Monday, March 3 IM Valeri Lilov The Small Improvements (Strategy, Middlegame) We have always noticed how the great masters of past and present achieved significant improvements out of completely equal or even symmetrical positions. The secret of their mastery lies within the small adjustments that each master is able to apply at different stages of the game. Understanding how these improvements work can help tremendously one’s game and planning in many positions.
Tuesday, March 4 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Spectacular Queen Sac for Domination (Middlegame, Strategy) In a GM vs GM battle, White plays creatively to sacrifice a Queen for just two minor pieces and a pawn! Black seeks counter-play on the half-open file to keep the game balanced. Seeking more counter-play Black gives up the exchange, however White finds a beautiful way to breakthrough in the center and create a deadly attack. A masterpiece by GM Macieja!
Wednesday, March 5 FM Dennis Monokroussos Baadur’s Budapest Brilliancy (Middlegame, Strategy) Baadur Jobava didn’t win the Challengers event in this year’s Tata Steel chess festival, but he tied for second and played some brilliant games along the way. One of them came against pre-tournament favorite Radoslaw Wojtaszek, and as is usual for Jobava he chose a slightly offbeat opening for the occasion, the Budapest Defense. White generally plays 4.Bf4 (rather than 4.Nf3) when he wants a quiet life, but Jobava’s 4…g5 ensured a tense game. You might think that a 2700 player with the white pieces could keep everything under control, but nothing of the sort happened, and Jobava manhandled him in the middlegame. The game is a fine advert for the Budapest, and a useful reminder that practically all openings have their drop of poison when well-prepared.
Thursday, March 6 GM Leonid Kritz Sicilian 2….Nc6.3.Bb5: Rare Continuation by Black, Part 1(Openings, Strategy)
Friday, March 7 GM Bryan Smith The Best of Lone Pine, 1979: Part 1 (Openings) In the first part of this series on the 1979 Lone Pine Tournament, GM Bryan Smith looks at a sharp, attacking game in which IM John Grefe used a unique gambit.