Latest book reviews of 1 December 2008

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

                                 Chess Books

101 chess questions answered by Steve Giddins
Gambit Publications Ltd
127 pages
Price $ 26,95
ISBN 978-1-906454-00-5

The well known Fide master Steve Giddins provides the reader in this 101 chess questions answered book with a fascinating collection readable topics, “As id it true that there is no luck in chess?”.
Here Giddins describes the tragic game Korchnoi – Karpov,Baguio City 1978,where Korchnoi,one of the strongest players of all time missed a unbelievable win,
said enough Korchnoi went to loose this match by just one point.
Besides the amusing topics in this book there are also a lot of advises to improve your playing strength as “What is the best way to train?”
First some words from Giddins:As discussed above,the most important skill for any chess player is to be able to calculate. Petrosian’s former trainer,Alexei Suetin,told a story of how he and Petrosian spend three months preparing for a world championship match against Spassky.
After three months  of analysing Spassky’s games and studying the minutiae of opening schemes many moves deep,they went for dinner after finishing there final training session.
Over dinner,Petrosian looked at Suetin and said”You know.we’ve done all this work,but in the end,the match comes down to who is better at going’He goes there,then I go here,then he takes that and I take this…
An excellent way to train your calculating skill is to solve endgame studies,with out moving the pieces.
Studies are ideal because they usually have relatively clear answers.To be sound,a study must have only one solution, so there is little danger of being confused by alternative solutions.With a study,you have to find a specific,tactically accurate sequence of moves,and this is perfect material for traing your calculating abilities.
Giddins continues with three studies,where I would like to show this one to the  reader:
White: Kg2 Rd1 Nd7
Black: Kd8 Rg7 and pawns on b7,e7,g6 white to play and win!
Included are topics as Where can I find good material for study,Can you recommend a small collection of the best chess books?,What other weakness does the bishop have? etc
Conclusion: Very enjoyable!

How chess games are won and lost by Lars Bo Hansen
Gambit Publications Ltd
225 pages
Price $ 29,95
ISBN 978-1-906454-01-2

Lars Bo Hansen is a well known Grandmaster and chess author from Denmark,in this latest Gambit Book he focuses on the five stages of the game:Opening,The transition from the opening to the middlegame,The transition from middlegame to endgame and technical endgames.
All this is explained by Lars Bo Hansen in lengthy chapters and often in heavy annotated games.
This does not mean that the book is unreadable no Lars Bo Hansen prefers explanations by instructive words above complicated game analyses.
All together there is more text than moves and that makes a learning book superb!
Lars Bo Hansen is a interesting chess player who does not like to take unnecessary risks.
Lars Bo Hansen writes: I fundamentally see chess as a game in which a draw is a natural and fair result between two equally strong players.
When I draw a game,I usually feel that I have won a half point,note that I have lost it.
Useful for many chess students are the pages: Preparing for tournaments and opponents.
Lars Bo Hansen describes here his meeting with a 2742 player,Teimour Radjabov at the European Championship in Crete 2007.
I prepare in three steps.During tournaments,the whole process should not take more than 2-3 hours.I don’t believe in preparing more than that on a ‘game day’because you are also need to be fresh for the game!
The three steps are: Step one: Getting an overview of the opponent’s opening repertoire in relation to my own.
Step two: Narrowing down the possible choices to a few options.
Step three: Preparing the specific line.
In step one,I briefly look through the games of my coming opponent. I concentrate on the last  3-4 years,depending on how many games he has played in that period.
I then sketch a table in which the openings of my opponents are matched up against my own repertoire.I also indicate key games that may require a deeper look.
{This all and than I only mean step one is good for one and a half page of text!
The whole book is overfilled with instructive tips as Lars Bo Hansen invention NUPM” No Unnecessary Pawn Moves ” in time trouble.
The first DAUT principle comes from John Nunn “ Don’t Analyse Unnecessary Tactics ”
The second from bent Larsen KAPP principle “Keep All Pieces Protected” These come from Bent Larsen notes in Skakbladet to an old game against Seirawan.
NUPM aims at reducing positional slips in time pressure.Since the pawn structure is the backbone of positional play,it makes sense-as much as possible-to avoid making decisions on changes in it until after the time control.
I would like to end with a smassing 17move  win from Lars Bo Hansen on the Danish chess teacher Aagaard: DEN-ch Tonder (7), 1993
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Bd3 0-0 6.Nge2 e5 7.d5 a5 8.0-0 Na6 9.f3 Ne8 10.Be3 f5 11.exf5 gxf5 12.f4 c6 13.Qd2 Bd7 14.Rad1 cxd5 15.fxe5 dxe5
16.Nxd5 Be6 17.Nb6 1-0
The resignation is a bit early,but now black realized that 17....Rb8 is met by 19.Bxf5! winning a pawn with an overwhelming position.
Conclusion: This book truly helps you to become a chess master!

Chess training pocket bookII by Lev Alburt & Al Lawrence
208 pages
Price $18,95
ISBN: 978-1-889323

All exercise books help you to develop your tactical skills, but this small pocket book from Lev Alburt and Al Lawrence is really very special.
Not only it’s pocket size but all 320 key positions in this book are carefully selected and I was surprise to see how many important themes and ideas the authors have managed to squeeze in to it!
Included are additional thinking tips but also complete games to help you to understand specific openings and middle game  patterns, but instructive endgame positions are not forgotten either.
There is something for all players of all levels here in this book from bank rank weaknesses till zug zwang.
For the good order this Pocket Book II' is a sequel 'Chess Training Pocket Book': 300 that was published back in 1997.
Useful is the index of games,themes and ideas and this is seen seldom in exercise books!
Conclusion: With this book you can expand your tactical skills in no time!

Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings by Richard Palliser,Tony Kosten & James Vigus
Everyman Chess
252 pages
Price $24,95
ISBN 978-1-85744-583-1

This latest dangerous weapons book from Pallister,Kosten and Vigus is completely divided to all kind of tricky Flank Openings as:
1 Fun Fun Times with Nimzowitsch's 4 e4 (1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 e4),2 Fighting Back against the Kostenites: Part 1 (1 c4 e5 2 g3 c6 3 d4 e4),
3 Fighting Back against the Kostenites: Part 2 (1 c4 e5 2 g3 Nf6 3 Bg2 c6 4 d4 exd4 5 Qxd4 Na6),4 Disaster on the Dark Squares (1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e6 3 e4 c5),
5 Further Aggression with the Mighty Mikenas (1 c4 Nf6 2 Nc3 e6 3 e4 d5),6 An Improved Löwenthal? (1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 eS 5 Nb5 a6),
7 The Kasparov Gambit (1 c4 c5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 5 Nb5 d5 6 cxd5 Bc5),8 Slaying the Slav (1 c4 c6 2 Nf3 d5 3 e3 Nf6 4 Nc3 e6 5 b3 Bd6 6 Bb2 Nbd7 7 Qc2 0-0),
9 Kramer's Gambit (1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 e4),10 An Enhanced Benoni (1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 e6 3 b3 Nf6 4 Bb2 Be7 5 g3 0-0 6 Bg2 c5 7 0-0 Nc6 8 e3 d4),
11 Larsen's Antidote to the From (1 f4 e5 2 fxe5 d6 3 exd6 Bxd6 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Nc3) and 12 Beware the Polar Bear! (1 f4 d5 2 Nf3 g6 3 g3 Bg7 4 Bg2)
The phenomenal Tony Kosten from France is responsible  for the chapters 1,4,5,8 and 9.
Richard Pallister contributed the chapters 2,3,6 and 7.
Interesting to mention are the lines that James Vigus wrote on the Bird,these are not only written with love but offer even experts on the Bird a great joy!
For example on 1.f4 e5 2.fxe5 d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf4 Nf6 5.Nc3!?  Vigus gives the surprising move 6.g3!Known from the game Larsen – Soby,Copenhagen 1964.
Yes we can still learn from the creative ideas of the great Bent Larsen, he understood more about the Bird than other player of his time!
For all white players who wish to avoid theory,they could consider the good old line from Nimzowitsch, 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Nf6 3 Nf3 Nc6 4 e4.
Kosten writes:When I first took up the English Opening I realized that it would be difficult to learn all the theory of the main lines in one fell swoop,so I decided on a move practical approach: first quickly learning some rare lines,before gradually adding the major ones.Thus against the Four Knights Defence,I avoided 4.g3 and played Nimzowitsch’s move 4.e4 with
geat success.
A fine example is his game against Farago: Kosten,Anthony C (2530) - Farago,Ivan (2520) [A28] Amantea op Amantea, 1992
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e5 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.e4 Bb4 5.d3 d6 6.g3 Bc5 7.Bg2 Nd4 8.Nxd4 Bxd4 9.h3 Be6 10.f4 c6 11.Ne2 Bc5 12.Bf3 Qb6 13.Kf1 Be3 14.Kg2 exf4 15.gxf4 Bxc1 16.Qxc1 d5 17.f5 dxe4 18.dxe4 Bd7 19.e5 Ng8 20.c5 Qc7 21.e6 fxe6 22.fxe6 Bxe6 23.Nd4 Bd7 24.Qg5 Nf6 25.Rae1+ Kf8 26.Rhf1 h5 27.Bd5 Rh6 28.Qxh6 gxh6 29.Rxf6+ Kg7 30.Rf7+ Kg6 31.Bb3 Qa5 32.Nf3 Re8 33.Rxe8 Bxe8 34.Ne5+ Kg5 35.h4+ Kxh4 36.Nf3+ 1-0
This game is analysed by Kosten with nearly five pages text!
Conclusion: Sharpen your flank skills with this exciting written openings book!

The greatest ever chess tricks and traps by Gary Lane
Everyman Chess
234 pages
Price $24,95
ISBN 978-1-85744-577-0

Gary Lane provides the reader in this greatest ever chess tricks and traps book with a amazing collection short cuts.
Some are well known as the seven move lost from the poor Ree against Petrosian,at the Wijk aan Zee tournament from 1971,but many others as for example the game Banks – Karmmark.Internet Blitz 2007,are brand new.
Where white went for the extraordinary and forgotten  Jerome Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+?
These moves, as we can read in this entertaining  work from Lane is named after the American player Alonzo Wheeler Jerome 1834-1902 of Paxton,Illinois,and was analysed in the American Chess Journal in 1874.It has to be remembered that in the 19th century people liked to attack and never defend.
This book from lane is not only very exciting game collection but above all, a very good read.
Nearly all major openings are divided with a instructive example of play and all games in this book are pleasantly indexed with names and openings.
All together I counted around 110 complete games where some are good for over two pages of text!
As for example the following victory in the opening: Skurski,Jan (2069) - Gasik,Piotr (2189) [B12] POL-ch sf Polanczyk (6), 09.11.2000
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 exd4 6.Bc4 Bb4+ 7.c3 dxc3 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Qxd8 cxb2+ 10.Ke2 bxa1Q 11.Ng5+ Kg6 12.Qe8+ Kh6 13.Ne6+ g5 14.Bxg5# 1-0
As we can read in the book from Lane black has tried to avoid defeat at this point with no success.
Conclusion: This book is overloaded  with unbelievable shortcuts!

