The Video Encyclopedia of Chess Openings Mega Bundle
Whether you want to learn a new chess opening or refine your existing opening repertoire, the Video Encyclopedia of Chess Openings is for you. The world’s top chess players and trainers show you the main ideas and the latest theory on openings like the English Opening, the Nimzo-Indian Defense, the King’s Indian Defense, the Open Catalan, and the Reti.
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The Triangle Slav for Black
For an opening with a reputation for being super-solid, the Slav somehow manages to be one of the most dangerous “defenses” around.
Vishy Anand used it to stun Aronian in one of the most brilliant games ever played, and legendary attacker Alexei Shirov is a career-long devotee.
And with 18-year-old phenom Alireza Firouzja winning games with the Triangle System recently (pawn triangle on c6-d5-e6) it’s a great time to add it to your repertoire.
IM Robert Ris presents his 3-hour VECO (Video Encyclopedia of Chess Openings) course on the Triangle Slav, covering the Noteboom and Stonewall variations plus the fascinating Marshall Gambit.
Ready to follow in Shirov and Firouzja’s footsteps?
There are tons of ways for Black to win the game early and it’s much easier for Black to play than White!
- Mayhem in the Marshall! With the Marshall (4.e4) White gives up the valuable e-pawn to get the b4 bishop and dominate the dark squares. Incredibly, Black can emerge ahead in both material (2 pawns!) and development with seemingly anti-positional moves like Bd7 and putting BOTH knights on the edge of the board! (Diagram).
- Playing for Keeps. In most variations we’re going to take on c4… and hang on to the extra pawn! Our c4 pawn becomes a real thorn in White’s side, restricting their development and activity. Of course, there are tactical tricks you need to be aware of – and Robert covers those in chapter 1.
The Najdorf for White
In an opening as sharp as the Sicilian Najdorf, tactical bloodbaths are commonplace and the player who knows where the weak points are, and how to exploit them, wins.
The asymmetrical pawn structure gives rise to a multitude of tactical shots and ideas with Black’s play generally focusing on the queenside while White tends to play on the kingside.
By understanding how these attacks come about, which sacrifices work and how to deal with your opponent’s threats, you’ll be the one coming out on top.
In this course, International Master Robert Ris will give you advice on how to face the Najdorf with White and succeed!
Fear no more! IM Ris will give you the tools to come out on top no matter the variation. IM Ris covers all the options Black can throw at you.
- Rapid Attacks. Timing is everything. Burst out of the blocks with Robert’s rapid development tips.
- The b2 Bait. Our early Bg5 move leaves b2 undefended and Black usually captures the pawn after …Qb6. This is the infamous “poisoned pawn” variation and it can be good for either side. IM Ris shows you how to lock Black’s queen out of the action while opening up devastating lines of attack against the abandoned king!
- Stunning Tactics. Watching these videos will build your intuitive feel for your attacking options, and when and where to chase your opponent’s pieces. This makes it easy to set up jaw-dropping tactics.
We’ve put together a 100+ game PGN of recent (2017-) games in the Sicilian Najdorf – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
The English Opening
GM Damian Lemos shows you the ideas behind the opening and teaches you how to treat the English Opening as a Reversed Sicilian (with an extra tempo!)
Then Mihail Marin (family friend of the Polgars and the guy Jeremy Silman described as “one of the world’s finest chess writers”) takes over, giving you the in-depth theory that is going to help you dominate your rivals this year.
Black can go for very different structures, depending on their 5th move choice. You need to know how to meet 5…Nf6, 5…e6, 5…d6 and 5…e5.
GM Marin identifies the weak points in each of these setups, pinpointing the move-orders that give Black the biggest problems.
After playing 1.c4, it’s completely possible that our rival answers with 1…e5, where we’ll have the choice of playing a reversed Sicilian with an extra tempo.
We’ll use as a model the game Ding Liren – Michael Adams, both elite players, who clashed at the Tata Steel Masters in 2016. In this game we learn a lot from the bishops located on e3 and g2, and GM Lemos shows you when you should and when you shouldn’t be trading these pieces.
Don’t miss the chance to get into the Sicilian labyrinth with an extra tempo!
English Opening Symmetrical – GM Mihail Marin
There is also the chance that Black will play 1…c5 and we will go to an English Opening Symmetrical: 1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 then after 5.Nc3 Black has many options that will be covered in the following chapters.
- English Opening Symmetrical, 5…Nf6 – GM Mihail Marin
- English Opening, Symmetrical Closed with 5…e6 – GM Mihail Marin
- English Opening, Symmetrical with 5…e5 – GM Mihail Marin
- English Opening, Symmetrical with 5…d6 – GM Mihail Marin
You will learn GM secrets to play the Nimzo-Indian like a true professional along 8 great lessons from expert Grandmasters.
