Friday 28 December 2007

6....h6 7 Bh4

Latest moves in the game between The Hawk and The Rest of the World:

6 ...h6

7 Bh4

Please vote for Black's next move. See here for further details:

Friday 21 December 2007

Chess Review Archive

Here's a handy - and constantly updated - guide to all of my chess reviews.

Chess Exam: Matches against Chess Legends
You vs. Bobby Fischer
By IM Igor Khmelnitsky
192 pages

A Course in Chess Tactics

By GM Dejan Bojkov and GM Vladimir Georgiev

192 pages

Gambit Publications

ChessBase Magazine #134

My Best Games
By GM Yasser Seirawan
Five Hours

Power Play 12
The Hedgehog
By GM Daniel King

Five Hours

Shredder 12

Learn Chess Quick
Brian Byfield and Alan Orpin
Illustrated by Gray Jolliffe
144 pages

Back to Basics: Openings
By FM Carsten Hansen
248 pages
Russell Enterprises

Olympiad United!
Dresden 2008
By Harald Fietz, Josip Asik and Anna Burtasova
304 pages
Verlag Schach Wissen Berlin

Dismantling the Sicilian
By GM Jesus de la Villa
336 pages
New in Chess

Revolutionize Your Chess
By GM Viktor Moskalenko
350 pages
New in Chess

Open Files
By GM Wolfgang Uhlmann and Gerhard Schmidt
164 pages
Edition Olms

Chicago 1926
Lake Hopatcong 1926
Chess Tournaments
By Robert Sherwood
197 pages
Caissa Editions

Magic of Chess Tactics
By FM Claus Dieter Meyer and GM Karsten Muller
Three hours and 30 minutes

1.e4 Repertoire
By IM Sam Collins
8 hours

Winning Structures
By GM Adrian Mikhalchishin
Five hours

The Trompowsky - The Easy Way
Second Edition
By IM Andrew Martin
4 hours

Fritz Powerbook 2010

The Rules of Winning Chess
By GM Nigel Davies
190 pages
Everyman Chess

Zuke 'Em
The Colle-Zukertort Revolutionized
New Edition
By David Rudel
312 pages
Thinkers' Press

ChessBase Magazine #133

Chess Secrets:
The Giants of Power Play

By GM Neil McDonald

239 pages
Everyman Chess

Play The Alekhine
By Valentin Bagdanov
127 pages
Gambit Publications

The Gruenfeld Defence
By GM Lubomir Ftacnik
Seven hours and 21 minutes

A Busy Person’s Opening System
By GM Nigel Davies
Four hours

Power of Planning
By GM Adrian Mikhalchishin
Three hours 19 minutes

Power of Exchange
By GM Adrian Mikhalchishin
Three hours

Improve Your Chess
by learning from the champions
By GM Lars Bo Hansen
192 pages
Gambit Publications

Bobby Fischer
The Career and Complete Games of the American World Chess Champion
By GM Karsten Müller
408 pages
Russell Enterprises

The Complete Hedgehog
Volume 1
By GM Sergey Shipov
532 pages
Mongoose Press

The Improving Chess Thinker
By Dan Heisman
220 pages
Mongoose Press

Fritz 12

Bullet Chess
One Minute to Mate
By GM Hikaru Nakamura and Canadian Master Bruce Harper
248 pages
Russell Enterprises

Studies for Practical Players
Improving Calculation And Resourcefulness in the Endgame
By GM Mark Dvoretsky and Oleg Pervakov
216 pages
Russell Enterprises

Power Play 11
By GM Daniel King
Five hours and 25 minutes

The King’s Indian
By GM Viktor Bologan
Five hours and 10 minutes

1...e6: A Solid Repertoire
By GM Nigel Davies
Five hours

Secrets of Creative Thinking
(School of Future Champions Volume 5)
By GM Mark Dvoretsky and GM Artur Yusupov
206 pages
Edition Olms

ChessBase Magazine #132

The Fascinating Reti Gambit
1. e4 e6 2. b3!? A fun Anti-French!
By Thomas Johansson

Isaac Kashdan, American Chess Grandmaster
A Career Summary with 757 Games
Peter P. Lahde
348 pages
McFarland & Company

Pirc Alert! A Complete Defense Against 1 e4
Second Edition, Revised and Updated
By GM Lev Alburt & GM Alex Chernin
448 pages
Chess Information and Research Centre

Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess
Part Three: Kasparov v Karpov 1986-1987
By GM Garry Kasparov
432 pages Everyman Chess

The Queen’s Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation
By GM Nigel Davies
Four Hours

By GM Adrian Mikhalchisin
Five Hours

The Budapest Gambit
By IM Andrew Martin
Four hours and twenty minutes

The Scandinavian - The Easy Way - 2nd Edition
By IM Andrew Martin
Four hours

The ABC of the King’s Indian - 2nd Edition
By IM Andrew Martin
Five hours

The Classical King’s Indian Uncovered
By IM Krzysztof Panczyk and Jacek Ilczuk
384 pages
Everyman Chess

Starting Out: The Trompowsky Attack
By IM Richard Palliser
269 pages
Everyman Chess

Chess For Rookies
By IM Craig Pritchett
352 pages
Everyman Chess

The New Sicilian Dragon
By GM Simon Williams
224 pages
Everyman Chess

The Budapest Defence
By IM Timothy Taylor
239 pages
Everyman Chess

Play The Catalan
By GM Nigel Davies
192 pages
Everyman Chess

The Sicilian With 3. Bb5
By GM Alexei Shirov
Seven Hours

The f4 Sicilian
By GM Nigel Davies
Four hours

The Caro-Kann
By GM Viktor Bologan
Four hours and 40 minutes

Understanding Chess Endgames
By GM John Nunn
231 pages
Gambit Publications

The Most Valuable Skills in Chess
By GM Maurice Ashley
159 pages
Gambit Publications

ChessBase Magazine #131

ChessBase Magazine #130

ChessBase Extra # 130

Botvinnik - Smyslov
Three World Championship Matches: 1954, 1957, 1958
By GM Mikhail Botvinnik
287 pages
New in Chess

