Monday, November 28 IM Valeri Lilov Pawn Structure in the Opening (opening, strategy)
Pawn structure is all that matters when it comes down to a successful opening. Setting up a better structure is always a challenge. Let IM Lilov teach you the keys to making a better pawn structure in the opening.
Tuesday, November 29 IM Bill Paschall Provocative Play in the Classical Pirc (opening, tactics)
Jakovenko turns to the classical variation against the Pirc defense. Black plays a very risky system involving an early nc6-e5, allowing the pawns to be doubled at e6 and e5. The game transforms into what is basically a King’s Indian, with Jakovenko maneuvering Na4 and playing 14.c4. White balances a queenside attack with timely kingside defense. Of special note is the beautiful plan of 21.Nb1 followed by the “river guarding” rook maneuver 22.Ra3. In the end, Black’s attack falls short, and his kingside is left weakened. Jakovenko picks up the pieces in a better endgame as well as a full point!
Wednesday, November 30 FM Dennis Monokroussos Kramnik Busts the Najdorf? (opening, endgame)
Vladimir Kramnik has avoided 1.e4 for most of his career, but whenever he plays any opening he ends up making a valuable contribution to theory. This game was no different, and his achievement is all the more impressive for coming against Boris Gelfand, who is not just an elite player but one of the all-time great Najdorf specialists. The whole game is noteworthy, culminating in an instructive opposite-colored bishop ending. As Kramnik very clearly shows, there are plenty of cases where they aren’t even drawish – something worth keeping in mind.
Thursday, December 1 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Instructive Battle in the English, Statics vs Dynamics – Grandmasters Blunder, Too (strategy, tactics)
In this game White avoids main line KID to steer the game into the English, or Closed-Sicilian with reversed colors. Watch and learn how Statics and Dynamics play a vital role for choosing White’s moves and notice the shift in strategy once White has won the positional battle and left Black with a poor pawn structure. A nice bonus: can you spot the tactics that a strong GM missed at the end?
Friday, December 2 GM Bryan Smith Coffeehouse Chess, Part 4 (tactics)
In part 4 of his “Coffeehouse Chess” series, GM Bryan Smith covers an epic battle from 1924 between David Janowski and Edward Lasker, where a queen sacrifice leads to a really fantastic and unusual position.