Monday, April 25 IM Valeri Lilov The Pawn Structure Value (middlegame)
The importance of pawn structure is often misunderstood by the beginner and intermediate chess player. It is quite clear that pawns are important, but in what way? How could a good pawn structure affect our plan and is there a way to setup one from the very start? In this video, IM Lilov tries to give good answers to these and other questions regarding the pawn structures.
Tuesday, April 26 IM Bill Paschall Battles from the Aeroflot Open 2016, Part 1 (strategy, tactics)
The younger Tigran Petrosian plays much in the style of his namesake. Playing white in a common variation of the symmetrical English, Petrosian encounters a strange move from GM Moiseenko in the form of 12…Nb6. Black allows Petrosian to smash his pawn structure with 13.Bxc6 ! Moiseenko should simply retreat with the usual 12…Nde7 . After the exchange on c6, black goes totally on the attack, but leaves many weaknesses and opportunities for white in his wake. A creative and inspiring game combining attack and defense. White and black both miss some opportunities, but the game remains instructive and entertaining.
Wednesday, April 27 FM Dennis Monokroussos More Problems for Black in the Taimanov Sicilian (openings, tactics)
The Taimanov Sicilian has been a very successful opening for Black for some years now, and White has tried one approach after another searching for an advantage. The latest try, which has been faring quite well, is the system with 7.Qf3. This is not a refutation of the Taimanov, of course, but now it’s Black who is switching from one idea to another trying to find equality. In an earlier video we looked at 7…Ne5; this time we see 7…Nf6 coming up short in our main game. White’s kingside attack breaks through, while he neutralizes Black’s queenside counterplay with relative ease.
Thursday, April 28 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Lessons from Nimzowitsch: Effective Use of Blockade in Practice (strategy)
Friday, April 29 GM Bryan Smith A Masterpiece in the Kalashnikov (opening, tactics)
In this video, GM Smith explores a fantastic sacrificial victory for the black side in the Kalashnikov Sicilian – the game Nunn-Nataf.
Monday, April 18 IM Valeri Lilov Simple Chess (middlegame)
How do play simple and successful at the same time? The answer to this question is the key to the wins of almost every strong master in the modern chess. Check IM Lilov’s new lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, April 19 IM Bill Paschall The Changing of the Hungarian Guard (strategy, endgame)
The top player in Hungary is no longer a Polgar, Leko, or Almasi. Richard Rapport has surpassed the other top Hungarians. Using a creative approach in the openings, a great positional sense, and excellent technique, Rapport is now a top player and a force to be reckoned with. In the following game, facing one of the best players in the world; Levon Aronian, Rapport puts all of his skills on display! White punishes blacks strange setup with 6… Nc6 in the opening and outplays Aronian to win a pawn. After some inaccuracies and some tough defense by Aronian, Rapport converts a beautiful endgame win with bishop vs knight.
Wednesday, April 20 FM Dennis Monokroussos Even White Needs to Develop in the Opening
Sargissian-Li Chao: Even White Needs to Develop in the Opening. (Tags: ) It is a truism that Black especially needs to develop rapidly to stay out of trouble, at least in the Open Games. But while the burden may be less severe on White in the Closed openings, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. In this game between two 2700+ level players, White got himself in trouble as early as move 6. Black had to play brilliantly to prove the advantage, and did so until the last hurdle. White escaped with a draw, but it wasn’t easy!
Thursday, April 21 GM Leonid Kritz A Quick But Effective Tactical Fight (strategy, tactics)
This game went off the traditional paths right away and went into some type of complicated strategic and tactical jungle. It seemed that White should be better, but in fact a couple of brilliant moves by Howell destroyed the whole logic of White’s construction and brought him a fully deserved point.
Friday, April 22 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How To Win In An Equal Endgame When Your Opponent Has No Plan (endgame, strategy)
Are plans important in the equal-looking endgame? This game is a perfect illustration what happens when you play without a plan. Black made logical-looking moves and found himself in a difficult position. Why? Because he failed to anticipate White’s plan and had no plan of his own. As a result he fell apart rather quickly after making two active moves… A must watch for all players who need to improve their endgame skills!
Monday, April 11 IM Valeri Lilov The Two Weaknesses Concept (strategy)
The Two Weaknesses concept is a really good one when it comes down to transforming an advantage. All the great masters in history have had an opportunity to use it, yet it often remains misunderstood in terms of practical application by the majority of intermediate and even some advanced player. How to use it successfully is the major topic in this lecture!
Tuesday, April 12 IM Bill Paschall The Genius of Michael Adams Part 7 (opening, tactics)
A classic Marshall Attack in the Spanish game by Michael Adams as black against a top notch opponent. Polgar plays the fashionable d3 variation of the Marshall Gambit accepted, where she finds Adams is well prepared. White tries a new plan with the idea of 18.Qf3 and Bd1, but is forced to make the extremely weakening move 20.g4. In this relatively early chess computer era, it is possible that Polgar’s preparation was just not strong enough, she didn’t see over the horizon and Adams was able to question the new system with a natural and dangerous attack, typical of the Marshall variation. Perhaps Polgar could have defended with perfect play, but over the board it proved too difficult.
