Leon on the Keymer

by ChessBase
9/14/2023 – Grandmaster Leon Mendonca is a rising star in the chess world and one of India's most promising young talents. This year, at seventeen, he crossed the 2600 Elo barrier (current Elo is 2622) for the first time and is probably one of the most active chess players in 2023 (almost 100 rated games). Leon has recorded a very interesting Fritztrainer on the venomous variation 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3, which most club-level players do not know how to effectively counter.

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The Keymer Variation - 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3

by Leon Mendonca

“People did not take 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3 too seriously," Leon says, "until recently, when online chess started becoming popular due to the pandemic, as this opening was used frequently. I discovered how venomous this opening was when I was trying to find a way to play against it with black, and to my surprise this was not easy. Vincent Keymer uses this opening in a huge percentage of his games and gets great positions and results with them.

With this opening, White avoids mainstream theory, and there is more than one possibility for each move. The opening is a mix of positional and attacking elements depending on what system Black chooses. I think most club-level players would not know how to effectively counter this opening.”

This video course features the ins-and-outs of the possible setups Black can choose. You’ll learn the key concepts and strategies needed to add this fantastic opening to your repertoire. An easy-to-learn and yet venomous weapon that will make your opening play more versatile.

In addition, this course enables you to practice the repertoire with the ChessBase Opening Trainer. Drilling the opening moves, guessing how a position arose or just replay the moves in your desired speed further reveal the ideas this opening has to offer. Start your journey now!

  • Video running time: 6 hours
  • Training with ChessBase apps -
  • Memorize the opening repertoire and play key positions against Fritz on various level
  • Fritztrainer App for Windows and Mac, available as download or on DVD
  • Repertoire database: save and integrate Fritztrainer games into your own repertoire (in WebApp Opening or in ChessBase)
  • Interactive exercises with video feedback: the authors present exercises and key positions, the user has to enter the solution. With video feedback (also on mistakes) and further explanations.
  • Sample games as a ChessBase database.
  • New: many Fritztrainer now also available as stream in the ChessBase video portal!        

This is what the FritzTrainer App can do for you:

  • Videos can run in the Fritztrainer app or in the ChessBase program with board graphics, notation and a large function bar
  • Analysis engine can be switched on at any time
  • Video pause for manual navigation and analysis in game notation
  • Input of your own variations, engine analysis, with storage in the game
  • Learn variations: view specific lines in the ChessBase WebApp Opening with autoplay, memorize variations and practise transformation (initial position - final position).
  • Active opening training: selected opening positions are transferred to the ChessBase WebApp Fritz-online. In a match against Fritz you test your new knowledge and actively play the new opening.

Sample video

Order it now for €34.90 in the ChessBase Shop

He was awarded the GM title in January 2021, at the age of 14 years and 264 days, becoming a rising star in the chess world. He has won several international tournaments, including the 2023 HIT Open in Slovenia (with a perfect score of 9/9), the 2022 Cappelle-la-Grande Open, and the 2021 Isle of Man International. Today, at seventeen and Elo 2622, he is currently ranked 15th in the world among players under the age of 20. 

Leon is known for his aggressive playing style and his ability to calculate long sequences of moves. He is also a very strong endgame player.

Here are some videos we recorded after the historical 9.0/9 victory:

Leon is also a budding violinist. When he was fifteen he was stranded (by Covid) for over a year in Budapest. Here is a report of his chess adventures there, as well as the concert he gave in a Budapest cathederal. That performance was recorded by his father:

 Well, order Leon's Fritztrainer now. You will not regret it.

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