Monday, November 20 IM Valeri Lilov Carlsen’s Secret (strategy, middlegame)
Magnus Carlsen is without a question one of the history’s strongest positional players. His ability to handle the structure and manage a powerful piece domination have inspired many. In his new video, IM Lilov will show you how to world reigning champion uses his simple, yet most powerful secret!
Tuesday, November 21 IM Bill Paschall Exciting Clashes from the 2017 World Cup, Part 3 (opening, tactics)
Levon Aronian surprises Ding with a slightly offbeat , but sharp line against the Semi Slav. This is the deciding game of the whole event, Black misplaying his defenses; his king coming under a withering attack. Excellent preparation by white including the new move 12.Rae1 which seems to have taken Black out of known territory.
Wednesday, November 22 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Remarkable New Idea in the Semi-Slav (tactics)
At the moment Levon Aronian and Magnus Carlsen are the hottest players in chess, and are unsurprisingly ranked #2 and #1 in the world, respectively. In this battle from the 2017 Norway Chess tournament, it is Aronian who came out on top, thanks largely to an ingenious idea for White in the Semi-Slav. On moves 11 and 12 Aronian sacs a pawn and then the exchange to draw Black’s queen offside, both to try to trap her but also to shut her and Black’s queenside pieces away from the coming kingside attack. It’s a great concept, and while the game wasn’t perfect it was exciting and interesting from beginning to end.
Thursday, November 23 GM Leonid Kritz How to Punish a Single Opening Error (openings)
This game is a great example of how to act if your opponent makes a mistake in the early stage of the opening. Black plays the inaccurate 6….exd5 and White gets aggressive right away, so that Black essentially gets destroyed. This is the only way to play in modern chess – once your opponent plays sub-optimally in the early opening, you have to get him right away.
Friday, November 24 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How to Evaluate King Safety and Dynamic Potential (middlegame, tactics, endgame)
We all assume that uncastled king is much worse than his castled counterpart. But this game may prove us wrong! Watch and learn how two strong players missed a great opportunity for Black to get a powerful attack. Instead, the strong IM went for material gains, only to find himself hopelessly lost after a typical exchange sacrifice!
Monday, November 13 IM Valeri Lilov Karjakin’s Defensive Concepts (strategy)
Many strong players realize the importance of defending the opponent’s threats at any critical position. Identifying these threats, as well as finding the best candidates is always a challenging task. In this lecture, IM Lilov provides a good example of GM Karjakin’s concepts to a successful defense.
Tuesday, November 14 IM Bill Paschall Exciting Clashes from the 2017 World Cup, Part 2 (openings)
Aronian rolls past Ivanchuk, as Black seemed unprepared for the line played in the game. Ivanchuk, who has an extremely wide opening repertoire,perhaps couldn’t remember the line and was completely unable to counter White’s initiative. Black simply failed to complete his development effectively.
Wednesday, November 15 FM Dennis Monokroussos Black is Rickety vs. the Richter-Rauzer (opening, tactics)
The Classical Sicilian (i.e. an Open Sicilian with 2…d6 and 5…Nc6, or 2…Nc6 and 5…d6) has had its periods of great popularity, but it has come upon hard times in recent decades. It’s certainly playable, but White has more than one way of playing without risk for an edge. This is in distinction from, say, the Najdorf or the Taimanov, where White can play for a draw or a win, but not for a win with a draw in hand. In today’s game, we see an example of how Black is struggling. Sevian’s 14.Ne4 improved on one of his earlier games, and after this he was playing with house money: Black was suffering in a position where White had attacking chances and a central bind as well, and he quickly succumbed. Classical players, beware.
Thursday, November 16 IM David Vigorito Carlsen Eliminated from World Cup (tactics)
A two game match can be a dangerous thing, even for the world’s best player. Here the champion goes down with White (he was unable to recover with Black). The game starts quietly, but the Chinese GM boldly sacrifices a pawn in the style of the Marshall Attack. The idea was probably not completely correct, but it is easier to attack than defend. When Carlsen misses his chance, Bu attacks with great energy and scores a tournament altering upset.
Friday, November 17 GM Bryan Smith 6.h3 Against the Najdorf, Part 3 (tactics)
In part three of his series on 6.h3, Bryan looks at the same line from Black’s point of view, showing a game where he played the recent line 6…e5 7.Nde2 b5.
Monday, November 6 IM Valeri Lilov The Power of Buildup (strategy, middlegame)
Vishy Anand is one of the strongest dynamic chess players in the world. In all his past and present games, we can easily realize a strong buildup that help him to adapt his strategy as successfully as possible. Check out IM Lilov’s lecture to learn about Anand’s domination in strategic play!
Tuesday, November 7 IM Bill Paschall Exciting Clashes from the 2017 World Cup, Part 1 (opening, tactics)
Levon Aronian dominated the 2017 World Cup in Tbilisi, Georgia. In this series we witness some of the best battles from the event, with commentary and key insights from this exciting knockout event.
Wednesday, November 8 FM Dennis Monokroussos Small Differences Can Make Big Differences (tactics)
Petroff’s Defense can lead to quiet positions, but not always. In this game from the 2017 Isle of Man, an isolated d-pawn middlegame arose, but one in which Black had a c-pawn rather than an e-pawn. Anna Zatonskih prepared a relatively rare line with Black, and in the main variation of that line Black deals with pressure against h7 by playing …h6, not …g6. Nils Grandelius pressured h7 in a slightly different way, and Zatonskih should have adapted and played …g6 rather than …h6. When she didn’t…well, see for yourself.
