Latest book reviews of 1 May

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
Chess Books

Der Linksspringer 1.Sc3 by Harald Keilhack
Schachverlag  Kania
Richard Wagner str.43 71701 Schwieberdingen  Germany.
399 pages
Price Euro 24.80
ISBN 3-921192-20-2

The Queens knight with  1.Nc3  is a seldom guest  under grandmasters even it is now and than played I guess that there are simple to  many transpositions for a professional to go for this move but as many interesting openings this bright move is discovered by strong correspondence players who have discovered the hidden possibilities of this brave knight.
Usually the standard  openings books don’t cover much information about this night move at all, as for example Nick de Firmain who  wrote in his heavy loaded Modern Chess Openings only a few words about the  Queens knight attack and well  that  it could transpose into the Vienna game after 1…e5 2.e4 but white usually seeks unknown lines, so that is not much information for a reader who  is interested in a unorthodox opening move, so when you open  this heavy loaded work from Harald Keilhack  you could easy get excited by simple seeing the large amount of material that the author did dig up!
Believe that we easy can speak from a detailed study of the van Geet opening , please excuse me if I call this opening after the Dutch  chess genius  Dick van Geet who has brought this opening as no other in to day light.
Taking up this opening means in the practice  that you have to be prepared to work  with all kind of transpositions and the reader probably could consider 1.Nc3 as a simple  transpositional  tool.
The material is covered at the hand of a collection of 99 in great detailed analysed games where the author
guides you in a enjoyable way  throw the jungle of lines  where you don’t have to be afraid to fall in one or other tricky move order no Harald  has covered nearly every possibly line where you get the feeling that every written line that is published about 1.Nc3  is turned with a critical view up side down.
Pleasant enough the material is brought down very readable with a large amount of text and instructive explanations of the played strategies.
Enjoyable throw this work are the contributions from the German gambit expert Rainer Schlenker based on his vanished but fascinating Rand springer magazine.
Many lines as 1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 e6 2.g3 the so called “Anti French” can easy turn up from other move orders so this book could also be very interesting for players who are searching for some refreshing ideas!
Conclusion: A highly  recommended  work!

Bobby Fischer from chess genius to legend by Eduard Gufeld
Thinkers Press

192 Pages
Price $ 18.95
ISBN  0-938650-84-X

This work from Eduard Gufeld does not tell us the story of Fischer from today but  takes us back to the chess genius  Fischer and the legends that go round with him.
Nearly the whole first half of this book go to the personal experiences of  Eduard Gufeld  and has been interestingly enough published before in Russia  under the title Fischer: Legend and the Truth.
Eduard Gufeld could hold the chess pen as no other chess journalist as for example how Gufeld describes in this book  the story of a man who once entered in 1978 a New York city cafe where two customers where playing chess, having noticed that one of the players  has lost a relatively simple game the man pointed out the loser’s error, but what the poor man heard  in response what not flattering “But I am Bobby Fischer said the man, the players looked at each other with surprise and said so what?
This work from Thinkers press covers a lot of these enjoyable anecdotes and stories where many of them I have never seen of heard before.
I am aware that the author did attempt to separate legend from truth but be aware there are stories from Fischer
who could come out the hand of some fancy journalists.
Throw al this book there is a good collection of a small forty games where many  have been printed before
but some computer and simultaneous games have never seen any print.
The second part of this book covers interesting  articles from  the co-authors as Carlos Almarza-Mato, Mike Morris, Wolfgang Unzicker, Gudmundur Thorarinsson, Grabi Kristjánsson and Thinkers  Press director Bob Long.
Included is a  collections of rare Fischer photo’s who gives us an excellent view of one of  the greatest chess prodigies  of all time.
Conclusion: Unfortunately the author passed away before he could see the book but I am sure he pleased a lot of chess friends with his so unique view on Fischer!

