Latest book reviews of 1 January 2004

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
Chess Books
Los Voraces by Andy Soltis
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

258 pages
Price $34.00
Postpaid price $34.00
ISBN 0-7864-1637-8

Los Vorace is a fantasy novel from Andy Soltis based on the  $20 million Sheldrake Memorial modern  tournament  from the year  2019, where the best chess players of that time are playing for a unbelievable amount of 20 million dollars, all without any help as seconds and  powerful note books.
Between these fourteen strange characters or maybe better said “ Modern Fritz” children have managed to crick up with help of there favourite Fritz chess program to a astounding ELO of  2900.
The suddenly death of one of these chess players changes the whole tournament and puts suddenly  from one to the other moment  everyone  under a deadly  suspicion.
Many readers of the Hanon Russell side shall recognize this story from there electronic series but this book is a revised version with some extra's a nice collection creative drawings from the artist Linda Campbell Franklin.
 For the readers who are wondering about the games in this book I can say there are all really played as for example  the nearly unknown game Akvist,H - Hvenekilde,J
DEN-SWE Copenhagen, 1974  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 Bb6 6.Bg5 exd4 7.e5 dxc3 8.exf6 cxb2 9.Qe2+ Qe7 10.fxe7 bxa1Q 11.0-0 Nd4 12.Nxd4 Qxd4 13.Nd2 c6 14.Nf3 Qc5 15.Bd3 f6 16.Qb2 Kxe7 17.Be3 Qh5 18.Qa3+ c5 19.Re1 Kd8 20.Rb1 Bc7 21.Bxc5 Re8 22.Rc1 Re6 23.h3 b6 24.Be3 Bb7 25.Nd4 Rxe3 26.fxe3 Qe8 27.Bf5 g6 28.Rxc7 Kxc7 29.Nb5+ Kd8 30.Nd6 Qf8 31.Nxb7+ Kc7 32.Qc3+ Kxb7 33.Be4+ Kb8 34.Qc4 a5 35.Bxa8 Kxa8 36.Qa6+ Kb8 37.Qxb6+ Kc8 38.Qxa5 Qd6 39.Qa8+ Kc7 40.Qa7+ Kc8 ½-½ that you shall find in the novel under the name Klushkov – Qi!
I am sure that Hvenekilde with his stunning move 9…Qe7! Could never have dreamed that his game would make it to a real novel but it is up to the reader to discover between all these fourteen greatest chess players the real serial killer!
Conclusion: A Agatha Cristie on the chess board!

My great predecessors Part 2 by Garry Kasparov
Everyman Chess

480 pages
Price $ 35,-
ISBN 1-85744-337-3

Part two of Kasparov’s magnificent work on the history of the world chess championships seen the excellent annotations as Botvinnik – Bronstein Moscow 1951 19th game it is clear that Kasparov has managed to write a book that is certainly just so good as  part one that made it so easy to the book of the year award 2003.
Volume2 {which is going to run for a five volume!}  features the play of the world champions  Max Euwe, Mikhail Botvinnik,Vasily Smyslov and the great legendary Mikhail Tal.
Interesting to mention is Kasparov makes a lot of use from other  sources and does not analyze all games from begin to end also and it is still not very clear to me how Kasparov and Plisetsky exactly did divide there work for this book.
In the latest ChessBase magazine there is a interview with Kasparov and there he discusses some interesting background thoughts about his whole project and he mentions some chess reviewers with big libraries with hundreds or thousands of chess books to compare and to scrutinize any new book.
But when I take up one book and well  The Mammoth Book of The Greatest Chess Games from Burgess,Nunn & Emms {Robinson Publishing 1998} and compare for example the game Tal – Hecht,Chess Olympiad of Varna 1962 with the annotations from Kasparov & Plisetsky than I only can say Kasparov did not spend  enough time on his homework!
For example after{1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Bb7 6.e3 h6 7.Bh4 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 d6 9.Nd2 e5 10.f3 Qe7 11.e4 Nbd7 12.Bd3 Nf8 13.c5 dxc5 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.Qa4+ c6 16.0-0 Ng6} Kasparov mentions now 16...Qxc3?! 17.Nc4 but not  Ng6!? Which is offered as a survival chance by Burgess,Nunn & Emms!
Included is a excellent introduction but no bibliography and that is for a book from  this level  very disappointing.
Conclusion: A monumental work!
Play the French by John Watson
Everyman Chess
272 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-337-3