Chess Strategy for Club Players
The Road to Positional Advantage
By IM Herman Grooten
412 pages
New in Chess

By GM Zenon Franco
240 pages
Gambit Publications

Win with the Stonewall Dutch
Sverre Johnsen and Ivar Bern
With a contribution by Simen Agdestein
224 pages
Gambit Publications

The Moment of Zuke
Critical Positions and Pivotal Decisions
for Colle System Players
By David Rudel
255 pages
Thinkers’ Press

The Philidor Defence
By GM Alexei Shirov
5 hours 52 minutes

The ABC of The Ruy Lopez
Second Edition
By IM Andrew Martin
4 hours 54 minutes

The ABC of The Vienna
By IM Andrew Martin
3 hours 42 minutes

The ABC of Chess Openings
Second Edition
By IM Andrew Martin
6 hours 24 minutes

...are all reviewed over at:

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Revised and Extended Edition
By GM David Bronstein and Tom Furstenburg
384 pages
New in Chess

Yearbook 91
247 pages
New in Chess

Dangerous Weapons: Anti-Sicilians
By GM John Emms, IM Richard Palliser
& GM Peter Wells

Dangerous Weapons:
The Pirc and Modern
IM Richard Palliser, GM Colin McNab
& IM James Vigus

7 Ways To Smash The Sicilian
IM Yury Lapshun & US Master Nick Conticello

Fighting The Ruy Lopez
By GM Milos Pavlovic

How To Beat Younger Players
By GM Nigel Davies

The Scheveningen Sicilian
By GM Lubomir Ftacnik

Power Play 10: Calculation
By GM Danny King

Nottingham 1936
By GM Alexander Alekhine
21st Century Edition!
Russell Enterprises

Der Weltmeisterschaftskampf Lasker - Steinitz 1894
GM Robert Hubner
Edition Marco

Kill K.I.D. 1
By Semko Semkov
Chess Stars

The Closed Sicilian
By GM Nigel Davies

Power Play 9:
Major Pieces v Minor Pieces
By GM Daniel King

Opening Encyclopaedia 2009

Chess Secrets: Great Attackers
By IM Colin Crouch

Dangerous Weapons: The King's Indian
By IM Palliser, GM Emms & IM Dembo

Play the Queen's Indian
By BM Andrew Greet

Starting Out: The Sicilian
By GM Emms

The Black Lion
By Jerry van Rekom & Leo Jansen
New in Chess

Winning Chess Middlegames
By GM Ivan Sokolov
New in Chess

Fischer World Champion!
New EditionBy
GM Max Euwe
and GM Jan Timman
New in Chess

Chess Openings for Black, Explained
2nd Edition, Revised and Updated
GM Lev Alburt, GM Roman Dzindzichashvili and GM Eugene Perelshteyn
with Al Lawrence
Chess Information and Research Centre
Norton & Company

Chess Strategy for the Tournament Player
Second Enlarged and Revised Edition
By GM Lev Alburt and GM Sam Palatnik
Chess Information and Research Centre Norton & Company

Chess Training Pocket Book II
By GM Lev Alburt and Al Lawrence
Chess Information and Research Centre Norton & Company

Chess Opening Essentials 2 1. d4 d5/ 1 d4 various/ Queen’s Gambit
GM Dimitri Komarov, GM Stefan Djuric and IM Claudio Pantaleoni
New in Chess Chess

Opening Essentials 3 Indian Defences, Complete GM Dimitri Komarov, GM Stefan Djuric and IM Claudio Pantaleoni
New in Chess

Scandinavian Defense: The Dynamic 3…Qd6
Second Edition: Revised and Enlarged!
By Michael Melts
Russell Enterprises

New in Chess Yearbooks Volumes 89 & 90

Chess Explained: The Grunfeld
by IM Valentin Bogdanov

GambitChess Explained: The Main-Line Slav
By IM David Vigorito

Instructive Modern Chess Masterpieces By GM Igor Stohl

The ABC of the Sicilian Dragon
By IM Andrew Martin

Attacking the King - For Experts
By GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov

The Scotch Game
By GM Nigel Davies

Gary’s Adventures in Chess Country
By Igor Sukhin
Mongoose Press

Blindfold Chess: History, Psychology, Techniques, Champions, World Records
and Important Games
by Eliot Hearst and John Knott
McFarland & Company

World Chess Championship 2008
Anand v Kramnik

The Battle of Bonn

By GM Raymond Keene
Impala Press

Batsford’s Modern Chess Openings Fifteenth Edition
By GM Nick de Firmian

Sharpen Your Chess Tactics in Seven Days
By IM Gary Lane

Starting Out: Sicilian Sveshnikov

By IM John Cox
Everyman e-book

Winning Chess Strategies
By GM Yasser Seirawan with IM Jeremy Silman
Everyman e-book

Art of Attack in Chess
Vladimir Vukovic
Everyman e-book

Let’s Play Chess
A Step-by-Step Guide for New Players
By Bruce Pandolfini
2nd Edition Revised and Enlarged
Russell Enterprises

Kasparov: How His Predecessors Misled Him About Chess
Tibor Karolyi and Nick Aplin
Batsford Chess

John Nunn's Chess Puzzle Book

New Enlarged Edition
By GM John Nunn

New York 1924
By GM Alexander Alekhine
Russell Enterprises

Secrets of Positional Play
By GM Mark Dvoretsky and GM Artur Yusupov
Edition Olms

The ABC of the Leningrad Dutch
By IM Martin

The ABC of the Anti-Dutch
By IM Martin
Powerbook 2009
(All by ChessBase)

True Combat Chess
Winning Battles Over The Board
By IM Timothy Taylor
Everyman Chess

How To Play Against 1 e4
By GM Neil McDonald
Everyman Chess

Endgame Fireworks
By GM Alexei Shirov

Facing the World Champions
By GM Vlastimil Hort

Power Play 8: Knights and Bishops
By GM Daniel King

Mastering the Chess Openings
Volume 3
By IM John Watson

Gambit Publications

Play the Sicilian Kan
By GM Johan Hellsten
Everyman Chess

The Greatest Ever Chess Tricks and Traps
By IM Gary Lane
Everyman Chess

Dangerous Weapons: Flank Openings
By IM Richard Palliser
GM Tony Kosten
FM Dr. James Vigus

Everyman Chess

The Genius and the Misery of Chess By Zhivko Kaikamjozov
Mongoose Press

Zuke ‘Em The Colle-Zukertort Revolution! By David Rudel
Thinker’s Press

My 60 Memorable Games By GM Bobby Fischer
Batsford Chess

Plus: New information regarding the new edition of The Lion!

