Latest book reviews of 1 April 2006

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

Chess Books

The chess biography of Marcel Duchamp {1887 – 1968}

Volume two: On the road to the chess mastery
{1926 – 1930} by Vlastimil Fiala
Olomouc 2004
This book was offered for
review by
451 pages
Price € 42,50
ISBN 80-7189-516-4

This second volume of The chess biography of Marcel Duchamp volume two covers the years 1926 till the end of 1930,so it could be for the  chess collector a slight disappointing if you where hoping to close with this book the chapter on Marcel Duchamp but I saw in this book that Fiala is preparing a finale third part on this great {chess} artist.
The years between 1926 and 1930 where very important for the development of chess for Marcel Duchamp who tried to improve his position among the French chess players.
In 1927 and 1928 he participated in the championships of France and in 1928 and 1930 he represented France at chess Olympiads at The Hague and Hamburg but also he played in four international chess tournaments!
The author and publisher Vlastimil Fiala does not only cover in this book the chess career of the great chess artist of the 20th century but also gives the reader a excellent insight into the chess life in Paris and France in general, Fiala has managed to dig up all available games from Duchamp and his contemporaries.
Someway this period was decisive for Duchamp’s his chess career.In spite of his efforts he was unable to move from a strong French player to the rank of a strong international chess master.In this book you shall find some kind of answer for his failure but I personal believe that this great artist had to many interests.
Fiala writes that the Nice tournament did not find M.Duchamp in an optimal form, practically all participants defeated him but in The human comedy of chess A grandmaster’s chronicles we can find a answer of his bad performance; In 1927 ,to the bewilder man of his friends, married the daughter of a rich automobile man manufacturer. This great event did not separate him from the chess board, during his honey moon he went every day to the chess club!
But it gets even worse after he returned from the club he studied chess positions for hours so it is understandable that this marriage did only hold a few months.
Ree mentions that Duchamp played the French championship in Lyon but that is a mistake it was held in Chamonix and well in September 1927 and won by the French endgame expert Andre Cheron.Throw this book I found around 35 games from Cheron who shared by the way the French championship of 1926 together with a other great endgame specialist, Fred Lazard many French commentators noticed that Duchamp had problems with concentration against players who where on paper weaker.But against stronger players he often obtained surprising results as for example his draw against Frank Marshall,Hamburg Chess Olympiad of 1930.
Volume two of this biography is based on detailed knowledge of literature and magazines as volume one but there is more attention to France sources and it has 125 more pages than volume One!
At last a interesting quote from Duchamp: I am still a victim of chess. It has all the beauty of art - and much more. It cannot be commercialised. Chess is much purer than art in its social position.
Conclusion:Well researched!

Quarterly for Chess History
Summer 10/2004
This book was offered for review by
484 pages
Price € 32,00

Is Quarterly for Chess History a book or chess magazine seen it has no ISBN code but if you till these 484 well printed pages it is clear we are dealing here with a chess book which is completely divided to historical chess  research.
A major part of this chess research is done by the ambitious Vlastimil Fiala who is starting in this book with a 32 page coverage of  the childhood and school years of Oldrich Duras {1882 –1899}
Fiala writes that it is sad irony of chess that his name has more or less disappeared from the annals of history and by now, abroad and unfortunately in this country too, there are fewer and fewer chess players who fully realize the importance of his legacy both for Czech and foreign chess.
A other 45 page coverage from Fiala goes to part six of  Karel Hromadka {1940-1941}Hromadka loved chess and in the year 1940 he attended eight chess tournaments!
When you play throw the games of Hromadka you get quick a idea from that he was for his time far ahead for example he played modern moves as 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Nh3!?
A other superb contribution in this book comes John S.Hilbert who digs in the history of Henry Thomas Buckle: A life, with chess and the chess games of Henry Thomas Buckle all together around 90 pages of excellent chess research.
Correspondence chess players will certainly enjoy Correspondence play and the growth of chess in Texas a century ago by the great Neil Brennen.
Other not less interesting contributions are Louis van Fliet,Julius Finn, the forgotten tournament of Bradley Beach 1929,Marshall in Davenport, Three Yates matches, A note on notation,Chess problems,Chess research,Chess Reviews etc.
Conclusion: A must for every chess book collector!

