Latest book reviews of 1 February 2007

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

                                     Chess Books

New in Chess Yearbook issue 81
Offered for review by
247 pages
Price € 24.95
ISBN 90-5691-189-9

New in Chess Yearbook issue 81 comes with a large amount of 34 openings survey where some, as for example the Budapest Gambit comes with the solid main line 1.d4 Nf6 3.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 compiled by the bright Victor Moskalenko or the more exciting one from Manfred Herbold on the Schlenker gambit;1.Nc3 g6 2.h4 Nf6 3,e4 d6 4.h5 Nxh5 5.Rxh5 gxh5 6.Qxh5,normally we find these kind of lines only in obscure gambit chess magazines as Randspringer or in Gambit Revue so I was quite surprised to see a line like this here.
But also the contribution from Tibor Karolyi on the King’s Gambit comes also very close in the section  rare moves as 1.e4 e5 2.f4 Nh6 or 2…Qh4!?
where the knight move to h6 was once  played by the great late Tony Miles.
Tibor Karolyi includes this game from Miles against Hort,London 1983,interesting enough this game is not included in both biographies on Miles so I am very glad to see that Karolyi did put this game in to daylight.
But there are also very serious contributions as the superb. ones from Matamoros and the Alamasi’s on the Berlin Wall.
Conclusion: Excellent material to sharpen your theoretical skills!

Caro-Kann defence Panov Attack by Anatoly Karpov & Mikhail Podgaets

Batsford Ltd London

275 pages
Price $22,95
ISBN 9780713490114

Anatoly Karpov and Mikhail Podgaets are covering in this second volume openings book on the Caro_Kann defence the Panov Attack,a opening that is based on the idea to to turn the play into an open game,but happy enough black has various defences and interesting strategies that offer hem reasonable chances for a good game of play.
Interesting enough this openings  play is very   related to the Queen’s Gambit  Accepted and Semi –Tarrasch defences.
The whole material from Karpov and Podgaets is divided in to six {heavy loaded}chapters; 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3Nc6, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bb4, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Be7,where all material is covered with the so called intensive move to move annotations but always with enough text to keep it all very readable.
Included is a interesting chapter on the Steiner system 1.e4 c6 2.c4 called after Lajos Steiner who played quite some memorable games with this simple looking move,this chapter with it’s 30 pages can be considered as very extensive.
As volume one there are illustrated games, this time twelve all to supplement the theory of the Panov Attack but unfortunately there is no bibliography.
Conclusion: Recommended to all Caro-Kann players!

Kasparov’s fighting chess 1999 – 2005 by Tibor Karolyi & Nick Aplin
B T Batsford
336 pages
Price $22,95
ISBN 07134 8994 7

Tibor Karolyi & Nick Aplin cover in this second volume the last significant phases of Garry Kasparov’s chess career with the period that lead up to his title defence against Vladimir Kramnik,and unfortunately his chess retirement in 2005.
Both authors give as reason for his retirement; He probably realized he could not arrange a re match with Kramnik.He was was also no longer immune to the blight of mediocre play.He seemed to have less energy for chess work. Some voices had been criticizing his level of privilege in the chess world, especially his retention of the number one ranking in a period of little active play. Probably the greatest factor was the difficulty in standing the tension; as the last game proved, Gary was no longer able to cope with the stress consistently.
But I still belive Garry Kasparov belongs to the greatest player of modern time.
But back to the games in this book again  there is a full coverage of 77 complete games and unfortnatly some  game extracts, where the annotations to the games are really very extensive and both authors have made excellent use of move to move annotations.
For example please see game 66 and I would like to show you the first moves of the game between Kasparov and the talented  Jobava played at Rethymnon,2003;
1.e4 Garry’s opponent is an excellent theoretician. One year later at the Calvia Olympiad,where he attainted an incredible high Elo performance, he was to produce one of the most stunning novelties ever seen.That was in  his game with white against Kualots,which started with white against Kualots,which started with a Slav.Up to this point in his career,with the black pieces,Jobava had played the Najdorf and the King’s Indian almost exclusively. Garry doesn’t  test him in the latter,even through at one stage it was his own main weapon against 1.d4.
1…c6?! Jobava tries the Caro-Kann for the first time in his life.Usually he plays the Najdorf,answering 6.Be3 with 6…Ng4 and 6.f3 with 6…b5.He decides not subject his Sicilian line to the severest test.Garry had started by playing the Bf5 Caro-Kann and than switched to the Najdorf.Jobava’s devolpment is the reverse.
2.d4 d5 3.e5 Most probaly Garry not know what his opponent would play in the main line or in the Panov.Against Anand at Linares a few months earlier he had acquired a small edge from 3.Nd2 {see game 63},but that might not have satisfided him against a lower rated player.
This way the reader can easy see hoe well loaded this book is with instructive and readable text!

