Latest book reviews of 1 July

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

Chess Books

The write move an anthology of the best writing in correspondence chess edited by Tim Harding.
160 pages
Price € 24.00
ISBN 0-9538536-8-3

Tim Harding has compiled specially for this book a selection great writings in correspondence chess, where a few of these great writings  have seen some kind of publication in Harding's correspondence chess magazine ChessMail.
The longest contribution in this book comes from the correspondence chess genius Gennady Nesis, who is nowadays a well known author from Leningrad who later started a new life in Germany.
Nesis impressive contribution of 24 pages of this book is not only a personal view from this great player but  also offers  the reader a unique insight into high-level correspondence chess opening preparation.
Specially when we take a closer look at his  game with Pablo Buy a great contribution to correspondence chess!
One of my favourite articles in this book is the Alexander Alekhine’s contribution to correspondence chess by Tim Harding  which is an updated and re-edited version of Harding’s original article that first appeared in ‘Chess Mail’ issue 4/2000 but this book covers a lot of extra’s as a supplementary contribution on Alekhine’s forgotten visit to Iceland.
A other great article in this book is Keres and the IFSB from Tim Harding that also first appeared in ‘ChessMail’6/2002, again there is a lot of extra material that was specially abridged for this book as material from Harding’s highly regarded  book 64 Great Chess Games and some extra information on Paul Keres that was rediscovered some time ago by the Ken Whyld association member Michael Negele.
There is more to find in this book about the strongest player in the world who has never become world champion in chess but still has the status of national hero in Estonia, Keres is by the way one of the few chess players in the world who had his picture on a banknote.
But please also see in this book  Paul Keres on the magic carpet to the world by Valter Heuer and translated by Malle Laar.
Included in this book is a very impressive six page bibliography of modern correspondence chess works.
Conclusion: One of the most interesting books I ever saw on correspondence chess!

Fire on board part II:1997-2004 by Alexei Shirov
Everyman chess
192 pages
price $ 24.95
ISBN 1-85744-382-9

Shirov the chess genius from Latvia and now living in Spain needs nearly  no introduction at all, a immensely strong junior who reached the magic 2700-level before the age of 20.
Shirov is an enormously talented chess player and these 53 games of this book give us an excellent insight of his ability to create unbelievable complications.
Besides all the smashing wins there are in this book also some painful moments as his first Fire on board book from 1996.
Chapter one starts with a nine page introduction on Shirovs career after the year 1996  where he interestingly mentions: So long Kasparov and Kramnik continue their eternal privileges, I am not going to fight for the title of World champion anymore.
But of course, it is no my plan  to abandon the ‘struggle with out limits’- the struggle to perfect  my play, the struggle against my opponent of tomorrow, the struggle for brilliancy in chess.
Chapter two starts with a readable chapter on creativity where Shiriv discusses his invention on the Sveshnikov with his amassing move: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bxb5 axb5 12.Nxb5 Ra4 13.b4 Rxb4 14.Nbc7+ Kd7 15.0-0 Qxc716.c3
As Shirov wisely  mentions most of the brilliant chess ideas are born at home in a quiet atmosphere, by the way the technical aspects of this Sveshnikov game can be found in game 34 of this book where the author makes some use of some of his  his older Informator notes, but
many games in this book as for instance Kramnik – Shirov WCC Candidates 1998 game 13 of this book have never seen any  publication  before.
Interesting is the story from Shirov and his simultaneous exhibition in Paris where he was inspired by a amateur to take up the Budapest Gambit.
Please see game 25 of this book  Bacrot – Shirov ,Sarajevo 2000 where black went for the Budapest Gambit where he was out of the book on move four!
Conclusion: A very impressive game collection!

The Trompowsky by Nigel Davies
2nd edition
Everyman Chess
144 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-376-4

