22.676 games played between February and April 2018. For Adrian Mikhalchishin the Grünfeld Defence is at the moment the most difficult opening in modern chess. Complicated positions often appear on the board and Black achieves his first goal: obtaining counterplay. For White, the question is whether to play main lines or whether to prefer turning to a promising sub-variation which he has prepared thoroughly. Yet another option consists of the choice of a classical plan. The variation with the fianchetto and an early e4 goes back to Rubinstein, but, as the sample game from our Ukrainian top trainer proves, this setup has lost none of its venom.
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In Wijk aan Zee it was impossible to suspect how majestically Fabiano Caruana would stride through the candidates tournament. Above all, it was not yet clear which role the Petroff Defence would play in that: in Wijk -1, but in Berlin +1. Yannick Pelletier has examined the game Anand-Caruana, Wijk aan Zee 2018. In it the Indian was convincing and had a really clear victory, but actually Caruana came out of the opening quite well.
There is the very good tradition that in the German Bundesliga the game of the season is chosen. For 2013/14 that honour went to Meinhardt-Firman. In a Sicilian Black delays the development of his g-knight for a very long time. For that reason the king also remains in the middle and that is exploited by White in textbook fashion. Georgios Souleidis has annotated the game and sees the lovely finish as the main reason for the readers’ choice.