Monday, September 19 IM Valeri Lilov Evaluating the Changes (middlegame)
How to evaluate the possible exchanges in a middlegame? This question is key to many players who often try to find a shortcut to a better game. The truth behind a successful exchange lies within the precise conclusion of the weaknesses and potential threats resulting. Learn more in IM Lilov’s video on the topic!
Tuesday, September 20 IM Bill Paschall Avoiding the Berlin Defense : Classic Games, Part 5 (openings, tactics)
White avoids the main lines of the Berlin with the classical move 4.Qe2. White adopts a flexible setup and plays ala Steinitz by delaying castling. Black aggressively breaks with 7…d5 in the center, but makes a risky decision with the routine move 8…h6, weakening his kingside. White takes his chances with an aggressive attack , using his g-pawn to storm the enemy defenses. In the end, the weakening of the black kingside and a favorable minor piece; in this case a strong bishop versus knight, make the winning attack a certainty. This game features the exploitation of pawn weaknesses, as well as the use of opposite side castling for the purpose of direct attack.
Wednesday, September 21 FM Dennis Monokroussos Glorious Grinding (endgame)
Most of us like to win quickly and spectacularly, but the reality is that many wins are going to be quotidian and slow. When the position is quiet and the advantage is small, one must patiently try this and that, and sometimes the advantage will grow and sometimes one’s opponent will hold on and save the game. In this game, grinding worked. My opponent could have killed the game in the early middlegame, but allowed me to take a very small edge into an endgame that one little bit at a time I was able to grow. The game was largely about finesses, and I do my best to explain some of the keys that helped me come away with an important victory in a recent event.
Thursday, September 22 GM Leonid Kritz A Creative Blunder (tactics)
In this game Topalov played pretty passively and allowed Black to equalize after the opening. The game was moving towards a peaceful end, but then… a blunder by Svidler brought a sudden defeat.
Friday, September 23 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How To Punish White in the Colle System (openings, tactics)
Monday, September 12 IM David Vigorito Smooth Win vs. the King’s Indian (opening, middlegame)
In this game an experienced IM plays the quiet but venomous Petrosian Variation of the King’s Indian against a talented young fighter. Black makes a natural move that looks inaccurate, but a shocking queen sacrifice could have justified Black’s play. When the moment passes by, White scores an easy and thematic victory.
Tuesday, September 13 IM Bill Paschall Avoiding the Berlin Defense : Classic Games, Part 4 (opening, strategy)
Topalov and Nakamura do battle in a topical , modern variation of the 4.d3 Berlin variation. Black played 10…Ng6 where most recently black has used 10…Bg4 with some success. Topalov finds an inventive way to sacrifice a pawn for a powerful and useful pair of bishops. Topalov combines terrific tactics and strategy to gain a clear advantage and regain the sacrificed material. In the endgame , white is to exploit the advantage of the bishop pair and later trade it in for a different advantage, in the form of a powerful passed pawn. This game clearly illustrates several very key strategic concepts ; including the advantage of the two bishops and transferal of advantages.
Wednesday, September 14 FM Dennis Monokroussos Deciding the 1910 World Championship, Part 2 (middlegame)
One of the most closely contested championship matches in chess history was the 1910 battle between Emanuel Lasker and Carl Schlechter. With one game to go, Schlechter, the challenger, led by a point. There’s some dispute over whether he needed to win by two points to take the title, though the current consensus is that a one-point lead would have sufficed. Even if a two-point lead was necessary, however, keeping the title by losing the match by a point would still have been a public relations disaster for Lasker, and he fought majestically for a win in the final game. In part 1 we’ll see how he managed to achieve a winning position with superior play in the early middlegame, only to see Schlechter outplay him in the later middlegame to throw everything into doubt. In part 2, we’ll see Lasker’s gritty defense as he threads the needle between avoiding options leading to a clear draw on the one hand while steering clear of disaster on the other. Eventually this bore fruit, and after missing plenty of chances to at least draw the game Schlechter found himself in a worse endgame that eventually, tragically, lost.
Thursday, September 15 GM Leonid Kritz How to Beat Nakamura (opening, strategy)
A very interesting strategic game from the point of view of White. So plays a line that is considered to be not very dangerous. However, Nakamura gets into the type of position he does not like playing. White creates a masterpiece and strategically destroys Black.
Friday, September 16 GM Bryan Smith Trying Out the Leningrad Dutch (opening)
Sometimes it is good to tryout new openings – in order to surprise your opponent or just for some more variety. In this video, GM Bryan Smith describes his experience playing the Leningrad Dutch for the first time.
Monday, September 5 IM Valeri Lilov Key to Swift Attacks (middlegame)
Many players want to know how to attack successful and fast. The secret to attacking the opponent effectively lies within the ability to set the right piece formation and knowing how to plan the pacing. Learn more in this lecture!
Tuesday, September 6 IM Bill Paschall Avoiding the Berlin Defense : Classic Games, Part 3 (opening)
Chigorin employs the unusual plan of an early exchange on c6 with 5.Bxc6. Black could play safely with 5…bc , when it would be equal for black, as it is too dangerous to win the black pawn at e5. The game goes down a fascinating path, with the pawn sacrifice giving Mortimer adequate compensation in a complicated position. Black however missed his best chances and finally sacrifices the exchange for insufficient compensation. This was an interesting and classic game with chances for both sides.
