Marshall Attack in World Cup 2021

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 on his  fantastic “queen sacrifice” game.

To chess beginners, let me introduce you “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.

Ruy Lopez  – Marshall Attack:   This variation teases white to take the 8…d5 pawn  in return to quick development at the same time, aims to attack white’s kingside. It is a gambit but white must think twice to accept it  because its dangerous and tricky.

CHESS BLOG No. 13 : Date: 31th July 2021

INTRODUCTION: THE MARSHALL ATTACK

Ruy Lopez:   Marshall Attack (C89)  Chess Opening Classification

Walter Frere vs. GM Frank Marshall

(Event: 1917  New York , USA )

1:  e4        e5     
2: Nf3     Nc6
3: Bb5     a6          (The Ruy Lopez)     

4: Ba4     Nf6        
5: 0-0      Be7          

6. Re1      b5         

7. Bb3     0-0         (Remember this white’s bishop move at b3)          

8. c3        d5          (The Marshall Attack)

9.     exd5    e4     (In early times, this is popular move).   

10.   dxc6    exf3  (Very dangerous position for white)  

11.    d4        fxg2           

12.   Bf4      Bg4

13.   Qd3     Nh5     

14 .  Bxc7    Qxc7  (black is setting a trap) 

15. Qe4       Nf4

16. Qxe7     Qxe7  

17. Rxe7      Bf3  (white resigned)

COMPARE IT TO GM CARLSEN's GAME

At move 8, GM Bacrot played 8. a4 (anti-marshall) instead of the normal 8. Re1. But the anti-marshall setup did not materialize because of GM Carlsen's genius deviation.

At move 8. d5, Marshall Attack is activated. Its up to GM Bacrot to accept the poison pawn at e5. Notice the white's bishop at a2 will become useless piece.

Now, analyze the position why white is in danger here. The way GM Carlsen combines his tactical genius and his exemplary skill to dissect the smallest weakness of opponents position, justifies why he is very difficult to be dethroned as world chess champion.

ENDGAME CORNER - SOLVE THE PROBLEM BELOW

GM Carlsen's successful bait!!

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 resulted to a draw,  then moved to 10 minute tiebreak games both scored 2 each. Finally, for another tiebreak,  into 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 setup a bait which GM Esipenko fell for it.

Italian Game  – Classical Variation:   is a solid black opening that brings out pieces at kingside early in order to control the center and place king to safety. This opening is highly used by super GMs for a comfortable game having chances to counter white’s plans.

YOUTUBE CHESS OPENING VIDEO

CHESS BLOG No. 12 : Date: 28th July 2021

Italian Game:   Classical Variation (C53)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Esipenko, Andrey vs. GM Carlsen, Magnus

(Event: 2021  World Cup, Sochi, Russia  – Round 5)

1: e4        e5     
2: Nf3     Nc6
3: Bc4     Bc5     

4: c3        Nf6        
5: d3       d6          (The Classical variation)

6. 0-0     h6         

7. Re1     0-0          Both side on safety first approach)          

8. h3      a6         (Creating a hide for the bishop at c5))

9.     a4   Ba7       

10.   Nbd2  Re8  ch  (It is a must to control the center)

11.   b4        Be6        (Eliminating the power of the white bishop at c4)     

12.  Be6      Re6

13.  Qc2     Qd7     

14. Nf1       d5       (black is gaining space advantage here) 

15. Be3       Be3

16. Ne3      Ne7     (black  has to find ways to place pieces on a defensive mode)

17 . Rab1    Rd8

18.  a5        Ng6  (heading to f4 square)

19.  c4        c6

20. Red1   Nf4

21: Nf5  g6     (If you are white, how do you respond here, will you accept the bait? Why and Why not? Analyze the position.

ENDGAME CORNER - SOLVE THE PROBLEM BELOW

World Cup 2021 Updates

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/analyst, they may find ways to outwit opponent 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.

Sicilian  – Four Knights Variation:   is a tricky black opening that leads to unconventional movement of pieces where it delays castling. Sometimes king remains at the center sensing where the king is safer to place.

