Beating Your Nemesis

Beating Your Nemesis

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Rivalaries are often born through circumstances that extend beyond the game. An intense, winner-take-all game, a misplayed Smith-Mora, a Twitter battle, or even a swift kick to your shin under the table — All might be enough to point you to your nemesis!

Sometimes our nemesis is not a player, but an opening. In this series, GM Ben Finegold explores various games, positions, and blitz matches that feature the openings we love to hate.  Take a look!

Not what you're looking for? Go back to the video guide.

Beating Your Nemesis: The King's Indian We begin with a theme of pet lines in the King's Indian Defense, but this time it's White's turn to surprise. Finegold shows a pair of games with an early Bf4, a move that "you are sure to know better than your opponent." In one case, Black continues normally. In the other, Black chases the seemingly wayward bishop. Both times end in crushing defeats for Black. Watch and learn what you should do to combat the variation, and what happens if you don't!

Beating Your Nemesis: The Nimzo-Indian Things that make Finegold happy: active pieces, the Qc2 Variation of the Nimzo-Indian Defense, killer rooks that move so many times you forget which rook started on which side of the board. Watch him beat two strong GMs with 4.Qc2. You'll learn about which pawn structures are conducive to endgames, you'll see innovative queen sorties, and in the second game, you'll be reminded of "Tron" as Finegold's rooks maneuver all around the board.

Beating Your Nemesis: The Alekhine Defense In the Alekhine Defense, your opponent is ceding a space advantage in the hope of destroying your central pawns. Don't be timid. Shove your pawns down the board, avoid trades, and you'll be better according to GM Roman Dzindzichashvili. Today he walks you through all the necessary lines. He battle-tested them thirty years ago, and they still hold up today! Try saying that about the Najdorf or the Winawer!

Beating Your Nemesis: The Grünfeld "I'm up a piece, with compensation!" That's a pleasant situation to be in. Finegold shows you how he got there. Using an offbeat variation against the Grunfeld that no other GM plays, our video author nabs two easy wins. In one, Black is denied the ability to castle. In the second, he manages, but is pulverized on f7 anyway. Finegold even finds a few finesses that are better than winning a queen! Watch him turn Iceland into his playland.

Beating Your Nemesis: Crushing Che Caro! The Caro-Kann is super solid, you say? I say not today! Finegold produces one of his favorite videos, as the black king gets checkmated three times in the Advance Variation. You'll see some home cooking from one U.S. champion against another, a brutally efficient mating attack from a top Chinese junior, and an extravagant king walk that ends in disaster. Three up, three down for the White pieces. Check please! 

Beating Your Nemesis: Smashing The Sicilian! Two scintillating attacks are on display from Finegold. After a tricky move order that Black won't be prepared for, he gambits as many as three pawns to gain a lead in development. Fortunately, White has all five long-range pieces remaining, and they are having more fun than Bugs Bunny in a carrot patch. Watch how you can punish Sicilian players for their greed!

Beating Your Nemesis: Punishing The Philidor People that play the Philidor Defense... Don't you just want to wipe them off the board? Now you can! An early g4 is always a quick shock to Black's system, and today you'll see why. An open g-file, pressure on f7, and the second-player's king in peril — what's not to like? Shirov laid the groundwork, Finegold filled in the gaps, and now you too can create "Fire On Board" and dispel the notion that the Philidor Defense simplifies the game!

Beating Your Nemesis: The Chigorin Three games in 15 minutes! The Chigorin Defense is spicier than a chili pepper. Finegold shows how he uses this occasional weapon to get imbalanced positions against lower-rated foes. You'll learn theory, important traps, and move-order subtleties in case you adopt the Chigorin into your arsenal. Oh, you'll also see some Chigorin chagrin. Warning: some GMs can beat you in 10 moves if you're not careful.

Beating Your Nemesis: The Berlin Wall The author Joseph Heller told us what the term "Catch 22" meant — a situation with no good outcomes. Today, Finegold shows us a game where his blunder is the best move. A Catch 22? You decide. However, he did pair it with another game against GM Hellers. Coincidence? In any case, today you'll see how the Berlin Wall can actually repel two GMs quite quickly in the opening. Kasparov learned the hard way against Kramnik in 2000, and Finegold adds fuel to the Berlin fire!

Beating Your Nemesis: QGD With Qd2! Why play the main line when you can instead play a perfectly reasonable move that confuses your opponent? Finegold is full of these tricks, and today he shares one more — the "mysterious" Qd2. Where is she going? Why does she want to be there? Apparently there's a method to the madness, since in both of these games the queen invades Black's castle quickly. In game two, Ben "accidentally" copies a famous GM for most of the game. That's a nice surprise!

Beating Your Nemesis: Beating The Benko! Finegold retires from tournament chess? Well, probably not, but he wonders if he should since he's giving away all of his opening secrets. Today, he reveals his preferred setup against the Benko Gambit. He crams three miniatures into one 16-minute video. Word-for-word he's the most instructive author we've got! Take a look and see how he fords the Volga and how you too can gain a pleasant game and intact pawn structure.

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