The editor’s top ten
1. Finally winning Wijk! Wesley So presents his game against Wojtaszek and explains why victory in the classic tournament in the Netherlands was so important to him.
2. An “oddball” idea: Levon Aronian explains how with 8.Na3 in the Catalan he achieved a brilliant win against Giri.
3. French aggression: attack together with Simon Williams "Move by Move“ – just like Ju Wenjun did in her victory over Hou Yifan!
4. Spanish temptation: let Rainer Knaak show you how to entice your opponent into the 7.Ng5 trap with 6...d7-d6.
5. “Raving Rooks”: along with Oliver Reeh light some tactical fireworks with double threats and multi-purpose moves (interactive video).
6. For and against the Bogo-Indian: GM Postny sums up the trends of recent years and shows you what is at present recommended.
7. „Portuguese Scandinavian“: let Petra Papp show you how best to meet the gambit 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4.
8. A "mad way to win“: Anish Giri explains how he got Andreikin into trouble with the Scotch and what brilliant engine move he missed at the end.
9. Fantastically shattered: enjoy Rapport's brilliancy against So in Daniel King’s video analysis.
10. Surprise in the Queen’s Indian: let top Swiss player Yannick Pelletier unravel Aronian's 9.Be1 (video).
Recommendations for your repertoire
Lampert: English A32 (Recommendation for White)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e6 5.g3 Qc7
|In this variation, classified under the English Opening, but more likely having arisen from a Declined Benoni, White usually sacrifices his c4-pawn. As Jonas Lampert demonstrates in his article, in return he obtains compensation or even something more.|
Krasenkow: English A34 (Recommendation for Black)
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5
|As Michal Krasenkow explains, every fan of the Grünfeld has to be prepared for White choosing a different starting move order and delaying d2-d4 so as not to allow an original Grünfeld. One of these variations is the subject of the present article by our Grünfeld expert.|
Moskalenko: Dutch Defence A80 (Recommendation for Black)
1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 Nf6 4.Bxf6 exf6 5.e3 Be6
|Many completely avoid the position in the diagram (see Part 2 in CBM 172). But nowadays the variation is dealt with slightly differently: above all c7-c6 is absolutely avoided. Viktor Moskalenko evaluates the ensuing positions as slightly static but very playable for Black.|
Papp: Scandinavian Defence B01 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4
|Petra Papp has against the Portuguese Variation 3...Bg4 a clear plan which gives White an advantage in all lines. The very starting move 4.Bb5+ is in her opinion somewhat more accurate than the popular 4.f3.|
Breutigam: Pirc Defence B08 (Recommendation for Black)
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.0-0 a6
|The move 6...a6 in the Pirc Defence has been known for a long time, but now this interesting variation has been enriched by remarkable facet: the idea, after Nb8-c6 followed by d4-d5, of retreating with the knight to a7. Martin Breutigam is enthusiastic about it.|
Petrov: Sicilian Defence B23 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nf3
|As Marian Petrov explains in his article, the whole variation is above all based on the fact that by playing the “natural” 4...Nxb5 Black brings difficulties down on his own head, because White takes advantage of his lead on development for a rapid d2-d4.|
Szabo: Sicilian Defence B53 (Recommendation for Black)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7
|The Hungarian Variation 4.Qxd4 is employed above all to avoid the Najdorf System. Krisztian Szabo presents a plan for Black with which he obtains at least a level game against both 6.Bxc6 and the recently popular 6.Qd3.|
Ris: French Defence C11 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2 b5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Bd3
|As Robert Ris explains, the main idea behind Karjakin’s 10.Bd3 Qb6 11.Bf2! is above all that Black will have a few difficulties in the possible endgames. There may be quite good alternatives, but they too are not very easy to play.|
Kuzmin: Queen's Gambit D37 (Recommendation for Black)
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6
|Facing the unusual 4...a6 White mainly transposes with 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 to an Exchange Variation. As Alexey Kuzmin shows in his article on the DVD, Black develops with 6...Be6 and obtains very playable positions, though perhaps not complete equality.|
Marin: Slav/Grünfeld D90 (Recommendation for Black)
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6
|Thje relationship to the Schlechter Defence cannot be missed, but White has not yet played e3 and has some additional possibilities. But as Mihail Marin demonstrates, there is no need for Black to fear these, though knowledge of the Grünfeld is required.|
Stohl: Catalan E06 (Recommendation for both sides)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Qc2
|The immediate 6.Qc2 (instead of 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2) is in no way a new idea, but some recent games (especially So-Wojtaszek, Wijk aan Zee 2017) have once again attracted attention to the whole variation. Igor Stohl sums up the latest state of affairs in his article on the DVD.|