Wednesday night training on Playchess

by ChessBase
11/18/2009 – He has never been the world chess champion or the #1 ranked player (though he has come close on both counts). But Vassily Ivanchuk is one of the world’s greatest and most original players for the past 20 years. The Ukrainian GM is the subject of the Playchess lecture at 9 p.m. ET by FM Dennis Monokroussos. Before that IM Merijn van Delft discusses current games. Schedule.

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Playchess training with FM Dennis Monokroussos

“I guess it is safe to say he is the most creative player of the modern age.” – Levon Aronian

Fantastically creative and able to play any and every opening with either color, the great Ukrainian GM Vassily Ivanchuk has been a fan favorite for many years now, and his occasional blunders and lapses under pressure have only made him a more sympathetic figure.

It won’t be his errors that we examine today, however, but his play when everything clicks into place. That was the case earlier this year, during the 5th FIDE Grand Prix which took place in Jermuk, Armenia. After some poor results earlier in the year had momentarily pushed him below 2700 for the first time in many years, he came back with a vengeance, winning Jermuk with a +4 score against an impressive field.

For our show this week, we’ll look at Ivanchuk’s round four victory over Evgeny Alekseev. The opening was an English/Reversed Modern Benoni, and while reversed openings often fail to give White more than a stable equality, Ivanchuk was able to create some real chances for an edge. At least as importantly, the game was very dynamic, and in a position where nothing too dramatic seemed to be going on, Ivanchuk found a shot that led to a winning attack seemingly out of thin air.

It’s a remarkable game, but we won’t just watch to admire. There’s much to learn about the Modern Benoni – both in its normal and reversed forms – and our knowledge of tactical patterns is bound to increase as well. It’s a game I’m sure you’ll enjoy, and to join in the fun you need only log on to the Playchess server at 9 p.m. ET/3 a.m. CET, go to the Broadcast room and double-click on Ivanchuk-Alekseev under the Games tab. Hope to see you there!

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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