Latest book reviews of 1 March 2023

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
           John Elburg

Chess DVD's

UltraCorr 2023
The basic price for a downloaded copy is 60 Euro

It is a great pleasure for me to announce Tim Harding’s, UltraCorr 2023 correspondence database with a impressive coverage of 2,452,810 entries and that is €129,90 cheaper than the ChessBase Rolls Royce correspondence Chess DVD.
For the review of UltraCorr 2022 please see:
The modern chess player of today has discovered the use of these correspondence games, often played by strong correspondence chess players with latest chess engines and high speed  computers.
The level of chess we see in the Correspondence Chess belongs to the highest out there.
Above all I like Tim Harding his deep research on historical games and excellent made references to the games.
The UltraCorr series is the only CC database edited by an acknowledged expert in chess history and correspondence chess. ICCF Senior International Master Tim Harding.
But first some words from Tim Harding him self on this subject:
During 2022 Tim continued to spend much time on reviewing historical CC games from the 19th and 20th centuries. The 2022 edition included for the first time all games from Professor Pagni's book collections of matches between clubs— in several cases with corrections based on my own research. This time I have added many games from the 19th century volumes of the Deutsche Schachzeitung and other printed sources.
In addition, a large number of late 20th century postal games were sent to Tim in manuscript by Ohio tournament director Maurice H. Carter, for which we aremost grateful. A large number of previously unavailable games were input by me from this source, including many games from American team matches and the complete record of the Horowitz Memorial international tournament. Thanks to Maurice these games have been rescued for posterity.
Additionally these manuscripts enabled me to correct the dates, and in some case the game scores, of many other games which were previously imperfect in UltraCorr.
We are also grateful to some other readers who sent in corrections or other games for inclusion. We are happt to receive corrections or games at any time though there may not be another edition of UltraCorr until January 2024 which (we suspect) will be the last one.
We have continued to improve player and event identification generally and eliminated thousands of bad quality doubles and fragments which were not easy to detect previously.
Have checked the UltraCorr 2023 files on several versions of ChessBase till ChessBase 17 and it all runs perfect.
And I would like to end with a small example:Umansky,Mikhail Markovich - Burger,Heinrich [D72]
H-W. von Massow Mem corr BdF, 1996
[Harding; Umansky]
(TH notes for the book "64 Great Chess Games" based on Umansky's analysis.)  When I first met Umansky in 1996, I made a short interview with him which was  published in Chess Mail 2/1997. Probably the most striking comment that he  made on that occasion was: "I think that in CC the outcome of the game mostly  depends on the opening". Important opening ideas are not the sole preserve of  sharp openings like the Sicilian and King's Indian.Novelties of a strategic  character are very important in high-level correspondence chess. The following  game, which began shortly afterwards in the strongest ever postal tournament,  shows how Umansky applied his philosophy to beat a tough opponent. