Latest book reviews of 1 June 2009

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

                                 Chess Books

Batsford's Modern Chess Openings by Nick de Firmian
Batsford Ltd, London
748 pages
Price €17,99
ISBN 978-1-906388-29-4

For nearly hundred years Modern Chess Openings has been the most important one volume book on chess openings.
This latest updated and expanded  heavy weight from Nick de Firmian with it’s 1249 gram and 748 pages replaces the 14th  Batsford edition of 2000,with it’s 708 pages.
The 14th edition was a 20 month project but Nick de Firmian and his team spend over  a year of long hours to revised this 15th heavyweight.
Some sections as the Latvian Gambit are untouched in this latest release but the most important lines in this book  cover important updates as for example in the Najdorf,Poisoned Pawn Variation: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.f5 Nc6 11.fxe6 fxe6 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.e5 dxe5 14.Bxf6 gxf6 15.Ne4 Be7 16.Be2 h5,and now the 14th edition only gives: 17.Rb3 Qa4 with two choices, but this 15th  edition improves with the moves 17.Rf1! Qxa2 18.Rd1 Qd5 19.Qe3 Qa5+ 20.c3 f5 21.Qg3! with a strong attack,Radjabov – Ye Jiangchuan,Calvo Ol.2004.
But in the Old Main Line of the Najdorf I found some updates as:
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.Bd3 h6 11.Bh4 g5 12.fxg5 Ne5 13.Qe2 Nfg4 14.Nf3 hxg5 15.Bxg5 Bxg5+ 16.Nxg5 Qc5 17.Nh3 b5 18.Kb1 Bb7 with compensation for the pawn,Mamedov – Areshchenko,Aeroflot Open 2007.
Interesting is also the small update in the line: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 Bxg5+ 14.Kb1 Ne5 15.Qh5 Qe7 16.Nxe6 Bxe6 17.fxe6 g6 18.exf7+ Kxf7 19.Qh3 Kg7 20.Nd5 Qd8 21.Qc3 Ra7 22.Qa3 with a small advantage, Baklan – Gallagher,Bundesliga 2001.
Or in the good old MacCutcheon:1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.bxc3 Ne4 8.Qg4 g6 9.Bd3 Nxd2 10.Kxd2 c5 11.Nf3 c4 12.Be2 Nd7 13.h4 Qe7 14.a3 b6 15.Kc1 Bb7 16.Nd2 0-0-0 17.f4 with a slight advantage,de Firmian - Nakumura,U.S.Chp.2006 or 11....11... Bd7 12.h4 Qe7 13.Qf4 Bc6 14.Nh2 Nd7 15.Ng4,Milos - Cubas,Sao Paulo 2005.
As you can see every important line is covered with a update!
At the moment there no other one volume openings books to compare this Fifteenth Edition with,Nunn’s Chess Openings is from 1999 and the small Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings is from 2003,and let s be honest the human notes to the variations make these Modern Chess Openings works very readable.
As for example: In the great Herceg Novi blitz tournament of 1970 Fischer experimented with (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.a4 Qa5 8.Bd2 Nbc6 }9.Qg4
against Korchnoi.After 9... 0-0 10.Nf3 f6 11.Bd3 f5 12.Qg3 c4 13.Be2 b5 14.0-0 bxa4 15.Ng5? Nxd4 Fischer suffered his only loss of  the tournament.
For all Fischer fans here is the complete game:Fischer,Robert James - Kortschnoj,Viktor [C19]
Herceg Novi blitz Herceg Novi, 1970
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.a4 Qa5 8.Bd2 Nbc6 9.Qg4 0-0 10.Nf3 f6 11.Bd3 f5 12.Qg3 c4 13.Be2 b5 14.0-0 bxa4 15.Ng5 Nxd4 16.cxd4 Qxd2 17.Qh4 h6 18.Nf3 Ng6 19.Nxd2 Nxh4 20.Rxa4 Ng6 21.Rfa1 a6 22.Nb1 Ne7 23.Ra5 Nc6 24.R5a4 Nxd4 25.Bd1 f4 26.Nc3 Nc6 27.Ne2 Nxe5 28.Nd4 Rb8 29.h4 Rb6 30.h5 Nc6 31.Ne2 e5 32.Nc3 Rd8 33.Bf3 e4 34.Be2 Nd4 35.Bf1 Bb7 36.Rd1 Nb5 37.Nxe4 Rc8 38.Nd2 Nc3 39.Rda1 Nxa4 40.Rxa4 Bc6 41.Ra5 Bb5 42.Nf3 c3 43.Nd4 Bxf1 44.Kxf1 Rb4 45.Rxd5 a5 46.Ke2 a4 47.Kd3 Ra8 48.Kxc3 Rb1 49.Rb5 Rxb5 50.Nxb5 a3 51.Nxa3 Rxa3+ 52.Kd4 Ra2 53.Kd3 Kf7 54.g3 fxg3 55.fxg3 0-1.
Nick de Firmian is a world leading openings expert and belonged to the team that prepared Deep Blue against its successful 1997 match against Kasparov,so I can insure you are in good hands with this impressive made update!
Conclusion: A must buy for all who like to keep abreast of latest developments!

