CBM #149: 'Top quality at a very reasonable price'

by ChessBase
8/14/2012 – This issue of our electronic magazine is devoted – obviously – to the World Chess Championship between Anand and Gelfand in Moscow. Anand's second, Rustam Kasimdzhanov, has annotated all the games. But "despite the amount of disc space used to cover it, the standard magazine features are in place too," writes Sean Marsh in his Marsh Towers review.

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Chess Reviews 198: ChessBase Magazine #149

The latest issue of ChessBase Magazine dives straight into the recent Anand vs. Gelfand World Championship match.

Rainer Knaak's measured editorial (always worth reading) doesn't dodge the controversial aspects of the match. Flagging up the standard criticisms – ''Too many draws, games not played out to a finish, too little entertainment'' – he opines ''Most of the accusations are unjustified''. Knaak traces some of the problems back to the last Candidates event, with the reliance rapid chess mini-matches foreshadowing the Moscow match. While noting that such a safety first stance was definitely not in evidence at the Tal Memorial tournament (given excellent coverage in this issue), he concludes that future matches may benefit from playing the rapid games first; ''then there is always someone who will have to play for the win''.

It's an interesting idea but one which is unlikely to happen. A similar idea has been mooted in the past for the world of football; play the penalty shoot-out first and the real match should be more exciting. The Moscow match was obviously not the most exciting we have seen, but where does the blame lie and what is the best solution? Perhaps the day of big matches is coming to an end and tournaments really are the best way to decide champions.

The lack of fireworks in the match shouldn't detract from its importance. The coverage provided by the magazine is superb and varied in tone and content. For example, Karsten Mueller is on hand to dissect some interesting endgame moments. Here's a simple example from one the tie-break games.

Anand,Viswanathan (2791) - Gelfand,Boris (2727) [B30]
World Chess CH #2/4 Moscow (1.2), 30.05.2012

Gelfand's last move, 71 ...Rf7-f5, was a bad one. Mueller demonstrates how Anand was able to very quickly transpose into a winning endgame with 72 Ne6+ Kc8 73 Nd4 Rf8 74 Nxf3 Rxf3 75 Kb6 Rb3 76 Rg8+ Kd7 77 Rb8 1-0.

All of the match games are annotated in depth by a variety of commentators, and Dorian Rogozenco present a very thoughtful summing up of the contest. The highlight of the magazine is undoubtedly the lengthy interview with Rustam Kasimdzhanov, conducted by Andre Schulz. As Anand's second (not just in Moscow, but in his earlier World Championships against Kramnik and Topalov also) Kasimdzhanov is ideally placed to provide valuable insights into the World Champion's preparation and play, paying particular attention to the psychological aspects behind the scenes. Key moments from all of the games are put under the spotlight.

Gelfand,B (2727) - Anand,V (2791) [E54]
WCh 2012 Moscow RUS (9), 23.05.2012

Here's one interesting snippet. Anand has just played 18...Qc7-d6, provoking 19.c5 (which Gelfand played). Kasimdzhanov's grandmaster wisdom tells us that Black had a serious positional threat of 19 ...Qb4, leading to 20 ...Qa4 or 20 ...Qa5, giving White plenty to think about on the queenside, when he'd rather just play on autopilot with the two bishops. Instead of 19.c5, the best move for White was apparently 19.a3, just keeping the black queen out of the position, after which White keeps the tension and maintains his advantage.

There's nearly 90 minutes of material here and it's all good stuff, from the surprise of seeing Gelfand play the Grunfeld, through the exchange of victories in games 7 and 8 and on to the agony of the tie-break games. This is the sort of feature I'd like to see more of in future issues. I always enjoy interviews, and bringing them to life with ChessBase's video clips makes them even more interesting.

Despite the amount of disc space used to cover the World Championship match, the standard ChessBase magazine features are in place too. As ever, ChessBase magazine it is a top quality product at a very reasonable price.

