Garry Kasparov, World Champion from 1985 to 2000, is a living legend. With his strong play and his unrivalled willpower and focus he had been dominating the chess world for two decades .
According to his coach Alexander Nikitin Kasparov's playing style reflects his character - and his playing style was pure dynamite: incredibly dynamic, incredibly aggressive, with a powerful will to fight and to win. No quick simplifications, no quick draw. At his peak Kasparov had an Elo-rating of 2851 and was far ahead of his rivals and his time. Not least because he was one of the first to systematically use computers and databases such as ChessBase.
Here is one of the first games that made him famous - it shows how dynamic Kasparov already played when he was just thirteen years old:
However, not everybody likes the way in which Garry Kasparov acts and how he plays. The chess players I know can be roughly divided into two groups: in one camp you do find admirers of his long-time rival Karpov, in the other camp you do find admirers of Kasparov. To my mind, this is thinking in black and white and too simplistic - after all, both players contributed a lot to our royal game.
I learned to play chess when Kasparov was already World Champion and I readily admit to being a great Kasparov fan! And when I heard about the new ChessBase Master Class about Garry Kasparov I could not wait to have a look at it!
But what does this new DVD by Rogozenco, Marin, Müller and Reeh offer to the reader? Well, to start with, a short biography of the 13th World Champion which is full of interesting facts about Kasparov. Moreover, there is also an impressive database with all available games by Kasparov - from his beginnings as a schoolboy to the time after the Blitz Showdown in St. Louis 2016!
I still remember well when Kasparov's rise to fame began in the 70s: I still went to school and I during school holidays I spent a lot of time browsing through chess magazines at newspaper stores to discover the most recent attacking game by Kasparov. In this database you will definitely find these games - possibly even annotated by a grandmaster!
Browsing through the games in the database you come across names such as Piket, Shirov, Polgar, Salov, Speelman, Beliawsky, Dolmatov, Kamsky, Nikolic, Seirawan, Leko, and many others that evoke long forgotten memories!
The authors take you back to a time when computers did not yet play such a prominent role in chess and show how Kasparov's incredibly deep opening preparation was far ahead of his time!
The DVD has a video run-time of nine hours - which is simply amazing. It also offers an interactive tactics test with video feedback (quite demanding unless you happen to have IM strength!) and Kasparov's complete opening repertoire as tree.
And here are some highlights from the oeuvre of the 13th World Champion, which you hopefully will appreciate and enjoy as much as I did:
When the new millenium began Kasparov played a game which I still find amazing and absolutely incredible - for me it is still the best game ever played:
At the Blitz Showdown in St. Louis in April 2016 Kasparov showed how incredibly good he still is, even though he had never been as dominating in blitz as, for example, Fischer and Tal had been at their peak. When playing through these games I cannot help but feel that today's top players such as Caruana are simply no longer used to the kind of dynamics that are so typical for Kasparov.
Kasparov is back! And with this fantastic DVD you can invite him to sit next to you at the board! A big compliment to the authors of this DVD: they managed to recreate the "Kasparov feeling" and to bring wonderful memories back to life!
• Video running time: 9 hours (English)
• Interactive tactics test with video feedback
• All Kasparov games, crosstables, short biography
• “Kasparov-Powerbooks”: the opening repertoire of the 13th world champion as a variation tree
• Tactics training with 162 Kasparov games: 575 training questions, a maximum of 1392 points
€25.13 without VAT (for Customers outside the EU)
$27.14 (without VAT)
his DVD can be purchased as a hard copy or it can be downloaded directly from the Internet, that way sparing you the few days needed for it to arrive by post.
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Reviewer Christian Hoethe
lives in Braunschweig, Germany, is 41 years old, and father of three daughters and one son. He learnt to play chess when he was 13 years old and at his peak reached an Elo-rating of 2247. He plays for the club of Gifhorn where he also teaches chess once a month.