CHESSBOOK REVIEWS


Latest book reviews of 1 February  2008
BOOKS REVIEWS BY JOHN ELBURG.

Wilhelminalaan 33 

7261 BP RUURLO 

The Netherlands.
John Elburg


                                  Chess Books                                    
          

Play the English by  Craig Pritchett
2007
Everyman Chess
http://www.everymanchess.com
189 pages
Price $24,95
ISBN 978-1-85744-545-9


The international master Craig Pritchett provides you in this latest Everyman openings book with a complete repertoire line based on the white side of  the board..
Pritchett handles and explains in these 189 pages, 30 exstensive analysed  model games which are devided in to the following chapters: Black plays 1..e5 and than The Four Knights with 4.g3 Bb4,The Four Knights 4.g3 without 4…Bb4,Black alternatives  set-ups after 1..e5,
and 1..c5 and other defences as Symmetrical Four knights,3…d5 and Keres Parma,The Hedgehog and The English Indians.
This book goes further than a explanation of strategic ideas and developments as for  example we can follow  in the model game Elwert –Tiemann,corr.2004 where the German correspondence chess master,that time a world finalist  went for the aggressive  set-up with 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 Bb4 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 e4 7.Ng5 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Re8 9.f3 e3 where Pritchett writes: This very sharp gambit is critical. If white accepts, he serious weakens his pawn structure and clearly has much to do to straighten out his piece development and mobile his kingside pawns.If he declines, he retrains healthier pawns but Black’s far advanced e-pawn affects communications between White’s flanks.
Pritchett suggest now as repertoire line the move 10.d3,declining is probably best and indeed this was Kasparov’s choice when he first faced 9..e3.
But Hans Marcus Elwert played the interesting:
{10.d3 d5 11.Qb3 Na5 12.Qa3 c6 13.cxd5 cxd5 14.f4 Bg4 15.Nf3 Nc6 16.h3 this move gets by the way from Pritchett around a half page of readable text
.Bd7}17.Kh2 Qc7 18.Rb1 b6 19.Bb2 Rad8 20.c4 dxc4 21.Rbc1 Be6 22.Ng5 Bd5 23.Bxd5 Nxd5 24.Rxc4 Qd7 25.Rfc1 f6 26.Nf3 Re6 27.Re4 Rde8 28.Rxe6 Rxe6 29.Qa4 Rd6 30.Ba3 Ncb4 31.Qb3 a5 32.Nd4 Kh8 33.Bb2 h6 34.Qc4 Ne7 35.Qf7 Nbd5 36.f5 Nc7 37.a4 Ned5 38.Qxd7 Rxd7 39.Kg2 Kg8 40.Kf3 Kf7 41.Rc6 h5 42.Ne6 Ne8 43.Ba3 Nec7 44.Nxc7 1-0.
All together this world championship game is good for nearly five pages of text and it is difficult to find a less good move for black!
Strange enough Karpov does not dig in the move 10.d3 in his book How to play the English opening,Batsford 2007.
On 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 Pritchett avoids transpositions to the King’s Indian Defence,but gives the interesting side line 6.Rb1!? .Planning to play b4 after either 6…0-0 or 6…d6,followed by transpositions to d3 lines,but the King’s Indian lines don’t get a turn in this book,Pritchett focus more on the line 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.d4 exd4 7.Nxd4 0-0 8.0-0 Re8 9.Nc2.
Conclusion: A well balanced written repertore book!


Chess Success: Planning after the Opening by Neil McDonald
2007
Batsford Ltd, London
http://www.Batsford.com
267 pages
Price $21.95
ISBN 978-0-7134-9071-8