Read the original review on the Marsh Towers web site

CBM 149 Opening Surveys

Postny: English Mikenas System A18

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 d4 5.exf6 dxc3 6.bxc3 Qf6 7.d4 e5 8.Nf3 exd4 9.Bg5 Qe6+ 10.Be2


After the developments of recent years the position in the diagram has crystallised into the critical one for the evaluation of the whole line. As Evgeny Postny shows, Black probably has nothing to fear here.

Marin: King’s Indian Torre Attack A48

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 g6 3.Bg5 Bg7 4.Nbd2 0-0 5.c3 d6 6.e4 Nc6


In the third and concluding part of this series on the King’s Indian Torres Attack 6...Nc6 is examined. It may put pressure on d4 but it has its disadvantages too. In particular, White can play 7.Bb5 and then things are not easy for Black.

Schipkov: Dutch A88

1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nf3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 d6 7.Nc3 c6 8.b3


With 8.b3 (instead of 8.d5 as in the previous issue) White probably cannot achieve an advantage either. Boris Schipkov shows several lines in which Black gets satisfactory play, but the best is probably 8... Qa5.

Kritz: Sicilian B35

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Nd7 6.Nf3 a6 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 0-0 8.Bb3 Qa5 9.0-0 d6


With the queen move Black forces short castling and the result of this is quiet positions. White should develop slowly and avoid any exchange of queens. Black is close to equality, but he still has a few problems to overcome.

Karolyi: Sicilian B90

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Qf3


The unusual queen move conceals a few ideas, which means that an unprepared opponent can easily get into difficulties. Tibor Karolyi analyses literally every known continuation.

Ftacnik: Sicilian B99

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Nbd7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0-0-0 Be7 10.g4 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12.g5 Nd7 13.f5 0-0


Recently there has been a clear trend towards 13...0-0 (instead of 13...Bxg5+ or 13...Nc5). In the critical lines after 14.Rg1 Black seems to be able to prove his point, but that will not be easy in practical play.

Langrock: French C01

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.exd5 exd5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.a3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3


White will not be able to force an opening advantage with this form of the Exchange French, but Black has to play accurately. However, most players are now well acquainted with the ins and outs and White has an excellent score. In the first part 5...Nc6 is examined; the alternatives will follow.

Kritz: French C10
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.
Nc3 Nc6


Although 3...Nc6 gets in the way of the natural French move ...c5, it is not at all so simple for White to achieve an advantage. Kritz does not think much of the main move 4.Nf3 and suggests 4.e5!. His analyses show that White can achieve his aim with it.

Breutigam: Ruy Lopez C96

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.h3 0-0 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Nd7


This time Martin Breutigam examines the alternatives to the main move 12.Nbd2, but above all 12.d5 and 12.dxc5. Black also has to fight for equality, but his problems in doing so should not be too great.

Grivas: Queen’s Gambit D15

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.e3


If no advantage can be achieved in the main lines of the Slav, one might as well try 5.e3. The results of Efstratios Grivas’ analysis are encouraging since White at least always has a little pressure.

Krasenkow: Semi-Slav/Catalan D30/E04

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 b5


There are many ways for White to play this gambit variation, according to whether he plays with or without a4, Ne5, Nc3, b3 or e4. For every plan for White Michal Krasenkow has the appropriate reply, even in the main line 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Ne5 a6 8.a4 Bb7 9.0-0.

Kuzmin: Queen’s Gambit D43

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 dxc4 7.e4 g5 8.Bg3 b5 9.Be2 Bb7 10.Qc2


The setup with 10.Qc2 (and 10...Nbd7 11.Rd1) does set Black a few problems, but so far it has not been played a lot. So there is not too much theory and according to Alexey Kuzmin White is promised the initiative in the most important variations.

Stohl: Grünfeld Defence D70
Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.f3 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nb6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.Be3


World Champion Anand played 3.f3 against the Grünfeld Defence and brought Gelfand to the edge of defeat. As is proved by the analyses of Igor Stohl, however, Black should be able to hold the position.

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