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35.095 games played between August and September 2017 For Adrian Mikhalchishin the Catalan Opening remains a problem: should Black take the c4-pawn or not? And after the capture there is yet another decision to be taken: hang on to the c4-pawn for as long as possible or not. In the game which he himself played Black did not defend the c4-pawn but set out his stall with both ...a6 and ...Nc6. In the 2015 European Cup Yannick Pelletier managed another feat: he defeated Hikaru Nakamura, the No. 2 in the world ranking list! To do so he was able to turn to a beautiful idea which he himself had found in the King’s Indian. In the diagram the Swiss grandmaster had just sacrificed his bishop on a3 by playing 13.axb6!?. In the ensuing complications the American went wrong and Pelletier safely converted his advantage. Bent Larsen liked provoking his opponents. But in the game against Boris Spassky in the legendary match between the Soviet Union and the Rest of the World in 1970 he went too far. In a video Robert Ris shows you how the then reigning world champion who had Black immediately seized control and defeated his Danish opponent in only 17 moves.
47.030 games played between August and October 2018.
Why not take half an hour and use the training videos by our authors Adrian Mikhalchishin, Yannick Pelletier and Georgios Souleidis to acquaint yourself with a few new ideas for your repertoire?
27.384 games played between April and June 2017
Adrian Mikhalchishin is actually a supporter of the black pieces whenever the Queen’s Gambit Accepted is up for discussion. But in this video he shows a new move for White. Jon Ludvig Hammer, who has the white pieces, belongs to Magnus Carlsen’s team, so our author believes that the remarkable idea is a fruit of the analysis work undertaken in preparation for the world championship matches.
Yannick Pelletier is justifiably proud of his game against Richard Rapport, Chess Olympiad Baku 2016. The Hungarian, with White, does emerge from the opening better, but then after a queen sacrifice by Pelletier what arises is a position of a completely different type. In 66 moves the Swiss grandmaster manages to lead the black pieces to victory.
Nihal Sarin, 12, and Luis Engel, 15, casually exchange ideas about a sharp line in the Najdorf System.
The Vienna Variation is a particular and independent system of the Queen’s Gambit. It arises after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4, when black’s capture on move 4 is strongly reminiscent of the Queen’s Gambit Accepted. But the Vienna Variation is also inspired by Nimzo-Indian structures while keeping its own character. The main variations usually lead to asymmetrical pawn structures, where Black can hope to get a fighting game.
Le Hérisson est une formation particulière, caractérisée par une certaine structure de pions. Son apparente passivité est trompeuse, car ce système est en fait conçu pour les joueurs de contre attaque. Les pièces se placent harmonieusement derrière le mur de pions, et les noirs attendent le moment opportun pour réaliser une percée qui dévoilera tout le potentiel de leur position. Employé par de nombreux champions tels Kasparov, Karpov ou Carlsen, ce système peut convenir à tous les styles de jeu. Le Hérisson se rencontre dans diverses ouvertures.
La Défense Française est l’ouverture de contre attaque la plus tranchante des débuts semi-ouverts. Les deux premiers coups noirs e6 et d5 marquent la volonté d’imposer les contours de la structure de pions en provoquant la poussée e4-e5. Ce coup blanc ferme le centre et donne donc la possibilité aux noirs de développer très tôt un jeu actif sur les deux ailes.
35.855 games played between April and June 2018. Using his own game against Andrei Volokitin (Lvov 2016) Adrian Mikhalchishin explains a few ideas behind the English Variation with 6.a3 Bc5. It is only with best play that Black can equalise.
47.383 games played between December 2017 and February 2018. The Paulsen Variation in the Sicilian continues to be very popular. In one of the main lines – see the position in the diagram – Adrian Mikhalchishin suggests 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.Qd4 (instead of 9.Na4). The Ukrainian top trainer analyses the game Wei Yi-Karthikeyan, Liaocheng 2017, which took a favourable course for White. Recently Yannick Pelletier’s DVD "The Hedgehog - a universal system against 1.c4 and 1.Nf3" was published by ChessBase. Since then the Swiss grandmaster has had more practical experience with his setup, which he would like to share with you. In the video he shows the game Housieaux-Pelletier, Vincennes 2017, which followed a typical course for the Hedgehog. Georgios Souleidis has very pleasant memories of his game against the Georgian grandmaster Merab Gagunashvili (European Cup 2003). Not only did he defeat a stronger opponent in great style, but he was also able to contribute to the theory of the Chigorin Defence.
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.
The fact that Yannick Pelletier is a fan of the Hedgehog is something we would have found out at the latest at the end of last year when his Fritztrainer DVD appeared. In this video, which was only made after the recording of the DVD, he presents his rapid chess game against Grandmaster Shchekachev (Paris 2017). Once more the Hedgehog gives proof of how flexible and – when you get down to it – how effective it is!
38.843 (games played between December 2016 and February 2017)
Video training: In some openings incredibly much has to be remembered in order to be able to play them successfully. Adrian Mikhalchishin remembers an old adage from the Soviet school of chess: playable, but not recommended. Accordingly the star Ukrainian trainer advises his protégés against the Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez. But what can you do when you have White and your opponent plays the Marshall? The grandmaster also has a remedy for that.
Robert Ris explains for you the classic game Johner-Nimzowitsch (“a positional masterpiece which everyone should know”). From Black’s point of view it is a model game for how blockade positions should be handled.
Yannick Pelletier is happy to be able to present to you some of his best and most interesting games. The Swiss grandmaster has already played and won several games against Magnus Carlsen, but there was only one of these games in which the Norwegian was also the world champion.
37.372 games played between June and August 2017
Adrian Mikhalchishin is always on the lookout for special ideas. He found one of these in a game by the young Efim Geller. In the Open Ruy Lopez, instead of restoring the material balance with the normal move 8.dxe5, he advanced his c-pawn to c4, where it is immediately doubly left hanging. Whether imitation of this can be recommended is explained to you in his video by the star Ukrainian trainer.
Yannick Pelletier had a catastrophic record against Ilia Smirin: he had lost all his games with Black. But in the 2016 European Cup in Novi Sad the Swiss grandmaster was in his best form: 6 out of 7 on third board, which also included a victory over the Israeli grandmaster – with Black!
In 1979 Mihail Tal was in outstanding form. Before winning the autumn interzonal tournament with a gigantic 14 out of 17, he was also triumphant along with Anatoly Karpov in one of the strongest tournaments of all time: Montreal. Robert Ris shows you Tal’s win against Spassky. In only 22 moves the magician from Riga completes a win with the black pieces.
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