When Julian Hodgson wrote back in 1997  his first work on the Trompovsky it was a quite surprise to see a whole book on this line and when Joe Gallagher continued with a detailed study the Tromp with  his first Chess Press edition we all where able to develop a good understanding of this opening.
This 2nd edition from GM Nigel Davies provides the reader with a excellent coverage of all the latest developments of this exciting move,
besides the 67 model games there are again a large amount of Hodgson games one of the most famous exponent of the Trompowsky,
by the way Hodgson once wrote: Having always been a rather lazy chess player {which is something of an understatement!} the chance of reaching a relatively unexplored position on move two, with my opponent already forced to think, I found highly appealing.
Julian once wrote the alliance of Hodgson and the Tromp is the perfect wedding.
Personally I think there is a good balance of text and annotations in this book so the reader does not have to be afraid to get lost in a sea of  database moves and don't  forget this openings book is suitable for both sides of the board!
But it is interesting is it to compare some games from this book with the annotations from Peter Wells and his Winning with the Trompowsky from Batsford that was  published in 2003.
For example the game Hodgson – Wells,York 2000 is simple better analysed in the book from Wells than here by Nigel Davies, it is a 4.5 against 2 pages of text.
But all together this book from Davies wins it with all the latest developments and to be honest there are quite a lot of latest 2003 and 2004 developments in this well readable openings book from Nigel Davies!
Conclusion: A openings book that is filled with a lot of latest developments!   

Offbeat Nimzo-Indian by Chris Ward
Everyman Chess
144 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-369-1

The English Grandmaster Chris Ward digs in this Offbeat Nimzo-Indian book in all kind of  unusual sub lines in the Nimzo-Indian defence  as the main line open Sämisch that runs after the moves:1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3d5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 and is good for a 38 pages of this openings book.
Besides the head lines there also all kinds of interesting alternatives as 6. 0-0 and 6.  Be7.
Chapter four of this book concentrates on the stand alone Sämisch where black runs for alternatives as 4…Nc6 or 4.a3 Bxc3 5.bxc3 and Ne4!?
Attractive is chapter five with the aggressive 4.Bg5 the so called Leningrad variation,where the three remaining chapters cover 4.g3 pioneered by Romanishin,4.Qb3 and some very rare moves as 4.e4!? or 4.Qd3.
Well explained in this book is the amateur move 4.Bd2 where it is a bit harsh to call  it bad but as many unusual moves it leads to really nothing.
Included in this book are 47 model games where four of them come from Ward himself.
Conclusion: A very readable read on the offbeat Nimzo-Indian!

Petroff defence by Raetsky & Chetverik
Everyman Chess
190 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-378-0

The Russion duo Raetsky & Chetverik dig in this latest Everyman opening book on the good old Petroff defence which was already mentioned by Lucena back in 1479.But it was the Russian maestro Aleander Petroff who found out that the move 3.Nxe5 could be met with 3…d6.
This work from Raetsky & Chetverik is very compressive and both continue balance with there 74 model games and all the extra games that are included between the lines with the readability of this book.
On the other hand the reader shall find everything what he or she needs to know how to handle this opening but the reference work on the Petroff stays for me the Petroff from Janjgava but I agree with authors play the Petroff defence and be happy!
Conclusion: A very compressive written openings book!

Winning chess tactics by Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman
Everyman Chess
234 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-386-1

Winning chess strategies by Yasser Seirawan & Jeremy Silman

Everyman Chess
256 pages
Price $ 19.95
ISBN 1-85744-385-3

Two fully revised and updated works from Yasser Seirawan and  Jeremy Silman where both invite you slowly  into the world of tactics and strategies.
Both works are very  inviting and not to complicated but in both books it is necessarily  to have some basic chess knowledge before you can really take up these learning books.
Winning  chess tactics  has a small game collection the so called  great tacticians and their games where I found some of the  greatest chess  players of all time  as Tal, Alekhine and Kasparov but I aslo found it very pleasant to see also in this list the nearly forgotten chess genius Rudolf Spielmann!
These winning chess books are very instructive written and they offer the reader a very entertaining journey in to the real world of chess!
I would say if  you like to learn more about chess take up this whole set of six learning books !
Conclusion: Very instructive!

Najdorf :Life and games by Alexander Beliavsky,Adrian Mikhalchishin & Tomasz Lissowski
Batsford Ltd London