King’s Indian Attack By GM Nigel Davies

Power Play 7: Improve Your Pieces By GM Daniel King

How Chess Games are Won and Lost By GM Lars Bo Hansen
Gambit Publications

101 Chess Questions Answered By FM Steve Giddins
Gambit Publications

Lasker’s Manual of Chess By GM Emanuel Lasker
Russell Enterprises

The English Opening By GM Nigel Davies

The Tarrasch Defence By GM Nigel Davies

Starting Out: d-pawn Attacks By IM Richard Palliser
Everyman Chess

Starting Out: The c3 Sicilian By GM John Emms
Everyman Chess

How to Beat the French Defence - The Essential Guide to the Tarrasch
By IM Andreas Tzermiadianos
Everyman Chess

Dvoretsky’s Analytical Manual By GM Mark Dvoretsky
Russell Enterprises

St. Petersburg 1909 By GM Emanuel Lasker
Russell Enterprises

International Chess Calendar 2009Russell Enterprises

Grandmaster Strategy By GM Raymond Keene OBE
Hardinge Simpole Publications

Grandmaster Tactics By GM Raymond Keene OBE
Hardinge Simpole Publications

School of Future Champions 1:Secrets of Chess Training by Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov
Edition Olms

School of Future Champions 2:Secrets of Opening Preparation by Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov
Edition Olms

School of Future Champions 3:Secrets of Endgame Technique by Mark Dvoretsky and Artur Yusupov
Edition Olms

Albert Beauregard Hodges - The Man Chess Made By John S. Hilbert and Peter P. Lahde
McFarland & Company

222 Opening TrapsAfter 1. e4 By GM Karsten Müller and GM Rainer Knaak
222 Opening TrapsAfter 1. d4 By GM Karsten Müller and GM Rainer Knaak
The Spanish Exchange Variation By GM Stefan Kindermann

Adolf Albin in America A European Chess Master’s Sojourn, 1893-1895 By Olimpiu G. Urcan Chess Results 1941 - 1946 Gino Di Felice
Chess Results 1947 - 1950 Gino Di Felice

Garry Kasparov on Modern Chess (Part 2) Kasparov vs. Karpov1975-1985

My Career (Volume 1 & Volume 2) by GM Viswanathan Anand

ChessBase 10
Rybka 3
Rybka Opening Book
Corr Database 2009

Fighting the Anti-King’s Indians By IM Yelena Dembo
Starting Out: The Modern By GM Nigel Davies
Dangerous Weapons: The Benoni and Benko By IM Richard Palliser, GM John Emms, GM Chris Ward and GM Gawain Jones

The Chess Café Puzzle Book 2 By GM Carsten Müller
Chess Mazes 2 By American Master Bruce Albertson

Play the Slav By FM James Vigus
The Greatest Ever Chess Opening Ideas By IM Christoph Scheerer
Pawn Sacrifice! Winning at Chess the Adventurous Way By IM Timothy Taylor
Play 1 b4! By IM Yury Lapshun and US Master Nick Conticello

100 Endgames You Must Know By GM Jesus de la Villa
The Chebanenko SlavAccording to Bologan By GM Victor Bologan
The Flexible French By GM Viktor Moskalenko

How to Crush Your Chess Opponents By GM Simon Williams
The Art of Attacking Chess By GM Zenon Franco
The Easiest Sicilian By GM Atanas Kolev & GM Trajko Nedev
The Wisest Things Ever Said About Chess By GM Andrew Soltis

My Best Games in the Slav and Semi-Slav By GM Alexei Shirov
Albin’s Countergambit for Experts By GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Endgames for Experts By GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov

The Art of Bisguier Selected Games 1961-2003 By GM Arthur Bisguier and Newton Berry
A Strategic Opening Repertoire (Second Edition) By John Donaldson and Carsten Hansen
Dvoretsky’s Endgame Manual (Second Edition) By GM Mark Dvoretsky

The Colle System By GM Nigel Davies
The Torre AttackBy GM Nigel Davies
The London SystemBy GM Nigel Davies
Back to Basics: Fundamentals By Branislav Francuski
Back to Basics: Tactics By NM Dan Heisman
The Chess Café Puzzle Book Test and Improve Your Tactical Vision By GM Karsten Mueller

Roman’s Lab Volume 55: A Tribute to Bobby Fischer (parts 1 & 2) By GM Roman Dzindzichashvili
Roman’s Lab Volume 7: Think and Play Like a Grandmaster (parts 1 & 2) By GM Roman Dzindzichashvili
Learn Chess in 30 Minutes Chess for Absolute Beginners By GM Susan Polgar
MasterChess 6000 + Nalimov Table Base + The Ultimate Game Collection 7
...all reviewed over at:

Chessbase Magazine Volume 123 (April 2008)
Power Play 6: Pawns, Pieces and Plans By GM Daniel King
Strategy - Step by StepBy GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
...all reviewed over at:

1 e4 For The Creative Attacker By GM Nigel Davies
Chess For Scoundrels By GM Nigel Davies
My Best Games With Black By GM Alexei Shirov
...all reviewed over at:

Practical Endgame Play - Mastering the Basics The essential guide to endgame fundamentals Secrets of Spectacular Chess (Second Edition)
Starting Out: The Accelerated Dragon
...are all reviewed here:

The Survival Guide to Rook Endings
Jon Speelman's Chess Puzzle Book
...are both reviewed here:

Duels of the Mind
Hooked on Chess
Forcing Chess Moves
..are all reviewed here:
Featuring reviews of:
Dangerous Weapons:The Queen’s Gambit
ByIM Richard Palliser, GM Glenn Flear & GM Chris Ward

