Monday, July 24 IM Valeri Lilov The Golden Rule of Endgame (strategy, middlegame)
In most times, people have to face a challenging practical endgame. One that involves many pieces, with the exception of queens. Most books don’t really focus on this area, as it is too broad; there are too many different positions and situations a player has to master. Nevertheless, there is one major rule that tops them all. Check out IM Lilov’s lecture to learn what it is!
Tuesday, July 25 IM Bill Paschall European Championship 2017, Part 4 (opening, middlegame)
This high level battle from the European Championship features a hedgehog where black uses a special move order to try to trade pieces in a cramped position. The well prepared Gawain Jones uncorks a new idea of his own 11. Nb5 1? and finds an interesting was to create complications. Black sacrifices the exchange to create serious counterplay, but eventually goes wrong.
Wednesday, July 26 FM Dennis Monokroussos Are You Reti for an Opening Trap? (opening traps)
The Reti is a slow-burn opening, but it doesn’t mean that Black can just do anything against it. The line Black chose with …c6, …d5, and …Bg4 is well known and theoretically sound, but after 5.Ne5 he must play 5…Be6. It’s easy to miss such a move if one doesn’t already know about it, and indeed Black played 5…Bf5. It’s natural, logical, and…bad. White did a fine job of punishing Black, and it’s just the sort of trap that is likely to catch many victims. Reti players should include this in their arsenal, while Black must be sure to learn the 5…Be6 variation if they reach the position after 5.Ne5 in their games.
Thursday, July 27 GM Nadya Kosintseva Opposite-Colored Bishops in the Middlegame (endgame)
You may have heard about the drawish tendencies of the opposite-colored bishops in chess endings. Indeed, sometimes thanks to these bishops the weaker side can build a positional fortress in a situation where he is one, two or even more pawns down. At the same time, in a middlegame, the bishops of opposite colors have one interesting feature. Particularly, very often when one side is attacking the presence of the opposite-colored bishops only increases chances to succeed. Indeed, since one bishop can attack what the other bishop cannot protect, the bishop of the defender plays a minor role in supporting the king and so nominally the attacker has an extra piece. In this lecture, I will show you a few instructive examples that demonstrate how dangerous positions with opposite-colored bishops can be.
Friday, July 28 GM Bryan Smith A Serene Positional Game (tactics)
Rapidly-advancing top player Wesley So won a smooth positional game against Vladimir Kramnik, in the style of Capablanca or Smyslov – or indeed of Kramnik himself.