Chess Strategy for club players by Herman Grooten
New in Chess
Price €25,95
ISBN 978 90 56912680

The Dutch IM Herman Grooten has managed to create a wonderful strategy book based on the ideas of Wilhem Steinitz but expanded with a lot of new ideas and all readable packed in a mass of well explained games.
Many of these games come from training sections often from Grooten his pupils, who some as GM van de Wely belong to the best of the world.
But between these games I found games from young talents as Vincent Rothuis and Ali Bitalzadeh,it is clear Grooten is continuing developing chess talent,and these coaching experiences can be found back between the pages of this book.
Indeed there are more chess coaches than only Mark Dvoreckij!
There is a unbelievable amount of chess knowledge in  this book as for example the unique game, Fred Slingerland – Manuel Bosboom,Enschede 1993; 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Qc7 7.a4 b6 8.0-0 Bb7 9.Qe2 h5 10.h3 Bc5 11.Nb3 Ng4 12.hxg4 hxg4 13.e5 Bf3 14.gxf3 Qd8 0-1,Would you have that move? It is known from Bosboom that he prefers to analyse without  the use of engine help.
Grooten writes: IM Manuel Bosboom is a very creative player who created a furore in Holland with his blitz prowess. He reached the pinnacle of his fame by beating Kasparov during a blitz tournament on a free day at the Hoogovens tournament in Wijk aan Zee.
Remarkable is the classic beauty,  Donner – Hartoch,Leeuwarden Wijk aan Zee 1973,where the black player received a instructive lesson from the great Donner on knight play,found under the section a piece out of play.
Donner’s own account on this game can be found in his book The King.
The fans of Jan Timman will certainly enjoy the brilliant game position Taimanov – Timman,Wijk aan Zee 1981,which is a remarkable queen and rook endgame.
All material is divided in 25 chapters starting with Steinitz’s Elements but slowly growing out to a more modern approach as The eye of the grandmaster,Thought process and line of thinking,Material advantage,Weakend king position,Pased pawn,Weak pawns,Training experiment,Strong and weak squares,The pawn islands theor,The pawn centre,The diagonal,Quiz:strong square,The open file,The bishop pair,Control of a rank,A piece out of play,Quiz:open file,Harmony and coordination,Lead in development,Centralization,Space advantage,Solutions,Epilogue,plus bibliography,about the author and index of players.
Every section of this book ends with four exercises,all based on the elements of strategy.
Conclusion: It is not easy to find a better book on chess strategy!

Kill KID 1 by Semko Semkov
Chess Stars
140 pages
Price €22,95
ISBN  978-9548782708

