Dear chess friends,
In Issue 13 of Modern Chess Magazine, we provide you with the following articles:
Methods of Playing in Positions with Closed Centre - Part 3
GM Grigor Grigorov
In this issue, GM Grigor Grigorov continues dealing with the subtleties of the following structure:
So far, in his previous two articles, he was mainly examining this position from White's perspective. The current article, however, is dedicated to Black's ideas in this kind of positions. Here is what GM Grigorov has to say about his survey:
In the current article, I will try to analyze the structure from Black's perspective. Those of you who have read the previous two articles know that Black's main strategic idea in this structure is to develop an attack on the kingside. The classical way to do so consists of launching a pawn storm on the kingside by means of f7-f5-f4 followed by g6-g5, h7-h5, and g5-g4. The idea is simple - Black wants to execute a favorable pawn break in order to open the kingside and create a decisive attack. Of course, this is far from being the only way to attack on the kingside. In this article, I analyze three main attacking strategies for Black:
1) the classical plan - f7-f5-f4 followed by g6-g5, h7-h5, and g5-g4;
2) creating a piece attack after opening the f-file by means of fxe4;
3) gaining space on the kingside by means of h7-h5-h4
We should also point out that occasionally Black could go for some queenside operations. In rare cases, he goes for queenside play by means of a7-a6 followed by b7-b5. This plan, however, tends to be quite risky since White normally has the upper hand on the queenside.
Each one of the above-mentioned ideas is illustrated by extensively annotated games. At the end of the article, the author provides you with a TEST SECTION where you could verify your understanding of the material.
You could try to solve three of the exercises even now!
Typical Tactical Ideas - Methods of Defence Against the Bishop Sacrifice on h6
GM Nikolay Ninov
In the current article, GM Nikolay Ninov continues dealing with the bishop sacrifice on h6. The first article on that topic was dedicated to the attacking ideas in such positions. This time, the author concentrates on the resources of the defense.
In the present material, GM Ninov examines two main defensive strategies:
1) defense based on accepting the sacrifice
2) defense bad on ignoring the sacrifice
Each of these strategies includes a number of motifs and nuances which are dealt with in 16 annotated games.
Take a look at the critical position from the first annotated game:
It is White to move. Could you evaluate the idea of sacrificing the bishop on h6?
At the end of the article, there are is a TEST section where you could practice your knowledge.
Tactics Can Break Steal, but not Traditions
GM John van der Wiel
In this issue, GM John van der Wiel comes up with a highly original article about the tactical play. The material is based on games played by the author in different editions of the Wijk aan Zee tournament. In the introduction to the article, GM John van der Wiel shows his attitude to this traditional event.
If you are Dutch and it is January, you think about Wijk aan Zee. What else? The second oldest annual chess tournament in the world is our national pride. Having participated 28 times (including 1 Juniors and 2 IM groups) in Hoogovens/Corus/Tata, I know a little something about it. In this article, I would like to tell you briefly about its history (which you can skip if you only want to see chess positions) and then the real 'work' begins - tactical exercises this time. Most of them certainly doable and the final one really tough.
After making some interesting historical remarks, the author dives into the topic. At the beginning of the article, he provides the reader with 6 test positions. These positions are taken from the games which are annotated later in the article. Thinking over the test positions will help the reader to get a better feeling of the topic. Take a look at two of the test positions:
Endgame Series 13 - Domination in the Endgame
GM Davorin Kuljasevic
So far, in his endgame series, GM Davorin Kuljasevic managed to cover all the basic endgame concepts. Now, the moment has come to start dealing with some more advanced stuff. The current article is dedicated to the role of the king in complex endgame positions. Let's see how the author describes his material.
A common motive in fairy tales and legends is an unlikely hero that no one expects to complete a certain difficult task, which he manages to do despite all odds. In chess, sometimes the most vulnerable piece - the king - picks up the slack and bravely leads its army to victory. In this issue of Endgame Series, we will see how famous Grandmasters have used their king to invade and overthrow their opponent's position.
Now, we could take a look at one of the examples GM Kuljasevic provides us with:
Master the Grunfeld Structures - Part 4
GM Mihail Marin
In this issue, GM Mihail Marin continues dealing with the subtleties of the Grunfeld middlegames. This time, he explains the subtleties of the structures where White plays d4-d5 and e4-e5.
This is the last important structure you should know in order to understand the lines included in the current database. Here is how GM Marin explains the positive and negative sides of gaining space in this way:
"On first thoughts, White's biggest dream would be carrying them both, obtaining a huge space advantage without offering Black an outpost on d5 or opening the g7-bishop's diagonal. (of course, I refer to the cases when Black's f7- and e7-pawns are on their initial squares).
But things are not really one-sided. Far advanced pawns imply a lot of weak squares left behind and could become targets for the enemy pieces as well. In order to turn this structure favorable for White needs two main circumstances. First of all, his pieces should be ready to control or fill in the wide space behind the central pawns. That would ensure stability but would not necessarily yield him an advantage. The second required element is that the pawns restrict at least some of Black's minor pieces (not only the g7-bishop, which could burst into freedom with a well-timed ...f7-f6."
All these ideas are illustrated in the 8 annotated games the author provides you with. As always, GM Mihail Marin follows a highly systematic approach to the material.