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  1. Game Of the Week:  A Tribute to Emory Tate
    $2.99
    A Tribute to Emory Tate Opening: : Player(s): Emory Tate Learn More
  2. Game of the Week: Tkachiev, Dobrov
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Tkachiev, Dobrov Tournament: Meurthe et Moselle Festival Rapid ECO: A51: Budapest Gambit declined In the Meurthe and Moselle Festival Rapid tournament in Nancy, France, most of the usual suspects made it through the prelims into the sixteen player knockout. But a dark horse emerged, as Vladimir Dobrov knocked out Etienne Bacrot, Yannick Pelletier, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave to make it into the finals. Dobrov met his match in the finale; Vladislav Tkachiev is not only a strong, experienced grandmaster but a specialist at fast time controls as well. In the decisive encounter, Tkachiev built up an attack and let the pieces fly, producing a spectacular and entertaining attack. Learn More
  3. Game of the Week: Kramnik, Ivanchuk
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Kramnik, Ivanchuk Tournament: FIDE Candidates Tournament 2103 ECO: E10: Queen's Pawn Game 3.Nf3 Through much of the FIDE Candidates tournament in London, Vladimir Kramnik found full points frustratingly hard to come by. It wasn’t for lack of trying, or even creating opportunities. Aronian barely escaped with a draw against him in round five, and Carlsen was fortunate to hold in round nine. This week we will feature Kramnik’s round six encounter with Ivanchuk. Kramnik typically found tactical possibilities out of the normally placid Catalan opening, while Ivanchuk played his usual game of “beat the clock.” Learn More
  4. Game of the Week: Svidler, Grischuk
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Svidler, Grischuk Tournament: FIDE Candidates Tournament 2013 ECO: E81: King's Indian, Sämisch, 5...O-O As we catch our breath and try to recover from the incredible finish to the FIDE Candidates tournament that had servers and websites around the world crashing under the weight of immense numbers of viewers, we will have one more look at an exciting game that did not receive game of the week coverage. Nearly buried beneath the story of Carlsen’s nervous but barely sufficient finish and Kramnik’s heroic second half charge (until the final round) was the fine result of Peter Svidler, who went from middle of the pack to a half-point from the top spot. In the final context, out featured game takes on more significance. In any case, the battle between Svidler and Alexander Grischuk from round nine stands on its own, a mind-bending morass of complications with both players showing great ingenuity. Let’s try to make some sense of what happened that day. Learn More
  5. Game of the Week: Morozevich, Jakvenko
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Morozevich, Jakvenko Tournament: Russian Team Championship 2013 ECO: D16: QGD; Slav accepted, Alapin Variation The Russian Team Championship has started up, with veterans of the FIDE Candidates tournament Svidler and Grischuk joining many of the top names in Russian chess. In this week’s game we take a look at the mercurial Alexander Morozevich battling another established grandmaster, Dmitry Jakovenko. The two revisited a sharp opening from a previous encounter, producing hard to evaluate positions and interesting hidden tactical possibilities. Let’s see how it went down. Learn More
  6. Game of the Week: Torre, Byrne
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Torre, Byrne Tournament: 1973 Leningrad Iterzonal ECO: A00: Benko 1.g3 f5 Robert Byrne has passed away, one week short of his 85th birthday. One of the legends of U.S. chess history, Byrne was inducted into the US Chess Hall of Fame in 1994. Byrne spearheaded nine US teams in the Olympiad and won seven medals. He won the US Championship in 1972. He surely would have won a few more if not for Bobby Fischer dominating the Sixties. That title in 1972 was significant for me; it was the year I learned how to play chess, and the tournament book, “Title Chess,” was one of the first chess books I owned. Byrne followed with a top finish in the Leningrad Interzonal which made him a championship candidate. Alas, he went down at the hands of his friend and frequent tennis opponent, Boris Spassky. This week I will examine a game from Leningrad, in which Byrne defeats Eugenio Torre. Forty years later Torre is still playing at a good level, but back then he was just starting his long career. Robert Byrne was a good friend, and I will miss him dearly. Learn More
  7. Game of the Week: Svidler, Harikrishna
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Svidler, Harikrishna Tournament: Bundesliga 2012-13 ECO: D36: QGD: exchange, positional line, 6.Qc2 Recently it seems that Peter Svidler is everywhere. We know he was making Magnus Carlsen miserable at the FIDE Candidates on April Fool’s Day; we know he continued on to the Russian Team Championship, where his team took the title. And we know he made his way to Paris for the Alekhine Memorial. But somewhere in between, the peripatetic Russian stopped in Germany to complete the 2012-2013 Bundesliga season. The powerhouse Baden-Baden team finished off a perfect season, winning all fifteen matches. Svidler contributed with an intriguing game on the last weekend of the season. Learn More
