Latest book reviews of 1 May 2006

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
John Elburg

                                     Chess Books

New in Chess Yearbook issue 78
244 pages
Price € 24.95
ISBN 90-5691-157-0

This latest New in Chess issue comes with a impressive 32 survey coverage as for example the four pawn attack with 5.f4 where Anatoly Vaisser digs in lines as 1.d4 Pf6 2.c4 g6 3.Pc3 Lg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Pf3 Pa6 7.Le2 with a exciting go for the centre.
After Vaisser black has has after 7…e5 good chances for equality but I personally would prefer 7.e5 as Vaisser once did in his impressive work; Beating the King’s Indian and Benoni  from the Batsford 1997.
Interesting is the second contribution from Somon Williams on his Dutch with 1.d4 e6 2.c4 f5 3.g3 Pf6 4.Lg2 Le7 5.Pf3 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Pc3 Pe4 (A fascinating and unexplored Dutch line} Williams once wrote about the Iiyin-Zhenevsky system 7…Ne4 is the simplest way for black to play,and the easiest to learn.
Funny enough Williams also once wrote in his Play the Classical Dutch,Gambit 2003; 8.Qc2 Nxc3 9.Qxc3 a5 10.a3 a4?! Is a mistake since white can then force the thematic e4 with 11.Re1 but here in this latest New in Chess Yearbook 10…a4!N would seem to be a logical improvement on 10…Nc6?!
So I have a strong suggestion that the young Williams simple  forgot to check his own openings book!
In Sosonko’s Corner we can find a superb. contribution from Genna Sosonko on Zviagintsev’s knight who played the most spectacular novelty of last year against the former World champion Khalifman with his second move 1.e4 c5 2.Na3!?
It looks that 2.Na3 came to Khalifman as an enormous psychological blow but did you know that 2.Na3 was first  played in a correspondence game twenty years ago!
Kronberg,S - Bonay Toscas,S Wch16 sf3 corr ICCF, 1985
1.e4 c5 2.Na3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nc4 Nf6 5.Ne3 Qd8 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Bb5 Bd7 8.c3 e6 9.0-0 Qb6 10.Qe2 Be7 11.Nc4 Qc7 12.a4 a6 13.Bxc6 Bxc6 14.Nfe5 Bd5 15.a5 Bxc4 16.Nxc4 Nd5 17.d3 0-0 18.f4 Rad8 19.Bd2 Bd6 20.Qf2 Nf6 21.Rae1 Be7 22.f5 Bd6 23.Qh4 Rde8 24.Re3 exf5 25.Rh3 Re2 26.Bg5 Qc6 27.Rff3 Rfe8 28.Bxf6 Re1+ 29.Rf1 Rxf1+ 30.Kxf1 gxf6 31.Qxh7+ Kf8 32.Nxd6 1-0 and on the Starbase I found around 129 games with 2.Na3 all played between 1985 and 2004.
Conclusion:A fine selection latest chess surveys!

The Safest Sicilian by Alexander Delchev & Semko Semkov
Chess Stars
218 pages
Price €23.50
ISBN 978-954 8782 45-6

The Bulgarian duo Delchev &  Semkov has managed to create a interesting repertoire book where both authors are dancing  on the Taimanov and the Paulsen defence but aim of this book is a good old Taimanov with: 1.e4 c5 2.Pf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Pxd4 Pc6 5.Pc3 Dc7.
Both authors  start with a quick repertoire as on the Maroczy set-up that runs with the moves: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 where black digs in for a kind of hedgehog defence.
It is even possible to transpose in a anti Taimanov with 1.e4 c5 2.Pf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Pxd4 Pc6 5.Pb5 d6 6.Lf4 e5, but take care that you don’t get confused with the Sveshnikov or  transpose against you will  in  the  Kalashnikov before you take up  this heavy loaded “Safest Sicilian” repertoire book. Both auhors prefer the move order with 5….Qc7 to avoid the exchange variation with 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 as we saw in Wijk aan Zee between Magnus Carlsen and Giovanni Vescovi.
The material in this book is all clearly explained by the Bulgarian duo in there  introduction chapters as they call it there “quick repertoire” where they smoothly lead you throw to the more complicated lines and complete games, so yu shall find  a very  good balance between  text and moves.
For example part four of this book with the so called Main Line Paulsen 1.e4 c5 2.Pf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Pxd4 Pc6 5.Pc3 Dc7 6.Le2 Pf6 7.0-0 a6 is well covered with a lot of latest  2005 developments.
Included in this book are fianchetto lines and all kind of minor lines as for example the Sicilian with 3.c3 but no two move alternatives  as  the Morra gambit and closed Sicilian with 2.Nc3.
Delchev is by the way a Taimanov player him self and this book is based on his own repertoire.
Semko Semkov is one of my favourite chess authors from Chess Stars and all books that he has written are certainly worth buying.
Included is a bibliography and that is seldom in a Chess Star openings book!
Conclusion: A  book with chess secrets!

