Latest book reviews of 1 May 2019

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
           John Elburg

                                                                                                            Chess Books

Louis Paulsen 
A Chess Biography with 719 Games by Hans Renette

McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.
Price $75.00

ISBN: 978-1-4766-7195-6

The Belgium chess historican Hans Renette has again managed to create {again} a wonderful biography
with 719 games on the legendary Louis Paulsen {15/1 1833,born at  Gut Nassengrund near Blomberg - died 18/8 1891},and  a contemporary of the chess genius
Paul Morphy,but certainly also belonged to one of the best five players of that time.
After Jeff Sonas historical rating list Louis Paulsen had between 1862 and 1865 a impressive 2710 Elo and that made him the best player of the early 1860s.
This book holds 672 Louis Paulsen games and the remaining ones are from his chess playing brother Wilfriend Paulsen.
The father of  Louis Paulsen,Dr. Carl Paulsen,was an agriculuralist,a well known potato grower and breeder,but also a dedicated chess player .
His enthusiasm was caught by the whole family,where the oldest son Wilfried even became a strong chess master.
In his prime,Louis Paulsen was the only and best “blindfold player in the world.
He nonchalantly could play 10 games simultaneously,and one even made a stab at 15 games without view of the bord,Michael Negele in his excellent written foreword to this book.
As we can read in the introduction Louis Paulsen took part in 19 significant tournaments of which he won fine and came in second in four others.
The highlights of his career can be situated in the early years 1857-1864 and from 1877 until 1880.
Paulsen influence upon opening theory is immense and cannot be overated.Both with black and white he came with opening contributions in the opening theory such as the Sicilian Dragon, the Sicilian Paulsen Variation, French Defense Paulsen Attack and Vienna Game Paulsen Variation.
For instince Louis Paulsen invented the Khan/Paulsen variation of the Sicilian Defence that runs with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6.
It is clear that Paulsen was far ahead of his time but in 1857 he was not far.As Renette writes:
Paulsen experienced a serve wake up call when he lost decisiely against Morphy in the finale of the New York 1857 tournament.
At first sight he seemed outclassed by the young phenomenon,like all other of his contemporaries but as Renette explains: But to Paulsen's defence speaks that the fact that his opponent was effectively much more book wise while he possessed no theoretical knowledge worth mentioning and had to work it all by himself behind the board.
But game three was well played by Paulsen;Paulsen,Louis - Morphy,Paul [C67]
USA-01.Kongress New York (2), 30.10.1857
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 a6 6.Bd3 d5 7.Nxe5 Nxd4 8.Re1 Be6 9.c3 Nc6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Qa4 Qd7 12.Bxe4 dxe4 13.Qxe4 Bd6 14.Nd2 0-0 15.Nf3 Bd5 16.Qd3 Rae8 17.Bg5 Qg4 18.h3 Qh5 19.Bd2 Re6 20.Ng5 Rg6 21.Ne4 Rxg2+ 22.Kxg2 f5 23.f3 Qg6+ 24.Ng5 h6 25.c4 Bf7 26.h4 Rd8 27.Qc2 hxg5 28.hxg5 Be6 29.Rh1 Be7 30.f4 c5 31.Rae1 Kf7 32.Rh3 Bc8 33.Kg1 Bb7 34.Bc1 Rd4 35.b3 Bd6 36.Qe2 Re4 37.Qf2 Qe6 38.Rhe3 Qd7 39.Qh4 Kg6 40.Qh3 Be7 41.Rxe4 Bxe4 42.Qe3 Qd8 43.Qh3 Qd4+ 44.Be3 Qc3 45.Qf1 Qa5 46.Qf2 Qb6 47.Re2 Qc6 48.Bc1 Qd7 49.Rd2 Qe6 50.Qe3 Qc6 51.Bb2 Kf7 52.Qh3 Qg6 53.Rh2 Qd6 ½-½,this game was prolonged to the fifty sixth move,but was not recorded farther.
It lasted three sittings,and consumed fifteen hours!
With 11 hours needed to play 34 moves,this game also took a lot of effort from the public to follow.
Paulsen understood that his lack of theoretical knowledge was pronlematic and once he began to hope for a re match wirh Morphy he set himself to the study of opening theory.
He purchased Staunton's Handbook and obtained the most recent edition of Bilguer's Handbuch,edited by von der Lasa.Just as with all his other books,these copies,which are still in the possession of the Paulsen family,are full of remarks in Louis' handwriting.{Louis Paulsen und das Schachspiel in Lippe.}
Louis Paulsen probable;y suffered from diabetes mellitus and that did cause his death
but Louis Paulsen lived very simply and regularly,he only drank water no spirits,coffee or tea,he did not smoke and apparently he had conserved himself very well but it had probably nearly no influence on his killing illness.
Conclusion: One of those superb reads from MacFarland!                                                       