Wednesday, April 13 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Catalan Anti-Sicilian? (middlegame, tactics)
In a recent game I faced the Sicilian, and after a sideline on my part and a rather more unusual reply from my opponent an odd middlegame arose in which White’s play bore an odd resemblance to a Catalan. My opponent focused his efforts on neutralizing my queenside pressure, but it came at the expense of his king, leading to a more typical Sicilian outcome.
Thursday, April 14 GM Leonid Kritz An Interesting Opening Idea in the English
The most interesting part of this game was the opening idea c5 + Bxc6. Black reacted very badly by taking the pawn and getting into a very passive situation. In general, I think that this game shows that Black should not hurry with Nc6, but develop the king side first, and play Nc6 later when no tactical tricks are available anymore.
Friday, April 15 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Positional Domination Requires Tactics To Put Away Your Opponent (strategy, tactics)
Have you noticed that positional factors alone don’t win games? At some point you need to apply tactics to put your opponent away. This game is a perfect example how Black failed to find several tactical ideas that would win the game on the spot. As a result, White was back in the game, and even took over the initiative, but then the White player missed tactics and lost right away. The lesson: no matter how great your positional skills are, tactics are still essential!
Monday, April 4 IM Valeri Lilov Aspects of Attack (strategy, middlegame)
The key aspects of attacking are quite clear. Having good development, strong coordination and opponent’s restriction are just a few of the important features one needs to possess in order to maintain a successful attack. Check out IM Lilov’s lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, April 5 IM Bill Paschall The Genius of Michael Adams Part 6 (endgame, strategy)
Black tries an alternative queen retreat with 6…Qd7 in an open variation of the French Tarrasch. In his favorite setup with white, Adams shows good preparation and plays into a long variation where White has chances against the Black king. Adams keeps black under constant pressure and despite Fridman throwing every defensive trick possible at White, Adams keeps pushing forward for the win. Even when a win seems impossible; down a pawn in a rook ending, Adams pushes black over the edge with his fantastic king position and virtually perfect technique. This game illustrates both Adams’ attacking prowess as well as his ability to transition between different phases of the game to maintain an advantage. Vintage Mickey Adams!
Wednesday, April 6 FM Dennis Monokroussos Not Flawless, But Brilliant (opening, strategy)
One of Hungarian great Lajos Portisch’s calling cards is his 1966 win over Svein Johannessen from the Havana Olympiad. Portisch found a very deep idea revolving around 18.Bxh6, and the result was a beautiful win. Yet there were some missed opportunities by both players, and it’s no discredit to them to see that the computer has only increased the aesthetic value of this game. It’s great fun to analyze, too – enjoy!
Thursday, April 7 GM Leonid Kritz A Strategic Jewel Ends With a Nice Tactical Trick (strategy, tactics)
A very strong performance of MVL against the former world champion. It seems that Anand messed up in the opening, which does not happen too often, and was completely overplayed in the strategic sense. He had some chances later, but failed to use them and, finally, fell to some tactical combinations of his opponent.
Friday, April 8 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How To Identify When Your Position Starts To Slip (middlegame, strategy)
How can a Grandmaster lose with White from a good position? Eugene tries to examine his painful loss to Shabba to answer this question. The lesson: pay attention to position factors such as center pawns, open files, bishop pair. Each concession of a positional factor adds up and eventually tips the game in Black’s favor.
Monday, March 28 IM Valeri Lilov Quiet Moves (middlegame)
Have you ever been carried along in the flow of an attack, relentlessly striking at your opponent, but finding that you are missing just one little thing? Maybe you should stop and think about it, and you may find a quiet move in the position. The quiet moves are the most difficult. The flashy sacrifices and bold attacks that fill chess columns and magazines are a relatively easy part of technique compared with finding the right moves when there are no tactical solutions.
Tuesday, March 29 IM Bill Paschall The Genius of Michael Adams Part 5 (middlegame, tactics)
This gem features a classic Adams attack with White in the Sicilian Defense . Adams’ king is completely safe , whilst it’s counterpart come under a sacrificial attack. Unlike, many players who insist on opposite side castling in the Sicilian, Mickey manages to whip up attacks with little or no risk to his own king. Black wasted some time with the maneuver Na5 and back to c6 in the late opening. This enabled Adams to get in a favorable e5, and the strong sacrificial attack that followed it with 22.f5
Wednesday, March 30 FM Dennis Monokroussos Outfoxing Najdorf Players with 2.Nc3 and 3.Nge2 (openings, opening traps)
When White meets the Sicilian with 2.Nc3 it might mean that he wants to play the Closed Sicilian or the Grand Prix Attack, but there’s a third possibility: it might be a move-order trick aimed at those who prefer certain sorts of Sicilian lines, especially the Najdorf. In this recent game from the Challengers’ event in Wijk aan Zee Jorden Van Foreest played 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nge2 against the Sicilian, and Sam Sevian’s attempts to maintain a Najdorf-style position backfired horribly. He was probably lost within ten moves, and this despite playing all natural and sensible-looking moves. This is an opening trap worth attending to, especially if you’re a Najdorf player!
Thursday, March 31 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Testing a New Idea in the Queen’s Indian Defense (openings, tactics)
Can you play a relatively new idea on move 5 in a position with over 6,000 games? The answer is yes! Watch and learn how to make QID more dynamic with 5…g6!? White reacts well to the new move, but misses an important idea and finds himself struggling for a plan.
Friday, April 1 GM Bryan Smith The Dazzling Tactics of Alekhine (openings)