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!
Monday, August 15 IM David Vigorito Anatomy of a Disaster (openings)
In this game my opponent was in a must-win situation. He played an incredibly risky opening that objectively just seems bad. It is complicated however, and in my poor form I not only failed to punish my opponent, but I had my worst white loss in a decade. An interesting lesson in risk-taking.
Tuesday, August 16 IM Bill Paschall Caruana Conjures in the Caro (tactics)
Caruana makes the impractical decision to play for a win as black with the Caro-Kann defense against a lower rated grandmaster. In the Advance variation, Short line, he chooses the modern 5…Ne7. We see a repeat of a recent game from the Polish Championship with the dubious 8…g5, which is positionally unsound. Najer deviates from the afore mentioned game with 11. c4 , when it seems white is giving black good defensive chances by yielding the d5 outpost to black. Despite achieving a reasonable position, white plays awkwardly with his rooks and leaves himself little room for mistakes. Some good defense and practical play is featured here by Caruana , after achieving a questionable game out of the opening.
Wednesday, August 17 FM Dennis Monokroussos Italian Game Sidelines: The Hungarian Defense and 3…d6 (openings, tactics)
Italian Game Sidelines: The Hungarian Defense and 3…d6. Tags: . A viewer was curious about the Hungarian Defense, so we’ll have a look at it and its cousin, 3…d6, against the Italian Game. Both moves allow White to obtain a slight but stable advantage – generally with natural moves – both Black achieves playable positions and can avoid a fair amount of theory.
Thursday, August 18 GM Leonid Kritz Amazing Battle from Beginning to End (openings)
A really interesting game that took an untraditional development from the very beginning. It looked so as if White quickly gets an advantage, but the position of Black had many nuances that needed to be taken care of. In the end, though, White did not find the right way, and only thanks to Black’s mistake in the endgame was he able to get a full point.
Friday, August 19 GM Bryan Smith Exploring Rook Endgames, Part 6: Andersson – Huebner (endgame)
In this elegant endgame by one of the greatest masters of that field ever – Ulf Andersson – we see very clearly the theme which has run throughout this series. White establishes a permanent positional advantage on the kingside, and finally simplifies the game to the point where that advantage is all that remains. Watch how Andersson makes it look easy.
Monday, August 8 IM Valeri Lilov The Secret to Ruy Lopez (strategy, opening)
With the Ruy Lopez being the most popular opening in chess, many want to know how to handle it successfully as white. Let IM Lilov show you some of his ideas on being successful with the Spanish Game as white!
Tuesday, August 9 IM Bill Paschall Elite Games from the Capablanca Memorial 2016 Part 3 (middlegame)
White plays a side line in the Scotch with 9.Nd2, and after reacting reasonably, black makes the risky decision to castle queenside. The weakening move 18…d6 is too much and white whips up an amazing attack against the open Black king. After Black’s 22…Na5, the position is beyond hope and white seals the victory with a positional piece sacrifice, leading to a mating net! This is inspiring attacking game, upending a solid and theoretical Almasi, who seemed slightly out of form in this event.
Wednesday, August 10 FM Dennis Monokroussos Noticing An Overlooked Superstar (opening)
Ding Liren hasn’t achieved as much attention in the West as other players of his caliber, so let’s take a first start at remedying this. He is in the top ten in the world, and is currently the world’s #1 in blitz, even ahead of Magnus Carlsen! Today’s game not only shows his strength in play and preparation, but also highlights a very exciting line against the Bogo-Indian, one where Black has to know what he’s doing to avoid a potential catastrophe. In this game, even as strong a player as Egyptian GM Bassem Amin didn’t manage to solve his theoretical problems, and lost quickly and spectacularly. Bogo players, beware!
Thursday, August 11 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Student Game Analysis: What Happens When You Play Without a Plan (strategy)
In this game, Black plays without a plan and gets duly punished. Watch and learn in order not to repeat the same mistake! One move could have stopped White’s plan of a simple queenside counterplay. Can you find it?
Friday, August 12 GM Bryan Smith Exploring Rook Endgames, Part 5: Alekhine – Spielman (endgame)
This video deals with a complicated rook ending won by Alexander Alekhine. Black is reduced to passivity from the start, but White’s challenge is to make progress. Once the die is cast, the ending becomes very interesting, and several instructive mistakes are made.
Monday, August 1 IM Valeri Lilov Master Wild Positions! (strategy, middlegame)
Wild positions are not easy to play. We often find ourselves in a challenging situation with a limited number of moves and many weaknesses for both sides. Check IM Lilov’s important suggestions on handling this type of positions in chess.
Tuesday, August 2 IM Bill Paschall Elite Games from the Capablanca Memorial 2016 Part 2 (openings, endgame)
Ivanchuk uses a rare defense against the Spanish, attributed to the late Norwegian IM Svein Johannessen. This line follows a game the author of the video actually played with GM Nebosa Niksevic in 2001 and it seems that Ivanchuk is wise to play the improvement 15…Kf7! which was suggested by Niksevic in the post-mortem of our game. Interestingly, the whole game is based on a fantastic Spassky game against Taimanov from the 1955 USSR Championship , which was published and analyzed in the classic and (OUT OF PRINT!) Modern Chess Opening Theory by GM Alexey Suetin.
Wednesday, August 3 FM Dennis M. A Positional Masterpiece vs the Kan (tactics)
In 1972 Anatoly Karpov was a rapidly rising star while Mark Taimanov was still one of the best players in the world. The players were closely matched in terms of rating, but Karpov thoroughly outclassed him in their battle from the USSR Team Championship. Karpov was a great specialist on both sides of the Kan Sicilian, and although it was Taimanov who introduced the first new idea in the game it was Karpov who more clearly understood what was going on. While the computer shows that Taimanov’s position may not have been as bad as most commentators thought, at least not as early as they thought, he was still thoroughly outplayed in grand style. The game is very instructive, but further description will ruin the surprises. Have a look for yourself!
Thursday, August 4 GM Leonid Kritz The Dangerous Berlin
Another brilliant game by Vladimir Kramnik in his favorite opening – Berlin Wall. As so often, it looks like White plays without taking on much risk. However, the position of Black becomes better and better and all of a sudden White falls apart. A great combination of positional understanding and tactical ability demonstrated by Russia’s strongest
Friday, August 5 GM Bryan Smith Exploring Rook Endgames, Part 4: Spielman- Rubinstein (endgame)
Every series on rook endings must include an example by their greatest master, Akiba Rubinstein. Here we see how Rubinstein turns his slightly more compact pawn structure into a win, despite the scant amount of material.