I recently read the book The Road to Chess Improvement by Alex Yermolinsky. This was the kind of book that I wish I had read way earlier in my chess career and highly suggest that you read as well if you have not already done so!
It was written in 1999 when Yermolinsky was still playing chess in open tournaments and contains advice to weaker players on how to fight against stronger opponents.
One of his observations in the book is that weaker players tend to avoid opening battles against stronger players and play some dubious lines in order to avoid their opponent’s preparation. However, he goes on to assert that many strong players actually have difficulty beating a weaker player when that player goes to the most principled lines in the opening; therefore, he claims that the weaker player should always play principal lines.
In this week’s Game of the Week, we see a weaker player successfully apply Yermolinsky’s theory to beat a much stronger opponent because he did not run away from the most principled opening battle and instead went all-in to the fight. While Basso’s best performance was not on display here, even grandmasters on an “off” day do not lose for no reason.Have you read The Road to Chess Improvement? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
Now let’s get into the Game of the Week: Brilej, Jaka – Basso, Pier Luigi
Critical Position (Black to Move):
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Edited by Della Almind