CHESS BLOG No. 11 / Date: 25th July 2021

Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation  (B45)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime vs. GM  Praggnanandhaa R.

(Event: 2021  World Cup, Sochi, Russia  – Round 4)

1: e4        c5     
2: Nf3     e6
3: d4       cxd4      

4: Nxd4  Nf6        
5: Nc3     Nc6          (The Four Knights variation)

6. Nc6     bc6         

7. e5        Nd5          

8. Ne4    Qc7         (Black queen is checking on e5 pawn)

9.     f4    Qb6        (This is why black’s opening idea is tricky due to white king is exposed)   

10.   c4    Bb4  ch  (This forces the white king to move. Covering the check won’t work)

11.   Ke2     f5        (White king looks vulnerable but I think only me thinking that because GM Vachier-Lagrave knows what he is doing.      

12.  exf6    Nxf6

13.  Be3     Qd8     (nice move by white) 

14. Nd6 ch  Bd6 

15. Qxd6     Bb7   (notice, both king in the middle, so where you going to place your king to safety?)

16. Kd1!!      c5     (black  has to find ways to attack the white king)  

17:  Qxc5    Be4  (white seems precisely calculated it, its no risk at all)

18:  Be2      d6

19:  Qd4     0-0    (black king is safe now)

20:  Kc1     Qc7     (white king is finding the best square to hide)

21:   b3       e5
22:  fxe5    dxe5

23:  Qc5     Qb7    (exchange of queens, no good for black)

24:  Kb2    Nd5     (finally, white king is safe while black sacrifices the knight tactically) 

25:  cxd5   Rfc8     (black is creating a line of attack to the position)    

26.                (Analyze the position)

Kasakhstan's Future GM

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 Kasakhstan. In my opinion, she will be Women World Chess Champion someday.

Sicilian Najdorf – Poisoned Pawn Variation:   is a complex opening variation, sacrificing the pawn at b2 to gain quick development for white.  However, black can equalize by careful defense to prevent attack at the center or  kingside.

CHESS BLOG No. 10 / Date: 24th July 2021

Sicilian Defense: Poisoned Pawn Variation  (B96)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Kateryna Lagno vs. IM Babisara Assaubayeva 

(Event: 2021  World Cup, Sochi, Russia  – Round 4)

1: e4        c5     
2: Nf3     d6
3: d4       cxd4      

4: Nxd4  Nf6        
5: Nc3     a6          (The Najdorf variation)

6. Bg5     e6         

7. f4        h6          

8. Bh4    Qb6         

9.     Qd2    Qb2    (The Poisoned Pawn Variation)   

10.   Rb1    Qa3     (IM Assaubayeva seems well adept with this type of play)

11.   Be2    Nc6       

12.  Nxc6   bxc6

13. e5        dxe5    (White starts to  break the center) 

14. fxe5     Nd5     (Nice move)     
15. Nxd5   exd5  

16. 0-0      Bc5 ch  (great timing)  

17:  Kh1     Qe3     (exchanging queens is smart move)

18:  Qa5     0-0

19:  Bd3     Bd4
20:  Rbe1   Bb6

21:  Qa4     Qd4
22:  Qxc6   Qh4

23:  Qxb6   Be6 
24:  Qe3     Rab8 

25:  a3                   (Analyze this position)    

The Krasenkow Variation

Tribute to GM Michal Krasenkow

23/7/2021 – In recognition to 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 you one of his best games using the “Krasenkow Variation”.

The Krasenkow Variation:   is an attacking chess opening variation to distrupt black’s kingside.  This variation is used especially if you know your opponent plays the Nimzo-Indian or the Bogo-Indian defense as black. Therefore, to avoid the mainlines, white must play 1. Nf3 first as first move.

CHESS BLOG No. 9 / Date: 23th July 2021

English Opening: Krasenkow Variation  (A18)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Michal Krasenkow vs. GM Oleg M. Romanishin

(Event: 2000  Leonid Stein Memorial, Lviv, Ukraine  – Round 1)

1: Nf3      Nf6       
2: c4        e6
3: Nc3     Bb4      (In Nimzo and Bogo, this is effective but not in Krasenkow)

4: g4 !!    0-0        (4.g4 move is anti-theory)   
5: g5        Ne8      (To retreat is to surrender)

6. Qc2     d5         (Do you notice about white? its reversed Sicilian now…) 

7. b3        Be7      (it seems, Bb4 move is useless..)     

