Opening Databases



Ambitious Repertoire against the Caro-Kann

The so-called Advance Variation is White's most ambitious way to meet the Caro-Kann. The e5-pawn gives White a long-term space advantage and makes it difficult for Black to develop his kingside pieces. There are many possible setups and transpositions. Some of the lines are not concrete and you just need to know the typical plans and ideas. On the other hand, there are lines in which Black is trying to achieve immediate equality. In such lines, the play is getting pretty forced and concrete knowledge is required. GM Efimenko tried to make the repertoire as practical as possible. That is the reason why he provides you with a number of rare and almost unexplored lines and concepts.

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Solid Repertoire against 1.d4 - Slav Defence - Part 1

The Slav Defence is one of the most solid options for Black against 1.d4 and part of any strong grandmaster's repertoire. The main goal is to solve the eternal problem of the light-squared bishop, keeping the chance of developing it either to f5 or g4. White has many options to fight for an advantage, but since Black's structure is very stable, the active options are very limited. The Slav is a nice opening for players that look for solid set-ups and don't care about playing with patience, improving his position slowly and collecting small strategic advantages. In his trilogy, IM Renato Quintillano is offering a complete repertoire for Black which is rich of new ideas and concepts.

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Play the Open Spanish - Repertoire for Black

In this database, Mihail Marin provides a complete Black repertoire which is based on the so-called Open Spanish. The basic position of this line arises after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6. In the introduction, GM Marin writes: "The Open (or Tarrasch) Variation in the Spanish Opening has fascinated me ever since the 1978 and 1981 Karpov-Kortschnoj matches, during which the challenger regularly used it, coming up with many new ideas. Before that, the system did not enjoy a good reputation, but the intense rehearsal during the matches provoked a real boom of the opening. For many years I had an intense but purely "platonic" sympathy for it. I finally decided to include it in my repertoire when I understood that playing the Sicilian against players like John Nunn was pure suicide. And as a reward, my first game with the Open Spanish ended in a draw against the same Dr Nunn, who one year earlier had made me the unwilling co-author of a brilliancy prize in the Najdorf! The aforementioned matches also induced a new fashion trend from White's point of view, but during the '80s, Kortschnoj introduced many new ideas in tournament games. Around 1990 a serious crisis happened, after a crucial loss of Kortschnoj to Hjartarson. I managed to play it for a few more years, switching systems when I feared concrete opponents' preparation, but around 1994 I had to resign to the evidence: Many of my favourite lines did not look playable anymore. Revisiting the variation after such a long time was refreshing. When writing this database I understood that at this stage of theory there are certain systems (mainly 9.Nbd2) in which Black has to go for dynamic play (and not for static positions, as I used to do)."

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Queen's Gambit Accepted - Complete Repertoire for Black

Queen's Gambit Accepted is one of the most fundamental and reliable openings. In the introduction to the current database, GM Hungaski writes: One of the reasons why I have been so attracted to this variation over the years (and why I believe I have been so successful with it) is due to the simplicity of Black's ideas and the practicality of the variations themselves. I began playing the Queen's Gambit Accepted nearly ten years ago. "I remember I was fed up with my bad results against 1.d4 and decided to stay away from long and complex theoretical discussions that were taking up a lot of my time and giving me little returns. Instead, I decided to choose an opening that would narrow down White's possibilities even if this meant accepting a slightly inferior (though very solid) position. To my surprise, I soon found out that White's road to advantage is not an easy one if there is one at all. In the analysis that follows, I hope to make a strong case in favour of this timeless opening based on the soundness of the arising positions and especially on the overall practicality of this opening".

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Play the Sicilian Four Knights

In this database, IM Robert Ris builds a complete repertoire for Black based on the Sicilian Four Knights. The starting position of this variation arises after 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 In this line, Black immediately puts pressure on the central squares e4 and d4. Additionally, he is planning to increase the pressure by playing ...Bb4 on the next move. This line is considered to be a very practical choice. Since Black is going for an active play at the very beginning, White's choice is limited. As a rule of thumb, by playing solid and natural moves, White does not get anything in this line. For a long period of time, the Sicilian Four Knights was considered to be slightly dubious. Nevertheless, the recent top-level and correspondence practice has proven otherwise. According to the analysis of IM Ris, currently, this variation is in a very good theoretical shape.

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Ambitious Repertoire against the Catalan

In his first database for Modern Chess, IM Luis Rodi provides an ambitious repertoire against the Catalan. The repertoire starts with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ (the authors also deals with the systems in which White delays Nf3 or c2-c4). The theoretical approach of IM Rodi is based on an in-depth analysis of positions with many pieces on the board and mutual chances. The author tends to favour aggressive ideas. Nevertheless, all his lines are completely justified from a positional point of view.

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Complete Repertoire for White after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 - Part 2

In the second part of his repertoire after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3, GM Michael Roiz deals with the King's Indian Defence as well as with the systems based on Black's early ...c7-c5. True to his approach, the author usually suggests creative ideas which have been underestimated from a theoretical point of view. Each one of these lines, however, is based on solid positional foundations. Being classical and modern at the same time, this repertoire offers a very high practical value to the tournament player. The database consists of three parts - Typical Pawn Structures, Theoretical Section, and Test Section.

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Aggressive Repertoire against the French Defence - Part 1

The system with 3.Nc3 is the most ambitious weapon against the French Defence. The former World Champion GM Ruslan Ponomariov is playing this line almost exclusively and has tremendous experience with it. We are pleased to publish his first database for Modern Chess in which he analyzes two of the most popular replies for Black - the moves 3...dxe4 (Rubinstein Variation) and 3...Nf6 (Classical Variation). In the second part of his Anti-French series, he will provide a repertoire against Black's other options on move 3. The author provides a repertoire based on his own games and experience. His accent was to explain all tactical and strategical ideas and also to reveal the secrets of the high-level preparation and the modern theory. Below you will find how the author describes his database.

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Play the Leningrad Bird

What should we expect from the Leningrad Bird? Does it offer White an advantage? Is White's extra tempo with respect to the Dutch essential? First of all, we should expect a long strategic struggle, with many original positions and structures, which the computer does not always understand from the beginning. Quite typically, the engines' scepticism vanishes gradually. This makes the opponents' preparation quite difficult. It is right to say that in the complex middlegame the better strategy is likely to win, but we should also take into account that many interesting dynamic or tactical moments can arise.

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The Modern Makagonov - Complete Repertoire against King's Indian Defence

The modern way of fighting King's Indian Defense involves a little move h2-h3. Its idea is not just to protect g4-square from ...Ng4 and ...Bg4 sorties, but also to prepare ambitious g2-g4 expansion. This can be a very effective prophylactic measure against Black's typical kingside play, as well as a springboard to White's kingside attack(!) - as discovered by the Soviet Grandmaster Vladimir Makogonov, after whom this whole system was named. White has traditionally used a combination of Ng1-f3 and h2-h3 on moves 5 and 6 to achieve this setup, which was investigated by Grandmaster Mihail Marin in another Modern chess database.

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