Monday, December 11 IM Bill Paschall Euro Team Gems 2017, Part 2 (opening, tactics)
During the 2017 European Team Championship, Shakriyar Mamedyarov reached number 2 in the world according to FIDE ratings. In round 5, against the Czech Republic, Shak uses a rare line against the Queen’s Gambit Accepted based on some obscure correspondence games. Navara and Mamadyarov both make some small mistakes in the opening, but finally Navara errs tactically and leaves white with a serious initiative.
Tuesday, December 12 IM David Vigorito A Devious and Deep Opening Trap (tactics)
This game contains a beautiful trap that I discovered myself playing blitz. there is nothing new under the sun, so when I checked the line I found that it had been played before. I decided to look at it deeply, because it is quite beautiful. the shot that Black finds in this game looks crushing, and in practice Black has won all of the games very quickly, but I did find an amazing resource for White that puts up a lot of tactical resistance, although even here Black can gain the upper hand with creative play. I think this trap is a real treat!
Wednesday, December 13 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Collapsing Center (tactics)
Last time we saw Ding Liren playing almost super-human chess; this time we see that he is indeed human, like all of us – even his conqueror in this game Magnus Carlsen. Ding plays aggressively, and it seems to be justified as the center seems stable. The emphasis in both cases is on the word “seems”: Carlsen does a great job of blowing up the center, demonstrating that the stability of White’s position is an illusion. It’s a good model for all of us illustrating the need for the aggressor to make sure that the center really is under control.
Thursday, December 14 GM Nadya Kosintseva Attack at the Strongest Point (tactics)
Often there are situations when you don’t consider certain moves just because the opponent’s pieces control certain parts of the board, or more specifically, certain squares. For example, if Black has pawns standing on e6 and c6 it is difficult to put a piece on d5. However, often such moves are possible and can quickly decide the result of the game. So, again, try not to rely on general understanding – be creative and always consider the unique characteristics of each position.
Friday, December 15 GM Bryan Smith Carlsen in the Open, Part 1 (openings, strategy, tactics)
With this video, GM Bryan Smith begins a new series, covering World Champion Magnus Carlsen’s games from the Isle of Man Open. In this series, we get to see how Carlsen deals with a variety of opponents, from amateur level players, to average grandmasters, to super-grandmasters. To begin with, we see his round one win against Bardur Birkisson.
Monday, December 4 IM Valeri Lilov Converting a Positional Advantage (strategy)
Many chess players find it rather difficult to convert an advantage. That’s because they tend to look for a quick win that often results in unexpected complications and the advantage being lost in the process. The key to making our advantage grow lies in the possibility of simplifying the position and restricting the opponent at the same time. Check out IM Lilov’s suggestions on how you can do that like a master!
Tuesday, December 5 IM Bill Paschall Euro Team Gems 2017, Part 1 (opening, tactics)
Running very hot in 2017, Mamedyarov takes his game to the European Team Champs. Playing against the solid Queen’s Gambit Declined, the super GM opts for the modern 5.Bf4, but uses a tricky move order. Black allows himself an isolated queen pawn on d5 and Mamedyarov quickly gets to work with unexpected tactics. White plays an aggressive and creative game, and with some help from the opponent , converts the full point.
Wednesday, December 6 FM Dennis Monokroussos Structure Isn’t Everything, and Neither is Capturing Towards the Center (tactics)
Very early in our chess lives we are taught to capture with our pawns towards the center, and that we should avoid crimes against our structure like taking on doubled, isolated pawns. Those are handy rules of thumb, but over time they can ossify in our minds to the point of becoming positional laws. Then they’ve gone too far. To that end, the three game fragments in this video should help. The winners of all three games did horrible things to their pawn structures, but in every case it was to their advantage to do so and played a critical role in their success. And that’s what counts.
Thursday, December 7 GM Leonid Kritz How Not to Play the Grunfeld (tactics)
This game is a very good example of what happens if Black breaks the basic rule of playing the Gruenfeld – be proactive and seek counterplay. Li did not get any counterplay against the white center and got crushed with no chance. A good illustration that emphasizes that in certain opening fighting for initiative is essential for survival.
Friday, December 8 GM Eugene Perelshteyn How to Play with the Pawn Center: Attack And Defense (strategy, tactics, endgames)
Do you know how to handle the pawn center? Watch and learn how easy it is to mishandle the position resulting from a Grunfeld Defense. Pay attention to White’s and Black’s pawn moves, things are not as simple as they seen! What seems like a normal position quickly turns into a crazy endgame where passed pawns are countered with mating nets! Can you find the key tactic for Black at the end?
Monday, November 27 IM David Vigorito Endgame Trifecta (endgame)
In this game I am faced with the unpleasant task of holding an endgame that I have won myself many times before – rook + opposite colored bishop. First I show a couple of short snippets from my own practice, before showing how difficult it can be to hold such and endgame. I face several challenges and then, when the draw was finally there for the taking, I stumbled at the last hurdle. Let go of what you’ve been taught about the drawish nature of opposite colored bishops!
Tuesday, November 28 IM Bill Paschall An Attacking gem from the European Club Cup 2017 (opening, tactics)
Facing a capable opponent , the rising Russian star Fedoseev plays 1…g6. Using hypermodern systems is a good way to ensure a complicated game and Black does his best to keep pieces on the board and play for a win. Lagarde does not seek exchanges, but fails to coordinate well or find any serious threats and soon falls into a classic King’s Indian type situation where White is on the defensive. Black finishes the game with an elegant sacrificial series of moves.
Wednesday, November 29 FM Dennis Monokroussos Improving the Worst-Placed Piece (tactics)
Aron Nimzowitsch and Akiba Rubinstein were two of the greatest players of the first third of the 20th century. Not only were they great players, they made great contributions to our understanding of the game. In this game – one that used to be very well-known – it was Nimzowitsch whose ideas shone more brightly. A wag once wrote that positional play is what to do when there’s nothing to do, and Nimzowitsch found a terrific idea in just such a position. It’s unlikely that we’ll be able to replicate his maneuver, but the principles behind it and the impetus that allowed him to discover are available to us as well.
Thursday, November 30 GM Nadya Kosintseva Creativity in the Process of Calculation, Or Why It’s Important to Keep Track of the Entire Board (tactics)
This lecture contains multiple examples that illustrate how important it is to have an overview of the whole board. Even though the attack is supposed to occur on one side, the introductory move often happens on the other side of the board. To be able to find such moves, it is important to be creative and think outside the box.
Friday, December 1 GM Bryan Smith 6.h3 Against the Najdorf, Part 4 (tactics)
In Part 4 of the series, GM Smith shows another game with the white pieces in the 6…e5 7.Nde2 h5 line. Black’s opening inaccuracy gives White a very good position, but it is the long combination later in the game which makes it special.
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.