  8. Game of the Week: Topalov, Leko
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Topalov, Leko Tournament: FIDE GP Zug ECO: D38: QGD : Ragozin System Peter Leko is probably not a great fan favorite, as he has a pretty conservative style. But he is not afraid to defend, and when you pair him with a fearless attacker like Topalov, sparks often fly. In the second round of the Zug Grand Prix the two contested a super sharp game that could have ended very differently if time pressure did not rear its ugly head. Learn More
  9. Game of the Week: LiChaob, Zhou Weigi
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    Game of the Week: LiChaob, Zhou Weigi Tournament: Chinese Championship 2013 ECO: D15: Slav Defence:4 Nc3 a6 and gambit lines after 4Nc3 dxc4 The Chinese Championship lacked a couple of stars, notably Wang Hao and Liren Ding, but still presented a formidable round-robin field. Wang Yue, the top rated and best known player, took first comfortably, but we will feature a game from 24-year-old Li Chao, Wang Yue’s good friend and occasional coach. Against Zhou Weiqi, Li Chao produced an opening novelty that soon led into a highly tactical endgame, with subtle errors ultimately making the difference. Learn More
  10. Game of the Week: Robson, Bryant
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Robson, Bryant Tournament: US Championship 2013 (Rd2) ECO: C45: Scotch game The 2013 U.S. Championship returned to a 24-player Swiss system format. I think most fans would consider the tournament a great success, with a good mix of older and younger players having good results. That battle was reflected in the final decision as 38-year-old Gata Kamsky took the “Armageddon” game from 24-year-old Alejandro Ramirez to register his fourth U.S. title and his third in the city of St. Louis. Slightly further down you see 56-year-old Larry Christiansen and 49-year-old Joel Benjamin turn back the clock with plus scores. 19-year-old Conrad Holt and Kayden Troff, who turned fifteen during the event, dazzled with 5.5 and 5 points respectively. It was interesting to see how newcomers like Holt and Troff, as well as John Bryant and 12-year old Sam Sevian put the test to more established young stars like Ray Robson, Sam Shankland, and Robert Hess. In our featured game we see Robson and Bryant, two kids who are happy to plunge into complications, negotiate a landmine of tactics on the cusp of the time control. Let’s take a look and see who made the fatal misstep. Learn More
  11. Game of the Week: Rodshtein, Nepomniachtchi
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Rodshtein, Nepomniachtchi Tournament: 14th European Individual Chess Championship ECO: E60: King's Indian: Unusual lines and Fianchetto Variation without Nc3 The European Individual Championship, as always, reeled in an enormous number of grandmasters hoping to qualify for the World Cup. When Alexander Moiseenko, the leader for nearly the entire event, was toppled in the last round by Ian Nepomniachtchi, an extraordinary ten way tie for first ensued, with all players on 8/11. Special kudos has to go to Alexander Beliavsky, who will now supplant our own Larry Christiansen as the oldest player in the World Cup. Most of the decisive games I played over seemed to be technical affairs. A notable exception was Nepomniachtchi’s encounter with Israeli grandmaster Maxim Rodshtein. A cutting edge opening variation led to an unusual unbalanced position that was quickly mishandled by one of the players. It’s short, but it’s sweet. Let’s take a look. Learn More
  12. Game of the Week: Pelletier, Hagen
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Pelletier, Hagen Tournament: 14th European Individual Chess Championship ECO: E97: King's Indian:Classical Main Line In a tournament as big as the European Individual Championship it’s possible to overlook incredible games played on the lower boards. The battle between the experienced Swiss grandmaster Yannick Pelletier and the unknown Danish IM Andreas Hagen was in many ways a typical King’s Indian, but when you see the position after move fifty, you will surely agree that it is anything but typical. Watch and be prepared for an explosion in the latter stages of the game. Learn More
  13. Game of the Week: Kamsky, Grischuk,
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Kamsky, Grischuk, Tournament: 14th European Individual Chess Championship ECO: A48 : 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6: Torre, London and Colle Systems Down the stretch of the FIDE Grand Prix in Thessaloniki, Greece, three players were writing compelling stories. In a dramatic last round, Fabiano Caruana took down the leader, Gata Kamsky, thus equaling his score of 7.5/11. Neither player could ultimately celebrate as Lenier Dominguez pushed through the open door with an endgame squeeze from Veselin Topalov. The Cuban grandmaster’s score of 8/11 netted first place in his greatest result to date. The three at the top showed a higher level than the others, though in any long tournament there will be many missed opportunities along the way. Kamsky, who forged his lead with an opening win over Dominguez and a 4.5/5 spurt just before the end, will certainly regret some moves from the finale, but he can also lament the missed opportunity against Alexander Grischuk in round four. Taking advantage of his opponent’s mistaken timing, Kamsky forged a surprising early attack but found the decisive blow unexpectedly elusive. Learn More