Play the Sicilian Kan by Johan Hellsten
Everyman Chess
320 pages
Price $25,95
ISBN 978-1-85744-581-7

The Swedish Grandmaster Johan Hellsten reveals in this latest Everyman Chess  book the secrets of the Sicilian Kan.
The Kan or Paulsen Variation as some call it,is close related to the Taimanov.
Black has a very flexible positions and he can go for an Hedgehog set-up or even a play a kind of Maroczy Bind.
Johan Hellsten focuses heavily  in this heavy loaded move to move openings book on the moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6.
Moreover Chapter six features as the author writes in his introduction the different move order 3.Nc3 a6 4.g3 followed by d2-d4.
When you decide to take up the Kan you don’t have to fear long term weaknesses  or bad bishops to worry about.
All material is explained at the hand of 40 deeply analysed games where you get the feeling, why is Hellsten throwing his secrets of the Kan away.
Interesting to mention is a Maroczy Bind combination with the typical Qg4-e2 manoeuvre.
A typical example is game 32,Gouliev – Sikula,Nancy 2007,
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Bc5 6.Nb3 Be7 7.Qg4 g6 8.Qe2 d6 9.0-0 Nd7 10.c4 b6 11.Nc3 Qc7 12.Be3 Bb7 13.Rac1 Ngf6 14.Nd2 0-0 15.f3 Rac8 16.Qf2 Bc6 17.Rfd1 Qb8 18.a4 Rfe8 19.Bf1 Ba8 20.Nb3 Bf8 21.a5 Nc5 22.Nxc5 bxc5 23.Na4 Nd7 24.Qc2 Bc6 25.Ra1 Qc7 ½-½
Even that this game is only 25 moves long,Johan Hellsten needs over ten pages of text to explain it!
And not to forget black had every reason to play on,Hellsten gives after 26.Nc3 Rb8 followed by…Bg7 with pressure against white’s weakend queenside.
Pleasant to mention is that the Kan is one of the easiest variations of the Sicilian to learn and to play!
Included is a bibliography and index of games.
Conclusion: A very important reference work on the Sicilian Kan!

Chess Informant 102
339 pages
Price GBP 20.50

It is always exciting for me when the Informator drops at my front door, nearly I can not wait to play to take up the Informator and play throw all the latest well analysed games,and that are in this issue a refined selection of 421 annotated games and 467 game fragments.All taken from the events held between January 1st, 2008 and April 30st, 2008.
Again the tournaments in this issue are impressive: Odessa, Maalot-Tarshiha, Wijk aan Zee, Moscow, Morelia/Linares, Nice, Heviz, Merida, Plovdiv, Baku, etc.
The list of contributors is even more impressive: V. Anand, Kramnik, Ivanchuk, Leko, Svidler, Mi. Adams, Sergey Karjakin, B. Gelfand, Ju. Polgar, Bu Xiangzhi, Rublevsky, Nisipeanu, Wang Hao, Bologan, Sasikiran, Roiz, Kasimdzhanov, Inarkiev, Motylev, A. Volokitin, Ki. Georgiev etc.
Yes indeed  we have here the best chess magazine in the world.
But first a view inside: The most important theoretical novelties of the preceding volume goes to the game Kramnik – Aronian,Mexico City 2007.
Kramnik,V (2769) - Aronian,L (2750) [E15] Mexico City 101/419, 2007
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 0-0 12.0-0 Rc8 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 b5 15.Re1 bxc4 16.Bf1 Nb6 17.Rb1!N [17.Nc5] 17...Nd5 [17...c5 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Qh5 Qd5 20.Qh4±;
17...Rb8 18.bxc4 (18.Nc5 Bb5 19.a4 Nd5 20.Ba1 c3 21.axb5 cxb5 22.b4 a5 23.Bg2 axb4 24.Bxd5±) 18...Nxc4 (18...Bxc4 19.Rxb6±) 19.Rxb8 Qxb8 20.Nc5 Nb2 21.Bxb2 Bxf1 22.Ba3 Bh3 23.Qh5 (23.Nd7 Qb7) 23...Bf5 24.Nd7±] 18.Ba1 Bb4 [18...Qa5 19.bxc4 Nb6 20.Qc2±;
18...Rb8 19.bxc4 (19.Nc5) 19...Rxb1 20.Qxb1±] 19.Nc5! [19.bxc4 Bxe1 20.Qxe1 Nb6 21.Qc3f] 19...Bxe1 [19...Qa5 20.bxc4! Bxe1 21.Qxe1 Qxe1 22.Rxe1 Nc7 23.Bc3±;
19...Nc3 20.Bxc3 Bxc3 21.Re4± .Qa5 22.b4 Qxa2 23.Nxa6 Qxa6 24.Qc2] 20.Qxe1 cxb3 [20...Nc7 21.bxc4±] 21.Nxa6 [21.Bxa6 bxa2 22.Rb2 Rb8 23.Rxa2 Nb4²] 21...bxa2 22.Rb2 Nc7 [22...Re8 23.Rxa2 Re7] 23.Rxa2± Nxa6 [¹23...Nb5!?] 24.Rxa6 Qd7 [24...c5 25.Qe5! c4 (25...cxd4 26.Bxd4 f6 27.Qxe6+ Kh8 28.Be3 Re8 29.Qb3+-; 25...Qd5 26.dxc5+- .Qxe5 27.Bxe5 Rxc5 28.Bd6) 26.d5 Qf6 27.Qxf6 gxf6 28.Bxf6 exd5 (28...c3 29.Ra4 Rfe8 30.Rg4+ Kf8 31.Rg7+-) 29.Bh3±] 25.Qc3 f6 26.Qc5 Rf7 27.Bc3 Qb7 [27...Kh8 28.Bc4;
27...Qd5 28.Bc4 Qxc5 (28...Qe4 29.Ra1) 29.dxc5 Re7 30.Rxa7 Kf8 31.Ra6±] 28.Qc4 Qd7 29.Bg2 Kh8 30.Bxc6 Qb7 31.Kg2!+- h6 [31...Re7 32.Bb4 Ree8 33.Bd6 Red8 34.Qa4 Qb1 35.Be7 Rg8 36.Bc5] 32.d5 Qb8 [32...exd5 33.Bxb7 Rxc4 34.Bxd5] 33.dxe6 Re7 34.Bb4 Rec7 35.e7 1-0
Please also see Informator issue 101/49.
Included in this issue  is a theoretical survey to this game from M.Bjelajac!
The best of Chess Informant goes to Vlastimil Hort where you can find some of his ever best games and fragments of games.
In endgames you will find a superb. Pawn ending from Kasparov against Fauland,Graz 2007.
Again there are some fine studies who are waiting to be solved.
Conclusion:Not one of the best but simple the best chess publication in the world!

