In the Jaws of the Tiger – part two

8/1/2007 – A few months ago our Playchess trainer Dennis Monokroussos presented the game Ivan Sokolov-Tiger Hillarp Persson, a spectacular achievement won by the latter. You might think it would be hard for Hillarp Persson to top such an achievement, but as you’ll see in this week’s show, his win over Peter Heine Nielsen is positively jaw-dropping. Thursday August 2nd at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

Hillarp Persson, a talented if inconsistent grandmaster from Sweden, is one of the most creative and non-traditional players on the planet, as you’ll see in this game.

It started innocuously enough, with a Modern (one of Hillarp Persson’s pet lines) transposing into a Classical King’s Indian. Nielsen (then perhaps a newly minted GM, now regularly in the mid-2600s) essayed the Bayonet Attack, and the craziness rapidly ensued. Starting with our hero’s sacrificial novelty on move 13, everything gets crazy. On move 14, HP’s rook is hanging, so of course he sacs a knight as well. On move 16 he puts a piece en prise, on the next move he puts a second piece where it can be attacked, constructing what must be one of the few self-administered pawn forks in chess history! The game never really returns to full rationality, but amazingly, the sequence of adventures concludes in an endgame with equal material (on move 26) where Black’s activity decides.

Your mind will be blown after seeing this game, but that’s okay: it’s great to be reminded of what attracted us to chess in the first place. The only thing crazier than this game is not tuning in to watch it! I hope therefore to see you this Thursday night at 9 p.m. ET (3 a.m. Friday morning CET). Remember, the first 100 viewers get to watch for free! (Everyone else, too, but you won’t want to miss a minute of the show.)

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase 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 two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis 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 chess software.


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