Mega Database 2016

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Masters Challenge Biel Round 1

– The Masters Challenge in Biel this year is featuring Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Peter Svidler. They play a match of rapid and classical games. Today is round one of the classical games. Daniel King is analysing live starting at 5pm CEST. View the whole schedule!


Fritz 15 - English Version

New Fritz, new friend


Complete Nimzo-Indian Powerbook 2016

We have included the whole E00-E59 complex in our “Complete Nimzo-Indian Powerbook 2016”. It is based, e.g., on 45 000 games from the Mega database and 4000 correspondence games. The lion’s share is made up of the 245 000 games from the engine room.


Queen's Gambit Declined Powerbook 2016

For the Queen's Gambit Declined Powerbook we once again used above all high grade material: 90 000 games from Mega and from correspondence chess, but these are of high quality. Added to that are 410 000 games from the engine room on


The Semi-Slav

The Semi-Slav (1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6) can arise via various moveorders, has decided World Championships, and is one of Black’s most fascinating replies to 1 d4. Nielsen explains in detail what this openign is all about.


The Black Lion - an aggressive version of the Philidor Defense

The Lion gets ready to roar after 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0–0 c6 – and now Black wants to attack with an early ...g5.


Power Play 23: A Repertoire for black with the Queen's Gambit Declined

On this DVD Grandmaster Daniel King offers you a repertoire for Black with the QGD. The repertoire is demonstrated in 10 stem games, covering all White’s major systems: 5 Bg5, 5 Bf4, and the Exchange Variation.


Power Play 24: A repertoire for black against the Catalan

On this DVD Grandmaster Daniel King offers you a repertoire for Black against the Catalan, based around maintaining the rock of a pawn on d5. Keeping central control ultimately gives Black good chances to launch an attack against the enemy king.


Books, boards, sets: Chess Niggemann

Maria Manakova in Speed

8/2/2004 – She is a full-fledged women's chess grandmaster, who recently scored 5/7 for her club at the European Club Cup in Crete. Maria has also become something of a sex symbol in the chess world. In a recent interview she spoke frankly about sex and chess, and also posed for the cover of a Russian rag magazine. We bring you the interview and pictures...
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ChessBase 13 Download

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A month ago the Russian magazine “MK-Voskresenye” published an interview with Maria Manakova, provocatively entitled “Sex and Chess”. Actually the original Russian "Sexуальные шахматы" transliterates to "sexual chess", but we believe our title captures the intention more accurately.

Denis Markov, who drew our attention to the interview, has translated it for us in summary. At the end of the interview there is a link to the original Russian, and a new and spicy discovery we made in the meantime.

Sex and chess

By MK-Voskresenye staff author Yevgeny Gik

If someone someday stages a contest “Miss Chess World”, WGM Maria Manakova from Moscow will win it many points ahead of the others. Maria was on the top women chess players’ lists for many years – and now she is in TV journalism. Her favorite theme – “Chess and Sex”.

Maria, in chess you are women’s grandmaster. What about sex?

People started to think about me as a specialist in sex because I once said that a woman should be woman all the time – at home, at work and at the chess board. Very often women chess players devote their entire lives to chess. They have no age, no sex. Maybe that’s why my words attracted attention.

What changes if those clever women also become sexual?

If women chess players become more attractive, more sexual, many things will change. Spectators and journalists will pay more attention at them, chess will become more popular. It would be great if in chess we will have someone as popular as Anna Kournikova is in tennis.

Do your women colleagues support you?

Something has changed in their minds during the last years. But most of them aren’t quite ready for the sexual revolution. They think that chess is an intellectual game, and that it shouldn’t became some kind of "merchandise". I don’t think that this is correct. We are not as strong as the male players. So why shouldn’t we cash in on our beauty, don’t you think?

Intimacy at the board

What can you tell us about women chess players' private lives?

Usually there is no private life, or it is far from perfect. Children? No time! The same applies to your husband, by the way. Men often have the same problem – that’s why marriages between women and men players are quite common. They play in same tournaments, they prepare together – they even play same openings! I once saw a classified ad in the newspaper, submitted by a Grandmaster: “Looking for a wife. Elo rating not less then …”. And he found one! They have a ten-year-old child now.

Some people say that you often play in tournaments together with your husband, a Yugoslav GM, in order to always have a sexual partner available.

We play a lot together, and not just chess. Maybe this is the reason why I never won a world championship title. But on the other hand I had a different kind of joy, one that is no less important to me.

A chess game usually lasts four hours or more – so is there enough time for sex?

Yes, although playing chess is really difficult and drains your strength. And if a woman loses, it can take some days for her to get back to normal.

Maria, do you think if there is any “real men” amongst the GMs? Kasparov, Kramnik, Karpov?

I am attracted to charismatic people. Kasparov definitely takes the lead here. He is a very charismatic man, and his energy has a great effect on everybody who is near him. There is something attractive about Karpov too. But maybe I am a bit perverted? As for Kramnik, he doesn’t interest me. He is neither bad nor good. When he won the title of world champion he should have offered Kasparov a rematch. He didn’t – he was simply scared. Such men don’t interest me.

Maria in Speed

As we opened the latest issue of New in Chess magazine our attention was caught by an article in the section "NiC's Cafe", where the editors have set up a special "Babe watch". In this issue the author wrote: "We cannot say that our search for chess babes is not appreciated by our readers. On the contrary, there is no lack of encouragement and quite a few suggestions reach us, unfortunately not all of them helpful. Still, we have this nagging feeling that things are getting out of hand after friends in Moscow drew our attention to the cover of the latest issue of Speed, one of many high-quality papers that have flooded the Russian market after the likes of Pravda lost their long-cherished monopoly."

The article contains a discrete black and white picture of the cover of the magazine. We immediately contacted our illustrious Dutch colleagues, who sent us a colour scan.

Our Dutch colleagues had done all the necessary research. The lady on the cover of the magazine was none other Maria Manakova, the Women's Grandmaster who had recently scored 5 out of 7 for her club BAS at the European Club Cup in Crete.

Denis Markov told us that Speed is a Russian rag or "yellow" magazine. The headline next to the picture of Maria says "I like eating... elephants". Denis explains that the Russian word for the chess bishop is "slon", which actually translates to "elephant", and in Russian you "eat" pieces, not take them. He cannot see any devious meaning to the headline. "Eating elephants just sounds like fun, that's why, I think, it is used here. Nothing else."

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