Robert Ris' Fast and Furious: The Italian à la Dubov

by Robert Ris
1/7/2021 – In this week's show, well-known Dutch trainer Robert Ris takes a look at the Italian, and in particular how Daniil Dubov played it in his masterpiece against Sergey Karjakin at the Russian Championship 2020. | "Fast and Furious" is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here. | Photo: Photo: Lennart Ootes / World Rapid Championship 2018

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


The Italian à la Dubov

Happy New Year everyone! In this first Fast & Furious show of 2021, I am looking back at my favorite game of 2020, Dubov - Karjakin, Russian Championship 2020.

Of course, a lot has been said and written about Dubov's masterpiece against Karjakin in the last round of the Russian Championships, which took place last month, but I still think it is  interesting to discuss some ideas and recent developments of the line that Dubov tried in this game (and yes, everybody would like to imitate Dubov's playing style!).

This specific variation (6.b4!?) of the Italian Opening, which occurred in the game, is incredibly complex and even strong computers are struggling to evaluate the positions correctly. In any case, there are many tactical resources which often remain hidden, and I decided to try to do my best to explain the key ideas and tactical motifs for White.

But first a warm-up: In the position below Black decided to take on g2 with his queen. Was this a good idea?


You can move the pieces on the live diagram!

This week's show

Robert is on air every other Thursday at 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET / 16:00 EST)

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Solution of the exercise


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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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