Monday, March 27 IM David Vigorito The Dzindzi Indian Repertoire I (opening, strategy)
Long ago, I faced the Dzindzi Indian against Canadian IM Deen Hergott. Under the influence of then IM Igor Ivanov, this system became a Canadian favorite. I played the ‘book’ refutation, and learned some of the secrets that this opening held.
Tuesday, March 28 IM Bill Paschall Essential Strategic Concepts, Part 1 – The Minority Attack (opening, strategy)
White uses the classic minority attack with his pawns on the queenside to weaken Black’s structure and create a target. In desperation, Black also weakens his own kingside and Smyslov easily prevails against black’s weak points on both sides of the board.
Wednesday, March 29 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Two Knights Caro-Kann with 5.gxf3, Part 2 (tactics)
In part 2 of our mini-series we take a look at a couple of my games, focusing on a (rapid) rapid game with super-GM Alexey Dreev while taking a quick look at an amusing blitz game as well. Like the Tal-Botvinnik game from last week, much of the battle was a contest between White’s striving for activity and Black’s attempt to keep everything about the structural features of the position. In the end, White’s structural problems allowed Black to escape with a draw – but just barely.
Thursday, March 30 GM Leonid Kritz Important Theoretical Discussion (opening, strategy)
This line becomes more and more important in modern theory, since people move from the Spanish (Ruy Lopez) to the Italian Game very frequently. The plan that Black chooses is very aggressive and White still wasn’t able to find a clear way to get an advantage. Besides theory, the game is very interesting from the strategic point of view and shows how to organize an attack with a semi-closed center.
Friday, March 31 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Instructive Miniature in the Pirc: The Power of the e5 Push! (opening)
What happens when Black forgets to develop the kingside in the Pirc Defense? Watch a learn a devastating idea for White: e5! followed by e6! This results in a nice miniature win!
Monday, March 20 IM Valeri Lilov The f3 Sicilian (openings)
The move f3 in the Sicilian Defense is often used as a key preparation for White’s kingside attack. However, there is another use for the f3 move. Often times it is used by White to provide a solid Maroczy bind that can give you a solid grip on Black’s whole development!
Tuesday, March 21 IM Bill Paschall Tonight: Two Knights! (strategy, openings)
Veselin Topalov gives a good imitation of the Nimzo-Indian Defense while playing the 4.e3 Slav as black! Topalov proves that any sort of variation can become tactical and sharp if creative ideas are put to use and pieces remain on board. In this striking example, Veselin shows the power of two coordinates knights against two bishops. White plays for a central pawn majority, but black keeps him constantly off balance with creative tactical threats.
Wednesday, March 22 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Two Knights Caro-Kann with 5.gxf3, Part 1 (strategy, tactics)
The line 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 5.gxf3!? is a sideline and deservedly so, but it leads to interesting, non-standard positions that will take at least some Caro players out of their comfort zone. Tal and his second, Alexander Koblentz, prepared this line for Tal’s first world championship match with Botvinnik, and we’ll see both that game and a training game between Tal and Koblentz. (Some more recent games are also available in the PGN file.) Both games were messy in very different ways, and that’s part of the variation’s charm!
Thursday, March 23 GM Nadya Kosintseva How To Improve Calculation And Reduce Blunders (middlegame, tactics)
Nobody is perfect – not even Magnus Carlsen. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – that’s OK. In fact, chess is an appealing game because it cannot be fully mastered. However, to progress one should permanently search for ways of reducing the frequency and seriousness of his or her own mistakes. Thus, in this lecture I am going to demonstrate to you the importance of considering forcing lines for yourself and for your opponent to avoid several miscalculations and oversights in the game.
Friday, March 24 GM Bryan Smith Long-term Sacrifice (tactics)
GM Bryan Smith shows a game featuring an intuitive piece sacrifice, and discusses the genesis of such a sacrifice.
Monday, March 13 IM Valeri Lilov Attacking in the Sicilian (middlegame)
The Sicilian defense is arguably the most popular opening in chess. Yet, many players don’t have a decent idea how to play it well, especially with white. Given the extra space and attacking possibilities, one should always have some aggressive ideas at his disposal, yet finding these isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Tuesday, March 14 IM Bill Paschall Facing an Angry Ivanchuk (strategy, tactics)
Ivanchuk faces an aggressive young IM in the recent Gibraltar Masters tournament, shortly after losing a winning position in a previous game. Vassily shows his class with his usual creativity; in this game featuring the original plan of Nd4-b3 in a classical Pirc. Black plays both a very aggressive opening and an aggressive and risky line within, using the hypermodern approach 6…a6. Ivanchuk handles this complicated variation with an ingenious exchange sacrifice and wins when black misses his best defense.
