Alexei Shirov's 'Best games in the Spanish'

by ChessBase
6/14/2006 – International Master and Senior Trainer Jovan Petronic has taken a closer look at Shirov’s second new DVD “My best games in the Spanish” (Ruy Lopez) and gives another strong recommendation for players of all levels. “Personally I can confirm that I have benefited directly from watching this DVD, after only a few minutes.” Review.

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DVD contents

ChessBase 9 Reader with 7 page manuals in German and English language in PDF format.
A readme.txt file. ChessBase Videos (in ChessBase WMV format):

  • Introduction (09:04)
  • Steinitz Variation (41:10)
  • Berlin Defence (37:04)
  • Open Spanish (42:08)
  • Moeller and Archangelsk Defence (26:22)
  • Anti-Marshall- System 1 (32:05)
  • Anti-Marshall-System 2 (15:50)
  • Marshall Gambit (20:42)
  • Modern Chigorin Defence (34:55)
  • Flohr / Saitzev Variation (34:06)

Total playing time: approximately 4hrs 30 min.
Total DVD size: approximately 1.140 gigabytes.


Installation of the ChessBase Reader starts automatically.

After the 1-minute installation is complete, you’re prompted to restart your computer.
This DVD comes in a colorful, well designed DVD box. The system requirements for the DVD are pretty low, ensuring all users can benefit from installing and experiencing Shirov’s sessions.

Here is where you start. One click will open a video.


Alexei Shirov starts with “As I happen to be a rather sentimental person, I often think about my past. And in chess it has an interesting effect…”.

Among many other, you will have a useful option of pausing the video and continuing later, during the session. Hitting the “play” or even the “pause” again, will do the task. Rewinding may prove to be somewhat difficult, thus I recommend full concentration. 

Below are only a few of the hundreds of interesting questions, answers to which you will find if you decide to experience this exceptional DVD. Shirov’s commentary is unique and entertaining.

What impact does analysis of his past games in detail have on Shirov’s chess improvement?
Can you see ideas in outdated games that may be useful for modern times?
How much is modern chess theory developed?
Can the Ruy Lopez be played based on general principles of understanding?
Is the Latvian gambit a correct opening?
Is it possible to perceive the whole Ruy Lopez opening just with strategical ideas?
How old is the Ruy Lopez opening?
What is the “Spanish torture”?
What is White’s aim in the Spanish opening?
What are Shirov’s private plans for the future? Will he stay in Spain or return to Latvia ?
Is 3…a6 as a response to 3.Bb5 played almost exclusively?
What is the status of the Berlin defense?
Are there underestimated moves as a reply to 3.Bb5?
What impact does post-game computer analysis have on Shirov’s game conclusions?
What is the “eternal conflict” every chess player has during the game?
When in a winning position, will Shirov look to find the “pretty solution”?
Which was Shirov’s “pet line” as Black in the Spanish?
What is the “New Archangelsk variation”? Will it be played often in the forthcoming months?
What repeatedly surprises Shirov in the Ruy Lopez opening?
How much study time is necessary to play the Marshall attack?
Do you need a special “frame of mind” to play the Marshall attack, either with White or Black?
Which are the three principle systems in avoiding the Marshall attack?

Buy now...

Unlike in the DVD “My best games in the Sicilian”, Shirov gives much space to annotating and explaining exact ideas behind the opening moves and variations in the Ruy Lopez (Spanish) opening, offering even new ones for serious study. His game brilliances are not restricted to his wins only, but contain defense mechanisms, which even the NBA players might find useful to implement in their game strategy.

If you’re a Spanish aficionado, either playing it with Black or White, this DVD can directly help you achieve better positions and wins with White, and help you to easily equalize and even create better chances when playing with Black!
At least, until all your future opponents have seen and listened to Shirov’s video training lessons.

What is probably most important is that these sessions with Shirov will undoubtedly raise your understanding not only of the Spanish opening, but of the game of chess in general. As is proven and often quoted, understanding positions on a higher level, is mainly what distinguishes amateurs from professionals and weaker players from stronger ones.

Personally I can confirm that I have benefited directly from watching this DVD, after only a few minutes. A question I have been asking myself for a couple of months, on why White spends time on seemingly not very useful three pawn moves in the early stage of the game in one modern and popular variation, Shirov comments and explains in superb detail! ChessBase’s new video recording technology, even as I have seen it so often, continues to amaze me with it’s precision and flawlessness.

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