Latest book reviews of 1 December 2006

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

                                     Chess Books

Caro-Kann defence by Anatoly Karpov

Batsford Ltd London

284 pages
Price $22,95
ISBN 97807134490107

The cover of this book only shows Karpov as author but this work credits also the chess theoretician Mikhail Podgaets,who is a well known International chess master. It is always difficult for a reviewer to say something about the input of the authors in this book but one thing is certain
this work belongs to the so called extensive written move to move openings books.
All based on the Caro-Kann advanced with the moves 3.e5 and all divided in five heavy loaded  readable chapters.
For many years the advanced Caro-Kann was an infrequent quest in important tournaments but over the years many famous chess players have considered 3.e5 as there most important move and there for  I would like to mention one of the  greatest  fan of the advanced and that was the legendary Latvian chess genius Mikhail Tal.
This book covers many fashionable variations as the aggressive  1.e4 c6.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 but also other interesting lines as the gambit system with 3.f3 which  gets a important turn from over  24 pages!
Interesting to mention in this book is the old continuation of  grandmaster Richard Reti with his super aggressive bayonet move 3.e5 Bf5 4.g4!?
It seems that the old recommendation of Alekhine with 4…Be4 5.f3 Bg6 6.h4 h5 7.e6 Qd6 8.exf7+ Bxf7 9.g5 Qg3+ 10.Ke2 Nd7 11.Be3 Qc7 12.f4 Be6 13.Bh3 Bxh3 14.Rxh3 e6 15.Nf3 Ne7 16.Nbd2 Nf5,Hahn – Alekhine,Krakow 1941 still stands.
As the authors write so nice: The question only can be whether it is black or white who will succeed in defending a draw.
For the interested reader this game did end in a draw: 17.Nf1 0-0-0 18.Qd3 c5 19.c3 Qb6 20.b3 Be7 21.Bf2 Qc7 22.Ne5 Nxe5 23.fxe5 cxd4 24.cxd4 Kb8 25.Ne3 Nxe3 26.Bxe3 Rc8 27.Bd2 Ba3 28.Rf3 Qb6 29.Rb1 Bb4 30.Rc1 Bxd2 31.Rxc8+ Rxc8 32.Qxd2 Qb5+ 33.Ke1 Qc6 34.g6 a5 35.Rf7 a4 36.Rxg7 axb3 37.axb3 Qb5 38.Rf7 Qxb3 39.g7 Qg3+ 40.Kf1 Qh3+ 41.Kg1 Qg4+ ½-½
Included at the end of the book just after the index are  15 illustrated games but I am missing a bibliography to keep abreast of latest developments.
The excellent translation is done by Jimmy Adams.

Conclusion: A very important reference book on the Caro-Kann advance!

Kasparov’s fighting chess 1993 – 1998 by Tibor Karolyi & Nick Aplin

B T Batsford
314 pages
Price $22,95
ISBN 07134 8994 4

This book follows Kasparov from the PCA world championship in London 1993 till the EuroTel Trophy in Prague 1998, which belongs to
Kasparov 's most inventive chess years.
We all are aware of Fischer’s amazing run of victories but Kasparov’s best undefeated sequence of 63 games from round 10 at Wijk aan Zee 1999 to the second game of the Kramnik match has been so far nearly not documented.
The annotations to these 60 annotated games are very heavy loaded and come very close to the ones from Stohl on Kasparov,for example the game Short – Kasparov,Londen  Worldchampionship 16 th game1993, is good for nearly eight pages of text!
There is by the way a lot attention from both authors to this interesting played  world champion  match,which cover around 52 pages of this book.
It is interesting to see how Kasparov suffered in this match with Short  as we look for example at the 16th game with the Sicilian Sozin, where Kasparov was out played in no time.
Shorts opening choice with 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 b5 8.f4 was brilliant and this openings position gets a lot of attention from both authors,all together around  4.5 pages of text and that is more than some openings books give us on this line!
The endgame lovers shall certainly love the endgame position between Judit Polgar and Garry Kasparov  from Dos Hermanas 1996 where we can follow the struggle between two rooks and  knight!
This is all is very instructively covered by Tibor Karolyi & Nick Aplin!
In this book you shall find no personal background information about the life of Garry Kasparov or his political activities but it covers an excellent chronological review of his tournament career.
Conclusion: Buy it for the excellent annotations!