Dangerous Weapons:1 e4 e5
By GM John Emms, GM Glenn Flear & IM Andrew Greet

Chess Explained:The French
By GM Viacheslav Eingorn & IM Valentin Bogdanov

Chess Explained:The Nimzo-Indian
By GM Reinaldo Vera
Featuring a review of:
Starting Out: Sicilian Grand Prix Attack By GM Gawain Jones
Featuring reviews of:
Secrets of Pawn Endings
byGM Karsten Muller and IM Frank Lamprecht

The Ultimate Chess Strategy Book: Volume 1
By Alfonso Romero and Amador Gonzalez de la Nava
Featuring a review of:
Fritz 11
Featuring reviews of:
Beating The French Vol 1 By Rustam Kasimdzhanov
Beating The French Vol 2 By Rustam Kasimdzhanov
1.…d6 Universal By GM Nigel Davies
Featuring a review of:
Chessbase Magazine 121
Featuring a review of:
How to Play Chess Endgames By Karsten Muller and Wolfgang Pajeken
Featuring reviews of:
American Grandmaster By GM Joel Benjamin
Play The English By IM Craig Pritchett
Featuring reviews of:
The Samisch King’s Indian Uncovered By GM Alexander Cherniaev and FM Eduard Prokuronov The Complete Chess Workout By IM Richard Palliser
Featuring a review of:
Chess Success: Planning After The Opening By GM Neil McDonald
Featuring reviews of:
The Caro-Kann By GM Peter Wells
Winning Quickly at Chess By GM John Nunn
50 Ways to Win at Chess By FM Steve Giddins
Featuring reviews of:
Sicilian Defence With 2 c3 Alapin Variation By GM Sergei Tiviakov
Power Play 5 Pawns By GM Daniel King
Featuring reviews of:
Gambiteer II: A hard-hitting chess opening repertoire for Black By GM Nigel Davies
Chess Secrets: The Giants of Strategy By GM Neil McDonald
Practical Endgame Play - Beyond the Basics: The definitive guide to the endgames that really matterBy GM Glenn Flear
Featuring a review of:
Fighting the Anti-SiciliansCombating 2 c3, the Closed, the Morra Gambit and other tricky ideas By IM Richard Palliser
Featuring a review of:
How to Play the English Opening By GM Karpov
Featuring reviews of:
Play 1...Nc6! By IM Christopher Wisnewski
The Survival Guide to Competitive ChessBy GM John Emms
Featuring reviews of:
Improve Your Chess in Seven Days By IM Gary Lane
Transpo Tricks In Chess By GM Andrew Soltis
Play the Grunfeld By IM Yelena Dembo
Featuring reviews of:
Starting Out: Sicilian Sveshnikov By IM John Cox
Starting Out: The Colle By IM Richard Palliser
Gambiteer 1: A Hard-Hitting Chess Opening Repertoire For White By GM Nigel Davies
Featuring reviews of:
The Pirc In Black and White - By FM James Vigus
Dangerous Weapons: The French - By IM John WatsonPlay
The Caro-Kann - By IM Jovanka Houska
Featuring a review of:
Revolution In The 70s By GM Garry Kasparov
Featuring reviews of:
Beating Unusual Chess Openings By IM Richard Palliser
The Philidor Files By GM Christian Bauer
Featuring reviews of:
Play The Ruy Lopez By IM Andrew Greet
Everyman Chess CDs
Featuring reviews of:
Beating The King’s Indian And Grunfeld By FM Tim Taylor
Boris Spassky Master of Initiative By GM Alexander Raetsky and IM Maxim Chetverik
Caro-Kann Defence Panov AttackBy GM Anatoly Karpov & IM Mikhail Podgaets ChessKasparov’s Fighting Chess 1999-2005 By GM Tibor Karolyi & Nick Alpin
Featuring a review of:
Petrosian vs. The Elite by GM Ray Keene & Julian Simpole
Featuring reviews of:
Kasparov’s Fighting Chess 1993-1998 by IM Tibor Karolyi & Nick Alpin
Caro-Kann Defence Advance Variation and Gambit System by Anatoly Karpov
Featuring reviews of:
Starting Out:Chess Tactics and Checkmates by GM Chris Ward
Starting Out: Sicilain Scheveningen by IM Craig Pritchett
Starting Out: Queen’s Gambit Accepted by GM Alex Raetsky & IM Maxim Chetverik
Featuring a review of:
Discovering Chess Openings by GM John Emms
Featuring a review of:
Starting Out: 1 e4! GM Neil McDonald
Featuring a review of:
Winning Chess: Combinations by GM Yasser Seirawan
Featuring reviews of:
The Art of Planning in Chess Move by Move by GM Neil McDonald
Starting Out: Sicilian Najdorf by IM Richard Palliser
The French Advance by Sam Collins
Featuring a review of:
My Great Predecessors Volume 5: Korchnoi & Karpov by GM Garry Kasparov
Featuring a review of:
Devious Chess, How To Bend The Rules & Win by Amatzia Avni
Featuring a review of:
Why Lasker Matters by GM Andrew Soltis
Featuring reviews of:
Play The Nimzo-Indian by IM Edward Dearing
Dealing With D4 Deviations by FM John Cox
Featuring reviews of:
The Bb5 Sicilian by IM Richard Palliser
Play 1...b6 A D ynamic and Hypermodern Opening System for Black by GM Christian Bauer
Starting Out: King’s Indian AttackBy GM John Emms
Starting Out: The Sicilian Dragon By IM Andrew Martin
Featuring a review of:
Play 1 e4 e5! A Complete Repertoire For Black In The Open Games By GM Nigel Davies
Featuring reviews of:
The Ruy Lopez Explained By IM Gary Lane
The Hippopotamus Rises By IM Andrew Martin
The Batsford Book of Chess Records By Yakov Damsky
Featuring reviews of:
Starting Out: The Scotch Game by John Emms
Starting Out: Defensive Play by Angus Dunnington
Breaking Through by Susan Polgar & Paul Truong
Russians versus Fischer by Dmitry Plisetsky & Sergey Voronkov
Featuring reviews of:
Chess For Tigers By Simon Webb
How To Choose A Chess Move By GM Andrew Soltis
Buzan’s Book Of Mental World Records By Tony Buzan and GM Raymond Keene
Featuring reviews of:
Ruy Lopez Exchange by Panczyk & Ilczuk
The Scotch Game Explained by Gary Lane
Italian Game and Evans Gambit by Jan Pinski
Starting Out: Slav and Semi-Slav by Glenn Flear
Featuring reviews of:
Najdorf: Life and Games by Lissowski, Mikhalchishin & Najdorf
The Queen’s Bishop Attack Revealed by GM James Plaskett
The Sicilian Bb5 Revealed by GM Neil McDonald
Featuring reviews of:
Chess For Children by GM Murray Chandler and Dr. Helen Milligan illustrated by Cindy McCluskey
How To Beat Your Dad At Chess by GM Murray Chandler
Chess Tactics For Kids by GM Murray Chandler
Garry Kasparov’s Greatest Chess Games Vol. 1 by GM Igor Stohl
Focus On Hocus-Pocus by Erwin Brecher PhD and Danny Roth BSc
The Modern Benoni Revealed by IM Richard Palliser

