Latest book reviews of 1 February 2020

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                                                                                                           Chess DVD's                           

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening
by Robert Ris

E-Mail info@chessbase.com
Price Euro 29.90

Windows 7 or higher
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MacOSX  only available as download! Minimum: MacOS "Yosemite" 10.10

Pattern recognizing is a very important issue in chess,because it helps the chess student to remember the specific characteristics of a position.
This all and well more is excellent explained by the master of explanation Robert Ris.
The chess student will find instructive topics as Importance of the centre, Lead in development & tactics, King in the centre, Neglecting kingside development, Grabbing a poisoned pawn, Capture towards or away from the centre?, Castling too early, Flank attack, Misplaced piece, and Space advantage.
The  knowledge of the user  will then be tested by 50 instructive examples, again all with instructive multiple questions.
These exercises contain various tactical and  positional aspects. Included are here also over extra 50 examples, simple to see if you have learned from the instructive strategy lessons.
Interesting to mention is the new feature in the Fritz app to play out positions. A careful study of this series will improve  your understanding of the position and it will help you to get with out any problems through the opening stage.
Of course this comes all with interactive training including video feedback and the running time is  6 hours 40 minutes! (English)
A fine example of play is:Aronian,Levon (2794) - Kramnik,Vladimir (2800) [C65]
FIDE Candidates 2018 Berlin GER (3), 12.03.2018
[IM Robert Ris]
In the following game Kramnik launched a powerful exchange sacrifice to start a devastating attack against the white king. The lack of coordination and inability to activate the forces left White behind in a hopeless situation.
 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5 5.Bxc6 dxc6 6.0-0 Qe7 7.h3 Rg8!? [#] A fascinating idea worth remembering. In openings like the Ruy Lopez and Italian you have to be careful not castling too quickly, especially since your opponent hasn't decided yet where to place the king. In this particular case White also has weakened his kingside with the move h3, which Black now aims to exploit with a quick ...g7-g5-g4 with the idea of opening the g-file.
 8.Kh1 [Anticipating Black's intentions. For example, after 8.Nc3 g5! Black's attack is already quite threatening, as 9.Bxg5 will be met by 9...Bxh3 10.gxh3 h6 and Black regains the piece, while White's kingside is seriously weakened.;
Also after a developing move like 8.Bg5 White is unable to stop Black's early aggression. Simple and strong is 8...h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 and the g-pawn will be launched on the next move.] 8...Nh5 [The point of White's last move is revealed after 8...g5? 9.Bxg5! and since the white king has left the g-file, Black is unable regaining the pawn or claim sufficient compensation. Another option is;
8...h6 with nice prospects on the kingside for Black.] 9.c3 [Since White will be facing problems with the development of his pieces on the queenside, perhaps it would have made more sense instead to play 9.Nc3 . After the text White's position becomes very unpleasant to handle.] 9...g5! 10.Nxe5 g4! [The point of Black's play. Nothing can be gained from 10...Qxe5? 11.Qxh5 and White is in great shape.] 11.d4 [11.Nxg4? is met by 11...Bxg4 12.hxg4 Qh4+ 13.Kg1 Ng3 with mate on the next move.] 11...Bd6 [Kramnik accurately maintains the tension, since after 11...gxh3? 12.g3! White's king is absolutely safe again.(However, not 12.Qxh5? hxg2+ which loses material.) ] 12.g3 Bxe5 13.dxe5 Qxe5 14.Qd4 Qe7! [Keeping queens on the board is in the spirit of Black's aggressive approach. It's tempting to sacrifice the knight with 14...Nxg3+? 15.fxg3 Qxg3 but after 16.Qe3! there is no good way continuing the attack.;