8. Rg1     c5         (black needs to counter before its too late) 

9.      e3      Nc6     

10.   Bd3    f5   
11.   gxf6   Nxf6   (Black’s kingside is vulnerable)     

12. a3        Qe8

13. Bb2     Qh5  
14. Be2      d4     
15. Nxd4   Nxd4  

16. exd4    Qh2   

17: 0-0-0   cd4     (Black is unaware of white’s tactical threat)

18:  Ne4     Qf4

19:  Bd3     Ne4 
20:  Be4      h6

21:  Bxd4    Bf6
22:  Be3      Qd6

23:  c5         Qa6 
24:  a4         Qa5 

25:                        (Analyze this position)    

WORLD CUP 2021 (updates)

17 year old GM upsets GM Anish Giri

22/7/2021 – GM Anish Giri of Netherlands is ousted in the 3rd round/tiebreak on 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 strong feeling that he will become World Champion someday.  He has no fear due to his  broad theoretical knowledge as shown in his games.

The French Defense:   is a solid set-up  vs. 1. e4.  This type of opening aims to control the center by having a solid pawn structure for a better endgame play. But depends on player if wants to complicate position in the middle game to create  a dynamic play in order to counter attack. 

CHESS BLOG No. 8 / Date: 22th July 2021

French Defense: Tarrasch Variation  (C09)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Anish Giri vs. GM Nodirbek Abdusattorov

(Event: 2021 World Cup- Russia  – Round 3, Tiebreak)

1: e4       e6       (The French Defense)   
2: d4       d5
3: Nd2    c5       (White’s Tarrasch Variation)
4: Ngf3   Nc6   
5: exd5   exd5  (the game  now an open position)

6. Bb5     Qe7ch! (tricky)   
7. Be2     Qc7     

8. dxc5     Bxc5   (its dynamic play now)     

9.   Nb3    Bb6   
10. 0-0     Nge7      

11. Nfd4   0-0

12. Be3!    a6  
13. Nxc6  bc6     (Notice black’s pawn structure now)
14. Bxb6  Qxb6  

15. Qd4    Qd4   (I think this is a heavy decision to exchange queens here as white initiated it, thinking black’s pawn structure can be penetrated. But it depends on execution. I think it is much better to retain the queen for active play.

16: Nxd4   Rb8  (white pawns attract attention)
17: Nb3     Bf5

18: Rfc1    a5 
19: Rab1   a4  (Black is controlling the tempo)

20: Nc5   Ra8
21: Bd3   Ra5

22: Bxf5  Nxf5 
23: Nd7   Re8 

24: c5?     d4     (white has made a suspect move here)
25: b4      axb3

26: axb3  Ra2   (here comes the bride… hehe)
27: Nc5    Ree2 ( and the groom)

28: Nd3   Nd6

29: Ra1    Ne4   (This knight is pain to white)
30: Rxa2  Rxa2

31: Re1    f5      (timely) 
32: g4     Ng5    (After 34. g4 white is losing here)

33: Kg2    fxg4  
34: Kg3    Nf3

35: Re7    Rd2  
36: Nf4    d3

37: Re3     (If you play black, what is your plan? how do you respond?

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 illustrated how 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.

The Grunfeld Defense: Symmetrical Variation  is a solid set-up  vs. 1. d4.  This type of opening is a wait and see play for both players to make weaknesses at both flanks. It is dependent on judgment if player wants to close or open the position to create an attack or just to hold grip not allowing each other to get the upper hand.