GM Semko Semkov has in this latest Chess Starts openings book a very interesting approach to the so interesting Four Pawns Attack,some time ago I received here The Fearsome Four Pawns Attack from Konikowski & Soszynski,but this book can not stand in the shadow of Semkov’s killings field.
The material is based on the following lines:
Modern Benoni Pawn Structures
Part 1 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f4 c5 6 d5 0-0
7 Nf3 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 cxd5, Lines without 9..,Re8
Part 2 7 Nf3 e6 8 Be2 exd5 9 cxd5 Re8
King’s Indian Defence and Volga Pawn Structures
Part 3 5 f4 c5 6 d5 0-0 7 Nf3 Rare Lines without 7...e6
Part 4 5 f4 0-0 6 Nf3 Lines without 6...c5
Modern Defence and Other Rare Move Orders
Part 5 1 d4 g6 2 e4 Bg7 3 c4
Part 6 1 d4 g6 2 e4 Bg7 3 c4 d6 4 Nc3 Kd7 5 Nf3
Part 7 1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 d6 3 Nc3 Lines without ...g6.
The modern defence kind lines are based on the move order: 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.d5 but Semkov also mentions 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Be3 e5 6.Nge2 Nh6 7.f3 f5 8.d5 Ne7 9.Qd2 Nf7 10.0-0-0 f4 11.Bf2 g5 12.h3 h5 13.Kb1 Ng6 14.c5 and white’s spatial advantage makes his attack much more efficient as Semkov explains.
But dear reader you buy this book for the Four Pawns Attack and lines like these:
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 c5 6.d5 0-0 7.Nf3 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Ng4 12.e6 fxe6 13.d6 Qb6 14.Ng5 Nh6 15.0-0 Nc6 16.Nge4 Nf5 17.Bg5 Ncd4 18.Qa4 Nc6 19.Nf6+ Bxf6 20.Bxf6 Nxd6 21.Qh4 Rf8 22.Bh5 and Semkov writes: An exquisite move.Black still can put up some resistance, but the result of the opening battle is already clear.The threat of taking on g6 is impossible to deflect: Qb4 23.Qg5 Nf5 24.Rf4 Qxb2 25.Rb1 Qd2 26.Bxg6 Qe3+ 27.Kh1 h6 28.Qg4 Ne5 29.Bxe5 Qxe5 30.Bxf5+ Kh8 31.Qg6 exf5 32.Qxh6+ Kg8 33.Nd5 with a great advantage!
This book follows the Chess Stars structure,where each system is examined in a separate part which contains three chapters: Quick repertoire, Step by Step and complete games.
I would like to end with the sensational move :
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 c5 6.d5 0-0 7.Nf3 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 Re8 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Ng4 12.e6 fxe6 13.d6 Qb6 14.Ng5 Nh6 15.0-0 Nf5 16.Rxf5!! Semkov: I have not analysed any other continuation since this hit proved to be good enough.Rybka and Fritz 11 at depth 15 still do not see it at all.Later I discovered that Deep Junior 10 comported more humanly.It picked up this sacrifice in a flash and correctly evaluated it in white’s favour ever since the first second,the engine rejected this opinion.
After 16.. gxf5 17.Bb5 Rf8 18.Bc4 and black’s queenside pieces are unable to rescue it’s king on time.Semkov explains this all with around two pages of text.
Conclusion: Buy this book if you want to win with the Four Pawns Attack!

British Chess Magazine No.5
Volume 129
May 2009
Price: £4,05

This May issue holds the latest Melody Amber tournament ,reported by Peter Doggers who was there for on the spot report with rapid play, blindfold and tournament unfold.
Facainating is the blindfold game Wang Yue – Anand,where two black knights had to face a pawn and this all with out the use of the board.
Interesting to mention is that neither player made an illegal move!
IM Sam Collins is responsible for Games department where you can play throw some fine annotated games from the talented Collins himself all taken from the Hyakketsu Rapidplay 2009.
Other readable contributions are European Championship, Chess questions answered by Gary lane who digs in the Danish Gambit!
Some players manage to loose in no time with it: 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.Nxc3 Bb4 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d5 9.exf6,Jameson – van Kemenade,Welsh Championship 2008.Shaun Taulbut has created a enjoyable Test your chess column and the endgame lovers will Speelman advises on knight endgames {Speelman on the endgame}
Use one knight to blockade the pawn and king,and the other knigkt to shepherd the enemy king into a corner.
But these is more Endgame studies by John Beasley,Quotes and Queries etc.
Conclusion: One of the oldest and best readable chess magazines in the world!             

