Latest book reviews of 1 December 2003

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
Chess Books
Latest news:
The British Chess Federation Book of the year award for 2003 has been awarded to Garry Kasparov’s book My great Predecessors {Part One} published by Everyman!

Opening for white according to Anand 1.e4 by Alexander Khalifman
ChessStars Ltd.

234 pages
Price $ 20.00

In this latest work on the popular series from ChessStars on openings GM and former world champion Alexander Khalifman concentrates on a collection exciting repertoires lines as the Latvian, Philidor,Petroff and Ruy Lopez.{ All without 3…a6)
Some lines as the so fashionable Berlin defence are very well written and cover around 43 pages so we can really speak in this case from a truly grandmasters view.
Strange enough the Damianno and so called Busch-Gass gambit {1.e4 e5.Nf3 Bc5}get all together more attention as the Latvian gambit but that is of course a matter of taste from the author but I don’t understand why a top player as GM Khalifman can recommended a line as e4 e5 2. Nf3 f5 3. Nxe5 Qf6 4. Nc4 fxe4 5. Nc3 Qf7 6. Ne3 c6 7. d3 exd3 8.Bxd3 d5 9. O-O Bd6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Nexd5 cxd5 12. Nb5 O-O 13. Nxd6 Qxf2+ 14.Kh1 Bg4 15. Qd2 Qh4 16.Qe3?! because nearly all Latvian gambit players are aware of the  brilliant  move 16.b4!once found by the world champion in Latvian gambit the bright Vilnis Strautins from Latvia.
This was easy to avoid if Alexander Khalifman would have  opened the latest book from Tony Kosten about the Latvian Gambit than I am certain that this book would have more in the line of Anand!
Conclusion: The reader shall find in this book a very reliable coverage of the Petroff & Spanish game!

The Queen’s Gambit accepted by Konstantin Sakaev & Semko Semkov
Chess Stars Ltd.

221 pages
Price $ 20.00

Chess Stars introduces with this release a brand new opening series on current chess theory starting with the exciting Queen’s gambit accepted where one of the authors is the famous  chess giant GM Konstantin Sakaev who is belongs at this moment to one of the  most active chess players in the world.
This book covers all ECO lines between D20 & D29 and all starting with the well known moves 1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 where the white player can choice for the straightforward and challenging 3.e4 {good for 12 chapters},3.Nf3 {15 chapters}and the aside 3.e3 system.
The so called classical lines with 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.Qe2 b5 8.Bb3 Bb7
9.Rd1 Nbd7 10.Nc3 Qb8! seems to give black a comfortable play maybe in some lines  he is even in state to overtake the initiative.
Both Russian authors have not only produced a very readable study on this major opening system but above all it is very up to date with a lot of latest 2003 material.
Included throw this book are instructive conclusions but I am still missing the useful bibliography’s to keep abreast of latest devolpments!
Conclusion: A well produced work on the  Queen’s Gambit accepted!

Decision making at the chessboard by Viacheslav Eingorn
Gambit Publications Ltd.

