Latest book reviews of 1 March 2005

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

Chess Books

Bobby Fischer The wandering king by Hans Böhm & Kees Jongkind
Batsford Ltd London

160 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 07134-8935-9

The idea of this book goes back to the year 2003 when the two chess media specialists Hans Böhm & Kees Jongkind made a TV documentary on the legendary Bobby Fischer one of the greatest chess geniuses of all time.
This book does not standstill with the year 2003 so you shall find in the appendix some latest information about Fischer and his Japanese jail sentence where he is risking at this moment a very long prisons chip.
Both authors have managed to dig up a lot of interesting material on Fischer as the secret FBI files that came public in December 2002, nearly five years after the death of Fischers mother Regina Wender.
In this book you shall find some readable  interviews with chess players who knew Fischer personal as for example the interview with the concrete and chess lover the millionaire Anfried Pagel, who once had in Holland a own chess club.{He was for a short time very successful in correspondence chess but that is a other story}
Who saidin this book:  Even a loss of a half a million guilders I would liked to have him in my chess club , I would not have minded at all. I mean, it would have been a magnificent experience. I would gladly have paid money for that. What else is money for?
One of the authors Hans Böhm was once a very strong chess player who just missed his grandmaster title in the earlier seventies
and later started a successful career on TV.
Included in this book is only one chess game and that is quite a pity because playing chess is the only thing that Fischer is really good in!
Conclusion: A very good read on Fischer!

Winning the won game by Danny Kopec & Lubomir Ftacnik
Batsford Ltd London

207 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 0-7134-89006-6

Winning the won game is a large collection of 64 chess games that have won brilliancy prices all taken from the Woman’s and Men’s United States championships from around  the last 20 years.
Both authors have discussed in this book the concept of what is brilliancy and that is sometimes difficult to explain but not the $2000 year donating from Mr.Paul M.Albert jr who has the honour of providing these prizes and basis of this creative collection chess games.
The notes in this book are not to heavy and it is very enjoying to work throw a book with such a collection creativity!
Conclusion: A creative collection attacking games!

Danish Dynamite by Karsten Müller & Martin Voigt
Russel Enterprises
Offered for review by
233 Pages
Price € 21.90
ISBN 1-888690-20-8

By the years I have received many interesting openings books but not one did impressive me so mush as this exciting work from the two German chess professionals GM Karsten Müller and Fide master Martin Voigt.
The Dainish Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 is not only one of the most aggressive chess openings that you can find but both authors also examine a whole army of variations and openings  that are related with this attacking set-up.
First of all it is very pleasant that a chess crack as Karsten Müller has to courage to share his personal secrets with us and that this work is expanded with lines as the Göring gambit accepted, Scotsch gambit  accepted, Danish gambit declined, Göring gambit declined, Danish/Göring gambit, Capablanca defence, and unusual move orders and lines with a early Bc4 so as the interesting Urusov gambit {1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.Qxd4 Nf6 6.Bg5}etc.
So far the Danish double Gambit Accepted with 3…dxc3 4.Bc4 cxb2 5.Bxb2 has rarely seen grandmasters tournaments and has never enjoyed the reputation that it deserves but it remains a potent weapon!
Interesting enough the game usually continues along the lines of the Göring gambit but the key defence is still  Schlechter’s 5….d5!?
Important to mention is that many sources ascribe this line to the great Schlechter but as the both authors explain in this book the  knowledgeable Edward Winter has his doubts.{Please also see page 81 of this book and ofcourse Winters book Kings, Commoners and Knaves.}
Both authors give after the counter strike with 5…d5 6.Bxd5 Nf6 {or 6…Bb4 6.5 pages}
7.Nc3?! Be7 8.Qb3 with all in spirit of the Danish Gambit where I found a lot of games from GM Johnny Hector who tried to bring a lot of fresh ideas into these classic lines.
The whole book is overloaded with hundreds of games, move to move annotations, analyses, historical background information exercises photo’s and more.
Conclusion: A very exciting read!