Chess DVD's

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 129
May  2009
Fritztrainer video with Alexei Shirov

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

ChessBase Magazine Extra is good for 26766 edited games all played between February and April of this year.
Some super tournaments are the Woman European Championship,Amber Tournaments,Bundesliga,OMSK Championship,Madrid CDV,Pavia op,USA Championship for amateurs, Russian Championship for Woman, Sohag Op, Bad Woerishofen, Dos Hermanas, Belgrade Spring,Toronto PWC,Asian Cities etc.
In  the past a professional chess player had to buy or collect a mass of tournament bulletins but nowadays you only have to click on these ChessBase magazines and all the latest developments simple drop in on your screen!
The Latvian section of the 15th Batsford Modern Chess Openings offered nothing new on the Latvian Gambit but here I found 16 Latvian games and what do you think from the following draw?
Fuchs,Heinz (2290) - Vogler,Tilmann (2315) [C40]
BL2-Sued 0809 Germany (2.6), 26.10.2008
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qe7 4.Qh5+ g6 5.Nxg6 Qxe4+ 6.Be2 Nf6 7.Qh3 hxg6 8.Qxh8 Qxg2 9.Rf1 Kf7 10.Qh4 Nc6 11.d3 b5 12.Qg3 Qxg3 13.hxg3 Nd4 14.Bd1 Bb7 15.Be3 Re8 16.c3 Nf3+ 17.Bxf3 Bxf3 18.Nd2 Bh5 19.Rh1 Ng4 20.Nf1 Bh6 21.Kd2 Nxe3 22.Nxe3 f4 23.gxf4 Bxf4 24.Rae1 Kg7 25.Kc2 Rf8 26.Reg1 Bf3 27.Rh3 Bd6 28.Kd2 c5 29.Ke1 a5 30.Kd2 Be5 31.Rg5 d6 32.Rg1 b4 33.Nc4 bxc3+ 34.bxc3 Bf4+ 35.Kc2 Bd5 36.Rb1 a4 37.Re1 Rf7 38.f3 Rb7 39.Reh1 Kf6 40.Re1 a3 41.Rb1 Re7 42.Kd1 Be6 43.Rh8 Bf5 44.Rb6 Kg7 45.Rhb8 Re6 46.Rd8 Bxd3 47.Nxd6 Be2+ 48.Kc2 Re7 49.Re8 Rxe8 50.Nxe8+ Kh6 51.Kb3 Bd1+ 52.Kc4 Be2+ 53.Kd5 Bxf3+ 54.Ke6 Be2 55.Nd6 Kh5 56.Rc6 Be3 57.Ke5 Kg4 58.Ne4 g5 59.Nxc5 Bb5 60.Rc8 Kf3 61.Ne6 g4 62.Nd4+ Bxd4+ 63.Kxd4 g3 64.Rf8+ Ke2 65.c4 Bd7 66.Rg8 Kf3 67.Rxg3+ ½-½
The great Greco played this line a lot sometimes even against himself!
Pleasant to see is the following win form the first World Champion in Latvian gambit:
Ashmore,Charles - Downey,Michael [C40]
Dos Hermanas Internet qual-E 10th ICC INT (7), 15.03.2009
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 e4 4.Ne5 Nf6 5.d4 exd3 6.Bxd3 d6 7.Nc4 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Nc3 c6 10.Bg5 Nbd7 11.Re1 h6 12.Bxf6 Nxf6 13.Qe2 Re8 14.Rad1 d5 15.Ne5 Bd6 16.f4 Qb6+ 17.Kh1 Qxb2 18.Nxd5 Nxd5 19.Qf3 Qxa2 20.Ng6 Rxe1+ 21.Rxe1 Bd7 22.Ne5 Re8 23.g4 Qa4 24.g5 Qxf4 25.Qxf4 Nxf4 26.gxh6 Nxd3 27.Nxd3 Rxe1+ 28.Nxe1 gxh6 29.f6 Kf7 30.Kg1 Kxf6 31.Kf2 Bxh2 32.Nd3 Bd6 33.c4 Bf5 34.Ke2 Bxd3+ 35.Kxd3 h5 36.c5 Bc7 37.Ke4 h4 38.Kf3 h3 39.Kf2 h2 40.Kg2 Kf5 41.Kh1 Ke4 42.Kg2 Kd5 43.Kh1 Kxc5 44.Kg2 b5 45.Kh1 b4 46.Kg2 b3 47.Kh1 b2 48.Kg2 b1Q 49.Kf2 h1Q 50.Ke2 0-1
Alexei Shirov is so kind to show you in video text his best game against Rainer Buhmann.
Again there is a lot to learn from the instructive and honnest words from Shirov!
Conclusion: Certainly a must buy for all tournament sharks!