Chess results 1901-1920: A comprehensive record with 860 tournament crosstables and 375 match scores by Gino Di Felic
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

321 pages
Price $35,00
ISBN 0-7864-2362-5

Chess results 1901-1920 is a important comprehensive chronological reference of various chess competitions that took place on the chess board between the years 1901 till the end of 1920.
The Italian chess researcher has searched for years betweens the catacombs of various newspapers, match books and forgotten chess magazines to present this mass of tournament information.
There are around 860 tournament crosstables,250 match results where the reader can find the total number of games plus the results of these games.
The competitions are all presented in chronological order and followed by the day and month if of course that information is still available.
For example the result of the Moscow 1918 tournament seems to be lost for ever but that time there where many private tournaments, the attitude of the Bolshevik authorities in Moscow, was still not very favourable towards chess activities and this was partly reflected by their refusal to make any club premises available for the use of the Moscow players.
Please also see chapter 8 of Alexander Alekhine’s chess games,1902- 1046 by Skinner and Verhoeven.
Included in this book a bibliography of sources and two indexes of events.
Conclusion: A very  important reference book!

The 100 best chess games of 20th century ranked by Andrew Soltis
McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

265 pages
Price $30,00
ISBN 0-7864-2741-8

This 100 best chess games from Andrew Soltis is a soft cover reprint of the Library bound first edition that was printed by McFarland in 2000.
It has been highly rewarded as one of the greatest chess book so it needs nearly no introduction at all and very pleasant is the price of $30,00 the hard cover edition was that time $45.00!
Personal I prefer of course a first edition in hardcover but for the $30,00 you get a great book with impressive analyses from one of the most successful  chess authors of this moment.
The 100 best games where taken from  an initial field of about 7000 played games from 1900 through 1999.
Many chess players don’t agree with all the 100 best games of all time that are mentioned  in this book but nr one stand with out any doubts the important  correspondence game between  Yakov Estrin – Hans Berliner, from  the World correspondence championship of 1965-1968, is a extraordinary game{1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 b5 6.Bf1 Nd4 7.c3 Nxd5 8.Ne4 Qh4 9.Ng3 Bg4 10.f3 e4 11.cxd4 Bd6 12.Bxb5+ Kd8 13.0-0 exf3 14.Rxf3 Rb8 15.Be2 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 Qxd4+ 17.Kh1 Bxg3 18.hxg3 Rb6 19.d3 Ne3 20.Bxe3 Qxe3 21.Bg4 h5 22.Bh3 g5 23.Nd2 g4 24.Nc4 Qxg3 25.Nxb6 gxh3 26.Qf3 hxg2+ 27.Qxg2 Qxg2+ 28.Kxg2 cxb6 29.Rf1 Ke7 30.Re1+ Kd6 31.Rf1 Rc8 32.Rxf7 Rc7 33.Rf2 Ke5 34.a4 Kd4 35.a5 Kxd3 36.Rf3+ Kc2 37.b4 b5 38.a6 Rc4 39.Rf7 Rxb4 40.Rb7 Rg4+ 41.Kf3 b4 42.Rxa7 b3 0-1}
 specially the outstanding  move 31…Rc8! where Berliner once wrote “One of the best moves I have ever made!
Berliner had lost a crucial game in the 1946 United States Junior Championship in a 4.Ng5 game and ever since then he had been fascinated by this knight move.
When Berliner heard he would be playing Estrin in this tournament he spend weeks trying to find an improvement for Black.
Interesting to mention is that there are seven games from the great Akiba Rubinstein who was the youngest of 12 children from a Polish ghetto family.
Conclusion:A very important chess book!

