Regular readers of these blogs have long since been bored with death (along with many other subjects that I’ve spoken about) with my talk about how “If only I could play more, my results would be much better.” Well, to some extent my argument has been borne out by my recent improved results. Starting with the last three rounds of the British Championships, when I finally felt I had begun to get into a better rhythm, I followed that up with winning two tournaments: the Jessie Gilbert Memorial at Coulsdon, and then the British Blitz qualifier at Newcastle.
How we use our queen is often taken for granted because it’s such a powerful piece. In this article I want to look at games where the queen played a crucial role.
The following game is a real classic.
In this series, which will hopefully form the backbone of a future video series, I’m going to focusing on middlegame ideas and concepts which turn up on a regular basis.
Editor’s note: Danny’s new video series has been recorded and will be available soon exclusively for Ginger GM.
And not just strategical concepts either, but also more psychological ones, like what to do in certain situations when you’re under pressure, for example. In this first part we’re going to be focusing on mastery of knight play in the middlegame.
[The first part of this article can be found at Danny’s Puzzles #1]
I was impressed by the response that I got to my problem solving article. Unlike most of the articles I tirelessly put up on gingergm.com, I actually got some responses!
Unfortunately there were one or two problems. Firstly it was impossible to tell if people were using an engine or not, so the answers had to be taken on trust. Clearly the other problem is the higher rated players will come up with the best answers. As I stated in the original article, the prize won’t always be awarded to the player who comes up with the technically best answers.
In the first game, I asked what was White’s best continuation here.
It’s become an almost running joke inside my 4NCL team, Blackthorne Russia. Why this is the last weekend, why I’m fed up with these atrociously long train journeys and getting battered and losing rating points everytime I play.
A lot of the problem I have with 4NCL is that there is often a gap between the previous weekend of a month or so. In some other countries, they play the whole league format at the same time, which I believe is a fairer format. It was extremely noticeable in the final weekend, which was played in the glamorous location of a hotel in Telford, how out of shape I was chesswise. I don’t train at home really, so the only way I can get “into shape” is to play tournaments. So everytime I’ve turned up at the 4NCL the last few years, I’ve struggled. And I’m fed up with it.
[2018-05-31: Solutions can be found at Solutions to Danny’s Puzzles #1]
Rather than the usual boring articles where I rant on about every subject on the sun, I thought I’d change tack completely and try to produce something that is more interactive for the reader.
So the purpose of these articles is to give some scenarios that have might have occurred over the board, and ask the reader to come up with the solution to the problem. If you can give the answers in the comment section down below, then the best answer each week will win a free DVD from the Ginger GM shop.
“Be prepared” might be the scouts motto, but it could just as easily apply to Fabiano Caruana’s performance in the 2018 Candidates, where he outclassed the rest of the field, won comfortably in the end and qualified to take on the reigning World Champion, the Norwegian Magnus Carlsen, in a match that will take place later in the year in London.
“You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
Not just the brilliant Stones record but also a sentiment that could capture the general chess public’s mood as the 2018 Candidates approaches.
Although I’m convinced that the majority of chess followers would relish the prospect of the ever inventive Levon Aronian, or perhaps the dashing attacking brilliance of Shakhriyar Mamedyarov winning through to take on Magnus Carlsen, there is also that unspoken dread that lingers in the background: the idea that we could be forced to endure the second instalment of Karjakin-Carlsen; the first edition of which surely threw up (both literally and figuratively) one of the most boring World Championship matches in history.
Hastings. Just the name itself is to evoke a chess tournament of somewhat legendary proportions - on a par historically with Wijk Aan Zee. However there’s no doubt that the tournament has gone downhill in recent years. Go back to the mid nineties and the early 2000s and the tournament was still a fairly strong event attracting strong grandmasters on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that is no longer the case and the most recent edition was the weakest I can ever remember.
You can put up a lot of reasons but the primary one is money. If you put up enough cash, then the stars will come, after all they still do to Wijk Aan Zee - hardly the most glamorous location either. And the problem is that Hastings as a town isn’t doing that great, money wise, so they don’t have money to put into the event.
Another candidates tournament is rolling around - Berlin 2018, with many of the usual suspects involved. The question arises: who is favourite going into the event?
There’s little question for me that Aronian is now the outstanding favourite to win that tournament and qualify to play Carlsen. It just feels like his time. He’s just got married, he’s just had one of the best years of his life chesswise and from a personal point of view.
Page 1 of 33
© Ginger GM Publishing 2018. All rights reserved.