Petrosian vs the elite by Ray Keen and Julian Simple
71 victories by the master of manoeuvre 1946-1983
Batsford Ltd London

299 pages
Price $21,95
ISBN 10: 07134 9049 7

Playing throw the games of Petrosian is always  very special seen  his deeply prophylactic play has  impressed many chess players from over the world, and when we play throw the games of this lovely made book than I only can say this man understood how to play chess!
For example please look at the {unknown game} Terpugov,E - Petrosian,T Moscow Zenit-Spartak Moscow, 1957 that is covered by Keen in the introduction: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d6 3.Nc3 Bg4 4.e4 c6 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 Nbd7 7.Be3 e6 8.g4 d5 9.e5 Ng8 10.0-0-0 b5 11.Bd3 Nb6 12.Kb1 Nc4 13.Bc1 Qb6 14.g5 Ne7 15.h4 c5 16.dxc5 Qxc5 17.Rhe1 g6 18.b3 Bg7 19.bxc4 bxc4 20.Bf1 0-0 21.Ka1 Rfb8 22.Nb1 Nc6 23.Qg3 Rxb1+ 24.Kxb1 Rb8+ 25.Ka1 c3 26.Bd2 Nb4 27.Bd3 Qc4 0-1,and you get the feeling that black came from a other space.
You get the feeling that Petrosian understood more about chess than any other player of his time. Petrosian had a unique playing style that was for the most players who did meet him at the board difficult to handle,some even spook of witchcraft,but this great man had a natural talent for seeking new paths.
Maybe it is interesting to mention that Petrosian played 129 Olympiad games  of which he won 78 drew 50 games and lost just one!
This book covers 71 great games all well analysed with the help from the chess master Julian Simpole.
The annotations to the games are not so extensive as the above mentioned book from Tibor Karolyi and Nick Aplin but on the other hand this book is a great read!
Conclusion:A very good read on Petrosian!

De wereld van de Schaakopening by Paul van der Sterren

Deel 3 1.e2-e4
Tirion Sport
294 pages
Price € 24.95
ISBN 978-90-4390-918-1

De former Dutch champion GM Paul van der Sterren provides the reader in his openings learning book”Introductie tot de openingstheorie” with all the information that the player needs to know how to play and understand the importance of  the first  move 1.e4.
Paul van der Sterren does not scope to much on references to the games but explains in instructive words the first 15 moves of all major openings that are covered in this heavy loaded book.
First of all this openings book is timeless and overloaded with a wealth of instructive notes which are all of great use for every interested chess student.
For example Paul van der Sterren starts with the good old  Spanish game and covers for the Marshall gambit till around move 15 and that is for chess club level more than deep enough and that is the same with the famous French Winawer where white goes for the sharp queen move to g4
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 where the chess theory begins but a excellent starting point for all who are interested in sharp play where it is after seventy years still difficult to say who has the better position.
The whole coverage from van der Sterren is very complete where even the rare Latvian Gambit gets a small but very instructive turn.
Conclusion: Very instructive written openings book!
{Some Dutch knowledge is necessarily}


Mastering the chess openings volume 1 by John Watson

Unlocking the mysteries of the modern chess openings
Gambit Publications Ltd
335 pages
Price $29,95
ISBN 978-1-904600-60-2