The Hawk v Rest of the World

Full moves to date:

1 d4 Nf6

2 c4 e6

3 Nc3 Bb4

4 Qc2 d5

5 cxd5 exd5

6 Bg5

Over to you, The Rest of the World! Please vote for Black's next move by leaving a comment here or by emailing me at:

Deadline: 6.00 p.m. 28th December 2007.

Tuesday 18 December 2007


Well it’s that time of year again and I’d like to wish all….no, hold on, you can go to virtually any other website and get the blog-standard, generic ‘peace to all’ message.

Frankly speaking, when it comes to people, it’s true to say that some people weren’t in my life as much as I wanted them to be this year and some weren’t in it at all. Some were in it too much for comfort; others retained a healthy balance and some fell over. For some, it will have to be an accident if we ever meet again (and we're not talking serendipity). Next year, hopefully, I will readjust the balance again.

Meanwhile, the time for shopping is just about over (until the sales start) and this brings many things on which to reflect. How many half-price chocolate oranges has one been offered? How many pushchairs can be reasonably fitted down the aisles of Boots before it becomes impossible for anyone to move in any direction? Is it really useful to offer ‘3 for 2’ on Dalek Sec masks? Can it be right that cards now cost more than presents? Why do drunks catch the bus when it would be safer (for us) if they drove home, and why do so many of them pretend to be Scottish and hurl unlikely accusations, such as ‘You strangled my parrot, didn’t ye?’ which nobody else in the bus queue can (apparently) hear?

Of course, choosing the right presents isn’t any easier now than it was when the whole thing started. Rewind a couple of thousand years and this could well have happened…

Scenario: ‘JC’ and a ‘Friend’. 18 years after being left three gifts, JC is now old enough to understand what they are. His friend, official custodian of the Magi’s offerings, opens the trunk and reveals all.

JC: (Excited) Right! Time to find out what my first ever presents were.

F: This is the first one. Apparently it’s Myrrh.

JC: Eh? What’s that for?

F: I think it’s some sap-based substance, often used in the lubrication of incense.

JC: Crikey! You’d better put that back in the trunk straight away. What’s next?

F: Frankincense!

JC: Sounds monstrous. Any idea what it’s for?

F: Dunno - it’s a sort of aftershave I think. I’ll just pull out the stopper and have a - Christ, it stinks!

JC: Oh, does it? Not much point in using that then. To make sure of it I’ll give up shaving. (And he did) So what was the third gift? I don’t suppose they left anything useful, like gold?

F: (Looking at the ground.) Err, no chief, we didn’t see any gold. The third gift was…err...a pair of socks.

JC: Socks!? Socks…with sandals?? I don’t think that will work. You keep them.

…or maybe it didn’t happen like that at all. Who knows? One thing is certain: no man is ever so confident in his ability to buy presents that he ever destroys the receipts. He would never know where to find them, but that’s not the point.

Because it’s the festive season, just as in your favourite TV cop show, when they always have a special Christmas crime to solve, so Marsh Towers offers you a bit of fun with some unusual chess problems to tackle.

For this one, Black doesn’t move at all. Your task is to find out how many different ways you can give a check to the Black King in three moves.

White’s first move is 1 e4. Can you construct a game is which the final move is a Knight taking a Rook and delivering checkmate?
Just to balance things up for 1 d4 players…

Black is obliged to copy your moves. Under those circumstances, how soon can you force a checkmate?

The answers will follow sometime in 2008!

Meanwhile, to all those reading this at home…what are you doing in my house!?

Saturday 15 December 2007

Chess Reviews: 34

The Samisch King’s Indian Uncovered
By GM Alexander Cherniaev and FM Eduard Prokuronov
Everyman Chess

The Samisch Variation of the King’s Indian Defence arises after White’s fifth move, namely 5 f3

There are now two main ways for White to proceed. He can use the f3 pawn as a springboard for a Kingside attack (g4, h4 etc) or he can attempt a sort of blockade against Black’s standard attempts to break free from the shackles before deciding to push forward on the Queenside (a4, b4) or centre (f4, e5).

This new book starts with a short introduction followed by eight chapters, starting with 6 Be3 e5 (‘The Classical Samisch’) and moving through coverage of the Panno (6...Nc6), The Samisch Gambit (6...c5) and various other systems of play against 6 Be3 before concluding with lines leading from White’s trendy 6 Nge2 and 6 Bg5. 50 main illustrative games are used to demonstrate the various lines. However, only three are from the last two years and the bibliography is remarkably slight; only five books are listed and there is no mention of Chris Ward’s ‘The Controversial Saemisch’ (although a number of GM Ward’s games are quoted in this book).

The introduction takes a bit of a liberty by naming eight World Champions - Alekhine, Botvinnik, Tal, Petrosian, Spassky, Karpov, Kasparov and Kramnik - for whom the Saemisch ‘…has been a favourite’.

