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ChessBase Magazine 150 – looking back at Biel and Dortmund

1/2/2013 – CBM 150, which comes as a DVD and booklet, contains 20 tournaments with nearly 100 annotated games. It has live commentary, notes by outstanding experts, 13 detailed opening surveys, ranging from the Slav to the Sicilian, strategy, tactics, endgames – something for everyone. CBM 151 is out, but before reviewing it Prof. Nagesh Havanur looks back with a touch of nostalgia at volume 150.
 

"ChessBase Magazine 150 is packed with enough material to keep even the greediest of chess students feel that there hunger has been satiated for some time to come. The tournament coverage includes comprehensive reports from Biel and Dortmund. Indeed, in the case of the former there are numerous videos featuring post-mortem analysis by the players themselves, running at 1 hour and 40 minutes!" – From a review by Sean Marsh.

ChessBase Magazine # 150 (DVD + Booklet)

Review by Prof. Nagesh Havanur

Professional chess is a world that knows no mercy. Often “nice” guys finish last and “mean” guys finish first. So on the rare occasion when a nice guy finishes on top he deserves applause. And who is a nice guy, if not Wang Hao, that gifted player from China? Yet when he was declared winner of the recently concluded Biel tournament there were dissenting voices. No, it was nothing personal. It was all about the three point rule that enabled Wang to come first. On the normal count he should have finished second with 6.5/10 (+6, =1, –3) and Carlsen first with 7/10 (+4, =6, –0). But the three point rule gave him a whopping score of 19 points as against Carlsen’s 18. The irony was not lost on observers: Magnus had not only remained unbeaten, but also inflicted two defeats on Wang in this tournament.


Where did I go wrong? – Wang Hao and Magnus Carlsen in Biel

A ChessBase reader wryly commented: "Karpov has long ago made clear the stupidity of the 3-1-0 points system. Take a nine-round tournament: one who wins three games and loses six games gets the same amount of points as the one who scores nine draws. Well, one more proof with Biel 2012."

While I agree with the observation I should mention that Wang Hao played his heart out in this tournament and took some terrible risks to score as well as he did. ChessBase Magazine 150 gives him his due and also offers a comprehensive view of the event.


Wang Hao, the first Chinese player to win an international Super GM tournament

One player who could have added greater zest to the tournament was Alexander Morozevich. Sadly, he had to quit on account of illness, but not before this entertaining game that saw him at the receiving end.

