Latest book reviews of 1 March 2004

Wilhelminalaan 33 


The Netherlands.
Chess Books
The Italian gambit made system by Jude Acers & George S.Laven
344 pages
Price $ 24.95
ISBN 1-55369-604-2

This Italian gambit repertoire book for white with 1.e4 is a invitation from the American chess master Jude Acers and the amateur George S Laven based on the good old  Italian game with 3.Bc4  split up in two compressive  parts and well  The Italian system{Vol.I} & {Vol II} that includes a complete  extra repertoire book if black does not go for  1....e5.{ A Guiding repertoire for white with 1.e4!}
Probably many chess players will be not aware but that the author  Jude Acers is one of those living chess legends a man who already played a off hand chess match with the legendary Fischer at Baton Rouge 1964 tragically enough these “unofficial” games have never made it to any kind of print.
First of all this  extraordinary work from Jude Acers on the Italian game is very uncommon written and you could consider many of these attacking openings as direct to the point as if we for example take a closer look at the so called  Koltanowski variation {.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4}which is nowadays nearly completely  neglected by  modern chess theory.
But there are more surprising  recommendations as the Miami variation which runs after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.d4!? Bxd4 5.Nxd4 Nxd4 6.Be3 and was invented by co-author of this book, so it is clear you don’t always  have to be a grandmaster to find tricky  moves!
I checked George S.Laven's Miama  lines with  my database and was astounded that white nearly won every played game so we certainly can say many of Acers & Laven's  analyses in this book have never seen any paper before!
Besides  the obscure and rare lines they are many serious openings as the famous Möller attack but the transpositions as for example the Max Lange or Göring attack are well covered unfortunately  the author is not always accurate in his analyses  and misses now and than  critical correspondence games as the famous Aldrete – Oim {1999}game  where black went for the strange looking retreat 9….Bf8 but please don’t forget most openings books don’t cover this opening at all and the only book that covers this variation comes  from Harding and his amassing collection Startling correspondence miniatures.
The second part of this book goes to all kind of  alternatives as the Petroff defence with the Cochrane’s gambit with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nxf7! but to analyse the  Latvian gambit with  5…Qg6
{1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f5 3.Nxe5 Qf6 4.Nc4 fxe4 5.Nc3 Qg6 } is certainly not my taste and I would consider this as a move from the far off past days.
Against the Sicilian the author prefers the Rossolimo attack and against the Caro- Kann the two knights attack which as many in this book once belonged to one or other  Fischer’s favourite repertoire  lines, included throw this book are extra included  instructive example games and  readable quotes.
Conclusion: Even that part two of this book could not impress me it is certainly  a very interesting  openings book!

Opening for white according to Anand 1.e4 Vol.2
Chess Stars
432 pages
Price GBP 17.99
ISBN 954 8782340

The latest opening repertoire book from Alexander Khalifman concentrates completely on the oldest and most respected  chess openings of all the famous Ruy Lopez  with 3…a6.
Khalifman leads the reader in very pleasant way throw all the pitfalls of the Spanish opening and prefers the more boring waters of the  anti Marshall lines above Frank Marshall’s controversial head line.
Understandable because many white players don’t wish to face the Marshall attack even the great Gary Kasparov who has a reputation of memorising long variations but to face the anti Marshall lines with 8.h3!? is a creative thought from the author and a small twenty years ago, a move as this would go to the corner of  rare lines but now it is all together good for  a small 26 extensive pages of this heavy filled 432 page openings book.
In the Open Spanish Khalifman prefers the {1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Nbd2 Nc5 10.c3 d4 } sharp 11.Ng5 or as Glenn Flear once described it in his openings book about  the Open Ruy Lopez: “ A seemly crazy” move but white is accepting  the challenge and it seems that black is still searching after the terrific analyses from Khalifman in this repertoire book for some kind of equality.
Conclusion: A impressive written repertoire book!

Understanding your chess by James Rizzitano
Gambit Publications Ltd.
191 pages
Price $ 24.95
ISBN 1-904600-07-7

Probably the name Rizzitano will not say much to many young chess players but this talented IM has dominated the American chess scene for over ten years before he started a second career in the software industry.
When I checked out his dossier in the latest Mega database 2004 I was surprised to find only 61 games on this CD  but interesting enough these games had a  very low drawing quote from only 2 %.
In this latest Gambit you will not only find a collection of 64 deeply annotated  Rizzitano  games and a extra collection of  20 clippings from games but the author analyses and explains these games if I may say all in a very instructive  way of understanding.
Rizzitano has managed to pack these games in a very practical  course  based on practical techniques from for example how to power on your initiatives!
The reader shall find many useful topics as openings selections against stronger opponents where the author explains his battle with the great Pal Benko who had a 500 point rating advantage and an experience deficit from over  than 30 years so Rizzitano had no problems  defeating the great Benko with the good old  Morra gambit!
I never had much experience before this book with the games from Rizzitano but when you go  throw this book than you shall be impressed by the large amount of fine attacking games from this so talented attacking genius.
The whole book is easy to understand even for a not so experience chess players which makes it an excellent work for club players who like to work on there practical attacking techniques.
Conclusion: A outstanding collection  attacking games!