CHESS BLOG No. 7 / Date: 20th July 2021

Grunfeld Defense: Symmetrical Variation  (D79)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Haik M Martirosyan vs. GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

(Event: 2021 World Cup- Russia  – Round 3, Game 2)

1: d4       Nf6   
2: c4       g6
3: Nf3    Bg7   
4: g3       c6    
5: Bg2    0-0

6. 0-0     d5   
7. cd5    cd5     

8. Nc3   Nc6       (The Grunfeld Defense: Symmetrical Variation)       

9.   Ne5  Bf5   (White’s Ne5 is a bold statement that white wants war).
10. Nc6  bc6      

11.  Bf4   Nh5   (Knight at h5 is akward) 

12. Be3!  c5  (Black has cracked not realizing white has set up a counter attack)
13. Nxd5  e6
14. Nf4   cxd4  

15. Nh5  gxh5

I always tell my students to check pawn structures to detect weakness on opponents position using “Visualizing Endgame Outcome method.

16: Bd2    Rc8 
17: Bb4    Re8

18: Rc1    Qb6 
19: Qa4   d3  (Black tries to complicate the position).

20: exd3 Bxd3
21: Rfd1  Bb5

22: Qb3  Bd4 
23: Be1   e5 (black has made a mistake here)

24: Bd5   Kg7
25: Bf7    Rf8

26: Rc8   Rc8
27: Bh5   Rf8 (White is 2 pawns up)

28: Bf3   Qa6

29: Rc1  (1-0)  Analyze this position.

GM Magnus Carlsen

19/7/2021 – World Champion Magnus Carlsen has been holding his crown since 2013. There were 2 challengers who have 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.

 

The Nimzo-Indian Defense is an aggressive black opening vs. 1. d4.  The idea behind this opening is to bring out pieces at kingside and castle early then create an imbalance position to white position. However, GM Magnus Carlsen’s character of being so patient in finding the correct moves at  right timing, won in entertaining fashion. 

CHESS BLOG No. 6 / Date: 19th July 2021

Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation  (E38)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Magnus Carlsen vs. GM Nurlan Ibraev

(Event: 2004 Calvia Olympiad- Spain  – Round 10)

1: d4       Nf6   
2: c4       e6
3: Nc3    Bb4 (The Nimzo-Indian Defense)  
4: Qc2    c5    (White used the Classical variation)
5: dxc5  Bxc5

6.  Nf3   Qb6  (I do not prefer this move due to it helps white to develop)     
7.  e3     Qc7  (Black is delayed in development)       

8.  b3         b6     

9.  Bb2      Bb7   (Now its time for white to attack).
10. Nb5     Qd8  (Akward)      

11. 0-0-0   0-0   (No choice) 

12. Ng5!!   Re8  (Black has terrible position)
13. h4        e5
14. Nd6!!  Bd6  

15. Rd6     h6

16: Qf5     Nc6  (nothing black can do)
17: Rf6 (1-0)     (Analyze this)

WORLD CUP 2021

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

News and Games

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

 

I have also checked the game of GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. His opening preparedness is evident  using the Petroff defense vs 1. e4, having 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.

 

At the Women’s Division, my eyes was 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 focus minded thinking in the process as it builds your confidence in every  competition. Lets check the diagram. Please keep safe always due to pandemic as Sydney currently on lockdown. 

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.

The Bayonet Attack is one of several Anti King’s Indian system that creates a strategy where the bishop at g7 becomes inactive or creates a strategy not allowing black to control  the tempo in the middle game.

CHESS BLOG No. 5 / Date: 16th July 2021

King’s Indian Defense: Orthodox Variation  (E97)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Vladimir Kramnik vs. GM Alexander Grischuk

(Event: 2012 Tal Memorial- Moscow, Russia – Round 2)

1: Nf3    Nf6   
2: c4      g6
3: Nc3     Bg7
4: e4       d6
5: d4      0-0

6.  Be2   e5     
7.  0-0    Nc6        

8.   d5    Ne7     

9.   b4     Nh5   (White is using the Bayonet Attack)
10. g3     f5      (Other move for white is 10. Re1)      

11. Ng5   Nf6   
12. Bf3    c6   (bishop at f3 controls diagonal)
13. Bg2   h6
14. Ne6  Be6  (pawn at e6 creates  a stress for black)

15. de6   Nxe4 

16: Nxe4   fxe4
17: b5        Rf6

18: Bxe4  Rxe6  
19: Qa4    d5   (critical position here)
20: Rd1    Kh7
21: cxd5  cxd5     
22: Qb3   Rb6
23: a4      a6
24:    (White to move, Analyze the position)

QUANTITATIVE APPROACH IN WINNING SWISS OR ROUND-ROBIN TOURNAMENTS by FM Jesse Noel Sales

15/07/2021 – If you are a chess beginner, you may be asking what is swiss system or round-robin tournament? 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 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 tournament are 9 rounder or even much longer, if you noticed, it is always odd number. Have you evaluated about your playing style? Do you have a proper system to study chess openings to surprize 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 willing attitude to learn, determination and patience, be confident in playing swiss or round robin event.