[Event "Biel 2012"] [Site "?"] [Date "2012.07.24"] [Round "?"] [White "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Black "Morozevich, Alexander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D31"] [WhiteElo "2713"] [BlackElo "2770"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 (2... c6 {leads to Main Slav.}) 3. Nc3 c6 {Now we have Semi-Slav Defence.} 4. e4 {The Marshall Gambit.} dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 (6. Nc3 {is not in the spirit of the opening initiated by 4. e4. It would save the d-pawn, but lose the initiative. After} c5 {Black gains easy equality-NSH}) 6... Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 ({The other line} 8. Ne2 {leads to great complications after} Na6 9. Bf8 Ne7 (9... Kxf8 $4 10. Qd8#) 10. Bxg7 Nb4 $5 { -NSH} (10... Rg8 {is rather tame.})) 8... Na6 ({If} 8... Qxg2 $6 9. Bf3 Qg5 10. Ne2 Na6 11. Bc3 Nf6 12. Rg1 Qf5 13. Nd4 Qe5+ 14. Kf1 $36 {according to Ruslan Scherbakov's analysis at ChessPublishing.com.}) ({Not} 8... Nf6 $6 9. Qd6 c5 10. Bxc5 $16 {-NSH}) (8... c5 9. Bxc5 Qxg2 10. Bf3 Qg5 11. Ba3 $13) 9. Bd6 Qxg2 10. Qd2 {Precisely played.} (10. Bf3 {would be less accurate on account of} Qg5 {and White would not be able to castle and take advantage of his lead in development -NSH}) 10... e5 $5 {This move sacrificing a pawn for developing the bishop on c8 has been played before.} (10... Qxh1 $4 11. O-O-O Qe4 (11... Nf6 12. Bf3 $18) 12. Be7 $1 $18) (10... Nf6 {is the main continuation.}) 11. Bxe5 Bf5 (11... Qxh1 $4 12. O-O-O $18 {as in the previous line.}) 12. Bf3 (12. O-O-O Qe4 $1 13. Bd3 Qxd3 14. Qxd3 Bxd3 15. Bxg7 Nb4 $13) 12... Qg6 13. O-O-O Nc5 14. Qe3 Bb1 $1 {Not afraid of ghosts. Morozevich ignores the possible discovered check and threatens mate in one.} 15. Rd2 ({On} 15. Bd6+ {Krasenkow gives an incredible variation} Ne6 16. Qb3 O-O-O $1 17. Bxc6 Nc5 $1 (17... bxc6 $2 18. Qb8+ Kd7 19. Bc7+ Bd3 20. Bxd8 Nxd8 21. Nf3 f6 22. Rhe1 $18 {-NSH}) 18. Bxc5 Rxd1+ 19. Qxd1 Qxc6 20. Qg4+ Kb8 21. Qg3+ Kc8 22. Kxb1 Qxh1 23. Qxg7 Qe4+ 24. Kc1 Qxc4+ 25. Kd1 Qxc5 26. Qxh8 $11) 15... Bxa2 {Again threatening mate in one.} 16. Bd6+ Ne6 17. Be4 Qh6 18. f4 Nf6 19. Nf3 Bxc4 20. Re1 O-O-O ({ Krasenkow prefers} 20... Nd5 21. Qf2 (21. Bxd5 Bxd5 22. f5 O-O-O 23. Qxh6 gxh6 24. fxe6 Rxd6 25. exf7 Rhd8 $19 {-NSH}) 21... Rd8 $13 {Black is already three pawns up. If he weathers the storm he may even win-NSH}) 21. Bxc6 $1 (21. Qxa7 $4 Rxd6 22. Rxd6 Qxf4+ 23. Rd2 Nxe4 24. Qa8+ Kc7 25. Qxh8 Qxf3 $19 {-NSH}) 21... Ba6 $2 {Morozevich must have been under the hallucination that he would be mated if he took the proffered bishop. As Krasenkow shows, there was a defence.} (21... bxc6 $1 22. Qxa7 Rxd6 23. Qa8+ (23. Rxd6 $4 Qxf4+ $19) 23... Kc7 $11 {White has nothing better than perpetual check.} ({Not} 23... Kd7 $4 24. Qb7+ Nc7 25. Ne5+ $18 {-NSH})) 22. Ng5 Nxg5 23. Bd7+ $1 {An elegant finish. } ({The prosaic} 23. fxg5 {also wins.}) 23... Kxd7 (23... Nxd7 24. Qc3+ $18) ( 23... Rxd7 24. Qc5+ Kd8 25. Be7+ Ke8 26. Qc8+ $18) 24. Qe7+ Kc6 25. Qc7+ {and White mates in two moves.} 1-0

A brilliant miniature with fine annotations by Krasenkow in CBM 150. Do not miss other heavyweight battles like Wang Hao-Carlsen in which Black knights perform some wonders to give Magnus a victory.

The other major event, Dortmund, was won by Caruana ahead of Karjakin and Kramnik who finished second and third. The Dortmund trophy is no longer the preserve of Vladimir Kramnik, who has won it a record number of ten times in the past. In this tournament he did play some inspired chess as in the game against Gustafsson.


Shall I surprise him? Vladimir Kramnik at the start of game against...


... German GM Jan Gustafsson: Vlad playing the King’s Indian? Am I dreaming?

But a marathon draw with Peter Leko left him completely drained. Sensing his weariness, Caruana, his next round opponent attacked from the start and was rewarded for his effort. The game is well annotated by the winner in CBM 150. The opening in the above game deserves a special mention: Caruana met Kramnik’s Berlin Wall with 4.d3 reaching a complex middlegame. One wonders what would have happened if Kasparov had adopted a similar strategy against Kramnik in the Brain Games World Championship 2000 instead of struggling with all those dreary endings, essentially a Vlad territory.


Something for everyone: a boat-load of content on the ChessBase Magazine 150 DVD

This brings me to the other sections of the Magazine. There are 13 detailed opening surveys ranging from the Slav to the Sicilian. Among them I would single out Evgeny Postny’s update on the Caro-Kann Classical Variation and Martin Breutigam’s delineation of the Trompowsky Attack with 3. h4!? The other surveys are as good. However, I do not share Arkadij Rotstein’s enthusiasm for the Snake Benoni. The black bishop is first developed at d6 and then forced to retreat to f8. His only hope for activity is placement at g7 after …g6. All this amounts to poor development and loss of time. In my view the Modern Benoni is a more logical system. Here the bishop is posted at g7 in the beginning itself.

Apart from these surveys, there are the regular exercises in opening traps and middle game tactics. Essentially, these exercises are aimed at the intermediate player. However, Karsten Müller’s commentary on endings belongs to a higher order. Here is a glimpse of the analysis.