                                                                                                           Chess DVD's                           

Anti-London System
by  Yannick Pelletier

Price Euro 29.90
Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8.1, DirectX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 14/Fritz 16 or included Reader and internet access for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and internet access for program activation.

The chess genius grandmaster Yannick Pelletier provides the user with a impressive 4 hour 50 min coverage of the London System, packed in 23 opening video files plus 11 exercises and a extra Hugh database of 148 entries, and where the most of these entries are more than excellent analysed, for the good order Pelletier did annotate a small 100 of them!
Basically the London System is a collection of solid lines where white after 1.d4 quickly develops his dark squared bishop to f4 and bolsters his centre with c3 and e3 rather than expanding. So you can call it a solid but dynamic set-up,and as we can learn from Pelletier it is not difficult to understand and easy to learn.
The following example comes from the famous Tim Wall:Wall,Tim (2242) - Korneev,Oleg (2563) [D00]
SCO-ch op 124th Dundee (9), 23.07.2017
1.d4 d5 2.Bf4 c5 3.e3 Nc6 4.c3 Nf6 5.Nd2 Bf5 6.Ngf3 e6 7.Qb3 Qc8 8.c4 This interesting idea can be neutralized with precise play.
 8...cxd4 [8...a5!? is mentionned by Kiril Georgiev in his book. ] 9.Nxd4 Nxd4 [Strangely enough, Korneev did not do his homework and failed to improve in a subsequent game of his: 9...Bg6 10.Nxc6 bxc6 (Povah,N (2303)-Korneev,O (2560) Vale 2018) 11.Rc1!²;
Georgiev recommends 9...dxc4! 10.Qxc4 (10.Nxc4? Bb4+; 10.Bxc4 Nxd4 11.exd4 a6 12.Rc1 Qd7=) 10...Nxd4 (10...e5 11.Bxe5 Nxe5 12.Qb5+ Nc6 13.Qxf5 Nxd4 14.Qxc8+ Rxc8 15.exd4 Bb4 should also be enough for equality) 11.Qxd4 Qc6 12.Qc4 Qxc4 13.Bxc4 a6=] 10.exd4 Be7 [10...dxc4 11.Nxc4f] 11.c5 0-0 12.Be2 Nd7?! [12...b6! is the right approach to equality] 13.0-0 Nb8 14.Qc3 a5 15.Nb1 Bxb1?! 16.Raxb1 Nc6 17.a3 [17.Qe3!²] 17...Bf6 18.Rbd1 Rd8 [18...Nxd4 19.Rxd4 e5 20.Rxd5 exf4 21.Qf3²] 19.Bg4 g6 20.Rfe1 h5 21.Bh3 a4 22.Qe3 Re8 23.Bg5 Bxg5 24.Qxg5 Qd8 25.Qe3 b6 26.g3 Qf6 27.cxb6 Rab8 28.Bg2 Red8 29.b4 axb3 30.Qxb3 Nxd4 31.Qd3 e5 32.f4 Qxb6 33.Kh1 Nf5 34.fxe5 d4 35.Be4 Ne3 36.Rb1 Qa7 37.e6 Rxb1 38.Rxb1 f5 39.Bf3 Qc5 40.Qb3 Qe7 ½-½ .
Virtually it is playable against every black defence and this is all well explained.
Conclusion: Yannick Pelletier reveals as no other the secrets of the London System!

Opening Encyclopaedia 2019
Price Euro 99.90

Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8.1, DirectX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 14/Fritz 16 or included Reader and internet access for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and internet access for program activation.

