[May 15, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Dragan Paunović:
June 2014 Revisited: English Opening, Flohr-Mikenas-Carls Variation

In the original article our featured game was Grischuk’s brilliant win against Aronian in Stavanger two years ago. In the meantime, quite a few interesting top-level games have been played, the most recent being the opener of the blitz mini-match between Nakamura and Caruana.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White has a spatial advantage and an obvious idea to push his g-pawn forward. How can Black counter this plan?

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[May 08, 2016] New Opening Survey by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
Scotch Game, Classical Variation with 7. Bc4 Ne5 8. Bb3 Qg6

While Carlsen certainly rightfully gets the media attention he deserves as the reigning World Champion, Kasparov is undoubtedly still the undisputed No. 1 magnet for the media in the world of chess. His incredible charisma aside, The Ultimate Blitz Challenge in Saint Louis again reminded us why he is probably the greatest chess player ever: as if his plus score against the top three US players wasn’t incredible enough, his level of opening preparation was still top-notch.

Garry Kimovich played the Scotch Game against all his opponents at this memorable event, and his success gives us an opportunity to re-examine the theoretical value of this opening that has mostly gone out of fashion in recent years. This article particularly focuses on Kasparov’s final game against Nakamura, the tournament winner, as it seems to prove that this opening still contains some venom and cannot be easily dismissed.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Dark-squared bishop could be White’s greatest asset in the diagrammed position. How should Black react to prevent his opponent from developing a dangerous initiative?

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[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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[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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[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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