Understanding before Moving 151: Chess history in a nutshell (33)

by ChessBase
11/12/2023 – Herman Grooten is an International Master, a renowned trainer and the author of several highly acclaimed books on chess training and strategy. In the 151st episode of his ChessBase show "Understanding before moving" Herman continues his series "Chess history in a nutshell" and continues to look at the legacy of Max Euwe. | Photo: Pascal Simon

Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2 Key Concepts of Chess - Pawn Structures Vol.1 and 2

In this two-part course the emphasis will be on typical pawn-structures.


Max Euwe (4)

When White plays 1.d4 and Black chooses to defend with the Slav or Semi-Slav Defence, White often finds it difficult to gain an advantage - after all, Black's position is very solid. So it is almost unbelievable that it should be possible for White to sacrifice a bishop on e6 as early as move 11 in order to get an attack on the black king in this opening.

But a game Euwe played against his compatriot Landau in 1939 shows that Euwe had a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of such a risky sacrifice. This game has been analysed by several sources (including Kasparov) and almost all of them express disbelief at White's sacrifice, but also conclude that Euwe's intuition did not deceive him.

Apart from the fact that attacking an opponent's king in the centre is a rewarding subject for trainers, I thought it would be interesting to use Stockfish 16 to take a look at the analyses of this game. And it turns out that White's play was correct and that some suggestions for better defence don't hold water.

Partly inspired by this game, in which the black king is stuck in the centre, I once managed to use brute force to drive the opponent's king into a mating net. Do you see how I succeeded to hunt down Black's king in the diagram position?

Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov's play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov's play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.

This week’s show (for Premium Members only)


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