Black could also have considered just taking a pawn with 14...Qxd4 15.cxd4 gxh3 , but once again, that is not what Black had been aiming for going for a quick kingside attack.] 15.h4 c5! [An excellent follow-up. I guess many people would have proceeded with a natural developing move like 15...Be6 which in fact doesn't have a clear purpose at all. With the text Kramnik aims to drive the white queen to an inferior square and also prepares to activate the light-squared bishop on the long diagonal, exploiting the weaknesses around the White king.] 16.Qc4 Be6 [Much more powerful than on the last move, as now Black gains at least a tempo by attacking the game. Note that Black can't play 16...b6?? because of 17.Qd5! and both the rook and knight are unprotected. A welcome reminder that you always need to be tactically alert, even in positions where it seems nothing could go wrong for you.] 17.Qb5+ [17.Qa4+ Bd7 and on the next move the bishop goes to c6.] 17...c6 18.Qa4? [After this move Black's attack is irresistable. In any case, White should have kept his queen closer to the centre with 18.Qd3 but then, still, Black build up an impressive attack against the white king, starting with 18...f5! with similar ideas as in the game.] 18...f5! 19.Bg5 [#] [The main problem for White is that 19.exf5 will be strongly met by 19...Nxg3+!! (19...Bd5+? 20.Kh2! is less clear) 20.fxg3 Bd5+ 21.Kg1 Qe2 and it becomes clear how poorly White's pieces are coordinated: 22.Rf2 Qe1+ 23.Rf1 Qxg3# After the text Black eliminates basically the only defender of White's kingside.] 19...Rxg5! 20.hxg5 f4! [Although 20...Qxg5 is perfectly fine as well, Kramnik 's move probably even stronger. The pawn on g5 isn't running away, while Black intends to destroy first the shield of White's king.] 21.Qd1 [White is an exchange up, but his miserably placed pieces on the queenside and Black's threat of opening up the kingside and challenge the white king leave him in a hopeless position. The following lines illustrate that Black is completely winning: 21.Nd2 fxg3 22.fxg3 Nxg3+ 23.Kg2 Nxf1 24.Nxf1 Qxg5 The engines mention several other options along the way, but in my opinion this is the most human solution with two extra pawns and an exposed king on g2 Black is winning.;
21.gxf4 Nxf4 followed by 22...Qxg5 should either lead to mate or a huge material gain for Black.] 21...Rd8 22.Qc1 fxg3 23.Na3 [What else? 23.fxg3 Nxg3+ 24.Kg2 Nxf1 25.Kxf1 Qf7+ and with a queen coming to f3, mating threats are in the air.;
23.Nd2 Qxg5 24.Nb3 Qh4+ 25.Kg2 Qh2#] 23...Rd3 24.Rd1 [There is no time connecting the rooks, because after 24.Qc2 Qxg5 the rook on d3 is untouchable, because of mate on h2. Aronian's move allows Black to finish it off in great style, making this game a modern classic!] 24...Bd5!! [#] 25.f3 [Alternatives wouldn't have saved White either: 25.Rxd3 Qxe4+ 26.f3 gxf3 27.Re3 f2+ 28.Rxe4+ Bxe4#;
25.exd5 Qe4+ 26.Kg1 gxf2+ 27.Kxf2 Rh3 28.Re1 g3+ followed by 29...Rh1 mate.] 25...gxf3 26.exd5 [26.Rxd3 Qxe4 and Black wins like after 25.Rxd3.] 26...Qe2 27.Re1 [Or 27.Qc2 g2+ 28.Kh2 (28.Kg1 f2+ 29.Kxg2 f1Q#) 28...g1Q+ 29.Kxg1 f2+ 30.Kh2 f1Q+ 31.Qxe2+ Qxe2+ and Black wins.] 27...g2+ [27...g2+ and White resigned, as mate can't be avoided: 28.Kg1 (28.Kh2 g1Q+ 29.Kxg1 f2+ 30.Kh1 Rh3+ 31.Kg2 f1Q#) 28...f2+ 29.Kxg2 f1Q#]  0-1
Conclusion: Outstanding instructive!

