[November 30, 2017] Updated Opening Line from GM Dragan Paunović:
English Opening, Closed Sicilian Reversed – Kingside Fianchettos

[Line 008 : 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3]

Line 008 covers the main variation of the Closed Sicilian Reversed, where Black has ample opportunities to get satisfactory positions.

Our main line here is 5… d6 6. Rb1 a5 7. a3 Nf6 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O Re8, though there are other interesting variations as well, like 5… f5, followed by Nf6 and O-O, or a similar plan with 7… f5 8. Nf3 Nf6.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White’s position looks normal, yet after an unexpected move, Black gets some serious advantage.

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[November 29, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
Queen’s Indian Defense, Nimzowitsch Variation with 5. Qc2

[Line 220 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2]

Line 220 deals with the very popular 5. Qc2, which often leads to sharp gambit lines. After 5… Bb7, White is practically forced to go for 6. Bg2 c5 7. d5. Very interesting positions occur, demanding precise knowledge of many nuances along the way. That being said, if White is not deeply prepared, he should by all means avoid 5. Qc2. Black also has a highly playable alternative in 5… Bb4+, which typically leads to somewhat passive, but ultimately very solid positions.

[Diagram: White to Move] Many White pieces are close to Black’s King, so everything is set for a decisive attack!

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[November 28, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
Four Knights Game, Spanish Variation – Rubinstein Variation (incl. Marshall Gambit)

[Line 375 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nd4]

With the increased popularity of the Berlin Defense, many Anti-Berlin lines have become heavily explored, including the Four Knights Game.

The Rubinstein Variation, starting with 4… Nd4 leads to dynamic positions where Black often leaves the e5-pawn hanging and plays for the compensation. The most topical response for White is accepting the challenge, like in the main line with 5. Ba4 Bc5 6. Ne5 O-O, also known as the Marshall Gambit.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White is behind in development, which gives Black the possibility to gain serious advantage, with the help of a petite tactics!

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[November 27, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Reti Opening, Miscellaneous

[Line 021 : 1. Nf3 d5 without 2. d4, 2. g3]

In addition to transposing to our Line 056 with 2. d4, and the main line in Reti Opening (2. g3) examined in our Lines 023-024, White has another popular alternative in 2. c4.

The Anglo-Slav, occurring after 2. c4 c6, is covered separately in Line 022, and other choices from Black on the second move (2… d4, 2… e6 and 2… dxc4) are the main point of interest of this opening line.

After 2. c4 d4, moves 3. g3 and 3. b4 seem to pose the most problems to Black, though he is typically able to get equal positions without difficulties.

After 2… e6 3. g3 dxc4 appears a kind of Neo-Catalan Accepted, while in case of 2… dxc4 White has a choice between 3. e3, often transposing to the Queen’s Gambit Accepted, and the not very ambitious 3. Na3 or 3. Qa4+.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White seems to be fine, but poor coordination of his pieces allows Black to obtain a substantial advantage. Can you find the way to do it?

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[November 26, 2017] Updated Opening Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
May 2017 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation: Bastrikov Variation

Our original main line of this variation still follows A. Morozevich – I. Bukavshin, Moscow (rapid) 2015, a marvelous tactical masterpiece by the former World No. 2. New theoretically important developments have appeared since our last update, so it seemed logical to revisit this double-edged line.

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position is from a blitz game M. Vachier Lagrave – A. Grischuk, Internet (blitz) 2017. Black has a bishop pair, but he wants something more. Is this the right time to try something decisive?

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[November 25, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Borki Predojević:
Queen’s Gambit Declined, Harrwitz Attack

[Line 253 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 without 5. Bg5]

The Harrwitz Attack, characterized by the topical 5. Bf4 is, besides 5. Bg5, one of the two most popular systems against the Queen’s Gambit Declined. It’s a frequent guest among the elite so, due to sheer quantity of the information, the remainder of the material is covered in Lines 254-257.

The Fianchetto Variation with 5. g3 has recently gained in popularity, mostly due to Kramnik’s incredible input of original ideas for both sides, like in recent P. Svidler – V. Kramnik, Skopje 2015 and V. Kramnik – V. Topalov, Tromsø (ol) 2014.

We especially recommend that you take a closer look at an incredibly spectacular game P. Svidler – A. Morozevich, Sochi 2012.

[Diagram: White to Move] The diagrammed position is well-known from many games, ranging from classical B. Ivkov – K. Robatsch, Vinkovci 1968, to some recent correspondence and engine games. After energetic play, White gets a strong attack!

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