207 pages
Price $ 24.95
ISBN 1-901983-87-0

A interesting course from the Ukraian grandmaster Viacheslav Eingorn is this decision making book where the author likes to explains in a very instructive way th  crucial moments of a chess game as for example if we look at  the famous Latvian Gambit position between Nimzowitsch and Behting {1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.d4 d6 5.Nc4 fxe4} 6.Ne3! where Nimzowitsch once  wrote “Even if all the rest of the world play here 6.Nc3 I yet hold my move 6.Ne3 to be more correct and this for reasons based on the ‘system’.{Maybe Nimzowitsh just played this move with out thinking too much of his system but played it from his intuition.}
Now Eingorn compares this position with the notes from the phenomenal David Bronstein who discovered in the earlier sixties  the strong  6.Be2! {In his book 200 Open games,David Bronstein goes into a deep discussion of how he came to discover 6.Be2! but it was already been analysed by Behting!}
Interesting enough Eingorn compares these two grandmaster thoughts with a historical parallel between Tony Kosten book The Latvian Gambit lives! and Rudolf Spielman’s famous article from the Sick-bed of the King’s Gambit where the author continues with the analogy may or may not be fortuitous ,but the literary titles are above all distinguished by there emotional colouring, while the openings differ only in the placing of one knight.
Besides he well known classics as for example Chigorin – Steinitz WorldCh match Havanna 1889 & Reti – Alekhine Baden-Baden 1925 there also a lot of Eingorn his own games and that makes this book very special.
The material is divided in to Individuality and style, Tactical complications, Active defence, A feeling for danger, Incorrect play, Simple positions, In search of an idea, Mind swap and Analyse this!
Decision making at the chess board  is not a easy task for a upcoming chess player but these instructive chapters can help you to become a better player specially  the large amount of own games from Eingorn are really very instructive  some times as In search for an idea  you would suspect some opening surprises but no GM Eingorn prefers to start with some tough
endgame positions! The whole book is overfilled with excellent advises as when you are in a position where you can not take any action!
In this case the author suggests  try to study the other side’s possibilities. This is a useful occupation; even if you don’t succeed in thwarting your opponent’s plans, at least they won’t come as an unpleasant surprise to you!
Conclusion: On of those few books where you can learn how to develop your chess intuition!

Creative chess strategy by Alfonso Romero
Gambit Publications Ltd.

221 pages
Price $ 24.95
ISBN 1-901983-92-7

Creative chess strategy is a enjoyable invitation in to the world of chess strategy with it’s specific techniques as  pawns structures ,space advantage, strong centre ,bishop pair ,blockade isolated pawns etc.
All pleasantly brought together by the Spanish GM Alfonso Romero as a course in creative chess strategy.
When I compare this work with other latest strategy releases from Gambit Publications as Lessons in Chess Strategy by Valeri Beim and Chess Strategy in Action by John Watson than I can say that there are big differences, Watson prefers as Nimzwitch to discover new  areas in chess where Beim prefers to cover all major strategy topics but it is difficult to avoid that all strategy books have somewhere crossings with each other.
GM Romero has chosen besides his eleven own games a collection known and lesser known games which feature many original ideas by the grandmasters who played them and where the author  is good for some in great depth analyses.
The book reads very good and the material is brought in a very instructive of understanding but many games in this book are well known and have been printed many times before as for example the game Kotov – Gligoric from Zurich 1953 where I must admit that the annotations from Romera are more detailed and more in the context of today than the original notes that I have in front of me of the great  David Bronstein! {From the tournament book of the Zurich International chess tournament of 1953}
Each chapter of this book is focused on one main strategic subject where the reader is able to examine many typical positions of that sort that can easily arise easy at the board.
Would like to end with some wise words from the author: The fundamental aim in this book lays how to handle and interpret positions shouldn’t become something automatic or mechanical but it should always be original and innovative.
Conclusion: A very instructive work on strategies!

Chess endgame training by Bernd Rosen
Gambit Publications Ltd.

175 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-904600-01-8

In this exercise endgame book you shall find a whole endgame course based on 16 lessons which the reader can use for coaching or self instruction ,interesting enough to mention is that this book has been published before and well in Germany under the title “ Fit im Endspiel” by ChessGate AG 2001.
The author wanted to avoid the mass of  dry endgames that we see in some heavy loaded works from Cheron and Averbakh so he worked out in the late eighties this endgame book as a training course for the German Katernberg chess club where he forces the reader in a very practical way.
Just work throw the exercises and compare your results with the really excellent explained solutions from the author where you shall learn in a very practical way all the necessarily basic principles of the endgame.
The material is all-round with compositions and entertaining positions from the practice but the reader does not have to worry about complicated positions that can arise from the  Nalimov endgame table bases.
Conclusion: A very practical endgame book where the author forces you to think!
The Times winning move by Raymond Keene & Byron Jacobs
Everyman Chess
160 pages
Price $ 18.95
ISBN 1-85744-338-1

A collection of 500 entertaining puzzles all from The Times daily chess  column, which all have been published every day for the past decade and a half.
The material has have been careful selected  from the chess praxis so I would like to consider this as a fine collection practical puzzles where you shall in every puzzle a small intro with a hint to blow the king so quick as possible from the board.
Conclusion: A very enjoyable puzzle book!

