The right perspective

by Oliver Reeh
11/27/2015 – 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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The right perspective

Black's last move 19...Ng6 (diagram) invites White to play 20.f5 when either knight sortie will be met by 21.f3. What knight move would you prefer?
A) 20...Nf4
B) 20...Nh4



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 #169 (December/January)

A top class European Cup and pure tension at the World Cup - these are the focal points of the present issue. With video clips by l'Ami, Marin and Shirov, as well as 11 new suggestions for your repertoire, you can look forward to a rich training program.

Video introduction by Karsten Müller


Opening Surveys

Marin: English Opening A15
Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 0-0 5.g3 d6 6.Bg2 e5 7.d3


In the form of the double fianchetto Mihail Marin presents a setup against the King’s Indian – but without d2-d4. The Nb1 remains for the time being on its starting square and can be developed, according to choice, to d2 or c3. White has the more pleasant game.

Schandorff: English Opening A29
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 e4 7.Ng5 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Re8 9.f3 exf3 10.Nxf3


The English Opening is at present experiencing a major boost in popularity. So it is only logical that the old main variations are also being seen on the board once more. Lars Schandorff examines the position in the diagram, which this year has been up for discussion in several of Aronian’s games.

Sagar Shah: Modern Defence B06
1.e4 g6 2.d4
Bg7 3.Nc3 d5


The pawn sacrifice 3...d5 is mostly only a temporary one and will probably surprise most players of the white pieces. Sagar Shah has investigated the variation in depth and at some points suggests improvements for Black’s play.

Souleidis: Caro-Kann B13
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4
Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4


Vassily Ivanchuk has tried 6.Bf4 several times and in doing so drawn the attention of Georgios Souleidis to this subject. Black should become active quickly in order to take advantage of White’s lag in development. The fact that the most frequently played moves for Black do not equalise gives White some hope.

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


The Wing Gambit is hardly a focal point for top level play, but amongst amateur players it is a weapon to be feared. From the position in the diagram Robert Ris analyses mainly 3...d5 and 3...e5 and comes to some surprising conclusions.

Szabo: Sicilian Defence B51
1.e4 c5 2.
Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Nd7 4.0-0 Ngf6 5.Re1 a6 6.Bd3


The variation with 3.Bb5+ continues to be very popular both in elite level chess and among amateur players and for the moment 3...Nd7 is the most popular reply. The setup investigated by Krisztian Szabo should suit those players who prefer to proceed along positional lines.

Moskalenko: French Defence C12
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.
Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6


In his latest article French specialist Viktor Moskalenko provides insights into the McCutcheon Variation which is at present in transition. His subject is the retreat of the white bishop to c1, which White can carry out immediately or else beginning with 6.Bd2.

Breutigam: Vienna Game C29
1.e4 e5 2.
Nc3 Nf6 3.f4 d5 4.fxe5 Nxe4


The Vienna Game with 3.f4 is only extremely rarely seen nowadays in the games of stronger players. But there are also good reasons for that. Martin Breutigam gets to the bottom of things in his accustomed meticulous manner.

Rotstein: Philidor Defence C41
1.e4 e5 2.
Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.g3


The Fianchetto Variation is at the top of the popularity stakes nowadays. The fact that in the starting position Black has several plans available to him makes the whole business interesting for the second player. According to Arkadij Rotstein he should, however, reckon on White gaining an advantage.

Stohl: Catalan Opening E05
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Bg5


Of late the trend in the Open Catalan has again been towards 10.Bg5. Igor Stohl deals systematically with the alternatives for Black. White often possesses long-lasting pressure without having to run any great risk.

Kuzmin: King's Indian E97
Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.a4


The move 9.a4 looks a little anti-positional, allowing as it does a hole to be created on b4. But after 9...a5, which is the almost obligatory reply for Black, according to Alexey Kuzmin Black cannot prevent b2-b4 and White obtains play on the queenside.


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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