Chess Informant 102 on CD
Price  £ 20.50
Chess Informant 95 printed boek + CD is only £ 27.50

It is also possible to obtain the latest Informator files on this CD well packed in a eye catching Chess Informant Reader 2.1 program.
Probably the most of us prefer the good old book but this Chess Informant reader program is a powerful tool which is able to do much more than only playing throw the latest Informator files.
Chess Informant has a site where you can download the Chess Informant Expert please see:
Personal it is very interesting to have to have the electronic version on your computer but for the owners of a database program,they could consider to buy Informator 102 as PGN,CBH or as Chess Assistant file.
Going throw all the  Informator’s   is nearly impossible and these Chess Informant CD readers offer the user the opportunity to access all Informator’s extra utilities as playing chess, importing games etc.
It is even possible to include electronic  openings encyclopaedias!
Conclusion: Certainly more than a alternative for the printed book!

My 60 memorable games by Bobby Fischer
Batsford Ltd, London
384 pages
Price €19,90
ISBN 978-1-906388-30-0

This brilliant work from Bobby Fischer,now pleasantly converted by Anova Books  in to algebratic is master piece on it’s self.
What I also like is the original typeface of this book which reminds me at the original edition, that was published by Faber and Faber back in 1969.
A original edition of Fischer easy sells for €80,00 and more,but take care some copies state “ first printing “though their dust jackets show Fischers’s tournament through 1971.
The typescript of the manuscript with handwritten analyses from Fischer was sold for $6060,please see Great Chess Books of the Twentieth Century in English by Alex Dunne.
But so far I am aware of Fischer has never signed a copy of his book!
It took Fischer over three years to write this book but it was not with out mistakes.
For the interested reader please the CD from Robert Hübner on Bobby Fischer where you shall find a complete file with Fischer’s mistakes.
Some games in this book as Fischer – Benko,Unite States Championship 1963-64 are truly brilliant,please game 46 of this book: Fischer,Robert James - Benko,Pal C [B09]
USA-ch (Rosenwald 10th) New York (10), 30.12.1963
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Nf6 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Bd3 Bg4 7.h3 Bxf3 8.Qxf3 Nc6 9.Be3 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.f5 gxf5 12.Qxf5 Nd4 13.Qf2 Ne8 14.0-0 Nd6 15.Qg3 Kh8 16.Qg4 c6 17.Qh5 Qe8 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Rf6 Kg8 20.e5 h6 21.Ne2 1-0
Fischer wrote there is no defence to the threat of 22.Rxd6.On 21…Nb5 22.Qf5  wins.Or 21…Bxf6 22.Qxh6 forces mate.
Larry Evans collaborated on the book where Fischer did the analyses and Evans the rest and that was included the typing!
Conclusion: A classic master piece!

Praque 1905
The first congress of the central association of Czech chess players Praque 1905
by Vlastimil Fiala
Moravian Chess
158 pages
Price €25,00
ISBN 80-7189-562-2

The chess historian Vlastimil Fiala covers in this beautiful printed hard cover bookthe first congress of the central association of Czech chess players that was held in Praque of the year 1905.
Besides the interesting historic information about this congress there was also a very strong main tournament of the UJCS which had  important  players as Duras and Treybal.
All games of this tournament are well recovered in this book but also the secondary tournament which was won by Stanislav Sery is pleasantly presented with all the played games.
Sery won before Hromadka and,it is very strange thta Stanislav Sery is not mentioned in the book Chess Personalia from Jeremy Gaige.
Interesting to mention is that some players from the country gave the name of the Prague chess club as there club because in those days it was common for country players to be registered in the exciting and officially acknowledged clubs of Praque.
There was also an interesting contest in the speed solving of two problems,authord by the well known P.K.Traxler.
Included is an impressive Bibliography,name index,general index,openings and players index plus a index of the games of the Secondary UJCS tournament.
Conclusion: A very nice collectors item!

A memorial to William Steinitz by Charles Devide
Moravian Chess
 99 pages
Price £18.99

A other interesting reprint from Fiala is this 1901 reprint from Charles Devide on a memorial to William Steinits where some readers will recognize it as the same work which Dover reprints brought on the market under the title William Steinitz selected chess games Dover Publications 1974.
The slight difference between these two books is that the Dover edition was expanded with a new preface by David Hoop,but that where only six extra additional games.
This 1901 reprint starts with a eight page biographical overview and covers around 74 games where the annotations to the games are much more intensive than the above mentioned book on Morphy.
So this book tell his Steinitz story at the hand of a biography and games chronologically arranged with an analyses of play as Devide describes it in this book.
Included in this book is one of his most beautiful games and well against Russian Mikhail Chigorin where Chigorin was supplied with free brandy and Steinitz with free champagne.Steinitz explained later that he drank champagne to handle his nerves.
Conclusion: Small but beautiful work on Steinitz!