It’s certainly extremely optimistic to include Alekhine (who definitely favoured 3 g3) as one of the eight and Kasparov usually preferred other lines against The King’s Indian too. The back cover blurb does make an effort to amend the claim by putting into a more accurate context, omitting Alekhine’s name altogether and saying that the other seven ‘…have all utilized the Samisch at one time or another…’

Perhaps this could be seen as an over-critical comment but it is compounded by naming the Alekhine - Euwe game, the first illustrative snippet in the book, as match game number two from their 1926 match, when it fact it was game number three.
There are several highly controversial positions in the Samisch. One of the most famous features an extraordinary Queen sacrifice (?)

This extraordinary position arises after the moves: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 0–0 6.Be3 e5 7.d5 Nh5 8.Qd2 Qh4+ 9.g3 Nxg3 10.Qf2 Nxf1 11.Qxh4 Nxe3

The featured game in the book focuses on 12 Ke2 but a note acknowledges that 12 Qf2 - freeing h4 for the advance of the White h-pawn - is probably stronger. Perhaps it would have been better to use a game with 12 Qf2 as the feature game and games with the technically weaker 12 Ke2 should have formed the basis of the branched notes.

It seems to me that this book falls somewhere in the gap between the ‘Starting Out’ series and something more detailed. As such, it will probably fall between two different target audiences too. It’s not that the material given is bad by any means; it just feels a little bland and uninspiring.

The Complete Chess Workout
By IM Richard Palliser
Everyman Chess

Train your brain with 1200 puzzles!

In the introduction, IM Palliser explains his desire to produce a book of chess puzzles for the ‘less experienced or even average club players’.

In some ways, it’s a difficult book to review; every time I started I got caught up trying to solve the puzzles! That’s exactly the effect such a book should have on the reader.

‘Spending as little as 10-15 minutes a day on one’s tactical ability really can reap dividends’ is an excellent point and this book should keep you going for quite a few days, if not weeks.

The 1200 puzzles are split across a number of chapters, namely:

1. Warming Up
2. Attack!
3. Opening Tricks and Traps
4. Skill in the Endgame
5. Loose Pieces and Overloading
6. Fiendish Calculation
7. Test Yourself
8. Solutions

Chapter seven is split into ten tests (indeed, the title of the chapter changes to ‘Ten Tests’ from that listed on the ‘contents’ page) with points awarded for successful calculation by the reader.
Readers from North East England will be happy to spot the names and games of several local yokels. For example…

R. Donner v F.N. Stephenson
Gisborough* 2001
Black to play

D. Wise v J Blackburn
British League 2005
White to play

I always like to see examples of play from ‘real life people’ (if you know what I mean) and there’s a great freshness about this book’s selection of material.
Naturally, there are still plenty of positions from top-level Grandmasters and World Champions but not all end the way form would suggest…

A. Huzman - G. Kasparov
Rethymnon 2003
White to play

You don’t need the solutions to these samples - go ahead and try them yourself. Then go and buy the book for the other 1,197 puzzles.

This is 318 pages of pure fun.

For further details of Everyman chess books, please visit:

* Got to knock a point off here though; ‘Guisborough’ is the correct for the town and chess club (although Lord and Lady G. retain the older spelling)

Friday 14 December 2007

The Hawk v Rest of the World

Latest moves.....
1 d4 Nf6
2 c4 e6
3 Nc3 Bb4
4 Qc2 d5
5 cxd5

The Voting Statistics
4...d5 16
4...b6 7
4...0-0 6
4...Bxc3+ 6
4...Nc6 3
4...c5 2
4....Qe7 2
4....d6 1
4...Ng4 1
4...Nh5 1
Black's choices seem a little narrower now. Which move would you like to play? Vote by leaving a comment here or by emailing me at:

Friday 7 December 2007

The Hawk v Rest of the World: More Moves!

The current position of our remarkable game, in which Jonathan Hawkins (the top rated player in North East England) is taking on the whole of the Rest of the World, is:
One of the main lines of the Nimzo-Indian Defence! Which variation will The Rest of the World now adopt?
Stay tuned for further details. Meanwhile join the fun by voting for the next move. See here:

Saturday 1 December 2007

Entertainment! Part 3

Dimensions 2007
10th & 11th November
Holiday Inn, Washington
(Photos by Gary Marsh)

What do you mean…you’ve never been to a Doctor Who Convention? You don't know what you are missing...
Dimensions 2007, the latest in the highly successful series of North East Doctor Who conventions, saw a change of venue for the first time since 2002. This time it was held in Washington (Durham) and approximately 350 people came along to join the fun.

The two basic activities at conventions are:

1) The guest talks/interviews

2) The guest signings
This was the sixth such Dimensions convention I’ve attended; every single one has maintained a very high standard and there’s been an incredible number of different guests over the years including Doctors 5-8 (and more than once each!).
This year’s Doctor was none other than Colin Baker, the sixth incarnation of our favourite Timelord. Although his era on TV isn’t always seen as one of the greatest successes - in fact, it was a very troubled time - Colin has always maintained a very positive stance with the show and is a thoroughly nice chap.

His performances for the Big Finish series of audios are extremely highly regarded and to many, at least in the world of CD adventures, he is the Doctor.

Elisabeth Sladen was a popular guest too; she is famous all over again - especially with young people - thanks to her spin-off show, The Sarah Jane Adventures.

Links with the classic years of Dr Who went back all the way to the 1960s. Anneke Wills (Polly) was a welcome addition to this year's guests.

It often happens that a guest has to cancel their attendance fairly late on due to work commitments. The organisers pulled off a major coup when they announced that one of their late replacements was none other Honor Blackman!

Although better known as Cathy Gale in the early days of The Avengers and then as Pussy Galore in Goldfinger, she did indeed appear in four episodes of Dr. Who in the 1980s. Her presence was clearly one of the highlights of the weekend.

It’s the first time I’ve seen John Levene (UNIT’s Sergeant Benton). He comes across as a complex character. He was there the whole weekend and seemed in good humour on the Saturday, when he shared a panel with Katy Manning (Jo Grant).