The master of teaching  IM John Watson explains, in this first of a  two-volume book a interesting collection, openings surveys where the aim lays by understanding  above memorizing  latest developments of the Informator.
It all starts with a broad overview from important fundamentals, positional features and strategies which are all together  good for around 86 pages of this book!
All packed  in three important chapters: The nature of chess openings: Fundamentals, Opening ideas and positional features and the Significance of structure.
But the real work begins of course with the large openings sections one and two covering the Open games and  Semi- open games.
In open games John Watson starts with the famous Giuoco Piano where he digs in the Italian game with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Nce7 11.0-0 c6 12.Rfe1 0-0 13.a4 Qb6 and comes out in the famous classic game, O’Kelly- Euwe,Amsterdam 1950.
All together there is around one full page of analyses with this Queen move where I even found  between the lines, the astounding game Rossolimo _ Reissman,Puerto Rico 1967; 13…b6 14.Ne5 Bb7 15.a5 Rc8 16.Ne4 Qc7 17.a6 Ba8 18.Qh3 Nf4 19.Qg4 Ned5 20.Ra3 Ne6 21.Bxd5 cxd5 22.Nf6+ Kh8 23.Qg6!!
Naturally the brilliance of this move strikes one first{reminiscent of the famous Levitsky – Marshall …Qg3!!game}but an eye for detail will pick up Black’s bishop stuck behind the d5-pawn.{Watson}
Funny enough this game was complexly new for me and I even could not find it in the latest Mega database and in the books as  for example: The Italian game from  Harding & Botteril.
But there are also hot lines as the Velimirovic attack which will give you some of the best possible lessons in Sicilian tactics and combinations!
Conclusion: A book that is overloaded  with a unbelievable  amount of instructive text.
 Mastering the chess openings volume 2,focusing on Queen's Openings,is scheduled for publication in February 2007.

Chess CD's                     


Price €49,99

System requirements: Minimum : Pentium 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows XP SP2, DVD ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9.
Recommended: Pentium III 1.4 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, Windows Vista, GeForce5 or compatible graphics card with 64 MB RAM or higher, 100% DirectX compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 9, DVD ROM drive. Fritz is Windows Vista ready!

The latest Fritz is overloaded with latest features as a very  improved chess engine which was specially developed for the famous six game match between  Kramnik and Fritz. Fritz is the most common choice under chess players because he plays very logical moves, many claim that Rybka is hundreds of points stronger but be honest does it play the moves you like? Unfortunately for the datbase users  this special verzion of  Fritz10 does not run in ChessBase, it makes uses of new GUI technology and dear reader Fritz10  does not support Windows 98!
But first of all what is new besides the improved chess engine? I would like to start with the new made live display where we can follow the thinking process of Fritz and I hope we see this in ChessBase one day too;Fritz10 makes also use from a more efficient position analysis and this is highly recommended for correspondence chess players!{It makes an excellent use of the alpha/beta principle} ;The openings book is extended and has gone to nearly 230 MB;The database is updated again now over a million; There is a pleasant made  dynamic graphic tips for attack and defence; Again a  improved graphics and move entry on the 2D board and new high resolution 3D piece sets all in classical wood!
But there is more for all who prefer to play at the ChessBase play server: First a additional ranking lists;Full rankings for all players;Filters for challengers with bad Internet connections; New and simple video conference function; Bullet lists in the engine room,; Animated global weather display and a direct link to Google Earth.
And not to forget Fritz brings you  the world’s greatest chess players on your monitor all in full high resolution video files synchronized with a graphic chessboard.Here you get private lessons from players as Kasparov, Korchnoi and Kasimdzhanov all good for around 2.08 Gigh of this DVD.
But now a interesting test: In the famous game Alekhine,Alexander against  Sterk,Karoly Budapest Budapest (4) 1921 it has no problem finding the winning move 23.Bf6!!
{1.d4 d5 2.Pf3 e6 3.c4 Pf6 4.Pc3 Pbd7 5.e3 Ld6 6.Pb5 Le7 7.Dc2 c6 8.Pc3 0-0 9.Ld3 dxc4 10.Lxc4 c5 11.dxc5 Lxc5 12.0-0 b6 13.e4 Lb7 14.Lg5 Dc8 15.De2 Lb4 16.Ld3 Lxc3 17.Tfc1 Pxe4 18.Lxe4 Lxe4 19.Dxe4 Pc5 20.De2 La5 21.Tab1 Da6 22.Tc4 Pa4 23.Lf6 Tfc8 24.De5 Tc5 25.Dg3 g6 26.Txa4 Dd3 27.Tf1 Tac8 28.Td4 Df5 29.Df4 Dc2 30.Dh6 1-0}
Said enough the bright Rybka 2.1 could not find this winning move!He prefers 23.Kf1 and white is only slightly better!
Conclusion: Fritz10 is a hell of a engine!