Ter herdenking aan het veertigjarige bestaan van den Nederlandse Schaakbond
Moravian Chess
107 pages
Price €15,00
ISBN 978-80-7189-592-3

On the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Dutch chess federation a master tournament was held at the year 1913, in Scheveningen at the prestige Kurhaus hotel.
There where seven foreign and seven Dutch masters,seen that that the start and finish dates for this event were fixed,the players where forced to play two games on Monday and Friday.
But this was no problem for the young Alekhine to gain a first price,even that he lost after a terrible mistake in the last round to Janowski.
Before leaving Scheveningen,Alekhine played a offhand game with Janowski for a theoretical argument. The game was won by him. Alekander Alekhine’s Chess Games,1902-1946.
This work from Fiala is fantastic made reprint in hard cover despite the bad quality of the photograph.
But for the rest it is a prefect reprint!
Conclusion: Excellent piece of work!

Secondo Congresso Torneo Scachistico Nazionale Italiano in Livorno
Moravian Chess
128 pages
Price €15,00
ISBN 978-80-7189-573-2
Secondo Congresso Torneo Scachistico Nazionale Italiano in Livorno is a 128 page reprint of this in September 1878 played tournament.
The books looks very good but it is all in the Italian language included Italian notation which is even more difficult than the English one.
Included are 38 complete games and so far I could see these games have never seen any publication before.
This time no hard cover but the reproduction is from a very high quality!
Conclusion: A very high quality reproduction!

Vierde Internationale Schaakwedstrijd te Scheveningen 1905
Moravian Chess
93 pages
Price €15,00
ISBN 978-80-7189-591-6

In 1905 there was the fourth international chess contest held in Scheveningen with players as Frank Marshall and Rudolf Spielman.
For many it will be no surprise that Frank Marshall won this tournament but a sensation  In this tournament was the second place of the Dutch chess player Benjamin Leussen.
Marshall,Frank James - Leussen,Benjamin,
Scheveningen Scheveningen (12), 09.08.1905
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Qb3 Be7 7.Nf3 c6 8.e3 Ne4 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10.Bd3 0-0 11.0-0 f5 12.Rae1 Ndf6 13.Qc2 Ng4 14.h3 Nh6 15.Ne5 g5 16.Qe2 Be6 17.Qh5 Qg7 18.Bxe4 fxe4 19.f3 exf3 20.Rxf3 Rxf3 21.Nxf3 g4 22.hxg4 Nxg4 23.e4 Nf6 24.Qh4 Kh8 25.e5 Nd7 26.Qg5 Rg8 27.Qxg7+ Rxg7 28.Ne2 Kg8 29.Nf4 Kf7 30.Rf1 Ke7 31.Kh2 Nf8 32.Nh5 Rg6 33.Nf6 Nd7 34.Nxd7 ½-½
Unfortunately for the Dutch chess world Leussen decided later to become a teacher and he died at the age of 47.
I would like to end with a first class win from Leussen:
Spielmann,Rudolf - Leussen,Benjamin,
Scheveningen Scheveningen (3), 01.08.1905
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be2 Bg7 7.Be3 d6 8.Nb3 Be6 9.f4 Nd7 10.g4 Nb6 11.f5 Bd7 12.Qd2 Ne5 13.Bxb6 Qxb6 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.Rf1 0-0 16.g5 e6 17.f6 exd5 18.fxg7 Kxg7 19.exd5 a5 20.Nd4 Qb6 21.c3 Rfe8 22.0-0-0 a4 23.a3 Qc5 24.Qf4 Kg8 25.Qh4 Qxd5 26.Nf5 Qa2 27.Nxd6 Be6 28.c4 Rec8 29.Ne4 Nxc4 30.Nf6+ Kf8 31.Nxh7+ Ke7 32.Rxf7+ Bxf7 33.Qe4+ Ne5+ 34.Kd2 Qxb2+ 35.Ke1 Rc1 36.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 37.Kf2 Qb2 38.Nf6 Bc4 39.Kg3 Rh8 40.h4 Qxe2 41.Qxb7+ Ke6 42.Qb6+ Kf5 0-1
Again the photograph in this book is from a poor quality but I have a better one for you!

Conclusion: A must for every chess book collector!

The book of the Counties'Chess Association Hereford 1885
Moravian Chess
96 pages
Price €15,00
ISBN 978-80-7189-574-9

The 20th British Counties Chess Association Congress was held in Hereford.
The first place went to  Joseph Blackburn with 8 points followed by Bird and Schallop on 7½ points.The tournament was held at the prestige, assembly Room of the Green Hotel.
In this lovely made reprint, we can read that there was a first price of £60,00 which was won by no less than the legendary Joseph Blackburne.
That time a small  fortune!
Going throw the MegaData base from ChessBase I only could find one game of this tournament!
Besides the master tournament there where also two first class sections,a handicap tournament and a problem tournament.
Nearly all games in this book carry annotation from players as Bird,Blackburne,Gunsberg,Mason Ranken etc.
I have no remarks on the reprint of this lovely printed book, which saw it’s original print in the year 1886.
Personal I enjoyed the atmosphere of this tournament and the price of this reprint is only €15,00!
Conclusion: A lovely made reprint!              

