[Mar 30, 2016] 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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[Mar 29, 2016] Updated Opening Line by 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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[Mar 28, 2016] 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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[Mar 27, 2016] New Opening Survey by GM Dragan Paunović:
A Good Day for the English Opening: Four Knights Variation, 13. Bf4!?

What made Caruana’s preparation for the Candidates 2016 Round 10 game against Anand so great was the fact that the former World Champion was practically forced to find a very difficult tactical counterplay over the board in a high-pressure situation. After he failed to do that, White emerged with a favorable middlegame, and after that everything went downhill for Anand.

This game is obviously highly important for the modern opening theory, but could also turn out to be the decisive one when it comes to determining the next challenger to the World Chess Crown.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Can you improve upon Anand’s play and find the path to equality for Black?

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2016-03-24 - Update Line 045[Mar 24, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Dragan Paunović:
English Opening, Hedgehog Variation with 7. d4

[Line 045 : 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. g3 b6 5. Bg2 Bb7 6. O-O Be7 7. d4]

Line 045 covers the main line of the Hedgehog Variation of the English Opening. After 7… cxd4, recapturing the pawn with Knight leads to simplified positions, where Black can easily equalize.

On the other hand, 8. Qxd4 poses significantly more problems for Black: in the main 7… cxd4 8. Qxd4 d6 9. Bg5 a6 10. Bxf6! he has difficulties reaching equality. Black can get solid, yet passive positions, where he has to wait for White’s action, which may not be to everyone’s taste.

[Diagram: White to Move] This position has occurred in a number of recent computer games. How should White make use of his active pieces, and the weakness of the f5 square?

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[Mar 20, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Vadim Zvjaginsev:
October 2014 Revisited: Semi-Slav, Stoltz Variation – Main Line with 9… b5

When we originally published GM Zvjaginsev’s opening survey a year and a half ago, the key game was Giri’s powerful novelty that brought him a full point as White in the fourth game of his match against Shirov in 2014. The Candidates Tournament in Moscow gave him an opportunity to shine with opposite colors: Nakamura tried a new idea, but it turned out that Giri had already worked it all out at home – he calmly remembered his preparation, and the game soon ended in a perpetual check.

[Diagram: Black to Move] It seems as if it is already curtains for Black in this position from a recent correspondence game, but it is his turn to move, and that gives him an opportunity to save the game.

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