ChessBase Magazine issue 193
January - February  2020

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 19.95
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

The main file of this well made ChessBase Magazine is good for over 1600 entries and many of  them are more than excellent analysed as for example: Caruana,Fabiano (2812) - Fedoseev,Vladimir1 (2664) [B31]
FIDE Chess.com Grand Swiss Douglas (6), 15.10.2019
This game was played the day after a marathon against Luke McShane, where I was outplayed by my opponent, forced on the back foot for the better part of 7 hours and survived only by a miracle. Several times I was a move away from resignation. After a close call like that I felt both exhausted and inspired. 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.0-0 Bg7 5.c3 e5 6.d4!? So I went for a very sharp line, involving a long term pawn sacrifice. I didn't feel like I had much energy, but I still wanted a double-edged fight and to put pressure on my opponent from the open. 6...cxd4 7.cxd4 exd4 8.Bf4 After this it seemed that Fedoseev was already somewhat unfamiliar with the position. His preparation for this variation was probably not thorough enough. 8...Nge7 9.Bd6 0-0?! This surprised me. I remembered that Black should go for an early ...a6, ...b5, ...Bb7 in order to have ...Nc8, kicking the bishop from d6. [9...a6 10.Bc4 b5 11.Bb3 Bb7 , with Nc8 coming next, is what I had expected.] 10.Nbd2 I spent a lot of time on this move, trying to familiarize myself with the position. However, it seems I didn't choose the most accurate option. [I should have restricted Black on the queenside: 10.a4! a6 11.Bc4 Now ...b5 isn't available for Black. 11...b6 12.Nbd2 Bb7 13.Re1 , and Black will find it very hard to liberate himself.] 10...a6 11.Qa4 Ra7 This isn't dynamic enough. Black already had to go for drastic measures. [11...b6 12.Qa3 Bb7! An exchange sacrifice to help Black regain some freedom for his pieces. 13.Bxc6 Nxc6 14.Bxf8 Bxf8 15.Qa4 White is slightly better, but Black has counterplay and good chances to defend.] 12.Bd3 b5 13.Qc2 Now Black also has to deal with Qc5 ideas, hitting the stray rook on a7. However, White's main idea is to play a4, fracturing Black's queenside pawns and opening the c4-square for the knight or bishop to use. 13...Bb7 14.a4 bxa4 [I was expecting Black to give back the pawn with 14...Re8 15.axb5 axb5 16.Bxb5 Rxa1 17.Rxa1 Nc8 , but after the accurate 18.Bc5! the d4-pawn is very weak and White is likely to come out a pawn ahead.] 15.Rxa4 a5 Now Black has ideas of ...Ba6. Trading off some pieces is undoubtedly in Black's favor, but because of his cramped position, he will still run into tactical problems. [15...Re8? attempting to dislodge the bishop with ...Nc8, runs into 16.Bc4! Nc8 17.Bc5 Ra8 18.Qb3 , hitting the bishop and f7-pawn and winning the game.] 16.h4?! A lazy move. I had an abundance of choice and couldn't decide on the right move. [16.b4 was simple and strong: 16...Ra8 (16...axb4? 17.Rxa7 Nxa7 18.Bxe7 Qxe7 19.Qc7 , winning a piece, is the tactical point of b4.) 17.bxa5 (17.b5 Nb4 didn't seem clear to me and was the reason I rejected 16.b4) 17...Rxa5 18.Rb1! Ba8 19.Nc4 Rxa4 20.Qxa4 , and White has an enormous advantage because Black is practically unable to move a piece.] 16...Ba6? [It was again time for drastic measures: 16...Nc8! 17.Bxf8 Bxf8 is a straight exchange sacrifice, and of course Black doesn't have full compensation, but because of the counterplay with ...Nb4 he would have good practical chances to defend.] 17.Bxa6 Rxa6 18.b4! The tactical problem with ...Ba6. The a-pawn is pinned and White threatens the decisive b5. 18...Na7 Forced. [18...Ra8? 19.b5 Nb4 20.Qb3 , and with the knight on e7 fully pinned and Nc4 coming, Black would be dead lost.] 19.Qc5? Another inaccurate move. My technique was far from ideal in this game. [19.e5! was my first instinct, and as usual it was what I should have trusted. 