[January 03, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Borki Predojević:
Catalan Defense, Open Defense (incl. Classical Line)

[Line 239 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 dxc4]

From the initial position of this opening line White has two not particularly promising sidelines: 5. Qa4+ and 5. Nc3 (transposing to Line 245).

After the main 5. Bg2, the most common options for Black are covered in separate opening lines: 5… a6 in Line 242, 5… Nc6 in Line 241 and 5… Bb4 in Line 240.

The idea of 5… c6 is defending the c4-pawn with b7-b5. White can oppose it with 6. Ne5, where 6… c5 gives Black good chances for equality.

Move 5… c5 is a frequently seen alternative. The game usually continues 6. O-O Nc6, where 7. dxc5 seems to give White a small edge.

On other possibilities, like 5… Bd7, 5… Nbd7 and 5… Be7, White typically gets an upper hand.

[Diagram: White to Move] R. Grossi – F. Senzacqua, corr. 2013. White has sacrificed three pawns to get this very promising position. How should he continue to secure himself a big advantage?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…


[January 02, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Ruy Lopez, Berlin Defense – Main Line with 9… Bd7

[Line 379 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bd7]

The idea of 9… Bd7 is generaly connected with the plan involving Kc8, b6-b7 and Kb7, with or without h7-h6. White can try to prevent it with 10. Rd1, where besides the calm 10… Ke8 Black can stick to his original plan with 10… Kc8 11. Ng5 Be8 – in both cases with balanced positions.

White has tried many other possibilities, and the two most common are 10. h3 and 10. b3. A typical follow-up could be 10. h3 h6 11. b3 Kc8 12. Bb2 b6 13. Rad1 Ne7 with c6-c5 and, depending on White’s intentions, Black transfers his light-squared Bishop to c6, e6 or f5.

[Diagram: White to Move] G. Kasparov – V. Kramnik, Astana 2001. One year before this game, in the World Champoionship Match, Kasparov wasn’t able get a single promising position in the Berlin Defense, but this time he won a nice game. How can White a make big advantage in the diagrammed position?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…


[December 25, 2016] Dusted Off: Opening Survey by GM Dragan Paunović:
May 2015 Revisited: Trompowsky Attack with 2… Ne4 3. h4 c5 4. dxc5 Qa5+  

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

From Hodgson to Rapport, the Trompowsky Attack has been a source of inspiration for creative chess minds. This update continues to showcase some, often borderline extravagant, but always innovative ideas for both sides, including the input from our trusty silicon friends.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black has stopped the first wave of White’s attack and is now ready to chase away his opponent’s pieces and seize the initiative. How can White rekindle his attack and create good practical chances?

Click here to view this article in our viewer.


[December 24, 2016] Updated Opening Line by Trajko Nedev:
Sicilian Defense, Scheveningen Variation – English Attack with 6… e6 7. f3

[Line 493 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e6 7. f3]

Black is practically obliged to go for the sharp 7… b5, since the alternatives, like 7… Nc6 and 7… Be7, allow White to obtain very promising play.

Position arising after 7… b5 8. g4 is examined in our Line 494, while this opening line focuses on equally popular 7… b5 8. Qd2. After the most common 8… b4 9. Na4 Nbd7 White can choose between 10. O-O-O, 10. c4 and 10. Bc4. Black is generally able to obtain balanced positions, though he needs to be very well prepared to avoid falling into difficulties straight out of the opening.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black seems to be doing fine, but his Queen is poorly placed, and that fact can be exploited by White for gaining a long-term initiative!

Click here to see the line in our viewer…


[December 23, 2016] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Modern Defense, Bishop & Three Pawns Attack (incl. Gurgenidze Defense)

[Line 290 : 1. e4 g6]

The Modern Defense leaves White with more space, while Black’s biggest gain is that he usually avoids forced lines.

After the most common 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 Black often opts for 3… c6, planning the d7-d5 advance. White can transpose to lines of the Caro-Kann with 4. Nf3 d5, while other independent continuations are the Gurgenidze Defense (4. f4 d5 5. e5) and the Bishop Attack (4. Bc4).

In case of the Gurgenidze Defense, White typically keeps a small edge after 4. f4 d5 5. e5 Nh6 6. Nf3 f6 7. Be3, while Black is able to equalize against the Bishop Attack, both after 4. Bc4 d6 5. Qf3 e6 6. Nge2 b5 and 4. Bc4 d6 5. Bb3 Nf6 6. Nf3 O-O.

[Diagram: White to Move] S. Galdunts – O. Buergi, Zuerich 2004. Black Queen is overburdened. How can White make use of it to get a big advantage?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…