 ChessBase Magazine extra issue 114
November  2006
Interview with Alexander Roshal

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

ChessBase magazine issue 114 comes with a heavy file from exactly counted 14885 games all played between Kuala Lumpur and the Belgrade Dallas match from 10-10-2006.
All fine packed in a clean high quality chess file with out any errors and duplicates and ChessBase  always digs some more games up than the free Twic files!
Included is a interesting avi file with a interview of the well known Alexander Roshal who  is the publisher of the famous Russian chess magazine 64 and involved with the yearly contest for the great Chess Oscar.
Conclusion: Interesting games!

How to play the Queen's Indian by Dmitri Oleinikov
Inkl.Deutscher version: Wie spielt man Damenindisch

Price €26,90

System requirements: Pentium 166, 32 MB RAM, Windows 98 SE/2000/Me/XP
ISBN 10:3-937549-98-6

The Russian Dmitri Oleinikov, author of the  Budapest Gambit, Bird's Opening and  Colle System comes again with a interesting made  chess training  CD and well on the Queen’s Indian that runs with the interesting moves: 1.d4 Nf6.2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6,a line where black restrains white's centre without weakening his pawn structure.
The Queens Indian is a very important opening and many world champions have employed it as you can see in the included database files, where I would like to start with the important learning file, how to play the Queen’s Indian.
In this file  I found 149 analyses to the games from the great Oleinikov himself! Exactly counted there 16 test files and the rest are excellent often heavy loaded annotated games.
Pleasant to mention is that the text files are in two  languages well  English and German but the text in the annotated games are written by Oleinkov in the  English language.
All together this file is good for 384 entries but there is more as a Hugh file {Qeen's Indian  big database} from 78337 entries where a small 2566 games are excellent analysed.
A important remark is Dmitri Oleinikov makes excellent use from other sources as for example  from Yrjola and Tella's books The Queen’s Indian,Gambit 2003.
And at last there is a trainings file from 33 game extracts and 54 training questions plus a openings books from all games that are included on this CD.
Conclusion: One of the better made chess training CD’s where you can really learn to understand a opening!

Fritztrainer PowerPlay1 by Daniel King
Price € 29,95

System requirements: Pentium-Processor at 300 Mhz or higher, 64 MB RAM, Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Media Player 9.0, DVD drive

GM Daniel King provides the reader in this first power play  DVD a wealth of useful chess knowledge to improve your chess skills at the board!
This all is done with 42 full high resolution video files heavy loaded with  complete games but also instructive exercises, all well explained with pleasant watching audio video material.
Daniel King is a good commentator and it is great fun watching him running throw these instructive lessons where  I would like to mention his natural  talent for explaining important key moments of the game.
Chess is a matter of recognizing patterns and here lays a unique chance to improve your chess knowledge in no time!
Conclusion: A DVD that helps to sharpen your killer instinct!

                                  Chess Magazines

British Chess Magazine No.11
Volume 126
Price: £3.60

Starting with all the games from the trilling World Championship match between Vladimir Kramnik and Veselin Topalov plus excellent annotations from Ian Rogers,Lubosh Kavalek and John Saunders! {Impressive!}
All together for 29 pages of highly chess enjoyment plus a lot of other back ground information that you shall not easy find in other chess magazines!
Other contributions are 4NCL September weekend where Steve Giddins reports on the first weekend of the 2005/7 (British Team Championship}season, held at the Sunningdale in Berkshire and the World junior championship.
Other readable contributions are Quotes and Queries,Endgame studies,News in Brief, Reviews and new books etc.
Conclusion: Buy it for the smashing World Championship analyses!

Latvijas Šaha Vēstnesis
Issue 5 2006
For information mail Val Zemitis

Hard times for this interesting made Latvian gambit magazine which mainly  runs under
the super ship of the old master Val Zemitis and the editor GM C Vitomskis who is recovering from some operations and it is not sure if he is able to continue his work for this unique made Latvian chess magazine.
Val Zemits wrote me that there is very slight chance that the magazine will continue but meanwhile I would suggest try to lay hand on all issues from this magazine!
In this magazine I saw that the old WCCF world champion Kon Grivainis has become 80!
Our congratulations!