19...Rc6 20.Qd3 Rc3 21.Qxd4 Nb5 seemed messy to me, but after 22.Bxe7 Qxe7 23.Qb6 the tactics work out for White and I would have been a solid pawn up.] 19...Nac8 Now a forced sequence of moves begins. [19...Re8 20.e5 is now crushing, since b5 is unstoppable.] 20.Bc7 Qe8 21.b5 d6 Forced, so as not to allow b6. 22.Qc4 d5? This move absolutely shocked me. It hadn't even crossed my mind when I was calculating beforehand. After seeing it on the board I couldn't understand what my opponent was hoping for, because it looked like I had an abundance of good options. [22...Nb6! is absolutely forced. 23.Bxb6 Rxb6 24.Rxa5 White still has a solid advantage, but Black's defensive chances are reasonable. I was rather upset at myself for having not made the most of my advantage.] 23.Qc5! The cleanest refutation. Once I saw this move I barely hesitated. [23.exd5 Nd6 24.Bxd6 Rxd6 is of course not what White wants.;
23.Qd3!? also seemed very strong, however. But Qc5 was just too tempting to pass by.] 23...dxe4 24.Nxe4 d3!? A sneaky move, but not difficult to refute. [I believe that one of the things that Fedoseev missed was that 24...Re6 25.Nfg5 traps the rook on e6 and wins.;
24...Ra7 was the most tenacious defense, and among other winning moves White has the powerful 25.Re1! , with unstoppable threats.(25.Rxa5 Rxa5 26.Bxa5 is also simple and good. The trapped knight on c8 and the passed b5-pawn constitute White's winning advantage.) ] 25.Ra3 A good move, but not the only one. [The point of d3 is that 25.bxa6? Qxa4 hits the knight on e4.;
25.Rc4! Ra7 26.b6 Rb7 27.Qxa5 was also crushing.] 25...Re6 [Fedoseev understandably didn't want to maroon his rook with 25...Ra7 26.b6 Rb7 , but perhaps it was slightly more tenacious than his choice.] 26.Nfg5 Now Black is forced to abandon his rook, so White secures a decisive material advantage 26...Nf5 27.Nxe6 Qxe6 28.Ra4! This move was psychologically difficult to decide on, because my rook just came from a4, but stopping anything from coming to d4 is worth it. The rest was easy. 28...Re8 29.b6 This pawn is so strong it will cost Black more material. 29...Qd7 30.Qxa5 Nxb6 31.Bxb6 Qc6 32.f3 d2 33.Bf2 Bh6 34.Ra3 Qc2 35.Qd5 Qc1 36.Ra7 Rf8 37.Ra1 [Actually here I had a scary moment. I'm up a rook and nearly any move wins, but I was briefly considering 37.Ng5?? and then realized that it allows 37...Ne3! 38.Bxe3 d1Q 39.Rxd1 Qxe3+ , and the rook on a7 surprisingly falls. Thankfully I avoided that disaster!] 37...Ne3 38.Bxe3 Bxe3+ 39.Kh1 Qc7 40.Qd3 Bh6 41.Qd4 Rd8 42.Nf6+ Kh8 43.Nd5+ Kg8 44.Ra8 And here Fedoseev threw in the towel. This win helped me secure a share of first place, which I held to the end. Wang Hao caught me with a clutch win against David Howell in the last round, edging me on tiebreaks and securing qualification to the 2020 Candidates. Congratulations to him! 1-0.
Indeed  super interesting!
Smashing are also the included video opening  files:
Simon Williams: Ruy Lopez
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 d5
Daniel King: English
1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Bb4
Alexei Shirov: Najdorf Variation with 6.h3 (II)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 e5 7.Nb3.
Other contributions are the 12 extra included openings files as the one from Renato Quintiliano on the good old Traxler:
Van Foreest,Lucas (2395) - Sparenberg,Erik (2119) [C57]
Groningen op-A 54th Groningen (1), 21.12.2016
[Quintiliano, Renato]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5?! 5.Bxf7+! From a practical point of view, I think this is the best option for White. [For 5.Nxf7 see next games.] 5...Ke7 6.Bb3 Rf8 As mentioned in the previous games, Black aims to get the initiative for the pawn, in view of the open f-file and better development.