  14. Game of the Week: Hoyos, Robson
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Hoyos, Robson Tournament: US National Open 2013 ECO: A10: English Opening: Unusual replies for Black In American Open tournaments, you have a lot to think about in the last round. If you are in the leading group, it is so tempting to draw and guarantee a share of first prize, avoiding the heavy stress of a last-round game in the process. On the other hand, big ties can greatly dilute that prize. In the recently completed 2013 National Open in Las Vegas, Mexican grandmaster Manuel Leon Hoyos, and young American star Ray Robson commendably duked it out in the last round, each hoping to take home the pot of gold. Learn More
  15. Game of the Week: Sanikidze, Landa
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Sanikidze, Landa Tournament: French team League ECO: D37 : QGD: 5 Bf4 In the final weekend of the French Team League, Tornike Sanikidze and Konstantin Landa battled it out in one of the sharpest opening variations known to man. Apparently on new territory on move 15, the game saw a lot of ups and downs before a violent end on move 38. That’s right; no exciting draw this week. Blood is spilled…let’s see whose it turns out to be. Learn More
  16. Game of the Week: Areshchenko, Karpov
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Areshchenko, Karpov Tournament: Sberbank Rapid Kiev ECO: B01: Scandinavian Defense It’s good to see Anatoly Karpov play chess, even if he is a long way from the great player he used to be. In the Sberbank Rapid tournament in Kiev, Karpov tried out some new opening strategy. In our featured game, he finds himself under heavy pressure from Ukrainian grandmaster Alexander Areshchenko. Areshchenko sacrificed a pawn early for long-term pressure, forcing Karpov to try to resuscitate his old defensive skills. Learn More
  17. Game of the Week: Ponomariov, Eljanov
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    Game of the Week: Ponomariov, Eljanov Tournament: 82nd ch-Ukraine 2013 Kiev ECO: C91: Closed Ruy-Lopez: 7…d6 8 c3 0-0 9 d4 It’s good to see Anatoly Karpov play chess, even if he is a long way from the great player he used to be. In the Sberbank Rapid tournament in Kiev, Karpov tried out some new opening strategy. In our featured game, he finds himself under heavy pressure from Ukrainian grandmaster Alexander Areshchenko. Areshchenko sacrificed a pawn early for long-term pressure, forcing Karpov to try to resuscitate his old defensive skills. Learn More
  18. Game of the Week: Reinderman, Spoelman
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    Game of the Week: Reinderman, Spoelman Tournament: ch-NED Amsterdam 2013 ECO: B51: Sicilian: Moscow Variation (3Bb5+) Without 3…Bd7 The 2013 Dutch Championship is missing some of its biggest names like Giri, van Wely, and Tiviakov, but that gives the younger generation of grandmasters an opportunity to show off their skills. Here we see one of them, 23-year-old Wouter Spoelman, in action against a more experienced grandmaster, 40-year-old Dmitri Reinderman. The opening led to a position of competing weaknesses, which was hard to evaluate well into the middlegame. Then, a dramatic turn led to a swift conclusion. Let’s have a look. Learn More
  19. Game of the Week: Ni Hua, Iturrizaga
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Ni Hua, Iturrizaga Tournament: 33rd Benasque Open 2013 ECO: B40: Sicilian, Quiet openings do not have to signal a boring game is coming. Sometimes one player or the other may just wish to avoid a duel of opening theory, with every intention of battling it out to the fullest. We can see that in this week’s skirmish from the Benasque Open in the heart of the Pyrenees. Ni Hua and Eduardo Iturrizaga both took the sharpest course on a number of occasions, which increased the chances of a decisive result, and an entertaining game for ICC fans. Learn More
  20. Game of the Week: Mikhalevski, Negi
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    Game of the Week: Mikhalevski, Negi Tournament: 41st Annual World Open Arlington 2013 ECO: A37: Symmetrical English vs …g6: 4Bg2 Bg7 5Nf3 One thing that separates strong players from ordinary ones is the knowledge that material is not everything. Most players will automatically reject variations in which they lose a pawn or an exchange if they do not see a short-term benefit. In our feature game from the World Open, young Indian star Parimarjan Negi had a very nice looking position in the middlegame. Israeli grandmaster Victor Mikhalevski needed to somehow change the course of the game, and he found a positional sacrifice to keep the position on edge throughout. Learn More
  21. Game of the Week: Robson, Shanglei
