Monday, October 13 LM Dana Mackenzie Rip Van Winkle Returns Thirty years after his last rated game, GM James Tarjan returned to play in the 2014 U.S. Open and finished only 1/2 point behind the winner. In this game against National Master Constantine Xanthos, he proves that 30 years have done nothing to dull his chess instincts. An intuitive exchange sac opens the board for Black’s pieces. After Xanthos misses a possible chance to return the material for a decent game, Tarjan clamps down with an airtight bind. A fine example of what distinguishes grandmasters from lower-rated players.
Tuesday, October 14 IM Bill Paschall Self Analysis-A Rusty Nimzo
IM Paschall reviews a recent game he played in a classical Nimzo-Indian position. An imbalanced position arises where white has more space and two bishops, but black has the better structure and 2 knights in a closed position. The game is particularly interesting from a strategic point, because we see the classic doubled c-pawns for white, as well the relataively rare plan for black to castle queenside ! This game is interesting theoretically in the opening, because of black’s novelty 13…Qf6 , which may well be an improvement over the more standard 13…Qe7.
Wednesday, October 15 FM Dennis Monokroussos There’s a big difference between bound and almost bound From the time of Nimzowitsch and earlier, chess players knew that if White could blockade Black’s French pawns on e6 and d5 with pieces on e5 and d4, they would often obtain and enjoy a serious bind. Paul van der Sterren may have been licking his chops in anticipation of such a bind, but he never quite had the time to establish this bind. Viktor Korchnoi blew the game open and won in crushing style – ironically by pushing both the e- and d-pawns. So much for the blockade!
Thursday, October 16 GM Leonid Kritz Brilliant Strategic Understanding Another brilliant game from the, probably, strongest player in the world. White does not get a real opening advantage, but he maintains a symbolical +/= that he slow by slow converts into a full point. Of course, Ponomariov could have played better and get the draw, but the way Caruana always increases pressure and creates new ideas make the defense of every position pretty difficult.
Friday, October 17 GM Bryan Smith Decisive First Round Matchups from the Tromso Olympiad, Part 3 In the third and final part of GM Bryan Smith’s series on the first round in Tromso, we see a thematic game in the Carlsbad Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined, where GM Varuzhan Akobian is able to carry out White’s typical plans.