Conclusion: Buy it for the heavy analyses!

Thomas Frère and the Brotherhood of Chess by Martin Frère Hillyer
A History of 19th Century Chess in New York City

McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.
211 pages
Price $39,95
ISBN 0-7864-2327-7

Martin Frère Hillyer  is the grand grand son from Thomas Frère the famous 19thchess master, author and organizer from the famous first  world championship  chess match between William Steinitz and  Johann Hermann Zukertort held in the year of 1886.
Seen that this book is overloaded with interesting notes I would like to start with a interesting one from the year 1885; In April of 1885 William Steinitz sat down with Thomas Frère and asked him to be his second.His responsibilities would include setting up the long awaited world championship.
Frère was 65 years old.He has written the handbook on chess for the United States.During the fifth American Chess Congress it was Frère who established a unified set of rules of tournament play for United States chess organizations. Frère was on the executive committees for the First and Fifth chess congresses,and he had organized two major chess clubs, the Brooklyn and the Manhattan.
Add to this resume Frère’s relationship with Paul Morphy and his experience through his chess column with the Morphy –Staunton situation,and Frère is a leading candidate for the posotion Steinitz had in mind.So far I have never seen a game between Thomas Frère and William Steinitz but Martin Frère Hillyer has managed to dig up from Thomas Frère’s scrapbook the following game between Steinitz and Frère:
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.Bb5 a6 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 h6 7.0-0 d5 8.Ne2 Ne7 9.c4 Ng6 10.Nc3 d4 11.Na4 e5 12.b3 Bg4 13.h3 Be6 14.Ba3 Nf4 15.Bxc5 Bxc5 16.Nxc5 0-0 17.Kh2 Qc8 18.Ng1 f5 19.g3 Ng6 20.exf5 Bxf5 21.Qe2 Ra7 22.Rae1 Re7 23.Qd2 Ref7 24.f3.
Martin Frère Hillyer writs now: Interestingly,at this point where the game ended,Frère was still very much alive and even threats on the board with the potential of winning.
With Fritz I found out that 16….0-0 was weak he prefers 16…Bxh3! And if 17.gxh3 Qd6!and black is on ball.
All together this book offers the reader a fascinating view in the life of the great chess artist Thomas Frère and chess development of the 19th century in the United States!
Conclusion: A fascinating read!

The official history of the British Correspondece Chess Association

by D.J.Rogers
President John Allain Editor:
128 pages
Price GBP 10,00

A new Centenary Book from the British Correspondence Chess Association covering the years 1906 – 2006.
In 1980 D.J.Rogers was approached by John Allain, with the request to write a history of the British Correspondence Chess Association and Mr Rogers writes in his forward it never occurred to either of us that 25 years later,John would occupy the same post and would ask me if I could update the book for the centenary edition.
For all readers who are familiar with the original book, the first 13 chapters are much as before, but corrected and updated, specially chapter one that is updated by Tim Harding, concerning  British CC clubs that pre-dated BCCA.Chapter 14 has been re-written, and the later chapters continue the story up to the present day.John Nunn once said that that postal chess has already been destroyed as a completion for chess players but correspondence chess don’t care about these words they still enjoy playing correspondence chess but the first world war years 1914-18 where really difficult for the association, many of the being on active service.It is clear that membership dropped considerably ,as is shown by the claim that “there were never less than 30”Rogers writes: It must be assumed therefore,that at its lowest ebb there were not many more than 30 members,and it is difficult to appreciate how BCCA survived at all.Throw the book are many excellent analysed games as the one from Tait against Ingvar Carlsson 21* World  CC Championship 1995-97.Jonathan Tait is a remarkable player and inventor of the Tait line in the French defence,but also author from a book on the Nimzo- Larsen attack,editor of the BCCA,BCCA champion and winner of DJKO Tourney.Included is an excellent made index of games and names.
Conclusion:Interesting buy!

