Mature Rubinstein, Part 2 (openings, tactics)
Richard Reti won a slew of brilliant games in the great New York 1924 tournament using the opening that bears his name, and here we’ll look at the game that won him the tournament’s first brilliancy prize. Interestingly, his treatment got an assist from the world champion, Jose Capablanca (whom Reti defeated in the tournament, with the Reti!), whose suggestion turned the game into a favorable Catalan (another opening that was receiving its birth around that time, thanks to another hypermodern great: Savielly Tartakower). This short game shows how a positional advantage can quickly pay off tactically as the position opens up.
Thursday, February 11 IM David Vigorito Inside Coverage of the USCL 2015 – part 19
Friday, February 12 GM Bryan Smith The Fierce MacCutcheon, Part 4 (tactics)
The obvious move 6.Bh4 is not so common, but something that has been tried more often at a higher level recently, and also a move which amateur players might see. Here Hikaru Nakamura shows the way.
Monday, January 31 GM Nadya Kosintseva QGD Ragozin Defense, Part 6: The Straightforward dxc5 Line (openings)
White does not wish to see the black pawn on c4 and exchanges the d4 pawn for the c5 pawn immediately after Black plays c5. In its turn Black may choose playing more positional chess with equal amount of material or may provoke White into complications taking a pawn that looks poisoned on the first glance. At one moment, White will have an extra rook, but still suffer.
Tuesday, February 1 IM Bill Paschall Steinitzian Classics Part 2 (openings)
Playing in classical style, Steinitz gains better control of the center in the opening, despite a symmetrical structure. Black should have played actively with c5 at several points in the opening, but drifts into a passive position relying on the idea of f6 to kick the white knight out of it’s outpost on e5. Steinitz makes some small inaccuracies, but basically plays in brilliant fashion, sacrificing his outposted knight at e5 to gain space and time for a direct attack against the black king. A brilliant sacrificial attack follows and Blackburne, although great as an attacker, fails here on defense, horribly weakening his kingside with the fatal 21…h6.
Wednesday, February 2 FM Dennis Monokroussos Remembering Reti, Part 3: The Mature Rubinstein, Part 1 (openings, strategy)
As the mid-’20s dawned, Richard Reti became more of a hypermodern player than the go-for-tactics fiend we’ve seen in the earlier games. This coincided with his strong advocacy of the opening that came to bear his name, 1.Nf3, often followed by c4 and a kingside fianchetto. We see it work beautifully in this game, against one of the great positional players of the era (and perhaps of all time), Akiba Rubinstein. Reti not only employs his opening to great effect (and plays it better than even some strong players of our own day!), but shows an understanding of ideas that became popular decades later with the advent of the Benko Gambit. A beautiful game that was ahead of its time.
Thursday, February 3 IM Valeri Lilov Korchnoj’s Brilliant Piece Play (middlegame)
Korchnoi’s playing style initially was an aggressive counterattack. He excelled in difficult defensive positions. Where he was strongest though, was the piece play. In chess your pieces should be able to move if the need arises to a different square for defense or attack. In other words, they’re mobile, we call this the precise movement part. In practice this often means you have to connect your pieces towards a specific goal. Check out this lecture to learn more!
Friday, February 4 GM Bryan Smith The Fierce MacCutcheon, Part 3 (tactics)
An epic and spectacular battle results from creative play in response to White’s sharp 6.Be3 move.
Monday, January 25 GM Nadya Kosintseva QGD Ragozin Defense, Part 5: The Malicious Be2 Line (openings)
White does not do anything against Black’s plans on the queen side, but instead just finishes development of the pieces on the king side playing e3 and then Be2 after Bg5. Which will prevail? Black’s attack against White’s pawn weaknesses on the queen side or White’s counter play in the center? No easy decisions for either side. Every move counts.
Tuesday, January 26 IM Bill Paschall Steinitzian Classics Part 1 (middlegame, tactics)
Steinitz develops logically and efficiently when confronted with an unorthodox defense. Black sets up too passively with the move 10….Nbd7. In an apparently locked and symmetrical structure, the first World Champion unleashes a sacrificial assault beginning with 15.g4 to bring down his opponent’s king protection. The black king cannot resist as he is behind terms of both space and development. A model attacking game for white.
Wednesday, January 27 FM Dennis Monokroussos Remembering Reti, Part 2: Reti Rolls A Future World Champion (tactics)
In 1920 Max Euwe wasn’t yet the player he would become, but he wasn’t bad, either. He and Richard Reti played a four game match that year, and Reti won 3-1. Every game was decisive, and we’ll look at the first two, both won in spectacular style by Reti. In the first game, Euwe offers a sacrifice in the opening; Reti takes it, then sacrifices even more and wins in crushing style. In the second game it’s Reti who plays a gambit, then sacrifices even more material to win once again in crushing style! Reti may be best known to us today as a “hypermodern”, but he could play romantic, swashbuckling chess with the best of them.
