Latest book reviews of 1 February 2005

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

Chess Books

Grundlagen des modernen Eröffnungspiels by Alexej Suetin
Schach Verlag Kania
Pages 303
Price € 18.00
ISBN 3-931192-04-0

Alexej Suetin has written (1926- 2001) a unbelievable amount of chess books and between all these books there where only a few out standings ones  and one of them is this expanded and updated work from the German chess master and publisher Harald Keilhack  “Grundlagen des modernen  Eröffnungspiels “ or translated  in English as The basics of modern openings play. {First published in 1979}
Suetin already started in the early seventies with his famous  trainings books as many of us shall certainly remember his “Schachlehrbuch für Fortgesschrittene” from Berlin 1971.
Must say that this second edition from Kania verlag with it’s excellent paper and hard cover can be in no way compared with Suetin’s  former DDR works.
It is well known that memorizing openings don’t bring much in chess so much more logical is the basis of this work from the Senior world champion Suetin and assistant  Keihack, learn the basics and strategies of the opening before memorizing long variations.
Many classic {openings} games in this book come from Suetin but Harald Keilhack  has included for this expanded edition  many latest played model  games.
The whole material with it’s practical openings evolutions is very useful for amateurs and club players who like to concentrate on important openings principles above latest chess novelties.
Conclusion: One of the few good books where you really can  learn to understand openings play

Chess Informant 91
380 pages
Price GBP 18.00

Chess Informant 91 comes with a fantastic collection of 495 annotated games and a Hugh collection of  501 game fragments all played between June the first and September 30th of the year 2004.
The list of contributors for the Informator is overloaded with the absolute top of the chess world and  here lays the secret of  the success of the Chess Informator.
In every Chess Informator you get all the latest chess developments, the latest world championship games, important tournaments all with excellent annotations from the best players in the world.
Included are contributions as the most important theoretical novelties goes this time to Pet.Nielsen – Shirov, Germany 2004 Informator 90/339, and again there is a excellent theoretical overview from the openings expert  T.Paunovic.
The best of Chess Informant goes this time to Peter Leko where the editorial team of the Informator has collect 31 of his finest games, but please  also see his 36 best middle and endgame clippings  these are truly impressive.
Besides the regular combinations and endgames there are  some interesting studies compiled by no less than Yochanan Afek.
Conclusion: A must for every ambitious chess player!

Opening for white according to Anand 1.e4 part 3 by Alexander Khalifman
Chess Stars

355 pages
Price € 21.00
ISBN 954- 8782-41-3

"Opening according to…" from the former  Russian FIDE world champion  GM Alexander Khalifman  is the third book of a seven-volume series dealing with Anand's opening repertoire as white.
This 3rd volume includes all kind of repertoire lines based against the Caro-Kann & Scandinavian defence.
The Scandinavian defence is covered with only a small 28 pages so the mass of material in this book goes to the Caro-Kann defence.
There have been quite some books written on the Caro-Kann but not one did impress me so much as this repertoire book from Alexander Khalifman.
Anand lines run basically  with all  head lines starting after:1.e4 c6 2.d4 g6 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 Bg7; 4...d5; 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 and 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 but the author has also  included nearly every possible side alternative for black which makes this book so extremely interesting..
Ever considered to play with black 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 e6!? after the author this is a mixture of Caro-Kann and French where white is advised to go for 4.Nf3 simple and strong but black has after 5.Bd3 dxe4 6.Bxe4 Nf6 7.Bd3 h6 8.0-0 Nbd7 and suddenly we are in the game Steinitz – Czarnowski of Paris 1867!
Pleasant to mention in this book is the use of important correspondence games which makes it all not only more intereresting but above all very up to date.
Conclusion: A very impressive written repertoire book!

