Monday, February 9 IM Valeri Lilov Changing the Pawn Structure
How and when to change the pawn structure? This question is both very important and complicated. Many times it is the positional features that we need to assess pawn exchanges. Other times it is the positional outcome that really matters. See IM Lilov’s new video to learn more on this valuable topic!
Tuesday, February 10 IM Bill Paschall Mohr Flohr! Part 1 (middlegame, strategy)
Flohr displays the power of the long diagonal against a weakened black kingside. The exchange in the opening by white 11. dc5 is paradoxical as it gives up the center, but critical here as it generates attacking chances for white. White makes great use of the open lines provided by black, especially the f-file becomes a valuable second avenue of attack.
Wednesday, February 11 FM Dennis Monokroussos Winning With Nothing
Magnus Carlsen is known for winning games from positions where he seems to have absolutely nothing, and rightly so. But he’s not the first player with this skill; before him, there was Ulf Andersson. Andersson, like no one before and very few since, managed to win game after game from positions where the players would agree to a draw lest they fall asleep at the board or miss out on watching paint dry. His game with Laszlo Hazai is a beautiful example of this ability. After just 18 moves all but three minor pieces and seven pawns have been exchanged, the pawn structure is almost exactly symmetrical and neither side has any weaknesses. Black was almost certainly counting on an easy draw, and other players had in fact agreed to a draw in that position. Yet Andersson showed that there were problems for Black to solve, and in just half a dozen moves White was clearly better and well on his way to a win. So there are two sorts of lessons to be learned: chess lessons based on Andersson’s treatment of the position and his excellent technique, and psychological lessons for both the defender and the side trying to make something happen. Watch and see!
Thursday, February 12 GM Leonid Kritz A Failed Attempt to Fight for the Tournament Win
The special thing about this game was that in the case of a win Giri would have shared the first place with Carlsen. So, he decided to go for Gruenfeld and get into hopefully sharp lines that would promise him enough counterplay. Wojtaszek played very solidly, though, and did not let Giri create anything really serious. The only chance to play for more was 10….f5, but it is a risky continuation and Giri did not want to go for it. So, it ended as a logical draw after all the pieces got exchanged.
Friday, February 13 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Instructive Play Against the Karpov System in the English (openings, strategy)