Play the French is a impressive repertoire book { third edition!} that offers black a complete repertoire against the French. Opening.
Repertoire books are not everybody’s choice because you have to live with some favourite repertoire lines from the author and in some cases there are several alternative repertoire lines to go for.Watson does not concentrate in this book on the exciting Winawer with 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Dc7 but prefers the solid rock method with 7….0-0!?
Understandable that  Watson has drawn here heavily upon Kindermann and Dirr’s detailed work on the Französisch Winawer but  Watson is always good some own ideas as 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 Ne7 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.Qg4 0-0 8.Bd3 Nbc6 9.Qh5 Ng6 10.Nf3 Qc7 11.Be3 c4 12.Bxg6 fxg6 13.Qg4 Bd7 14.h4 Rf5 15.h5 gxh5 16.Rxh5 Rxh5 17.Qxh5 Be8!?  Where Watson writes: As far as I know, this move hasn’t been played or suggested but I found in my database four games with this line and after 18.Qh3 Nd8! 19.Kd2 Bg6 20.Nh4 Qf7 21.Rh1 b5 22.Nxg6 Qxg6 23.g4 Nc6 24.Qh5 Qxh5 25.Rxh5 a5 26.f4 b4 27.axb4 a4 28.Kc1 Na7 29.f5 Nb5 30.Bd2 exf5 31.gxf5 g6 32.Rh6 gxf5 33.Rb6 Nc7 34.Kb2 Re8 35.b5 Ne6 36.Rd6 f4 37.b6 f3 38.Be3 Kf7 39.Rxd5 Kg6 40.Rd7 Nf8 41.Rc7 1-0 Offenborn,H (2374) - Piculjan,N EM/M/189 ICCF Email, 2002 white had a pleasant play but it seems me that black can easy equalise after 26…g6! Only the statistics with 70 – 30 % are not very inviting.
In the Tarrasch black can choice to go for 3…c5 or the lame looking move 3…Be7 which is covered by the author with a impressive study from around  20 pages.
Interesting to mention is the suggestion from Watson to play after 3....Be7 4.e5  Nh6!?
Chapter 15 covers some odds and ends as 2.b3 and the exciting Alapin Diemer Gambit but they don’t really give a well prepared black player much problems.
Conclusion: A very instructive written repertoire book!

Chess CD's & Chess DVD's
Deep Fritz8 Multiprocessor version


Price € 99.90
System requirements Pentium PC 32 MB RAM,Windows 98,ME,XP,2000,CD-ROM drive & Mouse

