Latest book reviews of 1 April

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
Chess Books

How to build your chess opening repertoire by Steve Giddins
Gambit Publications Ltd.

Pages 141
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-901983-89-7

To develop your own openings repertoire is much more interesting  than simple following  the ready to go repertoire books where you usually have to follow exactly the chosen favourite lines of the author, no than I rather prefer a work likes this from Steve Giddins where a reader is invited to work for him self on a section favourite openings lines.
Where chapter one deals with the value of understanding a opening and  how to handle typical openings positions that arise from it, where in big lines you have to know what you are doing!
In chess you have to learn to carry own and to stick to the chosen  line for some  time before you step over to a new one, as you can learn in the instructive examples from Giddins if you  give up an opening every time you encounter a problem with it, than the author is afraid that you will never have much chance to work on a decent opening repertoire at all
A other very interesting chapter is { Main roads or side streets}  shall we go for a  popular main line or a little unknown but tricky sideline?
Some times  the author does not dig so deep as John Nunn once did in his magnificent Secrets of Practical chess and his so discussed chapter on offbeat openings, but the instructive suggestions of both authors stay nearly unchanged if you want to become a master strength player than you will reach soon or later a point where your opening repertoire becomes a limited factor of your development!
A other wise recommendation from Steve Giddins is don’t stick to a relatively narrow repertoire and nothing makes a GM happier than when his less experience opponent gets ‘creative from the first moves!
Interesting to mention is also chapter seven with it’s ‘ Universalities ’ the management of universal systems
which again can limit his development as a strong chess player.
The final chapter discusses some players repertoires as from Fischer, Kasparov, Karpov, Kramnik, Adams, Gurevich, Sveshnikov and Hebden unfortunately all compressed in for my taste in  a to small amount of pages.
If I may say this whole work from Giddins is overfilled with instructive suggestions which you usually only hear from a private chess trainers, pleasant enough a large amount of these suggestions are supplied for the reader  with a collection highly instructive games from the practice.
Conclusion: All together a well written work!

Play the Classical Dutch by Simon Williams

Gambit Publications Ltd.
Pages 128 pages
Price $ 18.95
ISBN 1-901983-88-9

A other very interesting work from Gambit Ltd is this exciting work from Simon Williams on the Classical Dutch covering  exciting lines as the IIyin-Zhenevsky system, the classical Dutch with 1.d4 f5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg4 Bb4+ and some other sub lines as the fascinating  Alekhine’s variation with 1.d4 f5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 Ne4!? a move that  even  belonged  to one of the pet lines of the great chess artist  David Bronstein.
Interesting to mention is that the ECO part A from 2002 gives after the moves 7.Nbd2 probably best 7…Bf6
8.Nxe4 fxe4 9.Ne5 d5 but Williams is keen enough to the give the interesting move 9…c5!? as second alternative!
When I compare this work from Williams in big lines  with the Classical Dutch from Jan Pinski {Everymann Chess}, than I must say admit the Polish master is in some lines as the  IIyin-Zhenevsky system a little  more compressive in lines  but on the other hand  Williams is clearer in explaining the strategy  of the opening to the reader.
Al lines that are worth playing are covered  by the author where the reader has the pleasant  choice between one or  two head lines, where usually one is slightly worse for black but on the other hand safe while the other is risky but as the author explains in his introduction  not necessarily worse.
All important concepts and ideas have been explained intensively which makes this work an excellent companion for all who have interest  to take up the Classical Dutch!
For those who have just have bought Understanding the Leningrad Dutch they shall see some lines as the Staunton gambit covered again!
Also  very pleasant to mention in the work from Williams are the different Classical Dutch set-ups against the English opening as 1.c4 f5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.d3 0-0 and some minor lines as 1.Nf3 and 1.b3!

Conclusion: A fine work to learn the Classical Dutch!

Modern Endgame Practice by Alexander Beliavsky & Andrian Mikhalchishin
Batsford Ltd, London

207 pages
Price GBP 14,99
ISBN 0-7134-8740-2

With the Modern Endgame Practice Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin are closing there trilogy  studies on endgames,
again there is available for the reader a large collection recent endgame material, this time  mainly concentrated on rook endings, as both authors  explain in there introduction, endgame with rooks make up nearly  to 60 % of all our endgames!
The pleasant side of these works from Beliavsky and Mikhalchishin are that they are not so heavy loaded with  long and unreadable searches to the definitive truth, but mainly easy to follow and  direct to the point  explanations ,even that these  works from Beliavsky & Mikhalchishin don’t reach the analytic level from works as for example  Secrets of rook endings from Nunn they are still  for many ambitious club players very attractive, who like to improve  there end knowledge in a not to difficult way of understanding.
Some chapters as the connection of the opening and the endgame are special recommended here we can learn
from the excellent end game techniques from some players as Botvinnik who could as no other transfer to an endgame with double pawns!
Conclusion: An excellent work to get involved with rook endings!