Devious chess by Amatzia Avni
How to bend the rules and win
Batsford Ltd London

Price $ 19.95
ISBN 10:0-7134-9004-7

Devious chess is invitation from the Israeli an chess master and composition in to the world of fascinating chess moves and extraordinary chess games.
The author takes you from the main road into the world of unexplored lands so as the play of the Czech Maximilian Utjtelky who enjoyed to creep around the edges of the chess board.
Avni describes Utjtelky as follow in his devious chess:The Czech IM Maximilian Ujtelky made a living out of bizarre formations like the “hippopotamus”, consisting of placing his pawns along the third rank. Basically,Ujtelky was provoking his opponents to the extreme and was waiting for them to have nervous breakdown. Sometimes he was slaughtered, at other times his scheme paid dividends.
By the way the great Andrew Martin describes the  “hippopotamus” as: The idea is that black develops within his own first three ranks at the beginning of the game. He will construct a solid, stable yet flexible position, wait to see what white is doing and react accordingly The Hippopotamus Rises Batsford 2005.
Avni gives a nice example in this book of the game Nezhmetdinov - Ujtelky,Sochi 1964,where the master of attack Nezhmetdinov obtained a won position but than freaked out, sacrificed a lot of material and went down in 75 moves. Unfortunately this game is not completely given in this book but I found  it in the MegaDatabase2006.
<>Nezhmetdinov,Rashid - Ujtelky,Maximilian Chigorin mem Sochi (1), 1964  <>1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Bc4 e6 5.Nf3 Ne7 6.h4 h6 7.Bf4 a6 8.Qe2 Nd7 9.a4 b6 10.Rd1 Bb7 11.Kf1 Nf8 12.Kg1 Qc8 13.Bb3 Qd7 14.Rh3 Rd8 15.Bc4 Qc8 16.Bb3 f6 17.Re1 Kf7 18.Bc1 c6 19.Nd2 d5 20.a5 b5 21.Nf3 Qc7 22.Bd2 Bc8 23.Na2 Nh7 24.Nb4 Rhe8 25.Nd3 Nf8 26.Bf4 Qxa5 27.e5 f5 28.Bd2 Qb6 29.Ra1 Nh7 30.Ba5 Qa7 31.Bxd8 Rxd8 32.Qd2 Bb7 33.Qa5 Ra8 34.Nc5 Bc8 35.c3 Nf8 36.Ne1 Bxe5 37.dxe5 Qxc5 38.Nd3 Qa7 39.Bc2 c5 40.b4 Nc6 41.Qa3 c4 42.Nc5 Nxe5 43.Qc1 h5 44.Rg3 Ned7 45.Nxe6 Nxe6 46.Qh6 Ndf8 47.Bxf5 gxf5 48.Re1 Bd7 49.Qxh5+ Ke7 50.Qxf5 Kd6 51.h5 a5 52.Qe5+ Kc6 53.Rd1 Nc7 54.Ra1 Qb8 55.bxa5 b4 56.cxb4 Qxb4 57.Rf3 Nce6 58.a6 Qc5 59.Qe1 Nd4 60.Rf6+ Nfe6 61.Ra5 Qb6 62.h6 Kd6 63.h7 c3 64.Ra1 c2 65.Rg6 Rh8 66.a7 Qb2 67.Rh6 Ne2+ 68.Kh2 c1Q 69.Rxc1 Nxc1 70.Qa5 Bc6 71.Qa6 Qe5+ 72.g3 Nb3 73.f4 Qb2+ 74.Kh3 Nbc5 75.a8Q 0-1
Interesting is the tip from Amatzia Avni to search for hidden treasures in offbeat magazines and on obscure web sites,run by average club players.Games played on the Internet are also a major reservoir of devious chess but when you take up this book from Avni it is nearly impossible to put it down!
Conclusion: A fascinating read!

                                                    Chess CD's

ChessBase magazine issue 110
ISSN 1432-8992
Price Euro 19,90 per issue
Annual subscription  costs Euro 99,7