Grandmaster Secrets openings by Andrew Soltis
Thinkers Press
240 pages
Price $ 25.00
ISBN 0-938650-68-8

Grandmaster Secrets Endings by Andrew Soltis
Thinkers Press
240 pages
Price $ 25.00
ISBN 0-938650-66-1

We already reviewed Grandmaster secrets last year on our web but I am pleased to mention this brand  new revised and updated edition of Andrew Soltis his grandmaster secrets, again at the hand of the instructive teacher student dialog supplemented with highly
interesting made creative caricatures of the Press editor-in-chief  Bob Long.
In this enjoyable work the reader can get easy involved with all kind of endgame positions and techniques  as for example  the famous Lucena type position, where white must learn to build up a bridge which enables white’s king to escape, even it looks all very simple but it has to be learned!
Andrew Soltis concentrates in this endgame book on endgames from the grandmasters practice mainly played  in the eighties and nineties.
The aim of this work lays for me by the more ambitious club player who want to improve on his or hers endgame skills in a very enjoyable way of understanding,but I could imagine that a chess collector easy could  go for these eye catching  caricatures of Bob Long!
Conclusion: The endgame material is not compressive but essential and lovely packed in a highly enjoyable read!

Guide to good chess by C.J.S Purdy
Thinkers Press
140 pages
Price $18.95
ISBN  1-888710-04-7

A classic beauty is this chess guide from the amassing Purdy with his so didactic way of explaining
It was the great Fischer who once wrote that Purdy instructive explanations belong to the best that where ever written!
This chess manual is now slowly  on it’s twelfth printing and brought up to the latest standard as algebraic notation.
In the last 50 years there have been many chess guides but not one is so well in explaining general chess principles as this classic chess guide to good chess from C.J.S  Purdy!
Conclusion: One of the finest chess guides that I ever had in hand!
On the endgame by  C.J.S Purdy
Thinkers Press
244 pages
Price $22.50
ISBN 1-888710-03-9

The material for this endgame book has been careful compiled together from Purdy’s former endgame publications as the Australasian Chess Review, Check & Chess world, the first world champion in correspondence chess once remarked in Chess World that he once hoped to do a book on endgames, probably Purdy could never have imagined that 60 years later a small group of chess enthusiast’s  would manage to  bring out this  collection  of  Purdy’s  so fascinating  publications on endings.
As no other Purdy had a great interest in endgame, covering both  the practical side and composed studies, but there also in this book a few complementary contributions as from the Australian chess master M.E Goldstein and a article from A.C. Harris.
As GM Karsten Müller explains in his forward this work is not a full encyclopaedia of endgames but if I may say nearly all important endings are covered in great detail and pleasantly explained in Purdy’s so instructive way of understanding.
When Purdy wrote these article there where no computers and Nalimov Tablebases so in the few cashes that Purdy was proven wrong it is honestly pointed out by the authors.
The material in this book is compiled and edited by Ralp J.Tykodi and had editorial assistance from Frank P.Hutchings,John Purdy and the endgame expert  GM Karsten Müller!
The authors have arranged the material in to two parts, How to play endgames, The short course and all facets of the endgame and all facets of the endgame, all excellent analysed at the hand of a large amount of readable text and explanations where the reader is able to learn in a very practical way  the most important general endgame principles.
Conclusion: Even that these games in this book from Purdy are classic and the references to endgames go back to Fine & Berger these fine explanations of Purdy belong to the best that where ever written on endgames!

2010 chess oddities by Alex Dunne
Thinkers Press
215 pages
Price $18,95
ISBN 0-938650-56-4

