Monday, March 2 IM Valeri Lilov Keeping a Good Formation (strategy, middlegame)
Keeping a solid piece and pawn’s formation is the secret of holding against master opponents. How do we achieve it? Check out this new video to learn new concepts to avoid weaknesses and reduce your mistakes!
Tuesday, March 3 Bill Paschall Excerpts from Tbilisi 2015 Part 1 (openings, strategy)
Tomashevsky essays the very rare variation 8.g4 in the Makagonov Variation of the Clasical King’s Indian. On move 10 Grischuk unleashed super deep pawn sacrifice and novelty 10…c6 !? The pawn sacrifice would lead to amazing complications if accepted, so Tomashevsky declines after deep thought. In the ensuing strategic struggle , both sides seem indecisive , but Grischuk much more so. White is able to build up a space advantage and seal it with a beautiful exchange sacrifice. Grischuk is allowed and missed one chance at freedom with a later Rd4 idea and went down in flames.
Wednesday, March 4 Dennis Monokroussos Tartakower the Grand Maverick (openings, tactics)
Savielly Tartakower (1887-1956) was a great experimenter in the opening, willing not only to play the fashionable tabiyas of the day but also lines that had gone out of fashion (or were never in fashion in the first place) as well as those that were ahead of their time. He could play solid lines and gambits, classical variations and hypermodern ones, and preparing for him must have been a hopeless undertaking. In today’s game we’ll see him try a dubious idea of his own invention (3…f5 against the Three Knights), but the confusion he sowed soon resulted in a powerful initiative. Without making any obvious mistakes, White already faced a crisis on move 12. He had to find a nice series of moves that would reestablish the harmony of his position, and when he failed to do so he soon came under a withering attack. This high-risk, high-energy approach wouldn’t have worked against his peers, but it was devastating against lesser lights, and could work for many of us as well in our battles at the club level.
Thursday, March 5 Leonid Kritz Rare Phenomenon – Novelty in Well-Known Position (tactics)
The most interesting aspect of this game is that Carlsen made a novelty in 8. move (Ba6) in a well known position – a phenomenon that occurs very rarely in today’s practice. As a result, white was pressing all the time and had multiple opportunities to put black in big troubles. However, one slow move (a3), and the game turned even though Carlsen still had to find the strong a5 resource at the end.
Friday, March 6 Bryan Smith Rubinstein’s Great Endgames, Part 5 (endgame)
In a somewhat lesser-known game from the St. Petersburg 1909 tournament, Rubinstein shows the great value of centralization in carrying a small advantage in mobility from the opening until a pure knight ending.