De mechanische Turk by Tom Standage
Uitgeverij de Arbeiderspers
237 pages
Price Euro 16.95

This fascinating novel from the technical journalist Tom Standage perfectly translated in to the Dutch language tells us the fascinating story of the first chess playing “machine” developed by the brilliant inventor and magician Wolfgang von Kempelen.
That time elaborate mechanical toys where a very popular form of entertainment and the people had a unbelievable trust  in these mechanical technology but who would believe in that time that it was all fake and von Kempelen invention was only a kind of puppet on the string?
Otherwise I can not imagine that the great Philidor maybe one of the greatest players of all time was so mislead even that von Kempelen tried to prearranged this game in his favour but it ended as Philidor told later as the most exhausting game of his life.
But many great man as Napoleon Bonaparte and the phenomenal Edgar Allan Poe belong to the list of victims of the “Turk”
A very strong English chess player called John Cochrane only  managed one win and three losses and one draw against the Turk during the 1818  - 1820 period in London and that says something about the man was hidden inside.
Funny enough von Keppelen never gave his amassing but fraudulent chess automation never a real name but his eastern outfit gave him immediately the nick name as the Turk,this work from Tom Standage contains besides the terrific story a detailed discussion of mechanic inventions and first computer intelligence.
Personally I found this book a very interesting supplement to Gerald M.Levitt work on The Turk,Chess Automaton from McFarland & Company.
Conclusion: A unbelievable  read! {In Dutch language!}

The two knights defence by Jan Pinski
Everyman Chess

160 pages
Price $19.95
ISBN 1-85744-283-0

The whole Italian knights defence explained and analysed by the Polish chess master Jan Pinski who impressed many readers with his smashing book on the Kalashnikov,{co-authored with the bright Jacob Aagaard}made me ofcourse  very excited when I opened the first pages of this brand new Everyman chess book.
The first view on the famous  Traxler with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5 5.Nxf7 Bxf2 6.Kxf2 Nxe4 7.Kg1 or 7.Ke3  was reasonable even that I was missing the latest developments from the American openings expert Dan Heisman between these lines.
The same I can say from Heisman’s analyses about the Fried Liver Attack which are  not covered in this book at all, unfortnatley  the reader has to do with some antique lines from Euwe & Fine.
Did we complain in the book from Jude Acers & George S.Laven about the missing game Lobo – Oim corr.1998 well this game is covered in this book and the author even gives a improvement in form of 10.Qg4!? {mentioned  by Harding in his Startling correspondence chess miniatures too}and if 10…gxf6 11.Nxf7! Kxf7 12.Qxe6 Kg7 13.Qg4+!  Kf7 14.Qh5! (Harding and the Informator only give: 14.Qe6+ with a perpetual check!} Kg8 15.Nd2 and white has after Pinski a fantastic attack!
Altogether there is around nine pages and three complete games covering the good old Max Lange and that is more than only the most important key moves but personally  I would have preferred a whole chapter on this line!
At last a interesting suggestion from Pinski that you shall not find in the above mentioned book from Jude Acers & George S.Laven is:  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.0-0 Bc5 6.e5 d5 7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 9.Ng5 Qd5 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 0-0-0 12.g4 Qe5 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.fxg7 Rhg8 15.Bh6 d3 16.c3 d2 17.Re2 Rd3 18.Qf1 Qd5 19.Rd1 Be7!? 20.Qg2 Ne5 21.Rexd2 Nf7 22.g5 Rxd2 23.Rxd2 Qf5 with the idea of …Qg6 followed by Nxh6 which must be after Pinski  slightly better for black
Conclusion: Still a very interesting study on the two knights defence!

Survival guide for chess parents by Tanja Jones
Everyman Chess

160 pages
Price $19.95
ISBN 1-85744-340-3

Tanja Jones is the mother from the talented sixteen year old  Gawain Jones who had last year a impressive master  ELO from around 2364.
Understandable that the author is proud about her son who even once beaten  poor Malcolm Pein in a blitz game when Gawain was only nine years old, so from that point of view it is understandable that mother decided to write this parents manual with all kind of good advises.
There are numerous aspects where a chess parents can run up to as which kind of club coach and more but  the chess book advises from mother Jones don't belong to the best.
Hope that the young  Gawain shall become one day a very strong player as the great legendary Fischer only I hope that  this intensive written survival guide does not disturb the development of this young chess genius.
Conclusion: A very special book for parents with chess playing children but personally  I would not take it all to serious and it is a pity that there are only games from the young  Jones in this book.