2010 chess oddities from Alex Dunne is a invitation in to the world of chess curiosities as quick kills ,fiction, the battle of the sexes in chess, short stories, the babsontask, a great knight fork and more!
Pleasant enough there is quite some place left in this book for real chess as the five most instructive games ever played, or twenty recent short games of chess,where I would like to mention that the game Fraser – Taubenhaus is from Paris 1888 and not 1988.
Unbelievable is the following game between George Gossip and the queen of chess  Ellen Gilbert, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Nxe5 Nxe5 8.dxe5 Nc5 9. Bb3 Nxb3 10. axb3 d6 11. Qe2 dxe5 12. Qxe5+ Qe7 13. Bf4 Qxe5 14.
Bxe5 Bb7 15. c4 O-O-O 16. Nc3 b4 17. Na4 Rd3 18. Rfe1 Rxb3 19. Re3 Rxe3 20.fxe3 Be7 21. Bd4 Rd8 22. Rf1 f6 23. Nc5 Bxc5 24. Bxc5 Rd2 25. Rf2 Rd1+ 26. Rf1 Rxf1+ 27. Kxf1 a5 28. g3 Kd7 29. Ke2 Ke6 30. Kd3 Kf5 31. Bf8 g6 32. Be7 Bg2 33.
Kd4 b3 34. Kc3 a4 35. Kb4 Bf1 36. c5 Bb5 37. h4 Bc6 38. Bd8 Kg4 39. Bxf6 Kxg3 40. Kc3 h6 41. Kb4 Kg4 42. e4  where Gilbert announced mate in 35 moves! g5 43. hxg5 hxg5 44. Bd8 Kf4 45. e5 g4 46. Bxc7 g3 47. e6+ Kf3 48. Be5 g2 49. Bd4 Ke2 50. e7 Kf1 51. Kc3 g1=Q 52. Bxg1 Kxg1 53.Kd3 Kf2 54. Kd2 Kf3 55. Kd3 Kf4 56. Kc4 Ke5 57. Kb4 Ke6 58. Kc4 Kxe7 59. Kb4 Ke6 60. Kc4 Ke5 61. Kc3 Ke4 62. Kc4 Ke3 63. Kc3 Ke2 64. Kb4 Kd2 65. Ka3 Kc2 66.Kb4 Kxb2 67. Ka5 a3 68. Kb6 a2 69. Kxc6 a1=Q 70. Kd7 Ka3 71. c6 b2 72. c7 b1=Q 73. c8=Q Qd4+ 74. Ke7 Qh7+ 75. Ke6 Qg6+ 76. Ke7 Qgd6+ 0-1
And did you know that Jackson Showalter,the first officially recognized US champion (1890) is also considered the inventor of the curve ball in baseball,and that Irena Spassky the sister of Boris Spassky once had won the USSR Women’s checker championship!
Conclusion: A very entertaining work!

Some interesting memories by Raymond Smullyan
Thinkers Press
160 pages
Price $18.95
ISBN 1-888710-10-1

A non chess book from professor, philosopher, mathematician, musician, magician composer and former editor of the Scientific American.
Raymond Smullyan become famous under the chess players with his famous book chess mysteries of Sherlock Holmes,for many a great tribute to logic thinking.
The reader has the unique chance to meet one of the best logician mind puzzle makers of this time, in a honest way Smullyan reviews his life and career filled between the lines with puzzles and April fools jokes.
Even that I could not enjoy all the jokes from Smullyan I must admit he is a very interesting man!

Play winning chess by Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman

Everyman Chess

222 pages
Price $14.95
ISBN 1-85744-331-4

There are many ways to write a book with all the basic principles of chess you can do it mathematically  like John Nunn once did  in his “Learn Chess” book but these mathematically dry works are not suitable for everybody no than I personally prefer a more creative try like this book from Seirawan & Silman even that the title play winning chess is a little overrated.
The whole work from Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman makes good sense and gives us an excellent coverage all basic principles that a chess player needs to know for a first basic understanding of the game,
only chapter eight with the eight annotated model games where some don’t even reach the first ten moves is not completely  what I would have in mind with a chapter of instructive model games.
Included throw this work is a collection drawings and photo’s from our great  masters of chess unfortunately many of them are from  poorly print.
Conclusion: This  work is very creative written and offers all the information that he or she needs to get involved with chess but it could have used in my opinion some more practical  games.

Winning chess Tactics by Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman
Everyman Chess

254 pages
Price $14.99
ISBN 1-85744-333-0

For those who have just finished the basics with the above mentioned work
could try to go for this beautiful collection of chess tactics, even I have some doubts if it is not to large jump!
Anyway the material in this book is pleasant written and divided in to three major parts, where part one for example is sub divided  into thirteen other chapters.
Besides the instructive information about forks pins and double attacks there is the possibility to
do some self tests related to the studied material unfortunately the chosen size of diagrams is irritating small of size.
What I was missing in Play winning chess is covered in part two The great tacticians and there games
where the reader is able to study and play through some games of the  greatest tacticians
of all time, chapter three ends with even more tests and solutions.
Conclusion: A well written work on tactics!