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    Game of the Week: Robson, Shanglei Tournament: Yinzhou Cup CHN-USA Rapid Ningbo 2012 ECO: B96: Sicilian Najdorf: 6Bg5 e6 7f4 lines other than 7…Qb6 and 7…Be7 The USA-China match in Ningbo resulted in a lopsided victory for the very young home team. Both squads were quite young, with only two Americans born before the eighties, and no Chinese players older than 27. But we will focus on one particular game, a resounding victory for Ray Robson over his fellow teenager, Lu Shanglei. In a sharp Najdorf variation Robson found an idea to challenge the conventional wisdom of a position, and send future opponents in search of an improvement. Learn More
  22. Game of the Week: Moiseenko, Vachier-Lagrave
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Moiseenko, Vachier-Lagrave Tournament: Biel 2013 ECO: D85: Exchange Grünfeld: Unusual White 7th moves and lines with 7Nf3 The old Soviet expression “first among equals” comes to mind when seeing the results from the traditional Biel grandmaster round-robin, which was dubbed the Breisacher Memorial in honor of the event’s organizer who passed away just after last year’s event. The leaderboard shifted dramatically at the end with a most unusual result of four of the six players tied for first! In the ensuing playoff, Etienne Bacrot and Ding Liren were eliminated in the first round, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vanquished Alexander Moiseenko in the final to take the title. In the main portion of the competition, the roles were reversed when the top two finishers met in the ninth round. There were some interesting opening ideas and instructive potential endgames, but in the end an attack decided the game. Learn More
  23. Game of the Week: Robson, Volokitin
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    Game of the Week: Robson, Volokitin Tournament: World Cup 2013 ECO: C42: Petrov Four of the nine Americans advanced to the second round in the Fide World Cup in Norway, but none more spectacularly than 19-year-old Ray Robson. Robson scored a convincing 2-0 victory over the higher rated Andrei Volokitin of the Ukraine. The first game was a particular gem. Robson used some clever opening preparation to put Volokitin in less familiar territory, than smoked him with some well-calculated tactics. Let’s have a look and enjoy. Learn More
  24. Game of the Week: Vitiugov, Ragger, Vachier, Caruana, Kramnik, Korobov,
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Vitiugov, Ragger, Vachier, Caruana, Kramnik, Korobov, Tournament: World Cup 2013 ECO: A48, D16, D85: King's Indian: Torre attack, QGD Slav: Soultanbéieff variation, Grünfeld: modern exchange variation The early rounds of the FIDE World Cup is a cornucopia of entertainment. With so many grandmaster games it’s easy to find something to enjoy. This week features a powerful win from Russian grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov over Austrian star Markus Ragger in round two. Vitiugov ventures one of the many trendy sidelines against the Grunfeld. Ragger plunges into the sharpest line, but he soon shows he has not analyzed deeply enough to find a way past White’s initiative. Learn More
  25. Game of the Week: Thomashevsky, Aronian
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Thomashevsky, Aronian Tournament: World Cup 2013 Tromso ECO: E10: Blumenfeld Gambit As we recover from the hangover of the World Cup, this week we turn our attention to the Karpov Poikovsky tournament in the Ukraine. Typically this tournament does not feature a lot of decisive games, with a lot of conservative openings and cautious play. Our feature game does not fit into that category, as Viktor Bologan and Ian Nepomniachtchi discussed an unusual opening that led to a lot of fur flying before the result was decided. Let’s take a look. Learn More
  26. Game of the Week: Bologan, Nepomniachtchi
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Bologan, Nepomniachtchi Tournament: 14th Karpov GM Poikovsky 2013 ECO: E60: King's Indian: Unusual lines and Fianchetto Variation without Nc3 As we recover from the hangover of the World Cup, this week we turn our attention to the Karpov Poikovsky tournament in the Ukraine. Typically this tournament does not feature a lot of decisive games, with a lot of conservative openings and cautious play. Our feature game does not fit into that category, as Viktor Bologan and Ian Nepomniachtchi discussed an unusual opening that led to a lot of fur flying before the result was decided. Let’s take a look. Learn More
  27. Game of the Week: Espinoza Aranda, Salgado Lopez
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Espinoza Aranda, Salgado Lopez Tournament: Ch-Esp 2013 Linares ECO: B43 : Sicilian: Kan Variation: 5 Nc3 22-year-old Ivan Salgado Lopez won the Spanish Championship with a 7 ½- 1 ½ score. It was a Swiss system event, and some of his opponents were not very strong. Still, he showed a technical mastery of his stronger opponents, too. He beat Miguel Illescas in a rook and bishop ending with four pawns versus three, all on the same side. I would have thought it to be a draw, until I saw how Salgado won it. In this week’s featured game, he wins a smooth game without any fireworks against an international master of about the same age, Angel Espinosa Aranda. I quite like this game because its shows how the player with the better understanding of the strategy of the Open Sicilian will emerge on top. Let’s watch and learn. Learn More
