The Master's Bulletin, January 2014

Jan 17, 2014, 12:00 AM 15,828 Reads 6 Comments Other



(You can find the Master's Bulletin archive here)

Peter’s Chess Vibes


Looking back one more time

In the same week that this Bulletin appears, editor Peter Doggers is working from Wijk aan Zee, where he is producing live streaming commentary for and the officialy website together with Lennart Ootes. “A Happy New Year to our readers! One thing that became clear in 2013 is how quickly online chess has adapted to new standards. There's hardly any top tournament left that does not provide online streaming commentary, to my great delight.” [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

In the Spotlight


Five Hidden Gems From 2013

For this first Bulletin of the new year, GM Alex Yermolinsky looked back at 2013 one more time and selected five interesting games that didn't get much attention elsewhere. In his usual style, “Yermo” provides five very nice encounters that shouldn't be missed! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Topical Theory


Bobby Fischer’s 6.h3 against the Najdorf

The little pawn move 6.h3 used to be a sideline that ‘couldn't be that bad, as it was played by Bobby Fischer.’ In recent years it has become immensely popular, and this month GM Danny Gormally will focus on one of Black's main replies, 6...e6. [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]


Bent Larsen’s 1.b3

Bent Larsen's 1.b3 is another move that has become popular quite recently. Players like Hikaru Nakamura and Baadur Jobava, active at the Tata Steel tournament as we speak, have tried it and so this is a good moment for GM Viktor Moskalenko to dive into it! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Tasty Tactics


Tactical exercises for you to solve, selected by IM Robert Ris [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Middlegame Musings


The Underdog Bites

Kramnik-Ezat from the recent World Team Championship was an astonishing game where the underdog sacrificed his queen for just two minor pieces (and a long-lasting initiative). IM Arthur van de Oudeweetering analyzes the game deeply. Join the fun! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   The Endgame Explained


A Rook Endgame with an Outside Passed Pawn

This month IM Robert Ris looks at a Bundesliga game played last month between Evgeny Najer and Etienne Bacrot. The rook ending with one passed pawn is a very common one and worth studying in depth. As it turns out, Bacrot missed some tricky drawing chances. [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Afek’s Corner


Endgame Studies

Every month we present you three endgame studies selected by IM Yochanan Afek: player, trainer, endgame study composer and writer. The studies are especially useful for the practical player. Next month we’ll publish the solutions. Good luck solving! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   In the News


Hikaru Nakamura Wins 5th London Chess Classic

The London Chess Classic's Super Sixteen Rapid tournament was won by Hikaru Nakamura. On Sunday, December 15th, 2013 the American grandmaster beat Boris Gelfand in the final, after he had eliminated Vladimir Kramnik. For the first time, the London tournament saw rapid chess instead of classical. Jon Ludvig Hammer won the FIDE Open with 7.5/9, which was half a point more than Boris Grachev, Tigran Gharamian, Mateusz Bartel, Viorel Iordachescu and Neil McDonald. Read John Saunders’ final report here.


Tata Steel Tournament Under Way - Follow The Commentary on!

At the time of writing, the 76th Tata Steel Chess Tournament is under way in Wijk aan Zee, and not only there. This year two rounds are held elsewhere: on Wednesday, January 15th the players visited the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam (see our report here) and during the second week, one round will be held in Eindhoven. This year the tournament is closely cooperating with, and as a result the official website's daily live streaming commentary can also be followed on!


Vugar Gashimov Dies at 27

The chess world is shocked by the death of one Azerbaijan's top players, Vugar Gashimov. The 27-year-old grandmaster from Baku had been ill for a long time and was under treatment for the last 1.5 years in Berlin, Germany where he passed away on January 11th, 2014. In a personal In Memoriam, editor Peter Doggers describes Gashimov “an extremely nice and friendly guy, who had a laugh with all his colleagues everywhere and any time. (...) Vugar was highly talented and had an attractive, dynamic style.” Read the full article here.


Saturday, January 18th: Death Match 20 — A Family Affair

For the first time in Death Match history, we may have to ask the wives to leave the room. American GM Yury Shulman and German GM Daniel Fridman are both married to titled chess players (WIM Viktorija Ni and IM Anna Zatonskih respectively), but there won't be any consultation allowed during their match on Saturday, January 18 at noon Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. CET. Tune in for's 20th Death Match! More info here.

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