[Apr 29, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Dragan Paunović:
Queen’s Indian Defense, Classical Variation with 7… Ne4 8. Bd2

[Line 218 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 Ne4 8. Bd2]

Line 218 covers the main line of the Classical Variation of the Queen’s Indian Defense. In our opinion, Black has several ways to reach satisfactory positions.

For club level players we recommend either 8… c5 or 8… d6. 8… f5 generally leads to more complex positions, though Black should be able to equalize with a few accurate moves.

The main line is 8… Bf6, followed by d7-d6 and Nd7. White can fight against that plan with 9. Ne5, for instance like in a recent game B. Grachev – D. Khismatullin, Kazan 2014, where Black experienced some problems reaching equality.

[Diagram: Black to Move] It looks like Black is in big problems, but there is a way to escape all the difficulties. What should he do?

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[Apr 28, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defense – Anderssen Variation (incl. Duras Variation)

[Line 385 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3]

The Anderssen Variation, starting with 5. d3, is quite a popular way to avoid many heavily explored variations of the Ruy Lopez. White mostly settles for equal positions, but doesn’t have to worry about more complex lines, such as the Open Variation, Marshall Attack or Closed Defense.

Black has more than one way to get satisfactory positions. He can make use of the fact that he still hasn’t develop black squared Bishop, and play 5… d6 followed by a kingside fianchetto, like in our main line: 5… d6 6. c3 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. Nbd2 O-O.

The Duras Variation (5… d6 6. c4), later often followed by Bxc6, is a sideline that typically leads to a quiet game.

The other promising line for Black is 5… b5 6. Bb3 Bc5, where if White doesn’t want to transpose to some other lines, he can also try 7. Nc3 d6 8. Nd5, though after 8… h6 Black should be fine.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White is an exchange up and Bishop on d4 is hanging. How should Black fight for the compensation?

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[Apr 27, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, Classical Scheveningen – Maroczy Variation with 7. O-O

[Line 485 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O]

Maroczy or the Classical Scheveningen Variation is nowadays seen at the top level, as much as when it was re-introduced among the elite by Kasparov in mid 1980’s. The Najdorf move order is the most common way to enter the Scheveningen set-up, transposition from the Paulsen is another popular option, whereas 6… e6 is ususally avoided because of White’s preferable chances in the Keres Attack.

Line 485 focuses on lines without a2-a4, which allows Black’s queenside activity with b7-b5. White most often relies on the Qe1-g3 maneuver, and a tensed strategic battle typically occurs.

From the recent developments we would recommend 17. a4, as seen e. g. in A. Giri – Hou Yifan, Biel 2014, which caused some problems that Black had difficulties dealing with. However, Black has another possibility in 15… Bc6, like e. g. in K. Dragun – B. Grachev, Moscow 2016.

[Diagram: White to Move] The grand finale from the spectacular Wei Yi – L. Bruzon Batista, Danzhou 2015. White to play and win!

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2016-04-26 - Update Line 120[Apr 26, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
Modern Benoni, Classical Variation

[Line 120 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. Nc3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nf3 g6 7. e4]

Line 120 covers the main line of the Classical Variation of Modern Benoni.

A highly investigated sharp line occurs after 7… Bg7 8. h3 O-O 9. Bd3 b5. White now has two main options: the first is 10. Bxb5, and after the forced 10… Nxe4 11. Nxe4 Qa5+ 12. Nfd2 Qxb5 13. Nd6 Qa6 Black has sufficient compensation; the second is 10. Nxb5, where after 10… Re8 11. O-O Nxe4 12. Re1 a6! Black should be doing fine, too.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black has sacrificed a piece, but he is ready to recapture it. How should White proceed?

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[Apr 25, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
English Opening, Symmetrical Variation (Geller)

[Line 034 : 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 e6 4. d4 without 4… d5]

The Geller Variation in the English Opening, which occurs after 4… cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. g3 Qb6, has been frequently employed among the top level players in recent years.

Besides the classical 7. Nb3, there is also a modern option beginning with 7. Ndb5, where those who want to avoid critical theoretical lines can also choose a decent sideline (7… d5), with good chances for equality. For the well-prepared and ambitious we suggest 7… Ne5, when White gets to choose between two sharp choices: 8. Bf4 Nfg4 9. Qa4, like in the following recent games: V. Topalov – F. Caruana, Moscow 2016, or H. Nakamura – S. Karjakin, Zurich 2015, where Karjakin quickly lost because he forgot a forced line that ends in perpetual check.

The other popular choice against 7… Ne5 is 8. Bg2, which typically leads to equally demanding theoretical lines.

[Diagram: White to Move] This preview brings a powerful idea introduced by Kramnik in his game against Anand from the Monte Carlo (rapid) in 1994. How can White gain a lasting initiative in the diagrammed position?

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