The Nimzo - Indian Rubinstein by Angus Dunnington
Everyman Chess

160 pages
Price $19.95
ISBN 1-85744-279-2

The Rubinstein 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 has been for a very long time a highly regarded response to the Nimzo-Indian because white simple pursues kingside development and strengthens his centre at the same time.
This  latest eighteen game study is not so extensive filled with games that we usually are used to in these series because the author has focused more than with instructive text explanations than above memorizing long variations which makes it an excellent start for all who want to play and understand what he or she is doing on the board.
Generally the book is split up in three parts dealing with all major lines as  4…b6, 4….c5 and 4…0-0.
Many chapters as for instance five with the game Malakhov – Nielsen,Istanbul 2003 with the played move order 4…0-0 5.Ne2 covers over the nine pages expanded  with a lot of instructive text and extra games between the lines.
If we compare this book with the Nimzo-Indian 4…e3 from Carsten Hansen {Gambit 2002} than this  work from Angus Dunnington is certainly  more the didactic one  but the book from Carsten Hansen stays so far  the most important reference work on the  Rubinstein!
Conclusion: A fine written openings book!

The Catalan by Alex Raetsky & Maxim Chetverik
Everyman Chess

192 pages
Price $19.95
ISBN 1-85744-346-2

The latest opening book in the well compiled and eye catching opening series from Everyman chess opening covering the so reliable Catalan opening.
Seen the large amount of games and pages of this book than we can truly speak from a compressive made openings book.
Interesting to mention is that both already wrote a earlier work on this opening and well in the German Language under the title “Die Katalanische Eröffnung” from Kania Verlag.{Published in  2001}
To be honest both books can not be compared with each other not only this Everyman edition covers around 95 complete games but many lines have been completely rewritten and this English edition has become now one of those classic  heavy weights.
Both author concentrate in this book  on the closed and open Catalan but don't look at the move orders that can arise after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 and 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3  Bb4+.
Some lines as the closed Catalan with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 c6 5.Bg2 Bd6 can easy transpose in to a Dutch Stonewall and this is understandable not covered  inside the scope of this book.
Reti already played this against Bogoljubov in the famous New York 1924 tournament but the name Catalan opening was given by Tartakower in 1929 who was asked by the organizers of that year’s Barcelona tournament to invent a variation after that  region.
The Catalan belongs to one of the few openings where it is possible to develop a lasting initiative far in to the middle and endgame due to the strength of the Catalan Bishop and the weak pawns on c6 and c5.
Conclusion: A very compressive study on the Catalan!

Starting out the Grünfeld by Jacob Aagaard
Everyman Chess

176 pages
Price $16.95
ISBN 1-85744-350-0

The starting out series are usually openings books for beginners but some as this latest from Jacob Aagaard could easy reaches the level from a more experience player.
Besides all the instructive explanations from Aagaard who some consider as the greatest chess teacher from Denmark has analysed specially for this book 47 important Grünfeld games where a small eight of them come from the year 2002 and 2003 so the reader can taste from some latest developments from this interesting opening.
Aagaard does not only lead you throw the mysteries of this opening but above all explains it in a very readable way of understanding.
Conclusion: A nice work to get started  with the so complicated Grünfeld defence!

Chess CD's

ChessBase Magazine extra issue 97
January 2004
ISSN 1432-8992
Euro 12.99

This latest ChessBase magazine extra is good for exactly 13467 latest played games covering around the period 22/11/03 – 5/1/04,starting with the Bundesliga and ending with the famous Swedish Rilton Cup.
There are in these extra magazine’s no annotations to the games but there is always one or other interesting multimedia file and in this case it all goes all to the Politicians Chess tournament in Berlin.
The multimedia file is made by Andre Schultz and the German chess player who is interested in politics shall certainly enjoy the photos and the included avi files.
Conclusion: Excellent filled with latest played games!

Chess tactics for intermediate players

System requirements: IBM –compatible PC,16 MB memory,4 MB free of hard disk,VGA
Graphics,Windows 95/09/2000/2003/NT/ME/XP/ CD ROM drive and a compatible mouse.
Supported in the following languages: English,French,Spanish,Italian and German.