Neil McDonald the author of Art of planning in chess and the art of logical thinking digs in this latest Batsford,Anova chess book in finding logical and  succesful chess moves.
To explain this complicated chess subject to the reader, GM McDonald has made use from 40 well analysed model games where he is not afraid to use several pages of text to explain the a simple  looking chess move to th e reader!
Pleasant to mention is that GM McDonald does not run throw the openings no every move in these 266 pages of this book are all wel explained with a unbeleavable amount of readable text and all  with move to move anottations!
For example the move 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.d4 0-0 5.Be2 e5 7.d5 is well explaned with one and a half page of text.
A book like this can help you to devolep a natural feeling for picking up the best moves in the position,specially for chess players who have studied the opening but are searching a way to to move there pieces with understanding around the board.
A instructive example of McDonald writing goes to the move {1.e4 c5}2.Qh5 game eight of this book ,between Nakamura and Volokitin,Lausanne 2005.Where McDonald  writes: I quess this counts as a smiting move as the c5 pawn is attacked.
White manages to break two opening principles with one move: namely don’t bring your queen out early annd don’t neglect the centre by decentralising your pieces.
The only purpose of this move can be  to surprice the oponent-not necessarilry a bad idea when you are facing a player like Andrei Volokitin  who is armed to the teeth with sophisticated opening theory.
However,the young Ukrainian player rises to the occasion: his play from now is an admirable mixture of restraint and energy that makes white opening experimant look rather folish.
All 40 in depth analysed games are dived into the following chapters:The smiting style,Delaying the moment of tactical truth,Super symmetry,The support point centre,A prickly customer,Dr Jekyll and Mr.Steinitz,The dilemma of d5 and at lastRoaring lion and crouching tiger,where Neil McDonald looks ar space advantages.
Interesting ro mention is the game Carlsen – Dolmatov ,Moscow 2004 where the following openings moves where played: 1.Nf3 f5 2.d3 d6? 3.e4 e5 4.Nc3 and now black had to try 4..Nf6 5.exf5 Bxf5 6.d4 which transposes to a kind of Latvian Gambit.
McDonald writes: It might have arise after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d3 d6 5.exf5 Bxf5 6.d4.Perhaps white has wasted a move with with 4.d3 and than 6.d4,but when  he answered 1.Nf3 with 1..f5 Dolmatov wasn’t ready to play the Latvian,and how many would want to play this risky defence,even if white hasn’t reached in the most aggressive way?
By the way I would not play 4.d3 but 4.Bc4! fxe4 5.Nxe5 d5 6.Nxd5 Nxd5 7.Qh5+ g6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Qxg6+ Kd7 10.Bxd5 Qe7 11.Qxe4 and white has four pawns for the piece!

Conclusion: Of of those few books that learns you to move your  pieces with understanding!


Chess DVD's

Fritz11
2007
ChessBase http://www.chessbase.com
E-Mail info@chessbase.com 
Price € 49,99
SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Minimum: Pentium 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, Windows Vista or XP (SP 2), DVD ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9. Recommended: Pentium IV 2.2 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM, Windows Vista, GeForce5 or compatible graphics card with 64 MB RAM or higher, 100% DirectX compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 9, DVD ROM drive.

The new Fritz 11 package holds a lot of new  features as a  training function to practice the calculation of variations. This sounds complicated but it is very easy in use, simple enter moves on the Fritz board and they appear within the notation, but they remain first for some time in there original position before Fritz has checked it all out.
Funny enough it is here even possible to play illegal moves!
Other new utilities are the magic eye“ which scans for you  the realistic  3D  chess board and shows you direct his killing skills,

