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

Opening: A11: English: Caro-Kann Defensive System

Player(s): Nepomniachtchi, Vachier-Lagrave

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 first video shows the wild English/Reti vs. the Slav line, where White attempts to regain the pawn on c4. The game Nepo-MVL went all the way into a sacrificial line, which had occurred in some games before, but was never tested at the highest level.. Ian gave a full piece to keep the enemy king in the center, but he didn't seem to have many attacking chances. The more surprising was White's switch to a pawn minority attack of some kind, as he was down a knight. Actually, the position proved to be quite difficult to handle for both sides; both Ian and Maxime missed stronger moves. Further practical testing is required to draw any conclusions.

Teacher's library (534) A11 Nepomniachtchi Vachier-Lagrave opening

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