"A delightful problem to have"

by ChessBase
11/11/2014 – In chess you often do not have time enough to find the right move. ChessBase Magazine helps you to find it, while this two-monthly publication is also entertaining and instructive with its mix of theoretical articles and extensive commentary by world class players. However, as Open File editor Carl Portman found out, you might not have time to enjoy all the material offered to you.

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It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Review of ChessBase Magazine 162

By Carl Portman, Editor of OPEN FILE magazine, the magazine for the Combined Services Chess Association in the UK.

"The difficulty of the fray lies in making the crooked straight, and in making an advantage of misfortune." So wrote Sun Tzu in the Art of War. In chess terms we have to make the crooked straight by knowing clearly what we are doing in our own battles at the board and this applies at all levels. We do this by playing certain moves in the correct order, by anticipating the opponent's moves and plans, by being up to speed with current chess thinking. The misfortune comes in our opponent's mistakes - or sadly, our own and we must know how to take advantage of that. This is chess. This is our world.

Chessbase as we all know is a personal stand alone system that helps us do just that - if we use it properly and in a disciplined way to support our aspirations.

I have been a subscriber to Chessbase 12 for only a short time but I am becoming ever more aware of how useful it can be. The recent book about it by Jon R Edwards helped to increase my knowledge further and I have certainly made at least some lines less crooked in my game as a direct result.

Serious chess players will know that Chessbase Magazine is not just a supplement to the Chessbase system. It offers current information on many aspects of chess such as new opening theory, tournaments and analysis, tricks, traps and information about new products.  It also provides chess training and tutorials in the form of videos and articles hosted by the likes of Daniel King, Rainer Knaak and the indefatigable Karsten Müller to name but a few. These are seasoned professionals who know exactly what it takes to deliver, at the right pace, to the right level.

Daniel King in Hamburg

ChessBase Magazine is not a magazine as you know it - not hard copy. It is made in DVD format which is very intuitive and of course easy to carry around. Chess for chess players, that's what we want and that's exactly what you get with this release.

ChessBase has issued it just in time for the World Championship Match between Magnus Carlsen and Viswanathan Anand. If you are a fan of the Norwegian this is the issue for you as he features frequently.

Magnus Carlsen: A frequent guest in the ChessBase Magazine

Here are some of the highlights:

Chess Olympiad in Tromsø: China won gold and very convincingly too. The Russians were not at the party. Participating Chinese players have annotated their games on the video: Yu Yangyi, Kramnik, Laznicka, Negi, Sasikiran and many more have contributed. There's a Tromsø Special: Daniel King analyses the Game of the Day for each round, Rustam Kasimdzhanov shows two of his games in video format. Several hours of ChessBase TV videos, which were recorded in situ with outstanding players and trainers are also available for your delectation.

Regular contributor to the ChessBase Magazine: Former FIDE-World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov

Vladimir Kramnik amazes again and again with his understanding of the game

Sinquefield Cup Saint Louis: This was an historic tournament and astonishing in many ways. Not least was the score at one time of 7 out of 7 by Fabiano Caruana. He eventually finished on 8.5 out of 10 - that is an Elo performance of 3107. It is simply off the scale. Well you can play through all the games on this DVD. No need to go rooting around the Internet for them or wait for the next hard copy chess magazine to publish them. It includes the annotated game where he beat Carlsen. It's a fascinating game as it is but the notes add to my understanding of what was happening at the board. For us club players, such notes are precious if we are to have any hope of understanding what is going on in these super grandmaster games.

Fabiano Caruana talks about the Sinquefield Cup

Hans Suri Memorial Biel: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave continued his good form and won with 6 out of 10. The tournament winner has annotated his game against Motylev. Here is a little taster from that and it contains some very useful information about the Sicilian Najdorf.


Najdorf-expert Maxime Vachier-Lagrave shares his insights.

Motylev,Alexander (2698) - Vachier Lagrave,Maxime (2766) [B90]

Biel Suri Memorial Biel (7), 21.07.2014

[Vachier Lagrave,M]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 Ng4 I have been playing this line on a regular basis for the last couple of years. There is quite a lot to remember if White plays 7.Bg5, but otherwise it drastically diminishes White's options and that is one of the reasons 6.Be3 is a bit less popular than it used to be against the Najdorf.

You see, there are loads of tips for the discerning "schachspieler". Actually talking about German words I am very happy that some of the games have the German as well as the English annotations. As a former resident in Germany and a lover of the language it helps me to practice. Who needs all those "Deutsch lernen" videos?

There's even more!

There are ten daily summaries by the affable Daniel King in video format.