101 chess endgame tips by Steve Giddins

Gambit Publications Ltd
111 pages
Price $19,95
ISBN 978-1-904600-66-4

The English FIDE master from England Steve Giddins provides the reader with a interesting collection endgame positions which are all easy to solve with out the use of a chess board. Steve Giddins has used all kind of  important endgames themes in this book  from lets say in big lines from breakthrough till positional draw, all brought together in a readable collection of 110 instructive endgame tips.
Endgame books can be very boring and I don’t want to mention titles here but seldom I have seen such a entertaining read on endgames as this one from Steve Giddins!
But first a view of a nice and instructive example Tip 69 of this book: Drawing with rook  vs rook and bishop,
Position: White Ke6,Ra8 Bf8 Black Kg6,Rg8 Short – Sandipan,Gibraltar 2006.
This ending has been known for many years to be a theoretical draw, but in practice the defender frequently loses. Ulf Andersson won it against GM’s twice in the space of a year, while English GM Keith Arkell has apparently won this position 16 times out of 16!It is therefore worth being familiar with the drawing technique which is not really all that complicated. 87.Ke7 Kf5 88.Kf7 Rg1 89.Ra5+ Ke4 90.Be7 Rb1 91.Ke6 Rb8 92.Ra4+
The defender cannot avoid this king being driven to the edge of the board, but this is not fatal.
 Ke3 93.Bc5+ Kd3 94.Kd5 Rd8+ 95.Bd6 Kd2 96.Ke5 Kd3 97.Kd5 Kd2 98.Ra3 Ke2 99.Rh3 Kd2 100.Ke5 Kc2 101.Bc5 Kd2 102.Ke4 Re8+ 103.Kd4 Rd8+ 104.Kc4 Rc8 105.Rh2+ Kc1The key defence formation,known as the Cochrance defence. The rook pins the bishop from behind. Black just waits, and when the white king goes to one side,the black king goes to the other.
106.Kd4 Kb1 107.Bb4 Rc2 108.Bd2 Ka2 109.Kd3 Kb3 110.Rh1 Rc5 111.Rb1+ Ka4 112.Bb4 Rh5 113.Bc3 Rb5 114.Ra1+ Kb3 115.Rc1 Ka4 116.Ra1+ 116.Kc4 is met by 116.  Rb4,so white cannot strengthen his position.
 Kb3 117.Rg1 Ka4 118.Kc2 Rb7 119.Rg5 Ra7 120.Rh5 Ra6 121.Rc5 Ra7 122.Kd3 Rb7 123.Ra5+ Kb3 124.Ra1 Rb5 ½-½
 Conclusion: Buy it for the super instructive endgame notes!