Opening for white according to Anand 1.e4 by Alexander Khalifman
Part 6
Chess Stars
345 pages
Price € 23.50
ISBN 978-954 6782-47-0

Opening for white according to Anand 1.e4 by Alexander Khalifman

Part 7
Chess Stars
280 pages
Price € 23.50
ISBN 978-954 8782-46-3

The former FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman handles here in these two repertoire books where volume 7 strangely enough  has been published before part 6.
For example chapter 6 of this book handles the Rubinstein and Steinitz variations  and some various lines as 3…Nc6 but does not consider for white moves as the French advanced and Tarrasch variation {Remember repertoire book!}
GM Khalifman provides the reader in part 6 with a complete repertoire for white against these moves and explains it all with a large amount of readable text.
Interesting to mention is that a sub line as 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Ne4 where the Danish Steffen Pedersen once wrote: This is quite rare but is employed by some players as surprise weapon and handles it all away in his book The Main line French:3 Nc3 Gambit 2001 with only one page of text! {And that was not even a repertoire book!} But Khalifman does it all much better and uses around 8.5 pages of text to explain all the finesses of this move and he only concentrates on the move order with 5.Nxe4 dxe4 and 6.Bc4!
All based on the latest game Chandler – Humphrey,Brisbane of the year 2006 where black had nearly no counter play at all.
Part 7 of opening for white according to Anand concentrates largely on the Winawer system with: {1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Lxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7}with the queen move 7.Qg4
But again all kind of various lines as for example 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Pc3 Lb4 4.e5 b6 get a intensive turn from the 14th world chess champion and that are around 12 pages of readable text.
Pleasant to mention are the use of correspondence games and instructive conclusions at the end of every mentioned chapter.
For all who are interested for which line he goes in this book: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Lxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Tg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 where Khalifman ends with his conclusion that White’s prospects in all these positions are clearly superior.
Les Psakhis describes this line as following his book French defence 3.Nc3 Bb4,Batsford 2003 ; Towards the end of the 1980s this move was perhaps the most popular, but now its ascendancy is open to serious doubt.
Psakhis gives:1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Qc7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 cxd4 10.Ne2 Nbc6 11.f4 Bd7 12.Qd3 dxc3 13.Nxc3 a6 14.Ne2 Rc8 15.Rb1after Psakhis better than the move from Khalifman 15.Bd2 Nf5 16.Rb1! {Better than 16.h3 of Psakhis!} Nce7 17.h3 Ba4 18.c3 Nc6 19.g4 Qe7 20.Rh2 Nh4 21.Qh7 and white has a clear advantage Paaren - Stigar corr 1992 and this is what I mean with the use of latest correspondence games!
On the first page of these openings books is a nice over view from other Chess Stars books but I would have preferred a bibliography to keep abreast of latest develpments.
Conclusion: Two important reference works on the French defence!     
My great predecessors part V by Garry Kasparov
Everyman Chess
480 pages
Price $40,00
ISBN 1-85744-404-3

