An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Black’s Pawn Storm in the Exchange Slav

I covered the Slav Exchange structure in my Exchange Slav - Strategy and Tactics ebook, but here are a couple of fresh examples I’d like to bring up to illustrate some ideas in this structure.

Rusev, K. - Ni Hua
XXIV Rapid   2009.07.25 , D14

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Qb3 Bb4 9. Bb5 O-O 10. O-O Bxc3 11. Qxc3 Rc8 12. Rfc1 Ne4 13. Qa3

13. ... g5
The remoteness of white heavy pieces from the kingside allows Black to begin the hunt for the white bishop.
14. Bg3 f6 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Qxa7 h5 17. h4 g4 18. Nh2 Nxg3 19. fxg3 Qd6 20. Nf1 Ra8 21. Qc5 Qxc5 22. Rxc5 Rfb8
149Black's initiative persists into the endgame while the White's extra pawn is not very useful at this point.
23. Rxc6 Rxb2 24. e4 Bxe4 25. Ne3 Raxa2 26. Rac1 Kf7 27. Rc8 Rb1 28. Rc7+ Kg6 29. Rxb1 Bxb1 30. Rc6 Bf5 31. Rc8 Re2 32. Nxf5 Kxf5 33. Rh8 Kg6 34. Rg8+ Kf7 35. Rh8 Rd2 36. Rxh5 Kg7 0-1

Aleksandr Rakhmanov - Dmitry Jakovenko
13th European Individual Championship   2012.03.22 , D14

1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Bb5 Nd7 9. Qb3 Be7 10. O-O

10. ... g5
It turns out that White just castled into a full blown pawn storm on the kingside.
11. Bg3 h5 12. h3 g4
13. hxg4 hxg4 14. Nd2 Kf8 15. Rfc1 Kg7
152Black has connected the heavy pieces by getting the king out of the way, and the doubling of queen and rook along the h file is a serious threat now.
16. Ne2 Rc8 17. Bxc6 bxc6 18. Qb7 Rh7 19. Bf4 c5 20. e4
153After intense complications the game was eventually drawn.
20. ... dxe4 21. Nxe4 e5 22. N4g3 Be6 23. Bxe5+ Nxe5 24. dxe5 Bg5 25. Rd1 Qb6 26. Qe4 Qb4 27. Qxb4 cxb4 28. Nd4 Bd7 29. Nf3 gxf3 30. Rxd7 Bf4 31. e6 Kg6 32. e7 Bxg3 33. fxg3 Rc2 34. gxf3 Re2 35. Rd2 Rxe7 36. Rc1 f6 37. Kg2 Rd7 38. Re2 Rhe7 39. Rxe7 Rxe7 40. Kf2 Rh7 41. Kg2 Rd7 42. Rc2 b3 43. axb3 Rd3 44. Rc3 Rd2+ 45. Kh3 Rxb2 46. Kg4 Rd2 47. f4 Rd4 48. Kh4 a5 49. Rf3 a4 50. bxa4 Rxa4 51. g4 Ra1 52. f5+ Kh6 53. Rh3 Kg7 54. Rb3 Ra7 55. Kh5 Rc7 56. Rb6 Ra7 57. Rc6 Rb7 58. Ra6 Rc7 59. Re6 Ra7 60. g5 fxg5 61. Kxg5 Ra1 62. Re7+ Kf8 63. Kf6 Rf1 64. Ra7 Kg8 65. Ra8+ Kh7 66. Ra2 Kg8 67. Ra8+ Kh7 68. Rf8 Ra1 69. Rf7+ Kg8 70. Re7 Rf1 71. Re5 Kf8 72. Ra5 Kg8 73. Ra8+ 1/2-1/2

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Best Tactics of 2015 – Free Preview

If you are interested in solving some interesting puzzles from best games played last year, this free preview of my ebook has more than enough positions to keep even strong players solving for a while:

This post using the latest Amazon feature, so if you click on “Free Preview”, and several pages into the book, you should be able to see puzzles:

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Double Pawn Breakthrough for the Win

imageWhite to move

Hint: I went for the immediate e5-e6, but that would have not been sufficient if Black played carefully. White has to begin the combination with a preparatory sacrifice before going for the same idea.

Solution here:

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Poisoned pawn in a rapid game

imageBlack just played b7-b5, setting up a trap.
Question: can White take on c6? Why not?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Isolated Queen Pawn–Strategy and Tactics Ebook

To celebrate the end of 2015 I released one more book that summarizes my findings from many years of analysis and studying a specific chess topic – this one is about positions with isolated ‘d’ pawn.

Isolated Queen Pawn–Strategy and Tactics is now available in the kindle store and on Kobo.

Opening preparation in chess is always difficult and a lot of books have been written about this topic. The goal of this book is to illustrate how specific pawn structures should be studied for typical themes even if they arise from different openings. The pawn structure with (typically) White's isolated queen pawn on the 'd' file has been known for over a hundred years, and different players have shown best plans for both sides over the years. Historically, Mikhail Botvinnik popularized White's play, and positional players such as Karpov have performed well on the Black side of the same structure in several modern openings. At the same time, all strong modern grandmasters are well familiar with the principles of this pawn formation for both sides, and the goal of the book is to translate that knowledge on to the readers. The topics covered include:
  • Isolated Pawn from Various Openings
  • Direct Attack Against the King
  • Structural Transformations
    • White exchanges on d5
    • Black exchanges on c3
    • Black exchanges on e3
    • Black exchanges on e5
    • Black exchanges on c5
  • Plans for the side with the Isolated Queen Pawn
    • Pressure on d5 square
    • Advancing d4-d5
    • Advancing f4-f5
    • Pressure along 'c' file
  • Plans for the side playing against the Isolated Queen Pawn
    • Directly Attacking the isolated pawn in the middlegame
    • Isolated Pawn as a Weakness in the Endgame
    • f7-f5 as defensive idea
    • Exchanging Dark Squared bishops with Bg5
    • Transferring the knight to f4 combined with pressure along a8-h1 diagonal
  • Endgames with isolated pawns
  • Middlegame Combinations
  • Tactics from Blitz

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