Chinese School of chess by Liu Wenzhe
Batsford Ltd, London

288 pages
Price GBP 16,99
ISBN 0-7134-87773-9

This compressive work from the first Chinese chess master Liu Wenzhe who made quite some fame in the late seventies with beating in no time the great Dutch GM Jan Hein Donner with a simple bayonet attack in the Pirc defence!
This and more we can read in “ The art of thinking the first step of development of the Chinese School of chess” probably the name Chinese explosion would have even been a little more on it's place.
Some way China is still a white map on the chess board and the information that Liu Wenzhe offers us here about the development of Chinese chess and Go is extraordinary interesting, even that the real history of the game of chess that we play is in China short, it was formally listed as sport category back in 1956 when Soviet coaches visited China and instituted chess training classes, unfortunately during the Cultural revolution chess as a sport was suddenly stopped! 
But in the past decade the game has developed very fast, many Chinese children learn Chinese chess just to sit down and concentrate!
Probably many of us have never heard of the Yellow Emperor’s square matrix but you shall be astound how similar it  appears to a chess board, the  story goes that in the twenty six century BC ,the Yellow Emperor who ruled the Xia tribe,and Chiyou,who ruled the Li and Miao tribes fought a decisive battle on the field of Zhuolu,in Hebei province, for possession of the southern Yellow river regions. Where the Yellow emperor planned the square matrix according to the ideas of the book of changes.
Indeed these fables cover certainly some historical truth as we see this by our game of chess too.
The title Xiang for chess comes from the book of changes, where Xiang is a very important concept.Changes
are Xiang in other words Xiang is used to imitate the complexity of objects in the universe, again chess is not from a foreign country , this kind of material  and more can be found in chapter three with it’s origin and nature of chess is all together good for a small 58 pages of this heavy loaded work.
The annotations to the games could be considered as very  original because the book is first written in  symbolic
Chinese writing and than translated back  in English.
Conclusion: A book that I certainly would buy for the Chinese chess development!

Chess CD’s

Chess multimedia Volume 1
Chess Endings by Yuri Averbakh

Le due Torri - via della grada, 9
I-40122 Bologna  Italy
Price Euro 23,50
Technical requiements are Windows 95/98 or later.
Pentium 166 Mhz,32 MB Ram.

A complete new way of reading chess books in this  integrated spoken multimedia  chess book from  the Italian chess company Le due Torri covering Yuri Averbakh’s well known  basic principles of the endgame.
To see a spoken chess book with integrated database and chess engine is quite impressive and you would expect this
more from a large chess empire as ChessBase  than from the Chess shop Le due Torri from Italy.
The spoken words can not be compared in any way with the irritating voice of Fritz no a perfect English speaking voice is written down on the CD.
These multimedia chess CD’s offer not only excellent training’s possibilities  many people who have a  for example a handicap as a dyslexia have the unique opportunity to follow a chess book with out help from others!
This program  is a fine combination of  a reader, voice recorder and a mall integrated but keen working database
program where you have access to a well made interface where all UCI engines can run.
Included is the strong playing SOS engine a real tactical monster but you could also try to  find some other interesting engines as the free available Internet engine Ruffian!
I even saw that it is possible to a eventual DGT board, this seems me perfect combination!
It is  very easy to scroll through the electronic  book and all the included diagrams just open it with a single click of the mouse, where it is even possible to do self tests with interesting  statistics just to see if you have learned
some endgame understanding!
The whole work from Averbakh covers a lot of instructive text with a excellent explanation of all the basic understanding as elementary mates, pawn promotion etc.
The first edition of this popular book goes back to the earlier sixties and has been published over and over again but has never been so instructive supported  as on this CD from Le due Torri!
To work properly with this Chess Multimedia CD it is necessarily to use a internet explorer above 4.0 but 5 or 5.5 are recommended. 

Conclusion: In the past I saw quite some electronic chess books not one could impress me so much as this speaking  CD from Le due Torri!

William Steinitz the first world champion by Thorsten Heedt

Price Euro 25.50
System requirements Pentium PC,32 MB Ram,Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP
Included is a CB reader for reading all data on this CD.

