The Agony and the Ecstasy

by Nagesh Havanur
7/29/2018 – Among other things this issue includes games from the World Championship Candidates, Grenke and Gashimov Memorial Tournaments. 2295 games (several annotated) with 10 opening surveys from the Caro-Kann to the Queen’s Indian. A collector’s issue. Not to be missed.

ChessBase Magazine 184 ChessBase Magazine 184

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (Berlin, Baden-Baden and Shamkir) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 10 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.

More...

When gladiators fight unto death

The Editor was bemused.

"Why does it take so long to write a review?"CBM 184

"Some times it’s just one game and you are trying to figure out all the answers yourself without looking at ChessBase. But you don’t get them and then you check out the magazine" I replied.

Presently we shall see that game here. The main part of the DVD is devoted to the Candidates Tournament. Three of the players have annotated their games in this issue. So we have Caruana on his encounter with Grischuk, Ding Liren on his battle with Mamedyarov and Kamnik on his victory over Aronian. I was particularly interested in another game Kramnik versus Caruana. This was a magnificent duel with both players fighting on the edge of precipice. In this issue the game is annotated by Evgeny Postny and a separate commentary is provided by Karsten Müller. By way of comparision I have  also checked the annotations by Timman (New in Chess), Jacob Aagaard (Ameican Chess Magazine)  and Mikhalevski (ChessPublishing.com) among others.  From my experience, I can say, it’s impossible for one annotator to get everything right. This game is incredibly complicated. Readers are well-advised to check the analysis here with a “microscopic” eye.
 
Kramnik and Caruana

Kramnik vs Caruana, Berlin Candidates, Round 4 | Photo: World Chess

 
 

Kramnik with head down

Despair! Nothing is left. A terrifying battle! | Photo: Evegeny Surov / chessnews.ru

This issue includes all games from the Candidates’ Tournament and each of them is annotated. That alone makes it a collector’s issue.

What about Magnus?

The magazine also includes games from Grenke and Gashimov Memorial Tournaments. As is known, Carlsen was pipped at the post by Caruana. Magnus was bogged down by draws and could not find a win to win the superior ending against Caruana. He fared better in the Gashimov Memorial Tournament scoring first ahead of Ding Liren and Karjakin.At the time of writing he is playing in the  Biel Chess Festival. It would be followed by the Sinquefield Cup and European Club Cup ( he would be skipping the Olympiad, though).Hopefully, he would find the form for the world championship to be held later this year.

Siesta Variation returns

To return to this magazine, there are as many as ten opening surveys ranging from the Caro-Kann to the Queen’s Indian Defence. Among them Krisztian Szabo’s survey of the Siesta Variation deserves special mention. This variation was adopted by Capablanca who employed it twice with success  way back in 1928.

Capablanca

Apparently, he had picked up the idea from Frank Marshall who played it against him their 1909 Match (the line itself has its ancestry in an old game, Walbrodt-Von Scheve, DSB Kongress, Dresden 1892). Here is an amusing miniature:

 

Admittedly, current theory and practice has gone much ahead in this variation. In this case it’s also to good to know the path that has been traversed so far.

Apart from these surveys, there are regular sections on opening traps, middlegame tactics and endings. There is much else in this DVD that deserves to be explored. In all, there are 2295 OTB games of which 156 are annotated. The commentators include Caruana, Kramnik and Ding Liren to mention regular contributors like Krasenkow, Mikhalchshin and Marin. A major contribution is made by Daniel Fernandez who has annotated 29 games. He is followed by Michael Roiz with ten games.

Recommended.


ChessBase Magazine 184

Enjoy the best moments of recent top tournaments (Berlin, Baden-Baden and Shamkir) with analysis of top players. In addition you'll get lots of training material. For example 10 new suggestions for your opening repertoire.

More...


Links

 




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 a decade. His articles and reviews have appeared on several web sites and magazines.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register