Kramnik vs Leko by Martin Breutigam
ChessGate AG
170 pages
Edition paperback large
Price € 18.80
ISBN 3-935748-08-6

The first thing that surprised me when I open-end my review package from ChessGate AG was the weight of this 170 page book, nearly 450 gram!
Usually world championship match books have a bad reputation because there is simple to much haste from the publisher to make a good book but this we can not say from Chess Gate with this lovely made tournament book from the German chess master Martin Breutigam.
Coverage of the match does not start before page 96 but the first part of this book is completely divided to the first fourteen word championships, where you shall find besides the 28 analysed games a interesting collection chess biographies from our greatest chess heroes.
Starting with the eccentric but first official  Wilhelm Steinitz  and ending with the brand new world champion Vladimir Kramnik.
The second part of the book deals with the exciting match between World champion Vladimir Kramnik and his challenger Peter Leko where the match games are very deeply analysed by no less than GM Artur Jusupov and GM Christopher Lutz!
Good for around 57 pages where I truly found a lot of interesting analyses!
Included is readable portrait of the challenger Peter Leko where the reader shall find interviews, photos, tables and a lot of information about the world championships of today and yesterday.
Conclusion: A lovely made match book!   

Learn from Garry Kasparov’s  greatest games by Eric Schiller
Cardoza Publishing

240 pages
Price $ 14.95
ISBN 1-58042-146-6

The American Eric Schiller concentrates in this latest  greatest game book on twenty of  Garry Kasparov’s  greatest games starting with Kasparov – Palatnik, Daugavpils Latvia 1978 and ending with Kasparov – Deep Junior man vs machine at New York City 2003.
The cover blurb from Cardoza is not very objective and I have my doubts if Schiller has much influence about it but learning chess of the greatest chess player of modern times is never  wrong.
A pity that Schiller did not include some more games as for example Lputian – Kasparov, Tbilisi 1976 which was after Kasparov one of his greatest attacking games.
Schiller does not dig very deep in these twenty games and if you ask me  the more experienced can better go for a own book from Kasparov as for example  The test of time,but for all who are discovering chess for them this book from Schiller is certainly a nice introduction in to the world of Kasparov.
Included is a introduction of 38 pages and on there are even some free bonus chapters available for download.
Conclusion: A simple read on Kasparov his games.

Beat the grandmasters by Christian Kongsted
Gambit Publications Ltd
176 pages
Price $ 25.95
ISBN 1-904600-27-1

The Danish correspondence chess player Christian Kongsted concentrates in this latest Gambit puzzle book on a Hugh collection grandmaster  exercises where the reader is invited to find the moves that led to the defeat of some of the strongest chess players in the world.
The material in this book is divided in to five chapters where the first one is meant as training for the remaining ones.
Kongsted has used the same scale as John Emms The Ulitimate Chess Puzzle book so if you have read that book you shall feel your self quick at home.
Chapter is the main part of the book and here starts the challenge to find the winning moves and I am afraid  that is for many of  us a very difficult task!
All together there are around 350 puzzles where the aim lays in calculation of variations so it is not a bad idea to use your own analyse program to check out your wrong moves.
Conclusion: Tough but on the other hand a  very challenging puzzle book!

Foundations of chess strategy by Lars Bo Hansen

Gambit Publications Ltd
176 pages
Price $ 27.50
ISBN 1-904600-26-3

The Danish GM Lars Bo Hansen has managed to create a interesting chess book based on modern business strategy and chess  strategy.
Lars Bo Hansendid did not write a standard textbook on chess strategy but created more a modern frame work packed with instructive advises.
After the author you have to be practical in chess and play for instance  openings that fits to your style and are this not the same considerations that business researchers have done during the past?
Going throw this book I was impressed by the large amount of  deeply analysed chess games filled on with very useful advises based on the eight instructive chapters of this book.{What is chess strategy?, The factors shaping chess strategy, The opponents: The rule of the human factor in chess, Characteristics of reflectors, Characteristics of theorists, Characteristics of pragmatics, Characteristics of activists and Environmental factors}
But above all I enjoy the GM Lars Bo Hansen modern approach to some classic hames as for example his describing of the game Brinckmann – Nimzowitsch, Bad Niendorf 1927 where he nearly spends a halve of page on the move 1.e4 Nc6 2.Nc3 e6 3.d4 d5 4.e5 Nge7 5.Nf3 b6 6.Ne2 Ba6 7.Ng3 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 h5 9.Bg5 Qc8 10.Qd3 Ng6 11.c3 h4 12.Ne2 Be7 13.h3 Bxg5 14.Nxg5 Nce7 {It is mainly because of this position that I have included this game.It illustrates the advances in the understanding of cramped positions from Tarrasch to Nimzowitsch.}
But I found it a pity that Lars Bo Hansen did not discuss the saving  line mentioned by Nimzowitsch in his book Die Praxis Meines System, starting with  24.Rxe5!!
Interesting is Lars Bo Hansen describing of the game Janowski – Capablanca, New York 1916.This is one of Capablanca’s most famous games rightly quoted as a fine positional effort.But it also shows some potential weaknesses of reflectors: a tendency for sloppy opening play and occasional tactical oversights due to the lack of emphasis on concrete detail and calculations.
Conclusion: A very instructive read!

