Opening Encyclopaedia 2016

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Creating Chaos in Calm Waters

– In this show, Simon will be taking a look at some interesting ways of meeting Anti-Sicilian lines, mainly 3 Bb5+ and 2 c3. Rather then entering into somewhat dull positions you may have the chance to play an early ...g5!? Tune in at 6 pm CEST for the action! View the whole schedule!


Fritz 15 - English Version

New Fritz, new friend


Evans Gambit for the new generation

The Evans Gambit is an attempt to destroy Black in gambit fashion straight out of the opening. Featuring games of old, and numerous new and exciting ideas, this DVD will give you a genuine and more exciting way of playing the Giuoco Piano.


ChessBase Magazine 174

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (Bilbao, Saint Louis and Dortmund) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 11 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.


How to exchange pieces

Learn to master the right exchange! Let the German WGM Elisabeth Pähtz show you how to gain a strategic winning position by exchanging pieces of equal value or to safely convert material advantage into a win.


ChessBase Magazine Extra 173

A solid concept against Benoni: Learn from GM Pert how to win with the Fianchetto Variation (video). Classics put to test: Robert Ris shows Fischer-Kholmov (1965) with an impressive knight sacrifice by the Russian (video). Plus 44,889 new games.


Master Class Vol.7: Garry Kasparov

On this DVD a team of experts gets to the bottom of Kasparov’s play. In over 8 hours of video running time the authors Rogozenko, Marin, Reeh and Müller cast light on four important aspects of Kasparov’s play: opening, strategy, tactics and endgame.


Pawn structures you should know

Every pawn structure has its typical plans and to know these plans helps you to find your way in these positions. On this DVD Mikhalchishin presents and explains the most common central structures: The Hedgehog, the Maroczy, Hanging pawns and the Isolani.


Books, boards, sets: Chess Niggemann

An easy way to chess improvement

7/10/2006 – Lower and middle strength chess players often find it hard to improve their play. Replaying hundreds of games is too exhausting and time consuming. IM Andrew Martin's DVD "The Scandinavian – The Easy Way" promises the reverse. Learn to master an ambitious repertoire against 1.e4 in a three hours Chess Media course. Review.
Opening Encyclopedia 2016

Opening Encyclopedia 2016

In chess, braving the gap often leads to disaster after a few moves. We should be able to avoid things going so far. The ChessBase Opening Encyclopaedia offers you an effective remedy against all sorts of semi-digested knowledge and a means of building up a comprehensive and powerful repertoire.


Andrew Martin: The Scandinavian – The Easy Way
Review by Alex Furman

"Forgive me Caissa for I have sinned! I was vain and I was a snob but I shall be like that no more. IM Andrew Martin and ChessBase helped me redeem my chess soul. But let me start the story of my redemption from the beginning. I always believed that the way to start learning a new opening is by buying a book and studying it carefully, analyzing every game with the help of my good old chess set, first understanding the book and then trying for my own improvements and novelties.

Well, I was right and I was wrong. I was right because in order to master a chess opening you must do your own analysis and have your own opinion on what is going on. This deep understanding can only be achieved from sitting by the table with a chess set and moving the pieces. Yet, I was also wrong, as I learnt from Martin’s “The Scandinavian – The Easy Way”. I was wrong because my ideal of sitting by the table for hours, filling notebooks with my ideas was good only for the chess professionals of the 1950’s, the likes of Botvinnik. In real life, I have no more than a few hours of chess per week (usually during the evening) and in the little time that I have I cannot invent that many groundbreaking opening novelties.  

So I started looking for an “easy way” for chess improvement (and hopefully a few easy wins on the internet). For that reason I decided to break my routine and try a chess DVD. “If ChessBase can stand up for what they promise on the back cover,” I thought to myself, “this may be just what I am looking for.” (Mind you that the back cover says “This DVD will be a boon to all chess players, but particularly to the busy person with limited time for study or those who wish to incorporate a new defense into their Black repertoire with the minimum possible hassle.”) Yet a tone in me, a more severe one, said, “there is no easy way to learn an opening. You must work hard, Chessbug, and not hope for easy wins after watching a three-hour video.” So before I share with you my extremely positive experience let us see what the contents of the DVD are.

Main Lines 6th moves:

6.Be3:  23:23 min.
6.g3: 13:43 min.
6.Bc4:  13:43 min.
6.Bd3:  14:21 min.
6.Be2:  08:00 min.
6.Ne5: 14:25 min.
6.Bg5; 6.h3:  13:12 min.
Summary of 6th moves:  00:39 min.