This Deep Fritz 8 multiprocessor version is exactly the identical one that tied up with Shredder 7  for the latest  world championship computer chess and where Kasparov played his famous man vs machine duel with.
We all know that Kasparov did not manage to get further than a 2:2 tie but million of chess fans over the whole  world have been impressed by this great  human - machine show where I must admit that  Kasparov was handicapped by the use a floating X3D technology chess board.
Probably Kasparov is probably not the best machine player in the world but certainly the most famous and these matches insures him really a lot of money so it clear there are a lot of interest from ChessBase to come with the best possible developed chess engine.
Even that this engine is developed for multiprocessor computers it is the latest Fritz8 engine which is  nearly completely rewritten{The previous  Fritz8 is nearly two years old and  goes back to October 2002 computer match with Vladimir Kramnik.} therefore  it shall give on a single processor machine a better performance, one of these improvements is for example a better positional understanding.
When I tested Deep Fritz8 on the moves from Johner – Nimzowitsch Dresden 1926,1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 Nf6 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.bxc3 d6 9.Nd2 b6 10.Nb3 e5 11.f4 e4 12.Le2 I was astounded that it could find the mysterious chess move from Nimzowitsch 12…Qd7!! This move is the beginning of a very difficult and complicated restraint {the mobility of the K-side pawns must be diminished as much as possible}and it has been admired by many masters.{Larsen in the book Learn from the Grandmasters,Batsford 1975}
But to difficult for Deep Fritz was a composition from Herbstmann  out the year 1954,White: Ka3,Rd7 and pawns on d6 & f7 Black:Kf2,Rd5 and pawns on a2,b6,c6 and f6.
This is a very nice endgame positions that shows us the limits of Deep Fritz and all the other chess engines as Shredder 7 they all fall for 1.Kxa2?
Deep Fritz8 is packed in the same package as the normal Fritz 8 as with his impressive photo realistic 3 D chess board {Not only with fantastic shadow effects but even with a “real” Spanish room in photo realistic 3 D graphics where you can  look around the chess room but your PC needs a lot of  more power than the above mentioned system requirements!
Only when I suddenly close my note book under 3 D and open it again I get a error message!( Fritz 8 (build Nov 17 2003) performed an exception: "Access Violation, 6DF8A100, 1, 6" } and all the extra’s as the  connection to the Internet chess server
The installation with Windows 98 and XP went very smoothly only under XP I had to change the language in Deep Fritz8  from Dutch in to English other wise I had to live  with a  irritating language message.
As Fritz 8 Deep Fritz can talk with his chatter CD but unfortunately it is not included in this package from nearly 100 Euro so I hope you still have one or other chatter CD otherwise you have to shut up Deep Fritz!
Deep Fritz 8 comes with a impressive power book from over the 245 MB which transfers together with the large database collection of 506444 games  automatically with the installation on your hard disk.
I tried to export the engine with out  a installation to my notebook which works perfect under ChessBase 8.0 but my Fritz 8.0 version did not recognize strangely enough my original  Deep Fritz8 CD but when I replaced it for my older  Fritz8 CD is was suddenly okay!
{In ChessBase magazine issue 97 I saw that ChessBase 8.0 users must upgrade there CB8.0 program in order to be able t use Deep Fritz8 as an analyse engine.This is simple done by “Online upgrade ”in the help menu which only requires a few minutes where ChessBase 8.0 automatically upgrades itself.}
A other new function in Deep Fritz 8 is that the DGT chess board can now be linked to the chess server so you can play chess against people all over the world with your own board!
Conclusion: Seen the price of nearly 100 Euro  I would like to  recommended this super chess program only for computers with multiprocessors!
The Knockout Nimzo by Tony Kosten
Bad Bishop LTD
P O Box 32699
London W14 OJH
Price $ 29.95

In the last September review we already mentioned Tony Kosten’s smashing
knockout Nimzo – Indian video but now Bad Bishop has released now DVD versions of there opening videos.
Of course a DVD offers the reader much more possibilities than a video recorder because nearly all computers and modern laptops have a build in DVD and for those who don’t have one it is maybe a suggestion to upgrade your computer with a DVD player.
Slowly a lot of chess material is coming or is already on  DVD as for example the new endgame databases from ChessBase & Convekta.
The games from Tony Kosten are not only easier to access than the good old fashion video player
where  modern soft where allows the viewer to switch around with the games.
Conclusion: Bad Bishop demonstrates in a very instructive way the use of DVD’s for openings preparations!

Mega Database 2004

Price  €149.50
Update price from Mega 2003 € 49.90
ISBN 3-935602-92-8
System requirements: Pentium PC,Win98/ME/XP/16 MB RAM,DVD-ROM drive,ChessBase 8.0.