Quarterly for chess history 13
Moravian Chess
434 pages
Price € 32,00

Quarterly for chess history 13 holds the following readable issues: Chess Archives: History of Chess Tournaments,Chess in California,Chess Biographies of:
K. Hromadka,Rudolph Sze,W. Lewis,Forgotten Chess Tournaments: Munich 1886,Zoppot 1937,Classical Chess Matches:Showalter vs Albin, 1894
Great Chess Players,Correspondence Chess:Old Singapore, 1900-1902 Women's Chess:Showalter vs Worrall, 1894,Women Chess Notes,Chess Research,
Chess Players' Chronicle,Chess Miscellany Chess Reviews and more.
Fascinating is for example the story of the mysterious chess life of the Chinese chess player Rudolph L Sze.
This brilliant student had no problems out playing the great Emanuel Lasker with the good old Latvian Gambit:
Lasker,Emanuel - Sze,LR [C40]
Washington sim Washington, 1910
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 d6 4.d4 e4 5.Bg5 Be7 6.Bxe7 Qxe7 7.Nfd2 Bxf5 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.Be2 0-0 10.Nc4 d5 11.Ne3 Be6 12.0-0 Nbd7 13.Nb5 Nb6 14.c3 c6 15.Na3 Rf7 16.Nac2 Nbd7 17.Qd2 Nf8 18.Rae1 Ng6 19.f3 Nf4 20.Nd1 N6h5 21.fxe4 Qg5 22.Nce3 Nxg2 23.Kh1 Nxe1 24.Rxe1 Raf8 25.Rg1 Qh4 26.exd5 Bxd5+ 27.Nxd5 Qe4+ 0-1
This 17 page article appeared in a slightly different form at in 2006,at it received the Chess Journalists of America {CJA} 2006 Best Historical Article Award.
Going throw this book you will see a lot of unknown games and even forgotten crosstables as the one from the Brooklyn Chess Club of 1892 which is even missing by Gino di Felice.
Although the tournament was attended by players as Kemeny,Hodges,Delmar,Hanham and Pollock.

Quarterly for chess history 14
Moravian Chess
434 pages
Price € 32,00

Dr. Vlastimil Fiala is a man, that has a unbelievable passion for chess research.
A major part of his life lays in the cellar’s of chess library’s and every time I pick up the magazine of chess history, I am impressed what Fiala has managed to dig up for the readers: In this latest issue you can find: Chess Archives {With Salo Flohr,Zukertort and Steinitz},Chess Biographies {Hromadka,Flamberg and Duchamp}Forgotten Chess Tournaments,Great Chess Players, Correspondence Chess,Women’s Chess,Chess Research,Chess Miscellany, Chess Problems and Chess Reviews.
Interesting to mention in this issue is the early career of Vera Menchik,where Fiala is covering the years 1923-1925 {part 1}
Vera Menchik learned to play chess at the age of nine, taught by her father in Moscow. She attended her first tournament in wartime in the school chess circle.
In 1923 Vera joined the Hasting Chess Club,she was fortunate in being able to receive instruction from J A J Drewitt and the master,Geza Maroczy.
The latter had suffered privation during World War I and,on coming to Hastings,had been allowed to stay at the Albany Hotel free for a period of time.
But that is a other story.
Here one of the first games from the young Vera Menchik:
Menchik,Vera – Danahay J.W
Hastings,First Class Section A.1923
1.c4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.e3 c6 6.Nf3 Qa5 7.Bxf6 Nxf6 8.Nd2 Be7 9.Bd3 dxc4 10.Nxc4 Qh5 11.0-0 b5 12.Ne5 Qxd1 13.Rfxd1 Bb7 14.Ne4 0-0 15.Rac1 Rac8 16.Nc5 Bxc5 17.Rxc5 Nd5 18.Rdc1 f6 19.Nxc6 Bxc6 20.Rxc6 Rxc6 21.Rxc6 Nb4 22.Rc3 Nxa2 23.Ra3 Nb4 24.Bxb5 a6 25.Bxa6 Rb8 26.Bc4 Kf7 27.Ra7+ Kg6 28.Bxe6 Nd3 29.b3 Rb6 30.Bf7+ Kh6 31.Bd5 Nc1 32.Ra3 Ne2+ 33.Kf1 Nc3 34.Bc4 Ne4 35.Ke2 Rb4 36.f3 Nc3+ 37.Kd3 ½-½
It is not easy to lay hand at these gamers from Menchik,the ChessBase Megadata base starts around the year 1928 covering games of Menchik.
Highly recommended is the contribution in this article from Tim Harding who describes the visits of Johannes Zukertort and William Steinitz to Dublin,1879 and 1881.
Harding writes: Exhibition tours of chess clubs by great masters were their bread-and-butter work,especially when matches and tournaments were infrequent. This ofthen meant travelling in cold weather,staying in uncomfortable hotels to minimise exspenses,and not enjoying chess of much quality.The games played, usually in simultaneous exhibitions and sometimes blindfold,could have provided little professional satisfaction in terms of the quality of games or opposition.
Conclusion: Facinating books! 

