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Table of Contents: CHESS BLOGS

The Anti-Pirc Chronicles 1

GM Nikita Vitiugov: 5. Be3 line vs. The Pirc Defense

01/12/2021 –  The Pirc Defense is very similar to King’s Indian Defense but on 1. e4 opening classification. Russian GM Nikita Vitiugov displayed a systematic approach to attack black’s kingside. 

GM Hikaru Nakamura is well aware about the dangerous white’s 5. Be3 line. He delayed  castling at kingside to develop first the queenside pieces and pawns. Let us check how American GM Jeffery Xiong makes it so simple to beat GM Nakamura. This is a one sided game. But let us have a hot…delicious coffee… 

The Anti-Caro-Kann Chronicles 3

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GM Peter Svidler: Fantastic Counter-Attack

24/11/2021 –  Some GMs tolerate attacks on their territory, but it comes with precision and courage to acquire those skills. GM Peter Svidler is one of these grandmasters who possess excellent patience to repel attacks but of course it comes with a great plan.

GM Peter Svidler used his line 10. Bb4 which is a different line to previous Anti-CaroKann Chronicles 1 & 2. These 2 featured games are exciting and have a huge sense of unpredictability mostly in the climax part. Yes, the result always  ends well to those who are patient.. but coffee first…

The Anti-Caro-Kann Chronicles 2

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GM Sanan Sjugirov: The Visionary GM

21/11/2021 –  The featured Game 1,  has shown elegance and exceptional tactical flair as executed by GM Sjugirov’s deep understanding of the opening. Easily he will reach 2700 rating in no time. Check his game history, he beat world champ GM Magnus Carlsen, GM Wesley So, GM Fabiano Caruana and some top 10 Super GMs.

GM Kovalenko dared his opponent to attack his king while still at the center. Indeed, GM Bartel accepted the challenge and wasted no time. When the smoke cleared, only one man was standing. But coffee first combined with coconut cake…yum!!

The Anti-Caro-Kann Chronicles 1

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GM Wesley So: Solid Line versus the Caro-Kann

15/11/2021 –   I find the Anti-Caro-Kann line by GM Wesley So educational. You will learn about the roles of each piece and when to strike. Amazing super strategic Game 1.

The featured 2nd game is an example of how tactical GM Wesley So when he wants to. He plays smooth, calm and unsuspecting but so dangerous when he fires the first shot combined with deadly combo. Let’s find out, but coffee and music are a perfect combination!!!

The Anti-French Chronicles 3

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GM Richard Rapport: Anti-French Strategy and Game Plans.

13/11/2021 –   Not just I create chess blogs and share it to all chess players worldwide. But I learned a lot too. GM Richard Rapport’s clever execution of Anti-French 5. exd5 is self explanatory. To go for the endgame, pressure the center and the b7 pawn. as shown in Game 1.

GM Misraddin Iskandarov’s Anti-French is a similar set-up to Game 1. But it defers when the queen goes to b3 to pressure the b7 pawn. Let’s find out and enjoy the game. But coffee combined with music is best.

The Anti-French Chronicles 2

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GM Anton Guijarro: 2. Nf3 versus the "French Defense"

10/11/2021 –   GM Anton Guijarro  inspired chess players and gave honor to Spain especially when he beat Super GM Fabiano Caruana (USA) in theoretical fashion. At move 6. Bb5, obviously a prepared line undeniably with a bad motive to outplay black as shown in game 1.

The featured game 2 has all the ingredients of strategy and tactical play. GM Aleksandar Indjic is an extraordinary talent. He can reach 2700 rating in no time with his chess skills. A good coffee deserves your thirst of chess knowledge..cheers.

The Anti-French Chronicles 1

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GM Gadir Guseinov: 2. Nf3 versus the "French Defense"

06/11/2021 –   GM Gadir  Guseinov is one of the top players representing Azerbaijan. His teammates are Super GMs Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Teimur Radjabov, Rauf Mamedov and Arkadij Naiditsch will be top contender for the 2022 World Chess Olympiad. GM Gadir Guseinov’s play is mysteriously dangerous as shown in our featured 2 games.

