The Master's Bulletin, March 2014

Mar 19, 2014, 12:00 AM 8,549 Reads 4 Comments Other



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

Peter’s Chess Vibes


Witnessing a historic moment

“For the third year in a row I was lucky enough to work at the Reykjavik Open. In the first (long) week of March, the chess players of Iceland gathered, together with a big number of foreign players, for their annual festival. The winner was Li Chao, which you can read in our news section (which we have put forward, to page 3). However, there is another reason why I won't easily forget this edition. On March 9th, the day Bobby Fischer would have celebrated his 71st birthday, Garry Kasparov paid a visit to his grave in Selfoss, and I had the privilege to be there!” writes ditor Peter Doggers in his intro. [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   In the Spotlight


Early History of the Candidates’

This 2014 Candidates’ Tournament is well under way in Khanty- Mansiysk; the winner will earn the right to challenge World Champion Magnus Carlsen in a match. IM John Watson puts the event in historic perspective and includes six great games! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Beyond the Board...


...With GM Pentala Harikrishna

We go beyond the chess board and try to find out more about someone's personality, character and lifestyle! This month we interview 27-year-old Indian grandmaster GM Pentala Harikrishna (2726). [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   Topical Theory


The McCutcheon French

Swedish GM Emanuel Berg has played the French Defense all his life. A true expert, Berg presents an overview of the most topical and critical lines of the McCutcheon variation, focusing on 6.Be3. The latest news in one of the most exciting lines of the French! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]


The ‘New Veresov’: 1.d4, 2.Nc3, 3.Bf4

There's a new guy in theory town, and his name is... yet unknown! We call 1.d4, 2.Nc3 and 3.Bf4 the ‘New Veresov’, awaiting a better name (suggestions are welcome!). Players like Jobava and Rapport added it to their repertoire, and GM Tamir Nabaty has played it a few times too. He shows you the way to try it out yourself! [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


Familiar Yet Invisible

Naiditsch-Nikolic, played in February in the Bundesliga, was an attractive flowing game in which White succeeded in creating a sudden attack from what seemed an already somewhat simplified position. IM Arthur van de Oudeweetering reveals even more hidden beauty! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   The Endgame Explained


The Mysteries of the Unequal Battle N vs B

In pure N vs. B endings the power and shortcomings of each minor piece is well illustrated. As often is the case, the pawn structure plays a key role for the evaluation of the position. IM Robert Ris explains this type of ending, showing three recent GM games. [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]

   NEW: Grandmaster Tips for Beginners


Alex Yermolinsky

So much has been written about chess, but what does it really take to improve your games? In this new column, every month we ask a different GM to think of the best tips he or she could give to novice players both old and young alike. GM Alex Yermolinsky takes off! [Subscribe / Single issue in our shop]

   In the News


Historic Moment For Chess: Kasparov at Fischer's Grave

On March 9th 2014, the day Bobby Fischer would have celebrated his 71st birthday, Garry Kasparov paid a visit to his grave in Selfoss, Iceland. It was a historic moment for chess: arguably the two greatest players of the game never met, and so they were never as close to each other. was there to witness the moment and for a brief interview with Mr Kasparov. “I can't help but thinking that this is the graveyard also for great, unfulfilled hopes, because so much could be achieved.” Watch the Kasparov interview/read the transcript here.


Only Chinese Player Li Chao Victorious in Reykjavik

The weather was particularly rough this year, and so more than ever it was a treat for the participants of the Reykjavik Open to play their games in the spectacular Harpa concert & festival hall alongside the old harbor. GM Li Chao won the tournament as the only participant from China this year. He started with a draw in the first round but scored an impressive 8 points in his final 9 games. He finished clear first with 8.5/10, half a point ahead of GMs Robin van Kampen, Eric Hansen, Eduardas Rozentalis and Helgi Olafsson. Read our final report here.


Motylev Convincing Winner European Individual

“Our training is clearly successful - maybe it's not shown in my games, but certainly in his! I am very happy for him because he deserves such a huge win. For a long time he had been a little bit in a shadow but now he's a champion!” said Sergey Karjakin about his second Alexander Motylev, who won the European Championship in Yerevan, Armenia convincingly. The 34-year- old grandmaster from Yekaterinburg finished on 9.0/11 (good for a 2872 performance rating), a full point more than the rest of the pack. Read our final report here.


Double Dutch at Death Match 22

It will be hard to top the excitement of Death Match 21, but two Dutch players are going to try. GM Jan Smeets and GM Erwin l'Ami were picked to participate in Death Match 22. The three-hour non-stop blitz and bullet match will take place Saturday, March 22nd at 18:00 CET, noon Eastern (New York time) or 9 a.m. Pacific. Edition 22 will be live on and will feature five-minute, three-minute and one-minute chess. Two Dutch GMs, both born April 5, 1985... but who will win?? Read the full announcement here.

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


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