Monday, October 26 IM Valeri Lilov The Pawn Structure Subtleties (strategy, middlegame)
Pawns are very immobile, almost motionless for the majority of the game. But it is this immobility that gives the position its character. The pawn structure lays out the terrain for the coming battle, providing lines for your army. Basically, the pawns determine where your pieces will play.
Tuesday, October 27 IM Bill Paschall Boris Spassky’s Spastacular Attacking Miniatures, Part 3 (openings, strategy)
As black in the Leningrad Nimzo, Golombek combines too many plans, playing both a pawn sacrifice on the queenside with b5, and weakening his kingside with h6 and g5. Spassky, for his part, displays his usual combination of positional understanding and tactical acumen. Black simply has too many weaknesses in his position. This game shows how effective the Leningrad variation can be against an unprepared opponent.
Wednesday, October 28 FM Dennis Monokroussos To Jay Whitehead and Walter Browne: In Lieu of a Tribute (openings)
Walter Browne passed away earlier this year and Jay Whitehead passed away several years ago, and this game connects to both players. Some months prior to this game Jay Whitehead, a talented international master, showed me some prep he had intended to use against Walter Browne, still a very strong grandmaster at the time. He didn’t have the chance to use it so I had his permission to use it if given the opportunity, and some months later I had my chance. I’m not sure if I remembered it correctly (there were a few people with databases then, but I wasn’t among them), but I got the upper hand in a very sharp game. I was able to build on that advantage, but missed my one chance to win the game and Browne’s resourceful defense got him off the hook with a draw. It was an exciting game, and a theoretically significant one as well.
Thursday, October 29 GM Leonid Kritz Even More Tricks in the Open Spanish (openings)
A very interesting opening idea from Mamedyarov. I am pretty sure that his analysis went very far, and he did really a great job at home. However, objectively I think that there are many ways to find equality after 7.e5, it is just difficult to do in a single game when you play against home preparation. Ragger made all the solid moves, but ended in a worse endgame and played it pretty badly, so that at the end Mamedyarov celebrated the well deserved victory.
Friday, October 30 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Controversial Win by Nakamura in Armageddon (middlegame, strategy)
Win or Lose. Advance or Go home… We all love when it comes down to the wire, and it doesn’t get better than to see two of the world’s best blitz players square off in the World Cup Armageddon tiebreak! The game is exciting to watch as Nakamura builds up a deadly attack. However, with an added controversy of how Naka castled, this is a great thriller!