Monday, September 18 IM Valeri Lilov Importance of Center and Space (strategy)
In a recent tournament game, the Dutch Grandmaster Erwin L’ami proved how to effectively combine the two most important concepts in strategy: Center and Space. Tune in to IM Lilov’s lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, September 19 IM Bill Paschall Petrosian on the King’s Indian Attack, Part 6 (openings, strategy)
Black plays passively against the KIA and White gains a serious space advantage on the kingside. White exploits the weak dark squares in the position and attempts to then gain a spacial advantage on both sides. Petrosian then breaks through decisively with a temporary piece sacrifice and a powerful king.
Wednesday, September 20 FM Dennis Monokroussos Breaching the Gates of the Vienna Variation (tactics)
The Vienna Variation is one of the sharpest options available to Black against 1.d4, and when Black plays sharply it’s especially important to be precise – one mistake can be fatal. That’s what happened in this 2016 game. White gambited a pawn and then a piece for two pawns for a very dangerous attack. Black had one way to survive, but to find it and work it out over the board (rather than on one’s engine in the comfort of one’s study) was asking a bit too much of Black. She didn’t manage it, and lost a very nice game.
Thursday, September 21 GM Leonid Kritz An Unusual Najdorf Line (openings, strategy)
Great game by Hou Yifan, who strategically outplays Navara without giving him a chance. She introduces an interesting opening construction with a long (queenside) castle where you would not think it makes sense, but at the end of the day her plan completely pays off.
Friday, September 22 GM Eugene Perelshteyn The Power of the Attacking Knight Outpost (strategy, tactics)
We all know that rook is better than a knight. But never underestimate the power of the attacking outpost! In this game, White shows how a knight can dominate a rook. Watch and learn and try to find a nice bonus tactic in the end!
Monday, September 11 IM Valeri Lilov The Formula of Speed (middlegame, strategy)
The concept of speed appears in the game of every chess player. Often considering it vaguely, we misinterpret its value and let the opponent get ahead with his attack and outplay us. In this lecture, IM Lilov will try to shed some light on how we can determine the speed in our own games!
Tuesday, September 12 IM Bill Paschall The Rise of the Italian Game, Part 2 (opening, strategy)
Radjabov faces the Two Knights setup with 4…h6, a variation where Black will set up in King’s Indian style. In this game, we follow a typical move order until the interesting sequence of 10. Kh8 and 11.a4. Black prepares a kingside attack and white takes space on the queenside. White uses the exchange 15.dxe5 to simplify the game and Black fails to trade knights, which would ease his cramp. In the resulting position, white induces the weakening c5, takes control of the d5 square and later exploits Black’s pawn weaknesses. Black’s counterattack is too little and too late.
Wednesday, September 13 FM Dennis Monokrousos Another Attacking Gem Against the 3.f3 Anti-Gruenfeld (openings, strategy)
This game should be seen in conjunction with the spectacular Najer-Mamedyarov game covered approximately seven shows ago (“Mamedyarov Wins an Instant Classic”). After the same transformation of openings resulted in a Modern Benoni, Black once again succeeded with dynamic play in creating a dangerous attack against White’s king. As in the game covered in the earlier show, imaginative, energetic, sacrificial play did the trick. If you’re looking for an approach against the 3.f3 Anti-Gruenfeld line, this may be just the thing for you.
Thursday, September 14 IM David Vigorito Blood from a Stone (endgame)
A half point behind in the last round, only a win will suffice. My familiar opponent plays rock-solid however, and the game is looking to head for a draw. This game is as much about managing the situation as it is about the moves. Nerves and technique play as big a part as tactics and calculation would in many games. Find the double exclam ‘nothing move’ that essentially won the game!
Friday, September 15 GM Bryan Smith Striking Counterattack by Sevian (tactics)
In this fantastic game, a sharp attack by famed attacker Alexei Shirov is refuted in a shocking way by young talent Samuel Sevian. After an inaccuracy Shirov is back in the game, but a final mistake leads to a thrilling king hunt.
Monday, September 4 IM Valeri Lilov The Opening Trouble (strategy, opening)
Many chess players consider it difficult to prove the opponent’s delay in development a failure. This is mostly due to the fact that many chess players are not aware of the right guidelines they should follow when exploiting the opponent’s mistakes. Check out IM Lilov’s lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, September 5 IM Bill Paschall Petrosian on the King’s Indian Attack, Part 5 (opening, strategy)
Petrosian and Barcza transpose from a Sicilian move order to a King’s Indian Attack vs the French Defense. In this game, white gains a space advantage and begins to have threats on the kingside. Black breaks with the risky 25…f6 and the result is a position containing serious pawn weaknesses. Petrosian relies on piece coordination, better pawn structure and king safety to win
Wednesday, September 6 FM Dennis Monokrousos Sutovsky Smashes a Sicilian Sideline (opening, tactics)
Emil Sutovsky is a great attacking player, and while he was surprised in the opening by Anton Korobov’s unusual 5…Nbd7, any subsequent surprises – at least those of an unpleasant sort – were experienced by Black, not White. Sutovsky won a sparkling miniature on the way to taking first place in this year’s strong Karpov Poikovsky tournament.
