NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[May 01, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
April 2013 Revisited: Slav Defense, Chebanenko Variation (Old Main Line)

Wojtaszek’s brilliant novelty that he uncorked against unsuspecting Malakhov was the original key game in this article, but some new developments have appeared in the meantime, and this update examines their significance for the modern opening theory. In our opinion, the most promising novel ideas for White can be seen in the following two games: <Engine/Centaur> – <Engine/Centaur>, Internet (rapid) 2015, and Ding Liren – S. Movsesian, Huai’an (blitz) 2016.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black’s counterplay against his opponent’s king seems more dangerous than it actually is, and White aptly denies it with a neat defensive idea…

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 24, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
Four Knights Game, Spanish Variation without 4… Nd4 (incl. Double Ruy Lopez)

[Line 374 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 without 4… Nd4]

Just a couple of hours after GM Vučković had published his update of Line 374, Mr. Albert Schenning from Belgium sent us a mail with a promising idea for White, beginning with 12. Qh5!? After a collaborative effort between our dear user and the CO 24/7 Editorial Board, we have finally reached a conclusion that GM Vučković’s initial evaluation that the position is approximately equal still stands, but that after Mr. Schenning’s improvement Black has to tread very carefully, as there is a long and winding road still ahead of him.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Mr. Schenning has just shown his hand, and it’s obviously a very strong one. Can you survive the attack and steer the Black’s ship into a safe haven?

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[Apr 24, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Dragan Paunović:
June 2015 Revisited: Nimzo-Indian Defense, Kmoch Variation with 4… c5

The Altibox Norway Chess super tournament is under way in Stavanger, and the top-tier field practically guarantees that each game is theoretically important. P. Eljanov – P. Harikrishna, Stavanger 2016 doesn’t seem to promise equality to players of Black, so our earlier suggestion, based on the last year’s game A. Grischuk – V. Topalov, Stavanger 2015 from the same event, still remains Black’s best option in this line.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White is getting ready to treat his opponent to a slow grind, and Black is seemingly left without sensible moves. However, there is a brilliant strategic idea that should neutralize White’s positional pressure and give Black quite decent counterplay. So, are you ready to put your positional skills to the test?

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NEW OPENING ARTICLE

[Apr 17, 2016] New Opening Survey by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
French Defense in the USA: Winawer Variation, 10. Nh3!?

Fabiano Caruana, Hikaru Nakamura and Wesley So will be notably absent from the upcoming Altibox Norway Chess supertournament in Stavanger, but they will surely more than make up for it with their uncompromising play at the ongoing US Chess Championships held in Saint Louis, the new chess Mecca. The three pre-tournament favorites scored a combined 5.5/6 in the first two rounds against a highly respectable field, and our opening survey is based on Caruana’s second round win against Sam Shankland.

[Diagram: White to Move] H. Bowers – W. Meijer, corr. 2004. White has a dangerous attack, but Black is currently a piece up and seems pretty unfazed about the threat to his knight on g6. What’s the best course of action for White?

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[Apr 10, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
February 2014 Revisited: Dutch Defense, Leningrad Variation with 7… c6 8. b4!?

After its heydays in the late 80’s, the Leningrad Dutch is back (if sparingly) among the elite: apart from the two high-profile clashes in 2014 (B. Gelfand – F. Caruana, Zürich 2014 and P. Lékó – R. Ponomariov, Dortmund 2014), several world-class players (most notably Tomashevsky, Radjabov and P. H. Nielsen) opted for 8. b4 as their weapon of choice against this tricky variation over the past 2-3 years.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black’s hoping to compensate for his opponent’s pressure on the c6 pawn by launching a counterattack on c4, but his efforts fall short after White’s unflinching reaction – his 18th move makes a particularly neat impression.

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