Dear chess friends,
In Issue 23 of Modern Chess Magazine, we provide you with the following articles:
The Skill of Maneuvring - Middlegame Positions
In this article, GM Dhopade keeps dealing with the topic of maneuvring. In this article, the author focuses on the Middlegame positions. In the introduction to the current article, he writes:
Manoeuvrings in middlegames can serve a lot of useful purposes, for example:-
1) Favourable exchange of pieces:- We can use manoeuvrings to achieve the favourable exchange of pieces.
2) Increase attacking potential:- Sometimes some of our pieces are already near the opponent's king but they still need the support of other colleagues to crash through! Manoeuvrings can help us bring more pieces in the attack.
3) Exploiting weak pawns:- Some opponents pawns can be weak as they are left with little support. We can manoeuver our pieces to win such lightly guarded pawns.
4) Exploiting weak squares:- Advance of pawns can create weaknesses of squares. Such weak squares can be exploited by good manoeuvres.
5) Increasing pressure:- Sometimes with efficient manoeuvring, we can increase pressure on opponents position.
The annotated games will be followed by test positions for you to solve! All these annotated games and positions are selected from recent tournament games.
Each one of the abovementioned 5 points is illustrated by an extensively annotated model game. The article consists of 5 model games and 10 test positions.
Below, we provide you with one of the model games.
Understand the English Hedgehog - Part 3
This is GM Marin's last article on the English Hedgehog structures. This time, he explains when Black should go for the advance ...e6-e5. Marin presents the article in the following way:
The pawn breaks examined in the previous two articles (...b6-b5 and ...d6-d5) are mainly aimed at questioning White's stability on the light squares. Since White's central space advantage is ensured by the c4- and e4-pawns we may call these the main pawn break plans.
Additionally, Black disposes of ...e6-e5, which we can consider as an auxiliary break. The usually favourable circumstances for Black are with the g-pawn on g6 (or else with Nd4-f5 inoffensive) and the white pawn on f4, in order to clear the e5-square for the black pieces or else provoke the opening of the e-file with increased pressure on e4. Sometimes, ...e6-e5 can prove effective even with the pawn on f2, as driving the knight away from d4 would make ...b6-b5 easier to carry out. And of course, it would help if White has played g3-g4, chronically weakening the e5-square. If White plays h2-h3 Black can sometimes try combining ...e6-e5 with ... h5-h4, gaining control over f4.
All these aspects make us understand that the potential danger of the break on dark squares tends to inhibit the active plan based on f2-f4, or at least, provoke the willingly knight retreat from d4. We had this situation in the previous articles, but now we will examine games in which this pawn break came true.
In the first game, we will see that in such cases not all that glitters is gold actually.
The article consists of 8 extensively annotated games. You can find an example below.
Endgame Series 23 - Knight’s Versatility in the Endgame
Beyond any doubt, the knight is the most tricky piece on the chessboard. The good usage of it would give you a tremendous practical advantage over your opponent. In the current article, GM Davorin Kuljasevic talks about the knight's versatility in the endgame. Besides the tricky and beautiful ideas, he also provides some important and instructive principles which will help you to use your knights in a more effective way. Here is how the author describes his article:
In this issue of Endgame series, we will talk about the special role of the most unpredictable chess piece, the knight, in the endgame. The specific geometry of movement of the knight, unlike any other piece on the board, gives rise to many unique possibilities in the endgame. It is this knight’s versatility that inspired many chess composers to compose beautiful and instructive endgame studies, some of which we will see in this article, as well. While being quite short-legged when it comes to covering large areas of the board, knight is a very tricky piece on a smaller area since it can cover a lot of important squares and ‘shape-shift’ its routes in many different ways. I am sure that every chess player had a situation in their career when he/she missed some unexpected knight jump that changed the situation on the board sharply. It is not without a reason that knights are more coveted pieces than bishops when in time scramble or in a blitz game.
Let's take a look at one of the examples the author provides us with.
Master the Pawn Play
In this article, the Ukrainian grandmaster Valeriy Aveskulov deals with one of the most important aspects of the positional chess - the pawn play. Here is how the author introduces the subject:
When I was a kid, I was always afraid of facing passed pawns. I remember that fear and I think, this was the first time in my career that I had seen a problem and consciously made a decision about it. The decision was simple: To avoid situations in which my opponent was able to sacrifice material to achieve passed pawns. Of course, it was not the smartest move, but at least it was a move. Now I would like to take a look at this problem armed with 25 years of experience and artificial intelligence. Our task is to see situations where one player sacrifices a piece or exchange for passed pawns and to determine which typical ideas can be used in such situations by both attacking and defending players.
In the article, the author provides 7 extensively annotated games and 6 interactive test positions (also heavily annotated).
Here is an example:
Tactical Vision - Battery and Discovered Check
The current article marks the beginning of a series dedicated to the typical tactical ideas. As usual, illustrates his ideas with beautiful studies which are classified by theme and level of difficulty. Here is how the author justifies his choice:
"Chess is 99 percent tactics" said the German master Richard Teichmann meaning that throughout the entire game our thoughts and decisions are continuously affected directly or indirectly by tactical possibilities. This article is the first in a series of articles dedicated to common tactical devices we use over the board, or behind the scenes, in almost every game. Trainers worldwide naturally use examples from master and grandmaster games but also more and more endgame studies and they have plenty of good reasons to do that. Composed positions demonstrate tactics in their purest form with the most relevant pieces at the focus. Solving studies have the power to improve one's calculating skills as well as endgame knowledge and understanding. In my book "Extreme Chess Tactics" (Gambit 2017) I emphasize also the importance of the sharpening of the crucial sense of pattern recognition and the appreciation of chess beauty in general as well as piece power and harmony. Our first theme in this series is battery play and discovered attack A battery is a set of two pieces of the same colour targeted at an enemy piece, not just the king, or even a certain square. Moving the front piece exposes the target to the threat of the rear one. The rear piece may be any line mover (queen, rook or bishop), while the front piece may be any piece but the queen. Unleashing the battery may generate a Discovered attack or even a discovered check.
The article consists of 18 educational examples and 17 interactive tests. Note that very often even the eudcational examples are presented in the form of test.
Here is one of the test positions which are given in the article.
Interactive Tests from Fide World Cup 2019
At the end of the current issue, you will find 3 articles including interactive tests from FIDE World Cup 2019. The author GM Petar Arnaudov has divided his articles in the following way:
Find the Right Plan (10 test positions)
Become a Tactical Beast (17 test positions)
Endgame Challenge (11 test positions)
Since these are interactive tests, they are not published in the PDF version. You can solve them on the website or examine them in the PGN version.