Thursday, September 7 GM Leonid Kritz An Interesting Idea in the Najdorf (tactics)
An important theoretical idea played by Ponomariov in a famous Najdorf line. White is not afraid of opening the files on the queen side where his king is located, and attempts to put Black under strategic pressure. A very positional game with an unexpected end.
Friday, September 8 GM Eugene Perelshteyn A New Idea in the Qc2 Nimzo for White (opening, strategy, tactics)
In this game White introduces a new idea in the Qc2 Nimzo and Black tries to refute it over the board. The game becomes pretty sharp quickly! Are you able to see all the tactics and answer all the questions? If so, you will win a nice miniature!
Monday, August 28 IM Valeri Lilov The Problem of Structure (middlegame, strategy)
In many games, people of all levels wonder how is it possible to achieve a more successful pawn structure right from the opening. While the answer is usually quite simple, learning to evaluate it could be very challenging. Let IM Lilov teach you more in this video!
Tuesday, August 29 IM Bill Paschall The Rise of the Italian Game, Part 1 (opening, middlegame)
Jakovenko plays a plan with an early a4 which is somewhat rare in the Italian. Aronian plays creatively, and aggressively, first with an early b5 and later with the amazing 24… g5 !! pawn sacrifice to open lines against the White king. In the end , white lost due to the weakness around his king, the move h4 and perhaps the faulty exchange 13.Bxe6 , which opened the f-line as an attacking avenue for Black. Another multifaceted Aronian masterpiece is born.
Wednesday, August 30 FM Dennis Monokrousos Sometimes the Karpov Variation Isn’t Solid Enough (opening, tactics)
The Karpov Variation of the Nimzo-Indian (which can arise through the Caro-Kann as well!) is an excellent repertoire choice for Black, combining both solidity and chances to play for a win. The general theory is also pretty stable, but here as everywhere in chess, new ideas show up from time to time, and Ponomariov used one in this game. Objectively, Black has sufficient resources, but one must figure things out over the board, and at least this time around Black failed to do so. Macieja made a surprising error (or two) and was punished, but even apart from the results of this game there is much we can learn from it.
Thursday, August 31 IM David Vigorito Running Interference (middlegame, tactics)
An English Opening meets English Defence and turns into a Queen’s Indian. Caught off-guard in the opening, I play to just get a sensible position. We quickly end up in an old main line of the Queen’s Indian Defence. Although I win the game in the endgame, I missed a great chance to win with an interference theme. Can you find the idea that I missed?
Friday, September 1 GM Bryan Smith Adventures in the PRO Chess League, Part 2 (strategy, tactics, opening)
In part two, Bryan Smith analyzes the third and fourth games for the Philadelphia Inventors against Las Vegas in the PRO Chess League. Rapid games – with 15 minutes per side, plus 2 seconds added after each move – make every game a tense adventure.
Monday, August 21 IM Valeri Lilov Pawn-breaks in the Attack (opening)
Using pawn breaks as a tool to open up your pieces and attack the opponent is a common tactic used by the great masters. The problem is that for most intermediate players, pawn breaks turn out difficult to evaluate and execute properly. In this video, IM Valeri Lilov sheds some new light on that powerful technique.
Tuesday, August 22 IM Bill Paschal Petrosian on the King’s Indian Attack, Part 4 (opening, strategy)
Petrosian plays the KIA against a French setup. Black mistakenly gives up his strongpoint on d5 and White gains a serious space advantage. White is able to weaken the Black kingside and then gain decisive attacking chances. Black attempts a sacrifice for counter play, but falls short.
Wednesday, August 23 FM Dennis Monokrousos Winning a la Karpov in a Dragon Sideline (tactics)
No matter which side you like to play in the Dragon, it’s hard to avoid learning loads of theory if you want to play it correctly. So it’s nice to have a sideline handy, at least for an occasional surprise weapon. That’s what White had in this game, and it worked like gangbusters, enabling him to defeat a much stronger opponent – in style! (It helped that he knew his classics.) Dragon and anti-Dragon players especially will want to tune in and see this game!
Thursday, August 24 GM Eugene Perelshteyn The Power of the c6 Outpost (opening, strategy, endgame)
Many d4 openings have one thing in common, c6 outpost. Watch and learn how GM Perelshteyn used this outpost for his knight to paralyze his opponent’s forces. Black decides to give up a pawn to easy the tension, but White gradually finds a way to break the fortress using zugzwang ideas, very instructive!
Friday, August 25 GM Bryan Smith Adventures in the PRO Chess League, Part 1 (stategy, tactics, opening)
Bryan Smith played in the PRO Chess League for Philadelphia. Here he analyzes the first two of his four games from the rapid time control match against the team from Las Vegas. After a careful and uneventful draw with GM Kayden Troff, a wild and highly unusual follows in a gambit line in the Trompowski against GM Timur Gareev.