Monday, January 31 GM Nadya Kosintseva QGD Ragozin Defense, Part 6: The Straightforward dxc5 Line (openings)
White does not wish to see the black pawn on c4 and exchanges the d4 pawn for the c5 pawn immediately after Black plays c5. In its turn Black may choose playing more positional chess with equal amount of material or may provoke White into complications taking a pawn that looks poisoned on the first glance. At one moment, White will have an extra rook, but still suffer.
Tuesday, February 1 IM Bill Paschall Steinitzian Classics Part 2 (openings)
Playing in classical style, Steinitz gains better control of the center in the opening, despite a symmetrical structure. Black should have played actively with c5 at several points in the opening, but drifts into a passive position relying on the idea of f6 to kick the white knight out of it’s outpost on e5. Steinitz makes some small inaccuracies, but basically plays in brilliant fashion, sacrificing his outposted knight at e5 to gain space and time for a direct attack against the black king. A brilliant sacrificial attack follows and Blackburne, although great as an attacker, fails here on defense, horribly weakening his kingside with the fatal 21…h6.
Wednesday, February 2 FM Dennis Monokroussos Remembering Reti, Part 3: The Mature Rubinstein, Part 1 (openings, strategy)
As the mid-’20s dawned, Richard Reti became more of a hypermodern player than the go-for-tactics fiend we’ve seen in the earlier games. This coincided with his strong advocacy of the opening that came to bear his name, 1.Nf3, often followed by c4 and a kingside fianchetto. We see it work beautifully in this game, against one of the great positional players of the era (and perhaps of all time), Akiba Rubinstein. Reti not only employs his opening to great effect (and plays it better than even some strong players of our own day!), but shows an understanding of ideas that became popular decades later with the advent of the Benko Gambit. A beautiful game that was ahead of its time.
Thursday, February 3 IM Valeri Lilov Korchnoj’s Brilliant Piece Play (middlegame)
Korchnoi’s playing style initially was an aggressive counterattack. He excelled in difficult defensive positions. Where he was strongest though, was the piece play. In chess your pieces should be able to move if the need arises to a different square for defense or attack. In other words, they’re mobile, we call this the precise movement part. In practice this often means you have to connect your pieces towards a specific goal. Check out this lecture to learn more!
Friday, February 4 GM Bryan Smith The Fierce MacCutcheon, Part 3 (tactics)
An epic and spectacular battle results from creative play in response to White’s sharp 6.Be3 move.