The main database of this ChessBase magazine is good for 1759 entries where 513 of them are excellent analysed games. Interesting are here of course the games of the FIDE World Championship in San Luis. Superb analysed  is the game Anand – Adams which is covered  with move to move annotations by the phenomenal  Igor Stohl.
The seven theory files go to: The Benko Gambit A59 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 g6 6.Nc3 Bxa6 7.e4 Bxf1 8.Kxf1 d6 9.Nf3 Nbd7 10.g3 Bg7 11.Kg2 0-0 12.Re1 Ra6 by GM Alik Gershon,Morra Gambit  B21with 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 a6 7.0-0 Nge7 by Jerzy Konikowski.
Alapin Sicilian B22 by GM Dorian Rogozenko 1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4, French Tarrasch C06 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 c5 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.c3 Nc6 7.Bd3 g6, French Defence 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bg5 h6 7.Nxf6+ Nxf6 8.Bh4 c5 by GM Alexander Finkel, Modern Exchange Grünfeld with 13…Bc7 {1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Bg7 4.Nc3 d5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 c5 8.Rb1 0-0 9.Be2 Nc6 10.d5 Ne5 11.Nxe5 Bxe5 12.Qd2 e6 13.f4 Bc7 14.0-0 exd5 15.exd5 Ba5} and at last the good old Catalan with 1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.d4 Be7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 Ra7 by GM Zoltan Ribli.
ICCf Telechess comes from the ICCF and id good for 2458 lastest correspondence files,included with six text files with all the latest chess news plus tables.
The Strategy expert GM Peter Wells has called his article “Good and “Bad”Pieces Revisited-there functions, and what we expect of them! Endgame section comes from the great endgame expert GM Karsten Müller who does not only annotated in two languages English and German but is also good 36 highly instructive endgame lessons all extracted from this ChessBase magazine.
GM Valery Atlas calls his contribution “A General Without An Army”and digs in unprotected King’s.
A super contribution comes from the chess historian Johannes Fischer who goes back to the Dresden Chess Congress of 1926.
Fischer writes about the tournament winner Nimzowitsch;
For Nimzowitsch this was perhaps the greatest triumph in his career apart from his victory in Karlsbad 1929. He was a comfortable winner of the tournament and even if he needed some luck to collect the whole point from Tartakower and Saemisch, and if he stood worse against Alekhine for a long time, he was never in serious danger of losing a game. At the same time, his famous blockading game against Johner represents one of the best performances of his career and one of the finest and best-known games in the whole of the history of chess. He rightfully received the first brilliancy prize for this game. His game against Rubinstein earned Nimzowitsch the second brilliancy prize too, though he had to share this one with Alekhine who also received it for his victory over Rubinstein. But the joy felt by the fanatical non-smoker Nimzowitsch at these two brilliancy prizes was presumably somewhat over-clouded, since both 1st and 2nd prizes consisted of 5000 Güldehof cigarettes, donated by one of the main sponsors of the tournament, the Hans Bergmann cigarette factory.
Included also is a interesting multimedia report of Bilbao vs Machine {102 MB} and a useful booklet from 26 pages!
Conclusion: Buy it for the 500 annotated games!

How to play the Najdorf Vol.2 by Garry Kasparov

Price € 29.99
ISBN 3-937549-78-1
System requirements: 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).

A exciting openings course from the great Garry Kasparov based on the Najdorf defence with the lines: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 a6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Nbd7 10.g4, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 a6 7.f4 Nbd7, 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 a6 7.f4 Qc7, and the legendary Polugaevsky variation 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bg5 a6 7.f4 b5 8.e5 dxe5 9.fxe5 Qc7 10.exf6 Qe5+ 11.Be2 Qxg5 where Kasparov explains this all very instructively with help of didactic multimedia nicely packed in the latest ChessBase 9.0 reader. All together good for over two hours of private multi media lesson by the greatest chess player of all time!
Included is a extra ChessBase file with around 17924 entries where 380 of them carry excellent annotations. Kasparov is by the way responsible for the above mentioned Najdorf lines and that are 23 intensive openings surveys!
Included is a openings book from 19 MB that is made from all the games that are included on this CD.
Interesting are the personal anecdotes van Kasparov on these multimedia files because he belongs to one of the greatest experts on the Najdorf defence!
I found on the game file 22 Kasparov games where he 18 times the black site of the board!
And he only lost one game with his pet line because he was not well enough prepared!
Conclusion: A must for every Najdorf fan!

The ABC of the Benko gambit by Andrew Martin

Price € 24.99
ISBN 3-937549-82-x
System requirements: System requirements: Pentium 300 MHz or higher and 64 MB RAM, DVD drive, Windows98 SE, ME, 2000 or XP, Sound card, Windows Media Player 9 or higher (for the multimedia lessons).

The well known ChessBase teacher Andrew Martin from Sandhurst explains you in these four hours multimedia teaching every you need to get started with the Benko Gambit that runs after the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5!?
This DVD is in no way a easy walk throw the Benko because the English IM provides you with enough information  for a reasonable understanding of this opening where you shall find 22 multimedia files and 19 well analysed games on this well filled 1.03 GB DVD.
Personal I think this DVD is more than a hand full of ideas as we for example can see in the well explained game Aseev – Ponomariov of Ohrid 2001.
Seen the large amount of useful openings tips and above all a lot of practical advises, I consider this DVD as very educative!
The chess historians under shall certainly enjoy the classic games that are analyse from players as Opocensky, Lundin and Stoltz.
Conclusion: A fine way to learn chess openings!