Small Chess Openings Encyclopaedia by Nikolai Kalinichenko

639 pages
Price $ 22,00
ISBN 5-17-020043-9

This Russian heavy weight is one of those one volume chess encyclopaedia that offers the readers  all major chess openings  densely packed moves with  symbolic  annotations and game references.
When I am not  mistaken with the Russian introduction  the closing date of the  material lays around the first of January 2003.
The cover, introduction and index are in the Russian language but the game reference are pleasantly enough not in the Russian language so it is not difficult to work through  this mass of material.
Seen the low quality of the paper I assume it is special made for the Russian chess player who is of reasonable strength but has no access to a computer otherwise he or she could easy generate a large amount of these database files with a simple database program or use Chess Openings 2003 from Convekta!
Conclusion: Some lines as the Najdorf with 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 is well covered with a 7.5 pages of  mass material but all together it can not stand-up against the one volume  encyclopaedia from Beograd.

Chess CD's

The collected works from Wilhelm Steinitz by Sid Pickard
Pickard & Son,Publishers
Price $74.95 in DVD case
ISBN 1-886846-60-X
ChessBase reader included so no other software is required.

The collected works from Wilhelm Steinitz is a unbelievable piece of research work from the American chess master author and publisher Sid Pickard.
It is not the first time that Sid wrote about the first world chess champion in 1995 he already published his games on paper with The games of Wilhelm Steinitz Pickard & Son 1995.
This impressive CD covers nearly every written word from the great Steinitz himself as his famous book the Modern chess instructor that is pleasantly converted to a Chessbase file. Exactly you shall find 20 text where Steinitz is examining 8 major openings with 167 surveys and 79 illustrated games,also included between these files are the games from the Steinitz – Tschigorin match of 1889.
Other electronic books on this CD are The 6th American Chess Congress E-book with 5 text files and 430 games which carry all excellent annotations from the father of modern chess.
A magazine collection from the Field and the International Chess Magazine where you shall find around 85 games plus 13 text documents including the Wisker – MacDonnel match of 1874,the Zukertort-Rosenthal match (1880},the Lipschuetz – Delmar match {1888} and many extra as analyses and additional games.
Interesting for the fans of the Steinitz gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.d4 Qh4 5.Ke2 is the extra file from Leininger & Pickard where you shall find all the latest developments of this exciting opening where I found 307 entries 6 excellent theory surveys and 148 annotated games where the authors did manage to dig up 27 original analyses of Steinitz him self.
But the best part is of course the impressive Steinitz master file with 1094 entries where 304 of them are analysed by Steinitz.
Lovely on the CD are the large collection photographs, drawings and chess stamps but also the extra bonuses as a pdf file of all Steinitz cross tables, two screensavers and a real electronic Steinitz jigsaw puzzle.
Conclusion: A fabulous made Steinitz  CD!
Opening Encyclopaedia 2004

Price Euro 99.90
System requirements: Pentium 32MB RAM,Windows98,2000,Me,XP,CD-ROM drive, Fritz 8,ChessBase7 or 8.0