Chess Informant issue 97
340 pages
Price GBP 20.50

Chess Informator issue 97 comes wit a fine selection of 431 annotated games and  470 game fragments all played between May and August 2006.
The most important theoretical novelties of the preceding volume goes this time to Topalov – Aronian,Wijk aan Zee 2006,issue 96/383.
and please see the excellent theoretical survey from M.Bjelajac,which is good for over 3.5 pages of text!
The games are as always analysed by the best players of the world and that includes names as V. Anand, Kramnik, Svidler, Morozevich, Ivanchuk, Leko, Mi. Adams, N. Short, Van Wely etc.Over 90% of the games in this Informatoe are annotated by the players who played them.
Some important tournaments from this issue are: Sarajevo, Sofia, Torino (ol), Foros, Taiyuan, Biel, Paks, Dortmund, Montreal, China - Russia (m), Amsterdam, etc.
Included are the most interesting combinations, endings and studies, tournament standings and crosstables, plus a extra the best of Chess Informant with the legendary Svetozar Gligoric,for the fans of the King’s Gambit his game against Planinc; Planinc,A - Gligoric,S Ljubljana/Portoroz, 1977 23/237 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 d6 4.d4 g5 5.h4 g4 6.Ng1 Bh6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.Nge2 f3 9.Nf4 f2+ 10.Kxf2 g3+ 11.Kxg3 Nf6 12.Be2 Rg8+ 13.Kf2 Ng4+ 14.Bxg4 Bxg4 15.Qd3 Bg7 16.Be3 Qd7 17.Nce2 0-0-0 18.Ng3 f5 19.Nxf5 Rdf8 20.Nxg7 Qxg7 21.Ke1 Nb4 22.Qc3 Qe7 23.Qxb4 Rxf4 24.Kd2 Qxe4 25.Rag1 Bf5 26.Qb3 Rg3 27.Rh2 Rf2+ 0-1
Superb are always the studies where I would like to show the readers the one from M.Campioli & P.Rossi;1st Pr.Kalyagin-50JT2005;White Ke8,Rg6,Bh8 and pawn h7 Black Kh5,Rd7 and Bb6
White to play and win!
And in the Marshall gambit all white players go for 15.Re4 and where black prefers 15..g5!?: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Re4 g5
Conclusion: For all who are only satisfied with the best!

The Masters
Boris Spassky master of initiative by Alexander Raetsky & Maxim Chetverik

Everyman Chess
160 pages
Price $21,95
ISBN 1-85744-425-6

The Russian duo GM Alexander Raetsky & IM Maxim Chetverik dig in this latest “The masters”book on the creative skills from the great Boris Spassky.
On 30th January he become 70 and his chess career ended some time ago but he still belongs to one of the greatest chess players of all time.
With 18 he become a grandmaster in chess and was trained by the famous trainer Vladimir Zak who not only taught him the subtleties of chess but also feed him,and in 1948 he even secured a state stipend for it.
This book covers a interesting  biography from nine pages and starts with four of his greatest games.In 1960 Spassky started to play wild and sacrificial chess but the result is one of these four games,Spassky – Bronstein,Leningrad 1960 1.e4 e5 2.f4.This game made it also in to The world’s greatest chess games by Burgess,Nunn and Emms,Robinson Publishing Ltd and the 100 best chess games by Andrew Soltis,McFarland 2002.
This book handles 150 Spassky puzzles where the reader is invited to find the winning move from Spassky, pleasant to mention is in this book the use of complete games.
Personal I think it is very important to see how certain positions have arisen this way the reader can develop a much better understanding of the  position.
The material is divided in nine chapters where chapter nine covers a selection missed opportunities. One of the very best games of Spasky goes to the world championship game Spassky – Petrosian,Moscow 1969, 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.d4 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 exd5 16.Bxd5 Na5 17.Qf4 Qc7 18.Qf5 Bxd5 19.exd5 Qc2 20.Qf4 Qxa2 21.d6 Rcd8 22.d7 Qc4 23.Qf5 h6 24.Rc1 Qa6 25.Rc7 b5 26.Nd4 Qb6 27.Rc8 Nb7 28.Nc6 Nd6 29.Nxd8 Nxf5 30.Nc6 1-0
Conclusion: Buy it for the fascinating wins from Spassky!


