Would you dare to take on f2?

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In the 4...Bf5 main line of the Caro-Kann, one of the critical positions is reached after the moves 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qd3 O-O 16. g4 Nxg4 17. Rhg1 (see diagram). Would you dare to take on f2?

In ChessVibes Openings #169, which was published on March 28th, IM Merijn van Delft and IM Robert Ris write:

Three years ago, in CVO 12, we discussed a Leko-Topalov blindfold game in which Black was caught by surprise by the 16.g4 pawn thrust and quickly lost. Around that time we conducted a joint analysis session with GM Jan Gustafsson, where we examined the main line Caro-Kann and established that Black seems to be able to get away with the risky 17...Nxf2. Apparently most people were reluctant to actually take the risk in tournament practice, until this week in Hovhannisyan-Akopian Black finally went for it. The [position after move 26] was actually reached in our analysis back then as well, and is perfectly fine for Black - White has no more than a perpetual. This result can be reached in a multitude of other ways as well, as can be seen from our lines in the PGN file. Meanwhile, two correspondence games have also confirmed our verdict.

Below is the theoretical analysis taken from CVO 169. It's just one of the four trend diagrams of page 3, and we present it to give you and idea about how our editors discuss theoretical trends every week. Besides four of such analysis, there is also a fully analyzed 'Game of the week' and two opening middlegame puzzles to be found in each issue. More info below the chess board!

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.24"]
[White "Hovhannisyan, R."]
[Black "Akopian, Vl"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B19"]
[WhiteElo "2600"]
[BlackElo "2684"]
[Annotator "Van Delft & Ris"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "BUL"]
[Source "Mark Crowther"]
[SourceDate "2012.03.26"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5
Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 (11. Bf4) 11... Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4
Nxe4 (13... O-O 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. g4 {is the alternative move order, reaching
the same position one move earlier.}) 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qd3 O-O (15... Qd5 16.
c4 (16. Kb1 $5) 16... Qe4 17. Qb3 b5 18. Rde1 {Ris-Okkes, Dutch League 2008})
16. g4 Nxg4 17. Rhg1 Nxf2 $1 $146 (17... f5 18. Qe2 Qd5 19. c4 Qd6 20. Ne5 Qxd4
21. Nxg4 fxg4 22. Rxg4 Qxf2 23. Qxe6+ Rf7 24. Rf4 {1-0 Leko-Topalov, Nice
blindfold 2009}) 18. Qe2 (18. Qe3 Nxd1 19. Qxh6 Bf6 20. Bf4 Bxd4 21. Be5 Be3+ {
1/2-1/2 Podvoysky-Kazantsev, ICCF 2010} 22. Qxe3 Nxe3 23. Rxg7+ Kh8 24. Rxf7+
Kg8 25. Rg7+ $11 {Gustafsson/Ris/Van Delft}) 18... Nxd1 19. Bxh6 Bf6 (19... Kh7
20. Bxg7 Rg8 $132 {Gustafsson/Ris/Van Delft}) 20. Bxg7 Bxg7 21. h6 Qf6 22. Qh2
(22. Rxg7+ Kh8 23. Ng5 $11 {Gustafsson/Ris/Van Delft}) (22. hxg7 Qh6+ 23. Kb1
Rfd8 24. Qxd1 Rd5 25. Ne5 Rad8 26. Qf3 f5 27. c3 Rxe5 28. dxe5 Rd2 $132 {
Gustafsson/Ris/Van Delft}) 22... Qxf3 23. hxg7 Qe3+ 24. Kb1 Nc3+ $1 {An
important move, as otherwise Black would be lost.} 25. bxc3 Qxg1+ 26. Qxg1 Rfd8
{Diagramm [#] Three years ago, in CVO 12, we discussed a Leko-Topalov
blindfold game in which Black was caught by surprise by the 16.g4 pawn thrust
and quickly lost. Around that time we conducted a joint analysis session with
GM Jan Gustafsson, where we examined the main line Caro-Kann and established
that Black seems to be able to get away with the risky 17...Nxf2. Apparently
most people were reluctant to actually take the risk in tournament practice,
until this week in Hovhannisyan-Akopian Black finally went for it. The diagram
position was actually reached in our analysis back then as well, and is
perfectly fine for Black - White has no more than a perpetual. This result can
be reached in a multitude of other ways as well, as can be seen from our lines
in the PGN file. Meanwhile, two correspondence games have also confirmed our
verdict.} (26... Rfe8 27. Qg5 f5 28. c4 Rad8 {1/2-1/2 Edwards-Rogetzer, ICCF
2011}) 27. Qg5 Kh7 28. Qf6 Rd7 29. Kb2 Rg8 30. Qh4+ Kxg7 31. Qg3+ Kf8 32. Qb8+
Kg7 33. Qg3+ Kf8 34. Qb8+ Kg7 35. Qg3+ 1/2-1/2

The latest novelties in your mailbox

 Which openings are hot in top level chess? Which are not? Receive the latest opening novelties right in your mailbox with ChessVibes Openings, a weekly PDF magazine (+ PGN!) covering the latest openings news, co-authored by International Masters Merijn van Delft and Robert Ris and published by ChessVibes.


