Dennis Monokroussos writes:
The late grandmaster Eduard Gufeld who a colorful, controversial figure in
the chess world, but we'll ignore the controversy and focus on his chess. An
inveterate popularizer of the royal game, Gufeld's writings often celebrated
the spectacular aspects of the game – especially (but not only) when he
was the source of the spectacle.
This week, we'll take a look at his most famous game, the 1973 victory over
Vladimir Bagirov he dubbed his "Mona Lisa". (Ironically, given Gufeld's
penchant for publishing the game wherever possible, it's not in ChessBase's
Mega database.) It's a real thriller, a King's Indian Saemisch played in the
old style with opposite-side castling. In that interpretation of the Saemisch,
White throws the kitchen sink at Black's king in the style of the Yugoslav Attack
against the Dragon, while Black tries to hold off the attack while developing
his queenside counterplay. That's just what we have in this game, which in the
course of just 32 moves sees both players combining attack and defense with
great imagination and a willingness to sacrifice material. (First Black sacs
a piece, then White; Black sacs the exchange, then White offers a rook, which
Black refuses by giving up another piece, etc.)
In short, it's an entertaining and well-played game, one I'm confident you'll
all enjoy. So join me this Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET: the show is free and
the 150th audience member will receive a prize!
lectures begin on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 01:00h
GMT, 02:00 Paris/Berlin, 11:00h Sydney (on Friday). Other time zones can
be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible
program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download
a free trial client.
You can find the exact times for different locations in the world at World
Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here.
And you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos offline in
the Chess Media System room of Playchess:
Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures.
The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and
That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).
Monokroussos is 40, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor
of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.
He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy
time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest
juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s.
His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s
– "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.
Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons
to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number
of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was
one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and
was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.
When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas
of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame
(or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present
some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database),
which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his