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Chandler Cornered

The Dvoretsky Seminars in Scotland

Hello Again Wood Shifters,

Isn't strange what people think of other countries.
This was taken from an Atlas of the World.

Russia and in particular Moscow is famous for...
Cars and Tractors, Fur hats, Potatoes and Chess.

And speaking of the Mother Country, Mark Dvoretsky
was in Glasgow to give one his famous lectures to...

Well I was not there - Keith Ruxton was.

So I hand this week's piece over to Keith Ruxton.

The Dvoretsky Seminars in Scotland

by Keith Ruxton

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend 4
lectures given by the famous Russian chess trainer
Mark Dvoretsky. In addition to being a prolific
author GM Dvoretsky has worked with many of the
strongest players in the world and was the full time
trainer for GM Artur Yusupov (once number 3 in the

The lectures were organised by our newest resident
Grandmaster - Jacob Aagaard. From Denmark but
now living in Scotland, GM Aagaard has already
done much to help Scottish Chess and his excellent
organisation of this event has been another great
step forward.

If you have read any of Dvoretsky’s books you will
know that his writing is aimed at more advanced
players (probably 2000+ in grading terms).

Having said that, there were quite a few players below that
strength attending the lectures and although the
material was quite advanced Mr Dvoretsky’s
explanations were accessible to all.

The theme of the lectures was ‘Positional Play’.
Many positions and ideas were covered, but here
are a couple of positions that made a strong
impression on me

Example 1:

Yusupov Rubinetti (Toluca izt 1982)

White to play in this position: find a good positional
plan and show how you’d start to implement it..

Normally with such a pawn structure, White would
look to advance on the queenside as that is where
his pawns control more space (WPd5 versus BPd6)
but the a4-a5 pawn couple restrict the queenside
dramatically so a kingside advance is the answer.

White could play f4 immediately but then after black
exchanges pawns he would have the nice e5 square
for a knight and also the possibility of attacking the
backward e4 pawn. The correct plan is to play g3
followed by f4 so that if Black exchanges on f4 then
white can recapture with a pawn.

Playing g3 immediately loses the pawn on h3 so to
implement this plan, white needs to first protect that
pawn with 13. Kh2! Black replied 13 Bd8 and now
14. g3 is still premature as it would allow 14 Qd7
attacking h3 so instead white prepared it with 14.
Rg1!! (freeing the f1 square for the bishop to protect h3).

In fact, black now played a strange plan of 14 Qb6,
looking to activate his pieces on the a7-g1 diagonal
but the removal of the queen from the kingside
allowed white to change his plan and after 15. Rb1
Qa7 he played 16. g4! And won quickly with a
kingside attack.

One important point made by Mr. Dvoretsky is that
plans tend to be quite short-term in nature (for
example, in the game the g3-f4 plan only lasted a
few moves, when black’s queen became remote,
this justified a change of plan) so don’t worry if you
cant create a grand plan at move 4 and carry it
through to the end of the game, nobody does that!

Example 2:

Yademirov - Najer (Dagomyys 2004)

Black to play what’s the best move? A very typical
type of position that could arise in any game. At first
sight it looks very equal but black is slightly more
active how can he maintain his small advantage
and best cause problems for his opponent.

Note that the question is not how to win with black
as with best play the position is probably a draw but
in a practical game, creating problems for your opponent
often leads to winning opportunities.

The answer is 20..b6! but why?

First let me say that these are very hard problems
which even grandmasters have failed to solve so
don’t worry if you didn’t get it!

You have to ask yourself what black would like to do.
One possible plan for black would be to exchange rooks on c1
and then play Rd8 intending to infiltrate with Rd2.

Suppose he played this immediately 20..Rxc1 21.
Rxc1 Rd8 then his plan would work well if white just
defended with 22Rc2 as then 22 Rd1+ 23. Kf2
Nd3+ 24. Kg3 (24. Ke3? Ne1) activates black’s
pieces and forces the white king to an awkward position.

The problem is that white doesn’t have to
defend but can counterattack with 22. Rc7 Rd2 23.
Kf2 when the capture on a2 is answered with the
similar capture on b7 and the position is equal.

If the pawn was on b6 though, black’s capture on a2
would win a pawn.there’s your answer!
The game went 20 b6! 21. Rfd1?! Rxc1 22. Rxc1
Rd8 and black went on to win after a few more white

There’s no question that we are dealing with very
subtle and difficult topics here and the seminars
reminded me about how much I still need to learn
about chess but hopefully they will help me to think
more deeply about the positional side of the game.

In any case, they were entertaining and fun and
you cant say that about many lectures!

Keith.Ruxton, August 2005.

Cheers Keith.

Probably one the most instructive
pieces ever to appear on this site.

So we won't be hearing from you again!

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