However, he was rather melancholy the following day. His solo panel contained many quite morose moments and was not really in keeping with the general trend of the weekend which was, after all, a celebratory affair.

It’s always good to hear from guests with a different perspective on the show. Graham Cole - best known as PC Stamp in The Bill - was the man inside monsters such as the Cybermen, Melkur and the Marshmen.

He had lots to say about trials and tribulations regarding such difficult work. An extraordinary amount of patience is required to spend seemingly endless hours encased in rubber and plastic.

Timelash, as story form 1985 and recently released on DVD, was written by Glen McCoy and he was on hand to talk about his experiences from script to screen. He gave an interesting insight into the somewhat haphazard procedures of the time. (The picture shows Glen with Nicola Brynat, who played Peri.)

The guest talks can take several different forms. Sometimes it’s a straight forward one-to-one with an interviewer, sometimes it’s a panel of several people. Occasionally one guest will take an hour all on their own. There is always the opportunity for the audience to ask questions towards the end of each session; these range from the bog-standard ‘What was your favourite story’ to the much more obscure, occasionally attempting to plumb extraordinary depth from something quite banal.

Queuing for autographs can take up time and sometimes it means missing a panel. However, it is usually worth the effort to spend a minute or two chatting with the stars. The general rule at Dimensions is: two free autographs per person, although this sometimes drops down to one per person if schedules are tight. The queues seemed to go down faster than at the Swallow Hotel. Part of the problem with the latter venue was that long lines of people tended to stretch across the busy bar area and things could get a little disjointed.

There’s always a sinister collection of monsters walking around, including the Ood, a scarecrow and Clockwork men, not to mention a number of the audience dressed up as various Doctors and companions.

Organisers 1oth Planet ( have already announced that Dimensions 2008 will be back in North East England on 15th & 16th of next November. Put that date in your diary now!

Lucinda Williams
The Plug, Sheffield
(Photos by Peter Chick)

Lucinda Williams is one of the music world’s best-kept secrets. With her songs crossing the boundaries of rock, country and folk and dealing with subjects such as love, loss and longing, there’s little wonder that the throw away, ‘famous for five minutes’ (if that) scene has failed to detect her magnificence.

The current ‘West’ tour offered only three dates in England; two were in London but I went for the more Northern option of Sheffield.

It was ‘standing only’ at The Plug. The doors opened at seven but there was no support act and Lucinda and her band didn’t come on until 9.00 p.m. so it was quite a long standing wait. However, once they did take to the stage, the wait was quickly forgotten. I had a great view, with only about eight rows of people in front of me. Thus the show had a very intimate feel to it.

The intimacy was enhanced further by the opening selection of songs; hearfelt ballads including Lake Charles and Mama You Sweet although the tempo was raised soon enough. My favourites were Righteously, Those Three Days and Joy. The guitar work on the latter track just had to be seen - and heard - to be believed.

Lucinda kept changing her original set list when she sensed the mood of the audience and often started a song shouted out by a fan, following a quick, whispered word with each band member. I lost count of the number of different guitars Doug Pettibone used throughout the show but one thing is clear - he is a superb musician and deserves to be much better known.

New songs (to me, at least) were Honey Bee and Jailhouse Tears (a duet with Doug). Both should appear on the next album.

After a break of a couple of minutes they were back on stage for a fabulous encore of no less than five songs: Side Of The Road (a beautiful surprise) Essence, Come On, Unsuffer Me and, of course, West. Then the concert finally drew to a close at 11.30 p.m. It had been a fabulous, memorable night and it had more than lived up to expectations.

The only unfortunate thing about the evening was that it clashed with the critical England v Croatia football match I got back to the hotel (just five minutes’ walk from the venue - well planned!) and the first thing I did was check the CEEFAX for the England score. My brain struggled to take it all in…clearly there had been lots of goals but quite a few seemed to be against us! The horrible truth suddenly struck home. What a catastrophe - England beaten and out! And three long years till the next World Cup.

Looks like I definitely chose the right entertainment on that night!

Chess Reviews: 33

Chess Success: Planning After The Opening
By GM Neil McDonald

‘There are plenty of chess books that cover openings, but not so many that tell you what to do next. Every player had encountered problems once the opening phase of the game has ended, and this book provides solutions. Renowned chess author Neil McDonald guides you through a selection of over 40 recent instructive and entertaining Grandmaster games, all of which illustrate how sound planning and a clear head can help you through that critical post-opening phase.’

This interesting middle game manual examines various methods of play arising from different pawn structures. Over the course of the 270 pages, each of the eight chapters provides examples based on a specific set up.

1. The smiting style
‘Smites’, or ‘…moves that attempt to land a combinative blow on the opponent‘, are rife in the first, very entertaining chapter.

Consider the following position.

Ahn v Ruck
Belgium 2007

Black lit the blue touch paper with 9...Nxe4!! And by move 16 White’s King had been kicked all the way to e6 and his journey is not yet over!

2.Delaying the moment of tactical truth

Chapter 2 takes a look at positions with blocked centres, particularly those stemming from The Ruy Lopez and King’s Indian Defence.

3. Super symmetry

Symmetrical centres with the battle for control of an open line. The final position of Karpov - Polgar (Las Palmas 1994) is an excellent demonstration of an ideal scenario:

4. The support point centre

For example…

…in which the support point at d4 may be successfully used by White pieces (especially Knights). The definition includes the prerequisite that the opponent isn’t able to attack the critical square with a pawn.

5. A prickly customer: The Hedgehog

Hedgehog structures provide a lot of flexibility for the defender. The key game of this chapter is a titanic struggle between GM McDonald and chess legend GM Bronstein.

6. Dr Jekyll and Mr Steinitz

The Jekyll and Hyde character of the Isolated Queen’s Pawn. Sometimes it’s a great strength, providing supported outposts in the opponent’s camp but sometimes, inherently stripped of support, it dies a horrible death. The key game of the chapter sees Steinitz badly misplaying an IQP position in a World Championship match against Lasker.