Alexander Alekhine Master of Attack by Alexander Raetsky & Maxim Chetverik
Everyman Chess

176 pages
Price $ 12.99
ISBN 1-85744-372-1

The duo Alexander Raetsky & Maxim Chetverik concentre in this book on the attacking skills from the great Alexander Alekhine.
Alexander Alekhine 1892 – 1946 was one of the greatest attackers of all time and held the world championship from 1927 to 1935 and from 1937 until his death.
Unlike many world champions Alekhine continued to dominated the chess world with his smashing wins, as the both authors explain in there short biography the period 1929 to 1934 it was the heyday of Alekhine’s career, he won in those years13 first prices.
In first place this book from Alekhine is a exercise book based on the attacking skills from this great player where each chapter discusses an aspect of his play. Seen the large amount of complete games and I counted over the 170 of them in this book, there for I would consider this book certainly more than a {simple} exercise book.
The reader shall find some personal background information {a six page biography} of Alekhine as information about his second wife Annaliese Rügg the mother of Alekhine’s only child Alexander, some of Alekhine’s most brilliant games as Bogoljubow – Alekhine, Hastings 1922, Reti – Alekhine Baden-Baden 1925 and Alekhine – Euwe world chmpionship match 22 of Delft 1937.
Are the exercises to difficult? Than consult the Alekhine tip, which may give you a push in the right direction.
Conclusion: Wish I saw more of these exercise books!

Starting out: Attacking play by James Plaskett
Everyman Chess

144 pages
Price $ 18.95
ISBN 1-85744-367-5

Every chess player likes to attack and it does not make any difference he or she is a amateur or professional there nothing quite so exciting as winning with a smashing attack.
The English Grandmaster James Plaskett deals in these 46 model games with all kind of attacks as the king in the centre, rook’s pawn tin openers, isolated queen pawn attacks, pawn rollers, attacking the castled king, from a clear blue sky and fantasia.
The annotations from Plaskett are clear and very instructive and seen that the author has concentrated exclusively on his own experiences in these  46 games I would have preferred a more personal title for this book, why not something as attack with GM James Plaskett!
Even the more experience player shall enjoy these games and not to forget original and very readable annotations to the games.
By the way a very interesting openings suggestion is: 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 b5 8. e5 dxe5 9. fxe5 Qc7 10. exf6 Qe5+ 11. Be2 Qxg5 12. O-O Qe5 13. Nf3 Bc5+
14. Kh1 Qxf6 15. Ne4 Qe7 16. Nfg5 f5 17. b4 Bxb4 18. Bh5+ g6 19. Nxh7 Kf7 20.Rxf5+ exf5 21. Neg5+ Kg8! 21…Gallagher played here wrongly 21…Kg7? Plaskett – Gallagher, Chichester 1982.{game 10 of this book}
Conclusion: A great collection attacking games!

The Scandinavian by John Emms
Everyman Chess

176 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-375-6

The English openings theoretician GM John Emms has updated his 1997 Scandinavian defence with this impressive expanded heavy weight of 176 pages and 72 model games where it is nearly impossible to count all the extra games  that are included between these lines.
When we compare the latest Batsford Scandinavian defence book from James Plaskett with Emms his work than it is clear Emms wins it with his compressive material but Plasket  stays the man with the original ideas as for example see his lines on the  Patzer variation,{1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qe5 11 pages} Emms does it all with only one game and well Shaw – Zeidler, European Team Ch,plovdiv 2003
.Included in this book are the {new} ideas from Andrew Martin with his interesting video the Scheming Scandinavian from Bad Bishop and no to forget the Mega corr 3 which genuinely surprised Emms by the number of theoretical important correspondence games on the Scandinavian defence.
Conclusion: A very impressive  work on the Scandinavian defence!    
Play the Sicilian Dragon by Edward Dearing
Gambit Publications Ltd.
256 pages
Price $ 27.50
ISBN 1-904600-17-4