[Event "World Rapid Final"] [Site "Astana"] [Date "2012.07.07"] [Round "8"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C76"] [WhiteElo "2837"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Mueller,Karsten"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2012.07.01"] [EventType "tourn (rapid)"] [EventCountry "KAZ"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2012.09.14"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 Bd7 6. d4 g6 7. O-O Bg7 8. d5 Nce7 9. Bxd7+ Qxd7 10. Be3 h6 11. Nfd2 f5 12. f3 Nf6 13. c4 O-O 14. Nc3 g5 15. c5 Ng6 16. exf5 Qxf5 17. Nde4 Nxe4 18. fxe4 Qxf1+ 19. Qxf1 Rxf1+ 20. Rxf1 dxc5 21. Bxc5 Bf8 22. Be3 Bd6 23. Ne2 Rf8 24. Rc1 Ne7 25. Ng3 b6 26. Nf1 Kf7 27. Nd2 Ke8 28. Rf1 Rxf1+ 29. Kxf1 Kf7 30. Ke2 b5 31. Nb3 c6 32. Bc5 Bxc5 33. Nxc5 cxd5 34. Nxa6 dxe4 35. Nc7 Nf5 36. Kd2 Nh4 37. Nxb5 Nxg2 38. a4 Ke7 39. a5 Kd7 40. Nc3 e3+ 41. Ke2 g4 42. b4 h5 43. a6 Kc6 44. b5+ Kb6 45. Nd5+ Ka7 46. Nf6 Kb6 47. Nd7+ Ka7 48. Nxe5 Nf4+ 49. Kxe3 Ne6 50. Nc6+ Kb6 51. Nd4 Nc7 52. Kf4 Kc5 53. Kg5 Kxd4 54. Kxh5 Nxb5 55. Kxg4 {The rook's pawn is the worst enemy of the knight and Carlsen even has two of them. But Mamedyarov could still have saved himself: Der Turmbauer ist der schlimmste Feind des Springers, und Carlsen hat sogar zwei davon. Aber dennoch hätte Mamedyarov sich retten können:} Nc7 $2 { This retreat allows the a-pawn to advance too far. Dieser Rückzug erlaubt dem a-Bauern, zu weit vorzurücken.} ({The king must head to the queenside with Der König muss zum Damenflügel streben mit} 55... Kc5 {(or with 55...Kd5) (oder mit 55...Kd5)} 56. h4 (56. Kf5 Kb6 57. h4 Nd6+ 58. Kg6 Ne4 59. h5 Nc5 $1 60. h6 Ne6 $11 {(Baburin in Chess Today 4260); and the knight can deal with the h6-pawn alone as it has reached the magical square. und der Springer kann mit dem h6-Bauern allein fertigwerden, da er das Zauberfeld erreicht hat.}) 56... Kd6 $3 ({But not Nicht aber} 56... Kb6 $2 {as White's h-pawn then manages to advance to the 7th rank: denn dann schafft es der weiße h-Bauer, auf die 7. Reihe vorzurücken:} 57. h5 Nd6 58. h6 Nf7 59. h7 Kxa6 60. Kf5 Kb7 61. Kf6 Nh8 62. Kg7 $18) 57. Kg5 Ke7 58. Kg6 Kf8 $11 {(Baburin)}) (55... Kd5 56. h4 Ke6 57. Kg5 Kf7 $11 {is playable as well. ist ebenfalls spielbar.}) (55... Ke5 $2 { runs into läuft in} 56. Kg5 Ke6 57. Kg6 Ke7 58. Kg7 Ke6 59. h4 Kf5 60. h5 Kg5 61. h6 $18) 56. a7 Kc5 57. h4 Kd6 58. Kf5 Ke7 59. Kg6 Kf8 {Black has managed to stop the h-pawn, but the knight can not deal with the a7-pawn alone. So it was Carlsen's time to change the direction of his king now: Schwarz ist es gelungen, den h-Bauern zu stoppen, aber der Springer kann mit dem a7-Bauern nicht allein fertigwerden. Daher war es jetzt Zeit für Carlsen, die Richtung für seinen König zu ändern:} 60. Kf6 $1 Ke8 (60... Kg8 61. Ke7 Kg7 62. Kd7 Na8 63. Kc6 Kg6 64. Kb7 $18) 61. Kg7 1-0

Overall, this DVD has 417 games of which nearly 100 are annotated. While the absence of annotations by players like Carlsen and Karjakin is a cause for concern, it is compensated by Karsten Müller and Dorian Rogozenco’s live commentary and notes by outstanding experts like Mihail Marin and Igor Stohl.

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