Beating the King's Indian and Grúnfeld by Timothy Taylor
Everyman Chess
Price $23,95

International master Timothy Taylor present the reader in this latest Everyman openings book two interesting repertoire lines based on the King’s Indian and Grünfeld defence.
The first part with the King’s Indian is based on Taylor great love for the f4 pawn and well 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.f4!? called after the American chess master Martz who played it with great success.
In this line white goes for a Maroczy Bind set-up that gives you space and attacking chances.
After Timothy Taylor black will be too busy defending to think about of attacking you.
There are all kind of Martz lines in this book as the Liz variation which runs after the moves 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.exd5 and is known under the King’s Indian players as the four pawn attack. But many lines in this book are very close related to the four pawn attack.That these lines can be dangerous shows us the game Bisguier,A - Fischer,R Rosenwald 1956 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 c5 7.Be2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Nc6 9.Nc2 Bd7 10.0-0 Rc8 11.Be3 Na5 12.b3 a6 13.e5 dxe5 14.fxe5 Ne8 15.Nd5 Rc6 16.Nd4 Rc8 17.Nc2 Rc6 18.Ncb4 Re6 19.Bg4 Rxe5 20.Bb6 Qc8 21.Bxd7 Qxd7 22.Bxa5 e6 23.Nd3 Rh5 24.N3f4 Rf5 25.Bb4 exd5 26.Bxf8 Bxa1 27.Qxa1 Kxf8 28.Qh8+ Ke7 29.Re1+ Kd8 30.Nxd5 Qc6 31.Qf8 Qd7 32.Rd1 Rf6 33.Qxe8+ 1-0
Model game sixteen of this book but please remember Fischer was only 13 years old and it was the first and last time that Bisguier ever managed to beat him.
In the Grünfeld defence Taylor goes for the Knezevic variation where white plays 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.Qb3.After 5…e6 6.Qa3 black can not castle and faces a difficult defensive game. This is a great difference with the so called Carlsberg structure where with plays first 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.e3 0-0 where black has a fine shelter for his king.
But here Taylor suggests 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bc4 the Keres variation. An excellent surprise weapon where white can obtain a solid, even position by just playing chess,Keres had a lifetime score of four wins and two draws with this line!
Included in the bibliography is the latest work from Konikowski and Soszynski;The fearsome four pawn attack,Russel Enterprises 2005,so the reader is insured of all the latest King’s Indian lines!
Conclusion: Black players be aware of these two dangerous repertoire lines!

Offene Linien by Wolfgang Uhlmann & Gerhard Schmidt

Edition Olms

164 pages
Price € 19,95
ISBN 978-3-283-00514-6

The first edition of this work was released twenty five years ago in East Germany under the famous Sportverlag and it was in no time one of there best selling chess books.
Maybe it was the title of the book  that inspired  co author Gerard Schmidt to flee for the free West but the contribution from one of the strongest German chess players Wolfgang Uhlmann which makes this book really super.
Specially the combination of specific positions and use of important diagonals makes this book unique in his kind and this book can easy stand-up against important strategy works from Dvoretsky,Watson and Aagard.
Both authors discuss all kind of open line strategies as “Dominated” open lines” where I found between the 113 model games of this book a fine and modern example from the great Garry Kasparov ;  Kasparov,G  - Ponomariov,R Linares 19th Linares,1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.c3 c5 8.Ne5 Nd7 9.Bb5 Bd6 10.Qg4 Kf8 11.0-0 Nxe5 12.dxe5 Bxe5 13.Bg5 Bf6 14.Rad1 Qc7 15.Qh4!? both authors explain in instructive words from move 14 till 38 where black resigned, all good for around 2,5 pages of text.
A other beauty is the short game between Fischer and Fine covered under the theme “The use of open lines” and played at the Manhattan blitz tournamant of New York, 1963
 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.b4 Bxb4 5.c3 Ba5 6.d4 exd4 7.0-0 dxc3 8.Qb3 Qe7 9.Nxc3 Nf6 10.Nd5 Nxd5 11.exd5 Ne5 12.Nxe5 Qxe5 13.Bb2 Qg5 14.h4 Qxh4 15.Bxg7 Rg8 16.Rfe1+ Kd8 17.Qg3 1-0
Fische called his move 14.h4 Deflecting the “overloaded queen, but as we can learn in this book it is all a matter of open lines.
Nimzowitch was the master was the master of Prophylaxis but Uhlmann & Schmidt on open lines!
Conclusion: Very important reference work on open lines!