Winning chess Strategies  by Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman
Everyman Chess

257 pages
Price $14.99
ISBN 1-85744-332-2

In this work from Chess strategies you can learn from the authors the most important  secrets of chess strategy as attacking the king, the creating of targets, territorial domination, faulty strategies etc.
All together these wise advises  are good for ten chapters of this book where the last two chapters go to the great masters and the solutions to the problems.
Again I would like to have seen more illustrative  games than the six ones that I found in the chapter of the great masters of strategy, some times the older works as from  Edward Lasker and his famous  chess strategy offer more practical chess games as these new works from Seirawan & Silman!
Interesting to mention is the glossary with some time technical jargon and a excellent made index.
Conclusion: Even it has some mini diagrams it is well written and offers the reader all the information he or she needs to get involved with the first secrets of positional play!
Starting chess by A.J.Gillam
Batsford Ltd, London

174 pages
Price GBP 11.99
ISBN 0-7134-8821-2

Two starters books from the former primary school teacher Tony Gillam,
In starting chess the reader is able to  find everything what she or he needs to get started with chess based on a large amount of easy to understand step by step diagrams.
The material is so clear in this book that  no language at all is necessarily to work throw these books,
but can not say that  it is very creative written but certainly it could be suitable for those who would like to play chess before they start reading.
Conclusion: It is one of the simplest learning books that I ever had in hand but also the first
without one real example game!

Simple chess tactics and checkmates by A.J.Gillam
Batsford Ltd, London

160 pages
Price GBP 11.99
ISBN 0-7134-8822-0

Simple chess is a non text invitation in to the world of tactics where the aims lays to win your opponents
pieces without loosing your own.
In this book the reader can learn how make use of simple forks and pins based on hundreds of diagrams where
every page covers four test positions so there is something to read but also it is difficult to avoid cheating
with the answers at the same page!
Conclusion: Well filled with diagrams but personal I would have  preferred  a book with a little more explanation!

Mastering checkmates by Neil McDonald
Batsford Ltd, London

160 pages
Price GBP 13.99
ISBN 0-7134-8774-7

A nice follow up from Mastering Chess tactics is this collection deadly mates from the English grandmaster Neil McDonald  where every chapter in this book covers a selection  instructive mating themes split-up in ten different attacking chapters as bank rank mate, the magnificent seventh, mate from the front with queen and rooks, the killer pawn  etc.
The material is brought very readable together and is really  fun to go from one chapter to the other as for example I enjoyed very much chapter six with  the  exotic  title the  Greek gift and other queen and knights mates.
The Greek gift is the famous attack from queen and knight against the enemy king where it is interesting to mention that that the position can get even more interesting when for a example a when white rook has the possibility to join the attack majority.
This and more is pleasantly covered by the author in great detail as the for example  famous position from Kasparov against Short where Neil McDonald explains the use of simple extra pawn moves just to improve the grip on the position, here the reader has the unique opportunity to learn from the master not only to be patient
but above all learn to recognise all kind of different attack patterns and I must say there are a quite a lot of them in this book.
The aim of this work lays by the more ambitious club player who likes to improve on it’s attacking skills!
Pleasant to mention is the large amount of 2002 material!

Conclusion: A very enjoyable checkmating work!

Chess CD’s
Tiger 15 by Christoph Theron

System requirements Pentium PC,32 MB RAM Windows 98,ME,XP,2000,CD ROM drive
& mouse.
Price Euro 49,99
Included is a booklet from 20 pages about Tiger 15.