I chose his 2. Nf3 setup versus the French Defense because it brings pieces out coordinately and always ahead of tempo as well. Study his games if you like his style. His king is always safe and plays methodical. Enjoy your coffee…

The Anti-Sicilian Chronicles 3

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GM R. Praggnanandhaa: Super Alapin 2. c3

02/11/2021 –   There are 69 chess grandmasters in India. Chess is the 2nd most popular sport next to Cricket.  Having a large population and millions play chess in a country, where inborn chess genius is not scarce. Teen genius GM R. Praggnanandhaa is one of the arising chess superstars in India.

I was amazed by his choice of Alapin line 6. g3 against black’s  2…Nf6 variation.  The game is so instructive from opening to endgame. The other featured game played by GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov as if like watching a “James Bond” movie, full of action and entertaining. But first…a good coffee…

The Anti-Sicilian Chronicles 2

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GM Rogelio "Joey" Antonio: Lethal Alapin 2. c3

30/10/2021 –    Grandmaster Rogelio “Joey” Antonio, Jr. of the Philippines has vast experience using the Alapin 2. c3 variation. A well prepared GM, many times Olympian and Philippine Champion contributed so much in Philippine Chess. His style is very strategical, creates weaknesses then overwhelm it with attack.

His 2 games illustrated why Alapin 2. c3 is a reliable white opening to counter the Sicilian Defense. Beating the likes of GM Mark Paragua and IM Roderick Nava explains that nothing sure when playing GM “Joey”. You must take courage and research more to outwit him in the opening, otherwise, you end up losing as shown on these games.

The Anti-Sicilian Chronicles 1

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The dangerous "Alapin Variation"

25/10/2021 –    The Sicilian Defense is considered the most aggressive black chess opening versus 1. e4. Many World Champs have used it to win the title such as GM Gary Kasparov, GM Robert “Bobby Fischer and GM Mikhail Tal. Even super genius GM Judit Polgar  play it so  entertaining to watch  and learn. But with the emergence of Anti-Sicilian variations in GM Level tournaments,   Alapin 2. c3, now a   perfect weapon to tame the wild Sicilian Defense.

Our featured two games explained why the Alapin variation is so cunning when both World Champ GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Welsey So attempted to win but with Alapin’s systematic approach and tactical flare, white successfully delivered. Its just nice chess games to learn and be entertained as well. But coffee first…

The King's Indian Chronicles 4

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PERUVIAN GM TEACHES US: THE BAYONET ATTACK

20/10/2021 –    In the 2013 World Cup, GM Jorge Cori of Peru  inflicted a defeat to GM Teimur Radjabov on  unpredictable fashion. His thinking is a bit deep, lies a modest move but there is a hidden tactical hack on it. He is a member of super-strong Webster University chess team managed by GM Susan Polgar.

The interesting features of these 2 games represent a valuable lesson,  to understand the idea behind each moves. Their level of play enrich our chess thinking by asking why or what? So, let us enjoy these games and gratify our curious minds. But coffee first…

The King's Indian Chronicles 3

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Teen GM Vincent Keyner: BAYONET ATTACK

13/10/2021 –    Even teen GM Vincent Keyner trusted the strength of the Bayonet Attack against the wild, aggressive King’s Indian Defense. Taming the bishop at g7 and control  black pawn’s from attacking white’s kingside is a standard make up of the Bayonet Attack.

Our featured two (2) games display different black variations that tells a story about how white breaks the pawn chain c7 and d6 to win the game. These games are classic example on how to penetrate black’s defensive structure. Enjoy and let’s have coffee while listening to Matt Monroe’s almost perfect baritone voice.

The King's Indian Chronicles 2

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GM Anand's Bayonet Attack

10/10/2021 –    Former world champion GM Viswanathan Anand is 1. e4 specialist. But in this game, he chose to play    1. d4  to challenge GM Teimour Radjabov’s favorite black opening “The King’s Indian Defense”.

Our featured two (2) games are both interesting yet highly entertaining.  The 1st game, GM Ivanchuk played the 9. Ne1 line. Young GM Radjabov controlled the tempo in the middle game, sacrificed a piece at g4 to destroy white’s defense. Let’s fill our curiosity and enjoy both games….cheers.  