256 pages
Price $ 21.95
ISBN 0-7134-8920-0

Miguel Najdorf 1910-1997 was a brilliant chess player who gave his name  to one of the most important openings systems but as we can read in this book his life was no less colourful.
Najdorf was a phenomenal blitz player who once played 17 moves in one minute against the great Smyslov.
The forward of this book comes from Najdorf’s daughter Liliana Najdorf who has made some fame with writing a book on her fathers life, Najdorf by Najdorf.
Thomas Lissowski is a rewarded chess historian and is good  for the interesting research on Najdorf life that was specially done for this book, Lissowski admits to trace down Najdorf’s first thirteen years of his life was a extremely complex task but Lissowski has managed to create a readable  biography from around  55 pages with a lot of unknown background information on the legendary Najdorf.
Included in this book is a collection of  more than 130 complete games where the personal notes from Najdorf did touch me it most.
Sometimes it is a pity that that the both authors Alexander Beliavsky & Adrian Mikhalchishin did not dig deeper in some games as for example Euwe – Najdorf,Zurich 1953, where Najdorf thought that he could have saved the game with 23…Na5?
Garry Kasparov has analysed this game also in his My great predecessors part two where he discusses  the move 23..Nd8?! which gives in big lines the same position as with 23…Na5 but with Najdorf moves both black rooks are connected and that could make quite some difference: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0-0 5.Nc3 c5 6.d5 e5 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.d6 Nc6 10.e3 b6 11.Bd5 Kh8 12.Ne4 Qd8 13.h4 f5 14.Ng5 Bb7 15.g4 e4 16.Ne2 Bxb2 17.Nf4 Qf6 18.gxf5 Bxa1 19.Nxg6+ Kg7 20.Nxe4 Bc3+ 21.Kf1 Qxf5 22.Nf4 Kh8 23.Nxc3 Na5 24.Rg1 Kh7 25.Nce2 Bxd5 26.cxd5 Rg8 27.Ng3 Rxg3 28.Rxg3 Rf8 29.Qg4 Qxg4 30.Rxg4 Nc4 is still not completely clear and it would not surprise me if black could hold out in the upcoming  knight endgame.
Conclusion: A very good read on the great Najdorf!

Great chess books by Alex Dune
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

199 pages
Price $ 30.00   
ISBN 0-7864-1515-0

The American chess master and author offers the reader in this latest McFarland a important overview from the greatest English chess books that where published in the 20th century.
Alex Dune does not only describe the most important books but also gives a lot of extra background information about these selected 20th century chess books.
For example Alex Dune gives a lot of readable information about the first nine editions of the famous MCO of chess openings where the first edition from 1911 is good for around $100 and a first edition of Raymond Keen’s work Aron Nimzowitsch 1886-1935: A Reappraisal from 1974 goes away on eBay for only $2.35!
And did you know that  the Dover reprint from 500 Master games of Modern Chess belonged to the 10 best selling Dover chess books by 1982!
This work certainly gives a objective and informative look at some of  the best published books in the period 1901-2000 but the problem is that I am missing so many other superb. books as for example Larsen’s Selected games of chess 1948-69 by Bent Larsen Bell  son 1970, or the famous McFarland book on Alekhine,Alexander Alexander Alekhine’s Chess Games 1902-1946 by Skinner and Verhoeven.
Unfortunately I can easy continue this list with missing great books but altogether Alex Dune has written a very interesting work on {great chess} books.
Included throw this book are clippings from games and why the book is important,useful for the collector is the background information on the publication.
Conclusion: A very interesting book!

Secrets of attacking chess by Mihail Marin
Gambit Publications Ltd
191 pages
Price $ 28.95
ISBN 1-904600-30-1

In his previous work, Secrets of Chess Defence Marin concentrated completely on the side of the defender but in this latest work the strong Romanian grandmaster considers the fascinating side of attack.
Even that there are only a small 30 games in this book I have seldom seen such instructive analyses where some as the game Tal – Geller,USSR Ch,Riga 1958 take nearly ten pages of this book!
The material is divided in the following seven sections: The logical course of the game: The spark of the attack, The elementary stages of the general plan, Advantage in development, Play on two wings,The secrets behind Morphy’s successes,The Paradox of the century and at last A chess player’s best friend?!
Fascinating are the annotations to the classic game Anderssen – Morphy,Paris 1858 where Anderssen nearly outplayed Morphy with his bizarre 1.a3. Again there are nearly 13 pages of analyses where it is interesting to read  Marin’s analyses of
Anderssen’s knight move 27.Nc4, a move that did not received so far the attention that it deserved.
Of course there is a limit what a author can offer in one single volume but this book from Marin is awful instructive!
Conclusion: One of those seldom chess books where you can learn to attack!

Chess CD's

How to play the Najdorf Vol.1 Mr.Kasparov series no.2

Price € 29.99
System requirements: PC (minimum 233 MHz and 32 MB RAM, recommended 1 GHz, 256 MB), DVD drive, Windows98 SE, ME, 2000 or XP, Sound card, Windows Media Player 9 or higher (for the multimedia lessons). Alternately: standard DVD player and TV set (PAL).