Price $ 26.00

Chess tactics for intermediate players is a interesting made tactic course based on the more average club player who would like to crick up in a very practical way of understanding his of hers tactical skills
The whole Convekta course is written by no less than the famous Russian chess teacher Sergey Ivashchenko who compiled over the 1170 exercises in this heavy loaded program all arranged in 19 different  sections (As mating combinations,daming,blockade,discovered attack,X ray attack manoeuvres etc} and pleasantly all classified for the user  in difficulty of access.
From every exercise you simple have to find the most important move, and interesting enough the build in engine Crafty leads you as a real chess  teacher throw the remaining moves usually  with all kind of  hints as arrows and  key lines.
Besides the practical examples there is also a file with studies from composers as Troitsky,Riabinin Grigoriev and others so this CD is certainly no easy walk throw!
The program generates a students ELO based on your success rate where it is possible to store your statistics and compare them eventual with other users.
To remove Chess tactics for intermediate players simple go to program files,Chess tactics file and click on Unwise.

Conclusion: A very instructive tactic CD!

Game Service 2004

Price free!

Besides the weekly free TWIC {The week in Chess} updates from Mark Crowther and  the London Chess centre offers Convekta now
a simple free update from around 10.000 games monthly too on there
Owners of CA7.1 can do it all automatically but it is also possible for instance  to downloaded these files  as simple PGN files.
For instance from February part 3 there are 945 games covering Cannes 2004 till Saint Vincent open and that are in this tournament only over the 260 latest played games!
Conclusion: Very interesting!
 Chess Magazines
British Chess Magazine No.2
Volume 124
February  2004
Price: £3.25

This heavy loaded BCM issue starts with an excellent 12 page coverage of the so popular Hastings 2003/4 tournament,where the first Scottish winner Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson has specially annotated  two of his own games and I am sure that many readers  shall enjoy his amassing 7…h5! {1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 6.f3 e6 7.Be3 h5}
A other interesting contribution is from Luke McShane who went direct from the university to the great Pamplona 2003 tournament where he finished impressively  in a tie for a first place together with the great Illescas.
Gary Lane has been busy winning the Australian championship so we have to do without  his Chess Questions Answered but Lane’s game with the Kalashnikov in this magazine is certainly worth reading!
Others are Kasparov’s Great Predecessors {A depth review from Kasparov’s book},Spot the continuation, Frank Parr {1918- 2003+}Fide Ratings, Reviews and new books, Congress diary,News in Brief, The Kavalek file,Quotes and Queries,Problem word etc.
Conclusion: A very high quality chess magazine!        

KingPin Issue No.37
Winter 2003/2004
£ 4.50

This heavy loaded KingPin is filled with the following contributions:
Kibitzing {With the Poisoned pawn you shall find an excellent article about the rampant xenophobia of British Chess}
Gary Lane’s Agony column, Vladimir Kramnik {Where Stefan Goader asks the world champion some interesting questions as:Why do you draw against so many players these days?} 
What’s the 4NCL ever done for us?, The road to chess improvement, Memoirs of a Mediocre chess player,You don’t have to be a complete asshole to get to the top, but it helps.{Dutch Nr.1 Luke van Wely spills the beans on his rivals.}
One of my favourite columns is from Tony Kosten and his Grandmaster’s Diary { Nowadays every GM seems to have a agent!}
Enjoyable for the reader is the game Kosten – B.Amin that is probably the ever best game that Kosten ever managed to loose!
My friends, the chess Luminaries,Hack attack, The Classical Dutch {Where Jonathan Rogers digs in the books from  Simon Williams Play the Classical Dutch {Gambit 2003} where it seems that Williams has put to much faith in his own analysis!
Gary Lane’s Grandmaster Myths, Book Reviews and a lot of enjoyable games but unfortunately some diagrams don’t appear on page 43-48.
For those who think that they can not live with out them please visit the above mentioned KinPin web side.
Conclusion: A very readable issue!

ChessMail issue 2/2004

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

This latest ChessMail issue starts with a eight page coverage of our brand new 16th  world champion in correspondence chess Tunc Hamarat.
One of Hamarat’s greatest games is covered in Harding’s 64 Great Chess Games but in this heavy loaded ChessMail issue you shall find some more interesting Hamarat games.
A other readable issue comes from the Dutch CC-GM Dr.Dick van Geet : Without a computer, I might have won the Von Massow tournament.
{One thing is certain don’t hand over your human mind to these machines!}
Others articles are Kazlic Memorial ends at last {This GM tournament has finally ended in a tie for first place between Tunc Hamarat & MrsOlita Rause}
Remembering Jorma Äïjälä {From the chess playing family Äïjälä of Finland}
{A fifteen page coverage!} 

Tournament reports: Canada wins PATT-IV,North Sea team even concluded, A theoretical survey from Tim Harding about the Sicilain Poisoned Pawn {B97},Endgame Clinic by Tim Harding {Endgame advantage of the exchange}ICCF tournament results service etc.
Conclusion: A super issue!