GM Eugene Perelshteyn, a renowned Nimzo expert who has often played the opening with Black throughout his career, has produced a series of videos on the different variations in the Nimzo Indian Defense.
The Nimzo Indian Defense: A Surprising Idea For Black Against The Capablanca Variation (4.Qc2)
With this move, White not only protects the knight on c3 in order to avoid doubled pawns after …Bxc3, but also keeps an eye on the e4-square to seize even more space in the center.
GM Eugene Perelshteyn, a renowned expert on the Nimzo Indian Defense, takes a look at a surprisingly easy-to-learn variation to neutralize White’s pressure. He recommends the relatively rare move 4…Nc6 (4…d5, 4…0-0 and 4…c5 are the main moves).
iChess’ own Damian Lemos treats you to a stunning choice while playing the Nimzo-Indian, the surprising gambit line 4.Qc2 0-0 5.a3 bxc3 6.Qxc3 b5! Better known as the Adorjan Gambit, this is a sharp and dangerous weapon that you will love to unleash against your rivals!
The King’s Indian Defense
You will learn all the subtleties of the KID, playing against the Four Pawns, the Averbakh, and the Sämisch Variations!
- GM Lemos’ recommendations for black:
Challenge White’s center with …c5! This gambit smashes open the position in our favor – suddenly our Bg7 is breathing FIRE down the long diagonal, our queen is pressuring c3, all our pieces jump into position, and we’re ready to attack the uncastled king.
- Play on both sides of the board. White attacks on the queenside, Black on the kingside, right? Get better results by taking on White directly on the queenside while staying ready to pounce on the kingside.
- Trusted setup. Keep things simple by sticking to similar setups against every variation. By learning this system inside-out, you will develop your intuitive feel for any position you end up in. Of course, you need to learn the exceptions too – and they are covered in the lessons.
BIG surprise factor. (What would you play here? Bd3? Be2? c4? The killer move, incredibly, is b4!!)
A lethal queenside attack that 90% of your opponents will have no idea how to stop!
Bear in mind that most players will try their trusted King’s Indian setups (…d6 instead of …d5, for example). This plays right into our hands.
All the lessons will prove invaluable no matter which side of the King’s Indian you’re on.
Every move, every line, has been checked by the engine and tested in practice.
The Open Catalan
- Learn what to play when White opts to play 7.dxc5. At first, this looks pretty harmless for Black, however, this is a trendy move at the moment and it is something Black should take the time to study in order not to get caught out over the board.
- After the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2. (See the diagram)IM Ris also takes a look at how play continues when Black plays 5…Bd7. With this move, Black is trying to ease the pressure along the long diagonal by playing …Bc6 soon.
- In another chapter, IM Ris takes a look at how play continues when White plays 7.Ne5, or the currently trendy move of 7.Na3.
- King safety and killer counters. Don’t just castle out of habit… keeping the king in the center can be both the safest and most aggressive option!
- Human ideas, engine checked. IM Ris shows how elite GMs play the positions in each variation, so you understand the resulting middlegames. And every line, every suggestion, is checked by an engine so there are no nasty surprises.
- Masterful maneuvering. Focus on the important things in the position (like control of the a8-h1 diagonal) and you will usually get an advantage – even if you have to play irregular moves like Nfd2 and Na3! Familiarize yourself with ideas like this and your positional play will improve massively.
These and many other lines are extensively covered in this excellent series by an international renown trainer.
PLUS over 500 GM games in the Catalan…
We’ve put together a 500+ game PGN of recent (2019-) games in the Catalan – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
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- Come and learn the GMs special recommendations on the Reti, GM Smith will show you the dangers white may face if he tries to exploit the early development of the light-squared Bishop via Qb3, Black can play Nc6! sacrificing a pawn but getting a nice play after Qxb7 Bd7! and white must play carefully here. If you want to avoid this line, GM Smith has a sound option that will ensure you a safe but energic play where Black has to be alert not to get caught!
- It’s always useful to know what happens when Black takes on the c4 pawn! Maybe you won’t be facing this very often as this capture seems counter-intuitive but you’d better be ready to face this over the board! Well, GM Smith will show you exactly how to play here.
- After developing your central control on hypermodern style, learn to perform breakthrough at the precise moment when white plays e4! sometimes even at the cost of a pawn that will pay huge dividends.
- Also, you have to keep in mind that transpositions are a constant in the Reti, so the c4 move can be delayed, or even never performed! GM Lemos will show us how to proceed with this approach against several Black’s choices.
- If this wasn’t enough, you will have a couple of videos on how to play against the Reti as Black, starting with a fianchetto of the queenside bishop and looking to play …e5 when possible.
These and many other lines are extensively covered in this excellent series by internationally renown trainers.