The  Dragon variation is one of the most direct  counter attacks that we know for black  in the Sicilian defence and it certainly belongs to one of the most tactical openings where black must be prepared to take some certain risks, the author deals here in this book with all kind of Dragon lines as the extraordinary sharp Yugoslav attack which is favoured by well prepared chess players.
The young and ambitious Schottische master  Dearing does not only explains all  the necessarily strategies with readable words of this opening in this book but even more important he provides it with excellent made move to move annotations,.
For example the interesting: 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rc8 11. Bb3 Ne5 12. h4 h5 13. Bh6 is covered with 16 compressive pages.
Very interesting for the fans from Chris Ward is chapter 12 where you shall find the popular so called Ward line:1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Nf3 g6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bg7 6. Be3 d6 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. f3 O-O 9. Qd2 Bd7 10. O-0-0 Qa5 that it even made it to a hype in the mid 1990s, again filled with 16 pages of  full text but I am afraid that black has still a hard task to solve all his problems but after Dearing black has after: 1.e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Qa5 11. Bb3 Rfc8 12. h4 Ne5 13. g4 b5 14. h5 b4 15.Nce2 Nc4 16. Bxc4 Rxc4 17. Kb1 Rac8 18. hxg6 fxg6 19. Rc1}and now Qe5! with excellent chances!
Funny enough this position does not appear so far  in any book or Chess CD  but the reader shall find in this  book some unpublished analyses from the so talented Rogozenko.
Back in 1986 there was in Utrecht a interesting thematic chess tournament where the experts players
{as  Nunn,Polgar,Hort,Timman&Miles!} where forced to play the openings moves 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 Ne5 12.h4 h5 13.Bg5 Rc5 14.f4 Nc4 15.Qd3 b5?! {the so called Soltis variation} but the main response in now as we can lean in this  book 15…Ng4!? where it looks that white has not much more than a draw!
Impressive is the bibliography with over 31 items as books and chess Cd’s.
Conclusion: A very important reference work on the Dragon!

Improve your positional chess by Carsten Hansen
Gambit Publications Ltd.
192 pages
Price $ 25.95
ISBN 1-904600-00-X

Some way positional chess has something to do with Denmark first we had the great Nimzowitsch than came the bright  Aagaard with his positional chess books and now a interesting try from the Fide master from Denmark Carsten Hansen, who has worked out in this book a very attractive made positional chess course.
The material is divided in four parts and well General terms, Relative value of pieces, dealing with pawns and big decisions, where each is good for other three or four chapters each covering a different topic as for example what is initiative.
I found a lot of interesting material based on positional chess as “What is the Initiative “ where you are invited to follow the game Bologan – Külaots Tallin 1998 but than only  after move 15.
Indeed it is a book where it is difficult to find a complete game but there for you get a lot of exercises all in style of the Danish school hard work but at the end of the book you can say I have learned a lot about positional chess!
Solutions to exercises are all well covered with full text but the whole work from Carsten Hansen can be considered as very readable.
For example chapter nine with “Pawn Sacrifices” is covered with one page of full text simple explaining why are pawns sacrifices important  when discussing positional chess.
We can learn here that pawn sacrifices are a natural and important part of positional chess, all together good for eleven pages of enjoying attacking chess.
Conclusion: A very good read on positional chess!                


Chess CD's

Chess Informant 91 on CD

Price  £ 18.00

This electronic version of the Informator is a very interesting alternative for the printed  book for those who prefer to read all the Informator game files {and more} on there computer.
Included on this CD is a kind of built in database program that makes it possible to read all the files and in this case you have choice between the older but very reliable  Chess Informant Reader 2.1 and the more eye catching Chess Informant Expert Lite but be aware the latest is no full version.
If you want to do extra’s as to create your own ECO tables and play through exported games than go for the new 2005 Chess Informant Expert 6.0 but be aware there hangs a price card on it.
Included is a free supplement of Chess Informant all in pgn but with out any annotations to the games.
Conclusion: Better than the printed book  !

