Rank prank

by Oliver Reeh
10/28/2016 – Tactics can seem deceptively simple, particularly when seeing an engine analysing grandmaster games. Strange, however, how difficult it is to find the right move and to calculate variations properly when playing yourself. It is easier if you solve tactical puzzles regularly. In the ChessBase Magazine and his tactics column Oliver Reeh helps you to do so.

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Oliver Reeh in ChessBase Magazine

Do you like these lessons? There are plenty more by tactic expert Oliver Reeh in ChessBase Magazine, where you will also find openings articles and surveys, endgames, and of course annotations by the world's top grandmasters.

Click to go to the ChessBase Magazine page


ChessBase Magazine #174 (October/November)

The editor’s top ten:

1. “A fun game”: the world champion in person presents his rapid-fire attacking game against Wesley So in Bilbao. Carlsen - So
2. The decisive game in Saint Louis: Wesley So shows how he outmanoeuvred his rival for tournament victory: So - Topalov
3. Grandmaster against child prodigy: together with Simon Williams find the moves with which eleven year old Vincent Keymer outplayed GM Hertneck – „Move by Move“!
4. Masterclass in Biel with “MVL”: the present No. 2 in the world explains in a video interview with Daniel King his win in the Najdorf over Caruana.
5. Sneaky way in the King’s Indian: in his video GM Erwin l’Ami introduces you to the variation after 8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Bg5 and brings you up-to-date with the latest theory.
6. The poisoned bishop: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave explains the trick with which he caught out Peter Svidler in Biel: Svidler - Vachier Lagrave
7. Mating attack out of nowhere: let Boris Gelfand show show you how he surprised European champion, Ernesto Inarkiev!
8. “Opening Trends”: IM Langrock opens a new series and demonstrates the most important trends in the French Rubinstein Variation.
9. Award your own exclamation marks! Conduct, together with Oliver Reeh, an attack with several hammer blows.
10. WCh dress rehearsal: have Daniel King show you how the world champion dismantled Sergey Karjakin’s king position.


Opening Surveys

Krasenkow: English A20
1.c4 e5 2.g3 c6


With 2.g3 White would like to defer the development of the Nb1 to c3 so as to avoid ...Bb4. But then, according to Michal Krasenkow, Black can easily play 2...c6. The Polish grandmaster takes some ideas from the Alapin Variation in the Sicilian and presents a repertoire for Black.

Souleidis: Trompowsky Attack A45
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 e6 3.e4 c5


With 3...c5 (instead of the main move 3...h6) Georgios Souleidis presents a solid weapon against the Trompowsky Attack. White can try either 4.e5 or 4.d5, but the analyses show that Black has no need to fear the one or the other.

Reinke: Sicilian B20
1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.a3


In the second part of his article on the Wing Gambit the focus is on what according to Markus Reinke is the critical move: 3...e5. However, even in this line White can also obtain exciting positions with compensation for the pawn.

Postny: Sicilian B31
1.e4 c5 2.
Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.Bxc6 bxc6 5.0-0 Bg7 6.Re1 Nh6 7.c3 0-0 8.h3


In the Rossolimo Variation the trend has of late been retuning to the recapture with the b-pawn. Since after that 8.d4 has not proved itself, White is now trying out the useful 8.h3. Evgeny Postny presents the latest results of his investigations.

Iotov: Sicilian B37
1.e4 c5 2.
Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Nc2 d6 7.Be2 Nf6 8.Nc3 0-0 9.0-0


According to Valentin Iotov the move 6.Nc3 has both advantages and disadvantages. Avoiding the exchange of pieces favours White, but he also clears the centre and allows ...Be6. But another thing in favour of the variation is that there is less theory to be learned.

Ris: Sicilian B38
1.e4 c5 2.
Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.c4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 0-0 8.Be2 d6 9.0-0 Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 Nd7 13.Be3 a5 14.b3 Nc5 15.Rab1


With 15...e6 instead of the old main move 15...Qb6 Robert Ris pleads for a somewhat more active approach. If White does not know what he is doing, there are several ways he can immediately fall into a trap. Even with best play it is not clear whether White gets an advantage.

Stohl: Sicilian B94
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7


In the second part of his article on the popular sub-variation 6...Nbd7 Igor Stohl analyses above all queen moves for White. The most venomous is 7.Qe2 and so it receives the most attention. Despite a great analytical effort, Stohl considers Black to be under pressure.

Kuzmin: Four Knights Game C49
1.e4 e5 2.
Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Bb4 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 d6 7.Ne2


Nowadays one is satisfied with even a slight opening advantage, so the Four Knights Game is back in fashion. With 7.Ne2, according to Alexey Kuzmin White is intending Ng3, c3 and d4. Black should not miss the correct moment to play d6-d5.

Bronznik: Chigorin Defence D07
1.d4 d5 2.c4
Nc6 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3


In the closing fourth part of his series on the Chigorin Defence Valeri Bronznik examines the move 5.e3, which is not totally harmless. Black should then reply 5...Nf6 and retain the option of ...Bb4.

Marin: Slav Schlechter Variation D94
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.
Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.Bd3 0-0 7.0-0 Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 e6


For Mihail Marin Vassily Smyslov is the greatest role model in this variation. The seventh world champion is represented in the database by 7 games. Anyone wishing to play this line should thoroughly check out whether it suits him or not.

ChessBase Magazine #174 (October/November)

Oliver Reeh has been working for ChessBase for many years as a translator and presenter of the internet show TV ChessBase, and he also looks after the tactics column in ChessBase Magazine, for which he has also been responsible as editor-in-chief since 2019. The International Master has contributed to the CB "MasterClass" series and is the author of the DVDs "Strike like the World Champions" and "Master Class Tactics - Train your combination skills!" Volumes 1 & 2. Oliver Reeh lives in Hamburg.


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