Monday, May 22 IM Valeri Lilov Structural Domination (strategy, middlegame)
In this lecture, IM Lilov explores the key values of structure and restriction. These two concepts are very closely related to each other as a good pawn and piece structure guarantees a space command and limitations over the opponent.
Tuesday, May 23 IM Bill Paschall The Reemergence of Aronian (opening, strategy)
Levon Aronian has come tantalizingly close to the very top of the chess world in the 21st century. He clearly has the talent to be a challenger for the World Championship , but he has faltered in the important Candidates tournaments. Could this great master be on the verge of a breakthrough? In the 2017 Grenke Chess Classic, Levon dominated the event ahead of Magnus Carlsen. Is this event and the following game proof he has what it takes?
Wednesday, May 24 FM Dennis Monokroussos Fool Me Once, Shame On Me; Fool Me Twice… (opening traps)
It’s best to learn from others’ mistakes, but sometimes we have to learn from our own errors instead. Sometimes, though, we don’t even manage to do that, even if we are one of the very best chess players in the world. That’s what happened to the great Akiba Rubinstein, who fell for a certain trick in a 1928 game against Max Euwe, and then made the same type of error in a very similar position just 18 months later against Alexander Alekhine. Let’s learn two lessons from these games: first, to avoid the trap (or to alertly catch our opponents in it); secondly, to pay attention to our errors so we don’t repeat them!
Thursday, May 25 IM David Vigorito Nakamura Nails the Hammer (opening, strategy)
Facing Nakamura’s sharp King’s Indian Defense, Jon Ludwig Hammer goes for a quiet line which was recommended in a popular repertoire book. Nakamura has a nice little novelty prepared. Hammer goes for what looks like a safe, symmetrical position, but as if by magic the Black position expands and sweeps away his opponent.
Friday, May 26 GM Nadya Kosintseva The Spectacular Tactics of Wilhelm Steinitz (tactics)
In this lecture, I would like you to watch one of the most brilliant games of Wilhelm Steinitz, who was the first official World Chess Champion. It was played 5 years before his death and considered to be one of the brightest achievements by Steinitz as a tactician. This game is a must-see classic due to its well-calculated and spectacular mating combination – after which his opponent “is reported to have made no comment but to have put on his hat and quietly walked home…”.
Monday, May 15 IM Valeri Lilov Initiative and Pressure (strategy)
The concepts of initiative and pressure are well known and appreciated by all experienced players. In fact, most strong players understand the keys to an effective attack by combining these two in their planning. In this lecture, IM Lilov is going to shed some new light in how these two principles work together effectively.
Tuesday, May 16 IM Bill Paschall The Young Nimzovich, Part 2 (middlegame, endgame)
The young Nimzovich shows a very mature understanding , playing in this case 1.d4 just as well as his usual King’s Pawn game. The main impression is of a player with a modern understanding of the opening, and possessing tremendous endgame technique. Here he dispatches the experienced veteran and World Championship challenger Chigorin quite handily.
Wednesday, May 17 FM Dennis Monokroussos When Grandmasters are Underdogs (tactics)
Alexander Tolush (1910-1969) was a fine player in his own right – a grandmaster and one of Boris Spassky’s mentors on the latter’s way to the world championship. But compared to a legend like Mikhail Botvinnik, Tolush was very much an underdog this 1944 game against the “Patriarch” of Soviet chess. Sometimes underdogs play scared or at least with “proper” respect and reverence. Tolush did no such thing in this game, staying true to his sharp, swashbuckling style, and he defeated his great opponent in a wild, imperfect game. Both sides made mistakes, but as Tolush managed to drag Botvinnik into the kind of messy position he (Tolush) thrived on, it gave him his best chance to win, and he did.
Thursday, May 18 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Cool Tactics in the Maroczy Bind Endgame 9.Bg5 (openings)
Are you an Accelerated Dragon player and dreading facing the Maroczy Bind? Then watch this video with exciting original analysis by GM Perelshteyn. Don’t be afraid of sacrificing the pawn on e7! As a matter-of-fact White has to play only moves to stay in the game!
Friday, May 19 GM Bryan Smith Beating the Alekhine Defense, Part 1 – Alburt Variation (tactics)
This four part series shows how to fight against the tricky Alekhine Defense using the classical 4.Nf3 move. Part one deals with how to meet the variation with 4…g6, which was made popular by Alekhine Defense legends such as Lev Alburt.
Monday, May 8 IM Valeri Lilov Punishing Bad Development (middlegame)
We have all had moments where we see the opponent delaying his development and yet, we are not certain how to exploit it. Punishing bad development is a matter of crafting the best strategies and knowing the right principles to do so. Let IM Valeri Lilov teach you more in this lecture.
Tuesday, May 9 IM Bill Paschall The Young Nimzovich, Part 1 (middlegame, strategy)
The young Nimzovich shows both talent and inexperience in this early game. He draws from great creativity, playing in modern style in the opening and with original maneuvers in the middlegame. Despite showing some signs of immaturity at this stage, a win against Schlechter at age 21 is truly impressive.
Wednesday, May 10 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Wild Najdorf in the PRO League Quarterfinals (tactics)
Black doesn’t go allow the English Attack against the Najdorf/Scheveningen Sicilian very often in recent years, and it’s games like this that illustrate why. While it was ostensibly Yaroslav Zherebukh who was better prepared, playing something new on move 16, it was Ray Robson who wound up with the advantage. Robson made a couple of inaccuracies along the way, but his powerful and imaginative attacking play still overwhelmed poor Zherebukh, who may have forgotten that it’s easier to attack in chess than to defend. Defensive technique has gotten much better over the generations, but in a game/15 event like this one simply doesn’t have the time to put out all the fires, and Robson won convincingly. It’s a very fine win for White, especially given the time control!