The latest ChessBase  Mega database 2004 is not only good for over the 2.6 million chess games {exactly 2607014 where a small 51637 of them are {excellent} analysed but for the first in ChessBase history the whole  material as players base {Is extended with more than 17.900 pictures which brings the total up from over the 166.000 names} is covered on one single chess DVD.
As always in these Megabase collections the material is well filtered and reaches the highest possible standards in game collections as sources and references to the games.
From example Tony Miles I found 2825 games where a 300 of them carry some kind of annotations, and I found around  21 pictures from the great late Miles on the playersbase.
By the way when I went throw the players base I saw that Kon Grivainis from origin Latvian  played in Greece for the chess Olympic from 1958 but of course it must be South Africa.
Pleasant to mention is that ChessBase has deleted for the first time all the games from the never played tournament  of the Krakow 1938,which was a awful invention of the maker from the first FatBase CD.
The readers of the ChessBase magazine shall recognize on this CD a lot of ChessBase magazine material but that is of course very logical seen that the most recent games from this DVD come from the middle of  November 2003.
Included is a openings key from more than 91.000 key positions with direct acess to players,middlegame themes and endgames.
Conclusion: The Rolls Royce under the databases!
DVD Endgame Turbo 2

Price € 49.99
System requirements Pentium,32 MB RAM,Windows 98,2000,ME,XP,DVD drive, sound card Fritz8 or ChessBase 8.0.

Probably we are all aware of the 4 and five piece endgame databases {Nalimov Tablebases}but this heavy loaded DVD package from 5 DVD’s with all four, five and some six piece endings hits really everything.
For the experts under us the six piece endings cover: N+P+P vs R; B+P+P vs R; R+P+P vs R; R+B vs N+N ; Q+ Q vs Q+ Q.
To install ate all these DVD’s on your hard disk you need around 24 GB but seen that six endings require much more memory than endgames with only five pieces there for I would suggest install only the five piece endgame databases and use the six pieces from DVD’s 2 to 5 only when they are actually required.
To install simple start the individual installation program which shall the Endgame table bases developed by Eugene Nalimov automatically on your hard disk together with the new tablebase engine  3.0 but all engines running under Fritz8 and ChessBase 8.0 can read the stored information and use them whether it is advantageous to go to the endgame in question or not.I tested with the following endgame position from Cheron, White Kg1,Rh1 pawn h6,Black  Kd4,Queen h8 and now  Cheron claims a draw but the tablebases give a clear win after 40 moves!
The positional evaluation of the six piece endgames can be incomplete and misleading if not all the sub end games are available and this can easy appear when for example a pawn queens.
As far as Fritz8 is concerned the program automatically switches to normal analysis mode if there are no subendgames.
On the Nalimov Server you can check simple check a position but with this Endgame Turbo package from ChessBase  you have a great advantage on correspondence players who don’t have access to these  endgame databases!
Conclusion: A must for all correspondence,endgame theoreticians and engine chess players!

Fritz Powerbook 2004 on DVD

Price € 49.99
Update price Euro 29.99
System requirements PC,32 MB RAM,Windows 98,Windows2000,WindowsME/WindowsXP ,DVD drive
And Fritz6,7,8 and ChessBase 7 & 8.

The good old Powerbook is now exchanged for a heavy loaded DVD that is well filled with around 18 Million openings positions {The older 2003 PowerBook only had 7.6 million opening positions!} derived from one million high class tournament games which are by the way all on this heavy loaded chess DVD!
In the practise it means that you can load all the games that are covered in your Powerbook together with all the average ratings and performing results, and that is a lot more than the Chess Openings 2003 CD from Convekta Ltd with it’s poorly 10.000.000 moves, 12.000.000 positions and 600.000 references games.
When you connect the interface from for example with Fritz 8 you have suddenly a powerful openings tool with all the latest chess developments and references to the games and don't forget Fritz 8 has the ability to learn from his games.
For all who want to keep Fritz chattering it is necessarily to copy this Powerbook on your hard disk which requires around 1.65 GB
and that is not nothing specially on the first note books with DVD players.
Conclusion: A very powerful developed  openings DVD!

ChessBase magazine issue 97
ISSN 1432-8992
Price Euro 19,90 per issue
Annual subscription  costs Euro 99,70

Included is a booklet of 27 pages.

