Hi Chess Opening Dragons!
Taking on Magnus
After an exciting first day of random pairings, our very own GM Eugene Perelshteyn got paired with White against Magnus Carlsen! Eugene got out to a strong start, outplaying the World Champ from the opening, only to make a mistake in the later stages of the game. If you missed the commentary, here is a brief look:
Eugene sent me a note after the game with some key lessons from the game. Here are some lessons for you all!
1) Play with no fear! Eugene made it clear he wasn’t afraid of Magnus by sacrificing two pawns out of the opening for the initiative. Don’t look at your opponent’s rating, look at your opponent’s position!
2) Trust your intuition: “I felt it was the right thing to do, given that his kingside was so weak and his pieces lacked coordination.” said Eugene on the pawn sacrifices. The engine eventually confirmed this as well. As a rule of thumb, know your opponent is human, and that the only way to prove it is to believe in your play!
3) Put him under pressure: Time pressure is a critical factor. Putting your opponents in positions where they need to constantly make critical decisions is a way of putting psychological pressure on them while chipping away at their clock! Don’t underestimate these factors in a game!
4) Avoid time pressure: This is one area that Eugene believes he failed at. He had 10 minutes for 12 moves and didn’t have a concrete plan, and this pushed him to go for an equal endgame. His gut feeling told him not to do it, but when you’re in time trouble, it becomes difficult to take risks!
5) Don’t lose the psychological battle! If you wouldn’t play that move against a lower rated player, then why do it against a stronger one? This was Eugene’s biggest takeaway. Trading the knight on f6 not only equalized the position but was a huge momentum shift in favor of Magnus!
Since returning home, Eugene has put together a comprehensive video on his clash with the World Champion, which you can find here on ChessOpeningsExplained! In this video, he focuses on how to play against the trendy Tiger’s Modern with dynamic pawn sacrifices. Don’t miss his most highly anticipated video!
Of course, Eugene had some great wins at the Isle of Man as well! In his first round, Eugene’s lower-rated opponent played a wild g2-g4 push against the King’s Indian. Which Eugene punished nicely:
If you want to see the game, click here!
In round 6, Eugene got another nice win with Black, this time surprising his IM opponent with 3… Bg7! in the Hyper-Accelerated:
White didn’t know how to handle the line, and got outplayed, ultimately losing in a pawn endgame, thanks to her tripled (!!) pawns!
Local Chess in Pittsburgh
On Chess^Summit last week, I started following the Sorenson Memorial in Pittsburgh – a local event run by the Pittsburgh Chess Club. With this six-round tournament, I’m hoping to show how strong chess is in the Steel City, and what makes it unique from other areas with more pronounced chess history.
If you want to see if you have what it takes to play in Pittsburgh, check out my opening round report!
If you’d like to submit a recent game of yours, click here for more details!
That’s an end to this week’s newsletter! Want something you want us to talk about in our next newsletter? Tweet us @ExplainChess and we just might cover it!
Have a fun, relaxing, and chess-filled week!
Candidate Master and Content/Social Media Manager at ChessOpeningsExplained