Monday, February 13 IM David Vigorito Magnus the Tactician II (openings, tactics)
Carlsen is known as a positional player and endgame specialist, but he started out as a great tactician. Today’s game shows that he is more than capable of quick and powerful calculation. In the midst of a complicated middlegame with both kings under heavy fire, Carlsen finds all the right moves with amazing speed, reminding us all what he is capable of.
Tuesday, February 14 IM Bill Paschall Bishop with a Vengeance (tactics, endgame)
A typical Queen’s Indian Petrosian variation is reached, with a pawn structure most typical of the Queen’s Gambit. Exchanging pawns on d5 at move 10, white strives to shut down Reshevsky’s bishop on b7. Shortly thereafter, Evans makes the questionable decision to trade pieces on e4 and the black d5 pawn inches closer, gaining space and more potential for the “bad” bishop on b7. Finally, white allows a devastating exchange sacrifice to clear the entire diagonal and Sammy wraps up this very instructive game by initiating a strong attack in combination with the now lethal b7 bishop.
Wednesday, February 15 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Advance Variation Punishes Another Caro-Kann (tactics)
Two shows ago we saw Volokitin crush Fridman in a very attractive Advance Caro-Kann, and now (apologies to Caro fans) we see White give the Caro another pounding. In the earlier game, Black opened the queenside and White took advantage; this time he plays more solidly on the queenside only to get punished on the kingside. Or rather, first on the kingside, then on the queenside, and finally in the center! These are tough times for Caro-Kann players, and White should know how to take advantage while the theoretical trend is in his favor.
Thursday, February 16 GM Leonid Kritz How Not to Play the Italian (openings, tactics)
This is a disastrous game for Topalov in which he loses in just under 30 moves with white, and that happens in seemingly such a riskless opening like Italian. The reason is that White obviously overestimated the safety cushion of his position. So demonstrated a very interesting way of playing this line – with early h6-g5. This is obviously an important variation from the theoretical point of view and will be subject to further discussion.
Friday, February 17 GM Bryan Smith Coffeehouse Chess, Part 6 (openings)
In this video, GM Bryan Smith shows a fascinating correspondence game which features the Sicilian Wing Gambit, a queen sacrifice, and a king hunt.