"Why is Anish Giri on the cover?"

by Nagesh Havanur
5/29/2018 – In this second part of the review, our columnist draws attention to important games included in the issue. He also offers a test or two to young readers to hone their tactical skills. Among other things, this issue includes games from Wijk aan Zee, Gibralter Masters and Tal Memorial Tournaments. In all, 2189 games (several annotated) with 12 opening surveys from Sicilian to Slav. Not to be missed.

ChessBase Magazine 183 ChessBase Magazine 183

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (Wijk aan Zee and Gibraltar) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 12 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.


See also part 1: Challenging the Champion

CBM 183 Review, Part 2

"Why is Anish Giri on the cover of this issue?" asked a bemused reader. Not without reason. Giri finished joint first with Carlsen at Wijk aan Zee with a score of (+5 -0 = 8) losing only the tie-break thereafter (½-1½). In this issue, he annotates his games with Kramnik and Mamedyarov. This issue also includes games from the Gibralter Masters and several other tournaments, big and small.

The Gibralter event was won by Levon Aronian after beating Vachier-Lagrave in a playoff. They were closely followed by Hikaru Nakamura and Richard Rapport. A number of encounters from this event (276 players and 1300 games) are annotated in this issue. Here it is not easy to pick and choose. For now, I would mention only a few: Aronian-Short, Vachier-Lagrave vs Nakamura and Duda-Nakamura. Among the unannotated games, the encounter Pichot-Cheparinov is not to be missed.

Here is a little test for our young readers. In the following position, White has already sacrificed a piece and now offers a rook for a mating attack. Can Black save himself?


I would also like to draw the attention of readers to games from Tal Memorial Tournament included in this issue. This celebrated event was held in March and it appears that the games from the tournament arrived at the last moment of preparation of this DVD. Consequently, all the games are included, but none is annotated. In a way, it’s a blessing in disguise. Readers should try and analyse these games on their own and then compare their work with Grandmaster commentary that should appear in the next issue. The tournament itself had a star-studded field, experienced campaigners at all. While Anand, the eventual winner showed his class, others were not far behind.

I was particularly impressed by the Svidler-Kramnik encounter:


Games from the Blitz Tournament are also included in this issue and before you see the following miniature, take a look at the players in action:

Mamedyarov-Andreikin, Tal Memorial Blitz Tournament 2018


It is to the credit of Mamedyarov that he shrugged off this loss and went on to win the Blitz Tournament.

The Slav and Semi-Slav revisited

For Shirov the Slav and the Semi-Slav form one huge and common opening. Of course it is a mighty opening complex and the DVD cannot give a complete picture of it, but in the areas he chooses to highlight our author is an absolute expert and capable of giving the deepest possible insights into the secrets of this extremely solid opening.

Daniel Fridmam

To return to the magazine, there are as many as twelve opening surveys from Sicilian to Slav. I would like to make special mention of Lars Schandorff’s analysis of 7...Bg4 line in Petroff Defence. Until recently this move was under a cloud. Schandorff informs us that Daniel Fridman has done much to rehabilitate the whole line.

I have chosen one critical game from his survey and offered a general overview here:

Cheparinov-Fridman, European Individual Championship, 2017 (C42)

There is much else in this DVD that deserves to be explored. Apart from these surveys, there are regular sections on opening traps, middlegame tactics and endings. I was interested to see an article by Efstratios Grivas on the Novotný theme (named after Antonín Novotný, Czech chess composer who discovered the idea).

Here is a problem by Milan Vukcevich for young solvers.


Grivas also gives examples of the Novotný from tournament play. This brings us to the end of this review. In all, there are 2189 games of which 171 are annotated by masters and grandmasters. Among others, they include Michael Adams, Mihail Marin, Michel Krasenkow. Igor Stohl and Krisztian Szabo to mention a few. A major contribution is made by Suat Atalik who has annotated 55  games. He is followed by Daniel Fernandez with 44 games.


ChessBase Magazine 183

  • Languages: English, German
  • Delivery: Download, Post
  • Level: Any
  • Price: €19.95 / €16.76 without VAT (for customers outside the EU) or USD $20.78 without VAT 

ChessBase Magazine 183

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (Wijk aan Zee and Gibraltar) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 12 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.


Prof. Nagesh Havanur (otherwise known as "chessbibliophile") is a senior academic and research scholar. He taught English in Mumbai for three decades and has now settled in Bangalore, India. His interests include chess history, biography and opening theory. He has been writing on the Royal Game for more than three decades. His articles and reviews have appeared on several web sites and magazines.


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