NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 23, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Bogo-Indian Defense with 4. Bd2

[Line 200 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 without 4… a5, 4… Qe7]

Black’s most common choices in this variation are 4… a5 and 4… Qe7 and they are covered in our Line 201. In case of 4… Be7 a game usually transposes to the Catalan Defense with 5. g3 d5, or to the Queen’s Gambit Declined with 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bf4 or 5. Nc3 d5 6. Bg5.

Move 4… c5 allows White to double black pawns on the b-file after 5. Bxb4 cxb4, which typically results in a small but lasting edge.

Simplifying the position with 4… Bxd2+ seems like a reasonable option for beginners and club level players. White more often recaptures the Bishop with the Queen – 5. Qxd2, followed by the Knight’s deployment to c3. Though positions arising after 5… d5 6. Nc3 O-O 7. e3 are generally easier to play with white pieces, Black should be fine after 7… Qe7 8. Rc1 Rd8.

[Diagram: Black to Move] V. Eingorn – V. Korchnoi, Odessa (rapid) 2006. White’s last move was the careless Qd1-c2. How can Black make use of his opponent’s mistake to obtain an advantage?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 22, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense – Flohr-Zaitsev Variation (Main Line with 12. d5)

[Line 406 : 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 Bb7 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. d5]

By blocking the center with 12. d5 White eases the pressure of the black pieces on his central pawns. It also allows his knights ample opportunities to transfer to more active squares by common routes: Nd2-f1-g3 and Nf3-h2-g4. The most promising reply for Black is 12… Nb8, while in case of 12… Ne7 13. Nf1 Ng6 14. Ng3 White can count on more space, and after 12… Na5 White typically gets better prospects with 13. Bc2 followed by b2-b4.

The game usually continues 12… Nb8 13. Nf1 Nbd7 14. N3h2 Nc5 15. Bc2 c6 16. b4 Ncd7 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Bg5, and here Black has a couple of ways to get equal chances: 18… Qc7, 18… h6 19. Bxf6 Nxf6 and 18… Be7.

[Diagram: White to Move] If White manages to transfer one of his rooks to the h-file, Black can hardly contain the threats. How can White secure the realization of that idea and finish the game in just a couple of moves?

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[October 21, 2018] Updated Opening Article by GM Dragan Paunović:
June 2015 Revisited: Queen’s Gambit Declined with 4… Nbd7 5. Bf4 (10. Bd3!?)

This update is a small tribute to our late colleague GM Dragan Paunović. In memory of our dear friend, our Editorial Board will continue updating his lines and articles.

This is the first update of this article that originally followed E. Postny – I. Sokolov, Montpellier 2015, and a number of engine games. Our trusty silicon friends are still big fans of this line, while the most theoretically relevant over-the-board games include MVL’s encounters against Aronian and Grischuk from Stavanger 2015.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Black to move and survive 😉

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 20, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Reti Opening – King’s Indian Attack with 4… Bg4

[Line 028 : 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c6 4. O-O Bg4]

Reti Opening has become a mainstream opening in the recent years, and it is frequently played by many world’s top grandmasters. Line 028 deals with one of the main lines in the Reti, where both sides have a few topical plans.

The easiest setup to master with White is d2-d3, Nbd2, e2-e4, Qe1, often accompanied with h2-h3 and Nh4. On the other side, Black usually responds with Nbd7 and either e7-e5 with a possible dxe4, or somewhat less ambitious though very solid e7-e6, followed by Be7 and O-O.

The immediate 5. c4 is another popular choice, where after 5… e6, a common setup begins with 6. b3, followed by Bb2, d2-d3 and Nbd2, and another frequently employed plan is 6. Qb3 Qb6 7. Nc3. Although Black is the one that needs to be more cautious, he should generally not have difficulties reaching the equality.

[Diagram: White to Move] The Knight on d4 is under attack, so White needs to respond to the treat. What is the best continuation for him, leading to a big advantage?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 19, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense – Yates Variation (Bogoljubow Variation with 10. d5)

[Line 403 : 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. d4 Bg4 10. d5]

After the almost exclusive continuation 10… Na5 11. Bc2, Black has at his disposal a very solid sideline 11… Qc8, preparing to undermine White’s pawn center with c7-c6. A possible follow-up is 12. h3 Bd7 13. Nbd2 c6 14. dxc6 Qxc6 with mutual play.

Move 11… c6 is played more frequently, where after 12. h3 apart from 12… Bc8, Black has an alternative in 12… Bxf3 13. Qxf3 cxd5 14. exd5 Nc4 where he can equalize with accurate play.

The main variation of this opening lines goes 10… Na5 11. Bc2 c6 12. h3 Bc8 13. dxc6 Qc7 14. Nbd2 Qxc6, where Black has no problems reaching positions with even chances.

[Diagram: White to Move] White is pressing on the kingside, and he can make big problems to his opponent with energetic play!

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 18, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Borki Predojević:
Slav Defense, Pin Defense

[Line 091 : 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4]

There are two usual continuations for White of about the same strength – one is immediate 5. Qb3, and the other is attacking the Bishop with 5. h3.

In the first case, the best answer is 5… Qb6, as 5… Qc7 and 5… Bxf3 allow White to get a nice edge. After the most common 5. Qb3 Qb6 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nh4 Bh5 8. h3, Black has a couple of ways to obtain positions that are more or less equal. Among them 8… Be7 9. g4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 and 8… Qxb3 9. axb3 Na6 seem to be the easiest to handle.

In case of 5. h3, move 5… Bxf3 is the point of interest of our Line 092, while 5… Bf5 looks like an interesting possibility, especially for beginners; after 6. Nc3 e6 7. Nh4 Black has a good reply in 7… Be4, where the fact that the pawn is on h3 instead on h2, is actually in Black’s favor.

The main variation of this opening line is 5. h3 Bh5, with numerous options for both sides, but the overall evaluation is that Black should have no difficulties reaching the equality.

[Diagram: White to Move] Material is balanced in the diagrammed position, and if Black manages to castle his position would be fine. How can White initiate a strong attack and disturb the black King?

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