NEW UPDATED OPENING LINE

[October 03, 2016] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Open Slav Defense, Krause Attack (Sharp Line – Wiesbaden Variation)

[Line 109 : 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 without 6… Nbd7]

Main move 6… Nbd7 is covered in our Lines 110-111, and this opening line deals with the Wiesbaden Variation (6… e6), as well as other sidelines, like 6… Na6, 6… Qc7, 6… g6 and 6… Nd5.

The Wiesbaden Variation, though a bit passive, is generally a solid choice from Black, and it was employed in a couple of games by Anand, in his World Championship match against Topalov in 2010. The only principled continuation for White is 7. f3, where Black should respond with 7… c5 8. e4 Bg6. Now, move 9. d5 doesn’t seem to pose any problems to Black, while after 9. Be3 cxd4 10. Qxd4 Qxd4 11. Bxd4 Nbd7 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Bxc4 arises the critical position of this opening line. White’s position is, in view of Black’s passive Bishop on g6, a bit more pleasant, but after a few precise moves from Black, it’s hard for White to obtain a tangible edge.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black wants to take the c6 pawn with the Rook, and if White exchanges the pawns with cxb7, the c4-pawn will be protected, and Black would be doing fine. Still, White has other means to obtain the advantage. Can you see how?

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NEW UPDATED ARTICLE

[October 2, 2016] Updated Opening Article by Boris Avrukh:
December 2015 Revisited: Neo-Grünfeld, Modern Defense (11. Nxc6)

Our original key game in this line was V. Kramnik – D. Naroditsky, Doha 2015, where Kramnik again displayed the incredible depth of his opening preparation. Life goes on, and this update brings new developments in this topical line, where White hopes to keep the pressure as long as possible, whereas players of Black keep searching for the most accurate move orders that would release them from his opponent’s unpleasant long-term grip.

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position comes from a top engine game Fizbo 1.4 – Protector 1.8.0, Internet 2015. This time you need to find two moves: first, Black has to find a way to keep the material balance intact, and after that White has to make sure that his long-term pressure doesn’t go away. Are you up to the task?

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[September 25, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Dragan Paunović:
November 2015 Revisited: English Opening, Bremen System with 7. Nf3

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.

After Giri successfully employed this line in A. Giri – V. Anand, Bilbao 2015, it was only a matter of time before this line returned to the spotlight.

[Diagram: Black to Move] The diagrammed position is critical for the theoretical assessment of this variation: Black has just made an important slight detour from the key game P. Svidler – L. Aronian, Moscow 2016, and has to find a neat resource to hold the balance. Do you see it?

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[September 18, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Aleksandar Kovačević:
January 2016 Revisited: Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation: Bastrikov Variation

Our original main line of this variation stems from A. Morozevich – I. Bukavshin, Moscow (rapid) 2015, a marvelous tactical masterpiece by the former World No. 2. New theoretically important developments have appeared ever since, so it was only natural to update this more or less fashionable line.

[Diagram: White to Move] The diagrammed position had originally appeared in R. Edouard – A. Neiksans, Drancy 2015, and what followed was probably still a part of the French grandmaster’s deep opening preparation. Can you follow in his footsteps and seize a considerable advantage as White?

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[September 11, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
October 2015 Revisited: Ruy Lopez, Flohr-Zaitsev Variation with 11… cxd4

This line can occasionally be seen even at the top level, which makes this update all the more interesting as it contains several important contributions from the best engines that reveal significant improvements on grandmaster-level games.

[Diagram: White to Move] The diagrammed position can be found in our analysis of a last year’s game between two good WGMs: D. Ciuksyte  – I. Bulmaga, Reykjavik 2015. Our article features an important improvement for White, and the key point lies in the next move: although it seems that White has to choose between two reasonable recaptures on e5, there is actually a third possibility that makes great use of the Black’s pieces lack of coordination.  

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[September 4, 2016] Updated Opening Article by GM Slaviša Brenjo:
September 2015 Revisited: Bishop’s Opening with 7. Qxd2

After Chinese prodigy Wei Yi mesmerized the world with a stunning queen sacrifice against his super-GM compatriot Ding Liren, this offbeat line suddenly gained in popularity. This update brings several new successful outings for the players of White, including a top-level one: N. Short – D. Anton Guijarro, Madrid (rapid) 2016.

[Diagram: Black to Move] Raubfisch ME 262  – Komodo 9.02, Internet (blitz) 2016. What seemed like another uneventful balanced game among the top engines could have turned into a barely defendable position for White had Komodo had more time to calculate more deeply… Can you find the hidden attacking plan for Black?

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