NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[February 19, 2017] Busted: Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
Queen’s Gambit Accepted, Central Variation, Kramnik’s Huge Preparation

March 2014 Revisited: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. e4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bxc4 Nb6 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. Be3 Nb4 8. Be4 f5 9. a3

There were some new interesting developments in the line 9. a3! since it was introduced by Kramnik against Karjakin in Khanty-Mansiysk 2014.

A couple of fresh grandmaster games continued with 9… Nd5, where our recommendation remains the same – 10. Bf3, with more pleasant position for White.

The main extension of this opening article is after 9… fxe4 10. axb4 e6 11. Nc3 Nd5, where in the last 2-3 years a plenty of engine games have been played. Though Black  gets some counterchances, move 12. Qg4! still gives White better prospects.

[Diagram: White to Move] The end of the combination conducted by White; how can he finish the attack in great style?

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[February 12, 2017] Trusted: Opening Survey by GM Aleksandar Kovačević
Catalan Defense, Closed Variation with 7… b6 (12. Rd1)

Nakamura’s three-peat at the Gibraltar Tradewise Open was nothing short of impressive, so examining his weapon of choice in the decisive game of the first leg of the play-offs seems quite logical. In addition to two high-profile grandmaster games – R. Kasimdzhanov – A. Kovalyov, Baku 2015 and M. Rodshtein – A. Franco Alonso, Linares 2014, our examination of this variation will also include a number of theoretically important engine games, which will surely broaden our understanding of this rather fashionable line.

[Diagram: Black to Move] H. Nakamura – Yu Yangyi, Caleta (rapid, m/3) 2017. Moves like Nd6 or Ne3 typically annoy Black, so he has to act quickly before his opponent’s pressure becomes unpleasant. Any ideas?

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[February 05, 2017] Updated Opening Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
May & October 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Najdorf, Grischuk’s Verbeterde List

While capturing on f6 instead of Bh4 has recently been in vogue among grandmasters, our latest update proves that at least two options on the 13th move contain so much venom that it makes them highly playable at any level for the players of White.

[Diagram: White to Move] The diagrammed position appears in our analysis of S. Lomasov – D. Khismatullin, Moscow 2017. It seems that White can hardly make any improvement, but he has a very subtle maneuver that exposes the fact that Black king is stick in the center. Can you find that neat idea?

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[January 29, 2017] Pick of the Week by GM Boris Avrukh:
July 2015 Revisited: English Opening, Asymmetrical Variation
 (7. b4!?)

After the original key game D. Anton Guijarro – A. R. Salem Saleh, Martuni 2015, this variation remained dormant for quite a while. However, in the most recent top-level game in this line I. Nepomniachtchi – P. Harikrishna, Wijk aan Zee 2017 White tried something new, and it almost worked.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Given the difficulties that Black faced in the above mentioned encounter from Wijk, we have also examined a more direct approach for him. At first glance, White is a castling away from capitalizing on Black’s seriously compromised pawn structure, uncoordinated pieces and uncastled king. However, Black gets to play first, which he can use to generate sufficient counterplay. How should he react to reach a roughly equal position with mutual chances?

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[January 22, 2017] Updated Opening Article by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
February 2014 Revisited: Ruy Lopez, Marshall Attack with 12. d3 (17. Nd2!?)

Our original main line of this variation stems from F. Caruana – L. Aronian, Zürich 2014, which has recently been improved upon: Black seems capable of equalizing if he follows the recipe from M. Nayhebaver – C. Repka, Banska Stiavnica 2016. The most recent top-level game in this line is P. Harikrishna – L. Aronian, Wijk aan Zee 2017.

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position had originally appeared in M. Adams – L. Aronian, Tromsø (ol) 2014, and what followed was probably still a part of the Armenian grandmaster’s deep opening preparation. White was exerting pressure all over the board, so something had to be done about that. Can you follow in Aronian’s footsteps and maintain the balance as Black?

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[January 15, 2017] Pick of the Week by GM Boris Avrukh:
April 2014 Revisited: Chebanenko-Schallopp Slav (14. Ba5!)

After the original key game E. Bacrot – C. Balogh, Eppingen 2014 many good players have been introducing their attempts at improvements for both sides, so we have decided to update this article with recent developments in this line. The most recent game in this line is W. So – M. Carlsen, Wijk aan Zee 2017, where Black equalized effortlessly.

[Diagram: White to Move] White had major difficulties defending his pieces and pawns in D. Bocharov – D. Andreikin, Sochi (rapid) 2016, so passive approach might not have been the best approach for him. Any ideas on how to proceed as White in the diagrammed position?

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