  28. Game of the Week: Nepomniachtchi, Moiseenko
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Nepomniachtchi, Moiseenko Tournament: ACP Cup Riga 2013 ECO: B31: Sicilian: 2…Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 Last week, during an ICC broadcast with grandmaster John Fedorowicz, the topic of exchange sacrifices came up. We reminisced about all the times I’ve seen John sacrifice the exchange, including two in one game. Well, this week’s game made me think of John. The positional exchange sacrifice is still an element of strategy that is hard for the average player to understand. The key is not necessarily knowing how to follow it up, but simply to appreciate the nature of the compensation. In a game from the ACP Cup, Ian Nepomniachtchi offers up an exchange to Alexander Moiseenko to get increased square control, but the continuation showed that he was just warming up. Learn More
  29. Game of the Week: Libiszewski, Edouard 
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Libiszewski, Edouard  Tournament: Spanish Team Championship 2013 ECO: B90: Sicilian: Najdorf: Unusual White 6th moves, 6 Be3 Ng4 and Be3 e5 France led the European Team Championship wire to wire until the last round. Russia dealt the French their first match loss, allowing Azerbaijan, who tied with Armenia, to slip past them into first place. France held on for silver while Russia edged out Armenia for bronze. For the Azeris, Shakhiyar Mamedyarov had an unspectacular +1 result, but he came up big in the sixth round against Baadur Jobava of Georgia. Jobava, one of the most original players on the scene, had an excellent result with five wins against two losses, but he could not find the answers to Shak Mammy’s enterprising and defiant opening strategy. Learn More
  30. Game of the Week: Eliseev, Yu Yangyi
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Eliseev, Yu Yangyi Tournament: 52nd World Juniors 2013 Kocaeli ECO: B48 : Sicilian: Taimanov: 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 a6 without Be2 Yu Yangyi has become the first Chinese World Junior Champion. That’s a little surprising, considering the prodigies that country has produced in the last several years. The top seed dominated the field with an impressive 11/13, 9 wins and four draws. Alexander Ipatov made a strong bid for his second World Junior title, but his +8 score left him a half-point short. Yu showed good patience and a variety of skills in racking up that big score. This week we will focus on his win over Russian grandmaster Urii Eliseev. The opening went straight into the endgame; after safeguarding his position from possible attacks, Yu went on the offensive. From then on, the white king never felt safe despite the limited material. Learn More
  31. Game of the Week: Andreikin, Karjakin
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Andreikin, Karjakin Tournament: Russian Superfinals 2013 ECO: E12: Queen's Indian: Unusual White 4th moves It’s a cool time for chess fans as three major events are taking place simultaneously. The Russian Superfinal boast most of the usual suspects, including Kramnik and multiple champion Svidler. In the first round two grandmasters representing Russia’s present and future squared off. Dmitry Andreikin and Sergey Karjakin explored new wrinkles in an opening that was highly favored by a former king of Russian chess, Garry Kasparov. Let’s see how it turned out. Learn More
  32. Game of the Week: Nisipeanu, Caruana
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Nisipeanu, Caruana Tournament: Kings 2013 Bucharest ECO: D90: Grünfeld: 4Nf3 Bg7 sidelines The King’s Tournament in Romania has lost some of its luster due to financial issues, but even with just five players it is an interesting event. Fabiano Caruana came fresh from his not-quite-complete success in the Paris Grand Prix where his equal first was not quite enough to qualify for the next Candidates tournament. Despite just a couple of days separating the two events, Caruana came ready for action in the first round versus L.D. Nisipeanu. The long battle included a new wrinkle on hot opening theory, a nearly successful mating attack, and finally, a little endgame technique. Peripatetic and industrious, Fabiano is clearly more than “recreational Caruana.” Learn More
  33. Game of the Week: Matlakov, Eljanov
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Matlakov, Eljanov Tournament: Chigorin Memorial St Petersburg 2013 ECO: E35: Nimzo-Indian: Classical: 4…d5 5.cxd5 exd5 Pavel Eljanov was first among equals at the Chigorin Memorial, besting ten other players on tiebreak with 7/9. Eljanov is a solid player, which we will see in his approach from this week’s featured game. But when his opponent, the strong young grandmaster Maxim Matlakov, is lulled into a false sense of security, Eljanov strikes with a lightning attack. It just goes to show that to play attacking chess, one does not necessarily need to steer into sharp channels in the opening. Learn More
  34. Game of the Week: Morozevich, Laznicka