Chess Tiger from Christoph Theron is not only one of the strongest chess engines of this moment it did not only win the Dutch computer chess championships but also won in 2001 the “Republica Argentina” a strong human GM  tournament where Tiger made a performance
of 2788 ELO  but above all Tiger is aggressive as no other engine.
In the latest SSDP computer rating list is was good for a fourth place behind Fritz and Shredder.
Not only Tiger is a aggressive engine nearly I would say a tactical monster it is above all an excellent
analytic engine which was not for nothing the first choice from Convekta to include in there well made Chess Assistant 7.0 database program.
Chess Tiger does not need the latest machines to run  programs as the latest Hiarcs to run smoothly, but I would suggest at least a small 100 MB ram to play pleasantly with these chess engines and how more Ram how better!
Of course Chess Tiger takes advantage of the endgame tablebases and supports multi variation mode, to run Chess Tiger in your ChessBase seven or eight version it is necessarily  to do a installation to get access to the highly wanted engine, so if you copy only  the engine from your desktop to laptop it will not run.
With a full installation you have a access to a database of 120 MB {That is good for a file from over 500.000 games} and a tournament tested CTG key from over the 190 MB!
ChessTiger comes and runs with the original Fritz interface, where you can play around with a lot of
extra’s as a new photo realistic 3 D board in elegant glass design and not to forget one year  access to the free ChessBase server
Tiger has a “Winboard interface which allows you to run dozen of freeware chess engines who all run under the tiger Interface.
But first a position where Chess Tiger is on it’s best:
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. cxd5 exd5 7. Nge2 Re8 8.
O-O Bd6 9. a3 c6 10. Qc2 Bxh2+ 11. Kxh2 Ng4+ 12. Kg3 Qg5 13. f4 Qh5 14. Bd2

Qh2+ 15. Kf3 Qh4 16. Bxh7+ (Here I tested Chess Tiger 15 and see  16. g3 Qh2 17. f5 Nd7 18. Kxg4 Qg2 19. Rh1 {The British Chess Magazines gives as winning alternative 19.Kf4!? Nf6 20.e4! dxe4 21.Bxe4 Rxe4 and wins}  Nf6+ 20.Kh4 h6 21. Rag1 Bxf5 22. e4 Qf3 23. g4 dxe4 24. Bc4 g5+ 25. Bxg5 hxg5+ 26. Kxg5
Nxg4 27.Nf4 and after Tiger white is winning!

But how is Tiger in the endgame?
Well I tried Tiger in a old composition from the great Francois Andre Danican  Philidor 1792  White Ra3 Ke1 Black Rh2 Kf4 and pawn e4 where Fritz8 plays around with the king Tiger finds with the help of any tablebases the drawing line with the rook to b3!
Amassing but after testing  a lot of middle and endgame  positions I get the feeling that chess Tiger is betting in attacking than defending positions!

Conclusion: A hell of a chess engine!

Chess  Magazines

ChessMail issue 3/2003

Chess Mail Limited, 26 Coolamber Park
Dublin 16 Ireland
Basic Subscription 40 Euros.
{For eight issues.}
In this issue I found:
Where is ICCF going ? Carlos Cranbourne: the victory of ICCF  {This Interview from Pedro F.Hegoburu & games is good for 15 pages of this heavy loaded ChessMail issue!}
Correspondence chess records and curiosities [Part 3] ,Notes from within the loneliness of a long – distance chess player,part one is a fascinating story from Rube Degerhammar about the psychology of correspondence chess.
ChessMail editior wins ICCF officials IM-A tournament, Ariadne’s Elusive thread is a endgame clinic by Sam Collins, ICCF champions league update, Dragon Slaying with 9.0-0-0 by Martin Bennedik, Early days and changes at SFC by Reimund Lutzenberger, April 2003 ICCF rating list, ICCF tournament results service and at last  book reviews from Tim Harding!

Conclusion: A must for every correspondence player!


British Chess Magazine No. 4
Volume 123
April 2003
Price: £3.25


Starting with an excellent on the spot coverage from GM Ian Rogers on  the super tournament
Linares! Which was a seven player double round tournament that was won by Peter Leko
on tie break before Kramnik. 
The whole coverage from Ian Rogers is good for about 19 pages if I may count the photographs
as pages but there are also seven excellent analysed games! {All together a excellent contribution!}
The remaining  pages go to the Bermuda festival {Six pages!} ,1ST Gibtelecom festival and
Kasparov versus Deep Junior match that is commented by GM  Lubosh Kavalek.
{This six game $1 million match  covers all the six games and is good for six pages of this well made BCM issue.}
Other readable items are Review and new books, Gibraltar festival, New in Brief, Varsity match, Spot the continuation, Quotes and Queries, Problem world & Forthcoming events.

Conclusion : A very  enjoyable issue!