1n 1906 Lasker declared in his famous Lasker’s Chess Magazine that the title of chess champion of the world started it’s career in the brain of William Steinitz some 30 years ago, chess champions of the world have existed before but nobody had designated them in just that way.
If we would start with a selection of the best  players in the world  than we could maybe even start with the Spanish priest  Ruy Lopez!
Anyway this impressive made chess monograph from Thorsten Heedt on the “Father of Modern Chess”
covers besides a interesting biographical overview on Steinitz  a impressive collection Steinitz games,
and well exactly  counted 1089 games of this great man where a small 293 of them are analysed, and that is nearly a small seventy games more than the printed works from Bachmann and Sid Pickard.
When I checked the analytic sources I was surprised to see a impressive collection of 163 games of the great master him self and I personally consider them as the high light of this CD!
The remaining games are largely analysed by the author, 48 of them and the editorial ChessBase
team was good for a small  68 of them  games but I also found also some magnificent in depth analysed from Kasparov which where original all ready published on the  MegaBase CD, this
CD covers by the way nearly all the most important Steinitz games and that are  exactly 959 of them.
Even it is very difficult to find new games of Steinitz the historian usually only dig up new simultaneous and blindfold games  I could easy scroll for the first time of my live  throw all the games of the match Steinitz – De Vera handicap match of 1865!
Besides the 42 text files,database with special topics,trainings file  and games there is a excellent over view from Steinitz his impressive tournament results filled on with photos and drawings {BMP files} from this great chess player so far the
only chess player in the world who could stay undefeated in match play for over twenty – eight years!
Conclusion: A well made coverage on Steinitz!

ChessBase magazine extra issue 92
March 2003
ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99
ChessBase reader and Chess engine Crafty engine 18.11 is included!

Besides the 8470 games {From Warsaw till Bizovac Metalis.} that I found in this well filled  extra ChessBase magazine there is also a video coverage of the  DANNEMANN CLASSICO where from the 1st until 6th of February 2003, vice-world champion Alexandra Kosteniuk and the youngest grandmaster in world, Sergey Karjakin, played a match in the Centro Dannemann of the Swiss town of Brissago.
Included is a interview with Sergey Karjakin but unfortunately for us  not in a avi format but in text file!
It seems that the brilliant Sergey did not want to go on the movie!
But the whole avi files are good for at least a good 300 MB of this CD,so I can insure you  there is enough material left  to look at.
Conclusion: A comfortable way of getting al the latest games!

Chess  Magazines

ChessMail issue 2/2003

Chess Mail Limited, 26 Coolamber Park
Dublin 16 Ireland
Basic Subscription 40 Euros.
{For eight issues.}
Issue two of ChessMail starts with a interview from Tim Harding with Britain’s newest correspondence chess master who is a High judge Court judge by profession.{Good for eight pages!}
The pages 10 till 18 cover all the latest new and of course excellent analysed games from the Champions league
where just over the 50 % of all the games are finished.
Pleasant to mention in this issue is the interesting written theory survey from Tim Harding  about the French defence, {The French in the Heidenfeld memorial.} Because the French was Wolfgang Heidenfeld’s  favourite
chess opening a special prize of 50 Euro was offered for the best played French game.
Besides the Tarrasch lines  I found some exciting Winawer games as the  interesting  Winckelmann’s gambits and all played by the great gambit  master Thomas Winckelmann him self!
But the best awarded game with the French went to David Anderton who avoided wisely  the WRG gambit and out played  Thomas Winckelmann in a small 30 moves with the good old MacCutcheon!
A other superb. contribution from Tim Harding is his review from some latest ChessBase products!
{ I found here some  very interesting  engine tips!}
Others are My games with the French by Rune Degerhammar, Records & Curiosities from Tim Harding, Two Canadian masters die, A well made endgame contribution from Tim Harding on Rook and two pawns versus rook.
Martin Vlasveld wins the Pat Thorn Memorial,Olympiad news & teams,ICCF tournament results service  etc.

Conclusion: A very interesting  issue!


British Chess Magazine issue 3
Volume 123
March 2003
Price: £3.25


Starting with the “Wimbledon of Chess” the super Corus Wijk aan Zee 2003 tournament
as always good for great chess games!
Interesting to mention is that the winner Anand has now completed 59 games at Wijk aan Zee  with out defeat!
The Dutch Timman played a sadly tournament that was marked with great blunders, where the Dutch
Dutch Newspapers claimed that at 51 Timman was to old to complete in such high level tournament!
quite a difference with 25 years ago when he was the hero of the Dutch chess!
The whole coverage from Ian Rogers with photo’s and all  is good for a small seventeen pages highly chess enjoyment!
A other interesting contribution that I would lie to mention is from Steve Giddins and the Hastings Challengers.{Six pages!}
Others are Arkell on the Grand Prix,4NCL January weekend, Reviews and new books, News in Brief, London open 2002, Quotes and queries, Endgames studies, forthcoming events etc.
Conclusion: Enjoyable!