Latest book reviews of 1 November

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

Chess Books

Meine Besten Partien by Boris Gelfand
Progress in Chess
Edition Olms
272 pages
Price $ 29.95
ISBN 3-283-00453-6

This is German translation from My Most Memorable games that we reviewed some months ago but it is no problem to repeat it for this wonderful written German  translation that even has ten pages more than the English one.
All printed on the high Olms standard and made for many years of use!
Boris Gelfand {born 24.6.1968 } has been a frequent participant in World Championship between 1990s and 2000s and his chess is from high technical quality.
Gelfand has the reputation of a superb. opening preparation and when we take a closer look at these 51 memorable games that it is clear that we are doing with a exceptionally strong chess player {current rating 2713} with great love for chess perfection.
This book starts with a special chapter {My favourite variation} on Gelfand’s pet line with  8.Rb1 move of the Grünfeld defence.
The reader shall find in these 30 pages and seven complete games  a wealth of information on the modern exchange where white must be prepared 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Rb1 to sacrifice his a or c pawn.
I found between these analyses more information than the two openings books that I have on the Grünfeld from Jonathan Rowson & Bogdan Lalic.
When I may citrate Gelfand; Very often a chess player has an opening or a variation in his repertoire,which he enjoys playing most of all.For me this is the 8.Rb1 line in the 8.Rb1 line in the Grünfeld defence.My attention was drawn to it some time in 1982,soon after it was invented.In 1982 I played it for the first time and won against Leonid Basin. I analysed it a great deal in the summer of 1983.In fact,from the present-day viewpoint it can hardly be called ‘analysed’.
But at the first place you buy this book from Gelfand for the  51 excellent analysed games where some games as the Sicilian clash  against Alexey of Dos Hermanas 1995 is good for around six pages of text.
In the early nineties Gelfand’s creative partnership with Alexander Huzman began.They had already been analysing together back since the 90s,even though they lives in different parts of the USSR.This was only  possible because they were able to meet in a sort of training camp.Even when Huzman left for Israel in 1992 there creative partnership continued. After Gelfand’s divorce in 1995  he left for Israel.
This first collection of games annotated with move to move annotations is unique in his way and can only be compared with books as  My sixty games from Fischer and Botvinnnik’s outstanding analyses.
All 51 games  in this book carry some personal notes about Gelfand’s opponents.
Included are besides the preface from Vladimir Kramnik  two extra chapters on Gelfand’s combinations & endgame skills, filled on with a extra appendix with index of players,index of games,index of opponents,index of openings and a handful photo’s,all printed in the highest quality.
Conclusion: A magnificent collection best games!

Challenging the Grünfeld by Edward Dearing
Quality Chess Europe AB
204 pages
Price $ 23.99
ISBN 91-975243-4-4

The 24 year old International master Edward Dearing digs in this latest Quality chess book in the modern Grünfeld exchange variation with  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 0-0 8.Be2 c5 9.Rb1 and this rook move is so strong that many Grünfeldeers has actually switched over to other lines.
Black can go here for a pawn hunt with 9.Rb1 cxd4 10.cxd4 Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qxa2 12.0-0 b6 but than the bright Dearing simple suggest 13.Qc1!? Dearing does also awful his best to find moves  for both sites of the board and suggest for black here 13…Qe6!?
So this is certainly no repertoire book but one of those rare openings books where you can win directly from the book!
All material is based on 50 model games where for example the game Khalifman – Leko,Linares 2000 is good for around five pages of text!
Between the lines I found references to 15 other games and  a mass of readable text!
There ate nine chapters of lines in this book where eight of them are completely divided to the modern move 9.Rb1
Chapter nine by the way handles some early but very interesting alternatives as for example 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Nf3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 Qa5 10.0-0 Qxa2 11.Bg5!
Included is a excellent made bibliography to keep abreast of latest developments!
Conclusion: A very compressive written openings book!

