Master Class Garry Kasparov

Today on playchess.com

Power Play Show

– With his Power play show GM Daniel King tries to explain difficult themes in a comprehensive and easy way. Improvement guaranteed! Starting at 9 pm! Entry fee: 50 Ducats, Premium free! View the whole schedule!

News

Fritz 15 - English Version

New Fritz, new friend

€69.90

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.

€19.95

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.

€29.90

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.

€29.90

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.

€12.99

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.

€29.90

Trompowsky for the attacking player

Tap into your creative mind and start the game on a fresh note. The Trompowsky (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5) is an opening outside of conventional wisdom. Create challenges and make your opponent solve problems early on.

€29.90

Advertising
Books, boards, sets: Chess Niggemann

Caro-Kann Panov Attack

12/29/2004 – Steve Lopez doesn't just hate the Panov Attack; he loathes it. Steve would rather undergo oral surgery without anesthetic than face 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 as the player of the Black pieces. But a recent Air Post package saved him a call to the dentist. Here are his impressions of IM Zoran Petronijevic's new ChessBase Training CD in the latest installment of ChessBase Workshop.
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.

More...

CARO-KANN PANOV ATTACK

previewed by Steve Lopez

If you've spent more than five or ten minutes reading Interrant chess message boards, you've doubtless seen the question. It's arguably the most often asked question by beginners. The question takes many forms: "How do you develop a chess opening repertoire?" or "How do you know what's the best opening move for White/Black?" or "How do I know what to play after ---?" But the questions all boil down to the same thing.

"How do I know what to play in the opening?"

It's a great question, really. How does a player settle on an opening repertoire, an arsenal of opening moves with which he's comfortable?

I was faced with that question myself early in my tournament chess "career". I'm no master -- not by a longshot -- but I'll tell you what ultimately worked for me: I developed an opening repertoire based on sound openings that limited the number of my opponent's possible responses. For example, as Black I used to follow 1.e4 with 1...e5. While there's certainly nothing wrong with that, I found that it didn't work for me because there were just too many openings that followed these moves and White usually called the shots. I eventually settled on 1...c6 as a followup to 1.e4; the Caro-Kann has a limited number of subvariations (when compared to, say, the Sicilian Defense) -- there are only x number of ways White can meet 1...c6 effectively (and x is in this case a pretty small number). I grew to love the Caro-Kann, won a lot of games with it, and knew I was on the right track after the fifteenth or twentieth time an opponent saw 1...c6 and whispered, "Aw, man, I hate that!"

But I'll let you in on a secret: there are a couple of things White can play against 1...c6 that I hate with a passion, and they both start with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5. Yes, ladies and gents, the secret it out: I loathe the Panov Attack and the Exchange Variation with a blind passionate hatred. Why? Because both of them put me someplace I did not want to be when I played 1...c6.

That's why I was on the horns of a dilemma when I opened the latest Air Post package from Hamburg and saw the ChessBase training CD Caro-Kann Panov Attack by IM Zoran Petronijevic. "Oh, great," I thought, "a CD that tells White players all about how to whip up on the Caro." My first impulse was to use it as skeet -- that's how much I hate 3.exd5. But I did the sensible thing instead: I unwrapped the disk and popped it into my computer.

I'm glad I did. The author quelled my fears in his Preface when he wrote: "In the theoretical articles and the annotated games, I tried to remain objective. Many books about openings have the disadvantage that they are not objective: authors 'root' for one of the sides and do not pay enough attention to difficulties which arise in the opening." So IM Petronijevic hasn't written a "White to Play and Smash the Caro" disk; there's going to be information for players of the Black pieces too.

And talk about a lot of information! The author has included 145 texts on this CD! We're not talking about piddly little two-paragraph pages, either; the shortest text I've seen so far would run two to three pages in a print book.

Let's take a look at how the CD is structured. After the Preface, in which the author discusses his philosophy behind the CD and advises the reader on how best to use it, we come to the Introduction. In this section alone Petronijevic somehow manages to provide us with a historical overview of the opening's development, a description of the opening's basic ideas, and a discussion of typical positions arising from the Panov. This last section divides the opening into seven different types of basic positions and illustrates them with a couple of dozen illustrative games for each of these types. By the time you finish this section (assuming you've replayed all of the games) you've already covered as much (or more) material as you receive in a standard print book on an opening -- but this is just the Introduction!

This is followed up with 142 separate articles on different variations in the Panov and Exchange Variations. The CD's structure follows a "building block" approach, in which many of the articles build on the previous one. This provides a nice, orderly, hierarchal structure rather than a haphazard approach; it's a necessity considering the sheer volume of material presented on the CD.

The typical article on this CD discusses a variation move-by-move -- the idea behind each move is explained in detailed, yet clear, language. Links to illustrative games are embedded in the text where appropriate. Each article ends with a verbal assessment of the variation, followed by links to important illustrative games. Most of these games are annotated and are grouped according to whether they were annotated by the author or are taken from other ChessBase sources. How extensive are these articles? Any of these articles, published in print form along with the related annotated games, could be an opening monograph in itself. There is truly an astounding amount of instructional information contained on the CD!

The database doesn't stop with the texts; there are a whopping great number of games included. The CD's game database, less the opening texts themselves, contains more than 25,700 games of the Panov and Exchange Variations (etronijevic codes B13 and B14).

And there's still more. Also included is a training database of sixty-four games containing timed training questions which let you test how well you've learned the material presented on the disk. Also included is an opening tree containing 491,611 unique positions derived from the merger of more than 25,000 games. You can use this tree as an overview of the variation tree, a statistical resource to see how well certain moves succeeded in actual tournament games, and as an alternative opening book for the Fritz "family" of playing programs (to force your chess program to play nothing but the Panov & Exchange Variations). And the CD includes a copy of ChessBase Reader, making the product self-contained -- no other software is required.

The amount of labor that went into the writing of this CD is mind-numbing. IM Petronijevic has created a CD which contains more original information than an entire shelf full of chess books. But what's even more amazing is how accessible Caro-Kann Panov Attack is; the instruction is written clearly, understandably, and is suitable for club players as well as professionals.

I won't try to snow you here: there's a lot of information on the disk and it's going to take a lot of time for you to completely finish the material. This isn't a course that you'll finish in an evening or two -- we're talking about the possibility of weeks of reading here. But when you're finished, you'll be a lot better and more confident of your skills in both the Panov Attack and Exchange Variation of the Caro-Kann.

Will I, as a player of the Black pieces, still hate the Panov/Exchange after I finish this CD? Almost certainly so -- it's still someplace I don't want to go whenever I play 1...c6. But I'll also be a lot more confident of my ability to thwart what White planned when he decided to swap off a pair of pawns on d5. That's ultimately what a chess training CD is all about and constitutes a pretty fine recommendation.

Until next week, have fun!


© 2004, Steven A. Lopez. All rights reserved.

Feedback and mail to our news service Please use this account if you want to contribute to or comment on our news page service
Topics review

See also

Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register