[May 29, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
August 2015 Revisited: English Opening, Four Knights Variation with 4… Bb4 (12… d6)

In the original article our game of the week was D. Khismatullin – E. Tomashevsky, Chita 2015, featuring an important theoretical novelty. We have now updated the survey with several theoretically important correspondence and engine games, and there is also a highly relevant top-level game from the Chess World Cup 2015 with important improvements for both sides: J. Granda Zúñiga – A. Fier, Baku (m/2) 2015.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black wants to get rid of his opponent’s knight on f5, but perhaps White wants to sacrifice it himself 😉

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[May 22, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Boris Avrukh:
May 2015 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation – Verbeterde List

In the original article our featured games were D. Frolyanov – L. Dominguez Perez, Sochi 2015 and M. Cornette – P. Idani, Reykjavik 2015. We have now updated the survey with several theoretically important correspondence games, and it seems that the verdict remains the same: Black usually gets rich piece play after the pawn sacrifice, but he can hardly reach complete equality if White plays all the accurate moves.

[Diagram: White to Move] 15. Nd5 looks very much like one of those Sicilian-killers, but can you see what comes next?

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In Memoriam: GM Dragan Paunović
November 8, 1961 (Belgrade, Serbia) – May 19, 2016 (Vigo, Spain)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved friend and colleague GM Dragan Paunović.

On May 18, 2016 he was incapacitated by a sudden health affliction, and transported by helicopter to a hospital in Vigo, Spain. Dragan was admitted to the hospital with severe vascular complications resulting in abdominal aortic aneurism. He passed away the morning after surgery.

Dragan is survived by his father Bogoljub and his brother Tomislav, an international chess master. Our dear colleague was loved by his family, friends and fellow chess players for his gentle demeanor and genuine kindness. He will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by everyone who had the good fortune to cross paths with him.



[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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