Rook vs two minor pieces by Esben Lund
Quality Chess Europe AB
174 pages
Price $ 23.99
ISBN 91-975243-7-9

The young Danish chess master Esben Lund concentrates in this book at al kind of  situations between  rook and two minor pieces where
the author starts instructively with a theoretical foundation and a collection fundamental endgames  but slowly he turns over to complete games where he handles  positions from opening to endgame all in the subject of the fight between  rook and  two minor pieces.
It is difficult to say in a few words what is stronger rook of minor pieces so in big lines you could say the two minor pieces are usually a little stronger  in the opening and during the middlegame but in the end it gets all more complicated.
Very interesting is part two of this book  where Lund explains how the theoretical foundation of minor pieces works in practice and that means by Lund in this case  from opening till endgame!
And this is done by two heavy loaded chapters, starting with the Nc6 Catalan { 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Qa4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nd5 8.Bxb4 Ndxb4 9.a3 b5 10.Qxb5 Nc2+ 11.Kd2 Nxa1 12.Qxc6+ Bd7 13.Qxc4}where we reach a specific theme of rook vs two minor pieces which good for 15 pages of text!
And the Scotch endgame with the Mieses variation that runs after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 g6 10.Bb2 Bg7 11.g3 and is covered with around 46 pages of text!!
Gary Lane looked at it in his book The Scotch game explained with:
I looked at 9.b3 in depth but quickly concluded I would need to add another 30 pages to the book to satisfy myself that I had looked closely at all the variations!
Part three of this book goes to exercises and training where the solutions to the exercises are all very well explained.
Conclusion: A very inspiring chess book!

Chess Informant issue 93
397 pages
Price GBP 18.00

The latest Chess Informator comes with super collection of 476 annotated games and 567 game fragments all from events that where held between February 1st and May 31st of this year and all in the so called language-less symbols.
Did you know that over 90% of the games are annotated by the players who played them?
This all makes the Informator one of the most important publications for chess players but first a brief view inside this heavy weight :The best game of the preceding volume goes to Ivanchuk – T.Radjabov pleases also see Informator issue 92/114 and the most important theoretical novelty of the preceding volume  goes to Johannessen – Shirov Informator 92/387 where Bjelajac and Paunovic have written a very interesting theoretical overview on the line: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nxc4 Qc7 8.g3 e5 9.dxe5 Nxe5 10.Bf4 Nfd7 11.Bg2 g5 all under the ECO section of  D17.
This time the best of Chess Informant 93 goes to Michael Adams where you shall find a selection of his best games, his most important theoretical novelties, excellent moves and combinations, endings and statistics.
It is difficult to say if Chess Informant is a book of chess magazine seen it has no ISBN number but I keep it for a chess magazine and for one of the best!
Conclusion: A indispensable work!

Chess Personalia: A Bibliography by Jeremy Gaige
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.
Price $ 45.00   
ISBN 0-7864-2353-6

Chess Personalia: A Bibliography is a original reprint from the library bound edition of 1987 written by the well known chess archivist Jeremy Gaige.
This heavy weight from over 500 pages has over 14000 entries, where each entry offers full name,date and place of birth and death,FIDE title, country of citizenship and citations to mentions in the world’s media.
Included is a abbreviations of bibliographical sources and a appendix with the obituaries from The British Chess Magazine that could be found from its origin 1881 till the year 1986. 
Even that this work is not updated it is still a monumental work and indispensable for chess researchers.
Jeremy Gaige has set-up in this book the standard for historical chess research and it certainly belongs to the life work of this man but did this book not deserve a hard cover?
Conclusion: A great collectors item!

De La Bourdonnais versus McDonnell,1834 by Cary Utterberg
The eighty-five games of there six chess matches,with excerpts from additional games against other opponents
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.
Price $ 55.00   
ISBN 0-7864-2114-2

