Monday, July 25 IM David Vigorito Sharp Opening Trap in a Rapid Game
This was an unusual (for me) rapid game. I played a sharp opening and got to play a wonderful trap that I was fortunately familiar with. This game reminded me that is a lot of fun to play sharply. My opponent made one mistake and then some accurate calculation and it was all wrapped up.
Tuesday, July 26 IM Bill Paschall Elite Games from the Capablanca Memorial 2016 Part 1 (strategy, tactics)
Vasily Ivanchuk again shows he is a premier player, dominating the Capablanca Memorial. His latest victim is Hungarian veteran Zoltan Almasi . Regarded as a strong theoretician, Almasi is led into a quiet , non-theoretical system by Ivanchuk, who is unpredictable. This game shows the danger of playing “routine” moves against a very strong opponent. Black plays 5…d5 in the opening, where a queenside fianchetto setup would be more flexible. He also makes the fundamental mistake of exchanging on d4 with 8..cd too early, a mistake known since the time of Akiba Rubinstein. Ivanchuk impresses with subtle moves like 12.Qe3 and then deals up a fantastic attack starting with a pawn sacrifice to open lines on the kingside.
Wednesday, July 27 FM Dennis Monokroussos Scotching the Scotch (strategy, tactics)
Garry Kasparov was very successful with the Scotch in the recent blitz super-tournament in St. Louis, winning three games with the opening while drawing two and losing just one. But that one loss was especially noteworthy, as it was Caruana who dictated the play with an almost completely new and interesting-looking idea. It was a good game by blitz standards, and the variation in the game is one that merits a closer look by those who play either side of the Scotch.
Thursday, July 28 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Executing Typical Sicilian Ideas – Improve Your Worst Piece! (strategy, tactics)
In a typical Sicilian battle for dark squares, Black executes a standard idea to improve his worst piece, the bishop on e7! However, White plays well to maintain balance by improving his worst piece the knight on c2. Yet, the positional game quickly explodes as White incorrectly opens the h-file. Watch out for nice tactics, and a nice bonus at the end…can you identify the worst piece you need to improve to win the game? Yes, it is Black’s king!
Friday, July 29 GM Bryan Smith Exploring Rook Endgames, Part 3: (endgame)
In part three of his series on rook endings, GM Bryan Smith analyzes an ending he played some years ago, where a full rook ending results in the defender being restricted to passivity, followed by a turning movement of the white king. Instructive moments early in the endgame show Black’s missed chances to obtain counterplay and draw.