Thursday, November 9 GM Leonid Kritz Dangerous Looking Italian (tactics)
In this game White chose to play an attractive plan with early d4 in the Italian Game and quickly got a position that looked very dangerous to Black, with pawns at e5 and d5. However, in reality it turned out that Black is absolutely safe and may even fight for some advantage. Good to know how to react to such unjustified activity by White.
Friday, November 10 GM Eugene Perelshteyn The Deadly Bishop on g7: How to Attack in the Grunfeld (opening, tactics)
GM Perelshteyn faces the f3 line of the Grunfeld for the first time, yet he’s not afraid to face the attack head-on. Watch and learn how the dormant bishop on g7 comes alive and wreaks havoc on White’s position. Can you solve the tricky tactic in the end that wins on the spot?
Monday, October 30 IM Valeri Lilov Aronian Exploits Weaknesses (strategy)
Exploiting a weakness has always been challenging for most chess players. While it’s not so hard to spot a weakness (piece, square, etc.), many players simply don’t know the correct approach to creating and exploiting it. One of the best modern Grandmasters, Levon Aronian recently showed us one of the most effective ways to exploit weaknesses in a positional manner.
Tuesday, October 31 IM Bill Paschall A New Idea for Black in the Grunfeld Stockholm Variation, Part 3 (opening)
In part three, we round out the series with a dynamic winning attempt for Black in the main line. Zhigalko was unlucky, but the idea looks good and Black was headed in the right direction in our main line with 4…c5 against the 4.Bg5 Grunfeld. In this video, we also see a general summary of the lesser alternatives white could play in addition to 5.Bxf6.
Wednesday, November 1 FM Dennis Monokroussos An Old Dog’s Old Tricks Can Be Good Enough (tactics)
James Tarjan was a strong GM more than 30 years ago, when he retired from the game. After a 30-year-layoff he returned to chess in 2014, and at the 2017 Isle of Masters had the best result since his comeback, and at least one of the best results of his career. The highlight, at least from a ratings point of view, was his round 3 win over Vladimir Kramnik. Kramnik was outplaying him, bit by bit, but Tarjan showed great resilience in defense. In particular, he demonstrated consistent skill in prophylaxis, always trying to determine what Kramnik was up to, and finding direct and indirect ways to prevent it. That includes the trap that won him the game. Inspiration for all of us underdogs!
Thursday, November 2 IM David Vigorito Giving Up a Successful Opening (opening, middlegame)
Facing the Averbakh Variation of the King’s Indian, I play a tricky line that I have had a lot of success with. During the game however, I gradually change my mind as to the value of the line. We reach a position where I had no idea what to do if White did…nothing! Fortunately White decided to create some play, which although not bad at all, game me some scope to try to win. So despite my 4/4 score in the line, I think it is time to move on!
Friday, November 3 GM Bryan Smith 6.h3 Against the Najdorf, Part 2 (tactics)
In Part 2 of the series on his recent experiences with and against 6.h3 in the Najdorf, GM Smith covers a game where Black played the current main line, 6.h3 e5 7.Nde2 h5.
Monday, October 23 IM Valeri Lilov The Concept of Expansion (strategy, middlegame)
The most common advantage in chess is the space advantage. Often many players get to a position where they have a lot of space and control of many squares, but they don’t know how to use them. In this lecture, IM Valeri Lilov provides a good direction on how to plan once we get that kind of advantage.
Tuesday, October 24 IM Bill Paschall A New Idea for Black in the Grunfeld Stockholm Variation, Part 2 (opening)
White fails to gain an advantage against the new 4…c5 in the Grunfeld Stockholm variation. In some cases, play leads to white being up a useless doubled ,isolated pawn with Black having the bishop pair to “compensate” . In other cases, like our example game, white can forget his development and king position and simply get blown away.
Wednesday, October 25 FM Dennis Monokroussos Sac, Sac, Mate! (tactics)
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave is one of the world’s top players today, but even as a 16-year-old playing in the French Championship a decade ago he was a very strong grandmaster. In this game from that event, MVL played a speculative exchange sac as early as move 10, and kept on sacrificing as the game went on. The sacs may not have been fully sound, but he was able to bamboozle his opponent, the strong GM Robert Fontaine, and Vachier-Lagrave finished the game with a king hunt.
Thursday, October 26 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How to Play with Initiative vs the World Champion Magnus Carlsen (tactics, strategy, endgame)
You don’t often get to play the current World Champion. In this game GM Eugene Perelshteyn faces none other than Magnus Carlsen in round 2 of the super-strong open Isle of Man. Magnus chooses an aggressive Tiger Modern and Eugene is ready to challenge Black’s setup with a strong pawn sac e6! Clearly on the ropes, the World Champ once again proves his superiority with impressive defense and then impeccable endgame skills. Don’t miss this one!
Friday, October 27 GM Bryan Smith 6.h3 Against the Najdorf, Part 1 (tactics)
In recent years, 6.h3 has become a popular move against the Najdorf – offering fairly sharp and interesting play while still being relatively resistant to concrete preparation. GM Bryan Smith has played it since the year 2000, and has many games with both colors. In this series, he covers some recent games with the variation, beginning with a game against GM Niclaus Huschenbeth.