The American chess master Carry Utterberg has researched compiled collected, analysed a fascinating collection match games on the extraordinary French chess player Louis Charles La Bourdonnais and the Irish Alexander  McDonnell.
Interesting to mention is that the organiser of the series of six matches  was a pupil of Willem Lewis called William Greenwould Walker,a theoretician,historian and writer who carefully recorded each move of the 85 games.
In the four match they created a once seen never forgotten position with three passed pawns on the seventh rank{1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Bg5 Be7 8.Qe2 d5 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Bb3 O-O 11. O-O a5 12. exd5 cxd5 13. Rd1 d4 14. c4 Qb6 15. Bc2 Bb7 16. Nd2 Rae8 17. Ne4 Bd8 18. c5 Qc6 19. f3 Be7 20. Rac1 f5 21. Qc4+ Kh8 22. Ba4 Qh6 23. Bxe8 fxe4 24. c6 exf3 25. Rc2 Qe3+ 26. Kh1 Bc8 27. Bd7 f2 28. Rf1 d3 29. Rc3 Bxd7 30. cxd7 e4 31. Qc8 Bd8 32. Qc4 Qe1 33. Rc1 d2 34. Qc5 Rg8 35. Rd1 e3 36. Qc3 Qxd1 37. Rxd1 e2}Strange enough this great game is not mentioned in Tartakower and Du Mont work 500 master games of chess!
Funny enough  the names of both players are spelled in a variety of manners through chess literature for example McDonnell used three forms of his name!
A forthcoming book Chess Facts and Fables by Edward Winter {McFarland 2005} shall discuss this matter in more detail.
Cary Utterberg has done a fantastic research on La Bourdonnais and McDonnell,not only he analysed all games in this book in a very readable way but also included many interesting theory files as the King’s Gambit accepted,Philidor gambit and McDonnell gambit; 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g5 4.Bc4 g4? 5.Nc3 gxf3 6.Qxf3.
There is also a very readable introduction in this book  from around 37 page where you find a lot of back ground information on the both players.
For example in 1826,a ship captain on leave William Davies Evans {1790-1872}who was a captain of a packet boat in the postal service, plying between Wales and Ireland showed Lewis {A prominent British chess writer} and McDonnell a gambit he had been studying.
Included in this book are nine impressive appendixes; Selected de la Bourdannais games, Selected McDonnell games, Open theory, then and now, Collected games of Deschapelles,Statistical data,preface to Lewis A selection of games at chess,Forward to Bledow’s Funfzig auserlesene Schach-partien,Preface to Greenwood Walker’s games by the late Mr.M’Donnell Excerpt from the café de la Regence.
There is a index of four pages and a superb bibliography.
Conclusion: A must for every serious chess book collector!

Starting out :The Scotch game by John Emms
Everyman chess
224 pages
Price $ 21.95
ISBN 1-85744-387-X

The English GM John Emms digs in this latest starting out book in the Scotch game, all explained at the hand of a good collection of  55 excititng model games,Emms describes these games as instructional and entertaining so you won't find many draws here!
Interesting is it to compare the suggestions from Emms out his older book Play the open games as black, Gambit 2000 with the ones out the Scotch and see after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 the Mieses variation!5..bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Nb6 9.b3 and Emms comes again with his bright but refined move 9…a5!? and this exciting line is good for 9.5 pages of text
and where you get the feeling what Emms  forgot in the Play the Open Games  is covered here!
Very interesting here in the Starting out is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 g5!? {Smeets – Timman Amsterdam 2002}
Included in this book is also the Scotch four knights and some rare lines as 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4!? which can be after Emms really not be recommended!
Conclusion: A very interesting read on the Scotch!

Starting out :Defence play by Angus Dunnington
Everyman chess
151 pages
Price $ 21.95
ISBN 1-85744-368-3

Defence play is a entertaining read from the International chess master Angus Dunnington based on the following six chapters: Active defence, Simplification, The castled king, Relocation, Holding on and provocation.
All based on illustrated  games but unfortunately not all games are completely ones in this book so I am afraid you have to hold  your chess board by the hand.
A nice example of play in this book is the {complete!} game  Lutz – Gelfand,Dortmund 2002 that runs after the moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 b5 10.Bxb5 axb5 11.Ndxb5 Qb8 12.e5 where Dunnington uses around 5.5 pages of text to explain the defends skills of  this game to the reader.There are around 37 model games in this book where a great major part cover the years 2002, and  that makes it all very interesting!
All together I think this game is nice follow-up from works as for example  Starting out in chess!
Conclusion: A easy read on defending!

Breaking through by Susan Polgar & Paul Truong
Everyman chess
320 pages
Price $ 30.00
ISBN 1-85744-381-0
In Hardcover!!