The main data base of this ChessBase magazine is good for 1861 entries where a small 527 of them carry excellent game annotations.
Some strong tournaments  on this CD are Dortmund,Biel and Kramatork 2003, and the largest tournament with over 836 games comes from the famous American Continental.
Besides the game database there are also other databases on  this CD that are worth working throw as Strategy from GM Peter Wells where he is discussing “Material Imbalances”
This is the second of three columns which will examine positions in which the initial equilibrium is disturbed in material terms.
Tactics from IM Valery Atlas where he has chosen his material from the  Panamerican Continental Championships and the 78th French Championships  which has provided the author many exciting tactical examples.
One of my favourite contributions  is the Endgame file  from the legendary GM Hans Joachim Hecht always good for a impressive collection endgame examples and in this heavy loaded file it are over the 80 instructive endgame  examples.
A must for every correspondence players is of course the Telechess file from over 9846 entries but unfortunately  there are this time only a small 40 annotated games.
The theory files cover the Anti – Gruenfeld {A16} line from GM Evgeny Postny that can arise after  various move orders, for instance 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Nb6 6.Nf3 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.d3 Nc6 9.Be3 e5, Paulsen {B47} from GM Zoltan Ribli where the explains basic position of the variation  arises after  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0-0 b5 8.Nxc6 dxc6 9.a4 and the good old  Ragozin variation {D38}
with1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bxf6 Qxf6 7.e3 0-0 8.Rc1 dxc4 9.Bxc4 c5 10.0-0 cxd4 11.exd4  where white has after the author a great advantage in development and space, but don’t forget black has the bishop pair and the d4-pawn is isolated! Sicilian Dragon {B78}is covered by the great GM Dorian Rogozenko and he looks at 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 0-0 9.Bc4 Bd7 10.0-0-0 Rc8 11.Bb3 Nxd4 12.Bxd4 b5!?
And at last the Gruenfeld Indian Main variation {D89}which is presented by the ChessBase expert  Jerzy Konikowski and digs in on the main line with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Be3 Bg4.The 421 MB avi files go to the European Club team in Crete,where Anne Dergatschova has conducted some interesting interviews with players as Peter Svidler and Maria Manakova.{One the subject of being a “Sex Symbol”in the chess world.
Conclusion: Excellent material!

Chess Magazines

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

Starting with the Essent Hoogeven which was a big triumph for Judit Polgar but a disaster for former world champion Anatoly Karpov.
Grandmaster Ian Rogers made an excellent coverage of eight pages of this heavy loaded tournament which shall be remembered as Karpov ever worse result.
His first round lost to Polgar is very instructive explained by Rogers and Karpov’s extraordinary oversight is difficult to explain but it made Judit Polgar a small 4000 Euro richer.
The 2003 European championship was held in Plovdiv Bulgaria where the Russian where really back in style.
Interesting to mention is that GM Lubosh Kavalek has bright look at Mamedyarov’s new idea in the Grünfeld.
In Prelate Power Steve Giddins takes a closer look down the diagonal and shows how grandmasters put power in prelate!
Other readable items are Late News,4NLCl October weekend,Chess Questions answered by Gary Lane, Spot the Continuation, Reviews and New books, Game of the Month,Congress Diary, News in Brief, Letters to the Editor, Quotes and Queries, Problem world and Forthcoming events.

British Chess Magazine No. 12
Volume 124
January 2004
Price: £3.25

In this 2004 issue I found some smashing article's as : Kasparov v X3D Fritz {A 8.5 page coverage by Grandmaster Ian Rogers!}European Woman’s Team Championship, Kasparov at the Cinema.{A review from John Saunders of the new documentary film game over Kasparov and the Machine}Cap D’Agde World Rapid play ,Congress Diary, Prelate Power {The second endgame article from Steve Giddins}Benidorm Rapid play 2003 and a useful made Index of volume 123!

Conclusion: This January issue covers a very readable article about the match Kasparov versus X3DFritz!