Geheimnisse des Turmendspiels by Wassili Smyslow
Edition Olms

164 pages
Price € 15,00
ISBN 978-3-283-00520-7

Vasily Smyslov needs nearly no introduction he was born in Moscow 1921 and has enjoyed a extremely long chess career. In the 1950s he challenged Botvinnik and become for one year world champion.
It is very pleasant to mention that this great endgame expert has compiled 60 of his best rook endings in his latest Olms book “Secrets of Rook endgames”.
The notes to the games are not to heavy but on the other hand very readable and provides the reader with essential specific rook knowledge.
Pleasant is his use of complete games in this book  but also the chapter studies and twelve golden rules from rook endgames from the great endgame expert GM Karsten Müller makes this book together with the excellent indexes very complete.
Some game sin this book as Smyslov – Gufeld Moscow 1961 make easy 2,5 pages of text where the 85 year old Smyslov makes even use of help from latest chess engines as Fritz8!
Rook endgames are very common in chess and I truly highly recommended this readable endgame book from Vasily Smyslov!
Conclusion: Highly recommended!                               

                                      Chess CD's

Chess Informant 97 on CD
Price  £ 20.50

All games from Informator 97 are safely imported in this Informator 97 CD where all information can be opened with the included Chess Informant Expert Lite reader or Chess Informant reader 2.1.
Personally I use for some years Chess Informant Expert 5.0 which was free available as the B12 monograph but it is even possible to include all files from the electronic version of the new Encyclopaedia of chess openings, Volume C fifth edition in these readers!
When I am behind my PC I prefer the electronic version but in the chair the I would suggest go for the special buy with book and CD!
Conclusion: All Informator games plus  a lot of extra’s!        

Dinosaur Chess: Learn to Play

Price €19,90
System requirements:  Pentium III or equivalent, 128 MB, screen resolution of 1024X768, Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP

A amusing new chess program for children who want to learn to play chess all with the help of the famous  professor MacDinosaur who takes you with great pleasure to his chess class.
The material on this program is very eye catching and inviting for every child from the age four who would like to learn chess in a very entertaining  way.
There are eleven sections where the student can learn all the basics of the game but it is useful if the young chess student can read a little otherwise you have to help a little with the start of these lessons.
But when the  lessons run you can easy lay down and read a good chess book because  the student only has to follow the speaking lessons of Mr Dinosaur who is a master in teaching chess, between the lessons it is possible for the young students to kick around with the Dinosaures
of your choice.
The program on it self works perfect with escape it is gone and it runs super even on a old Window98 computer. To start you simple add a new player and the chess student  can directly at the start go for Lean, Play, Progress or go for the great Dino fight!
Conclusion: With Dinosaur Chess it  is really fun to learn chess!                                

Fritztrainer opening
My best games in the Petroff Defence

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

Alexei Shirov is an enormously talent and creative player who managed to reach the 2700 level before the age of 20!
In his latest Fritztrainer opening DVD he likes to invite the reader to the Petroff or Russian defence,
Alexei Shirov is a great admirer of the player Petroff and compares him on this DVD with other great players as for example the brilliant Paul Morphy!
But it was the famous English master Howard Staunton who named it the Russian defence in his famous book The Chess Player’s Handbook.
The Petroff has a reputation of being a boring opening but when you play throw these five hours of multimedia files from the great  Shirov you shall be impressed by the hidden possibilities of this interesting defence.
Exciting is for example game one from this DVD where Shirov discusses his game with Nigel Short,Dubai blitz 2002, where white  went for the knight sacrifice of the great attacking genius Vitolins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7!?
When you play throw this game you will understand  that Alexei Shirov never played the move 4.Nxf7!? and probably never will,even that there where moments in the game where white was better.
Shirov did take up some ideas from Vitolins but not his pet line with 4.Nxf7!?,even that he is very impressed about the great tactical skills from his college and landsman Vitolins.
There are 14 games on this DVD where Shirov has the white or black pieces, exactly counted nine with white and four with black.
Included is one of his most remarkable games Shirov - Timman,Wijk aan Zee 1998.
So this is also an excellent DVD for all players who are searching for a white answer against the Petroff defence!
Conclusion: Very instructive!