7.d3! I also think this is the most precise move order for White. [7.0-0 is the most played, but the king on g1 gives at least practical chances for Black, as some analysis suggests: 7...d6 8.Nc3 (8.d3 Bg4 9.Nf3 Qe8 10.Nbd2 Qh5 11.h3 Nd4! The î?§g4 can't be taken due to mating ideas on h2, but White forces mass exchanges after 12.c3 Nxf3+ 13.Nxf3 Bxf3 14.Qxf3 Qxf3 15.gxf3 Nh5²) 8...Nd4! 9.Nd5+ Nxd5 10.Bxd5 Rf4!? Suddenly, it is not so obvious how White should continue, and Black got chances in Escalante Ramirez,B (2331)-Requejo,O (2240)/PER-ch Grand Prix final 2016 (5)/½-½ 11.d3 White would be better after a difficult line: (but not 11.Qh5? Bg4! 12.Qxh7 Qh8! 13.Qxh8 Rxh8 when White is already in trouble, for example 14.d3 Ne2+ 15.Kh1 Ng3+ 16.Kg1 Rxh2!! 17.Kxh2 Nxf1+ 18.Kg1 Rxf2-+) 11...Bg4 12.f3!! Nxf3+ 13.Kh1 In this case, White is winning. 13...Nxh2 14.Rxf4! Bxd1 15.Rf7+ Ke8 16.Bxb7! Qxg5 17.Bxg5 Kxf7 18.Bxa8+-] 7...d6 [7...Qe8 wouldn't improve things for Black: 8.Be3 Bxe3 9.fxe3 Qg6 10.Nf3 and since the g2-pawn is taboo, White finishes his development without problems. 10...d6 11.Nc3±] 8.Be3! This exchange easily neutralises Black's attempts at an initiative on the kingside. 8...Bxe3 [8...Bg4 9.Qd2 Nd4 would be an attempt to pose more problems for White, but it doesn't work: 10.Nc3 Qe8 (10...h6 fails due to the intermediate moves 11.Bxd4! exd4 12.Nd5+ Nxd5 13.exd5±) 11.h3 Bd7 The easier path to consolidate White's advantage seems to be going for exchanges. 12.Bxd4 Bxd4 13.Nf3 a5 14.Nxd4 exd4 15.Nd5+ Nxd5 16.Bxd5 keeping the pawn up and a good position, for example 16...Qg6 17.e5! dxe5 18.Bxb7 Rab8 19.Be4±] 9.fxe3 Ng4 10.Nf3!? [Objectively stronger was 10.Nc3! Nxe3 11.Qd2 Ng4 12.Nxh7+-] 10...Qe8 Accepting the pawn would be very risky. [10...Nxe3 11.Qd2 Ng4 12.Nc3 (12.Qg5+ - winning the pawn back looks good enough as well.) 12...Nf6 13.Qg5! g6 14.0-0 Black's king is in a difficult situation, stuck in the centre, for example 14...Be6 15.Bxe6 Kxe6 16.Nd5! Nxd5 17.Qg4+! Ke7 18.exd5+-] 11.Nc3 Qh5 [11...Nxe3? 12.Qd2 Ng4 13.Qg5+ is also very bad for Black.] 12.Qe2 Qh6 13.Nd5+ Kd8 14.0-0-0+- White has basically finished the development while keeping the extra pawn and a better position. Black realised that he was lost and tried to confuse matters a bit, but it was in vain. 14...Nd4 15.Nxd4 Rf2 [15...exd4 16.Rdf1+-] 16.Qe1 exd4 17.h3 Nxe3 18.Qxf2 Nxd1+ 19.Kxd1 Bg4+ 20.hxg4 [20.Ke1?? Qc1#] 20...Qxh1+ 21.Ke2 Rc8 22.Qf8+ Kd7 23.Ba4+ 1-0.
Other columns are Williams: Move by Move,Rogozenco: The Classic on the game Alekhine –Nimzowitsch San Remo 1930,Marin:The king in the centre,Reeh: Tactics,Knaak:Topical opening traps and at last a superb contribution from the great Karsten Müller on various important to know rook ending strategies.
Useful booklet in two languages is included!
Conclusion: Smashing material!