Thursday, May 11 GM Leonid Kritz Important Ideas In A Popular Theoretical Position (strategy)
The position after move 10 has been played many times at the highest level, and still Black finds new ways how not to equalize. This game has certain theoretical importance, and besides it is very interesting from the strategic point of view and shows the strength of a passed pawn in the center.
Friday, May 12 GM Nadya Kosintseva How To Avoid A Long Theoretical Discussion In The French Winawer (openings)
In this lecture, I introduce to you the positional system that can be used for the white side to reduce the burden of memorization in one of the most principled variations of the French Defense while keeping a tough, interesting game. The Winawer variation, that starts with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4, is a very sharp opening that requires a bunch of theoretical knowledge and precise analyses if it goes to the mail line of 4.e5 c5 5.a3. At the same time, if you are looking for repertoire options to avoid learning lots of theory and going into a competition of computer’s moves, you may be interested to practice a lesser known path of 5.Bd2, that sufficiently reduces the amount of theory needed and focuses on understanding ideas and principles of chess.
Monday, May 1 IM Valeri Lilov The Structure of Attack (middlegame, strategy)
The structure to any attack is a widely-discussed topic that most chess players don’t fully understand. They know the importance of it, but how it actually works and what makes a good structure that leads to a successful attack often remains a mystery. In this video, IM Valeri Lilov provides an answer to that question.
Tuesday, May 2 IM Bill Paschall Beating the Trompowski : A Practical Example (opening, strategy)
IM Paschall presents a modern example of his anti-tromp lines previously recommended here at chesslecture. In this example , a strong grandmaster is effortlessly derailed in the 2..d5 line of the Trompowsky. It seems that no advantage is possible for white after 2…d5 and Black can easily win in this opening if White is too ambitious or reckless , as was the case here.
Wednesday, May 3 FM Dennis Monokroussos Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good Chess Players? (tactics)
Wei Yi is one of the strongest and most promising chess players in the world, but his resume did nothing to help him avoid losing in just 19 moves to an IM. How in the world did this happen? Watch the video, and you’ll see not just what happened over the board, but also what happened at a more fundamental level and what we can do to avoid getting upset when we’re big favorites in a given game.
Thursday, May 4 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Intro to Tunnel Calculation Approach – Calculate like Tal! (middlegame, tactics)
Ever wonder what is the secret behind top notch calculation? GM Perelshteyn introduces a new concept called Tunnel Calculation approach. Don’t get side-tracked with tons of variations and side-lines, just focus on the main line and calculate as deep as you can along the forcing moves! Try this approach and play like Tal!
Friday, May 5 GM Bryan Smith Carlsen Wins Out Of Nothing (endgame)
A pure minor piece endgame where White has the two bishops turns surprisingly dangerous when Magnus Carlsen foresees the hidden river of forks that is coming.
Monday, April 24 IM Valeri Lilov Piece Potential and Attacks (middlegame, strategy)
The most important characteristic of a strong attack is the good piece coordination. Essentially, it is the pieces that can pose problems to our opponent and make attacking in the long run possible. How do Grandmasters approach it? Check IM Lilov’s lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, April 25 IM Bill Paschall Essential Strategic Concepts, Part 5 – The Power of Blockade (strategy, openings)
The concept of blockade is not limited to defense. In the following masterpiece, Nimzovich illustrates the latent attacking possibilities linked to this strategic concept. The immobilization of black’s central pawns sets up a decisive and explosive undermining of his position.
Wednesday, April 26 FM Dennis Monokroussos Shirov Sets Smyslov’s Anti-Grünfeld System Ablaze (openings, strategy)
For those who like a big pawn center against the Grünfeld but hate all the theory of the main lines, Smyslov’s system with 5.Bd2 may be the way to go. It’s a little more solid than the main lines with 5.e4, but there’s still plenty of life to it, and the theoretical burden is far more manageable. Best of all, if Black doesn’t play sufficiently purposeful chess in reply he can get mauled by straightforward attacking play, as Shirov demonstrated. A moment of Shirov’s tactical brilliance was needed to finish the job, but even so it’s a system we can all use and which places a heavier burden on Black than on White.
Thursday, April 27 IM David Vigorito The Dzindzi Indian Repertoire IV (openings, strategy)
A modern example of the Dzindzi Indian from my practice. Black’s play is definitely risky, but when you want to win with Black sometimes you have to take chances. We also see how a Karpov game in the Nimzo-Indian influenced my play.
Friday, April 28 GM Nadya Kosintseva Non-Standard Exchanges in Chess (middlegame, strategy)
In a game between two world champions, Bobby Fischer trades a beautifully outposted knight for Tigran Petrosian’s slightly bad bishop – not an obvious choice, but in fact, he has traded one kind of advantage for another, opening a path to victory against an otherwise defensible position. In a super-GM battle, Mickey Adams surprisingly gives up his powerful fianchettoed bishop to impose a structural weakness in Veselin Topalov’s position. And in our third example, Topalov plays the weird-looking move … Ng4 – but he is about to demonstrate the lesson he learned in the loss to Adams from the previous example! Based on these examples, my advice to you is: Please be critical when you play the game, don’t take anything for granted, and just keep in mind that to every rule in chess there is an exception, and sometimes this exception can just make new rules.