This ChessBase Opening Encyclopaedia does not only cover a Hugh database from over the 1.8 million games {Exactly 1800146 games} but there are also some extra’s as  3200 opening surveys and 86 special made theory databases, all mainly based on the well known ChessBase magazines.
Many opening specialists as Anand, Bareev, Dautov, Dr Huebner, Jussupow, Kortschnoj, Krasenkow and Ribli have made excellent contributions in there field of interest and where every ECO opening that is covered on this CD has at least one important opening survey.
This looks all very impressive but for the more experience player it is difficult to find novelties as for example when I searched for the following position 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 13.Rb1 0-0-0 14.h4 I only could find seven entries and between these games there was not one correspondence game!
Besides the games there is also a second CD with a large openings tree of  537 MB from all the games that are covered in the above mentioned database.
If you wish you can assess these games with a new big openings key the so called Big Key,but I personally  prefer to search simple on position  it does not only save hard disk space but it works all must faster.
When I compare this all with the ChessBase opening encyclopaedia of 2002 with it’s 1.1 million games that we really can say that ChessBase made a impressive upgrade in games but I am afraid that for the more regular ChessBase magazine readers  this game collection could be a little disappointing seen the large amount of game sources with the ChessBase magazines.
Also I hope that the owners of the 2002 Encyclopaedia version can obtain these two encyclopaedia CD's for a special upgrade price!
Conclusion: An excellent made openings package but it covers a lot of game references to the ChessBase magazines!

All world championships from 1886 to 2002


Price Euro 49.99
System requirements: Pentium 32MB RAM,Windows98,2000,Me,XP,DVD-ROM drive, Fritz 8,ChessBase7 or 8.0

This ChessBase DVD does not only cover all the world championship games that began with the first official match in 1886 with Zukertort – Steinitz and that is altogether  around the 2200 games where more of the half of these games are excellent annotated.
The Fide world championships where there knock out system are also covered but understandable  not the return match Fischer – Spassky of 1992 where ChessBase followed simple Botvinnik’s principles, the match came 20 years to late and it had no legitimacy.
Very well covered are  around the 4.5 GB  extensive video material as for example the nearly unknown 1930 chess simultaneous from Alekander Alekhine but some other clips from Tal and Fischer where published by ChessBase before..
Pleasant to go throw are the short biographies of all the world champions and there challengers {34}the 50 database reports and not to forget the impressive training’s database from GM Karsten Müller!
Conclusion: A unique made chess DVD!

The Colle system by Dimitrij Oleinikov

Price Euro 29.99
System requirements Pentium 166,32 MB RAM,Windows 98,ME,2000 & XP.
ChessBase reader included

The Russian chess journalist Dimitrij Oleinikov presents in this ChessBase trainings CD
a good over view from the so reliable  Colle system (1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 e6 4.e3 a6 5.Bd3 c5  etc}
The whole CD works as simple as a opening course of 17 chapters {The reader shall find here
all kind of useful advises and plans to get involved with the Collle.}, a learning database of 394 games where a small 172 of them are analysed.{Interesting to mention is that a small 100 of these games are excellent analysed by  the author himself}
The main database covers around 21095 games but does not cover any annotations at all, so it is pure chess.(Where the statistics give a small 53% - 47% advantage for white.}
Included besides the Colle tree  is a strategy & tactic file to test your Colle skills.
Conclusion: A very compressive filled learning CD!

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 96
October 2003
ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

This latest ChessBase extra magazine is good for a small 11890 games all played between the King vs Queens match and the Hamburg HSK tournament.
Between this al lays interesting tournaments as the African championship {Abuja}
and the Essent op Hoogoven but also a interesting thematic tournaments of the Staunton/Blumenfeld opening where you shall find between the list of players  topGM’s as Hans Ree and  Friso Nijboer.
But the two multimedia files of  the Fischer Chess tournament (Chess960) in Mainz and the Moscow open air may not been overseen.
Interesting to mention is that The traditional Moscow Open Air Blitz is sponsored by the famous Russian newspaper  “ Vechernjaja Moskva.”
Again there was a very strong field of grandmasters and chess fans,where  ten top GMs seeded to get through to the final round where  the other ten had to fight for places in the final.
Conclusion: Filled with interesting multimedia files from the Mainz Chess Classic and the Moscow open air!

