Monday, December 7 GM Nadya Kosintseva QGD Ragozin Defense Part 4: Wildness on the Board (opening)
Another important variation in Ragozin Defense that you need to know if you decide to play the opening with black. By playing 7.Rc1 White attempts to prevent Black from playing his main idea c5. In order to get enough counterplay Black has to be precise and force the white bishop on h4 first, and then still go for c5 even though it looks very provoking. The analysis shows, however, that in all lines the position of Black is good enough to play on. Black has to act vigorously and he will have his chances.
Tuesday, December 8 IM Bill Paschall Boris Spassky’s Spasstacular Attacking Miniatures, Part 9 (tactics, strategy)
Spassky leaves the main line Winawer with the Nimzovichian 5.Qg4 and 6. dxc5. Black plays a slightly passive setup with Ne7-g6 and white builds up an attacking initiative. A classic Spassky attack featuring the two bishops and a kingside buildup culminates in a smashing attack for white. Black sacrifices the queen out of desperation, but it’s too little too late.
Wednesday, December 9 FM Dennis Monokroussos The Straw That Broke the Allies’ Backs (tactics, strategy)
While the game is a bit of a mismatch, it is still one of my favorites due to several especially interesting decisions by the victor, then-future world champion Jose Raul Capablanca. The first moment of interest came on move 17, when Capa makes a move that seems positionally atrocious, but is actually well-founded. The second comes on move 23, when he make a sac that looks very natural, but after the reasonable sequence that follows it isn’t immediately clear how he’s going to break through. His solution is not the only one, but it is simultaneously brilliant and amusing, and makes the game an especially memorable one.
Thursday, December 10 GM Leonid Kritz An Unforgettable World Cup Finals – Part 3 (tactics)
This was supposed to be the last game of the match because Svidler was leading 2-0 and needed just a draw with white. For a long time it looked like he ie getting there, and at the end he was actually winning, but another unbelievable blunder ruined not just this game, but also fundamentally changed the flow of this final match.
Friday, December 11 IM David Vigorito More Insight into the Reti Opening (USCL 2015 – Part 17a) (opening, endgame)
Only a few days after my USCL game with IM Schroer, I found myself in a must-win game against old friend FM Bill Kelleher. Again I played the Reti Opening. I varied a bit in this game but get a nice endgame with lasting pressure. There is a nice theme in the game with keeping one piece locked out of play in order to win on the opposite flank.