Meeting Oliver Reeh

by Nadja Wittmann
2/2/2018 – As we are privileged with so many interesting visitors and authors coming to the ChessBase office in Hamburg and frequenting our studio, we often try to grab them for a few quick questions to see how they are and what's new. This week it is IM Oliver Reeh who was sitting in the studio for an (off-camera) impromptu interview. | Photo: Pascal Simon (ChessBase)

Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian Opening package: 1.b3 and Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

Wesley So published two new opening DVDs: 1.b3, the so called Nimzo-Larsen-Attack, for White and his black secrets in the modern Italian. Get them in a package and save money!


A short interview IM Reeh

Nadja Wittmann: Which is your favourite DVD (of your own) and why?

Oliver Reeh: I have just recorded two DVDs with Wesley So, and I in particular liked the one about the Italian Game. Sitting there next to a world class grandmaster and listening to his thoughts, his access to positions (while sometimes bothering him with questions of my own [smiling], was very instructive and entertaining.

Oliver Reeh and Wesley So in the ChessBase Studio | Foto: ChessBase India

Oliver Reeh and Wesley So in the ChessBase Studio

My Black Secrets in the Modern Italian

The Italian Game is considered a sound but quiet opening without early trades, giving rise to rich positions where plans are more important than forced variations. So shows black's plans on this DVD.

NW: What is your all lifetime motto over the board (and maybe also in life)?

OR: I think if you sit down to play a game of chess, your motto simply is "I want to fight and win". As for general chess philosophy, see below.

What is it that you like most about playing chess?

Actually I quit playing quite a while ago. But I have come to like the aestetic of the game very much. Perfection. Carlsen once said that if he detects a mistake in one of his games, he almost immediately loses interest in it. Also I like the concept of rules (which one sometimes has to break!) and "justice". Yet when I was an active player, I guess my motivation was the same as for anyone: winning feels good!

Do you think that you have enough time to spare also on non-chess-related activities?

Definitely (sports, friends, nature and animals...), although I must admit that even as a non-pro chess does absorb a good deal of my mental powers. "Chess is my life, but my life is not chess" - Anatoly Karpov. I think this should be true for everyone, even the most diligent professional.

Oliver Reeh

Oliver Reeh enjoying a relaxed moment at sea | Photo: Nadja Wittmann

Which is the ChessBase program that you use the most (and what for)?

I have a special version of ChessBase 11(!) which I still use for my tactics section in the ChessBase Magazine and for my weekly combination on the ChessBase websites.

ChessBase Magazine 182

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (London, Grand Prix Palma, European Teams) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 12 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.

Oliver! Are you serious?! But that is of course not what we recommend to our clients. ChessBase 14 is much better! Chess-wise speaking: What is crossing your mind these days? (Special opening? Getting prepared for any special tournament? Wanting to become a grand master?)

It's more a general thing. In our fast-paced times, I would like people to slow down a bit when they watch/play/analyse chess. Not just switch on the engine and rush through a Carlsen game in 30 seconds. It is a deep game, and sometimes one has to invest a little time to derive deep joy from it. It's worth it!

Oliver Reeh

Oliver Reeh dreaming of Chess`for a moment? | Photo: Nadja Wittmann

What are you currently working on in the ChessBase studio?

This week I am going to finish my work for Master Class Volume 10 about Mikhail Botvinnik, 20 combinations in interactive format. Some fireworks there — the guy was good! :-)

Translation from German: Nadja Wittmann

Master Class Vol.4: José Raúl Capablanca

He was a child prodigy and he is surrounded by legends. In his best times he was considered to be unbeatable and by many he was reckoned to be the greatest chess talent of all time: Jose Raul Capablanca, born 1888 in Havana.


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