Thursday, January 28 IM David Vigorito Inside Coverage of the USCL 2015 – part 18 (openings, strategy)
in this game I have the formidable task of holding off GM Becerra, a player that I was 0/4 against. I was winning the last game so I tried not to let this affect me. Becerra is a noted theoretician, yet for the second game in a row he avoided mainstream theory. Here he plays a ‘harmless’ Anti-Sicilian, but I was well aware that the line had some bite. I easily neutralized his slight initiative, but I also explain how he could have managed to get into the line that I imagine he was aiming for.
Friday, January 29 GM Bryan Smith The Fierce MacCutcheon, Part 2 (openings)
The main deviation, 5.exd5, is covered in this video featuring a short and sharp win by Black.
Monday, January 18, IM Valeri Lilov Piece Activity Control (strategy, middlegame)
Piece activity has always been a challenging concept to most intermediate chess players. In this lecture, IM Lilov presents an instructive game of the Chinese GM Ni Hua who beautifully combined a flexible pawn structure with strong piece activity.
Tuesday, January 19 IM Bill Paschall Hungarian Bronze at European Teams Part 4 (strategy, openings)
GM Almasi faces a tough future GM who was undefeated throughout the rest of this event. Black plays the opening fine until compromising his position with the extremely optimistic and weakening move 12…b5 ?? Almasi plays in Sicilian style and sacrifices an exchange to gain winning chances with his powerful “dragon bishop”. Black misfires a second time with 20…e4 in a state of panic and Almasi gains a winning position. Although white could have won more easily by keeping queens on the board, Zoltan’s technique is good and Hungary wins 2.5 to 1.5 over Norway, despite Leko losing to Carlsen on board 1.
Wednesday, January 20 FM Dennis Monokroussos Remembering Reti, Part 1: The Young Tactician (tactics)
Many of us know of Richard Reti (1889-1929) for his opening (1.Nf3), his super-famous king and pawn endgame study and for being one of the so-called hypmoderns. But he was one of the greatest players of the early 20th century, and his legacy is much richer than a one-move opening, a famous study, and an historical footnote. We’ll look at some of his great games over the weeks to come, and we’ll start this time with a look at a couple of entertaining tactical games from his early years. The first game is very well known, but the second is less familiar, prettier, and builds on material we’ve examined in recent shows.
Thursday, January 21 GM Leonid Kritz Typical Peter Leko (openings, strategy)
A typical game for Peter Leko – go for the minimum and try to get maximum out of it. As so often, it does not work against a strong opponent and a draw is more than a typical result. However, from the opening standpoint the game is quite interesting.
Friday, January 22 GM Bryan Smith The Fierce MacCutcheon, Part 1 (openings)
Monday, January 11 IM Valeri Lilov Maneuver as Kovacevic! (strategy, middlegame)
GM Kovacevic is known as a great theorist and opening inventor. He was a true middlegame master as well. In his new lecture, IM Valeri Lilov shows a masterful example of utilizing piece regrouping and maneuvering to their full potential!
Tuesday, January 12 IM Bill Paschall Hungarian Bronze at European Teams Part 3 (opening, strategy)
The prodigious Hungarian GM Richard Rapport leads his team to a win in their match against France. Once again, Rapport takes an experienced player out of book very early , this time with a strange version of the Bird’s Opening. White’s setup with f4 and an early c4 looks strange and certainly should be fine for black. Fressinet, however, is apparently taken off guard. Black’s reaction of playing e6 followed by dxc4 later, simply gives up the center. White takes the center and then black lashes out with an unsound pawn sacrifice to attempt to free his position. Rapport just keeps the extra pawn and then breaks through on the kingside with the beautiful shot 29. f5!
Wednesday, January 13 FM Dennis Monokroussos Staying Cool Against A Novelty (tactics)
Hellers-Khalifman. Title: Staying Cool Against A Novelty. Tags: Khalifman, Caro-Kann. Description: Playing Black in a big money game in the last round of the 1990 New York Open, future FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman was confronted by a very dangerous novelty, a pawn sac that seemed to give White tremendous play. He didn’t rush past the key moment, nor did he look for some way to bail out with a slightly worse position. Instead, he took his time, worked through the options, and by a process of elimination found a brilliant reply. Confronted in turn by a surprise, his opponent did not manage to keep his own wits about him, and Khalifman went on to win a nice, theoretical important and lucrative game, taking clear first in the tournament.
Thursday, January 14 GM Leonid Kritz A Very Suspicious Novelty That Paid Off (opening)
Black plays a very suspicious plan in the opening and gets a position that cannot be good, but White does not find the way to punish him and, moreover, starts a combination that brings only draw, not more. Even worse, he overstretches and loses without any chances.
Friday, January 14 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How to Play Dynamic Chess! (tactics)
What is dynamic chess? How can you tell when you should sacrifice material for development. Strong plays like Tal, Kasparov, and Shirov have an innate feel for this. But you can develop this as well if you practice and pay attention to the relative value of pieces and king safety. Watch how Eugene plays of his best games of his life to beat a strong GM Holt to prove that dynamic chess still lives in the 21st century!