2016-02-17 - Update Line 054[September 28, 2017] Updated Opening Line from GM Dragan Paunović:
English Defense

[Line 054 : 1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6]

This update is a small tribute to our late colleague GM Dragan Paunović. In memory of our dear friend, our Editorial Board will continue updating his lines and articles.

In English Defense Black allows White to form a strong pawn center, so he could attack it with his pieces. Apart from the most principal 3. e4, there are less ambitious but safer 3. a3, 3. Nc3 and 3. Nf3, as well as some rare sidelines.

If White aspires to get advantage out of the opening, he needs to play some very precise moves. He also has to be ready for forced lines, like the ones occurring after 3. e4 Bb7 4. Bd3 f5.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black’s minor pieces are attacking the d5-pawn, and if White captures on c6, his opponent will quickly develop the remaining forces. Therefore, White’s best choice is to sacrifice some material and postpone Black’s development…

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2016-02-13 - Update 472[September 27, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, Richter-Rauzer Variation (Miscellaneous)

[Line 472 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 without 6… e6]

Line 472 deals with the Classical Richter-Rauzer Sicilian, including its rare sidelines: 6… Qb6, 6… Qa5 and 6… h6, as well as the old 6… Bd7 and modern 6… g6, which leads to non-standard positions. However, in spite of its unorthodox nature, the kingside fianchetto holds most promise for the players of Black among all the variations covered in this line.

The diagram on the left shows one of the critical positions in the 6… Bd7 line. It occurs after a highly attractive improvement suggested by our editor, which we believe is a very interesting option for the players of White seeking initiative in this line.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black King is stuck in the center, but White has no open files for his rooks, so it doesn’t look particularly dangerous at first sight. How can White make use of the awkward position of his opponent’s King to get substantial advantage?

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2016-02-24 - Update Line 114[September 26, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
Queen’s Pawn Game, Knights Variation – Indian Game with 3. g3

[Line 114 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3]

Black has several possibilities at his disposal to get comfortable positions, after White’s rather unambitious 3. g3. This line mostly covers 3… b5, which prevents White from playing early c2-c4, as well as 3… c5 that can lead to some type of an English Opening, while 3… d5 often transposes to the Catalan Defense. Another important transposition is 3… b6, which leads to Queen’s Indian Defense after 4. Bg2 Bb7 5. c4.

[Diagram: White to Move] Wang Yue – Timofeev, Ningbo (rapid) 2010. Black has a strong pawn center, but is behind in development. There’s no time to waste, so White has to pounce immediately!

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2016-02-25 - Update Line 404[September 25, 2017] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense with 9. h3 (incl. Kholmov, Smyslov, Karpov & Keres Variations)

[Line 404 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 without 9… Na5, 9… Nb8, 9… Bb7]

Line 404 covers some not particularly fashionable Classical Ruy Lopez variations: Karpov (9… Nd7), Smyslov (9… h6), Kholmov (9… Be6) and Keres (9… a5) Variations, as well as some rare sidelines. Karpov played his pet line several times in his famous match against Kasparov in Lyon/New York 1990.

In our opinion, White can secure the opening edge in all of the variations covered in this line if he plays the opening phase accurately.

[Diagram: White to Move] Kasparov failed to find the right path to advantage in the diagrammed position from one the above mentioned encounters between the 2 K’s. Believe us when we tell you – the key point of this extraordinary combination should not be missed!

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[September 24, 2017] Busted: Opening Survey by GM Aleksandar Kovačević
Sicilian Najdorf, English Attack with 17. Kb1!

Our Editorial Board has recently received an e-mail from one of our dear users (we shall come up with more details as soon as we get his consent) claiming that there is a serious problem in the main line of our Line 500. Unfortunately, he has discovered it the hard way when his opponent launched an
unpleasant, yet perfectly logical, novelty.

Nothing seemed to indicate such an unfortunate outcome, given that everything seemed perfectly fine on the human front: the players of Black won two games and drew one in the previous over-the-board encounters. However, subsequent engine games turned out to be heavily in White’s favor, which opened my eyes to the writing on the wall, albeit a bit too late, I’m afraid. This article only seems to
confirm that Black is in dire straits after 17. Kb1, so it’s unfortunately nothing more than a post festum confirmation of the unsound nature of Black’s choice of 15… Bxb3 on the 15th move.

[Diagram: White to Move] White is exerting a very strong pressure, but Black is still somehow managing to hang by a thread… Can you find a way to break through his last line of defense?

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[September 23, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense – Chigorin Variation (Classical Variation with 12… cxd4 13. cxd4 Nc6)

[Line 413 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 cxd4 13. cxd4 Nc6]

This opening line deals with the main line of the Chigorin Variation in the Ruy Lopez.

Though moves 14. a3 and 14. d5 have been tried many times, they typically don’t pose serious problems to the players of Black, so 14. Nb3 represents a much more common option. After the usual follow-up 14. Nb3 a5 15. Be3 a4 16. Nbd2, moves 16… Be6 and 16… Nb4 are the alternatives to the main 16… Bd7. The game typically proceeds with 17. Rc1 Qb7, where White has several playable options. Among them 18. Qe2 and 18. Nf1 are the most promising moves that give White slightly better prospects.

[Diagram: White to Move] It seems like Black has a good counterplay along the c-file, but White’s initiative on the kingside is much stronger. How should White continue to gain a big advantage?

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