Latest trends in the Semi-Slav: Anti-Meran by Konstantin Sakaev & Semko Semkov
Chess Stars
203 pages
Price $ 23.00
ISBN 954-8782-42-1

The rising Russian star GM Konstantin Sakaev {rating 2677!} and the creative  IM Semko Semkov dig in this latest trend Chess Stars openings book on the trendy Semi-Slav of the Anti- Meran{ 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6} with 7. g4!?
From origin this line is a invention from the Latvian GM Alexander Shabalov but it came very popular when it was included in Shirov’s dangerous openings repertoire.
As we can read in this book Shabalov’s the move 7.g4!? leads to very sharp and black usually ends, if he does not take care far behind in development.
The first 90 pages of this book are completely  divided to lines with 7.g4!? where black has to go for the pawn with 7..Nxg4,7..dxc4,7… Bb4 or the flexible 7..h6.
Part two of this book {chapter 8}is divided to 6..Be7 and part three {chapter 8 till 16!of this book} to the positional  Karpov system with 6.Qc2 Bd6 and 7.Be2, a openings line that is easy to understand and where white only gets a microscopic advantage.
The closing date of this book is January 2005 and that makes it all very up to date!
Included is bibliography and easy to go throw index of variations, all together we have here  a very high quality openings  book!
Conclusion: A very compressive written openings book!

Chess CD's

Fritz Powerbook 2005 on DVD

Price € 49.99
ISBN 3-937549-30-7
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 and 9.

The brand new Fritz Powerbook 2005 contains over the 20 million openings positions all derived from the one million high-class tournament games that are all in cluded on this overloaded chess DVD.
Besides the openings moves or trees you shall find also a lot of other interesting chess information as the average rating of the player and all the openings moves that where played in this position. Fritz Powerbook 2005 uses around 1.5 Gigh of your hard disk but  I would still like to recommend to copy all the files on our hard disk.
If this is a problem use the smaller extra included alternative openings book or simple park your Powebook in your DVD player.
A strong openings tree as this Powerbook is very pleasant in use it does not only makes your Fritz more human but it gives the user a lot of extra information as statistics etc.
Useful is the possibility to import new games as for example from the well known ChessBase magazines where all these games will be merged in to a tree of positions.
Conclusion: A must for every Fritz user!

Shredder 9

Price € 49.99
System Requirements Pentium PC,64 MB RAM,Win 98 SE,Me,2000,XP,CD-ROM Drive,Mouse

Shredder belongs under the experts to the engine with the best endgame skills and usually with every update you get a better developed chess engine.
Shredder has also  a few very  interesting utilities as a position learning feature where it can analyse a position, and than after being shut down and turned on again it will remember some of it’s previous evaluations even when you have turned the computer on and of.
A other interesting utility is the configuration of the engine where you can change the “personal” parameters to improve its performance in practical play.
After tuning your Shredder it is even possible to test your engine in Internet games on the ChessBase chess server
There is a one year free access!
But first a practical test: {Alekhine,Alexander - Tartakower,Saviely [C11]
Vienna Vienna (11), 26.11.1922 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 dxe4 5.Bxf6 gxf6 6.Nxe4 f5 7.Nc3 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.Qd2 c5 10.dxc5 Qa5 11.Nb5 Qxd2+ 12.Nxd2 Na6 13.c3 Nxc5 14.Nb3 Nxb3 15.axb3 a6 16.Nd6 Rb8 17.b4 Rd8 18.0-0-0 Be5 19.Nxc8 Rxd1+ 20.Kxd1 Rxc8 21.Be2 Kf8 22.Kc2 Rc7 23.Ra1 Ke7 24.h3 f4 25.Kb3 Rd7 26.Ra5 Bc7 27.Rh5 Rd2 28.Bf3 b6 29.Rxh7 Rxf2 30.Bh5 Rxg2 31.Rxf7+ Kd8 32.Bg4 e5 33.Rd7+ Kc8 34.Rd2+ Rxg4 35.hxg4 f3} Shredder 9 plays directly the winning move 36.Rd5!
Please also see Mark Dvoreckij Die Endspiel Universität Chessgate 2002 and Karsten Muller and Frank Lamprecht Fundamental Chess Endings encyclopaedia, Gambit ltd 2001.
Shredder 8 finds it also but than only after a long search!
For some non ChessBase engines as Crafty it is clearly a bridge to far he hangs for a very long time on 26.g5 and I am afraid this engine never find the winning line.
Shredder 9 comes with the latest Fritz interface included with extensive training and entertainment features.
Included is a new openings book from over 233 MB and a 511.873 game file which is good for 143 MB of your hard disk.
Included are 30 MB tablebases and a table generator but no talk file.
Conclusion: A endgame killer!

