Want to play the Slav and don’t know where to start? Try Kramnik’s old move. It’s still good and avoids a ton of theory

When this opening survey first appeared on reddit almost two years ago it was meant as an easy and quick guide to be solid against the Slav Mainline. This heavily updated version has gotten almost as out of hand as Slav Mainline theory (sorry, couldn't help it), but the original idea remains more than viable. … Want to play the Slav and don’t know where to start? Try Kramnik’s old move. It’s still good and avoids a ton of theory weiterlesen

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Headbanging in the Anti Moscow: Three exchange sacrifices, one novelty

Since our website is celebrating Semi Slav week this annotated correspondence game played in the highest league of the Lechenicher Schachserver (LSS) should be a nice addition to our German content. The Anti Moscow represents the most sneaky among the many jungles one can lure his opponent into when playing the Semi Slav.  In fact I don't … Headbanging in the Anti Moscow: Three exchange sacrifices, one novelty weiterlesen

Winning after 17 moves against Aronian: an expansion on our Caro Kann survey, forced by fabulous Fabi

It's nice to publish something relevant once in a while. We weren't even aware until several readers pointed it out: The new, critical line 10.Qh4 in the 5...Qc7 Caro Kann Exchange is not to be found in any book on the opening. The boys from Chessable had it exclusively in their commercial Caro Kann repertoire … Winning after 17 moves against Aronian: an expansion on our Caro Kann survey, forced by fabulous Fabi weiterlesen

How to tackle the Caro Kann Exchange: an urgent recommendation (Opening Survey)

Wouldn't it be great to have a line in your black repertoire against which the white players fail again and again? They play what they assume are the logical moves only to realize they`re in trouble when it's too late. Well, check this out: A position from the Caro Kann Exchange Variation that has been … How to tackle the Caro Kann Exchange: an urgent recommendation (Opening Survey) weiterlesen

A missed chance to school a 2.700 GM – got schooled instead

GM Igor Kovalenko, rated with an Elo of 2.684 when this game was played, is the strongest OTB player in correspondence. He uses correspondence chess to test and sharpen his opening repertoire. Since results are secondary to him, he often doesn't squeeze the last bit out of slightly superior positions (as long as he maintains … A missed chance to school a 2.700 GM – got schooled instead weiterlesen

Better not touch the Dutch: How to demolish the Stonewall

Breaking the stonewall is an achievement in itself. But doing so while improving on what opening guru Boris Avrukh suggests as best play for White in his otherwise great "1. d4 Grandmaster Repertoire" series feels even better. Also the middlegame is instructive. Instead of going for his obvious (and only) pawn break immediately White creates … Better not touch the Dutch: How to demolish the Stonewall weiterlesen

Is the Blumenfeld Gambit refuted? A potential killer line under the microscope

Wouldn't it be great to accompany a chess master to a tournament and get all access? Before his games you could watch him prepare for his opponents. After the games he would analyze them for you, hint at mistakes, explain ideas and discuss how his preparation worked and what psychological battles were fought besides the … Is the Blumenfeld Gambit refuted? A potential killer line under the microscope weiterlesen

Screwing with the structure: how to max out an initiative

A novelty deep down the road in a doubleedged, somewhat shady line of the Queen's Indian, improving on a 2.700 GM's game. An instructive middlegame with a bunch of positional concepts and tactical motifs in play, pushing an initiative two pawns down. And finally breaking the stiff resistance in an endgame, in which White sacrifices … Screwing with the structure: how to max out an initiative weiterlesen

Uhlmann’s defense: how to shut them down when they come for your king

I learned a nice concept recently when researching how to counter the Grand Prix Attack in the Sicilian Defense. It implies a typical way of neutralizing the white Queen that has come to h4 on its standard route via d1-e1-h4, setting itself up to play a major role in the white attack against the black … Uhlmann’s defense: how to shut them down when they come for your king weiterlesen

A deliberate provocation and a knight hunt in the Caro Kann

Note: This essay on the Caro Kann Two Knights has first been published in September 2016 on r/chess (remember MVL having climbed to 2.819 Elo?). Poor MVL. 70 games without a loss, then he blundered away a superior position against Anand. Their recent encounter in St Louis caught my interest not only because MVLs run … A deliberate provocation and a knight hunt in the Caro Kann weiterlesen