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Morozevich, Laznicka Tournament: Euroclub 2013 Rhodes ECO: A00 : Benko The European Club Cup saw a surprise winner as the Czech team G-Team Novy Bor rode a crucial victory over defending champions SOCAR to take first prize with six match victories and one tie. In the fourth round match with ultimate second place finishers Malachite, the Czech third board Viktor Laznicka contested a fascinating game with Russian grandmaster Alexander Morozevich. In the cold light of the computer we see quite a few mistakes were made, but in such a bizarre position, I for one would not be too quick to judge. Let’s just enjoy it instead. Learn More
  35. Game of the Week: Shankland, Ftacnik
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    Game of the Week: Shankland, Ftacnik Tournament: 18th Casino de Barcelona 2013 ECO: D70 : Grünfeld: Unusual White 3rd moves Meet me at the CASBAR. That’s what Sam Shankland could have said as he took part in the Casino de Barcelona tournament. It was good to see the young American grandmaster get an opportunity to play in a fairly high level round-robin international. Sam fell a little short of the desired first place finish, blundering in a drawn endgame he was trying to win in the last round. But earlier he produced a strong effort against the veteran Slovakian grandmaster Lubomir Ftacnik. Shankland’s aggressive approach and confident determination were on display as he overcame his opponent’s tenacious resistance. Learn More
  36. Game of the Week: Solak, Grischuk
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    Game of the Week: Solak, Grischuk Tournament: European Team Championship ECO: B30 : Sicilian: Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (without ...d6) We occasionally see the Russian team get off to a slow start, but the second round upset at the European Team Championship suffered by the Russians at the hands of Turkey was still quite a shock. Even when you consider that the Turkish team is not particularly…Turkish. The decisive point was scored by a Serbian import, Dragan Solak, who has represented Turkey since 2011. The 33-year-old grandmaster defeated Alexander Grischuk in a rough game that showed that chess matches are not played on paper. Let’s see how it happened. Learn More
  37. Game of the Week: Jobava, Mamedyarov
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    Game of the Week: Jobava, Mamedyarov Tournament: European Team Championship ECO: C29: Vienna Gambit France led the European Team Championship wire to wire until the last round. Russia dealt the French their first match loss, allowing Azerbaijan, who tied with Armenia, to slip past them into first place. France held on for silver while Russia edged out Armenia for bronze. For the Azeris, Shakhiyar Mamedyarov had an unspectacular +1 result, but he came up big in the sixth round against Baadur Jobava of Georgia. Jobava, one of the most original players on the scene, had an excellent result with five wins against two losses, but he could not find the answers to Shak Mammy’s enterprising and defiant opening strategy. Learn More
  38. Game of the Week: Vallejo Pons, Grabarczyk
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    Game of the Week: Vallejo Pons, Grabarczyk Tournament: German Bundesliga ECO: D53 : Vallejo Pons, Grabarczyk There was a bit of a lull as the world exhaled with the tension of the World Championship match behind us. The German Bundesliga, however, continued its season, with perennial powerhouses Baden-Baden looking for another title. Sometimes it seems a little unfair as the defending champions field 2700 grandmasters on board four. Miroslav Grabarczyk of SC Greisheim accepted the difficult task of contesting Francisco “Paco” Vallejo Pons. After a solid start he slugged it out with the Spanish GM, producing interesting complications. Let’s take a look. Learn More
  39. Game of the Week: Shvedchikov, Kupreichik
    $2.99
    Game of the Week: Shvedchikov, Kupreichik Tournament: World Senior’s Championship ECO: A04 : Reti Opening I’ve noticed that players of today are remarkably versatile, seemingly at home in any kind of position. It’s noteworthy that Magnus Carlsen could become World Champion on the strength of his play in apparently quiet endgames. In my experience on the international circuit, I’ve encountered a number of old-timers who were particularly adept at one type of chess but not the other. The book on playing experienced Soviet grandmasters was to play tactically to offset their strategical training. This was not the case with Viktor Kupreichik, who was always a crazy attacking player with little interest or aptitude in the endgame. I see that Kupreichik hasn’t changed much on the senior circuit, judging from this week’s bizarre little game from the World Senior’s Championship, which was won by GM Anatoly Vaisser. In the face of his opponent’s quiet opening, Kupreichik sets about creating complications from the get-go, even at the expense of the soundness of his position. They say that fortune favors the brave (and for the most part, I believe that is true in chess); let’s see how it fared in this game. Learn More
  40. Game of the Week: Baramidze, Akobian