The new Opening Encyclopaedia 2019 did not only become a complete new User Interface with new design, new menu, new sorting of openings ,180 brand new opening surveys, over 38000 illustrated games and 20 extra opening videos good for over 7 hours highly instructive video entertainment.
All packed into two heavy loaded download files, which gives you later access to three impressive made databases, as the highly instructive one with all the opening videos.
The aim of this ECO is not a collection so many possible games but more a impressive collection of excellent made opening surveys.
Conclusion: One of those ECO files that you must have on your PC!   

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 188
April  2019
Videos by Christian Bauer, Yannick Pelletier,Georgios Souleidis and Rameshbau Praggnanandha

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99
System requirements:
Minimum: Pentium III 1 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Windows Vista, XP (Service Pack 3), DirectX9 graphic card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 12/Fritz 13 or included Reader and internet connection for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel Core i7, 2.8 GHz, 4 GB RAM, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10, DirectX10 graphic card (or compatible) with 512 MB RAM or better, 100% DirectX10 compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and internet connection for program activation.

Besides the smashing video files from Christian Bauer 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.h4!? and he also explains lectures for us the move 8…Qe8 in the Nimzo-Indian with 4.Qc2.
Yannick Pelletier explains why the move-order 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.e3 is not very in anymore, Georgios Souleidis shows us how to play like Tal and the brilliant Rameshbau Praggnanandha explains the readers how he became the  world's second youngest grandmaster in chess.
The ChessBase team also included a number of annotated games which are all very special to play throw.All 28 luckybag games cover excellent analyses!
As the following example:
Praggnanandhaa,Rameshbabu (2529) - Moroni,Luca Jr (2549) [C60]
Ortisei Server24 op 4th Ortisei (8), 23.06.2018
This was penultimate round. A win in this game would assure me of my final GM Norm. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 I did not expect him to play Nge7. 4.c3 g6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bg7 7.d5 a6 8.Be2 Ne5 9.Nxe5 Bxe5 10.Nc3 d6 11.0-0 [11.Bh6!? Ng8 12.Be3 Nf6 (12...f5!?) 13.0-0 0-0 14.Bd4²] 11...c5?! I think my opponent was hoping for a Benoni kind of structure. [11...0-0 12.Bh6 Re8 13.f4 Bf6 (13...Bh8 14.f5 Bxf5 (14...gxf5 15.Bd3±) 15.exf5 Nxf5 16.Bd2±) 14.f5²] 12.dxc6 bxc6 [12...Nxc6 13.Be3±] 13.Bh6 d5 14.Qd3?! [14.f4! Bxc3 (14...Bf6 15.Qa4± (15.e5? Nf5!=) ) 15.bxc3 dxe4 16.Qa4+-] 14...Be6 [14...dxe4 15.Qxe4 Qd4 16.Qxd4 Bxd4 17.Rad1±] 15.f4 Qb6+ [15...Ng8 16.fxe5 Nxh6 17.Qe3!±;
15...Bf6 16.f5 gxf5 17.exf5+-] 16.Kh1 dxe4 [16...Bd4 17.f5! dxe4 18.Nxe4 Nxf5 19.Rxf5! gxf5 20.Nd6+ Kd7 21.Nxf5 c5 22.Nxd4 cxd4 23.Bg7 Rhd8 24.Bxd4+-] 17.Nxe4 Rd8 18.Qa3!!+- I think my opponent missed this move. [18.Qxa6?! Qxa6 19.fxe5 Nf5 20.Bxa6 Nxh6 21.a4±] 18...Bd4 [18...Bxb2 19.Rab1! Bxa3 20.Nf6# Mate!;
18...Qxb2 19.fxe5+-] 19.Bg5 c5 20.Nf6+ Bxf6 21.Bxf6 Rg8 22.Rad1 [22.Rac1+- was better] 22...Rxd1? This was the last mistake of this game. [22...Bd5! 23.Qxa6 Qxa6 24.Bxa6 Rd6 25.Bb5+ Kf8 26.Be5 Rb6 27.a4+-] 23.Rxd1 Nd5 24.Bh4 Kf8 25.Bf3 Qb5 26.Bxd5 Bxd5 27.Qe3 g5 28.Bxg5 Qc6 29.Qe7+ Kg7 30.Qe5+ f6 31.Qxd5 Qxd5 32.Rxd5 fxg5 33.Rxg5+ With this win I became world's second youngest grandmaster. 1-0
Included are also over 35000 latest played games, played between 27/10 2018 and 6/1 2019.
Conclusion: This is must have material!