ChessBase show: Sokolov, Speelman, and the Icelandic Gambit

3/3/2010 – When former multiple world championship candidates collide what can you expect? The fun Icelandic Gambit, that's what. It goes 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 and is not entirely sound. But as Dennis Monokroussos explains in his Playchess presentation, if it worked against a player who was once #3 in the world, it could also work in your local club. 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night.

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Playchess training with FM Dennis Monokroussos

Both Andrei Sokolov and Jonathan Speelman have been world championship candidates on multiple occasions, so you'd expect a game between such high-class opponents to feature some sort of main line like a Slav or a Petroff – both thrill-packed openings, right? If so, you're in for a surprise, one I think you'll find pleasant. In their 1988 rapid game in Madrid, Speelman chose the very fun Icelandic Gambit: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6.

Is it sound? Well...maybe not entirely sound. But if it's good enough to beat a player who was once #3 in the world, how bad can it be when you wheel it out at the local club? You might argue that we know more about how to meet it now than they did back in 1988, and you'd be right. In fact, you might go on to say that because it has been worked out, no one plays it anymore, and you'd be right again. But that's exactly why you should give it a try: everyone has forgotten the remedies!

Whether you watch the show to learn about this tricky line or not, I think you'll find the game entertaining and a worthy way to spend a Wednesday night. To watch, log on to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night (= 3 a.m. CET Thursday morning), go to the Broadcast room and find Sokolov-Speelman under the Games tab. Hope to see you there!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date, with exact times for most larger cities 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.


Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007
 

Dennis Monokroussos is 43, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and has worked as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten 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 chess software.


Playchess Training with IM Merijn van Delft

Everyone is invited to join this weekly training hour on Wednesday evening. Together we will have a look at the most recent grandmaster games. Recurring themes during our analyses and discussions are the latest opening developments and how to work on your own chess.

A word about myself: I was born (March 13, 1979) and raised in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. In 1995 I won the Dutch U16 Championship and played the European Championship in Poland and the World Championship in Brasil. In 1998 I moved to Amsterdam to study psychology and had a great time there. In 2003 I met my wife Evi Zickelbein and ever since we've been living together in Hamburg, Germany. In 2004 I made both master titles: one at the university and one in chess. Since 2005 I've been working fulltime in the chess world: training, coaching, writing, organizing and still actively playing myself. By now I have about fifteen years of experience as a chess trainer. Together with my dad I wrote a book about chess training (Schaaktalent Ontwikkelen), of which the Dutch version is already available and the English version will follow April 2010.

IM Merijn van Delft's lecture starts at 20:00h Central European Time (Berlin, Paris, Rome), which translates to 19:00h London. You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. The lecture is in the "Broadcast" room of Playchess. It is free for Premium Playchess members (50 Ducats for others).


Links

The lectures are broadcast live on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!


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