Classical Sicilian by Tony Kosten 2nd edition
Inkl.Deutscher Version: Sizilianisch Klassisch B56-B59
Price € 24,99
requirements Pentium PC,32 MB RAM,Windows XP,2000, ME,98 SE,CD-ROM

An updated en expanded second edition of Tony Kosten highly rewarded work on the Classical Sicilian with the lines B56 till B59,and that means is in the practice openings lines that run with the moves:1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.f3, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 and 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3.
The Bigbase has now15425 entries where a 366 games cover excellent annotations but the classical Sicilian file is also brought up to date with some latest developments and has gone to 968 entries.
Included is a nice tree van 16,5 MB.
Conclusion:Impressive update!   

Fritztrainer opening
The Botvinnink and Moscow variation by Loek van Wely

Price € 29,95

The Dutch crack GM Loek van Wely digs in this Fritztrainer opening DVD in to the Botvinnik and Moscow variation,which run after the moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Nbd7 11.exf6 Bb7 12.g3 c5 13.d5 and 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 and known under the ECO codes D43 and D44.
Steffen Pedersen once wrote in his detailed study on the Botvinnik-Slav: And is in my opinion one of the most complex of all opening variations.
These openings DVD are nice things not only you can learn to play and understand a openings but it is also very useful for all the extra tips  between the lines.
Personal I see them as excellent trainings sections specially with analyses from top players as Shirov and Van Wely.
Van Wely is very honest in his own games and I consider the material on this VDV as very instructive, for example his game against Shabalov where he even discusses all kind of other things that belongs  to a game of chess even game fixing.
The running time is around 5 hour and 30 minutes.
Conclusion: Buy it for the excellent notes!

Fritztrainer opening
The Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian by Loek van Wely

Price € 29,95

In this Latest Fritz trainer openings DVD van Wely concentrates on his pet line the Sveshnikov defence {1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 also known as the Lasker Pelikan or Cheliabinsk Variation} where the six time Dutch champion handles with black twelve of his most amassing  Sveshnikov games!
As for example I found between the list of twelve his game against the world champion  Kramnik played at Wijk aan Zee 2005,where you shall find his interesting move 19…b4!? which was that time a interesting  recommendation of ChessBase Magazine issue 113 please also see also the latest 2007 MegaDatabase, where you shall find a fine analyse from this game,done by the great Sveshnikov expert  Dorian Rogozenko.
It is interesting to mention that Van Wely handles also a  lot of interesting analyses and exciting notes between the lines of the model games, where for example I found the  older sub line that once was favoured by John Nunn: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.c3 Bg7 12.Bd3 Be6 13.Qh5 0-0 14.exf5 Bxd5 15.f6 e4 16.fxg7 Re8 17.Be2 Re5 18.Qh6 b4 19.Nc2 bxc3 20.bxc3 Qg5 21.Qxg5 Rxg5 22.0-0 Be6 23.Rfd1 Rc5 24.Rxd6 Rxc3 25.Ne3 Nb4 26.a4 Nc2 27.Nxc2 which Van Wely faced with out any problems against Anand,Wijk aan Zee 2003.
Van Wely knows a terrible lot about the Sveshnikov and this DVD is an unique opportunity to get in touch with top level Sveshnikov chess!
Conclusion: A must for every Sveshnikov fan!                         

                                  Chess Magazines
Latvijas Šaha Vēstnesis
Issue 6/ 2006
For information mail Val Zemitis

Val Zemits wrote me: Dear John,I am sorry but this issue of the Latvian magazine is the last issue.Mr Vitomskis is very ill and after 9 years of publishing he no longer can do the work. I thank you for your suport.