Opening Encyclopaedia 2006 on DVD

Price € 99.90
ISBN 3-937549-80-3
System requirements: Pentium 300 MHz or higher, 64 MB RAM, Windows 98 SE, Windows 2000, Windows XP, DVD-ROM drive, mouse, sound card

This latest 2006 openings encyclopaedia features a mass of theory surveys as over 4000 openings surveys, more than 75000 annotated games,221 theory surveys in CBH and CBF files and at last a Hugh master file from over 2.5 million games. {Exactly counted 2480015 games but I did not count the games that are included in the theory surveys!}
This ChessBase Opening Encyclopaedia 2006 covers a completer overview of nearly all openings sections starting with ECO code A00 with the  Sokolski A00 and ending with the  Kings Indian defence code E97-2005 01, all with excellent written text surveys plus a lot of extra chess games!
For instance the two Latvian gambit surveys comes from Peter Leisebein and that are 5 heavy loaded text files plus 5713 Latvian games! Indeed impressive but it is all from the year 2003 and has unfortunately not been updated for this  2006 Opening Encyclopaedia.
Also I am missing a good survey of the Marshall Gambit code C89 but on the other hand there are enough annotated Marshall games on this DVD.{The 11 extra annotated ones from Ftacnik are indeed very impressive!}
Interesting are the two extra text files and with the subject Inventors of modern chess part one and two.Included is a big tree of 3.57 GB insures you a fantastic openings book {even more than the latest Powebook!} good a excellent overview of all possible statistics.
Included on this DVD is the latest ChessBase 9 reader which is even very useful for owners of Chessbase9! Because it automatically loads all the files from your ChessBase CD or DVD!
Conclusion: A well  filled Opening Encyclopaedia that offers you more information than a  book case full of chess books!

DVD endgame turbo 3
Nalimov Tablebases

Price 49,99
System requirements: Pentium II, Win98 SE, Win 2000, Win XP, 64 MB RAM, 300 MHz, DVD drive, Fritz8/9 or ChessBase 8.0/9.0, 20 GB free hard disk space (minimum), 43 GB free hard disk space (recommended)

This latest DVD endgame turbo comes with a impressive 9 DVD’s and requires and with a full installation you need around 45 GB of your hard disk but than you have a very fast access to nearly  all five and six piece endgames.{Included in this package is also a DVD with all 3 and 4 pieces!}
Missing are still some Queen vs Queen and some pawn endings but these are very rare.
To save hard disk place it is possible to work only with the DVD’s in your drive but this is of course no option for the ambitious engine players who like to access the databases before the endgame in question has occurred,
For correspondence chess players It is very interesting to leave it over to the chess engine  whether it shall go to the endgame in question or not.
All engines running under Fritz9 or ChessBase 9.0 can read these Tablebases and use them in the going game.
By the way if you work with ChessBase8.0 you only can access only four and five piece endgames or you must use Hiarcs10,Shredder 9 or you must use the Tablebase 3.3 engine which is automatically installed along with DVD 5.
The tablebases are developed by the Russian Eugene Nalimov who is responsible for all three,four,five and six-piece endgames.
Tablebase is a special type of database which contains perfect information about the result {win to white, win to black or even draw) for every possible legal chess position with a particular set of material
Believe it was Shredder 4.0 who was the first chess engine in history who had direct access to the Nalimov Tablebases and they are superior to the older Ken Thompson tablebases.
If there is not enough hard disk space available  for the full installation it is possible to do a minimum  installation. If you need access to the six piece ending you must insert the DVD but you have to restart the program!
Conclusion: A must for correspondence and engine chess players!

Chess Magazines

Latvijas Šaha Vēstnesis
Issue 1 2006

For information mail Val Zemitis
Val Zemitis born April11,1925 in Riga,Latvia was able to hold in his young years against players as Sämisch,Kashdan,Prins,Herman Steiner and once he even held the US Master title.
Currently he is working on three chess projects,a Chess Term Polyglot Dictionary featuring 24 languages,a Chess Calender and a collection information for a book Encyclopedia of Latvian Chessplayers.

A low budget chess magazine from the Latvian chess scene where ICCF GM Janis Vitomskis digs in the exciting line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.exf5 Bc5!? and than 4.Nxe5 Bxf2 5.Kxf2 Qh4+ 6.Kf3 b5!?