Furthermore the DVD contains eleven (yes eleven) topical opening articles:

Stohl: English Flohr-Mikenas Variation
Rotstein: Old Indian 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.Nf3 c6
Antic: Benoni Fianchetto Variation 11.Bf4
Havasi: Modern Defence 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3
Krasenkow: Closed Sicilian
Postny: Sicilian Paulsen 6.Nxc6
Szabo: Sicilian English Attack
Müller: King's Gambit à la Quaade - Part 1
Breder: Ruy Lopez Four Knights 4...Nd4
Kuzmin: Queen's Pawn Game 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bf4
Marin: Nimzo-Indian 4.e3

Then there are Opening videos:

Ftacnik: Anti-Grünfeld Defence - 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3
Marin: Bird Opening - 1.b3 Nf6 2.Bb2 e6 3.e3 b6 4.f4 Bb7 5.Nf3 Be7 6.Bd3 c5 7.0-0
Shirov: Reti Opening - 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Bg4 3.Bg2 Nd7

The Bird Opening seems to be making something of a comeback at club level, at least around Banbury in England it is!

So what is the point of forking out your hard earned money for Chessbase Magazine 162 then? Well apart from all of the above (you have been concentrating haven"t you?) it is something very nice to keep. DVD's don"t take up much space on the bookshelf and you bring top quality games, openings and more into your own home - not to mention leading Grandmasters giving you commentary and coaching from your screen. You couldn"t hire them for anywhere near this price!

My genuine question is "How do they get so much on one DVD?" The only issue you are going to have is finding the time to watch it all but that for any chess fan is a delightful problem to have. Long may it continue.

ChessBase Magazin 162 - Intro

ChessBase Magazin 162 - Video Intro by GM Karsten Müller

Watch a sample from the Olympiad-special for free!

Former FIDE world champion Rustam Kasimdzanow shows his victories against Vladimir Kramnik and Arkadij Naiditisch in CBM 162

All Opening Surveys in CBM #162

Stohl: English Defence A18
1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 d4 5.exf6 dxc3 6.bxc3 Qxf6

As Igor Stohl demonstrates, the Mikenas-Flohr Variation of the English Defence is really reliable from Black's point of view, but at first there is a struggle for equality. Even Aronian, the greatest expert with the white pieces, came to grief when he played the variation with Black against Grischuk.

Rotstein: Old Indian Defence A53
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d6 3.Nc3 Bf5 4.Nf3 c6

According to the analyses of Arkadij Rotstein White cannot, just as he is unable to do with 4.f3 e5 (see CBM 161), lay claim to a simple advantage after 4.Nf3 c6. Above all, 5.Nh4 Bg6!? proves to be surprisingly playable for Black.

Antic: Benoni A62
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.g3 Bg7 8.Bg2 0-0 9.0-0 a6 10.a4 Re8 11.Bf4

The white bishop move is somewhat annoying for Black, since the natural developing move 11...Nbd7 is now excluded. In his article Dejan Antic analyses the two popular replies 11...h6 and 11...Nh5, but he believes that only the knight move offers certain chances for equality.

Havasi: Modern Defence B06
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.f4 a6 5.Nf3

It is not at all rare to see this variation with ...a6. Gergö Havasi investigates above all 5...Nd7, since he has reserved the main variation 5...b5 for his next article. White should achieve a comfortable game with natural developing moves - developing the bishops.

Krasenkow: Sicilian Defence B25
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3

Michal Krasenkow thinks that the Closed Sicilian is very playable at amateur level. In his article he presents a repertoire for White, just as he played himself till reaching a playing strength of around 2400.

Postny: Sicilian Defence B46
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Nxc6 bxc6 7.Bd3 d5 8.0-0 Nf6 9.Re1 Be7 10.e5 Nd7 11.Qg4

The variation attracted the attention of Evgeny Postny because it was recently played by Fabiano Caruana - both with White and with Black. There is a trend away from 11...g6 to 11...¢f8. At the moment the variation appears to be under development and there are as yet no certainties.

Szabo: Sicilian Defence B90
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be3 e5 7.Nb3 Be6 8.f3 h5 9.Nd5 Bxd5 10.exd5 Nbd7 11.Qd2 g6 12.Be2

The position in this diagram has been seen recently on several top level boards. The continuations 12...Bg7 and 12...Qc7 are up for discussion. As Krisztian Szabo shows, as well as a knowledge of variations one should also master a few tricks and manoeuvres.

Müller: King's Gambit C34
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3

In the first part of his repertoire for White with the King's Gambit Karsten Müller acquaints you with his fundamental idea. It is a setup with Nc3, d4 and g3 and is called the Quaade Gambit (or the Quaade setup). It works excellently against Fischer's Defence 3...d6 and Becker's Defence 3...h6.

Breder: Ruy Lopez Four Knights C48
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bb5 Nd4

The article by Dennis Breder focusses after 4...Nd4 on the reply 5.Ba4. It should be followed by 5...c6 and, as our author shows, in many lines Black can even hope for more than mere equality.

Kuzmin: Queen's Pawn Game D00
1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Bf4

Alexey Kuzmin refers in his article to the games of Baadur Jobava, who has recently been employing this variation successfully. Jobava's special variation comes after the most played move 3...Bf5 in the form of 4.f3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.h4.

Marin: Nimzo Indian Defence E53
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 c5 6.Nf3 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Na4

The line with ...c5 is very solid and involves a substantial amount of theory, but Mihail Marin manages, starting with 8.Na4, to show how White can set his opponent problems and aim for an advantage.

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