Lawrence Trent introduces his DVD by singing the praises to the Sicilian Defence and speculating about the best way for players with the White pieces to try and gain some sort if advantage after 1 e4 c5. The massive amount of theory required to take on the main lines suggests that an anti-Sicilian approach might be the order of the day. He concludes that the Morra Gambit is an underrated try with great potential in practical play.
Freely admitting that Black has numerous ways to achieve a decent position - which is precisely why the gambit is such a rarity at the top levels - the presenter opines that there are even more ways for Black to go horribly wrong and find himself on the wrong end of a pasting.
The main video lectures start with a look at Black's methods of declining the gambit. Annoyingly for Gambiteers, Black opts to try and spoil White's fun by not taking the pawn about 50%% of the time. These include 3 ...e5, 3 ...g6 and 3 ...d3. For the sensible options 3 ...d5 and 3 ...Nf6, with transpositions to 1 e4 c5 2 c3, the presenter advises viewers to buy the ChessBase DVD by GM Tiviakov.
Rightly or wrongly, most people hoping to do a little bit of swashbuckling will want to rush through the gambit declined material and sample the delights of the proper Morra Gambit variations.
Naturally. the majority of the material features the acceptance of the gambit.
1 e4 c5 2 d4 cxd4 3 c3
Early d6 and Nf6
Early Nc6 and Nf6
Qc7 with Be7 and Ne5
Qc7 with Nf6 and Ne5
Qc7 Critical Linne 13 ...dxe5
Qc7 Critical Line 13 ...Bxg5
Classical Main Line
This is a very ambitious DVD, aimed at presenting a full repertoire for White commencing with 1 d4. Usually, this approach involves 2 Nf3 and a look at the Colle System and/or Torre Attack. Here. GM Ftacnik prefers to go the whole hog an authentic 1 d4 2 c4 repertoire.
Queen's Gambit Accepted
Queen's Gambit Declined
Queen's Gambit Classical
I found the style of presentation to be rather dry. GM Ftacnik's quiet, monotone voice becomes more soporific than inspirational over the course of a lecture lasting more than a few minutes.
The DVD features 124 games, accessible via the 'Games' tab on the menu screen. The oldest game is from 1966 but most are much more recent than that. Three are from 2010.
GM Mueller starts with a discussion based on the initial question: 'What is an endgame?' It turns out not to be such a simple one to answer, but once the presenter has talked through some important guidelines and principles that are specific to the final phase of the game - such as the generally safer territory for the King - it's time to move on to the main material.
54 ...Re4!! 55 Rc5 Kf6 56 Rxa5 Rc4 57 Ra6+ Ke5 58 Ra5+ Kf6 59 Ra6+ Ke5 60 Ra5+ Kf6 61 Ra2
51 c4 bxc4+ 52 Kxc4 Nd5! 53 Rf7 Ra3 0-1
Despite the great cover picture - adding publicity to Karpov's attempt to become the new President of FIDE - there is little to be seen of Karpov and Kasparov in issue 137. However, one of the main tournaments to receive coverage is named after the former.
'Thing's weren't going so well in the tournament. I thought I'd just try it and see how it goes'. It went 1-0, (54)
There was quite a lot of fighting chess in the featured tournaments. This was a key momnent in a really good scrap:
'The idea is seen at its clearest if Black replies 11 ...f4. Then comes 12 h4 and at best Black can now only break through on the kingside by sacrificing a piece. On the other side of the board, White then has a clesar advantage in space.'
The other opening surveys are:
Dutch Defence with 2 Bg5 by Neven
Modern Defence by Erenburg
Sicilian Najdorf 6 Be2 e5 by Kuzmin
French Steinitz 4 e5 by Kritz
French Steinitz 4 e5 by Langrock
Ruy Lopez 6 d3 d5 by Stohl
Slav Defence 6 Nh4 by Potsny
Bogo-Indian 4 Bd2 a5 by Marin
Queen's Indian 4 a3 Bb7 by Krasenkow
King's Indin Saemisch by Schipkov
King's Indian Main Line with 10 Be3 by Karolyi
Three are presented using the Fritz Media facility, namely:
French Defence, Steinitz Variation by Kritz
King's Gambit with 2 ...Bc5 by Schandroff
Dutch Defence, Staunton Gambit by Lilov
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