                                                            Chess CD's & DVD's

Rybka 3 Aquarium
Price € 49,95

Rybka the strongest of all chess engines needs nearly no introduction at all, but the bright chess engineers Victor Zakharov &  Pete Lupherenko have managed to create
a chess GUI that the chess world have never seen before.
For some weeks I am playing with this interface and to be honest it even wins from all the other interfaces I ever have seen before,maybe even from simple made database programs.
First of all this program is able to open ChessBase & Chess Assistant files and that is nothing
special For the owners of Chess Assistant but it can also open ChessBase  Powerbooks and it has a direct access to Tablebases so it is no need to carry 40 gigh of more on your hard disk, because this only slows the speed of  your engine down.
Rybka runs in the aquarium as a speed fish yes the name Rybka is related to fish in many Slavis languages and the authors went for a water related  name for the GUI,
and the word aquarium is a common word in many languages.
I have to disappoint the fans of multimedia and 3 d files but for the rest Rybka 3 Aquarium can do more than any other chess playing program that money can buy!
Pleasant to mention is that this program holds a wealth of utilities as infinite analysis, deep analysis, full game analysis and delayed analysis.
Which makes this program extremely useful for all who are interested in game analyses,for example correspondence chess players.
For example it is able to intelligent analysing which means that the important lines are deeper analysed than less important ones!
But even more important is to mention that it is able to remember tree information, so  it is able to recognize and remember openings  positions.
Easy in use are the database utilities and it transfers annotated ChessBase games in readable text files,I had no problems reading heavy annotated games
but this program can not do everything for example it is not able to open compressed cbv files from ChessBase.
Rybka 3 Aquarium transfers the databases to a own directory,the so called  A Bases.
Hosting engine-engine tournaments is no problem either,this is a fantastic tool to work out specific game positions.
The most of us are use to one or other kind of user interface but after playing a little while with Rybka aquarium you will feel comfortable with it,maybe you can compare
 it when you step out your old-timer and decide to buy a modern car with air co and abs.
Included is a Chess Ok Down Loader which brings you the latest games and  updates free in house!
Conclusion:  Over loaded with unbelievable tools!  

ChessBase magazine issue #126 on DVD!
Bilbao:world class chess in a glass case.
October 2008
ISSN 1432-8992
Price Euro 19,95 per issue
Annual subscription  costs Euro 99,70

The master file on this DVD with tournaments is good for nearly 1078 entries where you shall find  superb analyses from the strongest players in the world.
In this issue you can find annotated  material from top tournaments as  Sochi,Moscow and Bilbao.
But first game a fine game from the young  Magnus Carlsen: Pelletier,Yannick (2569) - Carlsen,Magnus (2775) [E15]
Biel GM 41st Biel (6), 26.07.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 d5 I wanted to play for a win. I don't know about Yannick's intentions, but anyway 7...c6 wasn't satisfactory. 8.cxd5 exd5 9.Nc3 0-0 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Rc1 Nbd7 The normal way to treat these positions is to put the knight on a6, from where it can be transferred to e6 via c7 after having played ...c5. The text move was played by Leko against van Wely in Dortmund. The knight will still usually go to e6, in this case via f8.
 12.Bf4 With the knight on d7 it is better to put the pawn on c6, because d5 would be weaker than with the knight on a6, and in addition the c7-square would not be covered in case of an eventual ¤b5. 12...c6 13.Qc2 Re8 14.Rcd1 The idea of this slightly weird-looking move is to play ¤e5, when the rook would be well placed on d1. However, after Black's response, ¤e5 will not really have the desired effect, and White will have to change plans. Still the move cannot really be called a mistake, as nothing much is happening here anyway, and a tempo loss isn't that serious. 14...Bb4! 15.Bd2 [15.Ne5 Nxe5 16.Bxe5 (16.dxe5 Ng4) 16...Nd7 fails to impress.] 15...Rc8 16.Qb2 Qe7 17.Rfe1 Qf8 A totally unnecessary move, as e4 ¥xc3 exd5 will probably never really be an issue. However, since my opponent had already consumed a lot of time, and didn't seem to have found a plan, I thought it might be a good idea to just wait and see. 18.Bh3 Rcd8 19.Qc2 h6!? [The normal 19...Ne4 20.Nxe4 dxe4 21.Bxd7 Rxd7 22.Bxb4 Qxb4 23.Ne5 Rxd4 24.Nxc6 Bxc6 25.Qxc6 Red8 26.Rxd4! is obviously fine for Black, but not especially interesting. I wanted to keep the pieces on the board!] 20.Nh4 Probably a good move, even if this is what I wanted to provoke with my previous move. The knight looks nice on f5, but it is also a bit loose. 20...c5 21.Nf5 a6 I felt that I had to cover the b5-square, and this certainly felt more natural than the computer suggestion of ¥a6. 22.Qb2 Bxc3 I decided that it was time to ease the pressure. [Rybka's suggestion of 22...cxd4 23.Nxd4 Ne5 with nice piece play as compensation for the isolated pawn is probably also fine.] 23.Bxc3 Ne4 24.dxc5 Nxc3 25.Qxc3 bxc5 26.Qa5 Nf6 27.Qb6? The critical moment in the game. Pelletier got too excited and missed a simple tactic, after which the white pieces are suddenly loose, and soon everything falls apart. [27.Rc1 Ne4 28.Bg2 Bc8 or;
27.Bg2 would have led to a normal position, where Black has a weak pawn pair in the centre, but should have sufficient dynamic counterplay, often connected with the ideas of d4 and ¤e4.] 27...Bc8! 28.Kg2 [28.Nxh6+ gxh6 29.Bxc8 Rd6! is what Pelletier had missed.;
28.f3 Be6 29.e4 g6 30.g4 is a slightly better chance according to Rybka, but I will refrain from taking this varation any further, as I guess neither of us calculated this, and the position really confuses me. Anyway, Black must be winning here.] 28...Ne4 29.f3 Ng5 [29...Nc3 was another interesting possibilty, which I in the end rejected because after 30.Rd3 (30.Rd2 d4 with ...¤d5 to come is deadly.) 30...Nxe2 31.Re3 Bxf5 32.R3xe2 Rxe2+ 33.Rxe2 Bd3 I would "only" be a pawn up.] 30.g4 h5 The most effective. 31.Rc1 g6?! [31...Nxh3 was more accurate. My choice in the game was based on an oversight. 32.Kxh3 hxg4+ 33.fxg4 g6 34.Ng3 Qh6+ 35.Kg2 Bxg4 would transpose to the game.] 32.Ng3 Nxh3 [32...Qh6 was my intention, but this fails to 33.Nxh5 (33.Nf5 is also reasonable.) 33...Nxh3 34.Nf6+] 33.Kxh3 hxg4+ 34.fxg4?! [34.Kg2 was a better chance, even if Black is nearly winning anyway.] 34...Qh6+ 35.Kg2 Bxg4 36.Qxc5 Losing immediately, but it was hard to suggest anything reasonable anyway. 36...Re3? [36...Rc8 is the most obvious move, and I tried for a while to find a forced win after it. Unfortunately the right solution 37.Qa3 Rxe2+! 38.Nxe2 (38.Rxe2 Rxc1-+) 38...Qh3+ 39.Kf2 Qf3+ 40.Kg1 Qe3+ 41.Kg2 Bh3+ with mate never crossed my mind.] 37.Qd4 In serious time-trouble Pelletier allows a combination. It has to be said that White was in serious trouble anyway though. [37.Kg1 is what I considered the best defence, after which I planned 37...Rc8 38.Qa3 Rce8 which should still give Black a practically winning advantage.] 37...Qh3+ 38.Kg1 Rxg3+ 39.hxg3 Qxg3+ 40.Kh1 Bf5 Pelletier resigned because of[40...Bf5 41.Red1 Qg5! protecting d8 in case of £xe4. The decisive ¥e4 will now follow.]  0-1
Besides the opening video files there are of course the well known theoretical files as from Peter Lukacs and Laszlo Hazai on the Anti-Dutch A04: 1.Nf3 f5 2.d3,Michail Marin A10 on the English 1.c4 g6 2.e4 e5.
Igor Stohl digs in the Anti Grünfled A16: 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.h4, New ideas in the Leningrad can be found by Mihail Marin A 89 1.d4 f5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.0-0 0-0 6.c4 d6 7.Nc3 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Nxe5 dxe5 10.Qb3.Alexey Kuzmin concentrates on the Sicilian B90: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3.
Hannes Langrock shows a repertoire for black against the Tarrasch-Part 1 C03: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 Nf6.
Leonid Kritz looks at the Wall: C67: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3Ke8 10.h3 Be7.
Lubomir Ftacnik goes for the Slav Defence D111.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bg4 5.h3 Bxf3 6.Qxf3 e6 7.Nc3 Nbd7.Michal Krasenkow Grünfeld Defence D91: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6.Efstratios Grivas gives his secrets away against the Queens Indian E15: Part one, 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.Qb3.
Tibor Karolyi goes for the Stonewall in the Queen’s Indian: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.Bc3 d5 9.Ne5 Nfd7 10.Nxd7 Nxd7 11.Nd2 f5 12.0-0 0-0.
Evgeny Postny Nimzo Indian E25: 1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.a3 Bxc3+ 5.bxc3 c5 6.f3 d5 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.dxc5 Qa5 9.e4 and Martin Breutigam looks at the King’s Indian E61:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.Nf3 d6 5.Bg5 0-0 6.e3.
The ICCF Telechess files is good for 1140 entries and includes the 21st World Championship,which waqs won by Joop van Oosterom.
Other columns are Daniel King: Move by Move,Oliver Reeh: tactics,Peter Wells: Strategy,Karsten Müller: Endgames plus 7 endgame videos!! And 21 games!!
Rainer Knaak: Opening trap.
New is the folder data for Pocket Fritz 3.
Included are updates and a booklet of 26 pages!
Conclusion: Certainly a  must have DVD!