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    Game of the Week: Baramidze, Akobian Tournament: European Team Championships ECO: C42: Petrov: Nimzovich attack As I’ve mentioned before, Russia has often struggled in team competitions. They could manage only third in the European Team Championships in November, and were looking up at the Ukrainians for most of the World Team Championship. They did manage to defeat Ivanchuk and company and overtake them in the next to last round, coasting to the gold with Ukraine losing the tiebreak for silver to China. Russia’s struggles were largely due to an early loss to the American team. The U.S. never managed to challenge for the medals, but their fourth place finish is extremely respectable. One of the bright spots was the gold medal performance by fifth board Varuzhan Akobian. Akobian’s 4/6 score included the featured game this week, an interesting, compact tactical skirmish with David Baramidze of Germany. And it all came out of a Petroff’s, believe it or not. Learn More
  41. Game of the Week: Sutovsky, Zumsande
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    Game of the Week: Sutovsky, Zumsande Tournament: London Classic Open ECO: C03: French: Tarrasch Before the Super Sixteen Rapid there was the London Classic Open, which qualified the top two scorers after four rounds, Andrei Istratescu and Emil Sutovsky, into the main event. Sutovsky met his goal by defeating German IM Martin Zumsande in round four. The game was a bit one-sided but rather instructive, as black experienced a typical kind of French Defense disaster. Learn More
  42. Game of the Week: Wojtaszek, Popov
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    Game of the Week: Wojtaszek, Popov Tournament: Rilton Cup ECO: D11: QGD: Slav There was a bit of a lull in elite events between the London Classic and Tata Steel, but the holiday season was replete with traditional festivals. Jon Ludvig Hammer, perhaps best known for his association with Magnus Carlsen, won his second straight tournament by taking the Rilton Cup in Sweden. Perhaps more quietly, Polish grandmaster Radoslav Wojtaszek, who previously worked as Anand’s second, won two tournaments in a row, in Zurich and Basel. The first of the Swiss Swiss system events went for only seven rounds, as it was sandwiched between Christmas and New Year’s. Wojtaszek’s tally in Zurich of 6/7 was a half-point clear of his rivals. The two victories will send Wojt’s rating into the middle 2700s. The decisive game came in the finale, as Wojtaszek outplayed young Russian grandmaster Ivan Popov. Let’s see how he did it. Learn More
  43. Game of the Week: Pallisse, Gashimov
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    Game of the Week: Pallisse, Gashimov ECO: E10: Queen's Pawn Game In the past few years ICC grandmasters have used their videos to pay tribute to great players who have passed away, like Smyslov, Larsen, and Byrne. But this week’s tribute is particularly sad because it is for a player who left us in the prime of his life. Azerbaijani grandmaster Vugar Gashimov has died at age 27. Gashimov was part of a triumvirate of elite players in his country. At times he was even able to surpass Radjabov and Mamedyarov, and reached #6 in the world at his peak in 2009. Unfortunately, he was able to play just a handful of games in 2012 and none in 2013 before succumbing to a brain tumor this month. Gashimov’s greatest successes were a victory in the FIDE Grand prix in Baku in 2008 and first place in Reggio Emilia in 2010-11. He was a dynamic player who specialized in winning with his excellent technique. His personal approach to the openings often put him in conflict with prevailing wisdom. Virtually every tribute from his colleagues mentions his prowess in the Benoni, and I felt it appropriate to show his skills in that oft-maligned opening. In our feature game he takes it one step further, essaying a controversial pet variant of the Benoni known as the Snake. Learn More
  44. Game of the Week: Goudriaan, Timmann
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    Game of the Week: Goudriaan, Timmann Tournament: Tata Steel tournament ECO: E53: Nimzo-Indian The Tata Steel tournament is one the celebrated events on the calendar, but I always enjoy watching the B Group, too. It always has an interesting mix of not quite A-level players, young rising stars, and still competitive veterans. In that last category we find 62-year-old Jan Timman turning back the clock with a fine score of 8 ½-4 ½, a 2686 performance. Timman finished a point and a half behind first place finisher Ivan Saric (whose performance was quite noteworthy, too), but could have made it more interesting if he hadn’t faltered late in games down the stretch. Anyone who has ever read Timman’s deep analysis in books or magazines knows that he welcomes complications. In his victory over young IM Etienne Goudriaan, Timman deflected the kitchen sink and other pieces thrown at him with accurate calculation. Learn More
  45. Game of the Week: Vachier-Lagrave, Mareco