Wednesday, September 7 FM Dennis Monokroussos Deciding the World Championship, Part 1 (middlegame)
One of the most closely contested world championship matches in chess history was the 1910 battle between Emanuel Lasker and Carl Schlechter. With one game to go, Schlechter, the challenger, led by a point. There’s some dispute over whether he needed to win by two points to take the title, though the current consensus is that a one-point lead would have sufficed. Even if a two-point lead was necessary, however, keeping the title by losing the match by a point would still have been a public relations disaster for Lasker, and he fought majestically for a win in the final game. In part 1 we’ll see how he managed to achieve a winning position with superior play in the early middlegame, only to see Schlechter outplay him in the later middlegame to throw everything into doubt.
Thursday, September 8 GM Leonid Kritz How Not To Play the Berlin Wall (endgame)
This is a good example how Black should not play Berlin Wall. Giri allowed his opponent to get everything possible and got into an endgame without any kind of counterplay – a nightmare for a Berlin player. The final position truly deserves a picture!
Friday, September 9 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Student Game Analysis: Trouble in the Accelerated Dragon (openings, strategy, endgame)
If you play the Accelerated Dragon, this is a must-see video! Eugene analyzes his student’s game where Black makes a mistake in a critical position. Do you understand statics vs. dynamics? Will you make the same mistake? Watch and learn!
Monday, August 29 IM Valeri Lilov Pawn Structure and Plan (middlegame)
What is the key to a successful plan? While there are many things that matter when it comes down to executing a successful plan, the major component which we need is a solid pawn structure. If you can set the right pawn formation, you will be on your way to a successful attack in no time!
Tuesday, August 30 IM Bill Paschall Avoiding the Berlin Defense : Classic Games, Part 2 (openings, tactics)
Steinitz originates a new plan whereby white delays castling and maneuvers his forces to the kingside area with 6.Nbd2 and 7.Nf1. White then attempts to take advantage of the fact that he has not castled kingside, by launching an attack on that flank. Chigorin attempts to counter in the center, when he should have, in fact, shored up his defenses on the kingside. This game would no doubt influence countless future players, including even Fischer.
Wednesday, August 31 FM Dennis Monokroussos The/A Polish Immortal (tactics)
There are two main candidates for the “Polish Immortal”: this game and Rotlewi-Rubinstein, which is often referred to as Rubinstein’s Immortal Game. Both are spectacular, and as the latter game is well-known it’s worth having a look at the former. Glucksberg plays with fire on move 9, inviting a sham sac in the hopes of catching out his then relatively unknown opponent. (Najdorf would go on to be one of the strongest players in the world from the 1940s through the 1960s.) It didn’t work at all, except insofar as it gave him the sort of “immortality” enjoyed by players like Kieseritzky, Dufresne, and other victims of so-called immortal games. Najdorf’s attack was beautiful, and remarkably involved the sacrifice of all four of his minor pieces. Have a look, and enjoy.
Thursday, September 1 GM Leonid Kritz Rehearsal for a World Championship Match (openings, tactics)
This is a must-see exemplar. Carlsen vs. Karjakin in the current situation is a show in itself, because they are preparing to face each other for the world title in November. Besides, the game was very interesting. Carlsen, as usual, messed up a little bit in the opening, but once offered a chance to come back, he used it with no further chances for Karjakin.
Friday, September 2 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Student Game Analysis: Importance of Pawn Structure and Pieces Left on the Board (strategy)
We all know the famous saying of Philidor, “The pawn is the soul of the chess game.” However, pawn structure is the vital skeleton that defines the position. Understanding pawn structures is key to chess mastery. Watch and learn how Eugene’s student plays great chess only to fall apart in just a few moves because he didn’t pay attention to the pawn structure and the resulting minor pieces on the board.
Monday, August 22 IM Valeri Lilov Control the Center and Attack (strategy, middlegame)
The center is the most important area of the board in chess. Controlling it means to improve your piece effectiveness and speed while attacking. Learn how to do so in IM Lilov’s new instructive video!
Tuesday, August 23 IM Bill Paschall Avoiding the Berlin Defense : Classic Games, Part 1 (middlegame, strategy)
Although this game is technically not a Berlin Defense move order, a position typical of the lines where white plays d3 against the Berlin is reached. Fischer models his opening play after Steinitz, with the early Nbd2 and Nf1 before castling. White avoids the drawish lines of the Berlin and keeps all the pieces on the board. Black strikes in the center with d5, but instead of the logical expansion 10…d4 as in the Worall attack, Smyslov makes the questionable decision to play 10…dxe4, giving up his central advantage and follows with 11….Be6. The black pawn structure is broken, and Fischer wins convincingly in the ending.
Wednesday, August 24 FM Dennis Monokroussos Sometimes it’s Better to Stay in Book (tactics)
The Finnish master Eero Book thought he would surprise world champion Alexander Alekhine with a novelty on move 9, attacking a knight on c3. It was a logical idea, as shown in subsequent games where Black’s opponent’s failed to react the way Alekhine did. But the right way – Alekhine’s way – was much stronger. Playing with tremendous energy, he simply sacrificed the knight for a fearsome attack and won brilliantly. It’s a model attacking game, and a theoretically important one to boot.
Thursday, August 25 GM Leonid Kritz A Dangerous Alekhine
With the help of computers, today even openings like 1.e4 Nf6 have been made playable, and see how! Navara did not find the right plan, and Black counter attacked immediately, forcing White to give up material and, later, also the game. A very important game from a strategic point of view, in particular how to play pawn structures d4-e5 against c6-d5.
Friday, August 26 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Student Game Analysis: Typical Mistakes in the Accelerated Dragon vs Alapin Sicilian (opening, strategy)
What’s best way to improve in chess? Study your own games and the games of your peers! Watch how two 1700’s keep making positional mistakes, one after the other. Eugene is not happy with his student’s play and he hopes you will not repeat the same mistakes as well!