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Chess Academy (107)




Fighting for the initiative - Part 1 Free

Sometimes we are really astonished by the way in which top grandmasters calculate variations.Is it really all about calculation? Bulgarian grandmaster Boris Chatalbashev disagrees. In his course, concerning the initiative, he proves that we can often find the best move in complex position by boosting our intuition. After reading his first article, you will feel the razor thin balance between strategy and dynamics in modern chess. read more…

Rare Weapon against the Leningrad Dutch Free

Almost every 1.d4 player has encountered some problems facing the Leningrad system in Dutch defence.The complexity and the flexibility of the arising pawn structures make the Dutch one of the favourite openings of original players like Nakamura, Bartel and Malaniuk. Being an exclusively 1.d4 player, GM Grigor Grigorov shares with you the secrets of his repertoire against that dangerous variation. His system is based on 6.Nbd2 followed by 7.Re1 and e2-e4.Despite a rare choice, this line is completely sound from the positional point of view and often has a surprise value. read more…

Beat 1.e4 with the Dragon - Part 1 Free

Some players are really not confident when they face a well prepared 1.e4 player.It is quite often the case when it comes to the razor sharp Sicilian defence.Being aware of that problem, the Dragon expert IM Spas Kozhuharov decided to create a repertoire concerning his beloved opening variation. His first article deals with the main line, where white plays 9.Bc4 followed by 0-0-0.After reading the expert analysis of IM Kozhuharov, you will realise that the Dragon is not such a risky opening when we know it is positional basics. read more…

The Weakness of "c6" ("c3") Square in Positions with Open Center Free

Have you ever thought about the secrets of the Soviet chess school? What makes Russian chess players so powerful? No need to wonder anymore! The 1985 URSS champion GM Viktor Gavrikov is here to reveal the basics of the greatest chess school in the world. His first article concerns the positions with an open center and marks the beginning of a complete middlegame course which deals with all the basic pawn structures.Good structural knowledge will enhance your opening understanding. read more…

The Danger of Making Natural Moves - Learn to Fight Your Reflexes

All humans are followed by reflexes. Wikipedia names more than 50 reflexes known to modern science. But I know one more reflex that is unknown to Web Encyclopedia. I call it “natural moves” reflex. ABSOLUTELY every chess player has a set of chess instincts that (1) make some moves undoubted or (2) makes some moves not possible for him/her. read more…
3.50 EUR

Fortress - The Ultimate Defence

The fortress is a very important tool which often allows us to save lost endgames. Sometimes, even strong players fail to spot simple fortresses. Of course, this fact has nothing to do with their chess level and understanding. Very often, people are just not on alert for a fortress. read more…
3.50 EUR

Endgame Series 21 - Simplifications in Difficult Endgames

The goal of simplification as a defensive strategy is to reduce the number of opponent’s fighting units, and thus his winning chances. Usually, this is done by exchanging our own pieces/pawns for opponent’s, but it can also be accomplished by sacrificing material for opponent’s important assets, such as a far advanced passed pawn. Considering the importance of pawns in endgames, simplification by reducing the number of pawns on the board usually increases drawing chances. read more…
3.50 EUR

Understand the English Hedgehog - Part 1

We cannot argue about the fact that the Hedgehog system (be it in the Sicilian or in the English opening) is one of the most paradoxical. It may appear that Black is playing awfully timidly, mainly aiming at defending on three ranks only. But this impression is false. In most cases, Black intends to outplay his opponent in the (possibly late) middlegame, by avoiding early exchanges and forced variations. White cannot convert his space advantage into something concrete that easily, while Black has several plans to create counterplay at his disposal. Among his main resources I would quote the pawn breaks ...b6-b5, ...d6-d5, ...e6-e5 (the latter usually with a white pawn on f4) or, if White refrains from e2-e4, a massive kingside expansion. All these plans need separate investigation, even though they sometimes interfere. The first article deals with ...b6-b5. Since White's normal development involves having knights on d4 and c3, this plan requires thorough preparation. One way or another, by creating minor threats against White's slightly over-extended position, Black could "convince" one of the knights to retreat, when his plan would become more realistic. read more…
3.50 EUR

Understand the Najdorf Structures - Part 2

In this article, IM Quintillano keeps examining the typical Najdorf structures. This time, his survey is focused on 8 structures which arise out of the sharpest lines in the Najdorf - 6.Bg5 and 6.Bc4. read more…
3.50 EUR

The Power of the Quiet Moves

In general, chess is a more tactical game where a clean and short calculation of moves is the most important skill from my point of view. But often, there are situations when a straight-line play doesn't lead to a goal where the usual patterns do not work, and the chess player must look more for quiet and subtle moves in order to implement his plans or neutralize the opponent's plans. Based on my personal experience - very often the unexpected and quiet moves with the king (as well as knights moves back) in the middlegame fall out of sight! read more…
3.50 EUR