Wednesday, March 15 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Great Attack In the Triangle Dutch (openings)
One virtue of the so-called Triangle System or Triangle Slav is flexibility. After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c6 (this is the standard move order, but other move orders are possible – the main game started with 1.c4 e6, for example) Black might head for a Semi-Slav (e.g. 4.Nf3 Nf6), or a Noteboom (4.Nf3 dxc4 5.e3 b5 etc.), or a Dutch of sorts after 4.e3 with 4…f5. (There’s also 4.e4, which leads to completely different positions after 4…dxe4 5.Nxe4 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Qxd4.) In this game, Korobov met 4.e3 with 4…Nd7, again remaining flexible, and only after 5.Qc2 a6 6.Nf3 “went Dutch” with 6…f5. It worked beautifully, and he won a brilliant attacking game against a very strong opponent. The Dutch can be dangerous for White!
Thursday, March 16 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Following Fischer’s Footsteps: A Miniature in the Exchange Caro-Kann (opening, tactics)
Is it important to study classics? GM Perelshteyn’s answer is resounding, yes! Watch and learn how knowing the plan from Fischer-Petrosian enabled White to get a nice opening advantage. Black mixed up several plans and got into even worse trouble resulting in a nice miniature.
Friday, March 17 IM David Vigorito Backtracking after an Opening Error (openings)
In this game I play an interesting and somewhat unusual opening line. My opponent is caught a bit off guard, yet I am the one who stumbles out of the gate. Decision making is very important in chess and sometimes it’s better to backtrack than to lunge forward, even if it’s difficult to do psychologically. White can often get away with one mistake after all.
Monday, March 6 IM Valeri Lilov Gaining Momentum II (middlegame)
In the second part of IM Lilov’s lectures on gaining momentum, you will learn how to advance your play after you have already prepared your forces and taken all the right steps towards getting a better middlegame.
Tuesday, March 7 IM Bill Paschall (tactics)
Playing for a win as black at the Grandmaster level is no easy task. The fact that white is a highly aggressive player made the job easier for Ilya Smirin to win with black in this game using the Modern Defense, 1…g6 . Black gave white room to attack in a complex position,conducting himself like a bull fighter , waving the red flag. Smirin encouraged white with his hyper-modern defense, but then played an incredibly accurate game,picking up the full point when Van Foreest missed his only chance to hold.
Wednesday, March 8 FM Dennis Monokroussos Meet the 3.f3 Gruenfeld with 3…Nh5! (openings)
The young Hungarian GM Benjamin Gledura won a fantastic game last year, and his insanely clever opening idea was part of it. He didn’t invent the 3…Nh5 system, but in this game he plays this rare line to perfection. White may have a path to an edge, but it’s not obvious to someone facing this line for the first time over the board, and it’s not surprising that even a strong grandmaster like Daniele Vocaturo was unable to cope. Gledura parlayed his massive initiative into an attack, and won a great game.
Thursday, March 9 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Typical Counterplay in the Paulsen Sicilian for Black (opening, middlegame, strategy)
Do you play the Sicilian? If so, this video is a must-see! GM Perelshteyn explains all the key ideas for Black including the prophylactic …Re8 move, the importance of the e5 outpost, queen-side counter-play and many other ideas. Most importantly, remember how to stop White’s attack with a quick counter-play in the center!
Friday, March 10 GM Bryan Smith Dynamics Vs. Structure (tactics)
This game shows a clear illustration between the battle between an apparent structural weakness and short-term dynamic features.
Monday, February 27 IM Valeri Lilov Gaining Momentum I (middlegame)
The concept of gaining momentum is the most important for any middlegame strategy we choose to implement. How do we build a position strong enough to sustain our plan and bring us success? Check out IM Lilov’s new lecture to learn more!
Tuesday, February 28 GM Leonid Kritz Strategic Battle with Tactical Complications (openings, tactics)
This game is interesting from the very beginning until the end. Aronian goes for a sharp line with 7….d5 allowing White to create pressure against pawn e5, but somehow he gets it all straight and equalizes pretty easily. However, at some point Black overextends and makes some mistakes, allowing White to get a serious advantage and eventually the whole point.
Wednesday, March 1 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Great Win…Almost (tactics)
Young Hungarian GM Richard Rapport is one of the most creative and combative members of the 2700 club, capable of beating anyone on his best day. In this game he plays brilliantly with Black, outplaying world #4 Wesley So and achieving a winning position. Unfortunately for him, he was unable to bring the point home. So defended resiliently, and at a key moment (possibly in time pressure) Rapport may have thought he had a brilliant win. If so, he fell into a devious trap, and when the tactics had ended and the time control was made So wound up with a winning position. Rapport had the flashiest highlights, but So earned the full point.
Thursday, March 2 IM Bill Paschall Better To Be Lucky AND Good! (openings)
Jeffery Xiong surprises Nils Grandelious with the Qd6 variation of the Scandinavian, instead of his usual Najdorf Sicilian. Grandelious plays an interesting and aggressive setup with 5. Bg5 and 6. Qd2 and achieved a winning position, but fails in the key moment. Black counterattacks with amazing energy and coordination to win in brilliant fashion! Perhaps this new idea of Bg5 by Grandelious is a good answer against the popular Qd6 Scandinavian.
Friday, March 3 GM Bryan Smith Berg Slays the French Defense (tactics)
Here we will see a wonderfully creative game by GM Emanuel Berg, where a deeply-calculated and spectacular combination was carried out.