Dec 23 IM Valeri Lilov, How to Decide on a Breakthrough (intermediate, strategy)
Dec 24 GM Eugene Perelshteyn Instructive Play Against the IQP: Blockade (intermediate, strategy)
Black follows Nimzowitsch’s advice by blockading the isolated pawn, first with the knight rather than with the bishop. This creates a second weakness to cause White’s position to fall apart.
Dec 25 IM Bill Paschall, New Idea in the Panov Botvinnik Caro-Kann (intermediate, openings)
IM Paschall encounters a rare idea by White in the 5…Nc6 variation of the Panov. Paschall discusses new ideas for Black and proceeds to demonstrate how he went tragically astray in this new position which arose in the game. A very unusual and dangerous queen trap is on the menu! Don’t let it happen to you!
Dec 26 FM Dennis Monokroussos, Weirdness Works? Yes! (intermediate, tactics)
This game repeats Grandelius-Bok, seen in my previous lecture, up to White’s 11th move. Bok won a beautiful game, seemingly refuting Grandelius’s eccentric play in its totality. It turns out, however, that White’s concept was a good one, and with the right idea – the amazing 12.fxg5 Qxg5 13.g4!! – White’s strategy turns out to be the right one. Sometimes we’re inclined to dismiss unfamiliar ideas as bad ones, and while they can be – rules of thumb are “rules” for a reason – sometimes we need to revise our thinking instead. Case in point here: Safarli, who is a very strong young grandmaster, either didn’t do his research or trusted Bok, and learned a painful lesson.
Dec 27 IM David Vigorito Carlsen Makes it Look Simple – Again! (intermediate, tactics)