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Pawn mobility

Pawn Majorities, Pawn Rollers, blockade and restraint

I will give several illlustrative games here - fairly straightforward games from Capablanca, Alekhin, Korchnoi and Karpov showing pawns mobile and dangerous, and the others (e.g. Nimzovitch's) showing them stuck and vulnerable.
"The most important feature of the chess position is the activity of the pieces. This is absolutely fundamental in all phases of the game (opening, middlegame and especially endgame). The primary constraint on a

Lessons from Rubinstein

Peter Lane, 10 June 1997

Akiba Rubinstein made enormous contributions to the game of chess. In the first place, our opening books contain Rubinstein's lines in the Nimzo-Indian (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3), the Tarrasch Defense (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3), the Four Knights' Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4) and the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4). Secondly there is the legacy of his games, containing some superb

Lessons from Capablanca

Peter Lane, 22 January 1997

On Studying Master Games - a short digression

Polugayevsky, in the beginning of his book `Grandmaster Performance', quotes some advice he was given when a young player:

  "If you want to play well, in the first instance study games. Your own and other peoples'. Examine them from the viewpoint of the middlegame and the endgame, and only then from the viewpoint of the opening. This is more important than studying textbooks."

The Sicilian Jungle

I prepared a sort of road map on the Sicilian and ended up talking around some positional themes...

Anyhow, here's the road map and I'll see about making it web-friendly and incorporating some of the chat.

I did talk about how to win with the Maroczy Bind: here are a couple of games:

The Slav and Semi-Slav

I've just been looking again at the Slav/Semi-Slav as a way to defend 1.d4 -- much against my better judgment, as I prefer to avoid fashionable openings, but presumably they're fashionable for a good reason. If you'd like a bird's eye view of the complex with some example games, read on here.

SuperMac!

SuperMac! The French MacCutcheon

This line gets its name from a simul. game that the American amateur MacCutcheon played against Steinitz in 1885.  After some initial explorations by Tarrasch and Co., it was relatively neglected, but opening theory is never still... Chistiakov played it for decades, as has Volkov, and recently it has appeared again in Korchnoi's games.  It has also been favoured by Ivanchuk and especially Morozevich who has found new resources in many lines.

Big Mac

I've been woken from my dogmatic slumbers by some recent games, and have reviewed what little I know about the French Defence, MacCutcheon Variation. The curious may investigate further, the faint of heart and weak of stomach should look away now.

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