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nb6 7.Ne2 e5 This  possibility is not even mentioned in the book 'Fianchetto Grünfeld' by  Mikhalchishin and Beliavsky but a known position soon arises by transposition. 8.d5 0-0 9.0-0 c6 10.Nbc3 This position more usually arises from 7...0-0 8  0-0 c6 9 Nbc3 e5 10 d5. 10...cxd5 11.exd5 Na6 Diagram [#] 12.Qb3 A novelty.  12 b3 is known from Antoshin-Tukmakov, USSR 1972, while 12 b3 and 12 a4 have  also been seen. Now if 12 ..Bg4 13 Be3 Rc8 14 Rfd1. 12...Nc5 [12...Bg4 13.Be3 Rc8 14.Rfd1²] 13.Qa3 Na6 14.Rd1 Nc4 15.Qb3 Na5 [15...Nd6 16.Be3 Bd7 17.Ne4²] 16.Qc2 Bf5 [16...f5 17.d6²;
16...Bd7 17.d6 Nb4 18.Qe4²] 17.Be4 Bxe4 [17...Bd7 18.d6 f5 19.Bd5+ Kh8 20.a3 Rc8 21.b4 Nc6 22.Qa2 Nab8 23.Bb2] 18.Nxe4 Rc8 [18...h6 19.b4 Nxb4 20.Qa4 Na6 21.Ba3 Re8 22.d6+- (Umansky) 22...Re6 (22...f5 23.d7 Re6 24.Nd6) 23.Rac1] 19.N2c3 h6 [#] Black prepares ...f5, ...e4 to bring his position to life. White, however,  has seen further. 20.b4 Nxb4 [Not 20...Nc4 21.d6 f5 22.d7 Rc7 23.Nb5 and wins, but now if (21 Qa4 line). However, Umansky has found what Kotov  called a "creeping move": a short queen side-step which significantly alters  the tactical possibilities.] 21.Qb1 [21.Qa4 Rc4 22.Ba3 Nxa2] 21...Na6 22.Ba3! With the point that if 22...Re8 23 d6 Qd7 24 Nd5+- is winning. 22 d6?!  f5 23 Nd5 doesn't work because of 23...Kh7! 24 d7 Ra8! (Umansky). The move  chosen effectively gives up two minor pieces for a rook but retains the strong  d-pawn and creates serious kingside weaknesses. [22.d6?! f5 23.Nd5 Kh7 24.d7 Ra8!] 22...f5 [22...Re8 23.d6 Qd7 24.Nd5+-] 23.Bxf8 Bxf8 24.d6 Rc4 It's all tactics now. Whatever your computer may say, Black didn't like the  look of [24...fxe4 25.Nxe4 b6 26.Qd3 Nb4 27.Qb5 (27.Qf3?! Kg7) 27...Nbc6 28.Qd5+ Kg7 29.d7 Rc7 30.Rac1] 25.Qb5 fxe4 26.Nxe4 Kh8!? The idea  is to prevent the queen invading on f7 with check: 26...Kh7 27 Qd5 Nb4 28 Qf7+  Bg7 29 d7 Rxe4 30 Rd6 Rg4 31 Re6 wins according to Umansky. [#] Now he  undoubtedly had to do a lot of calculation to find the correct route through a  maze of tempting variations. He rejected 27 Qxe5+ Bg7 28 Qe6 Bxa1 29 d7  because after 29...Nc7 30 Qxg6 Rxe4 31 Qxh6+ Kg8 32 Qg6+ Bg7 33 Qxe4 Nc6 34  Rd6 Be5 Black's pieces cooperate well, despite the denuded kingside. [26...Kh7 27.Qd5 Nb4 28.Qf7+ Bg7 29.d7 Rxe4 30.Rd6 Rg4 31.Re6] 27.Qd5! [27.Qxe5+ Bg7 28.Qe6 Bxa1 29.d7 Nc7 30.Qxg6 Rxe4 31.Qxh6+ Kg8 32.Qg6+ Bg7 33.Qxe4 Nc6 34.Rd6 Be5] 27...Nb4 28.Qxe5+ Bg7 29.Qe6 Bxa1 30.d7 By  comparison with the last variation, the knight is further from the passed pawn  and if 30...Nbc6? then 31 Qe8+ Kg7 32 Rd6 wins. 30...Rxe4!? [30...Nbc6? 31.Qe8+ Kg7 32.Rd6+-] 31.Qxe4 Nac6 [31...Nbc6? 32.Qe8+ Kg7 33.Rxa1 Nc4 34.Re1+-] 32.Qxg6! This strips the black king of more cover. After [32.Qe8+?! Kg7 33.Rxa1 Nd3! Black has chances of achieving a blockade.] 32...Be5 The white queen can beat three black minor pieces after [32...Bg7 33.Re1 Qxd7 34.Re8+ Qxe8 35.Qxe8+ Kh7 36.f4 etc.] 33.f4 Bc3 [Against 33...Qb6+ 34.Kg2 Nd8 Umansky calculated 35.Qe8+ Kg7 RR36.Qe7+ (36.fxe5 Nbc6 37.Rd6 RRQb1 (37...Qb2+ 38.Kh3 Nf7 39.Rg6+ Kxg6 40.Qg8+ Kf5 41.Qxf7+ Ke4 42.e6 Umansky -when his king is safe and the passed pawns decide the  game.) ) 36...Kg8 37.Qxe5 Nbc6 38.Qf6] 34.Rd6 [#][34.Rd6 Black  resigned. The final point is a mating attack after 34...Qf8 35.Re6 Qc5+ 36.Kg2 Qd5+ 37.Kh3 Qxd7 38.f5 Ne7 39.Qf7]  1-0
Conclusion: This is a must have database!   