One of the best Najdorf experts the great Garry Kasparov explains you the first secrets and more  of the Najdorf opening  which some chess players consider this line as the Rolls-Royce of chess openings.
As Kasparov points out in this DVD one of the greatest experts on this line is the great Bobby Fischer,maybe Fischer deserved to carry the name of this opening who as Kasparov explains is was Fischer who put life in this opening.
The Najdorf is a sharp opening and as Kasparov learns us in this DVD one mistake in this opening  can put you completely out of business.
The around two and half a hour is divided in the following material Introduction , Possible deviations, 6.Bg5 Nbd7,6.Bg5 e6 7.Qf3, Gothenburg variation, Poisoned pawn variation 9.Rb1, Poisoned pawn variation 13.e5, Poisoned pawn variation with 13.Be2 and 9.Nb3 and at last the  poisoned pawn variation with  8.Nb3.
Again there is a lot to learn from Kasparov please don’t expect to win from the book in these learning DVD’s but it are personal tips from Kasparov which makes these multimedia files so extremely instructive.
This DVD can also be played on a DVD player where you can make use of the subtitles {English,german,Spanish.Italian and Turkish}specially  when you have problems following Garry.
Included is a extra database with around 16268 game {without comments} and a openings book from nearly 17 MB.
Conclusion: A very instructive DVD!

Compressive Chess Openings by GM Kalinin
Convekta Ltd
Price € 31.03
System requirements: IBM-compatible PC, 128 Mb RAM, Hard Disk 1Gb of free disk space, Windows 2000/NT/ME/XP, CD-ROM drive. No additional software is required.

When we compare Compressive chess openings 2005 with the 2004 edition than this 2005 edition has made a impressive update of theoretical material.
First there are more than 500.000 opening moves  and over 8000 key positions all evaluated and presented with readable text from the openings expert GM Kalinin.
For example I found the following text about the Latvian gambit: This counter gambit is reputed as risky. Black, however, frequently manages to launch great complications in practical play. Latvian gambit seldom occurs in the modern practice.
I went throw all lines of this opening and I was quite surprised by the large amount of variations but found it a pity that Kalinin did not include in his one million database correspondence games but preferred to work as the Powebook from ChessBase with first class over the board chess games.
Included are ratings and useful statistics from every important play line but you can also  generate in no time a detailed openings report.
Compressive chess openings 2005 is packed in a light version of Chess Assistant so no other soft where is required for this openings encyclopaedia  but be aware you can not open any new databases with this program  but for the rest you can do a awful lot with this light version of Chess Assistant as searching throw the database or make  use from  the two included chess engines.{Delfi and Crafty}
Owners of a full version of ChessAssistant  can easy integrate this Compressive Chess Openings file in there databases.
Included is hand manual from 64 pages to get started with Compressive Chess Openings!
All available in the following languages English, German, France, Spanish and Italian.
Conclusion: A very useful made openings CD!

Chess combinations encyclopaedia
Convekta Ltd
Price € 25.00
System requirements:  IBM-compatible PC, 32 Mb RAM, hard disk 50Mb, Windows 95/98/2000/NT/XP, CD-ROM drive. No additional software required.

For all who are interested in sharpening there tactical skills could consider this impressive made Chess combinations encyclopaedia from over 4000 challenging checkmate puzzles,classified by more than 100 different motifs as pins, skewer, deflection overloading etc.
It is very important to be alert in chess and this self tutor program with time limit and elo dynamics helps you to develop these important skills.
It is clear this  encyclopaedia helps you to assess your strength by simple playing throw these impressive collected exercises where a large amount of then comes from the tournament practice.
Conclusion: A very impressive collection  chess combinations!

Pocket CT-art
Convekta Ltd
Price € 22.41
System requirements:   Pocket CT-ART runs on Pocket PCs with Windows Mobile 2003 with the processors MIPS,SHG,ARG or Xscale and installation requires PC.

The first made pocket trainings soft where that runs on your hand palm but please check out if you have the correct processor in your handpalm.
With this program is nothing wrong there are over 1200 exercises classified in 3 major sections Tactical methods,combination motifs and difficulty.
As the above mentioned chess combinations hints multiple users static’s and more are possible.
Playing with a hand palm is very enjoyable specially with special made exercise program as this one from Convekta.
Conclusion: A very enjoyable program!

