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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows - New Opening Ideas at the Carlsen Invitational -2

Opening: A07: Reti: King's Indian attack (Barcza system) - 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3

Player(s): Ding, Firouzja, Caruana

The Brave New World of online chess had its official inauguration on April 18, 2020, when The Carlsen Invitational took off. The seven players were handpicked by the World Champion to join him in competing under a new format of mini-matches at a 15+10 time control. After sixteen days of competition, the winner was, you guessed right, Magnus himself on the strength of defeating Hikaru Nakamura in the final match. Now we know that this tournament was the first stage of a new Carlsen Chess tour 2020, and the following events have already been announced. Online tournaments are the only game in town, at least for the time being, so, with a certain degree of cringing, your resident Russian Schoolboy will do his best-making videos, based on the games from those events. I have made a choice of focusing mainly on the opening ideas because it would be unfair to scrutinize the players' performance in later stages of the game, as they get into the inevitable time trouble and begin to blunder.

The second video shows two games of Ding Liren, where his opponents tried unusual responses to Ding's new move order of 1.Nf3 and 2.g3. The young Firouzja moved his knight to b6, trying to slow down White's c2-c4. This strategy failed, as Ding resolutely moved that pawn forward, even if it meant a gambit. The young Iranian's desperate attempts to muddy the waters ultimately cost him his queen, but this being a rapid game, the counterplay Alireza found was sufficient to confuse Ding. Caruana's choice was the Chigorin's idea of Nb8-c6, along with a free development of the light-squared bishop. When these two pieces converged to attack c2, Ding simply moved it forward, leaving his rook trapped and lost on a1. White's compensation for the exchange was never in doubt, but perhaps, White could have let the black knight escape, and tried for more, while down a whole rook. As is, the game leveled down once Black was able to complete his development. Still, an interesting game.

Teacher's library (718) A07 Ding Firouzja Caruana opening

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