Power Play Show: Kalashnikov octopodes

by Daniel King
9/4/2020 – In this Power Play Show, Grandmaster Daniel King looks at a couple of games by former junior world champion Parham Maghsoodloo. Both of the analyzed games were played in the Kalashnikov Variation of the Sicilian Defence and featured an octopus knight deep in the heart of White’s position! | Power Play is on air most Fridays at 17:00 UK (18:00 CEST, 11:00 EST) on playchess.com. All the usual puzzles, games and instruction will be on offer. | Photo: Amruta Mokal

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Attacking with Black

If you want to see fearless chess with both colours, do check out Parham Maghsoodloo’s games. The ever excitable 20-year-old Iranian star won the 2018 World Junior Championship in Gebze, when he confessed that he worked on his chess for about ten hours a day

I will be looking at two games in the Kalashnikov Variation that both feature a kingside pawn avalanche for Black and both feature an octopus knight deep in the heart of White’s position. One of them is a slightly unusual variety, but nonetheless still highly effective. Both games were played online, with the young Iranian defeating former world champion Vishy Anand and  Russian star Kirill Alekseenko.

We’ll start with a mate-in-two problem by Swedish composer Sven Ture Ceder, who published the following problem in 1938:


Try your own moves!

This week

Previous shows

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

If you want to learn more about the Kalashnikov, do check out Nicholas Pert’s DVD on the “Sicilian Stunner”!

A Sicilian Stunner - The Kalashnikov

This increasingly popular opening is easy to pick up as the Black pieces can usually be developed quickly and smoothly. Many of the ideas are thematic and Black can achieve attacking positions in several of the variations.

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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