Why grandmasters are 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.

Let us check the tabulation below:

If you are playing WHITE

 

9 Rounds Swiss System

Colour

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

Rd 8

Rd 9

Points

White

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

   7

Black

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

If you are confident that you can win the white side then think positive to win it, then try drawing black if you get lucky win it. This is somehow forecasting method based on your confidence and chess preparation.

 

If you are playing BLACK

9 Rounds Swiss System

Colour

Rd 1

Rd 2

Rd 3

Rd 4

Rd 5

Rd 6

Rd 7

Rd 8

Rd 9

Points

White

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

   6.5

Black

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

 

1

Same process if you are confident playing to win black as shown.

Based on tournaments played by World Champions GM Garri Kasparov and GM Vladmir Kramnik, both have special attachments using preferred colour either white or black. “BLACK POWER” is demonstrated by GM Kasparov in the 90’s in displaying his prowess or extraordinary skills using the Sicilian Najdorf while GM Vladimir Kramnik as well a strategist and specialist using the 1. Nf3 line as white. I admit GM Kramnik is my idol. 

 

Let us check the results played by GM Garri Kasparov and GM Vladimir Kramnik based on their performance using their pet lines resulting to winning the tournament due to deep preparation.

We all know that GM Kasparov is superb using black. Please check tabulation below his performance as black:

14 Round Tournament/Linares 1999

Colour

R 1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

R9

R10

R11

R12

R13

Rd14

Score

White

1/2

 

1/2

1/2

 

1/2

  

1

  

1

 

1/2

10.5

Black

 

1

  

1

 

1

1

 

1

1/2

 

1/2

 

Notice the black side strategy in effect. Using white, GM Kasparov drew 5 times.

Now let us check GM Vladimir Kramnik white strategy…..

We all know that GM Kramnik is very technical and positional specialist using white. Please check tabulation below his performance as white:

Colour

Rd1

Rd2

Rd3

Rd4

Rd5

Rd6

Rd7

Rd8

Rd9

Points

White

1

 

1

 

1

 

1/2

 

1

  7

Black

 

1/2

 

1

 

1/2

 

1/2

 

Notice the white power strategy in effect. Using black, GM Kramnik drew 3 times.

I confirm that World Champions GM Kasparov and Kramnik have enjoyed this method, as well as I have applied this too in my chess games, please check below tabulation.

I prefer white because my favourite opening is 1. Nf3. Please check below result.

Colour

Rd1

Rd2

Rd3

Rd4

Rd5

Rd6

Rd7

Rd8

Rd9

Points

White

1

 

1

1/2

 

1

 

1/2

 

  7

Black

 

1

  

0

 

1

 

1

Notice the white power strategy in effect because no loss at all. By playing black I have one defeat.

I hope you have learned something about assessing your strengths in evaluating how prepared you are either using white or black to forecast high-end result. I wish you success and keep safe in your journey to become a grandmaster.

FIDE Master Jesse Noel Sales is chess author, graduate of Bachelor of Nursing at Western Sydney University (Australia) and Founder of memorychisel.com (memory, cognitive testing and brain stimulation platform).

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 setup has been successful in diverting positions in unusual way where black is not comfortable.

CHESS BLOG No. 4 / Date: 14th July 2021

Dutch Defense: Zukertort Variation (A04)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Vladimir Kramnik vs. GM Vladimir Malaniuk

(Event: 1994 Moscow, Russia – Round 9)

1: Nf3    f5   (The Dutch Defense)
2: g3      Nf6
3: Bg2   d6
4: d4     g6
5: 0-0   Bg7

The  Dutch Defense is similar to King’s Indian Defense but the strategy is different as it fights for central control. 