What is ChessVibes Openings?

ChessVibes Openings - What's hot and what's not?Every issue consists of a PDF Magazine and the accompanying PGN file. The PDF consists of four pages (A4 size) with the following contents:

  • What's hot? A round-up of this week's important opening developments, with statistics about the frequence and score of the week's most important opening novelty (page 1)
  • What's not? Which openings are not recommended at the moment, according to the top players? And why not? (page 1)
  • Game of the week Each week you'll find the theoretically most important game analysed by our two IMs, with a detailed survey of the opening phase (page 2).
  • This week's harvest Four more new important opening ideas from this week (page 3) revealed and described with explanation of the opening and early middlegame (page 3).
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This week's issue: #169, March 28, 2012

ChessVibes Openings #169 The European Championship in Plovdiv is as strong as ever and is taking up all our attention. In this issue we cover the first six rounds, which left ten players sharing first place. All about the Closed Ruy Lopez with 6.d3 which was covered in our Game of the week Naiditsch-I.Sokolov, Plovdiv 2012. Other lines that are covered:

  • Sicilian Najdorf, 6.Bc4
  • Caro-Kann, 4...Bf5
  • Slav, 6.Ne5
  • Queen's Gambit Accepted, 3.e3 e5

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Which opening variations have been discussed so far?


Can I buy back issues?

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Ehm... can I have a look?

Here's what ChessVibes Openings #141 (September 14, 2011) looks like: FREE SAMPLE ISSUE - ChessVibes Openings #141 - click to download!

ChessVibes Openings #141 In this issue of CVO we cover FIDE World Cup rounds 4 and 5 in full and the regular games from round 6. The round 6 tiebreaks and final will be covered next week. Svidler eliminated Ponomariov and Grischuk-Ivanchuk is the battle for the second spot in the final. All about the Archangelsk Ruy Lopez which was covered in our Game of the week Kamsky-Svidler, World Cup (Khanty-Mansiysk) 2011. Other lines that are covered:

  • Ruy Lopez, Anti-Marshall
  • Sicilian Najdorf, 6.Bc4
  • King's Indian, Averbakh
  • QGD, Vienna

FREE SAMPLE ISSUE - ChessVibes Openings #141 - click to download!

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July 1, 2009: Eugene Manchester reviews ChessVibes Openings for ChessCafe

In the July 1 issue of ChessCafe's Book Review (mirror here) ChessVibes Openings was reviewed by Eugene Manchester. Some quotes: CVO in ChessCafe"So, who-ya-gonna-call? Opening busters? Not quite. For the reasonable price of 25 euros per year [now 28 - CV] , once a week you can receive intelligent, interesting opening surveys and analysis presented by a team lead by Dutch IMs Merijn van Delft & Robert Ris." "The format and presentation are consistently of high quality, with variety of coverage and opening analysis." "The cost per year is roughly equivalent to a good chess book. Each week you get a four- page issue packed with opening analysis, at least two thoroughly annotated games with one or more of that week's featured openings, a glimpse into the world of the latest opening novelties, in short, a quality weekly opening report."

May 7, 2009: GM Hedinn Steingrimsson reviews ChessVibes Openings for Chess Today

In issues 3103 (Thursday, May 7) of Chess Today, the daily chess newspaper which also comes into your inbox by email in PDF, ChessVibes Openings was reviewed by GM Hedinn Steingrimsson from Iceland. Some quotes: CVO in CT"What I like about ChessVibes Openings is their focus on the trend and discoveries that are revealed in super tournaments and by very strong players. It makes sense for all tournament chess players and opening theoreticians to follow these developments and getting an overview from ChessVibes Openings definitely saves time." "I find it positive that there is consistency in the openings covered so that the readers will with time have a certain repertoire available based on different theoretical articles from ChessVibes about e.g. the Anti-Moscow Variation." "For those that really want to find out how to get a better position out of the opening and are willing to enter complications and do some homework in order to succeed, ChessVibes Openings can be recommended."

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