Correspondence Chess BCCA Winter 2006 No.167
£ 1,50
Published by the British Correspondence Chess  Association
President John Allain Editor:

Correspondence chess is published by the British Correspondence Chess Association and is supplied free to members of the BCCA.
Quite impressive to see what John Allian and his contributors are able to bring on paper
besides exciting correspondence games as for example  the brilliant corr. game between Dearnley and Ticleanu of the BCCA match against  Romania, 2004.
1.f4 d5 2.b3 Bg4 3.Bb2 Nf6 4.h3 Bf5 5.Nf3 e6 6.g4 Bg6 7.e3 h6 8.d3 Nc6 9.Bg2 Bc5 10.Qe2 0-0 11.a3 Be7 12.Nbd2 Nd7 13.0-0-0 a5 14.h4 a4 15.h5 Bh7 16.b4 Nxb4 17.g5 Na2+ 18.Kb1 Bxa3 19.Kxa2 Bxb2 20.Kxb2 c5 21.gxh6 gxh6 22.e4 a3+ 23.Ka2 Nb6 24.Rb1 Na4 25.Rb3 b5 26.Ne5 Kh8 27.exd5 exd5 28.Ng6+ fxg6 29.hxg6 Bxg6 30.Rxh6+ Kg7 31.Rxg6+ Kxg6 32.Qg4+ Kf7 33.Qh5+ Ke6 34.Qe5+ Kd7 35.Qxd5+ Ke7 36.Qe5+ Kd7 37.Rxb5 Ra7 38.Nc4 Qf6 39.Qd5+ Ke7 40.Rb7+ Rxb7 41.Qxb7+ Kd8 42.Qb8+ Ke7 43.Qc7+ 1-0{For the analyses to this game please see this magazine!}
As you could read in the above mentioned book about the official history of the British Correspondence Chess Association the BCCA is currently celebrating it’s centenary.
But what else was happening at that time? A precocious 14-year old boy by the name of Alexander Alekhine was playing most of his chess by correspondence at this time.
I shall give the game but not the excellent analyses which are included in this well written corr.chess magazine. Alekhine,A - Manko,V [C45] F. Shakhovskoi Tourney 1906-7 corr Russia, 1906
 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3 d5 7.exd5 cxd5 8.0-0 Be7 9.Nc3 0-0 10.Bg5 c6 11.Qf3 Ng4 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Rae1 Qd6 14.Qg3 Qf6 15.h3 Nh6 16.Re5 g6 17.Ne2 Bf5 18.f4 Rfe8 19.Qe3 Rxe5 20.fxe5 Qh4 21.Nd4 Bxd3 22.Rf4 Qe7 23.cxd3 Rc8 24.Rf6 c5 25.Nc6 Qe8 26.e6 Nf5 27.exf7+ Qxf7 28.Rxf5 1-0
Conclusion: Is there at this moment a  better correspondence chess magazine?

British Chess Magazine No.2
Volume 127
February 2007
Price: £3.70

This BCM issue starts with the traditional Hastings Christmas New Year tournament,included is a fine written report from Steve Giddins  who was on the spot for all the action!
The 19 year old Azeri grandmaster Farhad Tahirov,who was to forced to withdraw from  this year’s Hastings through illness after six rounds had the additional misfortune not be mugged on the final day of the congress. He was robbed of about GBP 1000, in currency by an eif=ght strong gang, mainly late teens, early 29s,but led by a man in his 40s.Two men who arrested but later released for lack of evidence {Late News please see page one of this issue.}
Interesting is the start of the game Simon Williams – Merab Gagunashvili Hastings Masters 2006/2007 1.d4 d6 2.e4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Be3 c6 5.h3 Bg7 6.g4 This aggressive line is known as the Finnish variation, having been developed by a group of players from Finland.It looks crude but is surprisingly dangerous, and Gagunashvili was clearly taken by surprise.
Other readable contributions are: Matters Arising,Russian Superfinal,David Howell:Grandmaster,The ACP comes of age,William Winter:Chess Maverick etc.
Conclusion: Buy it for the excellent contributions!