The King's Indian Chronicles 1

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Avoiding the Bayonet Attack

06/10/2021 –    GM Teimur Radjabov considered the most feared King’s Indian  player. I have seen many of his games and there’s a resemblance with GM Kasparov’s games. 

Our featured two (2) games are both King’s Indian theme although there are transpositions, that diverted to different opening lines. GM Mamedyarov used  white’s g3 line, while the 2nd featured game, GM Kramnik  dealt with  GM Radjabov’s prepared King’s Indian line 7..exd4 (avoiding the Bayonet Attack). Let’s enjoy these games while having coffee and chocolate cake…Yum!!

How to beat GM Magnus Carlsen 3

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2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24

04/10/2021 –    Congratulations!! GM Magnus Carlsen  won the 2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24. He has been winning tournaments successively yet sometimes GM Wesley So wins too. The rivalry is obvious to both World Champ. If  Super GMs are more competitive, the more chess players learn from it just like our featured two games played by GM Levon Aronian (2782) beating GM Magnus Carlsen in masterly fashion.

GM Carlsen used the Nimzowitsch Defense to surprise GM Aronian, transposed to French/Advanced variation makes it more thrilling. While the 2nd game adds spice to our excitement and curiosity when GM Aronian gave GM Carlsen hard time defending an inferior position. Lets look at it and learn…coffee will help…cheers…

How to beat GM Magnus Carlsen 2

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2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24

03/10/2021 –    Grandmaster Radjabov  (Rating: 2763) of Azerbaijan is playing extraordinarily at the 2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24. Currently placing 3rd place and recently won match versus GM Wesley So. I am pleased about his determination to win and spectacular play as shown in his games against GM Magnus Carlsen.

Our featured two games exhibit masterful opening theories for you to absorb and study. How did GM Radjabov won 2 games against World Champ GM Magnus Carlsen? Let’s find out…

How to beat GM Magnus Carlsen 1

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2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24

01/10/2021 –    The 2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24 event is filled with many exciting games. New opening variations is shared by the super GMs to the chess public. The kiddies, juniors, seniors, and even Master/Expert level chess players enjoyed a lot about this learning experience.

Our topic this chess blog edition (no. 34) is  about the games of the two super GMs Vladislav Artemiev (Russia) and Maxime Vachier Lagrave (France) in the 2021 Meltwater CCTF Chess24. They both won versus GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway) using the Sicilian Defense. Let’s find out how and why they win.  Learn from it.  Enjoy…..keep safe always.

GM ALIREZA FIROUZJA: CLEVER MOVES

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2021 NORWAY Chess

28/09/2021 –    There is no other teen GM as good as GM Alireza Firouzja rated FIDE 2754, now a resident of France.  With proper guidance and training, this genius young GM no doubt a contender to future World Championship.

Our three (3) featured  games, we study the Rossolimo variation and the Giuoco Piano. Also, watch the YouTube video about the “Lucena System”. Please subscribe and share..thanks and God Bless…

2021 World Championships review: Carlsen vs Nepomniachtchi

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Match-up Games Review

25/09/2021 –    The rivalry between the two grandmasters is astonishing.  World Champ GM Magnus Carlsen and World Championship Challenger GM Ian Nepomniachtchi has been playing each other since kiddies years. This coming 24th of November 2021, both GMs are playing  chess match vying for the World Chess Championship Title to be held in Dubai Exhibition Centre, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. 

In 2018, GM Magnus Carlsen (Norway) retained his World Champ title by defeating GM Fabiano Caruana (USA) in a super theoretical battle. GM Carlsen’s superiority in positional and  endgame positions has resemblance with the great Cuban World Champ GM Jose Raul Capablanca. Let’s enjoy the featured 2 games below…

The Semi Slav: Cambridge Springs Variation Series 1

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Black's tricky move: variation 7...Nxd5

17/09/2021 –    The  Semi-Slav: Cambridge Springs idea is to immediately attack white’s queenside at move 6…Qa5 combined with support from knight at f6 and bishop at f8. But white’s  a3 !! move  disrupts black’s intention to damage white’s queenside. Our featured 2  games is based on black’s variation 7…Nxd5. 

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Above are Cambridge Springs Variation

We study the game of former World Champ GM Vladimir Kramnik  8. Qd2 line (Game Viewer 1)  then the  game of Indian genius, 17 year old GM Sarin Nihal 8. Rc1 line (Game Viewer 2).