The Dutch defence Leningrad system by Boris Schipkov

Price € 19.99
System requirements: Pentium 166,32 MB RAM,Win98,WinME,Win2000,WinXP

The Russian chess theoretic us Boris Shipkov concentrates on this ChessBase  training’s CD on the so called Leningrad Dutch where black prefers a development of his King’s bishop to g7.
As his mirror image the Sicilian the Leningrad Dutch is more a counter attack than a defence.
The Dutch defence was first mentioned by the Dutch Elias Stein in his Nouvel essai sur le jeu des eches of the year 1789 but unfortunately for him he did not get much attention with it.
Boris Shipkov has specially annotated for this CD over 140 model games and explains al the necessarily strategies at the hand  of 18 database text files, where you shall find a lot hyperlinks to the annotated games.
The master file is good for around 15232 games where a small 473 of them carry annotations.
From  the interesting  Antoshin variation 1.c4 f5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 d6 4.d4 c6 5.Bg2 Qc7 I found around 84 games where four of them are excellent analysed, maybe a interesting alternative?
Included is the new ChessBase 9 reader a trainings file from 20 positions and a openings key from nearly 18 MB and that are  all the included database games from this CD..
Conclusion: A very exciting opening’s  CD!

The Nimzo-Indian defence the easy way by Jacob Aagaard  

Price €24.99
System requirements: PC 233, 64 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, sound card, mouse, Windows XP, 2000, Me, 98 SE, Windows Media Player 9.

The Danish crack Aagaard digs in this Fritz trainer DVD on all major principles and more of the Nimzo-Indian defence.
This opening did belong for a very long time to one of the pet lines of Aagaard and on this  DVD Aaagard explains that the Nimzo- Indian opening  did help him so well to become a grandmaster in chess.
There for I would like to recommended some special attention to the two wins from Aagaard on this DVD and well against GM Jonathan Tisdall and GM Alexander Shabalov! There are on this DVD over four hours of chess lessons where it is very entertaining  to go with the logical and amusing advises from Aagaard throw the instructive model games of this DVD.
Would like to mention that this DVD only runs with Fritz {or ChessBase 9} or you must open the Avi files with your media player but than you have no chess board to look at and that is no fun at all.
Think there is quite some use for this training's DVD where I am thinking  even for the more experienced chess player because Aagaard is quite honest with his suggestions!
Conclusion: A very attractive made chess DVD!

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 103
December 2004

ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

ChessBase magazine issue 103 comes with a good collection of 10197 games, all with out any comments to the games but always a few  more ones  than the free Twic  files from Mark Crowther.
The file starts with the important games of the Hoogoven 2004 chess event and ends with the Puerto Tirol Provincial championship of 28/11 2004.
This time I found 16 great avi files {249 MB!} and lot of photo’s packed in a interesting report  from the 36 Chess Olympiad of Mallorca.
Included is the free and new ChessBase 9 reader!
Conclusion: Again a awful lot of games!

Chess Magazine's

ChessMail issue 1/2005

Chess Mail Limited, 26 Coolamber Park
Dublin 16 Ireland
Basic Subscription 42 Euros.
{For eight issues.}

A major part of this 75th ChessMail issue is divided to the second world champion correspondence chess Grandmaster Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Ragozin.
Ragozin belongs to the few in the world of chess who managed to achieve the  title of International Grandmaster  in both over the board and in correspondence chess, between this all he even found time to become an International Arbiter but he great love was playing and analysing chess.
The reader shall find in this well filled ChesMail issue around 17 pages on Ragozin where Grandmaster Paul Motwani was so kind to analyse four games of this great chess genius.
Other contributions are: ICCF: a shock but not a crisis, Resignation of ICCF president Josef Mrkvicka, Champions event ends with a record, CM-ICCF Webchess tournament news, Tactics and the computer, In memoriam: Csaba Meleghegyi, Leotard wins Paul Keres-85 {good for twenty pages of chess game enjoyment!}ChessMail teams in action, The Trajkovic Pseudo-Marshall line by Tim Harding part 2 where Hardings digs in the so interesting move from Trajkovic: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 Bb7 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 Nf4!? and more!
Conclusion: A super read!