FIDE Candidates 2020 + Karpov’s Secret of Improving Pieces

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The FIDE Candidates tournament 2020 is currently being held in Yekaterinburg in Russia. The eight players who are battling it out to win the right to play against the World Champion Magnus Carlsen are: Fabiano Caruana, Ding Liren, Wang Hao, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Kirill Alekseenko, Anish Giri, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

FIDE Candidates 2020

Photo: FIDE

At the end of 6 rounds, it’s Ian Nepomniachtchi who is leading with 4.5 points, defeating Anish Giri, Wang Hao, and Ding Liren. Following him is Maxime Vachier-Lagrave with 3.5 points. With 8 more rounds to go, who do you think will win the Candidates? Share your thoughts about it and the tournament in the comments below. 😊

In the previous lesson, we learnt the importance of positional understanding in chess and how it distinguishes you from the majority of players. If you didn’t know that, you can find that lesson here. In view of that and in honour of the ongoing Candidates tournament, we decided to release a course about positional understanding purely, based on a former world champion, Anatoly Karpov.

The course is titled “Karpov’s Positional Style Revealed” and the author of this course is one of the favourites of most of the RCA students, IM Asaf Givon. The course will be released on Saturday, 28 March.

While we wait for the 28th, we wanted to publish a video lesson from the course itself already. The topic of this video is probably one of the most famous ones when we talk about Karpov, which is fighting against the opponent’s active pieces, or you can call it the battle against the opponent’s activity.

Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky

Anatoly Karpov vs Boris Spassky

In many of Karpov’s games, you might have noticed that his opponent has very well-placed pieces inside his own territory of the board. And Karpov would usually take it extremely seriously and try to do everything he can to push his opponent’s pieces back or maybe exchange them in some manner. Not only does Karpov push his opponent’s pieces away, but in the process he also improves his own pieces. And he does that with his speciality of prophylaxis and brilliant piece maneuvers.

In this video lesson, IM Asaf Givon explains exactly how Karpov does that by showing a couple of Karpov’s games, one of which is played against his great rival, Boris Spassky, in the Candidates Semifinal Match 1974. Asaf calls this idea ‘The Karpovian Way’. Watch and enjoy learning:


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