GM Vladimir Kramnik: The King's Indian Slayer - Series 2

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King's Indian Defense: Bayonet variation 9. b4

14/09/2021 –    The Bayonet Attack is one of several Anti-King’s Indian systems main goal is to tame the dangerous bishop at g7. The bishop at g7 many times chessplayers call it  “The Dragon Bishop”. Other strategy is to control the center then executes attack at black’s queenside in a methodical manner.

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Above are King's Indian Defense variations vs. Bayonet Attack

The Series 1 of the Bayonet Attack (chess blog No. 29/dated: 09/09/2021), we discussed black variations 10…Nf4 and 11…Nf6. Today, we will check how to defend against black variations 9…a5 (GM Kasparov’s move) and 9…c6. Let’s check below games…

GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime: The "John Rambo" of Chess

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The wandering king...

11/09/2021 –  Grandmaster’s responsibility before the game starts is to prepare/research upcoming opponent’s  weakness and strengths.  In this game between  super GM Vachier-Lagrave versus the rising star – 15 year old genius from India GM R. Praggnanandhaa, who do you think was much prepared? 

 Have a coffee and food while checking this game. I am sure you’ll need brain energy to analyze positions and to gain knowledge about the variations used in the Sicilian Four Knights. That’s all for today.. thank you, enjoy your weekend…

GM Vladimir Kramnik: The King's Indian Slayer - Series 1

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King's Indian Defense: Bayonet variation 9. b4

09/09/2021 –    The Bayonet Attack is one of several Anti-King’s Indian systems main goal is to tame the dangerous bishop at g7. The bishop at g7 many times chessplayers call it  “The Dragon Bishop”. Other strategy is to control the center then executes attack at black’s queenside in a methodical manner.

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Above are King's Indian Defense variations vs. Bayonet Attack

GM Vladimir Kramnik has contributed heaps of theoretical novelties using the Bayonet Attack. Even the great King’s Indian protagonist GM Kasparov is a victim of this super interesting “Bayonet Attack”. Let’s check the game of GM Karpov vs. GM Kasparov using the Samisch line for white and compare it with the game of GM Kramnik vs Kasparov using the Bayonet Attack for white.  Enjoy… bon appetit…

The English Opening: 3. b3 variation

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2021 European Championships

08/09/2021 –    The 2021 European Championships was held on August 26 to September 5, 2021 in  Reykjavik, Iceland. It is  a qualifying event to the 2023 World Cup (23 qualifying slots). GM Demchenko, Anton (2596) and 16 year old GM Vincent Keymer (2602) tied for first in this tough event participated by 180 chess players (members of European Chess Union).

The highlight of this tournament belongs to 16 year old German GM Vincent Keymer. His opening setup: The English Opening – 3. b3, based on my analysis, it is rich in ideas. Many times I see GM Hikaru Nakamura and GM Wesley So use this line in exhibition – blitz games. I think it is  sound and reliable opening. Let’s check this 2 games while enjoying cool music and hot coffee…

THE CHAMP: GM MAGNUS CARLSEN

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2021 Aimchess US Rapid Champion

07/09/2021 –  Updates:   Impeccable performance of World Champ GM Magnus Carlsen, the winner of the 2021 Aimchess US RAPID. He defeated GM Vladislav Artemiev (2704) of Russia in entertaining fashion. Lots to learn from his games…

Our featured 2 games are intellectual nourishment for our brains to digest. We thirst for new ideas..not just anybody’s ideas but from his home preparation by the World Champ himself, delivered to us for free… Congratulations!!!! GM Magnus Carlsen….You did it again!!!

The Finals: GM Carlsen vs. GM Artemiev

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The Champion's Match: 1st Set Result

06/09/2021 –  Updates:  World Champion GM Magnus Carlsen (2847) won 2 games versus GM Vladislav Artemiev (2704) in the 1st set of the 2021 Aimchess US Rapid Finals.

The games were super interesting because the prepared lines are a bit above  my opening knowledge, I admit. The lines chosen by GM Carlsen are intended to startle GM Artemiev. It is imperative to check nerves in order to focus well. Meditation or Yoga may work…before the game starts. Below are  2 exciting games for you mentally to decipher and digest.