PLUS over 1000 GM games in the Reti…
We’ve put together a 1000+ game PGN of recent (2019-) games in The Reti – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
The Ruy Lopez Arkhangelsk Variation
IM Ris will give you the tools to dominate a sharp variation to fight against the Ruy López.
The Arkhangelsk Defence was popularized by Soviet players from the city of Arkhangelsk such as GM Vladimir Malaniuk. This line often leads to sharp positions in which Black wagers that the fianchettoed bishop’s influence on the centre and kingside will offset Black’s delay in castling.
In the first part of this course, IM Robert Ris looks at the Arkhangelsk Variation which begins with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7, and looks at how to play as Black after 7.c3, 7.Re1, and 7.d3. This variation often leads to sharp positions as both sides battle for the center.
The second part of the course is devoted to the so-called Neo-Arkhangelsk variation of the Ruy Lopez begins with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb4 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 (diagram).
This is different from the Arkhangelsk Variation where Black plays 6..Bb7. In the Neo-Arkhangelsk (or Modern Arkhangelsk), Black won’t look to fianchetto the light-squared bishop, but instead wants to play ..Bg4 at some point in order to increase pressure on White’s center.
The main move from White is 7.a4, which is explained in the first video by IM Robert Ris. Other options for White on move 7 like 7.d3, and 7.c3, will also be explored.
PLUS over 200 GM games in the Arkhangelsk…
We’ve put together a 200+ game PGN of recent (2019-) games in the Arkhangelsk and Neo-Arkhangelsk – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
The French Tarrasch
The French Tarrasch variation begins with the moves 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2. (diagram)
This is a flexible setup for White, named after Siegbert Tarrasch.
This variation with 3.Nd2 became popular in the 1970s and 1980s when Anatoly Karpov often played it to great effect, such as in the famous 1974 Candidates final match against Viktor Korchnoi.
So Black has tried several responses over the years, get to know them with these super coaches!
The French Tarrasch 3…Nf6
3… Nf6 aims to keep the center closed, IM Ris will cover the line after 4.e5 Nfd7 and we get into a pawn chain central formation where we will learn a typical Knight maneuver as the f3 square is ofter kept free for the Queen’s Knight! And also the general ideas of play with and against a pawn chain will be shown by IM Ris.
Other possibilities for Black are moves like 3…c5, and 3…Be7, both covered in the following chapters.
The French Tarrasch 3…a6
So Black can try playing directly with 3…c5 but also 3…a6 preventing 4.Bb5+ is a possibility, here GM Marin will show us an important tabiya for this variation that will help us to understand way better the several lines and possibilities for white.
Also, GM Mihail Marin takes a look at how play can develop when Black plays 3…c5, and 3…Nc6.
PLUS over 300 GM games in the French Tarrasch…
We’ve put together a 300+ game PGN of recent (2019-) games in the French Tarrasch – the perfect resource for finding new ideas once you’ve mastered everything in this course.
The Caro-Kann Defense
Thinking about taking up the Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6)? Or maybe you’re having trouble breaking down this rock-solid opening? Either way, this new VECO (Video Encyclopedia of Chess Openings) course will give you a ton of new ideas and insights into some of the most popular lines.
Your crack Caro-Kann team includes GM Damian Lemos, IMs Ekaterina Atalik and Robert Ris… showing you how to play both sides of:
- The Advance variation (3.e5)
- The Exchange Caro (3.exd5)
- The Two Knights (2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3)
- The 5.Nxf6+ line
The Caro-Kann is a chess opening where Black often plays …c6 then …c5; where White can have pawns on f4, g4 and h4 by move 8; where Deep Blue sensationally crushed Kasparov in just 19 moves…
You get the idea.
Whichever side of the Caro-Kann you play (or intend to play), our VECO course (+3 hours) will make sure you’re armed with a pro repertoire in these critical lines.
Beat the Slav Defense with Alex Lenderman!
Alex has created a repertoire based around the Exchange variation (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.cxd5 cxd5) – a repertoire that gives White a powerful initiative based on rapid development and hitting that d5 pawn.
Play 1.d4 and you have a new way of dictating the game. Play the Slav as Black and, well, you need to know how to avoid the many pitfalls.
Why the Exchange Slav Defense?
In the Queen’s Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6), exchanging pawns makes life easier for Black. They free their c8 bishop and can attack along the semi-open e-file.
In the Exchange Slav, it’s the c-file that is opened – and White can take advantage of this before Black can.
Plus developing those bishops becomes awkward: Black has to move the c8 bishop first, then play …e6 and only then release the dark-squared bishop – and White can take advantage of this with moves like Nc3 then Qb3 hitting d5 and b7.
Learn the Lenderman way…
Strategy first. This is all about pressure and control. Alex shows you how to build a rock-solid center that gives you the freedom to create threats your opponent can’t defend.
