08 August 2014

Commentary: Biel 2014 - round 6

The following game, from round 6 of the Biel GM tournament, finishes off a trifecta of Slow Slav commentary games, following the more classic 4...Bf5 approach of the first one.  Analyzing the game in the context of similar recent GM-level ones was quite helpful to understanding the thematic ideas, especially in looking at the opening to middlegame transition.  This has been a particular weakness of mine and seeing which ideas are common (and why), along with alternatives at certain points, significantly improved my understanding of the variation and both sides' plans.  Specifically, examining the decision by Black to castle early or late, resolving the central tension with ...dxc4 followed by the ...c5 pawn break, and the prophylactic ...a6 yielded useful insights.  All in all, a worthwhile example of a more holistic approach to opening study.

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