7. The dilemma of d5

Black’s dilemma in structures arising from the Queen’s Gambit (and other openings ) is the subject of this chapter. Should Black release the tension or attempt to hold fast in the centre? Spin-off sections include a discussion of the Minority Attack.

8. Roaring lion and crouching tiger

This chapter takes a look at certain Indian defence structures which enable White to expand dynamically with an unfettered pawn centre. This the lion might roar forwards but there are often dangers from crouching tigers along the way.

Each chapter starts off with a pertinent quote or two to set the scene but these are not always by chess players; chapter seven begins with the lyrics ‘Should I stay or should I go’ by The Clash.

As usual with a book from the pen of GM McDonald, the material is bang up to date. For example, the crushing Catalan victory by Kramnik over Carlsen (Dortmund 2007) receives over six pages of instructive annotation. Indeed, the former World Champion is well represented here with five of his games on display.

This is an instructive book by a thoughtful writer. Club players who would like to improve their play and are tired of stuffing endless opening lines into their heads will find much of interest here.

For further details of all Batsfird chess books please visit:

Sunday 25 November 2007

Chess Reviews: 32

The Caro-Kann
By GM Peter Wells

Gambit Publications

The Caro-Kann is a famously solid chess opening and one which I’m always surprised isn’t used much more often by club players.

It’s fairly easy to play and the basic ideas are relatively straight forward. There’s much less theory to learn compared to main-line Sicilians.

I expected this book to concentrate on the 4…Nd7 lines and was pleasantly surprised to see that all of the main lines are covered. Indeed, following a short introduction the first lines to be analysed are the old main lines with 4 ..Bf5. Black traditionally allows White to build up a space advantage, particularly on the Kingside, hoping to fight back later and prove that White’s early space-gaining lunges are premature.

A few years ago a slightly different move order became popular for Black. After 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Bf5 5 Ng3 Bg6 6 h4 h6 7 Nf3 …

.…7 …Nf6 was in vogue, with the idea that the natural looking 8 Ne5 would be nullified by a delayed …Nbd7, whereupon White may well lose time after a retreat or an exchange. I’m by no means ’a child of Informator’ (or whatever the equivalent is these days) but I didn’t know that theory had already turned against this idea. So anyone interested in that line for Black should really have a peep at the suggestions given by GM Wells and avoid any forthcoming unpleasant surprises.

There’s plenty of verbal notes aimed at giving the reader a real understanding of the ideas involved, rather than just trying to copy a load of Grandmaster moves.

The coverage is thorough; this is not ‘just’ a repertoire book. For example, against the (still underrated) Panov-Botvinnik Attack (1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 exd5 cxd5 4 c4) GM Wells take a good look not only at the trendy lines involving an early …Nc6, but also the Karpovian favourites with …Nf6/…e6 and even the completely unfashionable …g6 variations.

Incidentally, the author also lays an old ghost with the dismissal of the Gunderam Attack (- or ‘bowling Gunderam' as we used to say ‘down the club'; popular at club level from time to time thanks to it being recommended in an old Keene and Levy repertoire book). The antidote given here should spoil White’s fun…

…unless, as White, you would see the funny side of playing this position.

Avoiding the whitewash approach so often adopted to make everything in a particular opening look like a forced win (a common error in opening manuals), this book includes plenty of White wins to, demonstrating admirable objectivity.

All in all, this is an excellent guide to the Caro-Kann Defence with lucid explanations.

Winning Quickly at Chess
By GM John Nunn

Gambit Publications

An expanded version of 101 Brilliant Chess Miniatures takes the game count up to 125. All of the games are post-1970 and feature top-level players. Each game is given a page or two and the notes are generally brief.

The 16 page introduction contains the real meat of the book, diligently highlighting the causes of quick defeats over 16 pages. Unfortunately the bulk of the book doesn’t live up to the early promise. From pages 25 to 252 there are lots of crushing victories but with little in the way of further instruction as to how to adopt such methods in one’s own games.

As a collection of sparkling miniatures it’s fine, but it comes across as something of a pot-boiler, with little in the way of ‘Grandmaster Secrets’ on display. One for entertainment rather than self-improvement, methinks.

Some of the games are very well known but here’s a couple of snippets from some others that caught my eye…

Tal v Olafsson
Las Palmas 1975

One would expect to find Tal’s name throughout a book on crushing miniatures but here he is on the receiving end. Olafsson uncorked: 22 …Qf4!! here, exploiting White’s back-rank weakness. Tal couldn’t hold on much longer: 23.Re7 Rf8 24.Qa5 Rd1+ 25.Ne1 Qg5! and again! 0–1

Emms v Summerscale
London 1997
22 Rxh7! and perhaps you, dear reader, can work out how White wins from then on.

50 Ways to Win at Chess
By FM Steve Giddins

Gambit Publications

Billed as a sequel to 50 Essential Chess Lessons, 50 Ways to Win at Chess follows the same format and presents a fine selection of instructive games with fine notes.

The games are grouped according to theme, namely:

Attack and Defence
Opening play
Thematic endings
Other Aspects of Strategy
Endgame themes
Psychology in Action

Each game typically receives between two and four pages, with explanatory notes being, in the main, verbal rather than long strings of analysis.

It’s good to see some lesser-known games, including some from English events. At first glance, the exhibition game between David Howell and Vladimir Kramnik might seem an odd choice for deep annotations but it is in fact an excellently chosen example offering a real insight into the secrets of the Berlin Defence.

FM Giddins gives nearly a whole page of explanatory notes on the subtleties of this position. I certainly had a better understanding of this line after I’d read about it. I had no idea White had to be so careful to avoid standing worse.

The layout is easy on the eye, with new games starting on new pages and plenty of diagrams.
One final point: Steve Giddins is a ‘only’ FIDE Master but this book is further proof that titles don’t matter much when it comes to writing about chess.

I know some players who don’t trust written analysis by non-GMs (perhaps a little naïve; ghost writers exist in all genres and the name on the cover doesn’t always prove the ownership of the pen) but anyone reading this fine book should happily revise their opinion on whether or not ‘GM’ needs to precede an author’s name to make it a worthwhile book. Definitely the pick of this month’s bunch.

For further details of Gambit books, please visit: