[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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[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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[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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[Mar 31, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
King’s Indian Defense, Carlsbad Variation

[Line 128 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. O-O Nc6]

Line 128 covers the Carlsbad Variation of the King’s Indian Defense, except for the positions that occur after 7. Nc3 a6, which is covered in our Line 129.

In the main line with 7. Nc3 Rb8 8. h3 a6 9. e4 b5 10. e5 most positions are very complicated, where Black usually gets enough counterplay, by countering White’s central advance with a flank attack.

Among the newly added games, there is a particularly interesting game L. Aronian – H. Nakamura, Zurich 2014, in the recently popular 10. d5 b4!?

[Diagram: Black to Move] A crazy tactical position, like the one on the diagram, demands accurate calculation. How should Black continue?

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[Mar 30, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
Queen’s Indian Defense, Nimzowitsch Variation with 5. Qc2

[Line 220 : 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6 5. Qc2]

Line 220 deals with the very popular 5. Qc2, which often leads to sharp gambit lines. After 5… Bb7, White is practically forced to go for 6. Bg2 c5 7. d5. Very interesting positions occur, demanding precise knowledge of many nuances along the way. That being said, if White is not deeply prepared, he should by all means avoid 5. Qc2. Black also has a highly playable alternative in 5… Bb4+, which typically leads to somewhat passive, but ultimately very solid positions.

[Diagram: White to Move] Many White pieces are close to Black’s King, so everything is set for a decisive attack!

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[Mar 29, 2016] Updated Opening Line by GM Dragan Paunović:
English Opening, Closed Sicilian Reversed – Kingside Fianchettos

[Line 008 : 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. g3 g6 4. Bg2 Bg7 5. d3]

Line 008 covers the main variation of the Closed Sicilian Reversed, where Black has ample opportunities to get satisfactory positions.

Our main line here is 5… d6 6. Rb1 a5 7. a3 Nf6 8. Nf3 O-O 9. O-O Re8, though there are other interesting variations as well, like 5… f5, followed by Nf6 and O-O, or a similar plan with 7… f5 8. Nf3 Nf6.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White’s position looks normal, yet after an unexpected move, Black gets some serious advantage.

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