Breaking through is the fascinating inside story of the  Polgar  sisters and there way to chess fame.
Susan Polgar starts in this book with a honest inside story about her and the career from her sisters unfortunately not everything was always a dream before she became mother and  four times world champion in woman chess.
Some chapters from her are in this part:, discovering the wonderland of chess ,the joys and the difficulties of being labelled a ‘wunderkind’ in chess, difficulties with the authorities, breakthrough and making history by becoming the first woman to earn a GM title in chess.
Judit born 1976 is the youngest of the three famous Hungarian sisters and enjoyed for some time the status of superstar, she is still a incredible strong chess player.
At fifteen years and five months of age, she was the youngest grandmaster in history, breaking a record that Robert Fischer had held for over 30 years! Besides chess she is also very keen in languages and speaks fluently, Esperanto, German, Russian, Spanish, English, Hungarian, and Hebrew!
Sofia Polgar is ranked number six in the world among women and has a FIDE rating of 2505 her husband is a chess grandmaster.
Very readable are the meetings from the Polgar’s with players as for example Anand and Fischer who once lived as a hunted fugitive together with his bodyguard and chess friend GM Torre.
In the book are around 128 complete games all well analysed with move to move annotations plus a mass of readable text so every chess  player can easy play throw these instructive games.
The former chess prodigy Paul Truong is good for the interesting chapter The   ultimate breakthrough of the so extraordinary Polgar’s.
Also contained in breaking through is a large number of rare photographs.
Very interesting to read is Women’s at chess with questions, comments and answers from Susan Polgar!
Conclusion: A must for every Polgar fan!

Russians versus Fischer by Dmitry Plisetsky & Sergey Voronkov
Everyman chess
462 pages
Price $35.00
ISBN 1-85744-380-2
In Hardcover!!

This first published in Russia 1994 is updated and enlarged by the two chess journalists Dmitry Plisetsky and Sergey Voronkov and tells the story of the American chess genius Bobby Fischer has forced his way through the serried ranks of Soviet grandmasters.and how Fischer became the 11th world chess champion.
It is very interesting to follow Fischer in these 158 games and how he broke the Soviet Chess School’s hegemony but to see a picture through the eyes of representatives of that school which makes this book so unique.
For example what you can read on the Fischer – Taimanov match is very special and nearly unknown to many chess players of the western world, the out come of this result was for Taimanov very dramatically it changed not only his career but also his private life.
There was even a meeting of the USSR chess federation trainer’s council where a large group of chess players and officials discussed the loss of Taimanov.
The outcome was deplorable for Taimanov his title Honoured Master of Sport was taken away but also he was kicked out of the USSR national team,and that had great financial consequences, it was not even allowed for Taimanov to perform as a pianist so we can see  it as a civic execution.
The author have included every Russian  document they could find on  Fischer and that included secret KGB papers all on the Russian problem Fischer.
Very instructive even after 30 years is the chapter An analysis of Fischer’s play where I.Boleslavsky,L.Polugayevsky,L.Shamkovich and Ye.Vasyukov had on 19th August 1971 a methodological meeting on Fischer to study the play of R.Fischer and taking account of the material from Fischer’s matches with Taimanov and Larsen.
The finale report was handed to T.Petrosian and also to B.Spassky for use in his preparations for the upcoming math.
Many games in this book are superb analysed as the above mentioned games against Taimanov and there are quite some rare photographs and drawings in this book that I never saw before.
Conclusion: A superb read on Fischer!

Chess CD's

Chess Informant 93 on CD
Price  £ 18.00

The latest Chess Informator packed in the well known Chess Informant reader 2.1 or if you wish the more  professional Chess Informant Expert Lite program that is also included as a lite version on this CD.
This latest has some limits as it does not support for example the  in and export from PGN files but if you only want to read  the Informator games than this program is just perfect.
Included on this Chess Informant CD is a free supplement of al the games from Informant 92 in PGN format but than unfortunately with out the excellent annotations to the games.
Conclusion: More than a excellent alternative!    