This work the fifth in Garry Kasparov's history of the World Chess Championship is devoted to Anatoly Karpov and his three-time challenger Viktor Korchnoi {Kasparov describes him in this book as Viktor the terrible}
Garry Kasparov believes that Karpov would have real winning  chances if he would have played a match with Fischer in the seventies,
and he tries to justify his opinion at the hand of a fantastic collection Karpov games which are all intensive analysed by Kasparov and his companion Dmitry Plisetsky.
In these games we can see that Karpov  was a great world champion and some say when he won the World junior championship in 1969 he already was a potential world champion.
But to face the most famous chess player of all time the great Bobby Fischer between the list of players with relatively poor intuition is in my opinion not very objective.
Tal once wrote before the Fischer – Taimanov match  the American is very ,very dangerous and did Anatoly Karpov not need a 14 man delegation to take up against Kortchnoi in there Baguio 1978 world championship match?
Kasparov starts this book with Victor the terrible and discusses some of Korchnoi’s finest games as for example  Tal – Korchnoi,25th USSR Championship, Riga which is by the way not included in Korchnoi’s own work; My best games vol.2 Games with Black, Olms 2001.
But there are more {French}beauties from Korchtnoi on the  black site of the board that had certainlry deserved a place in Korchtnoi his best games as for example,Vasyukov,32ndUSSR Championship,Kiev 1964/65, Minic – Korchnou,Bucharest 1966,Timman – Korchnoi,21st Olympiad,Nice 1974, Timman – Korchnoi,Match Leeuwarden 1976,3rd game and Spassky – Korchnoi,Candidates Finale Match,Belgrade 1977.
So it is great to have them analysed in this book by one of the greatest chess player of all time, Kasparov needs around 206 pages and 49 games to describe his former opponent before he starts with Anatoly Karpov{ Anatoly the twelfth with the god given chess talent}.
Karpov was born in 1951 and grew up in the family of a factory foreman, in the small town of Zlatoust in the Urals,not far from Chelyabinsk.They where poor like millions of other working class families in the post war period.
He learned to play chess when he was four years old and made study progress till  he came to the attention of the chess authorities in Moscow where he reached coaching from Botvinnik and his later trainer Furman.
Kasparov describes here 56 of Karpov finest games where the reader must not miss game 67 one of the greatest chess games of all time and well Karpov – Polugayevsky Candidate Match ,Moscow 1974,6th match game.
Kasprov;This was my first encounter with big –time chess, and as an 11-year old boy, it left an indelible impression on me.
There are only two games from Kasparov in this book  and that is quite disappointing seen the
the 1984/1985 /1987 Kasparov – Karpov world champion matches, where you  get the feeling that Karpov’s victories have now been forgotten and Kasparov's games are remembered.
Included in this book  is a two page bibliography.
Conclusion: A must chess book!

Starting out:
Sicilian Najdorf by Richard Palliser

Everyman Chess
240 pages
Price $21,95
ISBN 1-85744-392-6

The young English IM Richard Palliser concentrates in this latest starting out openings book on the Najdorf defence, where the chess crack Palliser prefers in big lines prefers for a good and general understanding of the played lines.
All material is explained at the hand of a collection of a good collection of 59 model games and that is good for exactly  240 pages of this heavy loaded book!
Palliser handles in this book all kind of Najdorf variations as for example the English attack till some tricky lines with 6.Rg1!? {All together there are seven chapters in this book: The positional 6.Be2,The English attack with 6…e5,The English attack with 6..Ng4,Fischer’s 6.Bc4,6.Bg5:black prevents e5,6.Bg5: black allows e5 and the tricky 6.f4 and 6.g3}
Between this all you shall find important openings as the Poisoned pawn variation and the Polugaevsky variation where Palliser is investing on the interesting move order:  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 12.0-0 Qe5 13.Nf3 Qe3+ 14.Kh1 Nd7 15.Re1 Qa7 16.fxg7 Bxg7 17.Qd6 Qb6 18.Qg3 0-0 19.Rad1 Ra7 20.Ne4 Qc7 21.Nd6 Bb7 22.Ng5 from the game Leko – Ivanchuk,Melody Amber,Monaco [blindfold}2001 where he gives as improvement: 22…Nf6!? and indeed  it seems that white has after 23.Bf3 Ne8! reasonable play! So that was certainly a useful idea and I can insure you that there are a lot of these kind of tips in this book.
The key points in the games are highlighted with tips ideas and warnings but the reader shall also find ‘Statistics’to see how well the variation in question has been performing. These are all taken from the ChessBase MegaData base CD.
Included is a useful bibliography and a readable introduction of four pages to get in touch with the Najdorf!
Conclusion:A fine introduction into the world of the Najdorf!

Chess world champions Part 1, 1834-2004 by James H.Gelo

McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

436 pages
Price $30,00
ISBN 0-7864-2665-9
The book is published as a set of two volumes. Replacement volumes can be obtained individually under ISBN 0-7864-2665-7 (for Volume 1) and ISBN 0-7864-2666-7 (for Volume 2).

Chess world champions Part 2 1834-2004 by James H.Gelo

McFarland & Company,Inc.,Publishers Box 611
Jefferson,North Carolina 28640.

875 pages
Price $30,00
ISBN 0-7864-2666-7 This third edition is expanded with six new chapters.
The book is published as a set of two volumes. Replacement volumes can be obtained individually under ISBN 0-7864-2665-7 (for Volume 1) and ISBN 0-7864-2666-7 (for Volume 2).

