NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 06, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Vadim Zvjaginsev:
Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical Variation – Noa Variation (Romanishin Variation & Beliavsky Gambit)

[Line 177 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5 Qxd5]

Line 177 deals with the Romanishin Variation that starts with 5… Qxd5, which is often followed by Qf5. The main line here is 6. Nf3 Qf5, where after 7. Qd1 e5 (in the so-called Beliavsky Gambit), Black typically gets a very good game.

White usually opts for 8. Qb3, and after 8… Nc6 9. Bd2 O-O 10. h3!? with the idea g4 (introduced in the 6th game of the Anand – Kramnik match, Bonn 2008) has become quite popular among the world class players in recent years.

[Diagram: White to Move] How should White continue to get out of the complications with considerable advantage?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 05, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, Old Sicilian – Kalashnikov Variation (incl. La Bourdonnais Variation)

[Line 429 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5]

Apart from the Kalashnikov Variation, Line 429 covers some rare lines such as the La Bourdonnais Variation – 5. Nb5 a6, where White should have several pretty straightforward paths to reasonable advantage.

After 5. Nb5 d6 White can choose between the positional 6. c4, which typically leads to slightly more pleasant positions for White, or the more ambitious 6. N1c3, where besides a transposition to the Lasker Variation after 6… Nf6, Black can continue with 6… a6 7. Na3 and than choose one of the two popular lines: 7… b5 or 7… Be7.

[Diagram: White to Move] One of the critical positions in the 7… Be7 variation, where White is facing a choice to either capture the bishop on g3, or refrain from doing so. Which of the two should be preferred?

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 04, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
English Opening, The Stein Attack

[Line 039 : 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Qa4+]

The Stein Attack starts with an early queen check, where Black has two main choices: 5… Nc6 and 5… Bd7.

The first of them often leads to simplifications after 6. Ne5 Qd6 7. Nxc6 Qxc6 8. Qxc6+ bxc6, where Black should achieve comfortable positions.

The second of them usually continues with 6. Qb3 Nc6 7. d4 Bg7 8. e4 Bg4 ,which typically leads to complications, like in the main line with 9. Bb5+ c6 10. Ng5.

[Diagram: White to Move] Bishop sacrifice on g5 looks very tempting, but it’s necessary to play accurately to get a serious advantage.

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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 UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 02, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Vadim Zvjaginsev:
Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical Variation – Noa Variation with 5. cxd5

[Line 176 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5 5. cxd5]

Line 176 covers the Noa Variation of the Nimzo-Indian with 5. cxd5 exd5. White usually develops his dark-squared Bishop to g5, after which Black typically reacts with h6 and c5, followed by g5, Ne4 and Qa5. Black willingly weakens his kingside to get compensation in active piece play, which makes this line well-suited for tactically-minded players.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White King is already in a precarious position, so Black only needs to find a good way to join his rooks in the decisive attack.

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NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[Apr 01, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
Four Knights Game, Spanish Variation – Rubinstein Variation (incl. Marshall Gambit)

[Line 375 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Nc3 Nd4]

With the increased popularity of the Berlin Defense, many Anti-Berlin lines have become heavily explored, including the Four Knights Game.

The Rubinstein Variation, starting with 4… Nd4 leads to dynamic positions where Black often leaves the e5-pawn hanging and plays for the compensation. The most topical response for White is accepting the challenge, like in the main line with 5. Ba4 Bc5 6. Ne5 O-O, also known as the Marshall Gambit.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White is behind in development, which gives Black the possibility to gain serious advantage, with the help of a petite tactics!

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