6.  c4      0-0      (white plays solid setup – g3 line)
7.  Nc3   Qe8        (black plans to push e5)

8.   d5     Na6     (best square for the knight)

9.   Rb1  Bd7   (the Rook at b1 supports b4 push)
10. b4    c5     

11. Be3     f5    
12. f3        f4   (white needs to defend accurately here)
13. dxc6   Bxc6
14. Qb3    Ne4 (black is not aware of white’s tactical plans)

15. Bb2     Nxc3 

16: Bxc3   Bxc3
17:    (GM Kramnik has already expected this position. What do you think his response? think 5 moves ahead. Do not guess.

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 methological strategy to tame the attack of the King’s Indian Defense. Please check the image below.

CHESS BLOG No. 3 / Date: 10th July 2021

King’s Indian: Classical Variation (E99)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Jeroen Piket vs. GM Garry Kasparov

(Event: 1989 Interpolis 13th, Tilburg, NED – Round 8)

1: d4         Nf6
2: Nf3      g6
3: c4        Bg7
4: Nc3     0-0
5: e4        d6

The  King’s Indian Defense. This is GM Kasparov’s favorite black opening when playing versus 1. d4. Its concept is to close the position, strikes the center or the king side. 

6.  Be2   e5       (white plays solid setup 
7.  0-0   Nc6        (black strikes the center)

8.   d5    Ne7     (best square for the knight)

9.   Be2   Nc6   
10. Ne1  Nd7 (This is the idea, pawn storm coming soon…)    

11. Be3   f5    
12. f3      f4   (white needs to defend accurately here)
13. Bf2   g5
14. b4    Nf6 (white must counter attack)

15. c5     Ng6 (dangerous maneuver by black) 

16: cd6  cd6
17: Rc1  Rf7 (black needs to defend the queenside)
18: a4    Bf8 (preparing rook to g7 and defending d6)

19: a5      Bd7

20: Nb5  g4 (black must counter attack)

21: Nc7   (White is creating a stress play at queenside, if you play  black, how do you respond? Evaluate the position.

CHESS BLOG No. 2 / Date: 7th July 2021

Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B96)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Leonid Yudasin vs. GM Garry Kasparov

(Event: 1981 USSR Championship – Round 12)

1: e4         c5
2: Nf3      d6
3: d4        cxd4
4: Nxd4   Nf6
5: Nc3      a6

The  Najdorf Variation. This is GM Kasparov’s favorite black opening when playing versus 1. e4. Its strategical and counter attacking opening. 

6. Bg5   e6       (white prepares to castle queenside)
7. f4  Qc7        (controlling e5 square)

8. Bxf6   gxf6     (black’s kingside is opened but with a careful watch)

9.   Be2   Nc6   (tempting for exchange)
10. Nb3   b5 (black must attack sensing white will castle queenside)    

11. Bh5     Bg7    (black just ignored it)
12. Qg4     0-0   (as if there is no danger)
13. 0-0-0  Ne7
14. Nd4       If you play black, How do you continue? What is the best response?  Analyze it…..

CHESS BLOG No. 1 / Date: 7th July 2021

King’s Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation (E80)  Chess Opening Classification

GM Smbat Lputian vs. GM Garry Kasparov

(Event: 1976 Tbilisi – Round 2)

1: d4     Nf6
2: c4     g6
3: Nc3  Bg7
4: e4     d6
5: f3      Nc6

The  Saemisch Variation. Solid yet attacking opening. This style of play will attack black’s kingside opting to castle queenside.

6. Be3   a6        (black delays castling)
7. Qd2  Rb8     (in case black will castle early queenside)

8. Rb1  0-0      Yes… this is a sign that black will strike soonest…

9.   b4?   e5      (well timed move)
10. d5     Nd4    
11. Nge2  c5    (nice move!!)
12. dc6     bc6
13. Nxd4  exd4
14. Bxd4  Re8
15. Be2           Analyze this move, What will be black’s best moves…. think 5 moves ahead….

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