The brilliant ideas of a 14-year-old

8/12/2009 – American IM Ray Robson was one of the four winners of the recently finished Arctic Challenge in Norway. This was achieved by prodigious talent and some excellent preparation. In his Wednesday night Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos shows us the brilliant idea uncorked by Robson against Rasmussen, one that could alter our understanding of the system. Be there at 9 p.m. ET.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

The 2009 Arctic Chess Challenge recently finished in a four-way tie for first, and one of the four winners was 14-year-old American IM Ray Robson. In the process he achieved his first grandmaster norm, and it is games like the one we'll examine this week that show his considerable promise. His game with GM Stig Allan Rasmussen was a success in every way.

First of all, it looks like a triumph of preparation. Rasmussen played an idea that had not been seen in practice, though it had been advocated in a recent, important theoretical work. The result? No problem: Robson found an interesting idea that wasn't discussed in that work, and it turned out that he was not the surprisee but the surpriser. We'll see if White's idea can be rehabilitated, but in the game Rasmussen made a series of natural moves, only to be hit by a truly brilliant idea that won Black the game.

The game is thus of theoretical significance, attractive, and offers an unusual concept we can add to our general understanding of the game. Want more details? You'll have to tune in! It's easy: just log on to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday night (that's 3 a.m. Thursday morning, CET), go to the Broadcasts room and find Rasmussen-Robson in the games list. It's free, and that's all there is to it. Hope to see you then!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Wednesdays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Thursday). 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).



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Dennis Monokroussos is 41, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and occasionally works as an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame and Indiana University-South Bend.

At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S. and has reached a peak rating of 2434 USCF, but several long breaks from tournament play have made him rusty. He is now resuming tournament chess in earnest, hoping to reach new heights.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for ten 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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