Wednesday night training on Playchess

by ChessBase
11/4/2009 – At 20:00h CET, IM Merijn van Delft holds his lecture on recent grandmaster games on the Playchess server. At 9 p.m. ET (03:00 a.m. CET) FM Dennis Monokroussos talks about the start of the Tal Memorial in Moscow on Thursday, about chess prodigies in general and Bobby Fischer in particular, with an instructive 1960 game. Free for Premium members.

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Playchess training with FM Dennis Monokroussos

Tomorrow, Magnus Carlsen makes his debut as a 2800 in the Tal Memorial, and it's not much of an exaggeration to say he has taken the chess world by storm. Although he is just 18 (19 later this month), he has been a prominent, elite player for some time now. While it has been a while since anyone else has been a leading player at such a tender age, there are precedents. Carlsen's most notable predecessor in this regard is, of course, the late Bobby Fischer.

William Lombardy analysing with the young Bobby Fischer, with chess mentor Jack Collins watching

By age 15, Fischer had already qualified for the Candidates (the final elimination tournament to see who would play for the world championship), and at 19 he had done it twice, won an Interzonal and no less than five U.S. Championships. And as fantastic a player and talent as Carlsen is, the gap between him and his contemporaries is significant but not (yet?) huge; with Fischer, however, only the young Spassky was even in the same galaxy, and it took him three years longer to become a grandmaster than it did for Fischer.

The point of the comparison is not to denigrate Carlsen, who may be on his way to becoming the greatest player of all time, but to remind the reader of Fischer's early achievements, before he demolished the chess world in his run from 1970-1972. Speaking of those early achievements, we'll look at one this week: his victory over William Lombardy from the 1960 U.S. Championship. It was played in round two, but may have decided first place, as Fischer won the event two points ahead of Lombardy.

It's a very interesting game – and possibly well-known to you, if you have a copy of Fischer's My 60 Memorable Games. It has interesting moments in the opening (5.f3 vs. the 2...d6 Sicilian), middlegame (a dynamic ...d5 pawn break/sacrifice, and a long combination with a sneaky punchline), and endgame (no foreshadowing for this one). A very nice game to watch, and you can do so tonight. Here's how:

Log on to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. ET (Wednesday night; that's 3 a.m. Thursday morning, CET), go to the Broadcast room, and select Lombardy-Fischer under the Games tab. The show is free for Premium Members (in most cases, this will be individuals who have a registered copy of Fritz 12); it's 50 ducats for everyone else.

Hope to see you there!

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). You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date, with exact times for most larger cities 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.

Monokroussos in Mexico: World Championship 2007

Dennis Monokroussos is 43, lives in South Bend, IN, where he teaches chess and has worked 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.

Playchess Training with IM Merijn van Delft

Everyone is invited to join this weekly training hour on Wednesday evening. Together we will have a look at the most recent grandmaster games. Recurring themes during our analyses and discussions are the latest opening developments and how to work on your own chess.

A word about myself: I was born (March 13, 1979) and raised in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. In 1995 I won the Dutch U16 Championship and played the European Championship in Poland and the World Championship in Brasil. In 1998 I moved to Amsterdam to study psychology and had a great time there. In 2003 I met my wife Evi Zickelbein and ever since we've been living together in Hamburg, Germany. In 2004 I made both master titles: one at the university and one in chess. Since 2005 I've been working fulltime in the chess world: training, coaching, writing, organizing and still actively playing myself. By now I have about fifteen years of experience as a chess trainer. Together with my dad I wrote a book about chess training (Schaaktalent Ontwikkelen), of which the Dutch version is already available and the English version will follow April 2010.

IM Merijn van Delft's lecture starts at 20:00h Central European Time (Berlin, Paris, Rome), which translates to 19:00h London. You can find the times for different locations in the world at World Time and Date. Exact times for most larger cities are here. The lecture is in the "Broadcast" room of Playchess. It is free for Premium Playchess members (50 Ducats for others).


The lectures are broadcast live on the chess server If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse PGN games. New and enhanced: CB Light 2009!

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