The Finals: GM Carlsen vs. GM Artemiev

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The Champion's Match

05/09/2021 –  GM Vladislav Artemiev (2704) ended the winning streaks of 18 year old genius GM Alireza  while  World Champion Magnus Carlsen ( 2847) ousted GM Levon Aronian (2782). Both advanced to the Finals of the 2021 Aimchess US Rapid.

GM Artemiev used the Trompovsky line as part of strategy to discourage GM Firouzja  play his favorite  complex/ aggressive style. On the other Semi-Final match, GM Magnus Carlsen outmaneuvered GM Levon Aronian in a exciting, nail biting Sicilian Najdorf game.

The SemiFinals: GM Firouzja vs. GM Artemiev

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The Gladiators in Chess Arena

04/09/2021 –  GM Alireza Firouzja (2759) versus GM Vladislav Artemiev (2704) is a nice match up, both are competitive and hungry for glory.  Vlad is a builder/likes structured  play yet with a calm attitude, similar to World Champ Anatoly Karpov.  Alireza on the other hand likes  dynamic and aggressive play, his games are entertaining to watch.

I have selected two games which are contrasting  types of play.  One thing is specific, both are good at handling white pieces. Who will win this match? Your guess is as good as mine…

GM Alireza Firouzja eliminates GM Wesley So

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The Semi-Finals: Aimchess US RAPID

02/09/2021 –  18 year old genius Super GM Alireza Firouzja got past GM Wesley So, reached the Semi-Finals in the 2021 Aimchess US Rapid. 

Such exciting and dynamic play performed by young GM Firouzja- played like Bobby Fischer in a rapid fire fashion. He chose complicated variations with toxic precision combinations to eliminate GM Wesley So in the quarterfinals. To beat a positional player, play like Bobby Fischer or Mikhail Tal. Let’s check these 2 games and learn how to play versus positional players. 

GM Wesley So: Fantastic Chess Moves

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Exciting Games : 2021 Aimchess US Rapid

01/09/2021 –  I see you in September when summer is gone… nice song by Gary Lewis and the Playboys (entitled – When Summer is Gone). It is September again and my birthday is coming soon…well, I count backwards now…hehe.

Now, the 2021 Aimchess US Rapid – Prelim has met expectations,  presented exciting games. Our featured 2 games of chess genius Filipino-American Super GM Wesley So will provide us insights about his opening strategy versus the  Nimzo-Indian and Petroff Defense. I played him in the National Grandfinals in the Philippines. He was just a kid before, I better not tell you the result. Let’s check out his wonderful games and learn from them.

"EXPLOSIVE and IMPRESSIVE" Rapid Games

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UPDATES: 2021 Aimchess US Rapid Prelims

30/08/2021 –  The era of world champion GM Magnus Carlsen – he has been a kind of spark plug igniter in popularizing chess globally despite the pandemic caused by Covid19. Same with  Netflix “The Queen’s Gambit” which won the hearts of millions worldwide, such a lovely chess story. Also, organizing an event “Sinquefield Cup ” won by French Super GM Maxime- Vachier Lagrave is such a fantastic event feasted by chess players globally to learn new trends and be entertained.

Now, the 2021 Aimchess US Rapid is ongoing where I selected 2 games which delivered explosive and impressive wins by GM Alireza Firouzja and world champ Magnus Carlsen. Check how GM Alireza beat GM Carlsen below…

Ruy Lopez: The Berlin "Wall"

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Check and Balance: The Berlin Endgame

27/08/2021 –  The Ruy Lopez – Berlin Defense is classified as underrated chess variation because of inferior pawn structure at queenside. However, some grandmasters like this setup because of their preference to positional  or endgame play.  GM Magnus Carlsen and Wesley So are both positional players, therefore it suits them using the Berlin Defense. 

Let’s check 2 games below why it requires patience and endgame technique to be able to master the Berlin Defense.

Masterfully smooth and elegant game...

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GM Levon Aronian's Masterpiece

23/08/2021 –  “Patience takes courage. It is not an ideal state of calm. In fact, when we practice patience we will see our agitation far more clearly.” – PEMA CHODRON

GM Levon Aronian showed his patience and calm in this game. His character during the game is a great example for chess beginners to become more mature in their play and learn self-control.

