Do you care about who was sitting in the audience, who smiled to whom and why and who might be champions's new girlfriend? Nothing wrong with that but if the answer is no, that's very good - you're qualified to read this publication!
This is the Periodical the Pros Use, and all the entertainment and fun a true chess fan could want is inside: the games, the openings, the creative insights of our contributors, the variations, the combinations and studies. Chess Informant brings tons of valuable resources for months of reading joy. And it's all in the English language!
The biggest names in chess used to say: "We are all children of Informant." A fine old gentleman, the granddaddy of all the top magazines still around, is back, fresher than ever, and just waiting for you. So hop on board and renew your journey through the best the chess world has to offer!
Time it's time for the 1st showcase:
OPENING SURPRISES IN THE AGE OF CHESS ENGINES
Winning Brazilian Championship
By GM Rafael Leitao (Brazil)
I am happy to say that last December I won my 6th Brazilian Championship and reached my highest FIDE Rating so far. The tournament was very tough and I was able to hold my own against some young stars, especially the rising Krikor Mekhitarian, a renowned openings specialist. In the end I finished with a 1½ point advantage, on 9½/11.
A big part of my win was due to my opening preparation during the tournament. I managed to be flexible and impose my own personal philosophy on most of my games.
But how to get an opening advantage in the computer age? Is that possible at all? Most probably not. In this fast knowledge era, where everybody has access to games, books and super powerful computers, unless you have a huge team of analysts working for you (which most of us, mortals, don't), it is better to outsmart your opponent rather than adopt a computer recommendation on move 20 of a topical line.
It pays off to prepare some "small surprises" to get the edge - be it a real advantage, more time on the clock or just the psychological upper hand. When some players spend most of their working time trying to find the truth of an opening system, they sometimes forget that by making a new or forgotten move early on, their preparation might be much more effective and cost much less time. For most of us it is more important to lead the game as soon as we can to an unfamiliar position for our opponent, even if objectively this means not making the best moves. Unfortunately, most players are afraid to take their own path and often feel obliged to repeat the moves played by the elite.
In this article I will show you some examples where one of the sides chose the "small move" path. I call it small because those are moves that do not change the evaluation of the theory. Actually, they don't even attempt to do so. Their aim is to get the opponent into desired territory. Even the best players in the world sometimes adopt this approach. I hope my words will show some new possibilities for opening preparation.
I would like to start with a crucial game played in the Brazilian Championship 2013. (Leitao)
More to follow by Rafael Leitao but now, here is 2nd excerpt:
UNCHARTED CHESS TERRITORY
A New International Chess Experience in Iraq!
By GM Sarunas Sulskis (Lithuania)
Despite my profound curiosity about the environment in which we live - planet Earth - the first time a Syrian friend invited me to come to Iraq to take part in an international tournament in Erbil, I chickened out. Erbil lies in the north of Iraq and is effectively the capital of the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
A year flew by since my initial refusal but then my faithful friend invited me again to Erbil, this time to the 2nd International Kurdistan Chess Festival. He suggested that I should inspect the website of the event, read the feedback of those European players who had played in the 1st tournament and be assured it was absolutely safe in that part of Iraq. I promptly took up his suggestion, whilst also spending some time on an enticing read of the heritage of the remarkable Erbil. After this I could no longer resist going to Iraq.
I will allow myself to conclude this Kurdistan report on a personal note - just to confirm the need for inspiration in chess. I had taken costly risks in the middlegame to assault the black king and had played on a pawn down with my queenside completely shattered. It had taken a big effort on my part to turn the tide, but now I seemed as close as ever to my goal. I thought for some 15 minutes but, astonishingly, couldn't find the simple win I expected to be there. (Sulskis)
Third example from the Informant 119 is one interesting combination; be prepared, it's a longer one!
Read Chess Informant 119 Viking!
See you soon!
Disclaimer: The author is editor in CI.