Spanish, Sicilian, Slav, Najdorf, Caro-Kann, Nimzo, King’s Indian and Petroff

9/1/2007 – Alexei Shirov, Latvian/Spanish Super-GM, is not only one of the most exciting players in the world today, an uncompromising fighter who never fails to inspire chess fans with his attacking ideas. He is one of the finest and most prolific chess trainers as well. Look at the widely diverse series of high-class training DVDs he has produced. Pick a couple and improve your chess with Alexei Shirov.

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Alexei Shirov

There are not many top grandmasters who enjoy such great popularity among chess fans all over the world as Alexei Shirov. Thanks to his aggressive and ingenious playing style, commentators often compare him with the former world champion Mikhail Tal. He regularly sacrifices material in return for initiative and complications, where he always seems to be just one step ahead of his opponent. Following Shirov’s games is like watching a "fire on the board".


1. Alexei Shirov: My Best Games in the Spanish

On this DVD the genius from Riga presents his most brilliant games in the Ruy Lopez. Let Shirov show you how to break down the super-solid Berlin Defence, or how he managed to achieve promising counterplay against Garry Kasparov in the Open Ruy Lopez. Follow this top player through one of his most famous lines in the Ruy, the Anti-Marshall with 8.h3. More than 4.5 hours private tuition with one of the most exciting top-class players in the world!


2. Alexei Shirov: My best games in the Sicilian

On this DVD Shirov focuses on his most outstanding achievements in the Sicilian (except the Najdorf, which is dealt with on a separate DVD), a peronal selection combining highest chess quality with aesthetic pleasure. His lectures are designed to not only explain the different opening lines, but also to present interesting and sometimes perplexing ideas and sacrifices in the middlegame. On this training DVD, with a total playing time of nearly four hours, you will find Shirov games against Anand, Kramnik, Leko and other top players.


3. Alexei Shirov: My best games in the Najdorf

Shirov’s uncompromising style of play is also reflected in his manner of commenting his own games. He is perfectly objective, and in fact sometimes ruthlessly critical of himself. Even when he is dealing with highly acclaimed games, his judgement is unbiased – no glossing over critical positions where he did not find the optimal continuation.

Chess fans are treated not just to a portrait of this extraordinary player, but they can also learn a lot about the development of particular opening lines at top level in the course of time. On this DVD you will find his most brilliant games in the Sicilian Najdorf. Shirov’s duel with van Wely in the Najdorf Keres Attack is for sure one of the highlights, just as the presentation of one of his best games against Kasparov. More than three hours entertainment and enlightenment, all packed in one.


4. My best games in the Caro-Kann

The Caro-Kann Defence, which arises after the moves 1.e4 c6 followed by 2...d7-d5, is considered one of the most solid and reliable replies to the double step of White’s e-pawn. Black fights for his share of the centre without accepting an unnecessary weakening of his position, patiently waiting for his chance. Shirov’s preferred weapon against this sound black set-up has always been the Advance Variation 3.e5, avoiding the simplification after 3.Nc3 dxe4 and reaching a type of position of greater tactical and strategic complexity – with chances and risks for both sides. Thus, the main topic of the DVD are the white and black plans following 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3, which the Latvian super grandmaster explains by means of the best games from his own practice. And apart from impressive White wins, these also include two examples with Shirov leading the black pieces! Video playing time: 4 h 53 m


5. My best games in the King’s Indian

With this DVD on the King‘s Indian Defence, Alexei Shirov continues the successful and highly praised series about his best games. As in the preceding DVDs the Latvian super grandmaster succeeds in spoiling his public with analysis of a high quality and with exciting insights into his games, and he does so in his own reserved, pleasant and modest style. As is the case with many of his openings, Alexei Shirov also plays the King‘s Indian with both colours. The DVD concentrates on the main line of the Classical King‘s Indian with Nf3, Be2 and 0-0. In the games, and they are almost exclusively victories, his opponents are renowned experts in this opening, such as World Champion Kramnik and Boris Gelfand with White. The black side is represented, amongst others, by the legendary King‘s Indian specialist John Nunn, but also by Teimour Radjabov, who may not yet be a legend, but who is reckoned at the moment to be the greatest expert in the King‘s Indian. Video running time: over 5 hours.


6. My best games in the Nimzo-Indian

With this DVD on the Nimzo-Indian Defence (including the Catalan and the Queen‘s Indian) Alexei Shirov continues the successful and highly praised series about his best games. As in the preceding DVDs the Latvian super grandmaster succeeds in spoiling his public with analysis of a high quality and with exciting insights into his games, and he does so in his own reserved, pleasant and modest style. The DVD concentrates on the Classical Nimzo-Indian with 4.Qc2. But when playing against the very solid Nimzo-Indian, which the author faced most often as White, it is enormously important to be able to vary your opening lines and so the author himself often switches to 3.Nf3; this then leads to games with 3.b6 (Queen‘s Indian) or 3.d5 4.g3 (Catalan). Amongst the opponents in the games he presents are, for example, Topalov and Leko. Video running time: over 4 hours.


7. My best games in the Petroff Defence

With this DVD on the Russian Defence (Petroff Defence) Alexei Shirov continues the successful and highly praised series of his best games. Since many players look on the Russian Defence with the suspicion that it is a drawish opening, and one which at the same time is both dry and boring, Shirov has in this DVD set himself the specific task of countering this view of matters. Thus he begins the DVD with a game featuring the Cochrane Gambit. Then of course Shirov concentrates on the solid and recognised lines, and in doing so continually manages to explain their deeper content. But the spectator will draw benefit not only from his remarks on the opening, because Shirov understands so brilliantly how to explain instructively and profitably for the student every phase of the game, with the result that at the end of the DVD on the Russian Defence, you will even have learned a lot about endgames. Video running time: over 5 hours.


8. My best games in the Slav and Semi-Slav

The Slav is typified by the move c6, and in the Semi-Slav e6 is also played; the relationship between the two is obvious. At some points, Shirov’s lecture is closely related to the history of the opening, because the Latvian has contributed to and advanced the development of many lines. In the Meran Variation, Shirov’s name is linked to a line which is now known as Shabalov Attack. After 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 it was Shirov and Shabalov, who introduced the move 7.g4 into chess praxis in 1992. Today there are over 1000 games in the Mega Database with that variation. Shirov recounts the way this extravagant line arose and explains some of its most important ideas. Video running time: 5 hrs 20 min.


Alexei Shirov has written two "Fire on Board" books – the first was published in 1995, the second ten years later.


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