Monday, October 31 IM Valeri Lilov Pawn Restriction (middlegame)
The restriction in chess is a key topic that everyone should master. How does it work and what are the important aspects of pawn play, when restraining our opponent? These are IM Lilov’s lessons in this lecture.
Tuesday, November 1 IM Bill Paschall Battles from Baku: Part 3 (opening, strategy)
The challenger of the upcoming World Championship match faces a player whose star has been rising in the chess world; Pentala Harikrishna. Pentala plays the Italian Game, which could become more popular for white due to the problems of having to face 3…Nf6 in the Spanish. The move order in the opening is a bit unusual with white playing a very early h3; something of an Indian GM specialty, black then playing the suspicious looking 8…a5. The move a5 restricts white on the queen-side, but seems long on negatives, as it seriously weakens the b5 square. White plays d4 in the center at an opportune moment and simple gains the advantage. In the end, the future challenger simply blundered, but his entire position was short on space and white had a strong king-side attack.
Wednesday, November 2 FM Dennis Monokroussos Technique and Tactics (endgame)
Now retired from tournament play, Judit Polgar was best known for her lively tactical style and for many brilliant attacking games. So to show her winning in an endgame might seem beside the point somehow, like attending a concert to see Yo-Yo Ma play the clarinet. It can’t be denied that her greatest fame will always be due to her middlegame prowess, but to oppose tactics and technique is a mistake: it’s just about impossible to have the latter without the former. Just how great a weapon tactical skill can be in the endgame is put on beautiful display in Polgar’s win over Bu Xiangzhi in the 2010 Olympiad. The game went 58 moves, but Polgar’s brilliant and deep idea way back on move 37 essentially finished the game.
Thursday, November 3 GM Leonid Kritz Theoretical Fight in the Open Spanish Game (strategy)
The Open Spanish is a pretty popular opening today. Many players play it with black not to just equalize, but to get potentially some chances to win. However, against Caruana it is a dangerous choice. In this game, White shows a couple of interesting ideas how to play against Open Spanish and gets an advantage right after the opening. The rest is straightforward – Caruana converts his solid advantage into a relatively easy point and shows his brilliant technique once again.
Friday, November 4 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Instructive Endgame Play: Domination (endgame, tactics, strategy)
Black plays into a forcing line in the Nimzo g3 that goes directly to the endgame. But is it a draw? Not quite, watch and learn how White manages to restrict his opponents pieces with precise play. Classic domination as Black runs out of moves and has to lose material!