NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[November 22, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Boris Avrukh:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense – Breyer Variation (Main Line with 15. b3)

[Line 410 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Nb8 10. d4 Nbd7 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Bc2 Re8 13. Nf1 Bf8 14. Ng3 g6 15. b3]

The Breyer Variation is one of the ever popular choices on the highest level, often employed by the World Champion Magnus Carlsen.

Line 410 covers b2-b3, one of the most principal choices for White on 15th move. The idea is either to fianchetto White’s dark-squared Bishop, or to push d4-d5, followed by c3-c4. Black has several ways to equalize, and probably the safest is the main line 15… Bg7 (with the idea d6-d5), and after 16. d5 Rc8, Black has c7-c6 with mutual play.

[Diagram: White to Move] One of the critical positions in Line 410 occurs after 15… d5 16. Bg5 h6. It is necessary for players of White to know the consequences of the topical piece sacrifice 17. Bh4! g5 18. Nxg5, but if they plays precisely, their accuracy pays off – Black has lots of problems to solve!

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[November 21, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
King’s Indian Defense, Carlsbad Variation

[Line 128 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6]

Line 128 covers the Carlsbad Variation of the King’s Indian Defense, except for the positions that occur after 7. Nc3 a6 that are covered in our Line 129.

In the main line with 7. Nc3 Rb8 8. h3 a6 9. e4 b5 10. e5 most positions are very complicated, where Black usually gets enough counterplay by countering White’s central advance with a flank attack.

There are two particularly interesting sidelines for Black against 7. Nc3 – 7… Bf5 and 7… e5, in both cases giving him good practical chances.

[Diagram: Black to Move] A crazy tactical position, like the diagrammed one, demands accurate calculation. How should Black continue?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[November 20, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Borki Predojević:
Slav Defense, Pin Defense with 5… Bxf3

[Line 092 : 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. h3 Bxf3]

In the Exchange Variation in the Pin Defense Black usually tries to simplify the position in the early stage of the game. His plan typically includes giving away his light-squared Bishop for the opponent’s Knight, followed by placing his pawns on white squares, thus making his position tough to penetrate.

On the other hand, White mostly resorts to a slow build-up, intending to use his bishop pair in a long term battle. The other plan is to make a kingside pawn push, like in the main line – 6. Qxf3 e6 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. g4!?, which would make the position significantly more dynamic. Either way, we think that Black has sufficient resources to keep the position balanced in this line.

[Diagram: Black to Move] I. Lysyj – N. Vitiugov, Serpukhov 2008. Black has an opportunity to make use of White’s weakened kingside, but it requires a very energetic play…

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[November 19, 2017] Dusted Off: Updated Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
July 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Dragon, Yugoslav Attack (10. Qe1 e6 11. Kb1)

There have been some new interesting developments in this variation, mostly coming from computer engine games. In addition to Wei Yi’s 12. Bg5, move 12. Nb3 now also seems like a promising choice for the players of White.

D. Howell – G. Jones, London 2016 is probably the most theoretically relevant over-the-board game among the new additions, while our improvement on Zurichess Grabuenden – Pawny 1.2, Internet 2016 seems to offer opening advantage to the players of White in one of the key lines in this variation.

 

[Diagram: Black to Move] While the pin looks unpleasant, Black has more than enough resources to completely turn the tables and seize the initiative. Any ideas?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[November 18, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Borki Predojević:
Modern Defense, incl. Rossolimo Variation & Geller’s System

[Line 291 : 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3]

Modern Defense is the name for a setup where Black plays early King’s fianchetto followed by d7-d6. It has one major drawback in that it allows White to develop freely and gain a very strong pawn center.

The Rossolimo Variation with 3… d6 4. c4 Bg4 is also covered in Line 291, and this option should give Black quite reasonable positions.

Geller’s System with 3… d6 4. c3 is a very flexible setup, which leads to positions similar to Ruy Lopez, but we think that 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Qe2 is probably the best way for White to fight for opening advantage.

[Diagram: White to Move] G. Sargissian – A. Morozevich, Turin (ol) 2006. Sargissian found an excellent way to seize a very strong initiative – can you find it, too?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[November 17, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Boris Avrukh:
Gruenfeld Defense, Exchange Variation (Modern Main Line)

[Line 141 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nxc3 6. bxc3 Bg7 7. Nf3]

After the introductory moves of this opening line Black’s principal continuation is 7… c5, where 8. h3 and 8. Bb5+ are interesting sidelines.

The main variation of Line 142 goes 8. Be3 Qa5, where as the main continuation we recommend 9. Nd2!?, which was introduced at the elite level by Aronian in his games against Sutovsky and Grischuk. It is an interesting alternative to the heavily-researched lines, and it often leads to non-standard positions. On the other hand, it is safe to say that 9. Bd2 hardly poses any problems to Black.

Another frequently played move 9. Qd2 is the topic of our Line 142, while the well-investigated 8. Rb1 is covered in our Line 143.

[Diagram: Black to Move] S. Zilka – I. Rausis, Ledec nad Sazavou 2013. It looks like Black is forced to move his Queen, but is that really the case?

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