there is also a new section on the Chess Server with tactical puzzle solving competitions, a new and improved openings book from 403 MB, a updated  database with over one million games which runs till 28-1--2007,over 14 hours video lessons from some of the best players of the world and as last best a improved chess engine that plays around 80 Elo points stronger as the previous version of Fritz10.
Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist have managed to improve the efficiency of the search function,the special written heuristic routines “sees”much deeper.
So Fritz 11 sees and digs deeper than any other chess engine.
A very interesting and powerful utility in Fritz is Deep position analysis which has won several times the Herschberg Award of the International Computer Chess Association for the best computer generated commentary of a chess game.The evaluation profile also gives you a clear picture of how the game developed and when decisive mistakes were committed. You can easy  call up the automatic analysis for the game loaded on the main screen.
Fritz11 is a engine with a fine all round play and is there for very popular under players as correspondence players who enjoy analysing chess positions but it also, offers you to play against humans at the PlayChess.com server for one year access.
Here you can play and enjoy informal chess games at any level.
It is always fun to find a position which gives problems for a chess engine as this old game from Alekhine:
Alekhine,Alexander - Book,Eero [D28]
Margate Margate (6), 1938
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 Nc6 7.Qe2 a6 8.Nc3 b5 9.Bb3 b4 10.d5 Na5 11.Ba4+ Bd7 12.dxe6 fxe6 13.Rd1 bxc3 14.Rxd7 Nxd7 15.Ne5 Ra7 16.bxc3 Ke7 17.e4 Nf6 18.Bg5 Qc7 19.Bf4 Qb6 20.Rd1 g6 21.Bg5 Bg7 22.Nd7 Rxd7 23.Rxd7+ Kf8 24.Bxf6 Bxf6 25.e5 1-0
Fritz is not able to play like Alekhine because he prefers 16.Qh5+? above the brilliant move from Alekhine 16.bxc3!! But Fritz improves a old analyse from Alexander 16.Qh5+ g6 17.Nxg6 hxg6 and now 18.Qxg6 and not 18.Qxh8.
Or look at the last move of this  game,Fritz thinks he is still winning but it was a frustrating positing for Fischer:Botvinnik,Mikhail - Fischer,Robert James [D98] Varna ol (Men) final Varna (10), 1962
1.c4 g6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Qb3 dxc4 6.Qxc4 0-0 7.e4 Bg4 8.Be3 Nfd7 9.Be2 Nc6 10.Rd1 Nb6 11.Qc5 Qd6 12.h3 Bxf3 13.gxf3 Rfd8 14.d5 Ne5 15.Nb5 Qf6 16.f4 Ned7 17.e5 Qxf4 18.Bxf4 Nxc5 19.Nxc7 Rac8 20.d6 exd6 21.exd6 Bxb2 22.0-0 Nbd7 23.Rd5 b6 24.Bf3 Ne6 25.Nxe6 fxe6 26.Rd3 Nc5 27.Re3 e5 28.Bxe5 Bxe5 29.Rxe5 Rxd6 30.Re7 Rd7 31.Rxd7 Nxd7 32.Bg4 Rc7 33.Re1 Kf7 34.Kg2 Nc5 35.Re3 Re7 36.Rf3+ Kg7 37.Rc3 Re4 38.Bd1 Rd4 39.Bc2 Kf6 40.Kf3 Kg5 41.Kg3 Ne4+ 42.Bxe4 Rxe4 43.Ra3 Re7 44.Rf3 Rc7 45.a4 Rc5 46.Rf7 Ra5 47.Rxh7 Rxa4 48.h4+ Kf5 49.Rf7+ Ke5 50.Rg7 Ra1 51.Kf3 b5 52.h5 Ra3+ 53.Kg2 gxh5 54.Rg5+ Kd6 55.Rxb5 h4 56.f4 Kc6 57.Rb8 h3+ 58.Kh2 a5 59.f5 Kc7 60.Rb5 Kd6 61.f6 Ke6 62.Rb6+ Kf7 63.Ra6 Kg6 64.Rc6 a4 65.Ra6 Kf7 66.Rc6 Rd3 67.Ra6 a3 68.Kg1 ½-½
This game is by the way fully annotated in My 60 Memorable Games.
Conclusion: A must have chess program!

ChessCentral:
Chess Software:
Chess Sets:
Chess Books:


Alexei Shirov
My best games in the Spanish vol.2

Fritztrainer opening
On DVD!
2007
ChessBase http://www.chessbase.com
E-Mail info@chessbase.com 
Price € 29,99
System requirements: Pentium-Processor at 300 Mhz or higher, 64 MB RAM,Windows XP or Windows Vista, Windows Media Player 9.0, DVD drive