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 126
November  2008
Fritztrainer videos with Lubomir Ftacnik

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

This ChessBase Extra Magazine comes with a collection of  38255 clean games all played between Enschede 1/8 and Can Picafort Masters Can Picafort of 26.10.2008.
I can guarantee you between these 38000 there is allays something of your interest.
Personal I am very interested in Latvian games and I was very pleased to find in this master file 14 Latvian games.
As the following games show us you are never to old to pick up the Latvian Gambit!
Gensch,Manfred (1725) - Aufmwasser,Guenter (1632) [C40]
GER-ch Seniors-B 20th Erfurt (3), 07.08.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4 6.Nc3 Qg6 7.Nd5 Qf7 8.Nde3 Nf6 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.0-0 Nb6 11.Nd2 Be6 12.c4 Qd7 13.Qc2 d5 14.c5 Nc8 15.f3 Ne7 16.b4 Nf5 17.Nxf5 Bxf5 18.Qc3 Be7 ½-½
All together there where six black wins and that is not bad for the Latvian Gambit!
GM Ftacnik is responsible for two video files one with the best game of the Tal Memorial 2008 and a tricky line in the English opening,1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6! Yes the knight would like to go to d4!
Conclusion: A mass of latest games!              


British Chess Magazine No.11
Volume 128
November 2008
Price: £3.70

Starting with the World Championship match between Kramnik and Anand,Ian Rogers was at the spot,where he specially analyses for the BCM readers the first four games.
BCM editor John Saunders is good for the notes of  game five and six.
The remaining games are up for next month.
All together this WK report is good for  sixteen pages of this heavy loaded issue and that is included six creative made photographs.
Other contributions are 4NCL October Weekeend,Russian Championship, Bilbao Grand Slam and the European Championship {part2}.
Readable are as always are News in Brief,Speelman on the Endgame {Jon Speelman analyses a fascinating endgame from the European Union Championship.
Quotes and Queries,Endgame Studies,Reviews and New Books etc.
Conclusion: Buy it for the contribution on the World Championship match!