Various other moves:
5.Bc4; 6.Nge2:  06:44 min.
5.Be2:  12:06 min.
Various 5th moves:  06:01 min.
4.g3:  11:11 min.
3.Nf3:  11:51 min.
3.d4:  10:58 min.
Miscellaneous 2nd moves:  06:18 min.

Outro:  00:35 min
Total Time: Three Hours and 10 seconds ( 3:00:10 )

So how much can you learn from three hours?

Well I decided to make a small experiment. Since I never played the Scandinavian before, I figured I would be the perfect subject of the experiment. I decided to watch the introduction, play the Scandinavian as Black on the net and then go back to the DVD and watch the relevant chapter whenever I tackle a move I did not see earlier. So I started executing my plan by watching the first two chapters, this was also my first meeting with the video and interface and it was a great first-date.

ChessBase made an excellent choice in taking Martin as the “host” of the video. Martin is friendly and charismatic, his speech is clear and he communicates a lot of confidence in the repertoire he suggests (by the way, the Scandinavian that he teaches in the DVD is the 3…Qd6 variation).

Going back to my experiment, in the first games I got reasonable positions but lost my first three encounters. I remained optimistic because on the second game I had a mate-in-one which I missed and on the third game I encountered the Blackmar-Diemer gambit (1 e4 d5 2 d4) which I never played before so this should not be counted. On the fourth game I arrived at a totally won position but my time ran out before I mated White’s lone king – a draw. At that point in time my real life demanded my attention so I had to call it a day.

The Scandinavian - The Easy Way (click here to replay sample in reduced quality)...

I started the second day of the experiment by watching the chapter about second moves (including the Blackmar-Diemer gambit) and some of the 6th move options. I found the “6 Ne5” chapter to be a real delight. In this chapter Martin shows you a super-creative attacking game by Black, not the only beautiful game in the DVD but my personal favorite. After I watched these chapters I felt ready to go back “to the laboratory” and test myself against the best and finest of the internet. In order to have more time for the opening I changed the time control to 5 minutes per game instead of the three-minute games I played on the first day. The results in the second day were quite amazing and this is when I changed my mind about “the easy way” in chess. I like the easy way! I could not believe how many White players went for 6 Bc4 only to give me a tempo with b5 soon to be followed by the thematic c5. I never believed achieving equality in Black was so easy. Now it only remains for me to master the middlegame and endgame and I am going to crash my rivals ;-). Seriously, about 90% of my rivals’ answers were covered in Martin’s DVD (a painful exception was 2 Nf3, Tennison-Lemberg gambit which Martin did not cover). I still believe that if one is serious about taking the Scandinavian 3…Qd6 as his or her main weapon one will have at some point to work with a book and with databases but as a “road test” I think this DVD works better than any book (Oh! How many years did I waste in vain!) It is enjoyable, it is easy to follow, does not take too much of your time and gives surprisingly good results.

Buy it now...

After four days I watched all the chapters (some of them more than once) and played about 30-40 Blitz games in the Scandinavian. My results remained as good as in the second day even though I caught a cold (or was the cold just an excuse to stay home and play chess?) As I said I miss the Tennison-Lemberg gambit and the chapter on “Other 5th moves” was also too rushed for my taste though none of my rivals used any of these moves so far, which means it practically does not matter. It is also worthwhile to mention Martin’s self humor when he mentions how he lost miserably (the “6 Bd3” chapter). I guess in these DVDs a lot depends on the master’s personality and Martin is a great performer and teacher. One day, when I grow up I will buy a Scandinavian book and check Martin’s variants in depth but as a practical guide to first time Scandinavian players this DVD, except for a few minor flaws mentioned above, is quite close to perfect. “The Scandinavian – The Easy Way ” lives up to its word.

The Good Things:

  • Andrew Martin is a charismatic and enjoyable teacher

  • The material is well organized and easy to follow

  • There are enough options in the interface for the viewer to make his choice but not too many options

The Bad Things:

  • The Tennison-Lemberg gambit is not covered
  • When moving from chapter to chapter (at least on my computer) the program has to be closed and re-opened or else it crashes

The Bottom Line: This product promises what I thought would be impossible and it keeps the promise. I highly recommend “The Scandinavian – The Easy Way” to anyone who is not a chess professional and would like to experiment with a new repertoire against 1.e4.

Rating: Interface – 9/10, Content – 9.5/10

Full review at


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