Our featured game of the day:    GM Levon Aronian (Rated: 2781) demolished GM Alexander Grischuk (Rated: 2776) in a high level strategical play that transfomed into a tactical game.

When Age Defies The Odds...

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70 year old - GM Karpov beats 2 Super GMs

21/08/2021 –  In the 90’s, I bought GM Karpov’s book “Anatoly Karpov’s Best Games”. One thing I learned about him, he  likes a solid opening repertoire such as Ruy Lopez, Caro-Kann, Queens-Indian and Queen’s Gambit.  He was also very calm and mild mannered.  Until today, he is still brilliant and dangerous at the age of 70, beating the likes of Super GMs Sergey Karjakin (2765) and Maxim Matlakov (2760) in the Region Group Cup -Moscow, Russia. Have a look at the chess diagram, can you win white?

Aside from his stock knowledge, no doubt GM Karpov is updated on the latest chess opening improvements.

The Magnificent Sicilian Taimanov

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DEFENSE versus ATTACK

17/08/2021 –  Emotion plays  a big part in order to win games. If you can not hold your temper or anxiety can be the reason to misjudge a position or miscalculate a winning move. If you are calm and controlled,  your mind will work much better to find better moves.  The cause and effect is the result of our actions.

Our featured game is a Sicilian Taimanov encounter between GM Fabiano Caruana (USA) vs. GM Richard Rapport (Hungary). This game will teach us why it is important to control our emotions while playing. To fear is normal but overcoming it is essential.

Let’s take a look at the exciting game below…

The aggressive Caro-Kann

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Updates: 2021 GCT Saint Louis Rapid and Blitz

15/08/2021 – The  4th Leg of the GCT Saint Louis Rapid 2021 is an exciting, all action event as shown in our featured game: GM Le, Quang Liem (Vietnam) vs GM Jeffery Xiong (USA). I have not used Caro-Kann defense in my entire chess playing years. My preference is the Sicilian or other sharp openings.

However, GM Xiong’s  aggressive  style modified the Caro-Kann  to a sharp/combative opening, beating GM Le Quang Liem in just 20 moves.

A brave move 3. d4 that backfired

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Experimental move at the category 2700 tournament level

12/08/2021 – The  4th Leg of the GCT Saint Louis Rapid 2021 started on August 11 to 15th at the Saint Louis Chess Club. Our featured game today is the game between GM Mamedyarov, S. vs GM Le, Q.

Prepared lines are significant to outplay incoming opponents but sometimes can backfire depending who you are playing with.

Let’s find out why 2782 rated GM Mamedyarov used this 3. d4 line versus a  very strong 2709 rated GM Le of Vietnam. Do you think it’s a bluff move or opening preparation at move 3?

GENIUS, HARD WORK OR FATE

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"BRAVO" GM WESLEY SO...

09/08/2021 – Congratulations to GM Wesley So on achieving  another significant milestone in winning the 2021 Chessable Masters. He beat GM Le Quang Liem of Vietnam in the Finals (Rapid).  GM Wesley So is such a well prepared player either using e4 or d4 as white. His unpredictability and high chess IQ make him dangerous to play with.

GM Wesley So is a rare prodigy combined with passion to learn more and more is his super skill. He has God-given talent which he nurtured well.

I am fascinated by his game versus GM Le Quang Liem and how he handles the Ruy Lopez Opening.  Let’s find out and learn from it…

The Power of the White Bishop

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Amazing "GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda"

06/08/2021 – Beating the likes of 3 Super GMs (Grischuk, Gujrathi, Karjakin) and the current world champion (Carlsen) is such a feat. Newest World Cup 2021 Champ GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda is “no doubt” a contender to the World Championship Title. His style is solid (Karpov like) with deep theoretical knowledge and very calm.

But the highlight of this story remarkably his game against GM Sergey Karjakin showed mastery and brilliance to refute the Queen’s Gambit – Semi Tarrasch variation.

Now, let us check why the white bishop can become a powerful piece to win a game.

More Guts, More Glory in World Cup 2021

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GM Duda ousted GM Carlsen in tiebreak games

04/08/2021 – It takes courage and determination to beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen in  match games. GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda of Poland is facing GM Sergey Karjakin of Russia in the Finals of the World Cup 2021 – Sochi, Russia.