Memorable games. Learning the ideas behind the system is much easier when you see them played out in memorable games. GM Lenderman shows how to generate powerful attacks like this one (diagram) that took down a certain Iranian prodigy!
Eternal advantage. Alex’s aim with this course is to show you how to get an edge… and keep it. Even if your opponent manages to hold off your attack, that edge stays right into the endgame – and GM Lenderman arms you with the winning endgame strategies too!
Avoid all the complex Slav lines and dominate from move 3!
Chess Openings for White: The Reti Opening with 2.e3
But how can we guarantee the positions we want?
It’s easy to get dragged into heavily theoretical openings like the Queen’s Gambit Declined, Nimzo-Indian, or Open/Closed Catalan systems.
The whole point of learning an opening is to get positions on the board that we like and understand better than our opponents do.
Which is why GM Alex Lenderman has created a new VECO course detailing a “silent assassin” move-order that accomplishes exactly that.
It starts with 1.Nf3 d5 2.e3… moves that subtly influence Black’s decisions (1…e5 is out, as is 2…d4) and form the foundation for our subsequent play.
Learn the ideas behind this under-the-radar variation of the Reti Opening and you will get solid, active positions while avoiding the million other lines Black wants to trick you into.
About the authors:
GM Mihail Marin
Mihail Marin is a Romanian chess Grandmaster and a very popular chess coach and author. Marin’s first major success in international chess was qualifying for the Interzonal in 1987.
He has won the Romanian Championships on three occasions and has played in the Chess Olympiads ten times, winning a bronze individual medal in 1988. For several years he was editor of the magazine Chess Extra press.
GM Mihail Marin is one of the most respected coaches in the world today having trained the young Judit Polgar and being praised for his ability to explain deep chess truths in a way improving players can understand.
GM Damian Lemos
Damian Lemos is a grandmaster from Argentina with a peak rating of 2559 Elo.
In his lessons, Damian works closely with students to first identify the flaws and weaknesses in their games so that they can be properly evaluated and corrected.
By developing specifically-tailored training regimens for every one of his students, Grandmaster Lemos is able to achieve results that other chess coaches dream of.
GM Eugene Perelshteyn
Eugene Perelshteyn is an international grandmaster and chess author. He earned the International Master title in 2001 and obtained his Grandmaster title in 2006. He won the U.S. Junior Closed Championship in 2000.
Perelshteyn is currently one of the top players in the United States, his rating hitting a peak of 2555 Elo.
He started playing chess when he was seven years old, taught by his father Mikhail Perelshteyn, a professional chess coach. At the age of 10, he played in his first tournaments.
In 2001, Perelshteyn was awarded the Samford Chess Fellowship by the US Chess Trust. After taking two years off from school in order to play chess professionally, Perelshteyn returned to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and graduated in 2004.
GM Bryan Smith
American Grandmaster and chess coach. GM Smith has won many international tournaments including Limpedea Cup (Romania), Citta di Erba (Italy), Easter International (Serbia), Philadelphia International, National Chess Congress, US Masters, etc.
Grandmaster Bryan Smith grew up in Anchorage, Alaska, and currently lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Some of his accomplishments include first place in the 2008 National Chess Congress, 2009 National Chess Congress, 2010 Philadelphia International, and 2011 Limpedea Cup.
IM Robert Ris
Ris learned how to play chess from his father when he was eight years old, and started playing in SV Amstelveen. In 2002 he started playing for SC Utrecht, and, later, in other clubs.
In the same year, he also won the Open Dutch Youth Chess Championship, which he had also won the D category (up to 12 years) in 1999. Ris has been an international chess coach since 2007. He was also part of the selection of Young Orange.
IM Ekaterina Atalik
Russian-Turkish International Master. IM Atalik also holds the title of Woman Grandmaster (WGM). She won the European Youth Chess Championship in the under-16 girls’ section in the year of 1997. She also won the 7th European Women’s Chess Championship in Kuşadası, Turkey in April 2006.
Atalik also won the Turkish women’s championship in 2008 and 2016. In January 2016, she took clear first place in the 15th Prague Open with an outstanding score of 8/9, a full point ahead of the nearest followers.
GM Aleksandr Lenderman
Is an American chess grandmaster, who was originally born in Leningrad. He is currently ranked #12 in the United States with an Elo of 2615.
He won the 2005 World Under-16 Championship in Belfort with a score of 9/10 (+8 −0 =2), becoming the first American to win a gold medal at the World Youth Chess Championship since Tal Shaked won the World Junior Championship in 1997.
Lenderman played for team USA in the 2015 World Team Chess Championship in Tsaghkadzor and scored 5/7, winning the gold medal on the second board.
He won the 2015 World Open after beating Rauf Mamedov in an Armageddon playoff; the two had the best tiebreak among eight players who tied for first place with 7/9.
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