Monday, May 23 IM Valeri Lilov The Potential Power (strategy, middlegame)
Many times the success of any plan depends on the proper connection between pieces and pawns. In his new lecture, IM Lilov is explaining the importance of making a better pawn structure and how that influences any player’s plan.
Tuesday, May 24 IM Bill Paschall Selections from the US Championship 2016, Part 2 (middlegame, tactics)
A superior attacking game by the young super-gm Wesley So. Akobian plays the Rubenstein variation of the French, and this is probably not a great decision against such a strong attacking player. In this variation, Black “gives up” his central strong point on d5. White has open lines for attack and the ability to castle on opposite sides. So weakens Black’s kingside spending a tempo on 11. Qc2 then shifts the queen to the more aggressive e2 square. The attack features some original sacrifices that created great practical problems for the defender. Although a computer could perhaps have defended successfully, GM Akobian understandably succumbed.
Wednesday, May 25 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Bad Middlegame Structure Can be Great in the Endgame (middlegame, endgame)
It is common for Black to have his king in the center in the Rauzer Variation of the Classical Sicilian, hiding behind pawns on d6, e6, f6 and f7. That structure is somewhat precarious, and one of White’s main plans is to pressure e6 (beginning with f4-f5) until something breaks. It is a dangerous middlegame situation for Black, as we all recently saw in the crucial last-round game between Karjakin and Caruana in the Candidates. If, however, the queens come off, it can be a completely different story. In today’s game we see that Alexey Suetin allowed Mikhail Botvinnik to escape to an endgame, and even though Black was a pawn down his fine structure and powerful bishops gave him the advantage. His realization of the advantage was something less than perfect, but the end was amazing.
Thursday, May 26 GM Leonid Kritz When Playing the Najdorf, Do Not Forget the Theory (openings)
A very interesting, sharp game. More or less typical for English Attack of Najdorf variation. However, it is rather a good example of how to punish your opponent if he forgets an opening line. With 13….Be7 Van Wely lost too much time and got into a position that is difficult to defend. He got some chances in the further course of the game, though, and could almost equalize, but made another mistake and lost in a very interesting way.
Friday, May 27 GM Bryan Smith Challenging the Caro-Kann with 2.Ne2, Part 3 (openings)
In the third and final part of his series on 2.Ne2 against the Caro-Kann, GM Smith shows how to meet Black’s alternatives the main lines on move two and three.
Monday, May 16 IM Valeri Lilov The Attacking Cores
Every successful attack requires some key features to become really successful. These features we call “attacking cores”. Learning how to find and determine these cores is essential for any player who wants to improve his attacking skills!
Tuesday, May 17 IM Bill Paschall Selections from the US Championship 2016 Part 1
GM Robson surprises the experienced Alex Onischuk in the opening, playing the London system with white. Gata Kamsky and Magnus Carlsen have shown this quiet system to have some teeth recently, and this game is no exception. Robson takes of advantage of Black’s inexact play to score a full point , based on an advantage in pawn structure and king safety. Black’s 11th move, a6 seems dubious and in the end, he has too many weaknesses and simply cannot avoid the loss of material. An excellent game from Robson, both strategically and tactically.
Wednesday, May 18 IM David Vigorito Carissa’s Pet Line Topples Strong GM
In this game 12 year old Carissa Yip completely outplays a strong Grandmaster. The game shows that knowing your pet line well is often more important than its objective value. After some quick tactics the youngster shows fine technique to deny the GM any chances for a swindle.
Thursday, May 19 GM Eugene P. Danger of Playing Strategically Risky Openings: The Sozin Silician
Friday, May 20, GM Bryan Smith Challenging the Caro-Kann with 2.Ne2, Part 2
In the second part of his series on the offbeat 2.Ne2 against the Caro-Kann, GM Bryan Smith explores Black’s alternatives to 3…c5 – the critical moves 3…d4 and 3…Bf5
Monday, May 9 IM Valeri Lilov Pawn & Piece Power, Part 1
The concept of pawns and pieces working together is widely known to all chess players. However, it is only possible to use that concept in conjunction with a strong plan and precise move candidates. Check IM Lilov’s lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, May 10 IM Bill Paschall Battles from the Aeroflot Open 2016, Part 3 (middlegame, tactics)
Black follows a known line in the Rossolimo Sicilian with the somewhat risky looking 10…g6. Things get interesting as Black allows White’s dark squared bishop to post itself at d6 and then follows up with the very slow and somewhat dubious maneuver Na5-b7. Finally , after the logical, but weakening 15.h5, white embarks on a tactical sequence reminiscent of world champion Wilhelm Steinitz. White simply sacrifices a piece to gain time and trap the black king in the center! The entire sacrifice is sound and black collapses quickly, missing the best defense.
