Friday, 7 December 2012

Chess Reviews: 208

ChessBase Magazine # 151

The new issue of ChessBase Magazine is now available and it is absolutely packed with top quality material.

Andre Schulz's Editorial is, as always, well worth a read. This time there are some strong words regarding the chess world's governing body, concluding that ''this shows once more that the balance of power in FIDE is not at all appropriate.''

The bulk of the games - over 4,000 of them - come from very notable events: the Chess Olympiad, the FIDE Grand Prix (Topalov, Mamedyarov, Gelfand...), the Grand Slam Final (Carlsen, Caruna...) and the European Club Cup. Annotators include Carlsen, Kramnik and Caruana.

Highlights in this issue include Kramnik's annotations to his victory over Aronian at the Olympiad (one of 3,300 games from the event). Here are a few simplified snippets.

Kramnik - Aronian
22 ...Rc7? 22 Na5!

''Strangely enough there is no adequate defence anymore for Black after the following combination.''

22 ...Rac8 23 Nxb7! Rxb7 24 Qa6 Rbc7 25 b4 Qd7 26 Qb6!

''The point of the combination.''

26 ...Qe8 27 b5!

''The simplest, falling into the trap :)''

27 ...Nxd4 28 Rxc7 Ne2+ 29 Kh1 Nxc1

''It seems that Black managed to trick his opponent, but the 31st move of White clarifies matters.''

30 Rxc8 Qxc8 31 Qc6 (1-0, 35)

I particularly enjoyed the coverage of the London leg of the FIDE Grand Prix, not least because I had to decline the opportunity to attend due to a calendar clash. It was good to catch up properly with the games and interesting to see that even players rated 2700+ can have games to forget (just like the rest of us).

Mamedyarov - Giri
After 20 Bxh5! Rxh5 21 e6 Black could find nothing better than resigning immediately.

The features on opening play cover the following variations:

Fritz Trainer Format

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c6 4 Nf3 Nf6 5 Bg5 by Shirov

1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 g6 4 Bxc6 bxc6 5 0-0 Bg7 6 Re1 by Kritz

1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 Nf6 3 Bf4 e6 4 Nbd2 c5 5 e3 Be7 6 c3 0-0 7 Bd3 Nbd7 by Ris

Regular Format

English 1 c4 e5 2 Nc3 Bb4 by Stohl

English 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 e5 by Schipkov

Trompowsky Attack 2 ...e6 3 |Nd2 by Breutigam

Dutch/Semi-Slav 4 e3 f5 by Krasenkow

Sicilian 2 ...d6 3 Bc4 Nf6 4 Qe2 by Kritz

French 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 exd5 exd5 5 Bd3 by Langrock

Ruy Lopez 6 d3 by Schandorff

Slav 5 ...Bg4 6 Ne5 Bh5 7 g3 by Marin

Catalan 5 Bg2 Bb4+ 6 Bd2 c5 by Rotstein

King's Indian 4 Bg5 by Kuzmin

King's Indian 7 ...exd4 ... 10 Kh1 Nh5 by Postny

Chess players! Let's face it; nobody is going to think to buy you a copy of ChessBase for Christmas. So why not just treat yourself? You can always excuse such self indulgence with an explanation based on the excellent value for money offered by this wonderful product, and the promise that it will keep you quiet and happy throughout the festive season.

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