The great Alexei Shirov handles and explains in this second volume  the famous Ruy Lopez all at the hand of his own played games.
Seen all the latest games from the years 2007 you get the feeling that he is throwing  all his secrets on the street.
But first of all he is handling in this  six hour lecture course the following lines:
The Marshall Attack {with 15.Re4 g5,the system with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 with 5 games,and that is included his game against Michael Adams of the World Championship Candidates of Elista 2007!
The Berlin defence get a important turn in the game Shirov – Naiditsch,Bundesliga 2007 where black went for the knight to e7{1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Nd6 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.dxe5 Nf5 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.Nc3 Ne7}
Maybe Naiditsch was inspired with the Wall after his white lost against Korchnoi,Zurich 2002 when he went for the black pieces.
Again there is a lot to learn from GM Alexei Shirov who was a immensely strong junior and the first player in the world who ever reached the 2700 level before the age of 20.
Included are two games with the Zaitsev Variation where even Sverre Johnsen and Leif Johannessen could learn from {The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black,Gambit 2007}
Conclusion: Buy it for the latest secrets on the Ruy Lopez!

ChessCentral:
Chess Software:
Chess Sets:
Chess Books:


Alexei Shirov
My best games in the Grünfeld

Fritztrainer opening
On DVD!
2007
ChessBase http://www.chessbase.com
E-Mail info@chessbase.com 
Price € 29,99
System requirements: Pentium-Processor at 300 Mhz or higher, 64 MB RAM,Windows XP or Windows Vista, Windows Media Player 9.0, DVD drive


GM Alexei Shirov digs in this latest Fritztrainer opening’s DVD on the good old Grünfeld Defence, played  by Shirov in his match against Kramnik and is now by Shirov  intensively analysed with five games on this DVD.
The Grünfeld Defence has been for a long time a popular choice for players who love to go for a counter attack
There for it has been the favourite line from world champions as  Fischer, Kasparov and Kramnik.
The running time of this DVD is nearly 5,5 hour and Shirov handles 15 highly interesting games as his win against Timman from Wijk aan Zee 1999.
Shirov explains Kasparov was watching this game and to see at his face Kasparov did dislike Timman position but it was not all so clear at all,that time it was popular to play around with the white bishop.
Fascinating is the game Topalov – Shirov,Linares 1998 where both players had to face a fascinating opposite coloured bishop endgame.
Shirov played here one of the most famous end game moves of all time  and I thought lets throw Fritz11 on it but Shirov brilliant move was out of the limits of Fritz.
In the players hall they thought that something went wrong with the transmitting of the moves because such move was not possible!
Please see game:
Topalov,Veselin (2740) - Shirov,Alexei (2710) Linares 15th Linares (10), 04.03.1998 
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bb5+ c6 8.Ba4 0-0 9.Ne2 Nd7 10.0-0 e5 11.f3 Qe7 12.Be3 Rd8 13.Qc2 Nb6 14.Bb3 Be6 15.Rad1 Nc4 16.Bc1 b5 17.f4 exd4 18.Nxd4 Bg4 19.Rde1 Qc5 20.Kh1 a5 21.h3 Bd7 22.a4 bxa4 23.Ba2 Be8 24.e5 Nb6 25.f5 Nd5 26.Bd2 Nb4 27.Qxa4 Nxa2 28.Qxa2 Bxe5 29.fxg6 hxg6 30.Bg5 Rd5 31.Re3 Qd6 32.Qe2 Bd7 33.c4 Bxd4 34.cxd5 Bxe3 35.Qxe3 Re8 36.Qc3 Qxd5 37.Bh6 Re5 38.Rf3 Qc5 39.Qa1 Bf5 40.Re3 f6 41.Rxe5 Qxe5 42.Qa2+ Qd5 43.Qxd5+ cxd5 44.Bd2 a4 45.Bc3 Kf7 46.h4 Ke6 47.Kg1 Bh3!!{ 48.gxh3 Kf5 49.Kf2 Ke4 50.Bxf6 d4 51.Be7 Kd3 52.Bc5 Kc4 53.Be7 Kb3 0-1}
Conclusion: Overloaded with instructive notes from GM Alexei Shirov!

ChessCentral:
Chess Software:
Chess Sets:
Chess Books: