Daniel King’s Power Play Show: Ivanchuk’s brilliant idea

by Daniel King
11/25/2022 – This week, Daniel King looks at a problem theme appearing in practical games, incredibly, twice within a week. Living legend Vasyl Ivanchuk and rising star Arjun Erigaisi both played the ‘Novotny’! | Power Play is on air most Fridays. Watch it on-demand with a ChessBase Premium account. All the usual puzzles, games and instruction will be on offer.

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The Novotny

It is rare to encounter a problem theme in actual play, particularly one as beautiful as the ‘Novotny’. For those who are unfamiliar with the term, this definition is supplied by the Encyclopedia of Chess Problems: Themes and Terms by Milan Velimirovic and Kari Valtonen:

Nowotny Interference: In general, an interference between line-pieces of unlike
motion and of the same color, forced by a sacrifice on the critical (interference) square.

Hmm, perhaps it is clearer if we just look at a few examples. Incredibly, two cropped up in games within a week of each other!

White to play. What was Vasyl Ivanchuk’s brilliant idea? 


A few days before, Arjun Erigaisi used the same theme to undo Shakhriyar Mamedyarov’s defences. White to play.


Now that you know the theme, can you find White’s best continuation here?


Power Play 27 and 28 - The King's Gambit and Tactic Toolbox

Glorious sacrifices, unexpected tactics and checkmating attacks. The King's Gambit is one of the oldest and most romantic openings in the game of chess. These DVDs contain all you need to know to play the King's Gambit.

This week’s show

Previous shows

You’ll find older broadcasts in the Power Play category. To watch these you’ll need a ChessBase Premium Account.

Daniel King is the prolific author of the Power Play series which numbers 28 volumes to date.  The Tactic Turbo for the King’s Gambit is the subject of his most recent DVD.

Here’s a teaser:

Power Play 28: Tactic Toolbox King's Gambit

Daniel King presents 50 puzzle positions in video format, all arising from the King's Gambit. They feature typical tactics from the opening, so this is a great way of becoming familiar with the tricks and traps that you can set your opponent.


Daniel King is a regular on playchess.com. Commentating on live events such as the World Championship or analysing themes for his monthly Power Play Show. He also produces a DVD series called Power Play for ChessBase in the Fritztrainer format.


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