The last game between GM Carlsen and GM Duda is very interesting because the chess opening used was Sicilian but transposed to a French Defense setup.

The game below  shows why the white’s light bishop is essential to protect queenside and has a prospect attack on black’s kingside as well. Is GM Carlsen’s choice of opening in his last game worthy to aim for a win? Let’s find out.

Marshall Attack in World Cup 2021

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GM Carlsen advanced to Semifinals

31/7/2021 – Fantastic performance by World Champion Magnus Carlsen in winning both games versus GM Bacrot, Etienne (France) in the quarterfinals. I have noticed  his deep understanding of the Marshall Attack as demonstrated in his  fantastic “queen sacrifice” game.

To chess beginners, let me introduce you to “The Marshall Attack” which is a theoretical contribution of  legendary US GM Frank Marshall. 

GM Etienne Bacrot used the Anti-Marshall Attack variation 8. a4, unfortunately, it was refuted by GM Carlsen’s flawless execution as shown in his game.

GM Carlsen's successful bait!!

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World Cup Quarterfinals

28/7/2021 – What a relief for the current  world champion GM Magnus Carlsen to reach the quarterfinals of the World Cup 2021. It was a tough match against GM Esipenko, Andrey (Russia), FIDE Standard Rating: 2716. The match started with standard games resulting in a draw,  then moved to 10 minute tiebreak games, both scored 2 each. Finally, for another tiebreak,  into a 5 minute blitz game which Carlsen won and clinched the match.

Additionally, GM Esipenko’s FIDE blitz rating (2595) is way much lower  than GM Carlsen’s FIDE Blitz rating of 2886. Playing under time constraint is a major factor to miss checking threats, traps or baits. Therefore, it is essential  for experts and upcoming masters to practice playing shorter time controlled games such as blitz either 5 or 3 minutes per game.

In this game, GM Carlsen set up a bait which GM Esipenko fell for.

World Cup 2021 Updates

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Unusual way to place the king safe

25/7/2021 – In a battle of wits between  super GM (Lagrave) versus the rising star – 15 year old genius from India (GM Praggnanandhaa), we may never know what to expect. But with the help of seconds/coaches/analysts, they may find ways to outwit opponents by way of opening surprise preparation. In this game, who do you think is much prepared? This is the 4th round game in the World Cup 2021.

Kasakhstan's Future GM

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17 year old special talent

24/7/2021 – Chess skill can be developed with the help of a chess coach. But according to Sun Tzu “Art of War” , knowing your own strength and weakness is essential to self improvement. Other than what you learn from your coach, you need to self-research and learn how to create your own study method. Sun Tzu also stated that you must also know your opponent other than yourself to win every battle. IM  Bibisara Assaubayeva is a special talent combined with focus and determination to improve. Currently, she is playing  in the 4th round  of  World Cup 2021 – Ladies Division representing Kazakhstan. In my opinion, she will be Women World Chess Champion someday.

The Krasenkow Variation

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Tribute to GM Michal Krasenkow

23/7/2021 – In recognition of GM Michal Krasenkow’s contribution to chess theory, I would like to thank him for this wonderful move 4. g4 “The Krasenkow Variation”.  Recently, at 57, he represented Poland in the World Cup 2021, reached the 3rd round but lost to 15 year old Indian chess  genius GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa  on tiebreak games. I want to share with you one of his best games using the “Krasenkow Variation”.

WORLD CUP 2021 (updates)

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17 year old GM upsets GM Anish Giri

22/7/2021 – GM Anish Giri of Netherlands is ousted in the 3rd round/tiebreak in his encounter against  17 year old GM  Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan.  The young GM has a style of GM Garri Kasparov because of his dynamic play and tenacious character. I have a strong feeling that he will become World Champion someday.  He has no fear due to his  broad theoretical knowledge as shown in his games.

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Upsets in World Cup 2021

20/7/2021 – GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov has won his first match in the 3rd round of the World Cup 2021. However, he is defeated by GM Haik Martirosyan in the 2nd game to even the score. Now they are playing for tiebreak. I am fascinated by this game because it illustrates how a small weakness can be a reason or it is enough to lose a game. You can never say it is a bluff move to scare a young GM (Martirosyan), to make positions complicated. But for a Karpov minded young chess GM, this will not work.