ChessBase Magazine issue 211 Extra
February  2022

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, 10

The main file of this well filled database holds 43422 entries and all played between 29/10 2022 and 1/1 of  this year.
A fine example is the following win from Leon Livaic a strong 2572 player with the good old  Latvian Gambit.
Psyk,Radoslaw (2438) - Livaic,Leon (2572) [C40]
EU-ch Blitz Katowice (20), 16.12.2022
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.d3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Be2 Bb4 6.0-0 Bxc3 7.bxc3 fxe4 8.dxe4 d6 9.Bg5 Be6 10.Rb1 Rb8 11.a4 0-0 12.Nd2 Qe8 13.Bxf6 Rxf6 14.Nc4 b6 15.Ne3 Ne7 16.a5 Qg6 17.axb6 axb6 18.Qd3 Rbf8 19.Ra1 Qf7 20.Bg4 Bxg4 21.Nxg4 Rf4 22.f3 h5 23.Ne3 Rf6 24.Ra7 Nc6 25.Rb7 Na5 26.Ra7 Nc6 27.Rb7 Na5 28.Ra7 Nc6 29.Rb7 0-1.
But there is more as the Lucky bag with 46 heavy analysed games, again a fine example of play: Yoo,Christopher Woojin (2563) - Erigaisi,Arjun Kumar (2725) [C67]
Julius Baer GenCup KO INT (1.14), 22.09.2022
[Giri, Anish]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 In a must-draw, Erigaisi plays the most solid opening that exists, the Berlin defense. 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.a4 A little sideline, a clever approach, when in a must-win situation. 6...Be7 7.Nc3 0-0 8.d4 e4 Returning the pawn one way or the other is a common way of trying to deal with White's gambit approach. Black could have also included a6 at some point. 9.Nxe4 Nxe4 10.Rxe4 d5 11.Re3 Interesting, intending to swing the rook accross, along the third rank, potentially. 11...Bd6 12.Bxc6 White creates some imbalance, as Black was ready to transfer the knight with Ne7, keeping the symmetry. Now White gets a better pawn structure, in return for the bishop pair. 12...bxc6 13.h3 Modest, but the tempting 13.Ne5 also doesn't exactly kill, after 13...c5. 13...c5 Logical, trying to undouble the pawns, but it wasn't neccessary. Now White gets to eventually control the important dark squares d4-c5. 14.dxc5 Bxc5 15.Rc3 The rook proves useful on the third rank. 15...Bb4 16.Rd3 c6 17.Bf4 Finishing the development. White really doesn't have much, but there is quite some play left here. 17...Re8 Black plays very natural moves- rooks belong on open files. 18.c3 Bf8 19.b4 White highlights the ambition of controlling the dark squares. Black though has a strong light squared bishop and shouldn't be doing badly just yet. 19...Bf5 20.Re3 Rxe3?! Stronger was 20...Be4!, when the bishop on f4 is also potentially vulnerable to Qf6 at some point. Now Black forces White to reposition the dark squared bishop to a better square, a protected one, from which it also controls the c5 square. 21.Bxe3 Bd6 22.Nd4 Bd7 Black has to go passive here, having very slightly misplayed it. 23.Qf3 White gets to activate the pieces now and slowly start bullying Black on the dark squares. 23...Qc7 24.Nb3 A beautiful regroup. Black is still solid, but the dark squares are fully under White's control. 24...Re8 25.Bc5 Be5 26.a5 Bc8 It is still hard for White to do much, as Arjun remains patient and there isn't anything obvious White can try here. 27.Qd3 h6 28.Bd4 Bd6 29.Qd2 White hints at a trade of rooks... or a potential queen sacrifice!? 