What is indispensability?

11/5/2007 – Imagine a training DVD with the perhaps best chess player in history, explaining you the main line in the nowadays most-played opening. Well, you need no imagination here, it is Kasparov's DVD on the Sicilian Najdorf with 6.Be3. Even if you play neither 1.e4 nor 1...c5 you will learn a lot in this five hours video course. "Absolutely", says Bob Long. Buy How to Play the Najdorf #3 or read his review.

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Action-packed Siclian advice - dozens of hi-level games

Garry Kasparovs “How to Play the Najdorf Vol. 3 reviewed by Bob Long (chessco.com)

He starts out with a quick discussion of 6 possibilities after 5… a6. They were: 6. Bg5 (aggressive, sacrificing, etc.), 6. Bc4, 6. f4, 6. Be2, 6. g3, and 6. a4.

The main one for this DVD is 6. Be3 (English Attack, Hungarian Attack, etc.). Nowadays this is considered the main line.

Kasparov seems more relaxed. Lots of hand waving.

He starts with Adorjan-Ribli and a “crush” in 22 moves at the beginning of its heyday.

He intends to show and tell a general understanding of this line because there are too many possibilities for new moves and changes. He also intends to show mostly his games. He calls his approach a “guiding tool.”

Clearly, in this 5 hour DVD, Kasparov knows his subject.

If there is a “weakness” in this DVD it is us, the weaker players (below 2200). He likes to use the “teacher approach” (I call it) we heard so much of in graduate school: “Black is clearly lost” when in fact nothing has been shown to indicate how CLEAR this was. It’s a positional thing, a crunch, but we would have to study it for quite awhile to get a clue, if we do get a clue.

Kasparov does a good job in showing how a move like …Nh5 has its pluses, the moves that follow are more significant to only Najdorf players (Sicilian 5…a6).

On the other hand (and there’s always that), sometimes Kasparov’s enthusiasm and definitive nature, “makes” one understand what he is saying!!

Click here for replay of a sample video.

Kasparov is wearing a black turtleneck, a la Steve Jobs, has that mature “grey” in his hair, and has his usual commanding presence.

All of this is in the first “clip!” About 18 minutes.

Will you get your money’s worth? Absolutely. There are at least 32 clips on this DVD… more than most. Many games with Kasparov, Shirov, J Polgar, Anand, Topalov and others going up to 2006.

To get the MOST out of this DVD, it is a good idea to play the examples in order, as Kasparov references previous moves and games.

In spite of the non-happening Shirov-Kasparov match, Kasparov shows a number of examples of Shirov’s genius in rolling GMs like van Wely (two times in a row) from the white side of this system. One game example is Shirov – Topalov, Wijk aan Zee 2001. But like a wise teacher, he comes up with improvements over actual games—mentioning that even YOU can keep up with professional researchers by cleverly using a strong computer program.

This is a long DVD, so you can pause it and notice that Garry has changed clothes in between a several days’ take.

Kasparov’s presentations is as knowledgeable as Shirov’s, but he is more animated, and not dull (Shirov spends too much time on slow-talking history)> However, it is “clear” that at times both presenters are looking for the correct/right word in English to express their thoughts—so its necessary to give them a break on that.

It must be noted that while many games are not long, that is, many end somewhere around 20 some moves, the notes, such as in Anand-Topalov, Sofia 2006, cover pages and pages of analyses.

If you like “disguised” chess you might want to check out Ivanchuk-Kasparov, Linares 1999. The reason I say this is that White is developing and Black looks like he has nothing. Kasparov didn’t like the position for Black (when he had studied it) but, he investigated it anyway (trying to question its validity). Some ideas appeared. Now, many are playing it.

One final great feature is the Sicilian Index for this variation at the foot of all the video clips.

Original review by Bob Long at www.chessco.com

"Mr. Kasparov" - The series of top-class training DVDs


Garry Kasparov: How to Play the Najdorf Vol. 1
The World Champion for many years presents nine video lectures dealing with typical ideas and variations, concen-trating on the Poisoned Pawn Variation (6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6). Total running time: approx. 2.5 hours.  

Garry Kasparov: How to Play the Najdorf Vol. 2
In 23 lectures on video, he presents the alternative lines which might arise 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 (7…Be7, 7…Nbd7, 7…Qc7, or 7…b5). Total running time: approx. 2.5 hours.  

Garry Kasparov: How to Play the Queen's Gambit
Kasparov has played the Queen’s Gambit both with the white and black pieces,  explo-ring its deepest subtleties. With great verve he speaks about variations and ideas of the Classical Queen’s Gambit. More than three hours of first-class private tuition.  

 


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