[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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[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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[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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[Feb 28, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
March 2015 Revisited: The King’s Indian Defense, Petrosian Variation

The Petrosian Variation of the King’s Indian Defense has that evergreen feel that never seems to lose its appeal among chess players of all strength levels. GM Brenjo had originally decided to explore some fashionable lines in this opening using E. Tomashevsky – T. Radjabov, Tbilisi 2015 as the key game, but new developments kept appearing on regular basis, so it was as good time as any to update this opening survey once again.

[Diagram] It’s traditional wisdom to go after your opponent’s king in positions with opposite castling, but sometimes it pays off to literally look both ways.

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[Feb 212016-02-21 - Article_Updates, 2016] Two Updated Opening Articles by GM Dragan Paunović:
November 2013 & May 2014 Revisited: Semi-Slav, Marshall Gambit (8. Be2 & 8. Ne2)

The Tolush Variation with 8. Be2 has historically been more popular than 8. Ne2, and in this case even computer engines seem to prefer the bishop move. However, the latter option is certainly not without venom, so we found it quite fitting to update both articles at the same time and give you an opportunity to compare the two lines.

It’s Black’s turn to move and White is obviously hanging on a thread, so why not just cut it off, eh?

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[Dusted Off] A New Opening Survey by GM Borki Predojević:
Pianissimo or Painissimo? – Italian Game, Giuoco Pianissimo with 8. a4!?

We’ve been witnessing a rise in popularity of the Italian game for quite a while, and it even became almost fashionable at the highest level (e. g. even the World Champion Magnus Carlsen played it himself in Wijk aan Zee a month ago). It seems that there are many options worth investigating, and a lot of uncharted territory worth exploring.

Our editor GM Predojević believes that 8. a4!? is not the most pleasant move to face over the board, so it’s no wonder that it’s a part of his own opening repertoire.

Today’s preview brings a position from a computer engine game. Black wants to exchange the queens, so White has to act quickly if he wants to fight for advantage.See more