Monday, March 16 GM Leonid Kritz Home Preparation with No End (tactics)
A very interactive game – basically out of nowhere tactical complications started in the relative quite and strategic endgame. It would be interesting to know how far the opening preparation of the two players lasted. I can imagine that Caruana analyzed until 26….Bd3. The line chosen by Ivanchuk against Gruenfeld is certainly not the most ambitious one, but also it has little risk. However, Caruana eliminated all the play opportunities and forced the game in a drawish endgame.
Tuesday, March 17 IM Bill Paschall Navarra Bashes the Sicilian (opening)
Finishing runner-up in the 2015 European Individual Championship , David Navara plays in uncompromising style against the Sicilian. Notice his unrelenting attacking play on the kingside,and his way of taking advantage of black’s wasted tempi with the maneuver Na5-c4 in the opening. The kingside finale is efficient and white fears no ghosts of black counterplay on the long diagonal a8-h1 . Navara’s calculation is flawless. Also of note is the classical importance demonstrated here of the key square d5 in the Sicilian, as always.
Wednesday, March 18 FM Dennis Monokroussos A Brilliant King Walk (strategy, Ragozin System, steel king)
Even with the queens traded off, it’s rarely a good idea to send one’s king up the middle of a board full of pieces. And yet that’s just what the very strong Russian grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov did in a recent game, and the idea was brilliant. Black’s pieces were all around the king, and yet the king remained safe through thick and thin. Moreoever, Vitiugov wasn’t winning in spite of his king raid, but because of it! He won material in that way, and closed the game quickly with an attack on the enemy king that was partly thanks to his own king’s activity. It was a great game, and a theoretically significant one as well.
Thursday, March 19 IM David Vigorito Inside Coverage of the USCL 2014 – part 14 (strategy, calculation)
More US Chess League coverage! In this game I am poised to take down the multiple league MVP and with Black, no less. After an unusual opening I quickly gain a decisive advantage, but when it is time to deliver the final blow I become confused with the plentiful options and go from a great win to a heartbreaking loss.
Friday, March 20 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Don’t Play Bad Openings! (openings, middlegame, control of center)
Learn how an experienced IM chooses a subpar variation to confuse his young opponent and it backfires badly. Lesson: don’t play bad openings!