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    Game of the Week: Vachier-Lagrave, Mareco Tournament: Gibraltar Masters ECO: B47: Sicilian:Taimanov The Gibraltar Masters served as a good comeback result for mercurial grandmaster Vassily Ivanchuk, who played his last several games on board one. However, he was caught in the last round by Nikita Vitiugov and Ivan Cheparinov, all with scores of 8-2. In a bizarre elimination playoff where the player with the worst tiebreaks got a bye to the finals, Cheparinov took the title and a good chunk of extra cash. French star Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, known affectionately to his many fans as MVL, fell a bit short after a spirited draw with Ivanchuk in the last round, but he did produce a stirring attacking game in round five. His victim, Argentine grandmaster Sandro Mareco, was the surprise leader at the time, having opened up with four straight wins. MVL often earns high praise for his attacking play, and though there were some hidden possibilities that might have altered the result, he did make it look surprisingly easy. Learn More
  46. Game of the Week: Vitiugov, Ivanchuk
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    Game of the Week: Vitiugov, Ivanchuk Tournament: Gibraltar Masters ECO: D26: QGA I want to go back to Gibraltar to check out a game from the playoff for first place. Nikita Vitiugov and Vassily Ivanchuk opened up their elimination match with a couple of non-descript draws, but the third game was a barn burner with sacrifices and unbalanced material. The complications would have been difficult to calculate under any circumstances but nearly impossible in a blitz game. As it so often goes, the player with the position that was relatively easier to play got the point in the end. Learn More
  47. Game of the Week: Akopian, Chatalbashev
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    Game of the Week: Akopian, Chatalbashev Tournament: Bronstein Memorial Open ECO: B07: Pirc Defense For this week’s show I would like to take a look at an opening we have rarely featured here, the Pirc Defense. In the game between Vladimir Akopian and Boris Chatalbashev from the Bronstein Memorial Open in Minsk, the players left the beaten path early, with many possible interesting tactical skirmishes. The result hinged on a few serious errors in a complex and unusual situation. Learn More
  48. Game of the Week: Maiorov, Ding Liren
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    Game of the Week: Maiorov, Ding Liren Tournament: Cappelle-la-Grande Open ECO: E32: Nimzo-Indian It takes more than attacking prowess and tactical acumen to reach the 2700 mark. Endgame technique is an essential weapon in the grandmaster arsenal, and often wins need to be squeezed from endgames that are not clearly decided at the outset. In the game between Nikita Mairov and Ding Liren from the traditional Cappelle-la-Grande Open, the players played out a scenario that can be seen in any open tournament. The lower rated player tried to hang on for dear life in the endgame while the higher rated player patiently pursued every avenue to improve his position. How to exploit a long term advantage is just one of the lessons learned here. Another equally useful one is that when playing stronger opponents who we might be content to draw with, it is still a good idea to try to throw a few punches. Learn More
  49. Game of the Week: Motylev, Yilmaz
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    Game of the Week: Motylev, Yilmaz Tournament: European Individual Championship ECO: A88: Dutch Alexander Motylev is a strong, experienced grandmaster, but he certainly wasn’t one of the favorites at the European Individual Championship. He managed to get on a fantastic hot streak and pile up a spectacular score of 9/11, a whole point ahead of the field. He was ruthless with White, winning all five of those games. Motylev’s score with Black was more modest (though three of his draws were with 2700-plus players), but we are going to feature one of his two Black wins today. The Dutch Defense has gone in and out of respectability. The latest uptick has been in the Leningrad Variation, largely due to the efforts of Hikaru Nakamura. The latest adherent is long-time Grunfeld maven Petr Svidler, who has used the Dutch in critically important games in the 2014 Candidates Tournament. There are few established main lines in the Dutch, allowing a lot of room for creativity and new possibilities. Motylev later used the super mainstream Slav to maintain his tournament lead, but when he was looking to pile up points in round three, he chose the Dutch against 22-year-old Turkish grandmaster Mustafa Yilmaz. Learn More
  50. Game of the Week: Quingnan, Yangyi
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    Game of the Week: Quingnan, Yangyi Tournament: Chinese Chess championship 2014 ECO: B47: Sicilian: Taimanov The Chinese Championship lacked some of China’s biggest stars like Wang Hao, Wang Yue, and Li Chao. But the favorites delivered, with second-seeded Yu Yangyi taking the title on tiebreaks over top seed Ding Liren. The winning score was a relatively modest 7/11. The 19-year-old went undefeated and notched a nice win over Liu Qingnan. Yu pounced on a mistake to initiate tactics, obtaining a winning advantage with some very aesthetic moves. Learn More

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