Wednesday, May 11 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Great Win for the Underdog (opening, tactics)
The late Gyula Sax (1951-2014) was a very strong grandmaster who twice qualified for the Candidates. He had an aggressive, attacking style that often proved effective, but in this game against the untitled (but 2410-rated) Hans Kestler his aggression proved his undoing. David-beats-Goliath stories are good for all of us (at least for those of us not named “Magnus Carlsen”), and this was an instructive and impressive game too – especially for those of us who play the Pirc or play exceptionally gung-ho systems against it.
Thursday, May 12 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Danger of Playing Strategically Risky Openings: The Dutch (opening, tactics)
Friday, May 13 GM Bryan Smith Challenging the Caro-Kann with 2.Ne2, Part 1 (strategy)
In this series, GM Bryan Smith shows the unusual – but promising – move 2.Ne2!?, an offbeat way to battle the Caro-Kann. The first video of the series deals with the most critical lines.
Monday, May 2 IM Valeri Lilov (strategy, middlegame)
Piece coordination is relevant in many ways towards a player’s plan and the plan’s efficiency. Setting up two pieces to work together in support of an idea may sound easy, but it can prove more challenging in the different positions. See a beautiful masterpiece by the great Alexander Alekhine to learn more about how to use your pieces to the best of their potential!
Tuesday, May 3 IM Bill Paschall Battles from the Aeroflot Open 2016, Part 2 (middlegame, tactics)
Gata Kamsky was very active in the first half of 2016. In this game he goes to his pet line, the London System as White. Is it possible that Kamsky was the influence that gave Magnus Carlsen the idea to play the London System recently as well? With this solid line, Kamsky avoids having to study main stream theory and transfers the battle to the middlegame and ending. This time, his opponent, GM Goganov , makes the classic mistake of taking pressure off the white center with the pawn push 13…c4. Seen as far back as the early 1900’s this type of position was proved to be favorable for white by the great Akiba Rubinstein. Kamsky goes on the attack on the kingside after 13…c4 and never looks back.
Wednesday, May 4 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Near-Miss For White Against the Modern Benoni (tactics)
Levon Aronian was among the leaders in the recent Candidates tournament until a bad run near the end, and had he managed to defeat Fabiano Caruana in round 5 it might have been him (rather than Sergey Karjakin) on his way to a match with Magnus Carlsen. This game was a very tense Modern Benoni that was well-played by both sides but in which Aronian had a very dangerous attack brewing. Caruana’s 22nd move was an error, and here Aronian had his chance. He found a fantastic line, one that even the computer doesn’t start to appreciate until several moves in, whereupon it is persuaded: White wins! Unfortunately, Aronian lacked faith in his own idea and he played something else, letting Caruana escape with a draw. It is nevertheless an exciting and instructive game, well worth examining.
Thursday, May 5 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Don’t Be Afraid to Sac Pawns for Dynamic Play! (tactics, strategy)
When you can sacrifice a pawn? What about two pawns? Watch and learn what it takes to have dynamic counterplay. Don’t forgot Tal’s wise words that while your opponent is busy taking your pawns, he’s not developing and losing time! Black achieves great position and patiently improves to demonstrate that centralized pieces are more powerful then mere pawns.
Friday, May 6 GM Bryan Smith Logical Progression by Euwe (opening, middlegame)
We will see how Max Euwe transformed the winning of an opening argument to a superior middlegame, and finally showed excellent technique in the endgame to tame the dynamic imagination of Alexander Alekhine.
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.