The editor’s top ten
1. Win with Plan B: Aronian analyses his game against Naiditsch at the Grenke Classic: with an exchange sacrifice, a king hunt and an alternative solution.
2. This is how child prodigies think: 12-year old Nihal Sarin from India presents for you his win over GM Bluebaum (video).
3. “The lurking bishop”: Enjoy the tactical fireworks with Oliver Reeh and solve his favourite combination with really masterly moves! (Interactive video)
4. “Strategically completely irrational”: Mihail Marin shows you what has been happening in recent years in the French Winawer Variation.
5. Speculative and spectacular: Enjoy Kramnik’s rook sacrifice for three pawns and a consternated Harikrishna!
6. The pawn as a curse: Test your endgame technique and together with Karsten Müller find the narrow pathway to the draw. (interactive video)
7. Triumph in Poikovsky: Emil Sutovsky (7 out of 9) analyses in great detail his first round win against the previous years’ victor: Sutovsky-Korobov
8. Sharp update: Let Erwin l'Ami show you fantastic new ideas for White and Black in the Two Knights Defence. (video)
9. Popular and dangerous: Adhiban delivers with his attacking win over Swayans further proof for the potential of Queen’s Pawn games.
10. Declining the gambit and still getting an advantage: Krisztian Szabo knows why you do not need to fear 3…f5 in the Ruy Lopez.
Recommendations for your repertoire
Papp: Scandinavian B01 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3
|Although the world champion himself did not win against this variation (against Adhiban, Wijk 2017), Petra Papp convincingly shows that White can count on a nice advantage with this line of the Scandinavian.|
Schandorff: Caro-Kann B19 (Recommendation for Black)
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 e6 8.Ne5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nd7
|Instead of the usual 7...Nd7 to take control of the e5-square, 7...e6!? allows the knight sortie. In the position in the diagram the usual move is 11.f4 upon which Lars Schandorff recommends 11...Be7, immediately attacking the h4-pawn. White seems to have no chance of an advantage.|
Stohl: Sicilian B55 (Recommendation for Black)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.f3 e5 6.Nb3 d5
|A safe counter against the Najdorf-avoiding variation 5.f3 is offered by Igor Stohl in the form of the immediate counterthrust in the centre. Above all, after the required 7.Bg5 you immediately have in 7...Be6 and 7...d4 two good possibilities to get a satisfactory game.|
Ris: Sicilian B76 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.0-0-0 d5 10.Qe1
|As Robert Ris demonstrates in his article, White can count on a safe advantage when facing 10...e6. But a more critical move is 10...e5, though even then things are not easy for Black. But perhaps he can keep things on a level keel with a rarely played move.|
Souleidis: French C01 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Bd3
|Georgios Souleidis explains that this is of course only a surprise weapon. Black ought to be able to equalise in several ways, but the author’s investigations also make it clear that there are still some blanks in the theory of this variation.|
Kosintseva: French C15 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nge2
|In the Alekhine Gambit there have in recent years been a few new developments which Nadezhda Kosintseva examines in detail. Black can equalise of course, but in doing so he should not under-estimate the difficulties which crop up.|
Lampert: Scotch C45 (Recommendation for Black)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Bc4 0-0 8.0-0 b6
|As Jonas Lampert establishes, 8...b6 has almost completely replaced the older 8...Bb6. From Black’s point of view what is especially attractive is the fact that 9.f4?! is the most frequently played move, but that after 9...d5! Black is the one at the steering wheel.|
Szabo Ruy Lopez C63 (Recommendation for White)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.d3
|Compared to the more frequently played 4.Nc3 the move 4.d3 looks really tame. But in his repertoire suggestion Krisztian Szabo shows that White can count on a secure advantage in all lines.|
Kuzmin: Slav Defence D15 (Recommendation for White)
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bd2
|The position is also often reached via 4.Nc3 a6. The rarely seen bishop move has been played above all by Nikita Vitiugov. As Alexey Kuzmin shows in his article on the DVD, White has excellent chances of getting a small opening advantage.|
Postny: Queen's Indian E12 (Recommendation for Black)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.e3 g6
|With the fianchetto move 7...g6 Black is aiming for positions which are reminiscent of the Grünfeld Defence. Evgeny Postny is of the opinion that White is well advised to react dynamically. Nevertheless, in each case Black has several possibilities for equalising.|
Quintiliano: King's Indian E94 (Recommendation for White)
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be2 e5 7.0-0 Na6 8.Be3 Ng4 9.Bg5 Qe8 10.Re1
|Renato Quintiliano advocates a variation for White which Dejan Bojkov had already examined six years ago in CBM 141, but on that occasion from the point of view of Black. But recent developments permit the conclusion that White can get an advantage.|