Encyclopedia of middlegame IV
Convekta ltd
Price € 25.00
System requirements: IBM-compatible PC, 32 Mb RAM,60 Mb free hard disk space, Windows 95/98/2000/NT/ME/XP/2003and a  CD-ROM

Encyclopedia of middlegame IV of middlegame is a exciting course from GM Kalinin based on 560 lectures where each of these lectures  illustrate typical opening and middle game positions.
All the  material on this CD reads as a big lecture based on a careful  selection opening& middle game positions, all intensive analysed with a large amount of readable text where  so you can learn in one turn the opening and middle game {lectures}.
Usually middle game books seldom cover all the openings moves simple to save place but this is no problem for a chess CD.
Covered on this CD are the following openings : Two Knight’s defence ,Ruy Lopez with the Schliemann and b5 line, Sicilian defence based on the Richter attack, French defence {3.e5 and 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5}Caro-Kann defence {with 3.e5 advance variation }English defence, the King’s Indian,Nimzo – Indian, Slav,and detailed Hanham set-up against 1.d4.
Many of these middle game positions are very impressive as the  correspondence position between Saether and Mostert corr.1968 ,this game also appeared in Informator 5/176 with notes credited to Trajkovic but as we  can read in ChessMail  they were basically the variations from Mostert's own notes that appeared in FS 8/1966 p182!
The navigator leads you perfect throw these exercises and if you wish you can even play every moment of the lecture a real game of chess!
Conclusion: Impressive trainings material!

Pocket Chess Strategy
Convekta ltd
Price € 26.00
System requirements: Pocket Chess Strategy runs on Pocket PCs with Windows Mobile 2005, Windows Mobile 2003 and Pocket PC 2002.

The first chess strategy program for a pocket computer comes from Convekta ltd where you can play o your small pocket computer 18 different strategy themes as Pawn structures, weak squares, prophylaxis, hanging pawns and more.
This course comes {again}from GM Kalinin and is good for 250 careful selected test  positions and around 1100 exercises all to test your strategy skills.
on you can find some useful information about program but take care that your hand palm has the correct system requirements!
Conclusion: Very entertaining!                             
Game Service 2005

 Issue  Game Service 2005 - comes with a impressive collection of  3704 games all played between
Alushta (Ukraine) and the
Winnipeg (Canada), Memorial Yanofsky (open) tha stands for around 166 games.
Conclusion: Impressive!

Chess Magazine's

ChessMail issue 7/2005

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

In this issue: A critical moment for ICCF{There are still three key positions to for fill}
CC GM Marc Geenen looks at the MegaCorr4 {A precise tool!}The Bohatirchuk-110 memorial which was won by the Dutch Michiel Plomp, Bohatirchuk’s career & CC is a interesting 11 page article from Tim Harding, Games from the Bohatirchuk-110 (19 pages!!}
Ken Whyld Association in Holland {Tim Harding visited the Netherlands to do some research and to attend the second annual meeting of the Ken Whyld Association {by the way the next meeting is fixed for May 18-20,2006 in La Tour-de-Peilz sited at Lac Leman Switzerland.
French break England’s NATT monopoly, GM Mercadal wins Section1, Team news and reader’s games and Van Oosterom forges ahead.
Conclusion: I would not like to miss this issue!

British Chess Magazine No.9
Volume 125
October  2005
Price: £3.50

BCM starts with: The prestigious Staunton Memorial that was held at Simpsons and won by Jonathan Levitt before Speelman ,McNab and the fourteen year old David Howell.
Steve Giddins looks back at the highly creative but sadly short lived Soviet grandmaster Vladimimir Simagin {The following games demonstrates a position that made him immortal  1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Nb3 Be6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Nb6 11.g4 Rc8 12.Bh6 Bh8,Panov – Simagin Moscow Championship 1943 },Games department covers this month a in depth game from Jonathan Rowson against Chris Ward of the British Championship with the interesting Modern Benoni with {1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6 5.Nc3 exd5 6.cxd5 g6 7.e4 a6!?}
A move that is favoured by many prominent Modern Benoni players as John Emms,Chris Ward and Nick de Firmian.
Others are Igualada masters, The Kavalex file, Reviews and new books, Spot the continuation, Those old time congresses by John Saunders etc.
Conclusion; A very enjoyable read!