NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[July 17, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
March 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation with 7. Qf3 Bd6

The updated version of this article brings several interesting attempts by the players of White. The most serious one comes from a high-profile game between World No. 2 & 3, where Black has to tread carefully to keep the balance: V. Kramnik  – F. Caruana, Dortmund 2016.

[Diagram: Black to Move] G. Jones – P. Garbett, Auckland 2016. The diagrammed position shows a familiar scenario with a very important detail that makes all the difference – after g3 White can no longer move his queen to that square, and his most dangerous piece is left unprotected in some variations. Let’s see what Black can do about it 😉

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[July 13, 2016] Updated Opening Line by Trajko Nedev:
King’s Indian Defense, Sämisch Variation – Normal Defense with 6… c5

[Line 155 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 c5]

Line 155 deals with what’s currently considered the most promising reaction from Black against the Sämisch Variation of KID. There are many double-edged positions occurring in this line, whatever White chooses to play: 7. dxc5, 7. d5 or 7. Nge2.

If White accepts the pawn sacrifice with 7. dxc5 dxc5 8. Qxd8 Rxd8 9. Bxc5, Black generally gets a nice compensation, for example 9… Nc6 10. Nge2 b6 11. Ba3 Ba6, with good development advantage.

In case when White decides to block the center with 7. d5 e6 8. Qd2 exd5 9. cxd5, a Benoni-type positions occur, and again Black is able to get sufficient counterplay, like in the following line: 9… a6 10. a4 Re8 11. Nge2 Nbd7 12. Ng3 h5.

The most demanding line for both sides is the flexible 7. Nge2. Black can decide between an interesting sideline 7… Qa5 8. Nc1 cxd4, that has been seen in a few recent games, and the critical 7… Nc6 8. d5 Ne5 9. Ng3 h5 10. Be2 h4 11. Nf1 e6 with very sharp play.

[Diagram: Black to Move] A. Istratescu – E. Berg, Eritrea 2011. White’s last move was the careless g2-g4, allowing his opponent a strong blow that immediately turns things into his favor.

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[July 10, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
June 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Keres Attack with 7… h6

In the originally published version of this article our game of the week was V. Anand – M. Vachier-Lagrave, Stavanger (m/3) 2015, one of many fine examples of the great Indian’s incredible attacking prowess. This update does not bring such high-profile games, but new games from correspondence tournaments and engine rooms are nevertheless very fine additions and important contributions to modern opening theory.

[Diagram: White to Move] A. Linkov – T. Kain, corr. 2015. The diagrammed position shows a scenario that’s quite typical of this line: Black is playing a waiting game, hoping to launch a counterattack if his opponent’s pawn advance becomes too committal. Our suggested improvement for White is very human in its nature: its starts with subtle adjustments, followed by a direct pawn push that initiates a promising kingside attack.

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[July 3, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
September 2015 Revisited: Grünfeld Defense, Russian Variation with 7… Be6 8. Qd3

In the original article our game of the week was a clash between two Grünfeld Defense titans of the modern era: P. Svidler – Wei Yi, Baku (m/3) 2015, where we suggested an interesting improvement for Black. We have now updated the survey with several theoretically important over-the-board and correspondence games, and the most important addition is another game played by Wei Yi – this time against his compatriot Wang Yue.

[Diagram: White to Move] C. Sandipan – M. Sanchez Ibern, Caleta 2013. The diagrammed position shows the critical moment in the above mentioned game: white pawn on e5 is hanging, but Black pieces seem uncoordinated, and his king is somewhat exposed. What is the best course of action for White?

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[June 26, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
July 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Najdorf, English Attack

In the original article our game of the week was a memorable one: D. Navara – R. Wojtaszek, Biel 2015, where white king’s extraordinary march all the way to h8 brought him a spectacular win. We have now updated the survey with several theoretically important over-the-board and correspondence games, but the most important addition the discovery that Navara’s incredible plan was actually flawed!

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position shows the critical moment in the above mentioned game: white king is dangerously close to the enemy camp, so Black has to find a way to cut off his opponent’s pieces, to make sure they cannot come to the rescue of their monarch.

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[June 19, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
March 2015 Revisited: Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense with 4. d3 Bc5 5. c3

In the original article our game of the week was P. Svidler – M. Ragger, Baden-Baden 2015, where White scored a rare top-level win in one of the main lines of the Berlin Defense. We have now updated the survey with several theoretically important over-the-board, correspondence and engine games, and the most important addition is on move 14, where a new interesting try 14. Qd1!? was seen in two elite level games: F. Caruana – A. Giri, Moscow 2016 and M. Vachier-Lagrave – V. Anand, Leuven (rapid) 2016.

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position comes from a game between two recent versions of Stockfish. Black has to do something about his opponent’s pressure on the kingside, and prevent f4-f5, before it becomes too late.

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