This updated and expanded two volume set of the American James H.Gelo of Hopkins,Minnesota {specializes in symbolic logic}is a collection world championship games all played between Louis de Labourdonnais and Alexander McDonnell {London 1834}till the latest match between Vladimir Kramnik and Peter Leko of Brissago 2004.
All together good for 1429 games plus information about the place of play, ECO classifications, Openings Index-Descriptive classification and a impressive bibliography of 8 pages complete this all.
World champions became official in 1865 so the reader of this book shall find many forgotten matches as for example the match Howard Staunton and Daniel Harrwitz of Londen 1846 where you must not to forget to remove black’s pawn on f7.
More interesting for the more serious chess player is the interesting match between Paul Morphy and Daniel Harrwitz of Paris 1858,where the first match game was played on September 5,1858.
All games in this book {Algebraic notation}are given with a diagram illustrating a critical or important point of the game.
Players before 1865 did not gain the title “World Champion,” as for example Paul Morphy but were regarded to the chess world as the world’s strongest chess players.
Wilhelm Steinitz became the first official world champion in 1886 by defeating Johannes Zukertort which started at January 11,1886 and ended March 29,1886 with a total of 12 ½  - 7½.
Conclusion: A very important reference work!    

The art of planning in chess by Neil McDonald

Move by move

Batsford Ltd London

246 pages
Price $ 21,95
ISBN 071349025

The art of planning in chess  is a interesting follow-up from Neil McDonald’s first  book on this subject  The art of logical thinking, Batsford 2004.
Grandmaster Neil McDonald describes here in this book 38 outstanding chess games where every move in this book is virtually explained.For example the smashing seventeen move game between Svidler – Bareev ,from Wijk aan Zee 2004 is explained with nearly seven pages of highly instructive text!
All games in this book are divided into 6 readable chapters; Ferocious files, Dangerous diagonals, Wearing down a weakness, Surging through the centre, Pawns and goat pegs and at last chapter six with the explanation of holes {Horrible holes}.
Again the author is very ambitious in this chapter and gives the game Cheparinov – Ivanchuk,Khanty Mansyisk 2005,with 13 pages of   text! But it is also a fantastic game played the nineteen year old Ivan Cheparinov against one of the greatest chess players of time.
Books with move to move annotations are very instructive specially when a author unfolds his secrets without fear to his readers as Neil McDonald does in this book.
The aim of the book is to develop your imagination and above all your intuition in chess.
Careful study of these games will certainly help you to develop a kind of  pattern recognition  seen the superb. game analysis that I found  in these 246 careful created pages. A pleasant sub note of this book is the excellent use of  latest  played grandmaster games and there are quite some  2006 games in this book as  Wells – Shirov, Gibraltar 2006,Ivanchuk – Kamsky,Wijk aan Zee 2006 and Anand – Leko,Wijk aan Zee 2006.
Interesting is also in this book the {only} computer game Crafty – Zchess,WMCC Londen 2000,chapter 4:Surging through the centre where the programmers decided at last to pull out the plug.
Conclusion: A Superb read!                                                                                                        

                                                                             Chess CD's

ChessBase Magazine issue 110
March 2006


ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

ChessBase magazine extra comes with a impressive master files from 17159 entries and all played between {16/2/05} {BIH-ch 1st Brcko} and  Leiden 2006 (26/02/06}
Between these games are many interesting tournaments as the German Championship under 12 or the 660 games from the Bad Zwesten tournament, impressive is here the {endgame} play of  the great Ulf Andersson with 6 wins and 7 draws.
The 582 MB Avi files go to the Wijk aan Zee 2006 {Ten interviews in English by Yasser Seirawan} files and the German Bundesliga in Hamburg, the last one is good for a readable text report {German Language} and 42 photo’s!
Conclusion: Heavy loaded!

                                  Chess Magazines

British Chess Magazine No.3
Volume 126
March  2006
Price: £3.60

Starting with: Corus Wijk aan Zee where Michael Adams became the first player to down the new world champion! Queenstown Classic, Murray Chandler came and won but the national hero was the legendary Bob Wade.
Wade missed a win against the German grandmaster Hecht and only drew, after which his chances of becoming the oldest player in history to score a grandmaster norm unfortnatley faded.
Gibtelsecom Gibraltar BCM’s editor John Saunders visited the Rock and witnessed another Bulgarian triumph, as well some Spanish chess magic, 4NCL January weekend and of course the regular columns as Quotes and queries where Yony Gillam of the Chess player did dig up a interesting game from Ken Whyld.

British Chess Magazine No.4
Volume 126
April  2006
Price: £3.60

The April issue goes to Linares/Morelia better known as the ‘Wimbledon of Chess’ which has a great tradition but has all too often been known as a draw fest.
Aeroflot-the world’s strongest open tournament {called after Russian best-known airplane} has moved home in Moscow,Corus B and C  looked like being another runaway for the 15 year old chess prodigy Magnus Carlsen},Varsity Match between Oxford University and Cambridge University, British problem-solving championship, Chess questions answered by Gary Lane! {Gary also looks at 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 5.g4}News in Brief,Book Reviews etc.
Conclusion: Fine reading material!