The Dvoretzky endgame manual by Mark Dvoretzky
Price Euro 29.99
System requirements Pentium 166,32 MB RAM,Windows 98,ME,2000 & XP.
ChessBase reader included

The Dvoretzky endgame manual is a English CD version of the book “Endspiel university” that was published two years ago by ChessGate which we had the opportunity to review September last year.
When we compare that book with the CD than it is simple clear go for the CD it does not cover only more material than the book but the CD offers us excellent trainings possibilities
where the reader can test his or hers knowledge with very instructive exercises all in a very practical way of understanding.
In the preface of the CD I found a interesting contribution from the Danish Dvoretzky’s IM Jacob Aagaard who once wrote that in a 10-page review in the Swedish chess magazine Schacknytt that it is the best ever written chess book ,this I do not completely agree but I can insure you it is a book that certainly shall improve your endgame skills, specially the discriminating studies from Dvoretzky are really outstanding!
Conclusion: A Highly regarded endgame CD!

The Gruenfeld by Knut Neven
Price Euro 29.99
System requirements Pentium 166,32 MB RAM,Windows 98,ME,2000 & XP.
ChessBase reader included

Jonathan Rowson once wrote a interesting book from how to  understand the Grünfeld but with Knut Neven you have the idea that he is simple covering every game that he could lay hands on.
Not only there are three different database split up in three files {Covering the openings lines D70-D79 D80-D89 and D90-D99} all together they are  good for over the 67.000 games, where a small 1881 of them carry annotations but there is also a real Grünfeld course from around 42 text files filled with a lot of hyperlinks diagrams and some instructive explanations from how to tackle the Grünfeld.
Included in this course is a  extra intensive analysed game file from around 645 games where the most of them carry annotations,
and not to forget the extra Grünfeld Tree to play around with all the latest openings moves!
Conclusion: A very intensive filled training’s CD but starters have to take care that they don’t get drowned under the large mass of material.

Chess Magazines

British Chess Magazine No. 11
Volume 123
November 2003
Price: £3.25

Starting: With the Monarch Assurance (This year the Monarch sported 25 grandmasters and 14 IMs in a field of 92 players making it the strongest Swiss tournament held in the British Isles this year.Now that the BCF Championship has closed its doors to non-British or Irish players,the Monarch provides the best opportunity to see top foreign players in action in Britain.}
European Club Cub(Which took place in Rethymnon Creta),Three Kings in China {Where Three chess “kings” {Bareev,Nigel Short and Yasser Seirawan}
went to the Orient in September for a number of chess events in China.} 
Lausanne young masters, Congress diary, News in Brief,Fide ratings, Reviews and new books,European club cup, The Kavalek file,Quotes and Queries, Endgame Studies, Forthcoming events, etc.
Conclusion: Specially recommended are in this issue the excellent annotations from GM Lubosh Kavalek!

ChessMail issue 8/2003

Chess Mail Limited, 26 Coolamber Park
Dublin 16 Ireland
Basic Subscription 40 Euros.
{For eight issues.}

This latest ChessMail issue is largely concerned with ICCF activities as the recent Congress in Ostrava { ICCF congress report where: New team takes over as ICCF makes a big leap into the future by Tim Harding.}and the retirement of President Alan Borwell {Retired but not gone!}
Further : An excellent interview from Tim Harding with the new ICCF President Josef Mrkvicka, In CC records and curiosities you shall find the longest draw ever played in correspondence chess.
A other even more interesting game can be found in Endgame Clinic where you shall find the longest web server game {Nalimov tablebase in action}
Tournament report NAICC-9 {SIM Andre DeVriendt ewins 9th North American Invitational CC Championship by Ralph Marconi}
Readers games,ICCF Champions League news,CFC’s outlook for 2004 and a review of 2003,ICCF tournament results service, Index to volume 7 (2003)
Tip! Go for the Premium Subscription option this includes the ChessMail magazine  for 2004,
Harding’s new book “50 Golden Chess Games” {due out 2004} The next CD ROM product “The wonderful world of chess and the chess mail game service by e-mail!
For the special price of 100 Euro!
{ Only UK and Ireland all other countries 112 Euro}