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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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[Apr 03, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
March 2014 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation: English Attack (10… Nb4!?)

When we originally published GM Kovačević’s opening survey two years ago, the key game for this line was (and still is) V. Láznička – R. Wojtaszek, Yerevan 2014. In the meantime, lots of (admittedly – mostly engine) games have been played, most notably S. Karjakin – D. Khismatullin, Kazan 2014, but the verdict remains pretty much the same: players of Black who enjoy the intricacies of the Najdorf Variation will certainly like their chances in this double-edged line.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Black’s compensation for the exchange is obvious, but he can make White’s life even more difficult…

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NEW OPENING ARTICLE

[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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[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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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[Mar 13, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
August 2014 Revisited: Queen’s Gambit Declined, Sämisch Variation

When we originally published GM Avrukh’s Pick of the Week a year and a half ago, the key game was Kasimdzhanov’s powerful novelty that brought him a full point against Kramnik at the Tromsø Olympiad in 2014. In the meantime, Black’s preferred response in this line became the daring 6… b5!?, which sparked many theoretical discussions in 2016.

Most notable recent additions come from Moscow and include B. Gelfand – B. Grachev, Aeroflot Open 2016 and L. Aronian – V. Anand, FIDE Candidates Tournament 2016, but we believe that players of White should seriously consider our suggested improvement on White’s play in J. Gustafsson – A. Naiditsch, Linares 2015, that you can see on the diagram.

[Diagram: White to Move] So, to capture, or not to capture – that is the question…

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NEW OPENING ARTICLE

[Mar 06, 2016] New Opening Survey by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
A Great Find by Gelfand: Sicilian Najdorf, Adams Attack with 8. g5

It’s always good to see a great player of Gelfand’s caliber back into action. After his win in a mini-match against Morozevich, we can now follow his games from the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, where he currently stands at “plus two” after five rounds. Our featured game A. Demchenko – B. Gelfand, Moscow 2016 puts his great strengths on display: supreme analytical work combined with deep understanding of the game.

[Diagram] White dispels all Black’s hopes of survival with a brilliant tactical idea…

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