Total Chess Training II
Convekta Ltd
Price € 81.90
System requirements : IBM PC 32 mb RAM,Hard Disk 100 MB free disk space,Windows 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP/CD –Rom but no other add ional software required.

From Convekta ltd I received this impressive learning package with five standalone  trainings programs specially packed on one CD where no other addional software is required to run these learning programs.
First of all there is the Encyclopaedia of middelgame II a trainings program for studying the opening/middle game strategies where you can playing throw over 600 games or better said lectures and if that is not enough for you there are also 500 exercises and 150 trainings positions.
Two Chess Tactics for intermediate players is reviewed by us some time ago but for the new comers here there are over 1800 exercises here!
Third mate studies is good for over 5000 exercises!
Fourth program on this CD is Theory and Practice of chess endings from Grandmaster Panchenko who has worked out a interesting endgame course from over 700 lectures,300 exercises and 180 trainings examples.
And at last Chess game training with over 2450 {practical}endgame exercises and classified from over 500 endgame themes.
All together there are on this CD more than 11.000 study exercises which makes this CD a excellent choice for chess trainers and players who want to improve in a very enjoyable there play.
Included in this tutor program is the chess engine Crafty which is no genius in endings there for I would like to suggest go for a free version of  Ruffian!
Conclusion: Very instructive!

Six Piece Nalimov Endgame DVD’s
Price € 25.00

This very interesting buy comes again from Convekta with these two six peace  Nalimov Endgame DVD’s where you perfectly can play out any position that is included on these two DVD's.
All together there are around 17 GB on these DVD’s and that make sit very interesting if your six endgame position of interest is on it.
The first DVD contains Bishop & two Pawns against a Rook, Knight and & two Pawns against a Rook, and two Bishops against two Knights.
The Second DVD concentrates on:  Rook & two Pawns against Rook, Three pawns against a Rook, Queen & Knight against Queen, Knight & Bishop and two Knights against Bishop against Rook, two Rooks against two Rooks.
Two Bishops against Bishop & Knight, Bishop & Knight against Bishop & Knight, Bishop & Knight against two Knights and at last two Bishops against Two Bishops.
These two Nalimov Endgame DVD’s run besides on all the Convekta programs as Chess Assistant 8 and Chess Assistant light also on all kind of  ChessBase products as Fritz and ChessBase.
On internet it is also possible to check these kind of  six piece endgame positions but it is very enjoyable to have your own Nalimov endgame files!

Conclusion: A must for every chess analyst!

Chess Magazine's

British Chess Magazine No.2
Volume 124
February  2005
Price: £3.25

Gary Lane digs in Chess Questions answered in the Scandinavian defence {with the trendy 3..Qd6} and the  good old Danish gambit but I don’t read anything about Danish Dynamite from Karsten Müller & Martin Voigt!
Pamplona {The 14th city of Pamplona tournament,held over Christmas had a select but very strong field of eight}
Obituaries goes to Arnold Sheldon Denker {21-2-1914 – 2-2-05+}, Walter Arpad Földeak {8-7-1917 – 13-7-04}Stojan Puc and Yaacov Bleiman.
The Kavalek file, Quotes and Queries, Problem World, Philip Stamma’s Assyrian Origin, News in Brief, Fide Ratings, Spot the continuation, Review and new books etc.
A great issue!