29...Bh2+ 30.Kh1 Bf4 31.Re1! An incredible idea frankly. It takes deep understanding to realize when the rook and a bishop can match a queen, since the childhood math they teach us, claims that queen is worth a couple of points more. 31...Bxd2 Arjun grabs the queen and indeed, there is no need to panic, as even though White has enough compensation, Black's position is full of resources as well. 32.Rxe8+ Kh7 33.Nxd2 Be6 Hinting at some Qd7 Bxh3 ideas. 34.Nb3 It was also possible to play it more slowly with 34.Kg1!? anticipating the Qd7 Bxh3 idea. 34...Qd7 35.Ra8 Bxh3 Now Black is threatening the perpetual with Bxg2 and Qg4-d1, which White must have missed when allowing 34...Qd7! (in fact I suspect he missed Qd7 itself). Being in a must win, though, Christopher shrugs it off and keeps on fighting. 36.f3!? White has to try, but of course now it is clear that Black has to be in a great shape. 36...Bf5 A more brutal solution was also possible. 36...Qf5!? hinting at Qb1+, and followed by h5-h4, ready to sacrifice the h3 bishop with strong attack against the naked white king. 37.Rxa7 Qe6 38.Kh2 Qe1 Black is chasing a perpetual. White is desperate. 39.g4?! Draw was not an option... 39...Qe2+ A slow 39...Bg6! followed by h5 would lead to mating attack, but I can imagine Arjun relaxed somewhat here. 40.Kg3 Qe1+ Surprisingly, simplifying makes Black's life only harder. Stronger was still Bg6! intending h5 and a slow, yet quick attack. 41.Bf2 Qxc3 42.gxf5 Qxb3 43.Rxf7 Suddenly there are threats of a6, but also Bd4! and Arjun panics. 43...Qxb4? This lands Black in trouble, as the a-pawn keeps on walking. From the possible defense I like 43...h5!?, intending h4+, but also giving h6 square for the king, which can be relevant after an eventualy Bd4 Rxg7. 44.a6 Black has suddenly found himself at the edge of a cliff and now stumbles again. 44...Qa4? It was neccessary to find a strong idea here- 44....Qd2! intending to grab the f7 rook with Qg5-Qh5-Qxf7 was still holding. 45.a7 Now Black is actually lost. 45...d4 46.f6 This gives Black some chances, but the win with 46.Re7!! was not findable with the time White had. The natural 46.Rd7 wasn't good enough because of c5!. 46...Kg6 Black keeps on fighting, but White still has the a7 pawn and it remains a near hopeless mission to stop that pawn. 47.Rd7 gxf6 48.Rxd4 Using the fact that Qxa7 loses to Rg4+ discovery. 48...Qa5 49.Rc4 Black has to be super accurate here to not lose immediately. 49...Qa6? A final mistake, now White gets access to the 8th rank and there turns out to be no perpetual anywhere. 50.Rb4! Qa5 51.Rb8! The bishop on f2 does the job of stopping the perpetual on its own. 51...Qg5+ 52.Kh3 Qh5+ 53.Kg2 Qg5+ 54.Kh1 Qh5+ 55.Kg1 Qg5+ 56.Kf1 Qc1+ 57.Be1 Very accurate play by White, now Qc4+ is met with Kg2! and the final check along the 2nd rank will be dodged with Bf2!. Accurately done. 57...Qe3 [57...Qc4+ 58.Kg2 Qe2+ 59.Bf2!] 58.Rg8+ Kf7 59.a8Q Qxf3+ 60.Kg1 Black can give two more checks but after Qe3+ Bf2 Qc1+ Kg2 it is all over. What a fight! 1-0.
But there is more as two smashing video files: Christian Bauer: Caro-Kann and David Navara with the dangerous Saemisch Benoni.
And GM Yago Santiago contributes "The Brilliancy" of this CBM Extra. Against the Gruenfeld he chose a very ambitious variation with 5.h4 and 10.Rh4, which has also been discussed by leading experts.
Conclusion: Important reference material!