GM Karsten Müller gets you in the mood for this issue with selected star games, showing among others the decisive moments of Morozevich versus Vachier-Lagrave from Biel. Out of the altogether 12 opening articles of the DVD, he gives a preview of GM Kuzmin's "Weapon against the Petroff" and GM Marin's repertoire suggestion (Alekhine Defence with 4...g6). Also, the popular opening trap of Rainer Knaak - this time from the classical Sicilian - is set up for you.
| A comprehensive review of the tournament proceedings of the past two months is provided by GM Dorian Rogozenco in his introductory video. From the tournament in San Sebastian, he presents the final phase of Movsesian-Ponomariov - representative for a great number of games in this issue, which towards the end took a dramatic turn. From the FIDE Grand-Prix in Jermuk, Rogozenco explains Ivanchuk's impressive winning procedure versus Alekseev. In conclusion, he presents Aronian's novely versus Grischuk which significantly contributed to the Armenian's victory in Bilbao.|
Victory for stand-in
Grand Slam Final in Bilbao
Not only in chess are tournaments sometimes won by players or teams who hadn't even qualified to participate. This is what happened at the Grand Slam Final in Bilbao. Last year's winner Topalov had the chance to defend his title, but after his last-minute cancellation Levon Aronian filled in. Yet this did not impair the quality of the tournament in any way. Despite the small field of four players, the spectators were treated to fascinating chess in almost every round. After his initial defeat versus Grischuk, Aronian got going and won no fewer than four games in a row, which made him the winner with one round to go.
Shirov,A - Aronian,L
Position after 29.Qf3
| Against the indisposed Alexei Shirov, Aronian scored a victory with the black pieces in the Marshall Attack in only 29 moves. Shirov had not found a way to take the sharpness out of the position or to exchange threat potential, and by the advance of the black h-pawn was put under mounting pressure. In the board position alongside, Shirov made the final mistake with 29.Qf3. After Aronian's 29...Qg6 it was already over, since the white queen has to return to d1, and the subsequent 30...hxg3 spells the collapse of White's king position. In the path-breaking fourth round versus Alexander Grischuk, who had got off to a fulminating start, Levon Aronian introduced a new piece sacrifice in the 4…a6 Slav as early as on move 10, which obviously knocked his opponent off his stride. Grischuk invested a lot of time, returned the piece a few moves later and with little time left could not hold the resulting passive position. On the DVD you find all 12 games from Bilbao, most of them with annotations.|
Vassily Ivanchuk back on track
FIDE Grand Prix in Jermuk
Following his victory in the Rumanian town of Bazna, Ivanchuk now also won this top tournament in Jermuk, Armenia. No question, his shape and Elo curve are heading steeply upward again. Levon Aronian will be able to cope with the fact that at his Grand Prix home match he was not granted to end up at the very top (again). His two defeats versus Kasimdzhanov and Eljanov in the middle of the tournament finally proved too much. In return, the second place in Jermuk secured Aronian the victory in the Grand Prix overall ranking. For all games as well as a tournament report, click here or on the link above.
Gelfand,B - Leko,P
Position after 19.Qc2
| The oldest participant in the field, Boris Gelfand, also played a strong tournament played. The Israeli, who in the first half of the tournament missed several winning chances, at the end still even managed to share the second place, thanks to a double strike in the last rounds. For this CBM, Gelfand has annotated his last round game versus Leko, which saw the highly topical variation of the Queen's Indian and the pawn sacrifice on d5. At first, both players followed Aronian-Leko (Moscow 2006), where Leko had managed to channel the game into a draw relatively quickly. With 15.Qc4, Gelfand finally deviated and allowed his opponent to get rid of his backward pawn with the advance d7-d5. Yet it was exactly this resulting position (see diagram) which Gelfand had aimed at in his preparation: White is a pawn down, but the black pieces are badly placed. In his analysis he proves that Black is facing much bigger problems here than it might seem at first sight. Click here and follow this exciting game with Gelfand's commentaries.|
Eljanov,P - Cheparinov,I
Position before 26.Rxg5
|Pavel Eljanov ended up in a middle place in Jermuk, scoring 50%, yet he too achieved two beautiful wins versus Cheparinov and Aronian. On the DVD, the Ukranian outlines his King's Indian game versus Cheparinov. For the second time, Eljanov tested the setup with 11.g4 at top level, the main idea of which is to stymie Black's attack on the kingside. By means of the strong pawn sacrifice 16.g5 Eljanov gained additional time to place his pieces in an optimal way. In the diagram position, the decision was brought about by the rook strike on g5. The diagonal a1-h8 is opened, and all of a sudden the black pieces look completely uncoordinated. In his analysis, Eljanov highlights both the critical moments of the opening phase and the black defensive resources towards the end of the game.|
Victory at the Swiss Classic:
Chess Festival Biel
Beyond the great top tournaments, the still only 18-year-old Maxime Vachier-Lagrave has step by step played himself up into the area of the super grandmasters. Currently his Elo rating is 2719. The chess festival in Biel this summer was the first high-class traditional tournament to which he was invited. And what a debut! Undefeated and with successes over Morozevich and Caruana, he eked out unshared tournament victory. Against Morozevich, he - with luck - won an encounter which not only brought about the preliminary decision concerning the outcome of the event, but also has the makings to become the game of the year.
Morozevich,A - Vachier Lagrave,M
Position after 52.Kd5
On this DVD, Vachier-Lagrave looks back on this special game. Already the opening phase, in which Morozevich crucially sharpened up the position with the knight sacrifice 13.Ne4, is thoroughly scrutinized by the young Frenchman. At various points he indicates incredible improvements for both sides, and in his analyes comes to the conclusion that White had more than one way to force the win. Yet the decision was made in the time-trouble phase, when Vachier-Lagrave managed to steer the game into an ending which - at least materially - was a big-time win. But how on earth is Black in the board position (left) going to unravel his pieces? Click on the link below the diagram and enjoy the game with the commentaries of the winner of Biel!
Caruana,F - Ivanchuk,V
Position after 24...g5
The same round saw yet another most exciting duel. With the black pieces, Ivanchuk managed to win also his second game versus Caruana to temporarily join the top. GM Mihail Marin has annotated the encounter, providing it with a series of personal suggestions. With the surprising king step 11...Kd8 Ivanchuk marked the start of a very creative game. Indeed, in the further course he managed to prove that here his king was less exposed than its counterpart after castling kingside. In the diagram position he tested his young opponent with the original 24...g5. What is to be done to keep the position in the balance? Caruana did not find the right concept and already a few moves later was clearly lost. Click here to replay the game with Marin's annotations.
Move by Move:
How should Black proceed further?
From opening trap to endgame study
Training in ChessBase Magazine starts with the very first moves and includes all stages of a chess game. The topical opening articles with a lot of ideas and suggestions for your repertoire you find up here with the links. In video format, Leonid Kritz pleads from Black's view for the Slav with 4...a6 against 5.Ne5 and in two further lessons outlines the current state in the Scandinavian main variation. These and further videos on opening theory you find in the column Fritztrainer. Fritztrainer. In his Strategy columne strategy column, Peter Wells comments on important aspects of the tension in the centre. In Daniel King's eternal hit Move by Move a positional brillancy is on the training agenda (see diagram), and in the columns Tactics and Endgame Oliver Reeh and Karsten Müller have again compiled the best from current tournament practice for you.