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GM Magnus Carlsen

19/7/2021 – World Champion Magnus Carlsen has been holding his crown since 2013. There were 2 challengers who tried to dethrone him the likes of GM Fabiano Caruana (USA) and GM Sergey Karjakin (Russia) but won both matches.

Now, another very strong challenger GM Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia) will try his best to outwit  him on November 24, 2021 in Dubai Exhibition Centre.

I was checking his games, particularly a 17 year old game in the Calvia Olympiad (2004). One thing I found out, he was already playing maturely and aggressively. But today, he plays like AlphaZero in my opinion.

WORLD CUP 2021

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Amazing endgame by GM Magnus Carlsen. It takes brilliance to find the right moves to win.

News and Games

18/7/2021 – It’s interesting to check  games in the ongoing World Cup 2021 Russia.  You can sense the tension on each participant in striving to win each game. Even GM Magnus Carlsen needed to grind to win an endgame shown in the diagram, reminiscent of a classic knight and bishop endgame. How fascinating to see this game live and having the chance to ask for an autograph being a fan of the current world champion. 

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I have also checked the game of GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. His opening preparedness is evident  using the Petroff defense vs 1. e4, having a comfortable position from opening to winning the game. The position shown in the diagram illustrates why at the critical moment, correct judgment is important. In other words, “One mistake is too costly”. To all my students, It is sweet to win when the fruit of your labor in studying chess theories, middle games and endgames would come up with fantastic games just like this.

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At the Women’s Division, my eyes were glued to this position played by WGM Gurnar Mammadova – FIDE Rating (2385). She has superb understanding of the King’s Indian Defense as displayed in this endgame position. I always tell my students to study endgames. This will help you form a mature and focused thinking in the process as it builds your confidence in every  competition. Let’s check the diagram. Please keep safe always due to pandemic as Sydney is currently on lockdown.

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The Bayonet Attack

Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik is super theoretical when playing against the King’s Indian Defense.  His style has magic and unpredictability makes him dangerous to play with.

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How to win in Swiss and Round Robin Tournament...

15/07/2021 – If you are a chess beginner, you may be asking what Swiss system or Round-robin tournament is? In the long run you will experience what it is all about this type of tournament system. Of course, every tournament is guided by FIDE Pairing rules; for example: playing an opponent higher rated than you or a much lower rated player, also playing either white or black would confuse you but do not worry because the computerized pairing system is proven accurate.

Now, most Swiss system/Round robin tournaments are 9 rounder or even much longer, if you noticed, it is always an odd number. Have you evaluated your playing style? Do you have a proper system to study chess openings to surprise your opponent? Are you better when handling the white or black?These are questions to assess yourself about how ready you are to compete. Since chess is governed by a willing attitude to learn, determination and patience, be confident in playing Swiss or Round robin events.

Why are grandmasters mentally conditioned before the tournament starts? Is it due to their deep theoretical understanding and well preparedness? But this is no secret at all, GMs have pet lines or prepared lines or noticeably some are much confident playing white other GMs prefer black.

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In year 2000, he became World Champion also undisputed World Champion in FIDE and Classical titles.

Grandmaster Vladimir Kramnik has won 3 team gold medals in Chess Olympiad. He is highly theoretical  and dangerous when  using 1. Nf3 as white.

He authored my favorite book “KRAMNIK, my life and games”.

The Dutch Defense is a cunning but solid defense. Especially the Leningrad and Stonewall variation. Many white set-up has been successful in diverting positions in unusual ways where black is not comfortable.  

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Youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at age 22

Grandmaster Garry Kasparov is one of the most successful and respected player in chess history. He authored “My Great Predecessors” and one of my favorite books” Fighting Chess”. 

He still coaches but if he has time, plays in Invitational Tournaments.

The King’s Indian Defense is one of the most feared black chess openings versus 1. d4. It plays a highly tactical game that if you do not defend well,  may wreck your kingside or the central control. There are several white openings that somewhat stick to methodological strategy to tame the attack of the King’s Indian Defense. Please check the image below.  

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