Game Service 2005

From the first of June I received the following games and that is only one shipping of the four!
Last month May I had over 10.000 games! but first a small view back to the June list wher I found the following games:
2005, Alushta (Ukraine), Ch Ukraine (1/2 final)             446
2005, Alushta (Ukraine), Ch Ukraine (w)                        205
2005, Alushta (Ukraine), It (cat.6)                                    66
2005, Budapest (Hungary), Memorial Elekes (cat.2)      45
2005, Budapest (Hungary), Memorial Elekes (cat.8)      66
2005, Busevec (Croatia), It (open) (juniors) (under 20) (g) 84
2005, Cherepovets (Russia), It "Severstal-50""               56
2005, France, Ch France (team) (nat.1) 2004/05                 66
2005, Frascati (Italy), It (cat.8)                                              45
2005, Karlstad (Sweden), Match "Sweden-Norway"         20
2005, Los Angeles (USA), It (open) "Memorial Day Classic"              28
2005, Madrid (Spain), It "Maestros Revista Tiempo"       41
2005, Minsk (Belarus), Cup Belarus                                     91
2005, Miskolc (Hungary), Match (active)                            8
2005, Moscow (Russia), Memorial T.Petrosian (juniors)  268
2005, Nerezine (Croatia), It (open) "Losinj"                        95
2005, Pleven (Bulgaria), Ch Bulgaria                                   89
2005, Santa Clara (Cuba), Memorial G.Garcia (cat.8) (a)    26
2005, Santa Clara (Cuba), Memorial G.Garcia (cat.8) (b)    27
2005, Sibenik (Croatia), Cup Croatia (team)                           195
2005, Solingen (Germany), Memorial Dueball (cat.6)         45
2005, Steinbrunn (Austria), Cup Mitropa                           180
2005, Steinbrunn (Austria), Cup Mitropa (w)                     90
2005, Stillwater (USA), It (open)                                           78
2005, Tallinn (Estonia), Ch Estonia                                       43
2005, Tusnad (Romania), Ch Romania (team) A                  431
2005, Willingen (Germany), Ch Germany (juniors) (under 16)             14
2005, Willingen (Germany), Ch Germany (juniors) (under 16) (g)         13
2005, Willingen (Germany), Ch Germany (juniors) (under 18)             14
2005, Willingen (Germany), Ch Germany (juniors) (under 18) (g)         14
2005, Wuxi (China), Cup Torch Real Estate                             307
Conclusion: Well filled!

Chess Magazine's

ChessMail issue 4/2005

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

ChessMail issue four starts with: Eric Larsson 90! ICCF co-founder Erik Larsson celebrated his 90th birthday on Friday 20th May.
The Christoffel memorial tournaments, Christoffel Gold: the winner”s view by CC-GM Marc Geenen {good for nine pages!}Christoffel memorial: Rolf Knobel analyses{ A tournament book will come out at the end of May and ChessMail wll review it in a later issue.}
Minor piece against pawns is a interesting endgame clinic by SIM Mike Read.
Kenneth Charles Messere 1928-2005 {Ken Messere,who died on 31 March,was not only a world-class correpondence chess player but also a great tax expert}
CC champion meets OTB champion, In Vienna on 16 April,the 16 th CC world champion had a pleasant meeting with former world champion Anatoly Karpov.{Karpov is a well known stamp collector and Tunc Hamarat presented him with the Hamarat postage stamp,issued by the Austrian post office last year.ChessMail ICCF webchess, Tigers make good start again,How to beat a world champion by GM Alik Zilberberg, Readers annotate their games, Letter to the editior, Bobby Fischer: defeat from victory a review from Tim Harding, Launch of the book ’The Write Move’ ICCF tournamaents results service etc.
Conclusion: A great read!

British Chess Magazine No.6
Volume 125
June  2005
Price: £3.25

The first eighteen pages of this heavy loaded BCM magazine are divided to  full report with photo’s about the British Team league included with some special annotations from Alexei Shirov and Ian Rogers, Sigeman & Co with some great chess from Timman,Sasikiran,Nakamura and others, Bundesliga play of, Jack Spiegel memorial, Gausdal Classics, Coventry best game prize, Coventry best game prize by Colin Crouch, The Kavalek file {Grandmaster Leonid Shamkovich  has died on 22-4-2005}
9.Nbd2 does not kill the Dilworth by Vernon Dilworth!!
A few weeks ago BCM received the sad news that Vernon Dilworth had died last year.He was one of the few amateurs to have a opening variation named after him and was still studying it in his old age.
Further are Chess questions answered by Gary Lane where he digs in the famous Colle system, Are you a chess mastermind? Quotes and quires etc.
Conclusion : A very heavy loaded issue !